Archive for December, 2014


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


turkey cabbage soup

In my humble opinion, one of the best gifts a chef could receive after  being served Thanksgiving dinner  would be the carcass of that turkey,  sounds weird , but a turkey frame, hands down makes the best turkey  stock/soup. In fact by now, the broth/and soup from the Thanksgiving bird is gone and the frame from Christmas turkey simmered today in vegetable broth till the remaining meat fell from the bones into the broth.

A bit of change up from my usual  soup, A cabbage that I was going to use for slaw but never got around to using was shredded. I added it to stock and  the meat that was picked from the bones, about 1/2 of the cabbage. A quick  WP search for a similar recipe* suggested I add potatoes. They were now diced, nuked in the microwave , added. A quick chop of celery, diced small, was thrown in. The entire pot heated through, seasoned (dried red pepper flakes and dill weed) and served.


IMG_6991 *

You could of course add grated cheese and green onion garnish, but I consumed a bowl while writing this entry….  !

What ! no onions or garlic ?


Spicy meatballs with noodles

From 12/13/14….

In a recipe like this the measurements are not exact but…..

to ground meat, add about 1/8 teaspoon of:
Ground cloves
Ground allspice
Ground cinnamon
Dried ginger
Red pepper flakes
Minced yellow onion
Ground cumin
Granulated garlic
Bread crumbs
Ground spent grain
One egg

form into meatballs, fry, broil, bake whatever.


Into the drippings, add onion….  IMG_6718




shredded carrot….





add broth etc,  __________,____________,_________IMG_6721


reduce , stir , thicken……..IMG_6722

make noodles…..

IMG_6723 IMG_6724

finish sauce……cream, sour cream, milk , yogurt etc.


boil noodles…..



Plate ……IMG_6727

Add sauce,( I suppose you could add the meatballs to the sauce in the pan and heat through…….)

IMG_6728Yep, a bit of a change up from the traditional tomato based sauce.  Do you have a tolerance for spicy foods ?


a suggestion for leftovers

It’s not uncommon to have many leftovers after a Holiday Meal or perhaps you were given a plate of food when you left your Holiday gathering.

Re-purposing leftovers is an easy task, just think as them as ingredients for a different recipe. Leftovers can be disassembled and combined for a different meal.

Here some appetizers were utilized for an omelet for a quick morning plate.


Slightly fry the meat.


A few eggs beaten with some half n’ half added to the fry pan … add the meat and the rest of the ingredients from the appetizers. Half the tomatoes.


Fold over and heat till cheese is melted and the eggs are set to your preference . Plate it with a bit of garnish (added for the picture).

Get your cup of coffee and your done !


amazing ! I didn’t add onion, garlic  or hot sauce !

  thanks Justine, you are a great chef ! Dad

Hearty tomato sauce with chili beans

From December 8th
Utilizing what’s in the kitchen.

pork neck pieces*

oil, bacon fat etc.
very fine dice the following so they incorporate into the sauce.
A food processor for this.
(green peppers would be a good addition)
1 tomato paste, small can
tomato sauce, 14 1/2 oz can
whole peeled tomato, 14 1/2 oz can, break up with hand
stock, (turkey, or other) as necessary
Italian seasonings lightly
hot pepper flakes, to taste
wine, strong red, to taste
red beans, in this recipe I used dry red beans.
Flour the pork neck pieces with seasoned flour and brown on all sides.
Remove the neck pieces and add finely chopped onion, celery, carrot, and garlic,
Sautee till wilted and soft. Add the rest of the ingredients less the beans, and return the neck bones to the sauce.
Simmer over very low heat and watch for scorching ,if necessary use a heat deflector, till most of the meat falls from the neck bones.
A very thick and hearty sauce at this point,  it rises and slowly,and  large bubbles are emitted from the sauce, watch out for hot splashes, cover.

(or thin with stock to avoid the lava like eruptions.)

Fish the neck bones from the sauce and reserve for a chef’s meal. (with bread). There will still be some tasty meat left on the bones.

Adjust the sauce viscosity and taste as necessary. Best cooled and refrigerated at this point.

Mason jars or containers from take out are good for this.

This sauce can be used as a base at this point for other recipes, pasta, rice, pizza  etc.

The pork from the bones adds much flavor. IMG_6712


Soak overnight (dry) red beans in water and boil the next day.
Alternatively use canned beans

Mix the beans with the sauce, season  and thin as necessary.


garnish with cheese and onion




pork neck pieces* found these at the store, inexpensive and loaded with flavor.
Didn’t have an idea at the time of purchase what to do with them.
Decided they would add a nice flavor to a tomato base sauce.


one pan breakfast/brunch

Only one fry pan is necessary for this breakfast\brunch meal.

Saute diced broccoli and onions with a bit of garlic and seasonings to start. (bacon, sausage, etc, optional)

Place aside, make  an omelet and fold in the  broccoli mixture with a grating of Parmesan.

When cooked, remove from pan. Plate.

Dice apples with sugar and spices, fry and simmered in the same pan with butter.

Remove to a dish.

Buttered bread browned in the pan completes the meal.

Dried fennel garnish. Sour cream would also be a good topping.

This time of the year, with a holiday meal approaching, a quick meal, with the fridge full to capacity, ingredients are easy to gather.

One candid picture of finished meal.IMG_6738


fruit crisp

I’m sure everyone has made a version of this using different fruit.

IMG_6403add brown and white sugar together


IMG_6405cut in butter

IMG_6406sprinkle the mixture over fruit

IMG_6407bake in a moderately hot oven


IMG_6409good alone , but better with ice cream, or (whipped) cream.


tomato herb pizza

Just getting around to posting this…..

from October 31, Ahhhhhhhh…….. from the garden…….





Whoa ! normally pizza (fococcia) and beer go together, but a glass of wine would be good.


Roasted Veggies with barley

   Too simple…
Prepare barley

1 cup barley to 2 1/2 cup water
While the barley simmers, cut and dice vegetables.
White onion
Green onion
I used a almost a whole fennel, including some of the stems diced like celery.

Medium dice on the bulb, and some of the fennel tips.
White onion, medium dice.
Green onions, medium dice, both the white portion and green stems.
Carrots cut to similar size.
Toss with salt, pepper, oil, a bit of rosemary.

Cut a piece of parchment paper about double the size of the baking sheet. Center the parchment paper on the baking sheet, add the veggies and fold and seal the paper, all edges to enclose the veggies.
Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour.

The fennel is very flavorable with the accompanying veggies , no other seasonings were needed.

Serve over barley.


The texture of the veggies were just right, not mushy, not too crisp.

With added broth, would be a good soup.



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December 2014

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