Grilled BBQ chicken thighs

Last Friday was a beautiful day, so I thought that it would be a great day to grill out. Last week I had placed two packages of chicken thighs in the refrigerator to defrost. I personally like to use the slow defrost method, instead of a rapid method in cold water or the countertop. To paraphrase The New Making of a Cook one of my go to cookbooks regarding technique and cooking science. By defrosting in the refrigerator, the meat will remain juicy and lose almost no juices at all. Compared to the rapid method, in which the meat will lose all of its juices in the freezing bag and taste dry and unpalatable after cooking. So take the time to thaw meat the right way, your taste buds will thank you. Continue reading

Steaming French Fries – Microwave Method Update 2

Ok, so I made another batch of french fries, and tried a bunch of different stuff for this batch.

I was watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives a while back, and Guy went to Casper and Runyon’s Nook in St. Paul. And when they make their fries at The Nook they soaked the fries in a vinegar and water mixture before frying them up. So before I mircowaved the fries this time, I soaked the fries for 20 minutes in about 1 gallon of cold water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar. You only got a little bit of the vinegar taste in the finished fries, so next time I might try using 1/4 cup white vinegar with a gallon of cold water. Continue reading

Poorman’s garlic bread recipe

I learned this recipe in Germany a number of years back. When I learned this recipe from Nook, it was one of those recipes created out of necessity. You’re living in Germany, trying to make some food to remind you of home in the United States. So what better then spaghetti and meatballs, with a couple of pieces of garlic bread on the side? Continue reading

The River of Information – Part 2

More French Workers Kidnap Factory Bosses –

Obama’s Spending vs Obama’s Spending Cuts in Pictures – The Heritage Foundation

Monsanto Sues Germany Over Corn Ban –

Harrison Ford Joins Private Pilots Against User Fees – Airport Business

Self-Assembled Nanowires – Product Design & Development

Decline in Trade Impacts L.A. Basin’s Industrial Sector – LoopNet

Brooklyn’s Starrett City Aims for $500Mln Refi – LoopNet

Steaming French Fries – Microwave Method Update

I tried par-cooking the fries in the microwave, and the final product came out much better from the fryer. Following the general guidelines from the Cook’s Country Italian Crunchy Potato Wedges recipe. The original recipe stated to microwave the wedges/steak fries for 7-9 mins on high. I only cooked then for 7 mins 30 sec., and most of the fries were cooked. Next time I would microwave the wedges for at least 8 mins, so that all the wedges would be fully cooked. Continue reading

French Bread Baguette Recipe

I’ve always considered myself a better baker then cook; maybe it had to do with the exactness that is inherent with baking. So if you needed cakes or cookies, no problem. But bread, well that is another story. Can I make bread, yes. Does it taste, how that style of bread is supposed to taste, sometimes. With baking bread I’ve had very good luck making pizza dough, pretzels and bagels. So why not step up my game, and make one of my favorite breads, french baguettes. The whole idea of making french bread happened while I was making a sandwich with an Italian hoagie roll. I was looking at the hoagie roll, and realized that I was in a bread rut, and I needed something different. Continue reading

The River of Information – Part 1

As an homage to Dr. Charles W. White’s “Visions” class, here is the first part of many parts of the “river of information” that I found interesting this week.

Chicago Legislators Get a Taste of the Worst of Transit System – Mass Transit

UAW Urges Members To Lobby Obama – Manufacturing Net

3 more states add deposits on water bottles; Goals are to raise money, cut litter – Packaging Digest

World corrugated-box demand tempered by global recession – Converting Mag

As Costs Fall, Companies Push to Raise Internet Price – NYT

The crisis: Timing strategic moves – The McKinsey Quarterly

French bread pizza recipe

If the made the baguette bread recipe from earlier, you’re probably thinking what other dishes you can make with either the long baguettes or the petite baguettes. Well you can make a bunch of different stuff:

– Garlic Bread (poorman’s version or high class version)
– A nice and crunchy sandwich
– Croutons or faux bagel chips
– French bread pizza
– Bruschetta (or brushetta for those without spell check)
You get the idea……..

Continue reading

Killing my plant seedlings

I didn’t know it was possible, but I actually ended up killing most of the flower seedlings that I started a few weeks back. What ended up happening was something called “damping-off.” Which is basically over watering the seedlings and having a soil fungus develop which kills the root system. Continue reading