Hobby Blog

Kung Pao Chicken

Posted by on July 9, 2015 in Cooking, Recipes | Comments Off on Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

I’ve been cooking a lot of American-style Chinese food at home lately. One of my favorite dishes to order out is Kung Pao chicken. This dish actually originates from the Sichuan province and is prepared pretty close in the US to the way it’s prepared in China. In Chinese cooking, dishes are typically very heavy on either meats or vegetables, not both like you find here. This dish is almost all chicken, but here in the US we add some bell peppers for sweetness. My recipe is a little...

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Beef & Broccoli

Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Cooking, Recipes | Comments Off on Beef & Broccoli

Beef & Broccoli

I’ve been on a quest lately to reproduce Chinese take-out at home. Stir-frys and noodle dishes provide a great way to take advantage of the fresh produce in my garden and at the farmers market. I recently bought a wok and am working on my skill with fast, high heat cooking. My new preoccupation—getting a home wok to restaurant temps. I need to make some sort of fluted charcoal chimney. pic.twitter.com/wObV0F4eK0 — Chad Chandler (@chad_chandler) June 2, 2015 The ingredients and...

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Fuse Method BBQ Cooking

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Cooking, Grilling & BBQ, Recipes | 4 Comments

Fuse Method BBQ Cooking

For years, I smoked on a cheap, portable, charcoal grill that was a hand-me-down from my father-in-law. When I moved to my new house in 2014, I treated myself to new Weber propane and charcoal grills. Despite the new gear, I clung to my old method of building a simple two-zone fire in the kettle. The standard two-zone set-up technically worked, but it required constant temperature checks, rotating of the meat, and the addition of fuel throughout the cook. It simply wasn’t very stable or...

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Thai-Style Stir Fry Sauce

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Cooking, Recipes | Comments Off on Thai-Style Stir Fry Sauce

Thai-Style Stir Fry Sauce

I know the title of this post doesn’t make a lot of sense. Stir-fry is stereotypically Chinese and adding Thai ingredients doesn’t change that. But foreign cultures group disparate foods together that they consider “American” (check out the Crown Crust Burger from Pizza Hut Middle East), so I’m going to do the same with pan-Asian foods. I’ve been cooking a lot of Asian-inspired meals lately. My Asian market is now on my Saturday morning shopping circuit. It...

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Homemade Bleach Art T-Shirts

Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Art, Crafts | Comments Off on Homemade Bleach Art T-Shirts

Homemade Bleach Art T-Shirts

For Valentine’s Day this year, I surprised the wife with a few bleach art T-shirts. She wanted me to show her how to make them so she can demonstrate it at a meeting of her Sewing And Craft Club. I’m a big Bob Dylan fan, so I decided to make a Bob Dylan T-shirt. Actually, I decided to make two shirts so that I could demonstrate the two methods of single-stage bleach art. Bleach art is exactly what it sounds like—using bleach to make two-tone images on cheap T-shirts. It’s a...

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Three Easter Pizzas

Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Cooking, Grilling & BBQ, Recipes | Comments Off on Three Easter Pizzas

Three Easter Pizzas

The wife and I are getting really good at pizza making. We’ve pretty much nailed NY-style pizza, so now we’re trying to perfect Neapolitan-style pizza. I can make either variety in my homemade pizza oven based on how much charcoal I use and whether or not I burn wood. We had a low-key Easter this year, so we decided to make a few pizzas instead of the standard holiday fare. We usually make very simple Neapolitan pizzas, but we decided to get creative with flavor combinations this...

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Homemade Vanity Mirror

Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Woodworking | Comments Off on Homemade Vanity Mirror

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 | Comments Off on Homemade Mongolian Beef

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 | Comments Off on Alabama White BBQ Sauce

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 | Comments Off on Asian-Inspired Chicken Soup

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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