So a little while back, The Wife made some Old Bay roasted potatoes to go along with pancakes. Delicious. And then I got a little potato in my maple syrup, and it was even better. I love the flavor contrast. Then I got this book, How to Cook Everything The Basics. It has a recipe for cheddar jalapeno biscuits that's pretty awesome, though a bit too buttery. I made those biscuits, and got the idea to do maple syrup Old Bay biscuits.
After a good while, I finally found a basic biscuit recipe, subbed out some of the fat, and threw in some of my own ideas, and threw them in the oven. I love the result. Here's the recipe.
Maple Syrup Old Bay Biscuits
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 8 tablespoons part skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 450. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and Old Bay in a big bowl. Mix in the shortening and ricotta with a fork until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the maple syrup. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring, until it seems like dough. The recipe I followed says "until it pulls away from the bowl", but what does that really mean?
Roll it in flour a bit until it's not sticky, then use a rolling pin to flatten it, about a half inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or something, then throw them on an ungreased pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they brown a bit, and you have some awesome little biscuits.
Date night ingredients: beets and horseradish for the wife, molasses and summer squash for me. I did well, I think, but the wife knocked it out of the park. She made salmon with a horseradish cream sauce over roasted potatoes and beets.
I modified this recipe and made Roasted Brussels Sprouts over Molasses Vinegar Squash Puree.
- Summer squash (I used two good-sized yellow squash)
- Two tablespoons butter
- Package of fresh Brussels sprouts
- 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBSP molasses
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
Chop the squash into one-inch-ish cubes. Melt the butter, mix in the rosemary, thyme, vinegar, and molasses. Put the squash in a bowl and cover it with the butter mixture. Chop the Brussels sprouts, lightly cover in olive oil and salt and pepper. On two separate cookie sheets, roast all the vegetables. I did them at 450 for about 20 minutes, mostly because that's the temperature the wife wanted. Roasting vegetables is not an exact science, and there's a broad range of "done" that you'll be happy with, so make sure the vegetables aren't too hard and don't burn too much and you'll be fine.
Puree the squash and put it on a plate. Cover with Brussels sprouts and enjoy.
I think this was a tiny bit too sweet - I think next time I'd put in a little more vinegar or a little less molasses. But it was quite delightful as it was.
Oh, what a glorious world we live in. I just contested a ridiculous parking ticket entirely online. I'm not sure how I got the ticket - I never actually saw a ticket on the car. I just got an email telling me that the fine was about to double.
So I responded.
I never received the paper ticket - my first notification of this ticket was the email that the penalty was doubling. However, I did not commit the violation "STOP/STND IN AM RUSH". Attached please find photos of the signs on both sides of the street. The ticket was issued on 3/29/2011, which you'll note is a Tuesday. According to the signs, there are absolutely no rush hour restrictions on parking on the 1400 block of Harvard St NW on Tuesdays. So it is not possible that this ticket is valid.
We had another date night tonight. The wife's ingredients were rhubarb and garlic, so she cooked rhubarb salad with goat cheese. Except they didn't have rhubarb at Whole Foods, so she subbed in apple. It worked.
Pigs in a blanket
- Phyllo dough
- Veggie Chorizo
- Granny Smith Apple
- Tiny bit of olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 lime
- 1/2 can great northern beans
- Small handful of cilantro
- Largish pinch of salt
Chop the sausage and the apple into pretty small pieces and mix together. Double over the phyllo dough, sealing with olive oil. Cut into strips a couple inches wide. Put a bit of the apple/sausage mixture onto the dough and roll it up. Technique isn't important here. Cook at 375 for 12 minutes or until the dough starts to brown.
Chop and seed the tomatoes. Chop the pepper. Rinse the beans. Toss all into a bowl. Chop and add the cilantro, add the salt. Add most of the zest from the lime, as well as all the juice. Toss.
That's it. I served it all together, but each one stands up on its own if you're so inclined.
So, I'm pretty much the best cook ever. And I say that with all appropriate modesty.
For all you couples with kids, you know what I mean when I say it's tough to get out for a date night. A lot of you busy with other stuff know what I'm talking about, too. So the wife and I have started doing Date Night In, inspired by watching Chopped on Food Network. We each pick two ingredients, and the other person must make a dish using them. We usually pick a day or two in advance so we can go shopping. We don't have 1) the experience of the chefs on Chopped or 2) the extensive pantry. And we alternate - one week I do a salad or appetizer while she does the main, and the next week we switch.
This is our third one. It was my most successful, though we haven't had a bad one yet. My ingredients were bananas and goat cheese, and I was doing the salad/appetizer. Getting a little inspiration from this recipe, and a little imagination, I cooked up Banana Goat Cheese Rolls.
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1 banana
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- filo/phyllo dough
- A bit of olive oil
- Goat cheese
- A large pinch of salt
Saute the onion and jalapeno for five minutes or so until the onion starts getting translucent. Mash the banana in a bowl and mix in the apple cider vinegar and salt. Add this to the onions and turn down the heat. Let it thicken, five or ten minutes. Lay out a sheet of filo dough and spread a bit of olive oil around the edge of half of it, then fold it over. Cut it into four strips - they should be three or four inches wide. Put a spoonful of the onion/banana mixture at one end of the strip, then top with a spoonful of goat cheese. Roll the dough, folding the sides a bit so nothing comes out. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay the rolls on the sheet. I used three sheets of dough, but it probably depends on how much you put in each. Put them in the oven at 375 until the dough starts to brown, probably 15-20 minutes. Let them cool a bit and enjoy!
I'm pretty excited about how well they turned out. The banana was pretty strong, and the jalapeno a little weak, but the wife said she'd serve them to company. I think we'll try that next time we have company. We might tweak the recipe a bit.
I highly recommend watching Chopped if you want to be a better cook. Not that you'll learn how to cook from watching, though you should pick up some tips, but that watching it makes me want to cook more, and makes me want to try new things that are a bit outside my comfort zone.
At exactly 7:56AM Friday (9/24) morning, Matilda Sheehy Renaut was born at the DC Developing Families Center in Northeast.
I know I haven't done much posting to this blog recently. Or, really, any. But I've been busy with other projects, and the now two kids, and all of that. I'd like to get back to blogging at some point, so I'm keeping this alive, but I make no promises.
Anyway, Matilda. Another great experience at the birth center. The wife's labor was incredibly quick - first contraction was only about five hours before the baby was born.
I'm still getting used to the fact that I have two little girls. Matilda looks JUST like Adelina did at this age except for her chin. Adelina's was a little more like mine. We're curious if they'll end up looking the same as they get older. My little brother and I could have been twins up to age one or so, and now look very different.
It's very convenient to have another girl at the same time of year - she'll be the same size as her sister in the same year/season, so we should be set for hand-me-down clothes.
I'm taking more time off work this time. I took all of last week and all of this week. I'll go back after the Columbus Day holiday next Monday. It's been cool to spend time with the family, and now we should be a little more settled in to the change before I have to go back to work and leave the wife alone at home.
And, in case you're wondering, it's still crazy, being a dad. And both of my girls are amazing.
Originally uploaded by thetejon
Saw this on our block of Harvard today. Fancy BMW 745, polished, heavy tint on the windows, Maryland tags, parked in front of a RPP Zone 1 Only sign. The sign, if you don't click through to read, says, "POLICE - Official business". I have no idea if this is a legitimate thing, or something the guy printed on his computer, but clearly parking enforcement decided to ticket him and let the DMV sort it out.
I was out jogging with the kid in the stroller on 16th Street near Varnum NW - near the top of a pretty long, steady ascent - and I overtook a group of kids coming from school. A kid who looked 13 or 14, though I have no idea these days, looked at me.
"I wish I had your energy, sir." He said. "Pushing that baby all the way up the hill".
Does anyone know what I did that installed this Adobe DLM into Firefox 3.5.3 on Windows XP? I'm about to disable it, but I'd really like to know how the loathsome weasels at Adobe managed to cram it into my Firefox Add-ons without me noticing. Is it something automatic when I updated Adobe Reader? Did I not unclick a box that I should have unclicked?
I've got a lot going on these days. Work, the kid, family, finding time to spend with the wife - probably a lot like your life. But over the last few months I've added one more thing, and it's getting close to becoming a reality.
You may know that I was blogging over here for a while. It started out as an experiment to see where it would go, or to see if I liked blogging with a more professional tone. But the more I wrote about the ebook industry, the more I hated it. It started to feel like everyone was getting it wrong. $10 ebooks? Really?
So I decided I had to do something about it, and the idea for Manfred Macx publishing was born. I'm hoping to launch the site in November. In brief, it will be a place where authors can come and get some help in getting their work out there, and giving fans an opportunity to support them.
I will still complain here about DC parking enforcement (Have you seen the VW at 14th and Harvard that's been parked there for 3 weeks? Why haven't they towed it?) and various other things that need complaining about. It's just going to be a bit lower on my priority list.
But do check out Manfred Macx. At the very least, it will partially excuse my neglect of this blog.