Monday, March 23, 2009

Enough already

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My house... it smells like beer.

Today marks our first day as, dare I say it, home brewers. DH tried his hand at this once before, probably 4 years ago, with a Mr. Beer kit. It was bad. There's no way to sugar coat that. I took one sniff once the beer was ready and refused to try it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this batch comes out better.
I'm feeling optimistic for a few reasons.
1. We took a class and watched someone with experience. She also gave us a list of her tips and directions that are way more detailed than the ones that come with the kit.
2. We bought a real home brew kit. I'm sure that there are people that have gotten good beer from Mr Beer, but we're not them.
3. DH and I both know a lot more about beer and the process. Last time, we were still pretty green. We were beer likers. Now, we're beer lovers.
So, what kind of beer are we brewing? A Bavarian Hefeweizen. One of my favs. We're using a True Brew kit, purchased at Homebrew Emporium in West Boylston, MA. Great store! I'm already dreaming about ways to use the Grains of Paradise I saw there... but I think that's a long ways off. Into the fermenting bucket it goes, now we just have to wait a week, maybe two, until it's ready to bottle. Then, three more weeks before we can drink it. This better be worth it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tonight? Patty melts!

(Oh, and crinkle cut fries with honey mustard from Town Spa in Stoughton... ) I'm totally trying to hustle in spring/summer by using the grill when there's snow on the ground. I'll let you know how that goes! This was a super easy, quick dinner! Sliced onions, mushrooms, olive oil, salt, pepper and a little balsamic vinegar went into a foil pouch and straight onto the grill to cook over medium flames. About 10 minutes later, we threw our super lean, made with local beef, burgers on the grill. While hubby tended to the grill, I made grilled cheese sandwiches inside, using marble rye and swiss cheese. Once everything was done, I pulled apart the grilled cheese sandwiches, put the burger on one half of the sandwich, piled on the onions and mushrooms and then topped it with the other half of the sandwich. Cut each one in half, divvied up the fries and enjoyed!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Brave, Brave Husband

me: hey hun, want to try tempeh?
him: uh sure.
Uh sure? That's good enough for me!
This is a keeper. Of course, I didn't quite get a glaze out of it, and I ran out of soy sauce. Oh, and I didn't have fresh ginger OR ground coriander. Wait, mirin and fresh squeezed orange juice? Nope and nope, didn't have those ingredients either. Wow. Was I unprepared or what?! I decided to give it a try anyway and made do with some substitutes.

Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh (my subs are in parenthesis) about 4 servings
from 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1 cup Tropicana)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (1 tsp ground ginger)
2 teaspoons tamari (or 2 tsp soy sauce)
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin (1 TBS sake + 1 tsp or so of local honey)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (1/2 tsp ground cumin)
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
about 10 ounces of tempeh or extra-firm tofu (8 oz tempeh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lime (oops didn't have this)
a handful of cilantro leaves (you guessed it. left this out too.)

1. Mix together first 7 ingredients - or substitutions - and set aside.
2. Cut tempeh into bite sized pieces.
3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add tempeh and cook about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
4. Pour in the OJ mixture and let simmer about 10 minutes, until reduced and glaze-y. Or, at the very least, reduced.

Serve with veggies, rice, quinoa, what have you. We had ours over brown rice and broccoli. I'm already looking forward to taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

15 chocolate chips?

I always wonder why people name things the things they're named. And I know 12 blueberries seems a little "out there". So, I'm offering an explanation. First though, you need to know something about me. I'm a Gilmore Girls fan. There. I said it. It's really nothing to be that ashamed about. Right? Right?! But, that's where my 12 blueberries come from. Michele can not eat a blueberry pancake with more than 12 blueberries in it. Period. And Sookie won't let him count. Beyond being a Gilmore Girls fan, I love to be in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, whatever. Even if it's re-organizing the cabinets, that's where I'm happiest. When I first moved out of my parents house though, I had no idea what I was doing. If a recipe called for, say, 12 blueberries, I counted those blueberries, usually twice. I've since loosened up, and have stopped counting and starting doing what feels right. Twelve? Fifteen? Twenty-five? Sure, why not! And really, why not use chocolate chips if you've got them.