Archive for January, 2013


Osso Buco or Baked Marrow Bones

After purchasing a package of beef Osso Buco from the Warehouse club I looked for a recipe. Of course there were many variations. Some boiled, some braised, and a myriad of different ingredients to cook with them. Not having prepared Osso Buco before, I opted for a basic recipe. One that would highlight the meat, a recipe that didn’t over power the beef with other flavors. A basic recipe from the “Joy of Cooking” gave me a start.

Osso Buco / baked Marrow Bones

The recipe calls for seasoned flour coating before browning. I mixed flour           with salt and pepper in a container.

container with seasoned flour

Now place several pieces of the beef in the container with room to spare.

Cover and shake till well coated.

browning the Osso BucoOsso Buco browning in oilIn oil, or a combo of butter and rendered bacon fat brown the beef till well brown and crispy.

Remove the beef to your cooking pot.

browned OssoBuco in a crock

Sauteing onions  Brown some diced onions in the dripping from the beef.

 added onions

Add the onions to the pot.

adding broth

added diced tomatoes

Add broth, about 1/3 covering the beef, then diced tomatoes.

in oven for about 2 hours

Place in an 300 degree oven for about 2 hours.

cooked Osso Buco

when done let cool and refrigerate. This is a meal that’s better the following day after refrigerated.

refrigerated Osso Buco

The following day, remove the congealed fat. Save and refrigerate it for other uses like sauteing.

reheated Osso Buco

reheated Osso Buco 2

Reheat and serve.

serving suggestion

Serving suggestion..

The flavor of the beef is second to none. I would have a hard time choosing between a porter house steak and Osso Buco. The taste is very similar to beef short ribs. The meat is tender and succulent with out being over cooked. The fat is stratified though the shanks  to lend flavor and texture. Diners beware, this is not the easiest cut of beef to eat. Due to the bone structure, you can use a short paring knife to get all the meat. Or at the risk of an appearance of being  a savage, pick it up like a rib and gnaw at it ! Now, over cooking this beef so the meat falls from the bone, would take away from the texture of this piece of meat in my opinion.

the remenants

My compliments to the chef !!!!!


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.



Of all the bread dough recipes that I have seen there are many for bread, rolls, buns, sweet rolls , pastry etc. BUT ! Have I ever seen recipes for Bagels ? NOT that often if at all…
Why,? is the making of bagels at home considered taboo, or only for bake shops, those of Jewish decent or under Kosher standards ? Not that I know of.
Some bagels are are a bit different considering where you buy them. Those from the markets may be fresh baked or packaged frozen. Usually the bagels I like have a dense smooth crumb without being heavy and that rubbery texture and mouth feel and, if you ever want a different bun for a juicy hamburger or a sandwich, then a bagel is the answer. I have made bagels many years ago and now revisited the recipe.
If you have been making bread, then a few more steps and forming techniques are all that’s required. It’s like baking bread a different method.
3 easy steps
Make you favorite dough recipe and let rise once.making thesponge

Mix up your favorite dough recipe

divide into 12 peices (for a 1 loaf recipe, more or less depending on the size of the bagels you want.)

now form the bagels, punch a small hole with your finger in the center of the ball and form into a ring.
Forming the bagel
arrange onto a sheet pan.

Bagels formed

let the bagels rise

Bagels rising

The bagels that have risen

Lightly broiling the bagels

about 5 inches from a broiler, slightly broil them, NOT till they are brown but just a dry surface.

next, in a pot of boiling water, boil the bagels, several minutes on each side, flipping them.
Boiling water for the bagels
Boiling the bagels
now place the boiled bagels back on the sheet pan and bake 375 degrees 25 to 35 minutes.
Bagels in the oven
Cooling bagelsBaked bagels Baked bagels 2

Note : this recipe was adapted  from Better Homes and Gardens Complete Step by Step Cookbook, the boil time in the recipe, were a bit long compared to other recipes. These photos were taken from two separate recipes I made. I plan to make bagels more often varying the ingredients.


sweet and sour sauce

What could be easier to make, with a simply recipe for a favorite dish.

(from a Kitchen Aid mixer cook book)

in a sauce pan, add,

1/3 cup juice, pineapple or other sweet juice

1/3 cup vinegar, plain white works good, or apple cider etc.

1/3 cup catsup (tomato)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I use slivered garlic to taste)

bring to a boil and…

in a small bowl or mug, a 1/3 cup cold water and  mix into a paste 2 tablespoons corn starch

add the cornstarch paste to the pan cook until thick and translucent.

sweet & sour sauce

sweet & sour sauce

Aa you can see this is just a basic recipe, add what you like kick it up with some heat (hot pepper flakes etc.

that was just the sauce, we are not done yet !

the rice is easy 5-10-15 !

boil rice in double amount of water/rice with a bit of salt. (plain white rice, other varieties may require different timings)

BOIL : uncovered for 5 MINUTES

SIMMER : covered for 10 MINUTES

REST: covered for 15 MINUTES

sounds like a long time, but it’s a fool proof method, other using a stepped power level method in a microwave.

boiling rice 5 minutes

boiling rice 5 minutes

simmer covered 10 minutes

simmer covered 10 minutes

rest off heat,covered 15 minutes

rest, off heat, covered 15 minutes

fluff up the rice

fluff up the rice

plate up the rice

plate up the rice

add the beef and  fresh fruit...

add the beef and fresh fruit…

add the sweet and sour sauce

add the sweet and sour sauce




turkey frame soup

Turkey frame soup 2013

After the Christmas turkey was carved and leftovers used for sandwiches etc., the turkey frame and bones went to the freezer as I didn’t want to make soup right away.
But now……it’s time for soup !

Place the turkey frame In a large stock pot with other bones,from the legs, wings etc. Also in goes your vegetables peelings that you have saved, onions ,celery, greens, etc. Cover with water and bring to a gentle boil. Let simmer for about 2 hours, enough time to watch a movie etc.

Remove the stockpot from heat. Boil water in a separate pan and in a cast iron skillet sauté finely chopped onions, garlic and celery in olive oil till limp.

Now drain the contents of stockpot through a sieve collecting the broth or using a slotted spoon, remove all the turkey bones and meat, discarding the vegetables. Strain the reserved stock with a finer mesh strainer and funnel into mason jars, returning about two cups to a pan. Cover and refrigerate the remaining stock for other uses.

To the stock in the pan add a can ,14oz, of diced tomatoes and simmer. Add the sautéed onions garlic and celery to the pan.

Add about 4 oz of tubettini pasta to the pan of boiling water and cook the pasta till full size, Drain and add to the soup.

Return to the turkey frame and bones and pick off and dice turkey meat .
Add to the soup, top off with water as needed and adjust seasonings to taste. This recipe, salt, pepper, bells seasonings and several flakes of dried hot pepper flakes and a splash of hot sauce.

Let simmer several minutes and ladle into a bowl, top with grated Parma or Romano. Enjoy with a side of toast.
A with any soup, the ingredients are up to you.



breakfast,sourdough crumpets with raspberry and apple jam

Hmmm…. What’s for breakfast ??? Time to use some of the starter in the fridge and the the cold weather warrants , and the fact there’s no more jam or jelly, to use some of the raspberry frozen harvest .
Put the frozen raspberries in a sauce pan over low heat.

20130118-174043.jpgadd a small amount of lemon juice. A diced apple was added, a #4152 Macintosh , with the skin.


20130118-174509.jpgnow, add some sugar to your liking, this allows you to tailor the sweetness , I like mine slightly tart not over sweet, also you can use sweeteners of your choice, like some honey.

20130118-174856.jpgcook the jam till it starts to thicken, watch out for a boil over, oops ! Take a small amount of the jam over time and put it on a plate. Put the plate in the freezer to rapid cool to gauge the density of the jam. Thick enough ?


20130118-175434.jpgmix up a quick batch of batter for crumpets, I have previously posted a recipe for crumpets so I won’t be repetitive, this one used sourdough starter as a base with flour sugar salt and an egg, with some butter mixed together. Also just a pinch of yeast after I warmed up the starter from the fridge. It didn’t take long for it to bubble up a bit. The rest is in the photos….





20130118-180342.jpgtime to peruse some of the many gardening catalogs I recently received, must have signed up for many as from just before Christmas till now still receiving many catalogs, I’ll list them on a future blog. BTW it’s close to 1 pm, a sleep in vacation day! Where’s the coffee!!!!



The New

possibly will be doing some blogging about this range soon.

The Old reblogged

You take it for granted, A twist of the knob and the flame or heat appears. You can do a lot of cooking outdoors on a grill during good weather, but when it comes to baking, unless you have a fully equipped out door kitchen, and agreeable weather, your kitchen range is indispensable. “They don’t build ’em like they used to” is what I would say about our stove.

20130113-194302.jpgThe Ol’ Magee Range, you may have seen pictures of this range in The Metro Blog in a little less than clean condition, but it’s an actual working appliance used on a daily basis.

Many years ago I happened to work at a location where a part of my employ was to service appliances. Over the years the decision was to eliminate the gas ranges and I was in a position to purchase one of the ranges for a real good price. Of course I look back and wish I would have bought more but didn’t have the storage space for them. So I have been cooking on the range for over 30 years. It gets moderate to heavy use and from time to time I pull it part to clean it. Not the sharpest looking appliance but none the less functional. You won’t find too much if any plastic on this piece of equipment. Very reliable and well built, the only real maintenance required is that the oven door hinges have to be cleaned and lubricated more or less annually. Also the burner valves can be disassembled and greased every few years. Original harvest gold enamel paint which gets a over coat of silver paint from time to time on the door and lower panel.
An old time feature is the use of standing pilots, today considered and energy waster, but provides a slight heat to the oven good for drying and proofing of dough if necessary. One of the best features is a separate broiler burner in the oven. No bother to switch from the oven to a lower broiler like old school ranges. One of the other options that was offered on this model was the “Burner with a Brain” a thermostatically controlled burner, now that would be real handy for mashing grains for beer! Another feature offered was a rotisserie motor mounted in the rear wall of the oven and with a special rack and spit with the use with the broiler burner allowed spit rotisserie use. Unfortunately mine has neither option. The clock module in the console has been upgraded from the original triple analog as pictured on the installation guide.

20130113-195224.jpg all cleaned up, the burners have “simmer centers”. FYI burners are rated at 12000 BTUs for you techie foodies.

20130113-195259.jpg under the hood, looking into the belly of the beast.

2015 Update:

A PID  controller  was added to control the oven temp. The original thermostat’s thermocouple broke off. A PID controller wired to a Red Hat valve was installed the the gas line (  3/8″ size) from the thermostat output to the oven valve. A bit of fine tuning and finish work is needed. The controller will be mounted in a enclosure.


PID wiring


valve install , needs sound/ heat shielding insulation, thermocouple wires will be routed.


documents etc.

so far so good …..


Flax bread

Flax Bread
In a mixer bowl combine 3 cups white flour, 4 teaspoons yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar , a teaspoon of salt and about a tablespoon of shortening. I really didn’t measure, just a knife blade scrape of shortening. With the paddle, mix and add about 2 and a quarter cups of water heated to about 130 degrees (Fahrenheit ). Beat till smooth and add about one half cup ground flax seed, I had Bob’s Red Mill available.
In the toaster oven set on broil, I toasted up about one quarter cup flax seed, set at about 300 or so degrees, some will pop, maybe 10 minutes, agitating the tray periodically, till toasty and fragrant. Add the seeds to the dough mix. Switch out the paddle with the dough hook and add about 2 to 3 cups incrementally of flour till dough collects on the hook and pulls away from the bowl. Let knead a few minutes. Stop the mixer and let rise.

The yeast I use makes the dough rise quickly so about half an hour remove the dough and divide and shape into two balls and place in loaf pans with have been greased. Let rise

and bake about 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool. Slice and enjoy. Two high quality loaves.





party pizza

often making pizza, why get stuck on the traditional round pizza ?press dough into sheet panpress you favorite pizza dough recipe into a sheet pan.

a bit of oil, push the dough up the sides of the pan for a thick edge.

cover with sauce

Spread with you favorite sauce, it should be a thick pasty consistency. (one of the few times I use canned sauce).

added cheese

thick crust edge

 I keep the toppings at a minimum, just grated cheese and maybe thin sliced pepperoni sometimes. This is a snacking pizza for strips.

just before it’s done, remove it from the tray and place it directly on the oven rack, continue baking till the bottom of the crust is crisp.

cut into rectanglesserve

Slice it into strips, good hot, cold or reheated, as a plus, you get your choice of corners. !!!

There’s the Pizza, Where’s the party ?



samsRecent prices from the warehouse club, late 2012

I don’t usually buy canned tomato sauce , but I like the flavor of the sauce for pizza and at $1.91 for a 6 lb can it’s a great deal.



January 2013

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