Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kitchen Equipment Bedrock

How has it taken me so long to reunite with ol' Ironsides?

I'm not referring to Oliver Cromwell.

Or the HMS Britannia.

No- not even the USS Constitution.

I love me some cast iron skillet. Do you own one? The obvious answer should be yes. Do you use it? Once again the answer should be yes- how could it not be!

Let's all take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is 10 pounds of searing heat:

Oh yes....cast iron burrito perfection. 

(Appreciate, also, that I had to take a single bite of my delicious burrito and then spend 5 minutes trying to finagle a photo before being allowed to devour my spicy, meaty, cheesy manna.) 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Laziest Recipes Ever: Biscuit Donuts

I have a few recipes in my arsenal that I'm embarrassed by.

They're quick.
They're yummy.
They're easy.

But seeing as how they're basically methods of dressing up box mixes and heat-to-eat items, they're hardly worthy of being called a 'recipe'.

However, Pinterest has positively exploded with these kinds of edibles, and as a frequent pinner I can't seem to escape the descriptions of "EASIEST THING EVER USING STORE-BOUGHT DOUGH!" "SIMPLEST RECIPE MADE WITH BOX MIX- SOOO GOOD!" for recipes with names like "Garbage Bread", "Slutty Brownies" and "White Trash Dip".

Sometimes, I'd like to get on my soapbox with my homemade wontons and shake my head at the 'semi home-made' methods....but it's hard to climb up on a box when I'm stuffing my face with things like this and this.

Add to that list these lovelies, and I'm pretty much part of the 'slutty-white trash-garbage' cult:

Biscuit Donuts:

1 tube refrigerator biscuit dough (not flaky/layered!)

Oil (for frying- so vegetable, peanut or coconut are good options)

1 stick butter, melted

1 cup cinnamon/sugar mix

Heat oil in a dutch oven, wok, or large pan over medium heat.

Remove the biscuits from the tube. Cut each biscuit into quarters for 'donut holes', or punch out the middle of each donut using a shot glass/small cookie cutter for traditional donuts.

Test the oil temperature by dropping a small amount of biscuit dough in the pot: bubbles should quickly form around the dough.

When the oil is hot enough, beginning frying your donuts. Allow the underside to turn golden brown (~2-3 minutes) before flipping to the other side (~2 minutes).

Place donuts on paper-towels and allow to drain/cool for a minute. Dip donuts in melted butter, and then toss in the cinnamon/sugar mix. (Frostings, glazes, or powdered sugar dustings are also acceptable). Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How Did I Not Think of This Sooner? Grocery List

grocery list
photo via Food52

I love grocery shopping.

Meditating, decompressing, self-reflection, cleansing....whatever you do with through that stuff, I do through grocery shopping.

Which is maybe why it takes me an average of two hours before I check out.

Of course for normal people, grocery shopping has a much more obvious purpose. We check the cupboards, jot down a list, and head off to replenish our larders. Simple enough, eh?

But if you're anything like me, you'll find yourself with a stack of new recipes that you've been meaning to try, and upon discovering that you don't have the random ingredients necessary on hand, you'll either A. sigh and go back to the grocery store or B. sigh and toss the recipe into the 'another time' pile.

I came across a post on Food52 that addressed just this very conundrum- glad to know I'm not the only unorganized schmuck when it comes to making a proper grocery list!

This method is ideal for when you're planning a big meal or menus for the week. It's fastest to do it on a computer, but seeing as I don't have a printer at home I just resort to the good ol' pen and paper ways of yesteryear....

Step 1 - Create Headings 

Make headings for the respective departments (i.e. Produce, Meat, Frozen, Aisle, etc...) Sometimes when I'm feelin' real type-A, I'll break them down into sub-categories (Meat: Poultry, Beef, Pork, Lunch Meat/Breakfast Meat or Aisle: Cereal, Canned, Dry Baking Goods, etc..) Whatever floats your organizational boat!

Step 2 - Fill in the headings

I begin with my 'replenish items' first....things like 'cereal' that wouldn't be part of a recipe, or 'flour' if I know I'm running low.

Then take all of those recipes you've been meaning to try and copy/paste their ingredient lists directly into each category, only omitting items that you know you won't need.

Step 3 - Condense your list

Now go back over your list, combining repeated recipe items into one overall quantity.


    4 pounds bone/skin chicken thighs
    2 pounds bone/skin chicken thighs
    4 pounds bone/skin chicken thighs
    Becomes: 10 pounds bone/skin chicken thighs

Maybe it's just me- but I was a little confused the first time I read through this method...and then it suddenly clicked and I felt like a moron for not having thought of this sooner. Imagine- no more guessing how many pounds you meant when you scribbled 'butter' on your list, or what kind of cut 'pork' is supposed to be!

Better yet- it's kind of a foolproof shopping list to send someone else to the store with...

Photo credit and article reference: Kristen Miglore, Food52