Making bread and crackers today.

This is my second attempt at crackers and, while they are quite easy to make and taste fine, I've yet to achieve the texture and crunch of the better store-bought crackers.

Mine are a little too crunchy actually. In one sense this is better than store-bought, because they do not break as easily when scooping up cream cheese or peanut butter. So, even if I don't figure out the trick for a lighter cracker, they are probably fine the way they are…

Made 'get crazy using up stuff in the freezer' pilaf tonight.

From the freezer: Chicken broth I made a while back, the last of a bag of frozen mixed veggies, and 2 chicken thighs.

From the spice shelf: Smoke seasoning, smoked paprika, dried chilis, and more. (Maybe a little too much of the smoke and the chilis and more?)

Everything into the rice cooker, along with two cups of long-grain white rice and a little extra water.

Result: Yum! (Maybe a bit spicy? Except I LIKE spicy.)

[CONTD]

Fresh tomatoes from my garden, thinly sliced and sprinkled with seasoning salt and a few drops of key lime juice.

A simple pleasure.

While I was de-cluttering I came across an electric broiler with a rotisserie system. I bought the thing years ago, new in box, at a garage sale – but never used it.

So today, since it was already hot enough outside to cook sous vide, I set the thing up and cooked a whole chicken outside. Worked great! Took about three hours to get the chicken to the proper internal temperature.

The chicken was fully cooked, nice and juicy, and had a crackly skin. Now I want to try a dry-rubbed roast!

When you put an English Muffin in the toaster and then go check it and realize you didn't push the handle down and you still have raw English Muffins.

If you think about it, English Muffins are an odd .

1. Basically inedible until they are toasted

2. Not 'English' at all (American invention, like 'French Toast') - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_

3. Not even 'Muffins' in the strictest sense - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muffin

4. Purely a factory food, there's no such thing as 'home made English Muffins'

Nowadays a roadside stand might have Rainier, Chelan, Tieton, Lambert, Index, and (of course) Bing cherries. And all of them have their own unique taste and texture.

And I love all of them. I actually have to watch myself because I will literally eat them until I get sick. (Too many cherries do bad things to your lower digestive tract.)

But, as I said, when I was a kid it was mostly Bings, thus why they are 'the taste of summer' to me.

Go buy some cherries!

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Recipe – Lazy Cherry Pie

Ingredients, per serving:

* 1/4 to 1/3 cup canned cherry pie filling (the 'Lite' version has a lot less calories)

* 2 to 3 graham crackers

* 2 tbls whipped cream (or, my favorite, sour cream)

Put cherry pie filling in a cup or bowl. Coarsely crush graham crackers and stir into the pie filling. Top with whipped cream.

Oho! I always suspected Mongolian barbecue had nothing to do with Mongolia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolia

(It's still tasty though!)

However… Turns out there is an actual Mongolian barbecue dish called 'Khorkhog'. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorkhog

Honestly? Khorkhog sounds like something Klingons would eat while it was still wriggling.

Dinner underway. Tonight is refried beans, Mexican rice, and a Southwest omelette.

The Southwest omelette is your basic 3 egg omelette filled with chorizo, cheese, and hatch chili. 😋

I have an easy trick for the Mexican rice: make the whole thing in the rice cooker! Just replace half the water with 1.5 times as much salsa and cook normally. For example, if your rice requires 2 cups of water, use 1 cup of water and 1.5 cups of salsa.

I know what it sounds like, but it tastes great.

> Casu marzu: The world's 'most dangerous' cheese. cnn.com/travel/article/casu-ma

> "The maggot infestation is the spell and delight of this cheese," says Paolo Solinas …

I know I'm a little late to this party, but I tried an 'Impossible Burger' for the first time tonight.

I made a capris salad and home fries with my air fryer to go with it. Since the patty came frozen in a package I also cooked a regular frozen hamburger patty for comparison. Both were cooked for the same length of time on one of those 'george foreman' style grills and I ate both with a slice of sharp cheddar, ketchup, and mustard.

And?

[contd]

Things I've mixed with plain old Tomato Soup, which transform it from a mundane sandwich side into a quick and surprisingly tasty full meal:

* Canned Mini Ravioli

* Canned or leftover Corned Beef Hash

* Leftover Taco Meat and Tortilla Chips

* Leftover Spaghetti

I'm sure there's more possibilities I haven't yet plumbed…

When you are poking around inside your freezer, looking for something you want to make for dinner, and a frozen pizza falls out and the wrapping splits open and now you're having pizza for dinner.

[About Wasabi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasabi

1. It's pronounced wa-sabi, not waSA-bee

2. Almost all the wasabi available in the USA and Europe is fake, made with horseradish and food coloring

3. Wasabi has been researched as a fire alarm for the deaf, "One deaf subject participating in a test of the prototype awoke within 10 seconds of wasabi vapor sprayed into his sleeping chamber."

4. You can eat the leaves, "… but a common side effect is diarrhea."

Loaded the Instapot with dry mixed beans, onions, celery, garlic, carrots, peppers, and lots of spices. For the broth I used water and 32 ounces of the concentrated ham broth I made with the Instapot after Christmas.

This is an experiment. There is some chance the beans will not be fully cooked, in which case I'll switch it to 'slow cooker' mode and cook more overnight.

But, if the 'pressure cooker' mode can take dry beans to tender in four hours? Gold! I'll be making beans more often.

Last week I got an email out of the blue indicating the purchase had gone through and was being shipped. WTF?

I was confused, but decided not to raise hell with them for charging my credit card nearly two months after the original purchase. I mean, I did still want it.

It arrived yesterday and today I tried it out by making some pulled chicken from thighs I had in the freezer. Worked pretty well, so now I am making chicken stock with the leftover bones and skin and added spices.

[fin]

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Note: The air fryer burrito trick also works with frozen egg rolls and, I imagine, other microwaveable versions of fried or toasted foods.

Forex, I haven't tried making frozen corn dogs with one yet, but I'll bet the result would be far more palatable than straight out of the microwave.

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Tonight's dinner was one of those, "What can I make different than usual with what's in the fridge," meals: gyro salad.

I didn't have pita bread, but I did have seasoned chicken meatballs and chopped salad mix – to which I added thin-sliced onion and cut-up sweet peppers. Topped it with sriracha and tzatziki sauce and ate it from a bowl.

And, yeah, I did just happen to have tzatziki sauce despite not having pita bread. Funny story about that…

Dinner tonight was super tasty *and* super easy. I made rice with peas in the rice cooker and broiled cut up dinner sausage with BBQ sauce in the hot-air fryer.

(At max temp so I could get some Maillard reaction going.) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard

Then dump the sausage on top of a bowl of rice and peas. Yum!

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