Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hazy Shade of Winter

I have a lot of things to post about, but I'll start with the weather for the past four days. On Thursday, I came downstairs to find the sun shining south of the house and this to the north:

And the clouds just kept rolling in:

The snow began to fall:

We had about half an inch within the first 30 minutes.

Friday was very cold, but Saturday morning we woke up to a balmy -5 (-12 with wind chill). Kenna shot me a look when I opened the door for her to go outside that clearly said "you have to be crazy. I am not going out in that."

Sunday morning wasn't much better, but we at least got into the 20s and had some sun. Early in the morning, though, things were pretty frosty:

Brrrrrrr. Thank God for down blankets, heated mattress pads, flannel sheets, and, most of all, my furry furnace of a dog (who is, at this very moment, snuggled into my warm bed with the mattress pad turned on).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Time I Know It's For Real

About a year ago, I made Ebleskiver for the first time with the pan that my Grambi gave me. When I was home at Christmas, she gave me the recipe that came with the pan (you may remember that the recipe I used before was fairly untraditional). So, I was excited to make traditional Danish Ebleskiver this weekend using my new recipe.

Here's the recipe:

4 eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 c. cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. melted shortening or butter
Scant 2 c. milk

Beat egg yolks; add sugar. Add dry ingredients alternately with shortening/butter and milk. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Place a small amount of butter in each cup of the Ebleskiver pan and fill it 2/3 full with batter. Cook over medium heat until bubbly, turn carefully with a fork and finish baking on the other side. Turn each Ebleskiver several times during baking to ensure thorough baking. If desired, a very thin slice of raw apple can be pressed into batter in each cup before turning. Serve with butter and syrup, jam, brown sugar, or sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar.

I only made half of the recipe and ended up with over 20 Ebleskiver, but wow were they good. Very light with a thin, crisp shell:

I ate mine with fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar (and bacon, of course):

Next time, I might put some apple in, but these were delicious without it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mr. Bookman: "Rock was never my bag, but you put on a pair of shoes when you walk into the New York Public Library, fella!"

The library episode of Seinfeld was on tonight
and I think this might be one of my favorite
scenes of the entire series.
It's definitely in my top ten.

"Well, I've got a flash for you, joy boy. Party time is over."

Hazy Shade of Winter

When I let Kenna out this morning, I noticed a tiny bit of sun peeking through the clouds over the creek and I really liked the colors, so I took some photos to share with all of my gentle readers:

And just because they were on my camera when I downloaded the other photos, here are two bonus pictures of Piper and Boomer. Here is Boomer in his current favorite sleeping position, which looks extremely uncomfortable to his people:

Pipey sleeping like a normal dog:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reminiscing: 250 Ways to Prepare Poultry and Game Birds

I've heard from a lot of people that they have freezers full of meat right now. Well, I have the answer for those of you who have some capon, goose, or pigeon tucked away--250 Ways to Prepare Poultry and Game Birds:

Right off the bat, this cookbook includes some disturbing photography:

The first half of this cookbook isn't bad--broiled chicken, roasted turkey, glazed duck, etc. Then, they throw this color photograph into the middle and my stomach begins to churn. I find the dish on the left particularly unappetizing. I know that I'm kind of a weirdo because I dislike eggs (unless they are in baked goods), but I just don't understand the appeal of the hard boiled egg. What is so good about the tastelessness and odd texture of the white and the odd texture of the cooked yolk? The only flavor in the whole thing is the paprika that you sprinkle on top. Anyway, even if you like eggs, this is some nasty looking chicken salad:

Craving some more chicken salad after that one? Well, here you go:

There is an added bonus on the page above--another recipe for a "molded" ring. This time, it is made of egg...

Nothing like some chicken almond mousse or some "sandwich loaf," which sounds positively revolting. Seriously--eggs, bacon, olives, salad dressing, pimento cheese, and cream cheese? That thing not only sounds awful, it also looks awful:

For those of you who enjoy the lusciousness of poultry livers:

The picture on the top left--see that one? The caption reads "chilled peeled tomatoes filled with goose livers in jelly and served with tiny sandwiches are for the hostess who seeks new ideas." I'm sure that I don't want to go to her house for dinner.

For Leah, "Goose Liver Balls:"

There is a lot of information in this book about trussing and the like. I'm cool with that, considering the subject of this cookbook. I do, however, have a real problem with the photo of the turkey roll. It looks like plastic surgery being performed by Tor, the holistic healer on Seinfeld.

Another mousse--this time, a magnificent marriage of turkey and ham with gelatin, milk, egg, and mayonnaise, among other things:

Since it is winter, I've got a whole cookbook of soups coming your way soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Reminiscing: 500 Delicious Dishes from Leftovers

Ever wonder what to do with that leftover jelly? A hunk of leftover ham? Some old bread? Those last few hot dogs? If so, this is the book for you: 500 Delicious Dishes from Leftovers. The hockey puck biscuits and stuffed peppers topped with what appears to be snot but is probably cheese are sure to draw you in.

Let's start this party off with some liver loaf--you can either make gravy or decorate the top with strips of bacon. The black and white photography really helps this food look more delectable, doesn't it?

For my friend Leah, who loves "spheres" of any kind--"Fried Spinach Balls" and "Mashed Potato Balls":

This sausage and corn casserole is "effective" according to the writers of this cookbook. I'll leave it to you to decide exactly how it is "effective."

There's nothing I love more than creamed chicken in a molded rice or noodle ring--doesn't this look appetizing? The chicken croquettes on the bottom of the left page look suspiciously like Fraggles.

I believe that this color photograph speaks for itself: mold! Tuna turnovers! Baked bean croquettes! The caption next to the photograph on the right hand page says: "Served with green beans these carrot croquettes with parsley tops are very nearly real." Am I the only one that doesn't get this? Real how?

I sure hope I get an "Old Lady Cake" for my next birthday. Perhaps I will also request an appetizer of sour cream potato salad served on cold cuts.

How about some "Prune Whip Pie" as pictured on the bottom left? There is also a recipe for something called "Grapefruit Pie," the flavor of which I cannot imagine.

As though the photograph at the bottom left isn't bad enough, the possibilities of what it could be are worse. "Grilled Tongue and Egg Sandwiches"? "Ham Butter" spread on some bread? "Liver and Bacon Sandwiches"?

This is a photograph of a "thick dessert sauce" served in a pudding ring. In case you can't wait for more cookbooks written by the people who brought you 500 Delicious Dishes from Leftovers, there is a list of many more and I happen to have some of them ;-)

Thanks to Sue for helping to provide more blog fodder--I'm not sure if I should be worried that she gave me this cookbook and it was one of the ones that I recently purchased. I guess it was really popular with people who have died and had their belongings sold. You can never have too much advice about what to do with your leftover tongue...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hey Santa: An Awesome Christmas Gift in Action

Aunt and Uncle of Ken have a tradition of giving me gag gifts for Christmas. Last year, they helped me begin my "Reminiscing" series by giving me several fantastic cookbooks that they found in flea markets. This year, I was the recipient of a rare and priceless object: Big Mouth Billy Bass. So, I am now Billy's proud caretaker.

I have been torturing Mother and Father of Ken with Billy's limited singing abilities for the past few weeks, but today, I decided to see how the dogs would react to Billy's performances.

Reminiscing: The New Joys of Jell-O

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a successful hunting expedition for more terrible cookbooks, so I bring you the first installment of this new group, The New Joys of Jell-O.

Jell-O obviously spent a lot of time and money on the photography for this book. Too bad they didn't spend as much time and money on the research and testing of the recipes. This two page spread comes at the beginning of the book and I think that it is meant to entice you to read further to find out how to make such delicacies as Jell-O wine, cottage cheese in a carafe, maple syrup cocktails, and I can't even figure out what else.

Here, I would like to call your attention to the recipe for "Molded Tomato Relish," which consists of the irresistible combination of tomatoes, lemon or strawberry gelatin, salt, and vinegar, molded into the tomato can. Well, they certainly are environmentally friendly.

Look, a whole family enjoying a tasty Jell-O based meal in their very own home!

Perhaps a little "Jellied Prune Whip" might sound good? Interestingly, they do not provide a photograph of this dish.

Don't these people look like they are having fun partaking of the Jell-O based delicacies so stylishly presented on the buffet table? It seems to me that the mere combination of people wearing these cutting edge seventies fashions hanging around and eating cutting edge seventies Jell-O dishes has the potential for one crazy partay.

These tarts are supposed to be a "creative pleasure to make" but are they a "pleasure to eat"? I doubt it.

Another two page spread of jellied fantasticness artfully arranged to tempt even the most Jell-O resistant person:

What is that thing in the top left corner?

The Green Goddess Salad Bowl beckoning guests to dig in:

In case you were wondering what is in this "Green Goddess Salad Bowl," I have scanned the recipe. This is one crazy combination of lime gelatin, garlic salt, sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, anchovies, crab meat, and avocados:

If the Green Goddess Salad doesn't sound good, perhaps you would care for some "Antipasto Salad." It is an irresistible combination of lemon gelatin, vinegar, salami, Swiss cheese, celery, onion, and olives:

I just can't tell you how much I would like to sit down at this table and dig right in:

Featuring "Jellied Gazpacho"!

This is one terrible combination that would make an Andalusian sing one of those laments they sing from balconies during Semana Santa.

I guess I am just not into this whole using Jell-O to make savory dishes thing.

For some reason, when I look at this picture, I am reminded of the SNL sketch with Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch as the annoying lovers.

Check out the salad at the bottom left. Yes, those are eggs. I believe that the following is the recipe for this tasty treat:


Again, why are these people screwing up "Spanish" food? Lemon gelatin and tuna? Ugh.

You, too, could have an all Jell-O wedding! Jellied champagne and a bunch of other jellied crap!

This would include "Creamy Bleu Cheese Salad" which features lemon gelatin, cream cheese, bleu cheese, and Dream Whip. Not into that? How about "Salmon Dill Mousse"?

Nothing like a delicious "Molded Potato Salad" to accompany your molded franks and beans and molded burgers.

The kid on the right doesn't look thrilled with his Jell-O creation:

If this hasn't made your stomach churn, I'll be back soon with 500 Delicious Dishes from Leftovers which should do the trick.