Month: April 2013

Peering Down the Pie Hole – Buttermilk Pie

Is it as good as it sounds? Hella yeah! In fact, my slightly bruised ego aside, Jane says it’s the best pie I’ve ever made. About a month ago, I come into the kitchen and find this… on the kitchen counter with a note that said, “I want this.” – Yes, that is a clothes pin. – Yes, that recipe does say tartlet and berries… ignore that for a minute You know Jane can’t eat chocolate, so unless she’s muttering “chocolate pie” in her sleep (which she has been known to do)  I’m pretty receptive when there is something dessert-wise that she asks for. Only… They were nancy little tartlets in puff pastry… eesh!   I don’t do fussy. They had berries – she isn’t a fan. There was a 1/2 cup of heavy cream in the recipe – she’s severely lactose intolerant. So, wanting and getting were going to need a little attitude adjustment. A Couple of Things: 1. The recipe is based on the Williams~ Sonoma New Flavors for Dessert Book, and the crust is (low-end) store bought readi-made. …

Tales of Woe – That Brown Rice Salad

The TV is on most days throughout the day primarily as background noise. I don’t really think about it being on anymore. It lightens my day when there’s nothing going on except my own brooding, it keeps the terrors and worries of my career (or lack thereof) at bay; it keeps me company. But, most importantly – it’s just on. Call me wasteful, pummel me about the head and shoulders for the abnormally large carbon footprint I’m leaving for future generations, I don’t even care. I have persistent tonal tinnitus (Mine is a constant high “C” with a medium tone hiss that seems to hover somewhere about 6 inches from my head… all the time) and background noise is the only thing that stands between me and the express bus to Crazytown. … so it stays on. The other day while reading, I halfway hear Giada on the Cooking Channel talk about a Citrus Brown Rice Salad and my head checks in for a bit to listen in. I like rice salads. Mentally, as she’s talking, I’m making adjustments.. …

Shank’d – Faux Pho

I’m a horror when it comes to shopping at the international markets. I buy things that: I have no idea what they are or What you’re supposed to do with them or Buy just way too freakin‘ much of it. or Sometimes, all three…. shush…   My last outing, I bought 2 – 2.5 pound packages of white miso paste. In all fairness to me, one was miso + dashi, so that makes it all better… Anyway, I bought them, I own them, and they live in the freezer waiting for that special day when they would earn their keep in my kitchen. That would be today. Photo Courtesy of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association So, I was poking around the meat counter the other day can came across a package of Beef Shank Steaks. Two beautifully plump, thick marrowed, perfectly packaged 3″ hunks of bovine nirvana… and I had to have them. The thing was… I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with them… like the miso – I just wanted them. Last night I …

Hadji and a Couple of Thugs

Here’s the thing… so it’s not quite Alibaba and the Forty Thieves… okay – not even close. But the thought of packing 40 cloves of garlic into a chicken wing dish just gave Jane the Heebie Jeebies , ’cause she’s not really the garlic-zoo-breath kind of fan like I am. But – What I did have was: a lone leek that missed getting into the beef stew pool a shallot, some scallions a Spanish and Texas Sweet and a single garlic clove All just hanging around taking up space. So, it’s not a herd of scimitar wielding, pajama pant wearing, bare-chested  thieves… just a couple of smelly onion-y thugs. Chicken Wings with Mixed Alliums Serves 2 to 3 Ingredients  8 to 12 Whole Joint Chicken Wings 1 Leek 2 Shallots 1 Spanish (or other strong onion) 1 Texas Sweet (or other sweet onion) 1 Clove Garlic 2 Scallions 1 Carrot Salt and Cracked Black Pepper 6 to 8 Saffron Threads (a good pinch) 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin Amazon.com Widgets Preheat the oven to 375 Tuck the wing tips …

2013 Hay Garden – Get them bales ready

Since it’s time to start thinking about the garden, I’ve decided to re-issue the Hay Bale Garden instructions and post from when it first started. Up here in the hills – unless you’re living on the eastern side of Dahlonega, or down in one of those picturesque, lush farming valleys heading out Hwy 52 towards Ellijay – you don’t have a lot of options for gardening or growing anything…..  except rocks. The result of the clear cut logging in the Appalachians back in the 30’s has left most of the surrounding areas completely devoid of any really usable topsoil. Our property isn’t any different. 99.999% of our land is scrub forest and DR (Decomposed Rock), dispersed with intermittent layers of that good ol’ sticky Georgia Red Clay. …. needless to say, gardening is a challenge. In 2009, we attempted to container garden. It was lackluster at best. Even with drip lines and composted manure, the containers were just no match for the hot summer heat, and the diminutive bounty was the proof. Opposed to previous …

Baked Oats – Revisited

I’ve been eating baked oatmeal nearly everyday since that first post a couple of weeks ago. I’ve done it with pearled oats, steel cut oats, old fashioned and quick cook.  I’ve changed the ingredient mix-ins, I’ve monkeyed around with proportions and liquids and cooking times… And, I’ve come to the realization of a couple of truths: I really don’t like breakfast. The thought of getting up in the morning before there’s even a sun and stuffing anything in my pie hole before I’ve had 2 or 3…. pots of coffee – is just craziness. I don’t know how anyone does that. I found that I like eating it better as a snack cake… or dessert. It doesn’t work with  anything other than a smushed oat. Pearled and steel cut oats just can’t hydrate enough, and because of the whole graininess it can’t merge with the eggs. You get sweetened scrambled eggs with bird feed on top. And while any rolled type oat will work, standard – old fashioned oats give you the perfect balance of texture / …

Bread Whore – Holla’, erm… Challah!

I’m a card carrying member of Bread Hoarders Anonymous.  So, Forget that I have a package of English Muffins in the fridge (and one in the freezer). Never mind that there are a dozen buttermilk biscuits, 8 corn muffins, a bag of Tablouleh rolls, 2 packs of flour tortillas, a tube of canned biscuits, and a loaf of sandwich bread lounging around in the cupboards. And you didn’t even see the  disk of Cracker bread, a half-eaten box of water crackers and assorted saltine shaped things only slightly hidden from prying eyes. I haven’t had any bread in 3 years. And, Unless they come with a warrant – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Because I’m such a pillar of the BHA community, I decided to not do bread this year for Easter Dinner. Regardless what you may have heard, there was none of this… … parading up alongside of the Herb Crusted Rolled Lamb Steaks. and there definitely wasn’t any of this… Served up in hearty slabs with the Broccoli & Leek Cream Gratin. …