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YAY for getting up and cooking breakfast!

I’m sure I’ve blogged about breakfast in the South, but today, I managed to rouse myself from bed at the crack of noon due to a particularly nasty sinus headache, and I started cooking. I made grits, toast, and bacon (Morning Star, of course.)

In addition to this, I sliced up cucumbers, tomatoes, and bananas- this is the closest thing to the so-called “balanced” breakfast that I could figure out under the circumstances. We’re fresh out of eggs, something I should remedy in the near future.

And the sinus headache pounds away, even after taking Sudafed and Goody powder, yikes- not good, not good- I need a Neti pot!

Bapaw praised my scrambled eggs from the other night. The problem is that I have no idea what I did differently, except that I may have prayed before making them, and I’m not even sure about that. Attempting to offer literally everything one does to God is a great endeavor, and if you offer something to God, He makes it His own- this is an important lesson to learn, spiritually, if not a difficult one.

That being said, I’m going to apologize to everyone for my increasingly shortened blogs. There’s a lot going on that I can’t exactly mention in here, though I have documented it deeply elsewhere. Things have changed immensely in the past three weeks or so, and because of the immense changes, I’m having more trouble than usual keeping my mind focused on practical things like doing the Post-a-Day challenge. Several times I’ve considered dropping down to the Post-a-Week challenge, but as much as I love writing, that would destroy almost all motivation and sense of pressure, the sense of the daily “deadline.”

As many of you may have noticed, my blogs are coming at random times in the evening now. That’s because I’ve decided to simply post my blogs when I write them instead of scheduling them to post at any particular time- the people who are going to read them are going to read them, and so there’s no point in setting a particular time unless I’m posting into the future. Most of the blogs from the past few weeks have been day-to-day posts instead of the two-week’s-worth of blogs that are written at once and then scheduled to post later on.

So go cook breakfast for dinner since I cooked it for lunch. How’s that for a non-sequitur?

Beaux


 
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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in food

 

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Beaux’s Ultimate Tuna Salad Revealed

Whereas I began the world of cooking with a dogmatic measuring of things and still adore measuring spoons and cups, at times I find myself more interested in just getting the job done instead of worrying about how much of this or that I put into food.

Sometimes, the amounts do matter, but not always. Sometimes, you just have to use intuition and play around with things.

So the word has centered around my famous tuna salad recently. Well, famous to local people in my family, I guess you would say. Maybe not exactly famous around the world. The Onyx Plate specifically was interested to hear how I make it.

This is what I put in my tuna salad:

  • 12 oz. can of tuna, drained
  • half of a medium onion, chopped finely
  • half of a medium bell pepper, chopped finely
  • two tablespoons of pickle relish or chopped pickles
  • three tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • two tablespoons of mustard
  • two teaspoons of celery seed
  • three teaspoons of garlic powder
  • salt, pepper, and MSG to taste

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Cover, set in fridge, and allow it to chill for several hours or even overnight.

Note that MSG is by no means a requirement. Contrary to popular myth, it isn’t damaging to your body. A little research proved to me that the people who reacted allergically to MSG did not do so when they ate food with MSG in it but didn’t know it was MSG.

Not withstanding, MSG is optional, along with salt and pepper.

You can also use less (or more!) mayonnaise and mustard depending on how much you like. Standard tuna salad sold in stores tends to have as much mayonnaise in it as it does tuna, but that would never fly with me. I don’t want my tuna salad too dry, either. You can always play around with it.

The kind of pickles you use will determine the flavors of the tuna salad. Do you prefer sweet, sour, or something in between?

You may also want to add more celery seed. Celery seed gives the tuna salad a certain punch it would otherwise not have. If you were to make chicken salad, celery seed would be indispensable.

Normally, tuna salad is eaten on bread or with crackers. Typically, eating it on toast is ideal. Ritz Crackers are always a good option.

So that’s my recipe for tuna salad. I encourage you to make it, try it, play around with it. Also, the proportions may be slightly off as I made the tuna salad the other day and mentally took note of what I put in without actually writing anything down. Happy eating it!

Also, as a bonus- you can substitute chicken for tuna and have chicken salad instead.

My mother, along with other people, adds things like boiled eggs and apples (oh, the horror!) to her tuna salad, but I’m not a fan of chopped boiled eggs in anything, and the apples in the tuna salad prompted the this particular blog on tuna salad.

So, here’s what I want from everyone: IF and ONLY if you decide to make the above recipe, I want your feedback on it. Let me know any alterations you made: let me know any additional ingredients, any subtractions, anything, and above all else, let me know how you enjoyed it!

Ready, set? GO!

Beaux


 
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Posted by on January 11, 2011 in food

 

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Poached Eggs: The Response

Fellow blogger the Onyx Plate asked recently about poached eggs and how good they are.

So I’ll give a full and generous response here.

Poached eggs are truly an art form. They aren’t difficult to make- but mastering them is the true test of one’s culinary skills.

First, I love eggs, in almost any form. Boiled eggs are my least favorite form, though they can be used to make egg salad, which I do enjoy. They can also be used to make deviled eggs.

But why poached eggs?

I had never eaten poached eggs until last March, and I wasn’t totally sure about having a poached egg because in mind, a runny egg meant an uncooked egg. That isn’t the reality of the situation, though, and I’ve eaten many poached eggs, never once actually become sick from them.

The ultimate determinant of a poached egg, for me, is how much vinegar is used in the water. Vinegar is primarily a bonding agent for the eggs, making sure to keep them together. The more vinegar you add, the better tasting the egg is, at least to me.

The concept isn’t ultimately to have the best looking egg at the end, though the aesthetic aspect of food is a concept for a completely differently blog. The concept is that ultimately, you’re going to take your fork and break open the poached egg on a piece of toast and eat the entire dripping mess.

A poached egg basically works like this:

  • the poached egg itself
  • the butter
  • the toast
  • the spices

The spices that can be used for a poached egg are typically salt, pepper, and maybe garlic powder. Toast should be made of a thick, crusty bread, and you should slather it with butter. If you can’t get all the butter to melt, don’t worry. The heat from the egg will do the trick.

Another good topping I’ve found is mock hollandaise sauce. Typically I make this by combining

  • butter
  • mayonnaise
  • lemon juice

You can play with the actual amounts of the ingredients there.

Also, if you really like poached eggs, you may want to always be prepare two. I find that I always want two, no matter what.

And now for a semi-funny story.

After I made a poached egg for my friend Caleb (who does not like eggs), he declared it to be delicious.

Thereafter, I received a phone call late one night.

Caleb: “I need help.”

Me: “With what?”

Caleb: “I tried to make a poached egg and it died.”

Me: “It died?

Caleb: “Yes.”

So then I walked Caleb through the exact steps of making a poached egg, which resulted in success.

He also gained the ability to make prettier poached eggs than I, but he has the distinct advantage of cooking over a gas-lit stove. To read my blog about the preference of gas stoves, you can go here and check it out.

If I can actually find someone to record the video, I’ll do a vlog on the making of poached eggs soon.

Beaux


 
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Posted by on January 4, 2011 in food

 

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Grilled Cheese Thrill, Part 1

Grilled cheese, what can I say? We’ve been great friends for years and years now. Grilled cheese is not only easy to make, it’s also incredibly versatile. As you’ve probably learned by now, old Beaux here is really thrilled by the cuisine that can be easily altered.

Grilled cheese and I haven’t always been such good friends, however, so here comes the story of me and the grilled cheese saga.

My first encounter with a grilled cheese sandwich was as a child at my babysitter’s house. She would cut up hoop cheese, put it between two slices of bread, and bake it in the oven. The result was a delicious meal that we usually ate for breakfast. To this day, only elderly Southern women have replicated said recipe and actually made it taste the same.

Enter my mother. Her idea of grilled cheese was toasting two slices of iron kids bread, putting a sliced of processed Kraft singles between it, and popping it all in the microwave. Not only is this method not actually descriptive of grilled cheese, it tastes terrible.

In her defense, she was raising two children and working full time, so convenience made sense over quality.

The issue here is that both recipes are actually not of grilled cheese. Rather, they would be properly called toasted cheese sandwiches.

Grilled cheese is made by putting the sandwich in a sandwich press or by frying it. That, however, will be in the next blog entry’s topic.

Happy eating those semi-tasty cheese sandwiches!

Beaux

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2010 in food

 

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