Candied grapefruit peel

I was at the dentist for a regular cleaning and the hygienist asked me if I had noticed anything wrong with my teeth since the last time I was there.  “Well,” I said, “this one molar in the back seems a little sharp.”     Read the rest of this entry »


CraisinLove Bars

I like Crasins fine, wouldn’t say I loooove them but we’ll get to that later.

I didn’t plan on posting so much about food when I decided to start this blog.  I thought I’d be posting about machines and other constructed stuff.  It turns out that making food is a great way to scratch the project making itch for me. Cooking neatly contains all the components I want in a project: Read the rest of this entry »

cheese cave

The new Cheese Cave

I’ve decided that cheese making is going to be my new winter hobby.  Like most people I assumed that cheese making required a lot of exotic equipment and supplies that were out of the scope of the home kitchen.  Turns out I was right on the first two counts but not on the third.  Looks like it’s time to build more food gear.  Depending on what kind of cheese you make it can be as simple as a pot, a spoon, a thermometer, lemon juice and milk to make ricotta or it can get complex with mesophilic cultures, cheese molds and a press, inoculation of beneficial bacteria and storage in a temperature and humidity controlled cheese cave to make Roquefort. Read the rest of this entry »

This summer I got my hands on the book Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.  It’s an amazing treatise on the myriad variety of ways to preserve and manipulate meats to make them delicious.  I immediately started dreaming about making my own sausage.  A few things had to happen first: Read the rest of this entry »

failed cupcakes

Lest you think it’s all rainbows and unicorns in Michael’s kitchen…..

I thought I’d share some of the joy of baking at high altitude.  These were going to be yellow cake cupcakes w/ chocolate ganache filling but noooo the the baking gods were not smiling last weekend.  This is what too much baking powder in your recipe looks like.  This weekend I’m going to try again and find the magic amount of leavening for these suckers.

creme fraiche ice cream

Our friends Steve and Alesandra brought a big bowl of creme fraiche to our pie extravaganza and it was delicious!  Surprisingly, hardly anyone had any.  ( maybe it was the 15 pies to choose from)  We ended up with lots of leftovers and I didn’t know what to do with it.  Molly’s friend Juliette suggested using it in place of sour cream in this sour cream ice cream recipe.  The result was fantastic!  Rich and creamy with a tangy finish.  Yum.  Thanks everyone for your ingredients and suggestions.

Final Trivet

Last weekend we held a Pie Extravaganza as the theme for our annual birthday party.  (Molly & I have birthdays one day apart)  There had to be prizes, of course, so I thought that a pie shaped trivet cast in aluminum would be appropriate.  I originally planned to make 8 trivets so that each category winner would get one but time constraints and equipment breakdowns determined that there would only be one for the overall winner.  I thought I’d post the process for how I’ve been casting aluminum as well.

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Oil Bottles


I got tired of looking at the plastic oil bottles in the cabinet.

Five minutes, a couple of empty bottles and a dremel tool later…

Cold FrameWe started this cold frame last spring.  Finally got some glass for the top.  The two side windows came from our realtor and the middle one got trimmed down to fit.  Molly has a bunch of seedlings going: lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes and more.

Pot Lid

I recently bought a 12 quart stockpot at Ross for $34.  The quality seems good but the handle sucked.  It was nearly impossible to grip.  I realized I could use a drawer pull as a new lid handle.  I added a faucet washer too so that I got a little more height and a thermal break. Read the rest of this entry »