Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brined and roasted chicken.

One of the simplest and most delicious meals in my repertoire.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hearty Granola

BeforeMy goal when developing this recipe was to make a granola that was high in protein, good fats, complex carbs, and low in sugar (and absent any refined sugar). Plus I wanted a breakfast that was better tasting and for me than just boiled oats.

  • 2 c rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cook!), toasted on cookie sheet in 350ºF oven until brown, 20 or 30 minutes
  • 1/2 c crunchy peanut butter (note – ingredients should be only peanuts and maybe salt – no fillers, oils or sugars allowed)
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 T flax seed oil (optional)
  • 3/4 c chopped cashews
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1 t fresh grated ginger

Brown oats in oven, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. In saucepan over low heat, melt peanut butter, butter and honey. Add remaining ingredients and oats; stir until well combined. Allow to cool.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Lentils over a potato, curried pork chop

Lentils have salt, butter and curry powder. Pork chop is dusted with curry powder, salt and black pepper. Broiled to 145ºF internal.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Removing Tarnish from Silver

I just learned a new way to clean silver, and it's a billion times faster and easier than the labor-intensive polishing my mother had me do as a kid (one spoon at a time with polish and a white cloth)! Once the water was hot, the tarnish literally vanished in one second and let off a sulfur odor. Fascinating. I removed all the tarnish from an entire set of silver-plate in five minutes—no joke.

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a stainless steel pan filled with water. Place aluminum foil in the bottom of pan and place the tarnished silver on top of the foil. Heat the pan on the stove top, without boiling, and the tarnish will disappear.


From another site, an explanation: 

Not to get too technical, but a tarnish primarily results from the silver reacting with sulfur compounds in the atmosphere to form silver sulfide. So, to remove the tarnish, the trick is to chemically remove the sulfur and only the sulfur from the silver. 

This process works due to the relative nature of silver and aluminum. Sulfur "prefers" to combine with aluminum instead of silver (no accounting for taste). The salt and baking soda work together to create an environment that allows the sulfur to leave the silver and combine with the aluminum. The heat just makes this take place faster.

One thing to note is that this process will remove ALL the tarnish. Even the tarnish in crevices that polishing generally does not get to. If you have a piece where the contrasting dark in the crevices adds to the appeal or beauty of the piece, you wouldn't want to use this method on that piece.

The right way to eat a pomegranate

Score the skin all the way around. Place it underwater and tear it in half, then work the seeds out. Doing it underwater server two purposes: 1) it eliminates the staining red splatter and 2) after a few minutes, the white pith will float and the seeds will sink. Skim the pith and enjoy handfuls of seeds.



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Black Bean Chipotle Chili with Polenta

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1t salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (12oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • 1t dried rosemary
  • 1/8t ground allspice
  • 1/2t ground cayenne

Prepare beans – cover with 3 quarts water and 1/4 cup vinegar, bring to boil, remove from heat, let stand for 1 hour. Drain, rinse, add water again, boil again, reduce to simmer; cook until tender, about an hour or two. (Or, use 3 cans of prepared beans, drained.)

Cook onions in oil until translucent. Add salt and garlic, cook until fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until done. Add tomatoes, chipotle peppers, black beans, spices and 1 cup water. Simmer for at least 1hr or until flavors are well melded. Serve with cornbread or polenta; top with shredded cheese.