January 17, 2009

Playing With Fire

Quick story. Today I needed to make myself a speedy lunch before work. I had all the workings for stir fry, so I pulled out my wok. My plan was to first to start cooking my chicken and shrimp, throw in some snow peas, broccoli, carrots, and top it off with this new stir fry sauce I found by Seven Paths. Well, I had the oil heating up and turned away from the oven to peel the shrimp, when suddenly the entire wok caught on fire. I'd always considered myself a better worker under pressure, but I think all the cold medicine I've been taking counteracted my decision making process because I just stood there. After a few moments of shock watching my entire oven fill with flames I yelled for my roommate. Again, I AM JUST STANDING THERE. I remembered a sudden thought that if I tried to put it out I may catch my shawl on fire. Never once did I even consider taking the shawl off. Luckily, my roommate stepped into action and calmly poured baking soda over the flame. I ended up cooking my stir fry once the smoked settled, but the moral of the story is: DO NOT TAKE AMPLE AMOUNTS OF COLD MEDICINE AND THEN TRY TO COOK. Order take out.

On a side note, the stir fry sauce was pretty tasty, a little spicy with a sweet undertone.

This adventure also made me stick to my plan that I will only buy a house with a gas stove. I wish I could take my commercial stoves from work and put them into my apartment.

How to put out a grease fire!!

January 15, 2009

Where's the Cheese?

Do you have food allergies? Well, I don't, BUT while at the grocery I stumbled across this brand of products called Namaste Foods, LLC.. Their entire pitch is that they are meeting the needs of people with allergies more than any other brand with products that contain no wheat, gluten, corn, soy, potato, dairy, casein or nuts. They sell bread mixes, pizza crust, flour blends, pasta, and even cookie and cake mixes. So on a whim I decided to give their Say Cheez Pasta Meal a try. I must say it was actually fairly good, I'm going to say rather delicious actually, especially considering it was a non-dairy Mac 'n Cheese that only took a few minutes to wrap up. Now, with that said I love cheese. I could live off a diet of cheese alone, but if I had any food allergies or was a vegan I'd definitely stock my kitchen high with this product.

I'd give it: 4 stars!

January 12, 2009

The Perfect Sandwich

I love the idea of packed lunches. The main ingredient for packed lunch days is yes...the sandwich! This is my version of the perfect sandwich to make for a adored one to bring to work, school, or even a picnic. Yup, I've pulled this one out a few times, and always to high praises.

First make some bread.

Okay, you can buy yourself some nice bread if you don't feel up to the task of making bread. Though I'd urge anyone to give bread making a try.

There is something about the labor that goes into kneading and patiently waiting for the bread to proof that makes the sandwich extreme special.

  • The recipe I used for this bread can be found on the lovely site Smitten Kitchen. My favorite tips for bread making and many more recipes can be found in the book The Tassajara Bread Book

    Next put together your sandwich. My favorite is black forest ham, pepper jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, and a sauce combining spicy mustard and a touch of honey. [if you are making this sandwich as a packed lunch put the sauce in a small separate container to protect the sandwich from becoming soggy - and don't forget a knife for spreading!]

    And eat! Don't forget some sides items like chips, sliced fruits, apples and peanut butter dip, or whatever your heart desires. A picnic is also a great valentine's day gift if you don't feel like sitting in a stuffy restaurant. To cold outside you say? Make an indoor picnic. Enjoy~
  • Mi Piace il Gelato!

    So, a little known - or should I say "really know" fact about me is: I love ice cream. I could eat pint upon pint of the stuff. My favorite the past month has been Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee, but today I stumbled into this new tasty treat. Introducing Talenti Argentine Dulce de Leche Gelato. According to their website it's the best carmel gelato in existence. Straight from Buenos Aries, Argentine. I've never witness such a hypnotic website for...well anything, let alone gelato. I felt a little bad spending 6 dollars on it, but after tasting it there is no turning bad. Could this be love? (ALSO when I'm finished eating it I'm gonna make a carmel scented candle inside the container)

    I give it: 5 stars!

    January 10, 2009

    Lets Mull Over This

    A quick snack when you didn't plan on anyone coming over. Mary Barrett entertained me with some mulled spiced wine. Warmed my toes, now I just wish it had been snowing outside and my apartment was equipped with a fireplace. Did you know: In the old times, wine often went bad. By adding spices and honey, it could be made drinkable again. Nowadays, it is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas. Glögg is the Nordic form of mulled wine, similar to Glühwein in German-speaking countries. Glühwein is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, citrus and sugar.

    ::Please excuse my mismatched dishes, I had a sink full of dirty ones::

    The original recipe for mulled wine from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management at paragraph 1961 on page 929 to 930 of the revised edition dated 1869

    1961.-TO MULL WINE.

    INGREDIENTS.- To every pint of wine allow 1 large cupful of water, sugar and spice to taste.
    Mode.-In making preparations like the above, it is very difficult to give the exact proportions of ingredients like sugar and spice, as what quantity might suit one person would be to another quite distasteful. Boil the spice in the water until the flavour is extracted, then add the wine and sugar, and bring the whole to the boiling-point, when serve with strips of crisp dry toast, or with biscuits. The spices usually used for mulled wine are cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon or mace. Any kind of wine may be mulled, but port and claret are those usually selected for the purpose; and the latter requires a very large proportion of sugar. The vessel that the wine is boiled in must be delicately clean, and should be kept exclusively for the purpose. Small tin warmers may be purchased for a trifle, which are more suitable than saucepans, as, if the latter are not scrupulously clean, they spoil the wine, by imparting to it a very disagreeable flavour. These warmers should be used for no other purpose.

    January 4, 2009

    35 Days to a Healthier You

    In the Whole Living Body + Soul magazine there is an article entitled '35 Days to a Healthier You'. This bounced off the page as an answer to my seasonal depression I've had going on for the past week and a half. Now let me clarify. I don't think I really have seasonal depression, I love cold weather, but here in Tuscaloosa we haven't seen the sun in several days and its been a miserable, rainy ghost town. A long story short I've been in a rut. I could sleep endlessly for days, and I have trouble just pulling myself out of bed to do simple tasks such as cleaning, and changing. My dirty clothes pile consist of underwear and pajamas.

    Glancing over the requirements for the first week being a cook, its going to be a huge challenge to maintain to the steamed vegetables and rice diet. But at the same time it gives me a chance to pull out my vegitarian/buddist cookbooks.

    The first week starts as a kind of "out with the old, in with the new detox". So, I'm not making any promises, but I am going to attempt this from a food and lifestyle approach and see if I can do it.

    Check it out: 35 Days to a Healthier You

    Food Related Tattoos?

    I've been considering a food related tattoo for a couple years now. I like to keep things simple, so I've always liked the idea of a knife and fork on the right side of my thigh. This morning I decided to see what tattoo tributes people had devoted to the culinary world.

    Also, if you've ever visited Bread & Honey: a food blog then you've seen the wonderful baker tattoo. That has to be one of my favorites.