January 31, 2009




How Much?

December 2, 2008

In order to win one of the hand made ornaments from Kashmir that look similar to the ones posted in this link, you need to answer this question:

What is the estimated cost of replacing the floors that were damaged by the leaking humidifier?  This is the detail:

  • Remove engineered wood flooring – high grade
  • Engineered wood flooring — high grade material identified as Bruce engineered Caruth 3″ natural maple planak (glue down method)
  • (Material only) engineered wood flooring material waste
  • Add for glued down application over concrete substrate
  • R&R Base shoe – hardwood
  • Stain & finish base shoe or quater round
  • General Demolition – per hour
  • Bag & Haul debris down elevator to truck
  • Single axle dump truck – per load – including dump fees
  • Range – gas – Remove & reset
  • Dishwasher – Detach – & reset
  • Refrigerator – Remove & reset
  • Plumber – per hour allowance for 2 trips
  • Cleaning Technician – per hour

Yep, big job, isn’t it?  Leave your guess on the estimate in a blog post and the first 5 will win one of the beautifully crafted ornaments.  Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, these ornaments make beautiful decorations.  I use them on my shade pulls all over the house.




September 24, 2008

It’s holiday time once again and I’ve had people ask for a good brisket recipe so here goes. I’m winging it but the thing to remember about a brisket is that it’s a slow cooked beef and really, the amount of things like carrots and onions are up to the discretion of the cook. I’ll give you measurements here, but feel free to add or subtract as you see fit.

This is a link to a blog post I published a year ago with a brisket video.  You’ll find it about 1/2 way down the page.

Beef Brisket

  • 3 lb. beef brisket — if you are going to follow holiday rules, it should be a first cut, but to be honest, center cut results in a wonderfully moist, more flavorful brisket
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 6 onions — sliced thickly
  • 6 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups ketchup — Heinz please!! 🙂 The others are too watery And yes, I said ketchup. If you were at my house I’d be doing it with my homemade ketchup, but Heinz works very well too
  • A bottle of beer or 12 ounces red wine — I like using beer
  • 4 cups beef broth or water to fill the pan 1/2 way up the meat
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400º.

Heat an enameled cast iron dutch oven, or a frying pan on medium high and add the beef to sear — this means you leave the meat untouched until it begins to caramelize on the bottom side, until it becomes easy to turn over. Add salt and pepper (preferably fresh cracked), but take care not to over salt. A couple of teaspoons should be fine. You can always taste later or before serving. Turn and do the same on the other side. Remove from the pan.

Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat and add the onions. You want the onions to just begin to caramelize, but not totally. They will get their turn in the oven. When done, add to vegetables to the dutch oven or a prepared baking pan. If you are using a glass or ceramic baking pan there is no need to oil or spray to protect it from sticking, but if you are using a stainless or other metal, spray with cooking spray or give it a good shot of olive oil.

Place the brisket on top of the onions and carrots, pour the beer or wine and the broth or water to the middle of the beef. Add the ketchup to the top of the brisket and smooth over the beef with a knife or spoon.

Place in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 325º and let it cook (low and slow) for 3 – 4 hours, or until fork tender. It should pull apart when you put a fork in it. If you’d rather not have it quite that tender, check it at 2.5 hours and continue cooking until just right — for you.

Be sure to keep and eye on the beef. As the beef begins to caramelize and turn brown, cover with a lid or aluminum foil.

* I have known people to put other vegetables like celery and squash and zucchini and more in their brisket, but I’m an Eastern European brisket cooker and a purist. You can add seasonings as you wish, but again, I feel minimal is best so that the flavor of the beef is the star.

** Brisket is one of those dishes that is better the 2nd day. What I normally do is make it and let it cool. The day I’m going to serve it I take it out of the fridge, spoon off the fat that’s settled, slice it and put it back in the oven to roast for another hour. Just be sure you’ve got enough pan juices to cover the sliced meat. This should not be an issue, but if for some reason you are low on liquid, just add broth and a little ketchup. It’s absolutely not necessary to do this, but I usually serve brisket as a guest or holiday meal and there is so much other cooking going on that having the bulk of the work done the day before is a life-saver.


Name that Exotic Food Week #4

August 2, 2008
Yaaay! More Prizes! 🙂
Made and Purchased in The Philippines

Made and Purchased in The Philippines

The prize tonight is a beautiful set of wooden chopsticks from the Philippines. There will be two winners. The first two respondents correctly answering both questions will win a set of chopsticks.
Look at all the photos. Tonight’s questions — there are two of them — are in the captions of the first and the last photo.
As always, please post your answers in the comment field below.
Good Luck!
What Is It?

What Is It?

Name 4 Ways You Can Cook It

Name 4 Ways You Can Cook It

Name That Exotic Food Week 3 — Part 2

July 25, 2008
I've got two common names; what are they?

I've got two common names; what are they?

This fruit is commonly known by two names in different parts of the world. What are those TWO names?

Remember, please do not answer the questions in the chat room. Just post your answers to questions 1 & 2 below in the comments field and I’ll look for responses before the end of the show tonight.


Name That Exotic Food Week 3 – Part 1

July 25, 2008

OMG! What is this scary looking thing?!

What am I?

What am I?

Do people really eat these things?!

Do people really eat these things?!

Question #1 — What is it?

Name That Exotic Food Week 2. Question #2

July 18, 2008

How Do You Eat This?

And no, it’s not Ugly Fruit! 🙂

Remember, I need you to respond in the comment field with the answer to both questions before the end of tonight’s broadcast.

  1. What is this?
  2. How do you eat it?

Good luck!

Name That Exotic Food Week 2! Question #1

July 18, 2008

What Is It?

Animal, Mineral, Vegetable Part II

July 12, 2008

What causes the holes?

Animal? Mineral? or Vegetable?

July 12, 2008

Is it animal, mineral or vegetable?