butter burger on sweet potato bun

The cheese is a thick slice of Wisconsin cheddar hand cut from a block that is heated on the burger's first side of the half cooked hamburger after it's flipped then flipped again with the cheese to melt directly onto the pan so the cheese is actually fried in the same pan that fried the hamburger.

curry chicken thighs and potatoes

fried rice with mixed vegetables and tenderloin steak

A sauce is prepared for the sliced meat and added to the vegetables all cooked as a stir fry, the meat is boiled for one minute and added to rice steamed the usual way.

The sauce is intended to hit every taste bud, salt, sweet, sour, bitter, umami and capsaicin heat with a bit of sesame seed oil. 

* soy sauce
* brown sugar
* rice vinegar
* sesame seed oil
* Worcestershire sauce
* cayenne powder
* mustard powder
* garlic powder
* water

large steak, mashed potatoes, beef gravy, mixed fried vegetables

It is a very large steak, but man, does it ever go down easily.

double malted milkshake

The ice cream has malt and so does the chocolate. 

The banana is frozen. It's one of those things where the banana begins to go soft so it's cut up and frozen for this. 

peanut butter and jelly crackers

Raspberry preserves, to be exact.

My cheese crackers are all gone. Five trays of crackers, gone, just like that. 

The light ones are better and these are all mostly dark. They bake much faster than cheese crackers. Nine minutes at 375℉ will do it. 

The peanut butter that I have on hand is chunky and there isn't much of it. But then a little bit of peanut butter goes a long way, it is an exceedingly powerful flavor. As my cheese crackers kept diminishing rapidly I kept passing a bowl of these peanuts. I have lot of these so I processed them a handful at a time with a tablespoon of flour so that the coffee bean machine doesn't bog down. It worked!  Very well, actually. Now my coffee will taste like peanuts. 

No it won't. I cleaned it by grinding a few kernels of popcorn. 

Now my coffee will taste like corn. 

No it won't. I lied. 

These crackers taste surprisingly good. Both flavors, peanut butter and raspberry preserves come shining right though.

On impulse I added a teaspoon of cayenne because I like that surprise bump in everything. It's subtle. But it sharpens the flavor profile beautifully.

cheese soda crackers

I had leftover stinky cheese, a few ounces, and leftover hard cheese of non-descript blandness, a few ounces, and new aged Wisconsin cheddar, also a few ounces. Plus 3/4 stick of butter grated into two cups of flour. 

* two level teaspoons baking powder
* generous pinch of kosher salt. (The cheese and butter also have salt.) 

The cheese and butter count as fat. These crackers have a lot of fat. 1 cup of water would be 100% hydration by weight to the flour. And that is too wet. So more flour is added to dry it up a little while still being wet but not tacky. Two handfuls did the trick.

The careless dough ball is divided into 4 segments, one at a time they are crushed into a snake shape nearly the length of the silicone mat. The snake flattened and rolled paper thin right off the edge of the silicone mat and trimmed with a bench scraper. The trimmings are collected, the dough still sufficiently wet to form a 5th snake shape, so 5 trays are baked in sequence for 11 minutes each. I have 6 of these trays with silicone mats just for this type of thing, so it's like a restaurant over here. They are moved from top shelf to middle shelf in the oven as they go. At the end some trays are returned to the oven, or parts of trays are returned to the oven for a few minutes until the crackers snap when broken. I'm eating these things as I go. 

Because the dough is so loose and wet they are amazingly easy to roll out. The whole project goes very quickly. 

I forgot to mention these also have a trace of cayenne and generous tarragon. They are interesting cheesy crackers. There is nothing like them because I just made them up by improvization.  

And you can too.

Come on! Be a sport. Try this. You'll love the result.

Man, this Mexican shrimp cocktail is good. Now I'm going to be afraid to order this in a restaurant because I doubt they can make it good as this. *sticks out hand* I bet. 

Mexican shrimp cocktail

Shrimp is boiled in clam juice that comes in a small jar found usually where the sardines are at the grocery. The clam juice picks up the shrimp flavor and is added back to cocktail mixture.

We cook types like to boil the shells of the shrimp because a good deal of shrimp flavor is locked up into the carapace. The liquid is strained, obviously. 

It's a nice combination of diced vegetables.

* about a cup of diced tomato
* a few stalks of celery
* an English cucumber
* red onion, I used sweet onion
* I used a sweet red bell pepper
* one large jalapeño pepper

* one pound of shrimp pieces
* 1 jar of clam juice
* half cup of catsup
* hot sauce, I used habanero

* dash of cayenne
* salt
* pepper
* bunch of cilantro chopped (I added mine after these photographs)
* one cubed avocado
* 1/2 pickle juice (mine is from bread and butter pickles, kind of sweet) 

pita bread meatball sandwich

The bread has whole wheat (milled here at home), pre-cooked potato, and regular A/P flour.

Once again, I spaced out the salt. 

Torrone, Italian almond and pistachio nougat candy

Bags of nuts are heated so that they are hot when dumped into the mixture at the end. Along with pistachios and almonds, these include pecans because those are my favorite.

Lemon peel is rasped off a lemon, here a lime and an orange because I couldn't find the lemon I bought.

Two egg yolks are separated into a mixing bowl to rise to room temperature. 

Honey and sugar and corn syrup are heated to 310℉, the hard crack stage.

When the sugars, whatever your combination, reach 270℉ then the mixer is turned on to beat the egg whites to soft peak stage.

The melted sugar is slowly drizzled into the beaten egg whites.

salt and vanilla extract are added.

The heated nuts are added. 

The more difficult the mass is to handle then the firmer the toffee will be. This was extremely difficult to get out of the bowl and still the toffy is malleable, tends to spread and still sticks to each other as gooey toffee after it is cut. I am not allowing the sides of the pieces to touch each other or else they will connect. 

So then, this is a meringue candy with gooey near caramelized (but not quite) sugar added to it and containing your favorite citrus flavors, your favorite nuts, or your favorite dried fruit. 

Edible wafer paper placed on the bottom of the pan then on top of the toffee to help make the gooey candy manageable. Some confectioners dip them in chocolate, others coat the tops with white or dark chocolate. 

I should have used more than three egg whites, then I could have used all the nuts that I heated and the pan that I used would have been filled to the edges and higher. Eh. Live and learn. 

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