Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

That turned out nicely

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

I made dinner last night – a paprika-heavy pork stew served over pasta, accompanied by sweet-and-sour red cabbage, with apple strudel for dessert. I don’t know if there’s a particular name that people would expect for the stew. The cookbook, which I found in Budapest last year, just calls it pork stew (The Hungarian name is “sertés pörkölt,” which Google Translate tells me means “pork stew”).

Very nice meal, and we’re having the leftovers tonight. Marion has told me I can make this dinner anytime I’d like. The last meal she said that about was a sweet potato, pine nut, and goat cheese strudel. I’m planning on making that again tomorrow night, actually – now that I’ve opened the package of phyllo dough, I need to use it.

I’ll admit that I’m surprised at the price of the cookbook. The back cover lists pricing in several currencies, and the price in dollars is just about $15. I paid in Hungarian francs, and I probably still have the receipt, but that sounds about right. When I wrote this post, Amazon had one copy available for over $60. I didn’t expect that.

My weekend could have been better

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Not that it was bad, but it could have been better. Yesterday, I made meatballs. Good meatballs. Made a spaghetti sauce and pasta to go with them. It was all good, then I decided to open a bottle of red wine to go with dinner. I pulled out a bottle that had belonged to my father, which didn’t have much of a label. I could read parts of a few words, and could tell that it was French wine, but that was it. Unfortunately, the wine was well past its prime – it was a weak, brownish red, and had a distinct vinegary flavor. So, I discarded it and opened a different bottle, which was still good.

Later, I did a search on the partial words I found on the label, and found that currently, recent vintages are going for $90/bottle. In 2003, the wine was $400/bottle. I’m not sure, but this may have been the bottle I bought for Dad’s 50th birthday. The wine was a couple years shy of 50 years old at the time, and I remember telling him, “Don’t wait for it to catch up.” If it is that bottle of wine, it was a vintage that was over 80 years old, and I’m not surprised that it had turned to vinegar.

Then today, Marion and I went to Barr Lake State Park and walked around the lake (a 9-mile walk). Barr Lake is a fairly reliable bald eagle nesting area, so we were hoping to see at least one. We saw a lot of seagulls, a lot of geese, a few hawks, a kestrel, at least one eagle which was either a golden eagle or a juvenile bald eagle, and I took a lot of pictures. Unfortunately, when I got home, it was brought to my attention that I had neglected to reset the resolution at which my camera took pictures.

Earlier this week, I’d been taking some product photos for work, to be uploaded to the web. However, resizing 18MB photos down to 130×150 pixels for thumbnails caused problems. Selecting 720×480 for photos in the camera solved the problem. However, I hadn’t realized that I was still taking photos at that resolution today.

I have several photos of an eagle’s nest that appear to show an eagle on the nest, but it’s not quite good enough to tell, and there’s no zoom available on the photos.

In other words, a good weekend with a good meal and good photos, but it could have been better.

UPDATE: I wrote and posted this late Sunday night, but it got noted as published just past midnight. Apparently, my ISP is on MST already, or is located in the Central Time Zone.

Worked out well

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

I cooked a couple of good dinners this weekend. Saturday’s dinner was good, but not everything I did worked out well – I’d made a crockpot roast chicken with vegetables, and while the chicken was really nice, I’d used the vegetables to keep the chicken off the bottom of the crockpot (instead of balls of crumpled aluminum foil), and the vegetables ended up cooked in the juices, and I prefer the taste and texture of roasted vegetables.

The other thing that didn’t work out well was the gravy – I’d rubbed the chicken with a mix that included paprika and cayenne pepper, and the gravy was spicy, which was not what I was expecting.

Overall, though, the meal was quite good.

It was totally outdone by tonight’s dinner, though. I had a roughly six-pound pork shoulder roast, which I slow-roasted after applying Long’s Peak Pork Chop Spice, crushed garlic, and olive oil.

As an accompaniment, I made a sweet potato, goat cheese, and pine nut strudel using a recipe from this book. (Click picture for a larger view.)

Sunday Dinner

Marion was very impressed by dinner. The meat was falling-apart-tender, and the strudel was incredible. That’s another recipe that goes on the “keeper” list. We’re looking forward to tomorrow night’s leftovers.

Helpful household hint

Monday, January 5th, 2015

I have two “go-to” breakfasts I make for myself. One of them is oatmeal, which I like to dress up with raisins or currants and a bit of brown sugar. I also like to add about a teaspoon each of ground flaxseed, chia seed, and hemp seed. I use a coffee grinder to grind the seeds, but their oil content causes them to form a packed mass that is hard to get out of the grinder.

However, if you put a teaspoon of uncooked oatmeal into the grinder with the seeds, it absorbs enough of the oil to keep the result “loose.” Getting the ground seeds out of the grinder is quite easy and cleanup becomes very simple.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

It’s been a good Christmas. Right now, snow is falling outside, and Marion and I are staying warm and watching a recording of Victor Borge’s performances. Wonderfully humorous stuff.

Christmas dinner went well, but with some glitches at the start. I thought I remembered saying that I’d have the food ready to go between 12:30 and 1:00pm. My daughter and her guest arrived at 1:00pm, because that’s when she remembered that I’d said dinner started, and Marion remembered that it started at 1:30pm. Luckily, we all managed to get together while the food was still hot.

The menu included a rib roast of beef, roasted root vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding. Dessert was pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. The rib roast came out very nicely, perhaps because it had a little longer to rest than I normally give it. I put a sea salt/grains of paradise crust on it, and had let it dry-age in the refrigerator since the weekend. I also made a double batch of Yorkshire pudding, which was a good thing. There was actually a little left when dinner was over. We had a nice Spanish red wine with our meal.

Dessert had to wait until presents were opened, because we all ate too much.

Happy Fhtagnsgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

This was emailed to me with the comment “Get me some drawn butter (and the NECRONOMICON!)”

cthurkey

I suppose I can consider myself lucky

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Because I fixed breakfast at home today, I found a problem in time to handle it fairly cleanly.

When I eat breakfast at home, I take my vitamins. One bottle was empty, so I went into the basement to get a replacement. Smelling something unpleasant, and knowing that the cats’ litter box had been dealt with last night because trash gets picked up this morning, I looked around and noticed a wet spot at one corner of the freezer. When I opened the door, I found this:

Freezer

The cookie dough on the top shelf I wasn’t concerned about. Everything on the next shelf down and in the door was defrosted. Items on the bottom two shelves were still frozen solid. I took about fifty pounds of meat that had been defrosted for who knows how long out to the trash. It might have still been ok, but I’d rather not chance it – I lost 15 pounds of weight after I got sick in Bulgaria, and I wasn’t keen on losing any more that rapidly.

I say I’m lucky because I discovered it before the trash pickup came; I’d not have liked to have it hanging around for another week. Now, I’ll be looking for a chest freezer – I’ve had to prop weight against the freezer door to keep it closed.

Plumb and Plumber

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Saturday was a slightly worrisome day. I was trying a new bagel recipe, and the dough was stiff enough that my stand mixer (a 6-quart KitchenAid) quit while kneading. I called Marion to let her know that these would likely be the most expensive bagels she’d ever had. I then went online to look for troubleshooting and repair information.

Luckily, it was only a thermal cutout to prevent damage from overheating. Half an hour later, the mixer worked without problems.

The other problem was that one of my cats decided to start disassembling the toilet in the ground floor bathroom. Nothing serious, but whichever cat it was (and I have my suspicions) had removed one of the caps that cover the bolts that hold the toilet in place, and had been batting it around as a toy. Idiot beast.

Nothing quite like a good meal

Monday, May 26th, 2014

I had Marion and my daughter over for dinner this evening. I’d marinated some Copper River salmon in an oriental-themed marinade, then grilled it on a cedar plank. We had grilled asparagus and spinach-quinoa cakes as side dishes, and chocolate brownies for dessert. All very nice.

With dinner, I had a beer that a friend brought back from his recent trip to Germany. It worked quite well with the meal.

Had dinner with my daughter this evening

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

We tried the Kokopelli Beer Company, which is fairly new in the neighborhood. A bit noisy for my taste, but it was a good meal. They have a small “pizza and sandwiches” menu. The pizzas we had were tasty, and the drinks were good. I had an IPA (good) and a pineapple cider (not much flavor, I thought), and Cheryl had a regular cider (good) and a raspberry/chocolate stout (she liked it; I didn’t). I prefer the IPA at the Yak and Yeti, but I’m more than willing to go back to Kokopelli, as is she.