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Here's What's New in the Kitchen


3/1/2017 - The last entry I made in the What's New column was 2 years ago.  It's been a very busy time for us as we struggled to keep our business afloat.  That coupled with maintenance on the ranch and other routine stuff in my life left me simply too tired in the evenings to keep the cookbook up to date.  I was still putting in new recipes, although a lot less of them than in the past as my "kitchen time" was greatly reduced.  But beginning this year I am retired once again as after 11 years we finally closed the doors on Mikee's Art & Custom Framing.  That combined with the selling of the ranch in favor of a lovely little condo on the intracoastal waterway has given me the time to both spend it in the kitchen and keep the cookbook up to date.

This all coincides with my new focus on Indian cooking.  While I've had some Indian inspired recipes (Tikka Masala and Curried Chicken for example) in the cookbook they were, while quite good, often highly Americanized.  After spending the Christmas holidays with darling daughter #2 (who has been cooking authentic Indian dishes for a long time) I came away newly motivated to learn more about Indian cooking both recipes and techniques.  So without further ado...

First up is Pork Vindaloo, a standard element of Indian cuisine.  The word is derived from a Portuguese phrase meaning "meat in garlic wine marinade."  It is usually quite spicy and a standard item on the buffet line at Indian restaurants.  At the other end of the spectrum is this recipe for Chicken Kurma in White Sauce.  While the vindaloo has bold, spicy flavors the chicken kurma is delicately scented with garam masala and served in a white yogurt-cream sauce.  Curry is not actually an Indian language word, and can mean many different things, but since this is an American cookbook I'll try to use it with an American audience in mind.  American's generally think of curry as a distinctive spice, or as a dish with the spice in it such as "Chicken Curry."  This recipe for Shrimp Poached in Coconut Milk is more like a Thai curry which often use coconut milk.  One thing for certain is how fabulously delicious it is.  Sweet and spicy, it's hard to stop eating once you've had that first bite.  All of these authentic Indian dishes are usually served with Basmati rice .

This recipe for Sweet Ginger Chicken Thighs can't claim a pedicree like the last ones, but it surely taste like it could.  It does boast a big advantage over the others, however, and that is in the ease of preparation.  Using a slow cooker means that your prep time is just a few minutes while the cooker does the rest.  The end result is a wonderfully sweet sauce with chicken pieces that ae tender and juicy.

Big Daddy


1/27/15 - It's hard for me to believe that it's been 4 years since I updated this section of my website.  It's not that there hasn't been anything new to write about, but it's been a pretty down time and I just never seemed to have the heart to sit down and write about it.

The last update I made to this was in the aftermath of losing one of our two businesses to the great recession.  That was in the summer of 2011 just months after closing down Picture Perfect Frames.  Dear Son was running our other business in St. Augustine with me lending a hand from time to time, but this business was also in dire straits.  It was paying it's bills but that was about all.  With that said though here we are 4 years later and the business is still afloat.  No one's getting paid very much but, hey, I'm always the optimist, and I just had the pleasure of sitting here in St. Augustine in shorts and sandals while watching blizzard Juno dump 2½ feet of snow in my old haunts back in New England.  Life is good.  Let's cook!

There have been a number of new recipes that have been added to the site and here's a couple of my favorites.

Thai Chicken with Hot Basil has long been one of my favorite Thai dishes.  Discovering those spicy basil leaves with the hint of anise was an epic culinary moment for me.  Whenever I go into a new Thai restaurant I'll order one of the Thai basil dishes.  If it's done well then they are assured of return visits.  Please note that this dish can be done with ground pork as well as chicken, and many Thai basil recipes pieces of protein rather than ground..  Serve this with rice and a vegetable dish on the side.

 It's hard to find a restaurant in Florida where there isn't something on the menu that uses jerk seasoning.  This hasn't always been the case, but in recent years it has become very trendy.  With good reason because the seasoning imparts a delicious and robust flavor to meat, poultry and fish, and it usually comes with a bit of a kick too.  These Grilled Jerk Chicken Sandwiches  made with jerk chicken breast are a wonderful break from burgers and dogs.  This recipe makes four sandwiches.


Big Daddy



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