Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Very Mild Sunday

Just a short post because I have a busy cooking day today.  It's on the upper 50's here.  I have all my doors and windows open and my wind chimes are singing thanks to a mild breeze.
Teddy loves it when the doors are open and she makes sure she walks through all of them. She likes to be able to walk into all the rooms in the house from the outside.
 I've been busy in my workroom making some things for my little friends and I will show you them when they are finished.  Have a great Sunday!  I am off to bake.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fried Rice

I've been making a lot of rice recently which means leftover rice which means fried rice.   The Blog Tech has always been a big fan of fried rice so this makes him very happy.
 I don't use woks or do stir fries because it's tough to get the really high heat you need and my standard kitchen fan doesn't handle that kind of grease.  I made this in a heavy fry pan. Combine 2 T. of canola oil with 2 T. sesame oil and fry 1 medium diced onion and several stalks of sliced celery.

 Add 2 T. of grated ginger and lots of fresh cracked pepper.  Sprinkle in a bit of salt but not too much because it will get some saltiness from soy sauce. Sprinkle with some granulated garlic and granulated onion to taste, about 1 tsp. each.

 Stir in your leftover rice, I had about 4 cups. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, a couple squirts of fish sauce and about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.  Don't add too much soy or it will be overkill.  I find that most people use too much soy sauce in dishes like this.  It should add flavor but not give it an overwhelming taste.

Add 1 lb. of peeled, de-veined shrimp and cook over high heat stirring until the shrimp turn pink. Some people like to add peas and carrots but I just don't get that. But that's just me so throw them in if it makes you happy.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mini Vanilla Bean Cakes with Lemon Curd And Raspberry Filling

I have never really honed my cake baking skills and I hope to do so sometime soon.  I do like baking cakes though I hate eating cakes.  I have never liked cake.
Unlike me, my family LOVES cake.  Occasionally I break down and make some for them and I really like making individual cakes.  The cake-a-holics like having one to themselves. First, I lined each springform with parchment paper and sprayed them with cooking spray.

For the batter I used a basic yellow vanilla cake recipe. 

Not being certain how long these would take, I opened the oven door to check on them too often and the centers fell a bit.  This is why I need to work on my cake baking skills.  This is just a stupid mistake and I should have known better.

However, I soldered on and cut them in half.  I placed the indented side down which flattened out from the weight of the rest of the cake.

I brushed each side with simple syrup, seedless raspberry jam and lemon curd and then sandwiched them bake together.

Then I made a classic buttercream vanilla bean frosting and covered them in it.

To finish, I sprinkled them with clear sanding sugar.

 I tried to get closeups of them cut.  This did not work well.  I also need to hone my photography skills.

Maybe at some point in the future I will be able to bake glorious cakes and take beautiful pics of them.  Or not.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Egg Roll Bowl

I recently realized that I had never made Asian food for the after school kids so I whipped this up for them a few days ago. And without a doubt, this was their most favorite thing I've made for them.
 Brown 1 pound of ground beef in a heavy pot along with 1 large sliced onion, 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger,  4 diced garlic cloves and some green onions. Brown this in sesame oil if you have it.

                                                              Add 1 head of cabbage, sliced.  Add 1 can of diced water chestnuts too. Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and a tsp. of fish sauce.
Stir it around and cook it until the cabbage wilts.                                                                                                                   
Continue to stir it around until it is evenly cooked.

Towards the end, I added several shredded carrots.

Serve it over a bowl of rice with some green onions sprinkled on it.  The kids liked this so much they ate it plain without the rice.  They ate the rice separately with sugar sprinkled on it.  That was a surprise to me!  Some of them added milk to the sugar and rice.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

An International Lunch

I woke up Sunday morning and decided to make some Ethiopian and Indian food.  The first thing I made was a chicken curry.  You can see the recipe here:
 I made some Turkish koftas too:

  • 1 medium Spanish onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley and mint
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pound lean ground lamb (sub beef or turkey if you prefer) 
  • Form into patties and cook in a lightly oiled pan

 This is an Ethiopian wat (stew).  Saute' 1 large onion in a few tablespoons of oil.  Add 5 sliced carrots.  Sprinkle this with 2 tablespoons of turmeric and 1 tablespoon of cumin.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Grate 2 tablespoons of ginger and add it and stir it around.

 Add 1 sliced large head of cabbage and 2 cups of chicken broth.

 Cook this until the cabbage softens a bit.

 Add 4 large cubed red potatoes. Cover and cook this, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender.

 Then I made some naan.

 Find the recipe here:

 Lunch ended up being naan and poppadams with Turkish roasted peppers and kofta, Indian chicken curry served over idlis, cabbage wat and kale wat.  This is some of my favorite food.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Day

 This is Teddy's preferred way to watch it snow.

 Look at the cool shadow I caught on my porch post.

 It's going to be in the upper 40's today so all of this will melt.

 I sure hope we see more of this before Spring arrives.

Though it is cold and snowy when I go out each morning, I can feel and hear Spring. I'm not ready for it yet.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mac and Cheese Shepherd's Pies

This has to be one of my kids most favorite meals.  I don't make them often but these always bring food joy to them.
 Dice 1 large onions and cook it in a bit of bacon grease or oil.  Sprinkle with thyme, granulated garlic and salt and pepper.

 Add 1 cup of corn, this is my frozen corn from last summer.  Add 3 diced carrots.

 Add 1 diced parsnip and 1 diced turnip.  Cook these until they start to soften.

 Add 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground lamb.  Cook it stirring until it is browned.

 Add 3 tablespoons of tomatoes paste.

 And 2 tablespoons of Marmite if you have it in your pantry.

 Add 1 cup of a hearty red wine and 2 beef bouillon cubes.

 Cook this at a simmer until everything is cooked through and it has thickened a bit.

 Make some mac and cheese.  I melted 6 tablespoons of butter and whisked in 6 tablespoons of flour.   Whisk it for a couple minutes. Add 5 cups of milk.  Add salt and pepper and grate in some nutmeg.  Cook, whisking until you see it thickening. I added 1 diced poblano pepper too.

 Stir in 5 cups of cheese.  I used cheddar, butter kase and velvetta.

Place some of the meat mixture into the bottom of your containers.  I like to make individual ones because I am a neat freak and I don't like the mac and cheese mixing into the meat when you serve it.

 Bake them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Bake them on cookie sheets because they bubble over.

Let them cool a bit before serving. Decadent comfort food for a snowed in day.