I’ve got a special recipe for y’all today. It’s one of those that just kind of happens without you trying.
- 1 Electric Kettle + Water
- 1 German Roach (Adult)
- Move into an apartment that is roach infested.
- Spend a month of your life de-roaching and cleaning and painting and hating your
life apt complex (optional).
- Feel somewhat safe since there haven’t been any sightings in awhile and you keep the kitchen clean (mostly).
- Use your electric kettle multiple times a day (be sure to never look inside when you refill the water)
- Hear boyfriend shout from the kitchen for you to come see something.
- Realize you’ve been drinking boiled roach water for…you don’t want to think about how long.
- Repeat step 2.
"I want you smothered, want you covered, like my Waffle House hash browns."
The Waffle House All-Star is a beautiful, 3-billion-calorie breakfast composed of the classic Waho waffle, hashbrowns or grits, buttered toast, eggs your way, and bacon or sausage (omitted here because…ew meat). I present my modified version:
Copy-Cat Waffles (served with real maple syrup and real butter)
Eggs, sunny-side up
Waffle House sets a pretty high waffle bar, and while these waffles don’t quite clear it, they’re the closest I’ve tasted.
Waffle House Waffle—adapted from food.com
- 1 1/2 cups flour (I use KA Gluten-Free)
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp stevia
- 2-3 tbs malt
- 4 tbs butter (try making your own)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter milk (try making your own)
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Cream butter with stevia and malt powde. Add egg. Add rest of dairy. Combine with dry mix.
- Waffle iron it up.
- Serve with copious amount of butter and syrup*
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup grits
- Generous handful of cheese (cheddar works well, but almost any soft cheese you have on hand besides something funky like bleu, brie should be good), chopped/shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil water with a pinch of salt. Stir in grits. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes or until grits are desired texture. Add more water if need be.
- Turn off heat and add in cheese, stirring to melt. Season to taste. Eat.
*and with Hash Browns, Eggs with TONS of pepper, Fresh OJ, Coffee and a Juke Box that is 30% waffle house original singles, 50% Rihanna, and 20%
bad amazing 90s hits.
I swear I don’t consume as much sugar as this blog seems to indicate. It just happens to be that when I do, it turns into a post….or diabetes.
Salted caramel cheesecake with a chocolate praline crust and topped with MOAR CARAMEL!
MOAR SUGAR!!! Diet starts…tomorrow. Cheesecake today.
Mini Turtle Cheesecakes:
Makes roughly 1 dozen
(You’ll have some left over in case you want to pour on top of cheesecakes, or you know, eat from a spoon)
- 2 cups Sugar (just don’t look while you pour it and it won’t seem so bad)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium-low heat. Swirl (not stir!) the mixture every now and then. It’ll become a clear liquid once the sugar all dissolves/melts and then slowly, very slowly, it’ll get some color and bubble up. Keep swirling.
- Once it’s a nice amber, turn the heat to low and add the butter in increments, swirling the pan to melt after each addition.
- Add the cream and swirl (you can stir some now) until it’s a homogeneous mixture. (If the sugar is sort of hardening and not incorporating the butter and cream, turn the heat back up to medium until it does.)
- Salt to taste. Remove from heat and transfer to a glass jar and let cool at least to room temp (preferably chilled in the fridge).
- 1 1/2 Cups Pecans
- 2 tbs Butter, melted
- 1 tsp Stevia
- 1 tsp Salt
- Combined last 3 ingredients and then pour over pecans, mixing and coating well. Bake in a single layer in a 350 degree oven (or toaster oven) for 8 minutes or until they start to smell roasted. Be careful not to burn them. Let cool.
- 34 graham crackers (1 sleeve or about 2 1/2 cups ground)
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- Candied Pecans from above
- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Caramel (I don’t remember how much, maybe a cup?)
- Grind the graham crackers to crumbs (I use my blender and just pulse in batches) and mix with the butter. Press crumb mixture into muffin tins or ramekins (or these wicked awesome silicone baking cups that I loooove), pushing crumb mix up the sides.
- Mix together candied pecans, chocolate chips, and enough caramel to lightly coat everything. Evenly spread this mix among the bottoms of the prepared crusts, set aside.
- 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup caramel
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and then add the eggs, beating until sort of fluffy. Fold in the sour cream and caramel. Pour into prepared crusts. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until done.
- Top with additional caramel and pecans. EAT!!!
Made some tasty Mushroom Dumplings for The August edition of the Donna Hay Styling & Photography Challenge (DHSPC) run by JungleFrog Cooking. Check out her blog for more challenges and some other great recipes and foodography tips.
For the recipe:
- I used red habañero peppers instead of chilies because it’s the closest thing my local market had and I wasn’t feeling the 20-mile drive to my nearest international market.
- I used arugula in place of the cilantro and the micro herbs for similar reasons and because it’s what I had on hand.
- Among a couple of other smaller subs, I made my own vegetable stock instead of chicken and used hoisin instead of oyster sauce.
- Threw in some corn into the dumplings because it was calling to me from the fridge and I think it worked out really well.
I know these are pretty big/taboo mods, so I think it’s testament to the strength of the original recipe that it was still phenomenal even with so many changes.
The original image to be replicated by the very talented Chris Court:
Photo by Chris Court
For the shot:
- I slapped some red habañero slivers on my plain white spoons to achieve a similar effect to that cool red design on the original spoons.
- I used some galvanized sheet metal I had in the garage (got for less than $10 from Home Depot to make chalkboards). I honestly beat the crap out of it with a wrench and a hammer but somehow only two little dents showed up in the final shot. Bummer.
- I know my angle and lighting aren’t perfect, but it’s as close as I could get.
Photo on the right by Chris Court
Mushroom Dumplings—from Donna Hay, courtesy of Jungle Frog Cooking
- 4 cups chicken stock (1 liter) —> (I used homemade veggie stock)
- 2 cups water (500 ml)
- 10 cm ginger (peeled and sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (lightly crushed)
- 50g dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon chinese rice wine (Shaoxing)
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar —> (I used palm sugar)
- 100g fresh shiitake mushrooms
- micro herbs (thinly sliced red chilli and chilli oil to serve) —> (I used arugula)
Mushroom and galangal dumplings
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 400g mixed asian mushrooms
- 2 cm galangal (peeled and finely grated) —>(I used ginger)
- 1 red chili (chopped) —> (used habañero)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chinese black vinegar (Chinkiang)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce —> (used hoisin)
- 1/4 cup coriander (chopped, cilantro) —> (used arugula)
- 24 wonton wrappers
- To make the mushroom and galangal dumplings, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the mushroom, galangal, chili and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the soy, vinegar and oyster sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the coriander. Set aside to cool completely.
- Place the wonton wrappers on a clean bench top dusted with rice flour and brush the edges of the wrappers with water. Place 2 teaspoons of the mushroom mixture into the center of each wonton wrapper and bring each corner together to form a pyramid shape. Cover and set aside.
- Place the stock, water, ginger, garlic, dried shiitake mushrooms, rice wine and sugar in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the broth and return to the saucepan. Increase the heat to medium, add the dumplings and fresh shiitake mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes or until wontons are transparant. Top with microherbs and chili and serve with chili oil. Serves 4-6
Note from Jungle Frog Cooking
- Some of the ingredients in this recipe might be a little harder to find if you do not have an Asian store nearby. Some of the substitutes you could use are:
- Galangal - you can use ginger here
- Shaoxing rice wine - sherry is a reasonable substitute
- Chinese black vinegar - a mild balsamic might be a good substitute here although it is not entirely the same. If you do not have balsamic, try a regular good vinegar
- Dried Shiitake mushrooms - these might be hard to find too although the dried mushrooms are quite essential for the taste of the broth. Try another type of dried mushroom you can find
Like chicken marsala, but without the chicken…or the marsala.
It’s actually “Mashed potatoes with cheap-generic-red-wine-reduction sauce.” But that isn’t as catchy.
My bf is the not-so anomalous vegetarian that doesn’t like vegetables. Challenge accepted, I say. Fortunately, he’ll eat pretty much anything I set in front of him, no questions asked—including vegetables. This meal, the “wine mushroom thing” as he calls it, is one of his favorites. I’m pretty sure he has no idea what’s in it, but he likes it.
Garlic Potatoes with Marsala Sauce
Serves one giant portion (my bf’s hibernation meal), or two smaller servings
- 2 medium starchy potatoes, rinsed (cool folks leave the skins on, fyi)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed/finely minced (or to taste)
- 2 tbs Butter
- Roughly 3/4 cup of dairy, from any combination of milk, cream, cream cheese, or sour cream. I generally do a mix depending on what I have on hand. Add just enough dairy until you have a creamy texture.
- A bit of hard cheese such as asiago or parm, grated (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A sprinkle of chives if you’re feeling fancy
- Cook whole potatoes until fork tender (either nuke, bake, or steam—I think steaming is the fastest)
- While potatoes cook, put the butter and garlic in a large bowl (putting them in alone at first ensures that the hot potatoes will melt the butter and slightly cook the raw garlic)
- Mash the cooked potatoes in the bowl with the garlic and butter. I like to slice the potatoes a bit before mashing so that you don’t get giant pieces of skin.
- Add in the rest of the dairy (I know it seems like a lot, but the starchy potatoes will absorb the liquid it as you mix)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Set aside…or sneak spoonfuls while making everything else
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 large portobello mushroom, or equivalent smaller portabellinis, roughly 2 cups when thinly sliced
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste (I usually forgo salt and pile on the pepper)
- 1 cup red wine (any will do, don’t waste your good stuff on this)
- Small handful of Sun-dried tomatoes (optional—my bf hates them, but I love them in this)
- Melt butter in a skillet on high heat. Toss in the mushrooms and onion if using. Let brown for 5 minutes or so, stir, cook another few minutes.
- Pour in the wine, pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook until wine has reduced to a thick syrup. Remove from heat.
- Pour sauce over mashed potatoes. Serve with grilled cauliflower or other tasty veggie. Top everything with a sprinkle of asiago. Mmmmm.
Ever gotten jalapeno oil in your eyes? Yeah, it’s a bummer.
Not that I would know how that feels—I’m not an injury-prone idiot…
By “baked” I really mean the lazy man’s version of jalapeno poppers. I like cheese, I like jalapenos. I just combined them in the easiest way I could without any complicated breading or frying.
It’s weird, within the same batch, one popper will be super sweet and not the least spicy, and another popper of comparable size will be hot as hell. It’s odd. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t handle spicy
don’t make these bake them longer on a lower heat before broiling.
I usually eye-ball ingredients when I make this, and when I measured I was making 6 billion for a cookout. Amounts might’ve wonkied a bit in the process of scaling down. Fortunately, this is a really flexible recipe. Worst that could happen is you and up with some leftover filling or jalapenos, but hopefully the ratios should work out close enough.
Makes 2 dozen poppers
- 12 Jalapenos
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese (could probably use cream cheese or ricotta)
- 1/4 cup chopped hard cheese (I used a a bit of parmesan, some asiago, and reybener that I had)
- 1/4 cup cheddar
- Optional*—I threw in 1/4 cup each of some havarti and some jarlsburg because I had them on hand. (If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m sort of a quesophile. And by “sort of” I mean a hard-core eat-a-grilled-cheese-sandwich-without-the-sandwich-part addict.)
- 1 small onion or 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- Halve lengthwise and seed the jalapenos (plant the seeds, or use them to flavor something later if you’re feeling thrifty) (when you halve, cut along the side that makes the deepest poppers)
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together and then spoon a liberal amount into each jalapeno half.
- Place in a baking dish (don’t even need to oil) and bake @ 350 for about 30-40 minutes or until jalapenos have lost their bright color and are tender.
- Turn oven up to broil and place under the broiler for a minute or two until the tops get a little crispy.
- Serve while hot. Mmmm.
- Eat with sour cream if too spicy.
I made these for the Donna Hay Styling & Photography Challenge (DHSPC) run by JungleFrog.
The April/May challenge was either salted rump steak or these roasted potatoes. If you’ve noticed, I don’t really do meat, so I went with the potatoes.
And they were phenomenal. The cooking method, which called for boiling the potatoes before roasting them, had me wary since I’m not a fan of the nutrients lost through boiling. But, I tried making this recipe again without boiling and the texture was nowhere near as good. As written, the original recipe produces that perfect crispy outside and soft inside.
In the original recipe, you roast the potatoes with just salt and oil and then dip them in the sauce after. I would suggest drizzling some of that delicious chimmichurri sauce on the potatoes before roasting.
When I saw the original photo, I was like holy crap, we already have those glasses, score. The original also features a gorgeous rusted milk carrier. I scoured the thrift stores for something similar, but couldn’t find anything so I had to do the shoot sans that prop. I also forgot to grab rocket greens from the market so I used spinach & basil instead.
I took like 30,000 shots trying to get the lighting to match up with the original photo, only to realize in editing that my angle was off for 29,999 of those shots. Gah. I remembered to sprinkle some sea salt like in the original photo halfway through the shoot, but those shots were some of the 29,999.
The original photo (on the right) is by Ben Dearnley
As I was editing my photos with the original pulled up in a split screen, my boyfriend comes over and, pointing to the original, goes “yeah that one looks much better, go with that one.” :(
Roasted Potatoes with Chimichurri Sauce—Modified from Donna Hay
- 1.5 kg starchy potatoes (I don’t have a kitchen scale, so I just used 3 medium potatoes) chopped. (Leave the skins on for more nutrients)
- 1 tbs oregano
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (omitted here because I hate parsley)
- 1 tbs rosemary, chopped (omitted here because I didn’t have any on hand)
- 1 tbs chipotle chili powder (or smoked paprika and chili flakes)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 3 tbs red wine vinegar (white vinegar was used here)
- 3 tbs olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil potatoes in salted water for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Drain off the water and put back on the stove to dry off any remaining water for a minute or so.
- Put potatoes in a baking dish and drizzle some of the sauce over them before popping into a preheated 425 degree oven.
- Roast for 40-45 minutes or until crispy and golden. (I turned my potatoes once somewhere toward the end of that time).
- Serve with more chimichurri sauce and some greens.
Like an idiot, I didn’t really measure anything, so these are guesstimates of the mods I made. The sauce seems pretty flexible, so you can probably mess the ingredients and amounts to suit our pantry and palette.
"I want you smothered, want you covered, like my Waffle House hash browns."
If you’re not familiar with Waffle House, it’s time you visited the South. We don’t have much going for us, but we’ve got a leg up on the North in the area of cheap and delicious 24/7 breakfast food.
Most friday nights will find me and my friends munchin’ down at Waho. Favorite dish? Hashbrowns, scattered and smothered (scattered on the grill with onions).
Now this recipe isn’t identical to the real thing—I didn’t take the time to reference any recipes and just winged (wung?) it, but I think it turned out pretty well. It may not be as crispy as the more-processed, authentic Waffle House version, but it definitely hits the spot and satisfies that 2am craving.
Hashbrowns, Scattered and Smothered
Makes a double order (2 servings)
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 medium potato, cut into matchticks*
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil a cast-iron skillet and crank up the heat to high
- Salt the potato slice and toss to even it out
- Scatter onions and salted potatoes on the hot skillet (you can try to keep them in a neat patty, but it ain’t gonna happen).
- Now let them just chill for a while and crisp up. If you constantly mess with them, they won’t cook right.
- Once they’ve browned for a few minutes, try flip them a bit and let them brown on the other side.
- Remove from heat, fry up an egg or two, break out the ketchup and dive in.
*you could probably soak the potato slices and then flour them if you wanted to be all pro, but keeping it simple works fine too
*The batch pictured was oilier and less crispy than usual because I made a huge batch and overcrowded my skillet. fyi…
Sir Jantee: Bribe? That word is offensive to mine ears. We are English to the bone! Our word is our bond. Besides what could you possibly bribe us with?
Sir Jantee: Oh yes there is that.
Cool fact—I originally wanted to name this blog “ButterBlog” but it was taken. That is how much I love butter. A lot.
I’ll take any butter that I can get, but I especially love it homemade. Making your own isn’t super practical if you cook with loads of butter, but if you just want a small amount for a nice brunch, or have a recipe that calls for buttermilk, or just want to feel all pioneer-ey, give it a go.
All you need is heavy cream and an electric beater. Oh and salt if you want. I’d wager you could make it in the blender or a food processor, but I can’t vouch for it.
Pour your cream (cold) into a large bowl. Start whipping on high.
Soft and then hard peaks will form. If you were making whipped cream, you’d sweeten it a bit and stop here. But you’re making fatty yummy butter, so keep going.
It’ll start to look like this, keep going. Eventually the fat solids will separate from the buttermilk and it’ll “break”—the coolest part.
Once you see liquid at the bottom of the bowl, you’re there. Stop beating. Use a rubber spatula to sort of corral the fat solids together.
You can strain the liquid, but I just pour it off and save it (that’s the buttermilk, DO NOT just toss it—you can make loads of tasty things with it).
Voila, left with butter (mostly). With a rubber spatula, press out as much remaining buttermilk as you can that’s hiding in the fat solids. Now is when you’d sprinkle in some salt if you want.
This isn’t as important if you plan on eating the butter within the week. If you want it to last longer, then you want to drain off as much buttermilk as possible, or it’ll spoil.
Wrap in wax paper and store in the fridge (or freezer). Its shelf life depends on how much buttermilk you leave in the butter. Generally, don’t make more than you’ll use in a week.
Makes about 2/3 cups of butter
- Heavy cream (I generally use about 1 pint) (extra points if you skim your own from raw milk)
- A large bowl and an electric beater/mixer
- Salt to taste
- Beat cream on high until fat solids separate from buttermilk. Drain off the buttermilk from the fat solids. Salt.
- Wrap in wax paper