Monday, September 18, 2017

I'm Still Here - Will Someone Make Me a Snickerdoodle?

I have neglected this blog for a while - I've been occupied with other things, including a recent medical issue, but I think I am going to be OK.  I've missed posting recipes for the past few weeks (posting anything, really).  LBA and SoBA are back in school and the grind of school days are upon us.

Here's a recipe for Snickerdoodle cookies, which are definitely in the Top 5 of the Brave Astronaut's favorite cookies.  Via BuzzFeed.

The Best Soft And Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon until evenly incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whip the butter with vanilla until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the sugar and brown sugar and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add the eggs and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Using a sift add the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and sift into the dough. Combine until evenly mixed.
  7. Using your hands roll dough into ping pong sized balls.
  8. Dip the dough into cinnamon sugar mixture and roll around covering the dough ball completely.
  9. Place cookie dough on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Monday, August 28, 2017

It's Back to School Eve!

Tomorrow LBA will start 7th! grade and SoBA will enter the 4th! grade.  I'm not exactly sure when the boys got that old.  We had quiche tonight, which Mrs. BA makes very well, albeit made last night.  I didn't have a recipe queued up for tonight, nor did I have any recipes worth sharing for tonight's recipe until, VIOLA! BuzzFeed to the rescue again.

I made a simple easy, chicken parm the other night, which both boys ate voraciously.  LBA even had some the next day as a sandwich, and then again for leftover dinner the next evening.

Crispy Chicken Parmesean

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 8 slices of fresh mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • Basil, thinly sliced, to serve 

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Cut the chicken breasts in half widthwise to make 4 thin breasts.
  3. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and onion powder.
  4. Coat the chicken in flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs.
  5. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet and fry the chicken on both sides until brown, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. Place the fried chicken breasts in a baking dish. If they don’t fit side by side, gently overlap them.
  7. Pour the marinara over the chicken and top with mozzarella slices and Parmesan.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
  9. Serve with freshly chopped basil.
  10. Enjoy!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Creamy Lemon Chicken

I made this a few weeks ago for the Clan.  It was well received - even by SoBA is a little bit picky.  He just needs to remember there is more to life than Pasta and Peas. Via BuzzFeed.

Creamy Lemon Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1¼ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • On a cutting board, cut the chicken breasts in half, widthwise.
  • Lay chicken flat and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Gently coat the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Heat a skillet on medium heat and add the butter and oil, swirling together to coat the pan.
  • Place the chicken breasts into the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Flip the chicken and cook the other side, another 3-5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  • Pour ¼ cup of the chicken stock in the pan and scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the rest of the stock and the cream and stir.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and add the lemon juice.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pan and top with sliced lemons.
  • Spoon the sauce over the chicken.
  • Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Serve with parsley and extra sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's August - Let's Get Drunk!

The Brave Astronaut Clan is sans a summer vacation this year - although we are getting away for a few days to visit the Brave Astronaut's sister in North Carolina, where the boys will spend the week, though Mrs. BA and I will only be there for about 36 hours.

We will have to try and fit in the drinking into that period of time (via BuzzFeed).  This is my favorite of the five from the link.

Raspberry Mojito Punch
Serving: 1

  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
  • 5-6 raspberries (a nice handful of 'em)
  • 1 spoonful of sugar
  • 10-12 mint leaves (a good bunch)
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • Club soda
  1. Throw the lime wedges, raspberries, mint, and sugar into a glass.
  2. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, press down on the ingredients to mush them all together and get all of the juice out of the lime wedges.
  3. Add ice and pour in rum (you can just eyeball the amount, if you don't have something handy to measure) and then top the glass off with club soda.
  4. If you want it a little more or less sweet, you can always add slightly more or slightly less sugar. It's also delicious with less rum, or no rum at all. Play around with the recipe and find the right ratio for you and your friends.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I'm Bored! Let's Do Something!

Welcome to the August doldrums.  There's no more camp for LBA and SoBA (that will come as good news to SoBA, who did not have the greatest summer camp experience this year - not sure about LBA though).  Mrs. BA and I are working on various plans to keep LBA and SoBA occupied until school starts later this month.

Here's a list from DCist of "14 Places to Go With Kids In and Around DC."


ANACOSTIA SKATING RINK: We tend toward indoor skating at the SkateZone, but this would be a different perspective.

THE FREER AND SACKLER GALLERIES:  Museums are usually a good way to go when it's either too hot or raining, something it does a lot in August.

KENILWORTH PARK AND AQUATIC GARDENS:  This is a popular destination from our little corner of the world.  I should really go there.

NEWSEUM: Been there before and would go back - but it's always hard to reconcile paying for a museum in a town where all the museums are free.

ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL: Definitely in my top 5 of the many memorials around the city.

2 AMYS: Although I might opt for the new Pizza Paradiso that just opened closed to home.

NATIONALS PARK: We've only been to a few games so far this season - but SoBA and LBA are going to a clinic there on Saturday morning and then we are all going to the game on Saturday night.

EAST POTOMAC GOLF COURSE: I would play more golf.

BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING: This was one of my favorite stops on my 6th grade trip to DC.

DUMBARTON OAKS: A nice place to take the air, which in August can be questionable.

GRAVELLY POINT: The Clan has done this.  If it's a nice day and the wind is in the right direction, you can see lots of planes and have a nice picnic by the river.

MARIAN KOSHLAND SCIENCE MUSEUM: This might be too much like school for LBA and SoBA - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Marcus Samuelsson's Ribs

Of all the Chopped judges, he is not one of my faves, but I think his food would be more than tasty.  Via BuzzFeed. You can even get the recipe right now!

Block Party Ribs
by Marcus Samuelsson
Servings: 12

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 slabs pork ribs 
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 poblano chile, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1-inch ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Salt
  • 1¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer
  • ½ cup coffee
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Whisk together all the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  1. Spread the rub evenly over the pork ribs and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet with meat side up. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. For the BBQ sauce, heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add poblano chile, red onion, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt, then cook until onions begin to soften. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook at an active simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 2 cups, about 30-45 minutes.
  3. Once reduced, cool slightly then transfer mixture to a blender. Puree until smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 275˚F/140˚C.
  5. Uncover the ribs, keeping them raised over the baking sheet on the wire rack.
  6. Pour 2 cups of water into the bottom of the baking sheet.
  7. Spread 1 cup of the BBQ sauce over each rack of ribs.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for 3-3 ½ hours.
  9. Remove ribs from oven and preheat the broiler to high.
  10. Broil the ribs for 5-10 minutes to finish, until the sauce caramelizes.
  11. Cut into individual ribs.
  12. Enjoy!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes

My grandmother used to make the best roasted potatoes. She used to make them in a big stockpot - shaking them as they roasted. My mother tried to replicate them countless times - even watching my grandmother cook them - but couldn't pull it off - the potatoes would fall apart. There's a family rumor that it was chicken fat that made them better (and staying hole).

I have made roasted potatoes in the oven to some success - and would make these in a heartbeat. Via BuzzFeed.

Roasted Potatoes
Servings: 5-6

  • 13 4-lb russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • More salt & pepper to taste
  • Small handful fresh parsley leaves, minced to garnish
  • Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.
  • Fill a large pot with water and boil. Add salt, baking soda, and potatoes, and stir. Return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes after returning to a boil. A fork should easily pierce the potato pieces by the end. Drain and let sit one minute while moisture evaporates.
  • Combine olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and a few grinds of black pepper in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly until garlic just begins to turn golden, about 2-3 minutes. Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer over the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix.
  • Shake the pot that the potatoes are in so that they slam against all sides of the pot, this will loosen the outer layer of the potatoes to form a mashed layer around each potato piece.
  • Transfer potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and separate them, spreading them out evenly. Transfer to oven and roast, without moving, for 30-35 minutes. Using a thin, flexible metal spatula flip potatoes. Continue roasting until potatoes are deep brown and crisp all over, turning and shaking them a few times during cooking, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
  • Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add the garlic-rosemary mixture (optional) and minced parsley. Toss to coat and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.