How to get your non-cooking girlfriend to cook

Posted in cooking on May 12th, 2008 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Frank does all the cooking at our house. He’s good at it, he enjoys it and he thinks it’s important. (I think eating meals as a family is important but I’m usually willing to settle for mac and cheese rather than expend the effort for pasta puttanesca.)

Frank put on an excellent Mother’s Day weekend. Saturday morning he made breakfast burritos, then  Saturday night he made "whatever I wanted" for Mother’s Day. I requested Pasta Puttanesca which we had with a glass of wine. Then Sunday morning he asked what I wanted for breakfast and when I suggested left over breakfast burritos, he decided that he had to cook something fancy for lunch, because not cooking on Mother’s Day would be just wrong! So we had the very delicious Middle Eastern Chicken Pot with couscous.

Now here’s the kicker. Since I raved about the chicken pot, Frank has informed me that it’s really easy, takes less than 30 minutes, he recorded a tv show explaining how to do it and sent me the recipe. Hmm. Think there’s a message here? If I decide to try it, I’ll let you know if my rendition of the recipe compares to Frank’s or not.

Beef Burgandy, Even I can do it!

Posted in cooking, easy dinner, recipe on October 24th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

I’ve tried a few recipes lately (like shepard’s pie and creamed corn casserole) but they just don’t seem to turn out right the first time.  Frank tries his best to convince me they are delicious but I think he’s just trying to make sure I’m not discouraged so that I might try again … On the other hand, whatever Frank tries turns out delicious.  His new one, which I was able to replicate on my first try, is not only delicious but it’s really, really, really easy.  Honest!

Take out your crockpot and put in:

  • a can of mushroom soup
  • a half a cup of red wine
  • a pound of elk steak cut into small pieces
  • your imagination (I’m not sure what he meant by imagination so I just crossed my fingers, closed my eyes tight for a minute and hoped for the best!)

Set the crockpot on low for the day and serve over rice or egg noodles.   It’s my favorite easy and fast recipe for elk meat.

Groceries for a week on a boat

Posted in cooking, preparation, supplies on March 21st, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

We’re chartering a sailboat from the Moorings for seven days and we had to order all of groceries ahead of time.  It was hard to plan all of our needs for a week in an environment we aren’t used to.  How much water do you need?  How many cookies?  What to eat for breakfast?  We ended up planning for four meals onboard: cornish game hens, salmon, mahi-mahi and steak.  Frank is planning two of them and our friend Barbara is planning the other two.  Then we planned to eat most of our breakfasts and lunches on board with lots of snacks and appetizers included.  We didn’t skimp on anything and all our food and drinks ended up costing us almost $800 (for five people) from Bobby’s.

We ordered by downloading their spreadsheet, filling out our order, sending it back to them via email and then they sent us a quote.  They will deliver it to our boat at noon on Thursday!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Does all the alcohol really burn off when you cook?

Posted in alcohol, cooking on January 21st, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Does all the alcohol really burn off when you cook?  Not as much as you probably thought …

Alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%
Alcohol flamed 75%
No heat, stored overnight 70%
Baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%
Baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:  
15 minutes 40%
30 minutes 35%
1 hour 25%
1.5 hours 20%
2 hours 10%
2.5 hours 5%

I found this answer in multiple blogs and it supposedly comes from the US Department of Agriculture but I couldn’t find the information on their website.

Lobster Tails

Posted in cooking, easy dinner, lobster, New Year's Eve, recipe, seafood, traditions on January 8th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Lobster Tails

At our traditional New Year’s Eve dinner, the main dish was lobster tails.  Yum!  Frank also says they are easy to make.

  • We bought 4 oz lobster tails – two for each person.
  • Wash the tails in cold water.
  • Take poultry shears, split the shells from the top to the tail.
  • Crack open the shells and pull the meat out.  (This is just to make it easier to eat later.)
  • Put them in a baking dish.
  • Put a clove of crushed garlic on each tail.  (Make sure all your dinner guests eat at least one tail so you all smell like garlic!)
  • Slice a stick of butter the long way and put a slice on each tail.  (The slice will just cover the tail.)
  • Sprinkle the tails with seasoning salt.
  • Put the tails in the oven on broil on the very top shelf.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Yummy and easy!  I saw that we still have some more frozen lobster tails in the freezer so I’ll have to request them for dinner soon!

New Year’s Eve Lobster Dinner

Posted in appetizer, celebration, cooking, Food and Drink, lobster, New Year's Eve, seafood, traditions on January 5th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

New Year's Eve Dinner

Usually we have our big seafood dinner on Christmas Eve but this year we had it on New Year’s Eve.  It was scrumptious!  I’ll be posting all the food and recipes but here’s a teaser:

As usual, everything was awesome.  (I didn’t do anything but taste it!)  Frank even added candle light this year and some really great presentation ideas like putting the ceviche in martini glasses.

Smoking a turkey, part 2

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

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!

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?

Smokers & Grills

Posted in cooking, equipment, supplies on December 7th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

We needed a new grill and Frank really wanted a smoker, so I decided to buy him a smoker grill for his birthday.  (I always feel strange buying "kitchen" stuff for presents since it implies work for the giftee, but in this case it was perfect.  Frank uses his smoker grill almost everyday.)  After lots of research we decided on a Traeger Grill.  All the reviews you will find on the web are fantastic and our experience over the past few months confirm everything we’ve heard.  We’ve yet to make anything on it that’s not delicious.  Some of the reasons Frank liked the Traeger were:

  • automatic pellet feeding,
  • temperature control,
  • temperature span up to 500F,
  • option for a digital thermastat,
  • doesn’t flame up,
  • … everything has that smokey flavor!

We got the Lil ‘Tex – they pretty much told me the only difference in
the residential grills was cosmetic and size.  The Lil’ Tex has had
enough room for everything we’ve done so far and we are smoking a
turkey in it tomorrow.

I ordered our smoker grill directly from The Traeger Store. (You can buy parts and supplies from Amazon.) They included a bunch of extras like pellets and spices and free shipping.  It came on a big FedEx truck and I had them put it in the garage.  I then had to get a step ladder to open up the top of the package to make sure the grill was in good shape!