Temporary Insanity

After a recent trip to the hospital and diagnosis of multiple severe infections, I thought I would post this up in the event that I am not around… Or start all sorts of crazy cooking projects suddenly. I had to drop my college class. If I get to stay home and avoid surgery, I will probably end up with a bit of boredom. Hoping to be better within a few weeks time or a little longer–it’s really pain that I am having a hard time with currently. Honestly, I am pretty freaked out about what is going on. Why does this involve a food blog? Well, I tend to do crazy things when I do not feel well. The surprising factor is my lack of appetite. I am fine with drinking water and juice, but food is more of a nauseating annoyance at this time. Just wanted to let you know in case I need to disappear for a bit.

– The Ill Chef

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Finnish Cardamom Bread

ImageCardamom bread is wonderful to make, but it can be time consuming,. The recipe I used can be found here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Finnish-Pulla/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=finnish%20sweet%20bread&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe

ImageThis bread tastes great with coffee. You can also slice it and make delicious French toast.

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Now you are probably wondering–what happens if I have extra dough left? Do I just make a tiny braid and bake it? You can if you want. It is truly up to you. Here is what I did: Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a long rectangle shape (or as close as you can get to one). Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar to coat the dough. Roll towards you so that you are rolling the longest edge. Cut into one inch pieces. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Note that if you are not lazy like me, you can pinch the edges so you retain more of a circular shape. If you want to be lazy, you can display these in a lovely 69 position on a platter. I recommend serving this with a cream cheese frosting. Just mix one stick of butter, with one package of cream cheese. Add 2-3 cups of confectioner’s sugar. DON’T FORGET THE GINGER BRANDY!! You can add a few scoopfuls of that for flavor. You can also just leave it plain or add a number of other ingredients to enhance the flavor like cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, etc.

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Mystery Pecan Pie

Since I could not find my own recipe, I decided to use Paula Deen’s: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/mystery-pecan-pie-recipe/index.html

Mystery Pecan Pie

The Competent Chef’s Mystery Pecan Pie Baking

I like this particular recipe because it should be fool proof. You can use one of those Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts or make your own.

Once again there is a difference! Instead of vanilla, I used ginger brandy to flavor this delicious pie. I’m sure you can see a theme here…

Here is how it came out!

Mystery Pecan Pie(Complete)

Mystery Pecan Pie(Complete)

Banana Bread (Complete)

Banana Bread (In Process)

I used the following recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-banana-bread/

Please note that I added two caps full of ginger brandy to this mixture and some chopped walnuts. I let the butter soften just enough so I could mix it with an electric mixer. That is what leaves the little clumps you see in the photo. The reason for this? My mom always did it like that!

Edit—-

And here is the finished product. It needed less time to cook than the recipe stated. I put it in for 60 minutes and while I checked when it had 20 minutes left, it still needed another 5 to go. I always end up with a darker-looking banana bread in this oven. Next time I may use foil.

Banana Bread (Complete)

Banana Bread (Complete)

Dear Bertucci’s

Dear Bertucci’s,

I do enjoy your food, but I have to admit I have not been amazed by it. I have been to a few restaurants of yours in my state of residence, and I just feel that the menu is lacking a bit. I realize you downsized to make things easier and I applaud you for your efforts. My taste buds, however, are never that amazed by the available menu. Your place is clean, neat, and chic; your service is wonderful and you hire persnickety people who care about the work that they do. But I must admit that the real reason I keep returning to your establishment is because of your dinner rolls.

Bertucci’s, please consider becoming a bakery. You will also have to sell your olive oil dipping sauce as well.

A Loyal Dinner Roll Customer (CompetentChef)

PS: your italian cheesecake is amazing (IncompetentChef)

Straight Up: Braised Chicken and Kale

some text
Incompetent Chef: i made some straight up julia child shit today

Competent Chef: ooh? with butter?

Incompetent Chef: yes

Competent Chef: did you take a photo?

Incompetent Chef: i thought about it but then i ate it

Incompetent Chef: it wasn’t that pretty but it was pretty good

(CompetentChef)

Recipe: Google’s Braised Chicken and Kale from bon appétit

Photo by: Danny Kim

I had to go grocery shopping yesterday (since my fridge was devoid of any fresh food), so I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up some organic, free range chicken drumsticks and bagged kale. When I got home I was hungry, so after some googling I came across this recipe and decided to give it a shot. I nixed the wine, since I didn’t have any (sadface), and added butter because, butter. I would have taken pictures but my kitchen looks like a legitimate bio-hazard right now, so you get the official, pretty photo.

(IncompetentChef)

Matcha much?

The other night, we talked about possibly having a one ingredient monthly theme (for example, matcha tea powder), but IncompetentChef brought up the fact that we might get sick of whatever the secret ingredient was really fast.

But this looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

ohhowcivilizedcom_matcha_green_tea_tiramisu_matchamisu_1

It’s the Matchamisu from Oh, How Civilized , a food blog we stumbled across the other day. It’s going on The List.

(CompetentChef)