Home In Disarray

March 27, 2015

Curry Turkey Burgers/Sliders/Meatballs

Curry Turkey Sliders
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I am going to be completely honest when I tell you that I’ve been making some iteration of this recipe since I moved out of the house when I was 18.  In 2004.  I’ll let that sink in for a while.  It was a Rachael Ray recipe, before I realized how grating her voice and general demeanor is.   Since then, I have modified it very heavily.  The original is prone to drying out easily (turkey, it does that), but I think that I have effectively mitigated that risk with my “updates.”

Curry Turkey Sliders

 

Most notably, to increase the moisture as well as add some umami to the mixture, I add a ton of chopped up mushrooms that have been sauteed just long enough that they don’t get soggy when they cook with the turkey.  The bell pepper must be minced finely.  This keeps things holding together, and also allows for it it help keep the turkey mixture moist as well.  The recipe below makes like 70 sliders, or like 12 burgers, or in the neighborhood of 130 meatballs.  It is easy to cut in half, but I love having these as leftovers, so I just make tons and nom on them all week. Also, the recipe has been built around quantities of things that I generally buy at Costco. You’ll see in the photos that there were 2 different batches.  I mixed up everything but the curry and tried experimenting by making half with thai curry paste and half with classic curry powder from the spice section of the grocery store.  They were both great in different ways.  The curry powder was good with that classic curry flavor, the thai curry paste had a lot more punch from ginger and lemongrass which was also really great.  I always have an opinion on things, and I really couldn’t make up my mind which ones I liked more.  I also want you to be aware that if you’re cooking these on the stovetop (I really think they’re better cooked on the stove vs in the oven), you will end up with curry colored oil all over your stove, counter, shirt, and glasses.  Just wear an old T-shirt and count on deep cleaning your stove area afterwards.  I promise it’s worth it.

Ingredients: (Makes 12 burgers, 60-70 sliders, or 100-140 meatballs)

3lbs ground turkey

1.5 lbs crimini or white button mushrooms, washed and minced

1 bunch cilantro, washed thoroughly and minced

1 bell pepper, minced

4-6 cloves garlic, grated or minced

1″ ginger, peeled and grated

4-6 tablespoons curry powder –OR- 4 tablespoons thai curry paste (I used red)

Salt, to taste

High heat oil for frying

 

Instructions:

*Prep everything but the turkey – Mince your mushrooms and saute them in a little oil with some salt until the moisture starts coming out of them and evaporates.

*Mince, grate, etc everything else.  Mix it all in a large bowl.

*Add your turkey and mix thoroughly.  Add curry and some salt.  I use my hands for this.  Just make sure they’re clean.

*Heat up a skillet with a layer of oil in the bottom over medium heat.  Test-fry one little blob of meat mixture and taste for seasoning.  Adjust as necessary. It’s not uncommon for me me to add appreciably more salt and more curry at this point.  Lather, rinse, repeat until satisfied.

*For burgers, divide meat mixture into twelve blobs and form into patties.  For sliders, I use a 2 tablespoon(1 oz) disher scoop, and for meatballs, I usually use my 1 tablespoon disher scoop.  Anyway, for sliders and burgers, cook in pan.  For meatballs, either spend forever slaving over them on the stove, or bake in the oven at 450 for 10-15 minutes.

*Eat on a bun, in a lettuce boat, on on their own. Best with avocado, sriracha, and either a limey greek yogurt mixture or garlic aioli.

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Posted in: Clean Eating, Cooking, Food, Paleo
March 25, 2015

Whiskey Old-Fashioned

Classic Old-Fashioned Cocktail
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I know I’ve been posting a lot about cocktails lately.  This is mostly because :

  • After a night with too much wine, most of my drinking as of late has been in the form of cocktails
  • I’ve been getting more interested in making fancy boozy delights
  • We’ve been eating like college students because I just can’t get my head in the game as far as cooking real food, and for some reason sharing the sad quesadilla I assembled isn’t high on my list of priorities.

Classic Old-Fashioned Cocktail

So we arrive at the Old-Fashioned cocktail.  This is technically more a method than an actual cocktail, but I’ll share the recipe anyway.

Ingredients:

1 sugar cube (or 1 tsp sugar)

2-3 dashes angostura bitters

2 slices orange

3 oz bourbon

1 maraschino cherry

soda water (optional)

 

Instructions:

*Place sugar cube at the bottom of your glass (or measure your sugar into your glass) and wet with bitters.  Top with 1 orange slice

*Muddle sugar-bitters-orange mixture until the sugar is broken up and the orange has released some of its juice

*Fill glass with ice

*Pour in bourbon, stir well, garnish with second orange slice, cherry, and top with soda water, if desired.

 

Classic Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Posted in: Cocktails
March 24, 2015

Please bear with me…

creepy birds
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I have just migrated from blogger to wordpress, and it has been a steep learning curve.  Please bear with me while I clean up formatting and try to fix bugs as they come up.  I am also interested in getting your input on changes made to the site.  If you hate or love things, let me know!

Please accept this drawing that I did of creepy birds as an apology.

creepy birds

Posted in: Misc
March 20, 2015

Laurel’s Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour
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Craig and I are suckers for tasty cocktails.  We also love whiskey.  What’s better than a tasty whiskey cocktail?  One that’s refreshing, simple, and is full of protein!  Craig and I spent a few weeks fussing with ratios, and have finally settled on a ratio that we love.  Full disclosure, this is not the standard whiskey sour ratio, but one that we both prefer.  A true whiskey sour traditionally does not have an egg white in it.  Technically, a whiskey sour with an egg white is called a Boston sour.  Don’t be weird about egg whites in cocktails.  They make them delicious and foamy and creamy, but aren’t gross.  We were making these and one of our friends didn’t want to try it because of the egg in it.  Then she tried it after a little peer pressure and remarked that it wasn’t gross at all.  So there’s that.  If you’re concerned about potential foodborne illness, don’t be.  This recipe is actually better using pasteurized egg whites.  More on that later.

Our Whiskey sour is a simple beast.  4 ingredients. 5 if you’re fussy like me.

Egg White – Don’t skip this.  I promise it’s good.  And if it’s not, then you’re only out the ingredients of one cocktail.  Try the recipe when you have friends over, and without a doubt, someone will love it and ask you for the recipe.  Send them to my blog.  Anyway – we found that in addition to being way less effort than separating a fresh egg, pasteurized egg whites in cartons seem to give more even foam.  Just use those.

Rye Whiskey –  This can be made with most whiskeys, but rye is far and away the best.  It isn’t sweet like bourbon, and has this slight bite to it that really bounces off the creaminess off the egg white and the sweetness of the sugar.  Added bonus, you can get great mixing rye for almost nothing.  The Old Overholt that we use is $16 per 750ml bottle.

Lemon & Lime Juice – You want both.  My version of the optimal ratio is 2 lemons per 3 limes.  As long as the juice isn’t sitting the fridge for a week or something, it’s still delicious.  Don’t use bottled juice, even the really tasty Nelly & Joes stuff that’s usually passable.  It needs to be from real fruits.

Simple Syrup – This is pretty simple (hahaha, get it?  simple?!).  But seriously.  Add roughly 1 part sugar to roughly 1 part water, heat until sugar is liquefied.  I don’t even do this on the stove anymore.  I put a bunch of sugar in this jar/bottle, add some boiling water, and swirl it around.  This usually does the trick.  If it doesn’t, I microwave it in 30 second increments til it’s done.  It lasts forever in the fridge.

Bitters – These are not necessary, but I prefer using them.  Angostura are fine, but this is 100% the chance to break out your weirder ones.  My favorite is grapefruit bitters, continuing the citrus theme.

Whiskey Sour

Ingredients:
3 oz (or 2 fresh) egg whites
4 oz rye whiskey
3 oz lemon/lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
(optional) dash bitters

Directions:
*Add a few ice cubes to your cocktail shaker (I use 3 large hexagonal ones) and put your egg white in.  Cap and shake the crap out of it.  The goal here is to generate a lot of froth and start breaking up your ice a little.
*Crack open shaker and add the rest of your ingredients.  Shake again.  I find that sometimes the shaker burps a little, so I do this second shaking over the sink to reduce stickiness.
*Strain into an old fashioned class, garnish with a slice of lime and a couple dashes of bitters if desired.

Posted in: Cocktails, Cooking, Food
March 9, 2015

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jelly Shots

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I turn 30 this year.  I have come to the jello shot game pretty late, but I’m making up for it by producing delicious gelatinous versions of some of my favorite cocktails.  I haven’t shared any of the recipes here before, mostly because I haven’t photographed them, which… shame on me.  They’re tasty.  The one piece of advice that I can give you for any type of jello shots, is if you’re using real ingredients (not Jell-O mix), make sure the flavor is over the top.  It needs to be sweeter than a sane person would willingly drink.  Think Mai Tai or pretty much any super sweet tiki drink.

I made these as a cocktail a few months ago as a way to try to use up some of the remaining Birthday Cake Vodka that I had, and they were loved by everyone.  I had a bachelorette party to go to this weekend, which proved to be the perfect excuse to turn this super girly drink into a great jello shot.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Shots

So I did.  I did a little testing in terms of strength before jellifying it, and found that a 1:1 ratio seemed to work perfectly.  If you’re in the US, chances are you’re going to be able to find unflavored Knox gelatin in powder.  My recipe uses that, as it is what is most available to me. I’m not sure what the gelatin sheet conversion is.  For a sturdy jello shot, you want to go with 1 cup of liquid per packet of gelatin.  This makes them stable at room temperature and sturdy enough to hold together as you pull them out of molds or cut them.   And a word of warning – if you’re using silicone ice cube trays like I do, be sure to get the freezer smell out of them.  It’s not terribly apparent with ice, but there’s something about the alcohol content that absorbs every wayward flavor.  I ended up having to throw out all of the shots from the green mold because even after a baking soda soak, then a vinegar soak, then a run through the dishwasher, the flavor was still apparent in the gelatin.  The blue one got the same treatment and tasted fine.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Shots

Ingredients
1.5 cups canned pineapple juice
3 packets Knox gelatin
1.5 cups cake or vanilla vodka
nonstick cooking spray (don’t use coconut oil.  it solidifies and gets ugly)
maraschino cherries if desired (these give you a really pretty red gradient)

Instructions

  • Measure out pineapple juice in a heat resistant cup large enough to hold everything.
  • Sprinkle gelatin evenly over pineapple juice, making sure all of the gelatin gets moist
  • Allow gelatin to bloom for 5-10 minutes and heat until totally liquefied. I microwaved it.
  • Allow to cool additional 10-45 minutes.
  • Add Vodka, stir, and pour into molds/loaf pan that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Add cherries if desired.
  • Chill in fridge overnight or for 6+ hrs
  • Remove from molds or loaf pan. Cut into cubes if you used loaf pan.
  • Enjoy responsibly

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Shots

Posted in: Cocktails, Cooking, Food
March 6, 2015

Coffee CSA

coffeecsa.org
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Craig and I are coffee snobs.  Over time, we have slowly stepped up our game in terms of what coffee we determine is “acceptable.”

Coffee CSA

One of our favorite coffees is actually roasted in Seattle.  It’s called Back Pedal Brew, by Middlefork Roasters.  It tastes creamy and chocolaty.  It’s quite nice.  But it’s about $16/lb, not organic, and kind of a pain to get.  Our options are Seattle Coffee Gear, which has 2 locations nearby, but neither are convenient, or Whole Foods, which is equally inconvenient to get to (and also a total zoo).  Whole Foods also offers some pretty great coffees in their house brand which can be purchased in bulk.  That is our general go-to for everyday coffee.  I get their organic breakfast blend for $10/lb and it’s pretty tasty.  But it’s still a total pain to get at Whole Foods.  So sometimes when we run out of “the good stuff,” we will slum it, and pick up a bag of Starbucks coffee.  And every time, it’s awful.  During one of those times, I just wasn’t willing to make time to take a special trip to Whole Foods to get more coffee, and we finally broke down and decided to try out a coffee subscription service again.  We had tried Tonx in the past and weren’t fans of how overpoweringly sour their roasts tasted, so we dropped it.

I signed up with CoffeeCSA.org last week and scheduled our first delivery of 2 pounds of coffee.  2lbs monthly costs $30 shipped.  It is roasted just a couple days before it is shipped.  Since they deal directly with the farmers, the people who grow the coffee make a lot more money.  The subscription that we selected allows us to get a “featured farmer of the month” coffee, so we get different coffees each month.   We got our first delivery yesterday. It’s tasty, and good, and Craig really enjoyed it, which is saying a lot.  Also, I like that the farmers are getting paid more, and I like that the coffee’s organic.  But most of all, I like that I don’t have to schlep my ass to Whole Foods twice a month to get ethically produced coffee.  So CoffeeCSA – if you’re reading this… want to be the first sponsor on my site?  I like what you’re doing and I want more people to get involved in paying the people producing our food a fair wage.
Posted in: Clean Eating, Coffee, Food
March 5, 2015

DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket

DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket
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Ok, so I totally didn’t make this jacket.  Obviously, because it takes me like 6 hours to sew a skirt.  I don’t have great sewing machine skills. Anyway, a few months ago, I happened across a post that someone made about waxing a cotton jacket that they had.  It was pertinent to my interests.  Craig has a waxed cotton trucker jacket that’s pretty neat, and he had a whole drink spilled on him at a bar a while back with none of it actually wetting the fabric.  I’ve been on the lookout for a decent spring jacket that isn’t like something from REI (which I also have and love, but it looks better with sneakers than heels).  I found this military style canvas jacket from Old Navy for $45, and figured at that price, I could afford to experiment with DIY waxing to make it more weatherproof (have you heard? Seattle gets lots of rain).  So I bought it and went to town.

DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket

This is the jacket in the Old Navy dressing room.  I find that I am able to make more objective decisions about clothes if I look at a photo of myself vs just looking in the mirror.

The wax that I used is Fjallraven Greenland Wax.  I got it for $10 on amazon.  Basically, once you’re sure the jacket is clean (you won’t be able to launder it after it’s been waxed), you just rub the wax all over the jacket, working in sections. With darker fabric, you may be able to work more willy-nilly, but with something like this camel color, at least attempting to get a slightly even layer is useful.  Thicker deposits of wax ended up making slightly dark spots on the jacket.  I may go over with another layer of wax in the future, and I am thinking of trying to hit it with a cloth-covered iron to even out some of the darker spots, but overall they don’t bother me and will contribute to the jacket “wearing in” and developing creases and stuff in the creasy zones.

DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket

Once the wax has been rubbed onto an area, you just hit it with your hairdryer and let it melt into the cotton.  The cotton absorbed all of the wax in my case.  With subsequent coats, I expect that it won’t be so absorbent, but will also be more weatherproofed .

DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket

The process was actually surprisingly time consuming.  I’d say that the first coat took me probably 2-3 hours.  Luckily, I just set up on the kitchen island and watched TV while I rubbed the wax on.  The hairdryer part was extra boring though.

DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket
Here’s the difference in color between waxed and unwaxed.  The waxed areas have taken on a slightly darker color, and you can also see some of the spots in the upper right hand corner of the photo where the wax is a little darker looking.
DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket
And here I am wearing the jacket.  I’m still not entirely sure what to do with the super long strings coming off of it, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
DIY Waxed Cotton Jacket
I look so concerned here.  Promise I’m not.
Posted in: DIY, Projects