Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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Appalachian Island Wah-Hoo! PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 13 April 2015 13:07



My brother-in-law, Cheyenne, only gets back to our little state about once a year. But when he comes up for vacation, it's like a little vacation for us too.


This time it was even more of a nightly “time out” from the stresses of everyday life than usual, because he showed up with a bottle of moonshine.


And a lot of fresh ginger.


Friday night he set up his Vitamix, and went to work concocting a cocktail that was so delicious – and potent – that when it occurred to us that the perfect mixer would be ginger beer, we didn't dare walk down the block to the store.


The sidewalk might have been hard to find.


We were a fairly giddy.


This is based off of a Long Island iced tea, but with moonshine substituted in for the gin.


Be prepared to stay in for the evening.

Blood Orange and Jalapeno Margarita PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 16:14




Jalapenos and blood orange juice might sound like a slightly odd combination, but they're not. In fact, they work so well together that I guarantee that you'll make audible noises when you take a sip of this.

A Spicy Treat: Tomato Water Bloody Mary PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 19:24



Recently Jedd I have been watching a lot of Top Chef, which has been really fun. Thanks, Hulu! We'd only seen a few episodes on television, because we only had Bravo for a nanosecond in '07.


However, it did give us an evening of fun a few years ago. We wrote a little “Top Chef” parody called “Cooking For Your Life” where cooking contestants didn't realize that they'd signed onto a show where the loser would be hunted down by “Parma” and killed at the end of every episode.


Let's go to the Judge's Table.


“Marcel, your seared scallops with a cilantro foam really missed the mark,” Tom 'Carpaccio' said. “That dish was so bad that I want to kill you myself.”


In the real Top Chef, you'll often hear a contestant say, “it's time to step it up a notch for the next challenge” or “I'm really cooking for my life here.”


Really?? Well, let's see how much more you mean that when “Parma” is hunting you down with an ax and some sea salt. Yeah, you might want to consider “bringing your A-game” - but you'll need more tenacity than just “standing by your dish” to make it to the end of the episode.


Goofiness aside, the other night I realized that a Top Chef contestant kept cooking with “tomato water” and that piqued my interest.


“What's tomato water?”


Well, it turns out tomato water is pureed tomatoes that are strained to get the sweet, sweet essence of the tomato.


Tomato water, come to Mama.


This is one of those recipes that you can only make in summer, when tomatoes are so sweet that they beg to be the star of a dish or drink.


Green, Garlic-less, Sriracha-Type Sauce PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 31 May 2013 16:54


One of the few times Jedd and I have squawked at each other in the kitchen, was the first time I made pesto.


I refused to put in a certain ingredient, because I just really don’t like it.


“Launie, you can’t make pesto without garlic.”


“Well, I’m going to.”


“Pesto needs garlic.”


“No it doesn't.”


“Yes it does! It's one of the rules.”


“Forget that.”


“It’s going to taste wrong.”


“Well, if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it. You can make your own batch. We have plenty of basil to play with. But this is what I’m having for dinner. Garlic-less pesto with linguine.”


And we both loved it. Without the garlic, the basil had a chance to really shine along with the parmesan and nuts.


Fast forward many years, and I tasted sriracha for the first time. I loved the heat – but I bet that you can guess what I didn’t love about it.


It was filled with garlic, which is the Newman to my Seinfeld.


So, I decided to make my own using shallots instead. A perfectly reasonable substitute in my mind because shallots, are garlic’s nicer cousin. I realize, however, that I’m one of the few people in the world who has this particular food phobia. So please feel free to substitute in garlic or even do a shallot/garlic combination.


This sauce is spicy, but it’s not a psycho killer heat. You don’t need to try it on a dare. Just try some alongside grilled chicken or steak. Jedd loves it on eggs and I’ve been known to try some on a sandwich. And it makes the best bloody mary you can imagine. So, give it a shot, even if you love garlic.


Have You Ever Thought About How Good Bloody Marys Are For You? PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 09 July 2012 17:55


They're a staple at brunch and perfect on a lazy Sunday afternoon while watching movies. There is much more to the humble Bloody Mary, though.


Even though they contain vodka – have you ever thought about how amazingly nutritious Bloody Marys are? The main ingredients: tomatoes, Tabasco hot sauce, celery and horseradish are filled with antioxidants and other traditional “add ins” like green olives, pickled jalapenos and capers all bring their own nutritious side-effects with them too. And if you want to be brave and dunk a scallion in there too, that's pretty healthy as well.


Tomato juice gets a bad rap because of its high sodium content, but low sodium tomato juice is doctored enough with the other flavors in this drink, so that (honestly) you can't tell the difference. And tomatoes are filled with lycopene, which is a vital anti-oxidant that helps fight against cancerous cell formation as well as other kinds of health complications and diseases.


Horseradish doesn't get nearly the amount of nutritional praise as it should. It's filled with glucosinolates which can increase the liver's ability to detoxify carcinogens and can suppress the growth of existing tumors. Oh, and it has 10 times more glucosinolates than broccoli, which is the next best source. Doctors actually recommend ¼ teaspoon of horseradish a day.


Tabasco (and hot peppers in general) have a large concentration of capsaicin which raises the body's temperature, thus helping a person burn more calories after a meal. Also, because chilies are loaded with vitamin C (one chili pepper can contain four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange), making your bloody mary extra spicy makes it extra healthy.



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