September 28, 2008

Oh, Lovely!

After months of absence, the serial killer with the most delicious intellect and a truly cane-able derrier returns to television tonight to both delight and confound us.

Dexter, on Showtime if you have cable or satellite, is disturbing and compelling at the same time. A serial killer driven by a seriously twisted sense of social ethics, and schooled by his policeman adoptive father out of frustation with the system and a duty to protect his damaged son, Dexter rids Miami of those human predators who manage to slip through the cracks. He achieves this all while maintaining an appearance of relative normalcy, working in the forensics department for the police, dating a widowed mother of two, and supporting his detective sister. Such a busy life!

Last year the cast included Keith Carridine as an FBI agent assigned to catch whomever was killing the skag and slag of Miami. This year yet another recognized dramatic actor will join the cast as a counterpoint to Dexter and to whom Dex will find himself "finds himself inexorably drawn". Well, around my household, it has been long thought that Dex was denying a big part of his sexuality, so this might make the season even more interesting.

Want a peek? Well, please, avail yourself.

So I'm certain you know exactly where I will be tonight, dog in my lap, boy at my feet, hand in the popcorn bowl.

Life is good.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 08:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 21, 2006

Ice Cream Virgin No Longer

Last night I performed an act I had not yet ever been called upon to perform by any man. It required creativity, stamina, knowlege and a sense of adventure to tread where last night I sallied forth.

I made ice cream.

To be more precise, jane and I made the creamy, thick, sweet concoction from which ice cream is slowly and painstakingly coaxed through a slow, sensual paddling and the application of copious amounts of ice.

Sounds a bit provocative, doesn't it? Well is should. Few culinary delights can potentially delight as many senses as does home made ice cream. Innocent youngsters, world-weary reprobates, saints and sinners, gadflies and warriors, even I imagine Whistler's Mother can find chilled sweet affirmation in a rich spoonful fresh from the churn.

I know that as ice cream goes, I was a bit of a babe in the woods. I had no resevoir of arcane knowledge, no "Gramma's Cookbook" from which to draw down the proper portions for this sinful potion. And the recipes that came in the microscopic owner's manual were just not right, even to a novice. There are just some things that even on the surface look terribly wrong, and these recipes were prime examples of that phenomenon.

What to do? What else is there to do but to go on a massive and moderately funded Web Safari to seek out the best recipes and use them?

Well, none of them was up to snuff either (pretty bad, coming from someone who's never even turned a crank before). I was going to be forced to do the unspeakable and make up a recipe based on what little knowledge I could amass from a selection of lacking recipes, then actually put that recipe to use.

*smiles widely*

"It tastes like a Root Beer Dreamcicle." --jane

If any of you would like this recipe which will make 5 quarts of rich and exceedingly sinful ice cream (4 quarts of mix), look below the fold. You won't be disappointed.

In a big stockpot mix together:

1/2 Gallon Organic Whole Milk, Not Homogenized if you can find it
4 Cups Sugar
1 Quart Half and Half
1/2 Stick of Unsalted Butter

(Yes, I did say Organic. And Not Homogenized. The milk from Trader's Point Dairy is so rich, the cream clots at the top and my is it good.)

Stir it together over a very low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the milk begins to steam just a little. (Don't let it boil, just steam. Boil=Bad.)

In a mixing bowl, whisk together:

10 Egg yolks
5 Whole eggs
Dash of salt
(You can make it with just yolks if you want it richer)

When the eggs are nice and frothy and smooth, take a couple of cups of the heated milk and slowly whisk it into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Then reverse and slowly whisk the eggs into the heated milk mixture.

Heat the egg/milk mixture slowly, stirring constantly with either a whisk or a large spoon, until it thickens into almost a custard.

Remove it from the heat, and when it has cooled a little, add:

1 Quart of heavy cream
3 Tablespoons of Vanilla
Any other flavorings or extracts that you want

You literally could use this right now, but restrain yourself (or have a trusted person who knows your safe word restrain you). Trust me on this. It is good to be patient.

When this has cooled enough, place it in pitchers or a gallon jug and refrigerate it over night before churning to allow the flavors to get all familiar with each other.

This will make just about a gallon of ice cream mix. To make it Root Beer ice cream, I added 2 Tablespoons of Root Beer Concentrate. You can just experiment like mad on the flavors.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 08:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 07, 2005

A twist on Strawberry Preserves...

Ever find yourself in someone's home, and you want to cook something nice as a thank-you for their hospitality? You rummage through the refrigerator or the cabinets looking for something to strike your fancy, something you can work with.

Well, I threw together something this weekend during one of those spur of the moment kitchen raids that turned out especially good: a different take on strawberry preserves.

Take a quart of ripe strawberries, cleaned and stemmed with the little spongy core removed. Slice the berries lengthwise into strips about a quarter inch thick.

Pour the berries into a heavy, stainless steel saucepan with about an eighth of a cup of white zinfandel or another sweet wine. I used Arbor Mist Strawberry Zinn. Turn the burner on to a med/low setting.

As the berries and wine begin to heat, sprinkle 4 or 5 heaping teaspoons of sugar over the berries. Over that sprinkle a quarter to a half teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir this together well. Add about an eighth teaspoon of vanilla and stir again. To cut the sweet just a tiny bit, you can add the tiniest of pinches of salt at this point too. I'm talking a literal baby-pinch of salt.

Let the berries slowly come to a simmer and cook them, stirring every few minutes, until the berries are done and the juices have begun to thicken slightly. Turn off the burner, give them one good stir, and let them sit and finish as the burner cools.

Pour this goodness into a serving bowl and cool it in the refrigerator until ready to spread over hot biscuits, dollop over ice cream, or blend with ice and rum with a splash of Sprite.

Want to make it even better? Toss a half pint of raspberries in there with those strawberries. Blackberries would be good, too. Adjust the sugar accordingly.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 06:49 PM | Comments (3)

January 02, 2005

Cocktails, anyone?

Eric! Dearest, although I do enjoy the Boones Farm Blue Hawaiian, my drink of preference is Stoli Vanilla, kept in the freezer, in a cold rocks glass, no ice.

If I can't get that, Bacardi Gold, served the same way. But the Holy Grail of Beverages for Mama? Crown Royal, cold, no ice.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 07:26 PM | Comments (9)

December 16, 2004


One of the best things about the Christmas Season? Hickory Farms Beef Stick.

I mean to tell you, that greasy flavorful hunk of cured meat and preservatives is the highlight of December for this chick. As a matter of fact, I have one right here now, sitting next to the mousepad, with a sharp lockback knife shoved into it for convenience and snacking pleasure.

Mmmm. I sure do love'em.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 11:15 PM | Comments (6)

December 15, 2004

White Chilli

Yes, I know some of you will cry "Heretic" and "Blasphemer" when you see this, but I happen to really like this recipe. No, it's not really chilli in the strictest sense of the word, but it's the closest thing I could find that appoximates it.

In a big dutch oven or heavy stewpot, put some olive oil and a whole large onion chopped up. Sweat the onions until they're soft, but don't brown them. Then toss in one bag of dry Great Northern beans that you've sorted and rinced, two small cans of chopped mild green chillis, a few rings of japaleno pepper minced, some of the juice from the japaleno jar, some minced garlic, and top with a whole chicken or an equivalent amout of chicken parts and water or chicken broth to just cover. Add a good mounded teaspoon of salt or two to help with the beans, then simmer covered until the chicken is tender and done.

When the chicken is done, remove it and let it set until it is cool enough to handle. Take the meat from the bones, tear it into nice bite-sized pieces and put them back into the pot with the still simmering beans.

At this point, taste it for seasoning and add more salt if it needs it. Add pepper, and shake in either six healthy shots of tobasco or a similar amount of hot green sauce. Stir it all together and let it continue to cook uncovered at a simmer. Stir it occasionally and the broth will thicken as some of the beans break down.

Cook this until the beans are really tender. Serve it with shredded cheese and sour cream. It's a little bit soupier than a traditional chilli, so you can add pasta shells if you like, or a handful of rice when you put the chicken back in. It's also good ladled over a mound of steamed rice in the bottom of a warm stoneware bowl.

Sure, it looks funny if you compare it to traditional chilli, but it sure does taste good.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 11:36 PM | Comments (3)

October 20, 2004

Home Brewing

Well, I've spent the better part of an hour or so looking online for plans for making stills and making, er, Home Made Wine. Damn, some of those set-ups are pricey! So I kept on looking and found an interesting plan using plastic buckets and such.

Over on the right hand side, it has a place to click for still-building instructions. Pretty interesting, if you ask me. I can't imagine how that might work, since it's my understanding that you have to steam off for a while to get rid of the methanol.

Hmmm... I might just have to give that a shot.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 06:57 PM | Comments (3)

August 22, 2004

Smothered Rabbit

We have a great little grocer in the area where you can get your meats cheap and where you can get unusual meats. That's where I get my rabbits. Kroger and the other chain stores have PetRitz brand rabbits for $10 a pound, cut up all crazy like some wildman with a cleaver just whacked them up to make the packages weigh the same. What a mess, and they just don't taste, well, like rabbits. These little beauties are whole, clean, and only cost me about $3 a pound, and they do taste like rabbit.

I dig out my Lodgeâ„¢ cast iron dutch oven and set it on the stove. Drop in a few tablespoons of olive oil to cover the bottom of it, and start it to heat. Use olive oil, and you won't have to drain it when you're done unless you use way too much. You'll know.

Clean and slice a couple or three of those little yellow onions that come in the red net bags, and toss them in the pot. While they're cooking, rinse off and cut up that rabbit you've had thawing in the fridge. Cut him up a lot like you would a chicken. Set your oven for 220 degrees.

Season up some flour and dredge old Mr. Rabbit's bits through the flour to coat him good. Then slide your onions over to the side, and drop the rabbit into the oil. Take the remnants of your seasoned flower and sprinkle it onto the onions and kind of mix it in. Brown the rabbit good, turn him once, and brown him good on the other side.

While ol'rabbit is browning, grab a bag of those little finger carrots that you can get all scraped and clean, and peel yourself a couple of big potatoes and cut them in chunks about an inch or two across. You don't want too many veggies, just enough for a couple of people.

When rabbit is brown on both sides, cover him with those onions, drop the veggies in, salt them and pepper them, pour water up over the top of the rabbit but not completely over the potatoes, cover the pot, and slide it into the oven.

Walk away. Do not molest the oven. Don't be lifting that lid and peaking. You can leave that in all day if you want. Don't even think about eating that in less than 6 hours. This is the kind of thing you cook when you're going to be out working hard in the yard all day and need something that will warm your kitchen and give you something to look foward to when you've finished accumulating your monthly allotment of bruises, blisters, and scrapes, and sore muscles.

That flour you sprinkled over the onions should have set up and made you a delicious rabbit gravy. The potatoes and carrots will be tender and will have given their flavors to the pot. The onions? Melt in your mouth. And old Mr. Rabbit will fall off the bone. Mix up a batch of Bisquick biscuits and drop them on a cookie sheet to bake after you set the dutch oven back on the stove.

Don't have a deep dutch oven? Use a 4" deep iron chicken-fryer if you have a lid for it. Just remember, you don't want this piled too deep. Spread out a little bit in a bigger pan is better than cramped in a deeper pan. Got it? Knew you would.

Posted by Mamamontezz at 01:26 PM | Comments (3)