Keeping Up With The House: Biscuit Doughnuts

Monday, July 14, 2014


It's amazing how the best laid plans get tossed quicker than rancid oil. How's the phrase go? Man makes plans and God laughs? I see no place that this is more true than homeownership where the unexpected and the planned are as tangled as a knitting drawer.

For example, the decrepit windows were low on the To-Fix List. Sure, most of them didn't have any screens and what with the cats that meant they had to stay closed all the time even in the worst heat lest the wee demons decide to go out for an adventure via Homeward Bound minus the happy Disney ending. Sure, they were also cracked and broken, but they weren't a concern. 

Then winter came. Then window replacement shot right to the top of the list and our bank account was $3000 lighter. 

Do I regret it? Not a bit. These windows keep the house cool and temperate and boy they shut out the noise. I could barely hear my neighbor's quinceaƱera fireworks due to these things.

Still, I keep trying to save money to re-do the bathrooms and take them gloriously out of 1979 when they were built. For God's sake, the faux marble countertop has gold glitter mixed into the surface because for some reason people in 1979 though gold glitter countertops were cool. Then again, You Don't Bring Me Flowers was in the Top 40, so I don't have a lot of respect for 1979.

Unfortunately, the trees in the front yard were infected with borer beetles and those had to be removed. Then we needed to repair a few shingles. Oh, and the cover for the dilapidated hot tub the previous owners built a platform for and then craned the hell in, but then never hooked up collapsed and became a mosquito cesspool so it needs to be ripped apart. Then there's the fact that the house is four different colors due to reconstruction and the previous owners never deciding on a color. So the front is yellow, the sides are grey, and the back is blue and white.

So yes… plans are askew. I guess that wood burning pizza oven is at the bottom of the list now, as well.

As husband goes at the hot tub with hammer and saw attempting to save us some cash I'm escaping it all. Of course, this means cooking. Normally this would usually involve fresh produce or at least a handle of liquor so cheap and rough it could fuel an engine.

But no. Stress levels are too high for this shit.

We're going straight to doughnuts, motherfuckers.

Grilled Chicken, Always

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

-The "Come hither" look.-

One should always have a good grilled chicken recipe on hand. I feel these things are mandatory for when you want a full chicken but don't want the tedium of turning on an oven in triple-digit weather and yet need more cooked bones for soup stock.

When you grill a chicken it should be butterflied, which is something I always ask the butcher at the market to do because it's free and simply put they can do it quicker and cleaner than I can. My butchering skills simply put - emphasize the "butcher" part of that word. Want ground chicken? Done. Want it butterflied? Well, ground chicken coming up anyways.

The dressing for this is easy enough. Ground chipotle, ground cumin, fresh thyme, amchoor powder if you have it (but let's be frank, you probably don't and should seriously get some because its sour flavor is epic in meat rubs), salt and pepper. Make more than you'll think you'll need and use it all.

Turn on your grill with the grates greased with plenty of oil. Cook the chicken skin-side down first for 15 minutes with the lid up, then flip it and cook it for 15 more with the lid down. Remove it from the grill and let the bastard rest a bit to reabsorb the juices.

That's my method. Imprecise, but reliable. You could serve it with a side salad, but fuck that noise. Make some guacamole and break out the chips. Drink a beer or some sangria made with the cheapest wine you can find. Done and done.

Garrett out.

-And then it was gone. Took, like, four minutes.-

Fruit Tree Status Report: Blueberry & Coconut Popsicles

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

 -Best way to fight a miserably hot day.-

The Apricot, aka: Bernadette
She's in the ground with minimal fuss. Bold, beautiful, and ready to shower me with apricots next year.

The Bing Cherry
There was a girl I went to high school with named Michelle. She was the friend in our group we all hated but still hung out with all the time for some mysterious reason. Probably because we all started school together and the nigh-incestuous dating circles within the group solidified her position for ineffable reasons that could't be talked about out loud. Yet, we still had a soft spot for the noisy bitch.

We all had that friend: begrudgingly put up with, despised by all, and yet still sort of loved for their own unique reasons. ("Outspoken in a way most people aren't!" "Willing to say what she thinks." Read: Shut the fuck up already.)

The cherry tree is that. Persnickety, mercurial, prone to blight and pests, the slightest rain with knock off every blossom before it can develop fruit. Yet when it does have a good year the cherries are the best I've ever had and I remember why I appreciate it so much.

The Kumquat
Oh god. It's flowering again. In the middle of June. That's the fifth flowering in the last twelve months. How is that possible? I haven't even used up the kumquats from the second flowering, let alone the third and fourth. I can only make so much marmalade. Make it stop…

The Washington Orange
I love you. You make winters with living with naturally chilled oranges plucked off the tree in a brisk December morning for tall glasses of only the most ephemeral orange juice ever. Golden nectar, it is.

Some Nifty Cookbooks Worth Your Time

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

So I feel the need to share some cookbooks with you guys. A heads-up: I received copies of these books free of charge. However, I'm only writing reviews of them because I actually enjoy them and gleefully stained the heck out of many of their pages.

I'm not being paid to write these. I'm not so base as to do that.

These books rock because the authors put a lot of time and effort into developing quality books with a engaging narratives, capturing photography, and unique recipes. They're worth having for the stories and foods they share.

So let's move on...

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