Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mustard Cheddar Crackers

I had a block of cheese in the fridge that got hidden in the back of the cheese & butter drawer for who knows how long. Amazingly enough, it was mold-free, so I decided to make crackers, using this recipe from Epicurious.

My block of cheese was Colby-Jack instead of the cheddar in the recipe. I left out the mustard seeds, because I figured (correctly) that dry mustard and Dijon mustard would be mustardy enough. I also rolled the dough log in cracked black pepper before chilling it.

I have this problem waiting for butter to soften, so I used a masher-thingy that MIL brought home. It worked passably well. Look, cheeseworms!

Verdict? Very rich, nice flavor. Perfect for using up a hunk of found cheese.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Meatloaf Sandwich

MIL made meatloaf the other day, and since she always cooks for an army, we of course had leftovers. Here's my favorite way to have leftover meatloaf:

Toast bread, fry egg, heat meatloaf, melt cheese, assemble. Serve with hot sauce and a beer.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Random Quotes from the WIP Household


"I love the Dalai Lama, he's so sexy, I wish he was my boyfriend."


"It's full of meat, happiness and love."


MIL: "I hope it's not foggy tomorrow morning."

Hubby: "It won't be, don't worry."

MIL: "How do you know? You're not God."


Hubby: "I heard they got the fragrance from cactus."

MIL: "Well, f**k, I'll just rub a piece of cactus on my a$s then."


Hubby (to the dog): "Charlie, if you continue the way you are, I'm gonna get rid of you."

me: "If you continue the way you are, can I get rid of you?"

Hubby: "Yeah."


Youngest: "I need to put on pants before I make food."


Youngest: "I hate fake trees, they don't smell like Christmas."

Me: "I'll get some pine spray and spray the tree with it."

Youngest: "That doesn't smell like Christmas, that smells like a lie."


And with that, my friends, I'll leave you with best wishes for this holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc. If you don't believe in God of any Sort, then I wish you a Happy December and a Happy 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Non-Food Post - Reviving a Literary Meme

I remember a meme running around the Interwebs a while ago, that asked you to pick up the nearest book at hand, go to the 123rd page, find the 5th sentence, and then post the following three sentences. Here's mine:
The allomorphs of a morpheme are in complementary distriubtion or free variation, that is, in noncontrastive distribution. The allomorphs /-s/ and /-z/ of {noun pl.}, for example, are in complementary distribution. /-s/ occurs after voiceless sounds as in caps /kæps/, and /-z/ occurs after voiced sounds as in cabs /kæbz/.
This is from A Linguistic History of English by Robert A. Peters (thanks, Mom!), a book I'm sure that nobody but me would bother reading unless required to.

Anybody want to join in? I don't like 'tagging' people, so if you want to participate, please leave a comment.

Look forward to seeing what you guys are reading!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scrambled Eggs with Salami, Gouda, and Green Onion

You know those meals that you make at 10pm, when you're absolutely starving, yet completely exhausted? Yeah, this was one of those.

No pictures, and I apologize for that. This was something I whipped up after a grueling day, with no thought whatsoever to blogging, only gaining some nourishment before crashing. After eating it, I realized just how delicious it was, and had to share.

Scrambled Eggs with Salami, Gouda, and Green Onion
2 eggs, whisked with a bit of milk
3 slices salami, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
some Gouda, sliced from a wedge, chopped
salt & pepper

Mix the Gouda into the eggs/milk. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter, and swirl to melt. Sizzle the salami and green onion in the skillet for a bit, then pour in the eggs & cheese. Cook slowly, stirring and flipping, not letting the eggs get too hard before turning. This will probably involve removing the pan from the heat a few times. When the eggs are almost done to your liking, season with salt and pepper, and stir/flip to incorporate.

Serve with Triscuits and Tapatio. (If there was bread in the house, it would've been a sandwich, but all I had was crackers.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

John Sarich at Chateau Ste. Michelle - For Cooks Who Love Wine

A little while ago I entered The Crispy Cook's November Cookbook Giveaway, and was lucky enough to win John Sarich at Chateau Ste. Michelle - For Cooks Who Love Wine.

I'll admit I had never heard of John Sarich or Chateau Ste. Michelle, but one flip through this book and I want to visit the winery, immediately!

John Sarich is a James Beard Award winning chef, and the culinary director of Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville WA (just outside of Seattle). In his introduction, he documents the Chateau's history, as well as his own, and goes on to explain why certain wine pairings work, which I never knew - for instance, the "acids and fruit flavor of a Semillon or Sauvignon Blanc will cleanse the palate and cool the heat of a spicy Asian shrimp dish, while at the same time the fruit flavors of the wine complement the sweet sea taste of the shrimp." The last section of the book is a chart devoted to food and wine pairing, foods down the left, and wines across the top, with *'s indicating good matches - I want to Xerox it and carry it with me everywhere.

The rest of the book is divided into 3 sections, the bulk being White Wine Foods and Red Wine Foods, with a small section at the end for stocks and sauces. What jumped out at me right away from this last section was Ginger Chardonnay Cream Sauce with Caviar, for topping spinach fettucine, steamed mussles, roast chicken, or asparagus. Pardon me, but I think I'll eat that sauce with a spoon!

From the white section, the recipes that beckon to my mental palate the most are The Ultimate Baked Onion (stuffed with chanterelle risotto), Italian Pounded Chicken (which sounds almost exactly like the chicken I had at Rosebud in Naperville IL), and Croatian Kraut, Sausage and Chicken Stew (which appeals to my Eastern Euro side, I guess).

From the reds, you have choices like Polenta with Roasted Garlic and Parmesan (and whipping cream!), Spicy Pickled Green Tomatoes (which I've always wanted to make but never have), and White Beans with Puttanesca Sauce (why did I think it could only go on pasta?).

And the photographs? Unlike anything I've seen in any other cookbook. Photographer Darrell Peterson definitely has some magic. The colors are dark, mostly reds and greens, but with little bits of light expertly directed to the right places. Just looking at the pictures makes you feel like you're in a romantically lit restaurant. (Please check out Mr. Peterson's website, the photos there are completely different from the ones in this cookbook, very white-bright, but absolutely beautiful.)

Conclusion? Very nice cookbook to have. I may actually make some of the recipes (and if you know me, you know that's rare). Thanks again to Rachel at The Crispy Cook for sending it to me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Uncle Tony's Italian Cuisine

If you're looking for good Italian food and a great atmosphere, look no farther than Uncle Tony's Italian Cuisine in Vista CA.

Meet Tony. Doesn't he look like a fun guy?

First off, there's pizza. I'm not talking Round Table, Papa John's, etc. This is everything pizza should be, and nothing it shouldn't - thin crust, not too heavy on the toppings, baked perfectly. Our favorite is the margherita, but we've also had the Uncle Tony's Specialty (spinach with garlic, olive oil, ricotta and mozzarella), the Meat Lovers (pepperoni, sausage, cappicola, salami and meatballs) and the Greek Pizza (feta cheese, olive oil, garlic and basil), with no complaints (just full bellies!).

Moving on to appetizers, these guys have the best fried calamari I've ever had anywhere. You know how sometimes you get calamari and it's like chewing on rubber bands? Complete opposite here - these practically melt in your mouth. Nice light breading, and marinara sauce to dip them in - I could have these for dinner. The garlic bread, cheesy breadsticks, and jalapeño poppers are tasty too.

For sandwiches, they have all the usual suspects: Chicken Parmigiana, Meatball with Cheese, Pastrami, etc. They also have choices like Gourmet Cajun Chicken, Pizza Sub, and Chicken Cheese Steak. My favorite? The Eggplant Parmigiana - garlicky, toasty, cheesy, happy.

Of course they have pastas - all shapes and sizes, every variety of meat and sauce. Everything I've seen coming out of the kitchen looks delicious. Get a gander at the veal parmigiana on spaghetti -

To wash it down, they have 10 beers on tap, and a good wine list, along with the non-alcoholic beverages.

And don't forget dessert - order a cannoli.

Uncle Tony's Italian Cuisine
770 Sycamore Ave., #H
Vista, CA 92083

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bon Appétit, January 2009

Here are my picks from the January 2009 issue of Bon Appétit:
Did you make any of these? Let me know!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Food & Wine, January 2009

I just typed 2009 for the first time, where did 2008 go? (Although I have to say I'm glad it's almost over!)

And so, what does the year's first issue of Food & Wine bring us? Lots of tasty-looking treats.
As always, let me know if you make any of the above!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Non-Food Post - Gift

Check out the Doctor Martens I just bought for Youngest. The canvas upper can be taken off, and you're left with the 3-eyelet shoe. Aren't they the greatest?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bon Appétit, December 2008

Tasty looking recipes from the December 2008 issue of Bon Appétit:
If you try any of the above, let me know how it turned out!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Morbier Cheese

I picked up a wedge of Morbier cheese at BevMo the other day. It sounded vaguely familiar, but I knew I'd never had it. When I got home, I Google'd it, and saw that I had previously visited the page for Morbier on that oracle of knowledge, Wikipedia. In summary, Wiki says it's stinky with a tasteless layer of ash in between. Here's a review on Irregular Times (which I don't 100% agree with), if you're interested.

(Picture courtesy of pinprick.)

Woah! Is it stinky! Honestly, my first impression was moldy bath towels. Hubby said it smelled like a foot. But surprisingly, the stinky doesn't carry over into the taste. It's very tangy, but creamy and smooth. (Sorry, I don't know all the hip cheese-words.) Even Hubby liked it when I force-fed him a bit. Very nice on a plain cracker. It would probably be good with some fig or onion jam on top. Alas, I was jamless.

Would I buy it again? You betcha.