Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things

25 Random Things

Well I have been tagged and double tagged. Thanks kids for thinking of me. If I tag you, I want you to list 25 random things about yourself. Kooky, kinky or kinda cute things. Copy and paste and do all that fun stuff.

Here we go in no particular order:

  1. I have a jammed finger that will never straighten again. It will be hard to fly the bird anymore with my left hand. Oh what shall I do when I drive now? Hopefully my horn will never break.
  2. I have thousands of Singapore Airline miles that I will never use. Why? Because the airport fees are hundreds and hundreds of dollars to fly anywhere.
  3. Speaking of traveling....I get too uptight to go anywhere now. I need a Valium or I stress out the night before and threaten not to go.
  4. I think I love Indian Food more than Mexican food. I will be blogging about that in the near future. (And please, Mexican relatives, please don't chew me out about it...)
  5. I ate 2 bags of Hershey Kisses "cherry cordial" since they went on sale after Christmas. I finished my last kiss yesterday.
  6. I cannot wait to see what happens with the Nick, Sharon and Phyliss love triangle on "Young and the Restless".
  7. My favorite movie last year was "Sex and the City". I KNOW!!!
  8. I don't like little kids, that much anymore. I KNOW!!! Let me rephrase that. I don't have much patience for little kids anymore.
  9. I might be facing major foot reconstruction surgery this year. It is really scary. I won't be able to cook for like 3 0r 4 months!
  10. I secretly think Simon Cowell is sexy. But I will deny it to my dying breath.
  11. I have 37 pairs of shoes.
  12. I am a Librarian by trade, I have worked in 4 different Library's since I was 14. Denver, U of U, Michigan, SLC.
  13. One of my all time favorite movies was "Dune" I will watch it whenever it comes on TV.
  14. I think the Congressional Representative from the 3rd District of Utah is a racist, right wing, idiot who absolutely makes me sick. His name is Jason Chaffitz.
  15. I recently subscribed to 16 magazines. They were free with some unused United miles I needed to use before they expired.
  16. I think it is sad, but I only talk to my brother and sister once or twice a year. I don't know why, we always have a fun conversations and we love each other lots!
  17. Okay, I know why. I HATE TO TALK ON THE PHONE!!!!!
  18. I just spent 250 dollars on foot orthotics, trying to avoid the surgery.
  19. We have months and months of food storage, if not a years worth. I don't have enough water though. My husband has all the inventory on Excel in a fabulous chart. I will be blogging about it later.
  20. This is probably not news to anyone, but I have around 1000 cookbooks, maybe more. There are too many to count. If you were to take one off the shelf behind my back and ask me to tell you which one was missing I could tell you just by memory. I read them for fun and I always have one when I am sitting at the table or watching TV.
  21. This is not news about me, but I am proud that my cousin Jared's son was given a full scholarship to West Point by a letter signed by President Obama!!!!!!!!
  22. I have gained 15 pounds since we moved home from Malaysia. If you know anything about my blog you will not be surprised. Also see item number 5
  23. I absolutely love to pull weeds. I get a cheap little thrill when I get the entire root. It also feels like unfulfilling sex if I miss the root. I KNOW!!!! See next item.
  24. I never have unfulfilling sex, I am just guessing as to how it feels when I miss the root. tee hee.
  25. I have spent hundreds of hours on the massage table being worked on by very skilled hands. Some of the best moments of my life have been spent getting the Traditional Package at Sanctuary Spa on Gurney Drive, Penang, Malaysia. 120 minutes of bliss.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers Tuiles-y Fun

Look at I have a Photo of the Day there.
On the front page is my cake.

This month's Daring Baker's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux. Please look at Karen's blog to see what a stunner this challenge really was and for the recipe.

I feel sort of bad. I had huge plans for this challenge; for Inauguration Day I was going to make Obama head cookies. Then I got sick, and the plans fell by the wayside. So I ended up making stupid spirals. I really did try to do my best. It was tough!
I had mostly failures.

We were supposed to incorporate fruit in some way. Luck would have it I had fresh strawberries in the fridge. My favorite way to eat strawberries is in cream.
Then Crushed

Then Creamed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dutch Apple Cake

Okay, I have been haunted since October, when I first saw it in a catalog. I can't stop seeing the picture in my head of this pan (click on the pan for purchasing info). I have been practically obsessed by it ever since I saw it but I balked at the price. Help me dear friends....
I am a pot and pan addict!
Do I look like I NEED anymore cake on my person!Does my teenie weenie kitchen look like It needs another pan!

I believe this blog is turning slightly pornographic though. Food porn that is. Yes, I am also a food porn addict, not just a pot and pan addict. Will you just look at this sexy, delicious, blatantly opaque, and obscenely pretty cake I made today?
Here is the process in brief.
I love this apple peeler thing I got from Pampered Chef about 20 years ago.
The apples need to be thin in order to cook in the time allotted.

  • Grease and flour every single crevice of your pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Toss together the following and set aside:
3 apples - peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of salt
juice of one lemon
  • Then sift together:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
  • In a large bowl mix:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • Mix the flour and the wet ingredients together in a large bowl until just combined. A few lumps are okay.
  • Layer the batter and apple mixture in the prepared pan, beginning and ending with the batter.
  • Bake for 70 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Wait 5 minutes, then invert pan and cool.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Beignets from Brioche Dough

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, (who is a fellow Daring Baker), is one of the best books I have ever owned. I have already made several of the breads with great results. The theory behind the book is to make an easy, no knead, no fuss dough. Put it in the fridge and pull it out when you want to bake it with only a 5 minute prep + rising time. And yes, it does only take 5 minutes to have artisan bread.

Brioche is my most recent creation. The recipe in the book makes enough dough for 5 loaves of bread. I made a delicious loaf of this fortified bread and it was splendid. Rich buttery, flaky bread was a given with this easy method.

I divided the dough into 5 portions
I rolled one portion into a rectangle and then cut it into pieces.
this was super easy. I didn't even have to look at the book.
I fried them 3 at a time in my wok.
Then I liberally applied powdered sugar to them.
Voilà Beignets. Just like that!

Get started with this Brioche dough (approx 4 loaves)

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (I used Instant SAF yeast)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups Yikes 3 sticks of butter, melted
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
egg wash

1.Mix the yeast (see step two for SAF yeast), salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the water in a 5 quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

2. If using SAF instant yeast withhold the yeast in the first step and whisk it into the flour now. Then mix in the remaining ingredients quickly using a sturdy wooden spoon. The dough will be loose,but will firm up when chilled; don't try to work it before chilling. (you may notice lumps in the dough but they will disappear in the finished products.)

3. Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses or flattens on top. Approx 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used as soon as it's chilled after the initial rise. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond 5 days, freeze the dough in 1 pound portions for up to 4 weeks. When using the dough allow it to thaw in the fridge for 24 hours, then allow the usual rest and rise times.

5.Defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. On a baking day, grease a 9x4x3-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball, by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

6. Elongate into an oval and place in the prepared pan. Allow to rest for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

7. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 F. If you are not using a stone in the oven, 5 minutes is adequate.

8. Using a pastry brush, brush the top crust with egg wash.

9. Place the bread near the center of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a medium golden brown. Due to the fat in the dough, brioche will not for a hard, crackling crust.

10. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

I have two buckets of bread in the refrigerator right now

Bran Enriched White Bread and Boule' bread. Enough for about 10 loaves.

More to come.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Elitist Foodie Trend? You Decide

Did you see the article "No White House Food Fight"
in the special Inauguration issue of Newsweek this week? page 10, or link to it here.
Apparently she who's name must remain holy "Alice Waters" the mother pioneer of all that is Organic, "wrote an open letter to the president elect, suggesting that his eating habits could set an example for the country. Waters, along with Gourmet magazine's Ruth Reichl and New York restaurateur Danny Meyer, offered to serve as Obama's informal "kitchen cabinet.'" (Newsweek, pg 10)

A about spit my toothpaste all over my mirror as I was brushing and reading this article this morning. Has the foodie community really gained this much power that they think they can run the White House Kitchen? When did good taste buds, and a love of cooking become such an elitist profession/interest/hobby/talent? Some foodies are so self important now that they have almost taken over the organic, self sustained farming trend that is so popular now. Have you watched Tom Colicchio on the show Top Chef? Last week he was spouting how one of the chef's in question dishonored the lamb she was given by performing a bad butchering job. Hellowww, responsible hunters and Native Americans and housewives from yester-year have had this opinion long before you Mr C.. I am so sick of your shit Tom Colicchio. But, I'll be tuning in next week Wednesday channel 181 at 11:00pm!.

"Soon enough, big name candidates for the job as White House chef began to circulate" (read the article to see who was recommended). But gasp! Michelle Obama actually kept the Bush's chef!!!! SHE KEPT THE BUSH'S CHEF!!!!! Could this be? Did the Obama's offend the foodies? Offend the future "food cabinet" of America? Hah! But alas seems that the Bush's have been eating green, and organic for years and years now. No changes in attitude were necessary in the Bush kitchen, there were no lessons or "examples" to make out of anyone and it appears as Newsweek so eloquently put, "the foodies had egg on their faces".

This trend has trickled down into the food blogging world too. I have noticed this when I visit other blogs that talk about food. One lady even put on her blog that she will review other food blog sites and if they fit her criteria (of which she listed) and if she deems them "worthwhile" she will link to our blog. There is a big long list of food sites I no longer visit because they have become so pretentious and elitist that I feel unwelcome even by the first sentence.

I harbor no hard feelings to elitist chefs and a few fellow food blogger elitists, oh excuse me, I am not an "official food blogger" since I also write about my life and other experiences. But I harbor no hard feelings just the same.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers--Easy Sticky Buns

I just gotta say it...I love President Obama!

Now about this week's Barefoot Blogger....Ina does it again with this ooey, gooey, chewy, masterpiece. I put this creative recipe together in under 20 minutes. You can thank Melissa at Made by Melissa for choosing this winner.

Be aware... this is NOT a cinnamon roll. It is not like a Cinnabon "yeasty-bready" roll! This is a sticky bun; Caramely, salty/sweet and flaky/ crisp. As far as I am concerned both types of buns are worth learning how to make. But here below are a few notes about why you should try this recipe.
  • quick
  • luxurious flakiness
  • yet a nice hefty dense weight (go figure)
  • salty/ sweet
  • easy clean-up
  • no experience necessary
  • looks and eats like a gourmet pastry
  • amaze your company
  • CONTAINS LOADS of BUTTER (you decide)
  • makes exactly 12 buns
  • just one bun will satisfy most
  • made in two easy to handle batches
You make the caramel gooey topping by creaming butter and brown sugar together . Then divvy- up the pecans among the muffin cups.
After you roll the pastry into a log, slice it thick.

It goes directly onto the creamed butter, sugar and pecans.

You will get exactly 12 rolls. I did not bother trimming ends like Ina directed.
Invert them onto your parchement.

Here is the recipe from page 240
Barefoot Contessa
Back to Basics

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for the filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.

Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard(unnecessary step). Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.

For excellent recipes using frozen Puff Pastry check out Peppridge Farms has dozens upon dozens of really stunning recipes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"A dish that includes lentils of some sort is a must as part of any Indian meal." A line from the most amazing Indian cookbook I have ever seen. You can link to it via Amazon at left by clicking on the photo.

I woke up this morning and thought "Tandoori Chicken", but I needed a dish other than just Biryani and this dish hit my eyeballs as I was leafing though the marvelous book at left.

Parippu- is a South Indian flavored dish. "I think" because of the coconut milk and the chiles, but someone correct me if I am wrong. There are dozens upon dozens of wonderful Indian food blogs on the internet, and every single one of them has food that just reaches out and grabs you and screams MAKE ME !

I had every every single ingredient for this dish in my pantry except the coconut milk, I will have to remember to start stocking that.
  • Masoor dal (red lentils) is actually a beautiful orange colored lentil that is just delicious to the taste, you can get it at Many Lands Food store here in Provo.
  • A "tarka" is a final mixture of various seasonings that many Indian dishes use, It is very necessary to include it when asked for in a recipe because it just adds to the complex depth of the dish. In this case the tarka is cumin seeds and black mustard seeds that were toasted in oil until they popped, and then sauted with finely chopped onion.
Parippu-serves 4
1 cup masoor dal (red lenils)
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped
250 ml coconut milk
2 green chilies chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
tarka- heat one tablespoon of oil add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds toast until they pop. Stir in one finely chopped onion saute until translucent.

Put the lentils in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with 2 cups water. Add the roughly chopped onion, tomato, coconut milk, green chile, turmeric, ground cumin and coriander, and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the lentis are cooked to a soft mush (masoor dal does not hold its shape when it cooks). About 25 minutes. Add water if necessary.5 minutes before end of cooking, make the tarka and add it to the Dahl, cook 5 more minutes.

I couldn't stop eating this. I prefer eating my Indian food as soon as it is cooked. I don't like left- overs, so this is a good recipe because it makes 8 side servings or 4 main servings, just right.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shamless Plug

Get your bows here!! And coming soon are many more things like beaded binky chains, beaded jewelry and glorious mittens etc...

We spent a delicious Friday night together as a family. We celebrated Jordan's birthday with my parents, and my two nephews and their families.
Thanks Olive Garden for a terrific meal!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Symphony Night with My Daughter and Vivaldi

Nie Nie is back to posting (after months in a coma due to burns from a ghastly plane crash). She is wearing her Juzoz's and still holding hands with her husband.You can always link to her blog by clinking on the link to the right.

Abravanel Hall
This happy smile on my face is because I spent last night in fabulous surroundings, and with a fabulous person. Vivaldi's Four Seasons was on the marquee at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. The stellar chamber orchestra put on a magnificent performance with Conductor David Cho at the helm and Concertmaster Ralph Matson as Soloist.
We have had season tickets to the symphony for several years in the past, just Malaina and I would go. It was that one thing we did together. It proved to be a good thing too. She is now minoring in Music, and has spent many semesters playing with Larry Green and the BYU Classical Guitar Ensemble. She gave me a pre-concert lecture on this concerto grosso. Now she and her older sister have the season tickets, sometimes I get to attend too!

To read more about our evening you can link to Malaina's blog here
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Big Orange Book--Cold Chicken Satay Noodles

(page 174)

I have a really hard time watching Rachel Ray on television. I hate her asinine homemade words like yumm-o and stoup, and that really insipid way she giggles, it just comes across to me as being really affected-- def. "speaking or behaving in an artificial way to make an impression". I am however, very tolerant of her recipes. She makes really good food; plain and simple...the girl likes to eat. Well this girl likes to eat too, and I also share with Rachel the love for the color ORANGE. So when I saw this book and read some of the reviews, I was not going to bite off my nose to spite my face; just 'cause Rachel irritates me does not mean I have to ignore her food!

Like her or not, you have got to get you a copy of this book! I posted about its arrival to my home here and it has not left my hands since. Val from Bellini Valli visited my blog and suggested we coordinate a post from this book (which she so handily won in a contest). Then Laura from Real Good Food left a nice comment and I invited her to join me by posting a recipe at her blog today too. So visit Val and Laura by clicking on the links above.

I personally own 5 R. R. cookbooks including this one, and I think this is the cherry on top, the cat's meow, winner-winner-chicken dinner, and all that jazz. Out of 330 pages or so, of recipes I think I could see myself wanting to create about 85% of them. Pretty good percentage. I chose the following recipe because I have a hectic week, and I could easily make a vegetarian version of it for my daughter Tiny. I did kick up the heat amps for this recipe by serving jalapeños on the side! My kids wanted to add extra lime juice too.

Rachel Ray's Cold Chicken Satay Noodles
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 to 1/3 cup smooth or chunky r
peanut butter (eyeball it)
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 cup warm water (eyeball it)

1/4 cup tamari (eyeball it)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Sri Racha)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
a handful of shredded carrots
4 scallions thinly sliced on the bias
1 cup spinach, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

2 cups shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water liberally, then add the pasta and cook to al dente. Run the cooked pasta under cold water to cool. Drain well.

While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, heat the peanut butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals until softened. Place in a large bowl with the honey and warm water. Whisk in the tamari, garlic, lime juice, and hot sauce, then whisk in the oil in a slow stream.

Add the cold noodles, veggies, and peanuts to the bowl and toss until the ingredients are well mixed.

Serve the noodles in shallow bowls topped with the chicken and cilantro.
(and of course with the limes and jalapeños)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Never a Dull Moment!

"I'm 22...aww--right?????"

Happy Birthday Jordan!
  • She was born during a huge lake effect snowstorm just east of Lake Michigan, but born in a hospital, not the snow....
  • She was bald until she was 2.
  • Her first boyfriend was Taylor H. (he knows who he is) 4th grade.
  • Her last boyfriend was Casey O. (whew, that one's finí) 2 weeks ago.
  • She does not live at home, but when she walks in our front door she ALWAYS yells..."What it do?" and if she doesn't, we know something is wrong.
  • She never wakes up cranky....ever.
  • She wears black patent leather stilettos to work...yes at her government job.
  • She is majoring in Business Admin. minoring with a Paralegal Degree.
  • She is single.
  • She is moral.
  • She is all girl.
  • She is just the best daughter a mother and father could ask for.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blackberry Study of LOVE

All my readers know I am addicted to preserving food. You can imagine my thrill when I found blackberries on sale at Sunflower Farmer's Market for .88 cents a package. 6 packages was the perfect amount for 9 half pints. This was no labor...(only 45 minutes start to finish) But oh was it LOVE!

5 cups crushed berries (exactly 6 packages) +

7 cups of sugar (from my food storage)+

1 box of pectin (from my food storage)+

9 1/2 pint jars (from my supply)= really cheap LOVE (and not in the bad way)

Follow the directions on the pectin box and you will have LOVE too.