Saturday, December 20, 2014

Any Cookie Spread

I'm always looking to experiment with the not so pretty and broken bits of cookies that come with holiday baking. Recently, I was noodling nut butter ideas and a connection was made.

Pepperoni Salted Ginger Snap Peanut Butter

Why not make a cookie butter? It should have been obvious after having experienced Biscoff Spread. It's a delicious speculoos cookie spread. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend getting a jar to enjoy. Be careful not to eat the entire container in a sitting.

I spun up the food processor with ginger snaps until they were crumbs. Next I added peanut butter & continued spinning until it was thoroughly mixed. This was followed by drizzling oil until it became a spreadable consistency. I balanced the base flavor with pepperoni salt and a touch of honey. The result yielded a delicious so wrong so right moment. Once you try it, you'll understand.

The Needs
  • Food processor
  • Broken and ugly cookies
  • Nut/seed/dairy/other butter (optional but recommended)
  • Matching or neutral flavored oil
  • Any complementary salt in concentrate, powder or granule form
  • Sugar syrup like honey/maple/whatever makes sense

The Method
  • Process cookies to yield 2 cups of crumbs
  • Add 1/8 cup butter of your choosing & process until fully incorporated
  • Drizzle oil while processor is spinning until it reaches a spreadable consistency
  • Add salt to taste
  • Supplement with syrup as needed
No hard and fast rules when it comes to the method. Follow your taste buds as you spin the ingredients.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with to keep the ideas bouncing.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Puzzle Pieces of Passion

Passion is commitment. You strive to understand every single detail of how to be better at that thing you do no matter how miniscule. You are willing to seek it out at costs that most can't fathom. You don't sleep much because that's time away from the pursuit. When you do sleep, your brain is post processing ideas that will eventually become the inspirations and breakthroughs to fuel the fire. The beast needs to be fed with study, practice, experiments and experiences. It's an addiction you will never shake.

Passion has no space for stuff. The only material objects you accumulate are tools, equipment, references and notebooks in the pursuit of excellence. Some pieces have exceptions due to fond memories of who handed it down to you, that feeling of accomplishment when you first picked up a new skillset, where you discovered it for the first time and the list goes on. You can live without things because it's the knowledge that fulfills. That's the stuff you're made of.

Passion overwhelms. You've experienced the glazed over look when you can't stop talking about a new discovery when someone asks. You have a religious schedule that cannot be broken by just about any occasion. People who know you well enough don't ask you to party. Your significant other has given up on asking you to come to bed if you have one at all. It's not for everyone.

Passion connects. Most everyone in this camp is open to different perspectives and has a willingness to share experiences. It's just about impossible and ridiculous to become proficient without guidance. All you have to do is show true interest and it will open some serious doors. They're all doing the work here and you won't be disappointed. It's the family you've been looking for.

Passion yields identity. All the hard work, perseverance and stress brings your biggest obstacle to the forefront, yourself. You gotta dig deep and deal with those demons. Discovering who you truly are is where this path is headed. You only have a limited time here so make it your own.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cranberry Kimchi

I couldn't help but kimchi cranberries because I was a bit tired of the typical fruit sauce variations. Having done a lot of kraut and kimchi experiments with all sorts of vegetables, it only made sense to try a fruit.

Kimchi Seasoned Chopped Cranberries

I stripped out all of the savory components so it would be centered on the cranberry flavor and more versatile. Technically closer to a kraut or hot sauce ferment, but kimchi sounds better.

Mashed Cranberry Kimchi Mix

The Needs
  • 1 wide mouthed pint canning jar
  • 1 potato masher or rolling pin and gallon zip top bag
  • 300g fresh cranberries
  • 7.5g salt
  • 1T freshly grated ginger 
  • 1t gochugaru (Korean chili pepper powder)
  • Cranberry or orange juice as required

The following steps assume that you're familiar with this type of fermentation and understand how to maintain it. If you've never made sauerkraut or kimchi before, I strongly suggest trying Sandor Katz's recipe first.

The Process
  • Rough chop cranberries and add to a large bowl
  • Add salt, ginger and chili powder
  • Mash the cranberries until they're all compressed and juices are flowing
  • Compress the mash into a wide mouthed pint canning jar
  • Make sure the liquid covers the solids
  • If it doesn't, add a little juice, mix it with the mash and compress it back down until it does
  • Allow to ferment for at least one month or until you're happy with the flavor

I hope this inspires you to consider fermenting all sorts of fruits in the kimchi fashion. As always, please share your experiments to keep the ideas bouncing.