Saturday, December 29, 2012

Welcome to the Cheap Seats

Time to give you all a big old guide of what you need in your kitchen. From pantry to vessels to gadgets...this is not only what I recommend but what I use.

So lets start with the pantry. Well ,actually ,we are going to venture into the fridge first.

You need to have on hand the following:
'Chicken: breasts and whole. Have some fresh in the fridge at all times and a back up in the freezer. Buying a whole chicken lends itself to many things namely roasted chicken,then salad and the bones can be used for stock...mmmm stock

Beef: ground(90/10),flank steak and bottom round. Buy in large chunks and break down into smaller portions. Good freezer bags are your friend.

Pork: bacon,center cut pork loin . Sausage ....any type you fancy. We like knock wurst and bratwurst .

Turkey: burgers,breasts(raw) and drumsticks

Cheese:Cheddar..a big block ,Sliced Swiss,and American slices

Milk: regular and Almond

Butter: sticks and spreadable. One for cooking the other for toast. I actually use a yogurt spread. Less calories and tasty

Fresh fruit and vegetables: try to be seasonable and buy only what you'll eat. And remember most in store organic is not any better than the regular stuff. When your able buy from a farmers market or co op. Yes ,these are more than likely costing you more but your supporting a local business twice fold.

Yogurt and Sour cream

Herbs: either home grown or store bought. I don't keep any dry herbs only spices with the exception of sage cause I don't use it very often.

Garlic: one of the few things I will buy already chopped in water.

Horseradish: just do it

Tofu: yes tofu. It's a great source of protein

Ketchup,whole grain mustard,mayo, assorted salad dressings

Hummus: learn to make it homemade and your family and friends will love you.

Beer and wine : not just for consuming either.

IEnglish cucumbers: salad and pickling


Dry pantry:
Most is self explanatory, but I think the bacon marmalade is probably something most haven't seen. It's also my second jar in three months....mmm
What you see again are basic things. I also keep flour,sugar, yeast,baking soda and powder, assorted cracker box or at least those Danish rounds that are overly crispy,odds and ends from Aldies cause they have weird German stuff like pickled white asparagus and Kiefer really cheap.

Sticky and brown rice

Kitchen gadgets is the next pile.

The mallet/ tenderizer. Mine is from Ikea and I love one that has weight on it. The cheap ones will just break one hit in.

Chefs knives: from the right:
12 inch chef
8 inch chef
Santoku knife
Stiff boning knife
Filet knive
Diamond steel

Fresh tortilla press..mmm good stuff

Starting from the top:l
Pastry bag,
pastry brush,
gnocchi maker
Dough scraper
Pastry knife
Melon baller,
Pastry wheel

From the top again:
Flipper/ metal spatulas
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
High temp spoon
Metal spoon
Rubber Spatula
Micro plane

Fine hand strainer
Mortar and Pestal
Assorted Round cutters
Digital Thermometer
Bottle opener

Rolling pins
Air tight containers

Baguette pan
Pullman loaf pans
Baking dish
Sheet trays
Muffin pans
Cooling rack
Mini cheesecake pan


Box grater
Bamboo sushi mat

Roasting pans

Cast iron pans....always keep these and keep them in good condition.

Assorted sized sauce pans: never throw these out,trust me

Assorted sauté and stock pot type of only need ones that can go from stove to oven...fuck that other shit. Buy all clad...or find old Le Creuset stuff. Good for sauces,saluting,soups,casseroles etc.

Good lids and if you know any one in food service these containers are awesome but you can buy them from and restaurant supply store it!

Always have chop sticks!

A cool cookie jar

A plant because plants are cool

Kitchen aid mixer and cuisinart food processor ....Buy them!! They last forever. The mixer I have had for 22 years.

Misc. stupid stuff

Rice maker
Canning supplies
Attachments for kitchen aid like sausage maker and pasta maker
Pepper grinder
Fondue set
Metal kebabs holder
Propane grill
Waffle maker
Metal cookie cutters
Heart cake pans
Cake pans
Wooden cutting boards

You don't need pizza stones or bread makers...or any of that stupid fad stuff.
Just the basics is the best way to start then expand as you become a better cook.

The last important thing is this: my grand mums cookbook from 1925.. With her hand notes in it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Life in a box is better than no life at all, I expect. You'd have a chance, at least. You could lie there thinking, "Well. At least I'm not dead.'

Why would you eat figgy pudding? Seriously why? It's like a big pile of custardy dog poo that in order to make it taste like something other than poo you soak it in cognac and set it a blaze . Best part of the whole deal if you ask me.

It's like the evil chunk found in the toaster at the end of Time Bandits. If you touch it ,you'll explode. And people won't go till they get some? And I am called insane?

Then again why would you eat a fruity brick, I mean fruitcake. I mean look folks we have the ability to make wonder lift fruit breads without all that crap that your friends and family won't use as a holiday paperweight next year . Stop the madness!

Why do we have wait till holidays to have things like goose or cut outs! I hate having one day that is designed for me to only indulge on those specific foods! It's being on a diet and using food as a reward for not eating it. I call bullshit!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Stop me if you heard this one before......

Oh yeah forgot to tell you this:


Why you may ask?? Because I said so, DUH!!!!! Just do it before I stick Fish sticks with custard up your nose!!!! or better yet, I will make you watch Hee Haw!

Would I spend forever here and not be satisfied.....

Oh the joys of the holiday.
I do enjoy this time of year if anything people are nicer to each other, the air is crisp and its so pretty with all the lights.
Problem is it doesn't last very long then we are at each others throats and the outside becomes dirty and muddy with the daily ongoing life.

So no one died. Nothing changed except we all now have to live on in each others presence. Oh darn.
Another day to cook amazing food, another day closer to ruling my little world a little better. Well ruling is a large word I suppose to toss around. I know the saying is "hell hath no fury like a women scorned" But as a non scorned women I like to edit it to " Hell hath no fury like a women with a creative messed up mind" Again messed up is broad and not like messed up like nipple clamps on pigs( though nipple clamps on humans ...all for that)

I am finally in a position at work where I really can "play" with my food. My two very enthusiastic sous chefs are the backbone now and I am the brain of this operation. Lucky for me they are young, full of spunk and single...well all of us are They bring an interesting mix to my life. Lucky for them I am full of piss and vinegar too .I am sure I will regale you with stupid stories( stupid joke Thursday is a favorite of mine plus the sing a longs we have) and such of what we are doing or recipes etc. So for the sake of them not knowing I am talking about them ( they know of the blog......probably should tell them I am going to record what we They are Steel Thunder, one is N and the other Fred. Not original but hey ,not your blog is it;) I actually feel bad for Fred in someways because me and N have a very natural and free flowing friendship. Right from the start without much talking about things and how I wanted it run, we were on the same page, shared the same humor and never took daily crap serious.. Fred...well Fred, is younger and sort of out of his element like I was when I first started. He is the calm one of the three of us( to an extent). I feel bad for him because he literally got thrown into the fire and has been trying to pull us both out but it end up me doing it then N helping us in the very end....But I have good lads. Boys that I am charged with grooming into men ...into Executive Chefs. Its a big responsibility and it will be fun. We have bonded as a small tight Team Thunder and pool will do that .

So I am on break right now and not really thinking of work even though I am suppose to be working from home. Higher ups actually wanted people to spend the Xmas  week working out of town. I did the big " NO" not just for me but for my sous chefs. That was just crazy to think last minute any of us would drop our lives. What was  worse is they expected the single no kid men to do it no problem.  I call BS. But I still like the company...maybe just not some of the people in it. But I am trying not to actually work till early next week. But I really can't help but to think about food related things. Mostly I am just thinking of new ideas, ways to improve things and general things to make me giggle on a daily basis. The reality is I am not keen on being in Education cooking. It is not a bad gig, it really is not. But I am a restaurant women. I love that daily grind and push of a rush. I like that pressure and creative outlet. But what is unique for me is that I now can have more creativity though like home my only restriction is money and location . Cause lets face it, my creativity ,knowledge and sheer brilliance are beyond most. Heck even I am amazed when I just start working without thinking  and create. I am also working a business plan for when I blow out of here. 4 seems long but 5 years have passed and I am almost done with this Purgatory limbo I am in. I don't mind where I live I just mind that it is in this state and that I am in the middle of NOWHERE!!!!! But my place will be small 40-50 seats. Beautiful terra cotta bar for awesome selections of beer and wine. Rotating seasonal menu. Local artists works displayed. Maybe even a late night for bands to do acoustic sets. Oh now this is a dream....a dream I really want to make happen. Not just talk about it, but actually make happen.

So here I am at almost 2am on is very quiet right now. Kids are at their Dad's and I am watching Firefly eating this

A nice beautiful Grilled Chicken and Rice Burrito.....mmmmm house made salsa,brown rice,and avocado. YUMMMMMMMY. The Jever is always a bonus.

Just was thinking how I always got razzed about thinking about the next days meals or even the weeks meals. I am a planner and that's just a chef thing. Well a really great chef's thing because I know a lot of chefs who don't plan stuff out for anything and of course you can imagine how that works. I do over plan a little but that's all part of my wonderful brilliant mind.  But back to my planning meals. Its not that I actually care what my family eats on any given day( ok I do but beyond cravings as long as they have the fruit, starch protein etc is good. They don't care what I fix them..they are young teenage men) But I enjoy the process of taking what I have and making things ...we have the staples but then I have to toss stuff in so they have a variety and learn to create inexpensive( the word cheap is a horrible word ) ingredients. Plus trying things like rabbit or different countries food. Variety is good. That is one of the things I will be doing over vacation break .... make food from three different authentic as I can. First up is Scandinavian with rabbit and beech nuts....I might even attempt Molecular Gastronomy...STAND Back ..I will be doing science here folks.

So I leave you with the holiday dinner I made for my family .........

Monday, December 10, 2012


An assortment of my yummies.
The last was a creation from summer time that I want right now..... Pommes frites a la pulled pork lol( sounds fancier with French words)