It Came From The Freezer! …a #FoodPorn Mystery

“What are we having for dinner?”

It was a simple question, really. But I honestly had no idea. It was a busy day in the middle of a busy week. Neither of us had put much thought into food.

“Isn’t there some chili left in the freezer?”

Well, yes. It is quite possible that one of the unmarked containers in the freezer is the last of the chili. So I took what I thought was a quart of chili from the freezer and set it in the sink to start defrosting while I went about the rest of my afternoon.

freezer2pcWe spent much of our free time last week taking stock of what needs to be done around the house before winter settles in. Beyond the usual furnace check-up and window insulation, our kitchen needs painting and the bathtub faucet needs adjusting. So we’ve set aside a few days next week for the anticipated multiple trips to the home improvement store. As usual, I spent the day playing “catch-up”.

When Love got home, he inspected the container that was defrosting in the sink.

“Honey. Are you sure this is chili?

Well, no. I wasn’t entirely sure what was in the container. There are six other quart containers just like it in the freezer. Three of them are chicken stock, two are chicken noodle soup, and one is potato leek soup. All of them are a pale yellow. The one defrosting in the sink was a beef stock brown. So it was either chili or stew. — I told you guys I like to cook.

As I entered the kitchen, Love was holding the container an inch from his nose. His eyes squinted as he turned the mysterious concoction in his hand, trying to identify it’s contents. He pointed at some small shapes visible through the plastic.

“I think these are mushrooms.”

There’s only one way to find out. Let’s heat it up and give it a taste. So I emptied the slushy mixture into a sauce pan and set the heat to low while I finished up the project I was working on. Ten minutes later, Love called from the kitchen.

“I don’t think this is stew, either.”

Now I was really confused! I got to the kitchen and took a look. In the pot was a brown stock with mushrooms floating around and very little else. I could identify some chopped onions. Maybe. But nothing else. We stared at each other for a minute before bursting out into laughter. We threw the mystery sauce away and ate some leftovers for dinner instead.

I still can’t tell you what was in that container. I honestly have no idea.

Since both of us were still in the mood for chili, the next day I made a big pot of it. And if there’s any left for freezing, you can bet I’ll put a label on it.

chili3a

 

Food Porn: The Sweet Days of Summer.

Β As summer approaches, I prepare simple syrup for iced coffee in the morning. This seems like a good vessel for something sweet. πŸ˜›

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Every joke and pun I can think of regarding that β€œman” bottle, and the sticky sweetness of simple syrup inside, is a bit too lewd for mixed company. πŸ˜‰

 

Basic Recipe
makes approximately 1Β 1/2 cups

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Simple, right?
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow mixture to cool, then decant into a clean container (preferably glass) with a tight-fitting lid. β€” or cork, like the sexy male torso bottle pictured. πŸ˜‰

Keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.

 

  • If you’ve got some vanilla ice cream in the freezer, float a small scoopful on top of your iced coffee.
  • Iced Coffee Float anybody? Put a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream into a tall glass then top with cold black coffee. It’s not exactly “diet” friendly but a little indulgence every once in a while doesn’t hurt.

Simple syrup is also great for fresh brewed iced tea and any mixed drink that calls for sugar.

Stay Cool!

Cooking, Grandma, Food, and Love

Like Pavlov’s dog, I think of my grandmother whenever I’m cooking.

I inherited my love of cooking from my grandmother. Some of my earliest memories involve helping her in the kitchen. She kept my little hands busy fetching ingredients from the pantry, rolling meatballs, or “tasting” the pasta to make sure it was al dente.

I’m pretty sure I was the only five year old who knew what al dente meant!

Food was how she expressed creativity and love. It was how she passed along wisdom to three of her grandchildren. Involving us in the process had the added benefit of keeping her abreast of what was happening in our lives.

What else are you supposed to do while you’re making pizzelles, but talk about school and friends?

Even as I’m cooking today, I can hear her voice, “Clean as you go.” She would insist that while I was waiting for the meat to brown or the water to boil, I could be cleaning the cutting board, the mixing bowl or the work surface.

food2Ingredients all lined up. One of the things I got from my grandmother is having ingredients prepped and ready.

Onions, wine & stock, tomato, flour, paprika & cayenne, tomato paste, fresh thyme, bay leaves, garlic, brown sugar & salt all wait their turn for “Onion Braised Brisket”

-o-

If it’s Sunday, I’m cooking. If I’m cooking, I’m thinking of my grandmother. πŸ™‚

Waste Not, Want Not…

You may have seen my recent lament about cleaning the refrigerator

“Just cleaned my fridge. Something creepy just escaped. It ran out the door, screaming something about invading Cleveland”

Among the items buried in the back of the freezer was a thick tuna steak, which we bought about six months ago to make Orange Chipotle Seared Tuna. It’s a great recipe. I highly recommend it.

Whenever I find good quality fish at a good price, I buy extra and freeze it. Of course, I do run the risk of forgetting those bargains as they make their way to the back of the freezer.

So here I was with this slightly freezer burned piece of tuna that I really didn’t want to throw away.

How could I save it?

Searching the interwebs, I found several recipes for Olive Oil Poached Tuna.Β 

I added the poached tuna to whatever veggies I found in the fridge, topped it with shaved Parmesan, and made this, rather satisfying salad…

Diner2

The tuna turned out great! The salad was delicious!