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hot sauce

15 Oct

paleo hot sauceHey. Hi. Let’s kiss and make up, okay? Great. I just got back from visiting Denver and let me tell you if I was feeling depressed before, I most certainly still do. Woe is me, I know. I don’t want to complain, but goddammit it’s true. Let me wallow and let me think only of the cons and let me dwell on the negatives and allow me to think only of short term goals. I’m real good at that stuff sometimes. Like listening to Disintegration on repeat until any semblance of a positive life force has completely oozed out of my body, leaving me the saddest sack imaginable. That’s my jam, baby.
chiles de árbolchopped red bell pepper Continue reading

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walnut pork butter

29 Jul

paleo walnut pork butter I’m in a new-location-malaise. I know, poor pitiful me, what a hard life I have, but it’s true. I feel like a lump, a real sad sack. I think a need a routine and some friends. Thinking about my friends reminded me of this draft I had saved and not yet published, which was inspired by a fun dinner out I had back in Denver. One friend got a vegetarian 3-course meal, and two of the courses had butters of sorts accompanying. A delicious, slightly sweet pecan butter, an onion butter that I didn’t get enough of a taste of to figure out what they did, and…some other butter. Give me a break, I had gone out with other friends before, so I don’t remember too well all the butter details. But what I do know is, is that I had a bunch of walnuts in the freezer and a lot of confit pork bits leftover from making lard. Those little bits are great added to pan-fried potatoes and great, it turns out, puréed with walnuts, onion, and salt.
walnuts paleo confit pork Continue reading

za’atar

4 Dec

paleo za'atarSpice mixes are fun. Making spice mixes is fun. You learn so much! Oh that’s how they get that flavor! Plus, if you make them in advance, as opposed to just adding spices to a dish as you’re making it, you’ll have a little jar with which you can now have a real nice way to impress people. No one is impressed with individual spices. Everyone is impressed with a jar of homemade za’atar. Well, you won’t be, because you’re going to make it and it’ll be old hat then.
sumacAdvent has begun. Every single day a Christmas activity must occur. I’m currently making cinnamon and clove scented pinecones. They’re sitting on the stovetop making the kitchen smell so wonderful. I also made cinnamon ornaments. Lots of cinnamon here. Also on the agenda is getting our Christmas tree from the wilderness, paper snowflakes, watching He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special, talking a walk to peer at fancy Christmas light displays in a fancy neighborhood, etc. I’m not in the mood to make Christmas cookies this year. Not like last year. I’m sure it’ll hit at some point, but nothing much this year. I might have gone overboard last year. I am going to make some sort of toffee concoction for my department’s Christmas party at work on Wednesday. Toffee almond salted something. It’s a homemade candy competition and I better freaking win. I should have made it this weekend because I tried making it last night and all was going well in the pot until it just separated and then it crystallized and now I have like one more chance to try it and I’ll probably ruin it again and cry.
sesame and thyme Continue reading

roasted tomato mackerel with pickled jalapeños

24 Aug

My tomato plants suck. Or I suck. I don’t know what I’m doing. Watering too much, not enough, not feeding them enough, feeding them too much, no clue. One has crinkled brown leaves with blotchy looking tomatoes. Another only has a few tomatoes on it. Two others are small and spindly. And my zucchini plants have this horrid white mold on the leaves. I breathed it in yesterday and felt like I was going to die. Good riddance, I’m sick of zucchinis anyway. But I don’t know how to cut them back without dying of mold ingestion. Buying tomatoes at Whole Foods for this recipe pained me. Pained me. But holy crap are they good. Hey, the jalapeños are mine! I’ve got so many! And they’re so spicy. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking with this recipe. I can’t handle heat.
I just found out last week that Biggest Loser won’t have a fall season this year. What am I supposed to do. I already gained an hour of my life back when they dropped last season down to one hour and I wasn’t happy about that. I’ve had Tuesdays free since whenever the last season ended and now I’m going to continue that through till like January? wtheck. Well, not really true – I like MasterChef. It’s so stupid. WalMart is the official grocer of the show. The hosts go on and on about how beautiful WalMart’s USDA Choice steaks are. I want to kick the TV. I need to watch PBS cooking shows. I’m so f-ing sick of regular TV and their snappy editing where I don’t learn anything. I’m going to watch Simply Ming. I’ll learn about potstickers. And all about what a giant douchebag he is.
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watermelon rind pickles

9 Jul

Watermelon rind pickles. I am so trendy. A freaking hipster. I’ve even been wearing my dark-rimmed glasses the past week. (My contacts were digging into my eyeballs and oh yeah I forgot to order more.) Get ready, I’ll be getting thick, blunt bangs and a sleeve tattooed. Reading ‘zines and seeing shows. Right. My ‘zines are National Geographic and Smithsonian. I’m no hipster. I’m like a freaking pioneer. Though I’m not sure of what proportion of progressive to historic. Equal parts both? Making butter from raw cream? Olde tymey yet so cutting edge? So yes, I’ve taken the dive into pickling. I have a feeling I might have to get into other forms of preserving, what with more apricots than I know what to do with. The only thing is that I’m kind of lazy and canning feels like it’ll be more of a process than it really is and it takes me a while to get motivated enough to set it all up and start. These pickles had been crowding the fridge in my giant Dutch oven, waiting to be canned, for way longer than I’d planned… it was really annoying, actually.
Oh hey, it’s July. I hope I am making the most of this summer. I’ve hiked rim to rim to rim, backpacked in the mountains to escape like 110 degree heat, been biking to work most days, pranced around in my bathing suit in my backyard, planted a lovely little vegetable garden, taken after dinner barefoot walks, been to baseball games, eaten gobs of ice cream, and gotten disgustingly sweaty running during my lunch hours and simply blotted myself off with paper towels before going back to work. Then hung my sopping running clothes about my desk to dry. I am the best coworker.
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curry apricot relish

1 Jul

Am I allowed to eat just fruit in the summer? Fruitarian? Good, thanks. Because that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing the past couple weeks. Colorado cherries and apricots, nectarines, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, um I’m gonna barf. Those cherries are especially going to get the best of me. I CAN NOT STOP WITH THEM. I’ll look down at my little bowl full of pits and stems and be genuinely shocked.
Because of the 4th of July, my CSA delivery moved back to the Monday before. That means that I’m going to be getting whole new bags of apricots and cherries a couple days sooner and I kind of panicked when I looked at how many apricots I had left. I considered canning them. Pickling. Dehydrating. Grilling. Desserting. Something. But decided to make a relish of sorts. It was tempting to make another fruit salsa, as I do have quite the affinity for them. But curry was calling to me. And, while salsa could probably be called a relish, it doesn’t work the other way around. So, yes, it’s a fruit relish.
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butter

20 Jun

omg. I think I might need to become Amish. Or a sister wife. Quit my job, forget my ambitions, forgo my goals, and live like it’s 1842. Some generically old date. I’ll garden, preserve, pickle, smoke, dry, cure, take my turn at animal husbandry… yeah, and churn some freaking butter. With my handheld antique butter churn. Boy is it cute.
Too lazy to ⌘T my way to finding out if I mentioned this in my last blog post; I just started a raw milk share from Ebert Farms (careful, there’s a cow mooing noise on that page. Horrible.). Last time I made whipped cream with the cream. Dangerous. Gone in one serving. This time I decided to make butter. I have some long dead distant relative’s old butter churn that’s just like half-assed decoration in my kitchen and I decided to put it to use. You can use a hand mixer, but pff (no, don’t worry I will support your use of a hand mixer if you don’t just, ya know, have a butter churn lying around). *Update: my favorite friend Samantha and my fellow blogger bud Danielle from Paring Down Looking Up both mentioned that you can just shake the shit out of cream in a (sterilized, of course, if it’s raw cream – let’s be safe here) mason jar.
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