August 30, 2005

Rice pudding

It was not so bad! Just milk and sugar and cardamom added to the rice. Simple and pleasant. But my preground cardamom powder has no flavor left to it at all. Bah!

Posted by chris at 04:18 PM

Roasted peanuts with chili powder

I don't really like chili powder all that much, though, and these were fairly low quality peanuts, so I'm not thrilled with how this came out. Although a day later it tasted a bit better. Hm.

Posted by chris at 04:17 PM

Turkish sugar and pepper rolls

I don't know what was up with these. The liquid was a 2:1 ratio of vegetable oil to water, and the dough was crumbly and not very dough like. Eventually I added more water. But even then, despite this being a yeasted dough, it did not rise. It didn't even seem possible for it to rise. The results were kind of bland. I should have added more pepper, but really, meh. I'll give the Jewish dessert book one more chance.

Posted by chris at 04:16 PM

Chickpeas in olive oil and lemon juice

It was really the first time I worked with dried beans of this ilk. I didn't give it nearly enough water. And chickpeas, they are not actually my favorite bean. Actually I am not that fond of such beans usually. But actually it was not that bad.

Posted by chris at 04:14 PM

August 24, 2005

Babkas

I made two babkas, based on a recipe from The World Of Jewish Desserts, which I picked up in New York at the Strand, which is now air conditioned, which is kinda heretical but still pleasant. Babkas I made first, with a cinnamon brown sugar filling which leaked everywhere which made a mess but which I am not complaining about. Most of the desserts in this book are completely unfamiliar to me, which means I am going to have some fun. But I have babkas, which means I am already having fun. These came out similar to the last time I made babkas, but it was a very similar recipe, which means that my ex-coworker would probably still be not completely satisfied.

This blog posting is brought to you by the word "which".

Posted by chris at 06:59 PM

Creamy potato and onion soup

Also made in the new blender. Leeks are so much nicer than onions, but onions are much cheaper, and right now I'm feeling the poverty, so onions it is!

Posted by chris at 11:39 AM

Malted milkshake

I made it in my new blender!

Posted by chris at 11:38 AM

August 17, 2005

Leftover pizza

There must be some Italian way to phrase that. But so I'm in New York right now, out for a wedding. Before I left I made some pizzas, and tried to use up random perishables. So one was a caramelized onion pizza with pignoli, but the other was shredded squash with corn, a bit of parsley, and just a little mozzerella cheese on it. It wasn't too bad, but I probably could have added a touch of salt to the toppings. And it was a bit too sweet, and could have used something to mellow out the flavor a bit. Ah well.

Posted by chris at 05:02 PM

August 15, 2005

Blueberry and cranberry pie

We were going to this potluck event at the church where my mother goes when she's in town. And so I was going to make something, and my mother was most interested in this blueberry and cranberry deep dish pie.

So I make it. The first attempt, I add too much liquid to the dough. The second attempt, well, it was very hot here, and the dough ended up very thin and it just fell apart as I was putting it into the dish. I patched it up as best I could but it wasn't ideal. And sure enough, the filling leaked.

So I made snickerdoodles instead, which were better potluck food anyways.

The pie is still edible, however. Some slices are very cranberry and some are very blueberry, it seems, despite them getting well mixed and cooked down and all that. So I don't know what's going on there. Although the flavors complement each other well enough, it still seems like you might as well go for a pure blueberry or pure cranberry pie. It was not as spectacular as that apple cranberry pie I made a while back.

Posted by chris at 10:07 PM

Fresh squeezed orange juice

I made it with my new food processor!

Posted by chris at 02:58 PM

August 14, 2005

Whole wheat bread

I guess I never blogged about this one: I made a whole wheat bread out of The Italian Baker, and it came out very tasty, but, er, very flat. It was a wet dough and the instructions suggested having it be a flat round dough that would "balloon up" in the oven. Well it didn't really work out that way. So the bread was in a fairly useless shape. But it was very, very tasty, so that's all right.

Posted by chris at 12:14 PM

Just add food coloring to your stylesheet

After almost a year of default living, I finally got around to giving "Artisan" an actual "design". I haven't tested it on every browser yet but it looks good in Firefox. Let me know if you have any troubles with it. Yes, that is my hand.

Oh, also there was some weirdness with the XML link on the sidebar, but that is fixed now. RSS is the dreamiest, and you should take full advantage of it!

At some point I will probably put the sidebar on the archive pages as well, since I think it is weird that Movable Type doesn't automatically do that, but for now, you can stare into the void. At least, on the archive pages you can.

Posted by chris at 03:23 AM

Corn fritters

Teehee! Corn fritters!

1. I am not entirely sure I've even eaten corn fritters before.

2. But we had this corn on the cob, and it had to be eaten, and this seemed like more fun than eating corn on the cob.

3. By "we" and me "my mother and I"; she is still visiting.

4. My mother is prepping the corn and I am doing the rest. The Cooks Illustrated recipe calls for two ears' worth of niblets to be sliced off the cob, and for two ears' worth to be "milked" off. This involves taking the corn to the box shredder. My mother starts doing this and feels that she doesn't have the hang of it at all. So I go over and start "milking" the corn. "You're just getting a lot of liquid", she says. "I think that's why it's called "milking". She is amazed and amused with the process.

5. Have I explained on here before about how I don't know from frying?

6. I don't know from frying. I am not as afeared of it these days (make "Fear Of Frying" joke if you need to) as I was, oh, even six months ago, but I still really don't know what I'm doing, and don't even properly understand what the effect of, say, the oil is on the process. But I pay attention to what is happening and I'm pretty sure I more or less managed to cook the fritters properly.

7. Nevertheless, when the corn started popping in the frying pan, that was a bit upsetting.

8. For instance, I put the amount of vegetable oil recommended by the recipe in the pan. It all pooled around the edges, leaving the center bare. So I put the fritters around the edges and cooked them in the oil. And they sopped up the oil, I guess, because there certainly was less oil when I put in the next batch. But the next batch cooked up in the length of time the recipe suggested (the first batch took much longer). I don't know if I just didn't heat the oil up enough the first time or if having less oil was the way to go.

9. The fritters came out very tasty and very, very corn flavored. Perhaps more corn flavored than corn on the cob would have been! Oddly, the first batch of fritters, cooked in all the oil, tasted more strongly of cornmeal than the other fritters did, and I have no idea whehter that was a fluke of mixing or if there is some oil-based reason for that.

Posted by chris at 03:21 AM

August 10, 2005

"Wvzzrrrh!"

A food processor is coming, as is a blender. But, yes, I am finally giving in and getting a food processor. Oh brave new world that has such people in it...

Posted by chris at 01:27 AM

Birthday foods

It was my birthday back on the 2nd, and I got to cook lunch. My mother, who is visiting, bought a spaghetti squash and suggested we have that. I think spaghetti squash is technically a winter vegetable but it doesn't matter that much in this the modern age. Anyway I just followed the basic instructions on the sticker (cut and boil for 20 minutes) and treated it like pasta.

When I first tried making spaghetti squash for myself years ago, when I was useless in the kitchen, treating it like pasta meant adding red sauce from a jar on it, which is a terrible idea. I mean, not only because it is red sauce, but that type of sauce fails to go with the squash. It was disgusting.

So now, years later, I had a better sense: I made a simple oil and garlic sauce, added a little sage and oregano (sadly not fresh; I need to work on that).

At some point I invited another friend over, and so we needed more food. What could I make with what I had that would be ready in two hours? I made pizza. Always the pizza.

Somehow it came out exceptionally good this time, even without fermenting overnight. Somehow I managed to shape it properly, as well -- usually my pizzas (and this is a thin-crust flatbread style pizza, not a throw-in-the-air pizza dough) are "round" by virtue of not having any sharp corners, but this time my hand pressed the pizza out with surprising confidence and patience, and it very nicely spread out into an actual circle.

The topping was caramelized Walla Walla sweet onions, some toasted pine nuts, and the same garlic/oil sauce that the pasta received. I had some tomatoes and had to decide whether to put them on the pizza or in the pasta, and the pasta needed the extra oompf.

All in all it was a success.

Oh, yeah, and I made crumpets. If I overcooked them last time, I undercooked them this time, or at least the one I ate. And I forgot, uh, to toast them up again before serving them. Oopsy. I won't make that mistake again.

Posted by chris at 01:25 AM

Little roll things

Forgive me for not blogging much these days. For one thing, it's been too hot to cook, or think, or anything really. It doesn't take much heat to melt my brain. For another thing, well, no, I guess that's the only thing really.

I made little roll things. The recipe (from the Italian Baker, again) suggested they were "light"; I am amazed at how lacking in flavor and joy they were. It's not as if I forgot the salt (although they seem undersalted). I don't understand it.

I am starting to think that Italians just don't know bread at all.

Posted by chris at 01:17 AM