Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A bit of a hiatus

I won't be posting much in the next few weeks. I am busy getting ready for the Mountain Regional Barista Competition, which takes quite I bit of my creative juices and doesn't leave much for the kitchen. We have been eating a lot of burritos lately and they aren't all that exciting.

I will try to keep posts about the competition. This week we are finalizing signature drinks and espressos, as well as practicing the pouring of cappuccinos.

Next week I will probably open up to allowing spectators to come the the roasting facility to act as judges, or just to be spectators.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

C is for Cookie

What can I say! I have been spoiled...I don't think I have ever made cookies without a mixer. So I was a little intimidated to make cookies in the Tiny Kitchen, since I don't have a mixer on hand. But things went smoothly and the cookies disappeared very quickly! I do need to find real cookie sheets that fit the toaster oven. I used a glass Pyrex pan, and it worked okay, but I could only bake 4 cookies at a time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Its in the bag...

I went to the market to get another whole chicken to roas
t, mostly to get some pictures this time! And they were out!! I had to settle for thighs. I say "settle" though in reality the thigh is one of my favorite parts of a bird. I am a sucker for dark meat...what can I say.
Now...what to do with them? I was telling my mother-in-law, Joan, about my blog and my cooking endeavors and she told me one of hers. She had roasted chicken in a brown bag, simply putting a little butter under the skin, some salt and peppe
r and poof! The best chicken she had had in awhile! "I can do this too!" I thought. So I did...

I added some red potatoes, sweet onion, carrots and fresh herbs. I was also thinking gravy. A nice traditional roast. And boy did it turn out good!!

My gosh I'm cooking a lot of chicken lately!! I have got to do something else!

Monday, January 11, 2010

And then there was stock!

So I went a step further and made chicken stock from the bones. I made "dark" chicken stoack ala David Tanis in "A Platter of Figs." So easy that you wonder why you ever bought the stuff in a box!

Soup is on the menu for tonight! Chicken and Wild Rice.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Local Eating

Earlier this week I received an email from one of Loveland's local restaurants, McGraff's. They have been doing a rotating weekly special for about 6 months now, and the email was informing me what the specials would be for the month of January. Low and behold one of my favorites was slated to be this week's special: The Krautburger (aka Bierock; German hamburger and cabbage filled roll)

So yesterday we went for lunch.

I asked our waitperson how the feedback had been on the Krautburger, and she responded with great enthusiasm that feedback was quite positive. That sealed the deal, I had to have it!

On the plate was a GIANT krautburger, cut in half, with a side of hot German potato salad and a couple of sweet gherkins. It was wonderful!! I HAD to eat the whole thing, no way was this going to leftover heaven.

McGraff's has the krautburger through Sunday, January 10. If you are craving one, I would go get one!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Got Chicken? Make Enchiladas!

So I had the roasted chicken and it was cold outside. I either crave soup or Mexican when its cold. I decided to go Mexican...a little margarita and a little chicken enchilada sounded perfect!

A couple of years ago I had managed to throw together some chicken enchiladas with what I had on hand, so I decided to try to replicate that recipe. The spouse can attest to the fact that this
was a triumph!

These enchiladas use goat cheese and they are pretty simple to make. I chopped up 3 cups of the roasted chicken and added that to some onions sautéing in olive oil. I added a can of mild chopped green chilies and 1/3 of a can of tomato salsa.

When this was warmed through I added 4oz of goat cheese and
incorporated. I set this aside as I heated oil to lightly fry my corn tortillas. Just heating them up to soften them, I would go one at a time, flipping them over for a second or two and then tossing them onto a paper towel. A spoonful of the chicken mixture, roll it up and put it in the pan. When the pan was full I topped the enchiladas with the remaining tomato
salsa and grated cheese. 350°F toaster oven for 10 minutes, topped with guacamole, sourcream and green onions. Yum!

Best part is that you can make then as mild or as hot as you want,
depending on the heat of the chilies and salsa. I really like the bright flavor you get from the goat's cheese!

The Kitchen

Pictures of where I'm cookin'

We took over the cottage from my Grandfather, who had been living there for 20 years. The space that contains the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room was originally a small barn and was built in the 1020's. We know it housed chickens at one time...perhaps even a goat or two? The barn was added onto in the 1970's and turned into a kind of summer kitchen for making jams, jellies, fruit butters and apple cider. (The property was mostly apple orchard at one time.) My husband and I moved in about a year and a half ago and gutted everything but the bathroom and laundry. The intention was to finish the kitchen, but as will happen with these kinds of projects, we ran out of funds. So we installed a sink, mini fridge, two-burner hotplate and toaster oven. Later we added a second mini fridge and a microwave. (I won't go into why there is a second fridge, there just is, okay?!?) I have whined about the kitchen off and on over the last 16 months, I have drawn plans, scoped out small appliances...the thing is finished in my head!! Yet in the last couple of weeks I began to think differently...what if I took it on as a challenge? This kitchen is capable of great, gourmet things...I know...I've done a little of it. So here we go...what can I throw at this kitchen? What can I do within the confines? (By the way, A LOT of my kitchen wares are still in storage! My mixer, food processor, dishes and gadgets galore.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Beginning...

Okay...well I have done it. I have started a blog.

The idea for it came about last night. I had been toying with doing a food-related blog for awhile, but nothing had really solidified it until last night. I had read Michael Ruhlman's blog entry earlier in the day and took it on as a challenge. I stopped at the store on my way home, purchased a chicken and proceeded to roast it in my toaster oven. It worked beautifully and this little edible endeavor became the inspiration I needed to begin blogging!

The funny thing in that my husband came up with the same idea as I told him about my day. Great minds really do think alike.

My next post will be pictures of my crazy little kitchen...