Tag Archives: gratuitous close-up

A Maryland Summer — Crab Cakes

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For dinner tonight we had a Maryland classic: crab cakes, with some pasta salad and Italian tomatoes.

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And of course, a gratuitous close-up.

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Recipe — Pickles

This is my dad’s recipe for pickles. It was originally adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook although now it is very different (with help from the internets).

Ingredients
Fresh:
Pickling cucumbers
fresh dill
1-2 grape leaves, if you happen to grow grapes.
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Spices:
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Black peppercorns
mustard seeds
coriander seeds
red pepper flakes
allspice
ground ginger
cinnamon sticks
ground mace
bay leaves

Brine:
3 parts water
1 part white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon salt per cup of brine.

Prep:
Bring brine to a boil.
add spices (a good pinch of each, less ginger and mace than the others)
let it boil a bit to get the flavor out of the spices
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put the fresh ingredients in a crock of some sort. Glass or ceramic is best, but stainless steel will do. Anything that does not etch.
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Add the hot brine, and put something, like a plate, inside to keep the cucumbers submerged.
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Put another plate, or the lid if you have one, on top and let it sit for two days or so.
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Tada! Pickles.

Surprisingly difficult to find a gratuitous close-up in this recipe.
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BLTs

There is nothing quite so quintessentially summer as BLTs with corn on the cob.
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Our BLTs tend to have a little more than just bacon, lettuce and tomato, but those are still the key ingredients.
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And now for a gratuitous close up of the tomatoes, which my grandmother prepared Italian style.
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Recipe – Easy tacos

It is recipe time again!

Salsa
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Corn, black beans, cilantro, lime juice, jalepenos, and some tomatoes. That is really it. This part is easy.

For the filling, we need onions, garlic, beef and some seasoning.
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Fry the onions and garlic, then add the beef and seasoning.
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I used Cajun seasoning from Zatarain’s because that is what we had around.

Once the beef is cooked, remove it, put a tortilla in the skillet with some cheese and filling on it, and cook until the cheese is melted.
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Voila, serve with salsa: it is time for a gratuitous close up.
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Pizza — What? A New Post!?

The past semester was a doozy, and frankly, I didn’t do much cooking worth noting. So, I am back, on an as of yet undetermined schedule for the summer.

The other day we had our homemade pizza, and it was fantastic.
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The pizza is made with a really good focaccia style crust, and a spicy sauce which my mother makes. Lately, we have been using fresh mozzarella and because the basil plants are doing pretty well, fresh basil.

So, my family’s pizza margarita.
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Naturally with a nice salad.
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And, of course, the gratuitous close-up.
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Return to blogging — and some beef stew.

Well, theoretically I am back, although I still won’t be on a regular schedule for a while. However, I just had one of my most successful cooking experiments, and I had to share it.

Beef stew.
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It was very simple, I took a potato, chopped it, and put it in the bottom of my slow cooker, then added a diced onion, and some stewing beef, which I spiced at this point with marjoram, paprika, salt, and a little hot sauce, because, well, I like hot sauce, as well as some spices which I had ground up into a kinda curry powder. I think it had fennel, coriander, carroway, and a little cinnamon and ginger, but I didn’t add much of this.
Now comes the interesting part, instead of just water to make the broth, I put a cup of strong, black coffee, as well as water, to make the broth richer. I learned this trick from a recipe my mother gave me for Idaho Beef Stew. I will make a recipe for that when I have all the ingredients to try it.

So, I just left this all in the crock pot for around eight hours, and it came out with a rich, flavorful broth, which the potatoes absorbed, becoming delicious, and beef so tender it was falling apart.

Good food can be pretty easy.

And naturally, the gratuitous close up.
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Dinner in Courses

On Thursday, we put together a special dinner for my mother’s birthday.

The primo was Campanelle al Limone, which turned out to be really easy to make.
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For the main course, I made Pollo al Vino Bianco and some fried vegetables.
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For dessert, my sister made Strawberry Shortcake, the real way. It was delicious.
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Here is a better picture of a pretty cappuccino.
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and a gratuitous close-up, naturally.
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