This is a great side dish, especially for those who are skeptical about brussels sprouts. You shred the sprouts, add in dried cranberries and walnuts, mix it with a honey mustard dressing, and top it all with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Easy, tasty, and healthy!
Pizzas are great, but sometimes you don’t want to go to the effort of rolling out the dough, trying (in vain, usually) to make a respectable circle, getting flour everywhere… and thus the french bread pizza was invented. Now, there are many ways you can go with this. Pasta sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella. Italian sausage with olives and mushrooms. My personal favorite, though, is the bbq chicken pizza. A light layer of sweet and spicy bbq sauce, juicy chicken, melted mozzarella and cheddar, with a little garlic and red onion to top it all off. Perfect.
This is a pretty short post, but this sandwich has been so amazing this week that I had to share it, even as simple as it is. One of the problems with taking sandwiches with tomato in them to work is that your bread gets soggy by lunchtime. You can try to mitigate this by putting the tomato between the cheese and the meat to keep the moisture from the bread, but that only works some of the time. Instead, I tried something new: sun dried tomato spread. It works wonderfully! It adds a nice deep flavor to the spinach, avocado, brie, ham, and bacon. Mmm bacon.
As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of fusion cuisine. Spicy Korean chex mix, sweet and spicy sloppy joes, even PB&J quesadillas are among some of my recent recipes. It’s easy, just take a spice mix from one cuisine and add it to a recipe from somewhere else! In this case, it’s a chicken enchilada over whole wheat pasta instead of tortillas. Add in some veggies and pepper-jack cheese, and you have yourself one heck of a healthy, flavorful dinner with not much work. The leftovers are pretty amazing too!
I know many people buy seasoned salts at fancy gourmet stores (and I have been known to indulge upon occasion myself), but I wondered how difficult it would be to make some at home. The answer is: not at all! They took very little work, though there was a decent amount of time with things dehydrating in the oven. They make fantastic Christmas gifts for your gourmet friends, and really make a great addition to your everyday cooking. Tomato basil salt on corn on the cob? Roasted garlic salt on popcorn? Rosemary lemon salt on roasted chicken? The one flavor I haven’t gotten working yet is smoked salt, but I feel that’s only a matter of time. For now, we’ve tested roasted garlic salt, chipotle paprika lime salt, rosemary sage lemon salt, and tomato basil salt. I’m afraid I don’t have recipes per se for you all, more like guidelines.
I love sandwiches, but get really tired of the same ham/turkey, cheddar, lettuce, pickle, mustard sandwiches. My girlfriend, who is a teacher, is even more sick of them, I’m sure. So earlier this week I decided to make her a treat one day for lunch, and came up with this sandwich. It’s actually quite easy, the relish just involves dicing an apple and throwing some things in a food processor. Really, I had more trouble slicing the rind off the brie! (I hate brie rind. I know some people eat it, but to me… ick.)
I admit, this is certainly not a photo worthy of my 1 year blog anniversary. For that, I apologize. It was the main dish in a Halloween party I threw, so I really didn’t have a lot of time. On the other hand, it’s MUCH tastier than it looks. Slow cooked short ribs over parmesan polenta with a bbq and red wine reduction sauce. It’s easily one of the best things I’ve cooked for the blog, though it definitely requires specialized equipment. If you’re looking to get an immersion circulator for sous vide, I’d suggest checking out Sansaire. They just finished a Kickstarter for an extremely reasonably priced immersion circulator, so all you’d need is that and a FoodSaver vacuum sealer (or even just use ziplock bags). I can not speak highly enough of cooking sous vide, though I know it’s a serious investment for a relatively unknown cooking technique. Trust me, though, when you try 48 hour pulled pork or even just a simple marinated chicken breast, cooked perfectly and amazingly tender, you’ll agree that it’s worth the investment.
I love the combination of sweet and spicy. These sloppy joes, hot and sour soup, a spicy bbq sauce, it’s all fantastic to me. You can make these on the milder side by taking out the cayenne, but I’d suggest giving it a try with half the amount first. The heat really adds a great extra dimension to the flavor, and the strong tomato and brown sugar flavors really balance the spiciness so that it’s not nearly as apparent as you’d think. Go on, give it a try!
This is the first of my run of Halloween posts, which involve a whole lot of orange and no small amount of pumpkin. I love this soup, both because it’s delicious and because it’s easy. I served it in miniature solo cups as sipping appetizers, and finished it with a drizzle of chili oil for both appearance and a slight bit of heat. You could also add sriracha when you add the carrot juice and butter near the end, which would add a similar heat but slightly more complex flavor. I’ve had it both ways, and don’t have a favorite, but love the look of the red oil for something like a party. If you could get little Halloween themed Dixie cups, that would be even better!
Today’s post is very short because I’m in the middle of some other projects which you’ll see here shortly… basically a lot of ideas for Halloween and a few Christmas gifts. Bright orange carrot soup with ginger and chili oil for Halloween, pumpkin cream cheese rolls, and a pumpkin rum nog that I’ll try to all get posted before the 30th, and a selection of homemade seasoning spices as well as homemade vanilla bean sugar for those who like homemade Christmas gifts. Plus I’m throwing my LAST EVER large theme party at my house tonight, before moving to Morro Bay (techincally Los Osos), sometime around Thanksgiving. It’s a party I highly recommend to those who like to read: A scary short story reading party. I’m cooking up a fancy dinner (to be blogged next weekend, it’s 3-day sous vide short ribs over parmesan polenta with a red wine bbq sauce reduction. But back to the party… after dinner, we all sit around with wine and take turns reading stores from the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, and King. We even have a few original works this year! Anyway, you see why these tacos are kind a “thrown together at the last minute” sort of thing. So, on to the recipe.
Warning: there will be deliriously unhealthy food here. There will be wholesome, nurturing cooking here. There will most definitely be crazy ideas, harebrained schemes, and madness. Continue at your own peril.