Buddha as kitchen help

Lots of cooking today. Two roasted chickens, a bunch of bacon, microwaved kale chips (even better than baked) and roasted cabbage steaks. After all that, we had a bunch of nice cooking smells mingling about the place. Eventually, though, they turn into not so nice house smells.

So we enlisted the power of the Buddha to help us out.

BuddhaIncense

As you can see, he’s managing the Rose incense and it’s dangling precariously above him. In fact, as few seconds after this was taken, the ash fell. And our home smells a quite nice.

A few surprising facts about bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

I love bacon. I love good hot dogs. I’ve had bacon ON hot dogs before, but never actually wrapped the tube steaks in bacon. That changed today. I learned a few things, though:

  • This takes work. Wrapping 8 hot dogs took over 1/2 hour. The slippery factory didn’t help.
  • This takes more bacon than I thought. 8 hot dogs required 20 ounces of thick-sliced bacon.
  • This takes toothpicks. 3 per dog.
  • This takes a bigger pan than you’d think. Gotta leave room between the dogs and the bacon fattens them up, no pun intended.

bacon_wrapper_hot_dogs

I used my own recipe. I’ll share it here:

  • Bacon (thick-sliced)
  • Hot dogs

Wrap the hot dogs in bacon. Use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place. Cook until the bacon is thoroughly cooked and crispy. remove the toothpicks. Serve.

Grilling and bacon don’t mix. Pan frying is out since the bacon won’t cook evenly. This pretty much leaves baking them. Well, roasting, actually. Sounds more like something you’d want done to bacon and hot dog.

And here’s the finished product:

bacon_wrapper_hot_dogs_done

Can’t wait to dig in!

Dear Santa…

Dear Santa (and everyone else who sent presents),

Thanks for remembering me this year. I’m always amazed at how similar your writing is to my mother’s. I guess you both studied the Palmer Method. I’m also amazed at the fleet of brown trucks and friendly elves with matching uniforms who have been helping out the past few years. So friendly and efficient. I’m sure it’s great to have a lot of the burden of delivering all those gifts around the world in one night lifted.

All of the socks I got were great. They were the exact colors I wanted and the thickness I need for these cold Colorado winters. I wore a pair today, in fact, along with the lovely dark blue sweater I got form Mom. I know some of the gifts came from my Mom and Step-Dad and Dad and that’s OK. They’re all a good influence that way with gifts. I also got a funny Ba-Co-N t-shirt, a gift card so we can buy a new garage fridge, and a gift card so Sheri and I can have a nice dinner.

One of my favorite gifts is the robot tea infuser!

robot_tea_infuser

I made tea last night and it was extra tasty. I could even taste the technology. The robot likes to share, too and makes sure some of the tea leaves spill out. I’m pretty sure that was my fault, though. I put a lot of leaves in him. Next time I’ll sue fewer leaves.

Thanks again Santa (and all his helpers) for a great Christmas. Even though I got lots of nice stuff that I needed, it was even better knowing that I’m loved.

Love,

Chris

This week’s menu…

I have gotten into the habit of cooking for the week instead of one day. Sunday is my day to cook. All the food is currently in the oven roasting away and I have settled down on a cold Denver day to a mug of strong coffee spiked with a little cardamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg. And a 55% cocoa chocolate bar with orange peel. I figured I’d share a little bit while I relax.

There is some kefta-style gyro-spiced lamb cooking. Good stuff. Lots of oregano and garlic, along with some cumin, salt, pepper, dill, lemon juice and lemon peel. I’ll mix of some tzatziki to go with it later. We have fresh mint and a gorgeous cuke just waiting for that.

EDIT: Here’s a photo with the tzatziki:

Gyro

Right next to the lamb, there is a medley of root vegetables including beets, rutabagas, turnips, a parsnip, onions, garlic and my secret spice mix all tossed with some olive oil. Beets are great, but man, they stain everything including the other vegetables. It’s kind of purpley and seasonal looking, though. And the whole thing is amazingly delicious. I know what you’re thinking: root vegetables, ewww. Trust me on this one. Try it once and you’ll want to do it over and over.

And here’s a photo:

Vegetables

Also somewhere in there is a 4-pound pork loin generously spiced with salt, pepper, garlic, dill, rosemary and thyme. It’s wrapped in apple wood-smoked bacon for the extra layer of awesome delicious goodness.

The pork didn’t turn out as pretty as the other food, but it’s just as tasty:

Pork Roast

To accompany all that is some cauliflower that I will steam up later to add some vegetables into my diet. Finally there are a couple of cans of beans to make into a salad with homemade vinaigrette. Should be a good week of feasting.

What’s on your menu?