Displaced Geek

Just a city geek and father coming to terms with being replanted in farm country

Posts Tagged ‘food

Toddler Sick Day Fun

So the other night Gabriella informed us that her tummy hurt.

Coupled with her behavior and some other evidence unsuitable for readers with weak stomachs, it seemed a bug of some sort was upon us. Consequently, Friday was a bit of a sickday around the house. Lots of snuggling on the sofa watching old Disney movies, and things like that.

But there’s only so much musical animation one can take at a time, so we decided on doing a few “projects”.

Unfortunately I didn’t count on her “tummy bubbles” shortening her attention span so much. After several failed attempts at crafts pulled from our veritable library of kids craft books, Gabriella agreed to simply help me do a “daddy project”. Limoncello!
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Written by Peter

February 23, 2013 at 1400

Posted in parenting

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Wherein I “Cook” with Beer.

Forgive the brevity, this is only even getting posted because I said I would.

Here we go. Somehow, despite being out of town the day before (and the morning of), I got it into my head that I was going to make food for the Superbowl. I also decided that rather than make food I’d made before, I would try out all new recipes I got from a podcast. Better yet, they were recipes that weren’t actually written down anywhere, but instead just copied by me while listening to said podcast. This is how it turned out.

The plan was sausage, peppers, & onions (cooked in a mix of Otter Creek’s Copper & Winter Red Ales); accompanied by a series of sides/dips like sour cream & caramelized onion dip (made with Copper Ale), guacamole (made with Black IPA), and a kickass restaurant style salsa with no beer whatsoever. I had pans for the Hop Cream, Beer Hummus, and possibly 7-layer dip, but that never manifested.

  • The sausage was delicious. But let’s face it, cooking sausage in beer isn’t exactly a novel idea, so no big surprise there.
  • Emma‘s restaurant style salsa was also delicious, but has nothing to do with beer.
  • The guacamole was perfectly tasty, but we were pretty split as to whether or not you could even taste the beer, so clearly not worth it.
  • The sour cream & onion dip stunk.
  • Allow me to explain. In my humblest of opinions, sour cream & onion dip should taste at least slightly, if not strongly, like …wait for it… onions & sour cream! In this recipe, however, you’re supposed to caramelize the onions, and then deglaze the pan with beer. Once you’ve done that, you’ve created a delicious, sweet mass of caramelized onions, with a slight beer flavor. However, it completely and utterly undoes any bite from the sour cream. And since the onions are now sweet, they lack any bite whatsoever, so you’re left with a sweet, creamy dip that’s so bland no one wants to eat it. One way this might be able to be salvaged, is to add a bit of fresh chive and use it as a vegetable dip, but even then I doubt it’ll even approach being the most memorable dish served at any party.

    Meh, I’ll continue to use beer as an ingredient from time to time, but in the future I plan on using a bit more common sense instead of blindly following directions.

    Written by Peter

    February 16, 2013 at 1246

    Posted in food

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    Let me explain…

    No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

    Tasting notes are overrated.

    Written by Peter

    April 28, 2012 at 1723

    Posted in food

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    I’m not a foodie, I swear!

    But I like to eat, and I end up cooking fairly often. So that’s why I picked up several cookbooks when we went to our library’s book sale. The other night I put one of them to the test.

    You see I like the idea of cooking, but for me the actuality of it leaves much to be desired. I’m the kind of guy who feels that if I spend more time making the food than I’m going to spend eating it, it had better be something particularly special. But considering how often I end up in the kitchen, I periodically decide to learn how to make something new to add to my repertoire, regardless of the time it takes to make.

    One thing I’ve not been a success at in spite of my heritage is fresh homemade pasta. In truth, this is probably down to a lack of practice, since I’m pretty sure I’ve attempted it fewer times than I have fingers on each hand. Nevertheless, armed with Giuliano Bugialli’s Classic Techniques, I decided to give it a go.

    Now, despite my appreciation for vegetables, which should be apparent to anyone reading this, I am now, always have been and always will be a carnivore. In fact, I regularly spend way too much time thinking about various modifications to my chili recipe. So when Emma suggested that to go with the tagliatelle I wanted to make, should she make the Pioneer Woman‘s short ribs in tomato sauce, I leapt at the idea. The result was nothing short of my own personal food heaven.

    Somehow it all worked out perfectly. After Emma put the finished ribs/sauce in the oven, I worked on the pasta (eventually getting it thin enough to read through, although admittedly I would’ve liked it a touch thicker), and when it was ready, we tossed it into the pot with the sauce, Emma sauteed some sort of leafy green that we had (adding garlic to make it tasty), and voila! Food awesomeness.

    Written by Peter

    November 15, 2011 at 056

    Posted in food

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    Local or just Lazy?

    At the moment, I’m not sure there’s a difference.

    The other day Emma and I were talking about our CSA, and the comment was made that a lot more food went uneaten and was thrown out last year as opposed to this year. Now, nothing gets completely wasted, as anything we don’t eat is thrown into the compost, and helps to make more vegetables somewhere down the line. But it’s still frustrating to have vegetables go bad simply because you haven’t made the time to eat them. This year, we let a few cucumbers go bad, mostly because I forgot they were there, and that’s about it.

    It was during this conversation that I realized how much our eating habits have changed since we began our rural life.

    While living in the city is the epitome of convenience, we obviously pay for that ease of access in many ways. Not the least of which is the lack of truly fresh vegetables and fruit. And while there are reports that this is rapidly changing thanks to the increased market penetration of groups like Suburban Organics and Door to Door Organics, and a continual shift in the policies of chain stores like Wegmans, and Meijer, my personal experience with city food shopping, combined with continued reports of “local washing” have me doubting that your average consumer is getting anything fresher than they were years ago.
    (before Emma get’s on my case in the comments, yes, we had a produce guy that walked around with a cart when we lived in Baltimore, but I have no idea where those fruits came from, and since he had oranges and bananas when it was still pretty frosty outside, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t count)

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    Written by Peter

    August 17, 2011 at 1208

    Rainforest Baking 101

    This child has me wrapped around her finger. She knows it, I know it, everyone knows it. Even though I say no more often than Emma does, I’m still pretty much completely at her command, and I guess that’s just the way it is for now.

    So when she wanted to make cookies today, real, baked cookies, in the oven, I wanted to say no. Really, I did. I wanted to say, “No, I will not leave the comfort of the air conditioning in order to make cookies which you will then want to eat in place of food at every meal for as long as you can see them sitting on the counter”. But I didn’t.

    Written by Peter

    July 22, 2011 at 2212

    Posted in family, food, parenting

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    This wasn’t supposed to be a food blog…

    But since we eat pretty much daily, there’s always something to write about! The other day I decided to make use of the eggplant we’ve gotten for 2 weeks that’s just been sitting around.So I made baked stuffed eggplant and served it over white rice (because I loves me some rice). I’ll keep the recipe, but it would’ve been better if we had bigger eggplant, and our oven’s thermostat didn’t need to be replaced.

    Then this morning, inspired by this post, I decided to try my hand at making crêpes for the first time in about a decade.
    We filled them with bananas and Nutella, and topped them with Emma’s homemade blueberry jelly. Now they were delicious. Simple but delicious. I’ll have to make them more often, because they should have been thinner, but they were a tasty treat nonetheless.

    Written by Peter

    July 10, 2011 at 1403

    Posted in food

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