Friday, June 10, 2016

Time for the yearly bump - Daiquiri Ice Clone (Baskin-Robbins)

The fireflies are out, it's hot and humid, so it's the perfect time for some light and refreshing Daiquiri Ice.

This is my most popular blog post and something I'm fairly proud of.

If you're a fan of tart, lime flavors and sorbet, check out the original post below. Oh, despite the name, it's not alcoholic.

Though i may see how it works if I put it in a blender with rum.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Improv recipe: Vaguely Spicy Veggie Chickpea pasta


One of my best, easiest, improvs. I made it with chickpeas I cooked the day before, but don't do that-use canned.

Read through the recipe once to get your ingredients.

Put pot of water on to boil with salt.
Crush clove of garlic in another pan with 2 T butter and turn heat to low.
Get small bag mixed raw veggies-broccoli and cauliflower, and break up the bigger pieces into bite sizes. Add to garlic, add large pinch of salt, and stir.
Chop up half a red bell pepper and toss in. Turn to medium high and stir once.
Open up can of chili ready tomato diced the one with the spices.
Stir veggies, fump tomatoes and liquidd in. Stir.
Break spaghetti into thirds, add each third to boiling water, stir after each third.
Stir veggies, add can drained chickpeas, stir, turn to low, cover.
Cook until pssta is done, about 8 minutes.
Last few minutes of pasta, uncover veggies and stir. You want them bright and crisp, not muddy and mushy.
Turn off hear on veggies and add large pinch or two of whole cumin.
Drain pasta.
To serve, pasta in bottom of powl, top with veggies. Tilt a bit more juice from the pot if you like. 
Top with a little bit of shredded mozzarella and fresh ground pepper.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Stand Back! I'm Going to Try Science! Part 1

(Hat tip to XKCD)

I got a new cook book for Christmas, The 4-Hour Chef by Tim FerrissThere's a lot to unpack (a lot), which I'll come back to in another post. But for now, i want to talk a bit about the Molecular Gastronomy section.

The preferred term these days is "Modernist Cuisine," because some mad scientist chefts have ruined it for everyone by focusing on technique over flavor or product. It's that one guy on the cooking reality show that automatically goes for the sous vide machine even though the challenge is a cold salad.

 I have dabbled about in these waters before. There is a lot you can do without fancy tools. Cooking things at very low and slow temps, or using  a pressure cooker for example. I once cooked a steak with hot tap water, a cooler, and a blow torch. Good times.

I havevalways wanted to do more, especially with chemicals (insert evil laugh here).

Two recipes caught my eye. The first was a bacon-infused bourbon. The second was a bloody mary gel in a celery cup. I decided to combine the two.

The trickiest part of the recipe was finding the gelling agent. Instead of using gelatin, it uses Agar-Agar, which comes from seaweed.

I found mine at the health food store, but you might also find it in an Asian foods store. 

One is more powdery, the other is grainy, like Kosher salt. If you get the grainy stuff, like i did, be prepared to stir for  a little while to make sure it dissolves completely. Or, you might try putting it in a grinder. 

Stay tuned for more from my kitchen laboratory, and, if all goes well, the recipe.

Update: It's alive. And damn delicious.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Apple Pie Preaching

My ken to cook is weak these days. A full-time job and feisty 3-year-old will do that to a girl (honesty, I don't know how Smitten Kitchen does it).

Anything I do cook is geared to be easy, convenient, as nd forgiving. For example, the apple pies I've been baking.

It all started this fall. We were invited to an apple picking party at a friend's place, and left with several gallons of fresh-pressed cider, and about a bushel of apples.

Good fun all around.

My standard for apple season is to do apple sauce: roughly halve them, skins, seeds and all, and stick them in my biggest stock pot, cook low and slow until they are soft, stirring sometimes, then running it all through my food mill. I sweeten, salt, and season back on the stove, cooking it down a bit more if it's too watery.

This year, though, I was going to be out of town for a a week very soon after our excursion. And, as much as P 2.0 loves applesauce, we weren't going to eat it all in short order.

So I tried pre-cooked pie filling. The recipe I Googled seemed easy enough: sliced, peeled, cored apples, sugar, cornstarch, water, and spices. Cook it until  the apples break down a bit and the cornstarch thickens up. Then spoon into bags snd freeze.

Two months later, I had the chance to make a pie for a Christmas party, and it came out pretty great. It didn't quite set up how I'd like, but it was pretty, and tasty. For shell, I went with store bought. For topping, I did an oat brown sugar crumble, using a base of Instant flavored oats (the one with the Pacifist on the box), adding butter, and extra brown sugar.

My success with this may have me try other make and freeze things. And, if they're really good, blog about them. Time will tell.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Snack List Five: Ling Hi Mui

Ling Hi Mui is dried, salted, sugared, sour plums.

I can do pickled plums, in moderation, mostly as an adjunct to a soup or porridge. And I love salt and vinegar chips.

But these I could not eat. I tried. Twice.  


I did pick up the powdered version, which is meant to sprinkle on fruit. I think that would probably taste pretty good to me, in massive moderation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Snack List Five: Mochi

I've had Mochi before. I do aikido, and absorbing a bit of Japanese culture tends to be part of the art.

For those not in the know, Mochi is a sweet snack made from sticky rice, pounded until it is gummy and pasty, usually filled with some sweet filling.  The texture is not my favorite.

They have standard Mochi in Kauai, but they also have a variation which I like much more. They add baking powder, and other things like pumpkin or chocolate, and it comes out somewhere between banana bread and jello-laced brownie. 

We had it as a quick snack before our trip through the canyon. 

North/East side Photo Tour

Let me take this chance to point out that all the good pics were taken by The Mister. For whatever reason, the photo gene skipped me, but James has the interest and the equipment (thanks Dad!).

Part of the delay on blog posts has been getting the good stuff from the camera to the ipad. 

Anywho, one of our first scheduled things in Kauai was a half day photo tour. Our guide, Levi, was a hoot: a total geek and gamer who loves sharing stories and learning about pretty much anything. Reminded me of my grandpa Corey, which may seem wierd unless you ever met my Grandpa Corey.

Levi is a kick ass photographer, and gave all the touristas some helpful tips on composition, lighting, and filters.

Three top things I learned:

Get lower for a better shot. 

Use "stuff" as frame for interest.

Filters are your friend.

Quick before and after on that last tip.

Without filter.

With filter.

Here are some of James' best shots.

How'd that get in there??

Does this one look familiar? Features prominently in two Paramount flicks. Chocolate covered Mac nuts to the first person who comments, correctly, with both movies.

...and one from me.