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Friday, February 26, 2010

Giraffe

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pattern.

have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

weekend - chinese new year

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52/365
Picnik collage
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a weekend spent with phamily:
playing dress up.
sharing food.
laughing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Orange Cranberry Biscotti - a hint of summer

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don't be put off by the crumbs you see on this plate. they're delicious crumbs, with the hint of fresh citrus and the proper crunch of a cookie-wannabe-biscuit. however, i was a jackass and didn't read all the tips/directions. i neglected to use parchment paper/foil, i have a habit of underbaking all my baked goods and took the biscotti out at the 25 minute mark, thus not allowing it to bake properly. when i cut into the thing, it C.R.U.M.B.L.E.D.

as a result, no pretty biscotties. i baked them again for an additional 15 minutes. they still came out tasting great tho. nuria didn't care for the cranberries so i'll probably make these again without them. i am determined to make them again. they make for a great snack, with some tea, while i watch tv or crochet. and they so reminded me of summer.

next time.

Orange Cranberry Biscotti
adapted from Italian Food Forever

6 Tbl butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp orange dust
1 Tbl candied orange peels
2 Tbl orange juice
pinch of salt
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, salt, orange juice, dust and candied peel and mix. Add the flour and baking powder and mix with a wooden spoon just until combined. Add the cranberries and almonds and fold into the dough.

Grease a baking sheet and then shape the dough into one log about 4" wide with wet hands. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is just about firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, but leave the oven on. Using a serrated knife, cut the log into 1/2 slices. Place the slices flat onto the baking sheet and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

today's song: The Script, Breakeven

She finally met a man that's gonna put her first...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rabbit Stew

during the early days of Snowpocalypse i made a stew. it was damn good. too bad for you that i won't share the recipe, it's a possible entry for a cookbook my blog friend Amy of Poor Girl Gourmet will be working on. however, she was so kind to share it with me. don't be jealous.

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i read her rabbit post with rapt attention. i've had rabbit before, at a spanish restaurant. having it butchered and then cook with it? intriguing. however, the dollars needed for a freshly butchered Roger Rabbit was not something i was going to shell out, i bought it already done & packaged. it was still $12 for 3lbs. (!!) further, i was squeamish about cutting it up. i.just.could.not.do.it. so nuria got on board. she was all about it, rabbit is her favorite meat.

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i served this on a bed of whipped sweet potato with a glass of red, actually the same red i had cooked the bunny in. it was delicious.

nuria tells me that rabbits are so rampant in australia that they view them more like rats and not so much like food. rabbit tastes so good but to put them in the same league as rats gives me the heebyjeebies.

today's song: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Convertible Cowl

when i went to china a few years ago i bought a few skeins of bulky lavender yarn. i finally made something of it. and what's so great is that it's for me.

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i used this pattern.

end result: it's all sorts of bulky and not something i would normally wear but it's soft and i kinda like being able to wear something i've created.

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photos courtesy of Nuria.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Orange Dust - it's like magic

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i used just regular Florida oranges on sale at SuperFresh. ChefGwen's recipe. i don't have a nifty mandolin so i sliced these bitches by hand. it's doable. trust. if i can do it, so can you. i baked them at around 200F for a couple of hours and then lowered the temp to just the WARM setting until they were completely dry. this was a two week process and it was all trial and error.

Picnik collage

i bought a new spice grinder from Sur la Table because my twitter friends told me that my coffee grinder just would not do, unless i wanted coffee flavored orange dust. the dust came out so fine, so pretty, i wanted to make lines of them and snort it. but i have a fear of all things going up the nostril and i saw that episode of JackAss where Steve-o snorted ants. it's not natural.
Picnik collage

This year Tết falls on Valentine's Day. Oranges are symbolic of wealth. so i made orange dust because it's magical and because i could use some wealth. just saying.

2010 is the year of the Tiger. May this year be bold, filled with excitement and adventure, but pleasant with harmony and of course, wealth.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Apple Cranberry Bread

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i used Poor Girl Gourmet's recipe. it's good. just do it.

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verdict - my friend melissa came over for dinner and i had this as an accompaniament to some lime chicken and chickpea soup. it wasn't sweet and the apples were not overwhelming. it did not rise to loaf height. the smell reminded me of fall and even tho it was the dead of winter with snow swirling outside, it was still fitting. i'm thrilled because i finally have another use for the dried cranberries that i always have in my cupboard.

in case you're wondering about the cakestand, i got it from crate&barrel for $11, on clearance.

Today's Song: Death Cab For Cutie, I will follow you into the dark

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pasta Carbonara - fast version

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yeah i know. no bacon or pancetta. giada is pissssssed. roommate was not a fan of the peas, they weren't mushy enough for her. me, i dug the color and the bite they still had.

Pasta Carbonara

angel hair spaghetti or whatever noodle pasta you like, cooked just shy of al dente
onions, diced
garlic, diced
mushrooms, any will do, i used shiitake
handful of frozen peas
2 eggs to mix, plus 2 to poach and leave on top
olive oil
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper
some pasta water

while the pasta is boiling in a pot, sautee the onions and garlic in some olive oil until fragrant and onions are translucent in a pan, season with salt/pepper. add in the mushrooms and cook thru. transfer the just shy of al dente pasta to the pan and toss to coat well with the olive oil, mushrooms, onions and garlic. add a ladle of pasta water if needed to keep the mixture moist. throw in peas to give it time to thaw properly. remove pan from heat. poach two eggs in the pasta water.

meanwhile, in a bowl crack the two eggs, add cheese and whisk well. working quickly, pour the egg over the pasta and mix thru. plate up with the poached egg on top. sprinkle with more cheese if you want. done.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Mushroom Pâté

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for this month's beet 'n squash challenge, i used three types of mushrooms: shiitake, enokitake (it was on sale for $0.99, i had to buy them) and portobello mushrooms. odd combo i know but whatever.

i was Leela's winner choice last month (!!) and hopefully i'm able to show that i'm worthy of keeping the title with this entry. join in the food fight.



Mushroom, Walnut, and Rosemary Pâté
Adapted from Dana Treat


1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cup mixture of shiitake, portobello and enokitake mushrooms
1 cup red wine
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 cup walnuts
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
2 packets of geletin powder

in a pan, saute up the mushrooms, onions, and garlic in a bit of olive oil. season with salt and cook till brown. add in the red wine and allow to reduce to just about evaporated. remove from heat, add in the herbs and stir well.

transfer to process, add in the walnuts, soy sauce, vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water. process until smooth.

in a saucepan, bring the remaining 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Whisk in the geletin and turn the heat to low. Continue whisking until thoroughly dissolved, add mixture to the processor with the mushroom mixture and process until incorporated.

pour into container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

verdict: i liked it, it had an earthy flavor to it. it was still soft for my liking, not sliceable, more spreadable. if i were to make this again, for a party or whatever, i'd add more geletin for it to be sliced as opposed to spread.

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today's song: Mary J. Blige, I Am

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Traveling Bivalve Cowl

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my first time making a cowl. i used this pattern which i found on ravelry. it was free when i pulled it up in December and now it's $5 for the pattern.

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took me about a week to bust out. it was the holidays, i had a couple of projects going on, in the kitchen and craft room aka sofa.

today's song: Shakira, She-Wolf

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hot & Sour Cucumber Salad

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honestly, i had every intention of following the recipe. makes life easier. didn't work out that way. i served this as a side to some rice and some meat dish. it has a spicy end but at first bite it's sweet and sour. very pleasant.

Hot & Sour Cucumber Salad
adapted from Kylie Whong:Simply Magic

1 English Cucumber
1 small onion, rough chopped
Fish sauce, to taste
sea salt
rice vinegar
white wine
Lemon Juice, to taste
1 chili pepper of your choice

forgive me, kylie's recipe calls for huge amounts and i only had one cucumber handy. it's all about taste and i winged it.

cut english cucumber into bite size pieces. rough chop the onions. sprinkle some sugar and salt, mix well, put in fridge and ignore for an hour.

meanwhile in a small sauce pan throw in a healthy splash of rice vinegar and white wine - i'd say it equaled out to about a cup total. (maybe if you had the white wine vinegar handy already, use that instead. the original recipe calls for it but i had to improvise.) add in about 1/2 -3/4 cup of sugar, again it's all about taste. bring to a simmer and let sugar to dissolve. once it reduces and is syrupy, take off heat and cool. when ready to eat, take cucumber/onions concoction out, drain away any excess liquid. dice up some hot chili pepper, i used red and green, and add to the bowl. pour the cooled syrup over the cucumbers/onions, mixing well. for taste squeeze the lemon and sprinkle on some fish sauce.

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today's song: Rascal Flatts, I Melt