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January 2008
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March 2008

Matzo Ball Soup

Last week I made some beautiful rich chicken stock that I put up in the freezer. I also froze some of the chicken that I had from making the stock. I consider this the perfect beginning for some matzo ball soup. This is the first time I've ever made, or tasted for that matter, matzo balls.
I followed the recipe on the Manischewitz matzo meal can. The can states that matzo meal it is the perfect substitute for bread crumbs, coool beans.

I've been reading a little about matzo balls and there seems to be two different schools of thought regarding them.  One says sinkers are the best, while others swear the floaters are the best. Either way, I figured I couldn't loose. If I wanted floaters but ended up with sinkers I could claim sinkers were my goal. Some also claim using club soda instead of the broth produces a lighter matzo ball, and most agree that adding schmaltz is a must. I have no schmaltz on hand, at least not now. For my first venture into matzo balls I stayed true to the recipe.

The ingredients assembled are matzo meal, salt, eggs, oil and chicken stock.

Matzo_ingred

Mixed it all up really good, no lumps and covered and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Matzo_mixed

I made walnut sized balls using wet hands and placed them in gently boiling water, then covered and cooked for 30 to 40 minutes. Look ma, no sinkers.

Matzo_floaters

After 30 minutes took one matzo ball out and placed in cold water, according to directions.

Matzo_first_matzoball

I didn't have a clue as to how to check it for "doneness" I figured if the center wasn't gooey and the texture was the same throughout it was fine.

Matzo_looks_done

Looked good to me so the rest of the matzo balls came out and got the same cool water treatment. Dang, they sure swell up while cooking, I started with walnut sized pieces.

Matozs_cooling

I added some carrots, celery, onion and mushrooms to the chicken stock and chicken that I started with and had a delicious matzo ball soup.

Matzo_ball_soup

Next time I'll try the variations but this was very good as is.



Orange Coffee Flavored Liquer or The 44 Cordial

I snagged this recipe from the Saveur Magazine's web site.  I started this liqueur last night so I'll let you know in 44 days how it turns out. 

Sorry I didn't realize I hadn't updated this. The results are here

I was tempted to try vanilla flavored beans but decided the first batch should be according to the recipe. I need something with which to compare my experiments.

Get a wide mouth jar with a tight fitting lid, 44 coffee beans, a naval orange, a quart of white rum and a cup of sugar (sugar not shown)

Cordial_ingredients

Stud the orange with the coffee beans, put in the jar with the sugar and rum and it's ready to hide for 44 days.

Ready_to_sit_for_44_days

@@@@@ Now You're Cooking! Export Format

Orange and Coffee Flavored Liqueur, The 44 cordial

beverage alcohol

1 large naval orange
44  coffee beans
1 cup sugar; just over 44 tsp
1 liter white rum; roughly a quart

Poke 44 1-inch slits all over the orange with a paring knife; stuff a coffee bean into each slit.
Put the orange along with the sugar and rum into a wide mouth jar with a tight-sealing lid. Store and let steep in a cool, dark spot, swirling the jar occasionally, for 44 days.

Remove and discard the orange and strain the liqueur through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Transfer to a clean bottle and store in the freezer until ready to drink.

Serve neat or over ice.

Makes 4 cups

Contributor:  Saveur Magazine

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.82 **

Can't hardly wait to taste it. Now I'll have to invent a drink using this.


Fried Ravioli

Last week I made fried ravioli using a mix of spicy chicken sausage and some left over roasted chicken. I added some ricotta cheese and some fresh ground black pepper and a little oregano, very little.

Filling

Put that on a won ton wrapper. I used that instead of making the dough from scratch,(if it's good enough for Giada it's good enough for me ;-) topped with a leaf of parsley.

Add_leaf_of_parsley

Moistened the edges with a little water and folded into triangles. This is the starting of the first batch.

Folded

Cooked for a while in boiling water until they floated to the top, then drained and ready to fry.

Boiled

Melted about a half a stick of butter until it started browning. I then added a good drizzle of olive oil and when that heated up and started bubbling again I added the raviolis.

The butter takes on a wonderful nutty flavor when browned, my new favorite indulgence. Be very careful because the butter can go from beautifully browned to burned quickly.

Frying_in_butter_and_evoo

Served with a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.

Plated_w_parmesan_cheese

How can you go wrong with something filled with cheese and spicy meat, then fried in butter.


Snow day in San Diego

The weather forecast for today called for scattered showers in the morning, and clear skies in the afternoon. This evening at 6:00 I measured 2 inches of snow and still falling heavily on my front porch. A friend down the road measured 4 inches at their place at 7:30 and still falling, only not as fast or heavy.

Here is one of my rose bushes.

Rosebush

Snow on front porch railing.

Railing

Deep foot print in snow.

Foot_print

View from dining table.

View_from_dining_table

A snow day was called at work so I'll have tomorrow off.  Yippiee!!!! I'll have a 4 day weekend, more time to clean house, do laundry and tackle the closet. ;-(

I took more photos the next morning see Post Continuation.

Continue reading "Snow day in San Diego" »


Street tacos

Made street tacos for my son in law's birthday party.

Studded a pork shoulder with some garlic and placed in a crockpot on a bed of whole canned (or fresh) green chile, then put a few more on top. I also drizzled in a little of the chile juice from the can. This was cooked overnight then shredded.

Crockpot_pork

Place meat on a 5" tortilla, squeeze on a little lime, then add some onion, cilantro and cabbage.

Assembling_tacos

Delicious

Aclose_up_of_tacos

You hit the jackpot when friends bring cheddar cheese and cream cheese stuffed chiles wrapped in bacon. The cream cheese had some chopped up jalapeños and a little jalapeño juice added.
Ready for the oven

Aclose_of_chilis

Gooey cheese.

Atwo_kinds_of_cheese

What's a party without jello shooters for dessert,

Ajello_shooters

chased with coconut rum shooters. Take a lime wedge and roll it in sugar, continue as with tequila shooters but use coconut flavored rum instead. yummy

A_good_time_was_had_by_all

A good time was had by all.


From Fabulous to Liars, what a day!

UPDATE 3-22-09

The Liar's Club is no longer in business.

My wonderful hair dresser Bonnie squeezed me in for a hair do today. My regular appointment wasn't until Wednesday but I couldn't stand my hair one more minute. Bonnie is at Fabulous Salon and Day Spa in the Viejas Mall in Alpine Ca. 5001 Willows RD # K201, Alpine CA 91901 (619) 445-0883 (end of shameless plug ;-)
We had time to have lunch together which is a rare treat. There is a new place in town The Liar's Club. They have other locations but they are new in Alpine.

The first thing that was noticeably good was the iced tea. Bonnie took one look at the color of the tea in the glass and said, "Now that's tea" without even tasting it we knew that was going to be good, and it was.

Bonnie_says_best_tea

We ordered burgers. According to the menu "All burgers are 1/2 pound patties cooked medium rare served with lettuce, tomatoes and 1000 island dressing. Sandwiches & burgers come with your choice of fries (regular or Cajun-style) or coleslaw."
I had the Cholula Ranch Burger which has Bacon, jack and cheddar cheese, with Cholula ranch dressing (instead of 1000 island). I asked for it medium which was just perfect, still cooked enough for my taste yet still mouth watering-ly juicy. It's a huge beefy tasting burger.

My_burger

I had the sweet potato fries that came with a dipping sauce that among other wonderful ingredients contained maple syrup and sour cream. They are fantastic, nice thick wedges that are not mushy. They still have a little bite to them. The only thing I salted.

Sweet_potato_fries

I had to cut my burger in half to even get a handle on it. mmmmmm

Mine_close

Bonnie had the Fuego Burger which has grilled Anaheim, Jalapeño and Serrano chiles, pepper jack cheese and chipotle aioli (instead of 1000 island) Feel the burn (twice)!!

Bonnies_burger

She had the Cajun fries with hers. Just enough spice to be noticed without overpowering the potato flavor of the fries.

With_cajun_fries

I had the Green Flash 5th Anniversary. Hoppy like I like.

My_beer

They have 32 different micro-brews on tap.

32_micro_beers_on_tap

A definite do over. So many burgers and beer and so little time.

The Liar's Club
2806 Alpine Blvd
Alpine, CA 91903