Monday, December 12, 2011

New favorite fast food

It's not In-N-Out, but it's the best I have in Helena and I've got mad cravings for the creamy yet subtle blue cheese mixed with A-1 sauce and "Cripsy" onions (soggy onion).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Matt's Place. Butte, MT

Finally made it over to Matt's Place in Butte, Montana. Matt's Place is Montana's first and oldest Drive-Thu. When I rolled in with my parents and daughter there was only one elderly lady having coffee at the end stool. I had a cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake which I had to share with my daughter, of course. The burger was amazing. Crisp outer shell and a tender, juicy center. I was surprised to discover the burger didn't come with any mayo, mustard, or ketchup. It was burger, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. (I think there was pickle, I was fairly hungry and munched it down.) One of the more simple, yet better burgers I've had. If you ever find yourself in Butte, Montana seek out Matt's Place.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Help Me!!!

Looking for sponsors.......and mad crazy cooks.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Watch This NOW on Hulu

Great show, Alan Davies rips it up as Roland.
"Roland is a cock."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jucy Lucy aka Juicy Lucy

The old NOM NOM face.

My first attempt at a Jucy Lucy, a MN native burger. Two thin patties with a slice of cheese wedged between. I use the same amount of cheese as I would if I just put the slice on top, but it seemed to have more of a grilled cheese kind of cheese flavor. Very delicious and the family loved them too. Topped with grilled onions, salt and pepper, pickles and some Big Mac style sauce, served with a side of double fried french fries with Lowry's. Highly recommended!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hub Coffee Menu Design

Menu design for Dan Stone over at the new Hub Coffee shop.

Helena Food Cooperative Website Up!!!

The fine folks at the Helena Food Cooperative have their website up, check them out at:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Izaak's in Craig, MT

photo from:

Had a wonderful meal at Izaak's in Craig, MT. Beef Brisket (local MT beef) with veggies and garlic whipped potatoes. Last time I had the 1/2 a BBQ chicken and nothing ever disappoints. If you have the chance, stop in for some quality local food, a brew and a wonderful view of the Missouri River, and when you're done stop over the the dive amongst dive bar next door. They also have the best French onion soup I've ever had and insane housemade ice cream.

Logo Design: The Helena Food Cooperative

Logo design for our new Local Food Cooperative here in Helena, MT. I traded the design for an organically grown lamb that will be slaughtered halal style.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Found Image: Misogyny

I've got a stack of magnets, if you want one give me a shout and I'll send one off!

Morel Motherlode: From Helena IR

Photo by Eliza Wiley,

Another fine food gem from our local rag:
It was a good day of fishing — so good that the client of guide Mike Agee was ready to take a little break one recent afternoon and hike up one of the canyons that line the Gates of the Mountains stretch of the Missouri River.
That simple change of plans turned into a bonanza as they came upon dozens of morel mushrooms hidden among the foliage regenerating after the 2007 Meriwether wildfire. Agee said Tim Crawford with the Gates of the Mountains tour operation had told him the morels were pretty thick in the area.
"My dad calls it an Easter egg hunt for adults," Agee said, laughing. "It's kind of fun to find those little guys. Some are hard to see; you find one mushroom, then you might see 10 if you look around.
"We didn't go that far, and when we came back down we realized we had walked past a bunch of them."
Hunting for morels is a favorite pastime of many Montanans, and Cathy Cripps, a "mycologist" or mushroom expert at Montana State University, said we're about to embark on prime 'shroom season. She noted that typically the yellow morel season starts in mid May and runs into June, but this year's cool temperatures have delayed the start. The yellow morels are typically found in lower elevations, especially along streambeds where cottonwoods and juniper grow.
"Last weekend, we did pick some of the yellow morels, but now we have the flooding to contend with," Cripps said. "They like the ... sandy soil, and I think some folks toward Livingston take rafts along the river and stop at various cottonwood stands."
Two types of black morels burst out a little later at higher elevations. One species typically is found in blackened areas where wildfires burned, especially for two years after the blaze.
"That season should be starting soon," Cripps said.
She said their numbers usually wane in ensuing years, but was pleasantly surprised to hear Agee was finding them four years after the Meriwether fire.
"That may be an unusual circumstance because of the rain -- so maybe it's worth checking the older burns this year," Cripps said. "Those blackened areas may have warmer soil temperatures than other areas. That might be unique for this year."
Another species of black morels grows in unburned conifer forests among spruce and lodgepole pines in the higher elevations. Cripps noted that many of those areas still have snow on the ground, so while their season normally commences toward the end of June it may run a little longer this year.
Tim Lahey, a forester with the Helena National Forest, said they're directing people to last year's Davis fire as a good place to search for morels. He added that 'shroom hunters first need to stop by a Forest Service office to pick up a free permit. They also hand out maps, outlining which roads are open to the public and which are closed due to poor travel conditions.
"The free personal permits allow people to harvest up to 50 pounds per season," Lahey said. "The key is that it's for personal use only, so we're asking people to slice them when they collect them so they can't be sold."
He added that they're getting a lot of calls, and have issued 19 permits so far. They are not processing commercial requests.
Cripps said it's a good idea to split the morels in order to make sure they're not some other type of mushrooms. False morels, like verpa mushrooms, look like yellow or black ones, but the edge comes out like a skirt. For true morels, the edge of the cap is connected to the stem.
"If you cut it in half, you see one big, hollow inside," Cripps said. "The verpa mushroom cap is kind of wrinkled like the morel, but the edge of the cap is not connected. But if they're cooked well, some people may eat them."
The other type of false morel, a gyromitra mushroom, is redder than the yellow or black morels. It has a toxin that's cumulative in a person's body, and the fumes from it cooking can make a chef ill as the toxin boils off.
"It's a kind of rocket fuel," Cripps said. "Remember, reddish could be deadish."
She also cautioned against eating raw or undercooked morels, which can make people sick. They also shouldn't eat too many morels at one sitting, and go easy on them if they've never eaten morels before to ensure they don't have some kind of allergic reaction.
"We had five poison cases starting Sunday night through Monday morning," Cripps said. "Most were either from eating false morels, eating raw ones or having a reaction to them."
She added that people need to be careful when pairing alcohol with morels, because too much of them together has caused adverse reactions in some people.
Agee said that after they enjoyed morels with meals for a few days, he and his father dried the rest of them for future use.
"We ate a bunch of them prepared a couple of different ways, but after three or four days we got tired of mushrooms," he said.
Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076 or

Cool Stock Photo

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Play Doh Burger

Goofing off with my daughter and I made this prize winner!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Packed With Pickles! From the Helena IR

Photo by Dylan Brown

Photo by Tyler Gregson

From the Helena Independent Record online 6.1.11

What do pulled pork, spicy slaw and candy- covered cupcakes all have in common?

How about a single potent ingredient: Pickles.

Spurred by a love for Rick’s Picks, a pickled product company in New York, a couple of employees of the Park Avenue Bakery won an online contest by creating a three-course concoction using the East Coast company’s famed Hotties pickles.

Last week, Helena’s Claire Bischoff and Sarah Mohrmann, with Sarah Gregson lending a hand, received word that they had won a year’s free supply of the cool cucumbers for their efforts.

“I honestly would rather have that than any money,” said Mohrmann, who was the first to suggest she and her friends should enter the contest.

The Helena native with nomadic tendencies (she’s lived in Seattle and San Francisco as well as New York) fell in love with the pickle producer during an eight-month stay in Brooklyn. Mohrmann and a friend first tried Rick’s Picks during the annual International Pickle Day festival in Manhattan.

“We’re both really familiar with the company. She actually was on their mailing list and emailed me and asked me if I had any ideas for a recipe,” Mohrmann said.

Mohrmann proposed the project to Bischoff, and the culinary compatriots immediately set out for the challenge.

Before they could, they realized they had a problem: a complete lack of supply.

Rick’s Picks were created just seven years ago when famed New York television producer Rick Field of “NOW with Bill Moyers” turned his hobby into a growing business. Though it is slowly spreading across the United States, the pickler’s prized pieces were still a ways off from making it to Montana.

The young women realized it would cost nearly $20 to purchase and ship a jar to Helena. Instead, Mohrmann made sure that a friend who came visiting from the Empire State brought one with her.

“We had one jar with maybe 60 pickles,” Bischoff said. “We thought of five recipes and had to serve eight people and had to stretch this one jar over this whole meal.”

“We didn’t let it go to waste,” Mohrmann said. “We tried one pickle when we opened it. I didn’t even want to open it early just in case somebody got into it.”

After decisively divvying up the delicious dills, they set upon creating the perfect presentation. With the sriracha-habanero pickles on hand, they concentrated on keeping the spicy flavor for each morsel in the meal, which would be tested later by a third party.

“I started doing these dinners in Helena, where I do a themed menu and it’s an invite thing,” Mohrmann said. “I thought that would be a good venue for trying out the recipes.”

Bischoff and Mohrmann concentrated on creating the recipes with Gregson on hand to help out.

The result was an award-winning effort that included a Skewered Chicken Satay with Hottie Peanut Sauce, Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Spicy Slaw and Chocolate Cupcakes with Candied Hotties.

“I think it started with the pulled pork — sometimes things just pop into my head and I thought that would be an awesome recipe,” said Bischoff, a culinary school graduate.

She incorporated the Hotties juice in the barbecue sauce and added deep-fried pickles to the sandwich with bread fresh from the Park Avenue Bakery.

Inspired by an Asian-style slaw with peanuts she had tried in the past, Mohrmann developed one of the favorites of the feast to side with the sandwich.

“That was one of the top things at the dinner, the slaw,” Bischoff said.

Their chicken satay — marinated overnight in a mix of coconut milk, soy sauce and hottie juice (with some added cilantro and sriracha) — certainly prodded participants’ palettes, but it was the addition of the dessert that likely delivered the deciding determination.

Bischoff, who confessed she loves baking, made sure to create the chocolate cupcakes into a prized piece. Knowing that the textures and tastes needed to tango together, she looked at other cupcake recipes, including a friend’s which used sauerkraut.

Unlike the other recipe, however, Bischoff didn’t want to completely remove the strong flavor of the interesting ingredient. In fact, after the first taste test, the ladies realized the taste of the Hotties was not present enough and had to add more.

“Chocolate and spice goes so well together anyway, you don’t really get a huge pickle flavor, it’s just kind of a crunchiness,” Bischoff said. “And then we added the candied pickles on top; they’re really sweet but spicy and sour. It’s a great combination.”

The women turned in the three recipes for the contest though they had also created deviled eggs and a pickled martini for the guests.

The finished product, which was the only one to provide an entire meal and included photos for viewing, immediately caught the eye of Rick’s Picks employees.

“The recipes incorporate the Hotties in several different ways with appetizers, main course and dessert,” said Rick’s Picks partner and Vice President of Marketing and Sales Jina Kim, who credited Bischoff and her team with the win. “We were amazed she was able to have this kind of creativity around one product.

“She wrapped her whole being around this project. She obviously deserved the prize.”

And how does it taste?

“Great,” Kim said.

Reporter Jeff Windmueller: 447-4005 or

Prize-winning recipes6 cloves garlic

Chicken Satay with Hottie Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce

½ onion

1 tablespoon lemon zest

½ teaspoon minced ginger

½ tablespoon cilantro

¼ tablespoon cumin

¼ teaspoon coriander

2 dried chilies

4 Rick’s Picks Hotties

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon Rick’s Picks Hottie juice

½ cup chunky peanut butter

1 ½ cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons fish sauce

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon sugar

Roast garlic until soft. Sauté with onion in saucepan. Toast chilies. Add chilies and rest of ingredients. Cook until heated through. Puree in blender or with an immersion blender.

Chicken Skewers½ cup coconut milk

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons cilantro

¼ cup Rick’s Picks Hottie Juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Combine ingredients and pour over chicken breasts in a shallow baking dish. Let sit overnight. Slice chicken into strips. Skewer chicken onto soaked wooden skewers and grill until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with room temperature peanut sauce.

Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Deep Fried Hotties and Spicy Slaw1/4 cup olive oil

Barbecue Sauce

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

2 1/2 cup tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

3/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Rick’s Picks Hottie juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

1 1/2 chipotles in adobo

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

white pepper — to taste

salt — to taste

2 lbs. Pork roast

Small dice the onions and sauté with garlic in olive oil until they are translucent. Add remaining ingredients. Combine and heat through. Blend with immersion blender.

Add ¾ of the BBQ sauce to a slow cooker with the pork roast. Turn on Low and let simmer for 8-12 hours, occasionally pulling meat apart and adding more sauce if needed.

Deep Fried Hotties1 quart canola oil

32 Rick’s Picks Hottie slices

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups cornmeal

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Pat pickle slices dry. Mix cornmeal and salt. Dip pickles in buttermilk then cornmeal mixture, repeat. Fry until golden brown, about two minutes.

Spicy Slaw½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon Rick’s Picks Hottie juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha

6 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage

6 green onions cut on a diagonal

6 ounces snow peas thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper thinly sliced

½ cup toasted peanuts

Whisk together first seven ingredients. Toss with vegetables until coated. Top with crushed peanuts. Season with salt and pepper. Cut eight ciabatta rolls in half. Broil until lightly toasted. Top with a generous portion of pulled pork and four to five deep fried Hotties. Serve with Spicy Slaw on side.

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes with Candied Hotties Cupcakes1 cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup cocoa powder

1 cup Rick’s Picks Hottie Juice

12 oz Rick’s Picks Hotties, patted dry and chopped fine

Cream butter and sugar until combined and light in color. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together. Add alternately to butter mixture with Hottie Juice. Stir in pickles. Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes clean.

Spicy Ganache4 ounces heavy cream

4 ounces dark chocolate

1 teaspoon Sriracha

Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until it just starts to boil. Take off heat and add chocolate and Sriracha. Let sit two minutes and whisk together.

Candied Pickles24 Ricks Pick’s Hottie slices

8 ounces sugar

8 ounces water

Extra water for blanching

Combine sugar and first quantity of water and bring to a simmer. Boil about 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add pickle slices and boil for three minutes. Transfer to simmering sugar water. Keep at a simmer and let pickles cook for two hours, let drain on a cooling rack. Dip cupcakes in warm ganache and top with a candied pickle slice.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


My mom had some burger ground up with some bacon for her friend's birthday party and she dropped of what was left over. I made little Baconburger sliders. Very fatty, but very yummy. Thanks Van's Thriftway! Thanks Mom!