Things I’m learning from my continuing Weeds marathon:
-The scary guys (usually guys, but I say “guys” gender-neutrally) aren’t really that scary. They’re scared of the other scary guys, and so forth. A moratorium on being scared is much needed in the world; can I get an “Amen”?
-In TV fantasy land at least, being a pretty white lady can get you out of a lot of trouble. LOTS. I have a lot of ambivalent, rambling thoughts on this (which mostly go in circles).
-I need to wear more denim jackets and artfully layered delicate necklaces.
-Don’t send flowers to a Jewish funeral. Did not know that (embarrassing but true). Send food! I can do that. I’m prepared. The more you know!
-It’s far, far too easy to consume a pound of delicious almonds rather quickly. Wowza. That’s not Weeds–that’s me, watching Weeds on my couch. Hi.
We already know how much I love my smoker, but I think I need to emphasize that it’s useful for so much more than meat and fish. Nuts, for example, are full of oils, and take to smoking beautifully. If you’ve had smoked almonds before, I don’t need to convince you that they’re crazy delicious. But I may need to convince you that it’s easy, and fun, and worthwhile to make your own.
Posted in Appetizer, Entertaining, Healthy (?), Smoking, Vegetarian
Tagged bourbon, cayenne pepper, maple, maple syrup, smoked almonds, smoked nuts, smoking, smoky, spicy, stovetop smoker, vegan, vegetarian, whiskey
I wonder how many times I can call something My Favorite Thing Ever before you guys (rightly) become suspicious and start ignoring me. Like the boy who cried wolf. Except I’m the spastic girl who cried pastrami and cookies and salads and cocktails and… Etc.
But let me tell you–smoking turkey breast at home is definitely my favorite thing ever. I am a sandwich lover first and a human second (it says so on my birth certificate). Piles of quality deli meats and cheeses on crusty, hearty bread, a healthy smear of good, spicy mustard, crunchy cool lettuce, tangy pickles and pepperoncinis? Get. Out. I think my heart skipped a beat just typing that.
Needless to say, I’ve done a lot of deli turkey shopping. It’s a frustrating exercise in #firstworldproblems. If it’s delicious, it’s not hormone-free. If it’s hormone-free, it has shady preservatives. If it’s nitrate/nitrite free, it’s not all that delicious. If it’s all those things, it costs an arm and a leg.
But this? This is the turkey that is anything you want it to be. Thick, smoky slices of lean turkey breast, covered in a generous, luxurious coat of sharp, fragrant black pepper. Or anything you’d like. It’s the turkey of your dreams, girl (or boy).
Posted in Healthy (?), Main courses, Meat, Smoking
Tagged black pepper, cameron's stovetop smoker, deli meat, hickory, pepper, peppercorns, sandwich meat, smoking, stovetop smoker, turkey, turkey breast
So, every year, I throw a Festivus party. (Here is a quick primer if you’re not a Seinfeld fan and I’m sounding mega loco.)
I always do it in January! I know–it’s a holiday that was meant to replace Christmas, etc. etc. But the thing is, December can get overwhelming and frankly, January is practically begging to be cheered up. If I can make my friends’ post-holiday malaise just a tiny bit easier with a ton of great food and a silly made-up holiday, sign me up. Sign me up now.
Airing of the grievances is necessary.
Feats of strength? Festivus isn’t over until the head of household is pinned, after all. Rules are rules. And black belts are black belts. And my friend definitely has one. And now I know that it’s well-deserved.
Most years, the food is a haphazard mix of whatever we feel like eating. This year, I actually put some thought into this and attempted a Seinfeld/deli theme. Hello, pastrami bar! You’re going to require some planning.
Homemade pastrami is a capital-p Project. I’ve been dying to tell you about it for weeks! There’s curing, rinsing, rubbing, smoking, steaming. But the end result is a beauty–tender, flavorful deli meat, free of shady preservatives and coated in a generous mix of spices.
Posted in Entertaining, Holidays, Main courses, Meat, Smoking, Winter
Tagged beef, brine, brisket, cameron's stovetop smoker, curing, deli meat, pastrami, pastrami rub, smoking, spice rub, stovetop smoker
This is an ode to Spring Forward. Please don’t hate me, but it needs to be defended.
You’re tired today. I’m tired today. Today blows. But let’s talk about tomorrow! Tomorrow, we (meaning I) will come home to full, not waning, sunlight. We’ll feel like it’s still Go Time. We won’t groan at the thought of going places, doing things and seeing people after work. TV will seem less and less appealing in the light of day. Instead, we’ll want to go on walks or even swim laps at the gym. On other days, we’ll feel like firing up the grill–on a weeknight, no less–and kicking back with a beer while we cook up dinner. Like this! Look at this.
Tri tip, smoked, grilled, and served alongside a lively, lemony herb sauce and a crusty potato-rosemary galette. Good heavens.
Posted in Fall, Main courses, Meat, Smoking, Summer, weekend, Winter
Tagged beef, galette, garlic, herbs, lemon, potatoes, roast, rosemary, stovetop smoker, thyme, tri tip
There are things I miss about being vegetarian. The moral high ground, the challenge of cooking meat-free versions of favorite foods… That sort of thing. Whenever someone tells me they’re vegetarian, I feel a bit of shame in not being able to say “me too!” anymore. I don’t eat a lot of meat anyhow, especially red meat, but I have to say… My life is easier these days. Barbecues are less awkward, and the food lover in me is really into not technically having to say “no” to anything–anything at all.
And then there’s this. Incredible ribs, without any gigantic backyard smoker pit contraption. I’m kind of into this, too.