Stud Muffin loves popcorn. He used to have it for dinner about every two weeks or so. We’ve made it all ways. Air-popped. Microwave. On the stove top.
He has the stove top preparation down to a science. How much oil. How long to let the kernels absorb the oil, then turn up the heat to pop. We’ve tried many seasonings. Tabasco. Cheddar “cheese” powder. Butter and salt. Kettle corn. Different popping oils. Vegetable oil. Olive oil. Canola oil.
I always love the old standard, butter and salt, for my seasoning.
Stud Muffin can no longer partake of popcorn because it is one of the triggers for his diverticulitis. He’s been a pretty good sport about it, over all. He’ll occasionally ask me if I want some popcorn. I always say yes, because I know he needs to cook it, smell it, and enjoy it vi-carrie-ously. 😉
If I’m home alone and want some, I use Alton Brown’s microwave method. It’s super easy, delicious, and devoid of the chemicals in the store bought microwave bags. I do make one modification to Mr. Brown’s directions. He uses a stapler to close the bag. I’m afraid of opening the bag and letting the staple fall into the popcorn and eating it by accident. So I fold the bag top over two to three times, then make two small vertical tears or cuts through all layers of the fold, so I have three sections of bag. I fold the center section forward and the side sections back and it makes a secure seal and I don’t have to worry about digging out lost staples.
What’s your favorite way of making popcorn? Favorite flavor?
So, a family member recommended we watch Brunch at Bobby’s with Bobby Flay on the Cooking Channel. We DVR’d some episodes and have been watching them.
Last night we watched Brunch for a crowd. Bobby made a strata, which we often make when we have breakfast for a crowd. It can be assembled the night before, it has bread and eggs and cheese and who doesn’t like those ingredients?
Anyway, when Bobby demonstrated the Mini-German pancakes with Apple-Calvados Caramel sauce, Stud Muffin had to try it.
The results: amazing! They reminded me a lot of aebelskivers, the Dutch treat, except these sank in the middle after a minute of cooling. Which made the perfect little pocket for the apple caramel sauce.
We didn’t have Calvados for the sauce so SM substituted Grand Marnier. I thought it was delicious. He was frustrated at first because his sauce wasn’t thickening like Bobby’s did in about two minutes, so I suggested he add a teaspoon of cornstarch and he did. I thought the consistency of the sauce was perfect. It likely would have simmered down and been fine without the cornstarch but it would have taken quite a bit longer and we were hungry. OH, and we didn’t have any heavy cream so he used milk, and that may have affected the consistency too, but like I said it was nothing a tiny bit of cornstarch couldn’t take care of. The recipe also suggested two kinds of apples, which we used because we had them, but I think all Granny Smith would be just as delicious.
I’m not normally a coleslaw fan. Ever since I was a kid, it’s never been a favorite. I don’t know if I didn’t like the sweetness of some slaws or the tanginess. Whatever, if it was on the table, I may take a dollop out of politeness, but not with any gusto.
Until about five or six years ago when I had this amazing blue cheese cole slaw. The tang of the cheese isn’t a vinegary tang, it’s smooth and marries perfectly with the crunch of the cabbage. I make this all summer long and love it. I’ve even made the dressing on occasion by itself and used it on green salads. Yummmm!!!
I’ve named it for the friend who gave me the recipe. She even won an award for this one!
No picture (what was I thinking, not taking a picture of this stuff??) But I’ll be having some this weekend. I’ll snap one and add it later.
Abbie’s Blue Cheese Coleslaw
1 med green cabbage (about 2 lbs) thinly shredded (about 12 cups)
1 small red onion, slivered
1/4 C chopped parsley
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1/4 C tarragon wine vinegar
1/2 C each sour cream and may
1 C crumbled blue cheese
In a large bowl, lightly mix cabbage, onion, and parsley.
In a medium blow, mix sugar and salt, add vinegar and stir until sugar dissolves. Mix in sour cream and mayo, then fold in cheese.
Pour dressing over cabbage mixture. Mix lightly to coat with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours to blend flavors.
Stud Muffin and I both grew up on packaged macaroni cheese from the blue box. And contrary to what you may think, we both love it. It’s a comfort food. And until recently, we agreed that we’d never had a homemade mac and cheese that we liked any better.
That has officially changed.
For our recent cabin trip, the menu included mac and cheese one night that Stud Muffin was cooking. He looked around the web for a recipe and ended up choosing one from Food.com. We ended up having so much food at the cabin that he didn’t make it, but he did put it together to go with the hotdogs on July 4th.
This was the second-best homemade mac and cheese I’ve ever had. But it’s a much simpler recipe than the first best.
The Fannie Farmer recipe begins with a roux, then a Bechamel sauce. Stud Muffin used plenty of good cheddar so the result had a rich and creamy cheese flavor. The crumbs on top gave it a nice textural crunch.
Stud Muffin is very adventurous in his culinary journeys. He has few lines he won’t cross and is willing to give most anything a taste. He enjoys lingua tacos (tongue) and tripas (pork intestines).
I am not so adventurous. I like my tacos with chicken or carne asada. And intestines will never be on my plate. Just sayin’.
We’d tried oysters a couple of times and were both underwhelmed. They seemed slimy and not much taste for a lot of work.
So we were both a bit unsure when Stud Muffin was assigned Oysters Rockefeller for his appetizer offering for his recent Men’s Cooking Club dinner. But he trusted his brother’s recipe and dove in.
The ingredients were good:
So I took a tentative bite.
And was completely surprised. The oyster wasn’t slimy. It was tender and delicious. The topping of cheese and spinach and butter complemented the oyster but didn’t overpower it. The oyster still added its own flavor. The crumbs gave it a nice crunch, but not so much that it overpowered the oyster, which is supposed to be the star of the dish.
I learned a lesson: I can take some culinary tasting risks and just may find a new dish to enjoy.
Do you have a dish that you thought you didn’t like? Until you tried it again?