Wednesday, June 9, 2010

J Dawgs!

J Dawgs is a magical place full of mystery and wonder. That guy up there in the picture? He's the grand wizard. I know they just sell hot dogs, but they are magical hot dogs. Trust me. See, I pointed out in a previous post the difference between a "foodie" and a "gourmet" and yes, a foodie can be excited about a hot dog, and in the case of J Dawgs, should be excited about a hot dog.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Homemade Brats: First Iteration

Ok, so those are the brats. First, they simmer in some sort of amber liquid of undetermined origin. Then, they go on the grill.  That's me man-handling them, and that's my son coco wondering why someone is taking his picture.

I made these with my friend Fish. He has a grinder attachment for his stand mixer. Here's how we did it:

Homemade Bratwurst
  • 4 Pounds 80% lean pork shoulder (Boston Butt)
  • 1 Pound veal or beef (ground beef is all you really need here)
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Teaspoons ground mace
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Cup cold milk
  • 2 Whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 Cup non-fat dry milk powder

  1. Cut pork (and beef if it's not already ground) into 1 inch cubes, and grind it twice through the fine plate of your sausage grinder.
  2. Combine the spices in a 1 quart container and mix with the cup of cold milk and beaten eggs.
  3. Pour the spices, milk and egg combination into the ground meant and mix thoroughly for at least 2 minutes. Use your hands for mixing to assure even distribution.
  4. Add the milk powder to the mixture and combine it all thoroughly with your hands. At this point you can pass the finished sausage mixture once more through the meat grinder if you choose to, or straight into 32-35 mm hog or collegen casings. Refrigerate or freeze immediately.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Coconut Crab Cakes with Coconut Basil Mayonnaise

Coconut Crab Cakes with Coconut Basil Mayonnaise. Need I say more? Recipe follows.

Coconut Crab Cakes
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil (plus a bunch more for frying)
  • 1/2 Medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 Stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 pound lumb crabmeat
  • 1/2 Cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, I chose sweetened)
  • 2/3 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 5 Cups panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Large eggs, beaten
  • Diced tomatoes, for garnish (whoops, didn't garnish for that pic, did I?)
  • Chives for garnish 
  1. Heat oil in a saute pan, add onion and celery until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix crabmeat, coconut, mayonnaise, mustard, chives, parsely and 1 cup panko with the onion/celery mixture. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Form into 2-inch diameter cakes.
  3. Roll cakes first in flour, then in beaten eggs, then in the remaining 4 cups of panko, each time shaking off excess. At this point you can plate on wax paper and refrigerate to allow cakes to set if desired.
  4. Heat oil, and deep fry the crab cakes until golden brown, flipping once.
  5. Arrange on a platter and garnish with tomatoes and chives. Serve with coconut basil mayonnaise.

Coconut Basil Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon basil leaves,chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon chili garlic paste (more if you want it spicy, the 1 teaspoon will not make it spicy at all)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth.
  2. May be prepared a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sauteed Swai Fillets with Green Salad and Honey Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Ok, so I have to admit that Swai is not my favorite fish, but it's inexpensive and if you're going to eat it, this recipe will do just fine. I served it with a fresh green salad drizzled with honey grapefruit vinaigrette.
Recipes follow.

Sauteed Swai Fillets
  • 3 large Swai fillets, thawed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablesoons garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • lemon pepper to taste
  1. In large, deep sauce pan or sautee pan, heat olive oil, then add butter and heat until melted.
  2. Add red wine vinegar and give a light stir, then add a pinch of salt and the garlic powder.
  3. Add Swai fillets, and continue cooking over medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning onto each fillet.
  5. After about 3 minutes, carefully flip fillets, sprinkling other side with lemon pepper, and continue cooking for about 4 minutes, or until outside is opaque.
  6. Serve immediately, spooning sauce from pan over fish.
Lemon Grapefruit Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1-2 freshly crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Mix all ingredients well, adding the olive oil last, and whisking to combine.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cajun Spice-Crusted Pork Loin with Mango Salsa

Recipe Follows
Cajun Spice-Crusted Pork Loin
  • 2 pound pork loin
  • 1/3 cup Emeril's Creole Seasoning (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat grill on high heat
  2. Rub pork loin with Creole seasoning
  3. Place pork loin on hot grill, turning every 3 to 4 minutes until all sides have dark grill marks
  4. Insert thermometer.  I like to use a wireless thermometer that alerts me even if I'm not watching it. Set the thermometer to alert you at 157 degrees.  
  5. When the pork reaches 157 degrees remove it from the grill immediately. Place it on a cutting board or serving platter and tent it loosely with tin foil. The meat needs to rest so that the juices distribute back throughout the meat and the carryover heat will bring the internal temperature up to 160 degrees.
  6. After the pork has rested for at least 5 minutes, slice into 1/2 inch slices and serve with mango salsa (recipe follows)
Mango Salsa
  • 1 large ripe mango, diced
  • 1 medium size red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • juice of 1 large lime
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine all the ingredients and season well with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for an hour or more.
Emeril's Creole Seasoning
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Ok, so if you read my post about The New Best Recipe, here's your chance to try it before you buy it.

I like blondies because everybody makes brownies all the time, and as far as I'm concerned variety is the spice of life.  So try the recipe and let me know what you think.  Make sure you do NOT overcook them.  Under-cooking them would be much better, so take them out before you think they're ready.  When they get overcooked they get hard and that's not a good thing. Recipe Follows.

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • l teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped course
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. fold two 16-inch pieces of foil or parchment paper lengthwise so that one measures 13 inches wide and the other 9 inches wide. Fit one sheet in the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan (the overhang will help in removal of the baked bars). Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the semisweet and white chocolate chips into the prepared pan., smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil or parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 1 1/2 by 2-inch bars and serve.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The New Best Recipe

Ok, so about a month ago I told my wife to throw out all of our recipe books.  Why, you ask?  Well, because they are pretty much worthless.  They filled a good part of one of our lower kitchen cabinets and we NEVER used them.  There's a reason we never used them.  Like I said, they are pretty much worthless.  Here's the thing.  You could probably find 1,000 different recipe books with different recipes for the same dish.  Nothing wrong with that, right?  Wrong.  There is something wrong with that.  One of those 1,000 recipes is better than the rest, so why are the others even out there?  The bottom line is that I found that most of the recipes I found in cookbooks were simply sub-par.

That wasn't the only problem.  The other problem is that technique is usually just as important as (sometimes more so than) the ingredients.  None of the recipe books I had did anything to make sure I had the right technique.  They use words like, "combine" and "saute."  Well, there's a right way and a wrong way to combine certain combinations of ingredients in some (probably most) recipes.  So just knowing which ingredients to use isn't enough.  I have learned a lot about proper technique by watching Food Network.  You see not only the ingredients, but exactly how to cook with them.  If you're familiar with Alton Brown (particularly his Food Network show "Good Eats"), then you know that technique matters and you also know that most people are lacking in the "technique department."

So, what's my point?  My point is that most cook books or recipe books are worthless.  They have sub-par recipes and they don't do enough to help the sub-par cook master the techniques that will make him a superior (or even adequate for that matter) cook.

Here's the deal, though.  My buddy Fish gave me a birthday/Christmas present that changed everything.  It's still true that most recipe books are worthless, but there's at least one that breaks the mold.  The New Best Recipe, from the editors of Cook's Illustrated is everything you are looking for in a recipe book.

The title may sound a little presumptuous, right?  How do they know it's really the "best" recipe?  Here's how:

"We start the process of testing a recipe with a complete lack of conviction, which means that we accept no claim, no theory, no technique, and no recipe at face value. We simply assemble as many variations as possible, test a half dozen of the most promising, and taste the results blind. We the construct our own hybrid recipe and continue to test it, varying ingredients, techniques, and cooking times until we reach a consensus. The result, we hope, is the best version of a particular recipe..."

Not only that, but "Because good technique is also critical, we have included 800 illustrations that show you the best way to do everything from carving a turkey to beating egg whites properly to frosting a layer cake to setting up your grill."

And as if that wasn't enough, "And because the right equipment always makes a difference, you'll find valuable information on how and when to splurge on that expensive knife or baking pan and when the basic model will do just fine."

There are over 1,000 recipes, divided into logical categories, all cross-referenced and indexed and just ready to be cooked.

Bottom line, if you are tired of jumping from one cookbook to another, do what I did.  Toss the rest, and stick with the best:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter

Here's an AB original.  I have to admit I was a little worried because as B was helping me shell the peanuts she mentioned to me that she had tried homemade peanut butter from Sunflower Farmers Market and it was horrible.  She said it was very blah and was not sweet at all.

Not to worry though, because mine turned out great (and just sweet enough).  The only problem I had was that I didn't monitor my oven temp very well and while roasting the peanuts, some of them were a little over-roasted (you know, burnt).  The burnt flavor carried over a little into the finished product.  It's still good, but next time it will be better, and sans- burnt flavor.  The only other downside I see is that storing in the refrigerator causes it to be a little harder to spread than normal PB.

Alton Brown's Homemade Peanut Butter
  • 15 Oz Shelled & Skinned AB's Roasted Peanuts (recipe below)
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Peanut Oil
  1. Place the peanuts, salt and honey into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process for 1 minute.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and replace lid.
  4. Continue to process while slowly drizzling in the oil and process until smooth (1 1/2-2 minutes)
  5. Place peanut butter in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Roasted Peanuts
  • 2 Lb In-Shell Raw Peanuts (Spanish work best for peanut butter, Virginia or Valencia are better for eating straight out of the shell)
  • 2 Tbs Peanut Oil
  • 1 to 2 Tbs Kosher Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Rinse peanuts under cool water, pat dry and place in a large bown.
  3. Toss with peanut oil and salt until well coated.
  4. Place on 2 half sheet pans, spreading into single layer.
  5. Roast in oven for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.
  6. Let them cool before eating because they will continue to "cook" and become crunchy as they cool.
  7. If using for peanut butter, remove shells and discard, then remove the skins by rubbing the peanuts together in your hands. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Alton Brown Changed My Life!

Alton Brown changed my life.  If you're not already familiar with Alton Brown's Food Network show Good Eats then you don't know what you're missing.  The show is described thusly:  "Pop culture, comedy, and plain good eating: Host Alton Brown explores the origins of ingredients, decodes culinary customs and presents food and equipment trends. Punctuated by unusual interludes, simple preparations and unconventional discussions, he'll bring you food in its finest and funniest form."

The great thing about Good Eats is that you will learn the basics.  Scrambled eggs?  Doesn't really sound complicated does it?  You probably didn't know you needed to watch a cooking show to make scrambled eggs, did you?  Well, you were wrong.  Alton Brown (AB) breaks down the basic science behind cooking and trust me, your scrambled eggs will be better.

 So anyway, I mentioned in my prior post Spain is the New France that my time in Spain was the first step in my culinary awakening (ok that sounded weird, but I don't know how else to say it).  I guess the second big influence would have to be Good Eats.

AB has done some other shows on Food Network, like Feasting on Asphalt, and Feasting on Waves, but truthfully they were only mildly entertaining in my humble opinion.

AB has also put out a number of books.  The only one I've read so far is Gear for your Kitchen.  It's a great guide to what you really need in your kitchen to make good food.  You'll clear out a bunch of unneeded junk that you have in there (especially all those uni-taskers) and you'll find out what you really need and where to get it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Poire Belle Helene

This is a Tyler Florence recipe for vanilla poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice cream.  It's fruit, and look... I only had 2 tiny scoops of ice cream with it.  Recipe follows.

Vanilla Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream (a.k.a. "Poire Belle Helene")
Vanilla Poached Pears
  • 6 C Water
  • 3 C Sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 6 Firm Bosc Pears
  1. Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan.  
  2. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add both the seeds and the pod to the pan.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  4. Peel the pears.  Reduce the poaching liquid to a simmer and add the pears.
  5. Cook until just tender (the tip of a paring knife will go through the flesh of a pear with just a little resistance), about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the pears in the poaching liquid, until completely cooled, about an hour.
  7. Serve the pears with a scoop of ice cream, a little pear-poaching syrup and warm chocolate sauce (recipe below) drizzled over the top.
Chocolate Sauce

  • 1 1/2 C Heavy Cream
  • 12 Oz Bittersweet Chocolate, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Quart Store-Bought Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream

  1. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Put the chocolate and butter into a medium-size bowl.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy.

Whole Wheat Noodles with Tomatoes, Basil and Goat Cheese

Ok, I'll admit that whole wheat noodles don't taste as good as regular.  There, I said it, but don't worry, with a little love they can still be delicious (and healthy).  Serve them with steamed asparagus (I like to use a vegetable peeler on the lower end so I don't have to cut off as much), and broiled tri-tip steak (dredged in Cugino's Garlic Butter Bud Buster).
Whole wheat pasta recipe follows:

Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

  • 1 Lb Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti Noodles
  • 10 Oz Cherry Tomatoes
  • 6 Oz Goat Cheese, Cut into Small Pieces
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbs Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bunch of Basil, Chiffonaded (I think that's a word)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  1. Cook noodles as per directions on package, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the tomatoes and let sautee for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the tomatoes over and add the garlic and continue sauteing for 5 more minutes, or until tomatoes begin to burst.
  5. Put the cooked, drained noodles into the skillet, turn off the heat, then toss the noodles with the olive oil, tomatoes and garlic. 
  6. Add the goat cheese and basil, and salt and pepper to taste, toss and serve immediately.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Whitefish with Lemon Vinaigrette

Last night's dinner.  The picture makes this look like breaded, deep-fried fish.  It wasn't...really.  Ok, it sort of was, but in a much healthier way than you would think.  It was dusted very lightly with flour, then fried in a little bit of olive oil  I served it with brown rice and zucchini and yellow squash.  Worked out right nice.  Recipe follows:

White Fish
  • 3 Tbs Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 (5 to 6-oz) Whitefish Fillets (I used Tilapia)
  • All-Purpose Flour, for Dredging
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a 14-inch (or 2 smaller) nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.  
  2. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper, then dredge the fillets in flour to coat completely, shaking off the excess flour.
  3. Fry 3 fillets in each pan until they are golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice (I substituted lime this time)
  • 1/4 C Lightly Packed Fresh Italian Parsley Leaves (I substituted 3 green onions)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (There's no substitute for garlic)
  • 2 Tsp Finely Grated Lemon Zest (Or lime zest)
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 C Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Blend the lemon juice, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a blender.  With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil.  Season to taste with more salt and pepper.  (I'm not a big fan of having too many kitchen gadgets, but I have to admit that I have a Magic Bullet and for small jobs like a vinaigrette or marinade, I love using it).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nellie's Tacos (Salmon and Shrimp)

Ok, I could just refer you to Noelle's blog (Salmon Tacos, Shrimp Tacos), but I ate at her house Sunday and these tacos were yummy, so I'm going to share the recipes her too:

Salmon Tacos:
Tortillas (small taco-size)
Salmon (recipe follows)
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing (recipe follows)
Pico De Gallo
Fresh Cilantro

  • 1 1/2 lb Salmon Fillets
  • Lemon Pepper to Taste
  • Garlic Powder to Tast
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1/3 C Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 C Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 C Water
  • 1/4 C Vegetable Oil
  1. Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved.  Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with soy sauce mixture, seal and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat grill on medium heat.
  4. Lightly oil grill grate.  Place salmon on grill and discard leftover marinade.  Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
  • 3 Fresh Tomatillos, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
  • 1 Pkg Ranch Buttermilk Dressing
  • 3/4 C Mayo
  • 3/4 C Buttermilk
  • 1 C Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  1. Put all of the ingredients in blender or food processor.  Blend.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Will last in refrigerator for at least 10 days.
Shrimp Tacos
Grilled Garlic & Herb Shrimp
  • 2 Tsp Ground Paprika
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 2 Lb Medium Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined
  1. Whisk paprika, garlic, italian seasoning, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, basil, and brown sugar together in a bowl until thoroughly blended.  Stir in the shrimp and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning once.
  2. Preheat grill on medium-high heat.  Lightly oil grill grate.
  3. Remove shrimp from marinade, drain excess, and discard leftover marinade.
  4. Place shrimp on preheated grill and cook, turning once, until opaque in the center, 5 to 6 minutes.  Serve immediately.
Creamy Chipotle Chile Sauce
  • 1/4 C Mayonaise
  • 1/4 C Sour Cream
  • 2 Tsp Canned Chipotle in Adobo
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  • 2 Tsp Minced Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Tsp Lime Juice
  1. Mis all ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate.
Citrus Habanero Salsa
  • 1/2 Habanero Chile 
  • 1/2 Small Red Onion
  • 2-3 Mini Sweet Peppers
  • 1 1/2 C Grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 Can Mandarin Oranges, Drained
  • Handful of Cilantro
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt to Taste
  1. Pulse chile, onion, and sweet peppers a few times in food processor.
  2. Add tomatoes.  Pulse 1-2 times.
  3. Add cilantro and oranges.  pulse until salsa reaches desired consistency.
  4. Transfer to serving bowl and stir in lime juice.  Salt to taste.

Sweet Life in the Valley Food Processor Give Away

Sweet Life in the Valley is still around.  Find them @  You can enter to win a  Cuisinart Custom Prep 11 food processor if you visit.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Zucchini Cookies

 I'm not really much of a baker, but I'm currently all about trying to eat healthier and lighter.  These little low-fat jewels are a great alternative to regular chocolate chip cookies.

My sister-in-law B made these ones.  My only complaint was that she didn't use dark chocolate chips.

Oatmeal Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 1/4 C Applesauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Sal
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 C Oatmeal
  • 1 C Grated Zucchini
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips
  1. Cream together sugar, butter, applesauce and egg until well blended.
  2. Add dry ingredients, zucchini and chocolate chips and mix until combined.
  3. Spoon onto cookie sheet sprayed with pam. 
  4. Bake at 375 for 10-12 min. Makes about 3 dozen.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spain is the new France

How did I become a foodie?  Well, I started learning to cook out of necessity.  Living in Spain for two years at the age of 19, away from my family and my mom, meant I had to learn to cook (at least a little bit).

At least I was in Spain, and not Zimbabwe or something (no offense to Zimbabwe).  Spain has awesome food!  I grew up in rural Utah, so I wasn't really exposed to classic french cooking in my house (my mom was/is a great cook!  I'm just saying it wasn't that type of cooking).

Spain, on the other hand, was a place where everyone still made very traditional foods from scratch, with fresh ingredients bought daily.  I took quite an interest in the food there.  I learned to like a lot of foods I didn't like yet, and I even learned to cook some of them.  I didn't exactly leave there a master chef, but I left with an appreciation for good traditional food and a few basic skills.  I could make a paella or a spanish tortilla, but I probably couldn't bone and truss a duck.

Did you see the Spain episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the Travel Channel?  I don't have the exact quote, but I think he said, "Spain is the new France."  In fact, if you google "Spain is the new France" you will quickly find that a lot of people are saying that and have been for a while.  So, it's official.  When it comes to culinary avant-garde, Spain is where it's at.  Of course I was there from 1994-1996, so maybe her culinary prowess was not yet fully developed, but either way, it was probably a little more developed than Blanding, Utah's.

So thank you Spain for sharing your Mediterranean cuisine with this country bumpkin.  One of these days I'll bring my family back and introduce them to you.

Jeremy & Julia

So, the other day I mentioned to my friend Craig that my wife was trying to get me to do a food blog.  He asked if I was going to call it Jeremy & Julia.  For those that don't get the reference, there's a movie called Julie & Julia.  I hadn't seen it when he asked me that.  I subsequently rented it.  It was worth it.

If you're a foodie (Foodie:  "Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste who may or may not be professionals in the food industry, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news.  Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding foodFor this reason, foodies are sometimes viewed as obsessively interested in all things culinary. There is also a general feeling in the culinary industry that the term gourmet is outdated. 'Foodie-ism' is a modern, popular way of engaging food culture for the general population."-Wikipedia) at all, you should watch it.  You'll like it.

So, yea, I'm doing a food blog, but it's not called Jeremy & Julia.  And I'm not going to spend the next year making all 500+ recipes from Julia Child's 1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

That's what I'm not doing.  I'm not completely sure what I am doing.