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Breakfast Burritos
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at February 27th, 2012 (07:44 pm)

We had a breakfast potluck at work at this morning and after seeing a few entries of "egg bake" and rolls/muffins/etc, I figured that I needed to come up with something a little more creative.

Breakfast BurritosCollapse )

I got positive reviews at the brunch, though my kids were disappointed that I did not bring any home with me. I guess that I am going to have to make this one again.

Caribbean Chicken Stew
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at February 8th, 2012 (09:46 pm)

This dish started out with a recipe for "Caribbean Chicken" by Keith Snow of Harvest Eating and a way to use up some leftover baked sweet potato chunks. I had tried the recipe before and added in some yucca root, but it was determined that it needed rice instead and so I've been wanting to try it again. But of course, I can never leave a recipe the way it was written.
One of the changes that I wanted to make was to have it be more paleo/primal friendly as I have some friends who are following that diet and I've dabbled in it as well. Also, in my house, there are some who love rice and others who can't stand it, so I used my rice cooker to prepare it on the side.
I thought about taking a picture of the dish plated, but my bowl was already empty. Maybe next time.

Caribbean Chicken StewCollapse )

There you go! I hope that you and your family enjoy.

Mexican-inspired Shepherd's Pie
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at February 5th, 2012 (05:23 pm)

I have been sadly neglecting this journal and I will cook things and even take pictures, intending to post them...but then forget.

So, today, my goal is to get at least one recipe up and hopefully get two more posted this week (in between working on taxes).

First on the menu is a Mexican-inspired Shepherd's Pie. This recipe arose from needing to find a use for the leftover tamale dough in my freezer.

In which I make no attempts at any ethnic authenticityCollapse )

Potluck and FamilyFun
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at December 19th, 2011 (08:49 pm)

At work today, we had a potluck lunch. Noting the list of what others had signed up for, there seemed to be a dearth of healthy food and so I picked this spinach-orange-olive salad from Michael Chiarello that I have made a few times before.

I think it went over ok. I did use kalamata olives instead of plain black olives and omitted the ricotta salata. I had leftovers, which I then served with steak sandwiches for supper.

Family TraditionsCollapse )

I haven't figured out the grand plans for Christmas menus this year. There are some rumors and ideas flying about, but I want to make something fabulous, so stay-tuned.

Holiday fun
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at November 25th, 2011 (06:57 pm)

Now, if you are like me, you have been completely saturated with Thanksgiving recipes. Too bad, I'm adding mine to the list.

Some parts of our dinner this year were very typical: We had both ham and turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade and canned cranberry sauce, mushroom-bread dressing, and pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream. Ok, so maybe mushroom-bread dressing isn't found on your table, but it wouldn't be Thanksgiving if it were not on ours.

The serving tableCollapse )

Stay tuned, I'm planning to post a Mexican-inspired shepherd's pie and fun things to do while processing venison.

Veteran's Day
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at November 12th, 2011 (07:46 pm)

I know that this post has almost nothing to do with food, but I was thinking about this topic on my early morning drive to my daughter's figure skating competition. Though I'm a day late, I feel that I should still post.

Growing up, Veteran's Day dealt with older people who fought some war that we only learned about in history textbooks and people we saw at the VFW, who helped support our Girl Scout troop. Even the first Iraq War still involved people who were "older", people who I didn't know.

The last few years, that has changed dramatically. Both of my sons' godfathers have been sent overseas for tours of duty. I've helped their school classes send letters. I tried to send Christmas cookies (I never heard if they arrived). The kids and I sent letters, cards, pictures to the godmothers and children still at home. And I couldn't help but realize that many veterans now are just boys (or girls).

It has become too real in the past 10 years.

So it has taken me awhile
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at November 5th, 2011 (10:06 am)

Sunday, I was really on top of things and defrosted a venison roast and collected carrots, beets, and fingerling potatoes from my parents' garden.
Monday morning, I put the roast in the crock pot with some good stuff and plugged it in. When I got home from work, I cleaned the veggies and got them ready to roast. Around 6 pm, I pulled out the various food and served up to a hungry crowd.

So, here's what I did...
Nummy, nummyCollapse )

There you go. I hope to get some more dishes up soon.
Its hunting season here and the guys are in the woods. This afternoon, I will be making lasagna and maybe some cinnamon rolls for tomorrow.
Hopefully, deer heart will be on the menu soon.

Quickie update
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at October 31st, 2011 (09:13 pm)

I have been meaning to update, but this full-time job thing has been taking up a lot of time.

I racked the Montepulciano. It still smelled musty, which had me concerned, so I moved it to a slightly warmer spot and added a little more sulfite for balancing. I don't need 6 gallons of red wine vinegar.

I made fajitas the other night with pheasant, duck, and chicken. I braised the wild game in white wine and chicken broth. They came out a little drier than I would have liked, but ended up soaking up the juices from the fajitas, so turned out very tasty. I took the leftovers with me for lunch today.

I'll try to give an update with pictures tomorrow.

Bottling fun
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at October 22nd, 2011 (02:46 pm)

I racked the cider yesterday and bottled it this morning after diluting and stabilizing. I'll have to be honest, the book that we have been referencing has been somewhat disappointing. The book is geared more to the orchard owner and also, while my cooking tends to be more free-form, my brewing/wine-making is not. I do have a background in chemistry and prefer specific instructions as I'm still a beginner. One thing that absolutely drove me nuts is that there no mention about how long to let the cider sit once it has been bottled. Many reviews listed this as a beginner's book, but I would not agree as it does not function well as a go-to guide. The beer-brewing instructions from Midwest Brewing are a better examples for beginners. Speaking of which, we need to start a new batch of beer soon.

Anyways...so I added a little bit of honey to half of the bottles (I was able to get 30 beer bottles from a 3-gallon carboy) and will be letting those bottles sit longer than the others, which should be more of a still, hard cider. I guess we'll see how it turns out.

We will be bottling the Montepulciano soon.

Also, the pepper vodka is pretty tasty is a bloody mary, with a long, slow burn for a finish.

Also, deer season is coming soon and that means the annual treat of deer heart. :)

Chili for a Chilly Day
by upnorthfoodie (upnorthfoodie)
at October 17th, 2011 (07:01 pm)

I actually didn't start out intending to make chili. I just wanted to make a nice soup on this blustery October day. It only occurred to me that that was what I was making when I was seasoning it. I had had this idea floating around for a bit that I should make a soup with corn, black beans, and tomatoes (we still have some heirloom ones in our freezer). As in normal for me, I looked around to see what else I could find that was interesting and added it into the pot.
There are reasons that I would never want to work in an industrial kitchen and one of those is that I tend to cook more by feel, smell, taste. However, as with many things in life, I think that you have to realize the truth of the Mythbuster quote: "Failure is always an option". Granted, with practice, failure comes less frequently, but if we are going to create something new, we have to take some risks.

So here goesCollapse )

The aforementioned pepper vodka seems to be coming along well. I will try it on Wednesday or later.

I racked the Montepulciano and will soon be racking the hard cider. My arms still hurt from moving around that 6-gallon carboy of wine.

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