Showing posts from May, 2009

Did you know?

This year is the Year of the Kitchen . I did not know that, but I am glad I found out before December.

Maggi v Maggi

I cannot be the only one who doesn't like fancy pants Maggi. You can say what you like, it's not the same. End of story. From what I can tell, the one on the left is from Europe, while the right one is from Asia.

Pancakes Take Two, Part Two

Oh my holy fricking moly, my guess-ecipe worked! I took the batter out of the fridge this morning and thinned it out a little bit, with maybe about a quarter cup of water. In my kitchen I use either the wok, a cast iron pan, or a non-stick pan I got at Williams-Sopricey for $10. Mmm, guess which one I use for pancakes..... For the first pancake I melt a thin slice of butter, and then maybe re-butter every other pancake or so, maybe less. Get the pan nice and hot, and pour in about half a cup or so (less if anything) of batter. Let me explain this part. I hold the pan with one hand, and then pour in the batter with the other. As I pour, I twist and tilt the pan so that the batter evenly coats the pans in a thin layer. Believe me, this is something you learn with practice. Half the time the batter coats beautifully and evenly, the other half of the time there is a small pancake in the center of the pan from which loads of batter tentacles extend. Not pretty, but still edible. So as you

In case you were wondering...

I listen to music constantly. It helps me to keep moving in a more forward direction. People sometimes ask me what I listen to, so here is a little sampling of the first few songs that played this morning during pancake making time. Enjoy. Or not.

Pancakes Take Two, Part One

Yesterday I woke to the most glorious morning in what felt like FOREVER. Sun shining like mad, birds chirping, clean clear air blowing through the window. And immediately wanted I thought "ahhh pancakes for breakfast!" Which I had had every intention of doing after a shower. But then my friends called and said lets go do a little of this and a little of that and a tee and a la-la-la. And I was like: yeah ok fun! We ended up having breakfast at the Ashmont Grill, which was ok. Sometimes I feel like the Ashmont Grill, while still good, used to be better. It's just that I feel like they are cutting corners a little. So anyway, I didn't have pancakes. But last night I made batter just in case . And guess what? ANOTHER glorious morning!!! Fantastic! Which means pancakes for breakfast today for sure. I am posting the batter making photos now, and will post a few pancake pics later. I sort of guessed at the recipe so maybe there won't be pancake pics later.... Possibly

Whoo hoo Rhuuuuuubarb!

I love rhubarb. It reminds me of Grandpa and the house down by the beach where he and Sally-Nana used to live. The tangy-astringent sweet red syrup that it makes when cooked is like no other taste. For me, it is the taste of spring segueing into summer and make me long for things that you can only have in the summer like grilled corn, or peppermint stick ice cream, the smell of coconut tanning oil, cool cotton sheets, freshly mown grass, the feel of seawater salt drying on the skin. Granted these are things you can have year-round, but in New England it is only truly appreciable during the fleeting summer months. So all that being said, it is really hard for me to pass by rhubarb in the market without buying a couple of stalks. And usually I have every fabulous intention of making a rhubarb "pizza" or sorbet or schnapps but invariably I just end up roasting it as it is the fastest route from raw to mouth. The one thing I have noticed is that rhubarb has that same weird eff

Office party cake

Yeah, I brought CAKE to the party yo! The best dang chocolate cake recipe ever. But this cake story is a funny one and if you want I will tell you privately because while it is funny, it is funny at someone else's expense and well after it IS work related... So email me if you want to hear the rest. (And yes, in case you were wondering, that IS 1.5 inches of frosting on top)

Not exactly oatmeal

You know what I had for breakfast? Couscous with raisins, a smidge of brown sugar, and a little splash of half & half. High in protein and very delicious.

Dinner for hungry, tired people

Well Grandpappy is still at the rehab hospita l . Poor guy. For the first time ever he wants to stay in 24 hour care, which bums us all out. I mean the guy has been able to take perfectly good care of himself up until a couple of days ago so it's an adjustment. Let me explain - he is 93. Yeah, yeah, I know! But the last time he was overnight in the hospital for himself was 8 or 9 years ago. Before that was when he was born, or maybe when he had his tonsils out because now that I think about it, I think he was born at home. Probably because back then it took too long to hook up the horse & buggy. Har har! Anyway, so Grandpaps is for real unwell. Which has put us all out of sorts. Plus Mercury is in retrograde. Then today I took a vacation day to have a new computer installed at my folks house, and also used this time to do all my laundry. But I could not shake the feeling of out-of-sorts-ness. I felt like I ought to have been doing something else, or going somewhere else. Ugh,

I *heart* Mark Bittman

Because he brought me the Mexican Chocolate Tofu pudding. I made it on a lark and now I am in love. It IS easy. It IS true about using really good chocolate because it will taste exactly like the chocolate & flavorings you use. And it WILL set up in thirty minutes. It is a miracle dessert for someone like me. You know, someone who sometimes just need to stuff her face with chocolate pudding occasionally.

Soup for Ole Whatserface

Monday is that day of the week that starts off all dainty and fresh and new but then finishes like a whiskey-chugging, chain-smoking old strumpet bag that kicks me in the teeth. Seriously. So when I get home at the end of the day all I want is to eat something comforting, delicious and simple, before crawling onto the couch to read vampire books and watch Antiques Roadshow. Usually that means soup. Because frankly soup cooks itself and by that point I have nothing left to give. Same as every Monday. Except for today a friend told me how she got wicked kicked in the teeth ( and in the balls, and oh, in the head - poor thing ) and so I promised to make her some soup too, with the added bonus of a very large shaker of martini. So to dear Ole Whatserface, this is the soup I will make you to go with that big drink shaker. For the rest of you who also need Monday Night Recovery Soup, here is the recipe: Monday Night Recovery Soup I happened to have an old chicken carcass in the fridge, so i

Cake and Hammer Time

Yep, I totally was listening to MC Hammer this weekend. Yeah, so? But I also made CAAAAAAKE! It was for my friend Rochelley's birthday. For my birthday she sent me a gigantic pot of chocolate-covered strawberries and so for her birthday I wanted to make her fat too... er I mean bake her something delicious! Here you go: First I made a chocolate cake from scratch. The recipe is from the Whimsical Bakehouse, a fabulous cake book and so far I've had amazing luck with each recipe I've tried. The recipe made a 9" and an 8" cake - one for the party and one for Mother's Day. Please note the coffee in the background. Flavored with Baileys natch! Then I made buttercream from scratch. The kind with the boiling sugar syrup and the little bits of butter cut in and whipped for ages and ages. All the while threatening to blow the crap out of my KitchenAid. Which, hallelujah!, did not happen. Then it was frost. And decorate. And give it to the birthday girl! A couple of no

Frozen Cherimoyas Part Deux

For those of you who are more visually inclined, may I present: The Frozen Custard Apple aka The Fresh-Frozen Cherimoya! You will find them in the frozen section, three or four in a plastic mesh bag. I have no clue how to pick out a "good" bag. Just pick one that looks good to you. Let it defrost fully. It will develop a frost fuzz, which makes it totally look like a little frozen brain. Of course I could not wait for it to fully defrost. I broke it open as soon as I could. It wasn't too bad. Not like the passionfruit incident. The taste is sort of frozen-flabby-sweet-beige and so I really need to try letting one defrost completely before eating it. When and if that should happen, you will be the first to know.

Steaming it up in the kitchen.

During one of my random internet strolls I came across the Steamy Kitchen website and lately I have been HOOKED! The recipes are for the most part pretty easy, well, the stuff I am interested in cooking anyway. Basically I just want to learn a pretty easy stir fry and Jaden explains stuff in a way that my brain comprehends. Furthermore I knew I had stumbled upon the right site when I read her recipe for fried rice. Turns out we both had the same miserable experience when we made it the first time on our own. Growing up we had a woman who cleaned our house once a week. Her name was (still is) Thu and she and her family had left Vietnam involuntarily. Basically from what I can remember La Maman had a friend who had hired Thu and then promptly called all her friends and told them to hire her too. I thought (still think) that Thu was pretty amazing. Not only did she clean our house, but then she would leave us a giant pot of fried rice on the stove for dinner. I was totally addicted to t