22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful day.  Mine was filled with food and family and a little bit more food.  Now off to my post-turkey nap.

(I totally was going to post a picture of the most decadent pie I've ever made, but I've run out of space on picasaweb and I'm way too turkey-ed out to do anything about it right now).

18 November 2012

Thanksgiving menus

We're still working to finalize our Thanksgiving menu, but it's shaping up to look something like this:
roasted turkey
stuffing with pan sausage
bacon cheddar potatoes
green bean casserole
butternut squash biscuits
apple cranberry sauce
sweet potato pie
apple pie

An alternate reality menu was cobbled together too, and I think it would have been equally delicious:
turkey confit

roasted butternut squash

garlic + bacon brussels sprouts
potato leek soup
spicy cranberry sauce
sweet potato rolls
apple crumble
pumpkin cheesecake

13 November 2012

late lattes

that "brown" is part of a recipe I wrote down for chicken and 40 cloves
latte art gets lost in to-go cups
It's finally cold!  I am beyond excited, although I'm not sure that my Texas-born baby is such a huge fan.  In celebration of rational weather, I donned my new boots and a sweater today because I could.  I also decided that it was high time for me to have a proper pumpkin-spiced latte, so I headed over to Genuine Joe's to get the fall requisite.

As I got out of my car to head into the house, it occurred to me that we should look for a pumpkin to carve for Ramona's first Halloween.  And then I realized that we're 9 days out from Thanksgiving.  So thank you, Texas, for screwing with my head.  Pumpkin spiced lattes and boot weather should be something that happens in the beginning of October, not mid-November.  Grumble grumble.

11 November 2012

Poppy Seed Cookies

I decided to make the poppy seed cookies from the NPR story I linked to last post.  Since I didn't have a half cup of poppy seeds and since peanut oil that isn't super refined is kind of expensive, I decided to cut the recipe in thirds.  (Also, I didn't need 60 cookies because, hello waistline).  Below is my slightly modified version to account for standard measurement units.

1 c AP flour
3/4 t baking powder
2 T+2 t poppy seeds
1/4 t salt
1/3 c peanut oil
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract

in a medium-ish bowl, sift flour and then baking powder.  You probably won't get all the baking powder, but that's okay because 3/4 t > 2/3 t, which is what would be called for if it were perfectly scaled down from the original recipe.  Whisk in the poppy seeds and salt

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla extract, sugar, and peanut oil until well combined.  Stir in the flour mixture and chill for at least an hour.

Take chilled dough and form teaspoon-sized pieces into balls.  Pat into circles and bake for ~12 minutes at 350 F.

Allow to hang out on the baking sheet for a minute or two after removing from the oven and let cool. 

These were freaking fantastic.   I'd really like to play around with the recipe a bit to perhaps use brown sugar for a richer caramel flavor and something other than poppy seeds because I'm basically out now.

08 November 2012

Food-filled NPR linkstorm

There are so many reason for which I am glad that the election is over, but one of the biggest is that now I can listen to NPR without the heart palpitations.  My stress response to national politics is not new; during the debt ceiling fiasco last summer, I had a dream that John Boehner was some evil villain and had taken over a library I was in and he was planning on having everyone in there killed.  I blame it on the combination of overdosing on political commentary and crazy pregnancy hormones.  Due to my renewed appreciation for NPR, I've heard a whole bunch of food-related stories too good not to share.

You Can Thank a Whey Refinery for that Protein Smoothie
It's about making protein powder, but I thought that this was the most interesting part of the entire piece:
Lactoferrin is common in human breast milk, but there's not much in cow's milk. From the 1.6 million pounds of milk that go through this factory every day, the equipment in this room captures just 120 pounds of lactoferrin. "We're just stripping out the single molecule, collecting it, processing it, and drying it into a powder," Opper says.

J.R. Ewing and a Found Recipe for Poppy Seed Cookies
It includes a recipe for cookies that I'm definitely making soon and links to a the website of the Brass Sisters.  I'd never heard of them, but now I can't wait to get my hands on Heirloom Cooking and Heirloom Baking.

Sandwich Monday: The Angry Whopper
It's the Wait Wait... crew's take on Burger King's latest offering and a great quote from Peter Sagal:
I love that bacon is the food equivalent of lighting a candle in the bathroom.

04 November 2012

NaBloPoMo: I fail, but here's a recipe

Oh hey, day two and I already screwed up NaBloPoMo.  I'm not surprised, as I didn't have high aspirations for this, but I wanted to come here and use the blog as I originally intended.  At first, it was just an attempt to log what I'd been making as I taught myself how to cook.  We just had stir-fry and I'm getting closer to a stir-fry sauce that I can reliably make and really like.  Recipe and notes below:

1 T olive oil

1/2 large-ish lobe shallot, finely diced
6ish cloves garlic, crushed

2 t sambal
1.5 t honey
1 t powdered ginger

6 T soy sauce
5 T rice wine vinegar
kosher salt

Place a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Add in olive oil when hot and saute shallots with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent.  Add in garlic and stir until fragrant.  Add sambal + honey and stir all to incorporate.  Add in soy sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.

You can reduce the sauce to get it thicker, but I really like sauce-drenched rice, so I didn't really reduce it.  In the future, I may try it with fresh ginger (~1-2 T finely minced) and add that in with the shallot and perhaps a drizzle of sesame oil in at the end off heat.  This was highly adapted from a recipe that appeared in the Penzeys Spices catalog.

Ordinarily, I would wait until I've perfected this and have a highly photogenic meal in which to document.  That may happen, but Ramona actually grabbed the catalog, ripped a bunch of pages out, and drooled all over it.  Suffice it to say, I'm going to throw this out, but I wanted to document it because I wrote my crib notes on the catalog.

Ahh.  Such is the life of a cooking parent.

01 November 2012

NaBloPoMo: Again!

I'm sure I post this about six times a year, but I can't believe that it's already (fill in the blank).  In this case, it's November.  It doesn't feel like November outside and considering that we still have the decorations up from Ramona's six month birthday party (which happened in early September, by the way), it still seems like the end of summer.

However, it IS November and every November brings the official NaBloPoMo challenge.  I've been pretty light on the posting lately.  There are so many reasons, but it boils down to having a mobile baby and trying not to get kicked out of grad school.  Only one of these things is awesome.  I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to guess.  Regardless, I'm going to try this whole NaBloPoMo thing again.  No guarantees that I'll make it through the month, but I miss blogging and now seems as good of a time as ever to start again.