Religious Orders

The Most Important Question Of Our Time

Posted: Sunday November 30 2008 @ 5:28pm

Religious Order: Food

So, my wife and I were having a heated discussion last night as to the proper way to dress scrambled eggs. Neither was able to convince the other. So I thought I'd put the question up on the blog. After all, the civics test showed that the readership of this blog is far smarter than the average person, educator, or elected official.

So, here are the options:

  1. Sprinkle the scrambled eggs liberally with cinnamon and sugar.
  2. Slather grape jelly on two pieces of toast, then put the eggs on one piece and cover with the other, making a grape jelly and scrambled eggs toasted sandwich.

So, which would you pick?

(Bonus points to Rogoliver if he can figure out which method is Kari's.)

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Stuffed!

Posted: Thursday November 27 2008 @ 4:07pm

Religious Order: Food

Oh, I'm stuffed!

I love Turkey Day. I love it almost as much as the day after Turkey Day. (The day after has all the food of the day itself, with less preparation work.)

Unlike some people, we can actually cook, a little. However, my wife and I don't really like the same food.

We both like turkey. So that part was easy. We had to settle on a teeny 5 pound breast. We just don't need a full turkey. But, we couldn't find large breasts this year. (Somehow managed to resisting linking that.) Turns out the one we had was just right. Filled us up today, with enough left for tomorrow.

We made a brine for it last night. Got up early this morning to pop in the bird, then went back to bed.

It was really good. Moist and flavorful. Brine your bird!

My wife prefers her turkey with gravy, rice, homemade cranberry sauce, and a lurid concoction of Cool Whip, pineapple, pistachio pudding mix, and mini marshmallows. She often includes corn (not in the Cool Whip!), but felt pressed for time and skipped the corn today. It's on deck for tomorrow.

I favor gravy, stuffing, and green bean casserole. I'm making homemade stuffing from scratch tomorrow. Again, had too much to do today, plus only one oven. So today, I had Stovetop Stuffing. But, hey, I added raisins to it, as all valid stuffings have raisins.

The green bean casserole is basically Paula Deen's version of the classic. It's green beans (duh), onions, mushrooms, Cream of Mushroom soup, french-fried onion rings, and cheddar cheese. If you ignore the tragic amount of butter in it, it's fairly healthy. At least, I hope so. I ate an ass-load.

For dessert, we had scones. She made cinnamon-apple scones. The recipe is from Cook's Illustrated magazine. I made pumpkin scones, based on the same recipe, but with pumpkin additions. For the holidays, I also added chopped candied ginger to them. So very good! If you ignore the tragic amount of butter in them, they're fairly healthy.

Tomorrow, I might whip some cream in which to dip them!

To make it really feel like a holiday, we also watched the Turkey Day episode of WKRP in Cincinnati.

The dishwasher is on its third load, but that just means I'm all caught up. So now I'm just sitting around, pleasantly stuffed.

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Sweet Porky Goodness

Posted: Sunday October 19 2008 @ 5:52pm

Religious Order: Food

It's that time of the year in Virginia. 91 one day, 63 the next. Sliding into fall means a few important things.

It's cool enough to take my daily exercise via a walk outside. This is much more pleasant than sitting on the exercise bike. It's also much gentler on my butt. (I'm a chunky guy, but have absolutely no butt.)

It means we can sleep with the windows open. (Even though that tends to play havoc with my allergies.)

It means low utility bills, as we're using neither the A/C nor the heat.

But, more importantly, it means a shift in weekend cookery from grilling outside to baking and roasting inside! We've had some nice pizzas lately. (Turns out that the newly opened Trader Joe's sells more than decent pizza dough. Just 99 cents!) I had a great pot of chili a few weeks ago. (And just ate the last of it out of the freezer.) And today, we made a pork roast. It's rubbed with a nice combo of black pepper, rosemary, salt, and brown sugar. It makes a really nice crust on the meat.

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Redemption

Posted: Tuesday September 30 2008 @ 5:30am

Religious Order: Food

No, not regarding sports. Nor politics. I'm talkin' food, here.

Sunday night, we made pizza, on a made-from-scratch crust. We had high expectations. I don't know if it was the humidity or what, but the crust just didn't turn out well. It wasn't bad. But it was too dense and thick. (Dense and thin is okay. Thick and light is okay. Just not thick and dense.) And we had had such high expectations for it that we were truly crushed.

So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I fixed up a batch of chili last night. My chili is, of course, my own recipe. It involves hot italian sausage, lots of onions, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, red (not kidney) beans, and a secret thickening agent. (Pssst, it's red lentils.) And, of course, chili spices.

Well, I needn't have worried. It was one of the best batches of chili I've ever had!

I like to add chunks of sharp cheddar to mine when I eat it. I also like to take Frito scoops and use them as spoons, first scooping up some sour cream, then some chili.

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Carolina Gold

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:46am

Religious Order: Food

I love Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines. I love their approach to explaining the development of recipes instead of just laying them out. And occasionally, I actually cook something out of them!

Today, we had planned on grilling both salad and burgers. But, alas, it was drizzly today. So we had ham and cheese sandwiches instead.

Cook's Country had a recipe for a mustard-based BBQ sauce called Carolina Gold. (Sounds like a variety of pot, doesn't it.) I'm a sucker for a good mustard BBQ sauce! So I made it, even though we didn't get to make the burgers. I figured it might still be good on the sandwich. It was.

It's basically 2 parts brown sugar, 2 parts yellow mustard, and 1 part vinegar. Plus a few other things. No cooking required, just whisk it together. Holy pig, it was good stuff! Go pick up the latest issue!

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Fresh Ink

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:46am

Religious Order: Food

Check out my new tat, man!

No, it's not real, duh. It's a fake tattoo that came with my wife's Pop-Tarts. Silly girl threw it away. I've never seen a fake tattoo I didn't want to apply. The scary thing is, I'm starting to like the look of a tattoo there on my inner forearm. Not a Pop-Tart tattoo, of course. But the black looks good against my pale white skin. Also, the my inner forearm has considerably fewer freckles than most any other part of my body that the general public gets to see. (The multitude of freckles is really the sole sign of the Irish part of my ethnic heritage. Well, that and my beard, which grew in red the last time I tried to grow it out. Although these days, if I get a bit unkempt, it's more grey than anything else.)

However, since I'm adverse to both pain and needles, it's doubtful I'll ever actually get a tat. (It's not unheard of in my family. My dad has two and my brother, three, at least.)

Also, I'd hate to end up on Horrible Tattoos!

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Final Post

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:46am

Religious Order: Food

No, not the final post. Just the final post for the year.

So, what important words do I have to mark the end of 2007. Well, none.

So, I'll talk about dinner instead. It was one of my favorite easy meals to make: Shake 'n Bake Pork Chops!

Honestly, I love this stuff. Here's what you do. You get some boneless chops. You get a big fat onion. You get some Extra Crispy Shake 'n Bake. And you get some Cajun blackening spices. (Note: Blackening is not true Cajun cooking.)

You put the Shake 'n Bake mix in the bag, along with a goodly amount of blackening spices. You cut the top and bottom off the onion, peel it, and slice it into two equal slices. You dip them in water, then shake 'em in the mix. Put 'em on a oiled pan. Do the same with the chops. (We like to cut the chops into quarters to maximize the crunchy surface area.)

Then you bake everything at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Serve it all with rice. The nice thing is that some of the coating comes off as you eat them. You mix this into the rice.

Today, I substituted the rice with cheesy mashed potatoes, using the recipe from Xmas. (We had left-over spuds in the pantry, after all.) Worked great! Tasted great!

Just another half-hour to go and I can go to sleep. (The blog's server is on Mountain Time. But I'm on the East Coast, where all the action is!)

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Failed Experiment

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:46am

Religious Order: Food

On Friday, I tried a new culinary experiment. We have this great recipe for oatmeal scones. And we've had some success with modifying it. My wife makes really nummy apple-cinnamon scones. And I make these really great pumpkin scones.

I was eyeing the pumpkin version and wondered if I could leave out the spices and replace the pumpkin with peanut butter, making peanut butter scones. So I gave it a try.

First off, all the added sugar from the peanut butter made the top of the scones start to burn with two minutes left on the clock. Still, they were burning, so out they came.

Of course, the centers were still gooey. After the oven cooled a bit, I stuck them back in to firm up. And they did. But now they were dry.

After dinner, I sat down with two of them. I ate the first, recognizing that they were okay, but not great. I also realized, at that time, that I was awfully full. Still, something compelled me to eat the second one.

Once that one was gone, I realized the problem. They were basically cookies. They had crossed some invisible line between scones and cookies.

I can eat scones because I can control myself with them. I can't eat cookies because I can't control myself when it comes to cookies. The fact that I ate the second cookie-scone, even though it wasn't very good, and even though I was already stuffed, was a sure sign that, mentally, these were cookies to me.

I threw the rest in the trash.

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Maybe I Need a Separate Pork Category?

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:46am

Religious Order: Food

The Minnesota Pork Board has made its decision. A Springfield couple is being named the Pork Industry Family of the Year.

Other important awards this year:

And, don't forget, pre-registration for the 2008 Minnesota Pork Congress ends tomorrow! Only $5 in advance. (It's $10 at the door.) It's "Minnesota's only swine specific tradeshow," don'-cha-know? Don't miss the Manure Applicators Workshop!

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Holy Mother of God...

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:46am

Religious Order: Food

...that was some good food yesterday. The pork loin roast was great. Sweet and juicy, with a great black pepper/brown sugar rub/crust. Really tasty!

The cheesy mashed potatoes were equally good. Smooth and creamy, with a great deal of cheese flavor.

The green bean casserole was perfect. You would hardly know you were eating vegetables.

And the scones were great, too!

Everything was great! And today, we just re-heated it all. And it was still great!

And, there's enough of everything, except the scones, for tomorrow, too!

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