Archive for February, 2013


Cranberry Muffins

Dry ingredients: 1 and 3/4 cups of flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients: 1 egg
3/4 cup milk

Other: 1/3 cup of vegetable shortening.
Additions: 1 cup cranberries.

A typical basic muffin recipe made with the addition of cranberries .
Start mixing the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl mix the wet ingredients: egg and milk.
With a pastry blender, cut in about 1/3 cup shortening to the dry ingredients.
Place about 1 cup of cranberries in a small bowl and add sugar to taste, crush slightly.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, mix gently.
Fold in the crushed cranberries.


Spoon into a 12,or 2×6 section , greased muffin pan(s).

20130224-132736.jpgBake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.


An easy hand mixed recipe that you can use a variety of different additions to the basic mix.


One pan breakfast

Breakfast sausage, diced potatoes, onions and garlic, fried egg with melon.
A basic one pan breakfast.
Scrub potatoes and dice.
Add about a cup of water in a skillet and add the potatoes and sausage, I had frozen sausages.
Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered ,parboiling the sausage, potatoes and letting the water evaporate.
Continue to cook adding a small amount of oil. You can also place the pan under the broiler and continue cooking till the potatoes and sausage are done.
The onions and garlic were sautéed separate .
Lastly an egg was fried in the same pan.
Plate up and season.
Serve with fruit.



pan fried chicken

Ok, so it’s not as popular as it used to be because of the perceived amount of fat, but then again, it’s not often I prepare this dish and you simply cannot beat the flavor of frying.

I cut the chicken into small pieces as with broiled chicken with barbecue sauce, it will lessen cooking time. No, I don’t remove the skin.



In a suitable sized zip lock bag, brine the chicken with salt water and seasonings for and hour or two so the chicken will stay juicy. (not shown).

After brining, place the chicken in batches if necessary in a large container with a tight filling lid and enough seasoned flour to coat chicken.

Secure the cover and shake, coating chicken.


remove the chicken to a plate


Fry the chicken in about 1/4 cup of oil or more if necessary , take the necessary precaution when frying with oil like having a lid to fit the fry pan if needed, not preaching here, but of of the more useful pieces of equipment to have at arms reach or close by  for your kitchen is a small fire extinguisher.

Fry in batches if necessary.


Since the pieces are smaller,they should cook in less time than if you just quartered the chicken.

Turn as necessary and adjust heat accordingly till chicken is done.


Place on a rack over paper towels, the piece in the foreground was for the cook’s taste test….mmmmm


When deciding what to serve with the chicken, pieces may disappear !

Flirt male


Breaded baked eggplant

Eggplant is one of those meals that is relatively  easy to prepare and it’s one of my favorite meat substitutes. It takes a bit of time to prepare, but most of that time is waiting for the water  to be drawn from the eggplant.

I usually peel the eggplant, leaving some strips of skin on the eggplant and slice into about 1/2 inch slices.

Spread a layer of paper towels and  place the eggplant on the paper towels, and generously apply salt.

Turn the eggplant over and generously apply salt   again. Layer   paper towel  over the top of the eggplant .

Let the eggplant stand till water is drawn from the eggplant. You can  use weight on top to speed the removal of water, a cookie sheet and a heavy pan etc.

Using suitable containers, dip the eggplant into beaten eggs,  both sides to coat, then into (seasoned) bread crumbs, a panko course style is preferable.  Of course you can always make your own from heels of bread, dried and ground.

breaded eggplant

Spraying the eggplant with a cooking spray, or olive oil will give it flavor and crispness like it has been fried.


Bake them in the oven, a medium heat, and then turn to high for a crispy crust, or broil.


Add cheese toppings and sauce and bake/broil till melted.


……. and a glass of wine.


Broiled Chicken with Barbecue sauce

Cut a half of a chicken into small pieces, usually cutting the drumstick, thighs and breast into two (or three) pieces each.

Simmer the chicken pieces in a pot of water for about 10 minutes, not necessary to cook them till done since they will be broiled.
Remove the chicken for the pan, and place on a foiled lined broiler pan and place under broiler, in my oven the second position from the top. Broil till slightly brown, turn, and broil the other side. Apply your favorite barbecue sauce and repeat, turning the chicken pieces till they are crisp.


Serve with a side order stir fried Edamame beans :

These I got at the warehouse Club, just heat them in the microwave for about 3 minutes, in the package, mine took about 4to 5 minutes, let them stand for about a minute, open put in a fry pan and stir fry. These I fried with chopped onion and garlic in a bit of oil. When almost done a splash of soy sauce. Hey are very plain alone so they are better cooked with flavoring, spices, other vegetables, etc.

The beverage with this meal was a glass of beer that I brewed called “Kent County Golden Promise”
KC Golden Promise Ale
>20130220-202403.jpg The Chimay glass was a Christmas gift that accompanied 3 Chimay beers.


Hershey’s Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling

A heart shaped Hershey chocolate cake recipe and Hershey chocolate frosting with chocolate mousse filling and walnut garnish. Chocolate mousse, courtesy Alton Brown.
Made by my wife Diane Metro. Very rich ! Delicious !Food Network


Stout Bread, spent grain bread



Note: Also posted on my new Blog  “Peabody Pico” 


As a home brewer, I read several sugestions as to what t0 do with the spent grains after brewing beer. Most  the spent grains from brewed recipes, I drained well after sparging and bagged them and sent them to the freezer. Some of them I transferred to 1/2 sheet pans and put them in the oven (with a standing pilot) overnight at least to dry. Depending on the progress, I would raise the heat to a slow oven setting to quicken the progress and fold them as needed. I usually have enough from a 1 gallon recipe to fill two half sheet pans.

Now as dried spent grains there are many recipes to use them as is, but I wanted them ground for an addition to white all purpose bread flour. Since I yet to have a grain mill, I could try the coffee grinder to at least grind a small amount.

Setting the grinder, a Cuisinart model, to fine grind I did a small amount at a time giving the motor a break and ended up with about 2 cups of fine grind grain. The dryness of the grain made the grind easy on the coffee grinder Given the nature of the beer grain bill, from a beer that I call Prime Stout, a variation of an Imperial Russian Stout, the resulting flour is very dark.

Enough with the details, lets’ look at the results !

I started off with the standard e-z mix  bread dough recipe of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast

spent grain bread1


The Spent grain before and after grinding.

spent grain whole and milled

I figured about 3/4 cup of ground spent grain

about 3/4 cup ground  spent grain

Mixing up the base of the dough

mixing dough

Addition of the ground spent grain

added spent grain

Adding the remainder of the white flour. A dark dough resulting !mixed dough

Let the dough rise

risen dough

Form  into loaves and let rise again

formed loaves

The finished product, one loaf inverted.


The dough was a bit on the wet side , but still airy and not heavy.


The crumb, lighter than I though it would be and the taste reminiscent of pumpernickel.

spent grain bread

NO ! It does not taste like beer!

(maybe I should have added some hops?)


February 2013

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