Productivity is Overrated. Site devoted to procrastination, procrastinating, and wasting time in fun ways. Procrastinate with impunity. Neko



Pepper Mill (drink, gin)

Filed under: — Greg @ 4:38 pm

IMG_0044A Pepper Mill is made with:

  • Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin
  • 3 shakes Fee Bros. Black Walnut bitters
  • 1 shake Fee Bros. Indian Orange bitters
  • Hibiscus Strong Tonic syrup
  • Fill with soda water and mix

Sweet garnish: candied maraschino cherry, a delicious treat

Tart garnish: lime wedge, a more classic G+T vibe

The overall taste is light, complex, and sweet but not cloying.








Asparagus Soup

Filed under: — Matthew @ 11:52 pm

I just found a really good recipe for asparagus soup that is both low fat and fast to prepare!

The original is linked above, and here are the instructions for mine, you can compare to see where I made adjustments.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 bunches of asparagus (1-2 lbs) – remove the tips (top 1/2 inch or 1 inch) and set aside for later, remove the bottom 2-3 inches of the stems, and chop the rest into 1/2 inch pieces (I find it’s better to chop the veggies up more finely than most recipes suggest).
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 3 or 4 cups of fat-free reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used one 32 oz container)
  • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped italian parsley (flat leaf)
  • Optional: 1 lb bag of mixed seafood (shrimp, mussles, calamari, crab, etc.)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add the asparagus, onion, celery, and leeks.  Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add broth and simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
  3. Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth.  I did it in two batches and left the second one a little chunkier, for texture.
  4. Return the soup to the pot over low heat.  
  5. Add the defrosted seafood (chop into bite-sized bits if there are any large chunks), the asparagus tips, and the parsley.
  6. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then add the sour cream.  Stir until blended.
  7. Ladel into bowls and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 4-6




Pan-Caribbean Dinner: Mojito Chicken et al

Filed under: — Melissa @ 6:00 pm

On Sunday I promised I would write up the proceedings from the Caribbean-themed dinner I made. I started with a recipe from the Food Network for Mojito Chicken, which I modified ever so slightly: I added a habanero pepper to the marinade, and I grilled it instead of searing on the stove and finishing in the oven. I still think it was tasty, so here you go:

Mojito Chicken (courtesy of Guy Fieri @

1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) chicken: Note, I used two packages of leg-thigh combos for a total of about 6 chicken leg quarters.

Spice Rub:
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika

1 cup orange juice
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
1/4 cup dark rum
1 habanero pepper, seeds removed, diced

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.

Mojito Glaze:
Mojito Glaze:
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In medium sauce pan, place rum, chicken broth and brown sugar. Reduce by 1/3 over high heat. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch. When rum mixture is reduced, add cornstarch mixture slowly to simmering liquid and whisk for 3 minutes, until 50 percent thicker. When glaze is at desired thickness, add mint leaves and transfer to small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

The process:
Prepare the spice rub. Rub all over chicken, including under the skin. Place in a ziplock back in the fridge for 30 minutes. While this is chilling in the fridge, prepare the marinade. Add the marinade to the bag and return to the refridgerator for at least 1 hour (I let it go for about 3).

Preheat your grill to low and remove your chicken from the bag. Drain off most of the marinade so the meat does not burn on the grill. Cook over low/somewhat indirect heat for 45 minutes, turning once mid-way through cooking. If you use smaller pieces or boneless breasts, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly (i.e. shorten it). I used a meat thermometer to make sure everything was safe when I pulled it off.

Once the chicken is on the grill, prepare the glaze as directed above. When the chicken is nearly done, brush each side with the glaze and allow it to simply warm. Remove from the heat and serve.

Our second dish was Coconut Rice. I took a basic recipe from a Caribbean cookbook I have and modified it a bit because I didn’t have enough coconut milk on hand.

approx. 3/4 cup long grain rice (I used Jasmine)
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk – not coconut cream or coco lopez. You want the stuff they sell for making Thai curries and the like.
1/2 can of chicken broth (the recipe called for 3 cans of coconut milk and slightly more rice; I modified it by adding this broth I had opened to make the chicken glaze and it turned out fine).
1 T kosher salt
1 T butter/margarine

Bring the coconut milk and broth to a boil in a pot with a good lid. Allow to simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid reduces a bit. Add the rice and cover, stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally, but not so much you let out all of the steam (once every 5 minutes is enough). Turn off heat and leave covered until ready to serve, about 10 minutes.

The side dish was Fried Plantains.
2 ripe plantains, cut in half and then chunks
canola oil

In a heavy pan, heat about 1″ of canola oil. Once hot, add your pieces of plantain. Turn as they begin to turn golden brown. When both sides look done, remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a little salt to taste.

Finally, we served up the meal with a couple of rummy drinks. This is my best recollection of the recipe:

1 part Bacardi
1 part Malibu
1/2 part Myers’s Dark Rum
1/3 part Creme de Banana
splash of grenadine
Fill with equal parts orange juice and pineapple juice (about 2 oz each)

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and pour all contents into a tall glass. Sip and enjoy!


Turkey with French vegetables, white wine dijon sauce, brown rice

Filed under: — Melissa @ 9:25 am

I put together this concoction for dinner last night and it was pretty good. I want to remember it for another time.

1-2 c. brown rice – note, we used a 2-serving size packet of Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice. You could also prepare some in a rice cooker, but you’ll need to start that first since it will take longer than the rest of the dish.
1-1.5 lb ground turkey
2/3 bag Trader Joe’s “Brittany Blend” frozen veggies, with green beans, wax beans, baby carrots
1 medium onion
2 T. dijon mustard
1/2-3/4 c. dry white wine (I used Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc)
2 t. dried tarragon
2-3 T. flour
olive oil

The Process:
Heat about 2T. of olive oil in a large skillet. Add turkey and brown most of the way through. Drain fat, remove turkey to separate dish and set aside.

Defrost vegetables in a microwavable dish for 1-1 1/2 minutes, until mostly thawed.

Slice onion. In same skillet, add about 1 T. olive oil and saute onions until golden. Salt and pepper to taste.

Push onions to the side and add about 2 more T. olive oil and the flour. Combine, stirring in with onions until you have everything coated with flour. Start adding some of the wine and stir. The flour will thicken this sauce as it finishes.

Add vegetables and turkey back to pan. Stir in dijon mustard and remaining wine. Add dried tarragon, additional salt and pepper to taste. Incorporate all ingredients and continue cooking over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, until flour has time to cook and the everything is lightly coated with the mustard-wine sauce.

Spoon rice onto each dish, then add turkey and vegetables on top. Enjoy!


Baked Chicken with Apple Raisin Dressing

Filed under: — Melissa @ 2:04 pm

I made up this dish for dinner last night, and it turned out pretty well. We enjoyed it with a semi-sweet German Auslesse white wine (a $5 bargain at Trader Joes!), which I also recommend 🙂

Baked Chicken with Apple Raisin Dressing

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I used 6 pieces from a bag of frozen tenders for 2 people.
1 stick of butter or margarine
4 slices of bread – I used the wheat sandwich loaf I had on hand
1 small or 1/2 of a medium red onion
2 apples (I believe mine were golden delicious)
1/4 cup golden raisins
4 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare a 13″x9″ or other baking dish.

Heat a small mug or bowl of water in the microwave, approximately 1 minute. Add your raisins to the hot water so they will plump a bit during the prep.

Core and slice the apple into segments, then chop into 1/2-1″ chunks. Next, peel and slice the onion. Add apples and onions to the pan.

Dice bread into 1/2″ cubes. Melt about 3/4 of the stick of butter/margarine in a microwave-safe dish. Toss the bread cubes in with the melted butter until all are coated.

Layer the ingredients in the pan as follows:

Apples and onions on bottom.
Drain the raisins and sprinkle throughout the pan. Add about 2 T. of water, just enough to moisten the bottom of the pan.
Salt this layer, then add some ginger and nutmeg allspice. Dot the apples and onions with remaining (non-melted) 1/4 stick of margarine or butter.
Next, lay the chicken breasts across the top. Season this layer with salt, pepper, ginger and nutmeg allspice.
Finally, place all the bread cubes all over the dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and a bit of salt.

Cover dish with foil, and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and the apples reach desired softness. I recommend starting the pan uncovered or finishing it uncovered at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes in order to crisp the top layer of croutons.

Notes: Since this was the first time I made this, the recipe could use some tweaking. For example, it might be best to start the dish covered, and then remove the foil, stir contents, and turn it up to 400 for the last 10-12 minutes in order to crisp the croutons on top. Feel free to try it and let me know if you have any suggestions 🙂


Brisket of Beef

Filed under: — Brian @ 6:14 pm

5-6 pound beef brisket
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 onions, large, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 5 cups total)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 pound baby carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a dutch oven or heavy baking pan large enough to hold the brisket, heat one tbsp of oil in oven for 10 minutes. Pat brisket dry and season with salt and pepper. Do NOT remove any fat! Roast brisket in pan, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

While brisket is roasting, in a large heavy skillet cook onions in remaining 2 tbsp. oil over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened and beginning to turn golden brown. Reduce heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if necessary, until deep golden brown. This can take 20 minutes or more. Stir in garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 minute. Stir in beef broth and red wine and bring to a boil.

Spoon onion mixture over brisket and bake, covered, with cover 1/2 inch ajar, for 2 hours. After 2 hours add carrots to brisket mixture, recover, and cook for an additional 1.5 hours, or until brisket is tender and cooked all the way through. Check pan about every hour and add more water if necessary. Remove brisket from oven and let cool in onion mixture for 1 hour (covered).

Remove brisket from pan, scraping onion mixture back into pan, wrap in foil, and chill over night. Spoon onion mixture into a container and chill overnight as well. You’ll find that a lot of fat rises to the top of the onion mixture container.

On the day you will serve the brisket, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Discard layer of fat from onion mixture and add enough water to the mixture to measure 3 cups total. Remove baby carrots and set aside for the moment. Blend mixture in a food processor or blender until it is smooth. Slice brisket against the grain and trim off excess fat. In a large pan, heat gravy in oven until hot, add brisket and baby carrots, and heat in oven for 30 minutes or so.

This is Melissa’s mom’s recipe, and serves 8-10 people. You’ll have to set aside about 5 hours to make this on the day that you actually cook the brisket, and maybe 45 minutes to an hour the day you serve it. Note that the brisket should be made at least one day ahead so the flavors can mix!


Filed under: — Brian @ 6:00 pm

This is Melissa’s Kugel recipe. Very easy, and delicious!

8 oz. egg noodles, medium width
8 oz. cottage cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup raisins
small amount of milk
butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 inch baking pan or casserole dish. Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Dot with butter. Bake in oven for 45-60 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes and then serve!



Filed under: — crackbunny @ 6:10 pm

1 large tall sided SOUP bowl.

Add 2 cups quick cook oatmeal.

Add 1 scope egg protein powder.

Fill bowl with water, stir.

Add sugar and salt to taste.

Microwave for 2 minutes.

Now you have a solid loaf of oatmeal.


Skirt steak with Moroccan Spice Rub and Yogurt Sauce

Filed under: — Brian @ 5:11 pm

This is a recipe I found in a cooking magazine. Melissa and I really like it. It’s kind of spicy and really easy to make (takes about 1/2 hour to prep, maybe 10 minutes to cook on the grill).

Spice rub:

1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1.5 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Skirt steak:
1.25 lbs skirt steak, cut into 6″ strips
3 tbsp plus 1.5 tsp moroccan spice rub (from above)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tbsp jalapeno
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

To make spice rub, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Rub steaks w/3 tbsp spice rub and let stand 5 minutes.

In medium bowl, combine yogurt, scallions, garlic, jalapenos and remaining spice rub. Stir in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Brush steaks lightly with olive oil and grill over high heat until desired doneness.

Serve over pita bread and lettuce.


Grilled Beef with Chimichurri Sauce

Filed under: — Melissa @ 11:10 am

I found this recipe on a cooking forum I read; I’m going to give it a try this weekend. I’ll let you all know how it turns out!

Beef with Chimichurri Sauce

Grilled beef is the only correct answer when it comes to Brazilian/Argentinian, South American style
BBQ. Grill some skewered skirt or flank steak and make a chimichurri
sauce to go with, should keep warm fine in a disposable aluminum pan.

Chimichurri Sauce:

6 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons minced garlic (8 cloves)
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Stir together vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaf, salt, red pepper
flakes, and black pepper until salt is dissolved.

Whisk in oil until combined, then whisk in parsley. Let stand for 30
mintues at room temperature. Discard bay leaf halves and stir sauce
before serving. Makes a cup and a half of sauce.


Hot Spicy chicken conglomeration #1

Filed under: — mere @ 3:19 pm

I just improvised this today so I am guessing on exact amounts. It was good, but spicy.

– 1 frying pan
– 1 saucepan
– 1 spatula
– measuring untensils

– A couple chicken breast chopped into peices
– 1 1/2 teaspoons Tandoori Masala
– 2 teaspoons Hungarian Paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon ginger
– 1 teaspoon masala chai spices
– 1 cup of Mexican chunky salsa (or more if you want)
– 1/2 to 3/4 cup of apple sauce (I used peach flavor)
– 1 can dark red kidney beans

Start cooking chicken in pan over medium heat, add water (enough to cover bottom of pan) and spices. add salsa when chicken is half cooked. Let simmer, add beans and apple sauce (this counteracts the spice a bit). Simmer a few minutes more. Server over rice or pasta. Don’t blame me if it’s too spicy.


Pink vodka sauce

Filed under: — Brian @ 2:23 pm

This is one of my favorite pasta sauce recipes.


Vodka (around a cup)
cloves of garlic (1-2 clumps, about 1.5 handfuls), thinly sliced or finely diced
1-1.5 cups half-and-half
1.5 cans of chicken broth (~16 ounce size)
2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more)
rous (oil+flour)
small can of tomato sauce


In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt some butter in a roughly equal amount of olive oil. Put in garlic for 1 1/2 minutes or so (whisking the entire time), until the garlic has been lightly sauteed. Toss in 2-3 shots of vodka. Keep stirring until the vodka boils off. As soon as the mixture starts smelling sweet, take it off the heat and put in a sauce pan. Put salt, pepper, oregano and basil in the mix (coating the pan with oregano and basil). Put the sauce pan on medium-high heat and add the cans of chicken broth. As the mixture heats up, gradually add 1-1.5 cups of half-and-half. Heat the mixture to a slight boil and add one more shot of vodka. When it’s boiling again, toss in the parmesan cheese. Add the rous and stir until it thickens. Then, add a small can of tomato sauce and add another shot of vodka if necessary. Serve over angel hair pasta.

Make sure to get good parmesan cheese, not the stuff in a plastic jar. I find that the sauce is actually awesome if you make it the day before and reheat it, as the flavors will have time to mix.

How to make a rous:
In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, mix a few tablespoons of flour with olive oil (think elmer’s glue consistency). Stir rapidly until the mixture turns brown and starts to smell sweet, but not to the point where it’s burned. This is a thickening agent, so after you mix it in it might take a few minutes.

Easy and Awesome Hummus

Filed under: — Brian @ 1:59 pm

This is a super-easy hummus recipe. Some suggestions are at the end.


31 oz. (2 cans) chick peas (also called garbanzo beans)
1/4 can chick pea juice
6 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 large cloves of garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions: Dump all of the ingredients in the food processor. Puree until desired consistency. Serve with a garnish of olive, paprika, and/or chopped parsley, and dip with pita bread and chopped veggies.

Notes: I generally put in only about half of the chick pea juice at first, and then add liquid to get to the desired consistency. Tahini is pureed sesame seeds, and can be found in the “ethnic foods” aisle at your local supermarket. For whatever reason the store by me keeps tahini with the kosher foods.

Alternate recipes: Roast an entire head of garlic (or two), and then substitute the roasted garlic for the 3 cloves of raw garlic. I also made it with roasted red peppers once – use less garlic, and put in roasted red peppers. You can roast them yourselves or get them in the veggie aisle.


Sausage Gravy

Filed under: — Matthew @ 7:17 pm

My recipe is based on Alton Brown’s Sawmill gravy recipe. I’ve experimented with it and my notes are at the bottom:

1 pound pork breakfast sausage
2 Tbsp fat from cooked sausage or melted butter (or margarine, if you must)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Cook sausage (Prefferably in a cast iron skillet. Also: I like to keep this pretty chunky, so don’t chop it up too small as you stir and cook)
2) When done, remove the cooked sausage from pan and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (this yields the best tasting gravy, however, if you prefer to use butter or margarine, it makes a less heavy and greasy gravy, but also less flavorful)
3) Whisk flour into the liquid fat and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, this fat/flour mixture is called a roux. Cook till you smell a slightly nutty aroma.
4) Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk a little at a time. (Only add the next batch when the first is fully incorporated) It’s best to hold back a little of the milk (2-3 tbsp) at this point. It’s easier to thin the gravy later than to thicken it.
5) Put the skillet over medium-high heat and stir occasionally. Bring the gravy to a simmer. At this point it should have reached it’s maximum thickness. Add remaining milk if you want it a little thinner, or leave it alone, your choice. (Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan, there’s a lot of flavor in those.)
6) Add salt and pepper to taste. Add crumbled sausage and serve over biscuits.

Here are my experimentation notes:

So far, I have had the best results with 2% milk. Skim milk works ok, but you may want use a little less milk (or make a little more roux) in order to make skim milk gravy thick enough. There’s doesn’t seem to be a noticable difference in flavor.

I have also found that the sausage can take an annoyingly long time to cook, so I’ve been experimenting with different kinds, especially brown-and-serve sausage. Cooks Illustrated has recommended the pre-cooked “Farmland Original Pork Sausage Links”, however, I have been unable to find them out here in the west. I’ve tried Jimmy Dean’s brown and serve, and the sausage links completely suck. The patties are a tad better, but generally, don’t bother unless you are in a real hurry.

Cooks Illustrated did a taste test on pre-cooked vs. fresh sausage links. The Farmland pre-cooked was far-and-away the winner, but here are their other recommendations (with reservations):

Bob Evans original links (fresh)
Owen’s original premium pork sausage links (fresh)
Jimmy Dean original fresh pork sausage links (fresh)
Jones all natural pork little sausages (fresh, I think, but not sure)

Most everything else you’ll find in the pre-cooked section was not recommended.

I have used Jimmy Dean’s fresh sausage in a 1 lb package roll, and it has been good, but you have to cut it up, and it does take a while to cook. Most fresh sausages are just fine. Experiment to see which ones sold in stores near you work in the gravy, and let me know how it works!

Generally, I think the links and the patties both have good taste, but different textures, I like them both, but you should see for yourself.

Farmland also makes fresh sausage and pre-cooked patties. If anyone can find any of the pre-cooked farmland products, I’d love to hear what you think!

Finally: I’m going to be experimenting with Biscuit recipes. I’ll let you know how that works out.


Another Carrot Soup

Filed under: — Melissa @ 1:39 pm

I have used another recipe for Carrot Soup that I found on the Internet… of course, I don’t have it in front of me, but the proportions don’t need to be exact. If you want the soup thicker/thinner more carroty/more peppery, adjust at will. It’ll be fine.

Don’t worry about chopping the vegetables neatly – this soup will be blended when it is cooked, so it doesn’t matter.

1-2 pounds of carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cartons chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 T. olive oil
black pepper to taste
1/2-1 cup of any kind of rice

Chop carrots and onions. Heat olive oil in large pot; saute vegetables until somewhat softened, but not brown. Add salt/pepper to taste. (I don’t do a lot of salt – it’s in the broth).
Add the broth and the rice. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until carrots are softened and rice is cooked. Set aside to cool. Ladle batches into the blender to puree the soup when finished, unless you’ve got a nifty immersion blender. Then just attack it in the pot.

Serve, adding pepper to taste. The blended rice in this dish makes it thick and creamy, but it’s non-dairy!


Ribeye steak w/Roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar

Filed under: — Brian @ 8:34 pm

This recipe is courtesy of Melissa’s mom.


1/2 cup olive oil
2.5 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
3 tsp garlic, minced (about 6 cloves)
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp black pepper, ground or well-crushed
4 3/4 inch thick steaks
1 jar roasted red peppers (7 ounce), drained, cut into strips (or do it yourself)

Whisk oil, 1 tbsp vinegar, 2 tsp garlic, rosemary, and black pepper in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add steaks; turn to coat.

Heat heavy large skillet over high heat. Remove steaks from marinade and sprinkle with salt. Place steaks in skillit and saute to desired doneness (about 4 mins/side for medium rare). Transfer steaks to plates. Add red peppers, 1.5 tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp garlic to skillet. Stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Spoon peppers and pan juices over steaks. Makes 4 servings.


Roast Pork Loin with mushroom and dried cherry relish

Filed under: — Brian @ 12:23 am

1 boneless, rolled pork loin roast, about 3 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
3/4 cup apple cider
3 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms or 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) dried cherries or raisins (note: Melissa and I think you should use twice as much, so at least 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the roast in a shallow baking dish. Rub with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of thyme leaves, 2 tsp of salt and ground pepper to taste. Pour apple cider over the roast. Cook, basting occasionally, until a meat thermometer registers 150 degrees for medium (about one hour). Remove from oven and let the roast sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and leeks. Cook until golden and tender (3-4 minutes). Stir in vinegar and cherries; increase heat to medium high. Cook, stirring constantly, until vinegar evaporates, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the vegetables and stir to melt sugar and coat veggies. Stir in remaining 2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of salt, and ground pepper to taste. Slice roast; serve with relish.

Prep time: about 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Standing time: 15 minutes

To save some cash you can use button mushrooms in place of shiitake, and raisins in place of dried cherries. Personally I think that it would be good to double the amount of cherries in the recipe – we thought there weren’t enough.


Cilantro Salmon

Filed under: — Matthew @ 10:11 pm

I just made this recipe tonight. Super good!

Salmon fillet (I used an entire salmon fillet, like one side of a whole fish, however you can use individual portions, cooking time will be about 5 minutes less)
2 Tbsp olive oil
Handful of fresh cilantro (if I have to guess, it was between 1/2 cup and 1 cup, if you kind of pressed it into a measuring device)
2 cloves garlic
1 green onion
1/2 tsp cumin
Juice from 1 lime
3-4 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1) Combine finely chopped garlic cloves, finely chopped green onion, finely chopped cilantro and cumin.
2) Add olive oil and mix thoroughly.
– I prefer to dump these ingredients into a food processor or blender and do the chopping and mixing in there.

1) Line a cookie sheet with Aluminum foil and brush or spray with olive oil.
2) Lay the salmon on the foil (scales down) and lightly brush or spray the top with olive oil .
3) Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
4) Spread cilantro topping over the salmon fillet.
5) Place tomato chunks on top of cilantro coating
6) Sprinkle the whole thing with Salt and Pepper
7) Bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 min
8) Broil for 2 minutes to crisp the top of the tomatoes and exposed salmon.

Serve while warm.


Thai Green Curry

Filed under: — Matthew @ 10:51 pm

I just made this tonight. It was good.


1-2 Tbsp green curry paste
1-2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
2 can of lite coconut milk
2-3 bell peppers (variety of colors), sliced
1 small onion, sliced
Tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and pressed to remove some of the liquid
3-4 Chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch strips bite-size pieces)
A few tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro (a small handful of unchopped cilantro)
zest from 1 small lime
juice from 1 small lime

Can also add:
4 small eggplants (I prefer the long, thin asian eggplants because you can leave the skin on, slice them in half long-ways and then into bite-sized chunks)
2-3 small Zucchini, cut into thin half-moon slices


– Saute curry paste in vegetable oil for about a minute.
– Add lime zest
– If you are using chicken, add it now. Coat chicken with lime zest and paste and saute for one minute.
– Add one can of coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook this till it thickens and reduces a bit.
– Add tofu
– Add second can of coconut milk and bring to a boil. (You can also taste the sauce and add coconut milk till it reaches the desired spiciness.)
– Add vegetables. Cover pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes, till chicken is cooked all the way through.
– Add cilantro and lime.

Serve over steamed rice.

Serves 4.


Carrot Cake Soup

Filed under: — Brian @ 10:33 pm


Carrot Cake (refrigerated)
Milk (2% or whole)


Cut carrot cake into approx. 1″ cubes. Put a double handful of cubes into a bowl (one bowl per person for the sake of hygiene). Fill bowl with milk. Eat with soup or serving spoon. Enjoy!

This recipe inspired by a Penny Arcade Comic. Thanks Tycho and Gabe!

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