jducoeur: (device)
I've been making my current Pecan Pie recipe for a number of years now, and folks often ask me for the recipe; I've been referring them to my old version, but that's missing a lot. I've finally written the chocolate-bottomed version up in full detail, so folks can play with it if they like...
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Okay, this insanity has evolved well enough that it's worth posting.

Mara turned me on to Slow-Cooked Bacon a few years ago, and I've extolled its virtues before -- I call it "Bacon Candy", and often keep some in the fridge for snacking and ingredients.

But a couple of months ago, I woke up one morning with the combined flavors of bacon and Korean Hot Sauce in my mouth, and had a sudden epiphany. Slow-cooked bacon is *basically* jerky, and most people don't make jerky plain -- they add flavors! So what flavors would work on bacon?

I've been experimenting for a couple of months now: I've been through four experimental batches, with a wide variety of flavorings, experimenting with time and temp (which turns out to be critical for these flavored versions). I'm still experimenting actively, but am finally getting to the point where I have half a dozen variants that are working pretty well. So I added the concept of "Variations" to my Querki Recipes Space, and have written up the master recipe, with the Variations that are working reasonably well at the bottom.

Obviously this is trafe-tastic, so not relevant to anybody keeping kosher, but the bacon fans in the audience may want to check it out...
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Thanks to T (on Facebook) for pointing out the new Zooniverse site, Shakespeare's World. In a nutshell, this is similar to the old Distributed Proofreaders project, but specifically focused on manuscripts from Shakespeare's time.

They've got a reasonably nice UI for transcribing the period MSS, so while reading the sources can be challenging, the tech doesn't get in the way too much, and has lots of tools for precisely describing what you see.

Best of all, they are starting out focused on two topics -- one of which is "Recipes". So basically, this is carte blanche to get random recipe pages from period, and transcribe them. Which is kind of an SCA cooking researcher's dream. (They make a big deal about finding words that aren't yet in the OED, but I consider that a completely minor detail -- the neat opportunity is for finding period *recipes* we don't already have in the major cookbooks.)

It's a hoot. Try it out...
jducoeur: (device)
I think this is now a category for me. Over the past few years, I've added several of these recipes to my repertoire. They're all for elemental foodstuffs, and they share only one thing in common: they get the best results through using *very* low heat, for a *very* long time. None are original to me, but I suspect not everyone has come across them all, so here's a quick review.


Sun Tea: I drink iced tea by the bucket, and prefer a good Japanese Hoji-cha -- the flavor is clean and interestingly smoky, and it is best unsweetened (more precisely, the idea of sweetening it is horrifying), so I can drink it with little guilt. But I found that making large batches of it with the usual 180-degree water tends to come out bitter unless I am *very* precise.

So instead, I've gravitated towards making Sun Tea with it. This is pretty straightforward, but it took a while for me to pick up the crucial tricks:
  • Sun Tea requires, well, sun. Choose a clear, sunny day to make it. Ideally, start it early in the morning, so that it has plenty of time to steep in the sun.

  • Don't skimp on the tea leaves. Sun Tea intentionally isn't trying to strip every last bit of flavor out of the tea, so be generous. I use six heaping Tbl for about half a gallon of tea.

  • Start with seriously warm water. Not tea-kettle hot, but as hot as will come out of an ordinary tap. This gives the tea a crucial running start, because it's enough to darken the water. The darker the water, the more sunlight it absorbs; the more sunlight, the better it will hold temperature. If I start with the water at about 120 degrees, and it's a good strong sun, it can stay at 90 all day, even in mid-winter.

  • You can make it inside, but the blinds are your friend. Originally, I only had success making Sun Tea outside, on a hot day, so it could keep up to temperature long enough. The above two points were essential to making it work inside, but to make it really hum along, I put my pot on the window-sill and draw the curtain behind it. That way, the sunlight reflects back on the tea from the curtains, helping to keep it nice and warm.
Obviously, you need the right "teapot" to do this. I use this one -- it makes a huge amount at once, holds tons of tea leaves, and is nicely clear to catch the sun.

NB: see [livejournal.com profile] ladysprite's comments below, about the possible health risks of sun tea.


Cold-brewed Coffee: I grew up as a fairly serious coffee drinker -- Dad taught me at a young age that high-quality coffee is the prerogative and crutch of the serious programmer. Problem is, about fifteen years ago I began to have serious reflux problems, and my doctor eventually convinced me that the coffee was one of the main causes: the acid in coffee was wrecking my stomach lining.

They do make some low-acid coffees, but there aren't an awful lot of good ones around, and even most of them are borderline in terms of my tolerance. So I was overjoyed when a friend of mine (I think it was [livejournal.com profile] dsrtao) introduced me to the concept of Cold-Brewed Coffee.

Cold-brewed means just that. Whereas ordinary coffee is brewed with more or less boiling water, and extracts very quickly, cold-brew is done with room-temperature (even cold) tap water. It turns out to work just fine -- it simply takes a long time. The tricks are:
  • Get a good french press to make the coffee in. It can be done other ways, but a press is really convenient for cold brew.

  • As with Sun Tea, use ample amounts of ground coffee. I don't go completely over the top, but I'll typically use twice as much as I do for hot-brewed, to get a strong, rich flavor.

  • Put the grounds in the press; fill with water and stir; mostly ignore for 10-24 hours. Stir once or twice. Then press the coffee, to separate out the grounds, and put the coffee into the fridge, where it will keep for a week.
Not only is the result drinkable, I find it practically ambrosia. It's super-strong, almost coffee concentrate -- I will typically drink it iced, with equal parts coffee and milk plus a lot of ice cubes, to get a good medium-strength coffee. But it is far less bitter than standard coffee, and *much* lower in acid. I still can't drink an abusive amount of it without pain, but a big cup does me no harm. It's the yummiest way I know to get my morning caffeine, especially in the warmer months where I don't want to start with hot tea.

(I will note that the flavor won't be to every taste: since it is specifically not bitter, folks who like the Starbucks "bold" end of the spectrum are likely to find it pallid. But I love it.)


Low and Slow Bacon: we told everyone that we didn't want presents for our wedding, because we already had way too much Stuff. But Mara convinced us to accept a gift of three pounds of artisinal bacon, on the grounds that it was a consumable. And she (along with several other people) recommended the low-heat method of bacon cooking.

I tried this out for the first time last month, and I'm sold. The technique sounds bizarre if you're used to frying bacon the usual way, but it works:
  • Preheat the oven to a pretty low temperature. Recommendations vary -- I find 250 degrees to be a good compromise, but some folks prefer 200 or even lower.

  • Lay the bacon on wire racks, elevated over pans big enough to hold the grease. (I use rimmed cookie sheets, but am only doing one rack per sheet. Some folks do multiple layers of racks, in which case you want a deeper pan.)

  • Cook until the bacon is done to the proper consistency. Depending on the temperature and your tastes, this can take 1-3 hours.
The result is Bacon As Candy, in my book. Very crisp but not crunchy or burned, with the fat deeply rendered. It is almost too good to put *in* things -- I keep it in the fridge and mostly just have a slice as a snack.

(As a bonus, the resulting fat is as clean as anything you can get, and is great for cooking with. I keep it in a small lidded tub in the fridge.)


The general theme seems to be that our speed-oriented society runs deeper than I'd ever realized. All three of these recipes are similar in that they are very slow versions of something that is normally cooked fast, at high heat. The revelation to me has been that all three come out better if you're willing to put some more time and preparation into it, and give it a few hours. I find myself wondering: what other foods does this guideline apply to?
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A couple of months ago, I was wandering through Winchester Center (for no reason except that I had time to kill), and happened upon a farmer's market there. At that market, I encountered a delightful little tea-and-spice shop, and bought several of her wares, including a "spicy pork glaze" that sounded fun. The recipe was easy -- rub the pork with this rub, and then mop with melted apple jelly. I happened to *have* some excellent apple jelly looking for the right use (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] asdr83), so I made it, and it was utterly nummy.

At which point, Kate suggested an experiment that I just tried: "why can't we do an Indian version of this?". Following her suggestion, I took some southern-style boneless ribs (always the most forgiving and tasty cut of pork for the grill), rubbed them heavily with curry powder, and grilled them, mopping with melted Major Grey's Chutney.

The result was pretty much as expected: a Raj-flavored grilled pork, quite tasty with a bit of extra Major Grey's on the side for dipping. Not quite perfect yet: we agreed that the flavor is a tad flat, so we figure that we have to punch up the curry powder with some more spices. But definitely good enough to be worth further experiments to refine the recipe. Recommended for those looking to play with the grill...
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Not Grilled Pizza, note -- I've never quite understood the appeal of that particular fad, and my couple of attempts weren't successes. But a series of things made me realize the other day that I haven't made pizza in *ages* -- maybe not since Jane died. And while it's still a tad too warm for me to be enthused about running the oven that hot, it occurred to me that my stone *ought* to fit on my new grill.

Results: not bad, needs tweaking. The stone in fact fits perfectly: it fills most of the grill's surface (it's a small grill), while leaving a little room around it for airflow. As expected, my good newish infrared grill gets Hotter Than The Blazes of Hell (a solid 600 degrees): the pizza that traditionally needed 11-12 minutes in the oven was slightly overcooked on the grill in 9. So it looks like, with proper preheating, I want about 8 minutes for my usual thin-crust pizza. And in many ways the grill is much easier: I'm not bending over to the oven, I have easy access to the top of the pizza if things slide during the snap, and I'm not worried about crap falling off the sides onto the floor of the oven and burning.

The one thing that worked poorly was transporting the pizza. I have a fairly cheap wooden peel -- good enough to snap the pizza *on* to the stone, but too thick to easily get it *off* again. So I traditionally just grab the stone with my trusty Ove' Gloves, and pull it up on top of the stove to cut. But of course, the grill is out in the driveway, which is a *long* walk -- enough so that I began to burn my fingers right through the freaking Teflon. So if I continue to do this, I may need to invest in a thin steel peel, that can easily take the pizza off the stone when it's done.

The recipe needs work: we tried a sauceless pizza, largely inspired by some freshly-bought Chipotle Olive Oil from the lovely place we found down in Providence. The results were tasty, but the flavor of the oil is pretty mild, and the pizza was generally too dry. Consensus was that, if I do a sauceless pizza like that again, I need to double the sliced tomatoes on top.

(Kate's suggestion for next time is a Fajita Pizza, using my now-perfected Pico de Gallo as the "sauce", some southern-style ribs, pregrilled with a good rub, as the protein, and Poblanos for the veggie. That sounds good enough that I might try it next week.)

But overall, enough of a success that I suspect I will get back into the groove of making my own pizza. Doing it on the grill is slightly inconvenient from a transport POV, but being able to run something *that* hot, especially without overheating the kitchen, is really nice for this purpose. And pizza! Mmm...
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Last night was our monthly Dinner Club, a small gathering that I've wound up involved with via Kate -- basically, each month, one of her group of friends invites a few folks over for some sort of meal. Since this month is Kate's birthday, she claimed it in order to do something she's been wanting for a while: a formal dinner party. The "formal" got nipped and tucked here and there, but it was an excuse to pull out the good china and sip martinis in our best fancywear.

I spent ages dithering about what to make for the main course, but we opted for "stew" as the category (to minimize the last-minute in-tux cooking). Since it was her party, I pressed her to develop an opinion on exactly what -- she dug through a few volumes of Cook's Illustrated, eventually opting for the "Catalan-Style Beef Stew with Mushrooms" from the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of CI. Despite a few problems, it was super-tasty, so here are a few notes.

(Tangent: when you're developing a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The latest app I want in Querki isn't the Cookbook per se, it's the Cookbook *Notes* app -- something to keep track of which recipes I've tried, what I thought about them, and notes on what to do differently next time. Soon. Anyway...)

Note #1: Short Ribs -- The recipe calls for 2.5 lbs of Boneless Beef Short Ribs (and I was shooting for twice that, since we were a good-sized group) -- CI has basically decided that short ribs are the ideal stew meat, because they have the right sort of layering of fat, and come out quite well after a few hours of cooking. So we went down to McKinnon's (the local butcher in Davis Square) yesterday morning, found the bone-in ribs, asked about boneless and got told flatly "we don't have that". Humph. Well, I knew that a different issue of CI had notes on how to bone the ribs, so I went for the bone-in. That proved a mistake.

The ribs from McKinnon's were incredibly irregular, clearly not intended for this purpose. In particular, the amount of meat varied wildly. This recipe was looking for 2" cubes of meat, but many of the ribs had barely half an inch of meat on them. And I had forgotten just how much I dislike peeling silverskin off of beef, especially the stubborn stuff around the ribs.

In the end, I only got about 3.5 lbs of usable meat, out of about 8 lbs of ribs -- just enough for 10 diners, but less than I'd wanted. I suspect that next time, I go to Whole Foods and suck up the much-higher price per pound to get the cut I want. (On the plus side, I realized a third of the way through that the scraps still have lots of good stuff on them. So today, I'm going to make beef stock with the leftover meat.)

Note #2: Cooking Down -- This recipe is unusually dry, quite intentionally. One of CI's other current tricks is that you don't need to sear the beef if you keep the gravy light, because the meat that sticks out from it will brown nicely in the oven. So you basically make a sofrito -- caramelized onions and some tomato and spices -- add a *bit* of white wine and water, and stick it in the oven for 2.5 - 3 hours, stirring once.

As it happens, I think the stew was actually in the oven for about 3.5 hours, and this stew is *not* forgiving of that. By the time we were ready to serve, I discovered that all liquid had completely cooked away; indeed, the batch in my good Creuset had half-burned to the bottom. I was quite worried about that, but I combined both batches, and added another cup or two of wine to rehydrate everything, and that seems to have been enough to rescue it. (I needed some liquid to soak up the picada.)

Note #3: Check Your Tools -- The picada is a chopped mix of bread, almonds and garlic, added at the end to provide a little extra flavor and body to the stew. It is exactly what a food processor is for, but of course I've already moved my Cuisinart to Somerville. So I figured I'd just use my little KitchenAid mini-prep; for something this small, it ought to be fine. Except of course, I haven't turned it on in about two years -- and when I did so, nothing happened.

Fortunately, a blender can kinda-sorta fill in for a food processor in a pinch. The almonds didn't get as well-ground as I'd like, but it was good enough that nobody noticed the difference.

Conclusion -- All of the above aside, the "stew" was pretty great. There was no gravy at all, but the meat was tender and extraordinarily savory, and moist enough to make up for the lack of sauce. The recipe is a big win, and while it's an all-day affair, it's well worth the effort for a good dinner...
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AKA "Okay, what the heck do I do with this leftover eggplant?"

This Sunday was, among other things, Cooks' Guild. It was a great meeting -- almost all of the regulars showed up, and we collectively wound up cooking six different dishes. I brought along Rebecca, who is a friend of Anne and Darker's who has expressed some interest in SCA crafts. I forgot to look at cookbooks on Saturday, so Sunday morning I decided to go for my traditional safe route, pull up the online copy of the Manuscrito Anonimo (my pick for the best cookbook of the middle ages), and see what appealed. The answer was, "eggplant", so I bought some fixings on the way, and Rebecca and I did a couple of recipes from them.

Specifically, we did the Mahshi with Eggplants and Cheese, a sort of eggplant souffle, which I would judge as a noble failure: not bad, and could be improved, but didn't inspire folks. OTOH, the Eggplant Isfîriyâ, which are mostly the same recipe done as fritters, worked well -- even the folks who don't like eggplant thought they were pretty good.

Anyway, we only got through two of the three recipes I was thinking about -- we didn't have time to try the Dusted Eggplants (essentially triple-fried eggplant slices) -- so I was left with a spare eggplant. It's not Kate's favorite food, so she charged me to use it for lunch.

So today's project (actually, yesterday and today) has been to reverse-engineer the concept of the Eggplant Stack, a dish that I've gotten from Whole Foods a couple of times, which was solidly Okay But Not Great. It was a total win, so here it is for the record (and to remind me to write it up for the Cookbook eventually):Click for yummy crispy eggplanty goodness )
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So I was realizing last night that I've never really written down the single "recipe" that I use most often. That's because it's not a recipe per se -- rather, it's an approach to making dinner, aimed specifically at something good for a Tuesday evening. I find myself feeling like a period cook talking about bread: it's not a precise recipe, it's just something I *do*. But I've been realizing that not everyone simply intuits the ways you can mess with this stuff, and folks might find it useful. I've described a specific dish or two made this way, but I don't think I've given the underlying pattern.

Note that I'm using "stir-fry" in the absolute loosest sense. It fails to be a proper stir-fry in several respects, and only a few of the below variations are Chinese-flavored. I'm mostly using the term to mean "tossing stuff in a skillet with modest oil, and then saucing it at the end" -- the heart of a fairly ordinary stir-fry.

So below is the "master recipe" -- really, the template -- for how I make these dishes, and some ideas of variations I apply to it. I encourage you to mess around with it and see what works for you.
Master template )
Variations )
jducoeur: (Default)
So I was realizing last night that I've never really written down the single "recipe" that I use most often. That's because it's not a recipe per se -- rather, it's an approach to making dinner, aimed specifically at something good for a Tuesday evening. I find myself feeling like a period cook talking about bread: it's not a precise recipe, it's just something I *do*. But I've been realizing that not everyone simply intuits the ways you can mess with this stuff, and folks might find it useful. I've described a specific dish or two made this way, but I don't think I've given the underlying pattern.

Note that I'm using "stir-fry" in the absolute loosest sense. It fails to be a proper stir-fry in several respects, and only a few of the below variations are Chinese-flavored. I'm mostly using the term to mean "tossing stuff in a skillet with modest oil, and then saucing it at the end" -- the heart of a fairly ordinary stir-fry.

So below is the "master recipe" -- really, the template -- for how I make these dishes, and some ideas of variations I apply to it. I encourage you to mess around with it and see what works for you.
Master template )
Variations )
jducoeur: (Default)
Continuing to experiment. This time it's a home run.

Lentil Jambalaya (makes 2 bowls)

1/2 cup small split lentils
2 cups water
1 leek (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] goldsquare for the suggestion!)
1 tsp low-sodium Better Than Boullion Chicken concentrate
1 link "kielbasa"-style Tofurky

Slice and rinse the leek as usual. Bring the lentils, water and boullion to a simmer; stir the leeks in. Cook until the lentils are done, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, dice the sausage. Saute in a little olive oil until browned and crisp. When the lentils are done, drain the leftover water (there won't be a lot), and stir in the browned sausage. Serve hot, with Creole Seasoning to taste.

That's a total win: flavorful enough that calling it Jambalaya isn't entirely crazy. Still probably saltier than is ideal for me, but the low-sodium boillion means that the salt is mainly limited to the sausage and seasoning. I'll definitely make this one regularly...
jducoeur: (Default)
Continuing to experiment. This time it's a home run.

Lentil Jambalaya (makes 2 bowls)

1/2 cup small split lentils
2 cups water
1 leek (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] goldsquare for the suggestion!)
1 tsp low-sodium Better Than Boullion Chicken concentrate
1 link "kielbasa"-style Tofurky

Slice and rinse the leek as usual. Bring the lentils, water and boullion to a simmer; stir the leeks in. Cook until the lentils are done, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, dice the sausage. Saute in a little olive oil until browned and crisp. When the lentils are done, drain the leftover water (there won't be a lot), and stir in the browned sausage. Serve hot, with Creole Seasoning to taste.

That's a total win: flavorful enough that calling it Jambalaya isn't entirely crazy. Still probably saltier than is ideal for me, but the low-sodium boillion means that the salt is mainly limited to the sausage and seasoning. I'll definitely make this one regularly...
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I'm slowly starting to add more vegetarian dishes to my repertoire: while I'm not a principled vegetarian, I'm increasingly conscious of the ecological impact of modern meat processing, not to mention the health side of things. So I'm experimenting.

Today's dish was basically based on what I happened to find in my shoppings, but was an easy win: a powerful Mushroom Lentil Soup.

1/2 cup small lentils
2 cups water
1 package of random gourmet mushrooms from Whole Foods
1 tsp Better Than Boullion Mushroom concentrate

Bring the lentils, water and stock concentrate to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms in olive oil for 10 minutes or so, until nicely browned. When the lentils are decently softened, toss in the mushrooms and stir thoughly; don't drain or rinse the lentils, because the stock's lovely. Serve with a slice of sourdough as sops.

Good, simple and adequately healthy -- probably a bit high in sodium from the stock, but otherwise relatively good for me. The soup is rich and thick: only for mushroom lovers, but mighty fine for us...
jducoeur: (Default)
I'm slowly starting to add more vegetarian dishes to my repertoire: while I'm not a principled vegetarian, I'm increasingly conscious of the ecological impact of modern meat processing, not to mention the health side of things. So I'm experimenting.

Today's dish was basically based on what I happened to find in my shoppings, but was an easy win: a powerful Mushroom Lentil Soup.

1/2 cup small lentils
2 cups water
1 package of random gourmet mushrooms from Whole Foods
1 tsp Better Than Boullion Mushroom concentrate

Bring the lentils, water and stock concentrate to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms in olive oil for 10 minutes or so, until nicely browned. When the lentils are decently softened, toss in the mushrooms and stir thoughly; don't drain or rinse the lentils, because the stock's lovely. Serve with a slice of sourdough as sops.

Good, simple and adequately healthy -- probably a bit high in sodium from the stock, but otherwise relatively good for me. The soup is rich and thick: only for mushroom lovers, but mighty fine for us...
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So after failing to go shopping at Costco (not open at all, instead of the expected Sunday hours), we planned for a quiet afternoon at home -- [livejournal.com profile] msmemory needed to spend a few hours working on her current proofreading job, and I mostly needed to relax. But I found myself in a beverage quandary. Part of me wanted to curl up with a subtle summer drink (Long Island Lemonade being my classic favorite); part of me desperately wanted a smoothie -- some vitamins to make up for the utter sinful unhealthiness of last night's Mexican dinner. And suddenly I was struck by the question: why not split the difference?

Oddly, I don't think I've come across an alcoholic smoothie before -- this is made stranger because my first-draft attempt worked extremely well. Flavorful, mildly sweet, with almost zero booze flavor. (Slightly astonishing because there is a *lot* of alcohol in it.) So for the record, here's the recipe:

High-test Smoothie

1 Banana
1 cup Blueberries
1 Peach
1 cup Ice
1 oz White Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Absolut Raspberi
1/2 oz Absolut Vanilla

Put everything in a blender (ice on the bottom). Blend until very smooth. Makes two medium glasses, about 20 oz.

This is a base recipe, more for inspiration than anything else. For example, for a more sour edge, I'd recommend swapping raspberries or blackberries for the blueberries, upping the Absolut Raspberi and reducing the Sloe Gin. I always include a Banana for texture, but I suspect you could easily substitute some yoghurt. Etc -- the moral of the story is that a High-test Smoothie makes a very nice and easy drink if you're in for the rest of the day...
jducoeur: (Default)
So after failing to go shopping at Costco (not open at all, instead of the expected Sunday hours), we planned for a quiet afternoon at home -- [livejournal.com profile] msmemory needed to spend a few hours working on her current proofreading job, and I mostly needed to relax. But I found myself in a beverage quandary. Part of me wanted to curl up with a subtle summer drink (Long Island Lemonade being my classic favorite); part of me desperately wanted a smoothie -- some vitamins to make up for the utter sinful unhealthiness of last night's Mexican dinner. And suddenly I was struck by the question: why not split the difference?

Oddly, I don't think I've come across an alcoholic smoothie before -- this is made stranger because my first-draft attempt worked extremely well. Flavorful, mildly sweet, with almost zero booze flavor. (Slightly astonishing because there is a *lot* of alcohol in it.) So for the record, here's the recipe:

High-test Smoothie

1 Banana
1 cup Blueberries
1 Peach
1 cup Ice
1 oz White Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Absolut Raspberi
1/2 oz Absolut Vanilla

Put everything in a blender (ice on the bottom). Blend until very smooth. Makes two medium glasses, about 20 oz.

This is a base recipe, more for inspiration than anything else. For example, for a more sour edge, I'd recommend swapping raspberries or blackberries for the blueberries, upping the Absolut Raspberi and reducing the Sloe Gin. I always include a Banana for texture, but I suspect you could easily substitute some yoghurt. Etc -- the moral of the story is that a High-test Smoothie makes a very nice and easy drink if you're in for the rest of the day...
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I suspect there will be a lot of experiments in the coming months inspired by what I happen to find at H-Mart. Noting tonight's down, since it worked quite well:Recipe behind cut )
jducoeur: (Default)
I suspect there will be a lot of experiments in the coming months inspired by what I happen to find at H-Mart. Noting tonight's down, since it worked quite well:Recipe behind cut )
jducoeur: (Default)
I was afraid that, a dozen days later, my "this ought to work" veggie chili would be an undifferentiated mass of goo, but not so: it actually keeps nearly as well as serious beef chili.

This dish was actually the result of the Sharepoint conference I went to (SPTechCon), a week ago Monday. The conference was, frankly, pretty disappointing: while I learned a bit, I got about half an hour's worth of education out of each of the three-hour workshops I took there. One of the sessions was too disorganized; the other was well-enough done, but less relevant than I'd been hoping for. If I'd paid my own money, I would have been downright annoyed -- as it was, I was mostly cranky about losing an entire day of work without enough to show for it.

But *lunch* was surprisingly good. The conference was held at The Ziggurat -- the Marriott on Mem Drive where Arisia resides nowadays. They had opened up an innocuous door next to the escalator, which led into a corridor I'd never seen before, leading to an airy pavilion they'd set up outside -- one of those big affairs with big plastic domed "windows", looking rather like a Victorian glass house. I and my co-worker Bob sat and ate a rather good lunch with a bunch of other engineers, commiserating about how much Sharepoint sucks for serious work. And the centerpiece of the meal was a quite good vegetarian chili, which left me with a bad case of, "That was tasty *and* healthy. Surely I can do that." So a day or two later, I did.

Of course, like so many of my dishes, this was more thrown together than designed. But for my reference and your consideration, the basics behind the cut )
jducoeur: (Default)
I was afraid that, a dozen days later, my "this ought to work" veggie chili would be an undifferentiated mass of goo, but not so: it actually keeps nearly as well as serious beef chili.

This dish was actually the result of the Sharepoint conference I went to (SPTechCon), a week ago Monday. The conference was, frankly, pretty disappointing: while I learned a bit, I got about half an hour's worth of education out of each of the three-hour workshops I took there. One of the sessions was too disorganized; the other was well-enough done, but less relevant than I'd been hoping for. If I'd paid my own money, I would have been downright annoyed -- as it was, I was mostly cranky about losing an entire day of work without enough to show for it.

But *lunch* was surprisingly good. The conference was held at The Ziggurat -- the Marriott on Mem Drive where Arisia resides nowadays. They had opened up an innocuous door next to the escalator, which led into a corridor I'd never seen before, leading to an airy pavilion they'd set up outside -- one of those big affairs with big plastic domed "windows", looking rather like a Victorian glass house. I and my co-worker Bob sat and ate a rather good lunch with a bunch of other engineers, commiserating about how much Sharepoint sucks for serious work. And the centerpiece of the meal was a quite good vegetarian chili, which left me with a bad case of, "That was tasty *and* healthy. Surely I can do that." So a day or two later, I did.

Of course, like so many of my dishes, this was more thrown together than designed. But for my reference and your consideration, the basics behind the cut )

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June 2017

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