Christmas Cookies of Yesteryear – 1959 (Coconut Date Balls)

December 4, 2020 Leave a comment

The cookies from this series are attributed to the date the cookie was published in a cookbook, but have been made much earlier. Take for example the Danish Sugar Cookies I posted. The date listed for this is 1969 but I found the same recipe in a 1959 cookbook. It doesn’t mean that cookie was ever popular or popular for that length of time, though it is for certain regions of the country. The cookie I am writing about today is one that screams of the 60s and 70s to me. Having dates and pecans in cookies appear to have been more prevalent back then, but without a proper analysis I can only guess from memory and my memory really doesn’t go back to the 60s.

As a child, visiting relative and being at holiday parties you would see similar cookies to this. They generally had dates or another similar fruit. As I got older, these style of cookies faded away as cookies like peanut butter blossoms took over. If you visit a wedding cookie table or some Christmas carry-in you will not find the coconut date ball but you see plenty of chocolate chips cookies. Our tastes have changed over the years as we move to sweeter cookies.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 lb pitted dates cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans
  • 3 C crisp rice cereal
  • 3 C flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat the eggs well. Add the sugar and dates to the eggs.
  2. Pour this mixture into a sauce pan.
  3. Heat thoroughly at a medium heat. Turn to a low heat and cook 10 minutes; stirring constantly
  4. Cool slightly. Add pecans and rice cereal.
  5. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in coconut.
  6. Refrigerate. Makes about 8 dozen

NOTES: The one key thing to do with this is stir unless you want scrambled eggs, an obvious thing to do. I’ll be honest, I won’t be making this even though I have developed a taste for dates in recent years. If you enjoy dates and pecans give it a whirl. This is a very easy cookie to make. I guess you can substitute the sugar with coconut sugar or monk sugar and the dates are said to have a low glycemic index.

Ricciarelli Update: Failure Hits

I have been making the chocolate Ricciarelli with some frequency recently when I decided to try the non-chocolate version. The biggest difference was no cocoa. I like a nice vanilla cookie that is somewhat plain. Also, my youngest son is not a huge fan of chocolate, so why not make something he may like. What went wrong?

I grabbed a recipe that I found online and did my normal substitution. I wrote the ingredients and amounts on some paper and immediately began to set things up. The first thing I notice was 1 3/4 C sugar. What?! That is nearly as much as the 2 1/2 C of almond flour. I went back to look at the recipe and verified the amount. I next looked at another recipe which had 1 3/4C sugar. There is even one for 1 2/3 C sugar. Okay, if that is what it calls for.

As I mixed my dry ingredients with the egg whites, I recognized an issue. The dough wasn’t coming together as it should. That was my first hint that something was not right, and in the back of my head I knew what it was. Fashioning the fragile cookies I baked the first batch. They weren’t pretty and were quite fragile. I had one that was somewhat hot and tasted sweet. Too sweet. I decided to roll the next batch in some Dutch cocoa powder in the hopes I could offset it. Nope. That, too, was horrible. Worse yet, when they cooled down they were hard and sweet. The texture was grainy and just the cookies were not palatable.

I had double checked the recipe and verified the ingredients and the amounts. What went wrong if these cookies were to be good? I was going to chalk it up to just horrible recipes but decided to do a final check this evening. One recipe indeed had 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar and another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for coating cookies. Another had 1 2/3 cups of powdered sugar with another cup of powdered sugar for dusting. I was correct in my recipe recording, however, there was another recipe that I saw but never reviewed when I began questioning the amount of sugar added. It only required 3/4 cups of sugar. In fact, only 2 out of the 7 recipes I reviewed called for 3/4 cup of sugar.

Several things are clear. This was so bad that I am considering never making these cookies again. They left an impression on me. I actually got sick in the afternoon, my iron stomach must be rusting, and had to lay for a while. If I get the nerve to try these again I will use 3/4 cups of sugar. If you find a Ricciarelli cookie recipe asking for 1 3/4 cups of sugar be careful. If it is powdered sugar know that you need to adjust your sugar amount by 1/2 if you are using granulated sugar. This was the mistake I made. Powdered sugar is part granulated sugar, pulverized, and some cornstarch. More importantly, you need to think in terms of volume. “Two tablespoons of granulated sugar will produce approximately 1/4 cup of powdered sugar.”1

There you go. Remember this: 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar is about equal to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.


1. How to Substitute Powdered Sugar for Granulated Sugar – Christabel Lobo

Slow-Cooker Spicy Chicken Curry

This took me longer than I thought it would to write up, but here it is. I was looking for a simple meal to make over the weekend, and thought a nice slow-cooker meal would do the trick. I enjoy curry and thought this recipe would be a good try. Putting this together is slightly more work than a normal slow-cooker recipe as you need to cooked the onions and chicken.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts skinned and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 large piece of ginger about the size of a thumb, finely chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 3 t hot chili powder (Milder use less)
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1/2 T cumin
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 240 ml (1 C) chicken stock
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can full-fat coconut milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the slow-cooker. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes until just sealed.
  3. Add the chicken and onion to the slow-cooker followed by the garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, chili powder, coriander, cumin, curry powder, paprika, and cinnamon.
  4. Stir to coat the chicken and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the stock, dice tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and coconut milk.
  6. Stir everything and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.
  7. Take the lid off and give everything a stir. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice.

NOTES: The recipe wasn’t very clear to begin with as it is made for a slow cooker that can sear. It tried to accommodate for a standard slow-cooker but the directions were not clear enough. If I make this again I will definitely alter everything.

My son noticed the cinnamon taste immediately. He likes curry and after his first bowl of this he never touched it again. He was being kind to me when he initially said he liked it, but I could tell from his reaction that he didn’t. A day or two later he would admit to me he didn’t like it.

My wife found it bland as did I. The spices where muted with this recipe. Another thing is it lacked the heat that I wanted. I have never been a fan of slow-cooker chicken. For me, when it sits in the slow cooker too long the texture isn’t as enjoyable unless it is shredded. Definitely doesn’t earn the spicy part of the name or I have become desensitized to spicy foods.

No image is included in this as I felt the dish was not made for photographs. I considered taking pictures but didn’t think it was worth it. This was very disappointing to me. I am the only one that has eaten this as a leftover, so this shows how much of a disappointment it was for us. What would I do if I were to make this again?

First, I would add the curry to the chicken and onion why frying the chicken and then transfer it to the slow-cooker. Instead of a teaspoon of cinnamon, I would cut that in half. Maybe add a little more salt. Also, I would kick up the hot chili powder amount or better yet, add hot green chili peppers or something to provide some heat. I may even add Tamarind paste. There would be additional changes, but I would have to think about it longer. This recipe needs a few tweaks.

Update: I did take a photo. I forgot all about this image.

Black Raspberry Pie With Sugar Substitute

February 28, 2021 Leave a comment

We are coming to the end of winter and need to clear out freezer space. The mission is to reduce some of the fruits that have been picked and today’s fruit are black raspberries. I told my bride that I would bake us a pie for the weekend but do an experiment. The goal isn’t to eliminate all sugars as there is the pie crust and the fruit, but could we reduce the amount of sugar we include in the pie. The goal is to substitute the sugar with Monkfruit Sweetener. This is a 1:1 switch. We will determine if there is a difference. Normally, I will add slightly less than the required 1/2 cup as I like my fruit pies on the tart side. With this test, I don’t want to reduce the amount.

What are my expectations? I am hoping we do not notice a difference in taste and texture. On average, a raspberry pie with two crusts has about 462.48 grams of carbs. The 1/2 cups of sugar has 96 grams of carbs which leaves 366.48 grams of carbs. This gives you 45.81 grams of carbs per slice if we assume 8 slices to a 9-inch pie. This is about 12 grams less than the pie with sugar. Not a huge savings, but if you want to reduce your carbohydrate intake then this is a start. Unfortunately, I have not found a satisfactory pie crust, so there is no use changing it.

First impressions of the pie while it cools. The berries smell sweet and delicious. I do not see any noticeable issues such as a grainy texture, but that is in part due to the limited visual I have. I do not expect any grainy texture. The one thing I suspect is a runny pie, but that has nothing to do with the Monkfruit Sweetener.

As you can see, my fears of a runny pie were for nought. The texture of the pie was normal. What about the taste? I didn’t use our standard berry pie recipe which is bad on me but not a big deal. Instead of using 3/4C of sugar I used 1/2C. This left the pie not as sweet and not as enjoyed by me which is unusual. The sweetener had no negative effect on the pie. It was delicious.

If you lasted this long then I should reward you with a recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pints raspberries (1 1/2 pounds and any similar berry will do)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C sugar
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice (you can omit this if you wish)
  • 1 T cold butter cut into cubes

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, stir in the berries with the sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Mix these to coat the berries. Pour this into the prepared pie crust and sprinkle the butter cubes over top. Apply the top crust of your choice. If using a solid top crust cut use a knife to cut vents on the top of the crust.

Place in a 375°F (190°C) preheated oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the bottom crust is golden and the fruit is bubbling. Let the pie cool for around 4 hours before serving or serve it hot with ice cream.

NOTES: If you serve it hot you can have the filling run out of the pie, so it is best to wait an hour or two so it is a little more solid. This isn’t my main pie recipe but was one that worked in a pinch. I borrowed it from Mario. This pie is hardly low carb but more of a slightly reduce carb pie. The pie crust and berries are where the carbs are. If there is an easy pie crust that mimics a real one I’d love to know about it. So far, the things I’ve tried are not very good and do not mimic what I am used to. My belief is why make it if I don’t like it? I’ll either avoid the food or eat the real thing.

The Two Popes

February 26, 2021 Leave a comment

Yesterday, the wife got an idea to watch a movie and was pushing me to watch it with her. It was The Two Popes. Honestly, I wasn’t enthusiastic about watching this and tried to find ways to get out of it. Truth be known, I really do not watch modern movies now as they are horribly written, acted, always carry some social message. See the latest Star Wars movies for a small example. She persisted and I acquiesced. I sacrificed an evening of reading three different books for some research I am slowly doing for a movie I have no interest in. She encouraged our son to watch the movie as we had to use his account to see it.

I’m not going to beat around the bush with this review. It is a fictional movie with touching moments. It does not take long to see how the movie is being portrayed and how wrong the movie is. Now it just so happens I happen to be doing some research the early Church fathers and this entails reading their works and the Bible and not the military history I was working on. Just to let those of you who saw the movie know, Angels are not a 5th invention but are in the Bible. The creators of the movie fail to recognize that Pope Benedict XVI is an excellent theologian but make him out to be less of one. He was not as doddering at the points they portray him in the film. As for Pope Francis, I admit I am not as versed with his history but do recognize the many verbal missteps of his that directly conflict with the Church dogma, Church fathers, the Apostles, and Jesus. I do question his Angels being a 5th century invention comment in the movie. This is something that even he would not say. This is where I have a large amount of trouble with the movie. The characters are not the true people and for Pope Benedict it gets worse while Pope Francis appears as a man who understood the inner thoughts and intent of Jesus. We are told through these men that conservative views are outdated and bad while progressive views are inline with the people and the Church should modernize to meet the people’s needs which is silly. God does and should not adjust for our desires, but we should change for his.

The performance of the actors are splendid in my opinion. On fictional level, their interaction is great. You have the doddering old man out of touch with the world and the energetic old man who is one with the world. One gives you a glimpse of theology while the other is creating a new theology that is not supported by the past but more of a modern if not secular view of how the Church should be. I enjoyed their interaction where Francis sends out for pizza and the Benedict does grace with pauses and catches Francis thinking the prayer is done and goes for a slice until Benedict picks the prayer back up. I think they should have blessed themselves in that scene, too. A less touching scene is where Benedict plays the piano for Francis, and finally the end of the movie where the two watch Germany beat Argentina and they’re drinking beer and eating pizza like any sports fan.

I must say the reproduction of the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square, and other locations are splendid and was well done. The beauty and brightness of how it was done gives life to the movie and for me, carries it more than the fabricated conversations between the two. I also suspect Francis’s past is mostly fabricated. Again, I enjoyed the performances of Pryce and Hopkins.

Overall, I found the movie to be mythical much like U-571, Birth of a Nation, and other such movies based on a real event but entirely fictional. In fact, I equate this movie to Birth of a Nation in not only historical accuracy but how it will influence people who watch this movie. It can be seen as an egregious attack on the Catholic Church and the entire foundation of Christianity. You may think I am taking this too far, but as I stated earlier, I am reading the writings of the early Church fathers and find issues with the character of Pope Francis as well as Benedict. It is in a way shameful to allow movies like this be made as it creates a fact from myth, but I guess we would do that with every movie and television show. One recent example that comes to mind is NBC’s show “Nurses“. If you watch this movie then take it with a grain of salt. As one review stated, this is a “highly speculative account of supposedly real events.” Treat this as fiction only.

Deep Dish Pizza

February 25, 2021 Leave a comment

My first encounter with a deep dish pizza was at Uno Pizzeria in New Jersey. This was about 1990 or 1991. I wasn’t sure what to make of it as I was going through an experience of eating college pizza as there were many different pizzerias including Domino’s which had a temporary popularity at the time. I think it was the Noid. Everyone wanted the character. It was also during this time I was nearly hit by the 6 foot plus delivery guy when my roommate flicked a bottle cap that did an amazing curve around the wall and hit the guy in the chest. We were compelled to tip better.

My first impressions with the pizza was a meh attitude. I wasn’t used to the flaky crust or the tomato chunks. This just wasn’t pizza. The second encounter happened at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland when I entered another Uno Pizzeria. Maybe it was my date, but I enjoyed this pizza. I wasn’t hooked, but I liked it better than my first time. Then there were the third, fourth, and fifth times that I ate at Unos as that was the only place to find deep dish. By then I had developed a taste for deep dish. In order to get it, I had to either travel to New Jersey or Deep Creek which is not something I am going to do for a chain pizza. I decided to plot a scheme to get this deep dish pizza.

Unable and unwilling to travel to Chicago for this pizza, I had to find out how it is made. I don’t own the pans they use, but I do own a cast iron skillet that I abuse. Yes I am famous for screwing up the seasoning on my skillet. It’s mine and I don’t care… until I want it to be non-stick. At least it hasn’t rusted. Doing some internet searches, I found the “real Gino’s deep dish” recipe and then some other version. I found these recipes to be dubious, but I did discover some pizza connoisseurs who had worked on deep dish versions. I borrowed from them and add my own twists only to discover others had done similar things. Anyway, I came up with a recipe. It was something like twelve pages long and difficult to follow.

My first deep dish pizza process created too many dishes, but it was mostly successful. It did taste better then Uno Pizzeria, but it was ugly and the crust had slunk back down the side of the pan while baking. My wife enjoyed it which is half of the audience I aim to please. As for my sons, they’re only temporary in my house. The second deep dish fared a little better. The sides didn’t slide all the way down, and the process was simpler for me. After the third time, I had a handle on it and was overly confident when going for the fourth pie. Let us say it tasted okay but the look was not good. To make matters worse, I had a guest who wasn’t keen on it. That was the last time I made the pizza. It took a lot of time to make and my wife wasn’t was crazy about all of the fat. The pizza took a backseat to other pizza projects.

Today I was thinking of the deep dish pizza and wondering how many years it has been since I last made my version. I believe it has been ten or more years. Now it is on my radar. Unless something else comes up, I plan to re-make this pizza and enjoy it to the fullest. I am going to also make my own sausage for this recipe. Why not kick it up a little?

On an unrelated side, Deep Creek has become what the city folk try to get away from, a min-city full of congestion. When I first visited that place in 1992, it was a nice area that still had too many buildings, though not as congested but a recent visit just makes it a miserable place anymore as it has built up even more. These people go to get away from the city but require their modern conveniences when they arrive in Garrett County.

Air Fryer Fish

February 19, 2021 Leave a comment

When you’re entering the season of Lent you encounter the standard Friday of fish. Long John Silver’s number must shoot ski high as older Catholics hit the easy fish meal. For me as a kid, I preferred the clams as I’ve never been a fish fan. When it comes to fish I still do not prefer fish, but my wife enjoys fish and this past Wednesday she wanted fish. I offered her my haddock recipe, but she wanted to use the air fryer we have. A little modification and she made the fish in the air fryer.

You can get a miniscule glimpse of my wife’s thumb on the right

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ C Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ C grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ C melted butter

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the air fry of choice to the recommended settings for fish. Mix the dry ingredients together followed by mixing the melted butter in with the dry. Pat your fish dry. Now coat the fish with the breading. The butter should allow the coating to stick. Place the fish in the basked making sure to not to overcrowd the basket. Baking according to the air fry directions for fish.

NOTES:

Just looking at the image above says it all. You would swear the fish was fried. The breading was crispy and the butter adds a nice touch to it. It was simply beautiful. When I do eat fish I prefer it fried but seldom eat fried fish. This version justifies the pain in cleaning the air fryer. This is coming from a non-fish person in myself. As for my wife, she loves it. Add it with homemade tartar sauce and you have a perfect dish. I would post that recipe, but I don’t recall my original, and my wife didn’t care for my latest version which was the same, I think. I’m not a tartar sauce fan. It’s Heinze Ketchup all the way for me. Yes, NO Hunts.

Is it low carb? Well, the 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs is about 58 g, so you’ll have to guess as to how many carbohydrates you’ll consume when eating fish.

As a side note, I can’t leave Long John just in the beginning. For many of us, we remember the bell to ring when you were satisfied. The last time I ate at Long John Silver’s was in Hermitage, Pa when my wife and I stopped for lunch after visiting Daffin’s Candies – a road trip worth taking. I even put on the pirate hat that they give to children and did a slide on the greasy floor. The wife and I had to eat their for nostalgia reasons as there is no Long John Silver’s near where we live, and we wouldn’t frequent it if there was one nearby. I still enjoy their chicken and the breading.

Chocolate Ricciarelli Cookie (Non-sugar version, too)

February 16, 2021 1 comment

It has been a while since I last posted as I have been quite preoccupied with other things in life. This doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking and screwing up briskets, Ricciarelli cookies, or making delicious enchiladas. Sometimes a lot of things hit you at once. Speaking of screwing up things, my first batch of Ricciarelli cookies, I guess it is actually considered a biscuit, was made with too much egg yolk. After thrusting more dry ingredients, the cookies did come out and tasted good. Some days you just cannot read.

My latest version of this cookie was to try it without white sugar. It was so close to being a keto cookie that I thought why not try this. I was out of Monk Fruit sugar but had coconut palm sugar and tried that. One of the problems I had was the replacement for powdered sugar. The sugar I had is a poor substitute for powdered sugar and didn’t work well. Also, I didn’t really push down my dough ball on the cookie sheet. Overall, the substitute sugar worked and my son, the one who told me the almond flour was causing him problems, had no issue eating the remaining four I was saving for my wife and me. We are the ones cutting back on our sugar intake and not him.

The substitute powdered sugar failed, but the cookie was still good.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 C ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C sugar (1 C Monk Fruit sugar or coconut palm sugar)
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • ½ t almond extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 20 g  (1/4 C) unsweetened cocoa
  • A small bowl of powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, cocoa, and almond flour until it is thoroughly mixed.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Stir in the almond and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the egg whites and mix with a wooden spoon until you begin to get a dough. Put this dough onto a board or counter top and knead a little until it begins to firm up.
  5. Take approximately a tablespoon of the dough and roll it between your palms.  Roll this in the powdered sugar to cover the dough.
  6. Place on the baking sheet and gently press down on the cookie a little.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or longer if you like the cookie to be crunchier. Place on a cooling rack.

NOTES: Substitute the sugar with Monk Fruit sugar or coconut palm sugar.

As I have stated, I used a sugar substitute and the cookie tasted great. My wife noticed that it had a texture and taste of a brownie. She liked so much that I saved the remaining seven for her in the hopes she’d give me a few. My son gobbled up three the next day and my wife did get two. The remaining two went to one of them or both. I purposely defaulted my share to my son. We really enjoyed these, and since they are easy to make, I can imagine us whipping up a batch when we are in the mood for sweets.

Now for the downside of this cookie. I am left with two egg yolks. I hate to waste food. What makes this particular batch bad is that my wife was making a vanilla pudding for my son and needed yolks. She threw away the whites while I was deciding to make these cookies. We are going to have to communicate better in the future or I need to make a decision instead of hemming and hawing about making things. Another issue I have to solve is the substitute powdered sugar. I’m not really bothered by it as the cookie tastes great with what I had, but it is the presentation that suffers.

If you are trying to cut back on sugar and carbohydrates then give this cookie a try with the sugar substitute. If you okay with eating standard sugar then give this cookie a go. It does not disappoint.

Some Korean Sauce and a Bunch of Legs

February 1, 2021 Leave a comment

While the snow fell, I lamented the fact my fireplace is no longer able to work. First, I don’t have wood. Second, not sure if I can use the fireplace. A lost moment. It is so peaceful to sit by a fire and watch the snow fall. If there was a roaring fire then I wouldn’t have thrown together today’s meal. It consists of gochujang and part of a Korean fried chicken wings recipe I have.

The leftover legs

Not wanting to fry and needing to come up with a meal I came upon the idea of oven baked chicken wings except I was without wings. My only other option was to use several packs of chicken legs we had. The chicken wasn’t really important as the sauce was my main target.

GOCHUJANG

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T hatcho miso (dark or red)
  • 4 T Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T rice vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm a saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add the sugar, water, salt, miso, and pepper flakes. Continue to heat.
  3. Give the mixture a stir to combine everything and help dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add in the sesame oil and rice vinegar, stir some more to mix. Turn the heat off and continue to stir
  5. A nice paste should have formed

BAKED CHICKEN

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Place chicken on wire racks. Set the wire racks on a foil line baking tray. Salt and pepper the chicken on all sides. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Take out of oven and coat the chicken with the Korean sauce.

KOREAN SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 t garlic, minced to paste
  • 1 t grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 C water
  • 3 T gochujang
  • 1 T soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a large bowl and microwave until mixture is bubbly and the garlic and ginger are fragrant and not browned. Do this about 40 seconds. (I sometimes skip this)
  2. Whisk in the water, sugar, gochujang, and soy sauce until smooth.

NOTES: You can make the Korean sauce for wings or other foods you would like to coat.

The sauce provides a sweet and spicy flavor that can be addicting or is addicting for some. I found this sauce worked great with the chicken legs and I plan on doing a rotisserie chicken, so I may use the sauce on that chicken.

If you are new to growing a moustache and beard know that you will do a lot of cleaning and having second thoughts about having a moustache or beard after eating this.

Good-bye Dunkin Donuts

January 22, 2021 Leave a comment

Ever since I was five or six, Dunkin Donuts has been the main go to for donuts as it was the only donut place in town. After church, we would meet my grandfather and some friends for coffee and donuts. I was allowed to select two donuts. At that time, it was chocolate frosted and a Boston Cream. As the years progressed, I expanded my donut eating to the butternut donut as my aunt would buy a dozen when I would visit and I got to eat 6 of the dozen. Those were good times.

Fast forward a number of years and I am working full-time where vendors would bring donuts and being a member of the football pool, I would get donuts for 17 weeks and have to buy them when I would win. As a side note, I developed a tactic where I would win at least four times a year. Also, being part engineer, I would get donuts during someone’s birthday when they would bring several dozen. Not sure why they had to do the buying. My early and mid work year had me eating my fair share of donuts.

As I look back on the Dunkin variety, we had the cake donuts, cream filled, the garbage filled (peanut butter or some fruit gel), frosting donuts with the occasional topping, sour cream (quite good), plain, powdered, glazed, and my growing favorite the butternut. You knew when I hit Dunkin Donuts I was buying at least for butternut of which I would take two. My donut taste had evolved and the butternut was a key component of my donut eating.

I enjoyed my chocolate frosting donut but a chocolate frosted cream filled donut could substitute the chocolate frosting donut cake or otherwise. Nothing could replace the butternut donut. Yes, sometimes when I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate I would take a sour cream and most often if I had three donuts I would get the butternut, sour cream, and some form of chocolate frosting donut. Four always meant two butternuts. If I could get a dozen to myself!!! I would get the sugar rush from eating a dozen of my favorite three. Yet, something changed.

The local grocery store’s donuts are comparable to Dunkin Donuts, but they do not carry the butternut donut. When I had a choice I selected Dunkin Donut. Then something strange happened. A few years ago in Michigan, I believe, we couldn’t buy butternut donuts. I thought it was a Michigan thing or the fact the location was at a gas station. Later on, my wife went to a Dunkin Donuts where she worked and could not buy butternut donuts. They told her they didn’t sell them anymore. How could they? I checked online and sure enough the donut was listed, so they must have meant they were sold out. A third time my wife went and they told her they do not sell the butternut donut. I checked online and saw it listed. In fact, as I write this post the “butternut” nut is listed in their menu of donuts. A little searching shows the donut was done away with in 2017 which is roughly the time when we first encountered this issue.

After three or maybe four times trying, I am breaking my relationship with Dunkin Donuts. If I want a donut I’ll use the local grocery store’s donuts as they are as good. Dunkin Donuts has nothing to offer me especially now that I do not eat donuts very often anymore. It has become a rare treat and will even be more rare. There are times when my wife coming home from a rough night at work would stop to treat us with a breakfast dessert, and I would say if she had to buy them all the while knowing I will eat them and secretly want them.

Hey Dunkin Donuts, your local establishment is on the same road as the grocery store we use. The grocery store’s donuts are as good as yours and actually has items that we will buy and use when we get donuts. Your only advantage is lost since you did away with the donut. If I take donuts to work I’ll buy elsewhere. If I want donuts or any member of my family does, we’ll buy elsewhere. It is a shame as I consider it a poor decision on management’s part and a great decision for my health. I do not and should not eat the sugar and everything else that goes with it.

Oops

January 21, 2021 1 comment

Today I was baking some cookies, Ricciarelli to be precise. My first goal was to see if I would like these and if my family would enjoy them, too. The second goal was to see if I could substitute the sugar with a different type of sugar. I got the recipe and jumped into making these cookies.

The first thing I notice in the recipe was the requirement for two cups of egg whites. That is a lot of egg whites. I decided to be smart and cut back on the egg whites and then cut back on the dry ingredients. As I mixed half of the dry ingredients, there was a problem. The batter was too wet, so I added the rest of the dry ingredients. I was very glad I was so smart and cut the egg whites in half. Needless to say, my cookies do not resemble Ricciarelli cookies, but they’re not bad tasting.

As I wondered about how the author of the recipe could make this type of mistake, I began to look at other versions to see what this author was thinking. One recipe only required two egg whites. Strange that someone would want me to use 2 cups of egg whites. In fact, I never saw any ingredient requiring egg whites in terms of cups. I decided to go over the recipe again.

Yeah, if you look at the image you’ll know where the mistake is. You could say I can’t read, but I believe I can’t see. This is just another one of my mistakes, but this one still work, though not ideally. To top it off, my son notified me that the almond flour “hurts his tongue” which means he is also allergic to almonds, something I was not aware of before. We had most of the nuts down. Either that or he wanted to get rid of me while he was playing on Xbox. If there is any concern about his allergies, he is very in tune with them and manages this well.