Salt and Limes

The Complexity of Olive Oil

After recently having an amazing garden salad, I asked the waitress what was in the dressing. She told me it was only Balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. I quickly realized I needed to buy better raw ingredients for use at home. Before buying anything, I did some research. I quickly realized that Olive oil is much more complex than I had previously thought.

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The Enemy of Alcohol- Ink Cap Mushrooms

Alternate names: Inky Cap, Alcohol Inky Cap and Common Inky Cap.

Ink Cap Mushrooms have a distinctive black ink rim which is created when the cap and gills begin digesting themselves from the bottom edge upward. They are edible but can be toxic if paired with alcohol (full story below).

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How to Create a Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie, pronounced shar-ku-ta-ree, is translated to mean pork butcher or cooked meat. It is an art of preserving and presenting meats. Although technically it should be only pork products, it is common for it to include other types of meat. It is most often served with a variety of cheeses, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.

See below for ingredients and more pictures.

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Tallgrass Prairie Table

Farm-to-table has become a generic term used by every restaurant that has any of the following on their menu- grilled asparagus, heirloom tomatoes or a fresh egg on top of a burger.

However, Tallgrass Prairie Table has a completely different and much more respectable definition for this term. They source nearly all of their ingredients not only from farms, but predominantly from small, family-owned, sustainable, organic, Oklahoma farms. They have actually partnered with some of these farms in order to mutually benefit each other and simultaneously gain input into which crops are grown, which chickens are raised and how they are raised. The farmers deliver food multiple times per week, depending on what is in season. The farmers also pick up organic waste from the restaurant and return it to their farms as food for the animals which in turn creates fertilizer. The circle of life people, it’s the circle of life.

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The Rusty Crane

The Rusty Crane sits right on the cusp of the Brady and Greenwood district, across the street from the ONEOK baseball field. This place is known for having one of the best patios in Tulsa. It is also a great place to watch the Friday night fireworks during the baseball season.

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The Tavern

The Tavern is a prohibition era style restaurant with some of the best food in downtown Tulsa. They are known for the Tavern Burger and for making amazing cocktails. Despite being known for a burger, this is a high end joint which even has valet parking. Almost everything is made in house from scratch, including their bread. I would suggest making a reservation for a window table because it is a very popular place.

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Plate 38

The question, "where should we eat tonight", has many variables. Are there any happy hours or daily specials around? Will our young daughter be joining us and if so, will she be welcomed or will people give us dirty looks? What style of food sounds good? What kind of drinks do we want? Do they have brunch? How much is this going to cost me? The answer and solution to every one of these questions has been Plate 38.

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Ribeye steak with crispy brussel sprouts

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Union

Union is a small, farmer's market to table style restaurant in Old Town Pasadena, California. Chef Bruce Kalman was the winner of Chopped (season 13) on the Food Network. He is an expert with charcuterie, pickled/ fermented foods, and fresh pasta. His cuisine is diverse but generally Northern Italian and Mediterranean.

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Vertical Wine Bistro

The Vertical Wine Bistro in Old Town Pasadena, California is an upscale, classy wine bar and restaurant serving one of the best seafood platters in Los Angeles.

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Muscles and Meat

Pop quiz-

Do you know what part of the pig bacon comes from?

Do you know which muscle your favorite steak is made of?

Here is a list of some common cuts of meat and their anatomic correlations.

Bacon or Belly is composed of anterior abdominal wall subcutaneous fat and three muscles-

Transversus abdominus (deepest layer)
Internal oblique (middle layer)
External oblique (superficial layer)

Bacon is differentiated from Belly by the typical absence of overlying skin or dermal layer.

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Microwaves, No Flavor but Totally Safe

There are two broad categories of radiation- ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation.

Ionizing radiation is radiation that carries enough energy to liberate electrons (ionize) from other molecules and therefore can alter or mutate DNA and increase the risk of cancer.

Examples of ionizing radiation- Ultraviolet rays from the sun, x-rays and CT scans.

Non-ionizing radiation is electromagnetic radiation that does not carry enough energy to liberate electrons (ionize) from other molecules and therefore cannot alter or mutate DNA. It carries no increased risk of cancer.

Examples of non-ionizing radiation- MRI scans, AM and FM Radio waves, Cell phones, Power lines, Computers and Microwave ovens.

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Spicy Dry Rub

This is a very versatile recipe for our favorite dry rub. It can be used on any type of meat but our favorites are grilled shrimp, prime rib, baby back ribs and chicken.

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Poppyseed Bread

If you make this recipe, there is a good chance that you will eat it all in one sitting. It is perfectly sweet with a soft center and a crunchy glaze on the outside. It can be made into small loafs or into a bundt cake and is perfect for breakfast, brunch or even dessert.

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The Westside Local

The Westside Local is a casual and elegant farm to table restaurant located in the up and coming, you guessed it, Westside of Kansas City, Missouri. It has an awesome beer garden with rustic picnic tables, creative flower arrangements, hanging plants and a vine covered pergola providing shade even on the hottest summer days. They grow many of their own ingredients in their backyard urban style garden. The beer and wine menu is plentiful and the food menu is ever changing to accommodate the season.

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Corn Smut the New Truffle

Corn smut, also known as Huitlacoche is a fungus that infects corn and replaces the normal kernels with large distorted fungal tumors similar to mushrooms. The origin of the name is debated but probably means either sleeping excrement or raven’s excrement. Sounds tasty right?

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Spicy Asian Marinade

This is one of the most versatile marinades I’ve ever had. It goes well with chicken, beef, salmon and pork.

It has all of the elements of a perfect marinade. The spiciness from the Sriracha chili sauce, wasabi paste and fresh grated ginger. The saltiness of the soy sauce. The tartness of fresh squeezed lemon juice and rice wine vinegar. The sweetness of brown sugar.

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Elyse Winery

If you’re looking for a wine tasting experience that shows off what’s magical about the Napa Valley, Elyse Winery should be one of your first stops. Located just southwest of Yountville, this is a family owned, hand-crafted, small production winery with a focus on affordable reds.

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Linger Eatuary

You better make your reservation now because Linger is a very popular place (for good reason). Located in the Highlands district of Denver in the former Olinger Mortuary, the name and sign were cleverly altered into Linger Eatuary. The old stainless steel medical charts from the mortuary are now used as drink menus. Slightly morbid, yes, do I care, no because the food and drinks are so damn good. The genre is described as global street food and is similar to a tapas bar meaning they offer a large variety of small plates mostly in the $8-10 range. The menu is divided into categories such as, Americas, Asia, South Asia, Africa and The Middle East, Europe and Eurasia.

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Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

The science behind bread is very interesting. In order to make bread rise you need bubbles. To create these bubbles and make a soft light bread, there are two options.

First, you can use yeast which ferments the natural sugars in flour into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This will also create a unique flavor which in the case of biscuits is undesirable.

The second option, which we will use in this recipe, is a leavening agent called baking powder. Baking powder is a combination of acid (sodium aluminum sulfate and mono calcium phosphate) and a base or alkaline chemical (sodium bicarbonate AKA-baking soda). When the acid and base react with the liquid in the biscuit mix, they create carbon dioxide bubbles which will make the dough rise.

I have been working on perfecting the biscuit recipe for years. I have finally figured it out. It is not a technically difficult recipe and only requires basic ingredients. You will not be disappointed!

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Spicy Serrano Turkey Burgers

This is the spicy and healthy relative of the hamburger. Turkey alone can be bland but this lack of intrinsic flavor allows the other ingredients to stand out.

Often, the downfall of entertaining is spending the entire night cooking which leaves no time to enjoy the company of your guests. This is an easy recipe that can even be made the day before. In fact, I suggest making it the day before in order to let the spices diffuse into the ground turkey.

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Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Popovers

Popovers are basically the American version of Yorkshire pudding. They are hollow rolls made from batter, similar to that which you would make for crepes or pancakes (although no sugar is added in this case). They are very easy to make and require only a few ingredients. I decided to stuff them with cheddar but you could use any type of cheese you prefer as long as it melts well.

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Sriracha from Scratch

After growing a Thai Chili plant this last summer, I had hundreds of these extremely spicy peppers left over. I wanted to preserve them so I used my food dehydrator to dry them. You can also buy them already dried and very cheap at most grocery stores. Granted, it is probably much easier to just buy a bottle of Sriracha Sauce but I promise you that the “made from scratch” version is much better.

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Valkyrie is Making Serious Drinks

Valkyrie is making serious drinks in the Brady district of downtown Tulsa. It is rather small and depending on the night may even have a line outside to get in. They serve a few snacks but this is definitely more of a cocktail bar than a restaurant.

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The Perfect Brine and the Science behind it

When it comes to brining, there are multiple theories about how it works. First, I will attempt to logically disprove some common myths about brining. Then, I will use my background in chemistry, anatomy and physiology to construct an accurate theory.

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Colorado Spicy Green Chili

Spicy Green Chili Stew is found at nearly all Mexican restaurants throughout New Mexico and Colorado. It can be eaten like soup or used to “smother” a burrito, tamale, hash browns or even a hamburger. The only essential ingredient is roasted Hatch Green Chiles. If you can’t find them fresh, you can surely find them in the frozen section at your local grocery store. Every family has their secret recipe and variation. Some add pinto beans, some add diced potatoes, some use chicken instead of pork. This is my family’s recipe that we have perfected over the years. Enjoy!

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The Summit Restaurant at Shangri La

Located about an hour and a half northeast of Tulsa on Monkey Island - Grand Lake, The Summit Restaurant at Shangri La is well worth the drive. It is located on the top floor of the newly designed clubhouse for the Shangri La Resort and Golf Club, which I’m told is one of the nicest golf clubs in the state. It has a warm, rustic, mountain lodge-like charm with dark, rich wooden beams traversing the ceiling. Tables, surrounded by large, over-stuffed leather chairs situated beneath beautiful chandeliers greet you at the top of the tall stair case.

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How to make Tabasco sauce

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The worlds most famous hot sauce can easily be made at home. It only takes 3 months to grow the peppers and 6 months to ferment them. Or... you can go buy a bottle for $5, but that’s not nearly as much fun! Read More...
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