Skip to content


following the journey of an Ohio Buffum…


Category: Nom-Noms

Lemons are dropping off my tree like crazy so I find new things to make all the time with lemons. Just made this recipe based on one I got from they published in Gourmet in June of 1993. Made a few changes though. This is my version. Came out great.

zest from lemons used to juice for recipe
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs (whole)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of whole milk
1 tsp tahitian vanilla

Mix heavy whipping cream and milk together and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine the sugar, lemon juice, whole eggs, lemon zest and stir till sugar is mostly dissolved. Add in 1 cup of the milk mixture and the vanilla and combine whisking constantly over medium-medium high heat until mixture simmers.

Note: DO NOT STOP STIRRING. If you do you will end up with scrambled eggs and a curdled mixture and you’ll have to start all over again, there is no saving the mixture from this point once you have egg lumps.

Strain the custard mixture through a fine sieve (chinois or similar) into a bowl, pressing on the zest to remove the flavor, discard zest. Cover mixture in bowl with a piece of clingfilm touching the mixture (to prevent a skin from forming on the custard) and chill completely. Add mixture to ice cream maker and when mixture has started to form up in ice cream maker, add in remaining 1 cup of milk mixture. When formed as much as possible, remove from ice cream maker and beat gently to aerate the mixture lightly then place in freezer in airtight container to solidify to hardness desired.

Makes a little more than 1 quart.

What else can a foodie do but obsess over Thanksgiving? In past years I’ve spent $80 on free range heritage single farm turkeys. Or $100 making foie gras. Or goodness knows what else.
This year it’s all about the ingredients. I’ve spent most of the year growing them in my own yard. Well, except for the Turkey of course, or the flour or sugar, I am sure you can understand that you can only do so much with a desert garden 10 feet long by 2 feet wide plus 2 fruit trees.
So of course we have lemons and limes. And the lemons are right on cue. Bless their little harvest timed hearts. Plopping off the tree now for the past week every stiff breeze that comes along. I have about a half dozen now which will suffice for the big day. Of course there’s another 100 or so on the tree should I need more ;)
Herbs, well the garden will be providing the majority of my herbs this year and seasonings for the feast. Rosemary (2 kinds), mexican oregano, thyme (lemon and french), basil (3 kinds), sage (2 kinds), dill, cilantro, lemons, limes and also some swiss chard and romaine. I’ll also be using cinnamon sticks, all spice berries, juniper, star anise, candied ginger and of course brown sugar, kosher salt, black peppercorns and other ingredients.

But it’s time to get started.
Today I’ll be preparing the herb compound butter which will be placed under the turkeys skin as well as coated on top for flavor. This is of course after the turkey has soaked for 24 hours in an herb and spice brine in the refrigerator. The brine I’ll prepare on Wednesday so that I can soak junior overnight for maximum perfection.

Feast days will go something like this.
Gather and prepare herb butter
6 cloves garlic, mince
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (each type)
1 tsp chopped thyme, (each type)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 stick of butter

mash together and lay out into log shape onto wax or parchment paper and make into a log then place back into fridge till needed.

Double check list of ingredients
6-10 quarts chicken stock (check been in fridge for month :)D)

Stuffing cubes, mushrooms, celery, onions, carrots, cranberries
Green beans, garlic, onions, oregano
Rolls, butter, garlic
Red potatoes, dill, garlic chives, cream, butter
turkey, compound butter, lemons, star anise, candied ginger, brine, brine bin, roaster pan clean, twine
giblets (from turkey), flour, wine, stock
pecan pie, scotch, cream, butter, brown sugar

I should apologize now for the amount of dishes that Erik will get stuck washing. It’s brutal. But it does turn out tasty :)D

Round on the ends and HI in the middle… it’s O-HI-O!!!
So here is the masterpiece. I can’t tell if it’s more bad, or more bad-ass. Hee!

Red Velvet Ohio

So the cake is off the shelf Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake. Why? Because I’m lazy. And I don’t feel like re-inventing the wheel this week. :)
The icing however is lavender lime buttercreme. I know I know I hear you all screaming “But you’re supposed to have cream cheese frosting on red velvet cake!!!”….

Yeah yeah yeah… 1) Erik doesn’t like frosting, the heretic, and I made the cakes for him. 2) Since he’s just going to scrape the frosting off, I made the frosting for me. 3) I wanted to try using my new lavender I bought and well, I have limes in abundance at the moment, ergo… yumm.

Here’s the frosting recipe. I went with American Buttercream because I was being lazy and didn’t want to make the sugar syrup:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
pinch kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dried culinary lavender **
1 lime juiced *
4 cups powdered sugar

* My limes are huge. One lime produces almost 1/4 cup of lime juice so plan accordingly.

** Culinary lavender is not craft store lavender. Culinary lavender has less of the camphor oils found in 12 of the 14 or so species of lavender. Look for Royal Velvet for dessert lavenders or Grosso, or a Provence lavender from France.
After picking off the flowers I mashed them in my mortar and pestle, then sieved it 3 times through my smallest mesh screen to get out all of the chaff and stem and woody bits. Only essence was used. About 2 teaspoons when done.

Cream butter and shortening in blender using paddle attachment with rubber scraper if you have one. If not, scrape down bowl till you have a light fluffy mixture. Add in lavender and continue to mix till completely distributed evenly. Add salt, and half of lime juice. Stir to mix. With blender off add half of powdered sugar. Mix on low till incorporated, then stop mixer and add remaining sugar and mix on low till also incorporated then turn up to medium and mix till fluffy. IF mixture is dry add lime juice till mixture is moister looking. If still not moist enough mixture and out of lime juice add a few drops of water till mixture is wet looking, light and fluffy.

Place into piping bag until ready for use.

I refrigerated mine overnight and HOLY COW did the lavender flavor bloom into the mixture, as well as the lime. So I could barely taste it when I first mixed it, but by the next day it was VERY lavender and lime, and VERY delicious. :)


It’s APPLE SEASON!!! In more than one way. :) First of all for the glorious new wares of the season I bring you Apples new MacBook Air Cha cha chaaaa… Guess who has one in the mail on the way-aayyyy. (Eat Cheesus Marcus Aurelius ;) (That’s for posting the awesome looking Japanese sandwich that I have to wait 7 months to taste ;)

Seh-hecondly… I bring you Apple Season!! Yes it’s fall and it’s Apple Season!! I love Apple flavor, but I have never, ever been a fan of the fibrous bark-like skin. Or they’re like 80% water that you then have to get rid of :P SOOOO. First I dehydrated a bunch of them. Yumm. Snackopolis. I can’t believe how long it took. 2x as long as it takes to make a batch of jerky if you can believe that, or approximately 12 hours.

I also just took my 2nd Appling out of the oven, a nummmmmy Apple Tart! Which due to cooling I have not cracked into yet. However, it shant escape me for long. I think this calls for morning pie.

Apple Tart

I cheated for part of it and used Pillsbury ready made pie dough. The box comes with two rolled up pieces of dough (for a traditional two crust pie) but the dough is way too thin and it will pull inward and crack in a tart pan if you use just one. So I lay the first one out and then eggwash the top of it (One egg yolk and a tbsp of water, mixed) and then roll out the 2nd crust on top of it, making sure there are no air bubbles between the pieces. I then poke the crust with trusty Bamboo Skewer *zing* and place it into the tin, pushing the edges into the corner of the tart pan and rolling the rolling pin over the top to cut off the extra bits (which if you save make a great top to a single serve pot pie). I blind bake the crust for 13 minutes at 425°F. (Now my convection oven runs dead on temperature and has no loss of heat, so please adjust for your ovens.)

In the mean time I had peeled 6 apples, cored using a melon baller, and then sliced about 1/5th of an inch using my mandolin slicer. I sprinkled the juice of one of my limes over the apples to keep them from turning dark and then covered with plastic wrap till ready to use.

I combined 2/3rds of a cup of really good quality Apricot jam with 1/4 cup of Calvados and reduced to a glaze. Coating the inside of the crust with the glaze with a pastry brush then I placed the apple slices inside. Now I could have gone all Martha Stewart and placed them in neat little concentric circles but seriously, who has time for that shit? I then coated the top of the apples with 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 stick of butter in ‘dobs’ around the top and put it into the oven at 400°F for 30 minutes. When removed I glazed the top of the tart with the remaining apricot glaze and voila. Yum.

(As a side note, if my website goes down for a day or two it’s because of that cockmunch Gene Simmons (read article for more) who stated among other things:
” As reported by Slyck, Simmons offered on his Web site: “Some of you may have heard a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers. Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say ‘adventurous’ young people, who feel they are above the law. And, as stated in my MIPCOM speech, we will sue their pants off. First, they will be punished. Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who’s been there for years and is looking for a new girl friend. We will soon be printing their names and pictures. We will find you. You cannot hide. Stay tuned.”

It’s leftover season. Well okay no. It’s “I’m moving and need to clean out all the food I can’t pack with me season. :) So I decided to make mac and cheese from scratch. Came out great. Best part was, it made extra Mornay sauce so I have that in the fridge for now.

Box of Rigatoni pasta
4 oz Fontina
2 oz Parmesiano-Reggiano
4 oz White Cheddar
4 oz Gruyere
3? cups milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 stick of butter
flour to make roux
2 tbsp dry mustard
1 cup panko flakes
olive oil to moisten panko

So I started off by throwing the stick of butter in the heavy bottomed pan to melt. I also let it go till it was clarified and browned or beurre noisette. WHICH, is what you’re not supposed to do when you make a blonde roux. BUT! I wanted the extra warm flavor of the brown butter.
At the same time I brought a pot of salted water to boil and dumped in the pasta to cook till just before it gets al-dente. This is so when you add it to the sauce and bake it, it’ll have time to absorb the sauce. If you won’t be baking your dish and serving it sloppy, make sure to boil your pasta to completion however you like it.
In a separate bowl, sprinkle the panko flakes with about a 1/4 cup of olive oil and then fluff about with a fork till the oil is distributed and the flakes are moistened. The oil will help the flakes brown in the oven.
Back to the sauce! I sprinkled flour over the melted butter and whisked it in until it made a thick paste. Smoothness counts! If you have lumps here, you’ll have lumps alllll the way through. After getting the roux I then added the milk a cup at a time till it was incorporated and loose. I stated that I used 3 cups milk, but to be honest I think it might have been closer to 4. You’ll know when you add the 3rd cup of milk if it’s still thick like porridge then add another cup and stir. When it becomes loose but still slightly thick. Add the pint of heavy cream.
Bring the mixture up to about 175°F. You want it warm to melt the cheese but you do not want it boiling. I had pre grated and mixed all of the cheeses together to get a unified mixture before adding it into the sauce. At this point I put a handful of cheese in, then I’d whisk and stir until mostly melted. Repeat till entire amount of cheese is incorporated.
Stir until cheese mixture becomes homogenous and smooth in consistency. Add the dry mustard. Stir till blended completely. Salt and pepper to taste. Now.. a lot of recipes tell you to mix your pasta into your cheese sauce then spoon it into a baking dish if you’re going to bake it. However, I could tell I had about 2 cups+ of extra sauce.
I dumped the pasta into my baking dish and then slowly added the sauce over the pasta, mixing it till everything was coated. Then I made sure to add at least another cup over the top of the pasta to give it extra cheesiness. At this point I evenly sprinkled the panko over the top of the Mac and cheese and then popped it into a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Now my oven runs hot, and cooks fast. So if your oven doesn’t! Add extra time to make sure the top is brown and you get a good crust on the cassarole.

YUMMY for the TUMMY!