Get the Cookbook!

Click on the picture.

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Blog Index
    The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.


    Tonights veggie is a pickle. Take THAT food pyramid! - Jessica Benzakein


    Master Class - LA Times articles by great chefs like Thomas Keller

    The Los Angeles Time has a great series of articles called "Master Class" which includes writing by such great chef's as Thomas Keller on seasoning and brining, Nancy Silverton on focaccia, Tom Colicchio on using vinaigrette as a braising liquid, and Sang Yoon on how to kick catsup into an experience. 

    Thomas Keller on Seasoning

    Nancy Silverton on Focacia

    Tom Colicchio on Vinaigrette

    Sang Yoon on Catsup

    Check out

    Check out


    Military Recipe April 1957 - Shit on a Shingle (SOS)

    Repost of a classic Man Meets Stove recipe:

    Be sure and get your carcass ready.....

    TM 10-412-1





                100 Servings
                1 cup each
                Preparation and cooking time: about 11/4 hours

    BEEF, CARCASS...................35 POUNDS
    Cut in pieces and grind (FINE).

          GROUND (FINE).............24 POUNDS

    Brown beef in its own fat in roasting pans on top of range.
    Remove excess fat during cooking period.

          CHOPPED (FINE).............1 POUND……....…3/4 QUART
    SALT………………..………..5 OUNCES…….......1/2 CUP
    PEPPER, BLACK……...……1/4 OUNCE….......….1 TABLESPOON
    BAY LEAF…………………………………….........1 LEAF

    Add onions and seasoning and mix thoroughly.

    MILK, EVAPORATED………………………..........2 GALLONS
    (WATER FOR MILK)………........…………………2 GALLONS

    Add 3 gallons of milk to beef mixture and heat to simmering, stir-
          ring frequently

    FLOUR, WHEAT, HARD.…...2 POUNDS……........1 ¾ QUARTS
    Mix flour with the remaining gallon of milk and stir into hot mix-
    Bring to a boil, stirring steadily, reduce heat and simmer until

    TOAST…………………………………………........100 SLICES
    Serve on toast.

    Check out

    Check out


    Modernist Cooking - Centrifuges

    So we here at Man Meets Stove have been admiring the modernist chefs use of centrifuges to make interesting things, like Pea Butter (blended frozen peas spun in a centrifuge for 3 hours to make a puck of pea starch, pea oil, and a little "pea butter".  Apparently it is absolutely the sex of peas.  

    We have started looking for an inexpensive lab centrifuge to try this miracle substance, and ran across this advice: 

    Rule #1 - Never buy a centrifuge when the eBay address is Yucca Mountain, Nevada or Hanford, Washington nuclear facilities.

    Rule #2 - See rule #1 

    - JBailey

    Thanks, JBailey.  Duly noted.

    Check out
    Check out

    Image: Marco Torresin /


    Sushi Cupcakes!

    A Facebook friend of Jim's, Jen Kimura, posted that she was preparing for her mom's "Cupcake Wars Party" and then shortly thereafter started posting these terrific pictures of cupcakes made to look like sushi in a bento box! 

    Jim asked her about them and she was gracious enough to tell us:

    "I saw some posts about rice crispy sushi, but that was gross to me. And using coconut shavings was just too much coconut, so these are white jimmies/sprinkles- and much more rice-like. The decorations are shaped "Now and Later" candies, cut up gummy worms, and "Swedish Fish" candies. Some people use green "Fruit by the Foot" for the nori [sushi seaweed wrapper]. But its hard to find THAT MUCH solid green Fruit by the Foot. So I use black/ dark brown wrappers- which are not gross and sticky when you handle them - unlike Fruit by the Foot.

    When I'm lazy I use remade pillsbury classic white mix and pillsbury whipped white frosting. When I'm not lazy I use Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Cupcake and Buttercream recipe.

    They are packed in sushi bento boxes because it's easier to transport and cuter. Because they are in the boxes, I make the mini cupcakes. Also, regular sized cupcakes are not properly proportioned. The Ginger is Now and Laters, the wasabi is green frosting, the soy
    sauce is chocolate syrup.  Hope that helps!"

    It sure does Jen.  Thanks so much for sharing your skillz with us!

    Jen got her decorations at Classic Cake Decorations in Garden Grove, California.

    Check out
    Check out



    "I love the samples at Costco. It's like having Tapas" - E.P.


    Pickling Pro-Tips

    Saw a post by a friend of ours, Donnie Dillon. He was making these Sun Pickles.  We asked him for his pro-tips on pickling and here was his response:

    "Pro Tip #1. Just do it. Making pickles is literally as easy as boiling water. It requires no special equipment or exotic supplies. A few fresh herbs, a pinch of salt, an maybe a splash of vinegar is all it takes.

    Pro Tip #2. Start with small batches. It is as easy to make 1 quart of pickles as it is to make 5 gallons and small batches let you play with herbs and flavors until you find a profile that you like.

    Pro Tip #3. Don't stop at cucumbers. Try fresh okra, or cauliflower, beans, onions, etc. Mix and match! One of the best batches I have ever made was pickles eggs and onions. So far the only thing that turned out really badly was carrots."

    We would add that if you use up a jar of pickles that you like, you can reuse the pickling juices to make another batch.  Just re-load with cucumbers, or whatever!


    Check out
    Check out


    Pack your own food onto airplanes, the Chef's way....

    So if you can't stand airline food, and who can?  This article discusses some tasty ideas.  For example, freeze shrimp in a container overnight, and put cocktail sauce into 2-ounce (TSA-friendly) containers.  By the time you're completely uncomfortable and flirting with the stewardess, the shrimp should be defrosted.

    You can also pre-cook pasta (do NOT go beyond al dente!  Ever!) and then ask the flight attendant for some tea water (minus the tea) to heat the pasta.  Genius!  Add some feta and cherry tomatoes.  Nosh.

    2-ounce containers of yogurt can be frozen and then defrost as your groped through security.  Don't forget to wear your special undies!  

    Tomato salads!  Fruit salads.
    Get creative.  We like to bring extra-stinky cheese.  Okay don't do that, we will laugh at you on the evening news.  Just a little.


    Bento Lunch Boxes

    When we were kids, we had to carry our food in the skin of the animal our parents removed it from.  We walked to school in a Stage 1 Smog Alert, uphill, both ways.  My how times have changed! 

    As our focus here is usually on teaching fellow underarm-scratchers how to cook, it isn’t very often we have the opportunity to delve into matters of children.  Seems like we found the right person to help us change that!

    A friend of ours, Lorelei Cress, has been posting to Facebook the lunchbox-bento boxes she makes for her daughter “E” and is consistently impressing the hell out of us and anyone that sees them.  They are super-cool pieces of food art, and are just plain FUN as well.  So we asked Lorelei for an interview…

    MMS: How did you get the idea for the bento boxes?

    Lorelei: It's important that your readers understand that the lunches I make for E aren't technically bentos at all - they only take inspiration from them. I honestly don't remember when I first got the notion - but I know I saw pics online (probably through someone's FB post, but possibly on Flickr) of really cute bento-style lunches, read that Japanese mothers do this as an expression of love for their children, and thought it was something unique I could do to show my love for E and make healthy homemade lunches more fun. After looking at some blogs by American mothers who are doing their twist on Japanese bentos, I became more confident that I could actually pull it off with my time and budget constraints. 

    MMS: What did/does E think of them?

    When I just asked E what she thinks of her lunches, she said "They're beautiful!" She likes to take a peek at them every morning before I close up the lids of the boxes and ooh and aah over the contents. I tell her she has to eat at least some of the veggies in order to eat the dessert, and so far, she has complied (she knows if she doesn't, she won't get dessert in the next lunch!). 

    MMS: Did you get any specialized tools to make them? Special foods?
    I did acquire a lot of tools - the ones I use the most are the metal cookie and vegetable cutters to cut veggies, fruit, cheese, etc. into shapes and/or create designs. I need to get some more cookie cutters so that I have more seasonal shapes available - I have tons of leaf shapes and a few Christmas shapes, but nothing particularly spring-ish or summery. Sometimes I've been forced to improvise and cut shapes by hand, and the results have often been amusing. I hope to get better at that as time goes by!

    I also get a lot of use out of the sandwich cutters that cut the sandwich into shapes while sealing the sides so the filling doesn't leak out. Ones I don't use as often but still love are the Japanese egg molds that make a hard-boiled egg resemble a bunny, bear, heart, fish, etc., colorful food picks shaped like animals, leaves, etc., silicone cups to hold blueberries, Goldfish crackers, etc., and shaped sauce bottles/containers for dressings, dips, etc. Bento supplies can be found on Amazon, E-bay or through Japanese/Asian specialty stores online - but pay attention to shipping costs before purchasing, which can be equal to the value of your merchandise!

    As far as foods go, anything miniature is perfect for bento boxes. Small fruits like berries, grapes, clementines or satsumas, petite apples (you can find small Gala, Jazz, and others by the bag at the grocery store), Forelle pears, kumquats, etc. are all wonderful. Baby bell peppers, broccoli florets, grape or cherry tomatoes, snow peas, sliced cucumbers, baby carrots and celery sticks are great ways to get some veggies in. Grocery stores sell containers of mini muffins (multiple flavors in one package!) and mini cupcakes that are perfectly sized for kids' lunches. Sara Lee makes mini burger buns that are great for small sandwiches, and Smuckers Uncrustables frozen PB&Js are great to have on hand for those days when you don't have time to make a sandwich (which for me, are far too many!). Sometimes it's a challenge to have enough fresh produce to create variety in her lunches without wasting some due to spoilage. If you can get your produce from a local farmer's market, it'll last longer.

    MMS: How many have you made? 

    So far I've made 89 bento-inspired lunches for E - four per week since she's started school, with the exception of sick days and vacation days. Fridays are "pizza day" at school, so I give myself Fridays off and let her have pizza for lunch.

    MMS: How do you come up with new ideas?

    Some ideas for designs have come from other lunches I've seen online, and some have been inspired by the weather/season, holidays, and sometimes just by what I have available. For instance, I had a little red wax heart that I'd cut from her Babybel cheese and thought it looked a little like a cat's nose - and I had cheddar and swiss cheeses to make the face, mane and whiskers, green gumdrops and yellow sprinkles for eyes, a little strip of grape tomato for a mouth, and voila! A lion.

    I have been stuck in a rut ingredients-wise, and need to branch out so that she gets more variety. Some friends have sent fabulous ideas for vegetarian sandwich fillings, and I have yet to try many of them. Usually it's time constraints that keep me from doing more experimentation. I need to find a way around that and prepare stuff in advance so that I have it on hand and don't have to try and make it AND assemble it the morning of.

    MMS: Any fun stories about the boxes?

    I've heard that some of the teachers who supervise at lunch time and some of her classmates make a point of checking out her lunches every day, so that's nice to hear. And of course, my friends on Facebook always have sweet things to say - usually something along the lines of "Will you make my lunches, too?"

    Thanks for your interest!

    Thank you Lorelei!  Your food art is AMAZING!


    Bento 6 - Vegetarian bologna & cheese pocket sandwich (with cheddar cat cutout), broccoli and cherry tomatoes, Babybel cheese, apples. Snack: clementine and mini blueberry muffin.

    Bento 8 - Peanut butter and honey sandwich with cheese flowers, Babybel cheese, grapes, snowpea "leaves" and bell pepper flowers and butterfly. Snack: clementine and mini blueberry muffin.

    Bento 36 - Uncrustables sandwich with cheese stars, apple slices, carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes, Babybel cheese. Snack: mini cranberry orange muffin and clementine. Dessert: chocolate Teddy Grahams.

    Bento 41 - Uncrustables sandwich with cheese stars, grape tomatoes, celery sticks and orange slices. Snack: mini pumpkin spice muffin and apple slices. Dessert: Meiji "Pucca Choco Pretzel" from Japan.

    Bento 44 - Uncrustables sandwich with cheddar gingerbread man, checkered apple slices, celery and carrot sticks and Babybel cheese. Snack: green seedless grapes, mini cranberry-orange muffin. Dessert: Meiji "Hello Panda" chocolate-filled cookies from Japan.


    Murder Most Foul

    We know the Holiday season is long past, but we just laugh our heads off everytime we see this post from Salt and Fat.