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May 2008 Archives

Caesar Salad


Caesar Salad.  We have all had it countless times, but have you ever made Caesar dressing?  I finally did the other day and I was VERY happy with the results.

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Plants, Brownies, Etc


No recipe post today, just some comments and various things that are too small to make their own post.  2 site updates, plants, and brownies.

First off, I know fans of mandoline's slice are probably pretty disappointed one hasn't come out in awhile.  Well not to worry, there will be a few coming around soon.  Mandi was in LA for a week and then we had friends visiting so she hasn't been able to get one finished.  There will be a post with wallpapers, and a mandoline slice, definitely coming next week and the week after.

Second.  I know we have been doing a ton of fatty, cheesy, fried deliciousness lately.  I'm sure people are looking for more of a light summery meal or salads because it is that time of year.  Well again - never fear cause TFIMB is here to help! Tomorrow I have a nice Caesar salad, and next week I will have a few healthy things up as well.

Next I have an update on my plants.  I am having mixed results with my herbs and tomato plants.  The herbs are doing great and we have already begun using them in meals!  More on the plants, and the brownie pics, after the jump.

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Midnight Fry Session


We ate so bad this weekend... how bad did you eat?  We ate SOOO bad this weekend that we kept oil on the stove at all times in case we had the urge to fry!  And fry we did.  This particular fry session was around 12:30 on fry-day night (he he). 

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Memorial Day Brisket


Impulsive Purchases. We all have them. Most grocers put candy and gum by the register to promote impulsive purchases.  It works on Mandi; she always leaves the store with a candy bar.  I think they should put the meat section right at the registers because I would always leave with extra meat.  All of my impulse buys happen to be large chunks of meat!  My last one resulted in this.  This past Saturday I called Mandi from the store:

Me: Hey
Mandi: what's up
Me: nothing.   Ummm   I just bought a brisket.  I don't know why.
Mandi: uhhh  sweet?
Me How the hell do you cook a brisket
Mandi: I don't know
Me: Go online and get me a recipe so I know what else to buy.
Mandi: Naa, Im gonna go back to watching friends half awake.  SEEYA!

Luckily, I had everything I needed at home!  Thanks to a loosely followed Paula Deen recipe, we were in business.

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Seared Tuna Taco


I have really wanted to sear tuna lately.  Why? I have no idea.  For some reason it has been one of those dishes that gets stuck in your head and you can't stop thinking about it until you finally make it yourself!  But what would we do with this seared tuna?  I didn't really want to put it in a salad.  The brainstorming began at 2:30ish between Mandi and I over email.  Mandi wanted avocado because Thursday is usually taco night and if she couldn't have tacos, some avocado would at least ease the pain.  I thought mangos would be a nice compliment to the lightness of the tuna.  After looking for awhile online, I was reminded of a raw tuna nacho appetizer I had at Mesa Grill in New York.  I saw a recipe that included an avocado and a chipotle crema and decided to make these, wing a mango salsa, and put it all on a corn tortilla.  The results were delicious!

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Calzones are the oft neglected brother of the pizza.  When faced with the option of calzone or pizza, most people I know would choose the pizza.  But what most people don't realize is that at home it is 10 times easier to recreate a delicious takeout calzone then it is a takeout pizza.  And what's better is you can do it with leftovers!  Last night we made these calzones because we had made pizza over the weekend and had pepperoni, peppers and onion leftover.  Mandi made some cheesesteaks for a work event and had a bunch of leftover cheesesteak filling.  These would also be good with a filling of leftover Buffalo wings, pasta, sausage, chicken parm, taco meat, or really anything you could think of!  My opinion is that the wackier the filling the better the calzone. (Disclaimer: this is the opinion of Dan only and not the opinion of Mandi. Also TFIMB is not responsible for your awful chicken parm-pad thai-taco-mozzarella stick calzone with orange flavored dipping sauce)

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Quiz - Cereal Mascots

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Because my last quiz was so popular, and also because I am a little behind in the cooking department, I have another one for you all today.  Today's quiz asks you to guess the cereal name, and mascot name, for each of the cereal mascots below.  There are 20 pictures and therefore 40 available points for correctly naming the mascot shown and what cereal he sold.   Scroll down after the pictures to see the answers.  Some are very obscure and one is fictional so don't feel bad if you miss some.  Feel free to post your score below if you think you are smart.  If you get above 30, lay off the sugar in the morning! Click below to start the quiz.

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Breakfast Pile


I haven't put any breakfast posts up, but in my interview I mentioned that breakfast is my favorite meal to cook.  I think this is because it is very relaxing to me.  There are no cameras around, it is a weekend morning, and I am in relaxation mode making an omelet for Mandi or a few egg sandwiches before heading to the beach.  I decided to put some of my favorite breakfasts up here.  They are all very simple, nothing crazy or innovative, and most involve eggs.  Today we have the infamous "breakfast pile."  I'm sure everyone has made this before. A big pan of scrambled eggs with any and everything breakfast related mixed in.  Make no mistakes; this meal is made for hangovers.  This is the perfect breakfast for when you don't feel so good when you wake up, but you have plans for the day that need to be carried out.  The breakfast of champions.  It is also helpful to have a lot of leftovers in the fridge.

The most important thing when making the breakfast pile is that it's not a recipe, it is an order of operations.  Similar to the FOIL method when learning math (first, outer, inner, last), there is a breakfast pile method I like to call the VEMCH method (Veggies, Eggs, Meats (cooked), Cheeses, Herbs).  Once you own this method, you can put whatever you want in here.

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Meat - on - a - stick

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Ever go to a BYOF BBQ?  Ya know, when your friend says "Hey man, come by tonight, we're gonna fire up the grill and you can bring some meats or whatever you want to throw on there."  When this happens what do you end up bringing?  I bet the answer is a burger or hot dog.  Now not that those things aren't delicious but I think it is much more fun to bring something like this.  This particular day we weren't going to one of those BBQ's, we were going to the beach, but this is a great recipe for one of those situations.

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Chicken Tuscany


About 2 and a half years ago, my mom found some random recipe online.  It was really simple and delicious she said.  So I decided to try it out for a dinner party.  It was our first dinner party ever, Mandi Rich and I fresh out of college living in Allston, MA and having 5 people over after work on Thursday to watch the office.  Mandi and I worked on the meal while Rich (1/2 of design team) cleaned up and prepped for the guests.  As we ate, we all just laughed the entire time.  This was the best food any of us had ever tasted!  I think that moment caused me to get more into cooking because seeing the joy on everyone's faces was really awesome.  These days, I make this meal occasionally and it always reminds me of that night.  It is no longer the best thing I have ever tasted since my palate has changed and I have eaten much more types of foods since then, but it always brings me back to those days on Lorraine Terrace.

Does anyone remember that party?  Was it as good as I remember?  Or was I just drunk... Anyways, the recipe is here.  It is called chicken Tuscany although I don't think it has anything to do with Tuscany.  We decided to put a Jamie Oliver risotto recipe with it.  Before I get into the food part, I found 5 pictures from that party a few years back that I want to share with you.

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Sliders are a popular option at so many restaurants these days, but did you know they are extremely easy to make at home?  Some weary travelers were set to arrive at my house around 4 and we weren't going to be having dinner until close to 9 so I knew they would need a snack.  I thought this would be just the thing to get them going.

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Flank Sandwich


Last Friday, Mandi was away and I had a friend coming over to play Mario Kart before we headed out for the night.  I wanted to throw something simple on the grill, but I also wanted something awesome.  Not just a steak or burger, something a little different.  The idea hit me at about 3pm out of nowhere and I ran with it.

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Strawberry Salad

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Nothing crazy here today, just a really basic yet delicious strawberry salad.  I'm sure you've all pretty much had this salad in one form or another, and this is the way we make it.  Mandi really wanted to post this one because it is her favorite salad.  The strawberries were really fresh and delicious and the pictures came out great so here it is.

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Farmer Dan

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I decided to grow some plants in my backyard.  I have always wanted to, and a combination of being an impulsive dude, the right time of year, a beautiful day, and reading this article (I'm reading his book at the moment) made me run out and get some containers and seedlings.  Suddenly I had a small garden.  Now I am by no means an expert on this, I've never done this before.   But I still wanted to post up some pictures because I think these plants are beautiful.  Also to show people who think they don't have enough space and expertise that it is really not that hard.  Its not too late either!

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I totally did not plan to make a Cinco de Mayo themed post today.  I had tamales all lined up to go, and I woke up and was like...hmmm today is Cinco de Mayo...  crazy!  We made these because Mandi was scouring the internet for other things to steam.  Once we bought the steamer she decided that she wanted every meal steamed from that point on.  The thing about tamales is you are supposed to use a metal pot steamer.  This is because they take over an hour and a half and the bamboo starts to get really soggy at that point.  This is fine, it still dries out and everything, you just have to be careful with it.  They came out great for us and we even got some nice bamboo flavor in the tamales that was delicious.  In a totally unrelated side note to TFIMB fans, check out the web comic xkcd from today and also from Friday.  They are both food related, slightly nerdy, and hilarious as usual.  Be sure to mouse over to see the alt text.

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Cuban Night


We went to Amy's for a Cuban dinner party this past weekend and it was a great time.  I have never had some of the ingredients and flavors she worked with and I was excited to try them all week.  Mandi went over and helped her take pictures and cook in the afternoon, then we all showed up around 7.  Amy will be writing the rest of the post, but I may leave a few comments in red.  Also the Recipes (as usual) are at the bottom of the post.

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Wonton Soup

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Ever since Heidi made dumplings a week or so ago, Mandi has been asking me every day "when can we make dumplings?"  Well when she came home with a new bamboo steamer, I knew it was time.  The other reason I knew we should make them, is that they actually had Pork Shoulder at the store.  In Bermuda, this is a rare find for me. (side note- because of this, there will be 3 pork shoulder recipes in a row, HA!) 

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