Why, Yes. That is an Apple Sandwich.

A week ago, I made apple sandwiches for dinner.

I mean, I made apple and caramelized onion sandwiches for dinner.

I mean, I made sandwiches containing apples, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and smoked tomato jam for dinner.

Man, those sound really different, don’t they?

Yum. Just yum.

While making the sandwiches, all I could focus on was finding some way to save dinner. See, my original plan sounded dreamy to me. And simple. And oh, how I need simple after work these days. And the plan was chicken sandwiches.

Unfortunately, I got home, started getting things ready for sandwiches, and discovered that the leftover roast chicken looked bad. And I was bummed. And freaked out, because I had to figure some substitution fast. Because while chicken sandwiches with caramelized onion, goat cheese, and tomato jam sounded good, without the chicken it somehow no longer sounded good.… Continue reading →

Bill’s Bitter

He so rarely gets a good non-alcoholic drink when we go out places. In restaurants, there’s usually mediocre iced tea, maybe some sodas. At drinking friend’s homes, there’s water. Maybe a soda, maybe not. Indeed, he’s always very grateful to our friend Theresa, because she makes an active effort to have interesting beverages beyond water for him.

Me? I just have gotten so used to cocktails, beer, and wine that I tend to want fairly complex drinks, even when I don’t want booze. Tea, when it’s good, often fills this niche. It’s how Bill finally got me into coffee.

But, sometimes, we want something even more. Or maybe we want cool drinks. Let me tell you what, iced coffee and iced tea only occasionally provide the fun we’re looking for in cool drinks.… Continue reading →

First attempt at smoked almonds.

I think smoked almonds are my favorite “healthful snack.” They’re high on the list if they aren’t number one. Their major drawback, as far as I’m concerned, is that they can be too salty and not smokey enough.

So, when Bill got me a smoker for Christmas, almonds were one of the first things I wanted to try out. I didn’t consider whether raw almonds are cheaper (though I assume they should be since there’s less processing to be done), or anything similar.

A pile of smoked almonds!

Monday, I tried them out. Like almost any kitchen(-related) appliance, the smoker came with directions and recipes. The smoked nuts recipe was nearly useless. It said to smoke them for an hour. No suggestion on kind of flavor.… Continue reading →

I Wish I Had Smoked Pasta Sauce Again.

I haven’t really ever developed a recipe. I don’t know what goes into recipe development. I mean, I assume some research happens if you know you want to make a specific kind of food/recipe, but I know that’s not how amazing recipes always start. Often, I know, they start with throwing some stuff you have on hand together with no real plan and low expectations and it coming out amazingly.

That’s the kind of recipe development I’m looking for help with right now. Because I’ve learned and heard that usually these one-off meals cannot be replicated. Which is frustrating and unfortuante. It also bothers my innate desire for replication as a scientist-type.

But, more immediately, I have a pasta sauce I wish to replicate for here on my blog.… Continue reading →

Carne Adovada Repair?

So, Tuesday was Bill and I’s second wedding anniversary. The plan was for it to start with carne adovada breakfast burritos.

I dragged my father, who was visiting Sunday and Monday, to one of our two butcher shops to buy 5 lbs of meat. I carefully trimmed it down and cut it into chunks late Monday night after visiting with several of my beer friends at a beer launch. I placed it in the same slow-cooker I have always made carne adovada in, with the same amount of red chile (two cups) I have always used.

The house smelled amazing the next morning when we opened the slow-cooker. We were very excited. Only to have our hopes cruelly dashed once we tried a piece.

It… was bland.… Continue reading →