Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barefoot Thursdays

Who knew. I just found food bloggers cooking recipes from the Food Network's Barefoot Contessa. It's an every other Thursday thing. If you are interested, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Japanese Junk Food

I found this post on Japanese junk food via food gawker. The Japanese junk food is kind of fun. Watermelon Kit Kats and flavored kelp as a chewing gum alternative with a bonus rags to riches story . Oh, and you can sign up to win your very own Japanese junk food. Good Luck.

What's up in the food blogging world?

The Best Lick. Apartment Therapy has had an ice cream contest going on all month called "the Best Lick". I've been drooling all month. They had 26 recipes total. Some of my favorites are the mint chocolate chip with raspberries, and the cherry cheesecake ice cream. They also had creative flavors like basil, cinnamon, ginger ice cream. For ice cream lovers, it's worth a click and a drool. I plan on making some of the recipes some time in the future.

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie. Food bloggers have also been talking about the chocolate chip cookie recipe published in the New York Times in this article. It's known in blogging circles as "the cookie". If you do a google search in blogs for "new york times" "chocolate chip cookie" there are 444 entries just in the blogs. (445 once I post this one) The recipe uses cake and bread flour. It calls for a very specific chocolate. It chills the dough for 36 hours to perfect the texture and give it a caramelly flavor. Also, the cookies are sprinkled with salt. I plan to make them someday without the specific chocolate that I'm sure that I would have to special order. I'll add my post to the 444 (well 445) that already exist when I do.

Tuesdays with Dorrie. A group of food bloggers is cooking their way through Dorrie Greenspan's cookbook "Baking: from my home to yours". On Tuesday, over 250 food bloggers all make the same recipe from the cookbook. They always look so tempting. I want to join the fun. But I also don't really have the time and prefer not to weigh 700 pounds. But, I'm totally in love with the idea. Here are a *few**random** *posts** from** previous* Tuesdays with Dorrie. If you are interested in joining, the website is here.

Taste descriptions

Confused by iron chef judges? I found a quick explanation on apartment therapy about taste descriptors. It explains what high notes and low notes and rounded flavor mean as it relates to food.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Food Tattoos

As a woman who can't stand to have the same hair style and color for three years in a row, I don't really get tattoos. It's a level of commitment I'll never achieve. I know I'd just want to change mine in a year if I got one. Anyway, I found this link via apartment therapy. It has 53 food tattoos. I like the #4 good vs. evil cupcake, #27 bacon arm band (I hope this man never becomes obese. It would be a bad combo.), #31 hot dog coffin, #34 Fonzie hot dog described by the man who has it as possibly the stupidest tattoo ever, #50 Campbell's Soup, and #53 Rachel Ray.

Barbecue Chicken (or Pork) Pizza on the Grill

Follow the general instructions for pizza on the grill. I usually use half a leftover chicken breast per pizza. I had left over grilled pork loin so I used that. I used my homemade BBQ sauce too. The cilantro is from my herb garden (It's about to go to seed. That's why it looks like dill and not cilantro.)

Barbecue Chicken (or Pork) Pizza on the Grill

BBQ Sauce (I used my homemade)
Cheese (about 4 oz)- you can use pizza cheese, mozzarella, provolone, jack, pepper jack, or Swiss. I used 1/2 grated Swiss and 1/2 grated pizza cheese. Sliced cheese works really well.
1/2 a grilled chicken breast, cut into pieces (I used grilled pork loin)
Onion, chopped
Green pepper, chopped (I was out)
Cilantro chopped
Chopped parsley and chives (optional)

Pizza on the Grill

If you are the first person on your block to make pizza on the grill you will impress the heck out of your friends and neighbors. Everyone gathers around your grill to see your display of audacity and showmanship. How does this work? Are you sure this will work? Oh, the improbability of it all. Only you will know that it only looks like rocket science. It's actually not that hard. That being said, I have only made this on a Weber grill. The recipe was written for a Weber. The second recipe was written for a Weber charcoal grill. I think charcoal grills are more standardized. So, any charcoal grill should work. Many gas grills, however, have the burners much closer to the grates then Webers. So, I'm not sure exactly how well making a pizza on another gas grill would work, it might be too hot.

You must decide on three or four toppings. If you try to load grilled pizza with everything, it gets soggy and won't work. Sorry, you are going to have to choose.


Originally all white flour. I substituted some whole wheat flour for the white flour. It takes a little bit more water to make the dough now. I'll measure the water next time I make dough. The amount of water you need for whole wheat dough will vary with humidity and the attitude of particular wheat flour you are using.


1 ½ cups lukewarm water

1 package active dry yeast

3 c unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra as needed

1 c whole wheat flour

¼ tsp salt

2 T olive oil, plus extra for oiling bowl

Place lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Combine flours and salt. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time until well incorporated. If very sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until slightly sticky. Add two tablespoons of oil and mix well until dough feels elastic. Turn the dough onto a well floured surface. Knead, adding extra flour to your work surface as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until smooth and easy to work with. Clean and oil the bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until it more than doubles in volume, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface for several minutes or until smooth.

Divide dough into four 4 inch balls and proceed with pizza-making instructions. Dough may be made ahead, frozen until needed. Just wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Roll the dough on a work surface sprinkled with flour or cornmeal. I always use cornmeal for a more rustic texture. I'm also not concerned with roundness. Amorphous blogs are good enough in my book. Looks more hand made that way.

  1. Brush one side of the pizza dough with olive oil. I crush a few cloves of garlic through the garlic press. I add the garlic to the oil before brushing the dough.

  2. Pick up the dough by two edges like a wet T-shirt and gently place on grill, oiled side down. The dough won’t fall through the grates. But it really does seems like it will. Brush the top of the pizza with oil.

  3. Cook dough over Direct heat for 2-4 minutes, or until bottom side is well marked and as brown as a medium slice of toast. If dough bubbles, poke it with a tongs or whack with a spatula (my method) to release air and flatten crust. Make sure your grill is not too hot or it will burn immediately.

  4. When bottom is brown, flip dough over.

  5. Immediately cover cooked side with toppings and cheese, move to indirect heat, close lid and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until bottom is browned , cheese is melted and toppings are warmed through. Choosing fewer toppings is better. Lots of toppings will make your pizza soggy. I know you want some of everything. But, you must pick and choose.

Pizza on a charcoal grill

1. Ignite 6 quarts (one large chimney) hardwood charcoal or briquettes in the chimney starter and burn until fully ignited, 15 to 20 minutes. Empty coals into grill and spread into even layer over three-quarters of the grill, leaving one quadrant free of coals. Position cooking grate over coals and heat until grill is medium hot, about 5 minutes (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill grate for 4 seconds); scrape grate clean with grill brush.

2. Pick up the dough by two edges like a wet T-shirt and gently place onto the hot side of the grill. Immediately repeat with another dough round. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles (pierce larger bubbles with paring knife) and bottoms are grill marked and charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes; while dough rounds cook, check undersides and slide to cool area of grill if browning too quickly. Transfer crusts to cutting board browned sides up. Repeat with 2 remaining dough rounds.

3. Add pizza toppings. Return pizzas to the grill and cover grill with lid; cook until bottoms are well browned and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes, checking bottoms frequently to prevent burning. Transfer pizzas to cutting board; repeat with remaining 2 crusts. Sprinkle pizzas with basil and coarse salt to taste; cut into wedges and serve immediately.

See also my post on Barbecued Chicken (or pork) pizza on the grill.

Your wheat bread is not whole wheat bread

I've told many friends and family "If you care, the bread you bought is not whole wheat bread."
They say "What do you mean? It says wheat bread right here on the label."
I say, "Bread made with white wheat flour (as opposed to barley flour or rye flour for example) and flavored with Carmel coloring is wheat bread. You need to look for the word "whole" or preferably "100% whole" wheat bread. Your bread is colored white bread."
I still occasionally get fooled and come home with the colored bread. Oooooh that makes me mad when that happens. I'd much rather eat a good (not wonder) white bread then a fake colored bread, since they have the same nutritional value. Be extra careful on things like English muffins and bagels. They are much more likely to be colored wheat. Also, just because your bread has a lot of seeds and stuff in it and looks super healthy does not mean it's whole wheat. My beloved Boston Brown Bread is very seady, but only the second ingredient is whole wheat. Here's what to look for.
1)100% Whole Wheat or 100% Whole Grain This is what you want. This will be on the front of the package. This means the bread has all whole grain flour and not white flour.
2)Whole Wheat Bread This means that there is at least some (I'm not sure legally how much.) whole grain flour in the bread.
3)Look at the list of ingredients on the back. The first ingredient (or at least the second) should say Whole. Whole is the magic word you are looking for. If the first ingredient is whole wheat flour, it has to be made with at least 51% whole wheat flour. If the second ingredient is whole wheat, the recipe could go something like this..3 C white flour, 2 T wheat flour, 2 1/4 tsp yeast....
Cornmeal also must say whole to be a whole grain. You might also be interested in my post on whole grains or the post below on chocolate vs. milk chocolate.

Hershey's Kissables not milk chocolate

Hershey's Kissables (a candy covered chocolate mini "kiss") are no longer legally considered milk chocolate according to this link. Where the package used to say "candy coated milk chocolate", it now says "chocolate candy". If you want to eat real chocolate, it looks like looking for the phrase "milk chocolate" on the label is a good idea. It appears to me that chocolate refers to the flavor (like in tootsie rolls) and milk chocolate means it's real chocolate. I wish labeling was more clear in the US. See the above post on wheat bread.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

I found this link on Chocolate and Zucchini (who has had horse, but not borscht) who found it on Very Good Taste. It's a list of 100 foods that the author thinks you should try. He invites you to post this list on your own blog and add a link in the comments on his blog. I think I did respectably well for a North Dakota Girl who isn't at all well traveled. I turned items red instead of crossing them out. I don't know how to cross items out.

The Omnivore’s Hundred

The Omnivore's Hundred is an eclectic and entirely subjective list of 100 items that Andrew Wheeler, co-author of the British food blog Very Good Taste, thinks every omnivore should try at least once in his life.

Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I (Andrew Wheeler), though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea ( I think so, but I'm not sure)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding(cross out) I don't need to eat food made with blood
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich (I like both, but never together)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (hello, I'm from North Dakota)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries (Mmmm. I haven't had June berries in far too long)
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (cross out) this is just an I dare you food. I don't do dare food.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (cross out) dare food
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava (good, but overrated)
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (love me a strawberry lassi)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I've had both, but never together)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O(I went to college)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (cross out) dare food
43. Phaal ( I guess I would try it, but hottest Indian dish? Way too hot for me.)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (dare food, but given the opportunity, I'd give it a go)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (overrated)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (America's Next Top Model's hated it, but I'd give it a shot)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal(most overrated food in history)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini (Traditional martinis just taste like strait alcohol because that's what they are. Overrated)
58. Beer above 8% ABV (if this is beer above 8% alcohol content, then Al's homebrew should count)
59. Poutine (sounds good)
60. Carob chips (why is this on the list?)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (I'd try a small piece prepared by a fancy chef)
63. Kaolin (cross out) Dare food
64. Currywurst (sounds good)
65. Durian (cross out) Dare food
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (not a beignet, but would love one)
68. Haggis (cross out) Dare food
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (I'd give these a shot)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (dare food, but it has alcohol in it so I'll try it)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill(cross out) dare food. Ask my dad to tell you his funny roadkill story someday.
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (why is this on the list?)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (do chive flowers count?)
89. Horse (cross out) why? I don't think anyone says its good so why eat a horse?
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam (cross out) I've seen it. I don't need to eat it.
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (why ruin the delicate taste of a lobster with heavy cheese and sauce?)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake (next time I'm in Belfield...maybe. O.K probably not. But I'd try a bite off some one's plate)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Amazing Julia Child

Julia Child made the cooking skills of French cuisine accessible to American women. That should be an impressive enough resume. She didn't start cooking or get married until she was 40. But, it was just released that she was part of an international spy ring working for the OSS (forerunner to the CIA). First, she attempted to sign up for Women Accepted for Emergency Services. She was rejected because she was too tall (6'2"). After that, on forms she listed herself as 6 feet tall. Among other things, she helped develop a shark repellent to coat submerged bombs with. That way sharks that set off bombs wouldn't warn nearby enemy ships.
See this short article by the associated press and this longer article in Military officer magazine.
Oh and she went to Smith College. Gotta love a Smithie.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

With each bite, I feel like this is what rich people eat. It has a feel of decadence in my mouth. The mint flavor is familiar to me somehow. I'm not sure from where. Did they used to make things with real mint when I was a small child? Who knows. The mint flavor is cleaner than with mint extract. It also has deeper peppery notes that are a sort of aftertaste. Then sometimes I ate this ice cream and thought "It's good but nothing special. I might like the fake mint better." I guess that's why it's taken me so long to post this. I have no idea what my opinion of the mint ice cream is. I was inspired to make this from this post and this post and this post and this post. I've made my own version. Some of the other versions also added some chopped fresh mint when you add the cream and vanilla. I think I'll do that next time. I was using caution, because I know that fresh mint can end up having a toothpaste flavor when it is too strong. Also I didn't want to over pick my mint and I'd already taken plenty off the plant for this ice cream. Oh, you can't tell in the picture, but the ice cream has a slight green color that comes from the mint, not food coloring.

1 1/2 c milk
1 c mint (loosely packed)
3 egg yolks
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c cream
3 1/2 oz dark 60% chocolate, chopped (I used a bar of Hershey's extra dark)

Heat the milk and mint leaves until they reach a slow boil. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Pour the milk through a strainer to remove the mint leaves. Press on the mint leaves to get all the milk out of them. Whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow and increased in volume. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time. Over a double boiler, begin whisking in the mint flavored milk. Continue whisking or stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and it coats the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for at least three hours until cold or overnight. Whisk in cream and vanilla and freeze as directed by your ice cream maker. In the last few minutes, add the chocolate pieces. Preferably freeze half a day before serving. This gives the ice cream enough time to go from soft serve consistency to hard ice cream consistency.

Beer Float (no root)

When I was in college, I was in the library one day and there were a group of guys studying at the table next to us. They went on and on for like an hour about how cool a beer float would be and how they should totally do it someday dude. My friends and I went on and on for almost as long after they left making fun of them. Their float was to be something like Old Mill and the cheapest vanilla ice cream they could find (Or maybe we should put it in a blender and make it a shake. That would be so cool.) However on the Apartment Therapy blog they had a post about beer floats I could get into. Citrus flavored IPA with vanilla ice cream (could go either way), creme brulee stout with espresso ice cream, and chocolate stout and coffee ice cream. They also talked about a Guinness milkshake. I'm thinking maybe a porter with an espresso ice cream could be good. Maybe some day when I'm feeling extra brave. Who knew the annoying frat boys were on to something.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Memorial Bridge Nostalgia

My Aunt sent me this link. Oh, Memorial Bridge. It was so awesome when it had just the grates on the bottom and you could see the river below. The link has a view from the bridge and a video from the last day you could drive across.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grilled Fruit on Waffles

I grilled fruit the other day for waffles. The picture is actually the second day (because I forgot to take pictures the first day), so the colors of the fruit are a bit muted. I grilled peaches, plums, bananas, and pineapple. I whipped cream the night before and drained it. Click here to find out how. It lasted several days. I grilled the drained, canned pineapple tidbits in a grill pan. These were surprisingly good on the waffles. I sliced the peaches and plums in half and removed the pits. I grilled them cut side up and then finished them cut side down. I didn't time anything, but I have a cookbook that says peaches take 8-10 minutes total. I sliced the bananas lengthwise with the skin on. My cookbook says to cook them 5-8 minutes skin side down and then two more minutes banana side down. I can't say too much about the bananas because 1) I don't like cooked bananas and 2) I'm no expert, but believe my bananas would have cooked better if I had turned on both grill burners, including the burner under the bananas. I put a table outside and plugged in my waffle iron in an outdoor outlet. I kept a timer (for the waffles), the waffle batter with measuring cup, and the waffle iron on the table. Grilling fruit is not just a gimmick. It actually improves the flavor of the fruit. Try it sometime. You can add cinnamon, brown sugar,or maple syrup. Or go savory with balsamic vinegar and/or red pepper. If you are adding one of these to peaches or plums, start cut side down, flip and add the maple or balsamic vinegar or whatever. Serve savory fruit with grilled pork or chicken and grilled onions. My cookbook also says you can grill pound cake. Sounds good for the end of a barbecue. Grilled pound cake with grilled fruit.

Zucchini Recipes

It's August and I suspect someone has snuck a bag of zucchini into the back seat of your car when you weren't looking. On Martha Stewart's website she has several easy recipes for zucchini (many from Every Day Foods).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grilled Pork Loin

I think this recipe is really good. But, other people think it's fantastic. It's received raves from lots of people. When choosing a pork loin, look for one that has the same circumference for the whole roast. In other words, not one with a wide end and a skinny end. I usually get a roast that is twice the size of the roast the recipe calls for. They sell them at Dan's Supermarket and they are relatively cheap. It's also important to note that this is not a pork tender loin, but a pork loin. It's about 3 inches in diameter and two feet long for a whole pork loin. They also sell half pork loins (although I can't tell you where). If yours is much smaller, you have a pork tender loin. The recipe says you should tie the roast. I never bother with tying the pork loin. The pork loin won't stay perfectly cylindrical without tying, but I don't care. Be sure to have a spray bottle ready and check the grill often in the beginning of the cooking process in case you see a suspicious orange glow. You might have to spay the wood chips if some ignite. I just use plain ole pepper for the seasoning the roast. I grill my roast to a higher temperature then called for in the recipe. I haven't figured out what temperature I would prefer yet. 165 degrees is too high. This recipe takes an absolute minimum of 5 hours and as much as 6 hours 15 minutes(without prep time). This is another recipe from America's Test Kitchen.


With only minor recipe adjustments, a roast larger than the one called for can b cooked using the same method. For each additional pound of meat over 3 pounds (do not use a roast larger then 6 pounds), increase the salt in the brine by 1/4 cup and the water by 1 quart; also increase the oil and pepper by 1 tsp each (if using a spice rub, increase the recipe by 1/3). Because the cooking time depends more on the diameter of the loin than the length, the cooking time for a larger roast will not increase significantly. After roasting the roast in step 5, begin checking the internal temperature after 30 minutes of cooking.


3/4 C table salt

1 boneless blade end pork loin roast, 2 1/2 to 3 lbs, tied with kitchen twine at 1 1/2 inch intervals.

2 T olive oil

1 T coarsely ground black pepper or 1 recipe spice rub (recipe follows)

1. Dissolve salt in 3 quarts water in a large container, submerge roast, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully seasoned, 3 to 4 hours. I put the salt, water and pork in an extra large Ziploc (2 1/2 quart I believe) and place that in a cooler. Add extra ice around the Ziploc to make sure it stays cold. (I added ice after I took the picture.) Sanitize the cooler after you are done using it, in case the Ziploc bag leaked. Rinse roast under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. You may as well start soaking the wood in step 3 now. It doesn't matter if wood soaks longer.

2. Rub roast with oil; sprinkle with pepper or the spice rub (NOT SALT, it doesn't need salt because of the brine) and press into meat. Let roast stand at room temperature 1 hour. (You'll need to put the wood on the grill in step 3 before your hour is up)

3. Meanwhile, soak two 3-inch wood chunks in water to cover for 1 hour; drain. About 25 minutes before grilling , open bottom grill vents. Using large chimney starter, ignite about 5 quarts charcoal, or about 90 briquettes, and burn until fully ignited, about 15 minutes. Empty coals into grill; build modified two level fire by arranging coals to cover one-half grill, piling them around 3 briquettes high. Place soaked wood chunks on coals. Position grill grate over coals, cover grill, and heat until hot, about 5 minutes; scrape grill grate clean with grill brush.

4. Grill pork directly over fire until browned, about 2 minutes; using thongs, rotate one-quarter turn and repeat until all sides are well browned, about 8 minutes total. Move loin to cool side of grill, positioning roast parallel with and as close as possible to fire. Open grill lid vents halfway; cover grill so vents are opposite fire and draw smoke through grill. (Internal grill Temperature should be about 425 degrees.) Cook 20 minutes.

5. Remove cover; using tongs, rotate roast 180 degrees so side facing fire now faces away. Replace cover and continue until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 140 degrees, 10 to 30 minutes longer, depending on thickness.

6. Transfer roast to cutting board; tent loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes. Internal temperature should rise to 150 degrees. Remove twine; cut roast into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve.


1 & 2. Follow recipe for Grill-roasted pork loin for a charcoal grill through step 2.

3. Soak 2 cups wood chips in water to cover for 30 minutes; drain. Place chips in a small disposable aluminum pan. About 20 minutes before grilling, place wood-chip pan on primary burner( burner that will remain on during cooking); position cooking grate. Ignite grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat until very hot, about 15 minutes. (If chips ignite, use water-filled spray bottle to extinguish.) Scrape grate clean with grill brush.

4. -6. Continue with recipe from step 4, keeping lid down except as needed to check progress of pork.


makes about 2 T


2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp powdered mustard

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne


makes about 2 T


1 T cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp ground allspice

Combine cumin, coriander, and fennel in small skillet; toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes, shaking skillet occasionally. Cool to room temperature; grind coarse. Transfer to small bowl; stir in cinnamon and allspice.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Herb butter (several variations)

This isn't rocket science folks. You can just guess on amounts and tinker. It's very forgiving. In fact if you can tell by the amounts in my herb butter recipes. Why the strange amounts? I just eyeballed the amount of herbs I thought I should cut from my herb garden and brought them into the house. Then I wrote down how much I actually put in for a general guideline. I use half butter and half olive oil. This does two things. First it makes it mostly spreadable strait from the fridge and second it cuts the saturated fat almost in half. Herb butters are good on fish or under the skin of chicken to be grilled. If you like butter on your steak, this would be good. It's good on potatoes or on french bread to make garlic bread. Best of all it can add some zing to your veggies. I mostly use it for veggies. I'll add more variations as I go along. I'll add a basic herb butter with basil.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS Process in the food processor until it is evenly mixed. The mixture may be a bit too "soupy" at this point to work with. If it is, put in the refrigerator until it solidifies enough to work with. When you have a semi-solid butter, put the mixture into the center of a sheet of waxed paper. Fold the waxed paper in half and hold the edges of the paper together. While holding the paper press the flat edge of a spatula against the table. Move the spatula toward the fold of the waxed paper until the butter is a uniform width and as long as you want. (Look at the dill butter picture. That should help explain what the heck I'm talking about.) When the butter is shorter then the width of a gallon freezer bag, fold in the sides of the waxed paper, and roll the butter in the excess waxed paper. Then place in a freezer bag. If you keep the herb butter in the refrigerator it will be (mostly) spreadable right out of the fridge. If you keep it in the freezer, it will keep for months

Lemon Dill Butter
1 T dill
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
zest from 1/2 a lemon
1 1/2 tsp parsley
2 tsp chives
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c butter

Lemon herb butter is good on fish or beets.

Sage Butter

1/2 T thyme
3/8 tsp rosemary
1 T parsley
1 T + 1 tsp chives
2 T sage
1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c butter

Good on turkey, chicken, or potatoes.

Chipotle Lime Butter
1/4 c butter
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c cilantro, loosely packed
1/8 c chives
1/2 lime, zest and juice
1 clove garlic
1 chipotle pepper + 1 tsp adobo sauce (the sauce in the can)

Chipotle lime butter is good on corn. You can also saute corn, chopped green pepper, and chopped onion as a side dish. I've seen is used on broccoli, but have never tried it. Good on chicken. Chicken pieces could be sauteed in this for a taco filling. I'm guessing this would be good on fish as well for fish tacos. I used this in place of the butter in a boxed mac and cheese. It's pretty good for a twist on boxed mac and cheese.

Basic Herb Butter
1/2 c butter
1/2 c olive oil

2 1/4 tsp parsley
1 tsp rosemary
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 T chives
2 T basil

Good on pretty much any veggie. Add fresh garlic and some grated Parmesan and salt. Spread on slice french bread and grill or broil for garlic bread.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Teriyaki Marinade

This is so much better then the stuff you buy from the store. Also, this way you can just mix up what you want. I don't eat teriyaki often enough to keep a bottle around, but I always have the ingredients on hand to mix some up. I don't know what is the best way to marinade with this. I marinated the chicken a half hour and then brushed them with the marinade as they were grilling. I made chicken thighs, but I think smaller pieces of meat would work better. In the recipe in the cookbook they used this marinade on steak for kebabs. I made a stir fry on the grill to go with my chicken. After I grilled them in a grill pan, I put the warm vegetables in a bowl with the teriyaki marinade rather then trying to marinade the vegetables first. My method for cooking the stir fry still needs a lot of work. Next time I plan on adding almost all of the veggies at once. I added the broccoli and carrots first this time and they were burning before i started adding other veggies. It ended up good though. If you want to give it a shot I used broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, pineapple, water chestnuts, pea pods, zucchini, peanuts, and cilantro.

Teriyaki Marinade


½ cup soy sauce

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp grated ginger

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp honey

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp sesame oil

Mix ingredients.

Pineapple Yogurt Smoothie

I've added a pineapple smoothie recipe to my smoothie post.