Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Still not updating... but one day, really!

I am looking for recipes to use at my building and am going through a site that I will not name, in order to try to be nice. Its 'Easy Dinner Recipes" should sometimes be named "How to kill your family slowly." Like the recipe that says to wrap kielbasa in bacon, then sprinkle brown sugar all over it. And serve with mashed potatoes. Wow, for seriously people???

So, one day, somewhere in the who-knows-how-distant-future, I will return. Because good food can be good for you, too. My own preferences can help others. And that would be cool.

Friday, June 3, 2011

PLEASE make these for me. And tell me how they are.

Seriously. I'm gone for 10 weeks, but this sounds like such a wonderfully fantastic idea. I swear this woman has my exact taste in foods, I want to make everything from her blog. But especially this. But where can I find TVP in Morocco??? That's right, I can't.

Monday, May 2, 2011

April Daring Bakers Challenge: Maple Mousse in an edible container

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at!

(Mine won't be there because I finished it late. And then I posted it to the wrong blog yesterday. Nice job, me!)

I made the vegan tofu mousse. Except that I couldn't find agar agar (the gelatin replacement) so it's just non-dairy, not really vegan. I'm not sure how it's supposed to work, but I found that the tofu flavor really overpowered the maple, unfortunately.

I decided that my edible container would be this really cool baked mochi that I found at Wheatsville. It looked tasty, and it is! I think I like it best plain.

Vegan Maple Mousse (I recommend taking this only as a starting point):

• 1 package (12 oz.) soft silken tofu
• ¾ cup (14 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup
• 2 tsp agar-agar

1. Let tofu come to room temperature. Using a food processor, blender, or hand mixer, blend tofu until just smooth.
2. Sprinkle agar-agar on the maple syrup and let it rest for 10 minutes. Heat maple syrup on the stove to a boil and then let it simmer 5 minutes until the agar-agar has dissolved.
3. In a food processor, blender, or a large bowl, blend the tofu with the maple syrup until creamy.
4. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Remove from the fridge and divide among your edible containers.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lazy Granola

I'm copying this directly from my friend Safire's blog
Lazy Granola

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c oil
1/2 c honey
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
7 c oats
Mix the honey, oil and vanilla in a small saucepan until they are all melted.  (I always forget this step and it turns out fine.)  In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined.  Spread out on a greased 9×12 pan and cook for 10 min at 375 degrees.  Take it out of the oven and stir it.  Return it to the oven and then turn the oven off and it let sit overnight.  Wake up to a yummy breakfast and a house that smells amazing!

You can add a whole bunch of stuff to this to make it even better.  I always use coconut oil and it gives it a very sweet flavor, but canola oil works fine too.  You can add almonds, cashews, or any kind of nut that you wish.  Shredded coconut, raisins, chopped dates, flax seed, and sunflower seeds.
I made this a week ago and have been loving it ever since.  I sprang for coconut oil, which my child somehow manged to make fall out of the cupboard, a couple days later, wasting $8.09 but I had everything else in the house. I could have used canola oil, I had that at home. I added wheat germ to mine, it's so yummy, the kids can't tell it's healthy.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daring Bakers February: Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Well, it has finally happened. Something I never expected. Something I didn't even think possible. Something I would have never imagined as a possibility.

I found a dessert I don't like.

Not just, "oh, this could use X" or "Next time I'll do Y." No, it was a, "what did I just put into my mouth??" moment. I actually warned my first taster that I thought it went horribly wrong.... and was told it was perfect, exactly what it should taste like. Apparently, Panna Cotta is not my thing. Luckily, plenty of other people around thought it was wonderful and amazing, if rather rich, and it was all eaten. Just thinking about it again kinda makes my stomach turn.

HOWEVER, it is apparently a great recipe... if you go for that kind of thing! I've got an experimental non-dairy chocolate version in the fridge... it tastes delicious, so we'll see if it solidifies nicely! At the least it would be good frozen.

Traditional Panna Cotta - Recipe from Giada de Laurentis

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt

1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
2. Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage).
3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.
The second recipe from this month was a cookie that reminds me of a Lacey - lots of butter, not many 'solid' ingredients. They were super quick and easy!

Nestle Florentine Cookies

2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate

- Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
- To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
I skipped the extra chocolate part [- While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).]
- Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
I skipped the extra chocolate part [- Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.]

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My big return... I hope!

Well, I realized something. Or re-realized it, more accurately. One of my housemates, who moved out this semester to work in another city, emailed me asking for menus from our building so that he can make himself some good food. All of the house recipes are meant for 60-90 people (depending on whether it was lunch or dinner.) Clearly, that's not quite what you would make at home. So what should I be doing? Typing up the family-sized versions and putting it here! Obviously not of everything. That would take WAAAY too much time. But still, it double-dips with what I'm already doing and adds new stuff to share. And that makes me happy.

My first part of this is to point out some great resources you can use as-is. Or as-are. Whatever. Here we have King Ranch Casserole and Mexican Rice. A nice Tex-Mex dinner, when I added a side. And where did these fabulous recipes we use come from? One source, actually: Homesick Texan. I've also gotten a Kolache recipe and a great Flour Tortilla recipe from her.

Not being from Texas, or anywhere south, a lot of 'favorite' foods here are completely new to me. Collards? What, people actually eat those?? Turns out they're good! King Ranch Casserole was one that people enjoy that I had never heard of at all. So I went searching for a good recipe, preferring blogs as always. I came across a good recipe for King Ranch Casserole by Lisa. Warning: *not* the healthiest thing you'll eat. Another day, I wanted our great cooks to make tortillas because they're SOOO much better fresh. And she had it again: fresh flour tortillas. I found a few Mexican Rice recipes, but they all seemed... off. Where did I find the right one? Yep, from the Homesick Texan, good Mexican Rice.

Now, whenever I'm looking for a Texas favorite, I go to her first and it tends to work pretty well! It's true that I usually need to adjust a few things when multiplying a recipe by 10 or 12, but having a good place to start is great.