Flashback Friday – Danke Schoene

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 11/8/07 at Exit 51.

Danke Schoene

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. The one day of the year that we stop to consider all we are thankful for. Each of us makes the choice every day to either acknowledge or ignore the world around us. Personally, I’m just as guilty as anyone of not reflecting on a more regular basis. Work, home, bills, school, family, friends, war, sickness…life…we either allow it to consume us or strive to find balance. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Danke Schoene”

Nigella’s Beef Stew

Nigella's Stew

Back in the day, my system of rating recipes was pretty basic.  I pulled a recipe out of the folder, made it, and if I liked it, I put a check mark on the page.  The idea was that all these checked pages would promptly be filed away in my 3 ring binder and become my low tech recipe database. Or if I wasn’t completely sold on a recipe, I’d scribble some notes on the page, put it back in the folder, and make it again later.  Sometimes my follow through was better than others.

As I’ve been weeding though my old recipes to make them to post here at BAH, my new high tech recipe database, I’ve been trying to reconcile the checks with the final dishes.  And I can’t always figure out what I was thinking.  Take Nigella’s Beef Stew. Continue reading “Nigella’s Beef Stew”

Bread Bible Biscuits

Biscuit Success

I blame my general biscuit obsession on the heavenly biscuits we dined on at the Loveless down in Nashville.  That trip was something like four years ago and I’m still trying to find a biscuit that comes close to the perfection that they serve up.  Light and airy, they practically melt in your mouth.  When I saw that both Cook Wise and the Bread Bible had a recipe for Touch of Grace Biscuits, I hoped that at last my prayers had been answered.  I thought that with a name like that, the Universe was trying to tell me that my search had ended. Continue reading “Bread Bible Biscuits”

Bread Bible Studies

Looks Can Be Deceiving

So I’ve officially started my Bread Bible Studies.  And I’ve specifically started with the easier recipes in the first chapter.  Quick breads, biscuits, popovers, they seem like things that I should be able to achieve given my general level of kitchen competence.  One thing I’ve noticed about Rose’s recipes is that I really need to read through them completely a few times before I start weighing, mixing, and baking.  And I also need to pay attention to whether I’m working in cups, ounces, or grams.  Because on more than one occasion I’ve discovered that even though I’m working in grams, I’m looking at the weights listed in ounces.  And the two are definitely not the same.  I don’t even want to imagine what the end result would be to using 5 grams of flour when I should be using 150 grams.  Talk about a (Cinnamon Crumb) Surprise. Continue reading “Bread Bible Studies”

Food Memories – Mofongo

My Mofongo

Christine of Christine Can Cook provided this Food Memory.  She said, “Mofongo is a typical Puerto-Rican dish. It’s not something my family made growing up, it was more of a special dish to be had at restaurants and ordered for special occasions. It definitely isn’t an everyday meal- it can be super heavy and starchy and needs to be fried to enjoy the crispy textures. However, it’s one of my favorite meals and is extremely versatile. It can be done with stewed chicken, beef, vegetables, or as I made it here, with shrimp.” Continue reading “Food Memories – Mofongo”

Flashback Friday – What’s Cooking?

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 11/5/07 at Exit 51.

What’s Cooking?

This past weekend saw more kitchen action as I hosted a small brunch. Not sure which I enjoyed more…the food or the time with friends. The combination of good food and good friends is always a winner.

We dined on:

Butternut Squash Soup
Mixed Green Salad with Carrot Ginger Soy Dressing (this is similar to the dressing that comes on your salad in a Japanese restaurant…yum)

The food was easy to pull together in advance. Try it yourself, you’ll see. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – What’s Cooking?”


Penne with Mushrooms

Would it surprise you if I said that for most of my life, I thought ragu meant the spaghetti sauce that came in the jar with the picture of a gondola?  Tragic, I know.  It’s a wonder that I have any kitchen skills after years of being exposed to high levels of prepackaged food radiation.  I have since come to appreciate that a ragu is traditionally a sauce of ground beef, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, white wine, and seasoning.  But I struggle with homemade pasta sauces, maybe because I’m so accustomed to eating the jarred stuff, after making a few modifications of course.  So instead of trying to master a traditional ragu, I decided to give mushroom ragu a try. Continue reading “Ragu”

Retro Recipe Fail

Retro Recipe Fail

I’ve encountered my first Retro Recipe fail.  Don’t ask me how but I managed to fail at pancakes.  How sad is that?  Flour, milk, butter, baking powder, egg, and sugar.  Should be easy, no?  The recipe was easy but the results were gummy.  After the first batch came off the griddle and I realized that things were a bit off, I added more milk to thin the sturdy batter out.  Second batch went in the pan.  Still gummy.  More milk was added.  Third batch?  You guessed it, gummy.

At that point, I looked at The Mistah and asked if we had a Plan B.  It took a while for him to suggest French Toast.  I guess the moral of this story is to always have a backup plan.  Because a lazy Sunday morning deserves a breakfast win.

Dear Ed

Dear Ed

Dear Ed(amame Hummus),

I often shy away from dips and spreads because they usually tend to be filled with creamy ingredients that taste good but are not the best food choices.  If it weren’t for my chickpea aversion, hummus would be a good alternative.  So I was intrigued to meet you.  I liked that you could up the vegetable count in my diet while not being quite so ordinary.  Or, I should say I liked the idea of you.  Because the reality of you wasn’t quite what I hoped.

Your texture wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, despite extensive time going around in the food processor.  And your flavor was rather dull.  Even after you were seasoned up with paprika and cumin, you lacked presence.  So I started looking for ways to cut the night as short as possible. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, but I don’t think we’re right for one another.  No hard feelings. Really, it’s not you, it’s me.

Chicken With Wild Rice Soup

image from http://www.istockphoto.com

Earlier this year I had sinus surgery.  For whatever reason, I completely underestimated how completely wiped out I would feel after my little procedure.  I had figured that a couple of days later I would be bouncing around full steam ahead.  The reality was quite different.  It was all I could do to take a shower and get dressed.  Darvocet became my best friend.  We spent quality time together camped out on the sofa.  We drank Diet Coke and lots of smoothies.  We watched crappy daytime television.  And we discovered that bad haircut aside, Holden Snyder looks almost exactly the same in 2010 as he did in 1995 when we last caught an episode of As The World Turns.  Cooking was the last thing on my mind.  But since mine is not the only mouth in this house, and the food doesn’t just magically appear, I had to come up with something for The Mistah to eat besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Continue reading “Chicken With Wild Rice Soup”