balmofgilead: (Default)
Colcannon made with kale and smashed up red potatoes (skins left on) is so very pretty.  And it has a more interesting flavor if you make it with yogurt instead of milk, but at that point it's probably not really colcannon anymore.  Supposedly kale is a winter crop, but the farmers market here still has plenty of it and it tastes OK.
balmofgilead: (Default)
I made this Lentil Feta salad just now, and left out the onions because I am lazy and don't really like raw onions all that much anyhow.  It's fine.  (Edit: and the parsley, apprently, because I am forgetful and my parsley was stuff I had in the freezer anyhow.)

Cow's milk feta (Whole Foods' house brand), however, is weird. I'm not a big fan of feta in general, but now I have the remnants of a 1-lb block of it.  I wish it were tomato season, at least. Hmm. 
balmofgilead: (Default)
If you've never seen it, Manjula's Kitchen is a fabulous YouTube channel. She shows how to make all sorts of Indian food, and she's very simple and unpretentious (but clear.)
balmofgilead: (Default)
Spearmint has a sharper flavor and more intense aroma, while peppermint tends to be more delicate and sweet

Do you find this true? I don't. I find peppermint much stronger than spearmint.  Spearmint might be sharper, but peppermint is still not "more delicate" to me. And I wouldn't find them interchangeable at all, at least in a recipe that calls for one or another.
balmofgilead: (Default)

I just discovered what looks to be an awesome food blogThese mini cheesecakes sound amazingly simple, especially compared to the enormous, heavy Lindy's cheesecakes I used to help my mom make. This salad seems like a wacky combination but it's all things I love (yes, I love barley) and I think it'd taste good.  Hmm, I wonder if I can get any good strawberries now.

I should be asleep but that second mid-afternoon cup of coffee is interfering with the whole natural "feel sleepy sometime before midnight" thing and my self-discipline is nil.

balmofgilead: (Default)

Wow, salad savoy is tasty! And pretty.  I bought it because it was pretty and cheap and green (well, green and purple, for this variety), but it tastes good too.  Yay!

It's not a new year's resolution per se, but I'm trying to eat more green stuff. I like vegetables.  I feel better when I eat them.  They're healthy. There is no reason I should be eating them so infrequently.

I'm not always eager to eat raw veggies in the wintertime, partly because it's cold and they're usually cold and it's especially unpleasant when they're a bit wet from having been washed.  So I went against everything that is holy and stuck my bowl of savoy and green peppers in the microwave for 30 seconds to take the chill off.  I think next time I'll do it for a slightly shorter time, but all in all?  It's a solution.

balmofgilead: (Default)
I call this one "still life with hot drink that does not cause heartburn."
I actually quite like the stuff--Inka--but that might be in part because I was raised on a series of Postum (RIP), Pero, and then Cafix (Inka is identical ingredient-wise, but cheaper). I remember frustratedly trying to explain to my nursery school teacher what "Pero" was for some project where we were supposed to list our favorite drink: Powow? That's not a drink! (As a little kid I didn't enunciate very well and it didn't help that the teacher had never heard of Pero.) No, perrrro!  What? Pero. It IS a drink. *tiny [ profile] balmofgilead sighs* Postum? Have you heard of Postum? It's like that. Just put that down. (They actually have different ingredients - wheat vs. barley/chicory/beets, but close enough, right?) 

balmofgilead: (cabbage)
What would you do with a pound (minus a tiny taste) of fresh goat cheese? Let's say, just for shits and giggles, that you didn't want to buy anything else expensive to pair with it.  I've never bought any before, and usually I reject recipes with it because it seems expensive.  Ye Olde Grocerye Outlet had it at a really really cheap price, though, and I figured what the hell.  If I'm dead of food poisoning tomorrow you'll know why.  

I have no idea why I've been taking pictures of everything lately.  It's not like they're even great pictures, considering that I have a decent camera.

I also bought some Ricotta Salata (same logic - it was cheap, cheaper than, say, cheddar).  In googling for recipes just now I found this, which looked good 'cause I bought some swiss chard on Saturday, until I came to the part about 18 LARGE EGGS. We're talking only one bunch of swiss chard here, with those eggs. Geeze Louise. We won't be making that particular dish chez [ profile] balmofgilead any time soon.
balmofgilead: (Default)
Chocolate cake in 5 minutes has been making the rounds on the interwebs lately.

Personally, I
a) think that chocolate cake should be way darker than that
b) used up the last of my eggs making an omelet yesterday
c) can't stand the smell (and by extension, taste) of microwaved eggs at all - give me raw, baked, boiled, fried, poached, anything but microwaved

so I left out the eggs and added a little extra milk. And a dash of salt and some baking powder.  And made it in a bowl. I also only nuked it for ~2 minutes in our old and slow microwave, leaving it kind of soft and dark and a bit like what I imagine molten chocolate cake is like.  Which is okay and safe because there are no eggs in it.  Not that I'm scared of undercooked eggs (see above), but not everyone can be as awesomely unafraid of salmonella as I am. 

It was tasty...both times. 
balmofgilead: (Default)
I made it for my own convenience, but hey, a little self-promotion never hurt anyone, right?

I've been a very boring cook lately. Maybe that will change. At any rate, keeping everything in one place can't hurt, so I'm going to add any recipes I use that are already typed up.
balmofgilead: (Default)
ah-HA! Success at cooking tofu on the stovetop is mine at last. The things that seem to make the difference are:

-HOT pan
-cast iron* pan (thank you kind neighbor-lady for cleaning out your basement and giving us your awesome old one)

-water has been pressed out of tofu adequately

For a long time I've just been eating tofu cold or warmed in the microwave, 'cause I don't mind it that way, but I feel much happier being able to pan-fry it. It was embarrassing being a vegetarian who can't cook pan-fry tofu--for some reason it never worked well for me. It took three tries in a row, but I think I've got it down now: it didn't fall apart in the pan and it didn't stick to the pan at all or absorb much oil. Actually, I probably could have gotten away with using even less oil than the 1/8" or so that I used.

It feels like a waste waiting for a cast iron pan to heat up all the way and not cook a bunch of stuff. I did 18 oz of tofu this time, but I think if I do it again I'll cook two packages at once and then stick it in the fridge. Cold pan-fried tofu is better than cold uncooked tofu.

*stainless steel and aluminum get a huge thumbs-down for this, and I have a congenital inability to cook anything successfully in Teflon (I inherited that from my mom, it seems)
balmofgilead: (Default)
Martin's Kettle Cook'd Potato chips (only available in the Mid-Atlantic region, sadly) are awesome. So awesome that my mother (who loves doing such things) is calling the distributer to find out why they don't have 'em in our supermarket anymore. They have that wonderful deep-fat-fried smell, and yet (if I'm not mistaken) they're slightly lower in fat than regular potato chips because the potatoes are slicked thicker and thus absorb less oil when fried.

Good junk food is nice in measured quantities, and when it's junk nutritionally, it should taste really, really good.


Jun. 14th, 2006 11:03 am
balmofgilead: (Default)
Since I typed it up to email to my mom in California, I might as well post this recipe. You can use tofu instead of chicken, too. Tofu marinated in ginger, garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar = yum.

Sesame Chicken Salad

2 TBS sesame seeds
1/4 cup salad oil
3 TBS lemon juice
1.5 TBS soy sauce
1.5 TBS white wine vinegar (we usually use rice vinegar instead)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 pound snow peas
1/2 pound bean sprouts
3 to 3.5 c. shredded cooked chicken

[We usually at least double the amounts of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and vinegar, but I like things with a lot of flavor.]
Toast sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat, shaking pan often, until seeds are golden (about 5 minutes). In a large bowl, mix seeds, oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and ginger until blended.

Fill a large pan halfway with water; bring to a boil. Add pea pods and bean sprouts; cook just until water boils. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Combine vegetables, chicken, and oil mixture and stir. It's better after it's had a chance to sit for awhile.
balmofgilead: (Default)
A recent Stuffing Incident confirmed that I am indeed a vegetarian at heart. It's not because it's cheaper, healthier, or better for the environment, though those are all mighty good reasons that I bring up frequently. I can't really say it's for animal rights reasons either--lord knows how many chicken embryos my lab partner and I killed last spring in the name of science education.

It's because at least 50% of the time I can't stand eating flesh.

I'm not grossed out easily. I stuck my hand up inside our (raw) turkey on Thursday, I watched my housemate Tom open oysters last week, and I clean up poop and vomit at work. But there's just no way to sanitize/purify/dissociate flesh enough that I can eat it consistently. The waste products--bones, tendons, random chewy ligaments--are incredibly disturbing to me. They're not the same as grapefruit seeds or potato peels or the rinds of cantaloupe.

(That's why I don't generally encourage other people to be vegetarians, or grudge them for eating meat [though I do defend vegetarianism]. It's easy for me to stay away. I get the impression it's nothing like that for most people. )

Today I'm going through this phase where I want to shave my head or crop my hair close to my head. It has nothing to do with making an external statement. It's part of this desire to streamline and simplify myself, almost to strip expression. [Curly hair is disorderly in a way--it's never the same twice, it's not symmetrical, it doesn't stay the same from morning til night and it can't be restored by brushing. ]
balmofgilead: (Default)
random thoughts

tomatoes from the farmers' market taste ten thousand times better than the ones from the supermarket, even when they look kinda pale and unripe.

the smell of thick sweat reminds me of being in israel when i was 9. it's not necessarily a bad reminder.

i think my cutting board will always smell like onions. too bad it has to smell like raw onions. cooked ones are so much yummier. oh well.


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