Happy Father’s Day…and here’s some cake

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Happy Father's Day...and here's some cake

So my computer is running a tad slow so for now one picture will suffice. I will be away for an extended weekend at my parents in Northern New Jersey and meeting up with friends. To anyone who is a father have a wonderful Father’s Day and for everyone else have a relaxing weekend.

Besides the regular gift for dad (me and my brother got him the Crystal Skull Vodka Rolling Stones 50th anniversary set) my mom sent me the following link… http://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/all-holidays/fathers-day/dads-day-shirt-and-tie-cake and yes it was missing some things i.e. how to make a shirt collar. Also as I am more of a pastry fan versus cakes, I can’t go with a plain old cake. So mine is filled with a strawberry custard with ground hazelnuts and coconut flakes. Hope you enjoy.

A break from the normal food posts…Some volunteer work

As we get into the onset of summer Facebook has become abound with lots of posts of “going down the shore”, “partying down the shore”, etc. Perhaps it is a lack of knowledge, maybe the lack of support the state itself has given in recent months, or just not wanting to take the time and help, but down the Jersey Shore (especially in lower class areas around Atlantic City, many of people still need help finishing up houses to move back into from the hurricanes of last fall.

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Personally, I’ll admit I’m not the most religious/catholic person you will meet. However, I do still have that need or desire to help others and give some of my time to help them have a better life. Since the fall, I have had the opportunity to go down on numerous such occasions with Heavenly Driven Disaster Relief (http://hddrelief.com/hddr/) to help out those in need in our own community (especially in an area which I like to enjoy when the weather is nice). In the fall it was about gutting houses so mold would not be present and now currently a lot of the work has been doing the final painting, laying down flooring, tiles, etc.

The end of this past week, I had the amazing opportunity to work on two houses with a group from the Flemington area. Sometimes it is not just about being given the opportunity to help others in need, but when you work with such amazing people (George, Nancy, Deb, Chris, John, Derick, and sorry for those names I don’t remember) it also helps me to grow as an individual in my own right and it is something I am thankful for. Here are some various pictures of working on the job.

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Steamer Clams

As I am a hug fan of all types of seafood ranging from the lighter fish such as perch and tilapia to bolder fish like salmon and to various sorts of shellfish and crustaceans I realized it has been to long since I have incorporated seafood into my own dishes. So for tonight, I started off with some steamer clams.

I still have a few bottles of Elysian Brewery’s Idiot Sauvin IPA (done with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops- quite citrusy) so i took one bottle and poured it into my pot. I then chopped up some garlic, some fresh parsley and tossed them in as well. I brought this brew to a boil and then lowered the temp down to a simmer. After about 5 minutes (to let the flavors mix) I added in the the steamer clams, put on a lid and let simmer for 5 minutes.

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On a pot on the side, I boiled up some of the mushroom infused pasta I had made a while back. Then in a saucepan I made a creamy- basil sauce with cracked peppercorn.

After the pasta was done, I drained them and placed on the plate. I then put the sauce on top of that and finally topped the dish off with the steamers. Add in a nice glass of traminer-riesling and you have a nice meal.Image

Honey-Soy Chicken

One thing I love about chicken is the versatility. Besides the numerous types of sauces or marinades it can be done in (i.e. everything from tomato sauce to grilling marinades and barbeque sauces) is also the numerous ways chicken can be prepared (i.e. on the grill, in a pan, oven-roasted, etc). In this particular instance I roasted chicken thighs in the oven and prepared a honey-soy multi-step sauce for the chicken.

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First I took the potatoes, cubed them up and placed them in  oven pan. I then chopped up some garlic and onion and placed over the potatoes. I then added some water and spread around some pieces of butter.

Over the potatoes i placed the chicken thighs, and using a fork poked small holes into the top of the thighs. I then poured on some soy sauce which soaked into the thighs. Over the top of that, I drizzled on honey and then placed on some garlic and onion.

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This was then placed in the oven at 450 and cooked for about 30-35 minutes. In the meantime I prepared some couscous which I added some black trumpet mushrooms to.

Enjoy.