October 11, 2016
September 16, 2016
Moving for some can be a traumatic experience. For me, other then looking for a place, which is exhausting, the actual move is cathartic. I am one of those people who likes to purge my belongings, especially when moving. I usually like to get rid of around 50-60% of what I have. I think of it as a way to get new things! I look forward to getting new furniture or items that I want for the new place. I always see it as the new home tells me what is needed. That old dresser may not work anymore. I may only need a side table or a desk. I even get rid of clothes, books and knick knacks. It’s like Christmas for myself. Fun times!!!
I’ve been in my new place for two months now, and I still don’t have furniture, but, I am in no hurry. My room will tell me what I need. I know I will find what I need, when I need it. But as a treat for you all I have been exploring my new neighborhood. So here are few pictures for you to enjoy.
June 16, 2016
- 1 lb peppers sliced
- 1½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cup water
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and mashed
- 2-3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper corns
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper corns, coriander seeds and bayleaf in sauce pan
- Heat on medium till salt and sugar dissolve
- Let liquid cool
- Put peppers and garlic in a jar
- Add liquid and put in fridge for 12-24 hours
- Peppers should last at least a week.
With summer in full swing the thought of canning seems like a huge chore, not to mention, who wants to heat up jars in a hot kitchen? I have a solution that I’m quickly becoming obsessed with. Quick pickling! All the benefits of canning without using a stove for hours. Not only is it easy, but you get to take advantage of the fresh produce available you can’t get in the fall or winter. We have already pickled carrots, cipollini onions and are already planning much, much more! This week it’s peppers, celery and garlic scapes. Yum!
March 24, 2016
Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups, The Lab, Tip of the Week, What Can I Do With This? Butter, celery, celery soup, chicken stock, garlic, red onion, red pepper flakes, vegetable stock Leave a comment
I love celery!! The taste, the crunch, the smell, yum! I know nutritionally its lacking, but the flavor is undeniable. It adds so much to most dishes that most people probably take it for granted. We use it as an appetizer with cream cheese or peanut butter, as a garnish for color, or to stop the heat from a chicken wing, even adding that crispness to stuffing. Just to name a few. But a celery soup, is a great way to celebrate a sometimes through away vegetable. It’s bursting with flavor and richness that any creamed soup could want. Celery has an important roll in most soups so why not let it shine on its own? I recently had some left over and decided to make my own soup, and I was glad I did. I read up on some recipes and I didn’t have everything they were asking for, so I decided to go with my gut and make my own version. Enjoy!
- 3 Cups chopped celery
- ½ Red onion chopped
- ½ Garlic clove chopped
- 4 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Melt butter
- Add onions and saute for about 5 min
- Put in a sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Add celery, saute for another 5 minutes
- Add garlic, saute for 1 minute
- Add pinch of red pepper flakes
- Add another pinch of salt and pepper
- Pour in stock
- Bring to boil, then lower flame and simmer for 10 minutes
- Let cool then blend
- Reheat and serve
March 6, 2016
Breakfast, Lab On The GO, Recipes, Sauces and condiments, Tip of the Week chili powder, Chipotle chile, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, eggs, garlic, huevos, huevos rancheros, ranchero sauce, refried beans, tomatoes, tortillas Leave a comment
Breakfast of Champions, or giant gut bomb. It’s hard to decide which is true. Either way huevos rancheros is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s been a staple in my life for as long as I can remember. I love ordering it or making it. Ordering it at a restaurant is by far the easier way, but as you all know I don’t mind spending the time in a kitchen. My challenge is making the perfect ranchero sauce. It has plague me for decades. I have tried many times to get it right. Not always with the best results, but that has not stopped me from trying! And today, I think I have made the best one yet. So good, I have to share it with you.
I fried the tortillas in vegetable oil, and instead of refried beans between the eggs and tortilla, I combined whole black beans and rice. If you don’t have whole beans and rice cooked, then use canned refried beans. The sauce was canned tomatoes and a mix of spices. Pretty simple. After years of making it harder then it needs to be, I just went with my gut. Sorry for the lack of direction, on the sauce, but don’t let that scare you. Sometimes throwing caution to the wind can give great results.
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tortillas
- Refried beans (or combo rice and whole beans)
- 1 Can of chopped tomatoes
- Chili powder
- Crushed chipotle chile peppers
- Minced garlic
- Queso fresco
- Cilantro for garnish
- Crumble cheese, set aside
- Chop cilantro, set aside
- Simmer beans in small sauce pan
- Keep an eye on beans, so they don't burn
- For Ranchero Sauce
- Combine all spices, garlic, salt and pepper into a small sauce pan
- Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes or till the flavors marry.
- Fry eggs over easy
- Fry tortillas in oil till crispy
- Pat excess oil of with paper towel
- Place fried tortilla on plate
- Then a spoonful of beans on fried tortilla
- Place egg on top of beans
- Drizzle sauce over eggs
- Garnish with cilantro and cheese
March 1, 2016
Lab On The GO, Main Dishes, Tip of the Week, What Can I Do With This? chili powder, Chipotle chile, cumin seeds, garlic, oregano florets, Oscars, pork, pork shoulder, pulled pork, pulled pork tacos Leave a comment
I love pork shoulder. Well, it’s fair to say I love pork. Be it bacon, ribs, the shoulder, or chops, I’m ready to cook and or eat! Pork shoulder is a pretty easy piece of meat to cook. You either slow roast in the oven or in a crock pot. Although it does take some time, it’s worth every minute. I usually like to make pulled pork tacos with the shoulder. In my mind, which may not be saying much, it’s probably one of the most common ways to have this cut of meat. Most of the time I keep it pretty simple with garlic, salt, pepper and a squeeze of citrus, but this time I added a spice rub to give it that extra oomph. I made this for an Oscar party I convinced some friend give, well the promise of pulled pork tacos really helped. And, everyone loved it! I hope you do too.
- 1 Pork shoulder, 4-5 pounds
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ teaspoon of chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon of chipotle chile from jar
- ¼ teaspoon of oregano florets, preferably Mexican
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Pre heat oven to 250 degrees
- Dry off the pork
- Cut excess skin and fat from under side of shoulder
- You only need the top part of the skin and fat.
- Score the skin
- In some of the slits poke holes to put garlic pieces into
- Rough chop garlic and place in holes
- How to make rub
- Add chile powder, salt, pepper and oregano florets to a bowl
- On low heat roast cumin seeds and chipotle chile
- Roast till cumin gets smokey and chipotle dries out
- The jarred chipotle is little sticky thats why you want to roast it.
- Also it give is even more smokiness.
- Grind cumin seeds and chipotle chiles in mortar and pestle
- Add ground cumin and chipotle into bowl with the rest of the rub
- Give it a stir and crush the oregano florets
- Rub the spices into the scored parts of the pork
- Drizzle roasting pan with olive oil
- Place pork in oven for 5 - 6 hours
- After about 2 hours place a sheet of foil over pork till its done.
- It should fall apart with touch and or fork.
* You should treat this like you would a regular roast*
February 12, 2016
We are deep in winter, and for me, soups are the cornerstone of comfort food. Everyone has their favorites, be it stew, curry, a roast or a grilled cheese sandwich. But on a cold winter day, just the thought of a cup or bowl of hot soup is enough to warm the body, soul and mind.
This year if you noticed I amped up the soup recipes. I make soups all winter, but always forget to post them, so this year I am making it a point to share my obsession and recipes. I hope you have been enjoying and cooking them. Today we are having, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. It’s a very simple recipe. Perfect for a weeknight after a busy day at work, or a lazy weekend day when you don’t want to do too much. There’s only a couple ingredients and the hardest part is pealing the butternut squash. But, dont let that stop you from making this amazing simple comforting soup.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 clove of garlic chopped (optional)
- Butter (optional)
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Use a potato pealer and peal squash.
- Peal to the orange meat of the vegetable
- Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds like a pumpkin
- Cut into even chunks
- Toss with olive oil salt and pepper
- Roast for 30 minutes or till squash is soft
- You want a little caramelization
- In the last ten minutes of roasting slowly heat stock
- If you want add garlic and 1 tablespoon of butter
- Garlic can be ovewhelming so use caution, a little goes a long way.
- When squash is done add it to your stock.
- Make sure to get all of it off the roasting pan
- Cook for about ten minuteds on medium to high heat.
- Let cool and then blend to a creamy goodness.
- Reheat if necessary
January 22, 2016
Potato leek soup is such a staple in restaurants and kitchens that it seems impossible to improve on it. Most of the time it’s potatoes, leeks, stock, cream and buttermilk or just cream. I dont use cream or buttermilk, but add a carrot, celery and garlic. I not sure this is an improvement, but its just way I do it. Like a lot of recipes, it comes from a mistake. I was making a bunch of soups(winter does that to me) and they called for a carrot and celery. So of course I addded them to my potato leek soup. Oops! Not normal. But it was for a dinner party and everyone liked it, so I kept on making it that way, and still do! Of course now I add garlic. Always tweaking the recipe. I can’t help it!
- 2 Large leeks, white to light green part
- 4 Small or 2 large potatoes
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Celery rib
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Olive oil
- 4 Cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- Cut dark green and very bottom of white off
- Slice in half and give a good rinse
- Get in between the layers
- Chop across
- Peel and chop carrots, set aside
- Chop celery, set aside
- Chop garlic and separate
- Peel and chop potatoes into small pieces
- In large stock pot add butter and a couple tablespoons of olive oil
- Heat until butter is melted
- Add leeks and sauté till they start to wilt/translucent
- Add some salt and pepper
- Add one clove of garlic while leeks are cooking
- When leeks start to look translucent and smell, add carrots and celery
- Lower heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes
- Add potatoes and rest of the garlic
- Cook for about 5 minutes
- Add stock
- Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer
- Cook till potatoes are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes
- Check to see if all veggies are soft
- If veggies are soft turn of heat and let cool enough to blend
- Blend till smooth, reheat and serve
January 5, 2016
My dear friend Shawn made the most incredible deviled eggs. Well, to be fair, his deep fried deviled eggs are the most incredible. One day I will get that recipe! This recipe is a close second, if I do say so myself. He used our hot sauce, some butter and turn deviled eggs on their head, again. Here is what he did:
He hard boiled eggs, mixed equal parts room temperature butter with the egg yolks, added sautéed garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Grilled the egg whites in the pan that he sautéed the garlic in. Then, put mixture back in egg whites and sprinkled the plate with our Sweet Tart hot sauce to dip the deviled eggs into. Simple but, incredible.
January 3, 2016
Every once in a while we have some free time at work and I like to make something out of what’s around. As most of you know, this is one of my favorite things to do. We always have a few ingredients lying around, like dough, onions, eggs, among other random items. So on this rare slow day, I decided to put some of these ingredients to use. Well, we did plan this the day before, as we needed a few extra ingredients, but you get the picture. It turned out so good, my colleague’s said I had to write about it. As usual I didn’t really measure, but don’t let that stop you, it’s quite easy to make. This is a recipe for two tarts. We make dough in huge quantities so if you only want one tart cut recipe in half, but use one whole onion. Also, I don’t know how much commercial store bought dough makes, so use your best judgement. Of course homemade dough is best!
- 1 round of pastry dough devided into two
- 2 packages of frozen spinach
- 1½ large onions
- 1 package of grape tomatoes
- 1 8oz package of Gouda cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Salt and pepper
- Milk or egg for wash on crust, or combine and use both.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Thaw spinach and squeeze out the liquid
- Roll dough into a rectangle like shape and place on parchment baking sheet, put in fridge
- In large skillet melt butter
- On medium heat sauté onion with salt and pepper
- Cover for about 20 minutes till you get some browning
- Chop garlic and separate the cloves
- Rinse and chop tomatoes in half, set to the side.
- Grate cheese
- Add spinach, garlic salt and pepper and sauté till ingredients are incorporated
- Grab dough and sprinkle a little bit of cheese on dough
- Then place spinach, onion in center of dough
- Spread it out leaving about an inch of dough for a crust
- Add tomatoe halves and sprinkle rest of cheese on top
- Fold edges of dough around the mixture.
- Doesn't have to be pretty, just make it so nothing will flow over.
- Egg or milk wash the crust.
- Back for 25-30 minutes.
- Check after 25 minutes
- You want a golden crust and bottom of tart to cook but don't burn it.
- Let cool before cutting and serving.