Cuban Skirt Steak and Vegetables

…and this was the dinner from last night, Cuban skirt steak and vegetables, which was delicious. Both kids ate very well but Anya in particular.

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Fresh Herb Falafel

Well, I cooked dinner for the first time in quite a while today. (Actually in hindsight I made breakfast, lunch smoothies, and dinner, which makes this perhaps the greatest kitchen day since Thanksgiving?) And I made dinner last night? Wow.

Today was Fresh Herb Falafel from Bon Appetit, including the shredded cabbage salad and spiced green tahini sauce. It was all excellent!

If I ever make this again, I’ll either make twice as much falafel or half as much salad and sauce.

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Thanksgiving 2014

New Ideas for Thanksgiving 2014 (a “live” post which will be updated a few times) (and a few non-Thanksgiving ideas)

From Bon Appetit Thanksgiving issue:

– A cranberry cocktail using actual cranberries? I’m in.
– Not really Thanksgiving-specific, but I’m intrigued by Tahini Cookies
– Again not Thanksgiving-specific, but this also looks delicious: Spiced Lamb Patties with Nutty Garlic Sauce
Broccolini-Cheddar Gratin with Rye Breadcrumbs
Cornbread, Chorizo, Cherry, and Pecan Stuffing (using a double recipe of cornbread from WS)
Sweet and Spicy Chile Pepper Jelly

– Instead of the broccolini: brussels sprouts with bacon and raisins from Bon Appetit

– Serious Eats sous vide turkey breast

Dead Simple Turkey Gravy (from Serious Eats)

– Jeni’s Cranberry Royale Sorbet (recipe from book, found online here)

– Mark Bittman’s Cranberry Relish with Orange and Ginger

– Modernist Cuisine Caramelized Pumpkin Pie

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Habanero hot sauce

You’d think I would have some crops from our front yard garden that would feed the family… You know, tomatoes lettuces and the like. We had some strawberries but I think the kids preferred the big ones shipped in from California.

Instead, we had a monster crop of habaneros.

Made the habanero hot sauce based on Rick Bayless‘s recipe… Pan roasted garlic, onion, carrots, Apple cider vinegar. Processed in 1 pint jars (couldn’t find smaller ones in a pinch), ten of them.

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Lolita

The twinkies were looking great outside:

Whilst the ladies were inside getting photobombed:

A great time was had by all… Mike and I really enjoyed the pig tail and the bone marrow. Would go back again just for those two dishes.

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Rhubarb chutney

When I planted some small rhubarb plants in the fall of 2012, I had grand plans for what we’d do with the rhubarb. This is the first year for harvest, and we’ve only made one thing, which unfortunately didn’t turn out all that good (wet baked goods… either we messed up the recipe or the recipe was messed up!).

Both Lesya and I saw this recipe for rhubarb chutney in a recent Fine Cooking magazine and decided it might go well with the fromage frais cheese that I like to make. It’s a powerful chutney with bold flavors… I’ve only had a few tastes but I think it might be a winner.

1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1.5 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp kosher salt
3 T canola oil
3 large shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 T yellow mustard seeds
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup honey
3/4 lb rhubarb, trimmed at cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup golden raisins

In a 3-quart pot, bring to a simmer the [cider vinegar, bay, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, and salt]. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes (I did longer).

Heat the oil in a skillet and sweat the shallots, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes, stirring, 5 minutes or until softened.

Stir the shallots and honey into the vinegar and again bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon. Add rhubarb and raisins, cooking over low heat (limited or no stirring) until the rhubarb is starting to fall apart, 10-15 minutes.

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Eggs with ramps

Picked up my first-ever haul of ramps yesterday and I couldn’t wait to make something… anything… with them. So for breakfast today it’s scrambled eggs with lightly sautéed ramps.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes via Cullen and Carol, one of the few times in recent history where I’ve baked something other than from my project baking book! These are a nice combination of banana and chocolate in cookie form. (Lesya typically puts chocolate in her banana bread, so it’s a combination we know and love in this family!)

465 g flour
4.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
187 g sugar
105 g light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
280 g mashed ripe banana, about 3 bananas
340 g semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
chopped, roasted walnuts or pecans to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt). In a stand mixer with paddle, cream the butter and sugars. Add egg, vanilla, bananas, and mix to combine well. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Fold in chocolate and nuts if using. Place onto greased cookie sheets, about 1 tablespoon size, ~12 per sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes, then transfer to racks.

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Carol’s written comment on the original printed recipe: “Awesome”.

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Blackberry Pockets

I’ve been laid out by a cold for the past three days. Been watching a lot of Olympics, some survivor show from Discovery Channel (the one with the military guy and the naturalist), and playing a computer game to pass the time. I finally started feeling better late this afternoon, and to help with my overall boredom, a little baking was in order.

Using the pie dough recipe from a few posts ago, I rolled out two large 12″ rounds and cut them into smaller 3.75″ rounds (the biggest cutter I had on hand)… ended up with 18 rounds. Mixed together 250 g of frozen blackberries (recipe called for fresh; I hope this isn’t a disaster), 3 T sugar, 2 T cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Put the filling onto the bottom rounds, wet the edges with a bit of water, then pinched together with a fork. Leave in fridge 20 minutes (I’m leaving them overnight).

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 35-40 minutes. I’m going to get up early and eat these for breakfast.

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American Wheat with Ukrainians

Today I bottled the American Wheat that was made just prior to Christmas with a couple of Ukrainian friends, Mark and George.

I bottled the “second” 5-gallons, pitched with WLP320. Fermentation was very slow in my basement due to the low temps (59-61 degrees).

OG 1.054
FG 1.017
ABV 4.9%

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