Blog Archives

Nice Cans

The time is finally upon us.  Time to break out your pressure canner and make good wholesome magic for your family.  One of the best things about this ritual is that all winter long you will to enjoy the fresh tastes of summer. Your dishes will pop believe me.  A fun addition to feeling like your grandparents is a lower carbon footprint.  With all the draught and heat we have had this season you know getting food to your table will cost more.  Now more than ever is a wonderful time to take advantage of any local resources you may have in the way of tasty harvest.

Canning isn’t rocket science its really quite easy. However it will require you to have a great deal of patience if nothing else.  Oh yeah a mind for paying attention to detail works to ones advantage while preserving food.  I can recall not long ago when finding supplies for this lost art was a chore. Now it seems we are seeing more and more of these reappear in hardware and grocery stores.  It could arguably be one of the more positive things about losing annual household income. In recent years as the economy tightens so have of our minds keen on getting the most for our family on what we can afford.  Canning done right can be an investment in your winter season. I still marvel in the simplicity in pressure canning and how it takes no preservatives what so ever to preserve natures’ perfection

 Here is what you will want to do.  Sterilize 14-16 quart ball jars.  In a separate pot boil water and drop in the lids.  I canned corn this time which requires a pressure of 11 at 55 minutes.  This applies to those at 2000 feet or lower.   You will need to invest in a pressuer canner as hot water bath will only work on fruit and tomatoes.  I have been using the same Presto one I bought at our local Hardware store.  For the 90 bucks it pays off for sure.

Shuck, Blanch, and then cut corn off cob into a bowl.  Then ladle in corn leaving a solid 1-2 inches. Then pour water from the blanching into the jar a cup plus is good here.  Be sure to use a knife or something to run the air bubbles out and ensure you have enough water in the jar.  Be sure you have covered the goods with water.  Not doing so will result in a real bummer come February trust me. No one likes corn the color and taste of dirt.  When you tighten the bands on the lids go easy and let the pressure canner do it’s thing.  So just a quick snug no need to be He-Man here. 

Once you’ve hit you’re the 11 P.S.I. start to back the heat down.  After about 45 minutes turn off the heat and watch the pressure drop when the tab drops be careful and lift lid AWAY from you.  You need canning tongs (in Pic with cans)to remove jars so be sure to acquire these prior to attempting this.  Let sit on a towel over night, they are done.  I love the sound of the jars sealing Tknock! Times 7 so sweet a sound! 

Next up Tomatoes!  Hope you enjoyed the photos from our local farm.  Buy local, save farms, eat well and as always Have Fun!

Party for your mouth!

Just a quick photo post to share some awesome produce with you.  We are in the time when the hot house veggies are fully ripe and the field veggies start coming in.  My daughter and I took a walk to our local farm stand and I couldn’t help take a couple photos with my crumby phone.  I hope they show the color and vibrancy of our local bounty.  My taste buds wait all winter for this time of year and right now “its on”!    Enjoy your day, celebrate your family’s life and eat well over the weekend.  You deserve it!  Thanks for stopping by and have FUN! 

Your friend Daddy Adjustment

               

Twitter Dinner for Two?

This is a fun and easy recipe for a very tasty dinner that will leave them thinking you worked for hours.  It only takes 30 minute start to finish.  This dish has a fun side that has the sweet flavor of summer using abundant produce such as farm fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes. 

You can use skin on, bone in chicken or boneless skinless as I did here.  I should also share that both of these dished are a result of reading and watching cooking shows. The chicken dish is from  Every Day food magazine.  A Martha Stuart publication.  If you follow me on twitter you may remember a tweet of two about trying it.  I did make some changes-additions however. I believe recipes are like general directions, but it’s up to you to make your own trip an adventure.  So enjoy the journey and take chances.

 The Tuscan Green Beans are without question my favorite way to eat green beans.  Funny enough I just thought of three other ways to enjoy the veggie that keeps on giving.  (Homer Simpson moment, mmm green beans.)  This dish I first made after seeing it done on the show Extra Virgin with Gabriele Corcos on the Cooking Network.  Again I have made some changes but I like to give credit where credit is… well whatever he has a boat load of credit any way and he never responds to my obviously overtly fan based tweets. Don’t worry Team Daddy life is more than winning the who has the most celebrity followers on Twitter game.  

Please take a moment and help someone you love enjoy this dinner.  You will find it is easier to make than a bunch of imaginary friends on twitter and much better on the ego too. 

Thanks for stopping by and as always HAVE FUN! 

Your friend The Daddy Adjustment.

 Chicken, pre heat oven 425  Mix in bowl, 4 oz or so of goat cheese, hand full of rinsed pepperoncini peppers diced, handful of fresh thyme chopped, a drizzle of olive oil.  2 chicken breast cut with a paring knife.  One inch cut with a nice pocket inside the breast.

Stuff with filling.   In a cast or oven safe pan with lid sear on both sides over medium heat.  Then cover and bake in oven for 20 min or till you hit the 160 mark.  This time I had thick breasts from Costco so it took an extra 3 mins.  Hold on Homer Simpson again ah thick breast.  Easy Daddy this is a family Blog!  Tip #1, that pan is friggin hot!!! Use mits. Tip#2 use tooth picks if the chicken blows out as I had to do.

Green beans, just sauté a little chopped onion garlic in some heated Olive oil cut cherry tomatoes in half once onions run clear drop in tomatoes and salt.  Bleed them a bit and drop in green beans.  They will end up steaming through and will be done about the time your chicken has set for a few after pulling it out.  Oh yeah be sure to flip the chick and let it sit in the pan for a few after pulling it out of the oven.

Get Nurished for Father’s Day

Hey Team Daddy! Hope you are getting super excited for your BIG weekend.  I have never before thought about being a dad on Father’s day. Here is a very simple summer recipe that I have adapted from a few different old Italian standards.  I thought to post it as I made it in 30 minutes today after my Nephew came over to help me move old couches out of the basement so I can wash the walls and steam clean the carpets. Man do I know how to celebrate my first Father’s day or what.  I’m not complaining, I am actually excited to get this stuff done. So make something good and fast so you can keep going…Lots more fun to come very soon, please stay tuned and HAVE FUN!! 

Just skin 4 turkey sausages and brown.  Put cooked sausage in bowl save to the side.  Then drop in one red pepper, a piece crumpled cooked turkey bacon, half red onion, and two cloves garlic chopped.  Run clear and deglaze with a bit of white dry wine like a Pino G.  Then add a lb. or so of halved cherry tomatoes. (I used yellows ones here) sprinkle with salt sauté 10 minutes until a nice sauce develops.  Drop in a can of rinsed white beans a little hot pepper flakes and some cooked andante pasta and finish with a quick drizzle of extra virgin and fresh grated pecorino cheese and garnish with parsley.  Manga Papa!

Pizza or Peace-zza?

Greetings’ Team Daddy, hope you are enjoying this wonderful day.  I trust the weekend was filled with joy and togetherness.   “How’s that?” why am I so cheery, its Monday? Take it in a notch? No thanks. Someone amazing once said “There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so others feel more comfortable around you”.  So we are not going to play that game today.  However I will play another game with you.  It’s called Lets’ fantasize about Friday instead of being present to the doldrums’ of Monday. Before all of you who recently just finished Siddhartha get concerned allow me to share one of my secrets to inner peace…PIZZA!  That’s right!  Now is a great time to plan your family fun Friday night feast.  Just like the feeling of a once valued lottery ticket that was sure to change your family’s life now transformed into crumped up dreams, tossed in the trash.  A back to work Monday can resemble that empty, lost feeling.  Again how do we overcome this Team Daddy? PIZZA! 

Pizza has always been a comfort food for me.  I think it will always be my favorite.  I have a lifetime prescription to Prilosec to prove it. Here in New EnglandFriday Night is Pizza night.  Seeing that I am a patriot it pleases me to believe that Friday is Pizza night in America!  I am lucky to have been brought up around here as some of the nation’s best are close by.  New Haven has some pretty old reveries that continue today to divide families and friends. All the way up interstate 91 which should be known as the pizza corridor.  You can find some awesome pies’ first secret? The water plain and simple.  You can’t make good doe with fluoride and other things like that in the water. Second, healthy competition.  You can’t swing a dead cat around here without hitting a half dozen pizza shops.  But who’s complaining?. 

I do enjoy making our own pizza from scratch.  It is WAY cheaper and really a lot of fun. My wife and I are always thinking of new creations to try out. We are really looking forward to when our daughter can help and enjoy the gift of Friday night pizza.  You know I fancy myself a foodie and amateur chef, but if you were to peel back all the layers of my adult pallet you would find a core made up of fresh bread, melted cheese covered in salty meats and veggies. 

The present is always the best time to be in a wonderful mood.  Having trouble?  Just start planning your next Friday night its only 4 days away!  Here is a work in progress recipe to give you a hand.  Be peace-zza full and Have Fun!  

Red Sauce Recipe:

1 can of peeled plum tomatoes drained and pureed.  1 clove of minced garlic, and a handful of fresh oregano salt and pepper to taste. Put ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook together for a few minutes.    

Try different fun toppings. Pepperoni, cheese, and Goat cheese, red onion basil and turkey bacon pictured

This Pizza Doe recipe is courtsy of Gabrele Corcos from Extra Virgin.  I have tried many but this one works best.  Ialso do not use bread flour just normal.  If you dont have a mixer dont worry it still works out fine.  The Prep Time: 30 min / Inactive Prep: 1.1/2 hr / Serves:4

 1(.25-ounce) package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1/2 cup lukewarm water (about 105 to 115 degrees F)

4 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, lukewarm water, and 1/2 cup bread flour. Mix well and let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Whisk together the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in another bowl so it will be evenly distributed.  Once the yeast mixture is nice and bubbly and looks like foamy beer, add 3/4 cup cold water and olive oil. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and add the flour in increments.
 
Mix the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts creeping up the dough hook and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.  I make 2 pizzas with this recipe

Yes I like carrots

Just testing out Daddy’s fresh carrot baby food recipe. Yum I believe it is simple yet complex.

Home Made Baby Food Made Easy

 

                                                               

Here is my “wicked complicated baby food apple sauce recipe”

Half dozen organic local apples.

Water to cover apples

A Pot

                                                                              

 

Ready?  Peel and core apples.  Put apples in pot cover with water.  Boil till soft.  Then purée with a food processor or wand.  Cool and jar.  The heat will seal it just fine and will keep in the frige for a couple weeks no problem.  Don’t worry it wont last that long anyway as your baby will demand that he or she eats some every day.  By the way it’s a HUGE money saver and tastes incredible! 

 Have Fun!!                                                              

Wicked Good Food in New England

Here in New England we have many different dialects and accents.  I know, I know, Chowda and pahking the car-ah and all.  But really there is much to behold than just that. There are wonderful subtle inflections your ear will relish with sheer giddy and delight.  Such as a true Vermont accent.  A real VT native proudly pronounces their highland home ground as “Vermoundt” It takes a special human to enjoy the simpler things in life such as “sitting in your puckin dooryard, nockin back a whole rack of Natty Light beer.  If more than one person is enjoying an activity as such, it would be appropriate to call out to them and say” Oh buy goawd you’re a real par of Mr. Dooley’s aint cha?”  Now when you hear a phrase like that, Mr. Dooley, you will know you are deep in New England and it’s time to rejoice. 

A little to the south in the foot hills of the Berkshire’s  of Massachusetts where I grew up , it was a common sight to see one of your friends dad’s driving a work van with a cigarette in one hand and a bottom shelf beef in the other.   “Randy get home now before I kick your ass so hard your pants split”.  It was then that I began to fear the “woodshed” as Randy’s dad would often say to us, “Think your so damn funny?  I’ll take ya out back and show ya what that woodshed ‘s good fer!”  Thank god I never found out. 

As far as the shore goes there are two kinds of people.  Those who eat Scallops and those who eat Scoulops.  Personally I don’t prefer either as they are the same thing. However, one thing I can share is that no matter how eccentric or rather extremely native all these people are.  If nothing more they were all connected to their environment in their own way.  

Summer has always been a time of celebration here.  A place that humans can learn the lessons of patience,and reaping what you sow.  The pure innocent joy of ingesting fresh produce.   Nostalgia seems to always be in keen style during the high sun season.  The colors are everywhere. Whether its flags flowing brightly, standing at attention down every main street or the start of peppers, tomatoes and squash appearing in little wooded stands at the end of dirt driveways.  It’s a feeling we all have around here. No matter what your accent is, or where your people came up through the generations. We all cherish our ground and are lifted up by its bounties.  I trust that even today these colors do not fade. My mind is bright with the taste of farm fresh strawberries. (I ate a pint in the past 24 hours) So please join me in appreciation of our land and know that we all eat the same food and walk the same ground.  Thanks for stopping by and Have Fun! 

You’re Friend 

The Daddy Adjustment

Working Family Subsidies

What has happened with everything we buy?  Have you noticed that everything has gotten smaller by about a third?  I first noticed this trend occurring about a year or so.  I have a little Pringle itch now and again and noticed one day they were on sale for a $1.10 which was a good deal as they usually ran a good 60-80 cents higher.  That was until I got home and put it next to the can I had bought a week earlier, “damn Pringle itch”.  Much to my dismay the new one was 30 % smaller and after running the math I actually paid more on sale per unit. 

I paid the same for 11 oz of coffee that a pound cost not 4 months ago.  Have you been to the deli counter lately?  Since when is a Lb. of American Cheese $8.00?  Wasn’t it like 3 bucks not too long ago?  Well I guess to understand this you have to put in the ever rising cost of Gas and Oil.   At over $4 bucks a gallon, one could begin to see some need for a cost increase.  However both of these cost increases have major effects on the average working family.  When we look at our statements and understand where our money goes.  It is easy to see that it is all spent on such luxuries as food, gas, medications and Doctors visits.  I can’t help but wonder if the really rich even notice the increase, or are the just happy about it?  

It is a real stretch to try to have one parent at home now a day.  You know our children really are our future.  I believe that raising them is an investment in all of our futures.  Which brings me back to the cost of raising our families’ here in the new America.  We as tax payers give the oil companies’ LARGE subsidies’ to insure they have a future with profits and oil.  All the while they are holding most American families hostage by squeezing every last dollar, while getting every last drop of work out of the lucky few that still have a job.  I won’t even go into the fact that these companies don’t pay any Federal income tax like you and me. 

Perhaps now more than ever we have an opportunity to stop looking at life through such desperate eyes.  Even though many of us are a bit desperate, we are not alone.  Maybe one day soon we all as tax payers and neighbor’s’ will agree that companies like Exxon that have enjoyed record profits on the backs of the working and small business for far too long. They can no longer be given the peoples ‘money. It would seem to me they are doing very well thank you.  

 Now would be a wonderful time for working family subsidies. After all we are raising the next generation of American’s and what could be more patriotic than that?  I don’t want any of our children growing up in an America where they can expect 30% less opportunity then we all had.   When we all realize that were in the same boat, we can start rowing together.  Then we can go anywhere. 

Thanks for stopping and HAVE FUN!!

Your friend The Daddy Adjustment

Prune juice & diaper review

 

Our daughter is going through her first experience of real constipation. For the last 3 of 6 days she has been very upset and in obvious pain.  2 nights ago we ended up in her Dr. office at 8PM sent home with a prescription of 1 Oz. of prune juice twice a day. Prune juice you say?  That’s the remedy for the Texas Chain Saw Massacre tummy screams ok.  We have only given her Mommies milk and formula to this point so the thought of her first real food experience being prune juice was less than thrilling for us. 

Will she go through life with an aversion to trying anything new?  Look I apologize if you love this stuff. I myself find it less than refreshing, and downright horrible.  Really when was the last time you heard anyone order a prune juice and vodka?  Or how about a nice prune juice ice cream cone on a steamy summer evening.  In fact unless your shopping at a store frequented by the over 70 crowd it’s kind of hard to find.  When you do find it, you realize it only comes in  a huge size, as if the makers know if they sold it in 12 oz bottles they would never sell it again to that consumer. 

What’s the deal with the prune juice rant?  It’s a nice leader into the next part of this story “diaper reviews”.  

Being that I am 40 years old and can’t remember the last time I crapped my own pants.  I didn’t feel like I had enough real life experience till now to comment.  Well there was that time in 6th grade when my Uncle Dave took me to our version to the state fair. The Big E. I rember going into the house of mirrors.  It was on a cool autumn evening that I made my own version of a wetness indicator in my new for school brown corduroy’s it is, hard to look cool and adult when the warmth of your own preteen urine has turned cold and raw.   Anyway I digress. 

We have tried to date.  Kirkland brand from Costco, the BJ’s equivalent, Huggies, and Pampers Swaddlers.  Here is my list from least to most favorite:

4. BJ’s

3. Kirkland

2. Huggies

1. Pampers Swaddlers* 

Image Detail

The BJ’s brand works adequately, but honestly our least favorite.  Kirkland does a better job.  However I have heard that they work best for babies with chunky legs, so they work well for our little girl.

A considerable step up is the Huggies brand.  They are more of a premium diaper and perform well even under the messiest of circumstances. You will however notice the price difference.  And then there are Pampers Swaddelers.  (que sunbeam breaking through clouds, and an audio of a heavenly sounding “AHHH”)  These by far are the best ones I have been able to find.  No wonder they give them away at hospitals.  Wasn’t there a commercial in the 80’s like that? “First give it to them for free, the ones that come back, start charging”. First off they have a wetness indicator that I lovingly refer to as the fruit stripe.  Second they have baby Sesame Street characters on the front. Not just to amuse mom and dad, but it helps tell the difference between the front and the back.. A quality that the BJ’s one did NOT have.  They are an excellent fit and haven’t let me down in the leak department.  In my experience they are the priciest of the bunch but well worth it. 

So if you told me back on that cool autumn evening at the fair.  One day I would be prying for a prune juice propelled poop. I would have wet my pants in anticipation.  Who knew the house of mirrors would end up being a looking glass into my future. 

Thanks for reading and as always “Have Fun!   

D.A.