two skinny jenkins


090531 – Outdoor Picnic
090531, 9:15 pm
Filed under: FUN

picnic in the park

i have to specify that this was an outdoor picnic – we lazy Jenkins are known to picnic indoors…

it was the PERFECT evening for a picnic.  we rode our bikes down to Oranoco Park by water in Old Town.  I don’t have any new recipes to share in this post, but want to encourage everyone to get outside for dinner.  Food tastes better in fresh air.  We ate the same things as we did for our indoor picnic, but it was all much more enjoyable.  Pretty soon i hope to post a camping trip – complete with recipes!



090531 – Poor Man’s Brioche | BBA #4
090531, 12:15 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags:

beautiful brioche!

BBA Challenge #4!  Still baking strong…

I am happy to be baking the poor man version of brioche.  All that really means is that there is less butter/ fat in the dough.  The recipe calls for 1/2 C butter, versus 2 Cups in the ‘Rich Man’s’ version, and I even used skim milk instead of full fat (that’s just what we drink).

So, i was a bit confused by the directions this time.  When making the ‘Poor Man’s Version, after resting the dough for 90 minutes, you are supposed to continue with shaping per the Rich Man’s Version.  It is not really clear which number is the beginning of shaping the dough, so i only let mine rest in the fridge for 1.5-2 hours before shaping it, then proofing for 2 hours.  In the end, the bread may not have met it’s full potential, but still turned out pretty good.

As per usual, check out more photos on Flickr!

baked brioche



090530 – living room picnic
090530, 10:49 pm
Filed under: DINNER, DRINKS | Tags: , ,

picnic montage_lines02

I was feeling too lazy to walk/bike our dinner down to the water (1 1/2 mi. away), so we picnicked in the living room instead!  The nettle cheese was a gift from my parents who brought it straight from Holland.  You are supposed to be able to wait and let it age and harden in the fridge, but we couldn’t wait.

olive tapenade:

  • 1 C Kalamata olives (i just grabbed a few varieties off the olive bar)
  • 2 T capers
  • 5 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 t fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pulse in a food processor until olives are sufficiently chopped up.

Dark + Stormy:

  • 6 oz ginger beer
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 1 lime wedge
  • ice

Salad Dressing Recipe (link)



090529 – peach cobbler
090530, 8:51 pm
Filed under: DESSERT | Tags:

Ugly but Tasty

i made this cobbler to bring to our friend’s house last night, but thought it might be uncool/ obsessive of me to bring my camera along to photograph the final product.  I know it looks ugly here, but it was pretty good, especially w/ some vanilla ice cream!

  • 8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t fresh lemon juice
  • 2 t cornstarch
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 6 T unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.


090528 – broccoli + garlic sauce done right
090528, 9:59 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

broccoli + garlic rocks!

Joe made a great dinner tonight!  he is a master at broccoli and garlic sauce…

Sauce timeWe didn’t have enough chili garlic sauce, so the sauce wasn’t as spicy as usual, but even without the rocket fuel it was still good. The chili-garlic sauce is made by Huy Fong the same people who make the delicious Tuong Ot Sriracha (link). Other than the shortage of chili-garlic sauce, I followed the earlier recipe for the garlic sauce. One big improvement over last time is that I sauteed the broccoli for less time than previously, about 3 minutes without the sauce and then 4 minutes with the sauce. This made the broccoli much crispier, which we prefer and probably leaves more nutrients.



090527 – Curried Red Lentil Daal with Garlic Naan
090527, 9:26 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Lentils and Naan

I have made a very similar recipe a few times before i started this blog, and wanted to try adding a few of our other Indian spices to the mix.  So i added the garlic ginger paste and the Graham Marsala.  I think that it definitely has more of an authentic Indian flavor than before, but Joe did not like it as much.

I wish that i could say that i made the Naan, but it is from Trader Joe’s and SO TASTY that i am happy to buy theirs.  Besides, a good Indian friend of mine endorses it, so it must be good.

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 t olive oil
  • 1 T garlic ginger paste (found at Indian grocery stores)
  • 1-1/2 t curry powder
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t graham Marsala
  • 1 1/2 T burberry powder (found in middle eastern grocery stores – you could substitute 2t chili powder)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t  sugar
  • 1 can diced or petite diced tomato, drained
  1. rinse lentils then cover with an inch of water and bring to a boil over med-high heat.
  2. meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small saucepan and saute onion for 2-3 minutes, until soft.  remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.  return to high heat and stir continually for 2 minutes.
  3. when lentils are soft and fully cooked, skim off extra water/foam, remove from heat and stir in onion mixture.  serve immediately.


090525 – tequila lime chicken quesadillas
090526, 9:51 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Drunken Quesadillas

we were having our friend, Jeff over for dinner last night, and i wanted to make something relatively simple that would he would hopefully like.  I think he did!

I cannot take total credit for these delicious quesadillas, however.  I think the reason why these tasted 5 x better than last time is because of the tequila lime chicken marinade that Joe made.

Joe's marinade Chicken Marinade:

  • 1/4 C gold tequila
  • 1/2 C freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 1/2 T chili powder
  • 1/2 T minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 T minced garlic
  • 2 t  salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (i know – tisk, tisk)

combine all ingredients in a large plastic bag and marinade in the refrigerator for 6 hours.

QUESADILLAS

  • 3 marinated chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2/3 C frozen corn kernels
  • 1/3 C salsa
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 T evoo
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese (i used a combo of Cabot sharp cheddar and the orange stuff)
  • 10 8″ flour tortillas
  1. cook marinated chicken in a large skillet of over medium heat in a little bit of the marinate and 1 T of oil, then set aside.
  2. rinse out the skillet, heat up the remaining 1 T of evoo and saute the onion for about 2 minutes.  Then add the corn for 2 minutes, then add the beans, cooked chicken, salsa, oregano, and brown sugar.  let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Set the mixture aside in a large bowl, rinse out the pan (AGAIN) and heat the skillet over medium.  Once it passes the sizzle test (a drop of water sizzles on the pan) melt 1/2 T butter to coat the pan.  Place a tortilla in the pan, then spread out 1/5 of the mixture, some cheese, and cover with another tortilla.  cook and flip until the golden brown on both sides.


090526 – Bagel breakfast | BBA #3
090526, 7:57 am
Filed under: BBA Challenge, BREAKFAST | Tags: ,


Joe's Breakfast

After being spoiled by the three day weekend, these bagels helped ease the pain of getting up early for work.  I ‘tested’ out the ugly batch, and they taste pretty good, too.

Check out more photos on my FLICKR page!



090525 – cinnamon raisin bagels | BBA #3
090525, 10:38 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags: ,

beautiful bagels!

BREAD BAKERS APPRENTICE CHALLENGE WEEK #3:

I love BAGELS, BAGELS, BAGELS!  Well, i love making them, anyway.  these were so satisfying to make!  and they smell so good.  it was a great learning experience, too.  I was following the recipe to the letter, until the malt part.  I was supposed to add it to the sponge along with the flour, salt, and yeast when making the dough.  It dawned on me that i was missing the malt (which i was substituting honey for) after i had been kneading for about a minute, so i just did my best to knead it in and kept adding flour. That was lesson #1.

I decided that i would use both of the shaping methods shown in the book, so i did a half dozen of each.  Otherwise, the batches were identical.  as you can see in the image below, they came out looking COMPLETELY different.  The ‘rope method’ is on the left, and the ‘punched hole method’ on the right.  i am so glad i did both techniques, so i didn’t feel like the ugly batch was really my fault. Lesson #2:

rope method punched hole method

I will let you know how they taste and upload more photos tomorrow morning!

Check out more photos on Flickr!

One last note/ disclaimer: Joe and I (mostly I) am really into conserving materials, and so i reused an old piece of parchment paper…  i figured it gets pretty well sanitized at 500° F, and it still works fine.

You may find a portion of the recipe on googlebooks.



090525 – Plantain ‘Chips’
090525, 6:23 pm
Filed under: SNACK | Tags:

Plantain Chips

Riight… so i bought these plantains from a local Hispanic grocery store about um, ten days ago?  I have no idea how to tell when plantains are ripe, so the following day i tried to peel one and COULD NOT.  the peel was so stuck to the fruit that it started coming off in little pieces.  So, after waiting patiently this past week and a half, i tried one them again.  The peel reluctantly came of this time and the fruit felt plenty soft.  I went ahead and cooked them up per my adapted recipe from Weight Watchers Magazine.  They are VERY tasty!

  • 4 t Canola oil
  • 2 green plantains, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/2″ slices
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t paprika
  1. heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.
  2. add plantains and cook until golden brown on both sides (about 5 min on ea. side), then transfer to a paper towel.  place another paper towel on top and press down on the slices to flatten into about half their thickness.
  3. rub the plantain slices with garlic.
  4. spray the skillet with cooking spray and set at med-high heat.  add the pressed slices and cook for another 1-1/2 min on each side.
  5. sprinkle with salt and paprika and serve.



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