we fried a chicken

Shall we discuss my fear of frying…and especially frying largish pieces of meat. I am terrified of a giant pot of super hot peanut oil. I panic about what to do with all that oil after I’m done. But Rob wanted fried chicken and I try to make him happy occasionally because he cheerfully eats a lot of food he is not very excited about and sometimes barely recognizes.

He also helped with the frying. He really fried the first batch and I did the second. We had the problem that I often have which is that the breading burns a little before the food is cooked through. I did like the addition of onions for flavor and it did go fairly well and tasted pretty good. I don’t think anyone is going to accuse me of making good fried chicken.

Basically I kind of hope I find myself near the Chalfonte Hotel Cape May, NJ someday so I can experience the real deal.

I put most of oil back in the oil bottles and put it in the fridge for another day…I guess I will need to fry something. Something that can be onion-y and chicken-y.

Tonight I’m back to my comfortable cooking… roasted vegetables on boiled pasta.


easter bread 2013


This was not my favorite Easter bread to date. Of course it wasn’t only bread but also candied oranges….and then Rob accidentally stuck his finger in the risen loaf before I baked it.

To be fair the kitchen was a disaster because of course I was also trying to simultaneously compile a southern feast, complete with, from scratch, sweet potato pie.   Yes, marathon cooking on Easter Sunday. Rob did make some excellent pie dough and it was his first attempt ever: gold star.

…and we ate well, we ate very well.


Leftover Packer Party Food


Green and Gold! See it? That was totally unplanned.

As I have mentioned before cooking for other people stresses me out so I tried to go for easy and good football food like things.

Ribs sounded like good football party food and I knew I could get good ones at the meat market down the street and I had the uber-easy Virginia Willis Coca-Cola-Glazed Baby Back Ribs recipe…make glaze, bake, glaze once in awhile.  This was my first attempt to make ribs. It went pretty well. They were kind of delicious. I didn’t find scotch bonnets so I used 2 habaneros. Use them both! The glaze is so sweet it can handle it and doesn’t have any burn, promise.  I did have to make a special trip to buy the Coca-Cola because I just felt that using Organic ‘Cola’ with pure cane sugar would be cheating and Whole Foods does not have organic all natural Coca Cola… really Coke? Get with the program.

The cornbread recipe was kind of disaster though and I didn’t notice till I was pretty far in and then had improvise how to fix it. 4 cups of flour with only 1 cups of buttermilk and 2 eggs is just not going to work. I added another cup of buttermilk. I thought it was edible. A little dry yet, but I melted butter onto it when I reheated it, and melted on some extra cheese. Everything is better with extra cheese.

Are you sure cauliflower didn’t come from India?

I can’t quite pin it down via my internet search but it seems that cauliflower (and broccoli) probably originate from the Italy-Greece-Turkey region of the world. Okay, alright, maybe it did, but when I find a head of cauliflower in my shopping basket it is headed for some Indian inspired spice concoction.  I may even have other plans when I first pick it up, but by the time I get home I’m pulling the turmeric out of the cupboard again.

This time I used Deseree Anne Kazda’s concoction: salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, chili powder. It has just a little nip. Good stuff.

The “biryani” recipe is from food52. It is good but a little heavy on the cinnamon-cloves-cardamom for my taste.


beans, squash and corn

Autumn markets have squash and I was looking for something new to make with it. This was also my first recipe from Molly O’Neill’s book (attributed to Susan Welsand from Bloomington, IN) There are a lot of substitutions in here and there were a lot of different steps:

  1. cooking beans via the baking soda method (I had Roman and Navy)
  2. roasting a butternut squash
  3. roasting the poblano chiles under the broiler and peeling. I was not able to find any New Mexico Hatch Chiles. So I used 3 poblano and added some crushed red pepper flakes and of course the jalapeno cheese to make up for the missing 3 chiles
  4. cooking the wheatberries
  5. chopping onions, dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and garlic. I was not able to find the garlic-herb cheese she suggested so I bought jalapeno cheddar
  6. grating the cheese
  7. the corn was frozen so I didn’t have to do anything with that
  8. mixing it all together baking it in my new overpriced but pretty yellow french casserole dish
  9. baking for 45 minutes

I love squash and this is tasty with just enough zing but it did take me like 2 hours to make.