Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hard Apple Cider, small batch dorm style

What do you need to make a refreshing, yet ETOH rich beverage?
1 Packet of yeast
1 Gallon of Apple juice, cider, or juice of your like Sans (that's without) preservatives. Preservatives such as Sodium Benzoate can kill the yeast.
1 Airlock and bung or Big balloon (one that would fit around the top of the gallon jug)

Sanitize the balloon or the air lock in a solution of bleach, rinse and set aside.
Pour a bit of the cider into a sanitized shallow cup, pour 1/5th a packet of yeast into the cup of cider and set aside for a few minutes.
for higher alcohol contents add syrups or sugars to the cider. If adding white sugar, pour cider into a pan and dissolve the sugar to break its chemical bonds. The yeast will thank you for this.
Add the sugar, replace cap, shake, make sure the cider is about room temperature 70-72 degrees. If the sugar cider solution is too hot it will kill your little friends.
Pitch the yeast into the cider, cap it and give it a shake so that the yeast is distributed, remove the cap and then place bung and airlock or balloon on the top of the bottle.
If using a balloon, poke a hole in the balloon to let CO2 escape.
Let that sit for 2 weeks and you'll be right as rain.

Friday, October 8, 2010


6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso,
cooled 2 teaspoons dark rum
24 packaged ladyfingers
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

Whip the Egg yolks and sugar until they look like Michael Chiklis (thick and pale), add the cheese and mix til its smooth looking. Add a tablespoon (the big one if you don't know how to measure) to the cheese yolk sugar mix and stir thoroughly.

Lady fingers are like long nila wafer like things. The proper Lady finger is a spongecake like that is pretty easy to make. I'll throw the recipe for the traditional ones at the bottom.
Take out a wee dish, shallow with proper edges, and add the remaining rum and espresso. Soak each finger (no yours but the lady fingers) in the juice for about 4-8 seconds. Really you're just putting them in there until they're ready to fall apart. You don't want them to do that though. Place the fingers on the bottom of a 13X9 Baking dish, or break them up to fit whatever type of dish you have.
Pour the Cheese yolk mixture over the top of the fingers, even it out. Put it in the fridge for a couple hours and top with cocoa. I like using beans myself, and garnish with coffee bean.

this one is from allrecipes
Proper Lady Fingers
4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup white sugar
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line two 17 x 12 inch baking sheets with baking parchment. Fit large pastry bag with a plain 1/2 inch round tube.

Place egg whites in bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. In another bowl beat egg yolks and remaining sugar. Whip until thick and very pale in color.

Sift flour and baking powder together on a sheet of wax paper. Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour, and then add the remaining egg whites. Transfer mixture to pastry bag and pipe out onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.

I actually think some of these were posted on thetartangourmet .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mummy Beeson's award winning Caramel Creams.

I still remember Natalie and I purchasing that giant mother's day card for her at the local 7-11 in Falls Church. She was tickled right bloody pink by it. Congrats on your prize mummy.

Katherine Beeson of Greenfield took the top prize in the Grandma's Favorite
Cookie category for these tasty Caramel Creams.
Caramel Creams
Makes 4 dozen frosted or 2 dozen sandwich cookies

...1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter (divided)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (divided)
1 egg yolk
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 to 5 tablespoons cream
In large bowl, cream 1 cup butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar
until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and egg yolk and mix well. Add flour and mix until dough forms. Chill dough for 2 to 8 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease cookie
sheets or line with parchment.
Roll dough into ¾-inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on prepared
sheets. Flatten to 1/8 -inch thickness by pressing in crossways pattern with tines of fork or using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 11 minutes or until cookies are very light brown. Cool on rack.
In saucepan, melt remaining ¼ cup butter over low heat until it just begins
to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Watch carefully. Remove from heat and
blend in powdered sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and cream, until it reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cookies by dipping knife into icing and drizzling over tops. Or spread frosting between two cookies to make sandwich cookies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spaghetti a'la Mycoprotein

1 Bag of MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters™ Grillers® Recipe Crumbles™
(found in the freezer section at smiths in the vegetarian option area)
4 cans of tomato paste
2 cans diced tomato, garlic, basil
2 bay leafs
4 cloves of garlic, not bunches just the cloves
2 large golden onions
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
(we're going to cheat on this due to the fact that you don't have many spices in the house)
4 packets of Spaghetti spice powder in the flavour packet section at Smiths, doesn't matter the brand.
7cups of water
2 tablespoons butter but if going vegetarian route throw the country crock in there

1 in a big pot place the water, tomato sauce (6oz cans) the diced tomato, garlic, basil (a del monte product I believe), the bay leaves, and the butter
Put the heat on low->medium

Chop the onions, the peppers, garlic
add all of this to a saucepan containing a couple tablespoons of olive oil
under medium heat cook the onions and peppers until the onions are a bit clear
add the mycroprotein meat and reduce the heat. This is so that the crumbles absorb the flavour of the onions garlic and peppers.
add all of this to the spaghetti sauce after about 5 minutes
Simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes on low heat, it should bubble a bit but we don't want it to burn.

Prep your noodles and away you go.

For the horrible for you Garlic bread
don't bother cleaning that pepper/onion saucepan just wipe it out and throw a cube of butter and 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic
heat up the butter by 2 tbs each and grab a package of sandwich or Hogie rolls
fry only the soft inside portion of them and you have instant fried garlic breads.

Monday, August 9, 2010

John Kuminecz's Recipe for disaster -This is an old post from my hightower's adventures blog but thought It appropriate to move it here.

Recipe for disaster : An evening with John Kuminecz
The funniest thing about this posting is that I give a certain amount of money from my ecommerce to put my search strings first in google searches. That being said, John's name should now pop up under the Hightower's Adventures blog right quick. This posting is for Chris, who's sieve-like memory is up there with my Grandmum's, who like me probably still has bad dreams about this encounter. I am jealous that he has the ability to repress such things. I believe he should make a toon called memento. Anyhow on with the post.

John asked everyone over for dinner one night. The grunts coming from the family could only mean one thing, that they were damned excited to go to John's for dinner. Mary Lou then unfolded the great history of his cooking successes. Thank God for ML for without her, her kids may have developed a worse colons than myself. We got a Roast Chicken for Beth, as she is more picky than a transfusion recipient. We got to his house, removed our coats, looked around a bit and started in on the appetizers. Everyone was awkwardly recounting stories to each other, so I decided to head into the kitchen. John was stirring something but I couldn't make out what the substance in the pan was. I noticed the great amount of grease stored in the wee George Forman grill to the left, and wondered to myself how long it had been there. I asked John what he was making. He told me that he was making Alfredo or a cream sauce. I asked him how he was making this alfredo sauce. I didn't see any cheese, butter, cream or anything that you might actually make a cream sauce with. He told me he was going to add the cheese later and to make a good cream sauce you used Mayonnaise. For those of you who don't know, I have a Ipecacesque reaction to Mayonnaise. I told him how one might make the sauce and he scoffed at me. John has this form of speech which suggests that he knows infinitely more than you. I know this from experience. I helped him move once or twice. He got trapped under a couch because of his vast knowledge. I clued the rest of family in to his creation and they all made the same face I did. We sat at the table, casting odd glances at each other, eating only plain noodles, peas, and small bits of the chicken that was reserved for Beth. I should make a sub blog entitled the misadventures of john kuminecz. kum in ech koomeineshz. kimeinchu. Thats just ramdom ways i've heard the name pronounced.
Cheers for now. Time to go mother this damned headache of mine.
Oh I've included a real recipe for it.

* 1/4 cup butter
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.
Posted by Kris Hightower at 10:23 AM

Sunday, August 1, 2010

P90X yesterday Cardio X + 1M 104degrees + Back and Biceps =pain today

Cardio X killed me
Ran a Mile outside
drank a litre and a half of water

Back and Biceps
wide front pull up-7
lawn mowers R10 L10 @30lb free weight
21's purple band all
Cross Curl 8@30lb each
switch grip pull up 2 2 2 2
lawn mower elbow out 10@30r 9@30L
full bi curl 6@30 and 2 on purple band
lawn mower stance curl R6@30 2@25 L8@20
corn cob pull up 3 yeah weak sauce
bent over row 12 purple
open arm curls 9 purple
static arm 4 4 4 4 purple
towel pull up 2 2 2 2
congon locomotive 40reps @ 30lbs each
cohen curl 10 purple
corkscrew 6 purple 2@ 30
curl up 6
seated back fly 10 purple
hammer curl 8 and 8 @ 30
max pull up 10
superman 5 ten count
in and out hammer curl 8 each

Monday, July 19, 2010

P90X Back and Shoulders a return after months

Here are my Stats for my return to the X
Round 1
Push Ups-31
Wide Front Pull ups-22
Military Push Ups-40
Reverse Grip Curl Ups-17
Wide Push Ups-17
Close Grip Pull Up-21
Decline Push Up-12
Heavy Pants (heavy heavy band) 10
Diamond Push ups - 18
Lawn Mowers r8,l10
Dive Bomber-15
Back Fly (purple band) 10
Wide Front Pull up-15
Push ups standard- 35
Reverse Grip Pull up-18
Military Push Ups-311
Close Grip Pull up-20
Wide Fly push ups-12
Heavy pants -10
Decline Push up-10
Lawn mower 10,10
Diamond Push Up-18
Back fly (purple band) 10
Dive Bomber 12
Ab Ripper X 15 Minutes

Friday, July 16, 2010

sample meal plan for weight loss with exercise.

2/3 cup oatmeal

½ c banana

1 c nonfat milk

Fruit or veggie w

1/4c cot chee or yogurt

3oz turkey meat

whole wheat bread

1 c fruit juice

½ c broth based soup

½ c jello

1 c fresh fruit

3oz skinless grilled turkey breast

baked pota, 1c mixed veggies

1 c fruit

¾ c brown rice

2 waffles with lt syrup 2/3 c OJ

1 tbs PB on Celery

2 oz Ham

whole wheat bread

light spread

baked tater

½ c fruit

Bran muffin (fat free) ½ c lowfat milk

½ slice pizza with a salad and lowfat dressing or yogurt dressing

1c fruit orveg

1c Oat cereal with 1c Fruit and 1c Fatfree milk

Cliff or balance bar

½ turk chili

1oz lf chedder

½ sourdough roll

½ c fruit

1 c milk

½ frozen yogurt

5 oz grilled or broiled salmon

1c veggies and roll


3 egg whites piece of toast with butter or spread of nutella

2/3 c oj and 1c nf milk

½ c plain peanuts

3 oz tuna

light mayo on wheat bread

1 c fruit juice

A rice cake and some peanut butter 1 tbs

4 oz red lean meat


mixed veggies steamed

Bagel with lf cream cheese

1c milk 1c fruit

2/3 OJ

1 chobani yogurt

(its heaven)

Baked potato wee bit of SC or butter

turkey hot dog and bun light spread

½ c frozen yogurt

wee piece of angel food cake

2 c pasta, light red sauce marinara

2 oz broiled chick breast

mixed veggies

romaine salad with lf dressing or yog dress

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mum's Obituary

"Deborah Mary Gilmore-Hightower
November 11, 1958 – June 3, 2010
Debbie Mary Gilmore-Hightower passed away June 3 at Harrison Hospital after a three year battle with cancer.
Debbie was born and raised in Port Orchard and graduated from South Kitsap H.S. She spent most of her adult life in the Reno-Tahoe area and Port Orchard. She will be fondly remembered for her candies, cookies, chili, crafts, infamous garage sales and her smiling face at numerous craft festivals throughout both areas. She was loved by everyone with whom she came in contact.
Debbie was preceded in death by her daughter Sabrina. She is survived by her parents Leonard and Maryann Gilmore, Port Orchard; son Kristopher, Port Orchard; daughter Michelle Curtis (Hawkins), grandchildren Emma and Ian, Reno, NV. Brothers Robert Gilmore (Cathi), CO.; Johnny Gilmore (Barbara), England; Jerry Gilmore (Vickie), TX. and numerous nieces and nephews. She was also survived by her long-time companion Charles “Red” Thomas and her beloved dog Pudgie.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to Dr. Grey and her staff at SCCA and Dr. Trans at Harrison Radiology for all of their efforts on behalf of Debbie.
There will be a wake at her house in Port Orchard around her beloved fire pit on July 4, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please feel free to contact the family at
In lieu of flowers the family requests you send donations to your favorite charity."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bruschetta, amazing amazing Bruschetta

Brusketta not Brushetta
A grand little appetizer but can be served up proper as an accompaniment to most meals. The refreshing mixture of flavours will leave you excited to reach for another wee piece.
What you will need

Garlic (we grow it so just popped a purple skinned one out of the garden)
olive oil EVOO of course
Tomatoes (wee hard skinned ones, like plum tomatoes)
Salt (I like using kosher sea salt for this)
Basil big leafy stuff from the market or your aero garden.
1 Baguette or garlic bread or whatever you like but a baguette was used in the making of this dish.

How to:
Take a cookie sheet from wherever you have them and set it aside.
Chop the garlic finely and set aside
Chop basil as big or as small as you desire, sometimes i like to throw little onions in there too
take a little pot out and fill it full of water
you'll need an ice cube, just put this on a little plate as we'll get to its use in a sec.
cut the baguette into 1/4" -1/2" pieces and set aside
Pour olive oil in a dish or on a small plate
Throw a dash of garlic from your choppings into the olive oil and stir

What to do with all of this
boil the water, throw the tomatoes in the water for about 30 seconds and pull off the stove. strain the tomatoes and peel the skin off, I know its bloody hot so put your fingers on that ice cube before you do the extractions.
Cut the tomatoes into little pieces with a small knife and set aside

Take the baguette pieces and dip one side in the garlic EVOO mixture and lay it face down on the cookie sheet

In a seperate bowl now mix all the ingredients, garlic, basil, a dash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, add the tomatoes and mix gently with your hands

Place small dollops of the tomato mixture upon the dry sides of the baguette pieces.
broil until the pieces look to be a bit toasted, pull out and serve. You may even add some balsamic glaze if you wish.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

French Onion Soup :-)

So I've had a grand request to post the prices of things that I buy so as to show a value of the meal. I'll also offer options to common things so you can substitute. Tonight I went to SAAR's market and yes it sounds like a disease you might acquire by making out with a bird. Don't worry about that.

I purchased 4 yellow onions (I prefer the sweet but those were 98c a pound) @ 34c a lb.
one bottle of lovely merlot from South Africa caled Herding Cats. I really like this wine as it offers a sweet flavour to nearly anything you prepare. It's not your normal bitter/dry/peppery flavour you might expect. This was $5 which was surprising as its a good wine. Don't let the screw cap fool you, this is the wave of the future boxes and caps. Never does it get corked.
One bunch of garlic 33c
ahh add some sugar about err 3 tbs, yeah that sounds good, how about a spill or two of some apple cider (hard variety is best)
Smoked provolone 6.99
one baguette 1.69 yummmmy
cut the baguette into wee slices, pour soup in bowl over it and then cover all with cheese :-)


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere


Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.