Sunday, September 30, 2007

Random thoughts I missed in the last post.....

I don't know what the hell it is about tomato confit... when I follow the recipe and go for the full, suggested 4 hours, those suckers get dried out and a little burned. Today I only went three hours (totally mismanaged my kitchen time and had to get the unsuccessful dinner started) and from pictures I've seen of what they should look like... they were done. I don't get it.

There is NO hope for the Bears this year. Sigh.

The Black Dahlia is a boring ass movie. I Tivo'd it and just had it on for background noise. And it was STILL boring. I just finalled turned it off and got it off my Tivo.

Sooooo looking forward Top Chef this week. They've already had spottings of filming of the next season around Chicago. Unless they do some kind of "suburban mall food court challenege" I've got NO chance of seeing a damned thing, lol.

Not happy with Barnes & Noble. I stopped by there yesterday (it's right by Crate & Barrel) to pick up Reach of a Chef by Ruhlman. They didn't have it. All they had was ONE copy of Making of a Chef. Sadly, I'd guess there wasn't a huge run on his books that caused the lack of stock. And my darned Border coupon expired today, and I didn't get over there.

Must remember to buy CD-ROMs at Staples tomorrow to make some copies of my portfolio for the interview on Friday.

I hate flies.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

So what did I do this weekend?

Woke up Saturday, had some coffee.

Headed out to do the shopping... with a special stop. They opened up a Crate & Barrel dangerously close to me. I could spend lots and lots of money in that store.

But I was a woman on a mission today, and there was only one thing I needed, the Wusthof Asian Edge Knife Sharpener, since my knives (not Wusthof, I've got two nice Henckels santoku knives that I use the most) are terribly, terribly dull. One just about looks like it'd be a hacked up knife some halloween-type killer would use to off victims. At the end of the movie. And since dull knife = dangerous, it's damned about covered with as much blood sometimes since I am not that skilled with knives to begin with.

So... picked that up, and decided that my outlook on the world is just a LOT better when I've got a Crate & Barrel bag in my hands. Did the weekly grocery shopping, where I didn't even pick up that much, since I know I've got TONS of stuff in the freezer that needs to get used. It's ridiculous. I could probably feed the two of us for two months off all the stuff in the freezer.

Yet again, I realized too late that I had forgotten to put my wedding band on before I went to the grocery store (still fighting a battle with a skin infection and my ring not being totally clean and happy). Guys... please. Yes, it can be a place to pick up women, but pay attention to the signs. A chick with greasy hair and a baseball cap is probably just there to do her errends. And not looking to get picked up. And if you can't control your bratty four year old, don't even THINK a woman is going to give you the time of day.

Got home, and the hubby was busy digging out the front window well. We've had some flooding in the basement since we moved in, due in part mostly to the damned window well in the front filling with water and then leaking thru the window into the basement. Good times, good times.

Used my sharpener... my GOD... is that thing great. How did I live without it??? It's like I've got new knives again. Soooo happy! I'm totally going back for the one for "regular" knives. The hubby even WANTS me to so he can sharpen up his swiss army knife.

He dug out at least six inches of dirt and finally happened upon the drain in the window well. Well, that 'splains it. We stood outside for awhile and admired his work. That's right people... my husband can use a shovel. AND a post digger, since he finally got the hose post thing I bought at the start of the summer into the ground.

He still had some errends to run, so he went off and I cleaned up a bit, and also started some prep work. Also heated up some mutter paneer (one of the benefits of a large Indian population in the area... even the big chain grocery stores carry some decent Indian products, including already made curries and such) and some frozen naan for a quick lunch. Yum yum.

I had some really nice tomatoes that were on their last legs, so I blanched them quickly so I could peel 'em and seed 'em. Also made some garlic confit. I bought some really nice lump crab at the grocery store, and because I'm cheap, I only bought one can of it. I figure sometime this week, I'll make some nice crab pasta with a tomato cream sauce, similar to one I made awhile back - some boiled down cream, tomato pulp and garlic confit. (Everyone... in your Ina Garten voice please.... How bad could that be?) I'd actually have made the crab & pasta this weekend, but I forgot I got some nice fresh corn at the farmer's market on Friday , and want to use that before it goes south on me. And I was going to make a chicken and some dressing on Sunday. Which mean corn and brats for dinner on Saturday.

Anyway... so made the tomato/cream sauce, and it might be able to take a bit more tomato. I did make some tomato confit on Sunday with some romas I got at the farmer's market, but I'll deal with fixing the sauce when I decide to make the dish during the week.

Brats, potatoes, corn and a nice salad for dinner on Saturday. Nothing exciting. I usually buy the "Already cooked" white brats, that's what the hubby likes best. And glad I did buy the pre-cooked brats, since my grill was pretty much out of gas and it was cooking on a low low flame. Oh, I did use some tarragon dijon on my brat. YUM. And had tarragon butter on my corn. YUM YUM. And mixed the remainder of the butter and dijon together to have with my chicken on Sunday.

Today was low-key. Meant to clean out my car, but totally forgot to (go me!) until this moment. Putzed around the kitchen... today's efforts were tomato confit (for use later in the week):

Also prepped everything for the cauliflower gratin from the Bouchon cookbook. Here is the food-processed stems and some shallots, bay leaf, thyme and parsley simmering away.....

The blanched cauliflower and the sauce w/the cream before it got topped with cheese and panko....



I've always wanted to try oyster stuffing, and here's a glamour food-porn shot of that.....



The simple roast chicken from the Bouchon cookbook, which is just a chicken in my cast-iron skillet and a sprinkle of Penzy's Sandwich Sprinkle......



And my kitchen sink by the time I was done with everything.......


And despite all that... it was not the best dinner. The chicken was good, it always is. The stuffing was not good. I am convinced, I am stuffing impared. I really should just stick with Stove Top, since it always turns out better than my efforts at stuffing. Seriously. I followed a recipe but it was still dry and just... not good. I suck at stuffing. Go me!
The cauliflower gratin?? Disappointing. Cauliflower was still a little too crunchy for my tastes. Flavor was great, but just not happy with how it came out as a whole. As soon as I post this, I'm going to dump the mess in to the food processor and see if I can't just make a nice soup out of it. It'd be nice to have it be a total waste.
The hubby ended up totally with a new supper, he didn't eat the chicken. He reheated leftover brats from yesterday. I greedily ate my chicken breast, but then ended up eating a Lean Cuisine in addition to that. Ah well. At least I have chicken bones and I can make some nice chicken stock this week. And I had a leftover breast that I can something with this week, which is good. Not a total loss.

You know you're not the person you used to be....

... when the excitement of your Friday night is driving home from Mr. Beef to pick up dinner, and "Shout at the Devil" comes on your radio, and you scream "Awesome!" and crank the volume while you roll down the windows and rock out while driving down the suburban streets.

Sigh.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well.....

... at least I have solid employement thru the month of October. Bad news... payroll was not notified in time so my next paycheck pays out all my PTO, which means I won't have any for the month of October. I'll have some by the end of October, but that ain't gonna do me much good. Especially since I have a job interview next Friday in the morning and I was planning on just taking the whole day. I'm guessing they'll let me "borrow" against the time I earn by the end-o-the-month, and if I don't make it until the end of the month, well, I'll deal with that when it comes.

Cooking tonight was a Crispy Shrimp recipe from a recent issue of Everyday Food. Pretty good, but would be inproved by browning the panko before coating the shrimp. While I live under the firm belief that there is a 50/50 chance Martha Stewart is indeed the devil or the devil's bride, damn I love Everyday Food. The TV show and the magazine are both great (and minimal Martha exposure, although they're both "martha-esque"). And this time of year always reminds me of one of the first moments I wondered if the woman was joking, on crack or just THAT obsessed with presenting perfection... a Thanksgiving special where she was covering an entire turkey in puff pastry. It looked beautiful, but c'mon.... it's just one of those things that is SO over and above.

And, a major product shout-out.... the new "steamer" bags they have. Oh how I love these things. And when you're a cheap-ass like me, you can usually get away with using them twice. But, they are fantastic at just steaming veggies, and tonight I even did some butter-garlic-chive potatoes in one. No pot, no boiling water.... dice potatoes, thwap in some light butter and chopped garlic, nuke for seven minutes - 7 minutes! - and some damned fine potatoes. Very nice for a night like tonight when my dumb ass forgot about the starch for dinner - I intended on some oven cooked garlic fries - until the last minute. D'oh.

Looking forward... hopefully it'll be a quiet weekend. I really should get outside and do some work in the yard, but that might still be a few weeks out. If I feel like treating myself, it might be a trip to see if I can find a shawl to wear with the new dress I got for the wedding we have next weekend, or a visit to the new Crate & Barrel to get something to sharpen my knives, which are all horribly dull. Exciting, huh???

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What the hell did I make for dinner last night??

Oh yeah. BLTs. Last of the good summer tomatoes, and it was hot and humid yesterday, and sandwiches just sounded good for dinner.

Tonight was pork chops... man, I need to find a good pork brine that doesn't just make everything too damned salty. I put the pork tenderloin in brine last night and when I made it in to chops tonight, it was just too salty for even my tastes. Oh well.

Also tried a Hash Brown Casserole AKA "funeral potatoes" to a lot of the world, from last month's Cooking Light. Not too bad, the onions could have been sauteed before adding to the casserole, they were too crunchy for my tastes. I might try them again anyway, since I have a good chunk of the block of Velveeta to use up still.

Also planning on prepping a Layered Enchilada Bake recipe for tomorrow. I know tomorrow is gonna be busy for me at work, and the hubby's got to pick up his comics and then he's going for a haircut after work, so he'll probably be home late and I figure that will stay warm for a bit.

Yeah. Craptacular cooking for me this week. It happens, people. As much as I love my kitchen, I do have a life outside my kitchen.

And speaking of, time to go do the "garbage day eve" fridge purge.....

P.S. - watching the very end of Reaper on the CW (that's the right channel, right??) and it's a pretty damned entertaining show.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I think I know how football season is going to go this year.....

Every once in awhile, I keep hearing the hubby upstairs, watching the Bears, use a really loud swear phrase.

I respond... "What did Grossman do now?"

There is always an answer. Add him to the list of people in this world that make me wonder why in the hell they're allowed to keep their jobs.

Anywhoooo....

Today was spent around the house. Happy, happy me.

Well, not totally happy, some of the time was spent cleaning. I really, really, really hate cleaning. But at least we have clean toilets now. And things aren't sticking to my feet when I walk across the floor.

Also did a bit of cooking. Finally got my caramelized onions made in to french onion soup. Onions in the crockpot, add a big box of chicken stock, one of beef stock, throw in some bay leaves and thyme, add a little balsamic vinegar and let it simmer away for 6 hours. And I've got some croutons in the oven right now... there will be French Onion Soup in my future for lunches this week.

And with the wonders of Chicago weather, with the French Onion Soup for the seasonal days this week, we've also got some hot weather tomorrow, so I made a beef curry salad (highly modified, I usually have a hard time following a recipe as-is and do a lot of my own substitutions along the way) from a recent issue of Everyday Food, and Cambodian Summer Rolls, but I do still have to make the dipping sauce. Probably do that after the croutons are done.

Dinner tonight was Crawfish Enchiladas. These have been a long-time favorite, even the lightened version is damn close to a version the hubby used to get at our old favorite cajun restaraunt (which is now closed). Those and some red beans and rice (fromabag) made a tasty supper with a happy hubby that ate five enchiladas before finally stopping. I still don't understand how the hell his metabolizism works and keeps him skinny.

Ok. 'Nuff downtime... time to continue being productive.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Random sighting......

The other day, driving home from work, I saw a sign in a yard.....

"GARAGE SAEL"

The scary thing, this was in a neighborhood of $400k homes.

America really is getting dumber.

I was tempted to drive down the street to see the actual sael. Because, you know, someone that stupid might just be selling rare artwork or collectables for a quarter. If ya can't correctly spell "SALE" on a sign, you just might be that stupid.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Aye Matey!!

I love International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Although it was more fun when I had co-workers around me and we'd spend the day going "arrrrrrrrgh" like ten year olds.

Sigh.

Just today, I was talking with someone at work about cooking, specificly about how things don't always work out, but at least you can say you tried. Little did I know...

The trotters did not work out. But at least I tried.

As I was making them on Sunday, they made the house smell pretty darned good.







Simmered them for a couple hours, shredded the meat, removed the fat from the skin, chopped up the skin, and made the mixture. Rolled it tightly in some foil and placed it in the fridge to wait for today. Yeah, no pictures of the process. I really have to remember to start taking more pictures of the interesting steps.

Anywhooooo....

Started with the Sauce Gribiche... basicly fancy-dancy mayo sauce. Seemed to be going well, I was doing it all by hand. Sauce looked great, then I turned my back for about two minutes, and the sauce totally broke apart. Ok, I suck, in to the mini Cuisinart... whirl whurl and it was happy again.

Unrolled the trotters, and my first couple slices went great, and then it went to shit. Just totally tearing apart. I know I need my knives sharpened, but it was not holding together at all.

On to the coating and frying... they coated fine with the mustard and breadcrumbs, and I tossed them in the hot pan and then in the oven. Turned them after four minutes, and another four minutes in the oven.

Took them out to plate, and it all went.... um.. what's worse than going to shit? I swear, I just looked at the things and they fell apart. The trotter carnage.....





Just an unhappy mess. And frankly, they also tasted awful. Too much shallot, and the shallot was too raw for my taste.

Yeah. Dinner ended up being Burger King.

As a side, I did do the Heirloom Tomato Tart with Ni├žoise Olive Tapenade, Mixed Field Greens, and Basil Vinaigrette and based off those instructions within the blog and not going all fancy-dancy (just roasted the tomato first, then threw it on some store bought puff pastry. Those were at least damned tasty, even with a simplified prep.

So... sometimes, every recipe is not a success. It happens. This one was so non-success that I know it won't be tried again. Oh well!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pepper & Egg

Not too much happening around here.

I happily spent Sunday in the kitchen.... made meatballs for dinner, and whipped up the trotters recipe from the Bouchon recipe that I plan to finally serve tomorrow (no pictures... I suck at the foodie "food porn" stuff. And my stove was a mess). No cooking on Monday since I was sick as a dog, and tonight was pepper & egg sandwiches.

For those not from the Chicago area... a pepper and egg sandwich is a very wonderful thing.

In this highly-catholic area, all the hot dog/beef stands need an alternative to serve to the Catholics on Fridays during lent. Enter, the pepper and egg sandwich.

Some quick research says the recipe might be sicilian in origin. Who cares. You take some nice, sliced green peppers, and cook them to your liking. For me, that means cooking on medium heat with the lid on until they are very, very soft and slightly brown. Then... add your favorite scrambled egg-type mixture (I always add a splash of milk, partly since I always seem to be trying to get rid of milk). Cook until done. Throw that on a french roll or some french bread. I like some mozz and a smear of red sauce on mine. Eat and enjoy. Yum.

I usually grow peppers, and we end up eating them a lot during the summer. Not this year, for some reason (probably because I didn't grow peppers - duh). Since we're currently stuck in odd 90 degree Septembe heat, they were very tasty today, and good since it doesn't heat up the whole house.

Oh yeah... watched K-Ville last night... not too bad. Yeah, it's all the explosions and car chases you can expect from a Fox show, but it was not an hour of TV viewing that left me wanting that hour back. We'll see. They've got me for a few episodes.....

Friday, September 14, 2007

Construction

It's often said, Chicago has two seasons: Winter season and Construction season.

This year.... boy.... "they" ain't lying.

I have a couple of routes I can take too and from work. Right now, every single route has some construction on it, which means reduced lanes, and much heavier traffic. It takes me twice as long to get home.

This week... every. single. fucking. day. there has been a "new" area of construction popping up to make each route even worse.

I understand, roads need to be fixed. But do you have to fix three adjacent north/south roads at the same time? And two adjacent east/west roads in the same area????

Hausfrau duties have been lax. It's actually been a busy week at work, which is kinda nice. The new management team is... well... actually working out well. Things are moving forward at a rate they haven't in *months*, and it's nice to be busy. Also hearing a lot of good reports this week from the former co-workers already taking new positions.

No exciting cooking this week. Unless tuna sandwiches and the various things you can do with chili float yer boat. Tomorrow is going to be some fridge cleaning, menu planning and shopping to plan for real, full, actual meals next week. Imagine!! Hopefully on Sunday while the hubby is still in "new football season" mode, I will make up the trotters recipe from the Bouchon cookbook (must remember to take ham hocks out of freezer tomorrow.....)

God I want another trip to Vegas soon. Sigh. Is it March yet?????

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Same reason the first doctor's appointment of the day is always good......

I hate the latter part of the day.

Everything you wanted to do... and everything you're running behind on that is holding you back.

It's like the 8am doctor's appointment.... first of the day, so the doc has had no other patient take too long. You're in on time, and who the hell cares when you're done, because you're already done with it.

Make sense to me with doctor's appointments. Why not with excercise?? I could drag my ass out of bed early and get it done with but nooooooo.... I put it off until after work, after dinner,

Tonight I even had more grand plans.... workout, and get the pig's "feet" recipe from the Bouchon cookbook started. As I go to fill my water bottle, I notice some gunk in the tray for the ice/water dispenser. Huh. What's that??

Turns out a can of pink lemonade was in the dispenser.... which got whacked open by the "crusher" thing. And made a mess of the entire ice buckety thingamajoob. (Hey... gimme a break... I've never had this whole "in-door ice/water" thing before!!)

GREAT. So, 40 minutes after I planned on working out, I'm sitting here waiting for the parts to dry so I can get them back, assembled, in the freezer. And then I've got to polish the frige (stainless) since the front got all kindsa dirty while I was dealing with the ice maker.

GRRRR.

So, yeah, the workout is getting pushed tonight. By the time I get this shit cleaned up, clean up from dinner, do the "night before garbage day" fridge cleaning, it'll be friggin' 10pm already.

Sorry, workout. Hopefully tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Look! I'm like a real foodie now!!

I talk enough about food... I should post food pics to my blog like a real foodie-type-person!!!

The caramelized onions I made last week.....



Isnt that a big pot of love??? All you do is slice onions, throw a stick (or two) of butter in the bottom of a crock pot, fill the pot with as many onions as you can fit, stick the lid on, and cook for 12 hours. And you get that pot of love at the end of it. Add some stock and a couple bay leaves and simmer for a few more hours, and you have the best and easiest french onion soup.


How do you start a killer pot of chili??


You brown ground beef, chopped onions and McCormick chili powder and get this...





... then dump in this - don't even drain the beans......
And simmer on LOW for a couple hours covered, stirring every 10-15 minutes, and uncovered for about an hour to thicken... and you end up with.... yeah, I suck at this food pic thing, I was way too excited about the end product to think about taking a picture. Ooops.
And yes... that is undrained beans and condensed soup that goes in to my chili. It was the way I was taught, and damnit, like that odd, creamy Lime Jello mold that is a family tradition - on both sides - it is one of those things that is just good.
(hey... this "adding pictures" thing is pretty easy! Bitchin!!!!)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Recipe Showdown: With Sanda Lee vs. Giada De Laurentii

“Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sanda Lee” Fried Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Pepper Relish and Artichoke Caper Dip
vs.
Giada De Laurentiis’ “Everyday Italian” Fried Ravioli
For awhile, I’ve really been wanting to give a Sandra Lee recipe a run thru. But I am also a cheap bastard. I don’t want to spend $20 on something that I suspect will be inedible. But the recipes fascinate me, since they're usually done so badly. As a tech writer, I have a high respect for a well constructed recipe... since it's basically tech writing with food. Carefully constructed instructions that should hopefully bring you to a successful result.

On last Saturday’s show, she made “Fried Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Pepper Relish and Artichoke Caper Dip”. Looking at the recipe, I saw problems right away. I’ve had fried/toasted ravioli many times. Usually breaded. Once, not breaded. And it made for some horribly tough pasta. Not tasty. And hers are of the “unbreaded” variety. But, it is a recipe that surprisingly (for her) relies on some standard pantry staples and wouldn’t require me to go on a hunting trip for high-priced ingredients that I’d never use in anything else.

I knew that today, the first Sunday of football season, I'd be sticking close to the kitchen since I've got a huge-ass pot of chili on the stove for dinner tonight.

But.... on to the showdown. First up, the sauces.

I at least made the sauces first, unlike Aunt Sandy on the show with the recipe. Only variation from the recipe was that rather than roma tomatoes, I used some cherry tomatoes. My cherry tomato plant is still going strong, and I'm not about to spend money on tomatoes when I've got them right in the backyard. Since the ravioli that I got looked even smaller than the ones Aunt Sandy used, I diced up the pepper and tomato up as small as I could, already suspecting that there are problems in serving a chunky sauce with these teeny little ravioli. Due to trying to get the teeny dice, it took about 7 minutes to get this done. Listed prep time on the Food Network site is 10 minutes. Ok... well, I'm willing to admit if I wasn't going for such a small dice, I might have gotten it all done in 5. But the problem now... I don't have multiple sets of the measuring spoons I need to make the next dip. Unless I think that a little balsamic vinegar and brown sugar will add something to the artichoke sauce (which I don't) I now need to clean those spoons. Damnit. I hate doing dishes. Ok, I claim those two minutes back in prep time, which brings us back to 7 minutes.

The taste? Not *that* bad. It might not be a bad relish for chicken or fish or something. But I do not see how the hell it's a "dip-able" sauce.

On to the other Sandy sauce.

I was originally going to use just canned artichokes in the sauce, since I'm not a fan of the jarred/marinated ones. But, going thru my fridge yesterday, I found a half-full jar of artichokes. Ok, looks like jarred artichokes. Again, working for as fine of a chop on the artichokes as I can, and the rest of the sauce came together quickly enough. Five minutes. So, all in all, 12 minutes prep time.

The taste? Like a really nasty artichoke dip. A really nasty, thin artichoke dip. It's almost like the artichokes, which were well-drained, had some bad chemical reaction with the (reduced fat) sour cream and mayo and thinned everything out. And that marinated taste of the artichokes is all you can taste. Not like actual artichokes, just, well, nasty.

The Giada recipe? A half-full jar of Prego leftover from the Lightened Chicken Parmesan (AmericasTestKitchen.com) that I made earlier in the week. Prep time? Zip. Ok, a minute in the microwave to take the chill off. But, prepping the ravioli with the breading took about 5 minutes.
The taste? It's Prego, people!! Many times in college, my dinner was some nice french bread and the better part of a jar of Prego. Personally, it's my favorite jarred sauce, so of course, it tasted good.

Looks like the Prep/Sauce round goes to Giada. Especially since I didn't have to re-wash anything during it.

And a word about the ravioli.... for either recipe, you'd end up tossing some from the package anyway where they've stuck together, and they rip when you try to get them apart. I think I lost about 10... maybe 1/3 of the package. Thrifty!!

But wait.... apparently the prep time includes bringing your fry oil to temp. The Sandy recipe is 10 minutes. Giada's is 15. Does oil somehow heat faster when it knows you're doing Sandy's recipe? Does oil just come to temp faster in a Semi-Ho kitchen?? The hell???

In any case... it took about 15 minutes for my oil to come to temp. On to the fry!!!

Nothing notable about the differences in frying. Drop stuff in hot oil, watch it cook, flip it, watch it cook some more.

Alone, the Semi-Ho ravioli were pretty good. The pasta did not get tough as I thought it might. Crispy, warm center.

The Giada ravioli were also good, I personally liked the breadcrumbs more, since they added a little more texture, and they did a better job of covering all the places the pasta dough had created huge bubbles that made the Semi-Ho ones look kinda like radioactive mutated ravioli.

As for the sauces.... c'mon......

The red pepper sauce, all you could taste was sweet.

The artichoke sauce, all you could taste was something tart, and not in a good way.

For both of them, it was a huge problem that to get any sauce on the ravioli, you just had to go with a huge amount compared to the size of the ravioli. Which might be one reason the dips were so overpowering. At least with the tomato sauce, a little dip in to the sauce was perfect. No need to go in there and scoop away, and you could actually taste the ravioli.

Couldn't get the hubby to try ANY of them. He's not a ravioli fan in the first place, and he's saving his hunger for a couple bowls of chili tonight.
For photo evidence of the experience......

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hausfrau reason to not to clean #432......

... when you neglect the cobwebs on the ceiling during summer time, you then discover the benefit when a bumper crop of mosquitos comes around, and while stalking you, the mosquitos get caught in the cobwebs.

I'd rather have mosquito-filled cobwebs than mosquito bites.


Oh... and man... I heart heart heart heart heart Dale on Top Chef. If I still lived in the city, I'd be stalking him to make him my new Gay Chef Boyfriend (the title of Gay Actor Boyfriend is currently taken by John Barrowman.... season one of Torchwood starts on BBC America this weekend.... watch it!!). That's the sad thing about living in the 'burbs and working in a small company..... no gay men in my life. I miss that.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Many things to do with onions....

Yeah. So last Thursday and Friday sucked pretty hard. We'll leave it at that.

Trying to get back to some sense of normal now.... went to the grocery store yesterday, and despite all the stupid examples of humanity that were around, I was happy they had brisket on sale, and I'd just seen the America's Test Kitchen recipe for Onion-Braised Beef Brisket before I went to the store.

Oh yeah. Currently have that in the oven, we'll eat it tomorrow.

Also, today I wanted to get the ground beef/onion base ready for chili I'll be making next Sunday. We usually start out the first NFL Sunday with chili, and end the season with chili or ribs. I have a bachelorette party thing next Saturday night, so I think I won't be in condition to start the chili from scratch on Sunday morning, so I can at least do the ground beef and onions now, and just have it all ready to dump in the crockpot on Sunday morning.

Also, I wanted to do up a batch of Caramelized Onions in the crock pot (one stick of butter + as many sliced onions as you can fit in the crockpot, cook on low for at least 12 hours until nice and caramelized). Always nice to have those on hand. As soon as we get a cool day, I might even use them for a mini batch of french onion soup.

Ok. Back to the kitchen. The onions aren't going to slice themselves......