You all maybe forgot this, but I’ve been working on a cookbook for what seems like the better part of my entire existence. The good news is that things are moving super-fast now! Soon you’ll be hearing all about it.
While I was planning on having a nice, relaxing weekend including maybe a hike and some chill cooking, I just got my first page copies for the book which completely tossed my weekend schedule out the window. If you don’t know, first pages are when the publisher send you a PDF of every page in the book and you have to go through and comment on the layout and make sure it’s what you envisioned.
Oh, and you have to do this for an entire book in, like, a week. It’s a quick turnaround, but also very exciting because it’s the first time I get to see my hard work actually laid out on the page!
The over/under on number of pots of coffee I drink this weekend is currently hovering around 5 1/2.
The holidays are rapidly approaching, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s get started with a cleansing, healthy recipe so we can feel okay about gorging later. You pick!
Brined Deep-Fried Turkey Legs - Ok. I know I posted a turkey leg link last week (for those keeping track a.k.a nobody). These just looked too good to not link to. Brined! Fried! I feel like I could serve up a big bowl of these and skip the whole turkey thing. (@ Not Derby Pie)
Hibiscus Cranberry Sauce- I really put way too much weight on cranberry sauce during the holidays. I think it’s one of the most disrespected of sides and so I try to elevate it. I’m always looking for fun recipes that change it up and make it interesting. I’m sure this tastes good, but also the color is astounding. (@ Love and Olive Oil)
The Red Hook- I like to drink wine over the holidays. And cocktails. Lots of cocktails. In fact, I think Betsy and I are going to throw a little holiday cocktail party later in the year which should be fun. I think this guy will be on the menu. (@ Sippity Sup)
This Week’s Meal Plan
This week’s meal plan is designed for beginners. The meals are all simple, but they aren’t light in the flavor department. I could eat the meals in this plan every week (especially the sloppy joes)! You can sign up now for Macheesmo Meals and get a free week to try out the plans (there are now over a dozen total) and see if you like them!
Hi, do you have a vampire problem? If so, I have the recipe for you! Not only will it safeguard your house and surrounding area from garlic-hating demons, it will also happily feed you.
For the poll last week you all voted for something with a lot of garlic in it and I can think of nothing that has more garlic in it than, well, garlic.
If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of confit cooking, it is used a lot for meats like duck to slowly cook them and also preserve them for later. Essential it involves cooking them in fat, but not frying them necessarily. Theoretically, you could do this with almost anything but some foods take on the technique better than others. Garlic is one of the things that it works perfectly on.
I’ve had this on my list to try forever and finally got around to it over the weekend.
As Betsy said when she tried a piece of bread slathered with the end result: “Sometimes you know what you’re doing.”
Over the years, I’ve been sent a bunch of cookbooks and I’ve probably turned down many times the number that I’ve been sent just because I can’t read them all!
Anytime I get an offer to check out a new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook though, I always jump at the chance. They write unbelievable cookbooks that combine all of my favorite things: good recipes, excellent photos, and easy-to-understand instructions.
Their latest book, The Cooking School Cookbook, is maybe their best so far. I made this curry from it a few weeks ago and it was one of the better curries I’ve ever had. Check out the recipe and also see how you can win a copy of this awesome book!
One of the top requests I get from you lovely readers is make-ahead weekday breakfasts that are fast, not processed, and don’t suck.
To be honest, Betsy and I usually do the oatmeal thing during the week these days but I get that some people need something more substantial in order to break their fast.
Enter the breakfast bowl. You can buy similar things in the frozen section of the store for dollars a piece or you can just make your own on the weekend and have them throughout the week.
This is about as basic as a breakfast bowl can be. The cool thing is that the recipe makes six (and you could double it easily if you had enough space and bowls) so you can eat some now and also freeze some for later. It’s a really filling and delicious way to start the day.
You can tackle any Monday if you have one of these in the morning.
I woke up yesterday with a little case of the sniffles. I wouldn’t say that I’m sick, but I think my body is just grumpy that it’s no longer 70 and sunny every day. It’s like my body is just unhappy with the weather situation and can tell that it’s only going to get worse!
I’m using what I believe to be an old-time cure for mild sickness which is simply to ignore it. I’m going to the gym, doing work, and generally doing everything I would normally do to hopefully fake out said case of sniffles.
If you don’t hear from me by Monday, it’ means I have lost the battle.
I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for my sniffles, but I’m looking for other cures. Pick something and I’ll make it.
Turkey Drumsticks – This reminds me of the local fair. Turkey drumsticks are one of my favorite fair foods just because they are so ridiculous. These, of course, look substantially better and would be a fun alternative Thanksgiving dish actually. (@ Sippity Sup)
Andrew Zimmern Interview- This is a fun little interview with one of my favorite food celebrities. I did not know he is starting a food truck business. That’s pretty cool stuff. A great listen in the background segment if you have 10ish minutes. (@ No Recipes)
Whole Wheat Croissants- These just look perfect and the photos actually help me realize how I could maybe, just maybe, make them. I’ve tried croissants three times in my life and they have always destroyed me. (@ David Lebovitz)
This week’s meal plan is designed for beginners. The meals are all beginner and require just a few steps to make. That said, they aren’t light in the flavor department. I could eat the meals in this plan every week. You can sign up now for Macheesmo Meals and get a free week to try out the plans (there are now over a dozen total) and see if you like them!
It’s that time of year when kids get to roam the streets in search of sweet treats.
Oh wait… that’s how I remember Halloween. It seems now that kids aren’t really allowed to go out past dark and definitely cannot roam unknown areas. That makes me sad, but maybe it’s necessary.
Anyway, even though I can’t actually hand out homemade treats, I still like making them! I’ve made a bunch of Halloween treats over the years. While my Bloody Worms of Doom are my favorite visual recipe ever, these little guys might take the cake for the most delicious Halloween treat I’ve made.
After all, who doesn’t love a pig in a blanket? That’s essentially what these are. I made the dough in case you are feeling ambitious, but you can also use a wide range of store-bought doughs!
When I cook a burger – and I’ve cooked a lot of burgers – I tend to keep it simple. I season them with salt and pepper, toss them on a hot grill and let them cook for 4-5 minutes per side until they are medium-ish in doneness. Assuming you use decent beef that has 15-20% fat in it, you’ll be in good shape just by doing no harm.
But there may be a better way. There’s an mid-range burger restaurant that started in Denver, called Smashburger, that now has locations all over the U.S. and they take a slightly different approach to the burger. As their name implies, they literally smash the burger on a super hot grill. It cooks in about two minutes and is one of the better burgers I’ve ever had. The intense heat and pressure sears in the juices from the beef and makes for a really tasty burger.
While the restaurants use an expensive, patented pressing device that no home cook has access to, I figured there was a way to duplicate this crazy method at home.
I was right. It turns out not to be that hard and is totally worth the effort.