Saturday, July 5, 2008

french toast

Exactly a week ago today Mia and I had the most decadent of breakfasts.

We had French Toast with strawberries, Greek yogurt and powdered sugar. It was as would be imagined to die for. One of the things that really made this was that we went heavy on the vanilla in the "batter" for the toast, and didn't put nutmeg or cinnamon in at all. The vanilla really helped smooth the strawberry and yogurt tartness out. Also it is important to note that strawberries when used as a condiment like this always benefit from a bit of sugaring before hand.

Friday, July 4, 2008

a nothing

To me, a true sign of a good cook, is the ability to create something delicious out of nothing, in no time.

It is not everyday that you have the time or patience to go off and create labor intensive meals, certainly I love it, but the majority of the time lets face it, you arrive home from work starving and want something delicious and fast! There are some standards that work here, almost any stir-fry, the Ma-Po Tofu that I love to make, a quick fresh sauce for pasta, lots of things will be successful.

There are days when there is also not a great deal of ingredient in the house and you have not even the patience for these stand-bys. I will admit that on days like that I sometimes admit defeat and eat out of the fridge. However I find that egg-drop soup is an excellent solution for days like this. All you really need is chicken broth and an egg. The other night I was cold (this was a little while ago) and feeling a bit under the weather, so soup was exactly what I wanted. In addition to the broth and egg I added a dash of curry powder, diced jalapeƱos, and spinach. I am happy to report that it was a total success!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I have always had a knack for baking with yeast. Part of this is practice, and part of this is pure luck it seems, because I've done some things that by all accounts should have ended in tremendous failure but didn't.

The best example I have of a should-have-been-failed endeavor was at my parent's house. I decided that I would make cinnamon rolls for the next morning's breakfast. I of course decided this rather late in the game so was trying to get about two risings and baking starting when I was already tired. This particular recipe (and I believe most for cinnamon rolls) has you scald and skim milk, then let it cool down until you can add the yeast to start in the milk. I scalded and skimmed, and then did not have the patience to let it cool down, but I knew it would kill the yeast if I didn't, so I stuck it in the freezer for as long as my patience would allow; which was probably a maximum of five minutes. I took it out added the yeast and went on my way, despite the fact that the yeast had formed balls and fallen to the bottom, something that I decided to just ignore.

Needless to say, when I returned to look at my dough, it was not risen. So I decided that I would start some yeast with sugar and water and then just knead it in with the appropriate amount of flour. This actually worked and the buns turned out just fine, not even particularly tough from being over kneaded. So yes I would say that this is an example of the luck that I so depend on in my knack for baking with yeast.

Recently I baked concha rolls to bring to a party at Alex's. I followed the recipe and was rewarded with really lovely dough, and some tasty buns, my only complaint was that the bottoms were a little too brown, I still have no idea how to bake in a gas oven

Mexican Concha Rolls

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages (8 grams each) Active Dry Yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2 eggs
Cinnamon-Chocolate Topping (recipe follows)

In bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F/50° to 55°C). Gradually add to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 35 to 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Remove dough to floured surface. Divide dough into 14 equal pieces; shape into balls. Place balls on 2 greased baking sheets. With palm of hand, flatten each ball slightly. Flatten each portion of Cinnamon-Chocolate Topping into a 2 1/2-inch round; place 1 round on each dough ball. With sharp knife, make cuts, 1/4 inch deep, on rolls to resemble seashells. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes. Bake at 375°F/190°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire racks.

Cinnamon-Chocolate Topping: In large bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened. Stir in 1 egg yolk, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, and 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon. Divide mixture into 14 equal portions.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chicken Bombs

so, there have been a few questions about my mention of "chicken bombs".

A chicken bomb is actually an imitation of a meal that I order sometimes at David's Place, a tasty dive on the way back from the beach in RI. Hopefully I'll get to go there on Monday as we're planning on going to the beach....I think I'll order the fried clams...

Anyhow there is a "sandwich" that they call a chicken bomb, so I call it that too.

It's vaguely like a fajita on a roll. Chicken cut into long strips that have been cooked on a griddle, preferably one full of "flavor" (read used to cook tons of stuff in a short order place). There are also lots of sauteed peppers and onions in long strips. This is all served on a roll with melty cheese on top. I don't have a picture 'cause we ate them too quickly this time.

They are best consumed outside at a picnic table with clam chowder to start and a root beer float to finish.

Monday, June 9, 2008

midnite snack

can't sleep:
made smoovie instead.
cantaloupe, orange juice, yogurt

picture won't load, but it looks just like this one, except the picture was taken tonight and it was in my hand, and the background was my room not the kitchen window sill.

Also you know the NYTimes' the Minimalist?
well I am currently addicted to his videos

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lunch success!

Today it was hot and humid. Finally. Really the weather has been less than springy. Of course we have now skipped straight to summer, but that's ok. We'll over look that weathorr because it doesn't matter what we think you'll do whatever it is you desire anyhow.

So normal lunchy things were not looking so appealing, too hot for things like a sandwich!

But I did have three cucumbers. So I decided to make cucumber yogurt soup. I've done this before, but this time I actually thought about it a little before having at it. So in addition to three cucumbers, the rest if the yogurt, salt and pepper. I also added walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and white vinegar. It was quite tasty, and far more filling that I would have anticipated.

There's no picture because it looks as you think it would: off white with little green bits.

Tonight, we're going to have a little thing that I like to call chicken bombs. This is when you explode a chicken and feast on it's charred remains.


Sunday, April 20, 2008


Summer is sneaking up on us, and that means that a lot of my food concerns move to delicious cool drinks. There comes a certain point when it's hot that I'm not interested in food. Really I would be ok if I could consume all of my food in milkshake/smoothie/lemonade form.

Sometimes I want thirst quenchers: like this raspberry lemonade that I whipped up the first warm weekend a week or two ago. All I did was muddle a few raspberries into some lemonade that I had whipped up (half a lemon and sugar to taste) for Mia and myself.

Then I want meals in drink form. My new favorite thing is an orange Julius. I had only known about these because I think in a childhood book "Where's Julius" they drank them. Mia suggested last summer when I was hungry, thirsty and hot that I make one. I immediately thought it sounded disgusting and didn't believe her. Blend yogurt and orange juice? nothing about that seemed like a good idea. But I guess it sounded good enough for me to try. I was proven delightfully wrong! It's delicious! I blend totally by eye orange juice, yogurt, sugar and vanilla together, I love it!