I have enjoyed the tasty food of the holidays in the last few weeks. But today, I was craving something different. I love gut busting rich food but today I wanted spicy with a sharp chili heat. So I made:
I threw in some cubed eggplant that my brother in law left when he visited. It was exactly what I wanted, spicy and comforting.
So I use the library a LOT. One of the things I have really enjoyed is borrowing cookbooks. I get to flip through, try a recipe and return the book. There have been a few cookbooks I liked so much that I actually bought them after I returned them from the library.
The Gift of Southern Cooking was a book that I just liked reading. It was interesting to hear how an old school cook and a chef had a meeting of minds.
Eating Korean was reliving my childhood. It is also interesting to see how as immigrants we adapted to our surroundings.
Pat Conroy writes wonderfully overwrought Southern prose. I enjoy his books as a lovely beach read. This cookbook was much more like an autobiography. Also, interesting fact, Pat Conroy lived in Dunwoody, Georgia.
I make pot roast in the slow cooker. It is one of the first things I learned how to make. I actually use the Lipton powdered soup mix recipe. To change it up, I used different root vegetables. A rutabaga is like if a potato made out with some horseradish but did not do the deed.
It cracked because I did not wait long enough to let it cool completely.
Normally, I like to make a dessert the night before it is served but that did not happen. Also, THIS IS A CHEATER CAKE! I used cake mix. Yeah, I admit it. I like to bake cakes all the way back from flour but I was short on time. I did make the frosting all the way back from sugar, though.
But I did doctor this cake to make it Italian Cream Cake-esque.
Cracked Italian Cream Cake
For the cake
White cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup praline liqueur
1/3 cup oil
3 ounces shredded coconut
Additional 1/4 cup praline liqueur
For the frosting
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
3 tablespoons praline liqueur
3 ounces shredded coconut
Make the cake based on the box instructions but instead of the water use the buttermilk and liqueur. Add the coconut when the cake is well mixed. Bake the cake in two pans according to the instructions.
When the cakes are done, let them cool completely (I did not follow this step.) Brush them with the 1/4 cup of praline liqueur.
While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Take a hand mixer and combine the butter and cream cheese until it is well whipped and fluffy. Sift the sugar in and use the mixer to whip it up. Add the praline liqueur and whip it up too.
Frost your cake and add the pecans and shredded coconut to decorate. I let my three year old do the coconut. She said it was funny but kinda good cheese.
I really like the Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes always work and I always garner complements on them. This recipe I actually made for the first time and I changed it up, I added shrimp. It was moan inducingly good.
This is another recipe from my late grandmother in law. I have changed it through the years. I added marshmallows because some people do not believe it is a sweet potato casserole unless there is a burned sugar carapace.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Five pounds of sweet potatoes
One stick of butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon cinnamon
10 gratings of fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
For the topping:
Bake the sweet potatoes in an oven until they are mushy. I do this for about an hour at 350.
After the potatoes are cool enough to touch barely, slip off the skins and make sure you get all the syrupy stuff that comes with them. Mash them with all the other ingredients. You can melt the butter, but the potatoes are so hot that the butter will melt.
Put in a 9X13 pan. It does not need greasing. Add the topping. I did 1/2 marshmallows and 1/2 pecans.
Bake 350 until the marshmallows are puffy and golden.
It is interesting to see who goes for the marshmallow (in my mind, the kiddie side) as opposed to the praline side (more adult).
When Yohboh and I got married, we had out rehearsal dinner at Pung Mie. Sadly, Pung Mie closed its doors and a new restaurant cropped up. We tried it out tonight. It is called The Ocean Villa Asian Cuisine. I had the ma pa tofu. It was excellent, very spicy, and very hot. They also made an excellent salt and pepper scallop.
I forgot to take my camera but I did get a picture of the card.
I like to make this pizza right before I throw away stuff from the fridge. It is all the leftovers on a pizza. For some reason, it tastes better in pizza form. This is peppers, eggplant, pepperoni and onions.
I have never bought a pretzel roll. I saw them at Panera or Corner Bakery or some such pseudo bakery. I figured how hard could it be to make them? Not too hard, they key is boiling them in a baking soda solution.
1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
4 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon water
Place warm water in the bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside to rest until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Place flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.Once yeast is foamy, combine the flour mixture to the yeasty stuff. Knead for ten minutes (I did this part by hand, because I am NOT pulling out my mixer for this).
Form dough into a ball, place in a large oiled mixing bowl, and turn dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat paper with olive oil, and set aside.
Once dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 pieces and form into rolls. Place rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Once rolls have risen, stir baking soda into boiling water (water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 30 seconds per side. The rolls will turn a few shades yellow.
Remove rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up.
Combine egg and water. Brush the cut side of the rolls with the egg mixture.
Sprinkle well with salt, and repeat with remaining rolls.
Once all rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.
I do not drink but I like making drinks. This is one of yohboh's favorites.
1 ounce of gin
2 splashes olive brine
3 olives on a toothpick
Take the gin and olive brine and put in a shaker full of ice. Cover the shaker with a towel. Shake that shaker for three minutes. By shake, I mean it is loud enough that you cannot hold a conversation around the shaker. By the end of the three minutes, the whole shaker will be frosty, which is why you use the towel. Pour the martini in a chilled martini glass. I find that if I rattle the shaker as the gin come out I get a nice layer of ice chips floating to the top.
Did you know you can make corn in the microwave? I normally roast it in the oven, but did not feel like turning it on. I nuked these two ears for three minutes under a damp paper towel. Turned out good.
One good thing about having a food blog is that it makes you increase your recipe repetoire. I tried this soup out last year and I still like it. I recommend it to you as well. My favorite part of making this is dropping the meatballs in the soup. I have no idea why that makes me so happy.
I made this for a friend's birthday. (Note: if you are my friend I will bake you a birthday cake, it's my thing)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup espresso, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup espresso, cooled
Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, espresso and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; stir until well blended. Pour batter into greased and 9- x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. While the cake is baking, combine the Kahlua and espresso in a small bowl. When the cake is first out of the oven, brush the warm cake with the Kahlua mixture. Let cool for at least an hour.
1 stick of butter, melted
2/3 cup Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup espresso, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Stir cocoa into melted butter. In a small mixing cup, mix the espresso, vanilla and salt. Alternate adding the powdered sugar and espresso into the butter mixutre. I like my frosting a bit more glaze like so if you likes your more thick, add less espresso.
Use the frosting when the cake is cooled. Makes enough to frost one cake.
Last night, yohboh, the kidlet and I went to Tin Can Fish House.
We were invited for a bloggers dinner.
To start with we had:
Soft shelled crab sliders.
They had a spicy mayo on them but I think if there had been a pickle of some kind it would have been better.
Then we had a dozens oysters on the half shell.
They had a mignonette sauce. They were good and fresh.
We also had
clam chowder. It was good.
The kidlet had the fish fingers and fries.
The fish was very fresh in this. These were no fish sticks. And the fries were very good.
the whole prawns with a spicy Mediterranean sauce. This was a little too salty but nicely spicy. The shrimp were cut very unusually, butterflied with the shell and heads on. Definitely delicious.
I got the seafood platter
with grouper and fried oysters. The grouper was fresh and meaty but the oysters were overcooked.
Where is this wondrous place:
And their phone number:
My family did get a free meal but the opinions given are purely mine.
The kidlet is sick. It has not been a fun week here at Beef and Chocolate as a result. When I am sick, I crave the Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup in the red and white can. Well, I do not have any red and white cans. So I made sort of homemade soup.
Kidlet's Chicken Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into kid friendly squares
2 stalks of celery, chopped into kid friendly squares
1/2 onion, chopped into kid friendly squares
1 clove of garlic, minced super fine
1 Tablespoon Chicken Base
5 cups of water
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup egg noodles.
Add the oil to a large, heavy pot. Add all the vegetables and saute until translucent. Add the chicken base and saute until the base smells a little roasty (this takes about five minutes). Cover with the water and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is poached. Fish the chicken out and cut into bite sized bites. Put chicken back in.
About 10 minutes before serving, add the egg noodles and let them cook.
Serve with crackers and juice to a sick three year old.
I am a tiny Asian woman trying to navigate the Deep South. I have a profound love of all things deep fried.
I married a man seven years my junior (WHO IS THE ROCK STAR! JAYUUH!)
I have a well developed sense of humor and a poorly developed sense of spacial relations.
I share too much, which is why I need to blog to edit before I over share with people how often I poop and how I saw my first gray hair at 24 AND IT WAS NOT ON MY HEAD.
I had a child on February 2007 I had another child in October of 2011. My life has not been the same. It has gotten a lot better.
If you wish to contact me email me at minjenah at gmail dot com. I will respond, eventually.