Sunday, June 30, 2013

Quick Braised Asparagus with Bacon and Strawberries

With asparagus in season and and an abundance of strawberries and a wife that demanded bacon with her birthday dinner I was inspired to try combining them all into what proved to be a quite lovely dish.

  • Wash and trim fresh asparagus. 
  • Put in a pan with 1 Tbs each of bacon drippings, butter, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, water, and sugar. 
  • Cover bring to boil over high heat and braise for 3 minutes. 
  • Add chopped cooked frozen bacon.
  • Cook uncovered for a couple minutes. 
  • Add fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and quartered. 
  • Cover for a minute or two until the strawberries get up to temperature, but you don't really want to cook them. 

Serve hot and enjoy!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vanilla recipe

I have been enjoying my homemade vanilla that I had posted about earlier. Now that it has developed a nice color and flavor and has been refreshed a number of times, I thought it would be good to revisit the subject.

The vanilla recipe I used came from make some vanilla extract.

Pictured is my current stock.

Here is how it looked when first assembled.

I picked up some Indian vanilla beans from Stone Cottage (my favorite spice store), and some cheap vodka from my local liquor store.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Make Sushi Party -- Norimaki

In this third installment of the Sushi Party recap we look at what I always think of when people talk about sushi, norimaki. Seaweed wrapped around sushi rice surrounding some good stuff.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Make Sushi Party -- California Rolls

I enjoy sushi, but it is not a big part of my life. So I was unprepared for how fantastic a sushi making party could be. We had a couple of folks who seemed to know what they were doing show the rest of us how to prepare, roll, and cut california rolls and other delicacies for what turned out to be an amazing lunch.

Thumbprint cookies

After making some wonderful strawberry apricot jam, I wanted to broaden my repertoire of JDV (Jam Delivery Vehicles). In particular I have never made thumbprint cookies before.

The very idea of a thumbprint cookie makes me think of the 1950s. I'm not sure why.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Toasted Cheese Sandwich Lesson

Today I had an opportunity to provide a cooking lesson for Rachel: how to make a toasted cheese sandwich.

First we discussed how a toasted cheese sandwich was similar to and different from a pancake: Similarities
  • Tools: Same pan, same spatula
  • Heat transfer fluid: butter the pan
  • Process: Cook, flip, remove
  • You could eat the cheese sandwich without cooking it
  • The pancake batter, not-so-much

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Low Sugar Strawberry Apricot Jam

One part apricots, one part strawberries, one part sugar. Process in food processor. Bring to boil. Cook down until silky, thick, and not so bubbly. Then into a hot water bath. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chocolate Pudding from scratch

Pudding didn't used to come from a box.

I like chocolate.
I like eggs, and have a steady supply.
I like cream.

Let us combine these to make pudding, but what to do with the leftover whites ...?

The almond cookies use egg whites.
This pudding uses egg yolks.
A match made, well, in the kitchen.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Freezing Apricot Pies

Over the winter and spring we like to have "fresh" peach and apricot pies. We do this by making up the fillings and freezing them in pie pans until they set. Then bag them in gallon freezer zip-lock bags.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vorax Egg Muffin

A friend brought us some sourdough English muffins from the Bay Area. So, we had to come up with some special way to enjoy them. I had some leftover lunchmeat and cheese so I decided to make a breakfast sandwich.
This is not gluten-free, vegetarian, locavore, paleo, low-carb, low-fat, or raw food. But it is quite tasty and satisfying. And maybe every once in a while, life should just be tasty and satisfying.

First assemble the ingredients. Then realize you forgot the turkey after you took the picture. I had some nice pastrami from Grocery Outlet that were the ends from large deli rolls.