Not the most tech savvy – Update

So I do not know if this is WordPress or Windows updating but the theme on my blog does not come through on my screen. While I am working on that there are few other things that are getting some steam rolling and although each one doesn’t deserve its own post yet it is still enough for an all round update.

I am still learning the ins and outs of this wordpress deal. I don’t think I will ever stop learning, but if anyone else is having little problems with their blog then let me know. Did you get it fixed? Was it something that just took time to handle?

Anyway, on the books the editing has begun. Slow going just on the fact that I get an hour in here and there after work.

The card game has been paused for a moment because for the ones where rough sketches are needed it just does not feel right whenever one is atrempted.

Business wise there will be some small sales of the bath salts and a couple other products. Packaging is being a little difficult, and after looking some different designs there may be more on that coming.

Got ten writing contests  of which that I either have writing projects that already work for entry or create from scratch. The first one is a life lesson in 1500 words or less and mine will be to “learn to fight”.

Gotten some advertising for different projects coming up, but as Jim Carrey said ” Can’t make the scene if you don’t have the green.”

Otherwise it may be slow but it is gonna go and I hope you all have a good week. .

Excerpt – Time, Fire, and Cuisine

Coming from the Pacific Northwest there just has to be some recipes with seafood. This one is a good way to do any white meat fish and it doesn’t take million dollars to make either. Chicken works well for those who do not do well with fish. On previous pages you can also see how people are supposed to grow so that nothing is impossible and after reading my books you could cook a lot better. That would be the plan at least

October 6th – Fish a la Piccata

Translating loosely to miller style fish this works best with white meat fish fillet. Trout is the recipe here but halibut and cod can work if you so chose. Any white meat fish is acceptable as long as it can hold through a pan frying. The fat of choice for this recipe is a blended olive oil or clarified butter. Pat the fish fillet dry before dusting with an all purpose flour. In the pan an ounce of your choice of fat should be simmering from the heat.

Place your fish in the fat to let it cook. If one side has skin then you will want to let it cook more on one side then the other. On the other hand skinless fillet can be found although they do break up easier. As the meat cooks you will want to make a sauce to accompany it.

Mince six small capers with a heavy pinch of parsley so that you are left with equal portions of each.

1:1:1 Minced capers to minced parsley to lemon juice

After your fish cooks dump the sauce ingredients in to saute for a moment. Next you will want to remove it from the heat while swirling a pair of small half ounce chunks. Monte Au Buerre in full affect your sauce should be warm and ready while your fish has rested slightly before plating.

Pour a small portion of the sauce under the fish as it rests against your starch and vegetable of choice before ladling a small amount over the top of it. It should have a nice looking dark colored sear that can hold up to the sauce.

If the salty flavor of the briny capers isn’t really up your alley minced sweet pickle or cornuchons can be supplemented for a portion or for the entire part of the capers.

As a Rough draft grows and morph in to different projects it is always nice to see what needs to be done to finish it up. Right now the dates have to go, basic grammar and spelling checks because I was too sleep deprived to hammer the fine details. Lengthening and pictures of course. Still same rules as apply with these excerpts as the last set. They are all first draft and we have along way to go on them.

 

 

July 2nd – American Cuisine

American cuisine is more then the few chefs on television all the time. In fact even thinking they are representing American cuisine is like saying the trail blazers are great foot ball players only because they play a pro sport. Many may even see it as a joke on words like jumbo shrimps or common sense. Exploring my home country’s cuisine can maybe get a better view of your own home whether its another part of America or another country altogether.

Some of the basic points of this part of the book will be learning how ingredients made their way to each section of land. Distinguishing how the food was grown, sold, or brought in speaks to the way things were back in the era where such foods were new as well as how they were valued. For many of the older recipes certain things had to be done so that the food would be able to hold longer with less effort. Back in older eras such as the wild west or the pioneer rush eating food was a had to do action and not so much as something to be fussed over much. Flashy sauces and more costly ingredients making their way in to the dishes of the era were more found in the establishments popular in larger cities. Moving to the more rural areas such things may only be made rarely or bought in to save time while celebrating.

Respecting these people who in the untamed times of each section could make simple food taste so good should be revered as nowadays we may face different problems such as the loss of flavor and the increase of artificial chemicals. Time was not so liberally implanted as it took time for the families of the past to pickle and preserve everything they could while thinking up the recipes to get the most bang for their buck.

We all need to try and make the best food we can so we can live the best lives we can. This does not take an over abundance of food though which is something we must learn within our borders.

Excerpt – Life, Love and Cooking

April 27th – Beef by numbers

Cooking cuts of beef to preferred doneness can seem rather scary to the uninitiated. Ending with an overcooked or vastly undercooked slab of meat can unnerve someone. When you ask how things should be cooked and get a half dozen different answers you need to learn the signs of difference which can come from one of two ways. First way it can be measured is by touch for as the protein cooks it gets tougher. Now there are some numbers you can check if you have a digital thermometer it will be the quickest way to get the temperature only do so when you feel you are just about done. Heat will continue to cook the meat so you want to aim just a few degrees lower then your target and let carryover heat finish the job. Take your reading from the top of the meat until you are comfortable with your skill. For the sear most look for on thicker steaks marks you will need to make them faster with a hotter grill. All numbers are in degrees of Fahrenheit

Blue – This is the rarest of all and you should remove it from the grill when it reaches 115 and the carry over should take it to 120.

Rare – Remove as it reaches 120 and let the residual heat push it to 125

Medium Rare- Remove at 125 and let residual heat push it to 130

Medium- Remove meat at 135 and let the residual finish it at 140

Medium Well- Remove at 145 and let residual heat bring it to 150

Well done – Remove at 155 and let residual heat finish it at 160

Brick – Cook to 165 and the finishing heat will bring it up to 170

Excerpt – Life, love, and cooking

So before we go in to the excerpt let me tell you something about this project. It originally started as something that someone read one page per day that would take them from the basics as I had learned them, skills and stories having that all build in to the end of the year. So things like basic sauce making, stocks and doughs in January while in December their would be actual full meal breakdowns.

The problem I found out with that is that makes a lot of writing. Starting off on the editing process I found out that everything ended up just under 125k words. For those who write the National Novel Writing Month has the goal of 50k so in short I wrote a lot for one book. After some thinking about what would be the best way to handle this I may have found an answer. If anyone would like to comment their two cents on it, I would appreciate it.

Options are either release it as one massive book or in two portions. If It gets split in to two portions it won’t be over the year obviously, but it will be easier to handle I would think. Also, I will have one excerpt from each month of the book on this blog. So twelve different excerpts to let you see how it is so far. One down eleven to go and with this, ten to go.

February 20th –A million starbucks yet

Knowing how popular coffee is in this country; tea has suffered the fate of falling in its shadow. Consisting of so many different flavors from all around the world some exist for taste while some take double duty for a sleeping aid or a caffeinated drink of choice. Since the amount any times is lower then your coffee or soda you can get a small boost without worrying about the crash.

At any house absolutely anywhere one good pot of tea just needs a couple pieces of information and some water. The info you will want will be how much you are steeping, what temp the water needs to be at for best flavor as well, as well how long.

For one 8 ounce cup of tea start with 1.5 tsp of whatever leaves you need except in the case of green and black which can be dropped to 1 tsp. Green is often sold in powders so you will need less of it. Reason is of how much surface area with the powder versus regular leaves. Black tea is often very strong so start off with one tsp just to see if you like that.

Green and white teas are good when steeped at 175 for between two to four minutes. Oolong and black go twenty degrees higher for 3 to 4 minutes. Herbals do best just under boiling at 205 for 5 minutes. Of course other teas are out there and they will have special preparation such as Chai for example. Learn how to maximize the flavor and invite your friends for a cup and a game. When making iced teas double the amount of leaves or powder.

You can have a tea pot, however you do not need one for good tea. If you want one there are many models and styles to choose from. Extra care needs to be taken though as with iron teapots you do not want to over heat a pot to blacken the paint or leave your leaves inside it for a period has that may invite rust or a loss of finish.

 

Excerpt – Life, Love and Cooking

Here is something from one of the book projects I currently have in the starting round of editing. Something for every day of the year going over kitchen wisdom, recipes, tips, tricks and my own experiences working in various kitchens.

January 5th– Ratios vs. recipes (quick pie crust)

Things do not need to be difficult to be good. Some times I will crack a cook book to find a recipe with too many ingredients, and many of which serving no purpose to the final dish. Pie crust is an ingredient that is a great example of this. Dozens of possible combinations between fats, flours, and flavorings may make things confusing. You will need a pastry cutter for this. Otherwise a pie crust is always within a three step countdown. Ratios you will find to be much more useful then complicated recipes. I will try to give ratios whenever possible in the future.

So three parts all purpose flour with two parts fat either shortening or butter and one part ice cold water. Pinch some salt in with the flour and give it a light stir with the hand. So which fat do you use? Shortening would be useful if you’re new to the crust game for the simple fact that it will not melt as easily so you have more time. Butter will bring better flavor and richer texture just realize that you will need to chill the butter even freezing it may be suggested. If you want to go halvsies on the fats I have found that will give you the best of both worlds.

Put your fat in the flour and using your pastry knife cut the fat in to the flour. This will take some time if you’re not used to it that’s ok. Now how much you cut it to depends on what you are using it for if you need a flaky crust such as the top cover to a double crust pie then you want to cut the fat to the size of frozen peas. Cutting to rice size fat granules will create a mealy crust. Reason for this is that when you roll the dough the fat flattens and the larger size lends itself to creating layers while the mealy crust will be structurally sound. Next add the water do so slowly stopping at the last tenth before kneading together if it seems a little dry then continue with the last tenth until amalgamated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap before putting it in the fridge to chill before rolling out to whatever you need.

3 parts all purpose flour 2 parts cold fat 1 part ice cold water 1/8 tsp salt for 8 oz of dough.

A word for all readers

So for the month of December I hope all of you have a good holiday. I am most likely going to still be spinning my wheels. Hey gotta improve so no problems with that. If you noticed this is not on my usual schedule of blog posts well I am actually going to try to do two a week. Because of how much progress on things are going with the recipes I want to get better content so I think pushing myself to twice a week may be something to try. Call it an experiment that we all are going to be a part of. Nothing too weird so no need to run the Dexter’s lab theme to level up your snark. As of my typing there are more then two hundred people reading this and the funny part is that the majority comes from people I have never met.

For those who know me then thank you for dealing with me when sometimes my little projects have bothered you. For those who don’t know me other then some guy shooting his mouth off on the internet trying to make something some odd seven and deuce luck turn in to something worth keeping. I will continue to have recipes on here, I like to cook so that will happen. I have not been doing as many updates on writing or other projects so what I am going to do is simply just try to do more. Two posts a week starting from this one. One as an update on some projects without having to decide on one or the other on the recipes. That does not mean a recipe will be every week mind you it just is a good chance. I found that if I keep things open I can keep to it a lot easier then saying it outright (is that the same for everyone or is it just me?)

So what is the experiment I mentioned before? Well, I want to see how I am doing as this blog was one of those things I just jumped in trying to do. So I want each person just to tell one other person about a post or a recipe from this blog. If you have something you want me to tell the people I talk to then let me know, and I will do my best to return the favor.

Happy holidays folks.

Fried Tofu with Teriyaki Sauce

For this dish it is suggested that you have some cooked rice to pair it with. For this you will need the following ingredients.
Serves 5-7 with rice

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Flour for dusting and Oil for frying
A block of Extra Firm Tofu (16 oz)
1/4 C Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 C Soy Sauce
1/4 C Rice Wine Vinegar
Shredded sushi seaweed for garnish

Pour your oil in the narrowest pot you have as to save on the amount of oil needed put it on medium heat. It will take a couple moments to get to frying temperature. Next put a cup of flour in a wide bowl, and set aside. Press your tofu lightly with a paper towel so it will remove as much of the moisture as possible before cutting in to cubes at an inch squared. After cutting, check the oil by pinching a small amount of flour in to the oil if you get a fair reaction that looks just like a soup on a low simmer then you can begin. Dredge them in the flower in batches before dropping them in to the oil you don’t want to do it all at once because that will drop the temperature of the oil and for most stove top burners you will not be able to hold temp without splitting them in to at least two batches. I did mine in four batches total, but I wasn’t in a hurry. Let them fry until golden brown or a light manilla color for those who know their around an office better.

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The bubbles don’t have to be big you just want to make sure that when they come out they can drain. rinse and repeat with all batches until all the tofu is drying off. For the teriyaki sauce take a small pot and put your sugar, vinegar and soy in it before bringing it up to a simmer making sure to stir until the sugar has been dissolved and let simmer for a couple minutes until all the flavors meld together or about three or four minutes.

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I got a little impatient and cranked up to high which you can do if you want to watch it for a minute or two. You do not want the sugar to burn or else you will need to try again. After your tofu has dried appropriately you can use your sauce to dip into or pour over depending on how you like your sauces to be done. Some people are picky, no judging here.

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I got my tofu placed on cooked white rice and seaweed around it and from here I just poured the sauce over the top and dug in. The picture didn’t come so clear as I had hoped but its tofu blocks on rice. So I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you liked what you saw give some of my other dishes a chance their in the cooking category on my blog.

Have a good day everyone, oh and before I forget starting in December their will hopefully be more posts I am getting a little bit more comfortable doing this as well as the youtube videos if you watch those link is to the side. I am going to try to up my game to do two a week I feel like it can be done. Wish me luck.

Fried Rice –

Hey everyone, time for another simple recipe this time to use up any rice you may have this works best after the rice has cooled. You will need the following.

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3 large eggs
1/4 C chopped green onions
2 qt of long grain white rice

Of course you want to have your seasonings of choice on hand. In a non stick pan on medium high heat start by cracking your eggs in to the pan until they begin to get opaque. Next is to toss your rice mixing the two together until the eggs are almost completely cooked. Picture below for example. Make sure to keep your rice moving as to not get over cooked in places this dish from start to finish takes less then five minutes if the rice is already cooked.

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Last is to add your green onion as well as any seasonings you prefer, making sure to mix everything up with your spat of choice.From there just plate up Mine in the pic has a little bit of chili powder for color and a touch of heat. Shredded seaweed works well, and of course you can always just grab a spoon and dig in.

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If you do not want to use or do not have a non stick pan then just a drop of oil is needed before putting the eggs in. From there just go for it.

Next, two recipes on this blog will be a tofu dish fried and with sauce over rice once again. Rice was on sale so I got a big bag to last me for a while. The other recipe will be a dish I actually took as a challenge / idea from someone on twitter. Breakfast cupcakes. Me being a stickler for things got to be a problem there, but over all the dish tasted good and was actually very good for breakfast. If you

Game Day Quesadillas

I am more of a sunny day or in the Oregonian case the rainy day sports fan. However, one must have some game day grub that is easy to eat so let’s go with a good quesadilla. I make quesadillas full size with two tortillas each so a full one can get you eight pieces of a good size. In these pictures I am using an eight inch tortilla here.

bacon quesy ingrde

Ingredients:

2 tortillas per quesadilla
2 pieces of bacon or 1/4 C of refried beans
2 slices golden cheddar
2 T chopped green onions

The secret comes in the cooking we will be doing this in pan and it take close to five minutes on medium heat. Cooking it in pan is closest to the flattop stove that most restaurants. You want to have your bottom layer with the cheese in their first so that everything melts together. Doing it this way also allows the tortilla to crisp up a little before cutting in to it and that means less on you when your team is fighting for the win.

bacon quesa 3

Flip it over when it looks like this.

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Finish it up.

For the bean and cheese quesadilla I like adding some green onion to it to give it just a little more aroma. Make sure to spread it as evenly as possible without having an O.C.D panic attack.

When your food is done cut it up and use the green onions to garnish. It adds just a little bit of aroma to the overall dish and aroma is the one sense that can make you hungry better then your taste buds. Cut in to eight pieces like a pizza or four if you know some of the hungrier guys are coming around. For twelve inch tortillas you want to go to three basic slices of golden cheddar. If you don’t get the sliced stuff then you want about 1/3 C shredded or diced small.

A little bit of ketchup or your favorite salsa on the side and this makes a good snack to watch a game, play a game, even make a game of your trying to be or already are an indie developer.

final quesa

Now when your cooking for yourself you’re not going to be so finicky in the exact placement of garnishes. That will be for another blog post. Have a good one.