Warm Winter Belly – 1/26/2022 – Invite

Posted January 23rd, 2022 by Chris

Greetings Eaters!

It’s been some time, but we’re back! After our brief hibernation and recovery from the holidays, the Cooking Army is back to serve you some grub. Now that we’re in the throes of deep Chicago winter, it’s time to warm up those bellies with comfort food to raise that body temperature. I’m also going to try some recipes that should be relatively easy for those to try at home if they’d like. 

Deets!
When: This Wednesday, January 26th. Cooking at 6:30, soup should be ready first, then the main course.
Where: Chris’ cozy cabin
What: Roasted Carrot Soup, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, Lemon Pine Nut Chicken

As always, no need to RSVP and feel free to bring any friends and/or beverages you prefer, any drinks or desserts are always appreciated! Bring your friends, bring your bellies, it’s time to eat.

Christmas Tree Burn – 11/17/2021 – Invite

Posted November 16th, 2021 by Chris

Hello Eaters,
 
Pre-Covid we had an annual house party we call the Christmas Tree Burn where I cook ribs and pork butt and salmon and we pass out Christmas Tree branches to the small children to throw on the fire. We’ll be doing that this week! Minus the ribs, kids and Christmas Tree. Come and eat, we’ll have plenty of smoked pork butt and salmon.

Items!

When: This Wednesday, November 17th.  Food ready by 7:30, come anytime after 6:30.
Where: Jeremy’s Imaginary Fire Pit
What: Pork Butt, Smoked Salmon, TBD third item that’s not smoked

We are all vaccinated and hope you are too.  This will be indoors as always and that comes with all the usual warnings that go along with that in these auspicious times.

Yay, you survived through the clerical portion of the email.  Aren’t you such a good reader!  As usual, if you want anything in particular to drink, haul it alongside your friends.

Let’s eat!

Jason

Time for a Fall – 10/27/2021 – Recipes

Posted November 2nd, 2021 by Chris

All the recipes for this Cooking Army turned out really well. I’m actually planning to make more of the pork soon!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 
https://www.food.com/recipe/creamy-roasted-butternut-squash-soup-188978
One of our signature dishes, this turned out great as always. I personally add extra garlic and maple syrup to the base recipe and just doubling the recipe ended up with a good amount of leftovers after everyone ate too. A note for those who have not done this recipe before – the recipe says to roast the squash for 50 min. THAT IS A LIE. I roasted this for 3.5 hours before it was soft enough to scoop out.

Apple Cider Pulled Pork
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/apple-cider-pulled-pork/
This was my favorite of the night! And it mixed really well with the pumpkin mashed potatoes too. Gonna keep this on my list!

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
https://steamykitchen.com/23787-pumpkin-mashed-potatoes-recipe.html
The pumpkin and the potatoes really melded well as flavors and complemented the pork too. Kept really well as leftovers.

Time for a Fall – 10/27/2021 – Invite

Posted October 26th, 2021 by Chris

Hello Hello!
It’s finally gotten cold out, children are diving into piles of leaves and gaining bruises because those things are not nearly as cushioned as TV leads you to believe… People are carving pumpkins that will be prime for smashing in a week, which means it’s time for some fall food! We’re bringing back a fall classic like making a couple gallons of butternut squash soup, but trying some new items too. Come join us to try them out!

When: This Wednesday, October 27th. Cooking at 6:30, soup should be ready right away, while others will come out as they’re ready.
Where: Chris’ treehouse of horror
What: Butternut squash soup, Potato pumpkin mash, Apple cider pulled pork

As always, no need to RSVP and feel free to bring any friends and/or beverages you prefer, although an oktoberfest is always appreciated! Bring your friends, bring your bellies, it’s time to eat.

/Chris

Cheese – 8/4/2021 – Invite

Posted August 2nd, 2021 by Chris

Hello Friends!

The very first thing I must do is apologize to our friends who may be lactose intolerant. We have nothing against you, it is a particular curse I would not wish on most of my enemies. With that said, this week’s menu includes CHEESE. Feta, provolone, cheddar, gruyere, graviera or kefalograviera or kasseri or kefalotyri (depending on what I can find). There may be others, we’ll see what happens when I get to the altar of cheese that some grocery stores seem to have these days and determine how good my willpower is at the time. 

Up to no gouda!

When: This Wednesday, August 4th. Cooking at 6:30, some food ready by 7:00, but quantities may be limited, so first come, first served.
Where: Chris’ giant wheel of cheese
What: Saganaki, Spinach and Gruyère Pasta, Herbed Rice With Feta, Beer and Cheddar Soup with Kielbasa Sausage

As always, no need to RSVP and feel free to bring any friends and/or beverages you feel would go well with acidified dairy product. Bring your friends, bring your bellies, it’s time to eat.

/Chris

Christmas 2020 with a recipe!

Posted December 21st, 2020 by Chris

So, it’s December 2020 and we haven’t had Cooking Army in almost a year. We’re not gone, we miss Cooking Army too! We will be back. Until that time as we can muster up and get cooking again, we will leave you with this recipe. It’s proportions are nearly adequate for getting through this pandemic.

“Apple Pie” cocktail mix

128oz apple juice
128oz apple cider
0.25 cup sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
2.25 cups everclear
2.25 cups vodka

Combine apple juice, apple cider, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a large stock pot. Cook with medium heat for 45 min, stirring occasionally. Let stock pot cool for 1-2 hours. Add everclear and vodka.

Makes ridiculous amount of servings (2-3 gallons?!)

Bourbon – 1/22/2020 – Invite

Posted January 20th, 2020 by Chris

My fellow Cooking Army Eaters,

It has come to my attention that it is entirely too cold outside. In that regard, we shall attempt to warm everyone deep down in their bellies by utterly drenching everything in bourbon this week. Even if we don’t get you warm enough, maybe we can get you to have enough bourbon where you don’t care. Either way works for us. Also, we did some of these recipes a few years ago after some maniac decided to move into The White House, so we figured it was time to give them another go.

Drink!

When: This Wednesday, January 22nd. Cooking at 6:30, some food ready by 7:30.
What: Bourbon Chicken, Bourbon-Glazed Carrots, Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Bourbon–Sea Salt Caramels, plus various bourbon cocktails

As always, no need to RSVP and feel free to bring any friends. Come drink, eat, and be merry. Or drown your sorrows with us. Either way, bring your friends, bring your bellies, it’s time to eat.

/Chris

Pumpkin – 10/2/2019 – Recipes

Posted October 5th, 2019 by Chris

Had a decent turnout with all the recipes being quick and relatively easy!

Crustless Pumpkin Pie 
https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a28576182/crustless-pumpkin-pie-recipe/
The pie was made the night before since it needs to be refrigerated. It took maybe 20 min to mix and 2 hours to bake before cooling, it was said to be some of the best pumpkin pie people had had. And it’s gluten free to boot!

Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites
https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a56270/pumpkin-spice-pretzel-bites-recipe/
These were so good! I think using pumpkin spice extract instead of pumpkin spice powder made the difference.

Chorizo Pumpkin Pasta
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chorizo-pumpkin-pasta/
This was my favorite of the night! The chorizo mixed perfectly with the pumpkin and the cheese just brought everything together. Making this again soon!

Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup
https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a44147/coconut-curry-pumpkin-soup-recipe/
This was fine, but nothing particularly special about it. It would have been better if it didn’t come out last.

Pumpkin – 10/2/2019 – Invite

Posted September 30th, 2019 by Chris

With Autumn finally here and Halloween around the corner, I’ve decided to see what we can do with everyone’s favorite gourd: the pumpkin. From what I’ve found online, it’s a whole lot! While the “Pumpkin Chicken & Waffles” sounded interesting, I just couldn’t bring myself to violate a chicken like that… Instead, we’ll be mixing it with some pasta, some curry, and in it’s most delicious form – pie.

The details!

When: This Wednesday, October 2nd at 6:30pm.
Where: Chris’ giant pumpkin patch
What: Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites, Chorizo Pumpkin Pasta, Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup, Crustless Pumpkin Pie

As always, everyone is welcome, but not obligated to bring their favorite beer, wine, or other beverage… just please don’t bring pumpkin spice lattes, think of the children! No need to RSVP, if you can’t make it, we’ll just see you next time. Come on over and bring your friends, bring your bellies, it’s time to eat.

/Chris

BurgerTime – 7/17/2019 – Invite

Posted July 16th, 2019 by Chris

Since the weather has finally changed so that we can go outside without freezing or getting rained on, it’s time to break out the grill! And we’re doing it in style with some homemade fancy stuffed burgers! You want bacon? You want BBQ? You want apples in your burger? We’ve got it. We’ll also have some salad so it’s not a complete protein-fest.

Menu!

When: This Wednesday, July 17th at 6:30pm.
Where: Chris’ burger diner
What: Homemade Vegan burgers, Apple and Goat Cheese stuffed burgers, BBQ and Gouda stuffed burgers, Bacon and Cheddar stuffed burgers, Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

As always, everyone is welcome but not obligated to bring their favorite beer, wine, or other beverage. No need to RSVP, if you can’t make it, we’ll just see you next time. Come on over and bring your friends, bring your bellies, it’s time to eat.

/Chris