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As many of you know, last Tuesday was The Girl’s (henceforth referred to as The Woman) 20th birthday.  We had originally planned to bake a cheesecake together Sunday past, but she had a better idea.  She asked me very sweetly, “Do you know what would make this cake really special for me?  If you cooked it by yourself since it is my birthday cake”.  Of course I agreed!

I got all kinds of suggestions from the community here Saturday before last, and I appreciate all of them.  I finally took the basic recipe from the Kraft site and modified it, and the result was wonderful!

I shall give you the recipe first, then a photographic gallery with my comments about how to do this.  It is not hard to make a cheesecake that does not dry out or get weepy, but it is easy to mess one up irretrievably!  You should read the entire piece before trying the recipe.

Here is the list of ingredients and their quantities:  (Preheat oven to 425 degrees)

For the crust:

1¾ cups of graham cracker crumbs.  Do not use flavored ones unless you know what you are doing!

1/3 cup melted butter

Take the crumbs and mix with the butter thoroughly.  Put into nine inch springform pan, with half in the bottom and half around the rim.  Do NOT oil or spray the pan or the crust will fall off of the sides.

Bake for eight minutes in 425 degree oven.  Remove and allow to cool.  Reduce oven to 325 degrees whilst you make the filling.

For the filling:

Three, eight ounce packs of full fat cream cheese, and do not use the kind in tubs.

One cup of full fat sour cream

1¾  cups granulated sugar

Two teaspoons vanilla extract

Two teaspoons lemon zest

One tablespoon cornstarch

Three whole, large eggs

Allow all ingredients to come to room temperature.  Cream the cream cheese with a wooden spoon until soft.  See my comments for more detail.  Add the sugar and cream until well blended.  This is harder than creaming butter with sugar.

Add the sour cream and blend until homogeneous, and you can add the lemon zest and vanilla extract now as well.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend until smooth with the wooden spoon.  When adding the last egg, whisk the cornstarch with it until free of lumps, then blend in with the rest of the filling.

Assembly and baking:

Pour, well scrape, the filling into the cooled, prebaked crust.  Place in the center of your now 325 degree oven, and place a large, metal pan of hot water on the rack under the one holding the springform pan.

Cook for 70 minutes and DO NOT OPEN the door!  After that time has elapsed, turn off the oven and allow the cake to cool slowly with the oven door ajar.  You can leave it there a couple of hours.  Do not expect to eat a cheesecake the day you make it unless you start really early.

After the cake feels pretty cool, take plastic wrap (use Saran or other polyvinylidine chloride wrap, not polyethelene) and gently press it to the surface to prevent drying.

Refrigerate overnight to set the cake.

Remove springform side the next day and top.

Topping and serving:

I used home canned cherries from a neighbor’s tree, but you can do essentially the same thing with commercial sour pie cherries.

1 pint Mason jar of unsweetened pie cherries

¾ cup sugar

Water to be determined

Corn starch (depends on how much water you use)

Put the cherries and juice in a saucepan and add the sugar.  Simmer for a few minutes, then allow to cool.  It is best to make this up the night before so that the cherries can absorb sugar.  If you add more water to make more topping, use a little more sugar.

Refrigerate overnight.  Bring back to a simmer, and for one pint of cherries disperse one tablespoon of cornstarch in about a quarter cup of water, then stir into the simmering cherries.  Simmer until it clears, stirring gently and constantly to keep the starch from scorching on the bottom.

Allow to cool (I put the pan in an ice and water bath) evenly over the top of the cheesecake.  It is now ready to serve.

This is a very rich dish, so serve tiny slices.  I am thinking that you might get 16 really little ones, but it is so good that I suspect that you will get fewer slices, or eat more than one of the tiny ones!

Here is the photogallery and details about each step.

Photobucket

You can buy graham cracker crumbs already smashed, but who go to the expense?  Besides, they are hard to eat with a glass of milk.  Just take graham crackers, place in a gallon zipper bag, and roll the bag with a rolling pin.  Be sure and use really crisp ones because ones on the soggy side do not smash well.

Here is what they look like in the bag.

Photobucket

Once you smash the graham crackers, add the melted butter and mix well.  Press them into the springform pan per the recipe.  Here is what it will look like after baking for the eight minutes.  Do not worry if it is not even on the sides; it is difficult to be perfect and it makes no difference.  Be sure and turn down you oven to 325 degrees after baking the crust.

It is important to prebake the crust to allow Maillard browning reactions to occur (enhances flavor) and to stiffen it a bit.  Although Graham crackers were baked at a high temperature when they were cooked, when you add the butter and cook it again it really brings out a good flavor.  Prebaked crusts also tend to be less soggy than unbaked ones.

Photobucket

It is important to allow everything to come to room temperature before making the filling.  The cream cheese is more pliable and thus easier to mix with a wooden spoon.  Use a big bowl to mix.  Here are the ingredients and tools, except I forgot to include the wooden spoon.  I used one of the flat ones with a hole in the middle.

Photobucket

How one handles making the filling is one of the two critical steps for making a cheesecake successfully.  We are going to get a little Geeky here, but it is important.  First and foremost, a cheesecake is really just a very dense custard.  Custards can be tricky to make, but if you follow these steps you will come out fine.  One thing that a cheesecake is NOT is a souffle.  Entraining air into the filling will make it rise and fall, and that causes cracking.  That is why you should mix by hand rather than with beaters.

Work the cream cheese first until it is very pliable.  Then add the sugar, a little at a time, and mix until it is well blended.  For things that can tolerate quite a bit of mixing it is always better to add ingredients a little at a time to facilitate blending.  You can not do that for recipes that minimize the development of gluten, like cakes, but you can here.

After the sugar, add the sour cream, also a little at a time.  Go ahead and add the vanilla extract and lemon zest now.  Be sure and use real vanilla extract.  Cheesecake is expensive to make and you should use only the best ingredients.

Next blend in the eggs, one at a time.  I mixed the cornstarch with the last egg until free of lumps and then added it.  The purpose of the cornstarch is to absorb any liquid that might be released, as sometimes happens when a custard is overcooked or when cheesecake is made with things like ricotta cheese that is sort of watery.  It is just sort of an insurance policy.

After everything is blended, scrape the filling into the crust.  It is very dense.  Be careful not to leave air pockets.  You can not bang raw cheesecake in a springform pan on the counter to knock out air bubbles like you can cake batter.  Place in the center of a 325 degree oven and place a pan of hot water on the rack under it.  This keeps the cheesecake from drying out and actually decreases cooking time because since the oven is saturated by water vapor, evaporative cooling from the top of the cheesecake does not occur.  Leave it in the oven for 70 minutes and do not open the door.  Opening the door causes the temperature to fluctuate and custards are moody.

After the 70 minutes, turn off the oven and open the door to the first stop, about 1/4 way open more or less.  Leave it there for at least an hour, and more is fine.  The reason for this is to allow the cake to cool very slowly (actually, the center continues to cook for quite some time from heat conducted from the outer part) making it less apt to crack and/or leak liquid.  Here is what mine looked like after two and a half hours of cooling:

Photobucket

Note that there are no cracks in the surface.  Saran or Great Value Premium wrap should then be gently pressed onto the surface of the cake to keep it from drying out and the whole springform pan refrigerated until the cake is completely chilled.  Unless you started really early in the morning, this really means overnight.  I specified these two types of wraps because they are oxygen barriers, being made of polyvinylidene chloride.  Regular wrap is made of polyethylene and oxygen readily penetrates it.  With so much fat, cheesecake is very apt to develop off flavors from contact with oxygen.

For the topping I used sour cherries, but you can use whatever you like.  Some people like strawberries, some blueberries, and there are people who rave about a pineapple topping.  You can also have no topping at all if you want.  It is all a matter of personal preference.  I followed the procedure in the recipe, but you can cheat and just buy whatever fruit pie filling that you like in a can.  Just pop it in the refrigerator when you refrigerate the cheesecake.  I am a "from scratch" cook, especially when it comes to something as special as a birthday cake for someone so special, so I did it the hard way, but the hard way is easy.  I like to allow the fruit to sit in the syrup overnight in the refrigerator, then thicken and cool it the next day but it is not really necessary.

After the cake is cool, remove the sides of the springform pan and place the bottom of the pan containing the cake on a plate.  I really needed to use a bigger one than I did, but it served.  Spoon on the topping and serve.  Here is what it looked like when it was finished.

Photobucket

I was out of ice Monday so took the pan of hot topping over to The Woman's house to cool it.  She got a kick out of putting the topping on her cake herself.

Although you could not tell from the final product, this is the first real cheesecake that I ever made.  You can not count the Jello stiffened kind that you "cook" in the refrigerator as a real cheesecake although they taste OK.  The Woman, her mum and dad, and I all pronounced it delicious although The Little Girl was not as enthusiastic.  I went back later Monday night to get seconds and half of the cake was already gone and The Woman divided what was left with me for me to take home.  It will keep under refrigeration for quite a while, and I have never heard of a good cheesecake being around long enough to go off.

To review, the important steps in making a cheesecake successfully are:

- Allow all ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing

- Mix gently by hand to avoid entraining air that makes it rise and fall, and crack

- Add a little cornstarch as in insurance policy

- Cook gently so that you do not heat the outer regions of the cheesecake too much

- Put a pan of hot water under the cheesecake in the oven

- Do not open the oven door until it is cooked

- Cool gently to allow the center to cook through whilst the outer parts cool

- Chill completely before trying to handle

These steps apply to all cheesecakes in general unless the recipe specifically instructs you to do something different and for a specific reason.  If they do not give a reason to deviate from these guidelines, use the guidelines.

This recipe uses what I consider to be just about the minimum of eggs to bind a custard, about one large egg per cup of other ingredients.  If you are in doubt when you read a recipe remember that general rule of thumb for most custards:  one large egg per cup of other ingredients.  Adding a little more egg to a recipe that does not contain enough if fine, but you might want to put an extra teaspoon of sugar in the mix to compensate.

On a personal note, The Woman, The Little Girl, and I spent a lot of time together Monday.  After The Little Girl went to bed the two of us were able to sit on her front porch and just have several really nice hours together, just talking about anything and everything.  When it was finally time for me to go, we commented to each other about what a low key, pleasant, and actually joyous day it had been.  It is nice to have someone to whom you can be completely yourself in front of with no worry about putting on airs.  She and I are at that point, and it took a long time for that sort of emotional bond to be cemented.

Since we celebrated her birthday on Monday, a day early, I might as well show you the other gift that I got for her that day.  It has become a tradition for me to give her roses and a vase for her birthday, so this is what I brought her Monday.

Photobucket

We could not get all three dozen roses in her new vase (on the left), so we had to put some of them in last year's vase along with another bouquet that I had gotten for her the week before.  Since her birthday last year, she has always had fresh flowers on her dresser when she was in town.  I see to that.

This year I gave her 12 red, 12 white, and 12 orange roses.  Those of you who are hip to meanings of different colors of roses, and the numbers of them, send a message.  It is sort of like cooking in that often the same basic ingredients can be combined in different ways to make dishes with very different outcomes.  I do not want to get much more specific than that, but if folks are really interested in the meaning can inquire in the comments, please be gentle and ask things like "What do orange roses mean?" rather than "So, what does your combination mean?"

For the official celebration on Tuesday, I just gave her a little token.  I thought that he was cute, though.  Notice that he is atop The Little Girl's Dora the Explorer table.

Photobucket

For my first attempt at a real cheesecake, I was extremely pleased with the result.  Part of the reason for that success was that I did several hours of research on cheesecake, from dozens of recipes, the tips that Kossacks sent, and the wonderful second edition of On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee.  If you do not have a copy of that book, find one.  At 884 pages of small print, no color photographs, plenty of good illustrations, 14 pages of references, and 49 pages of index, it contains not a single recipe except for historical ones.  This author is excellent.  Alton Brown may have flash, but Harold McGee has the facts and presents them in what I find to be a very insightful, almost Geeky manner.  Those of you who know me from my regular Sunday series here (Pique the Geek, at 9:00 PM) know that my use of the term Geeky is one of the highest honors that I can give someone.

Please bear with me whilst I wax philosophical.  No one has to cook, and not everyone should!  There are healthy alternatives to home cooking, and some folks just do not have time to cook.  More and more grocery chains are beginning to provide healthful, already prepared dishes that need only to be taken home, and, at most, warmed.  Some of the frozen entrees and dinners are actually surprisingly tasty, and some of those are actually pretty healthy.  You just have to look at labeling to be sure that you are getting good stuff.  If the community would be interested, I suspect that I could write a piece about that for here sometime.  Please let me know in the comments.

For me, cooking is an expression of love.  When I was with my family, I cooked all the time because most of it was for them.  Sure, I cooked things that I liked, but they liked most of them as well.  Living alone, I find myself cooking less and less, but when I do cook, it is almost always for The Woman, or with The Woman.  Sometimes I will cook a bunch of stuff at once for myself, but that is to keep from having to cook more often, just warm up the stuff in the freezer.

But when I am cooking for someone else, the joy returns.  Cooking for myself is a drudge; cooking for someone else is elating.  Now, that someone else does not have to be someone dear, but it helps.  I could never be a chef because the act is just too damned intimate to me.

You see, when you cook for someone else, what you give them becomes, literally, part of that person's body!  I can think of only one other activity that can make that claim (blood transfusions and organ transplants excepted), and that only works one way betwixt the genders.  How much more intimate can you get?

That is why I think that pot luck dinners are a really good idea.  People prepare their very best dishes to show off, and that is not a bad thing!  I have had some of the best (and the worst) dishes that I ever sampled at pot lucks.  

Well, that is it for tonight.  I am writing on Wednesday, so it is possible that by posting time Saturday I will have figured out what I had for dinner that night.  I should be available for comments most of the evening, since The Woman is out of town.

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at

The Stars Hollow Gazette,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (37+ / 0-)

    getting to love cooking again?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 07:39:30 PM PDT

  •  I just snacked around today (10+ / 0-)

    and will have some cheesecake later this evening.

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:31:47 PM PDT

  •  I fixed chicken tenderloins... (11+ / 0-)

    ...with gnocchi in vodka sauce and Parmesan.

  •  Many thanks, Doc. We had Blugarian kabobs (12+ / 0-)

    (with pickles) and Israeli couscous. We planned to drive to PA and take son 3 to dinner, but the weather is awful. We will take him to lunch tomorrow instead.

  •  Thanks for the recipe Doc (10+ / 0-)

    I can tell you from experience, when working in restaurants, you will see cheesecake "go off" as a dessert option, it is eclipsed by simple ice cream desserts and cake.
    It's very warm here this week so i'll probably make a sandwich later.  

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:39:51 PM PDT

  •  I've been making this New York Cheesecake for (12+ / 0-)

    years now, and highly recommend it---it's freakishly good. It's tall, it's thick, it's dry around the edges but moist inside. Amazing! Ya gotta follow it EXACTLY, though ... this ain't a time for invention [though I've made a pretty good low-carb version with a mixed nuts crust that works too ...]:

    New York Cheesecake
    Recipe taken from the America’s Test Kitchen New Best Recipe Cookbook
    Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, serves 12-16.
    Note from America’s Test Kitchen: The flavour and texture of the cheesecake is best if the cake is allowed to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. When cutting the cake, have a pitcher of hot tap water nearby; dipping the blade of the knife into the water and wiping it clean with a kitchen towel after each cut helps make neat slices.

    Ingredients:
    Graham Cracker Crust
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs (4 ounces, 8 whole crackers, broken into rough pieces and processed in food processor until uniformly fine)
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted, plus additional 1 tablespoon melted butter for greasing pan

    Cheesecake Filling
    2 1/2 pounds cream cheese , cut into rough 1-inch chunks and left to stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes
    1/8 teaspoon table salt
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
    1/3 cup sour cream (2 1/2 ounces)
    2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 large egg yolks
    6 large eggs

    Instructions:
    1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in medium bowl; add 5 tablespoons melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened. Brush bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan with most of remaining melted butter, making sure to leave enough to brush pan in step 3. Empty crumbs into springform pan and press evenly into pan bottom. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, about 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
    2. For the cheesecake filling: Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula; add salt and about half of sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; beat in remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add whole eggs two at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, and scraping bowl between additions.
    3. Brush sides of springform pan with remaining melted butter. Set springform pan on rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills if springform pan leaks). Pour filling into cooled crust and bake 10 minutes; without opening oven door, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of cheesecake registers about 150 degrees, about 11/2 hours. Transfer cake to wire rack and cool 5 minutes; run paring knife between cake and side of springform pan. Cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 4 days.)
    4. To unmold cheesecake, remove sides of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto serving plate. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

    •  I saw several recipes (4+ / 0-)

      that start hot and then go quite cool.  This would tend to produce the effect that you describe about being drier around the edges.  It is also possible that Maillard reactions could occur as well, thus enhancing the flavor.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:56:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I should add, my low-carb version uses (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mapamp, Translator, Mr Robert

      Sun Crystals as the sugar substitute, per the Sun Crystals directions. The top of the cheesecake will get a good bit darker with Sun Crystals, but the taste is really very good. I've gone a bit too dark on occasion (if I miss the 500 degree to 200 degree switch by a minute or two), but have dressed it up with low-sugar raspberry jam as a topping for parties.

      •  As I understand it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        Sun Crystals is a blend of whole Stevia and Sugar and the Sugar presents a problem for me--I'm diabetic.

        So do you think using pure Stevia would work for this?

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:42:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to substitute Stevia for the sugar (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator

      Do you think that would work?

      Any idea how much Stevia to use for that?

      I have a Stevia called "Stevita", however, I've never really tried cooking with it.

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For flavor, perhaps. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert

        But for bulking up and thickening things, the few milligrams of Stevia are no match for the many grams of real sugar in texture and weight considerations.  Besides, Stevia does not enter into the Maillard reactions, but just degrades.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:41:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Darn... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Translator

          I guess that's the reason she uses the Sun Crystal sweetener since it is a blend of Stevia and Sugar.

          Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

          by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:44:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sugar does things that can (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mr Robert

            not be duplicated by any other ingredient.  And there are several different kinds of sugar.

            Warmest regards,

            Doc

            I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

            by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:46:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If I may get a bit Geeky: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mr Robert

            EVERYONE, including diabetics, require sugar (I use the term for all digestible carbohydrates).  The trick is to limit the intake, especially of the ones that need little digestion to be absorbed.

            So, use a good recipe and cook your treat.  Just have baby dishes of it, balanced with other healthy food, and you will be fine.

            All in moderation, my friend!

            Warmest regards,

            Doc

            I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

            by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:54:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I try hard to minimize my carb intake (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Translator, pixxer, trillian

              and as a result I need very little insulin with meals. That in turn makes it less likely that I become "insulin resistant" and helps me keep my weight down.

              I find that a modified Atkins diet works pretty well for me. So most of my calories are from protein and fat. And, so long as I keep the carbs down my Cholesterol number stay good.

              I've been a type 1 diabetic for over 40 years now so I pretty much know the ropes at this point. In fact, I know more about diabetes care than most PCPs I think.

              Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

              by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:28:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Continue to bake... ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator
      continue to bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of cheesecake registers about 150 degrees, about 11/2 hours.
      I'm not sure what you mean by 11/2. Is that a typo?

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:38:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nice catch. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert

        It could mean half of eleven hours, or five and and a half.  That is literally what the statement says.   I am sure that it means one and one half hours, though.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:44:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I need suggestions to fix my stew (9+ / 0-)

    I usually make a beef stew, but my wife doesn't eat beef.  I found a recipe for a pork stew that sounded interesting and I made it tonight.  The recipe called for about 12 ounces of hard cider and fresh sage. The latter wasn't a problem because it grows in my garden.  The rest is pretty routine: some carrots, celery and onions sauteed in olive oil before I tossed in the pork and about a tablespoon of flour. I also placed about 14 ounces of Italian tomatoes from my garden in the Dutch oven.

    I just finished cooking the stew and it tastes like say old cider.  Any suggestions on a way to fix it?

    Maybe I should just skip dinner and have some of Translator's cheesecake.

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:46:13 PM PDT

  •  This is the second Saturday evening (8+ / 0-)

    in a row now where I'll be having leftovers.

    A couple of nights ago I sauteed up some nice shell-on shrimp and I'll be having them again tonight along with a cucumber/tomato salad and some brown rice.

    About the only time I have cheesecake or any sweets for that matter is on my birthday, but your recipe looks good and I'll bookmark it for later. I think the last time I actually made a cheesecake was when I still worked as a teacher. Most of my classroom cooking was with my preschool/pre-k classes, but I remember doing a cheesecake in the school age class I had on weekends.

    The cheesecake turned out pretty good, but I had some assistance from the school cook who helped me out quite a bit with the actual recipe because it was my first and only time to make one myself. Of course, I had a lot of help from the school age children in my classroom.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:46:55 PM PDT

  •  That is so lovely! (9+ / 0-)

    It would be great for dessert later on tonight :-)

    What a wonderful gift!

    Tonight was fried chicken. I've learned to fry chicken with gluten-free flour. I found out that I need to add xanthan gum to the flour, so it will adhere to the chicken to make a crispy crust. My chicken is very simple--

    Run chicken under running water--I use thighs--skin the chicken as you wash. Dry chicken with paper towels. Beat one egg and add enough milk to cover all the chicken. Put chicken in milk bath. Mix gluten free flour with a SMALL amount of xantan gum. Dip chicken into flour mix and then fry in enough oil to cover.  I use a small can of Cisco and a large bottle of vegetable oil. After about 6-8 minutes turn chicken. Continue to turn every 6-8 minutes until done.

    Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

    by mapamp on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:47:53 PM PDT

  •  it's tomato cleanup time for me (12+ / 0-)

    I skinned and chopped up about 20 lbs or more of vine ripe tomatoes and have been slowly cooking them down to a good sauce in a huge stock pot.  I chopped up 2 habanero chiles from my plant for good measure, so I guess we'll end up with Arabiaba sauce.  2 heads of roasted garlic squeezed into the mix, and some sauteed onions and bell pepper.  Picked up a Round Roast at the market and asked the butcher to run it through the grinder, so I have plenty of very lean ground beef.

    Tonight, we are eating left overs from yesterday, but tomorrow will be some really good spaghetti with meat sauce.  I still have mushrooms to slice up and add to the mix, and I'm starting a loaf of no-knead bread tonight to have with the meal.  The garden is about done, but there's enough lettuce for a good salad to go with the pasta tomorrow, and I have some raspberry vinegar I made earlier in the summer that will make a nice vineagrette dressing.  I got most of the hard work out of the way today, so tomorrow I think I'll have time to make an apple pie.  The local apples are finally hitting the produce stands, and while I don't do double crust pies all that well, I can knock a crumble topped dutch apple pie out of the park.  

    Note to self:  Pick up some vanilla ice cream in the morning.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:52:08 PM PDT

    •  Sounds like you (4+ / 0-)

      have been having fun!  I did not can any tomatoes this year because I have stock from previous years that I want to use first.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:57:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My wife likes the fact that I love to cook (5+ / 0-)

        and I like the fact that she, mostly, lets me do all the cooking.  Don't tell her, but I'm a better cook than she is.  She cooks about a quarter of the time...which is just about perfect.  

        She thinks I make a mess of the kitchen when I cook, but at least I don't make a mess of the meal.

        And I do make a mess in the kitchen...which I always clean up.

        Cooking is fun, mostly.  Sometimes it's a drudge, but not often. I truly enjoy it.  

        It would be fun to have a DKos meetup sometime...not a netroots nation thing, but more along the lines of a family reunion among a political family, in a central place...a nice state park with facilities, where a bunch of us could meet up and socialize, and the good cooks amongst us could take chrge and turn out some really good meals under rustic conditions.

        But that's just me.

        Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

        by Keith930 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:10:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When the former Mrs. Translator (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crider, mapamp, Statusquomustgo, blueoasis

          and I were together, we cooked side by side almost every time, unless it was a special occasion like a birthday for one or the other of us, Mum's day and Father's day, and of course in times of illness.

          When we married I was the better cook, but she was a fast study and soon we were coequal, and she was actually better an many things that was I, but I was better than her at others.  As long as we lived together and cooked together all was well.  Then I took the job out of state.....

          I love the idea about a "Cookin Kos" get together!

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:35:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  oh..and my Trinidadian neighbor finally coughed up (9+ / 0-)

      her recipe for homemade Island Hotsauce.   My Scotch Bonnets are ripe, and tomorrow I will be in the hotsauce business.  All I need is a couple of mangoes...everything else I have.  It calls for 15 scotch bonnets, but it makes about 3 cups of sauce, and it keeps forever.

      I've tasted hers...it truly, truly kicks ass.  Both hot and, more importantly, very tasty.  I can't wait to make a batch of this stuff.  I may pick up a pineapple and use that instead of the mango, because sweet and hot is hard to beat.

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:59:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you skin and seed all those tomatoes? (5+ / 0-)

      If so, how do you do it? I've not ever made sauce from fresh tomatoes because I've always been intimidated by the thought of skinning and seeding the tomatoes. It sounds like a tough job.

      Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

      by mapamp on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:09:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice, I do love cheesecake (10+ / 0-)

    Though my partner does not eat cheese in any form, including cream cheese so I don't make it very often.

    As I type this, the grill is heating up to grill some steak for our dinner. Roast potatoes on the side, and we are already enjoying a bottle of Prosecco.

    "Kiss my ass, this is a Holy site" - a RomneyBot 2012 media expert, addressing the media

    by lotac on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:53:52 PM PDT

    •  I like to roast potatoes thusly: (6+ / 0-)

      Scrub potato and dry.  Prick all over with a fork for steam release.  Coat in vegetable oil, then sprinkle on Kosher salt until the skin is covered.  Roast at 400 degrees for an hour.  Enjoy with butter, sour cream, or whatever toppings you like.

      Cooking a potato this way allows the skin to get hot enough to crispen and develop flavors from the Maillard reactions.  Aluminum foil baked potatoes simply can never get hot enough on the surface.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:01:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  PARR-TAYYY! Chicken Tikka Kabob I Had Last Night (8+ / 0-)

    as carry-out, mild spice, a 1/4 portion and very few of the grilled onions, passed muster with my gingerly recovering digestion.

    The local mom & pop working class priced Indian food restaurant has been well rated in the area. Their portions are just about double what I'd ordinarily eat now that I'm not a growing lad, but these days I need to keep the portions even smaller to avoid startling the inner tubes.

    Very tasty even though I have to order mild, and I've got the other 3 portions frozen for coming days.

    Meanwhile tonight we had pan fried local Lake Erie perch and asparagus over some of the restaurant's flavored basmati rice. Lake perch is so mild and tasty, and hereabouts it's very fresh, that I can never bring myself to reach for the tartar sauce.

    It's still early to try a meatless Monday but I can see the day coming in a week or few.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:56:24 PM PDT

    •  Your dinner tonight (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ninkasi23, mapamp

      sounds really good.  I agree with you, tarter sauce is not needed for really fresh and mild fish.  I like a little lemon juice, but that is just for flavor in fresh water fish.  Acid does completely different things to salt water fish.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:03:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm curious Doc (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mapamp, Translator

        How does the acid react differently to fresh-water vs. salt-water fish?

        For example, I see chefs often using acid to make ceviche using various types of seafood, but mostly salt-water creatures. I'm curious as to how the acid chemically reacts differently between fresh and salt water creatures.

        And, if it is a complex answer perhaps a Pique the Geek post or another WFD diary could be in the making?

        If you encounter rocky soil, plant what will grow there. - Fortune cookie wisdom

        by ninkasi23 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:19:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I did not intend to (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mapamp, ninkasi23, blueoasis, pixxer

          be cryptic.  Freshwater fish do not have to contend with dealing with large amounts of salt (WAY more than their body concentration of salt) the way that saltwater fish do.  Most shellfish use tasty amino acids to achieve their salt balance, but actual fish usually use trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) for that purpose.  It is essentially tasteless.  Sharks and rays use urea for the same purpose.  It tastes sort of salty and cooling.

          The problem is that as the fish age after being caught, the TMAO or urea is converted by enzymes and bacteria to trimethylamine, an organic compound that smells almost exactly like ammonia.  If you add acid, like lemon juice, vinegar, or acidic ingredients like tomatoes, the acid converts trimethylamine, a volatile and stinky gas, into trimethylammonium chloride (mostly).  This material is nonvolatile, so the "fishy" smell is blocked.  It also tastes pretty neutral, just a little salty.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:46:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I just got back from the store with a few extra (9+ / 0-)

    ingredients to make tuna casserole. It was what my sweetie immediately voted on when I listed off a few options based on what we have on hand.

    So, I got fresh green beans and mushrooms which I will saute and then make a homemade cheese sauce and combine all with cooked penne, 2 cans of tuna and more shredded cheese. Top with some crushed potato chips/panko and bake until it's golden brown on top and bubbly.

    Then to settle down and do some more catching up on Dr. Who. I'm still not completely sold on Matt Smith but I'm slowly warming to his "Doctor" interpretation.

    Thank you Doc for a wonderful diary/story tonight. Cheesecake is one of those things I have not attempted in many years. Now that I have a nice set of springform pans I am thinking not only of sweet cheesecakes but would like to experiment with savory too!

    If you encounter rocky soil, plant what will grow there. - Fortune cookie wisdom

    by ninkasi23 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:00:05 PM PDT

    •  As I said in our correspondence (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ninkasi23, mapamp, Statusquomustgo

      about this piece, I am trying to a less "matter of fact" writing style.  I thought, since I have such emotional attachments to food, connecting them with other emotional attachments might make things interesting.

      I shall watch the late airings of The Doctor.  You have to love the Daleks.  Pertwee once said that they were the stupidest evil race because all you needed to defeat them was a staircase!  Then they learnt to levitate.

      I love the inside joke about the premiere episode, "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship".  To me, the golden era of The Doctor were the Troughten, Pertwee, and the first few years of Tom Baker.  After Nathan-Turner got to be in charge it turned darker, and the reboot causes problems for me.  Eccelston was really good, reminding me of Baker quite a lot, but Smith is OK.  At least he seems to be having fun.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:17:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, I have to admit that I fell in love (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mapamp, Translator

        with the Doctor thanks to Tom Baker and loved watching the older ones back when I was in college. The re-boot at first was clunky but I came to love Eccleston for his clumsy charm. Then David Tennant just blew me away.  And then I saw the PBS broadcast of his turn as Hamlet alongside Patric Stewart and I'll tell you that man is just astounding. So Matt just seems a little ummm. . . immature to me right now. But I'm sure I'll come to enjoy his quirks as the Doctor over time.
        By the way, speaking of Pertwee, it makes me very happy to see his son Sean Pertwee in movies & tv. Dog Soldiers is probably one of my favorite werewolf movies ever, and he's also in Equilibrium, another one of my all-time favorite action science fiction movies.

        If you encounter rocky soil, plant what will grow there. - Fortune cookie wisdom

        by ninkasi23 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:27:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am hoping that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mapamp, ninkasi23

          the producers will be able to work Sean into an episode.

          The very first episode that I ever saw was one of the Baker "Genesis of the Daleks" serial where Sarah Jane was climbing some sort of tower.  My CB1 and CB2 receptors were fully loaded at the time (as they are now), and I became very curious and, as you described me, giddy about such a novel concept.  That was in 1977, and I have been a fan since.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:50:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  And for the allergy-sensitive among us, (8+ / 0-)

    Cheeseless Cheesecake!

    Free of all my allergies. It wasn't very much like cheesecake, really, but it was the closest I'd gotten in a while and was delightfully caramel-tasting and textured.

    Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Place 3 cups Arrowhead Mills sweetened rice flakes in mixing bowl and crush well with hands into crumbs.  Add 3 tbsp Sunsweet Lighter Bake butter and oil replacement, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp demarara sugar, 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce, and 1 tbsp safflower oil.  Stir together well and pack into bottom of 8" by 11.5" glass baking dish, smoothing evenly with spoon.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and raise heat to 450 F.

    Mix together in large bowl two 3.4 oz packages Jell-O cheesecake pudding mix, two 1 lb 1 oz packages Nasoya French Vanilla silken soy, 4 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer, 2 tbsp Mexican vanilla gelatin, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 cup demarara sugar, 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, 1/4 cup common sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp Galaxy Foods Parmesan substitute, and 1 tsp nutritional yeast.  Pour in carefully over crust and place in 450 F oven for 10 minutes.  Lower temperature to 250 F and bake for 40 minutes.

    Chill. Spread chilled cherry pie filling over cheesecake before serving.

    Optional: make half again as much crust and use a 9" by 14" dish.  Follow as above, but over first layer of cheesecake mix add a second mixed layer composed of: one 1.1 lb package Nasoya Dark Chocolate silken soy, 2 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer, 2 tbsp Mexican vanilla gelatin, 2 tsp Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, 1/4 cup demarara sugar, 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and one 4 oz package of chocolate pudding mix.  Take knife blade and make careful swirls evenly throughout to promote mild blending for a marbled effect and add 5 minutes to cooking time of each step after crust.

    •  That actually sounds (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allergywoman, mapamp, Statusquomustgo

      pretty good!  I well remember the Jell-O cheesecake mix, because my mum used it all of the time.

      I feel for people who can not just let go and eat anything that looks good.  I am blessed in that I have no significant food allergies.  I thought that I might have had, but since I started taking melatonin all of my IBS symptoms have abated.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:20:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are. Enjoy it while you can. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mapamp, Translator, Statusquomustgo

        On the brighter side, I am getting back some foods I thought were gone forever, like blueberries. I don't know that I'll get all of them back (strawberries are still a very bad reaction) but any more foods are good.

        •  My neighbor loves tomatoes, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mapamp

          but can eat only yellow ones or he breaks out from them.  His solution was to take 25 mg of diphenhydramine (Benedryl) half an hour before he partakes.  Since it is sedative, he only eats tomatoes late in the day.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:52:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Our WFD Schedule and call for Volunteers! (5+ / 0-)

    9/15: v7.07 open
    9/22: v7.08 open
    9/29: v7.09 fe bongolan

    10/6: v7.10 open
    10/13: v7.11 open
    10/20: v7.12 open
    10/27: v7.13 open

    If no one is interested/able for next Sat. I can do it. But after that I am hesitant to commit as work will be taking over my life as of the 18th. That's when my first training class starts and after that I really can't guarantee I will be free on Saturdays.

    So, please, if you have thought about posting a diary for WFD, let me reassure you it is easy and fun! Just write the diary, then go to the Publication Manager and queue it to WFD. I will then schedule it for the appropriate date and time. With fall closing in on us I bet a lot of you have wonderful homey comfort food ideas you could share with us!

    Comment here or send me a kos message and all will be magically taken care of! Voila!

    If you encounter rocky soil, plant what will grow there. - Fortune cookie wisdom

    by ninkasi23 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:06:03 PM PDT

  •  Yum- cheesecake. (6+ / 0-)

    I eat too much of it so I can't make it at home .... Oh well - just one of those things.

    Awwwww - love.  Need more of it at home. Working on it ....

    Tonight it's Asian Pear and Gouda Cheese on Rye grilled cheese sandwiches, w/kettle chips and nice glass of something red and chewy.

    I'm just about ready to put the Spicy Tomato Jam into the water bath. I spent the day in the kitchen canning - will finish the stewed tomatoes tomorrow (need more tomatoes).

    My little house smells awesome. :-)

    "Anything with lots of garlic and lots of cheese has to be good!" plf515 "True[r] words were never spoken. :)" kirbybruno

    by mikidee on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:10:36 PM PDT

    •  Sounds good! (6+ / 0-)

      Here is a funny story about apples and cheese.  During World War II my parents, along with my mum's parents, moved to Portland, Oregon to work in the shipyards.  At lunch one day my grandfather was getting ready to eat his piece of apple pie that my grandmum made for him and my father.  Everything was there but the cheddar.  My grandfather asked Dad what went with the cheese, and Dad admitted that he ate it.  My grandfather just handed him the piece of pie and said, "Ye might as well have th' pie too, 'cause it aint go good wh'out them cheeses."

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:26:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've got a rack of beef ribs smoking over mesquite (7+ / 0-)

    I did a brisket a couple of weeks ago with an improvised rub & sauce. It was some of the best BBQ I've ever done. I'll see if the rub is as good on ribs as it was on brisket.

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:15:49 PM PDT

    •  I am more of a hickory (5+ / 0-)

      and apple smoke guy, but it still sounds good.  To my taste, mesquite sort of overpowers, but if you and I agreed on everything one of us would not be necessary.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:27:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  my son went away to college (8+ / 0-)

      so I'm reluctant to fire up the grill and cook ribs for just my wife and me.  They are good leftover, but it's rewarding to see a young person devour a rack of my ribs all by himself.  

      Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

      by Kayakbiker on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:32:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you are (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kayakbiker, mapamp, Mr Robert, pixxer

        STILL cooking for someone whom you love.  COOK THE DAMNED RIBS!  LOL!

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:36:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah yes, growing boys do eat, don't they ? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kayakbiker, Mr Robert

        Ours is a Sr. in High School. I hadn't thought about this 'til you mentioned it, but hen the Kid leaves home someday, I suppose I'll have to downsize the menus. Just me & her wouldn't eat a whole rack by ourselves either. The Kid, of course, could easily eat the whole rack and would, if I didn't have the meat fork ready to stab the back of his hand.

        The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

        by Azazello on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:46:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I still fire up the grill and the smoker (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, greengemini, ninkasi23

        but it's harder to get excited about cooking these days.

        Before my mother died I'd always prepare dinner for her and about 1/2 the time I'd use the grill or smoker. I'd also do "meals on wheels" for her two or three times a week and I really enjoyed doing that for her.

        I still cook for myself more or less seven days a week, but I really do miss having someone else to share it with so I know how you feel.

        Still, if I were you, I'd keep on keeping on especially since you do have someone to share it with.

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:05:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What Translator said. And also - (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, Kayakbiker

        go buy a sports car :) The early Miatas are about $3k on Craigslist now, and are ever so much prettier than the newer ones. Also well engineered, so 20 year-old cars can still be fine. Great way to turn "empty nest syndrome" into a plus, at least for part of your life :)

        We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
        Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

        by pixxer on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:51:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would normally be a great idea (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Translator, pixxer

          But college tuition and room and board is close to 20 grand per year thanks to Republican reductions in the state contribution. Add that to the decimation of my 401k by deregulation and you can see that I am being squeezed even though I have a nice middle class job with benefits.

          Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

          by Kayakbiker on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:43:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, college will do that. I teach at one, and (0+ / 0-)

            97% of our students are on financial aid. That's a good thing - everybody needs help and nobody stands out for getting it. But it still is a pretty challenging time for parents.

            We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
            Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

            by pixxer on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:16:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Shrimp and grits with my CSA vege (8+ / 0-)

    For four.
    Three to four strips very smoky bacon. Diced

    Brown a couple T butter in a pan with a couple cloves of garlic and a little bit of the bacon.  When butter is begiining to brown and garlic and bacon smell fantastic, stop. This is your base for the grits.  Add 4 cups stock bring to boil add 1.5 cups quick grits. Cook as directed.  when done add some cream or milk to thin a little.

    Sauteed rest of bacon with mix of chopped peppers, red greeen brown, sweet and hot,  and onions from my CSA box.  I am a no gadget person but I love my little box for chopping vege by pushing it through a grid.  Cook til you get some nice browning and the fat has rendered. Add olive oil if necessary.  Added fresh rosemary and tarragon, but you add what you have.  Chopped tomatoes from the garden in the box along with the CSA okra and added to onions to make a sauce. Add orange juice to sauce and some berere (cayenne), chili powder and some seven spice (substitute cinnamon and coriander). Sauce is done.

    Heat butter olive oil and garlic,  add chili powder. I also added red thai chili paste which is a staple in my house. Ever so briefly sauteed shrimp in chili butter over high heat.  Layer in bowl grits, followed by sauce, top with some shrimp.

    It was divine.

    Newt Gingrich: Believes marriage is between one man and a series of ever younger women. Wife #1 born ~ 1936, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #2 born ~1947, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #3 born ~1966.

    by trillian on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:30:03 PM PDT

  •  Mmmm, cheesecake (7+ / 0-)

    I went on a bit of a bender a few years ago, with both sweet and savory cheesecakes. Unfortunately, they are like stew, or minestrone, or chili - impossible to make a "small batch" for two. I should think of them more often when tapped to provide something for a larger, group pot-luck type event.

    So, no cheesecake here tonight. Instead we will have lamb steak marinated in lemon/garlic/herbs/other good stuff; a rice/orzo pilaf; green beans; and some of the gloriously red and sweet watermelon that is reclining in the fridge.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:37:30 PM PDT

  •  Pav Bhaji tonight (7+ / 0-)

    I never see it at Indian restaurants, but it's one of my favorites. I wish I could make it like the pros.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:59:23 PM PDT

    •  it was fun to watch (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator, mapamp, Crider, Mr Robert

      but I don't have a good sense of what the taste is like.  Does it appear in Indian cookbooks?

      Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

      by Kayakbiker on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:38:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I learned from the internet (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, Kayakbiker, Mr Robert

        And youtube videos. Manjula's kitchen has a good video recipe and so does vahchef.

        "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

        by Crider on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:25:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ingredients are (4+ / 0-)

          potatoes, green peas, cauliflower, onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes. And lots of spices, and lots of butter, and fluffy white buns. The type of bread is pretty unusual for Indian food, but it first appeared as a street food near the Portuguese textile mills and apparently they are the ones who introduced loaf-style bread to India.

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:41:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Since you asked (6+ / 0-)

    Grilled Halibut topped with a French mustard glaze
    Asparagus sauteed in olive oil, salt, & pepper
    New Zealand Sauv Blanc / Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
    86% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate squares for dessert (later)

  •  glad you were successful in your cheesecake (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

    adventure :) looks like you did an outstanding job.

    Tonight was my night to cook for the AIDS group home.  Cooked smoked pulled pork sandwiches with baked beans, cole slaw, cantaloupe and a lemon crunch bundt cake.  We talked politics and visited for an hour then I cleaned up and left.  I really enjoy cooking for them, they've become like family to me.

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:03:38 PM PDT

  •  Grilled Pita With English Cucs, Tomatoes, Feta.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Mr Robert, Loonesta, ninkasi23

    chunky green bell pepper & olives on top of spicy sun dried tomato hummus.  

    Mr. Snapples had the vegie Greek platter at the mall:  grilled pita, babaganoush, Greek salad , deep fried veggie balls, 2 types of hummus & something delicious wrapped in grape leaves.  It was the $9.99 platter....and worth every penny.  He loved it!

  •  I smoked some salmon today. (5+ / 0-)

    I used a rub of brown sugar, salt, dried mustard, powdered ginger, and dill.

    I smoked it for about 30 minutes using cherry wood chips.

    I served it with mushroom fried rice.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:31:24 PM PDT

    •  Where did you find a rolling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, zenbassoon

      paper large enough to smoke a salmon?  Thirty minutes must have been intense!  LOL!

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:33:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the cheesecake guide! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, ninkasi23

    I totally love cheesecake, but I don't think I've ever made one. I'm old enough, though that I could have forgotten ;)

    Love the bear, too :)

    The Harold McGee book is out in a new edition. At first, I found it hard to get to the simple and excellent information I had loved in the first edition, but on getting to know the new book, I really love it.

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:18:20 PM PDT

    •  McGee is a genius! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer

      I am trying to write something similar, but his shoes are quite extensive.

      I am glad that you loved the bear.  Only the best for my love.  Did I do well with the flowers, cake, and bear?

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:25:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are beautiful :) I haven't sorted out the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        meaning of orange roses yet, but beauty is enough meaning in itself!

        We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
        Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

        by pixxer on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:52:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since you were the only one (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pixxer, ninkasi23

          to broach the subject, you get all of it.

          Red roses mean true love, pure and with passion.  White roses can mean secrecy and also purity in purpose.  Orange roses mean physical desire.  Mix all of them and it means that I love her, respect her, want to be with her, and want to have a passionate physical relationship with her.

          The 36 roses mean that I remember our romantic moments.  Even though none were physical, several were really romantic.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:07:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mr pixxer is on a wine-cooking kick. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, ninkasi23

    All to the good! When a bottle of wine is not to his liking - if it is corked, or too old - he recorks it and sets it aside to use for cooking. But he has rarely gone back to use these bottles. He tried last week, but used a cast iron pan and got a very metallic taste in the sauce (fortunately the chicken was very tasty). He was terribly disappointed. This morning before heading to Costco, we checked the freezer and he ran across a pork tenderloin from a previous Costco trip, and decided to cook it in wine (yes, tenderloin is way too good for wet cooking but it turned out great). He cooked a chopped onion in olive oil and then browned the salted and peppered pork, and stuck it with slivers of garlic from three cloves. He added a bottle of red wine and cooked for a couple of hours, adding a bit of water when necessary, and salt as his taste told him to (and he did it perfectly, I might add). Later he scrubbed and cut into chunks three Yukon Gold potatoes, and cooked them with the pork till they were perfectly done, adding romano beans about 4 minutes (which probably should have been more like 6 minutes) before serving. It was a great one-dish luxury meal. We had  Brunello di Montalcino with this called "Caparzo" which Mr p found at Costco, and it went really well with the meal.

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:33:42 PM PDT

    •  I do not object about cooking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer

      with wine, I just do not know how to do it properly.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:36:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, he was just guessing, but it worked. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        What didn't work was the cast-iron pan on that first trial. I'll bet our hero McGee has something to say about this, don't you think?

        We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
        Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

        by pixxer on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:54:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Likely so. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pixxer

          I am sort of fading out, so I shall respond tomorrow.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:40:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Can anyone see how (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ninkasi23

    much I love The Woman?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:51:09 PM PDT

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