Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2020

Olive Loaf

I was inspired to make an olive loaf by this video from Eater . I used the same basic approach as an Italian braid with the exception of the braid preparation. I rolled each braid flat, stuffed it with olives, then pinched it together. I was afraid that the braids would come apart at some point in the process. Luckily, my fears were unfounded. This beautiful loaf was the result. As you can see, the olives stayed near the top. Plenty of bread surrounded them. The result was wonderfully balanced and a great change of pace. Now I just need a good supply of olives to be able to put this on my regular rotation.

Key Lime Pie

Super Saver never ceases to amaze. I spotted a few bags of key limes in the produce section. I immediately grabbed one. Key lime is not just a cute name for a lime. The key lime is a distinct variety, smaller and with a more delicate flavor than the Persian lime. I stuck with a store-bought graham cracker crust. The recipe is fairly simple but requires a lot of whipping. The result was spectacular. The key lime is tart in a very different way than a lemon, perhaps more back-of-the-mouth. The sweetened condensed milk is the perfect balance. This pie was a wonderful treat.

Grocery Store Fish Fillet

I picked up a few pieces of frozen fish fillet several weeks ago. I used this dinner to finish off that supply. I butter basted the fish with butter and olive oil. The result was delicious and healthy. I am thankful for my freezer and for this meal.

Another Try At Babka

I decided to make another batch of chocolate babka from King Arthur's formula . I realized that when assembling my previous batch that I hadn't twisted together the rolls---I ended up with four thin rolls rather than two sets of twisted rolls. Twisting isn't easy and your imperfections tend to disappear. Double the flavor, double the fun...

Steak Dinner

For dinner I broiled a t-bone from Super Saver. The price of beef has definitely risen; this steak was a relative good deal. Paired with home fries it made for a superb dinner for which I am thankful.

The Take-Out Lifestyle: LaMar's Donuts

I took an opportunity to try LaMar's Donuts downtown. They are a local favorite; I understand that locations are around several states. I was so mesmerized by this case that I almost forgot to look at the second case next to it. I restrained myself to a half-dozen. I didn't eat all of them, unfortunately. I can testify that my donut was everything you want in a donut: tender, flavorful, sweet, perfect with coffee. Thanks, folks!

Biscuits And Gravy For Dinner

I was hungry for gravy; why not dinner? I whipped up a batch of gravy using some of my chicken stock. I enjoyed a wonderful dinner by adding some leftover chicken and some green beans. A real treat and not very hard to do.

Indian MRE For Lunch

Indian MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) is my term for the Indian dishes sold in silver packets. I came to appreciate them in Atlanta. I was happy to find that several stores in Lincoln also stock them, albeit at a slightly price. These meals combine the rich flavors of Indian food with stone-cold convenience, with a dash of bargain thrown in. I can stock up at the store and keep a few on the shelf. When the mood for Indian hits me, or when I don't have time to prepare my own lunch, I just pull one out, heat, and eat. These meals are a blessing on any day.

Spatchcocked Roast Chicken

I decided to roast a chicken for a change of pace. I spatchcocked the bird using my cleaver, spread some oil on the skin, and spread it out on the roasting pan for cooking at high heat. I served a half chicken with a roasted carrot and home fries. I saved the other half of the chicken for another dinner, then used the bones to make stock. Save and reuse...

Two Italian Braid Loaves

I made a pair of Italian braids: one for me, one to give away. My mixer jumped around as it kneaded the double batch. I rotated the pans between top and bottom racks in the oven. In the end, everything was delicious.

Pork and Beans

I soaked some dried beans, cooked them in chicken stock with a little onion, and added some of Witty's pork. The result was very hearty and tasty. Beans and pork play together very well to deliver a meal that feels solid.

The Takeout Lifestyle: The Isles Pub and Pizza

I had heard good things about The Isles' pizza from several folks. So I called in an order and stopped by their Havelock location to pick it up. I used their plates and utensils to eat in the car, using my armrest as a table. The pizza is very tasty and satisfying. It qualifies as a medium-crust pizza---not very thin as in New York-style, nor a thick Chicago style. The crust gives a good comforting pillowy softness while delivering on crunchiness on the bottom. The sauce gave a good balance of sweet and tart. The toppings included sausage and mushrooms, giving good meaty flavor. Great pizza, folks! I have put The Isles on my list of go-to spots in Lincoln.

Pork Steak Dinner

One of Witty's delicious pork steaks, roasted potatoes, pasta, some frozen kale and rice. A delicious, satisfying meal.

Baker's Candies Outlet

I discovered the Baker's Candies outlet in Greenwood on a drive through the country. These candies are local favorites. The store is huge with a very wide variety of candies going well beyond their truffles. I walked away with several types of candies. A hidden gem was the Scooter's chocolate espresso truffles, the perfect blend of chocolate and coffee.

The Drive-Thru Lifestyle: Burger from Lazlo's

I've always enjoyed Lazlo's burgers and decided that one would be equally enjoyable in my car. I ordered, parked in front of the restaurant, and a staff member came out promptly with my bag. I pulled down t he street to an open parking space (not hard to find) and settled in for lunch. The burger was meaty, juicy, and enjoyable with a very good bun. The sweet potato fries were great. Thanks, Lazlo staff!

Apple Pie With Fresh Ginger

I have added some dried ground ginger to my apple pies for quite some time. I think that it makes a nice complement to the cinnamon. For this pie, I happened to have some fresh ginger to grate into the filling. Wow, what a difference. The ginger taste is both more pronounced and more nuanced. The heat of the ginger goes very well with the apples and is balanced by the sugar. Fresh ginger is now standard procedure for my apple pies. It might be good in a pumpkin ricotta pie, too.


Crepes are one of the pleasures of the French kitchen. Despite that cuisine's reputation for complex, demanding preparations, crepes are crazy simple. Crepes with Nutella...mmmmmmm....

Steak Dinner

This steak dinner was a strip steak done in the oven: cooked for a few minutes then broiled for the finish. Paired with some mixed vegetables and home fries. Nebraska beef is a pleasure.

Rice Pudding

I used some leftover rice from lunch to make rice pudding in the evening---use and conserve. I added water, milk powder, and sugar, then let everything cooked. I consider the burnt spot from the bottom of the pan carmelization and flavor. Simple, wholesome, tasty.

Caramel Whisky Sauce

I was in the mood for something rich in the evening. My thoughts turned to caramel whisky sauce. I started by melting and browning some white sugar, then added butter. The next step was to add some whisky. Both attempts caused the sauce to seize up, leaving a mass of congealed caramelized sugar floating in a sea of liquid. Nonetheless, I managed to get enough sugar into the butter and whisky to make a very nice sauce for ice cream. I will clearly need to experiment more to find ways to minimize the seizing. In the mean time, I enjoyed my delicious mess. Eating one's mistakes is a critical skill in cooking.

Meatball Sub

I wanted a meatball sub that reminded me of the ones I used to enjoy in New Jersey. I started by making Italian rolls with sesame seeds on top. I added some meatballs from the freezer and a little shredded low-moisture parm. I should have used a little more sauce but the result was hearty and tasty.

Fast Beef Stew

I wanted to do something different with my leftover smoked brisket. A fast stew seemed like the way to go. I combined beef stock and tomatoes along with some onion and garlic. I added the big stuff: carrots and potatoes. I cooked everything for about an hour. I then added my cut-up brisket along with corn. I let it cook for another half hour. The smoky brisket flavor really came through. The flavor was complex in a way that one would expect from a much longer stewing process. Very satisfying and pretty easy.

Pork Steak

I broiled one of Witty's thick pork steaks. I added Bush's beans, home fries, and tender asparagus. Wonderful. Thanks again, Witty!

The Take-Out Lifestyle in Lincoln NE: Mr. Hui's Reopens

Mr. Hui's closed for several weeks but then reopened. I'm very glad they did. Their Buddhist delight lunch is a treat. Thanks, folks!

Alaskan Halibut

Justin's halibut from his Alaskan fishing trip emerged from the freezer for dinner. I butter-basted it in a combination of butter and olive oil. Served with green beans, home fried potatoes, and cornbread. The fish was delicious and the sides made great complements.

Braided Italian Bread

I wanted to bake something a little different from my usual whole wheat loaf. And I miss those Italian loaves and rolls from New Jersey. I found this recipe for a braided Italian loaf at King Arthur. After preparing the dough, I cut it into three portions and rolled each one into a long cylinder. I braided in an alternating pattern: left to right, then right to left. This style of dough shaping tends to hide imperfections, a welcome relief. (Trust me, that isn't true of all dough shaping.) I brushed with egg white and sprinkled on sesame seeds; I probably should have used even more. The result was both beautiful and delicious. Italian bread hits a delicate balance between heartiness and softness. This loaf didn't last long.

The Take-Out Lifestyle in Lincoln NE: Mulberry BBQ

I had to improvise my lunch pick-up based on what was open. Mulberry BBQ came to my rescue. The pulled pork sandwich was the daily special. Boy, was it good: meat that was both juicy and smoky, a bun with great texture to stand up to the pork and sauce, superbly tangy cole slaw. Thanks, folks!

The Take-Out Lifestyle in Lincoln NE: Dino's

Eating in the car is a great American tradition. Our current situation merely provides us with additional opportunities to indulge in this wonderful pastime. After passing Dino's on an afternoon drive, I decided to try their sandwiches. I parked, called in, waited a few minutes, and presto! My sandwich was delivered to my car with a smile. My Reuben was very good: great meat, tasty bread that was nicely toasted, velvety cheese. My truffle parmesan fries were excellent. Thanks, Dino's!

Baking Mixes

I never use pancake mixes. However, I received this box and thought that these times are not ones in which to look askance at food. The results were pretty good. The pancakes were pretty thick based on just water plus powdered milk. Some sliced banana added a little sweetness and panache. I am grateful for my pancake mix pancakes.

Burgers On Italian Rolls

My Friday night beef was burgers. I started by making some Italian rolls. My shaping was less than ideal because I started by rolling out the dough to better gauge how much I used on each roll. I now estimate that one batch of dough should make four buns. I cooked thick burgers using a reverse sear: cooking in the oven to almost done, then searing in the pan. I browned the buns in olive oil. I added lettuce, sauteed onions, and brown mustard. Wow! The thick burgers were a great change of pace from today's typical restaurant burger. Can't beat Nebraska beef.