Lauren’s Cuban Guava Pastries (Pastelitos de Guayaba)

There are many people who think dessert is the bane of modern life. These people are silly. Isn’t dessert the reason we eat dinner in the first place?  A means to a end? Among desserts, my lovely friend Lauren has enlightened me to the existence of one that is fast becoming a personal favorite, Guava Pastries. These puppies are easy and if you do them correctly you’ll never be want for friends again. Straight outta Miami, Dale!

Parchment paper or aluminum foil
1 Package Puff Pastries
1 cup guava paste
Egg wash: 
2 TBSP Water
1 egg separated (use whites and save yolk)
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk beaten
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Simple syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

Well I’ll be honest with you the hard part here is going be FINDING the guava paste. Lauren says the only place she’s been able to find it is Florida. So if you’re not 80 years old and a fan of buffets look to your nearest Latin or Asian grocery store (if in Seattle Uwajimaya.)

First mix filling ingredients together in a big ass bowlbatterjunkie-2Then arrange 3 sheets of puff pastry down and cut the guava paste into thin slices. Arrange the slices on the puff so they leave a good inch all around the edge. You’ll see why later, keep your shirt on…or don’t, whatever. Spring Break!

I also recommend getting a friend to encourage you while standing safely out of harm’s way, drinking wine. Thanks Audrey.batterjunkie-4Using a pastry brush spread the egg wash on the 1 inch edge you have left on the sides of the crust. Then spread the filling goop on top of the guava paste.

After that you wanna lay another layer of puff pastry over the top and crimp the pastry sheets together at the edges using a fork to seal in the lovely goodness. batterjunkie-7 Lauren recommends putting down parchment paper or foil on the baking sheet and in this case I must strongly and whole heartedly agree. I am still cleaning up simple syrup all around my kitchen. Place the little bundle sexy guava joy onto the parchment paper and make sure it is crimped all the way around.  Then brush the whole surface with the egg wash. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. batterjunkie-8Remove the pastry from the oven and glaze the top with the simple syrup you have. Place it back in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Remove it again and repeat the process. You will do this approximately 4-5 times until the glaze is brown and puff pastry is cooked. batterjunkie-1Serve warm and cut into pieces. This is great hot and amazing the next day.
Buen Provecho!

Chocolate Cherry Guinness cookies

Yup. You read it correctly, these exist and I made them with one of my favorite people on the planet, Lacey! In celebration of her birthday and my new nephew, Angus’s birthday we made the most decadent cookies we could. Bask in the glory of their tastiness. There are FEW pictures on this post because we were WAY too busy eating the batter.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter.
1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Guinness
2 cups flour
1 cups dark cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 stp baking soda
1 cup dried cherries chopped
12 ounces dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Cream the butter and brown sugar together in the mixing bowl (combine until really nice and mixed). Then add the eggs. Whip those together until they are well incorporated. THis is called creaming the butter. Then add the Guinness. It may look weird but don’t lose heart. A lot of things look weird when you first see them and later it turns out you love them eating them. Am I right people?

Now if you have a power mixer, like I do,  just add in all of the dry ingredients. If not make sure to mix together all of the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips and cherries, in a separate bowl. Then add this mixture into the wet mixture. At this point you may be tempted to eat the batter. I can’t tell you what to do but I’ll be damned if Lacey and I didn’t eat a good chunk of the batter before we ever put any on baking sheets.batterjunkie-2-2Once they are well mixed together, add the chocolate chips and the cherries. Once everything is well incorporated put 12 large spoonfuls of batter on a greased baking tray. This should make about 36 cookies but I think we only got about 24, whoops.batterjunkie-1-3Bake for 10-12 minutes. Check on them at 10. If you like chewy cookies, take them out.batterjunkie-3-2Enjoy!

Spinach Turnovers, yeah they’re French

A few years ago someone secretly slipped a burned DVD under my door. I popped it in the player and I found out it was all of the episodes of Julia Child’s The French Chef. Not to look fortune in the mouth I immediately made this dish and then just as immediately forgot about it. If you’re looking for an impressive dinner that is different and fun, this one is for you. Don’t get intimidated. If this is too confusing here is Julia herself doing it.

Side note: Always check your oven before turning it on. The day before making this I had a thanksgiving party and someone thought it would be hilarious to put a plastic turkey in my oven. Well it was hilarious but I had to quickly move dinner to Kris and Laurels house as black smoke was emanating from my oven.batterjunkie-11
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pastry for 2 – 9” crusts, (unbleached pastry flour)
9 -12oz. fresh spinach, washed (Yield 2 cups blanched, drained- squeezed dry, chopped)
 4 oz. fresh white small mushrooms, quartered
½ cup diced small prosciutto
1 TBSP butter
Sauce Bouillée:
1 medium onion, diced
1/4  cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 and 2/3 cup hot milk
1 egg
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
For Cream Sauce:
Remaining Sauce Bouillée
1/2 cup or more cream or milk
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
2 eggs separated save the yolks
1 tsp. water
Wash the spinach and plunge into a large kettle of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Then immediately toss it into cold water. Squeeze the water out, dry it between towels and chop it finely. You need at least 2 cups of spinach toss in a large sauce pot.
In a fry pan sauté, thinly slice mushrooms  and prosciutto with 1 TBSP butter until tender. Set it aside.
In a sauce pan sauté onion over low heat in 1/4 cup butter until translucent. Take out half of the onion and throw it in the saucepan with the spinach. (this will make sense later)
For Sauce Bouillée:
Add the flour to the remaining onion and cook the roux over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Whisk in the hot milk a little at a time. This sauce is going to be THICK, just how you like it. Take the pan off the heat and beat in an eggSalt and pepper to taste and add a pinch of nutmeg. Put about a 1/2 cup of the sauce in with the spinach and onion in the other saucepan. Mix together over low heat for about a minute. Set aside.
For Cream Sauce:
Stir 1/2  cup or more of cream into remaining Sauce Bouillée until it is thinned to a sauce consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes stirring slowly. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a bit of the Gruyère and let it melt a bit, then stir it in. Set aside and when we are ready to serve we’ll warm it over low heat and stir in the rest of the Gruyère. 
To assemble the pastry:
Now you’ve got the parts lets make a long pie! Roll the dough into a 10” by 15″ rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Trim the edges so that it is even and square, saving cut scraps. Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface. Beat egg yolk with 1 tsp of water and glaze the pastry with the mixture.
Spread half the spinach mixture on 1/3 of the pastry lengthwise. Keep a 1/2” edge bare so you can seal it. Place mushrooms and prosciutto on top then spread remaining spinach over mushroom mixture forming another layer.
Fold the pastry up and over and seal the edges with your fingers, then press with tines of fork.
Place on greased baking sheet and cut pastry scraps into strips. Glaze turnover with an egg glaze of 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water. Decorate with strips laying them on a diagonal or leave them off if you ain’t that fancy. Trim edges that hang over. Glaze again with your egg mixture. Press all of the edges with a fork.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned and crisp.
Slide it onto a board to cut diagonally. Now add the rest of the Gruyère and warm up the cream sauce. Pour a healthy dollop over each slice of turnover.
Serve that mamma jamma hot to happy people!batterjunkie-2

Not your grandma’s Cabbage Slaw

I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking the same thing. Cabbage coleslaw? Bleeeccch! Well this version couldn’t really be further from Bleeeccch! This is another fantastic recipe from the fabled Marissa. I know many of you have never seen her. Maybe she doesn’t exist… but if you believe she just might. Anyway, this is the stuff if you need a nice fresh summery/fallish/ really anytime salad and are tired of the boring old greens and with Newman’s Own dressing you usually make. Yeah, I’m watching you. Let’s spice it up. I can hear your hunger from here.

1 Head of red cabbage
1/2 Red pepper
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion
4 carrots grated.
3/4 juice of lemon
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp oregano
4-5 Tbsps olive oil

batterjunkie-1 The details of this slaw are inconsequential, it’s not hard to make. It is however hard to make correctly. Thinly chop the red cabbage, red peppers and onions. Grate those carrots and toss them all in bowl. The thin-ness of the chop seems to regulate taste, the thinner the better. Now mix in the other ingredients and in just a few minutes, you’re done!batterjunkie-2Let this mother sit for a while so that the flavors can really marry. This is really the key to making it good!

Thanks Marissa!


I’ll stuff your Sausage…Mushrooms

Do you like mushrooms? If you don’t, I am judging you but I’m not too fussed. Maybe look at another recipe…Ok now that they’re gone, here’s the good stuff. These mushrooms will increase your penis size, make your breasts grow to epic proportions and super-charge your libido. You have been warned.

2 tablespoons butter
50 or so mushrooms (remove the stems)
1 pound HOT Italian sausage
1 small chopped onion
5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP Dried Basil
2 TBSP Oregano
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet like you know you want to…real slow like…sorry I got distracted.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the mushrooms and just like when you’re experimenting in the bedroom you want to do them for about 5 minutes a side until softened. Transfer the mushrooms to that sexy pan you greased.

batterjunkie-2Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat drop in your hot sausage, you dirty bastard. Once it’s sizzlin’ dump in the onion, garlic, and extra stem pieces and cook until the meat is brown and crumbly, about 10 minutes.

batterjunkie-5Drain excess grease and throw it out like a jilted lover. Toss the mix into a large bowl and stir in bread crumbs, 1/4 parmesan, 1/4 mozzarella, oregano, and parsley.

batterjunkie-6Now get your little love mushrooms and tenderly, gently, spoon the sausage mix into the little mushrooms cups. I like to press the spoonful up again the side of the pan really hard. This packs it. Then squish it into mushrooms.

batterjunkie-7Once they are all in the pan, dust the tops with the remaining cheese.

Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.batterjunkie-8Then put those hot little mushroomy balls into the closest person’s mouth.batterjunkie-9Enjoy.

Oatmeal Honey Bread

One of the things that brings all parts of my family together is baking. In loving memory of my great aunt Imogene (effectively my grandma) I decided to bake something today. Imogene loved to bake and I remember fondly growing up with her tasty christmas cookies and fantastic Hot Chocolate.

I was going to make her Hot Chocolate (will do in later post) but I found a giant jar of amazingly flavorful Tennessee Honey in the back of my cupboard with her writing on the label. She is from Tennessee and gave the honey to us a few years back, so I thought I’d make some Oatmeal Honey Bread with it as I was thinking about her. This whole process take about 2-3 hours depending on rising speed.

1 and 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tsp butter
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP molasses or maple syrup
2 TBSP honey
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup Baker’s Dry Milk
3 and 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

This bread is lovely and quite easy as breads go. Begin by boiling 1 and 1/4 cups of water and toss it into large mixing bowl. I use my kitchen aid with the dough hook but this can also be done in a mixing bowl with a spoon. Add in the rolled oats, the butter, salt, molasses and of course your Tennessee honey you got from your aunt . This will only work with Tennessee Honey so don’t bother other wise. Just kidding.

batterjunkie-2Mix all of that up until the mixture has cooled to Lukewarm or stevewarm if you’re not into Luke. (about 100 degrees F.)  You should be able to but your finger in it and not be burned.

batterjunkie-3Now drop in the instant yeast, dry milk, and 3 cups flour. If you are using a mixer beat for about 3-4 minutes on medium until the dough climbs up the beater a bit. If it’s too wet (you’ll know because it will stick to your hand and you’ll look like a swamp monster) add a bit of flour.

batterjunkie-5Form it into a ball and toss into a greased bowl (butter or saffola oil) and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let it rise about 1 hour in a warm place.

batterjunkie-8Once risen poke a hole in it with your finger and deflate it. Form it into a loaf. Place in a 9″X5″ loaf pan.  Cover and let it rise for about 30 mins until the dough has risen about 1/2 and inch or so above the pan edges.

batterjunkie-9Heat the oven to 350 F (176 C). Once it’s hot toss the loaf in for about 40-45 minutes. You’ll know its done when you give it a tap and get a hollow sound. Try this with your head as well. If you get a hollow sound, seek help.

Let it cool for about 5 minutes and then dump it out of the pan.batterjunkie-10Cut it and triumph!

I recommend what Imogene always did for bread, a healthy hunk of butter!


SICK! Chicken Potato Spinach Soup

I’m sick. So I want soup. It follows right? When you’re sick, when you’re a kid, everyone makes you soup. I have since figured out when kids are sick parents got the night off from cooking. They gleefully opened up a can-o-crapola chicken noodle, plopping it ceremoniously in a bowl where it maintained its cylindrical  shape until the microwave coaxed it into soup form. Still happy memories of being pampered with Saltines and 7up mixed with Orange juice and a bowl of soup abound when I’m sick. Chicken soup for my soul is actually making chicken soup, so here we go. Also as a bonus, it’s so easy you can do it while deathly ill.


1/2 Kilo (1 lb) chicken thighs or breasts cut into chunks
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (10 ounce) bag fresh spinach
1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot, if you can manage it,  you pathetic bastard. Toss in onions and garlic and cook until fragrant but you probably can’t smell anything, you disgusting snotty excuse for a mammal, so just cook until they are translucent.
IMG_4609Add in the chicken stock and water and bring the whole thing to a messy boil. Go get yourself a tissue. Once she’s a rollin’ and boilin’ add in the potatoes and set a timer for about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low.
IMG_4613Once the timer goes off, toss in the cut chicken and set the timer again for about 15 minutes. Simmer that puppy.
IMG_4616Once the timer goes off again garbanzo beans, spinach, and roasted pepper.
Now let it all simmer for another 10 minutes. Do what you need to do, blow your nose, get in a quick sick nap whatever.
IMG_4618Remove from heat, sprinkle on some grated Parmesan cheese and you’re instantly well!
Eat a bowl. Then throw it up cause you know you can’t hold down solids. Put the next bowl in the blender, silly, then drink it through a straw.

Shrimp Scampi

I’m back you beautiful readers! This dish is peculiarly named. In italian it is like saying “Shrimp, plate of shrimp,”. It is the redundant cooking equivalent of saying “ATM Machine.” No matter how ridiculous it sounds, it is on the extreme side of easy and so fast you won’t believe you can cook this meal faster than you can catch a wounded emu. Oh did I mention it tastes like a meal fit for Poseidon himself? Well if I haven’t, now I have. Dad and I had some time to kill when I was visiting the other night  so we decided to try this. You know it came out fabulously because now it’s on the blog. Begin! This is based on Melissa d’Arabian recipe from the food network.

6 garlic cloves chopped
2 lemons, zested and juiced
5 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
3/4 to 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (keep the shells)
1/4 onion chopped
1/4 onion whole (for the shrimp sauce)
3/4 pound thin linguini
2 TBSP butter
1 small bunch parsley, leaves chopped

In a bowl big enough to fit all of your shrimp, toss in the garlic, zest and juice of 1 of your lemons, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the shrimp. Let that sucker marinate. Shimp are quick on the uptake and won’t take too long to catch on to the wonderful flavors.

Meanwhile back on the stove its time to exploit the shrimp shells. In a small pot use medium heat. Add the shrimp shells and 1/4 whole onion. Fill with enough water to cover the contents and boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain into a bowl and throw out the shells and onion. Make sure to take them all the way to the garbage or you will be sorry the next day. Ain’t nothin’ smell worse than rotting shrimp. I once almost lost the friendship of a young woman when I forgot a shrimp carcass in my sink for two days…Oh the humanity!

Now on to the pasta! Boil a large pot of water. Make sure to add salt. Once boiling, add in the linguini (I know, I know the pasta pictured is Fusilli. Give me a break. Most kinds of pasta will work) and cook until al dente! Usually this is 2 minutes less than recommended on the box. Drain and keep about 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade (making sure to keep the marinade) and toss those little flavor explosions into the skillet. Cook until they turn pink and start to caramelize, about 3 minutes.

untitled-7952-3 Set aside the shrimp on a  plate and then add the remaining 1/4 cup chopped onion. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Then ad the left over marinade into the skillet. Cook for few minutes then add 1 cup of shrimp stock, 1/2 cup pasta water . Cook that sweet rue down until it reduces by about half and starts to thicken. Sprinkle in the remaining zest and juice of lemon, the butter and the parsley and stir it like it’s your job.

untitled-7954-3Add salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the shrimp and pasta and sauce all together in the pasta pot.

untitled-7951Serve it right away for the best taste. That said this can be reheated and it is also quite good.

untitled-7955-3This is a perfect summer meal.


This goes well with my Spinach Goat Cheese salad.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Garlic Spinach

Hello friendly Batter Junkies. Today I made a meal with a friend of mine who wanted to keep the cholesterol to a minimum and thusly this lovely seasonal meal was born. Sweet Potatoes are a nice fall-ish flavor while the Garlic Spinach gives the meal some depth. We also made a nice salad to go with. It’s just been that kind of day. So if you’ve been chokin’ down too many burgers or licking sticks of butter like a sneaky kid at fat camp, this is the meal for you. Impossibly, we found the Baked Sweet Potato recipe from Paula Deen. This may be the only thing she’s ever made that doesn’t involve copious amounts of butter.

Ingredients Sweet Potatoes:
5 large Sweet Potatoes
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Ingredients Garlic Spinach:
1 and 1/2 lbs washed, fresh Spinach
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP chopped garlic
1/2 onion chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 lemon
1 TBSP unsalted butter

Ok ya’ll preheat that there oven to 450 F (230 C).  (Make sure to read this with a thick Paula Deen-ish southern drawl) Then git yer sweet pataters and peel um, cut um into 1/4 inch slices and then slice those into 1/4 inch fries.

Batterjunkie-7950Toss all them slices in a giant bowl with a half a stick of butt…OOPS! I mean 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Mix um around until fully coated. Then sprinkle the pepper, salt, garlic and cayenne over the fries and mix again.

Batterjunkie-7951Now arrange them on a baking sheet (flatten them out so there are none on top of one and other) and pop um in the oven just as fast as Paula Deen lost her job.

Batterjunkie-7952Bake them for about 25 minutes. While doing that start on the Spinach!

In a large pot, we used a Dutch Oven because the Dutch don’t get enough airtime really, place the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook them for just a minute or two and toss in the spinach.


Using a wooden spoon or really any utensil of your choice (I recommend against your hand) stir the spinach for about 2 minutes and then put the lid on it. This will wilt the spinach. Add salt and pepper and stir for another minute or two until completely wilted.


Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on it and serve. We did not place a pat of butter on top but to each his or her own. Also, we made a green salad to go along with, sheer genius really.





Jamaican Pumpkin Lentil Soup

You know I spent a while playing with the name of this soup. Jamaican Lentil Pumpkin soup, Lentil Jamaican Pumpkin soup, Soup Jamaican Lentil Pumpkin and nothing really worked. Maybe listing ingredients sequentially by how much of each appeared in the soup? Scrapped that, as I was unable to adequately determine how much Jamaican it contained.

I found this on yummly basically by typing in the ingredients in my fridge that looked like they were about to become sentient. I’d made Dal Baht a few days prior and had a lot of left over items which, ding ding ding, these recipes share. This is a great simple seasonal soup which only takes about an hour to make. It’s great for awkward dinner parties, moon landings, and archeological digs.

1 minced onion
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 piece gingerroot (2 inches, grated)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 TBSP ground coriander
1 1/2 tsps ground cumin
1 13oz can coconut milk
1 liter chicken stock
1/2 cup dry red lentils
1 sweet potato cubed
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
2 TBSP curry paste
black pepper to taste so add a lot really

Garlic and ginger love each other so once you’ve crushed and chopped them sufficiently drop them into a bowl together and really make the magic happen. Squish them together like two star-crossed lovers until you have a perfect mixture of the two which are both alike in wealth and dignity.   untitled-7949

In a grandiose gesture of good faith pull out a large cauldron, toss in your vegetable oil and onions. Stir them around for a spell until they become translucent like the skin of a Verona debutant.  Add in the lovers (garlic and ginger) being careful to continue stirring as to not allow their hot fiery love to consume them.untitled-7950Ask the poor  reluctant apothecary for  his wares. “I pay thy poverty and not thy will,” you scream at him as he hands you the coriander and cumin. Mix them into your pot and cook for another minute until you start to smell the spices on the cool night air.

Add everything else except the red curry paste. You are putting a whole mess of liquid in here so don’t be alarmed. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a medium simmer for about 35-40 minutes.

untitled-7951Test that it is done by sampling the sweet potato. If it is falling apart like the rivalry of two aristocratic families you’ve hit it on the head.

Add in your final ingredient, the curry paste and stir vigorously. If you’re not careful everyone will eat the soup without you. You’ll be left holding an empty bowl saying, “drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after?”

Anyway if everything doesn’t go your way don’t kill yourself over it




Well, you’ve done it again. You went and drank too much and are feeling not only bad about what you did last night but likely have a headache to boot. In a few, head-pounding minutes you could have a plausible cure but you must listen closely. Ok, maybe not “The Cure” per se,  but Chilequiles has made me forget about a hangover for a moment so potato po-tat-to. We have the incomparable Barney Martinez, Mike’s Dad, to thank for this one. Incidentally, auto-correct keeps wanting to change “Chilequiles” to “Childless.” Let’s hope after what you did last you can still make that boast.

8-10 Corn tortillas (cut into 8 wedges each like a pizza)
14oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 of a small onion diced
1/4 El Pato sauce (red sauce in the yellow can)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
Safflower or peanut oil

Get out a large frying pan. I have one with high sides I really like to use. Throw in a few TBSPs of oil into the pan and heat her on up.

Toss in the tortillas and fry until crisp.

Add in your tomato sauce, El Pato sauce, onion and garlic. Remember to turn the tortillas often.

Season it all with your lemon pepper and chili powder.

Lower the heat and cook until tortillas are how you like them. I like them with a little crispness still but others cook them down until they are soft again. This part is entirely up to you, but assuming you did drink too much the night before, decision making isn’t your strong suit and thus you should listen to my guidance.

To be super authentic one must also place a fried egg atop this wonderment pile!


Marinated Flank Steak

A mainstay at gatherings has always been the proverbial gargantuan chunk of meat. I’ve never been the one to cook it, however. When Mr. Martinez is in town the beef chores are always left to him. When I go to a picnic and such, it seems we are always doing beer brats or hamburgers. This got me thinking that I need to perfect the art of “the big meat.” For my birthday I bought myself a flank steak. So here’s my meat everyone. I hope you enjoy every inch of it.

2-3 lbs (1 kilo to 1.5 kilos) flank steak.
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt

I’m not sure anything could be easier than preparing the marinade. Mince that garlic then add all of the wet ingredients into a glass container or bowl. Mix in the garlic.

Now in a large bowl (I put mine in a resealable pyrex…and no that is not a euphemism for something) lay out the flank steak. About every inch score it with a knife across the grain so that the marinade gets all up in there like a cowboy into the farmer’s wife.

Place the steak into whatever vessel you’ve deem best and pour the marinade all over it. I like to flip the steak around in it to get it good and basted. Cover it and put it in the fridge.

Let it sit for about 2 hours or as long as overnight. I have tasted little difference based on the amount of time yet conventional knowledge dictates that the longer the better (evidently that is also “what she said”).

Once you’re ready to cook it, take it out of the vessel and lay it prone on a platter. Generously coat that beautiful bastard with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Cook for 4-6 minutes a side on a very hot gas grill with the lid closed. It will inevitably take longer than that but you will have to judge for your self. I think it is best served medium rare. The site where I found this recipe has a cool test I was taught years ago by a line cook to test the doneness of steak using your hand. Check it out! May I present: the finger test! All this time I thought the finger test was something else…moving along.

Once it is done slice that bad mama jama diagonally in thin strips.

Enjoy your long piece of hot meat.

Irish Soda Bread

So there you are, Drunk out of your gourd playing Truth or Dare with a bunch of hot people. Clothes are coming off, there is a healthy amount of carrying on, the drinks keep coming and so do the wild dares. You’re not sure that you’re going to be able to stay conscious, and believe me you want to. Enter the shining savior of this once-in-a-lifetime kind of evening, Irish Soda Bread. She requires no yeast, rising time, or really anything else that might keep one from making sweet, sweet…um…bread. You can go from a No-bread situation to hot steamy sustenance in less time than it takes to talk that girl over there into kissing the other one. So let’s get started, you pervert.

3 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of white flour
14 oz of buttermilk
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
2 TBSP of butter

Variations that are highly encouraged:
5 cloves of garlic minced
2 TBSP chopped Rosemary

Here’s how you get the world to love you. Preheat the oven to 218 C (425 F). At this point someone will doubtless run by you naked. Keep your cool man, this bread isn’t going to make itself. Get out your trusty Dutch Oven. If you don’t have one of these, don’t panic. Just take a little of that butter and lightly grease a cookie sheet. Make sure you do this in slow sultry movements while looking longingly over your shoulder, just saying.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. Drop in the butter and rub that down into the floury goodness until the whole thing becomes a crumbly mess tantamount to what’s about to happen at your party. At this point add the highly recommended garlic and rosemary.

If you think this is taking too long, keep your pants on, or don’t (I didn’t) and add the buttermilk to form a sticky dough. Flop the dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead it together making suggestive thrusting movements with your hips. Don’t knead it for long, just enough to get it mixed and to form a little ball.

Shape that little ball so there aren’t too many cracks in the top and plop it down in the middle of your dutch oven or cookie sheet.  Now take up a sharp knife  and cut a cross in the top of the dough. This will make it purdy.

Note: The Batter Junkie is un-responsible for your drunk ass cutting themselves while trying to bake inebriated, yet totally condones drunk meal prep.

Place the lid on the dutch oven (I’ve recently learned it is also called a bastible pot!) or an oven-safe bowl over the bread on the cookie sheet. Bake that little bastion of flavor for 30 minutes. During this time you can continue to cavort callously with your unclad company.  Once the 30 minutes is up, remove  the lid and any remaining clothes you and your guests may still don and bake for 15 more minutes.

When you pull it out of the oven give the bottom of the bread a playful tap. It should have a hollow sound. Pro tip: For good measure, playfully tap the bottom of your nearest reveler, as well.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes or if you are too drunk to remember, just tear into it. The only reason to wait is if you want to slice it, which I highly recommend before slathering it with butter. Eat a slice or two of this and it will give you enough energy to do whatever the evening required and by the look of it, you’ll need it.

Happy eating.

Now you can get back to what’s important. Ok, ladies I guess a quick dip wouldn’t hurt…
A note on authenticity: Traditional Irish Soda bread does not contain butter, garlic or rosemary, but I find that these joyful little additions do not invoke the ire of my ancestors. Well, not too much.



There are very few times when a whole weekend comes together like a symphony of howler monkeys but when it does, well, you feel like a freshly shined nickel. The day before the day before Christmas this year we were blessed with the company of the incomparable Martinez family. As oft happens whenever we get together, we cooked. Barney, Mike’s father, gave us a little master class in making Albondigas, or Mexican meatballs, while Kathy, Mike’s mom and my mom, Barbara, provided the color commentary.  The result? Some dynamite Mexican food and an evening full of almost uncontrollable, heartfelt belly-laughter! Thank you to all.

I will never look at the church-key bottle opener the same way again, Kathy.

1 beef soup bone
1 and 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion chopped
1 TBSP finely minced onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
2 and 1/2 quarts of water
6oz can of tomato paste
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots sliced
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 TBSP chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup long grain rice

First: Boil the soup bone in the 2 and 1/2 quarts of water for an hour.

When you’re cooking with two moms make sure they both have a full glass of wine. This is an important step because if the meatballs go wrong no one will notice.

Chop up the veggies! In a large saucepan cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until it is golden brown.

Add the soup bone broth you’ve been making for the last hour while one of the moms has been telling you a story about when she saw Led Zeppelin or went to Cuba or something. Then add in the tomato paste and salt to taste. Bring to a boil then add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer this burgeoning soup baby for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in meatball-making land combine egg, cilantro, mint leaves, ground beef, salt, pepper, and rice.Mix well. If the meat is cold this will suck. There is nothing for it, you are just going to freeze your hands.

One of the moms may help hold the bowl for you but be sure to tell her to go back to drinking wine and telling you about her safari in Zimbabwe.

Remember it’s all for the good of meatballs and your frozen-paw-sacrifice will not be in vain. Form the meat into 1 inch meatballs. Barney above demonstrates the rolling technique.

At this point everyone will be trying to talk over one and other. We found that instituting a “talking stick,” and story time limit helps with this. We used a church-key bottle opener. Kath may or may not have exceeded her time limit!

Add a few meatballs at a time to the simmering pot of awesome. There are some who use a ladle to lower them into the soup.
Mike simply drops them in with nature’s ladle, his hand. Watch out for collateral splash-age.

After adding the whole plate of meatballs, lower the heat on your pot, add the oregano, and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the meatballs and vegetables are done.

The meatballs should start to float and be firm-ish to the touch.

Mike also prepared a small plate of chopped cilantro, oregano and finely chopped onion as garnish.

Serve with fresh lemon, salsa, and a few crushed Mexican-style tortilla chips or heated corn tortillas and Mexican rice.

All and all this was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received. I love you guys and damn did we eat and laugh well!.

Check out this fine lookin’ group!
Until next time…



The oft mentioned Beth has once again come up with an amazing addition to the blog. Alfajores are cookies that are usually traced back to Moorish origin, however, they were made famous in the country of Argentina. Beth entered into a long-term relationship with these cookies which has endured the years. They’re very happy together.

1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS brandy
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups flour
1 cup corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup grated coconut
1 can condensed milk made into dulce de leche

The first thing you have to do it make the dough. If you don’t you’ll find yourself in the unfortunate situation we did, wherein we were forced to sit on the deck in the sun and drink cocktails for 2 hours. You have been warned, do not fall prey to the same fate as these depraved souls!

To make the dough, cream the butter and the sugar. This really means to mix up, preferably in a mixer. I used the trusty Kitchen-Aid but if you don’t have one, make sure that your butter is room temp. If it isn’t at room temp, break it up with forks and squish/mix the sugar into it. I would put on some mixin’ music, something like “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate.

Once the butter is creamed add the egg yolks, vanilla, brandy, and lemon zest. In another bowl mix up the flour, salt, cornstarch and baking powder. Now combine the wet with the dry!

Those should all be rolled all up into this amazing ball. Once you have a nice ball, fridge that saucy sweater monster for about 2 hours. The next thing is easy. Get out a pie pan and open the condensed milk. Pour it into the pie pan and cover with foil. Place that whole thing in a deep tray and fill half way up the pie pan with boiling water. Take that tray and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. We’re making the gooey middle of the cookie here, just bear with me.


Now assuming that the your dough has been chilling for about 2 hours, take it out, flour a surface and roll it out baby! You want your dough about 1/4 -1/2 inch thick. Then cut cookies out of it. I used a wine glass. I later used it for another purpose.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes in a 400 F (205 C) degree oven. Once they are done, let em cool a bit. Take the condensed milk out of oven. If it is thick and gooey, you’re done. If still kind of watery keep cookin’. So many things in like are like that! Then set up your alfajores cookie-makin-station. A pile of coconut, dulce de leche (your baked condensed milk) and the cooked cookies.

Take a spatula and cover the cookie with the dulce. Smash another cookie on top of it. Like this:

Then take it for a proverbial naughty “roll in the coconut.”

And now, you are done done done. Try desperately not to eat them all in one sitting.

Spicy Corn Bread

Hello all. This Corn Bread was adapted from the Smitten Kitchen recipe. It once changed the course of a young boy’s life. I’m not sure how but, let’s just say he gets a lot more attention now. I find this is a good winter staple as it is hearty and dense. Let’s get on with it.

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP brown  sugar
1 egg
1 cup of jalapeno pepper jack cheese (or whatever kind you like)
4 jalapenos, seeded and chopped into small pieces.
5 or so green onions chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).

Toss the butter in a cast iron skillet or in an 8-inch square baking pan over medium heat until it melts all over the pan like groupie backstage at a rock concert. Then turn off the heat.

Chop up the Jalapenos, the green onions, and grate that cheese.

Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.Then add the jalapeno bits, green onions and cheese to the dry mixture. I find that adding chunky stuff to the dry ingredients incorporates it better into the bread.

Mix the egg into the buttermilk like it belongs there. Add that liquid mixture into the dry ingredient bowl. It will form a pasty dough. It should be kind of malleable and not too dry, somewhat like my wit. Add a bit more buttermilk if it’s too dry.

Glop the batter into the cast iron skillet full of butter and smooth it out with a spoon.

Bake about 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown and the sides have pulled away from the pan. Check it with a heroin needle, a toothpick or anything sharp you have sitting around precisely for sticking things.

Serve it up hot! Your friends will thank you.



Japanhandling it!

Hello junkies,
Well this may be another shameless travel post but I bet you will survive. About a month ago my friend Luke was in Seattle visiting from Japan. He said, “Devo” I said “What?” He said, “when you coming to Japan? ” how about next week I joked. Well, there I was, the very next week.

I arrived Tokyo and had a very short time to change planes so I barely had time to look out of the windows of the airport. It was by all accounts, hot. I took the next plane to Sapporo and hopped a train from the airport into town. I tried desperately to memorize the kanji (Japanese letters) for Sapporo so I knew where to get off of the train. I secretly like it when I cannot understand the signs because it means I am somewhere I’m probably not supposed to be. My flash memorization worked and I met the fabled Luke with his friend Shun a few minutes later.

They took me to Shun’s house where his mother Hiroko, quite possibly the most boisterous, energetic and kind 52 year old lady I’ve ever known, met us at the door with equal parts hugs and broken English. She had made a big dinner in celebration of my coming. It was “oishii” (delicious.) Some sort of ground meat stuffed inside of a cabbage leaf, an amazing salad that had greens in it I had never tasted, and a number of other wonderful dishes. Luke and I ate our fill and then the beer came out. Now I can drink a lot of beer and Kirin is light in flavor and alcohol so it is no difficult task, when Hiroko opens a new one for you as you set down the old one, to drink too many. I slept well that night.

When I arose the next morning, I was about to take a shower when Nozomi, Hiroko’s sister said, “Don’t shower we are going to the baths.” And so we did. Not, however, before she fed us an amazing breakfast of curry rice; incidentally some of the best hangover (futsukayoi) food on the planet.

Japanese baths are quite the experience. You go in, take off all of your clothes and get a tiny little towel to cover your unmentionables. From there you shower sitting on this little stool and then hop in the baths. It was amazingly relaxing and just what the Devo ordered after a long plane ride. Shun and I went in the sauna and challenged each other to stay in longer and longer. I of course lost this battle. Luke intelligently abstained from the sauna. When we met back up we decided to go into the electric bath. It was the strangest sensation I have ever felt. Somehow they were pumping electric current out of jets on either side of the bath so when you got in, you were lightly electrocuted. Ding, chicken’s done! It kind of hurt but the Japanese are a long lived and learned culture so I just went with it. What good for the Shogun is good for the Geisha right? Shortly after being electrocuted we showered up and left the bath where there was cold beer waiting for us. This was around noon. I love Japan.

Soon after the bath we went to the Hokkaido Jingu (a large Shinto shrine) where a wedding was actually taking place. Luke was surprised because he had been there many times and never seen a wedding. I am still convinced Hiroko arranged the event for me. At the shrine they gave us these little soba cakes full of bean paste that were warm and comforting. Snacks and beer. That’s just how you roll in Japan.

Since we hadn’t eaten for a full 20 minutes it was time to go to get Yakisoba noodles. We went to a place where they make it right in front of you, flinging pots and colanders around like was their job…oh, I guess it was. Of course, it was super oishii! At this point I was genuinely concerned that I was going to have to start refusing food for fear of intestinal rupture.

Later that night  Luke and I walked to an area of town called Tanuki Kogi. It is a sweet outdoor shopping mall with a retractable roof. Tanukis are animals that have magical powers in Japanese lore. Their most notable ability is to shape-shift their testicles into things…oh and they have a gargantuan set of them. You can’t make this stuff up.

Luke and I then got another Sapporo beer along that mall and headed back to meet up with friends.  It was a birthday celebration for Lucas San (which is what the locals call Luke) and some other friends so they want to go to a place called Round1.

Turns out Round1 is an all night sports / gaming/ karaoke extravaganza. It’s kind of like the ball pit at McDonlads but for drunk adults. We played games all night. One of the highlights was a place where you shoot balls at each other with little railing mounted ball guns. We then proceeded to sing karaoke until 6am. It really just devolved into Luke and me singing duets. We nailed “Landslide,” but was there ever any doubt?

On our walk (of shame) home in the morning Luke introduced me to the most amazing snack food ever, Onagiri! Basically it is just a triangle of rice, stuffed with fish and healthy dose of amazing, all for about a dollar that you can get it at 7-11.

We spent the next week or so gallivanting around Shakaotan which is the small town where Luke is ensconced most of the year. We ate at local restaurants, the highlight of which was when we had fresh squid that the owner cooked in front of us and umi (raw sea urchin). We cooked for ourselves as well. We drank like warrior poets.

One day when Luke’s work schedule was particularly light we headed to the tip of the peninsula. Through a tunnel and jutting from the sea we found an amazing rock formation. He and I spent the better part of the afternoon circumnavigating the rock clinging for life, all the while with the possibility of falling into the sea, uncomfortably visceral beneath us. Never the less, we survived and honestly I do not think I will ever forget climbing around that spire.

Once our week was over we headed back to Sapporo to meet up with some friends to watch a Lebanese girl sing some amazing singer-song-writery soul-filled lyrics. There may have been some drinking involved. The next day we headed to Rusutsu, a theme park with some new Polish friends we had made the weekend previous. There were very few people there so we got to go on the corkscrew ride 3 times in a row! Sweet mother of god it was fun.

After a long day of hanging out at an amusement park the only thing for it was to head to a swanky Sapporo club and dance the night away. Consider, regardless of skill level, it danced. There exists somewhere in the whiles of the inter-webs a video of Luke, Tomo and me doing the Gangnam Style dance, before it was cool!

The next thing I knew we were in a Karaoke club and I was singing “A Whole New World” (the Aladdin part) with a Japanese girl who was…”Nailin’ it”! I mean look at the adulation of the crowd! We sang, what little was left of the night away and emerged from the club to the morning sun. We made our way to Hiroko’s house just in time for me to make the last train to the airport…


Mama’s Jambalaya, Laissez les bons temps rouler!

For most of my youth I can remember mom and dad taking a yearly trip to New Orleans to visit their friend Arthur. Arthur took them to the most amazing places around New Orleans. Dank dark clubs into which the common tourist wouldn’t dare venture, late night jazz sessions, but most notably little hole-in-the wall gumbo and crawfish houses. The result was an appreciation for Cajun cooking. This Jambalaya has been a part of family gatherings for years and now I bring it to you. This is a ONE POT meal for all of you out there who are adverse to doing dishes.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts cut in 1 inch cubes, dust with pepper & cayenne
2 Habañero or Andouille sausages—sliced.
1 green pepper—chopped
2 onions—chopped
2 stalks celery—chopped
4 cloves garlic—minced
4 cups chicken broth
1-2 tsp salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp thyme
Add, cover, and cook over lowest heat 25 minutes:
2 cups raw rice
1/2 cup green onions—chopped
1/2-1 tsp Tabasco
1/2 lb. fresh shelled shrimp

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add in the dusted chicken breasts. Brown for about 8-10 minutes. During this time you can do various tasks like learn to underwater basket weave or read the complete works of Anne Coulter, she’s a peach. Add in the sausage and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Then add in the green pepper, onions, celery and garlic and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. At this point the magic happens. Toss in the chicken broth, (if you use bouillon, add no salt) salt, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. This is where the Jambalaya really starts to Jam. Let that whole thing simmer once again for about 10 minutes. I through the lid on (always use protection) so it heats up more quickly.

At long last you’ve got to a good looking dish. We just have to finish her off an be patient. That’s what she said? Anyhow, add in the rice, green onions, and Tabasco (or whatever your favorite hot sauce might be). Now, lower the heat and let that puppy simmer with the lid on for about 25 minutes.

At this point the rice should almost be done. Remove cover, add shrimp, fluff rice (not that kind of fluff, naughty reader), and cook for 5 minutes longer. The shrimp should be pink. If it isn’t cook a little longer. If you’re colorblind like me, eat one of the shrimp. If you don’t die, it’s done!

Enjoy you bastards! They did…




Dinner Rolls/Rich Bread

Wow has it really been that long since I’ve posted? Sorry I was abducted by a pack of wild pygmy children while exploring the jungles of Malaysia. Luckily I fashioned wings out of some extra thick bread dough and was able to make good my escape! I thought in celebration I would use this post to extol the virtues of the dinner roll/bread dough that saved me. They are one of the many dishes for which my mother is known and are nothing less than magical.

1 Tbsp dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups warm milk 37 C (100 F)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
6 cups or so of flour

Pour the warm water in a large bowl and dissolve the yeast in the water. It will start to bubble a little bit. Then, slowly add the butter, warm milk, two large eggs, salt and sugar.

Now slowly add the flour a cup at a time. It may only take 5 cups, you won’t know until you try it. It varies from location to location based on humidity, the alignment of the planets, and whether or not you’ve read the Da Vinci code. I added 3 cups whole wheat and three cups white flour to this particular batch.

Mix well until you have a soft squishy dough. You have to be careful that it is not over-floured. Knead it for a few minutes until the dough is just a tiny bit sticky but holds its form.

Then put it in a bowl cover and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Once your dough is nice and poofy and has about doubled in size, (most things don’t double in size when you leave them alone for 2 hours…) you can make it into rolls or braided bread.

Here Marissa shows you how to roll one of the three braids.

Here I show you how NOT to roll one of the three braids. Once you have your three trouser (I mean..,bread) snakes all ready to go, put them on a cookie sheet and pinch all three together at one end. Then alternate bringing the left and right braids over the middle one until you have exhausted your full length.

It should look like this. If it looks like a penis, I’m not going to judge but the picture above is your aim. Crack an egg into a bowl and using a pastry brush, baste that braided shaft with your sticky egg wash. After the bread is sufficiently soaked in eggy-regret pop it in the oven.

Cook for about 190 C (375 F) for 45 minutes.

Check if it is done by piercing the bread with a tooth pick. If it comes out clean, your bread is done.  If you’ve made a penis shape you’ll effectively be giving it a Prince Albert. (If you don’t know what that is, why are you reading this blog?)

Enjoy junkies!


Grampa Jack’s Stuffing (and Turkey)

This is one of those recipes that I have known and made since I was wee. So we have had this in about 80 turkeys or so growing up and finally this Thanksgiving I sat mom down and made her measure out the ingredients. It was a painful process but the world will benefit from my tenacity. We often triple this recipe and bake two 13 X 9 pans of stuffing ’cause it’s just that good to eat. Strap in kids cause it’s gonna be delicious.


1 big ass Turkey.
1 loaf of bread torn into pieces and allowed to dry for 1 day.
1 chopped onion (walla walla sweets are good)
4 stalks chopped celery
8 oz of bacon (225 grams)
1 Tbsp Ground Thyme
1 Tbsp Ground Sage
1 Tbsp Ground Marjoram
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup – 1 1/2 cups of water

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).

Chop up your ingredients, duh!

Get arty.

First cook the bacon until it starts to get crispy.

Drain out the grease and conserve some it for some later basting. Then add in onions and celery.  While they are simmering away take your ripped up bread and toss it into a brown paper bag. Add the Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, salt and pepper to the bag. Now shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Once the bacon is crispy, drain out some of the grease and save it. Add the onions and celery to the bacon and cook until the onions start to become transparent. Onions are generally transparent, they lack almost any sense of tact.

Once the bread is well seasoned, pour it all into a large bowl and add the cooked bacony mixture of awesomeness. Once that is mixed in well, add water slowly to rehydrate the bread. Moisten it up like a bashful debutante! Then give your turkey a call. Make sure she’s empty. Remove any, giblets, neck, whatever the hell else is inside of her. You don’t want any part of that.

Then feed the turkey a few drinks, tell her about your world travel and when you volunteered for “Cooks Without Boarders.”

Once she’s good and relaxed spread her legs and fill her full of your stuffing. When you’re done secure the skin with pins. Place the turkey in a deep pan and rub it down with bacon grease (SPF 15 incidentally), maybe play a little Barry White. This will allow it to brown well. Once it is in the pan add about an inch of water to the pan. This will keep it moist while cooking.

Put the turkey in the oven. Tell it you’ll call as a courtesy but we all know you’re not gonna call. Now here is the expert part. You need to cook the turkey for 10 minutes a pound at 350. Don’t deviate, we have tried other temperatures and times it just doesn’t work. Don’t mess with perfection.

Baste the turkey from time to time and once the top is brown, cover it with tin foil. This will prevent her from burning and preserve her lovely tan.

When the turkey finishes cooking, put it on a serving plate and invite over your friends. There she is, all demure and succulent. Now it’s carving time.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Mücver Turkish Zucchini Fritters

Wow are these good. Deep fried anything is generally tasty but these my friends are the yummiest! They are so easy to make and really can be reheated or taken cold to picnics or dinner parties. The fun part is that they are a great way of convincing yourself that you’re eating healthily. Because it’s vegetables, right?

3 medium zucchinis,  finely grated.
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup flour
4oz (120 gram) feta
3 eggs
1 TBSP of fresh chopped mint (dried is ok as well)
1 tsp dried dill
Saffola oil for frying

Peel and grate the zucchini.

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl to create the batter.

Take about a 1/4 cup of batter and toss it into the Saffola oil.

Fry up each side for about 5 minutes.


Take them out and put them on a paper towel to sop up some of the grease.

Serve these with rice and a salad! Sweet mother, look at what you’ve made. You’ll make an amazing cook yet.


Mama Carroll’s Coffee Cake

Much of my youth was spent eating this cake. One could even go so far as to say that one of my earliest memories is getting excited about this fantastic coffee cake. I don’t even think I knew what coffee was but I wanted this cake. I love this cake like I love my mama, fo’ever! One of the cool things I discovered about it is that it lends itself very well to substitution. I subbed in fake sour cream and rice flour and it turned out just as good. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. It is also embarrassingly easy to fabricate.

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour

1 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 TBSP coco powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Fold in sour cream and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients. Mix into creamed mixture.  Grease a bundt pan.  Mix together the topping.

Sprinkle the greased pan with about 1/2 of the topping.

Pour about half of the batter over that sprinkling.

Add remaining topping and cover with remaining batter. You see that you’re making layers here, right?

Bake at  175 C (350 F) for 50 to 60 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Flip it over on a plate and give the pan a few taps. It should just plop out and look something like this:

This one got a little crispy on the top but it doesn’t matter. This cake will have people eating out of your hand. Have fun and Enjoy.


When the Apfelschnecken Beckons

Apfelschnecken is one of the true triumphs of German pastry cuisine. While visiting the lovely Katharina and her family in Munster I had the good fortune to make it with her! And you know what they say, you can’t say no when the schnecken beckons! I actually held her new baby while she did the cooking but who’s counting?

Note Schnecken means snail in German. I hope I don’t have to explain that one.

Da dough:
6oz lukewarm (3/16 liter) milk
2 1/2 cups (500g) flour
1 oz (one package) dry yeast (about 30g)
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 eggs
salt to taste
A little less than 1/2 cup (100g) butter (very soft or melted)

Da filling:
1-2 TBSP of melted butter
1/2 cup applesauce
2-4 apples, sliced into small bits
(nuts, if you like)

To spread on top before baking:
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 TBSP milk.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C)

Mix ingredients, place the dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen cloth. Let the dough rest for about 45 minutes until it doubled its size. I’ll show you doubling in size after a 45 minute rest…er…moving on. Once that puppy has risen it’s time to get physical with your dough. Throw down the dough on a floured surface.

Using a rolling pin or if you are my friend Marissa, a pint glass covered in flour, to roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. It is easiest if you roll out the dough into a square. You’ll see why later.

Mix the warm butter and applesauce together and spread onto the rolled dough. If this doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. Sprinkle the apple pieces, raisins, and cinnamon-sugar like you know what you’re doing. We all know you don’t but everyone pretends not to notice.

Roll the whole thing up like Cuban cigar and cut into slices. Place them on the baking sheet (with baking paper or grease that mother).

Mix egg yolk with milk and spread a little bit on each Schnecke. Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon-sugar and butter, if you have some left.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Check them from time to time while baking.

This is important because Katharina and I may have burned them the first time around, but of course through the miracle of the internet we are able to bring you not-burned pictures. Yay, apple-snails!



Blueberry Girl/Boy Bait

This recipe was given to me by the lovely, the extremely jurisprudent, Laurel. She was asked to create something of mighty yumminess for a law professor as part of an auction. Her brilliant advocate mind jumped immediately to the case of “Humans vs Blueberry Bait”. Wherein the party of the first part (Humans) eats the party of the second part (Bait). Rinse, repeat.

Oh, and the update from the law professor was thus, “This was literally gone in three hours. They only people that were home were me and my three children.” This recipes serves 12, generously.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
16 TBSP unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (you can really use any type of berries but if they are frozen don’t defrost them) and 1 tsp of flour.

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (once again, do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (brown sugar can also work)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease and flour (like tarring and feathering but much tamer) a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Cross examine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl.

With your electric mixer, lead the witness and object, then mix the butter and sugars on medium-high until the jury is thoroughly confused or until fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time. Beat them just enough to get a mistrial, or until they’re mixed in.

Slow down your mixer and add in about half of the flour mixture then add in about half of the buttermilk. Harangue the jury one final time and add in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the buttermilk. Formulate your closing arguments and toss the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour. Using gavel or a spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in wee bowl and sprinkle that over the batter.

Bake until a toothpick or butter knife stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let this mother, cool in the pan for about 20 minutes if you can wait that long. By this point your entire home will be full of the smells of deliciousness.

Prepare yourself for awesome and you will not be soon disappointed.

The Defense rests!


St. Lucian with Absolution

“What do you call a St. Lucian who has made his peace with a deity?”

Hello junkies! I know its been a long time since I posted but life sometimes derails one in such a way. I decided to take this week off from cooking and let the fine people of the island of St. Lucia do it for me. WARNING: Below does not contain any recipes. Now with little caution to what it might do to my readership, allow me to subject you to my travel prose! Though I went to sample the foods of these island people, my culinary skills were called upon almost immediately. Win some lose quite a few.
My first day in St. Lucia was a blur of site and sounds that are difficult to reconcile into a day. I headed from the airport in my rented car for the opposite end of the island. After narrowly avoiding hitting a delivery truck I was reminded that as a ex-British Provence St. Lucians  drove on the opposite side of the road. Fortuitously I had flown in on the last day of carnival as the proprietor of my hostel reminded me when I checked in. Undaunted, I took my trusty rental car, which I affectionately called the, “Hair dryer” into Castries to see the end of Carnival. I took a few pictures and then I met the two ladies to the right below. They cautioned me that carnival was ending early this year because someone had been shot. Now I don’t always listen but when locals tell you to pack it in because it’s too dangerous, it’s time to head home, so I did.

The second day I had my first Lucian fare. It was a soup called Callaloo. Not only is it fun to say but it is tasty and filling. After exploring a strategic Napoleonic fort on Pegion Island in Gros Islet, this soup full of onions, spices and the wilted greens of the Callaloo plant provided an adequate sufficiency for this sweat-covered weary traveler. As I waited I enjoyed a local brew, Piton!

While I was eating said soup I heard a voice from behind me say, “Hey man what kind of camera is that?” I turned and much to the delight of a man traveling alone, the voice was addressing me. Over a beer or two Rebecca and Nima and I became friends. They were staying at the house of Nima’s sister, Maryam and invited me over to drinks. I was pleased to find out that Maryam’s husband Fred was St. Lucian. I also met his friend Ray who is as close to an ambassador of place as anyone I’ve ever been. His knowledge of St. Lucia and its natural beauty enriched my trip greatly. Later that night the topic came to food and I indicated that I make a mean batch-o-pancakes. The next day I came back over and we made pancakes with fresh mangoes from Maryam’s yard!

After breakfast I headed down the coast to a town called Soufrière. It was a harrowing journey highlighted by a wet, narrow mountain road in disrepair beset with switch backs, goats, tied up horses and the occasional St. Lucian, yet I prevailed. I took the rest of the day to drink fresh tamarind juice by the pool of the Hummingbird Hotel and read Games of Thrones.

The next morning I awoke early to the sun shining. I had an perfect breakfast of fresh star fruit, two types of mangoes (St. Lucia has 24 different species of Mango!) a few bananas and some exquisite local coffee.

I headed out to see what this part of the island had to offer. My first stop was a water fall hot springs. It was warm, like someone slowly pouring the contents of a hot tub all over you. I shared a few moments of warmth and rejuvenation with some locals.

After that I headed to the famed Jalousie beach. Surrounding this beach is grip of 100 or so villas for the super rich. Apparently Oprah has a place there. Anyway, commoners are still allowed to descend to the beach so of course that is exactly what I did. It was one of the finest beaches I’ve ever seen. White sand gave way to idyllic grass covered huts shading white cloth covered chaise lounges. I swam the bay but was soon compelled to move on. I heard a lot of people using phrases like, “All inclusive,” and “limo driver” and “Talk about reasonable, dinner was only 500 dollars.” Rubbing sandals with the super rich is not really my cup of tea, but I would still recommend the experience.

After that I headed to the volcanic sulfur baths.There I bathed in almost scaldingly hot water and smeared myself with exfoliating volcanic mud! There I met a Mexican couple and we talked of the restorative properties of the baths to our skin. Soft as a baby’s bum! The guy behind them in the photo looks like a volcanic troll.

On my way back I stopped at one of Ray’s suggested places, New Jerusalem Falls and hot springs. I was the only soul there or so I thought, however, when I reached the baths I found two naked and consequently, startled, St. Lucians. I talked to them for a while but quickly took my leave as the lady in the couple was embarrassed. There are no pictures for obvious reasons but here is the river I had to ford to get to them. (Johnny died of dysentery on the way).

Later that night I once again braved the mountain roads to go to the fish fry-day in Anse la Raye between Soufrière and Castries. This was another of Ray’s suggestions. There was all manner of baked and fried seafood, music playing and a lot of honeymooning couples. St. Lucia was rife with women wearing tank tops that said things like, “Cutest little Bride,” on them. I ate “bakes” (biscuits) and red snapper grilled in butter and spices.

I also sampled the locally made spiced rum, which was tear-your-face-off spicy! Then it was the long ride back to the hotel where my mosquito-netted bed was a welcome site.

The following day I went to a small beach called Anse Chastene which was located up an impossibly steep hill that near proved impossible for Hair Dryer to conquer. Though with some patience I made it up. I swam the whole lagoon of white sand but soon grew tired of the hotel staff eying me. Game of Thrones under arm I slunk valiantly back to the hotel, grinding through at least 200 pages of the book my brother and I affectionately refer to as “Tits and Swords.”

Later that night I sat at the bar chatting with the delightful bar tender Lea, who turned our to be a karate master. As I ate my amazing veggie curried crepe a, local woman came up to me and said, “How can you eat something that doesn’t have meat?” “Like this,” I said giving her a grin and taking a big bite.

After that a kind yet drunk American approached the bar. He said he was Marty and it came around that he worked for Virgin Galactic! He said that he was designing the new space port (Many Bothans died to bring us this information). We chatted for a while and then he and his host packed it in for the night.

The next day I said goodbye to Lea and the Hummingbird Hotel and headed up the valley to a place called La Haut Plantation. It is probably one of the most amazing views I’ve ever had. The pool at this Bed and Breakfast had a full view of the valley below and the two Piton mountains of St. Lucia. When I got to my room I was greeted with fresh fruit, a green orange and three types of mangoes!

Quite possibly the most idyllic setting for a swim ever. I took the plantation tour where we saw that the kitchens were stocked with fruit and cacao from the plantation, they showed us the sugar cane crusher and a slew of decorative donkeys and birds that were therein housed. I spent my last day sitting by the pool, reading and drinking in a truly unforgettable view.

Thank you wonderful people of St. Lucia for an amazing experience!

Ceviche Peruano

Archaeologist had found that food similar to ceviche was consumed nearly 2,000 years ago. It is believe that the “predecessor to the dish was brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors, and this dish eventually evolved into what now is considered ceviche.” Wikipedia.

Well, that’s pretty neat. I studied in Granada and though I didn’t see too many Moorish women, there were a fair share of conquistadors. Anyway, on to the fun. This is a recipe from Rana who got it from her maestra fantastica de español. She made this dish the other day and it was facemeltingly good.


2 fillets of cod (about 1/2 lb)

7 limes juiced (enough to almost cover the fish)

1 stick of celery finely chopped

1 Aji Amarillo chile pepper (any hot pepper can work)

1Tbsp cooking oil (canola or saffola)

salt to your taste

1 clover of garlic finely chopped

1/4 bunch of cilantro

1/4 bunch of parsley

1/2 a medium onion chopped (soaked in cold water with salt for 15 minutes)

1 head of butter lettuce

2 sweet potatoes

dried basil

dried oregano

Squeeze your metric ass ton of limes. Get those juices out of there like it’s your job. Strain the juice once you’re done to get the pulp out.

Cut the fish horizontally then cube so you have attractive bits o fish. Then place the fish in a dish and pour in the lime juice. You want to cover the fish because the lime juice is the only thing cooking it.

Then chop your soaked onions after washing them (we used green onions which you don’t have to soak).

Now add the celery, pepper, oil, salt and garlic. Then put it in the refrigerator and leave. You need to find something to do for 3 hours. Go shopping, drink some wine, why not a quick roll in the hay? Do whatever you need to distract yourself from the deliciousness in your fridge.

About 20 minutes before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 400 and boil a big pot of water on the stove. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes. Put them in an oven-safe pan with some olive oil, basil, oregano and salt. Bake for 20 minutes.

About 10 minutes after you put the sweet potatoes in the oven throw the corn into the boiling water. Sentenced to die like the noble lobster, corn tastes about as wonderful (as lobster) when lathered in butter. The corn should boil about 10 minutes.

Then add the cilantro, parsley, and chopped onion to the ceviche. Here you’ll see that Rana has served it on the butter lettuce with the other sweet potato and corn perfectly framing this traditional Peruvian dinner.

Is it finally summer yet? With this dish in mouth, you’ll feel like it always is.

Until next time.


Katarina’s Summer Pasta Salad

A few years ago I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of a lovely, sharp, boisterous, amazing German girl by name of Katarina. She often made this salad for barbeques and I can’t make it without thinking of her living with us that summer in Seattle. This is always a hit at parties because not only does it taste amazing, it will feed the Bundeswehr (an army).

This recipe serves: about 10 people (unless Tyler is there.)

2 bags Tortellini—cheese or pesto filling is fine.
1 pint or more cherry tomatoes or use grape tomatoes
1 cup Kalamata olives
1 red bell pepper
2 bunches green onions
1 small container feta cheese

1 cup low fat sour cream
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
lemon juice from about 1/4 lemon
1 tbsp. pesto and/or fresh basil
salt & pepper

This recipe is EASY and wonderful. If you use the precooked tortellini you’re really not even trying. Come on! And you call yourself a cook?

Anyway I usually grab two -three bags of Trader Joe’s dry Tortellini and boil that up for about 10-12 minutes. Once that is done, set it aside and let it cool off. It’s too sexy for the salad right now. It needs a cold shower and Quaalude. While it is cooling prepare everything else.

Halve the tomatoes and olives, chop the red pepper and green onions all into a bowl.

In another bowl mix the sour cream, garlic, olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, pesto/basil and salt & pepper to taste. I know this looks like you might be doing some animal husbandry but stick with it.

Now toss it all together in a large bowl. Add in the feta cheese crumbling all the way.

It will be a colorful amazing mess of yum! Anddddddd….you’re done. I told you it was easy.

Make this one for your favorite people. I know when I make it, I think of Katarina!

This one’s for you Katinka :)


Gluten Free Strawberry Clafoutis

This dish is most likely pronounced Claw-flew-tee. I’m not sure but the pronunciation does not actually affect the taste. If you’re really into it, go watch Julie and Julia and see if it is uttered during the film. This is a recipe made famous by Julia Child. I found this a gluten-free version on Gluten free girl. I have, however, adapted it to suit the needs of the situation, and the current state of the fridge. Read on brave ones.

2 cups fresh cut strawberries
½ tsp cinnamon
2 TBs agave
1 cup vanilla rice milk
1/2 cup agave
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cups rice flour

Preheat the oven to 90 C (325 F).

Chop up those  strawberries into little chunks and toss with the cinnamon and agave in a good sized bowl. You can add other spices if you want but I thought that the cinnamon did the job.

Throw in the soy milk, 1/2 cup of the agave, eggs, vanilla, salt, and rice flour into a blender and whip those puppies up! When they become a slightly thick-ish batter you know you’re got it. Incidentally if your batter doesn’t thicken, well, add a modicum of rice flour, bit by bit, until it does.

Pour a thin layer of batter onto the bottom of deep pie pan. Bake it at 90 C until the layer doesn’t jiggle like a Savannah debutante’s heaving bosom when you shake the pie pan, about 10 minutes. (for the batter not the debutante…)

Dollop in the agave-d fruit, evenly, over the now slightly hardened layer. Pour in the remaining batter all in amongst the strawberries.

Bake until the top is golden brown and set, about 1 to 1 and 15 minutes. The clafoutis will be puffed up when you pull it from the oven and will deflate like your hopes and dreams. It’s ok kid, we can’t all marry a French supermodel with rock hard abs, a conservatory cello fellowship and a penchant toward the kinky.

Serve warm or room temperature (on the abs of a supermodel, of course).


Gluten-Free Chocolate Honey Banana Bread!

So I know what you’re thinking…(how many of my recipes begin that way?) another dessert bread? But wait this one is special. This is a variation on a banana bread recipe that Rana and I just had to share with the world. For those of you who can’t eat glutens, don’t worry you won’t even miss them in this bread!

1 1/2 cups rice-flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup baking chocolate powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup saffola (or any cooking) oil
3 large bananas
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170 C (340 F).

How many cakes and biscuit-like things have we made together friends? A lot, right? Well, you know the drill.
Combine the dry ingredients (everything from rice-flour to chocolate powder) together in the bowl.

Then add in the wet ingredients. Stir. Pour into 4 inch x 9 inch loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 mins.

I would occupy yourself in some exciting way during that time because if you hang out anywhere near the oven you may go crazy from the fantastic smells emanating from within!

Enjoy all!

Cazuela de Vaca (Beef and Pumpkin Stew)

Worried what to do with that post-Halloween Pumpkin? Do you have nightmares of a molding orange gourd slowly becoming one with your porch? Well look no further. The Batter Junkie has a solution. Rana and I participate in a farmer’s coop so we get lots of fresh veggies every week. Once again, owing chiefly to the season, we have received a pumpkin! What to do? Well how about a little Chilean dish. This is something I found on the intarwebs by simply searching for the ingredients I had around the house. I will be honest though, if another pumpkin comes next week, I’m going all headless horsemen on it’s ass.
700 gram (1 1/2 lbs) beef cubed
1 liter (32 ounce) beef broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup polenta
8 red potatoes cubed
1 onion diced
700 gram (1 1/2 lbs) slice of pumpkin (calabaza sí estas en España)
2 ears corn (I could not get corn fresh so I used one can of corn from Whole foods)
1 carrot sliced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 stalk celery chopped
1 leek chopped
1 tsp minced fresh oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste (you can be liberal with these as there is a lot of stew)
1/2 cup or so of coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

So here be how ya does it. Cube the beef and toss it in a large soup pot. Pour in the water and beef broth and boil baby boil! Once it all comes to a boil lower the heat to medium, cover the pot and relax.

Oh, wait you have to cut everything, you can’t relax. Come on man do I have to tell you everything? Set the timer for 1 hour and chop the rest of your veggies.

After the beef has simmered for an hour in it’s beefy brothiness, it is ready for the veggies.

Stir in the polenta, potatoes and onion. Simmer that puppy for another 15 minutes. This will insure that the potatoes cook.

Now add in all of the other vegetables saving out the cilantro and oregano. Simmer those veggies for about 15 more minutes or until they are your desired tenderness. If the veggies start singing Otis Redding, they are ready. Make sure to add enough water to cover the veggies just barely. The hour of simmering the meat may evaporate a lot of liquid.

The last 5 minutes before you serve add in the fresh oregano. Now remove from heat, pour into a bowl and serve with fresh chopped cilantro on top! Disfruta!

Labels: dinner, pumpkin, soup, potatoes,

Pumpkin Soup, you slut.

It’s that time of year again when everyone tries their damnedest to look like something + prostitute. Yes I’m talking about that ever mutable holiday, All Hallows Eve where we as a nation have decided that regardless of its inherent ridicularity, showing as much skin as possible the day before November makes irrefutable sense. Well, once you’ve spent a night whoring it up and down the neighborhood for “candy” you might be warmed by this pleasantly festive soup.

6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 cups pumpkin puree
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup of cream (this is totally optional and I did not add it)

So really the hardest part about this is staying sober while you’re waiting for it to boil. I used fresh pumpkin so I had to actually puree (not just a noun) my pumpkin. Once that was done I literally tossed all of the ingredients into a pot,

Brought it to a boil,

turned it down to a simmer,

and went about my extraordinarily merry way for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes you can throw in a thickener if you are looking for that bisque-like quality, which I really wasn’t because I was well, all bisqued out. (add in some cream if you so desire.)

Now the original recipe said to puree this mutha at the halfway point. I didn’t really see the point because I like onions but if you have weak digestion or a penchant for baby food, go for it.

Set it to simmer again for an additional 30 minutes.

When that timer goes off you’ll be in sexy Halloween costume heaven slurping it up like sexy Catwoman and if you spill any you can wipe it up like a sexy maid, and if you throw up afterward because your sexy costume got you oodles of free shots, then you can clean it up like a sexy plumber.

Oh look out it’s sexy batman.

Happy Halloween,



Home made Pizza

So you may think this is beyond you but really it’s not. Your own pizza. Amaze your friends. Amaze your small pets and animals. Amaze yourself as you triumphantly promote the gods of gluten to bow to your very whim. Let’s get started.

1 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water about 45 C (110 F)
1 tsp dry yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose four

Your discrection!
What I used:
Tomato basil marinara sauce
goat cheese


In a big ass bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let the yeast orgy commence for about 10 minutes, until they’re all tuckered out and foamy.

Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of white flour into until the dough starts to gel like a really good conversation in a college bistro.

Toss that dough onto the counter but first make sure to put down some flour. Knead it like the antidote for all of the world’s problems are in there and (until all of the flour has been absorbed). Then form that puppy into a ball of awesome!

Throw it in an oiled bowl, preferably oiled by a circa 400 a.d. Egyptian oil merchant, and turn to coat the surface. Cover the bowl with a towel to prevent nasty stuff from getting in there. Let it sit an hour or so.

Once the dough has doubled in size, like a mountain becoming slowly erect, roll it out onto a floured counter again. Divide it in 2 for thin crust or use it all for thick crust (preferred by women around the globe!) Swish it into a ball again and let her rise again!

Once that has doubled again preheat the oven to 425. Squish the dough into the bottom of the pan and toss it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Pull it out and add your toppings. (In my case: Marinara sauce, goat cheese, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil.

Bake it all for about 20 more minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and so be the crust!


Blueberry Strawberry Pie

There are few things better than pie. If you do not agree with this statement then just stop reading already. It is the very lifeblood of the dessert coarse, the Cadillac of after dinner enjoyment, the very pith and core of all we hold dear. Sadly my friends it can be so easily mis-happed and misinterpreted.

Here is my most recent attempt at it and well, the results speak for themselves…I was having so much fun making it, I didn’t really take many pictures so you’ll have to use your imagination. I will describe things, don’t worry.


Dough You can make Marissa’s pie crust or try this new one I did for this pie.

I grappled this from the Smitten Kitchen.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat 1 cup white)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut up into pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

Once this is done preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F).

4 heaping cups of blueberries and sliced strawberries
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp whole wheat flour (of course regular flour will work, sheesh)

Mix the flour, salt, sugar into a bowl or throw it in a food processor if you have one. I don’t so mixed it up and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter. Once the butter is well mixed into the flour, you can start to sprinkle the vodka and water into the mix.

Since we don’t have a picture, imagine me riding atop and elephant dumping cups of butter and flour into a bowl while a pack of Brazilian salsa dancing, female pirates mix in the vodka and water. If only I’d had my camera but there you are.

Once the dough had formed cut it in half an make two little discs about 4.7345 inches across. If you don’t have a measuring tool just estimate π then add 1. It’s quite simple. Let those sit in the fridge for anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days. They need to cool down so you can more easily roll them. If you don’t have time, skip it.

To prepare the filling simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Once again I’ll paint the picture: Two ill-tempered wood nymphs danced around the bowl nakedly throwing berries with somewhat conservative abandon whilst a midget on stilts dumped in way to much cinnamon and sugar. Damn you, Simon the midget.

Once that was all prepared we pulled the dough out of the fridge rolled it out on a floured surface and placed in a 9 inch pie pan. We then dumped, rather ceremoniously, the filling into said pan. From there it really just is putting the top crust on the pie, cutting little air slits into it and popping it in the oven.

We put it in for 50 minutes and it came out looking like Seattle native in the Arizona sun, Toasty!

Behold the only photo I was able to eek out between bites.

Labels: pie, blueberries, strawberries