Friday, January 30, 2009

Cornish Hens

So today I made the following for dinner:

Cornish Game hen with an apricot ginger sauce

Green Beans
Steamed Green Beans

Blood Orange salad. I tried to supreme the oranges but my knife work sucks so I got frustrated and stopped supreming. But it was a good salad.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Country Captain

The New York Times had an article in the Sunday paper (I don't read the paper, I read the internet) about country captain. I am big fan of one dish cooking. So I made it:
Country Captain

It was good, but next time I would just simmer this all in the skillet instead of baking it because:
1) I am lazy
2) Then it WOULD BE a one pot dish (shame on you New York Times! Don't you know how to count?)

It's the bacon that makes it tasty.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Gardening

Yohboh and I are avid gardeners. Really, yohboh is the gardener. I will give credit where credit is due. I am an avid picker of the crop. This winter, we are trying our hand at winter gardening. We were growing kale, Brussels Sprouts, collard greens and broccoli. The broccoli died after our last cold spell but this is our kale:

Doing quite nicely. And I have to admit that although I find the ripe summer garden tomato to be one of the most perfect foods ever, the winter grown stuff is not too bad. Also, the winter crops can be pretty much ignored. I like that.

Curry Number One

This is Japanese curry that comes from a box.
Japanese Curry

It is a Japanese box that says S and B Curry, medium hot. It is one of those things that I really like because my mother made it for us as children. It comes out in a curry colored brick to be reconstituted with water. This one I made with chicken thighs, onion, carrots and some frozen vegetables because we all need to eat more vegetables.

I think this is one of the toddler's favorite things I make.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dry Aged Beef

So I found a three bone standing rib roast on Manager's Special at Kroger. Yohboh and I dry aged it for two weeks and it looked like this:

Seasoned Dry Aged Meat

This is yohboh carving it:

This is the Yorkshire Pudding I made with the beef drippings:
Yorkshire Pudding
Which was a HUGE hit. Even the toddler ate copious amounts.

This is what was left:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

East Coast Bento

I love Ichiban Kan. It is very reasonably priced but I WANT THE CUTE! Also the shipping takes forever so I wait up to 12 days to get things and Minjenah is not a patient woman.

There are two stores on the EAST SIDE I recently discovered:


Happy Japan.

So if you are a bento box shopper on this coast you may want to try them out. I have never bought from Essentials but Happy Japan was very quick and reasonable.

Kitchen shortcut

I am a lazy cook, especially this time of year. I like slow braises and soups when it is cold like this winter. Also, because of what I like to cook, I use a lot of chopped garlic and ginger.

I used to buy the prechopped garlic stuff but then I discovered I could make my own chopped garlic that is 1) Cheaper 2) Fewer preservatives and 3) Tastes a lot better. I take about two pounds of garlic (I buy the prepeeled kind from the local Asian farmer's market) and put it in my small ten dollar food processor. I put cloves up about halfway and then put some olive oil and blitz it. I store it in an old spaghetti sauce jar. I keep repeating until I fill two spaghetti sauce jars. I put a thick layer of olive oil on top. The reason I use my cheapo food processor is that it does not do a good job of completely pureeing the garlic. There are some big chunks, which sometimes I like to cook with. But sometimes, I want the little mincey bits so I can scoop those out when I need be. I also have a large set of iced tea spoons (when in the south, you NEED them) and I use them to get either the large chunks or the little bits. Also, the olive oil layer helps preserve them and you get a garlic flavored oil that is nice to add to a salad dressing. Every so often, I add more olive oil. I keep it in the door of the refrigerator and use it almost every time I cook. It has never gotten rancid but that is probably because anything I cook that is savory has some garlic in it.

I also do the same thing with ginger. I peel it first and then hand chop one big hand of ginger and put some in the mini food processor as well. I store the ginger in sherry. I learned this trick from an old roommate's mother who actually grew her own ginger back in the day because they did not sell fresh ginger at her local market. This keeps indefinitely. Also the sherry takes on a gingery quality (because well DUH) and I will take that and add that to soy sauce or any Asian style dipping sauce. It is also really yummy in a marinade for meat in a stir fry. One thing I recommend is that you clearly label your products:
Chopped Ginger in Sherry
because I have had instances where people thought they were adding a pickle to a sandwich and then Lo and Behold I get a holler of "MINJENAH WHAT IS THIS?"

Both these little tricks take about ten minutes each. I only have to do them once a quarter and they have made a huge difference in my cooking.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello Kitty Eggs

So I got this:

Hello Kitty Egg Shaper
This is a Hello Kitty Hard Boiled Egg Shaper. I know, I am a weirdo.

But the eggs I had were too small so Hello Kitty could not hear:
Hello Kitty egg sans les ouïe

Before I ate her.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mento Square

I pack yohboh a lunch every day. It is bento-esque but it is not in a cute box. Could you imagine yohboh carting around my Keroppi box? We call them squares because that is what they are. I do not get up early to prepare them, either. They are just our leftovers from last night's dinner. Since it has been so cold, I have been cooking a LOT. And I do not know how to cook for two people. So yesterday, he had nine squares which is an appalling number. Marty, my father in law or my fifty something teenage son, got five of them.

I can cook for a village, I swear.

Here are two examples of yohboh's lunch:

Roast Chicken, sweet potatoes, Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli.

Rigatoni and Broccoli.

On a total tangent, I had a roommate in college who spelled broccoli "broqilli". She would make grocery lists with these odd spelling for foods. Another example was for lettuce it was letus. Just thought of that. Did I mention she has a master's degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Caldo Verde

So it is still freaking cold here. So I made this soup:
Caldo Verde Soup

It was okay, not something that I would make again but yohboh liked it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Roasted Artichoke Salad

I was watching the Barefoot Contessa and she made this artichoke salad. I made it but modified it.

Minjenah's Roasted Artichoke Salad

2 12 ounce frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted (I used the Trader Joe's ones)
1/2 large Spanish onion, chopped fine
White Balsamic Vinegar
1 12 ounce jar roasted red pepper, chopped fine (I used Mount Olive)
1/2 bunch parsley chopped
Pesto Vinagrette (recipe follows)

Take the artichokes and put them on a sheet pan with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast them at 350 for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, chop everything else that needs to be chopped.

Put the chopped onion in with a splash of the vinegar (this takes that acrid sharpness out of the onion). Add the peppers and the parsley. Make the vinagrette. By the time you have done all this the artichokes should be ready so put them in, still warm and drizzle the Pesto Vinagrette on top. Toss to coat. Let the salad come to room temperature. Salt and pepper to taste.


Pesto Vinagrette
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon pesto (I used homemade)

Put the ingredients in a jar and shake shake shake! Salt and pepper to taste.

It was for dinner.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

We have a lot of apples so I made these:

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

10 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup chopped apples

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together, beating until fluffy. Add eggs. Add the vanilla

Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour the egg mixture. Do not over beat. YOU WANT LUMPS! Fold in the apples.

Use a standard 12-muffin muffin pan. Line with the muffin papers. Distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin and serve slightly warm.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What the toddler had for dinner

Roasted Chicken, sauteed mushrooms, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and broccoli on a brand new Elmo plate with a matching Elmo spoon and fork.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Spinach Cake

So David made this cake so I did because I had fresh spinach. I had very dirty spinach though (and not in the porny way). I washed it twelve times and it was still gritty. Go look at David's blog for the photos. It's like a crust less quiche and very tasty, even with the grit.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Desperate Times

So we are out of chips for our four layer dip. So I am eating it with whole wheat crackers.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Four Layer Dip

I make a mean seven layer dip. We wanted to eat it for dinner but alas, we only had enough for four layers.

Four Layer Dip

With Home Made Chips

Home Made Chips

Four Layer Dip
1 can refried beans
Guacamole ( I made this fresh)
Sour Cream mixed with one package of taco seasoning
Shredded Cheddar

Layer into a clear dish in that order. Eat with chips. Repeat until full.