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Monday, July 26, 2010

Buttermilk Buscuits

A friend is having us for dinner tonight.  When I asked her what I could bring she politely offered the idea of bread.  While I love french or rustic breads I've felt an overwhelming desire for home-made biscuits.   I'm excited for the flaky layers and the golden tops.  I think I'm going to add some fresh thyme and rosemary from our herb garden to the Gourmet recipe I found on earlier this morning. 

I'll let you know how they turn out.

Clothes Line!

When we moved into our condo last July one of the first things on my wish list I was a clothes line, now a year late I finally have one. When I was little our neighbors the Quirks hung the clothes for a family of six outside.  I was friends with the Quirk girls and we spent lots of time in their back yard playing while their Mom hang and removed clothes from spring until fall.

I always admired the quality that a full clothes line brought to their back yard.  Clean clothes drying in the sun, it was such a simple childhood memory.  I admired that instead of heading into the dark basement, Mary was able to spend time outside while getting her chores done.  I look forward to our next load of laundry and the time I'll get to spend outside hanging and folding our clothes.  Our new line is right outside the kitchen, Taylor rigged up some rope, metal loops and hooks; it's set up, take down at our convenience.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grilled Open Faced Portobella Sandwich

A quick meal with great ingredients

Grill a baguette that you've brushed with olive oil over medium high heat, 2-3 minutes
Add the mushrooms that have been drizzled with olive oil, kosher salt and fresh pepper, 2-3 minutes

Cut the mushrooms into 1/2 in. strips 
Assemble the mushrooms on the grilled baguette
Top with Provolone cheese and tomatoes
Drizzle with a balsamic garlic reduction
Top with fresh basil

Taylor made the balsamic reduction...he'll have to weigh in here, the reductions are all him!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Ultimate Comfort Food: Baked Chicken Parmesan

After a long Monday at work with a few too many client issues that took up more energy than normal, all I wanted was a comforting meal, a glass of wine, and an evening out on our deck.  When looking for comfort, what better place to go than a classic family recipe.

Grandma Ruth's Baked Chicken Parmesan: recipe coming soon, red potatoes with pan gravy and peas: Another BIG comfort food!

The Garden Salad (literally, I picked the greens and mint out of the garden) with Red Wine Vinaigrette, Mint, Feta and Cucumber was a nice light accompaniment

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taylor's Test Kitchen/Brewery

I got Taylor a brew kit for Christmas with all the equipment for brewing his own beer.  Since January he has crafted 13 with the Bourbon Barrel Porter as his most treasured brew.  

The 1st brew, inspired by our trip out to Big Sky, MT Scottish Ale, wort

Chilling the wort before pitching the yeast

Seth and Meredith, being the faithful friends that they are came in February to assist with bottling day. 

Seth is now well on his way to become a brew master with his own equipment, even turning his fridge into a Logger friendly aging environment while Meredith is in Baltimore.  
We're heading to the Goose Island Brewery this weekend for a tour and some inspiration for these young brewers. 

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

My Mom was on the way down to the Farm when I called her for the recipe she's used over the years, so I searched the web for this one.  It wasn't exactly the same, but it came pretty close.  Mini Chocolate Chips are key, although I'd recommend using more chocolate chips in the batter than a 1/2 cup.  

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (about 18 cookies)
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon flour
Combine butter and Oreo cookie crumbs. Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan.
In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with the 1 teaspoon flour. Toss to coat. Stir into the cheese mixture. Pour over crust.
Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over top.
Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees F, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool to room temperature and then chill until serving.

Baby back ribs with my babe

Taylor threw a side of baby back ribs in our cart while shopping last week.  I had never done ribs, but after reading a recipe in Real Simple, I thought we'd give it a try, how hard could it be?  I seasoned the ribs with a spice rub the night before, then had Taylor precook them in the oven as soon as he got home from the lab, almost 3 hours at 275.  I made my own sauce based off a few good recipes, and Taylor did the final touch by grilling them over charcoals.  

Clarence was all about the smells coming from the grill and got in on the action a few days later when he found the tongs Taylor had used and forgotten to wash or put away.  Despite a little dirt and a few wood chips, he really enjoyed his little taste of our ribs.

To balance the rich ribs I made a fresh salad with cucumber, tomatoes, corn off the cob, and avocados.

Eating outside is a must if you have good weather.

A happy boon

Serves 4Hands-On Time: 15mTotal Time: 3hr 30m


1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 6 pounds spareribs (2 racks), trimmed of excess fat

Mix the spices and rub into the meat, I allowed the meat to sit covered in the fridge for a night with the spice rub before pre-baking them.  Preheat the oven to 275 and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Finish on the grill, basting with your favorite sauce.  I didn't care for the one on the original recipe so I made my own based off of it, adding: Worcestershire sauce, honey, and maybe a little lime. 2-3 minutes per side. 

The best ribs I've ever had!

A Soup with a mind of it's own

The weather this week was almost cool and called for soup.  I intended to make a black bean soup with lime and cilantro, but without two cans of black bean I added garbanzo beans, a lot more vegetables, (because I had them) and tons of thyme.  The result was a warm pot of savory soup that fed me for dinner, Taylor for a late night snack, and both of us for a few days of lunches.  I'm not sure what I'd call it since it's a soup all its own.  Isn't that the beauty of soup, it's a unique creation every time. I love a good soup!