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Showing posts from April, 2020

The Drive-Thru Lifestyle: Imperial Palace

I needed some vegetables to go with my pork belly. Imperial Palace fit the bill. The staff was very friendly; my bag was ready to go when I arrived. The obligatory bag shot. My mixed vegetables hit the spot, just what I needed. Thanks, Imperial Palace!

Pork Belly

Witty very graciously gave me pork belly to cook. He also pointed me to this recipe . I seared the pork belly for a minute, then cut it up. I cooked it in soy sauce, some sugar, and red wine. After awhile, I took out some of the braising fluid and reduced it further. The result was delicious: porky, rich, succulent, great balance of umami and sweet. And quite easy to make as well, so long as the skin has been removed.

Lincoln NE: Tastee Trailer

The Tastee Trailer now occupies the spot across from Lee's Chicken near Pioneer Park. I have eaten there twice which should tell you that I approve. Nt only is the food enjoyable but eating in your car or outside is a pleasure. Their menu is entirely fried---no ice cream. The Tastee is a form of sloppy joe that I haven't yet been able to try. Here are the results of my wandering through the menu. The onion chips are addicting: great crust, soft onion-y interior. The fried hot dog is a New Jersey favorite transported to the Midwest. It came naked; next time I will ask for mustard and relish. Even in naked form it was great.

German Apple Cake

Apples are widely available in Nebraska. I wanted to try something different with them than my standard apple pie. The apple cake from Classic German Baking fit the bill. The cake is in between an American bread and cake, sweet but yeasted. The apple slides are piled high. It made a delicious breakfast.

The Drive-Thru Lifestyle in Columbus NE: Doozy's

A weekend trip led to Columbus, Nebraska on the shores of the Platte River. Lunch beckoned; Doozy's seemed like an interesting, non-chain spot. Does Doozy's have another location, perhaps at Omaha Airport? I ordered the meatball sub---very satisfying with good meat and nice sauce. The order took about 20 minutes to put together, which I consider to be a sign of freshness and quality. Thanks, Doozy's and Doozy workers! I am grateful.

The Takeout Lifestyle: Steak from Misty's

I can report that Misty's ribeye is just as tasty at home as it is in their restaurant. I enjoy their calamari, too.

Sausage Biscuits and Redeye Gravy

Sausage biscuits and gravy make a wonderful breakfast treat. I started by cooking some sausage patties using Witty's wonderful pork. I made buttermilk biscuits. I cooked some extra sausage as the base for the sausage. I made a roux, added milk, water, and coffee. I didn't have as much milk as I would have liked so the gravy was a little thicker than the idea. Nonetheless, this was a delicious and hearty breakfast. I am grateful to be able to eat meals like this.

Alaskan Salmon

Justin gave me some salmon from his summer Alaskan fishing trip. Beautiful, isn't it? I butter-basted the salmon in butter and olive oil. I paired it with carrot souffle and buttermilk biscuits. Delicious and pretty healthy, too.


I had a yen for pizza and decided to make some. Here is the dough in the mixer. And the dough stretched out. I don't have my round pizza pan. Luckily, my mediocre dough stretching skills are well suited to rectangular pans. The thickness of the dough varied widely but at least some of it was thin. I used store-bought sauce and low-moisture mozzarella. After baking at high heat in the oven. A New Jersey Italian pizza fan would laugh at it but I enjoyed it. Pizza dough is remarkably simple and, given a willingness to use canned sauce, this makes a relatively simple treat.

Apple Pie

The motto of the day is use what you have. I had apples so I made an apple pie. Tasty and delicious. Grinding your own cinnamon makes a huge difference in flavor; I also added a little ground ginger. I have found that a mixture of sugar and tapioca does the best job of absorbing moisture and providing an attractive gravy.

Rib Roast

I don't cook rib roast very often so I enjoyed the opportunity to make a big meal around one. I asked the butcher to cut off the bones so I could use them for jus. The rib... ...the jus, including some red wine... ...and some mashed potatoes. Dinner included carrots snuck into the roaster, carrot souffle from the freezer, and some cornbread from the freezer. Delicious, beefy, hearty.

Canning Is The New Baking

You heard it here, folks---canning is the new baking. We've seen a surge in baking during the downturn as people look for fruitful, economical ways to spend their time. We are approaching the fruit season, at least in the South. Canning fruits is literally fruitful, as well as enjoyable and useful. I canned this apple butter last fall and am now enjoying the results. All sorts of other foods can be canned, too. A batch requires some care for sterilization and cleaning but doesn't take a whole lot of time. Canning is the activity we need for these times. The old ways have their uses...

The Take-Out Lifestyle: Blue Orchid

Blue Orchid is one of my favorite restaurants. These days, I enjoy it while sitting on the living room floor. My tofu with yellow curry was just as delicious and enjoyable as when I eat it in Blue Orchid's elegant dining room. Thanks, guys.

Chocolate Babka

I decided to bake chocolate babka using the recipe from King Arthur Flour . I substituted my sourdough starter and used whole wheat flour. Here is the babka after being rolled up with chocolate and nuts. Here it is after baking. And here it is ready to eat. Delicious, of course. One of the things that I enjoy about babka is the balance between filling and br

Smoked Brisket

I used some weekend time to smoke a brisket using a simple homemade rub. Here it is in the Pit Barrel Cooker. After a few hours in the smoker, I wrapped it in foil with some beef stock and threw it in the oven for a few more hours. This approach is known as the Texas Crutch. And here is the delicious result. A generous smoke ring, great flavor, good toothy texture.

Dorothy Lynch Salad Dressing

I'm told that Dorothy Lynch salad dressing is a Nebraska classic. I certainly enjoy it. This is a classic French dressing, red/orangish with a mild tang. Ms. Lynch executes the concept perfectlyL smooth, flavorful, not overpowering.

Lincoln NE: Zesto

Zesto has at least two locations in Lincoln. One is more modern; this one is a classic ice cream stand. The stand format is perfect for our times, enjoyable outside or in your car. Zesto is a classic brand; this page gives a nice history. My chocolate cone was simple and delightful. I licked it slowly as I watched the sun set over Zesto.

LIncoln NE: Lee's Chicken

Lee's Chicken is a classic Lincoln restaurant dating from the 1940s. I was in the mood for a chicken dinner so I called them up. Their drive-in window was busy when I arrived. How do you like that for a bag full o' food? My chicken was delicious: extra crispy crust, tender and juicy meat. The onion rings were a great. The salad was very nice with a classic French dressing that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed this meal and I am grateful for the hard work that the folks at Lee's put in to make it possible. All of our food and grocery workers are putting themselves on the line for us. My appreciation of them grows every day.

Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake

I baked a chocolate fudge bundt cake from King Arthur Flour. Sour cream makes it moist. Cocoa and a chocolate ganache topping makes it chocolaty. A wonderful treat and enough for at least two more evenings.

Braised Pork Shoulder

I braised this pork shoulder in chicken stock. The result was wonderfully porky with just enough crust on the outside. Inside, the meat was tender and juicy. It lasted for a meal and a half.

On The Road: Kentucky Fried Chicken

I drove to Beatrice, Nebraska to see the Homestead National Monument. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed like the best place for lunch. The result was tasty and a good value. My chicken tender was good. The potato wedges were the hit of the meal---I ate more than I planned.