Journal

2015 - Week 13 Cooking

So this week is going to be a challenge.  I don't have any distinct plans, because I do not know what to expect out of the week.  I'm not sure how long Shannon will be in the hospital or what she'll feel up to after she comes home.  So I bought a number of things and am able to make a number of dishes from simple to complex.  I'm not taking any meat out of the freezer, but have beans and other protein rich items (that should be easy to digest and high in fiber).  So no plans this week, I went shopping yesterday...I've made some jello for today to comply with her clear liquid diet.  I tried to talk her into some chicken stock gelatin, but she didn't seem excited by that.

Honestly other then using gelatin for some other purpose, but actual Jello dish?  I don't remember the last time I've done anything remotely like that.  I'm trying to make it pretty.  I should've put Strawberry on the bottom, then orange, then cherry.  I did add some peppermint to the strawberry layer.  I curious at how it will turn out.  I thought I had a nice dish to put this in, but apparently not.

anyways, we'll see how the week goes.

2015 - Week 13 Cooking Results

Shepherd's Pie (with pork, not lamb)

This seems so long ago, but I was really happy with how it all turned out, even though I had to delay it for a bit and not have it on that one holiday.  It was a nice meal to have and the leftovers were great.  

Bratwurst Patties (Crooked Gap)

From Story City.  Good quality meat, lightly spiced and seared in a pan.  Good stuffs

All Pork Hot Dogs (Crooked Gap)

Quick meal for art class night for Shannon.

Green Onion Sausage (Crooked Gap) Pizza

I was really proud of the way both the crust and the taste turned out for this.  it had that outer crispness and the inner chew to make you feel as if you you have something substantial.  Really quite delightful.  I added some leftover salumi that I had thin sliced in the fridge.  Added a bit of extra savoriness.

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

I'm not a huge fan of half boxes of noodles, but when making this, so I'll usually double a recipe and just have leftovers.  But because I adjust the recipe a bit it changes things.  Also, in looking in the freezer, I found out that I didn't have any normal breadcrumbs left, but I did have cornbread crumbs left.  So the cornbread, combined with a bit of parmesan, salt, pepper and butter and crisped up in a pan, before coating the top of the mac & cheese.  There was a nice combination of Hook's 4 year cheddar, Appenzeller, and Emmentaler.  And then some of the thawed homemade pumpkin puree.  Good stuffs.

2015 - Week 12 Cooking Results

Pork Chops (Provided by Joseph, form the pig that is in his freezer in my basement)

So there is a clear difference between the breeds of hogs and the taste of the meet.  It is not even fair to compare your standard breed to the vast majority of the heritage breeds that I've tried.  Good stuffs.  If I'm not mistaken, it's a Berkshire pig that he got butchered for him (as opposed to the Hereford, I normally buy).  They were quite good.  simple pan sear, salt and pepper.  I'm looking forward to tasting when Joseph starts smoking some of the rest of the pig parts (bacon, etc).  I served with corn and apple sauce.

The tostadas, from lat week, except for with chorizo

Worked well, probably even better.  Good stuffs.

Shepherd's Pie (with pork, not lamb)

delayed until today.  I didn't get home early enough to make this on Tuesday, so today it is!

Spicy Tuna Pasta

I really think that Cook's Illustrated may need to go through and revisit some of their older recipes.

Jalapeno chicken Salad

Not as spicy as you might think, but not a bad combination of ingredients to make a chicken salad.  I had those on Joseph's jalapeno bread (so good) and Shannon had it on the wheat ciabatta.

2015 - Week 12 Cooking

We had a little birthday celebration for Shannon...Imagine that, 29...again!  So many 29s, it's like the counting stopped  :-D  We had Chocolate Orange cake, and many desserts for the game night that was closely related to her birthday.  I did miss out on the chocolate stout cupcakes...which I wanted to try, but got taken away before I got a chance.  Good birthday.  We also went to Wasabi Chi for her birthday and had some quite good sushi.

2015 - Week 11 Cooking Results

Baked Beans with Slab Bacon

Having never made this before, I was concerned as to how it would turn out, especially since I took it to a group dinner.  But I was worried for nothing.  They turned out fantastic, and instilled into me a clear desire to make sure I save and use parmigiano reggiano rinds.  It just had this savory under note like nothing else.  Went over well at the group dinner and was quite nice as the last of it using it for lunch later in the week.

Carne Adovada (tacos)

So I wanted to make this a bit spicier then the recipe called for, I don't have any chili powder so I used a combination of ancho and jalapeno powder.  I clearly used way to much of the jalapeno, not only did it make the air in the kitchen quite difficult to breathe, but made it a bit too spicy.  Even so they made some pretty good tacos.  combined with all the other things cooled it off a bit.  

Tagliatelle with Prosciutto

When talking with Brett at the cheese shop, I was buying cheeses and prosciutto for this and when I vaguely described what I was doing, he said it sounded good already.  And it was...good stuffs., pretty easy to put together.

Chicken Tostadas with Spicy Mashed Black Beans

Simple, and good, and very quick.

2015 - Week 10 Cooking Results

Buttermilk Pancakes

I made enough for Joseph and he decided to go to bed instead (totally justified).  These were pretty nice cut in half (cooked in 8" pan) and toasted the next day, as well as straight off the pan.

Diced pork tacos

Easy, quick, done.  Good use of the other gigantic pork chop.  Though the cooking (covered in ancho powder) did leave us both coughing in the kitchen.  The 

Greek chicken Salad

So I skipped the olives (know your audience, and mine doesn't like olives), I refuse to buy "fresh" tomatoes this early, and I added some chèvre.  The cucumber was clearly a bit under-ripe.  That being said, ti was a pretty good combination of flavors, a bit dry, but that's easy to blame on the cucumber and lack of tomato.

Thai Chicken Curry

So they didn't have the yellow curry paste, so I bought green, I had some red at home, would it really be the same thing?  Probably not.  Anyways, it was fairly easy to make, though I started later then I should've I think, because we ended up eating late.  A good selection of vegetables and some chicken.  Good stuffs.

Baked Beans with Slab Bacon

Delayed until tomorrow (taking to wild game party).

2015 - Week 9 Cooking Results

 

Black Bean-Chorizo Stew

They should've just called this chili, or some version of chili.  I would've liked to try this with the green chorizo, but did it with the chorizo I get from Crooked Gap (good stuffs).  This came together easy, but took time to prepare.  Not to bad.

Sausage and Egg on mini Ciabatta

So the idea here was to use the cooking rounds that I have to make an egg patty.  The sausage was quite good, but it ended up being a fried egg on top.  The rounds didn't sit down as I expected.  They started to slowly leak out of the side.  I didn't want to weight it down, since it was stainless steel holding in the egg, on a non-stick pan.  Didn't want to mess up my pan, so I just let them go out.  Anyways, good, but not exactly the presentation I wanted.

Pork Chops...or pork chop tacos...I haven't decided yet.

Pork sandwiches!  So there were surprisingly large butterfly chops.  I used one, cooked it up using salt and pepper, then after resting a bit, sliced them for sandwiches.  That and some sun chips and you have a meal.  Worked out well.  Now I have another pork chop to do something with.  Probably tacos.

Pork Burgers (for real this time)

Yay!  I'm starting to really enjoy having sauerkraut on more things.  Maybe it is me aging or maybe I just found a really good kraut?  Who knows, but anyways, most of my burgers now are topped with kraut. 

Green Onion Sausage Pasta

Sautéed an onion until it was a bit soft in a bit of olive oil.  Added the green onion sausage, cooked it until it was mostly not pink, then added some red pepper flakes, some dried oregano a bit of pepper.  Then added two cans of diced tomatoes, and a small can of tomato paste.  Stirred it up and let it simmer while the pasta cooked.  I used rigatoni pasta.  Once it was cooked I drained it and added it to the sauce to mix it all together.  Turned out pretty well.