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the life and times of J T Frey

"Pretty Good" Cheddar Spread

Every year at Christmas a coworker of mine brings Better Cheddar spread and crackers to our holiday party. The spread comes from an establishment in Hockessin, Delaware, where he worked when he was younger. It's delicious on just about any kind of cracker: small chunks of sharp white cheddar cheese, bits of scallion, and mayonaise and secret spices binding it all together. This is my attempt to replicate that delicious stuff — and both my wife and I agree it's pretty darn close.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday December 25, 2018
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Abby's Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Question: how do you know your kids don't watch much television? Answer: when they happily sit and watch episodes of "Good Eats" on a Saturday afternoon. We recently saw Alton's classic episode on spaghetti with meat sauce (as an American classic dish) and Abby's love of spaghetti led us to give it a try. The original recipe uses a dutch oven for a long cook and some ingredients that were tough to find during a pandemic; I decided to pare it down and use a slow cooker for an unattended cooking. Abby ground the beef herself and helped me put together the sauce.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday May 26, 2020
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Bacon Cheddar Dip

Our girls went through a phase where every bowl of popcorn needed a very liberal dusting of cheddar cheese powder. Supplying such prodigious quantities of that powder led me to Alton Brown's recipe for popcorn seasoning — and 1 pound bags of cheddar cheese and buttermilk powder. When the cheddar popcorn craze ended, I needed something to use those ingredients. Grab a bag of ripple-cut chips and this dip and forget the popcorn.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday March 13, 2018
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Baltimore "Crab" Soup

I love Baltimore crab soup: the plethora of vegetables, the spicy hint of Old Bay in the broth. The one thing I've found in many incarnations I've sampled is that the crab really is lost to the rest of the components in the soup. Why add a $30/lb ingredient (complete with bits of shell) that will be masked and overshadowed when boneless, skinless chicken thigh also falls to shreds when cooked long enough — just like the crab typically found in this soup.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday March 13, 2018
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Basic Waffles

A simple buttermilk waffle recipe. Usually makes 5 regular waffles and 1 franken-waffle in my waffle iron.

Written by Jeff Frey on Friday July 31, 2020
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