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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Recipe: Douglas' Christmas Chili

A Mess O' Chili - P-a-D 12/08/06Friends recently asked for the recipe to my Christmas Chili that I make each year for our annual Cookie Party Open House. I have never really written down the recipe, as I tend to wing it each year. I have made it enough that I sort of "know" what goes in it. That said, since I typed it up for our friends, I figured I might as well share it with you, as well. The recipe scales up nicely. I regularly make 20 quarts for our party, as seen in the photo.

Douglas' Christmas Chili

2 Tbls Olive Oil
1 Large onion
4-5 cloves garlic
1 lb ground turkey
1 - 12oz package Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage

Finely chop onions and garlic (I use a food processor) then saute until lightly browned in the olive oil
Add turkey and sausage and brown until no sign of pink

Add 1/2 cup red/white wine

Cook until wine is absorbed

(Here is where it goes a bit by look and feel. Add more sauce and beans if you want to make more chili and then adjust the spices accordingly)

Add 5-6 14oz cans of your favorite plain tomato sauce. I get Hunts from Costco, which we always keep around the house.

Add 4-5 cans of black beans

Spoon up the meat, sauce and beans mixture and look at the ratio between the 3. You want to get a good mixture of all three in each spoonful.

If needed, add more black beans

Add splash of vinegar (under a tsp, probably. I have used everything from apple cider to balsamic, It just adds a little "tang" to the final taste.

(again, taste this as you add the spices until you get taste you like)

5-6 Tbls Chili powder (not mexican chili powder, but the traditional one with cumin, etc included)
2 Tbls Dried Basil
3 Tbls Oregano
PInch Red pepper flakes
Small pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp Black pepper

Bring pot up to boil and then turn down to low simmer

Typically, it will cook down by about 1/3. The longer you simmer it, the better it tastes. It also tastes better the second day when you reheat it. (SMILE)

I serve this with extra sharp cheddar cheese. Some people like chopped onions on it.

I usually eat this by itself the first day, then have it over some sort of pasta the next and then chili dogs after that. It freezes well so make as much as you want and then store it away in meal-sized containers for a quick dinners.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks

This post over at FoodGPS, Blue Dog Beer Tavern and Boneyard Bistro, prompted me to write this short comment.

I have been enjoying regular visits to the Blue Dog Beer Tavern since it opened a few months ago. I live nearby and find myself taking lunch there whenever I want a special treat. I like the fish and chips a lot and I have also tried the burgers and sampled the mac and cheese with chilies.

I also like the chance to sample the out of the ordinary beers along with the food. It is slowly becoming my regular “local” either alone, with family or friends.

Visit the Blue Dog Beer Tavern

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Video: Making the Christmas Lasagna

My wife is of Sicilian descent, so every year instead of turkey, ham or goose, we make our traditional Christmas Lasagna. Over the years we have taken a fairly plain recipe and dressed it up more and more, while still keeping it fairly traditional.

While my wife, Rosanne, puts the lasagna together, I contribute in 2 large ways. First, I make a big batch of my red sauce, which we use in everything from spaghetti to pizza and I also make homemade pasta sheets. I learned how to make pasta at home several years ago and this has become yet another Christmas Eve tradition for us.

In this video (15 mins) you'll see us making the pasta and assembling the lasagna itself. Enjoy!

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Food: Christmas Morning Oatmeal

The last thing I do before I head to bed on Christmas Eve is put together a batch of what I have come to call, Christmas Morning Oatmeal. This recipe, adapted from one by Alton Brown, worked so well the first year that I made a part of our Christmas for the last 6 or 7 years.

With a kid in the house, having to wait until breakfast is made could make them burst with excitement and anticipation, so this oatmeal allows us to get up, grab a bowl and some coffee and move right on to opening presents. I think this is a perfect compromise -- we get some food and the boy gets to move on with the festivities.

This short video was shot by aforementioned "boy", so it is a little rocky at times, but it gives you all the information your need and a little glimpse of our holiday in progress.

You can find a complete and printable recipe on Bakespace.com - Christmas Morning Oatmeal

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

FOOD: Alt-Malted Milk Balls: The Splendid Table Recipe Box

I am a sucker for malt, especially chocolate and malt so I think I will have to make a batch of this even though my Christmas Cookie baking is over. The fact that they are so simple to make, makes it even more attractive. I wish I would have heard about them sooner. I would have made some for my annual cookie party and maybe even as gifts.

I regularly make malted milk and malted hot chocolate using the steamer on my espresso machine and I imagine this would go well with that, too. I am not sure where I developed my loved for malt flavoring, but it must have been something in my childhood -- perhaps malted milk balls -- as the smell and taste of malt always takes me back to my days growing up in north central Ohio.

If I decide to make these any time soon, I will be sure to grab some photos and perhaps some taste-testing comments from my friends and family.

On another note, if you don't listen to The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper, you are missing out on great food talk every week. I never have time to listen on radio, so I get the show automatically via podcast...and so can you!

For links to more recipes I find on the 'net, visit my Google Reader Shared items - All Shared Items or Just Recipes

Alt-Malted Milk Balls: The Splendid Table Recipe Box
from splendidtable.publicradio.org

Recipe for Alt-Malted Milk Balls from The Splendid Table's Recipe Box, an extensive compilation of cooking, baking, and entertaining recipes from American Public Media's The Splendid Table. Hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is public radio's culinary, culture, and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch our lives and feed the souls of everyone.

Read the entire article

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Making Limoncello

I fell in love with limoncello on our 2 trips to Italy. The liqueur is a strong and sweet personification of the lemon, made by soaking lemon peel in a high-proof alcohol and then combining the resulting mixture with a simple sugar syrup.

Making Limoncello - Peeling LemonsMaking Limoncello - Peeling LemonsMaking Limoncello - Peeling LemonsMaking Limoncello - Steeping the lemon peelsMaking Limoncello - Steeping the lemon peels
Click for larger images

This first phase, soaking the peels, will take about 2-3 weeks. Then I will strain the liquid and combine with the syrup. It should set, undisturbed for about a month after that. The liqueur will continue to mellow and age nicely the longer you let it sit.

Limoncello is a digestivo, designed to be sipped in small quantities after a large, Italian meal. I love having it like this, as well as sharing it with friends, so this large batch is destined to be bottled in smaller bottles and given to friends as a Christmas gift.

When serving limoncello, you should freeze the bottle, as well as the small glasses for several hours before serving. This chill brings out the lemon smell and flavor while mellowing the alcohol.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Macaroni (actually farfalle) and cheese for dinner tonight

Using up left over cheeses in the fridge tonight in one of our favorite dishes. in this pot it is mainly cheddar with a bit of Old Amsterdam, fontina, American and parmaggiano. Each batch is a little bit different depending on the cheeses.

Posted by ShoZu

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Elsewhere Online: 50 Awesome Crockpot Recipes to Keep You Warm (and Full!)

I am always on teh lookout fo rnew recipes and a little time with StumbleUpon introduced me to this blog post. As Winter approaches, crock pot recipes for hearty foods become even more attractive. Of course, Summer is a great time to use your crockpot, too, since it doesn't heat up the house.

50 Awesome Crockpot Recipes to Keep You Warm (and Full!)
by Maricar on September 17th, 2007

Hot-CiderWith the fall season comes cool weather, school (homework, games, music lessons, carpooling, etc.), thoughts about the holidays, and football. With all the things that are going on, I have even less time to slave away at the kitchen stove to prepare the family meal. But not to worry. Crockpots to the rescue!


(Via Keeping the Castle.)

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Foodie Q&A with Chef Joanna from BarCampLA-3

Chef Joanna.com Logo

Chef Joanna gives a great presentation about Foodie Issues, including cooking pans, utensils, knives and more.

You can find more information on Chef Joanna at http://chefjoanna.com

Listen to Foodie Q&A with Chef Joanna

Podtrac Player
Pop It At popcurrent.com

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Food: Casa Bianca - For Health!

I'm always looking for a good pie, especially since I have been to Italy and tasted what a pie is supposed to be. (SMILE)

Despite the wait Ruth mentions, I think I might have to check this out the next time I am over in the Eagle Rock area.
Casa Bianca - For Health!

Ruth666: [sausage, mushroom, extra cheese, plus a coupla mozzarella fingers for good measure]

If you're tired of hearing everyone rag on LA for having shitty pizza (and we do), pile them in your car and stuff their pie holes at Casa Bianca Pizza Pie in lovely Eagle Rock.


(Via Blogging.LA.)
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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Deceptive Food Packaging - Welch's Concord Grape

Welch's Concord Grape Package InformationI present this as an excellent example of deceptive food packaging that seems so prominent into today's market. Everything about this package seems to say "grape juice" without actually saying it. This particular package was so well-designed that it neither my wife nor I noticed until tonight that it wasn't actually grape juice, but a Concord Grape FRUIT JUICE COCKTAIL.

(Click for larger image)

Once I saw the word "cocktail" I knew something was up. This a food industry jargon for "not really fruit juice" or maybe, 2% fruit juice. Then I noticed that the yellow banner on the top of the package said 100% Vitamin C, NOT 100% fruit juice, something I always look for when buying juices.

Sure enough, a scan of the ingredients shows that old nemesis, corn syrup, although not in its usual "high fructose" version. Just what we all need, more sugar and more calories in our diets. I think not.

Growing up drinking Welch's Grape Juice and using other Welch's products since I was born, (no relation, by the way), I had come to depend on them for wholesome products and straightforward, truthful packaging. In my opinion, this package is clearly designed to deceive. Through the use of the 100% wording, the Concord Grape, without the all-important "juice" and the minimization of the fruit juice cocktail labeling, Welch's is hoping that you won't notice you aren't buying their signature Welch's Grape Juice product, but a poor replacement.

Of course, if you let down your guard about the food you buy, as we obviously did in this case, companies will tale advantage of you, trying to wring out one more cent of profit by passing off the fake for the real.

Legal? Oh, I am certain it is.

Correct? Not in a million years!

Furthermore, the animosity it engenders when discovered can poison the customer/manufacturer relationship forever...even if your name is Welch.

On a side note, I have often written in my weekly column, Career Opportunities, that workers need to stand up against producing materials like this in the line of their work. In the case of this graphic designer, they were asked to design and execute a product container that, I believe, was explicitly designed to deceive. I can imagine they wouldn't like to be deceived by packaging...or have their mother deceived by packaging..., so why would they work at a company that asks them to do it to others...everyday. They are culpable in the deception of every person who buys this product.

All of us need to remember as workers that the golden rule still applies, even in our work. "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Why does it seem so difficult to put that into practice?

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Elsewhere Online: Leonardo Romanelli's Pasta e Ceci: An Illustrated Recipe

I am always on the lookout for new recipes, especially for Italian food, since Rosanne is Siciliano. (SMILE) I love Italian food, too though, and soups especially so this recipes for Pasta and Ceci (Chickpea) Soup fits the bill nicely.

Even more, this recipe is illustrated, so you can easily follow along and make it yourself.

Leonardo Romanelli's Pasta e Ceci: An Illustrated Recipe

There are many variations on pasta e ceci, pasta and chickpea soup, and Leonardo's is both easy and quick, once you have the cooked chickpeas. In other words, it's a...

(Via Italian Cuisine.)

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Monday, February 05, 2007

YUM! - Ferrero Rocher reviewed on CandyBlog

Ferraro Rocher LogoCybele over at Candy Blog posts about Ferraro Rocher, a little bundle of chocolate, wafer and hazelnut joy that I fell in love with when visiting the wife's family in Sicily. These are my choice for the most perfect chocolate confection on the planet -- chocolately, crunchy, nutty -- of man, I got to go buy some.....NOW! (SMILE)

Ferrero Rocher

One of the more familiar candies that’s marketed for Valentine’s Day would be the Ferrero Rocher. They’re pretty candies all year round but during the season for lovers they’re placed in clear plastic heart-shaped domes of varying sizes.

(Continue Reading)

(Via candy blog.)

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