Miso with spinach and tofu

Instant dashi with kombu seaweed and bonito. Made here at home.

Spinach is cooked by residual heat of the boiling water.

Tossed green salad

From Taste of Philly again. They make excellent salads and their blu cheese dressing is very good too.

Juice, various apples, large cucumber

Tuna sushi

Marinated in soy sauce

The last time I had sushi away from home they were made smaller than I do. 

The guy has small hands. Apparently.

So I made these smaller than usual.

This is what is leftover. I can have this as sashimi. 

Boy oh boy, I eat fifteen pieces of sushi and half a day later I'm hungry all over again.

Turkey dinner, cranberry sauce

This was put together with impressive speed and ease.

Five minutes max. 

Here's how.

The turkey was frozen and vacuum packed. 

So was the cornbread/sausage stuffing.

Those two things were last, microwaved for 1.5 minutes.

That's the plate that the rest goes onto. But it's last.

Cranberries are first, put into a small pot with boiling water and grated ginger, salt, sugar, cinnamon. Cooked while watching the berries pop. This took the longest. It's put on the plate last.

Thawed turkey stock that was previously frozen is sprinkled with cornstarch to thicken and stirred with salt and pepper. Microwaved for one minute. It makes excellent gravy in less than one minute.

Another pot with heated olive oil. Spinach to fill the pot and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Turned a few times and stopped the moment the spinach is wilted. This was less than one minute.

The plate is already started by reheating the turkey and stuffing. 

Gravy poured over those.

Spinach placed on the plate.

Cranberries put on the plate BOOM done.  

If you did this for a party of two it would impress your date.

If you did something similar to this for a party of, say, twenty-five, it would blow everyone's mind how amazing you are in the kitchen. Especially if you chose one of the guests to help you assemble the plates. They'd observe your ├ęclat in action and that would stick with them the rest of their lives. They'd be all, "Remember that time I helped you with that party when we made our own cranberry sauce?" You'd never hear the end of it. 

Coconut Mounds bars

They're good but not excellent.

I'm using plastic molds for Mounds and Almond Joy bars.

The molds are too shallow. Too small.

Vanilla darkens the white coconut and that is not acceptable. So does honey.

Here's the thing:

When I run coconut through juicer twice it extracts fat and milk and the dry white copra is extruded without them. Mounds and Almond Joy are made with desiccated coconut and corn syrup.

I want them to be white, not discolored from vanilla and I want them to be larger, taller and hold more coconut so these molds cannot be used. 

The coconut must be sticky to hold together for dipping. Next time I'll try heating corn syrup to soft ball stage and mix it with raw coconut with all of its fat and see how that goes. 

Shrimp and grits, cheese, bacon

1/4 cup corn kernels.

Originally 3/4 cup water. It kept taking up more water in 1/4 increments up to 1+1/2 cup. I think because I ground them so finely. This is the most water that I've seen cornmeal absorb. 

The heat of the cooked grits denatures the shrimp.

We food stylist types prefer photos like this ↑.

While we food critic types prefer plates such as this ↓.

The crunchy Romain adds a very nice textural contrast plus a bit of relief from the heat. The vegetables are a lot more refreshing than they are without contrast. 

Seared red bell pepper, spinach with pecans

An Italian guys said, "Man, these peppers are perfect."

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Pecans are fried for a minute then spinach is added and that's fried for another minute until it barely wilts. 

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