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Compiling recipes for a family cookbook - advice?

Years ago my kid sister [now 58] put together something like that when I became a single parent. She typed and dot-matrixed printed them, put each page in a plastic sleeve and put them in a 3 ring binder. The plastic sleeves protect the pages in the kitchen and also from age a bit. I've added to it quite a bit over the years [the 3 rings] and when Sis' daughter grew up I sent her a copy.

In Season: Corn

I love to put the husked ear of corn in tin foil and twist tight the ends. Before twisting the final end pour a mix of milk and a bit of sugar [now I use agave, which works just as well] into the foil and twist the second end tight. Throw on the grill and they come out sweet and wonderful.

For quick? I throw the unhusked ear in the microwave for five minutes and it's done just right.

Watch It with Us: 'The Next Food Network Star,' Episode 8

I grew to hate Debbie... and then I grew to really dislike being manipulated into hating Debbie.

Tofu (For Carnivores...) ?

Take a block of extra firm tofu and drain & blot, then dice it into, well, dice sized cubes. I bury them in a bowl under a ton of my brown sauce of choice - oyster, A-1, worchester, etc. Put them out of that stuff after a day or two in the fridge, and fry them sorta crispy in a pan with a little butter [or better yet, bacon grease]. I then set them aside and use them as croutons in a salad or stir fry or such. Tofu for carnivores.

Learning to Make Good Coffee, Suggestions?

One factor others haven't mentioned - filtered water. Get as much of the polutants out [and every city has a different mix of minerals and stuff] and you'll get a better product down the line.

Your Favorite Food Websites?

I guess I'm a tabloid lover - I hit foodnetworkaddict a couple of times a day.

Agave Expiration Date?

It never lasts long in our house. We just keep refilling bottles from the tap at the co-op.

Dr. Dre pimping Dr. Pepper?

You can't end up disillusioned if you don't start off with illusions.

Ask anyone of my age who hears the anthems of our rage from the 60's played in elevators now.

Favorite Brand of Salad Dressing

I buy the 'Herbal' dressing that is homemade at Sunlight Cafe - a vegetarian landmark for over 30 years in Seattle. If you know to ask, you can buy bottles of what they cook up to serve in the restaurant for under five bucks.

Dear Whole Foods,

Get rid of the yuppie surcharge on everything.

We can do a lot better at the local co-op and at farmer's markets.

Organic Foods.

The organic eggs I've been getting are big and beautiful and tasteful.

Buying vegetation that is both local and organic makes certain that it will taste superb.

The most clear cut difference is in the organic grass fed beef I buy from a local rancher - the taste is so far above 'meat' from the Safeway it's not even a comparison.

Tell Your Asparagus Story

That homemade cream of asparagus soup last night was mouthgasmic.

The asparagus from the farmer's stand was $1.98/pound. She used homemade chicken stock with the tough ends of asparagus in it for a while just to get it started in flavor - brought to a boil. Reserved the tips for late texture adding, crisped some bacon. Sauted sweet onions into the bacon drippings and then deglazed the pan with white wine. Added the asparagus with just barely enough of the chicken stock to cover and then simmered until all was soft. Added a little flour, stirred well, then added a bit more stock - a couple of cups. She blended that mix well and put back onto heat with stems, cream, and added back in the chopped bacon and asparagus tips. A little oregano and fresh thyme.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo good. [Served beside fresh halibut oven baked with butter and Old Bay.]

Tell Your Asparagus Story

Any way it comes. Throw it into a bundle of tin foil filled with big chunks of butter and put it onto the grill next to your meat. Steamed. My favorite way is in large chunks and fried lightly in bacon grease with sweet onions. Yummm!

I'm in the middle of dental work so tody my wife got up early and went to the local farmer's market to get asparagus to make homemade cream of asparagus soup. Now that is showing love!

Where to eat in Vancouver and Victoria?

Victoria - get to Old Vic Fish & Chips. Lightest batter since my last high grade tempura appetizer, and a saucy waitress who knew how to flirt back.

Costco and Big Box stores for food: way or no way?

We try to cook all fresh with no packaged or prepared foods if at all possible. CostCo is there for large bottles of worchester sauce, large bottles of my favorite sweet pickle, multi-packs of butter and a few things like that. Otherwise I do my best to shop at our local co-op or at farmer's markets. I recently decided to try a large bag of pistachios and they all taste like kitty litter. Back to the co-op for the organic.

The bulk of our CostCo shopping is toilet paper, moistened glasses wipes, office supplies, half-price best sellers, and such non-food items.

Food and sites between SF & Portland-

We stumbled onto Huckabees while driving back from the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, towards home in Seattle. The lunch sandwiches were good enough that we ordered a humongous beef rib family dinner to take back to eat once we got home. And for lunch the next day. Great stuff.

There has to be more to dinner than trout...

Bacon greased stove-top asparagus - nicely in season right now . I'd recommend a nice homemade garlic bread with that but you said no flour.

Leftover steak?

Dice into onions, left-over carry-out rice, and garlic, and fry in bacon grease.

Yum - breakfast stuff. Not really healthy and can't do it often [the bacon grease part at least] but yum regardless.

just wondering.... what kinds of prepared foods have you seen at farmer's markets.....

I never look for prepared foods at the local farmer's markets [of which we have a richness here in Seattle] with the occasional exception of honey or a tasty looking cookie.

I tend to go to get fresh vegetables, occasionally for cut flowers, and to see my local organic rancher for all grass-fed organic pork or beef [Skagit River Ranch, of course]. [I've shilled for Eiko and the other folks at Skagit River Ranch enough I should be on the payroll but I'm just a very satisfied customer].

Can you grill small/narrow things without a grill basket?

Once you get old enough to have enough left over parts [or simply visit Value Village] you simply get an extra grill out of an old hibachi or such, smaller than the one you're using, and lay it on top of your grill turned perpendicular.

Nothing falls through. Too damn easy.

Great Eats in Seattle?

Sunlight Cafe in the Roosevelt District has had the best vegetarian food for over 30 years and get there quick before Joe finally decides to retire. Their breakfast waffles are legend. I'm a prime carnevore and love their vegetarian - and in some cases vegan - fare.

One of our favorites is Mae's Phinney Ridge - their home smoked trout is a breakfast delight. High on the kitsch decorating factor and worth the wait weekend mornings.

Who loves Anne Burrell?!

I love her and FWIW, any comments that bother to mention her hair are really missing what this is all about. She is a good cook, personable, and well worth watching.

Love for Anne aside, can we hope for a day where we've moved beyond trademarked catchphrases and quirky branded noises or statements? I swear it is like Boobs, Teeth, Money, Bam, or such have become the equivalent of a software program's icon button - a split second blip that links you to the rest of the story. [Don't even get me started with grown men wearing sunglasses backwards - makes me wanna **** those shades off his head and give him back the third IQ digit he has forsaken.].

What to do in the summer with all the stock I have made

Ice cube trays, into baggies, and pull them out all year long.

Cleaning Coffee Grinders

Yeah - I have a separate [and brightly differently colored] grinder picked up cheap at an estate sale that I use for spices, and I avoid all flavored coffees. I like the coarse salt idea posted up above though.

$3.99/lb grass fed beef tenderloin

We tend to use a variation on the Alton Brown method. We grill a nice sear on stovetop [a ribbed cast iron bacon skillet does this nicely] and then finish in the oven. A lot of it is purely by guess and by golly experience as far as temps or times, and for a large piece of meat we'll use a thermometer go guage doneness.


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