Archive for August, 2014

31
Aug
14

BBQ chicken thighs

Since I just purchased charcoal yesterday, I was late getting the charcoal grille up and running this year. I planned on repainting the cover but thats going to have to wait. Rubbed some chicken thighs earlier in the evening with a dry rub and let them sit till later. Finally about at about dusk the charcoal grille was resurrected from the basement with the charcoal starter.
Now the starter was half filled with new charcoal and the rest topped off with some coals that had wintered over in the grille pan from last season .
Balling up some newspaper and print ads the lower part of the starter was stuffed and ready to go.
The coals once lit, were on a lower level than the grate and with the addition of oak and hickory pellets the thighs were smoked for close to an hour. An umbrella was erected as a passing shower gave a steady rain for awhile, trapping the the smokey output from the grille.
Once the chicken was smoked and cooked an addition of BBQ sauce was added and the grate lowered for maximum heat for several minutes. Bottled sauce was used “a salt lick brand” that was slightly sweet but the rub still gave the chicken some heat along with the smoke.
After the thighs were plated and covered an ear of Confreda butter and sugar corn was grilled and brushed with butter. Pre made white rice and snap peas were heated and added as sides along with some red grapes.
Even though Labor Day signals the end of summer, the charcoal grille has just started.

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Low light conditions

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31
Aug
14

shopping

Now I have installed Ibotta app, so far have rebates for milk and charcoal.

https://ibotta.com/

 

samseos

napkins, white eggs, soft tacos,plums,envy apples, whole black peppercorns,salt,bananas,snap peas,whole milk, charcoal (should be 40 lbs), red grapes,real lemon juice,chocolate bits,broccoli crowns, olive oil 2 liters,ambrosia apples, heavy cream,spaghetti 6 lbs,chickens whole 2,

from June 2014, milk went from $2.49 to $3.25 , 1 gallon,

$4.14 seems like a lot  for 1 quart heavy cream.

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IMG_5973one of a four pack of napkins

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from the local farm, Cranston, RI.

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IMG_6028Green peppers are huge, good for stuffing,  Mirai and butter and sugar corn, red potatoes

31
Aug
14

Labor Day weekend spiced muffins

Ok!, It’s Labor Day Weekend so if you consider cooking and baking a labor, read no further…. Happy Labor Day !

Baking and Cooking can be considered relaxation  for me , not all the time, but when the kitchen is clear even in hot and humid weather and I peruse recipes, something good can be cobbled together from different recipes.

I found several different version of a muffin recipe and since I like a varying degree of spices, I though I’d give this a shot.

But the buzzword is donut muffin, why, I don’t know.

Spiced muffins is the name because , well really , I would ‘t be caught calling them Chai spice muffins because men don’t usually drink Chai tea (let alone, eat quiche !) ,and probably the man on the street doesn’t know what Chai is anyways.

One other tidbit I found is that always check different versions and origins of the recipe. Ingredients and amounts can vary and errors can be included even though others claim to have made the recipe.

http://www.kitchendaily.com/recipe/chai-spiced-doughnut-muffins?ncid=txtlnkusfood00000070&ts=1408282855

http://jellytoastblog.com/2014/01/chai-spiced-doughnut-muffins.html/

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/doughnut-muffins-recipe

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

425 Fahrenheit oven , yield was about 16 muffins

This is what I ended up with for my recipe:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

————————————————-

2 eggs

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Chai spice (actually I mortar and pestled some chai tea spice mix  that contained the said ingredients).

1 tsp cinninmon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cardamon

reserve some of the spices for topping

————————————————–

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2  cups or more white flour

1/3 cup more or less ground spent grain

you can wing the amounts of flour till you get muffin batter consistency when mixing.

—————————————————

1 cup milk

___________________________________________

cream the oil and butter with the sugars

whisk the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture

alternate in the milk and the dry ingredients

mix till just blended.

———————————————————————————

bake at 425 fro 10-13 minutes, test with a cake tester.

cool, melt some butter, and dip the tops in melted butter and then in the reserved spice mix.

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In pictures :

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24
Aug
14

breakfast burrito

Similar to breakfast tortilla previously posted.

A few ingredients , some from the garden.

Sauteed onion, garlic peppers and diced tomato with seasonings, oregano etc.

Reserve and drain if necessary.

Make an omelet

With a flour tortilla, cut the omelet to fit the tortilla and spoon in the sauteed mixture. Didn’t make my own tortillas, my wife likes these from the warehouse club.

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Fold up or roll the tortilla , place in fry pan with a weight or a press atop and cook until browned. Flip and repeat.

Garnish etc.

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16
Aug
14

Eggplant salad

The eggplant in the garden is growing well. Luckily they are  growing at staggered rate, which allows harvesting each one fresh for a meal along with peppers.

A version of an Eggplant Carponata
Pasta or rice as a side.

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Salt, drain and rinse eggplant slices as usual, dice.
In a pan with oil cook the eggplant till soft.
Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside.

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In the same pan sauté onions, garlic and peppers till wilted.

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Add tomatoes, celery and chick peas.
Cover and cook , about 10 to 20 minutes till the celery is tender.

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Return the eggplant to the pot.

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Add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar.

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11
Aug
14

Light it up!

Taking a break from recipes, now a little tech, lighting in the kitchen area was due for a makeover.

Energy efficiency is being touted and the current lights consist of a ceiling fan light fixture, not always used, two can lights placed over the counters, one to the left of the sink and one to the left of the stove. ( The hood over the stove already has a LED bulb installed ,an A19 style) and a florescent fixture over the sink.

Over the years I tinkered with the can fixtures, incandescent , then compact fluorescent, and then back to incandescent. The sockets and bulbs were never really aligned with the reflectors and uneven light patterns and glare were the result. As slow as I move on a project, replacement cans (4) were first ordered with an additional 2 for placement over the dining area table to supplement the pendant light fixture over the table. (That pendant hanging fixture already has a LED bulb installed in it.) Months later, the bulbs were ordered.

Usually with can light fixtures, trim kits have to be bought along with the fixtures. The LED replacement modules are all that’s required, no trim kit is necessary. They are expensive compared to incandescent bulbs, but the LED’s consume around 12 watts each for 800 lumens of soft white at 2700k and have a long life.
The new cans are 6 inches diameter compared to the existing 5 inch fixtures in the kitchen , so the cut outs had to be enlarged. No big problem, a hole saw for a drill was out of the question, too expensive for just drilling 4 bores. A reciprocating saw would be used, and I found out the a fine tooth metal blade worked better than one for wood. Also the ceiling is not all that thick. Plaster and sheet rock construction.

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The can light replacement and the LED module.

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One requirement of the LED modules, is to gut out the fixture of any brackets that hold the socket.

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Ceiling cutout to the enlarged from the existing fixture that has been removed. Paper template is supplied with the fixture.

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You have to install a romex clamp on the connection box, not supplied. The fixtures also have push on connectors, no wire nuts are necessary.

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Thickness of ceiling requiring cut. Oh! I’m supposed to mention that the power is off before you begin working.

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The wired fixture ready to be installed in the ceiling.

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The installed fixture and LED module.
Documentation:

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LEDs sourced from Amazon.com

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Can light housings sourced from Home Depot.

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The spring clips are a lot harder to engage than pictured, a small mallet may help and also pre-bending them may help, also as noted on the instructions, self tapping sheet metal screws may be used on the clips.

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Two fixtures installed in the dining area .

New bores were required in the dining area, small holes were first  drilled along the perimeter of the diameter of the opening needed to prevent the ceiling from cracking when cutting with the reciprocating saw and finished with a course rasp,  checking in the attic space first for proper placement between the joist, also a line (electrical) fished down (time consuming) to the existing dining room light dimmer for power. An additional dimmer is planned to be added for the new fixtures.
Now the kitchen and dining area are very well lit, is is not a harsh type of light as with one of the LED flood light type bulb in the back hall. One other advantage other than the obvious energy savings is that it will be many years till they require changing. More A19 LEDs will be replacing incandescent bulbs in the future. The most used fixtures are being done first.

one note ;if you are considering installing new additional fixtures and deciding on placement, wire one of the can fixtures to a cheater cord with the led installed and onto a extension cord (safely). Plug it in and hold the fixture close to the ceiling in the desired location and have someone check the spread of the light pattern to see if it meets their requirement. Less work than patching holes.

09
Aug
14

shopping

sams

 




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