It's so beautifully arranged on the plate — you know someone's fingers have been all over it.

— Julia Childs on nouvelle cuisine

February 11, 2011

Ingredients

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My wife is called back to Chicago for work a few times a year and I’m usually begging her to make time to bring back a big bag of spices from The Spice House. In particular I haven’t been able to find ground ancho chili powder anywhere in the Hudson Valley (nor in my forays around Albany,NY). I easily go through 2lbs or more of ground and whole Anchos in a year. Most obviously it goes into homemade chili powder blends for texas chili con carne, as well as homemade taco seasoning.

Spices from The Spice House in Chicago

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February 4, 2011

Chili Peppers, Hot Sauce

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Roasted Habanero ChiliesI adore hot sauce. I suspect that I use hot sauce the way other people may use ketchup. Ketchup I do not care for. It’s way too sweet for my tastes and I’d much rather dip my french fries in steak sauce or a combo of mustard and mayo. I could never eat scrambled eggs with a stream of ketchup. I tried making my own ketchup once and ended up throwing away the finished product. I don’t think my heart was fully engaged in the project, or I lost patience.

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February 1, 2011

Mexican, Slow Cooker

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It’s early February, the Catskills keep getting dumps of snows, and my wife is away working in Chicago where they also just got a blizzard with twenty inches of snow. There is 6+ inches of ice dams on my roof and sadly the previous owners didn’t use ice/water shield when the roof was redone. But there’s water leaking in too many places.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

I found a hilarious youtube video from  a roofing contractor filling legs of panty hose with calcium chloride and using the salt sausages to cut channels through the ice for drainage.

What’s better than the smell of baking bread, a slow simmering pot of stock or a pie in the oven? Nothing, of course. Though a dutch oven of texas chili on the stove and winning a lot of money in the lottery also brighten any day. Today, however I felt the urge  inspired to start some kidney and dominican red beans in the crock pot.

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