Hobby Blog

Homemade Vanity Mirror

Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Woodworking | 0 Comments

Homemade Vanity Mirror

The wife has a desk in our bedroom that she wants to use to organize all of her make-up. She asked if I would build a vanity mirror so that it’s the exact size she needs. I promised to make it for Valentine’s Day 2014, then it became an anniversary present, then birthday, then Christmas. I finally made it for Valentine’s Day 2015. You can call me Mr. Followthrough. My main problem was sourcing cherry wood. Every lumber yard I contacted focused primarily on construction...

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Homemade Mongolian Beef

Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Cooking, Recipes | 0 Comments

Homemade Mongolian Beef

I cook a lot. I generally enjoy it. Still, some things have always seemed easier to buy than to make at home. Over the past few years, I’ve been chipping away at that notion. I’ve experimented with sausage-making, charcuterie, barbecue, cheesemongering, homemade pasta, homemade pizza, and a myriad of foreign foods. The elusive category that still seemed like too much work was Asian food. Saying “Asian” is kind of a cop-out when you realize how many styles of food...

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Alabama White BBQ Sauce

Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Cooking, Grilling & BBQ, Opinion, Recipes | 0 Comments

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

One of the annoying things about cooking news and entertainment is the tendency for self-styled trend setters to equate food with fashion. Over time, good foods fall out of fashion even though they still taste great, and other foods come into fashion even though they’re not so good. It’s all about newness. And nothing is more fashionable than find a great new thing that’s actually really old. Whether it’s Oaxacan mole or Tuscan meatballs, it’s annoying to see a...

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Asian-Inspired Chicken Soup

Posted by on January 13, 2015 in Cooking, Recipes | 0 Comments

Asian-Inspired Chicken Soup

I’ve been trying to master the art of rotisserie roasting on my grill. In a post about homemade lemon-pepper chicken, I wrote: Rotisserie roasting chicken is actually a relatively low-fat preparation. While healthiness is a great side benefit, the best thing about cooking whole chickens is the leftovers. And my favorite way to use leftover rotisserie chicken is to make soup. There’s something very nurturing in thick, meaty stews—especially in winter—but I also like the...

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Lemon-Pepper Rotisserie Chicken

Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Cooking, Recipes | 0 Comments

Lemon-Pepper Rotisserie Chicken

I’ve always thought that cooking whole chickens and turkeys is one of the most economical ways to procure and prepare meat. These days, you can buy a whole chicken for less than the price of a standard pack of three breasts. So not only do you get more meat for the money, but you get the means to make a nice stock with the bones. My in-laws recently gave me a rotisserie attachment for my propane grill, so I’ve been roasting up a storm. My favorite dish to make is lemon-pepper ...

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Mounted Bottle Openers With Magnetic Cap Catchers

Posted by on December 27, 2014 in Christmas, Crafts, Woodworking | 0 Comments

Mounted Bottle Openers With Magnetic Cap Catchers

As I’ve mentioned many times, my family makes presents for Christmas. Unless the wife and I are making consumables, we usually split up the assignments and make gender-specific gifts. Everyone’s married, so it all goes to the same house anyway. This year, the wife made chevron infinity scarves for the girls and I made bottle openers for the guys. I didn’t invent this; I saw this idea somewhere on the internet years ago and thought it was a cool idea. This is an easy project...

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Crispy, Baked Buffalo Wings

Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Cooking, Grilling & BBQ, Recipes | 0 Comments

Crispy, Baked Buffalo Wings

I love buffalo wings, but I hate deep frying at home. It’s a huge pain in the ass to maintain the temperature of the oil, drain the fried food, and then strain and re-bottle the excess oil. It takes up a ton of counter space and generally results in a lot of dirty dishes. That’s why I rarely deep fry anything anymore. I stumbled upon an oven-fried wings recipe at Serious Eats and have been experimenting with it for a while. Almost complete, even if Payton Manning's passes...

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Sambal Sauce

Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Cooking, Recipes | 0 Comments

Sambal Sauce

This might sound kind of strange, but I keep restaurant supply bottles in my refrigerator at home. I have a spray bottle filled with a 2:1 ratio of apple juice to apple cider vinegar that I use to mist BBQ as it smokes. I also keep a spray bottle filled with Dale’s sauce to spray on burgers as they grill. I keep squirt bottles of the following: Mustard-based, SC-style BBQ sauce for ribs Vinegar/tomato/pepper-based, NC-style BBQ sauce for pulled pork Mayonnaise-based, AL-style BBQ sauce...

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Easy Blackened Catfish

Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Cooking, Recipes | 0 Comments

Easy Blackened Catfish

In the south, fried catfish is a about the best bang you can get for your seafood buck. I don’t hate fried catfish—breading it in cornmeal actually goes a long way to making the mud-dwelling fish taste less dirty—but I prefer blackened fish. So I’ve taken a page from the chicken frying tradition to preseason my catfish before searing. Whenever I make buttermilk waffles/pancakes, I usually have leftover buttermilk. Whenever I have leftover buttermilk, I always use it to season...

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Flourless Chocolate Cake Cups

Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Cooking, Recipes | 0 Comments

Flourless Chocolate Cake Cups

Most people are surprised to learn that I don’t like sweets at all. I never have. Growing up, my mother was creative in finding non-cake ways to celebrate my birthday. She tried cookie cakes and ice cream cakes, but I lost my taste for both eventually. I managed to enjoy cheesecake (but not the crust) into my college years, but I eventually lost my taste for that too. Thank goodness I’m an adult now; I can just get a steak and a scotch for my birthday and be done with it. Because...

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