Monday, May 13, 2013

Hello???? anybody still there?

It's been so long since I've blogged, that I've forgotten how to do it.  I don't even READ blogs anymore.  The iPhone and Instagram have ruined me.

I've just spent some time looking around here, and I can't believe how much I used to write about our lives.  Since Preston was born I have written nothing.  So, I'm getting back in the game.  I want to remember my life.  I want to use my camera again.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Eggs Blackstone

We are headed to Sun Valley for Thanksgiving, as is tradition for the Barlows.  We are very excited.  I LOVE Sun Valley.  There is an amazing little breakfast place there called The Kneadery, where they serve the most delicious, belly filling breakfasts.  This dish is my favorite there, so I share with you my version.

p.s. There's a chance you will see a lot of bacon around here in the near future.

8 large eggs
4 english muffins
8 roma tomatoes
4 slices applewood smoked bacon
4 egg yolks
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Freshly Ground pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 t distilled white vinegar.

Pre-heat your oven to 400.  Slice your tomatoes in half, and squeeze out the seeds.  Toss them in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast the tomatoes on a sheet pan with parchment paper for 20-25 minutes.  Mean while you can work on the rest of the dish.
Start your bacon in a cold frying pan, then turn the heat up, and cook until it's crispy all the way through, drain the pieces on a paper towel, then chop them up and set aside
Split the english muffins and lay them split side up on a cookie sheet.  When the tomatoes are done, switch the oven to broil and toast the muffins.
In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together until nearly doubled in size.  Set aside.
Fill a pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and 2 teaspoons of distilled white vinegar, and bring the water to a medium simmer.  Crack the eggs into the water one at a time very slowly, and use a fork to gather the spreading whites around the egg.  Poach the eggs for 1-3 minutes.  You want to watch them - they will each spread differently.  You want the whites cooked through, with the yolk still runny.
While the eggs are poaching, begin assembling your Eggs Blackstone.  Start with your toasted muffins, add 2 tomato halves to each piece.  As the eggs are finishing, remove them with a slotted spoon and place one on each muffin on top of the tomatoes.
Once all of the eggs are done, place the stainless steel bowl over the pan of simmering water and whisk the yolks while heating them.  Slowly whisk in the melted butter, and continue stirring until thickened and doubled.  Be careful not to overheat, or the eggs will curdle.
When the sauce is ready, remove it from the heat, season with a pinch of salt, and a pinch of cayenne. 
Ladle the hollandaise  sauce over the eggs, top with the chopped bacon, and serve your Eggs Blackstone immediately.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Classic Wedge

I love a good wedge salad.  I almost always order one, if it's on the menu.  This recipe serves 4.

1 head of Iceburg lettuce
4 strips Applewood Smoked bacon, fried and diced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 cup sliced red onion
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix, prepared as directed (not the buttermilk version, and I like to add extra milk to thin it out - make it to your desired consistency)
Freshly ground black pepper

Bang the head of lettuce, core side down once or twice, and remove the core.  Peel off the outer layers of lettuce, and slice in half.  Then slice each half into 4 pieces - 2 to a plate.  Divide the cheese, onions, bacon, and tomatoes evenly, drizzle with dressing, grind some pepper over top and serve. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chili Beef Brisket Nachos

These are perfect for a game day, or a brisk fall afternoon.  This chili, with tender chunks of slow cooked brisket, is also good in bowl by itself and served with cornbread.

1 large piece of Brisket - in your beef section of your grocery store
4 cups chicken stock
16 oz can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano chili, seeded and diced ** Use kitchen gloves when seeding and chopping hot peppers
1 habanero seeded and diced
1 jalepeno seeded and diced
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and diced
2 T chipotles in adobo sauce
1 t pasilla chili powder
1 t chili powder
1/4 bittersweet chocolate chips
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 T ground cumin
Olive oil

For the toppings:
Pico de gallo, or fresh salsa
Sliced, canned jalepenos
Mexican Crema
Shredded monterrey jack and cheddar combo

Liberally season the brisket with salt and pepper, plus the 4 T of ground cumin, front and back.  Sear the brisket in a hot pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil for 30 sec - 1 min each side.  Wrap the brisket in tin foil, place it on a cookie sheet, and cook the brisket for 10 hours in the oven on 225.  I like to cook it through the night.  Meanwhile, prepare the chili.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy stainless steel pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, and cook until they become translucent, then add the garlic, and continue to cook for a minute or so, then add the peppers and cook until they begin to soften.  Next add the pasilla powder, and the chili powder, tossing and coating the onions and peppers, and toast the spices for a minute or so.  **Be careful not to breath deeply around the pot - the spices will get in your throat and you will be coughing for a long time.**  Next add the tomatoes, and the stock to the pan.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour your chocolate into a blender, and slowly ladle the chili mixture in as well.  (if your blender isn't big enough, you can do it in batches, or you can pour your chocolate into the pan and use a hand blender) Blend the chili until smooth, and return to the pot to continue simmering.

Once the brisket is finished, allow it to rest for a few minutes, clean the fat off, dice it into 1 inch cubes, and add it to the chili.  Season to taste.  Let it all simmer together for at least 30 minutes over low heat.  The longer it simmers together the better the flavor.

Serve the chili straight from the pot over chips, add the cheese to melt, and continue with the rest of your toppings.  Serve immediately.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Preston's Blessing Day

Preston is totally official.  Shane gave him a beautiful baby blessing yesterday, assisted by his brothers, and we were able to spend some quality time with our other Dyer families.

It's killing you, right?  The cuteness?

We are DYING over this kid.

 Preston is the sweetest, happiest baby!  He loves to be held and kissed, and as long as you are looking at him and talking to him he never stops smiling.  

We love this kid like crazy.

BIG thanks to Minna for taking these pictures.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween at the Dyers

We had so much fun celebrating Halloween this year in our new house and neighborhood!

James actually thinks he IS a fireman, and he wears his uniform with pride.  He also thinks that candy is part of the gig.

 Preston (3months old now) is our Fireman's faithful rescue dog.

 Cutest rescue dog I've ever seen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Perfect Bird

Thanksgiving is around the corner! If you are planning a dinner, you should order your turkey soon. You can order from William Sonoma and it will be delivered to your door, fresh, free-range, etc. Or, you can usually order form your local grocer. However you get your bird, fresh is best - not frozen.

1 10-12lb fresh turkey
Turkey Brine (William Sonoma brine mix with apple base)
Turkey Herb blend (William Sonoma)
1 stick of butter
Canola Oil
2 Yellow Onions
2 Heads of Garlic
2 Celery Stalks
Handful of fresh Rosemary and Thyme sprigs
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Kitchen twine, or strong cotton thread, and strong needle

24-36 Hours before you will be roasting your bird, start your brine. Follow the instructions on the brine jar, but substitute Buttermilk for Apple juice.

Pull out the neck and giblets, rinse out and drain the inside of the turkey, and quickly wash off the outside. Put the turkey back in your fridge while the brine cools enough to put in your turkey. I use my canning pot to brine my turkey, and turn it over every 8 hours or so.

Pull out of the brine, clean, and pat dry.

Mix your stick of butter with 1 Tablespoon of the turkey herb blend, and rub the compound butter all over the bird - under the skin and over the breasts, and massage it in everywhere. Season with salt and pepper under the skin as well. Let sit for a while while you prepare the vegetables for stuffing.

Quarter the onions, slice the garlic in half crosswise, rough chop the celery, and bruise the herbs.

Generously season the cavity with kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper, and stuff with the herbs, and vegetables. Fill it as much as you can, sew the cavity shut, and bind the legs.

Rub the outside of your turkey with canola oil, and sprinkle the entire surface with paprika, which will give your bird a beautiful golden brown crust.

Roast your turkey on a rack, in a roasting pan at 325 for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Tent the turkey with tinfoil for the first hour, then remove.

Allow the turkey to rest, covered in foil for 30 minutes before cutting into it. And when you serve the Turkey, cut off the whole breast first, then slice it into pieces for serving.