Archive for March, 2009

Hot Toddy, a cure

Whether you are trying to chase off the cold or a cold, a Hot Toddy will solve your problems. It is combination of lemons, hot liquid and alcohol commonly used as a sore throat/cold remedy. Naturally, I used it in conjunction with my chicken soup as part of my cold cure.

A hot toddy in the making.

A hot toddy in the making.

A couple of these and you will be set for a night of sleep. Check after the jump for the recipe and more pics.

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The I-don’t-feel-so-good, easy, chicken soup

Over the weekend I was tired, I didn’t feel very good, and my throat hurt. I didn’t want to cook anything complicated. But I wanted something classic and nutritious to help me feel better. I looked in my pantry and found some orzo. I had some chicken stock, a couple carrots, and some celery on hand too. After standing around feeling sorry for myself for a while, I realized that was all I needed. Put all that in a pot and what do you get? Chicken soup! That should help me get back on my feet.

The I-dont-feel-so-good, easy, chicken soup.

The I-dont-feel-so-good, easy, chicken soup.

Ohhh, and animal crackers… Yeah, animal crackers… I think I’ll be just fine.

Click through for the soup recipe.

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Potato Chips

While I had all the oil and potatoes available, I decided to make one more thing with it. This one was pretty obvious, really. Cut your potatoes into thin disks, fry them, and ta-da…

Potato Chips

Potato Chips

Apart from the shape, there is really only one difference between these and the french fries: Fry them once at the high temperature and not twice. Like most fried food, these are best fresh. I can’t really tell you how they are the next day as there are typically none left. 

Several months ago I posted about making potato chips in the microwave. You can quickly get your snack on with that method, but it doesn’t quite match the fresh-out-of-the-fryer taste. The microwave chips had some benifits: arguably a bit crunchier, harder to burn the chip (and yourself), and less mess. If you are looking to make chips for one or two, use your microwave. If you want chips for 5 or more, deep frying them is the way to go.

I might as well describe the process in detail for those who like specifics (me!), so click through…

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M&M Easter Eggs!

A few weeks ago I posted that I came across the Peanut M&M Bunny Mix and, after devouring a bag, I wondered if M&M’s made any different kinds of Easter themed mixes. I should have never doubted them, in another grocery store this weekend, I came across two more: regular M&M’s Bunny Mix, and Easter Eggs!

M&M Easter Speck-tackular Eggs

M&M Easter Speck-tackular Eggs

It’s pretty cute that they print sheep, rabbits, and ducks on the regular ones, but the Easter Eggs blow my mind on many levels. I’m going to stock up on the Easter Eggs while they are in season because they will be sorely missed until next Easter. Click though for a detailed analysis of the awesomeness hidden in the M&M Easter Eggs.

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French Fries

Serving yesterday’s burgers on an empty plate just wouldn’t be right. It didn’t take much thought to decide what side dish best accompanies burgers. Obviously, I had to make French fries.

Burger and fries.

Burger and fries.

Fresh French fries are everything that frozen, fast food fries are not: crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, and a true potato flavor. Contrary to what many people think, French fries are neither difficult nor particularly messy to make. A pot, oil, potatoes, and salt are all you really need. Once it is set up, large batches can quickly be made–which is a good thing, as these are fairly addicting. Not that the basic recipe needs any changing, but I borrowed a trick from Cooks Illustrated to get these extra crispy.

A big plate of fries.

A big plate of fries.

Click through for the recipe and tips on frying.

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Bison and Beef Burgers

Spring is here, and apart from gardens and fresher greens, this means that cooking outside is officially ‘in season’. As this past weekend was the first weekend of Spring, waking the grill from its winter slumber seemed only natural. To ease it–and myself–back into grilling, I wanted to stick with something tried and true: burgers.

Burgers. (Bison and beef)

Burgers. (Bison and beef)

With a myriad of options available regarding cooking methods, meats, and toppings, burgers are nearly infinitely customizable. Unlike my previous documented excess, these were much more modest. I did make one fairly significant change by using two different kinds of meats. Using all beef will result in a superb burger, but I wanted an extra depth of flavor and a big meaty kick in these. Combining the ground beef with ground bison added the extra dimension of flavor that I was looking for. Using a combination of meats, seasonings, and a different shaping technique ensured that these burgers would be a cut above the rest. 

Burgers. (Bison and beef)

Burgers. (Bison and beef)

Click through to see details on how to make the burgers, the shaping method, and the seasonings I used.

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Spring Is Here

Spring is here! Hopefully this means that the cold weather is finally going away. Yay for lower heating bills, fresh produce, and being able to cook and eat outside!

Mini plant pots for seeds.

Mini plant pots for seeds.

In the spirit of Spring, I decided to see how green my thumb is. I’m starting a small garden from seeds and small plants. I’ve already planted a few seeds and they are trying their best to germinate.

Click through to see what I’m planting.


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