21 October 2007

Stir Fry part doo + schwam, with quinoa!

I think my new obsessions are stir-fry and KT Tunstall --stir-fry because it's easy and KT Tunstall because her new CD has some really sweet jams (in Michaelese). So today I went on a gigantic grocery adventure and came back with, amongst other goodies, quinoa, which is a grain initially cultivated in the Andes.

Side note: I started this post about a month ago and never finished it because i got way too busy, but i feel like it's time to update this thing for my own sake.

Quinoa is starting to become popular in vegetarian/vegan food circles. Actually, it isn't starting to, it actually is popular and since I live in the midwest, I haven't gotten around to trying it until recently. It's small and round and actually a seed, so it's not exactly like rice. You cook it in much the same way you cook rice, with 2 cups of water per 1 cup of quinoa. Simply bring to a boil and let it soak up the water for about 15ish minutes.

My first (and sadly, only) attempt with it was really as a rice replacement. I made stir-fry with a store-bought stir-fry sauce and just put it on the quinoa. It was actually pretty good. I'd say that it bridges the gap between white rice and brown rice in how nutty it is. I like it. I'm going to make more of it soon, especially since I've replenished my broccoli supply.

18 October 2007

Home cooked goodness

So if Kyle and I end up at the same grad school, we're going to room together and it's going to be amazing because we're going to come up with incredible culinary creations. We made a home-cooked meal the other day and it was amazing. I discovered how easy it is to fake like an adult and Kyle discovered that chicken doesn't have to be completely bland. Yay for instant mashed potatoes and meat rubs!

random meat rub
olive oil

2 tbs flour
2 tbs butter
2 c milk
more butter
garlic salt
cheese (in this case, we used mild cheddar... shredded sharp cheddar seems better)

mashed potato mix

We made the chicken by covering it in some voodoo rub and then just putting it in the pan with a tiny bit of olive oil (just enough so that it wouldn't burn) and then cooking it until we didn't die. The broccoli with mushroom-cheese sauce bit was slightly harder, but still a learning experience. Boil the broccoli until it turns bright green, sautee mushrooms in butter and garlic salt (since they seemed so sad and plain) until they darken a bit, and then make the cheese sauce, but probably not in that order. I'm the queen of run-on sentences. Melt 2tbs of butter and then add flour whilst mixing vigorously. Add in warm milk and keep stirring until it thickens. Add in cheese. Preferably enough. Also, you probably want to halve the amount of sauce that we made because it was too much and the sauce ends up being too bland because there's just too much roux-like substance. Pour this over drained broccoli and tasty mushrooms. Finally, the hardest bit (at least for Kyle) the instant mashed potatoes: boil water, ADD TO DRY POTATO MIX, stir.

It all came out lovely and homecooked-like. It was kind of exciting. Also, we made cookies and those came out slightly too well done, but still okay. Someone needs to calibrate their oven. *ahem*. I think that I want to experiment with making my own rubs because it was a little voodoo. It was also delicious, so it's some sort of balance between being in control and not. It's probably also a waste of time, especially from now til November 3rd.

dun dun dun.

14 October 2007

Stir-Fry, part doo

So I had a busy week such that I have frozen chicken sitting in my refrigerator and a bunch of stuff that I had to throw out. Sadness. However, I did, indeed find some time to cook in Austin. I like cooking in other people's kitchens because they're not all cramped as hell. So yeah, I got to take over Kyle's kitchen for a night and we made yummy stir fry.

a bunch of carrots
a handful of mushrooms
a lot of broccoli
half a red bell pepper

dry seasoning stuff
olive oil
random stir fry sauce

Cut things, season chicken, dump in pan with olive oil, cook for a bit, add sauce, dump in veggies, add more sauce, cook until a) the chicken won't kill you and b) the veggies are no longer raw.

It was actually really tasty and way better than the stir fry I tried to make before. I think I'm getting over my fascination with balsamic vinegar... except for the "on salads" bit. Oh, and bread. Yay bread. I think this stir-fry sauce was what made it good, but it was a store brand (HEB) to a store that is located nowhere near Michigan. But it tasted a lot like the ginger-soy vinaigrette at Omi, which is, perhaps, the best salad dressing I've ever had.

07 October 2007

this is why I'm lame

I haven't posted in here in forever because I didn't feel that Cream of Wheat or salad merited an entry. Also, I've been busy as allgetout; thus, I have not been able to cook. However! I have chicken and hope. So hopefully I'll be able to figure out a way to cook something and post about it. Oh, and this lack of time to bake things is draining my soul.