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Announcement: Tuesday, August 29, 2017: Dinner No. 91: Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice!
Aug 30th, 2017 by Katekoster

Tonight I (Alex) wanted to try make something new so I made cauliflower rice with a shrimp topping, based on a recipe from Cooking Light magazine by Adam Hickman (Thanks Adam).  It’s really fun and simple to make: first you clean and chop fresh cauliflower, then you whiz it in the food processor until it’s finely ground.  The texture is more like couscous than rice, but everyone calls it rice.

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For the shrimp/egg topping: First you saute shrimp in some sesame oil for about 3 minutes and then take the shrimp out of the pan.  Second you beat 4 eggs together and cook them in a little more sesame oil for about 2 minutes — letting them set in a thin layer.  You remove the egg and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (essentially thin scrambled eggs).  Third, you add chopped green onions and the cauliflower rice to the pan with more sesame oil and cook till light brown.   Finally you mix the shrimp & eggs back into the onion-cauliflower rice and plate it with a few more chopped green onions (I saved the green tops for the garnish) on top and it is ready!!!!!!!  The final dish looked delicious but we all agreed it needed more flavor.  Next time we might add actual toasted sesame seeds or some sort of nut? or more salt (maybe because it was from Cooking Light it was healthier than we usually eat:). Mom suggested added bean sprouts but Max and I aren’t convinced about that. 

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Thursday, August 17, 2017: Grasshopper Pie!
Aug 21st, 2017 by Katekoster

Today for a late celebratory birthday dinner for dad (his birthday was July 27), mom and I made braised lamb shank and I made grasshopper pie for dessert. Right about now you are probably wondering what in the world grasshopper pie is… Well don’t worry we didn’t eat real grasshoppers (although I hear they’re quite delicious).  Instead we ate an oreo crusted, marshmellow fluff and whippped cream stuffed pie.  It’s called grasshopper pie because it’s green (like a grasshopper).  And the green color comes from Creme de Menthe…unless you decide to change the recipe a little in which case the green color comes from food coloring. 🙂

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These are all the ingredents thst you need for grasshopper pie

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The first step is to grind oreos in a cuisinart mixed with a little melted butter.   Then your press the oreo-butter mix into a pie tin.

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The next step is to melt the marshmellow fluff in a saucepan with a cup of half &half. You can let it cool on a rack but to speed up the process, it’s best to put it into a ice bath. (See picture)

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The third step is to add Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao.  However, we did not add the Creme de Menthe because it tasted like toothpaste!!!  The Creme de Cacao tasted pretty good, however, so we did add that.  (If you really love the taste of mint, or the taste of toothpaste, go ahead and add Creme de Menthe, but if you don’t add some green dye for color.  The next step is to whip a cup of heavy cream (without adding sugar)  and fold it into the green marshmellow fluff mixture. Then you pour it into the oreo-crusted pie pan and sprinkle a few crushed oreos on top.   Stick it in the freezer for a few hours and voila! It is good to go (we even stuck a canddle in it for dad’s birthday.)

Sunday, August 14, 2017: Maine Vacation Feasts
Aug 14th, 2017 by Katekoster

Hi, we just spent a week in Maine hiking and biking, and enjoyed some delicious food at a bunch of different restaurants.  Also, since we stayed in a great hotel with a full kitchen, we had time to cook a little.  We are each going to describe our favorite meal out and also what we made to eat ourselves over the week.

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Max:

My favorite meal was our first one we had in Bar Harbor, ME at the Side Street Cafe. I had quesadillas, filled with beans, cheese, avocado and chicken with salsa on the side. The dish was amazing. Everything came together to produce wonderful flavors, and Dad and Mom couldn’t stop themselves from having some!  Dad had a lobster roll which looked pretty good as well.

quesadilla   quesadilla1

My favorite meal that I made in Maine was Mac and Cheese. Missing New York food, I decided to make my own, recreating Max Brenner’s tasty mac and cheese dish.

macncheese1

Here are the directions:

  • First,  preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat water for pasta (macaroni noodles).
  • Cut a cup of cherry tomatoes into quarters and sautee 6 pieces of bacon. Then cut the bacon into small bits. Set aside.
  • Add pasta when water is boiling and remove at an al dente (don’t forget to salt the water).
  • Meanwhile, with the heat on low, melt 1/4 cup butter hot and then stir in 1/4 cup flour, careful to avoid clumping.
  • After the butter and flour are mixed, add 2 cups of warm milk, and stir until the mixture is thickened.
  • Then gradually add 8 oz of combined grated cheddar and parmesean cheese while stirring constantly to avoid clumping. When combined, add another 8 0z of parmesan and cheddar and stir in. You have just made a cheesy béchamel sauce
  • Combine your béchamel sauce and al dente pasta in a baking dish.  Add the tomato and the chopped bacon and stir until sufficiently distributed.
  • Finally sprinkle bread crumbs and more shredded cheese on top of the dish and place in oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees (till golden brown).

Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!

cheesesauce   macncheesefinaldish

Alex:

My favorite two meals (that we ate at restaurants) were the burger that I had at Black Cap Grille in North Conway, New Hampshire, and the popovers that we had at Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park, Maine.  What was also nice about both of these restaurants was that we could bring our dog Koko (so we could hike with her and then share a meal with her).

The Burgers at  Black Cap Grille:

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Not only was the burger perfectly cooked, the fries were as well. I had to fend off Dad and Mom who tried to eat them.

The Popovers at Jordon Pond House:

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The Jordan Pond House popovers were huge and delicious. They were crispy on the outside but light and  airy on the inside.  We ate them with butter and strawberry jam (just watch out for the bees–they like the jam too).

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My favorite meal that I made in Maine was pasta with bolgnese with an arugula salad and brownies (for dessert).

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Bolgnese is a pretty simple dish that is supper yummy, all you really need to do is:

  • Chop onions and saute them till transulucent
  • Get ground meat (veal, lamb, pork) and put it in a sauce pan with olive oil and soft onions. Brown.
  • Once the meat is all brown (not the least bit pink), add diced tomatoes that can be from a can or fresh.
  • Mix and let simmer for 15ish minutes; be sure to add salt and pepper
  • Pour the sauce on cooked pasta, mix a bit, grate some parmesan cheese and voila it is ready to be served!

For the salad, I made a simple arugula, tomato and parmesan cheese salad but then added some chopped almonds for some texture.  Dressing was just olive oil and fresh lemon juice. The brownies are our family recipe that I have already shared so I won’t tell again.

 

 

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