Cookbook of the Month: February

To prepare for February’s cooking adventures, I spent some $100 at our favorite Asian grocery / Korean restaurant combo, buying ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. I even had to ask for help finding the last half dozen or so items on my list, like specific kinds of seaweed and dried mushrooms.

But it was worth it. It was so worth it.

Cooking Korean


Cookbook of the Month: January

In 2017, I resolved to cook 50 new-to-me recipes. In the end, I tried a total of 55 from various sources: online, magazines, cookbooks, the recipe box.

This year, I decided that I’d delve into my collection of cookbooks. We inherited several old-school cookbooks and compilations from my husband’s family, plus I’ve gotten some as gifts over the years, bought some for cheap at garage sales, and gotten some freebies from Weight Watchers meetings.

I’m planning to devote each month to one cookbook, and cook at least one recipe per week from that cookbook. January’s cookbook was from Trinity United Methodist Church in Swanton, Ohio, published in 1990 — from the estate of my in-laws.

Trinity United Methodist Cookbook 1990


Homegrown Dulce Rojo Paprika!

The deer left me six dulce rojo paprika peppers by harvest time last fall. I’ve had them sitting in my kitchen, drying, for months now, and I finally decided that tonight was the night I’d put them through my spice grinder and turn them into a delicious spice.

I unintentionally made “pink paprika” by also including some seeds and ribs of the peppers — those inside bits can be hard to shake out of a dry pepper sometimes. Perhaps next time, I’ll slice them in half and remove the ribs and seeds before I dry them…?

At any rate, it definitely has a distinct smell and taste about it, and it’s just a little different from any store-bought paprika I’ve tried. I hadn’t been planning to buy any more seeds for this year’s garden, but I might have to try some different pepper varieties now.

Tonight I learned that Wei Wei, one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in Toledo, is permanently closed. I’ll miss all my favorites on the Chinese menu, and the look on the owner’s face when she’d talk with our son. Best of luck, Sherry and Wei. We’ll miss you.

Fifty New-To-Me Recipes in 2017: The Top Ten

Back in January, I resolved to cook fifty new-to-me recipes in 2017. Unlike some of the other resolutions I made (like, say, posting to my blog daily), I succeeded and surpassed my recipe goal.

I reached 50 recipes by the end of November, and (while I ran out of room on my notebook page to record them) I continued trying new recipes through December, reaching a total of 55 new recipes I tried this year — better than the one per week I’d originally been shooting for.

Some of the recipes, of course, were more successful than others. The undercooked sous-vide tilapia wasn’t my best moment, and neither was the woefully under-spiced egg curry. Some, though, became house favorites.

These are my top ten.  (more…)

Tomato Jam In Progress

Fowl & Fodder Downtown features a burger topped with ancho barbecue sauce and tomato jam (among other things). I haven’t tried it myself, but my two coworkers who have claim the tomato jam is too cloyingly sweet for the burger.

That got me to thinking… what better way to “put up” the remainder of my tomato surplus than jamming? Refrigerator jam, specifically — I’m not equipped for preserving (aka canning). Not yet, anyway.

I found a recipe for tomato jam from The Kitchn and decided to try it out this evening. I only made a couple minor adjustments by necessity: I used my beefsteak tomatoes plus a few SunSugar cherry tomatoes instead of the suggested Roma; I only had light brown sugar instead of dark brown; and I always keep a jar of chopped ginger in the fridge, so I used that instead of fresh grated.

Oh, good lord. I have found my new favorite condiment.

One pint of tomato jam

I can see myself putting this on every burger and sandwich I ever make from now on — until it’s gone, that is, or unless I’m already using my homemade roasted tomato barbecue sauce.

Tomato jam plus barbecue sauce… Yeah, I’m gonna have to try that burger at Fowl & Fodder.

Adapted @RoniNoone’s Whole Grain Banana Pancake recipe to use up some leftover canned pumpkin and added chocolate chips at my son’s request.

Pumpkin Pancakes