Sunday, March 1, 2015

So happy, Charles cooked

The brother cooked last night.  Beef stew with smoked beef.  So lovely.

He spent all afternoon layering flavors.  The veg and beef just right. Even the potatoes are tender not waxy or mushie. 

Perfect for cold wet weather.   Mmmmmm!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday morning visitors.

Pretty visitors this morning. Golf finch, purple finch and tufted titmouse.

Friday, February 27, 2015

3-bean salad update

I was making another batch of 3-bean salad to snack on. As I got to the vinegarett I noticed the apple cidar vinegar was in a bottom shelf and in a gallon jug.

The cold weather has my hands acting up and my whole body on the weak side.  With visions of a whole gallon of spiled vinegar dancing in my had I decided to us another more easily reached vinegar.

The raspberry flavored white basalmic Charles likes on his salads.  All good things start off as an experiment, right?

I used the balsamic and quickly decided my Mema would have LOVED IT!  With the Splenda, or  sugar, already in the recipe the addition of a little raspberry basalmic did not go amiss.

This is currently my favorite snack food.  I can eat enough to feel satisfied without the guilt.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rebel me

Sometimes I just cannot bring myself to follow a recipe as written. I bought a nice pre-brined brisket for corned beef.

The problem I have now is the next step. It says to boil this beautiful piece of meat with pickling spices. I just couldn't.

Every recipe online or in any of my books was the same. Boil it for HOURS!  Intellectually I understand that most corned beef in the world is boiled, but I just can't.

I remembered watching a tv show in which it was braised in the oven. (Don't say it. . I know it is just oven boiling :P). So I plopped the meat in a large pot and covered it in broth. Chicken and pork broth.

I brought the temp up on the stove then tucked it in a 300 degree oven for three hours.  The result was so much richer than the boiled corned beef I had made years ago. Yea I boiled it once. I have been looking for a better way ever since.

Tender and rich it makes a great meal and a great sammie. I am very happy!

Braised corned beef on white with spicy mustard

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


The snow has been falling all morning.  I love the quiet of a snow day!

Now this calls for chili and corn bread!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday dinner

Charles smoked a pot pork chili on his kettle grill. May just be the best chili ever!  My contibution was the cheddar jalapeƱo cornbread.  Also not too shabby.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Another Julia Sugarbaker moment!

As mentioned, we ordered pizza last.  I love good pizza!  What we had last night was just short of good pizza.

We ordered from a company that was new to us. They shall remain unamed, but they were a smaller chain with restaurants in a few states.

We ordered a hand tossed all meat pizza and  a thin & crispy combo. The crust on both pizzas was flabby and doughy. Even the crispy crust was flabby.

Even as an unskilled pizza cook I am aware that the standard baking rules do NOT apply! Most bread bakes are done at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Pizza dough is a bread product but the thinner mass allows for a quicker bake at a much higher temp.  It looks to me their ovens are set  WAY too  low.

Pizza ovens routinely run at tempuratures from 700 to 900 degrees. That kind of heat will bake a pizza in eight minutes. Crisp crust, melty cheese, meats and veggies cooked to perfection.

Fortunately I know how to turn a normal household oven into a makeshift pizza oven. You need one oven and two pizza stones.

Place one rack on the upper level.  Place the second rack about eight inches below. Place a pizza stone on each rack.  Turn the oven on as high as it will go. Preheat for an hour.

When the oven had preheated we slid the leftovers onto the bottom rack. Ten minutes later. The pizza we thought we were getting in the first place. Crisp tender hand tossed and a thin & crispy that keeps its shape. Melty cheese for all!

Next time we want pizza we'll just cook!

Next time we aren't up to it. . .? We'll get drive through chicken.