Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sweet potato oven fries

That's what's for dinner, with meatloaf and veggies.
Sweet potato oven fries

Use one sweet potato per person and slice them into fry shapes. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake at 350 until they are crusty (about 45 minutes).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Roasted Beets

Growing up, I thought the only way to cook veggies was to boil them. Roasted veggies are the best. I have never met a roasted vegetable I did not like. I thought pickled beets were gross, still do. But a roasted beet is divine. It is like earthy corn.


The roasted veggie recipe is like this:
Beets in dice sized cubes
Olive oil

Toss the cubed beets in olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Farm Fresh Eggs

We have friends who have a small farm. They raise beans, tomatoes and peppers and all sorts of other vegetables. They also have chickens. And they are very generous with the eggs the chickens produce. Have you ever had a farm fresh egg?


They are delicious just fried like that. They tend to cook faster than supermarket eggs. They also are not as watery as a supermarket egg.

The yolks are much richer in color and fattiness it seems.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vernal Equinox Tea Cakes

I like the words Tea Cake. I mean, it quite obviously means a cake for tea, but I also imagine ladies who are sipping Earl Grey out of Limoges china that has a wafer thin lemon slice floating on top with perfect red lipstick that does not smudge. Where the phrase, "One lump or two?" does not mean how many quick thwacks you get in the meaty part of your arm but sugar.

I was flipping through Laverne, my beloved late grandmother in law's recipes and found one called Spring Tea Cakes. It sounded lovely. Spring tea cakes are something that should be eaten with daffodils on the table. But being minjenah, I had to put a different spin on it so I made it with a hint of orange. These tea cakes are more like if yellow cake and sugar cookies had a love child, soft and pillowy.

Vernal Equinox Tea Cakes

For the cakes:
One stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar

One egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
The juice of the one orange you zested
Two cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl. It should be light and fluffy. Add the next four ingredients and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry stuff to the wet stuff. Stir until it comes together. It will be a very soft dough.

Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thick. Be sure to use a lot of flour because it is a very soft dough that is STICKY.


Cut them out like you would round sugar cookies (I used a juice glass). Bake on greased cookie sheets (I actually put them on parchment paper) for 10-12 minutes.

While the cakes are baking, I made the glaze which is you mix the juice and the powdered sugar together. Drizzle over the warm tea cakes.

One thing I recommend is that you sift your powdered sugar so you do not get hard little lumps like I did:


Laverne's recipe said it would make 3-4 dozen but I actually got 30. I think the portion sizes back then were a lot smaller. Or maybe modern day portions are too large.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Garlic Infused Olive Oil

3/23/10 Addendum
A reader warned me about storing whole cloves of garlic in olive oil will cause botulism. Here is a link from the Univeristy of California at Davis. The warning specifically is for keeping garlic cloves in oil at room temperature. I have always kept mine in the fridge. And no one I have ever served this oil to has had botulism. But do this at your own risk.

Who knew a food blog would be so dangerous?

I love to read cookbooks. It is a relaxing thing for me to do right before bed. I will admit there are times after reading a particularly yummy thing I do get hungry.

I was reading a Nigella Lawson cookbook where she mentions garlic infused olive oil. Doesn't that sound wonderful? So I looked up where to buy it. And then decided to make my own. How hard could it be?

What you need:

Garlic and olive oil.

Put the garlic in a pan.

Cover it with a layer of olive oil.

Put it on the stove and let simmer until it is done. How do you know what done is?
When you pull out a clove:

Mash it with a fork and it looks like this.

Here is the end result:

What to do with it?

I like it on pizza, pasta, calzones, garlic bread. Anything really. I brush it on old pita bread to make pita chips. I keep it in the fridge until I run out and then make more. The cloves are really soft and mushy and an excellent addition to hummus or anything else where you do want the taste of garlic but not the punch of raw garlic.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Momofuku inspired Beef Buns

So I got myself this for Christmas:

I am a cookbook addict.

And there are many people who have made the famous pork buns.


But I do not have any pork belly so I made this:
That is the flank steak from yesterday with Kecap Manis and cucumber and kimchee.

Here are a few of the ingredients:



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

London Broil

London Broil is something that we rarely get in terms of beef. We either get Rib Eye steak, Chuck (for pot roast), short ribs, or ground beef. But it was on sale and I made up a marinade:


Isn't that an appealing puddle of brown goo? What the marinade consisted of: brown sugar, soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic and the Rooster Huy Fong hot sauce. I would give you amounts but I did it by taste. You should taste the salt, then the sweet gingery garlic and finish with a bit of heat. I marinaded the steak overnight in it and then boiled it off to use as a dipping sauce.

Here is a better photo:

Yohboh said it was good, but he prefers a rib eye steak all day every day.

Sweet Tea


Sweet tea is a Southern thing. I have ordered it in other regions of the country and they make hot tea, pour it over ice and give you sugar packets. That is not the Southern sweet tea way. If you use the sugar packets and mix it in to the ice and tea, then your tea will have sugar crystals at the bottom and will never be sweet enough.

What you do is either make a simple syrup or add the sugar to the hot tea so that it is completely dissolved. I do the latter because it is easier. And I am all about doing things the easy way. I will not bore anyone with a recipe, because my idea of sweet may be your idea of diabetes. Or vice versa. So here is my advice: brew tea, sweeten it how you like it, pour over ice and enjoy.

One of the worst creations in history is the powdered drink mix that is considered iced tea. Ewwww!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pizza Dough in grams

I made artichoke pizza:


I did figure out the pizza dough in grams

1.5 cups warm water
3 T honey
1 T yeast
3 T olive oil

250 grams bread flour
250 grams whole wheat flour
1 T kosher salt

Bloom the yeast in the honey and water until it gets good and foamy. Add the oil.

In a larger bowl, dump the flours and the salt. Add the liquid and combine. Knead it for about ten minutes. Let rise until doubled.

Can make 2-4 pizzas depending on how thin you roll them.

I bake my pizzas at 550 for about ten minutes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mashed Potato Rolls

I love no knead bread. Sometimes, I want some little buttery rolls. So I made these:


They are made with mashed potatoes. Which leads me to believe that they will freeze well. This recipe made about 36 of them. I froze a lot of them for later.

1.5 cups warm water
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon yeast

1 cup mashed potatoes, room temperature
4 Tablespoons butter, melted

200 grams whole wheat flour
300 grams bread flour
2 Tablespoons wheat gluten
1 tablespoon salt

Bloom the yeast in the warm water and honey. When it is all poofy, add the mashed potatoes and butter.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, gluten and salt. Add the yeasty mixture and combine until it comes together.

I poured it out onto a floured counter and kneaded it for about 10 minutes. Kneading is one of the most relaxing things you can do.

I put it in a buttered bowl and let it rise until doubled.

Then I punched it down and made 36 little golf ball sized rolls.

I took about 8 and put them in a pan and let them rise until they were poofy (about an hour). I baked those at 375 for about 25 minutes.

The other 28, I put in a freezer bag so when I want buttery rolls, I have them.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread


So I have been making the no knead bread since the new year. I have made some modifications on the whole wheat bread.

I use four grams of yeast and 12 grams of salt.

Minjenah's No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

400 grams whole wheat flour
4 grams yeast
12 grams salt
350 grams water

Here are the rest of the instructions.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Salad Savings


One of the ways that I have really tightened our food budget is I started making salads. What does this mean?

I stopped buying the bagged salads. They were so expensive and they never lasted but a few days. The cheapest I could ever get a bagged salad was 99 cents for six ounces.

I buy a head of romaine, a cucumber, a salad onion and some grape tomatoes and I have salad for at least a week. Also when you buy the vegetables unprocessed, like a head of romaine, they tend to last longer. We are still eating a head of lettuce from that I bought on the 12th of last month.

I used to buy the salad bags because I thought they were more convenient. For me to make the salad that is pictured above (which looks good, yes?), took about 2 minutes.

So my advice to those of you who do not want to coupon to save money: buy less convenience or processed foods. Yes, you will have to cook more, but if you are reading this blog, I know that cooking is something that interests you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Our Dinner


Pork chop, lentils, rice and roasted artichoke salad.