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10 months ago

Roasted Brats and Stuff aka The Katie Special

I made this for Katie months ago (RIP BBCan), and she has been bugging me (twice) to post it since then. So it’s super off season, but since I am making myself share stuff again I guess it’s as good a place to start as any. This is a super fast and easy and tasty winter dinner. Or maybe make it now on a rainy day. Sorry in advance for this being one of those “do people ACTUALLY measure anything?” recipes.

new potatoes, halved or quartered
red onion, chopped
butter
a few bratwurst sausages, sliced lengthwise
brussels sprouts, halved
cauliflower, bite sized
grainy mustard
honey
S+P
 

• Preheat your oven to around 375°. Throw the potatoes and onions in a roasting pan, dot with butter and add salt and pepper. The potatoes will be the assholes that take longest to cook, so let them have ten minutes to hog the oven.

• Sear your brats on the stove.

• Throw the sprouts and cauliflower in with the potatoes. Add a couple big dollops of mustard and a few good squeezes of honey and mix it all up. Then toss the brats on top and cook for about thirty minutes, or until everything is cooked through. Add more honey / mustard / butter / salt / pepper as you see fit. 

Made on some random Thursday a few months back
Enjoyed by Katie.  

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10 months ago

Black Bean and Everything Salad

A friend recently pointed out I hadn’t posted anything new in a year or whatever. I guess I’ve been a little boring when it comes to food lately. But here’s a salad I first made for my cousin’s 30th birthday. Mad points because it’s perfect for packing for lunch.

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Half pint grape tomatoes, quartered
2 cobs of corn, parboiled and stripped
1-2 jalepenos, seeded and minced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
Handful of feta, crumbled
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime
S+P

• Throw everything in a bowl. Mix it up. Salads are haaaaard.

When I made this tonight, I somehow managed to unearth the world’s spiciest jalepeno. My fingers were burning. I guess that’s better than getting a glorified green pepper.

Made on May 4th, 2013, then again a month later.
Enjoyed by Scott and all his birthday friends and family, then by just me.

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1 year ago

Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Crumble Pie

This is proof that if I promise you pie for your birthday, you’ll get it eventually. Craig’s birthday fell during Sled Island so he had to wait a couple weeks but better late than never, right? (There was a meat pie, too. He’s really demanding.) And I’d say it was worth the wait. Recipe from Martha.

   

Crust!

1 c flour
7 tbsp (just shy of a 1/2c) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

• Put the flour, butter, sugar and salt into the bowl of your mixer. Then throw this in the freezer for 20 minutes.
• Measure your water and vinegar into a glass and throw that in the freezer, too.
• When nice and chilled, mix the flour and butter with a paddle attachment until it forms a coarse meal.
• Slowly pour in the water-vinegar. Mix until it just comes together. Martha describes the desired texture as “shaggy clumps” but I don’t even know what that is super to mean, and does not sound appealing.
• Turn dough out onto plastic wrap, shape into a 5” disk, wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.

• Once chilled, roll out dough about 1/8” thick. Fit into a 9” pie plate. Feel free to get fancy with the edges. Cover, and chill again. 

Filling!

2 1/2 c rhubarb, chopped 1/4”
2 1/2 c strawberries, quartered
2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
squeeze of fresh lemon juice 

• Toss everything together. Tough stuff.

Crumble Topping! 

2/3 c flour
1/2 c sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp (about 1/4 c) cold unslated butter, chopped

• Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter. I hope this isn’t getting too strenuous for you.

• Preheat your oven to 350º. Pile all the fruity goodness into your chilled pie shell. Then sprinkle the crumble topping on top of that. Toss in the oven for about 75 minutes. Check it halfway and rotate the pan. The filling should be bubbling and the crust golden brown. Let cool! It’ll take a while. We had a firework deadline so cut in a little early. It gets messy.

   

I was kind of skeptical about making the pastry in the mixer, but it turned out pretty great. Nice and flaky. The ginger was a nice touch, so I would probably add more next time. Overall: really good pie. Especially compared to the really shitty strawberry rhubarb pie I made last year for Pie-reworks. A million times better. Hurrah for improvement!

Made on Saturday, July 7, 2012.
Enjoyed by superpals at 2nd Annual Stampede Pie-reworks party. 

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1 year ago

Chicken Tinga

I don’t make Mexican food often enough. Maybe because it is food best for sharing, and I don’t want to put all the prep in just for myself. Whatever the reason, not smart because anytime I do I am reminded of how fucking good it is. Since I don’t know much about Mexican food, I clearly stole this recipe.

3 chicken breasts

olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
7 mid-sized tomatoes, diced
1 (5 1/2 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp concentrated chicken stock
3/4 c reserved cooking water
coarse salt & pepper

• Get some water boiling in a mid-sized pot. Plain, no salt. Put the chicken breasts in and cook for about 10 minutes. You don’t want to overdo them, but no one wants salmonella either. 

• Remove the chicken from the water and set aside to cool slightly. Don’t dump the water, you’ll need it later.
• Once the chicken is cool enough to not hurt you, shred it with your fingers / a fork if you’re fancy. 

• In a big pan / braiser / wok / whatever works best for you, sweat your onions in a bit of olive oil. 
• Add in everything else, including the shredded chicken. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes; the sauce will thicken up a bit and that’s a good thing.
  

olive oil
2 tbsp minced red onion
1 (14 1/2oz) can refried beans with chipotle

• Cook your onions in the oil for a couple minutes. Add the bean and cook until warm.

tomatillo salsa
avocada
tostada shells

• Now you get to put it all together: lay down one tostada shell and smear with refried beans. Lay another shell on top and cover with tomatoey chicken goodness. Then throw a couple slices of avocado on top and pour on some salsa. Eat! Toast your culinary efforts with tequila!

The salsa was made from scratch, too, but I’ll post that later because this seems long enough already.

Made on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
Enjoyed by Dave, because it’s his cousin’s recipe, and I’m not that big of an asshole. 

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2 years ago

Carrot Chiffon Cake

I know it’s my family saying this, so they are legally required to fawn over anything I make, but this really is one of the best carrot cakes any of us ever tasted. Since it’s a chiffon cake, all the heavy density of regular cake is gone. Which is good, since after a monster meal, you don’t want a really heavy dessert. Especially when there are two on the table (lemon meringue ice cream pie). The recipe comes from Rebekah Pearse’s Sweet Seasonal Desserts.

1 1/4 c flour
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of allspice

3 egg yolks
1/2 c carrot juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c shredded carrots

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp sugar

• Preheat oven to 350°. Line two 8” cake pans with parchment.

• Whisk together your first batch of dry ingredients; set aside.

• Whisk together the yolks, carrot juice and vanilla. (As an aside, don’t think it is a good idea to pour yourself a glass of carrot juice as you do this. Straight carrot juice is fucking gross.)
• Slowly whisk in the oil. Then mix in the shredded carrots.

• Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy, then slowly pour in the sugar. Keep mixing full speed ahead until soft peaks form.

• Add the carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until blended.
• Carefully fold in half of the egg whites. Then repeat with the second half. (As a second random aside, folding was my least favourite food process when I took junior high home ec. Proving that I am actually becoming more patient as I get older. (This probably isn’t true.))  

• Divide the batter into the two pans. Now that you did that gentle, tender folding, don’t do anything stupid like bang the pan so the batter smooths out. It will be fine.
• Put them in the oven for 20 minutes. Then turn them for about another 15, or until a tester comes out clean.

• Let the cakes cool about 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Then let them cool completely before icing them.

    

I used a pretty ghetto cream cheese icing (two blocks cream cheese, maybe 3/4 c icing sugar, about 1/2 c heavy cream and some lemon zest), that wasn’t very sweet, but ice how you see fit. One word of warning with this, since it is a chiffon cake, the heavy cream cheese icing kind of sunk it. Dropped at least 1/2” with the weight of the icing. So you may be better off with a meringue type icing. But cream cheese is delicious so whatever.

Final aside: how funny would it be to make a cake with the little carrots on top but inside it’s actually a chocolate cake? I am going to start playing cake tricks on everyone. No one will laugh but me and I’m okay with that.

   

Made on Saturday, April 7, 2012.
Enjoyed by everyone at Woodward Easter Dinner. 

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2 years ago

Ginger Loaf

Starting the day with baked goods straight out of the oven (I really wish this shot better captured the steam that is coming off this bad boy), is the fucking best. I know that sometimes every single extra minute in bed counts, but hit the snooze button two less times, drag yourself up, and have a perfect, still-warm-from-the-oven breakfast.


3/4 c flour
2/3 c graham flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne

1/3 c unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger

2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 c hot water
1/4 tsp baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

 • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a loaf pan with parchment.

• Sift together your dry ingredients; set aside.

• Mix together your butter, sugar, honey and ginger. In a separate bowl, whisk together the molasses and soda. In yet another bowl, the water and soda.
• Now mix all three of them together.

• Add the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Finally, add the beaten eggs and stir. Pour into your loaf pan and throw in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, perfect amount of time to clean yourself up for the day.


 I didn’t really pay any mind to letting this cool, I just sliced in and ate it straight. Not too sweet, super gingery and with a nice honey aftertaste. And, yeah, I get that it didn’t rise properly, but I am really not that fussy at nine in the morning. 


Made on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.
Enjoyed by me. And then by Anna. 

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2 years ago

This Year They Liked It

Last Friday marked my ninth annual Christmas party, which is kind of crazy when I think about it. But it was awesome and I love it and I love everyone who came and am happy that I didn’t get evicted or anything terrible like that. 

I was smart (read: lazy) this year and basically just did the same menu as last year. Tried and true, can’t go wrong. I guess a couple new things in the mix. Here’s what we ate:

Peppermint Fudge

Rumballs

Bourbon Pecan Truffles

Peppermint Chocolate Macarons

Gingerbread Macarons

Salted Chocolate Caramel Tarts 

Lemon Almond Tarts

Banoffee Tarts

Pine Nut Dolmades

Bruschetta Cups

Proscuitto Wrapped Stuffed Dates

Pesto Mushroom Caps

Spinach-Bacon-Feta Mushroom Caps

Cheeseballs

Chocolate Eggnog

Winter Spice Punch

As always, none of this could have happened without the help of my loyal kitchen elves, Lisa and Amelia. And oh! This wasn’t at the party, but I made mini fruitcakes to go with the invites. Hopefully I converted at least one person.  

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2 years ago

Vegetarian Chili

Strictly making veg chili goes back to those post college years when I thought the smell of ground beef was repulsive. But now I just like it more. A bit of vegetable crunch is way more delicious than sick kidney beans.


 olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
coarse salt & pepper
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped 
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 handfuls mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
28oz can diced tomatoes
19 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
19 oz can mixed beans, drained & rinsed
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp cayenne
dollop of honey

cilantro & cheddar cheese, to serve


 • Heat the oil in a big pot. Toss in the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook a minute or two.
• Add the carrots, celery and peppers. Give it another couple minutes, then the zucchini and mushrooms. Mix in the chili powder, cook a couple minutes more.
• Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, beans and the rest of the spices and honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about twenty minutes. 
 
• Done. Top with a bit of fresh cilantro and grated cheese and dig in.


 Made on Tuesday, December 6, 2011.
Enjoyed by me. And then Lisa had some, too. 

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2 years ago

Spice Brined Turkey

This was the fifth turkey I’ve ever done and I think it may have been the best. All that hoopla about brining your turkey to keep it nice and moist and flavourful? All true. This is based on what I think was a 15lb turkey. 


Brine

8 c water
4 c coarse salt
5 c sugar
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped 
2 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 tbsp allspice berries
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cloves

• Get a big ol’ pot and through everything in. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve all the sugar and salt. Let simmer about 20 minutes. Let cool completely. This means that if you are like me and don’t plan ahead and boil this at midnight the night before your dinner, you’ll need to cool it in an ice bath. Be smart and make it earlier and let it cool in the fridge or whatever.

• Rinse and pat dry the turkey. If you don’t have a huge enough stock pot / any kind of container large enough to submerge the bird, put it breast down in a roasting pan and pour the brine over. Cover completely and chill in the fridge overnight. 
• The next morning, give it a flip for a couple hours to make sure the back gets some love. But really, you want those breasts to get all the attention so maybe sure to flip it back.
• When it’s getting close to oven time, bring the bird out of the fridge and bring to room temp, while still letting him swim in the spices.

Spice Butter

1 c butter, softened
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg 

• Mix everything together. That was hard.

• Drain the brine from the roaster and pat the turkey dry. Set him up in the roaster you just rinsed out, breast up. 
• Spread the butter all over him. Loosen the skin and slide some butter under there, too. Slathered would be the word you are looking for.
• Throw him in a 425° oven for thirty minutes. At this point, turn it down to 350°, give him a baste and keep on cooking. You’ll be looking at about 2 1/2–3 1/2hours. Baste every thirty minutes, and turn the pan around to ensure even cooking. If he is browning to fast, cover the breast with foil. The goal temperature you are looking for is 160°.
• Take him out of the oven and let rest for thirty minutes, covered with foil.
• Now you should make gravy but we aren’t going to talk about that. So just pretend you kind of know how to carve a bird and cut him up to serve to your friends.


Made on Thursday, November 24, 2011.
Enjoyed by the best fucking pals ever at Yanksgiving. 

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2 years ago

Yanksgiving!

Big holiday meals really are the fucking best. This year’s Yanksgiving saw fifteen people crowded (literally) around my table. It was a really great group of old friends and new friends and some new traditions (oh hiiiii, pass the whiskey at the table) were born. 

The menu:

Spice Brined Turkey
Cognac Cranberries
Mashed Potatoes
Magical Buttery Oma Stuffing
Apple Cranberry Walnut Stuffing
Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Apples
Best Ever Brussels Sprouts (Maple Bacon) 
Lemon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
Cauliflower Gratin 
Cornbread with Goat Cheese & Pepper Jelly
Chocolate Spice Cake
Apple Cranberry Crisp
Pumpkin Mousse Tart

Thanks friends. Fucking love you guys. 

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