Archive for December, 2006

Planning ahead: The simple dinner

Posted in easy dinner, pasta, preparation on December 20th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

LasagnaSince I got to stay home today I felt like I should cook.  I was staring into the freezer trying to decide what I could do to chicken (or should I say with chicken) when Frank reached over my shoulder and said, "let’s have lasagna."  Last time he made lasagna he made another panful in a tin pan and we froze it.  Today we let it thaw all day and then put it in the oven for an hour at 350.  Lasagna is a great food to have on a snowy day by the fire place.  Luckily we had a half a bottle of wine to go with it.

Next time we’ll write the directions directly on the foil since we had to look up the cooking time and temperature.

Grilled Leg of Lamb

Posted in greek, grilling, lamb, recipe on December 20th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Leg of lamb
Saturday night Frank grilled a leg of lamb for us.  He started on Saturday morning, marinating the lamb with a paste made out of garlic, kosher salt, rosemary and oregano with a quarter of a cup of olive oil.  First he made slits in the lamb and inserted slivers of garlic and then he took the paste and rubbed it over the entire leg of lamb.  When done he put it in a plastic bag and left it in the fridge until he was ready to grill it.  At 3:30pm he put it on our Traeger Grill at 350 degrees for two hours.

We served it with tzatziki sauce, pitas and falafels made by a friend.

A tip, watch the price when you buy lamb.  Frank found it $2/lb cheaper at King Soopers than at Albertsons.  So our leg of lamb cost $23.50 vs $32 at Albertons.

Tapenade

Posted in appetizer, greek on December 17th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Making tapenade

Frank made tapenade last night as an appetizer.  We got the idea from our friend Bill who makes excellent tapenade.  The basic plan is to put a whole bunch of different types of olives, garlic, red onion and anchovy paste into a food processor and chop it all up.  (Note that Bill chops it up by hand!)

Serve with crackers.

(The end result isn’t quite as pretty as the olives.)

Tapenade

Great Chefs & Blood Type

Posted in just for fun on December 14th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

I read this article in the New York Times about how many Japanese people believe your blood type predicts personality.  Curious, I looked it up in wikipedia and discovered why Frank’s such a good cook!

Type Bs also said to make great cooks and restaurant guides featuring Type B chefs are popular products in Japan.

I’m supposedly "reserved, punctual, and law-abiding," not nearly so exciting!

Crab dinner in San Francisco

Posted in diningout, seafood, Travel on December 14th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

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When we are in San Francisco Frank and I always have one dinner in our hotel room.  We go down to Fisherman’s Wharf, buy a lot of crab, some bread, clam chowder and a bottle of wine.  Then we go back to our hotel room, order some melted butter and wine glasses and have a feast.

A couple of tips:

  • If you order the melted butter from room service, check the quantity and the price.  One year we got a pound of melted butter for $17!
  • Make sure to order a cork screw when you order the wine glasses!

Enjoy!

Seafood Dinner

Posted in Christmas Eve, Food and Drink, lobster, New Year's Eve, seafood, traditions on December 14th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

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Frank and I have a terrific Christmas Eve tradition.  We stay at home and have an awesome seafood dinner.  Planning and cooking it is part of the fun.  Then we sit around and eat for hours and afterwards we open our gifts to each other.  Last year we had mussels, shrimp and lobster tails. 

This year the plan is to have our seafood dinner on New Year’s Eve and Frank has already started planning the menu:

  • lobster
  • mussels
  • shrimp
  • asparagus
  • crab

He also shops around for the best place to buy it including ordering it live.  (We order live crayfish every year for our big party – last time they got shipped from Minnesota of all places!)

Smoking a turkey, part 2

Posted in cooking, Food and Drink on December 11th, 2006 by stormy – 1 Comment

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The turkey marinated all of Thursday night and Friday day.  When we got home on Friday Frank wrapped it in cheese cloth and then he put it on our traeger grill at about 10:30pm.  The cheese cloth, which we picked up at Ace Hardware, is to make sure the turkey doesn’t get too much smoke. 

Frank then checked on the turkey every hour all night long.  I thought that was going to really bother me. However, it became a moot point.  Sometime between the midnight check and the 1am check, somebody stole our ATV!  So we ended up being up most of the night anyway. 
Everytime Frank checked on it, he checked temperature – the goal was for the turkey to keep heating up until it hit 180.  We took a break on Saturday morning to go cut a Christmas tree and the grill went out.  The turkey’s temperature dropped fast!  It was 7 o’clock on Saturday night before the turkey hit the required 180!  (Frank called Traeger to see why the grill went out a couple of times.)

The turkey was excellent and Frank made a creole barbeque sauce to go with it.  We served it along with sweet potatoes and green beans.  (I made the sweet potatoes.  I doused them with butter, sugar and cinnamon and baked them at 350 degrees for an hour.)  We did decide that we are smoking a couple of chickens instead of a turkey for Christmas though.  The chicken took six hours instead of 21 hours to cook!

Easy Recipe for Venison Stew

Posted in recipe on December 11th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Img_0967Frank made a great (and easy) stew with vegetables and deer meat.

  • 1 lb deer meat
  • 5-6 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 cups carrots
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 3 bullion cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • garlic salt and pepper

Chop everything but the mushrooms and put it in a crockpot.  Cook on low all day.  An hour before eating add the mushrooms and turn the crockpot to high. 

Easy, huh?  Yummy too!

Traeger Grill

Posted in cooking, equipment on December 11th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Frank called Traeger Grills to find out why our smoker grill went out a couple of times while we were smoking our turkey.  Their customer service is excellent.  They explained to Frank that the three temperature control we have now checks the temperature every minute.  The digital control (which is an optional add-on) checks every two seconds.  Guess what new thing got added to Frank’s Christmas list?

Kitchen syringe

Posted in equipment on December 8th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Instead of kitchen syringe Frank uses a commerical grade syringe with a turkey injector needle.