Food: I like it!

I’ve been doing a greater than normal amount of blogging about food this year, haven’t I? Oh well, it’s all part of my rediscovered love of cooking and whatnot. Here are some recent doings in Food at Casa Jaquandor.

:: I do love a good salad! I tend to keep my salads fairly minimalistic; I don’t pile on numerous kinds of veggies and other things for an enormous explosion of different kinds of flavors. My favorite salad these days consists of lettuce (of a dark green variety) or spinach, a can of tuna, and a dressing. Here’s a non-tuna salad I had last week:

Salad: the dinner of champions!

All that’s on this is the lettuce, a tomato that I diced up, and a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. A hunk of good bread is a must for sopping up what’s left of the oil and vinegar after I’ve eaten the salad.

:: Waffles are wonderful in all possible ways. I love waffles. I adore waffles. I couldn’t live without waffles.

The bestest of all possible meals.

My favorite way to have waffles is the basic way, with a couple of sausages on the side and covered in beautiful, beautiful maple syrup. The real stuff, that is — a few years ago we bought some real maple syrup for a recipe and used the rest of the bottle on waffles and pancakes, after which we realized that we’d never be able to go back to Mrs. Butterworth’s or Log Cabin or whatever else. Gotta be real maple syrup.

Most times we make normal, classic waffles. We do own a Belgian waffle maker which we dust off once in a while for a change of pace; Belgian waffles are nice from time to time. (They tend to have a lighter batter and have larger squares.) One restaurant we used to go to had an ice cream sundae that consisted of half a Belgian waffle onto which they would plop a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream and then top the whole thing with hot fudge. Ooooooh, now I want one of those.

Waffles rock!

:: We’re huge fans of sausage at Casa Jaquandor; sausage is wonderful stuff. Italian sausage, Polish sausage, pork breakfast sausage, and our favorites, bratwurst! The best way to have brats is to grill them over charcoal, obviously, but pan-frying them is a good way to go in a pinch (or when it’s winter in Buffalo and you just don’t feel like digging the grill out from under the snowpack that covers it).


I prefer to brown them on a medium-high setting on their sides, and then turn the heat down to cook them through all the way. When cooking inside, I’ll put a bit of liquid — water or beer — into the pan to keep the smoking down. These bratwursts are cooked perfectly, I must say.

Don’t turn them too much, just enough to keep them from getting too brown on one side.

Turn, turn, turn....

When finished, serve in buns. I slather mine with mustard (either brown mustard, like Gulden’s, or horseradish yellow mustard, like Webbers — French’s Yellow Mustard is just wrong for brats). The Wife likes to slather her mustard on both sides of the bun, as opposed to my way (the top of the sausage). Nothing wrong with that practice at all; I just like it this way.

Brats! Wurst!

(Let’s not discuss the tater tots, OK? I thought I had a can of Bush’s Baked Beans for the side dish, and it turned out I didn’t. As I didn’t have time to do proper roasted potatoes, it was tater tots for the side dish. My preferred side dish for brats is potato salad, anyway. Oops.)

:: The day after St. Patrick’s Day, The Daughter suddenly exclaimed, “We never had Shamrock Shakes!” Yes, we like the minty green shakes from the shake machine at Mickey Dee’s, but…well, they’re from a machine. And I’m not even sure if Mickey Dee’s even had them this year. Usually they advertise these a little, right? Actually, I have no idea what’s going on at Mickey Dee’s anymore. We’re not much for the fast food scene these days.

And in any event, I have the ability to make my own Shamrock Shakes. You’re finished, Shake Nazi! No more Shakes for you! Next!

OK, where was I? Well, this is very easy to do. It’s ice cream, milk, and flavoring.

Ice cream goes into the blender:

"Shamrock Shakes" I

Followed by milk:

"Shamrock Shakes" II

"Shamrock Shakes" III

Followed then by flavoring, in this case, creme de menthe syrup:

"Shamrock Shakes" IV

And then, we blend!

"Shamrock Shakes" V

(Blending is more fun if you make a mock face of horror as the blender goes to town.)

After blending, we pour!

"Shamrock Shakes" VI

And finally, we enjoy.

"Shamrock Shakes" VII

These didn’t turn out as smooth as I wanted, which means that my blender setting wasn’t high enough. They were still mighty fun and tasty, though. Obviously, one can change up the flavor any way one wishes, simply by using a different flavoring — I’ve made maple shakes by putting maple syrup in instead of creme de menthe, for example. And it occurs to me that adult shakes could be made by using rums or some kind of liqueur.

So there you have it — recent food follies at Casa Jaquandor!

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