Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beef Stew

In honor of the first snow of the season, and in memory of its short life, today there will be beef stew.
Although, it turned out not to be quite beef stew, because I thought the recipe didn't have enough water in it, and compensated by adding all the cans of tomato sauce in my cabinet.  Sometimes I over-do it.
But everything turned out ok, and rather better than beef stew, I think.
I put the recipe up on Allrecipes.  Here.  It's pretty basic.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Poached an EGG!!

I did it!  Check it out!




Turns out poaching eggs is incredibly easy.  Who knew.  Besfran bought some vinegar this week, so I borrowed some and gave it a shot.  Taadaaaaa.

The trick of whirlpooling the water which I read about at worked wonderfully.  I am quite pleased.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Potstickers Stick to the Pot

I know, right?  Shocking to me, too.

So my first thing in the kitchen while I'm home for break was to try to make potstickers.  Whoo!
chopped up onion

An ENTIRE onion.  Which seemed like a lot, but whatever.
Also ginger, which I was kind of too afraid to peel so Momma did that for me.

Minced it up in the food processor.  Which, incidentally is what I did with the carrot also, even though it said shredded carrot, because that seemed difficult.  Also put in way less carrot than it called for, because, ew.

<- the least delicious part of all this.  Cabbage.  Carrots.  Cabbot.  Yuck.

Then, we sautee us some onions and ginger, add the mushrooms, which i somehow managed to avoid taking a picture of, and then the cabbot.  Everything is all warm and mushy.


Drain the oil used to sautee and... add... more oil?  Stupid recipe.  If you wanted sesame oil, just tell me to cook it in sesame oil.  You make no sense.

And here comes the fun part!  Learning to fold potstickers.  Turns out I am not wonderful at this.  I got my premade eggroll wrappers and, being that they were square, first thought I'd use a biscuit cutter and make circles.  These were super small.  So I decided to make potstickers shaped like eggrolls

orrrr.... blobs

<- blob shape ended up working best


Now, potstickers are complicated, because you have to put a bit of oil in, fry the bottom, and then add water to the oily pan (may cause explosions) and cover it to steam them.  And the directions SAID to let all the water evaporate so the bottom would fry a little again and get crunchy.  DO NOT DO THIS.  Or, perhaps, use more oil than I did.  They stick like gangbusters.  Is that a thing?
you should also be using a teflon pan, not a stupidface shiny pan.  Don't use them for anything, they're evil.

Oh and I made dipping sauce.  Soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sesame oil.  Momma uses it as salad dressing.

I used the remainder of the wrappers to make pierogies.  And forgot to take pictures.  They were tasty enough, but I should have made my own dough for them.  The innards were delicious, and I used the leftovers of those to make potato pancakes.  And forgot to take pictures.

BUT.  Shout-out to Momma, it was Dad's birthday, and she made a baller cake

<- the filling between the layers is frosting mixed with peanut butter mixed with crushed up reeses cups

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Russian Cookery

Today was special, because The Russian decided that it would be a good day for the Russian House to have a Russian Thanksgiving. Not that Russians have thanksgiving, but we wanted to cook food and have a little break this weekend, so we had a nice, seasonal excuse. On the menu: crab salad, cake, kotleti (which are kind of like tiny Russian meatloafs), puree (really smooth mashed potatoes) and blini.

Besfran and I started out on the cakes. These are made with layered blini (Russian pancakes, like crepes but NOT crepes, please do not call them crepes, because they are Russian), strawberries, and a sour cream icing. That's just sour cream and powdered sugar mixed together. And it is delicious. We layered blin, then strawberries,

then sour cream icing
Here's a rare shot of Besfran putting icing on the cake and not eating it instead
Regardless of the amount of ingredients the both of us ate during construction, we ended up with quite the cake.  Go us!
The blini makers kept going, though, and we had lots extra after we ran out of strawberries.  There was lots of batter, so FlyBoy and Roomie had their work cut out for them.  The Russian supervises.
Action shot!  Blini cookery!  Spin that pan! We must have blini round like the sun!
Meanwhile, The Odd Couple was making kotleti... what would you call it?  Mash?  Batter?  Meat dough?
Ewwwwwww, squishy

And Besfran and I got in there to help. Things got messy
I will smell like garlic for weeks!

The kotleti got dredged in egg and flour, all ready for the oven
Meanwhile, someone made the crab salad... I didn't notice this happening, but it must have.  Doesn't it look delicious?  
Everything was ready except the kotleti!  Turns out they take way long to cook.

Delicious Russian thanksgiving dinner!  One big happy Russian House family at the table... some of it, anyway
And our cake looked beautiful, as did the kotleti!

Outtakes: we lost momentum halfway through, and Besfran, Rae, and I took a break and ate icing.
The Russian started out helping with kotleti until she realized she couldn't help anyone else if she did, because she was covered in meat batter (yes, that's what I'm calling it now).
That's all for now!  Guess I lied about a post with more text.  Bazinga!


Macaroni and Cheese Pancakes

Two things I love: and This is Why You're Fat. And when This is Why You're Fat had this post I knew I had to try it out... is it bad that I got my food idea from a blog with that name? Don't answer that...

But my beloved allrecipes didn't have any help for me! Luckily the New York Times did, and I found this recipe with very little searching.

On to the execution! Besfran was dubious about the idea at first, but neither of us wanted to buy more food so close to going home for Thanksgiving break, and I needed to use up some milk, so we began. Ingredients, assemble! 
I had run out of sprinkle cheese a couple days ago, so we made do with stacking a bunch of sliced cheese and trying to grate it... 
it went better than expected...
Batter!  Besfran helps with eggs:
And, of course, simple pancakes are easy... you'd think...
I always was impatient, and mom does say the first pancake is for throwing away.  Or eating while you make the rest, if you're me.

I had planned to have step-by-step shots of the macaroni-and-cheese-ifying of the pancakes, but I didn't.  It's pretty simple, you sprinkle the noodles and cheese in the batter while the first side of the pancake is cooking, flip, and presto!
They're surprisingly tasty with syrup,
although some disagree.  The conversation with Besfran went something along the lines of
"Try them with syrup"
"um, no"
"Woman! Put syrup on that pancake!"
She didn't like it much that way, and they are good plain.

And, to finish, Besfran's attempt at an artsy food photo:

When I post at not 3 am, if that ever happens, perhaps I'll work on having more words than pictures.  But this works for me.  And maybe you, if you're visual, you may be, that's cool, some people are.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

And we embark...

Trying something new, here, and if I have the self-discipline to keep it up (fingers crossed!) we'll have a food blog in the very near future.  Hooray!

Since I've been off the meal plan here at school for almost a full semester now, I've realized how much I love to cook, and I've tried quite a few new recipes.  Nothing too out there, and I wouldn't classify myself as a healthy cook either, but I have fun.

So here's my plan:  I'm going to learn to make at least two new recipes a month (with a limited budget and one person eating the food, I make sure every recipe goes a long way) and I'll share them with you.  Later tonight we should have our first: Macaroni and Cheese Pancakes!

In the meantime, and to give you a taste of what I hope to have coming up in the future, while I am at home over thanksgiving break, I plan to attempt both potstickers and chocolate stout cupcakes, both of which I am beyond excited for.