2015 - Week 27 Cooking

  • Sunburst Tomatoes, Green Onions, and Garlic Scape Love Ewe spaghetti
  • Pork Burgers
  • Chorizo Taco Salad
  • Tart Cherry (something) sauced pork chops
  • All Pork Hot dogs

I need some damn freezer shelves or a new/additional freezer.

2015 - Week 25 & 26 Cooking Results

Fettuccine with Agretti, Lemon and Olive Oil, vaguely based on this

The agretti has a nice grassy taste to it.  maybe needed to have a bit less lemon compared to the agretti that I had, but good none the less.

Garlic Scape Pesto Spaghetti

I was going to make this on that Friday, but after getting home from work, then mowing the lawn, I didn't feel like cooking, so Shannon brought home dinner.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Good things.  Finally broken into the quart of Great River Maple grade B maple syrup.  Pretty good pancakes.  The recipe talked a lot about having fresh whole wheat (mine wasn't) but this still worked, and rose pretty well.

New Potatoes with Italian Sausage (Hobo Packs, sort of)

should've sliced, instead of quartered, took a while (started late too).  Good stuff though.

So the end of week 25 and Most of week 26 was a bit messy.  So we attempted to go to Man of La Mancha on the Brucemore lawn with the Mattas, however the weather did not cooperate in the slightest, so we ended up going to Cobble Hill in Cedar Rapids.  So restaurants in Cedar Rapids have ben generally disappointing, it seems tough to find that nice mix of both reasonable price and having those magical moments of flavors.  Did I have some critiques?  Sure (sometimes you eat everything together and it's magical, but the presentation and/or plating made it near impossible to do so), but it's not often that I walk away from a place thinking I need to replicate that and am willing to work at it to do so.

The take away here is that the French Oak Old Fashioned at Cobble Hill is fantastic and better then any Old Fashioned that I had at The Old Fashioned in Madison or even ones I've made myself.

After trying the desserts, I was upset at my decision of having another French Oak Old Fashioned instead of dessert.

My Madison trip was a bit odd.  Good dinners, ok lunches and...well, generic hotel breakfast.  I graced Graze (very good), The Old Fashioned (good).  Lunches were provided(ish) or a place I could have gone to in Des Moines.  My boss and I did make runs to a liquor store and Underground Meats (squuueeee!) and I may have spent a bit more then I should.  Des Moines needs a butcher shop like Underground Meats.

After getting back I made some butter roasted new potatoes and served them with some Oxfordshire style bangers (Lucky George Farm, Congrats on the heritage pig win at Cochon555).  While mashed potatoes makes sense here, why do that to new potatoes?  The potatoes ended up being a bit crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside and paired well with the large black pig meat.

We made our second (?) trip to Krunkwich Ramen house and were very pleased with the results.  Shannon had the ramen version of Mac & Cheese (she liked it) and I had the spicy #99, which I liked and it had a building spice, and we shared the #99 based tots.  All good things.  I cannot express how much I love those eggs that you can add to your ramen.

Tonight we headed up a bit north to go to the Slow Food Dinner  which features many people I know cooking (Including my little brother Joseph) and many farms that I buy food from.  I'm looking forward to it.

We bought a couple of new pieces from the Des Moines Art Festival from Marty Hulsebos.  

2015 - Week 24 Cooking Results

Merguez Sausage Sandwiches on Spring Garlic or Spring Onion Bread (Grade A Gardens / Wild Yeast Bakery)

So I'm not quite sure what these are supposed to taste like.  I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to serve it, but it was pretty good, but not distinctive enough.  Even after soaking a little bit of the extruded fat / spice mixture into the bread, it still didn't stand out.  The bread was good though.

Chorizo Tacos (Cilantro!)

This turned into a taco salad.  i may have forgotten to buy tortillas, not that the Windsor Heights Hy-vee didn't move / hide the fresh tortillas and stopped carrying brand we'd buy (made in Des Moines), I just didn't have it on my list.  So when it came to make it I modified it to what would be easy to acquire on my way home.  So I did, and it worked out pretty well.  The thing about the salad is that it adds quite a bit of the, well, greens part.  So we made a big dent in the farmers market bought greens mixes.

Dill Chicken Salad

I'm not going to deny that I wanted to add all the dill that I picked, but I knew if I did so, that I would get the thumbs down from Shannon.  So I took a gentle hand.  I ended up with a mild dill background flavor, that wasn't overpowering.  And I passed!  good things.

Pork and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry

I've made this before, I'm pretty sure, but probably not with fresh snap peas as often.  Shannon helped me clean the snap peas, which was nice, cause it cut down on the time it would've taken for me to do them by myself.  Good stuffs.

Pork Burgers

Good, as always, especially since I can take out some Wild Yeast Bakery buns from the freezer and just toast 'em up and boom, way better then other options.

Pizza, going to try the Ssam Sauce plus also a new sauce recipie

Sauce was too runny, it ran over crust to the pan, and the crust didn't always get that crunch that one expects.  Anyways, the taste of the sauce was pretty good, but I was still upset by the occasionally soggy crust.  I forgot to try the Ssam Sauce, so we'll have to do this again.

2015 - Week 24 Cooking

Planted herbs are coming in nicely.  Chive blossoms up and used, chives ready to go.  Dill is up, Cilantro is up, mint is up (and spreading).  The nice thing about the mint is that it has started to spread to the lawn, so when I pass over that spot I get a nice breath of cooling mint on the few passes on the side yard there.  So this week we'll have strawberries (I kinda went nuts), snap peas, and something dill and cilantro focused.

Strawberry usage:

  • Strawberries and Cream
  • Strawberries and Plain Chevre...on something
  • Strawberries eating them

2015 - Week 23 Cooking Results

Double Pea Saute with Ground Pork

I made this a week early.  Snap peas showed up in the market this week.  So I'll have to debate what I want to do with those, but this could be a possibility.  Easy to make, pretty good (could be better).

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches with Garlic Dressing

There was a lot of prep work, but they turned out well.  Roasting this, brining (sort of) that.  came together pretty well.  I ate leftovers this morning.

Double RL Ranch Burger

The the only change I planned on making was topping with a quail egg.  I forgot to do this however.  These are relatively simple burgers, with what amounts to something like thousand island dressing. on top.  Pretty good dressing, but relatively something fairly common.  So The burgers came together pretty well and tasted pretty good.

egg-a-mooby muffins (ie whatever I want to put on there)

The last of the ham that is not intended for some ham bone based soup or beans or something of the like.  Seared the ham, fried the eggs, some delicious cheese.  Boom, dinner!

Baked Sriracha Chicken Thighs

Quick prep, fairly quick cooking (made even shorter by using boneless thighs).  Paired with a simple arugula salad.  Good things.

I reorganized my liquor cabinet.  Unopened bottles went into storage.  They were kind of organized into categories (except where bottle size took precedence).  Rums together, Gins together, etc.  With the influx of booze (Thanks, Drew!) it had to be done to get it off the counter.  Special whiskeys placed elsewhere.

2015 - Week 22 Cooking Results

Thuringian Sausage (Lucky George Farm) Sandwiches

Boiled sausage, split sausage, put on Wild Yeast Bakery DSM boule, topped mine with a bit of spicy mustard and some mild cheese.  Good things.

Italian Sausage and Kale Pasta

Diffrent kale, basically the same combination as before.  Pretty damn good.

Bratwurst burgers

quick and simple and delicious (Crooked Gap Farm)

Honey chicken with Pak Choi (Modified)

So I swapped out the chicken breasts for boneless skinless chicken thighs.  So much better flavor from thighs as opposed to legs.  The Pak Choi (from Blue Gate Farm) sliced up nice and finished well in the dish.  Pretty good, maybe needed a bit more honey, though that may have been my own fault for not measuring everything out exactly.

2015 - Week 21 Cooking Results


Ham & Chevre or Quark & Peas & Spring Onions over whole grain pasta (per conversation with Story City locker)

So I picked up some plain Love Ewe (Reichert's Dairy) to go in here.  So i started off with the spring onions, sautéed it up and gave it them a bit of color, then the ham and some peas.  Combined in the pasta then the Love Ewe and sprinkled some Parmigiano Reggiano.  I could've used a little less stuff or a little more Love Ewe, so I'll have to remember that for the next time around.  The leftovers the you could definitely taste the sheep cheese, but even so, it should've stood out a bit more on the initial serving.

Ham Loaf with Chive Blossom Mashed Potatoes

Took several hunks of ham, got to that purred and added to the mixture.   Good combination of ingredients.  So for the salad, we had a bed of young spinach from Grade A Gardens, topped with some chive blossoms (side yard), Chive Blossom 50/50 Feta (Reichert's Dairy).  Then the mashed potatoes it was a combination of Chive Blossom Love Ewe (Reichert's Dairy), butter, cream and chive blossoms, and potatoes.  Then the ham loaf.  All parts were good apart (should've added a bit more fat to the mashed potatoes...and salt) and it really came together to be a meal.  So this was my Friday:  Lawn Mowing, bill paying, a couple of errands, then making dinner (not saying there wasn't a bunch of downtime in there).

Ham and Gruyere Breakfast Sandwiches (Wild Yeast Bakery DSM, sourdough)

Simple, good.

Rhode Island Dynamites (Wild Yeast Bakery DSM, experimental Hot Dog buns)

For these, I should've halved the recipe.  Also I should've added more of the spicy elements to bring it up in heat a bit.  Still pretty good, but could've been better.

Thuringian Sausage (Lucky George Farm) Sandwiches

I uh...forgot to even take these out of the freezer, so, next week!