Porter Mac and Cheese

Porter Mac and Cheese

I found this recipe on the Michigan Beer Blog, and it looked irresistible. I happen to adore Founder’s Porter and mac and cheese, and had never thought to use both in a recipe.

Unfortunately, when I went to the liquor store, they were out of Founder’s.

Fortunately, they had a great porter from Maine called King Titus. I know that kind of kills the whole point, since Founder’s is from Michigan, but I had my heart set on this dish and decided to go with it.

It was good. Real good. But as you can probably tell from the prep photo, it was also really heavy. How many kinds of cheese did it call for?

Five. Five different cheeses. And lots of butter.

I would recommend this recipe, but perhaps as a side dish for something a little lighter—say chicken, or a salad.


Bánh Xèo~ Sizzling Pancakes

Bánh Xèo~ Sizzling Pancakes

This is what I made for dinner a few nights ago: bánh xèo, also known as sizzling pancakes. These are lacy, savory Vietnamese crêpes from Saigon. This recipe served as my main inspiration. It seems like Chef Charles Phan really knows his bánh xèo stuff.

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Meat Pie


This is the recipe I used for making the traditional Australian meat pie—and boy, was it good! What’s great about the meat pie is that it seems familiar and new all at once—it’s very much a comfort food that feels familiar somehow, but the flavor of the meat filling is subtly different from the American meat seasonings I’m accustomed to.

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rissolesRissoles were the first food stop in Australia. They sounded good and fairly easy to make.

I browsed through several recipes and found some themes in common variations: some included zucchini and carrots, which, it seemed, are also a common side dish, and some had Worcestershire sauce and/or barbecue sauce. I decided to prepare the rissoles with the carrots and zucchini as a stir-fried side dish.

As I was preparing the meat and bread crumb mixture, I thought back to stories I had heard about my great-grandmother making her homemade hamburgers with breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper, and chopped onions. I never thought I’d be making something so similar, and it felt good, like I was doing something worthwhile. The mixture also smelled really incredible.

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Pierogies and Sausages

pierogiesAfter trying the lazy pierogies, I decided to try my hand at making actual pierogies.

I read several recipes and ended up making one very similar to this one. Since
I’d used cheddar for the pierogie casserole, I wanted to try a different flavor. Many recipes, including this one, call for farmer’s cheese, which I couldn’t find in my area. Some suggest using ricotta cheese to replace farmer’s cheese, so I tried it.

The first time, admittedly, was difficult. The recipe called for lightly flouring the rolling pin and cutting board, but the dough was the stickiest I’d ever worked with. Eventually, I ended up pouring a substantial amount of flour on everything—my hands, the board, the rolling pin, and the dough itself, just to keep it from sticking. That worked well, and once I started seeing those neat, floury dough circles, it felt really good.

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Live at home like a traveler.
—Henry David Thoreau


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