sourdough muffins

Made from sourdough yeast culture that was cultivated from the grain scooped from the bins at Whole Foods, so its origin is unknown. The culture was revived, proofed, then baked. It was dough left over from a batch made for a loaf that continued to proof in the refrigerator to further develop complex sourdough flavors. This portion of the dough that lacked the longer retarding proof hasn't even the slightest sourdough tang, still far more interesting than plain white bread made from commercial yeast. They're extremely light with a very thin crispy crust. They're a bit addictive.


To make eight:

1 Cup water
abour 1 Cup flour
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dry yeast
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

What to do:

● Dump the yeast into the water, ● add the sugar and ● melted butter.
● Add sifted flour by the tablespoon until you have a loose workable dough.
● Add salt
● Divide dough into half, then the halves into fourths, then the fourths into eights.
● Form into snakes, connect the ends into rings
● Cover and set aside on an oiled surface for awhile and cover
● Heat oil to 350
● Cook in oil, stand there and watch them puff up and turn them.

[● Coat in powdered sugar with cinnamon or chocolate ganache or whatever.]

tamale pie

Casserole actually, on the order of something like a lasagna, Mexican style. There's probably as many ways to do this as there are cooks. I made mine with things that I had on hand at the moment the impulse hit. It helps to begin by putting together a few mixtures then stacking the mixtures in a casserole dish. At the time, I had;

· Hatch green chiles, frozen
· Hamburger patties, preformed and pre-flavored with Worcestershire sauce salt and pepper
· Jimmy Dean™ sausage
· masa herena
· carry-over beans and rice
· cheddar and Provolone
· canned diced tomatoes
· lard and butter
· diced onion
· crushed and chopped garlic
· cumin

You could probably take all that, throw it into a bowl, mix it all up and come close, but let's at least try to have a little class.

Masa mixture, this will be the "crust" of your pie: lard and butter melted in microwave, 1 cup hot water, add enough masa flour by the tablespoon until you get the consistency you want. Sort of loose dough. Cover it and let it sit while you prepare the other mixtures.

Prepare the filling. Here, I used two ground beef patties and two small sausage patties. It could be anything actually, chicken works well, so does pork. Pork chili would be excellent. I mixed in 1/2 diced onion, 2 crushed and diced garlic cloves, a can of tomato, and half the Hatch chiles. That turned out to be a substantial amount of filling, more than I needed for my 1/2 size casserole dish which is the size of a bread pan.

Prepare a separate bean mixture. This step wouldn't be necessary, I just felt like it because I had it on hand. I also had frozen corn so I mixed them together with the remaining half of the Hatch chiles. This was intended to be be another layer.

Grated cheese

Here's where the fun starts if you're not having it already. Make layers with your prepared ingredients and stick the resulting pile into an oven for about half an hour to toast it all up. Remove it to add a sprinkling of cheese on top and return it to the oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese and finish cooking the whole casserole. Then serve. Quickly, then:


Olive oil
crushed garlic
tons of Rosemary chopped or broken up, fresh is best (tiny pine needles, actually)

Everything into a bowl, mix it all up, coat potato cut into six wedges, which is kind of tricky but can be done if you're sufficiently clever. Bake at 400˚F for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Crispy outside, tender inside. Yum.

jacket potato

With tuna
+cream cheese

how to make hashed brown potatoes

The idea behind crispy tender hashed browns is the same as with French fries; cook them before frying that way the starch in the potato is already cooked and doesn't go all sticky and gloppy on you when you fry them. They can be cooked however its convenient for you, a microwave is perfect. My microwave pretended to be overheated when I cooked this potato, which isn't possible with just one potato for six minutes. It does that sometimes, I'm convinced it just likes all the special attention. It's new, and threats to get a new new one are to no avail.

Half an onion is a nice addition

Roughly chopped for that rustic look and in accordance with how the potato is going to end up.

Garlic powder can be added at any time, even when it's totally finished. I avoided fresh garlic because I didn't want it to burn in the pan before everything finishes, which it has a tendency to do.

Some kind of herb, any kind of herb, just something. My fave ↓.

Tear it up, still being rustic. Some say cutting basil makes it turn black but that hasn't been my experience.

Butter and olive oil heating in a pan because that's what I like. You can use any oil you like, they all work.

In potato frying language, this is called the dehydration stage.

Lovely, innit? Homemade bread with oatmeal (tastes better untoasted) Every now and then I like my eggs the way my dad liked his because I'm a big fat copy cat and because I like to see if I can do it without breaking them.

AeroGarden two months

Herbs at two months.

Basil clipped from AeroGarden rooted in shot glass, to be planted in dirt.

aglio e oleo (method in pictures)

This could be called cielo su terra because that's what it is; heaven on earth -- simplicity at it's best. Because of that, the ingredients must be perfect. Do you hear? Perfect! This dish of pasta with olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese is a national favorite and can be embellished however you wish with whatever perfect ingredients you have on hand. Do keep it simple. Complexity just mucks it up and then you'd have to call it something else. Here's simplicity itself in 140 easy steps. Did I say 140? Sorry, meant to say just a few simple steps. What follows is a photo essay on method.

First of all, it really doesn't make much sense to make your own pasta, but that's what we're doing. Why? Because it's fun! If you decide to forgo this pure joy and use dry pasta instead, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that, cook it longer and test it for al dente by eating a strand as it nears completion and proceed normally. Spoil sport. Otherwise, we're not doing the standard volcano-on-the-board method here because there's no point in making an unnecessary mess and besides, nowadays we have dishwashers. Begin with one egg into a bowl and add ½ a shell of water.

Semolina and all purpose flour in equal portions, add by the tablespoon. Where do you get semolina flour, you ask? At Whole Foods, or some such, in the bins. You'll be impressed how inexpensive it is.

Use a knife to work into a ball. Divide in two.

Cover and set aside.

Prepare a large pot of water with enough salt to make it taste like sea water.

This is all the salt your pasta gets and you'll spill most of it out so don't be a sissy about it.

Now turn your attention to the cheese. It must say "Reggiano" on it. That way you'll know what you're using is autentico. These people of Parma put their hearts and souls into making this cheese, and this is carried through for generations. It would be a total bummer, and you'd be a complete moron not to appreciate one of the true wonders of the culinary world. Check to see your cheese is stamped on the side to make sure you're not being hornswoggled.

Well, it wouldn't be aglio e olio without the aglio now would it?

Smash the little guy's brains out.

Chop the smashed garlic and grate a piece of the cheese.

Use the best olive oil you have on hand.

Add it to a bowl with room temperature butter. More butter and olive oil than you'd imagine.

Toss in the garlic.

Consider extraneous material. If you decide to embellish, keep it simple and make it good.

Prepare it however you intend in advance because things are going to happen quickly.

Flatten one of the dough balls with either an Atlas or with a rolling pin. You can see the advantage of a machine. This has a motor, but it's far too fun using a crank to bother with electrified automation.

Hook on one of the various cutting attachments and move the handle over to it so that it moves the cutter and not the flattening roller.

Drop the cut pasta into the boiling salted water.

Stir it around to avoid clumpage. Stand there and watch it closely, this goes quickly since it's not dried and you don't want it to boil over.

Lift out the cooked pasta sopping wet and drop into the prepared bowl with the raw ingredients. The extra dripping hot water mixes with the butter and olive oil and this is what forms a sauce, right there in the bowl !!!111!!!eleventy!!!111!1!!

Keep adding the pasta.

Add it, I said, add it ALL.

Mix in the grated Parmesan

Be thorough about it.

Add the extraneous material if there is any, which believe me, isn't necessary and voila! Oops. I mean, presto!

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