Friday, September 24, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
- A good Santoku knife. It's great for chopping a large amount of ingredients, and the indentations on the blade help to prevent food from sticking to it.
- A good bench scraper. This is used to scoop up ingredients (like the onions and carrots in the picture.) It's also useful for divying up portions of dough.
- A Y-shaped peeler. This may be just my personal preference, but I think it's a lot easier to peel vegetables with this kind of peeler.
- A garlic press. If I have to chop 1 clove of garlic, I'll use a knife, but for 12 cloves, I'll break out the press. I got mine from The Pampered Chef, and it's easy to use and clean.
- Long tongs...mine are 12 inches long which are great when turning meat in hot oil.
- A flat wooden/bamboo scraper which is ideal for getting all those good flavor bits off the bottom of the pan.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Things have been really busy. We took a trip up to NY and Pennsylvania. It was a lot of rushing around but I got to see my sister, my niece (cutest baby ever!), some good friends, and the in-laws. As soon as we got back, I started 2 classes at the local college. These classes are very intense, and cram 16 weeks worth of material into 8 weeks, so I've been doing a lot of reading. Luckily, I've had some time to do some cooking.
I made a tomato tart last week. The base as a sheet of puff pastry, coated with a thin layer of sour cream and grainy mustard. This added great flavor and prevented the crust from getting soggy. On top of the crust were sauteed cherry tomatoes (which are at season's peak right now) and leeks. This was baked, and then topped with goat cheese (yum!) and basil.
I'm going to try to add some more posts this weekend...a neighbor gave me some homemade strawberry jam...I'm going to try to make some cookies with it!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Layer 1: A flourless dark chocolate cake
Layer 2: A semisweet chocolate mousse
Layer 3: A white chocolate mousse/whipped cream.
I saw it made on America's Test Kitchen a few weeks ago and it looked amazing. I finished the first layer tonight, which was melted chocolate, butter, vanilla and egg yolks, with beaten egg whites and brown sugar. It smells amazing. I'll finish the other two layers tomorrow, for the potluck on Wednesday.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I'm trying something different tonight. I have a partially used head of cabbage. I was thinking of trying cabbage rolls, but the way that I previously cut off parts of the head, that won't work. I'm going to try a de-constructed cabbage roll casserole instead. I'm hoping for the best!
Monday, July 19, 2010
I had an amazing salad with blueberries, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese. I never would have thought to put blueberries with goat cheese but it was a delicious contrast.
I made another really good salad tonight. Napa cabbage, carrots, garlic, bean sprouts (which I never used before) and shrimp in a spicy thai lime chili dressing. It was great!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Although Blogging in the Dark could be an interesting name for a band, it's what I'm doing right now. We lost electricity about 2 hours ago. A transformer blew right outside of our house and apparently some tree limbs need to be cut so the power company can fix it. luckily I added a blogging app to my cell phone, which is quickly losing its battery.
I love the stillness that my house gets when the power is out..just serene silence. I'm normally not a fan of quiet; I typically have music on at home for background noise. But there's something about the lack of noise during a power outage that I really like.
My department is having a birthday breakfast for me tomorrow and my one friend is making this sausage strata which is incredibly delicious. There is egg, bread, sausage, ham....all the flavors together are amazing!
I'm turning off the phone now and am going to enjoy the rest of this quiet evening.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
- Arugula and mozzarella
- Caramelized onion, fontina, and thyme
- Ricotta, parmesan, asparagus and lemon zest
- Tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil
Monday, July 12, 2010
The ones that he made today were a pecan/praline cake with a semi sweet chocolate coating that hardened as it cooled. They were so delicious. We joked that one of our ads for the cupcake shop (which would include cake balls) could be one of our girl friends holding a tray of cake balls with the slogan " Why does she have all the balls?" or "Balls...they're for girls too." We just need some investment capital to get the shop started...stay tuned! I think I'm going to further inspire my friend by getting her cupcake cookbook for her birthday next week.
Dinner tonight was pretty easy. I had some frozen salmon filets that I let thaw, then drizzled them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. A few weeks ago, I bought a Northwest Salmon Rubs from the Spice and Tea Exchange, so I rubbed that on and baked them for a few minutes. The rub was amazing...some asian flavors and just the right amount of heat. On the side, I made some couscous (one of the world's quickest side dishes) with some fresh basil and parmesan cheese mixed in.
Five more days until the 80's themed pub crawl/scavenger hunt!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Cooking: This is what keeps me sane and is one of my favorite things to do. Be it baking, cooking dinner, or making drinks, anything involving the preparation and eating of food is the best way for me to spend my time.
Cronk: My boyfriend...I love him. Not to be confused with "Crunk". He gets to enjoy my cooking. I always can tell if a meal is good because he'll roll his eyes in delight when he takes the first bite.
A Crazy Dog: Abby, my 2 year old boston terrier. Like Cronk, Abby has stolen my heart and I would do anything for her. She also tends to enjoy some of my kitchen concoctions if they "accidentally" fall on the floor.
This weekend's creations:
Watermelon smoothie: Cubed watermelon, vanilla yogurt, ice and water.
Caramelized onion risotto: Typical risotto recipe...mix in caramelized onions with balsamic vinegar and thyme.
Pierogie Casserole: Basically a deconstructed pierogie. Lasagna noodles, mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, onions, garlic, sour cream, and green onions.
My birthday is coming up in a week....there's an 80's themed pub crawl and scavenger hunt the night before my birthday. This combines two of my favorite things: the 80's and drinking. Although I did end up getting way too tipsy at the last pub crawl I attended.
More meals, and tales of boyfriends and boston terriers to come!