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Lemon Confit

A friend of ours graciously donated to us an abundance of Meyer lemons from her backyard.  This was perfect timing since I had been wanting to try a recipe I keep hearing about –  Preserved lemons.

preserved lemons

 It’s a condiment found mostly in Morocco and India as well as Middle Eastern and African spreads of food.  Commonly used alongside curries and stews, preserved lemons can be paired with pretty much anything, salads, seafood even as a piquant side dish to roasted meats and poultry.  I like to blend it up into a lemony vinaigrette to dress my salads and grains (quinoa can be quite bland and boring all by itself).

lemon confit

The recipe it simple:

  1. Blanch the lemons and wipe clean
  2. Thinly slice the lemons
  3. Discard the seeds and the ends
  4. Layer the slices in the bottom of a jar
  5. Sprinkle sugar & salt over lemons
  6. Repeat layering lemons and salt/sugar until the jar is full
  7. Give it at least 3 days to “cure”
  8. Alternately, you can top the jar off with olive oil.  Your preference.

After I used all the lemons, I stumbled upon A Little Life.  A blog which gave me the brilliant idea to make a lemon-infused-honey tea base.

Unimpressed?  Read directly from her site:

She produced a glass container from the very back of her fridge and dug out a giant dollop of amber colored jam that she uncermoniously gloped into a cup. She poured boiling water over it, and handed me my mug. Wow, the most glorious thing I’ve ever tasted…it was fruity, and warming, and totally blissful. I was suprised to find it only contained two ingredients as well…sliced lemons and honey. She said when she ever had extra lemons she sliced them up and added them to her jar…extra honey? Same thing.

Lemons sliced, put into a jar and covered with honey. Simple, two ingredients and perfect for a cold winters day or at the onset of some sniffles.  Personally, there is nothing better than an old fashioned, hot toddy waiting for you after a long day of snowboarding!  In fact, I hear the kettle calling now… ebullience?

Thanks Beth!

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Hot buttered…chicken?

hot buttered wings

hot wings

Damn straight!

That’s pretty much what buffalo wings are, butter and hot sauce slathered over some grilled, baked or fried chicken.  “Butter is bad,” you cry?  No, butter is flavor… butter is good… and butter is good for you.  Well, ok, it’s not helping anyone keep their svelte figure but it is alright to indulge in the creamy wonderful land-o-butta from time to time.  Why tonight?  Super Bowl?  No.  Special occasion?  None.  Just a gut craving.  Do I feel disgusted and full to the point of puking now, of course.  But wings are totally worth it sometimes.

hot buttered wings

I love the typical “buffalo style “wing sauce and will never stray from it no matter what the menu says or where I am.  But recently, I have stumbled onto my own new creation which…I should friggin’ patent!  But I have never served it to anyone else, so it’s only like, my opinion man.

Here it is:

hot buttered wings keith special sauce

special sauce

Its a mix of these 5 ingredients plus sum extra seasonings and BUTTER!

buffalo wing sauce

cholesterol

before and after

This post was a little gut punch to get us inspired for our 21 day cleanse/detox.  Bring on the copious amounts of fruits and veggies, mostly raw and all organic with a touch of seeds, nuts and gluten-free grains next month!

Cheers!

5 Minute Artisan Bread

Delicious warm crusty bread

A friend of ours turned us on to a book  titled, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  It has changed my life, and my gut.  I have tried making bread in the past, but it is usually a lengthy process with lots of kneading involved.  A tough thing for someone after ineffective wrist surgery.  The resulting bread was hardly edible.

This book offers another option.  A “no knead” version of bread which literally takes 5 minutes to throw together.  Look at the gif image below to see how quick it is.  You do have to let the dough rest for about 2 hours.  No matter what kind of bread you make, you will have to let it proof for at least that long, so if there is a way to cut out the labor and make an equally awesome tasting bread, then “hoo-ray” you should say!

bread gif

Aparently you need to click on this picture in order to watch the steps in action. It's lousy but you get the picture, sort of.

Basic Recipe:

1.5 tb salt

1.5 tb yeast

3 cups warm water

6.5 cups flour

Combine the first three ingredients, add in the flour stirring just to combine.  Pop the lid on and let it sit until the dough doubles in size.  You can use the dough right away but I would recommend transferring the container to the refrigerator overnight as it will be much easier to handle the chilled dough, trust me.

Throw some flour into the bucket, grab a grapefruit sized ball of dough and lay it on a cornmeal covered pizza peel.  Let it rest while the oven comes to temp.  Bake and enjoy!

bread black and white

Missing something?  Of course!  Go buy the book to find all the neat details about how to shape the dough, what temperature to bake, cornstarch washing, flour dusting etc.  Or email me and perhaps I could divulge a little more info, just for you.  Because you, are awesome!

plumline

Apricot Jam from Plumline

The apricot jam from Plumline, goes quite well with homemade bread!

Bang Bang Cauliflower

 An all time favorite appetizer of ours is the Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, then do yourself a huge favor the next time you roll by a Bonefish, stop in for a drink (which are usually awesome!) and order the shrimp.  I have not met a single person who has disliked the bang bang.

BoneFish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp

After making a batch of shrimp for a recent luau party, I had a lot of leftover sauce that I couldn’t let go to waste.  What to put it on we pondered?  That head of cauliflower being neglected in the back of the fridge?

“Who… me?”

Yes you , you big, beautiful, white, brain-looking, hunk of anti cancer phyto-chemical nutrition you!

Chopped up the Cauliflower into fairly small, uniform florets.  I believe Bonefish deep fries their shrimp, which I had thought about doing, but didn’t feel like making a big mess with the breading and the grease.  So I sauteed the cauliflower in a little bit of olive oil in a large wok until nice and golden.  Then I folded in the sauce to coat the florets.

Voilà!

For the sauce:   You will find a lot of recipes floating around on the web, some with honey, some with peanut butter, some with soy, some with sriracha.  The main ingredients are basically just a mix of mayo and sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy).  Experiment on your own to see what you dig on!