The Friday Chef

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Ebay is Like Crack, Yo

I love browsing through the items on Ebay. I thought I might share a few today that caught my eye.  Some of these end soon, so the listings may disappear in the near future.   There's still plenty of time to bid on some of these items!

First, we have a cassette.   Nevermind what's ON the cassette, because when FREE SHIPPING is involved, who cares?!  (Okay, maybe I am a little curious about what's recorded on it).

Next item up for bid is a date with Brian.  I wonder if Brian's going to pay for the popcorn, because that would be worth way more than the current bid of $8.35.

Or, if you're on a diet, you could skip dinner and just purchase this picture of a burger.  What's strange about this auction is that this guy has, like, a dozen of these burger pictures up for grabs right now, and they're actually selling.  In fact, there are multiple bids on some of them.  Must be Black Angus.

How about some money?  Hey, it's a better way to make a profit than the stock market these days, (for the buyer, not for the idiot seller).

Here's a real stinker.  Apparently this CD was Digitally Remastered and is the original English version, not the American remake.  'Nuff said.

Ooh~ looks like Brian has some competition, (except...not).

This gives me a great idea of what to do with all those pesky cardboard boxes that the trash collectors won't take.  Genius.


And finally, for the guy who has everything... almost.


Posted at 09:19 am by ChefGrace
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Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Go To Google

One of my new features will be posts titled, "Go to Google", then I'll give you a subject to Google that I think is interesting, funny, weird, or otherwise worthy of a look-see.

Today's Go To Google:  Deer Butt Art

Note:  The Butt-Out is on sale now at Cabela's.  Handy! 

Posted at 03:06 pm by ChefGrace
(2) Shout Outs  

Friday, May 01, 2009
Southern-Style Banana Pudding

My brother, Keith, considers himself a Southerner even though he was born and raised deep in the heart of Yankee territory.  He lives in Georgia now, which means we don't see each other much, but thanks to Facebook and my blog we talk as much now as we ever did.  He asked if I would post one of his recipes, which I am more than happy to do. 

Keith's heart isn't what it used to be, so he's supposed to cut down on all those nasty things like fat and sodium in his diet.  This recipe reflects those changes.  I have not made this pudding yet, since I had to make anniversary cheesecake this week, (love you, Honey!), but will get to it soon.  Don't wait for me to tell you how good it is, though~ I know Keith wouldn't steer you wrong.  Even if you are a Yank.

Southern-Style Banana Pudding

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
2 1/2 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 egg volks. lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sliced ripe bananas (about 5 to 6)
45 reduced-fat vanilla wafers
4 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine flour and salt in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in low-fat and condensed milks and yolks, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, Arrange 1 cup banana slices in a 2-quart baking dish. Spoon 1/3 pudding mixture over bananas: top with 15 vanilla wafers. Repeat layers once: top with remaining bananas and pudding. Arrange remaining 15 wafers around inside edge of dish. Gently push wafers into pudding. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar. 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved (2 to 4 minutes) Spread meringue over pudding, sealing to edge of dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Posted at 08:49 am by ChefGrace
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Chi Town

We really enjoyed our trip to Chicago during Spring Break, but we have been beyond busy since then, I didn't have the time to deal with the pictures until now. 

We spent the first day at the Museum of Science and Industry, which is a huge museum, with lots of hands-on activities.  The kids enjoyed it, and it was a great way to spend a cold and snowy day.  After that, we checked in to our hotel, The Wyndam, then headed out for a quick meal before turning in.

The next day was spent eating, shopping, and walking. First stop after breakfast was the Lego store, which is Jacob's whole reason for going to Chicago.   Later, we had lunch at the Signature Room on th 95th floor of the John Hancock building, and had such a horrible experience, I'm not even going to go into it. 

Alex, Erin and I spent some time at the American Girl Place and Lush Cosmetics after lunch, while the boys went to the bookstore.  We had a snack at the Hershey Shop before heading to the Apple store.  After that, it was time to grab the car and head to our favorite pizza place for dinner.  Gino's East never fails to disappoint, and this time was no exception.  We left Chicago with happy faces and leftover pizza.

Here are some photos from our trip:

Posted at 08:48 am by ChefGrace
(3) Shout Outs  

Friday, March 27, 2009
Friday Food Files

 Today's post is dedicated to Hideout, who helped me with some of my format issues. 

I'll be heading to Chicago this weekend, so I hope to have some blog-worthy tidbits to share next week.

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, which I came up with about 12 years ago when I found a huge load of morels mushrooms.  Morel season is almost here!

If nothing else, make the sauce and spoon it over pasta.  Be sure to have some crusty sourdough bread to scoop up every last drop.  It's THAT good.

Also, if you don't want to make your own polenta, it's okay to buy some.  I've used Jaxon Cornmeal Mush for years, and it's pretty tasty.  It comes in a tube, (like ground sausage), and is typically in the refrigerator section, near the biscuits.

Morel Mushrooms in Gorgonzola Cream over Crispy Polenta

For Mushrooms:
Soak, wash, and pat dry 1 lb. of morel mushrooms, (feel free to substitute other mushrooms if morels aren't available). 

Heat 2 T. butter over medium heat, add 1 tsp. fresh, chopped rosemary, 2 cloves of garlic, and mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and add a tablespoon of sherry, (optional), before removing from heat.  BE CAREFUL not to let your garlic burn, or it will ruin your precious mushrooms.  If you're worried about this, add the garlic after the mushrooms are done. 

For Gorgonzola Cream:
2 T. butter
1 C. heavy cream, (half and half may be used)
1/2 C. crumbled Gorgonzola

Melt butter in small sautee pan over medium-low heat.  Add cream and Gorgonzola, stir constantly until melted.  You can continue to cook and stir for a while longer for a thicker sauce.

For Polenta:
3 1/2 cups  water
1 T. salt
1 cup polenta (not instant)
2 ounces butter
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
Oil, for frying

Add salt to water and bring to boil. Once boiling, slowly stir in polenta. Cook, simmering on low, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add butter, Parmesan, pepper and salt. Pour polenta into buttered 8 x 8- inch baking pan. Cool, then refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to an hour, (or overnight.) Cut into 1/2" slices.  Heat 2 T. oil in non-stick pan over moderate-high heat.  When pan is hot, add polenta slices, and cook until crispy, a few minutes per side.  Add more oil to the pan, if needed for additional batches. 

edited to add:  I guess I could have posted the directions on how to assemble this, although it's pretty straightforward.  Put polenta slices on plate, top with mushrooms, spoon sauce over all and eat.  This pairs nicely with a sparkling wine, (what doesn't?!) or a zinfandel, (not the pink stuff.)


Posted at 03:51 pm by ChefGrace
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