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Carbonara

1/2 lb Spaghetti Rigati (The ridges on the pasta help to “grab” the sauce. It’s awesomeness.) Salt for Pasta Water 4 Slices Thick Slab Bacon, Diced, or 1/4 Lb Pancetta, Diced Olive Oil 1/2 Onion, Halved and Sliced Fresh Peas or Frozen Peas, Thawed (About 1/3 Cup) 6 Fresh Button Mushrooms, Sliced 3 Cloves Garlic, Crushed, Smashed, or Otherwise Obliterated 1/4 Cup (or a bit more) White Wine 1/3 Cup Fresh, Good Quality Parmigiana Cheese, Finely Shredded or Grated (Plus more for garnish) 2 Fresh, Organic, Cage-Free Eggs (Splurge. You’re dealing with semi-cooked eggs, here.) Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley, Chopped. Salt & Pepper to taste Boil Salted Water for Pasta.  Make sure you cook the pasta Al Dente, mushy pasta SO does not work in this one. While the water is boiling, cook the bacon or pancetta over medium heat. When it begins to crisp, remove to a paper towel. Swirl in a drizzle of Olive Oil into the rendered Bacon Fat, and add the onions. Cook until softened, semi-translucent. Add the crushed/pressed garlic and cook 1 minuteish more. Add the sliced mushrooms, and cook through. Season with Pepper. Add the White Wine, Peas, and Cooked Bacon, and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. (2-3 Minutes) (Meanwhile, the pasta has been cooking and well drained.) Add the drained, Al Dente pasta to the pot and toss to combine. Reduce heat to Low. In a separate bowl, beat the 2 Organic Eggs and add most of the Parmigiana to the eggs. Quickly pour the Egg-Cheese mixture to the Pasta, and Quickly and Constantly toss with tongs and a fork. Do Not Allow the Eggs to Scramble. The heat of the pasta will “Cook” the eggs and melt the Parmigiana, forming a creamy, rich sauce. (This is where the ridges in the “Rigati” pasta come in, the noodles will “Grab” onto the sauce, coating each strand in rich goodness.) Serve immediately, garnished with more Freshly Shredded Parmigiana and Chopped Italian Parsley.  Mangia!

——————Carbonara Anthropology ——————-
Carbonara was created in the mid 20th Century in Italy. The dish is unrecorded before the Second World War.  It was first reported after the War as a Roman Dish, and may in fact be named from a Roman Restaurant, “Carbonara.”  Its’ name, Carbonara, references the Italian word for Coal, giving Carbonara the nickname “Coal Miner’s Pasta.”  It has even been suggested that it was created by, or as a tribute to, the “Carbonari” (Charcoalmen), a secret society prominent in the Unification of Italy. (Wiki) This is but one of the many theories on the actual origins of the recipe, but most foodies can agree on the basic ingredients of Carbonara:  Pork, Pork Fat, Eggs, Cheese, and Pepper.  The vegetable add-ins are Anglo/Franco variations, as is the custom of adding Cream to the recipe, which may be found in the U.S, Europe, and Russian/Slavic recipes.

Carbonara

1/2 lb Spaghetti Rigati (The ridges on the pasta help to “grab” the sauce. It’s awesomeness.)
Salt for Pasta Water
4 Slices Thick Slab Bacon, Diced, or 1/4 Lb Pancetta, Diced
Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, Halved and Sliced
Fresh Peas or Frozen Peas, Thawed (About 1/3 Cup)
6 Fresh Button Mushrooms, Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, Crushed, Smashed, or Otherwise Obliterated
1/4 Cup (or a bit more) White Wine
1/3 Cup Fresh, Good Quality Parmigiana Cheese, Finely Shredded or Grated (Plus more for garnish)
2 Fresh, Organic, Cage-Free Eggs (Splurge. You’re dealing with semi-cooked eggs, here.)
Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley, Chopped.
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil Salted Water for Pasta. Make sure you cook the pasta Al Dente, mushy pasta SO does not work in this one.

While the water is boiling, cook the bacon or pancetta over medium heat. When it begins to crisp, remove to a paper towel. Swirl in a drizzle of Olive Oil into the rendered Bacon Fat, and add the onions. Cook until softened, semi-translucent. Add the crushed/pressed garlic and cook 1 minuteish more.
Add the sliced mushrooms, and cook through.
Season with Pepper.
Add the White Wine, Peas, and Cooked Bacon, and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. (2-3 Minutes)

(Meanwhile, the pasta has been cooking and well drained.)

Add the drained, Al Dente pasta to the pot and toss to combine.

Reduce heat to Low.

In a separate bowl, beat the 2 Organic Eggs and add most of the Parmigiana to the eggs.

Quickly pour the Egg-Cheese mixture to the Pasta, and Quickly and Constantly toss with tongs and a fork. Do Not Allow the Eggs to Scramble. The heat of the pasta will “Cook” the eggs and melt the Parmigiana, forming a creamy, rich sauce. (This is where the ridges in the “Rigati” pasta come in, the noodles will “Grab” onto the sauce, coating each strand in rich goodness.)

Serve immediately, garnished with more Freshly Shredded Parmigiana and Chopped Italian Parsley. Mangia!

——————Carbonara Anthropology ——————-

Carbonara was created in the mid 20th Century in Italy. The dish is unrecorded before the Second World War.  It was first reported after the War as a Roman Dish, and may in fact be named from a Roman Restaurant, “Carbonara.”  Its’ name, Carbonara, references the Italian word for Coal, giving Carbonara the nickname “Coal Miner’s Pasta.”  It has even been suggested that it was created by, or as a tribute to, the “Carbonari” (Charcoalmen), a secret society prominent in the Unification of Italy. (Wiki) This is but one of the many theories on the actual origins of the recipe, but most foodies can agree on the basic ingredients of Carbonara:  Pork, Pork Fat, Eggs, Cheese, and Pepper.  The vegetable add-ins are Anglo/Franco variations, as is the custom of adding Cream to the recipe, which may be found in the U.S, Europe, and Russian/Slavic recipes.

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This  		is a favorite appetizer that has appeared on European menus for decades.  Its origins are in Picnic Foods.  The Classic Bread-and-Butter Picnic sandwich began to get dressed up in the early 1900s, with items such as lettuces, cheeses, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and of course, Radishes.  It’s endured, and this light, flavorful, texture-y snack is as simply decadent now as ever.
Some Picnic History:
Food historians tell us picnics evolved from the elaborate traditions of moveable outdoor feasts enjoyed by the wealthy. Medieval hunting feasts, Renaissance-era country banquets, and Victorian garden parties lay the foundation for today’s leisurely repast. Picnics, as we Americans know them today, date to the middle of the 19th century. Although the “grand picnic” is generally considered a European concept, culinary evidence confirms people from other parts of the world engage in similar practices. "The earliest picnics in England were medieval hunting feasts. Hunting conventions were established in the 14th century, and the feast before the chase assumed a special importance… Picnicking really come into its own during the Victorian era, and enters into the literature of that period. Dickens, Trollope, Jane Austen all found pleasure in introducing this form of social event into their fiction. One can see why: a rustic idyll furnished an ideal way of presenting characters in a relaxed environment, and also provided an opportunity to describe a particularly pleasant rural spot."—-Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson"The French might have invented the word "picnic," pique nique being found earlier than "pic nic." (The meaning, aside from the probably connotation of "picking," is unknown.) It originally referred to a dinner, usually eaten indoors, to which everyone present had contributed some food, and possible also a fee to attend. The ancient Greek "eranos," the French "moungetade" described earlier, or modern "pot luck" suppers are versions of this type of mealtime organization. The change in the meaning of the term, from "everyone bringing some food" to "everyone eating out of doors" seems to have been completed by the 1860s. The impromptu aspect, together with the informality, are what the new meaning has in common with the old; there is a connotation too of simple food, which may be quite various, but which is not controlled, decorated, or strictly ordered into courses. Picnics derive, also, from the decorous yet comparatively informal sixteenth-century "banquets" mentioned earlier, which frequently took place out of doors…Not very long ago, picnics were rather formal affairs to our way of thinking, with tables, chairs, and even servants. But everything is relative: what was formal then made a trestle-table in the open countryside seem exhiliaratingly abandoned. The general feeling of relief from normal constraints…"—-The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolutions, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser

This is a favorite appetizer that has appeared on European menus for decades.  Its origins are in Picnic Foods.  The Classic Bread-and-Butter Picnic sandwich began to get dressed up in the early 1900s, with items such as lettuces, cheeses, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and of course, Radishes.  It’s endured, and this light, flavorful, texture-y snack is as simply decadent now as ever.

Some Picnic History:

Food historians tell us picnics evolved from the elaborate traditions of moveable outdoor feasts enjoyed by the wealthy. Medieval hunting feasts, Renaissance-era country banquets, and Victorian garden parties lay the foundation for today’s leisurely repast. Picnics, as we Americans know them today, date to the middle of the 19th century. Although the “grand picnic” is generally considered a European concept, culinary evidence confirms people from other parts of the world engage in similar practices. 
"The earliest picnics in England were medieval hunting feasts. Hunting conventions were established in the 14th century, and the feast before the chase assumed a special importance… Picnicking really come into its own during the Victorian era, and enters into the literature of that period. Dickens, Trollope, Jane Austen all found pleasure in introducing this form of social event into their fiction. One can see why: a rustic idyll furnished an ideal way of presenting characters in a relaxed environment, and also provided an opportunity to describe a particularly pleasant rural spot."—-Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson
"The French might have invented the word "picnic," pique nique being found earlier than "pic nic." (The meaning, aside from the probably connotation of "picking," is unknown.) It originally referred to a dinner, usually eaten indoors, to which everyone present had contributed some food, and possible also a fee to attend. The ancient Greek "eranos," the French "moungetade" described earlier, or modern "pot luck" suppers are versions of this type of mealtime organization. The change in the meaning of the term, from "everyone bringing some food" to "everyone eating out of doors" seems to have been completed by the 1860s. The impromptu aspect, together with the informality, are what the new meaning has in common with the old; there is a connotation too of simple food, which may be quite various, but which is not controlled, decorated, or strictly ordered into courses. Picnics derive, also, from the decorous yet comparatively informal sixteenth-century "banquets" mentioned earlier, which frequently took place out of doors…Not very long ago, picnics were rather formal affairs to our way of thinking, with tables, chairs, and even servants. But everything is relative: what was formal then made a trestle-table in the open countryside seem exhiliaratingly abandoned. The general feeling of relief from normal constraints…"—-The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolutions, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser

Filed under Jadydangel, Food, Radish, Appetizer, Healthyish, Culinary Anthropology European Snack Sandwich Vegetable

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Who doesn’t love a pancake?  Pancakes evoke, as all true comfort foods do, a warm feeling of lazy childhood weekends drenched in sunlight, chlorinated pool water, football, cool fall breezes, whatever.  And in many cases, “Maple Syrup” out of a plastic bottle shaped like a woman.  Don’t Do It!   Invest in a large jug of 100% Maple Syrup.  Maple Syrup is graded.  Grade A Dark Amber, Grade A Light Amber, Grade B.  But it’s deceiving, because it’s the opposite of what you would expect.
Grade B Maple Syrup is the absolute best.  It is the richest in flavor, darkest in color, most robust, and for years, the Vermont Syrup farmers would save it for themselves.  Make the effort, and find Grade B, PURE Maple Syrup.  You’ll never go back.  (Whole Foods has their house brand, 365 Organics, of Grade B Maple Syrup available in large jugs that are a decent price when on sale.)
Anyhow, back to the pancakes.  Throw blueberries in them.  Maybe top them with sliced bananas, or strawberries and whipped cream.  They are an indulgence, they are a pleasant reminder of the simple pleasures of life.  
And they take all of 15 minutes to make. 
Sour Cream Pancakes.
1 cup sour cream
7 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Sift Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, & Salt in a large bowl.
Add Sour Cream to Flour Mixture
In separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla together Pour egg mixture into sour cream/flour mixture.
Stir gently until all ingredients are mixed well.  Do NOT OVER MIX!
Grease or Butter your skillet.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto hot skillet. Cook the pancake until the edges start to brown and the center begins to bubble.  Flip and cook on reverse side 2 minutes-ish. Serve with Butter and Real Maple Syrup.  **Preferrably Grade B**
Et Voila!

Who doesn’t love a pancake?  Pancakes evoke, as all true comfort foods do, a warm feeling of lazy childhood weekends drenched in sunlight, chlorinated pool water, football, cool fall breezes, whatever.  And in many cases, “Maple Syrup” out of a plastic bottle shaped like a woman.  Don’t Do It!   Invest in a large jug of 100% Maple Syrup.  Maple Syrup is graded.  Grade A Dark Amber, Grade A Light Amber, Grade B.  But it’s deceiving, because it’s the opposite of what you would expect.

Grade B Maple Syrup is the absolute best.  It is the richest in flavor, darkest in color, most robust, and for years, the Vermont Syrup farmers would save it for themselves.  Make the effort, and find Grade B, PURE Maple Syrup.  You’ll never go back.  (Whole Foods has their house brand, 365 Organics, of Grade B Maple Syrup available in large jugs that are a decent price when on sale.)

Anyhow, back to the pancakes.  Throw blueberries in them.  Maybe top them with sliced bananas, or strawberries and whipped cream.  They are an indulgence, they are a pleasant reminder of the simple pleasures of life.  

And they take all of 15 minutes to make. 

Sour Cream Pancakes.

1 cup sour cream

7 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/ 2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Sift Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, & Salt in a large bowl.

Add Sour Cream to Flour Mixture

In separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla together Pour egg mixture into sour cream/flour mixture.

Stir gently until all ingredients are mixed well.  Do NOT OVER MIX!

Grease or Butter your skillet.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto hot skillet. Cook the pancake until the edges start to brown and the center begins to bubble.  Flip and cook on reverse side 2 minutes-ish. Serve with Butter and Real Maple Syrup.  **Preferrably Grade B**

Et Voila!

Filed under Jadydangel, Pancakes, Maple Syrup, 5iveSenses Breakfast Grade B Maple Syrup Comfort Food

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Dynamite.
One of my favorite Japanese appetizer dishes.  I’ve come across various applications at various Sushi and Japanese restaurants across the US.  Above is one of the best versions I’ve had, from Taigun in Broomfield, Colorado.  Their version is scallops and shrimp, with onions, scallions, and shiitake mushrooms, baked up in a sauce of butter and mayonnaise.  (Not so healthy… but SO decadent.)  This version and the Conch version from Moon Thai in Coral Gables, Florida, lead my list of Best Dynamites evah!
I’ve looked up where this tradition started, and I can’t find any origins.  I do know that Mayonnaise is a favorite condiment in Japanese Culture, so much so that a quasi-trendy restaurant opened in Japan serving only Mayonnaise. (Gross. But whatever floats your boat.)  But as for the tradition of mixing seafood with mayonnaise and baking it… I can’t find any solid sources of who originated this tradition… I’m just thankful that they did! 

Dynamite.

One of my favorite Japanese appetizer dishes.  I’ve come across various applications at various Sushi and Japanese restaurants across the US.  Above is one of the best versions I’ve had, from Taigun in Broomfield, Colorado.  Their version is scallops and shrimp, with onions, scallions, and shiitake mushrooms, baked up in a sauce of butter and mayonnaise.  (Not so healthy… but SO decadent.)  This version and the Conch version from Moon Thai in Coral Gables, Florida, lead my list of Best Dynamites evah!

I’ve looked up where this tradition started, and I can’t find any origins.  I do know that Mayonnaise is a favorite condiment in Japanese Culture, so much so that a quasi-trendy restaurant opened in Japan serving only Mayonnaise. (Gross. But whatever floats your boat.)  

But as for the tradition of mixing seafood with mayonnaise and baking it… I can’t find any solid sources of who originated this tradition… I’m just thankful that they did! 

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Turkey Salad
Simple.  Basic.  Old-School.
Ingredients:
1/2 Pound Smoked Turkey, Thinly Sliced
Mayonnaise
Cuisinart
Directions:
Pulse Turkey in Food Processor until uniform.  Add Mayonnaise to taste.  Pulse until salad is smooth. 
Serve with Crackers.

Tidbits:
Culinary evidence (old cookbooks, menus etc.) confirms meat and mayonnaise-type salads were popular in America from colonial times present. These were culinary traditions brought to our shores by European settlers. Lobster, turkey and chicken salads were most common and extremely popular in the mid-late 19th century. Tuna salad is an early twentieth century recipe. Why? Because canned tuna was first introduced and mass marketed to the American public in 1903. American cookbooks in the 1930s and 1940s offer tuna salad recipes as alternatives to salads made from chicken and turkey. One might conclude this fishy substitution was not immediately embraced on its own merits.   —-Adapted from Wiki.

Turkey Salad

Simple.  Basic.  Old-School.

Ingredients:

1/2 Pound Smoked Turkey, Thinly Sliced

Mayonnaise

Cuisinart

Directions:

Pulse Turkey in Food Processor until uniform.  Add Mayonnaise to taste.  Pulse until salad is smooth. 

Serve with Crackers.

Tidbits:

Culinary evidence (old cookbooks, menus etc.) confirms meat and mayonnaise-type salads were popular in America from colonial times present. These were culinary traditions brought to our shores by European settlers. Lobster, turkey and chicken salads were most common and extremely popular in the mid-late 19th century. Tuna salad is an early twentieth century recipe. Why? Because canned tuna was first introduced and mass marketed to the American public in 1903. American cookbooks in the 1930s and 1940s offer tuna salad recipes as alternatives to salads made from chicken and turkey. One might conclude this fishy substitution was not immediately embraced on its own merits.   —-Adapted from Wiki.

Filed under Jadydangel Food Simple Dip Appetizer Snack Turkey

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Dark Chocolate Toffee
Ingredients:Crushed Club Crackers (I Pulverize Mine in a Cuisinart)1.5 Sticks Unsalted Butter1 Cup Sugar8 oz Semi Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips1 small metal cake-icing spatula (Works best for spreading chocolate)
Preparation:
Preheat Oven to 400FLine small cookie sheet with Aluminum Foil  (Jelly Roll size pan)Spread Cracker Crumbs evenly over foilIn saucepan:  Melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in Sugar and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring.Pour evenly over Cracker Crumbs.Bake in 400 Degree Oven for 4-5 minutes (Check so it doesn’t burn)Remove and immediately sprinkle Chocolate Chips over the Toffee.  Place back in oven for 30 seconds to soften chips.Remove and spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee with the Metal Icing Spatula.You can top with Chopped Nuts or Sprinkles if you like.Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight until solid.  Break into bite-size pieces.
Recipe from (Great) Aunt Char.
Randomness:
 
 
 

Toffee is a confection made by boiling molasses or sugar (creating inverted sugar) along with butter, and occasionally flour. The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the hard crack stage of 300 to 310 °F (150 to 160 °C). While being prepared, toffee is sometimes mixed with nuts or raisins.
The process of making toffee involves boiling the ingredients until the mix is stiff enough to be pulled into a shape which holds and has a glossy surface. The resulting mixture will typically be poured into a shallow tray and allowed to cool to form a sweet. Different mixes, processes, and (most importantly) temperatures of toffee making will result in different textures and hardnesses, from soft and often sticky to a hard brittle material.
Toffee has been enjoyed in the Americas since the 17th Century.

Dark Chocolate Toffee

Ingredients:

Crushed Club Crackers (I Pulverize Mine in a Cuisinart)
1.5 Sticks Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Sugar
8 oz Semi Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips
1 small metal cake-icing spatula (Works best for spreading chocolate)

Preparation:


Preheat Oven to 400F
Line small cookie sheet with Aluminum Foil (Jelly Roll size pan)
Spread Cracker Crumbs evenly over foil
In saucepan: Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in Sugar and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring.
Pour evenly over Cracker Crumbs.
Bake in 400 Degree Oven for 4-5 minutes (Check so it doesn’t burn)
Remove and immediately sprinkle Chocolate Chips over the Toffee. Place back in oven for 30 seconds to soften chips.
Remove and spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee with the Metal Icing Spatula.
You can top with Chopped Nuts or Sprinkles if you like.
Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight until solid.
Break into bite-size pieces.

Recipe from (Great) Aunt Char.

Randomness:

Toffee is a confection made by boiling molasses or sugar (creating inverted sugar) along with butter, and occasionally flour. The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the hard crack stage of 300 to 310 °F (150 to 160 °C). While being prepared, toffee is sometimes mixed with nuts or raisins.

The process of making toffee involves boiling the ingredients until the mix is stiff enough to be pulled into a shape which holds and has a glossy surface. The resulting mixture will typically be poured into a shallow tray and allowed to cool to form a sweet. Different mixes, processes, and (most importantly) temperatures of toffee making will result in different textures and hardnesses, from soft and often sticky to a hard brittle material.

Toffee has been enjoyed in the Americas since the 17th Century.