Thursday, September 3, 2009

On the Stove

I have been trying a bunch of new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen as of late. I've not been talking about those topics here on the bee log. Not for lack of interest in writing about cooking, but because I generally have plenty of other geeky topics to expound on. Today is a new day though, so have at ye cooking post...

French Toast
I love this breakfast treat and Crystal adores it. Oddly enough we never have it for breakfast, but for dinner instead. It is pretty straight forward: cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, eggs and milk for the wet mix. The key is using a good bread. I avoid plain Jane sliced wheat and white breads in favor of soft loafs. Challah and various French breads work really well. The best one I have found to date is a Mexican/Spanish style bread that is soft, but also has a buttery flavor to it. Topping good french toast requires maple syrup and butter, so having the butter already present from the get go seems to make it that much better. The name of the bread escapes me for the moment, but I will post back here when it does not.

Last week I got a craving for meatballs, not wacky hijinks from the late 70's, but the food. I could go on about why they are great, but that is like ginning up the virtues of oxygen. The recipe I found online was fairly straight forward: ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, salt, pepper and water. Mix it up, ball it up, broil it up and simmer in your sauce. The fun thing was finding yet another use for the now legendary 5 minute sauce. I have been using it for a funky fo-chicken parmesan for the past year and now it is snuggling up to meatballs and wheat pasta on our dinning room table.

In the same vein as the meatballs, I rolled up some meatloaf early this week. Same basic ingredients with the addition of an egg to help it bind. Some how we lost our loaf pan so when it came to actually baking the meat mixture I had concocted I was at a loss. In steps the glass baking dish and it's 40 minutes to loafy heaven. This main course, while tasty, also served as a big red arrow pointing to one of my deficiencies. Sides, I don't really do sides. Sure I grill up some zucchini and squash on occasion and I've been known to whip up some smashed potatoes, but for the most part I don't make good sides. It did not occur to me until it was too late, but it is hard to make a meal out of just meatloaf. So I scrounged up some egg noodles, buttered, salted and peppered them to taste and vowed to right my side dish wrongs. Next weeks menu, meatloaf with asparagus and orzo on the side.

Stir Fry
Asian cuisine has always been out of my wheel house in terms of cooking. Love to eat it, but I have never approached it in my kitchen. About three weeks ago on my trip to the grocery store I went down the international food aisle to get pasta. Real international I know. As I passed the Asian ingrediants I got a wild hair to experiment. So I picked up some stir fry noodles, teriyaki sauce, chicken and an onion. Fast forward to me making a fairly tasty teriyaki stir fry that's only short coming was a lack of variety. It was food enough to warrant repeating, but this time with water chestnuts and steak as a sub for the chicken. I chose a bad steak, but the idea was getting iteratively better. Next up more veggies and a tweaking of the sauce.

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The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
Runaways vol. 1: Pride and Joy
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite
Batman: Hush, Vol. 2
Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Other Strangeness