Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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TeenyTinyKitchen - Big Recipes, Tiny Kitchen - Jedd & Launie Kettler
Garam Masala Almonds PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 25 May 2013 20:10

 

 

 

I know, I know. Current wisdom dictates that we're supposed to ditch our spices after a year. However, that's a rarity for the two of us. Some spices we'll blow through in less than a month – other spices linger long past their aromatic phase.

 

For instance, I'm not going to tell you how long I've had my opaque bottle of garlic powder.

 

But generally we use spices long before the 1-year mark, because we live near a bulk spice store and can buy as much (or little) as we need every few weeks.

 

Or so I thought.

 

The other day our spice drawer was jammed, and I couldn't figure out what the obstruction was. So I contorted my arms and finally pried loose a little tin of garam masala that I had received as a gift ... about 5 years ago. At the time I wondered what had happened to that little mix of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and other spices that make up the lovely Indian spice mixture. Now I knew, it had been lodged in the upper recesses of our spice drawer.

 

However, in theory, because it was old I should have thrown it away.

 

But, that's something I couldn't bring myself to do. My mother has instilled the concept of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” deeply in me. And both she and my grandmother still firmly believe in that practice.

 

None of us are fanatical – no one's wearing a pair of cutoff jean shorts or turning old curtains into skirts – but there's no woman in my family who would ever throw away an unopened bottle of spice.

 

And my equally frugal husband, Jedd, would have given me a hairy eyeball for ditching an expensive little tin of flavor.

 

Since I had the spice, I thought that it might be fun to toss some of the garam masala with some sliced almonds that I had just purchased. The initial batch was small because I didn't want to waste the nuts in case the sample batch went south. Once I pulled them out of the oven, I knew I had made a mistake.

 

The batch should have been tripled.

 

 
A Dream Realized: Baby Artichokes with Lemon and Fresh Basil PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 10 May 2013 16:29

 

 

 

It was April, 2002, when a tentative and occasional home cook saw baby artichokes in the grocery store for the first time. She bought a package of them and brought them home. Because she was a little nervous by nature and was working long hours, she kept putting off trying to solve the mystery of how to cook them.

 

They went bad in the refrigerator before she opened the package. Funny what intimidation can do to ingredients.

 

But every spring that woman went back to the same grocery store, searching for another package of those little globes. They haunted her dreams. She wanted to cook with them!

 

Yesterday she found them. After 11 years of searching.

 

So she snapped up 2 packages. And coincidentally she's had “It Takes Two” in her head for the last 24 hours.

 

Wooh! Yeah! Wooh! Yeah!

 

She knew what to do with them this time, though. She had researched those little artichokes for years. She had wanted to be prepared if they ever crossed her path again.

 

It was worth the wait. These little guys were perfect.

 

They were lemony and luscious. Oh, and completely adorable too.

 

Wooh! Yeah!

 

 
Cheddar and Broccoli Rabe Soup PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 22 April 2013 16:56

 

 

It's been a wild ride of a week in terms of the weather. Friday it was 75 degrees – Saturday it snowed. Currently hanging out on my dresser is a cute little floral dress, right next to a pair of long underwear.

 

I'm ready for anything!

 

When the cold snap hit, I decided to make this cheddar broccoli rabe soup. Even with the weather in flux, sooner rather than later it's going to be hot and soups like this will be as unappealing.

 

But, on a snowy Saturday in April it was perfect.

 

 
Go Big or Go Home: Cheddar, Jalapeno and Dill Scones PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Thursday, 18 April 2013 16:00

 

 

 

Have you ever been down for no particular reason? For instance, you go to bed feeling happy, cheerful and sleepy and then you wake up, feeling like a blight on humanity.

 

Yeah, that didn't happen to me the other day at all.

 

But, for the purposes of this exercise let's say that I have felt like that, and I've found that the best cure is a Parks and Recreation marathon.

 

When one feels like: a) a wart on the soul of the universe; b) the gum on someone's shoe; or c) hair caught in a drain – watching the adventures of the people in the Parks Department in Pawnee is chocolate sauce for the soul.

 

How can you not love a show with lines like:

 

“The raccoon problem is under control. They have their part of the town and we have ours.”

 

Or:

 

“Pawnee’s library department is the most diabolical, ruthless bunch of bureaucrats I’ve ever seen. They’re like a biker gang. Only instead of shotguns and crystal meth, they use political savvy and shushing.”

 

So the other day when I was watching some Parks and Recreation episodes back-to-back, I decided that I wanted some comfort food too. My mind wandered to what was in the fridge, and it focused on cheddar, jalapenos and some gorgeous fresh dill that Jedd had grabbed at the store.

 

“You should make some scones,” my brain said.

 

However, you hear of “cheddar and dill” this, and you hear of “cheddar and jalapeno” that, but you don't really hear about the three of them together.

 

The episode I was watching was “Go Big or Go Home,” so I took that as a sign from the universe to give this recipe idea a shot.

 
Spicy Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Bell Pepper Saute PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 16:14

 

Two weeks ago, Jedd and I packed our bags and headed to Maine for two nights and one glorious day of hanging out on the beach. Sure, early April isn't the warmest time to play near the ocean – but we were lucky enough to have the sun shining and temperatures that were in the upper 50s.

 

 

In other words, it was perfect.

 

Because it was in the off-season, it was just us and the people who lived there. In fact, it was so “off-season” that we were the only people staying in the motel. Even the office closed after 9 p.m.

 

Have you ever been the only people in a motel on the beach with a full moon and an empty parking lot? It's eerie and awesome at the same time.

 

 

But the lack of tourists didn't mean that everything was closed. We had some great meals and chatted with cool bartenders and wait staff while we dined.

 

And this meal was inspired by a soup that Jedd had at a – there's no other way to put this – bizarre sports bar that was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The reason I describe it as “bizarre” is because I've opened and closed places that serve alcohol, and trust me on this, the guy who's there until last call isn't necessarily the person I would want to see stroll in for eggs benedict five hours later.

 

That might be just me, though.

 

So, that's what I was pondering while I ate the greatest turkey club sandwich of my life, and Jedd had a soup loaded with sausage and greens.

 

While he happily ate his soup, it dawned on me that a spicy sausage and broccoli rabe saute would make an excellent side-dish.

 

 
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