Tuesday, February 26, 2008
It occured to me this morning that we have definitely been eating well since we read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. We didn't starve before, but we are being more deliberate in our food choices now. For instance, for breakfast this week I have been eating homemade granola on top of homemade vanilla yogurt. I had no idea yogurt could be this good. I always ate it because I knew it was good for me. Now I eat it because it tastes insane! For lunch today I took a huge salad with homemade white wine vinaigrette and a bowl of the soup I made for dinner last night.
And I can honestly say I'm not slaving away in the kitchen...I'm just planning ahead a little better. We'll see if I can make this change permanent, but I'm hoping I can!
Monday, February 25, 2008
I really like Rachael Ray's magazine. The best part about it is you get the great 30 minute recipes, without having to hear her annoying voice and watch her ridiculous mannerisms.
This turned out really well. I tweaked a few things, and I'll note them in the recipe. This soup paired very well with the salad and mayannaise biscuits I made. And the leftover Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake rounded off a pretty darn perfect meal.
Leeky Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Stoup
from Rachael Ray's Magazine- March 2008
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 leeks, white and tender green parts split lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
5 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
32 ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream (I used half n half)
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into small chunks
2 packages fresh gnocchi (I used one pack vacuum sealed gnocchi from the pasta aisle)
1/2 cup chopped parlsey (I didn't use it)
3 tablespoons dry sherry (I used quite a bit more chardonnay)
1 teaspoon paprika (I didn't use it)
In a dutch oven heat olive oil and saute the leeks and celery until tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste. I then deglazed the pan with some white wine.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in cream, lower the heat and simmer until soup bubbles at the edges.
Add the chicken and gnocchi (and I added some sliced fresh mushrooms) and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and sherry (again, I used wine) and paprika.
I also mixed together a tablespoon of cornstarch and some water and thickened it at this point. I then let it cook about 5 minutes longer.
I would make this again. Actually, I will be eating it for lunch everyday the rest of the week. It serves 4-6.
I know this is a horrible picture, but I tried several times and this was the best I could do.
I made Leeky Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Stoup for dinner and decided I needed to serve a salad along side- mostly because I was craving veggies again. So I cut up some romaine hearts and threw on some raw onion, cucumber, mushrooms and avacado. I then had to consider the dressing options. In my blender I threw a couple of globs of champagne honey mustard, some fig vinegar, a splash of white wine, salt, pepper and some olive oil. I whizzed it around for a few seconds and voila! Not bad for dressing on the fly.
The mayonnaise biscuits are an old family recipe. The recipe comes from an old church cookbook. It is ridiculously simple and NEVER fails.
from the White Bluff Presbyterian Church Cookbook- 1988
1 c. self rising flour
3 tablespoons mayo
1/2 c. milk
Mix everything together and put in a muffin tin, half way up to the top. I made teensy little muffins to be cute, but Dev requested larger ones next time. He ate like 6 of them with dinner. Bake them at 400 degrees until they are golden brown on the top. Mine took maybe 15 minutes.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
At long last- I have finished my project for the Nigella Lawson contest over at one of my favorite food blogs, Foodie Chickie.
Basically I could choose any Nigella recipe I wanted. I have had this recipe for quite a while and I've always wanted to try it. Now I had my opportunity!
Let me start by giving you the recipe.
Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake by Nigella Lawson
1 2/3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks soft unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 c. sour cream (I used full fat yogurt)
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cocoa (I used raspberry preserves cuz I was out of cocoa)
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1 oz. dark chocolate (from a thick bar if possible) cut into splinters of varying thickness, for garnish- I skipped this and used powdered sugar
The recipe said to put oiled foil in a 2-pound loaf pan. Because I have a phobia about large cakes and loaves not ever setting up at this altitude, I opted for my small loaf pans- kind of like gift loaf sized. I also used a 6-muffin tin. I cut foil in squares, oiled it and put it in the individual loaf compartments. I used cupcake papers in the cupcake pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and put a large sheet pan in it.
Take whatever you need out of the ice box, because everything needs to be room temp when you begin.
Put the flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream into the food processor and blitz until a smooth, satiny brown batter. Scrape down with a rubber spatula and process again while pouring the boiling water down the feed tube. Switch it off, then remove the lid and the well scraped double-bladed knife and, still using your rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into loaf pan and put into the oven, cooking for 1 hour. Because I used individual gift loaves, mine only took about 1/2 an hour. When ready, the loaf will be risen and split down the middle and a cake tester will pretty well come out clean.
Not long before the cake is due out of the oven (when it has had about 45 to 50 minutes), put the syrup ingredients of cocoa (or fruit preserves), water and sugar into a small saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes, to give a thick syrup.
Take the cake out of the oven and sit it on a rack, still in the tin, and pierce here and there with a cake tester. Pour the syrup over the cake.
Let the cake become completely cold and then slip out of its tin, removing the foil as you do so. Sit on an oblong or other plate. Sprinkle chocolate splinters over the top of the sticky surface of the cake.
My smaller loaves did not come out very pretty. For this pic, I put a sprig of rosemary over a gaping hole in the cake. They taste amazing, however. I will make this again, and maybe even trust the loaf pan to see if it will set up.
I had some chicken and onions, peppers, mushrooms and couscous left over from the red curry chicken kabobs last night, so this afternoon I heated the meat and veggies, made a spread out of Dev’s homemade yogurt and some greek seasoning, put that on a 6″ tortilla with the meat and veggies, added some feta cheese and a side of cracked black pepper potato chips.
Not a bad lunch considering all the other projects we’ve got going on around here today…..
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I think the name of the show is "Jamie at Home," or something like that. The format is really nice, as is the kitchen. Of all the foodtv shows, it is probably the least pretentious kitchen set.
The subject of this week's show was rhubarb. I have never really eaten rhubarb. Dev's parents grow it in their garden every year so his mom can make rhubarb jam and rhubarb/strawberry pies- both of which are really good. Jamie took it in a different direction and used it to make a base for a pork stew. Actually, he made a big batch of rhubarb compote at the beginning, then used the compote to make a few other things.
I liked the show and if I'm up at 7:30am on a Saturday, I'll watch it again.
In other news, while preparing breakfast for us this morning, I found other products in my fridge containing the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup- my ketchup and my vidalia onion hot sauce. So upon replacing these items, I will be doing some label reading.
In anticipation of our first big cheesemaking weekend, I wanted to use up what store bought cream cheese I had in the fridge, so I made a batch of smoked salmon spread (also using the last of the smoked salmon I had stashed in the freezer). I love this spread because all you need to add to make it breakfast is a bagel or english muffin. I put about 8oz. of softened cream cheese in the bowl of my food processor. I added probably 3oz. of smoked salmon, about a teaspoon of dried dill and 2 teaspoons of greek seasoning. I didn't add salt because the salmon is salty enough. Then I just whizzed it around in the processor until it was smooth.
I also needed to use up the last of the store bought plain yogurt. So tonight for dinner we are having chicken kabobs. I am marinating the chicken in the plain yogurt mixed with some red curry paste. I'll make the kabobs out of the chicken, peppers, onion and grape tomatoes- then pair it with some couscous.
And speaking of dinners- I outlined the menu for dinners this week....
Saturday- Chicken kabobs with couscous
Monday- Chicken Dumpling Soup
Tuesday- Chili with cornbread
Wednesday- Shepherd's Pie
I'll post again later with the status on my Nigella and Pie projects.....
Friday, February 22, 2008
We have big plans for the weekend.
We are embarking upon 2 additional lifestyle changes (brought about by my reading of Barbara Kingsolver's novel "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle") this weekend.
We are going to do our best to eliminate as many sources of high fructose corn syrup as we can find. So far, I've identified it in every jar of jelly in the fridge, and even some of the yogurts. Soda's won't be a very big sacrifice, because we don't drink many of those anyway. I'm scared to venture into the pantry, although we don't buy lots of pre-packaged things. We mostly stock canned beans, canned tomatoes and pastas. I have a feeling my beloved Jiffy cornbread mix might be on the chopping block, though. (UPDATE- I just checked- it's ok...)
We have been making our own ricotta and mozzarella cheeses for over a year now. But we just ordered the cultures to make our own cream cheese and yogurt. I am looking forward to being able to control additives and flavors in the cheese.
We have found home cheesemaking to be very enjoyable. I think it's easier than baking bread. And as far as the mozzarella is concerned, you are making really good cheese for a fraction of what you will pay for half the amount of marginal cheese at the store. As a matter of fact, it costs a gallon of whole milk. Well- that and whatever you paid for the rennet and the culture (but that isn't much).
Also on the project board for this weekend: chocolate chip cookies, Nigella's quadruple chocolate bread and some kind of pie. These are all for various food blog contests I want to enter.
A trip to the Hooper Pool Hot Spring may also find it's way on the schedule. The people who own the pool also grow hothouse tomatoes, cucumbers and salad greens.
It's time for me to begin reading my food blogs. I'll post updates on the high fructose corn syrup root-out and the cheese making.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Dev made dinner tonight- which means it was much healthier than anything else we've eaten recently. He put a piece of pork in the crockpot with mushrooms and onions and wine. He also roasted some brussel sprouts- then served it all up with some crusty bread. Yummie.
Of course, it's almost 9:15pm, and he just walked in the bedroom with a bag of almond M&M's...dammit.
We've been darting in and out watching the lunar eclipse. I will try to post a photo tomorrow, but I don't know if any of them actually turned out.
I need to narrow down which Nigella recipe I am going to use to enter 1 of the 2 food blog contests I'm interested in. The other contest is for pie. That shouldn't be too difficult.
I know I won't be doing any heavy cooking tomorrow. I have yoga, then "I love to read" night at school. Not to mention Dev will be in class until 8:30pm. Bleh.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I had read about this book, and had wanted to read it for quite a while, so after talking to Di, I looked at my local library. Lo and behold, they had it!
I brought it home and couldn't wait to dive in.
Firstly let me say that I realize the average person could never do an experiment like this and pull it off. However, after reading this book, I now think about my grocery purchasing and eating habits in a whole new light.
The basic gist of the book is that Barbara Kingsolver and her family (husband and 2 daughters) leave their home in the Arizona desert to return to her ancestral home in the Appalachian region of Virginia. It just so happens that someone in her family (or her husband's, I don't remember which) has a small farm and the Kingsolvers are inheriting it. Must be nice, huh? Anyway, they move across the country and embark on an experiment of sorts. They are going to spend the next year subsisting solely off their land, with very little food coming from the store. They are going to eat regionally and only what is in season.
During the course of the book, Mrs. Kingsolver and her husband (a biologist) outline their reasoning for this choice- the horrors of meat and dairy production being chief among them.
I won't say anymore, because I really think people should read this book. Now that doesn't mean that I'm going to turn my back on my local Safeway and attempt to grow everything I need in my little apartment under a grow light, but it does mean that I might rethink some of my shopping.
I finished this book Saturday, and as a little experiment of my own, I decided to take my weekly shopping list and try to source as much of it locally/organically as I could. It was quite an education.
I started at our local food cooperative. I already love this place. I discovered it soon after my arrival as an inexpensive place to stock up on my favorite loose teas. But Saturday, I went in hell bent to buy local- or at least buy organic.
I succeeded in buying organic rolled oats (not local, but at least not full of pesticides). I use rolled oats to make my own granola. This isn't really a food snob thing- it's more an "I hate coconut" thing, and a lot of store-bought granola has coconut in it. Plus it is pretty easy to make your own, and then you can put everything but the kitchen sink in it. My last batch had pretzels, dried blueberries, dried cherries, whole pecans, oats, brown sugar and honey.
I wanted to buy some local goat cheese. Unfortunately, every piece of cheese I picked up was from Canada. I know for a fact there is a goat farm around here, I'm just going to have to do a little sniffing around to find it.
I did find local fingerling potatoes and regular baking potatoes. I also found local hot house grown tomatoes.
On the way home, I stopped by the Valley Meat Market. I asked the guy behind the counter where the meat came from. His answer was slightly less than inspired. He told me it all came from the Swift meat packing plant (which I believe is in Colorado Springs)- none of it was regional, much less local. Now I also know there are farms around here selling free range lamb and elk and stuff. Again- I just have to find them.
I have decided that although I can't buy all of my groceries from local sources, if I'm willing to do some homework, and seek the sources out, I can do quite a bit of business locally. As the weather warms, prospects will improve. And if I can wait until July 4th, our farmers market will open and this whole thing will be much easier. Unfortunately, our growing season is short, so it will close again Labor Day weekend, but I'll get as much as I can while it's open.
So, everyone should go read this book. And think about trying to support your local growers. I know we can't all change everything at once, but we can make a difference even if we do a little.
End of sermon.....
Oh- and if you want to check out other people's reviews, here is the amazon info on the book.
I really haven't been cooking much over the last week because things have been pretty busy around here, now that I'm over the flu.
Let's see....where to begin. I'll just do things like I normally do and talk about things in the order they come to me.
Yoga. I haven't been in 2 weeks. One week because I was sick, and the other week because my yoga instructor was sick. Just in case you were curious, if you skip 2 weeks, it's like starting over. Although I did have my brand new swanky purple yoga mat this week. I had been using the ones at the rec center, but the last few have had some pretty weird looking stains on them so I decided to invest the $25 in one of my own. I felt quite accomplished walking in the rec center with my own yoga mat under my arm. Now if I could just quit craving fried chicken the whole time I'm there I might make some progress.
Speaking of things that aren't good for me.... After tonight's yoga class I was starving, and I had to stop by the grocery store anyway to pick up a few things. So guess what I bought? I bought pre-fabbed bufffalo chicken fingers. Now in my defense, I did bring them home and put them on a salad, but I don't think that helped much. I couldn't help it. I was so hungry, and they looked so good, and they only take 15 minutes.....crap.
Going back to work after a break is always so hard. We had half day Friday and all day Monday off. I loved not setting the alarm for 4 days straight. Dev and I even snuck off to Pueblo Monday to do a little civilized shopping. I had to visit Target for dried fruit and my yoga mat, plus Dev wanted to check out clothes at Kohls and the mall. It was a very pleasant day. Next time we are going to plan ahead and venture into Denver- maybe after it warms up a bit...
I read a book over my break. Actually, I read it in 2 days. I am planning on a separate post about it. Diane is reading it as well, so we'll have to see how much our opinions differ.
In a rare event, our local library actually had all 3 books I was looking for. I am now reading "The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusak. I hope it's good.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Some days I wonder whether or not I will survive my first year in kindergarten...
But today, kindergarten was a cool place to be! I've never received this many Valentines in one day in my whole life!!!!
Plus- I got pizza and tons of chocolate! Wahoo!!!!
AND- we have a half day work day tomorrow with Monday completely off!!! Somebody pinch me......
What girl doesn't love getting flowers? Dev sent these to me at school this morning. Aren't they beautiful???
Everyone else got the same old roses...I was the only one who received a gorgeous white bouquet of huge blooms.
Too bad Dev has class til late tonight..... :)
Monday, February 11, 2008
and read the post for yourself.
I haven't done much cooking this weekend because I have the flu and feel generally pretty crappy. But I should rally soon and get back with the program. I haven't even done a menu for this week. Maybe I'll do that after a hot shower and another cup of green tea......
Friday, February 8, 2008
Day before yesterday I cut up 2 boneless chicken breasts and marinated them in a mixture of plain yogurt and red curry paste. When I got home this afternoon, I made kebabs with the marinated chicken pieces, red and yellow peppers, portabello mushroom chunks, onion and grape tomatoes. I put them under the broiler, turning every 3 minutes. The veggies were tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and a little spice blend.
I served the kebabs on a bed of quinoa pilaf. I toasted the quinoa in olive oil over high heat for about 2 minutes. Then I put it in a saucepan with chicken broth and a bay leaf. I brought it to a boil, then covered it and turned the heat down to low. After 20 minutes, I uncovered and mixed in a few frozen early peas, some parmesan cheese and a little olive oil.
A tasty meal to end the work week!
In the morning.....gingerbread waffles!!!
I know it's February. And I know that lovely, fresh veggies in a salad are not in season. But there are some times when i just have to buy this stuff and make a salad. I can't help it.
The salad was made of portabellos, cucumbers, tomatoes, avacado and goat cheese. I dressed it with simple red wine vinegar vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, s/p).
Just what I needed. I served the salad as a first course before my chicken kabobs.....
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
It was snowing again when I got home from school today, so it was the perfect night for this dish. I don't even remember where I got this recipe, although if it's like most of the ones I use, it was a frankenstein recipe made from 15 other recipes I looked up on the internet. I just use the things I like about each one and put them all together.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the recipe....
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 lg. carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (or finely grated)
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
1 T. tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 t. parsley
½ t. thyme
1 T. cinnamon
½ t. sage
2/3 c. beef or chicken broth
2 lg. baking potatoes
½ cup whipped cream cheese
¼ cup butter (half a stick)
¼ cup half n half
1 c. cheddar cheese
s/p to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel potatoes and cut in large chunks. Put in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn down a little and let cook til done (they should be done by the time the filling’s ready to go).
Put turkey or beef into a large skillet with the olive oil and begin to brown. Chop all veggies and toss in with the browning meat. After veggies have softened and meat is cooked, add tomato paste or ketchup and cook a few minutes. I also added a few glugs of white wine. Then add the broth. Allow this to reduce a little, and thicken. Add herbs and cinnamon and let cook a few minutes. Put on low heat while you make the mashed potatoes.
Drain potatoes and put in the bowl of your stand mixer. Immediately add the butter and cream cheese. Mix on medium speed (I used my whisk attachment). Slowly add the half n half and salt/pepper. Whip until potatoes are the desired consistency.
Put meat filling in an 8x8 pyrex pan. Top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle on cheddar cheese.
Bake on 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or til golden.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
To call these enchiladas is actually a gross miscarriage of culinary justice. They are in the shape of enchiladas, but that's where the similarities end. I used flour tortillas instead of corn (cuz that's what I had) and several other substitutions about which you are fixing to read.
Here's what I did....
After I made and blended the sauce, and chopped up the veggies, I sauteed half an onion (chopped) in some olive oil. Then I added the chopped veggies, just to warm them through.
To the veggies I added 2 tablespoons of whipped cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons of goat cheese. After that melted in, I took the filling off the heat.
I put about 2 tablespoons of filling in each tortilla, then sprinkled in some finely chopped cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. I rolled them up and put them in my 8x8 brownie pan, then smothered the rolls with the sauce. Then to completely confuse the ethnic/culinary issue- I sprinkled an Italian cheese blend on top.
It went in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I garnished with 2 pieces of roasted asparagus.
To say this tasted good would be an understatement. I will cook this again. Although not at all authentic, it is a fun twist on a southwestern favorite.
Here is the beginning of my enchiladas.
Pictured you see the chopped roasted veggies (leftover from the sushi roll adventure).
I chopped the veggies while the sauce was cooking. Here's the recipe for the sauce:
From “The Colorado Farmer’s Market Cookbook”
2 T. olive oil
½ white onion, finely chopped
½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups (or 1 28oz. can) crushed tomatoes
2 T. ground cumin (the freshest you can get)
1 t. sugar
2 t. paprika
1 t. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Cayenne pepper, to taste
In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onions, bell pepper and celery over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, cumin, sugar, paprika, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Add cayenne to taste. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
The longer this simmers, the better it is. I substituted Greek seasonings for the oregano, because I didn’t have any.
There will be another post on the rest of the process....
Yesterday was the anniversary of my first date with Dev, so I was looking for something different to do for dinner and decided to give Clancy's a try...
There were not very many people there, considering it was Monday night and really cold, so I wasn't surprised. But that also meant that slow service could not be blamed on the volume of customers.
We were seated quickly, and our waiter immediately came over to get drink orders. He came back to take our orders, but Dev needed a little more time. Of course, he didn't need the amount of time it took for our waiter to come back, but, oh well.
Dev ordered the pan fried trout and the chicken soup. I had the eggplant parm with a house salad.
The salad and soup were delivered with reasonable promptness. Dev said the soup was ok, but not great. My salad was very good- nice mix of greens and the dressing at least seemed like it had not been poured out of a bottle.
When our entrees were delivered, I knew Dev was in trouble. The fish looked good enough, but it was served with a piddly little baked potato and mound of what looked like big canned peas with pearl onions. Now I did taste the fish, which was fine. I didn't have any of the potato or the peas, but Dev took one bite of the peas and avoided them from that point forward.
My eggplant, on the other hand, was wonderful. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce was very good. The two giant slices of eggplant were breaded nicely and retained their crispiness all the way to the table. As a matter of fact, I warmed the slice of eggplant and pasta I couldn't eat last night for lunch today, and the eggplant breading was still crispy. The garlic bread was good, but a little greasy for my taste.
I think I'll have trouble getting Dev to go back, but I would go back for the eggplant. Was the service perfect? No. But I haven't really been anywhere here where I was happy with the service. So by Alamosa standards, my meal was above average. I'm sure Dev would disagree.
My conclusion? If you'd like to take me to lunch somewhere, I'd happily go back to Clancy's.
Oh- and the review was an afterthought, so I didn't take my camera. I know- bad blogger!!!
Dev and I finally ventured out after lunch to get some supplies from WalMart (I know- I hate the place but don't have many other retail choices).
What have I done with my day???? Hmmmm....
I've consumed numerous cups of hot green tea, watched foodtv til my head is about to explode and even watched a couple of Bermuda Triangle and UFO documentaries. A good day, I'd say.
Tonight I am going to make a good hot dinner. I decided instead of the roasted veggie risotto I had planned to make, we're going to have roasted veggie smothered enchiladas with mexican rice and home made refried beans. I made this decision because I have everything on hand for the enchilidas, but would have to buy Vermouth and parmesan cheese to make the risotto. So much for planning ahead, right???
At 6:00am, Dev heard on the radio that Alamosa schools were closed. I wondered why I hadn't heard the news from the school- then I remembered I left my phone in the truck last night. Dev went out in the snow to rescue it.
Sorry about the crappy pic, but by this time it was 6:30am, and I am barely functional before sunrise.
Monday, February 4, 2008
We taught the kids in the morning class how to cut hearts out of folded paper. If I remember to take my camera to school tomorrow, I'll take some shots of the results- very cute! Some took to it more easily than others. Some never did get it.
I took leftover sushi for lunch today. I must say it was still pretty darn tasty...especially the veggie rolls. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to roll any with sashimi grade fish, mostly cuz I don't know that I can get it here. I suppose I could source it out on the internet, but I don't want to spend a month's salary on a pound of tuna (or maybe I should choose salmon after everything I've read lately).
Today is the second anniversary of my very first date with Dev. I have on my menu to have lentil/sausage salad, but I think I may fly in the face of ritual and take him out to dinner. Nothing says I love you like a big fat steak!!!!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Is it me or are the commercials pretty lame this year?? The only one that has even made me chuckle is the one with Shaq playing a jockey. Just the visual is hilarious. But the rest have been awful. Maybe they are saving the best for last.
I am hoping the Patriots win, just because I think it would be cool to have a perfect season. Right now they are behind 10-7. But it ain't over til it's over, right?
What insights do I have to share after surviving my first at home sushi experience?
My rice was too sweet, and the rolls were too ricey. Next time I won't use all the seasoning mixture. I will also use a little less rice on the nori.
Oh- and I didn't get a pic of one of my favorite rolls- the Veggie Roll. I used roasted portabello, tomato and asparugus. It tasted great and was really pretty, too!
I will definitely do this again, only I will make less rice. 2 cups of sushi rice made 5 rolls. Dev and I couldn't eat it all. I am taking about a roll and a half of leftovers to school tomorrow.
I may attempt to do some crunchy shrimp rolls next time. And maybe I'll even work my way up to a tempura roll.
But at least I faced my fear of sushi rice and learned that I am capable of making sushi at home. I am already working on how to make more southwestern fusion rolls...... :)
This is my version of a California Roll. I substituted sauteed shrimp for the crabstick, and used avacado and cucumber.
The rolling was not as hard as I remembered it being when Di and I did this a year or two ago. I have been doing some research on the internet, and found a 10 minute video on how to use the mat to roll, so maybe I picked up a tip or two from there.
I rinsed two cups of sushi rice (several times) until rinse water ran almost clear. I put it in a heavy sauce pan with 2 1/2 cups of water (just enough to cover the rice) and put it on high heat to boil. After it reached the boiling point, I turned it down to a simmer and let it go about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, I put 1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt over very low heat, just until the sugar and salt dissolved. I then put it in the freezer to cool a little.
I transfered the rice to a large bowl and had Dev fan it while I cut the rice wine vinegar mixture into it.
Up next.....the rolls.
I am practising some deep breathing exercises, trying not to be nervous about my date with destiny.
Today I will face my fear of sushi rice. Head on. No safety net.
I went ahead and prepared all the items I will need for the rolls (except the avacado).
Here is the list of rolls I'm planning to make (if the rice works, and if I have enough):
1. California Roll- cucumber, shrimp (instead of crabstick) and avacado.
2. Dev's California Roll- cucumber, shrimp and asparagus
3. Veggie Roll- roasted mushroom, tomato and asparagus
4. Shrimp Roll- shrimp and cucumber
5. Philly Roll- smoked salmon, cream cheese and avacado
6. Shrimp Rio Grande Roll- shrimp and cucumber, topped with pico de gallo
I am planning to start rinsing the rice and making the seasoning mixture at 4:00. I think this is when the pre-game shows start as well.
Stay tuned- more pics to come!
I decided to do this on my personal blog instead of the food blog for several reasons, among them 1- this could fail miserably and 2- it might take up a lot of space, and I don't want to post tons of pics only to use up the space for Diane.
I will put a link on the other blog, so it will all work out, I'm sure.
It is 1:15 here, and I am going to roast some asparagus and some portabello sliced for my veggie rolls...
Check back soon!