Archive | September, 2011

mega-gruel

29 Sep

It tasted good. It looked extra gruel-ish. I was trying to make Mark Bittman’s Cottage Cheese Patties. I thought I did not drain the cottage cheese enough because the patties just completely liquified over heat. The glop was deeeeelicious though.
I decided to make the sweet variation on them, (which omits the onion and herbs and adds lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and cinnamon)using the other half of the egg from the first batch(I’d halved the original recipe). This time I squeezed out much more liquid of the cottage cheese.
And it failed again. And it did not even taste that good. Too lemony.
Bittman has never let me down before.
Please, someone out there try the Cottage Cheese Patties recipe and tell me it worked for them! I need to regain my faith in Mark, but I’m too tired to cook anything else from his book right now…

AppHappy

24 Sep


FIRST OFF IF YOU HAVE BEEN LURKING AND ENJOYING THIS YOU’D MAKE MY DAY IF YOU LEFT A COMMENT. I EVEN GIVE YOU A TOPIC AT THE END OF THIS POST. Cause sometimes I feel so alone. Single tear.

Moving on! I found this recipe on the allrecipes app, took the picture with my iphone’s camera app, then played around with the picture using the Adobe Photoshop Express app. That was pretty necessary considering the shake was boring to look at on its own:

See? Boring. What is this blah-looking concoction? A Chocolate Cheesecake Milkshake, that’s what. It’s funny I wanted to make this since I don’t like cheesecake. Not plain, straight up cheesecake anyway. Highly ironic since I LOVE The Cheesecake Factory. Don’t judge me. But I do. I have a whole Cheesecake Factory ritual that involves filling up on dinner and vino there, taking home a piece of the gigantic chocolate cake big enough for four, eating it all, and passing out. It is glorious.
Also, I like non-plain cheesecake.
Things like chocolate cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and the like are quite wondrous things. I still had a half of a pint of Zero Ice to use up and some cream cheese on hand so the allrecipes app recipe posted by a lady(I assume she’s a lady, you never know in this wacky online world)named Denise Bradbury for a Chocolate Cheesecake Milkshake was worth a try. That sentance was one hell of a run-on. Sorry.
The recipe served four and called for “scoops” of ice cream. Which is annoying. Anyone know how much a scoop is supposed to be? I cut the recipe down to serve one and decided to use a whole cup of the Zero Ice. I think I want to make it again using more cream cheese because I did not really detect it at all. The changes I made to this included using chocolate almond milk instead of milk and the Zero Ice instead of ice cream. I also added some Equal(bad me) and a drop of vanilla extract. The funny thing is that this really reminded me of a McDonald’s shake. Which I think is FANTASTIC. If you did not lose all respect for me reading about my Cheesecake Factory love, you probably will now that you know I love McDonald’s shakes. AND their fries. Suck it, gourmands.
Sorry, that was inappropriate and mean. Won’t happen again. My brain is surely messed up from the artificial sweetener and other crazy-bad-unnatural additives I’ve been consuming.

Chocolate Cheesecake Milkshake(adapted from the allrecipes app)
2 Tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup chocolate Zero Ice
1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
2 packets of Equal
dash of vanilla
Blend er’ up and suck it. The right way. Not the mean way I told the gourmands to.

Question:
What are your non-gourmet and perhaps slightly shameful food likes? Please comment! Even if you are pissed about my use of the word suck and want to tell me, go right ahead:)

Not a purple people eater

21 Sep


OF COURSE NOT! I’m vegetarian and people count as meat, purple or not. But that is not the real question. The real question is the ongoing debate(mostly in my head)on whether or not Chocolate Covered Katie is a kinky gal or not. Then I came upon a post entitled “Soy-free love potion”, which makes me think maybe she is actually a romantic? Of course, she could go both ways. I mean, love potion? Could be romantic. Could be twisted.
The recipe on this page was for this delightful frozen blueberry concoction which she alternately refers to as love potion or lavendar cream. If it actually were lavendar flavored, as is so trendy these days, I’d be out. I hate perfume-y floral flavor. But it wasn’t, and it made use as agar as a gelatin substitute, which I’ve been wanting to learn about, so I was doubly in.
This grew on me, bite by bite. Maybe it does have magical properties. As in, it will make you love it. Be careful with those love potions. You never know what you’ll fall for. Although a healthy, blueberry-y frosty concoction is a pretty safe thing to love, methinks.

Some like it hot

17 Sep

Not me. I like many things cold. Especially coffee. Not only is cold-brewed delicious but it saves energy too. No plugging in the coffee maker or boiling H2O for a French press. And it sounds sort of sexy to say “Ah yes, well I only cold-brew”. If I were a superhipster I’d brew beer but I hate beer, so I will be a subversive hipster, and cold-brew coffee. Which really makes me an ultra-non-hip-hipster. Sorry, I’ve had hipsters on the brain ever since acting in this
Just to prove how un-hip hip I am, here is the view from my balcony:

See? I don’t live in Eagle Rock. Not a hipster. And surely hipsters don’t drink their coffee from glasses like that, garnished with a cinnamon stick.
Ok, I’ll shut up about the hipsters and tell you about the coffee. What I do is the result of reading and experimenting with recipes from several different sources including Food and Wine Magazine, Pioneer Woman, and Cook’s Illustrated, then adding my own touch of cinnamon. To make what I did, grind up a couple of cups of coffee beans(I used a french roast), add two to four times the number of cups of coffee you ground in water, depending on how strong you like your coffee. So two cups of grounds would be 4-8 cups of water. Stir it up. Add a cinnamon stick. Cover and let sit about 16 hours. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth set in a colander into a container. I strained into my coffee pot. Rinse grounds off cinnamon stick and add to the strained coffee. As the days go by the cinnamon flavor will intensify. Refrigerate. If you brew it stronger, cold-brew makes a terrific Vietnamese iced coffee treat when you add some condensed sweetened milk and almond milk. Ahhhh.
Sip whenever you like. Feel really cool. But not as cool as your cold coffee. Ice cold, baby. Ice, ice baby. Vanilla-oh god stop me now.

CleanCabinetCasserole

15 Sep


I’d made this before. I had ingredients nearing their expiration dates, and work is getting busy again so I was not in the mood to experiement. Try going to an audition playing someone on a first date(double the nerves!), then changing in your car to head off for an audition in which you play an inept magician’s assistant. Such is the bizarre life of a Los Angeles actor. Fortunately the magician assistant garb segued perfectly to ballet class, my next stop of the day. And then the audition room was running so behind that I didn’t make it to class and had to give myself a ballet barre at home.
Enough of that nonsense, back to wanting to clean out the old stuff. It lead to my decision to make this chili relleno casserole. As if my own life were not spicy enough. The original version had cheddar in it, but the mozzerella was what needed using. So I did.
In retrospect, the version with cheddar was better, and I’d add some more seasonings, seeing as I did find myself grabbing the salt shaker for this. I’m imagining a version with roasted bell peppers and mushrooms instead of chilies, oregano, and a roasted garlic tomato sauce. Ok, except for that imaginative idea I am still creatively brain-dead(though it could be the heat more than the auditions responsible for that), so I’ll quit the yammering and leave you the recipe.
Chili-cheese-y Goodness(Based on a recipe from Evelyn Tribole’s Healthy Home Cooking)
7 oz. can of fire-roasted whole green chilies
1/2 c. evaporated skim milk
2 egg whites
2 T. and 2 tsp. whole-wheat flour
8 oz. shredded mozzella
1/2 c. tomato sauce
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slit, seed, rinse and drain peppers. Mix milk, eggs and four until smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup cheese for topping. Layer 1/2 of the chilies, remaining cheese, and egg mixture in an greased 8×4 pan. Repeat layers. Pour tomato sauce over all and bake for about 30 minutes. Add cheese and bake about 20 minutes more, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Question of the day:
What dream-ingredients would go in your pantry if it was magically suddenly empty?
What are your staples?

how peculiar

10 Sep

chocolate shakes are delicious in the mouth and not so much on the page:

for some reason i started writing this post with very few capital letters. please exuse this. won’t happen again.
so…a shake with a BOATLOAD of cinnamon, and brown sugar as ingredients? interesting. veryvery interesting. no there is not supposed to be a space between very and very, just in case you are further patrolling this post for grammar errors. i started with no caps and i’m going all the way with the bad grammar thang. yeah, that’s thang with an a. most reviewers on the allrecipes app, where I found this recipe said they cut down on the cinnamon, but i happen to be capable of eating massive amounts of cinnamon and loving it. just ask my cottage cheese, the usual vessel for my cinnamon-y tendencies. so i said whatthehell, (again with the spacing!) and threw together the shake, published on allrecipes by ladysu. of course, i felt compelled to make a few changes-almond milk instead of regular, chocolate “ice cream” was this wacky stuff i got at whole foods called zero ice which is not the best plain but works exceptionally well blended with other things(thangs?), and splenda instead of plain sugar. because two whole tablespoons of sugar in a single shake seemed…excessive i guess. i suppose that goes along the lines of the person who orders a heart attack on a plate and a then insists on diet coke, but oh well.
chocolate mug milkshake(my spin on a recipe from the allrecipes app. yea, iphone!)
1 cup chocolate zero ice
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. splenda
blend. yum.
next time, grammar. promise.
question o’ the day: proper grammar lover or no? also, thoughts on emoticons? i love ’em and think they are a new evolving way to enhance written language but i’ll listen to other arguments.

I have huge melons, and I’m bitter.

7 Sep


Actually it’s more like I had one huge melon and some Angostura bitters. My own melons are extra petite and I like em’ just that way.

I discovered the love of bitters last summer via the classic champagne cocktail. I’ll do a post about that later. In the meantime, I was excited to see a non-alcoholic, in fact not a beverage at all, recipe using angostura bitters.
I dearly love old, housewive-y cookbooks and as such own a reprint of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook from 1953.
This little do came from the Appetizers section in a list of Melon-Ball Cocktails. Twas delightful. Subtle. Amazing what little embelishments can do to a simple melon.

Love this recipe. Love this book. Though it is hard to entirely trust when it calls for. For instance, say, a package of pudding mix. I am betting the ones they sell these days are completely different in size and make-up than the ones in the 50’s.
This recipe did not call for pudding, but it did call for preserved ginger. The only type of preserved ginger I am aware of at my local supermarket is the dried and sugared type, and the pickled type. I went with the latter since it is prettier. And rinsed it to taper down on the pickle-y taste.
This recipe did not list amounts. Here is what I concocted:
Old-school Housewife Melon
1 cup of cubed cantaloupe
1 slice of pickled ginger, rinsed and chopped
1 dash of angostura bitters
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, mixed with a pinch of sugar
Mix it, eat it.
This was so simple and pretty much unbelievably tasty. In the future I will add even more ginger. Actually, I also just tried wrapping a melon wedge in a piece of the ginger. It was like a vegan version of those melon-prociutto things people seem to love. Yup, yup. Seems like these super-simple recipes are always the winners.