Thursday, December 30, 2010

Foodie Obsession

Binchotan is my current foodie obsession. Anyone know where I can get some for the Kamodo Joe?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Golden Rabbit

I found these at my local Asian mega mart. Yohboh has taken to putting them in his pocket so they are soft when he eats them.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not the prettiest soup

Not the prettiest soup but darned tasty

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Monday, December 27, 2010

A change of pace

I have enjoyed the tasty food of the holidays in the last few weeks. But today, I was craving something different. I love gut busting rich food but today I wanted spicy with a sharp chili heat. So I made:

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MaPo Tofu
I threw in some cubed eggplant that my brother in law left when he visited. It was exactly what I wanted, spicy and comforting.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookbooks I like

So I use the library a LOT. One of the things I have really enjoyed is borrowing cookbooks. I get to flip through, try a recipe and return the book. There have been a few cookbooks I liked so much that I actually bought them after I returned them from the library.



The Gift of Southern Cooking was a book that I just liked reading. It was interesting to hear how an old school cook and a chef had a meeting of minds.



Eating Korean was reliving my childhood. It is also interesting to see how as immigrants we adapted to our surroundings.


Pat Conroy writes wonderfully overwrought Southern prose. I enjoy his books as a lovely beach read. This cookbook was much more like an autobiography. Also, interesting fact, Pat Conroy lived in Dunwoody, Georgia.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

White Rabbits

Does anyone remember white rabbit candy? They were discontinued because of the melamine scare from a few years back.

Do they even make it anymore? According to Wikipedia, they have Golden Rabbit Candy. Has anyone seen this?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rib Roast

This time yohboh cooked the roast to 105 instead of 110. We liked it much better.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pizza

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This pizza was inspired by this video of DiFara Pizza in Brooklyn.


I just like the idea of someone doing the best he can do for 50+ years.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Naughty Cakes

These are the cakes my sister bought for Yohboh.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Uber Gingersnaps

So I am doing my holiday baking. And yohboh requested extra ginger gingersnaps. Heretofore known as Uber Gingersnaps, which are just my gingersnaps with extra candied ginger on top.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pot Roast

I make pot roast in the slow cooker. It is one of the first things I learned how to make. I actually use the Lipton powdered soup mix recipe. To change it up, I used different root vegetables. A rutabaga is like if a potato made out with some horseradish but did not do the deed.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Double Smoked Sausage

So yohboh decided to take the smoked sausage we had and smoke it again on the Kamodo Joe.

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It was astonishingly good.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

National Cookie Day

In order to celebrate National Cookie Day, guess what the kidlet and I did?

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Cracked Italian Cream Cake

Behold Yohboh's birthday cake.

Cracked Cake

It cracked because I did not wait long enough to let it cool completely.

Normally, I like to make a dessert the night before it is served but that did not happen. Also, THIS IS A CHEATER CAKE! I used cake mix. Yeah, I admit it. I like to bake cakes all the way back from flour but I was short on time. I did make the frosting all the way back from sugar, though.

But I did doctor this cake to make it Italian Cream Cake-esque.

Cracked Italian Cream Cake

For the cake
White cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup praline liqueur
1/3 cup oil
3 ounces shredded coconut
Additional 1/4 cup praline liqueur

For the frosting
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
3 tablespoons praline liqueur
3 ounces shredded coconut
halved pecans

Make the cake based on the box instructions but instead of the water use the buttermilk and liqueur. Add the coconut when the cake is well mixed. Bake the cake in two pans according to the instructions.

When the cakes are done, let them cool completely (I did not follow this step.) Brush them with the 1/4 cup of praline liqueur.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Take a hand mixer and combine the butter and cream cheese until it is well whipped and fluffy. Sift the sugar in and use the mixer to whip it up. Add the praline liqueur and whip it up too.

Frost your cake and add the pecans and shredded coconut to decorate. I let my three year old do the coconut. She said it was funny but kinda good cheese.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Truffled Pasta with Shrimp

I really like the Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes always work and I always garner complements on them. This recipe I actually made for the first time and I changed it up, I added shrimp. It was moan inducingly good.

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Truffled Pasta with Shrimp
(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's Taliarelle with Truffle Butter)
makes four servings

One pound of thick pasta noodles (I used parpadelle)

6 ounces White Truffle Butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound of shrimp

1/2 cup parsley minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper
Salt

Make your pasta according to the instructions. So you should be boiling water.

Meanwhile, melt the truffle butter (This was a Dickens to find- I actually had to go to a couple of stores to find it. I eventually found it at Fresh Market) and add the heavy cream.

When the pasta is ready, add the shrimp to the butter cream mixture. Also take a coffee cup and dunk it in the pasta water to collect a cup's worth of the starchy water before you drain the pasta.

Add the drained pasta to the butter truffle shrimp sauce and toss to coat. If it looks a bit dry then add some of the pasta water.

Sprinkle with the parmesan and parsley.

Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chili

The first time I ever had chili was at Wendy's. So I have no frame of reference as to what chili is supposed to taste like:

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I make chili like I make spaghetti. It is a fluid recipe, depending on what I have on hand. I imagine that most home cooks do that for chili, and spaghetti.

Yohboh said it was a very nice hot bowl of goodness that warmed him up this chilly Sunday.

Sharp Knives

I recently got my knives professionally sharpened because if you are entering a time where you will be doing a lot of cooking, don't you want sharp knives?

One downside to sharp knives is when you nick yourself, it does not hurt but BOY does it bleed. I sliced where my thumbnail and thumb meet. It bled like crazy.

Do you sharpen your knives?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Seafood Feast

So last night we had Dungeness Crab
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and snapper.

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Baking Insomnia

So I had a cup of coffee fairly late and now I am wide awake. What did I do? I baked 60 of these muffins.

Biggest Irony? I cannot eat them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Culinary Circle of Hell

Our side by side refrigerator's freezer has just died.

I have just moved 40 pounds of butter.

Yeah, I am grumpy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Perfect Bag of Candy

You know how you buy a mega assortment bag of candy and there is always one that you do not like? This is the mythic candy bag where I like everything:

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Heath Bar, Milk Duds, Take Five and Rolo.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

This is another recipe from my late grandmother in law. I have changed it through the years. I added marshmallows because some people do not believe it is a sweet potato casserole unless there is a burned sugar carapace.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Five pounds of sweet potatoes
One stick of butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon cinnamon
10 gratings of fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum

For the topping:
Marshmallows
Pralines

Bake the sweet potatoes in an oven until they are mushy. I do this for about an hour at 350.

After the potatoes are cool enough to touch barely, slip off the skins and make sure you get all the syrupy stuff that comes with them. Mash them with all the other ingredients. You can melt the butter, but the potatoes are so hot that the butter will melt.

Put in a 9X13 pan. It does not need greasing. Add the topping. I did 1/2 marshmallows and 1/2 pecans.

Bake 350 until the marshmallows are puffy and golden.

It is interesting to see who goes for the marshmallow (in my mind, the kiddie side) as opposed to the praline side (more adult).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pre Thanksgiving

Yohboh and I host a potluck every year. We eat until we burst.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Cranberry Apple Casserole

This recipe came from my late grandmother in law. I doubled it here. I love this because it is like a dessert in the middle of a meal.

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Cranberry Apple Casserole
12 ounce bag of cranberries
3 granny smith apples, chopped into cranberry sized pieces
1 cup of white sugar

1 stick of butter melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven at 350. Combine the first three ingredients in a buttered casserole.

Combine the next five ingredients and put on top of the cranberry mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes until it is bubbly and the topping is brown.

Can be served at room temperature.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fish

Fish is so much more tastier with the skin on.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kitchen Essentials

What are your kitchen essentials? What are the ingredients that you MUST have?

For me:
One good sharp knife
One cutting board
Kosher Salt
Olive Oil
Butter
Limes
Freshly Ground Pepper
Brown Sugar
Dijon Mustard

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chinese Food

When Yohboh and I got married, we had out rehearsal dinner at Pung Mie. Sadly, Pung Mie closed its doors and a new restaurant cropped up. We tried it out tonight. It is called The Ocean Villa Asian Cuisine. I had the ma pa tofu. It was excellent, very spicy, and very hot. They also made an excellent salt and pepper scallop.

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I forgot to take my camera but I did get a picture of the card.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Kitchen Chores

For some reason, I really like to de seed a pomegranate. Wonder why?

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Doritos

I have not had a Dorito in a long time.

But I came across this and had to wonder, why would they make a Dorito taste like a cheeseburger?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hot Tofu Soup

It was a cold, yucky windy day. I had tofu soup.

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It made my day a little better.
Cho Dong Tofu House
(770) 220-0667
5907 Buford Hwy
Doraville, GA 30340

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Leftover Pizza

I like to make this pizza right before I throw away stuff from the fridge. It is all the leftovers on a pizza. For some reason, it tastes better in pizza form. This is peppers, eggplant, pepperoni and onions.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pretzel Rolls

I have never bought a pretzel roll. I saw them at Panera or Corner Bakery or some such pseudo bakery. I figured how hard could it be to make them? Not too hard, they key is boiling them in a baking soda solution.

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Pretzel Roll

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
Olive oil

4 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda

1 egg
1 tablespoon water


INSTRUCTIONS
Place warm water in the bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside to rest until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes.

Place flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.Once yeast is foamy, combine the flour mixture to the yeasty stuff. Knead for ten minutes (I did this part by hand, because I am NOT pulling out my mixer for this).

Form dough into a ball, place in a large oiled mixing bowl, and turn dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat paper with olive oil, and set aside.
Once dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 pieces and form into rolls. Place rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Once rolls have risen, stir baking soda into boiling water (water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 30 seconds per side. The rolls will turn a few shades yellow.

Remove rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up.

Combine egg and water. Brush the cut side of the rolls with the egg mixture.

Sprinkle well with salt, and repeat with remaining rolls.

Once all rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dirty Martini

I do not drink but I like making drinks. This is one of yohboh's favorites.

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1 ounce of gin
2 splashes olive brine
3 olives on a toothpick

Take the gin and olive brine and put in a shaker full of ice. Cover the shaker with a towel. Shake that shaker for three minutes. By shake, I mean it is loud enough that you cannot hold a conversation around the shaker. By the end of the three minutes, the whole shaker will be frosty, which is why you use the towel. Pour the martini in a chilled martini glass. I find that if I rattle the shaker as the gin come out I get a nice layer of ice chips floating to the top.

Garnish with the olives.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Corn

Did you know you can make corn in the microwave? I normally roast it in the oven, but did not feel like turning it on. I nuked these two ears for three minutes under a damp paper towel. Turned out good.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parmesan Truffle Fries

Yohboh and I had these at Taste of Atlanta and decided to make them at home.

It's hand cut fries with truffle salt and parmesan.

Parmesan Truffle fries

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Albondigas Soup

One good thing about having a food blog is that it makes you increase your recipe repetoire. I tried this soup out last year and I still like it. I recommend it to you as well. My favorite part of making this is dropping the meatballs in the soup. I have no idea why that makes me so happy.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mocha cake with mocha frosting

I made this for a friend's birthday. (Note: if you are my friend I will bake you a birthday cake, it's my thing)

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Mocha Cake

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup espresso, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup espresso, cooled

Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, espresso and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; stir until well blended. Pour batter into greased and 9- x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. While the cake is baking, combine the Kahlua and espresso in a small bowl. When the cake is first out of the oven, brush the warm cake with the Kahlua mixture. Let cool for at least an hour.

Mocha Icing
1 stick of butter, melted
2/3 cup Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup espresso, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Stir cocoa into melted butter. In a small mixing cup, mix the espresso, vanilla and salt. Alternate adding the powdered sugar and espresso into the butter mixutre. I like my frosting a bit more glaze like so if you likes your more thick, add less espresso.

Use the frosting when the cake is cooled. Makes enough to frost one cake.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Taste Of Altanta

Yohboh and I went to Taste of Atlanta. It was a lot of fun. Yohboh's favorite part was the wine and beer tasting tent. I liked the shrimp and grits a lot.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tin Can Fish House

Last night, yohboh, the kidlet and I went to Tin Can Fish House.
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We were invited for a bloggers dinner.

To start with we had:

Soft shelled crab sliders.
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They had a spicy mayo on them but I think if there had been a pickle of some kind it would have been better.

Then we had a dozens oysters on the half shell.
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They had a mignonette sauce. They were good and fresh.

We also had
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clam chowder. It was good.

The kidlet had the fish fingers and fries.
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The fish was very fresh in this. These were no fish sticks. And the fries were very good.

Yohboh got
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the whole prawns with a spicy Mediterranean sauce. This was a little too salty but nicely spicy. The shrimp were cut very unusually, butterflied with the shell and heads on. Definitely delicious.

I got the seafood platter
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with grouper and fried oysters. The grouper was fresh and meaty but the oysters were overcooked.

Where is this wondrous place:
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And their phone number:
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My family did get a free meal but the opinions given are purely mine.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chicken Wings

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Sometimes all you want is chicken wings,

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and carrot and celery sticks.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Winter Garden

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WINTER GARDEN IS IN!

Radishes, Arugla, Swiss Chard, Broccoli and Cauliflower. I am going to go look for some Brussels Sprouts and Kale as well.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chicken Soup for Kidlet

The kidlet is sick. It has not been a fun week here at Beef and Chocolate as a result. When I am sick, I crave the Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup in the red and white can. Well, I do not have any red and white cans. So I made sort of homemade soup.

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Kidlet's Chicken Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into kid friendly squares
2 stalks of celery, chopped into kid friendly squares
1/2 onion, chopped into kid friendly squares
1 clove of garlic, minced super fine
1 Tablespoon Chicken Base

5 cups of water
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 cup egg noodles.

Add the oil to a large, heavy pot. Add all the vegetables and saute until translucent. Add the chicken base and saute until the base smells a little roasty (this takes about five minutes). Cover with the water and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is poached. Fish the chicken out and cut into bite sized bites. Put chicken back in.

About 10 minutes before serving, add the egg noodles and let them cook.

Serve with crackers and juice to a sick three year old.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Noodle Bowl

Tonight I put a star anise in my noodle bowl. It was really good. I will be doing that from now on.

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Also, these are tofu noodles. So they have no carbs.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Breakfast

I always wonder why people wait for a long time on Sundays to get brunch when it is super easy to make at home. This took 15 minutes to make, most of it waiting for the oven to heat up for the bacon.

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This was the kidlet's breakfast.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

French Apple Tart

I bow to the power of the Barefoot Contessa. I BURNED this Apple Tart and we ended up eating most of it.

Apple Tart