Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wok the fok!?!

Oh my gawd, I bought another frackin' gadget for the kitchen.

It all started with the Swinish Flu yesterday and ended with me buying a wok AND a rice cooker.

I know, I know, A RICE COOKER. It's just that with all this warm weather all I want is rice and stir-fry. And between yesterday and today I have been feeling like garbage so all I really want is just the rice part. Lots and lots of the rice part.

So after work today I drove my sorry self down to Kam Man in Quincy and picked up a few items.

I ended up at home with a gorgeous new wok for eight bucks, a rice cooker, and a heap of groceries - including about a dozen shrimp for two bucks.

After getting the rice going, I fixed up the wok. I marinated the shrimp in a slightly spicy Thai curry concoction and then cooked them in the wok. OK firstly the wok is seriously pretty and I am going to see how much I can cook in it. And secondly I didn't expect it to get as hot as it did and the noise it made when the shrimp hit the hot oil scared the beejaysus out of me. Yipes!!

And that is what I had for dinner: sauteed shrimp with cilantro over rice.

With rice left over for just in case. All around a great success.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oink oink.

I am feeling a bit swinish, sad but true.

Not to say that I in fact have the Swine Flu, it's just that right now I am feeling a bit piggy right now. I started feeling peculiar this afternoon, and by the time I got home this afternoon I was officially out of sorts.

My legs feel sausagy in my pants, from my ankles up. I can't bear the idea of putting on shoes or sock, I feel like I have asthma, and I feel totally nauseous. Which frankly is TORTURE for someone like me. I had a few baked beans for dinner because it was the only thing I thought I could eat. And I have some Jello chilling in the fridge.

Truth is though that what I really want right now is a three layer chocolate cake with ganache frosting and a gallon of cold milk.

See what I mean? It's the Swinish Flu.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cherimoya

Did you know that Asian markets sell bags of frozen "custard apples" for wikked cheap? Apparently you just peel them and eat them.

I am so curious....

Do you see where this is going?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Food that makes you go "huh?"

Every now and then I lose my mind at the supermarket and buy all sorts of things that I either have no idea what it is, or I don't know how to eat it.

One time it was a giant package of frozen mango paste. Another time I went crazy in the spice aisle at Super 88. This time it was a passionfruit.

The sign at the market said "Best eaten when wrinkled". So I left the thing on the counter for awhile. I thought I would eat it at Easter. And then I figured I would get around to Googling it to see what I was supposed to do with it. Then it rolled behind the mixer (out of sight, out of mind - right?). Which is where I found it today, sort of accidentally, and ate it.

To be honest, I don't really even like passionfruit flavor, like juice or candy. I love the name, but frankly it is a sort of revolting little fruit. It starts off shiny and gorgeously deep plum colored before shriveling up into a lightweight cardboardy feeling thing that really ought to be thrown out but instead you are supposed to eat it at that point.

I sliced in half and promptly dry-heaved. The interior is slimy, fluorescent yellow-orange, with tadpole-like green seeds encased in pulp pods.

I ate it anyway. I don't know, it might have been rotten. I can't tell. It was sort of acidic, but sweet and a little tart.

And to be honest I still have a peculiar taste in my mouth, like I ate a whole lot of vitamin casing, and the burps are a little worrisome. Clearly I did something wrong (other than the obvious problem of eating rotten fruit) but I am kind of willing to give this fruit another try.

Unless of course this is how it's supposed to look & taste.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009

As promised, photos!

First let me just say that yes, I ALWAYS have an alcoholic beverage of some sort when I am baking. It helps me be a better baker. Better everything really. But it explains the beer can in every photo.

Secondly let me just say that I made an amazing buttercream, the hot sugar syrup whipped into egg whites kind, not realizing until the very fluffy end that I had used salted butter. Woof! I refused to throw it out and decided that the solution was to fit the cake to the frosting so instead of making a light sponge roll in the shape of a birch log, I decided on an improvised hazelnut dacquoise.

Which actually was pretty easy.


I piped out four slabs of hazelnut meringue, then layered it with the buttercream that I magically transformed into chocolate-hazelnut buttercream. Yes, looks just like poop huh.


Layer of buttercream. Layer of meringue. Repeat.


Then cover the whole thing with a skim coat of buttercream. Refrigerate overnight and then in the morning coat the whole thing with ganache and pulverized hazelnuts. And decorate with hazelnuts. Let me tell you, my hands STILL smell like hazelnuts!


We devoured it. There might be a slice left but you'd have to fight La Maman for it.


Oooh super secret lamb cake recipe!


I also made a lamb cake. Lamb cake always unnerves Easter guests who often presume it is a meat pie. Which would be gross.


Lambikins! Frosted with coconut buttercream and covered all over in coconut.


The sacrificial lamb. It would NOT be Easter without this cake. It would be like Christmas with no tree.


I also made a massive amount of lemon curd which I turned into lemon cream as a base for the fresh fruit tarts. Note to self: wrestle the remaining lemon curd from La Maman's clutches....

As you can see, Easter lunch was a lovely time. La Maman made lamb, ham, beans, beans, and carrots in saffron. It was amazingly delicious and I actually don't feel like crap currently.

I am tired though. And going on a diet starting............................ now!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Baking

First of all: how bad do you think it is to wash a Claritin down with beer?

Second of all: I am loving me a little Easter baking.

I will post photos later, but right now I have a lamb cake in the oven and I am about to make some lemon curd.

The plan is to make a lamb cake (pound cake in a lamb shaped mold), lemon tarts with poached kumquat slices & fresh fruit, and a hazelnut dacquoise.

I will post the results when I am done.