Monday, June 30, 2008

Chili Verde con Puerco

My MIL's chili verde con puerco, pinto beans, with tortillas. No, you can't have the recipe, I'm afraid of what she'd do to me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chicken Curry and Dandelion Greens

Tonight's quick & easy dinner was (like the last post) courtesy of Asian Supermarket 365.

Chicken thighs mixed with curry paste, fried for 5 minutes, simmered with water until done, with powdered coconut added at the end.

Served with jasmine rice, and dandelion greens, briefly boiled, then sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

No pictures of the finished dish, we were too hungry and I completely spaced.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tomato Garlic Prawns

Tonight's dinner, Tomato Garlic Prawns, was courtesy of my box of goodies from Asian Supermarket 365.

I'm beginning to re-think the whole cooking-out-of-a-package thing - I know I'd never be able to make this Sauce for Tomato Garlic Prawns from scratch and have it taste as good. Probably because I don't have yeast extract, disodium 5'-inosinate, and disodium 5'-guanylate in my pantry.

I sauteed a little more than 1/2 a pound of cleaned shrimp (saving the shells for stock, of course) in a bit of canola oil, added the pouch of sauce, and stirred to heat through. Served with rice (topped with Maggi Hot Chilli Sauce, soy sauce and lemon juice) and cucumber-chili salad, it was perfect.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Maggi Hot Chilli Sauce

I had the good fortune to win a $10 voucher from Asian Supermarket 365 from Wandering Chopsticks.

On Friday, my goodies arrived! Of course, I spent way more than $10, which I had planned on. But what I hadn't planned on was the exorbitant shipping costs - FedEx Home Delivery was the only choice, and the shipping costs almost equaled the product costs. However, if all of the products I purchase are as good as the Maggi Hot Chilli Sauce, all is forgiven.

This sauce is made in Malaysia - I know Maggi makes a ton of sauces in numerous countries. I think I am now on a quest to acquire one bottle of everything Maggi makes.

So what accompanied me on my first adventure with this Most Magical Maggi Mixture?

Don't laugh. Don't groan in disgust. It was delicious.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Non-Kitchen Injury

If you're squeamish, don't scroll down.

My husband and I were playing around 2 nights ago, and I grabbed a roll of shop towels and swung at him. He snapped out with his hand to block my swing, and hit my wrist. I didn't think anything of it, until about 2 minutes later, when I noticed my wrist was throbbing. I looked down, and saw what looked like a blue egg growing underneath the skin on my wrist.

I've always bruised easily, and it's gotten worse as I've gotten older. But to have a vein pop underneath my skin? I almost couldn't believe it, except for the fact that I was watching it happen.

So I iced it, wrapped it, and elevated it all night (ever tried to sleep with your arm above your head all night?). The next morning I was ok for a few hours, until I noticed the swelling getting worse - I couldn't get my ring off, and I was losing feeling in my fingers.

I was so useless! I couldn't type, couldn't even use a mouse. Lifting and moving boxes? Forget it. Paperwork? My handwriting was illegible. Inspection of assemblies on the production floor (I'm a Quality Assurance Manger)? How can you check if wiring and hardware are connected properly when you can't feel them?

I left work early, took three ibuprofen, and elevated once again. Pretty soon I could once again pick things up without dropping them.

Today it's ugly, almost uglier than the blue egg from 48 hours ago.

The dark red lines are from where I wrapped the gauze - the blood was trying to swell wherever it could, but since it was wrapped the first night, it chose the path of least resistance, between the layers of gauze.

Moral of my story? Don't try to smack your husband with a roll of towels, even if you are just playing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anchovy Sticks

I had bookmarked this recipe for Anchovy Sticks a while back from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, and finally made it last night.

Easy-breezy: thaw a sheet of puff pastry, unroll it, slap on a couple lines of 'chovies, fold the dough over, sealing with anchovy oil, and bake until golden.

Good? Yes, if you like a slap-in-the-face anchovy-umami-salty snack. Me? I like.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baked Spinach and Eggs...

...turned into a sandwich with an English muffin and Canadian bacon.

I bookmarked the recipe for Baked Spinach and Eggs from We are Never Full a couple days ago. Instead of serving it with a steak, I made a sandwich.

Toasted English muffin, skillet-seared Canadian bacon. Happy runny yolk and creamy spinach. Extremely messy - maybe less cream next time? There will definitely be a next time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Food Porn

In addition to Food Porn Daily run by Caviar and Codfish, there are now 2 more:

Food Porn Daily, run by Pinch My Salt and What We're Eating.
Food Gawker, run by Sunday Nite Dinner.

Looks like we won't have to suffer in a post-Tastespotting world.

Tastespotting is so 2 days ago

I admit it, I was a little confused when my reader didn't have any updates from Tastespotting. Then a little shocked when I saw the note. Shock quickly led to despair. Where would I get my daily dose of food porn?

But life took a turn for the better this morning, when I opened up the new post from Caviar and Codfish, and read that Robin was starting Food Porn Daily.

So everybody get your cyber-butts over there right now and delight in the deliciousness that is to come.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rice with Edamame and Egg

Once again, I didn't feel like cooking for real. So I made a batch of white rice, defrosted/heated some shelled edamame I found in the freezer, and made an omelette like you would for fried rice.

Scoop of rice, scattering of egg and edamame, some soy and sriracha, and a sprinkling of furikake. I don't know what's in the stuff 'cause it's all in Japanese. But it's tasty.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Lack of Real Cooking...

Due to being extremely busy at work, and a relatively high drama level at home, I haven't had the energy to cook much this week.

Monday: salad, hummus and lavash
Tuesday: frozen pizza
Wednesday: takeout pollo asado
Today: frozen spring rolls
Tomorrow: no plans as of yet

I guess since the frozen things were cooked in the oven, and I mixed together a dipping sauce for the rolls out of soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, black vinegar and lime juice, I did do some cooking. Just not the kind that really counts.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Food & Wine, July 2008

Yummy-looking recipes from July's issue of Food & Wine:
Anyone make any of these? Let me know how they turned out!

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Healthier Dinner

After yesterday's lambfest, I needed something lighter and healthier today.

Dinner tonight was lettuce-cucumber-radish salad with yogurt-garlic-dill dressing, and toasted lavash dipped in hummus. BTW, Trader Joe's lavash and hummus are surprisingly good! And Fage yogurt is just divine.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Flickr Meme - Updated

Update 6/8/08: I had a picture entitled "Mouse Looking in Mirror" in this mosaic - it came up on the 1st page as an answer for #9, and it was cute, so I used it. I got a snarky email from Julie Dermansky, who apparently took the pic, saying:

"You have taken my image off flickr without my permission and used it on a rid on your blog. Not only do you not have my permission you dont attribute the picture. My images are not free to use-check the flirkr attribution talbe . Remove my image from you blog right away of give me a mailing adresss to send an invoice for web usage."

I responded to her, saying I very clearly gave all credits to all pictures I used in the mosaic. She responded by saying "it's a shitty way to attribute" and "remove me photo".

Really? I give a link to your Flickr photo, and that's shitty? Wow, chica, get a grip.
And after you get a grip, learn to type.

So, in light of that, I've replaced her stupid mouse looking in mirror photo with the censored puppy, which also happened to show up on the 1st page for my #9 answer. Beautifully ironic, isn't it?

Nothing food-related today. I stumbled across the Flickr meme. Or is it The Flickr Meme? I thought it would be fun. What I love about this is that you only pick photos from the first page of search results, and with new photos constantly being uploaded, you could do this once a week and it would always turn out different.

The Questions:
  1. What is your first name? Vicki
  2. What is your favorite food? Sushi
  3. What high school did you go to? Bolingbrook High School
  4. What is your favorite color? Green
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? Johnny Depp
  6. Favorite drink? Pinot Noir
  7. Dream vacation? Tuscany
  8. Favorite dessert? Tiramisu
  9. What you want to be when you grow up? Content
  10. What do you love most in life? Living
  11. One Word to describe you. Complicated
  12. Your Flickr name.
The credits:
1. vicki, 2. "What? Sushi? What is it?", 3. bolingbrook, 4. green spar, 5. greetings from captain jack sparrow!! ^o^/, 6. Party @ Club Bokeh, 7. Tuscan Countryside Winery October 20, 2003, 8. Suicide Pig, 9. Against Censorship!, 10. llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam, 11. singular essentials: 01, 12. Madballs, AARGH

Braised Lamb with Anchovy Sauce and White Beans with Tomato and Garlic

My next challenge recipes come from Recipes: The Cooking of Italy, a spiral-bound Time Life Foods of the World book, published in 1968. This one came from my mom when she was getting rid of no-longer-needed stuff in preparation for a move.

I had an uncharacteristically easy time picking not just one, but 2 recipes from this book. The first to jump out at me was White Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic (Fagioli all'Uccelletto). And then I saw the Braised Lamb with Anchovy Sauce (Abbacchio alla Cacciatora), and knew that the two would go well together.

My original plans were to have a green veggie on the side, maybe sauteed spinach or broccoli rabe, but I flaked, so we were greenless. But nobody seemed to mind. The beans, with a little bit of tomato, so simply seasoned with sage and garlic, were really good - even Youngest went for a second helping.

And the lamb? Oh, the lamb. Seared on a skillet until brown (Mr. Maillard, I love you), dusted with garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and flour, baked at high heat for 10 minutes, then topped off with red wine vinegar and chicken broth. Baked for an hour or so, with a couple chopped anchovies thrown in during the last 5 minutes. Meaty, salty, sticky, umami goodness.

Hubby, being the good Mexican that he is, grabbed some flatbread (lavash) and made mini lamb tacos. (They were really good topped with a dollop of hummus.)

Verdict? This book stays on the shelf.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


See my beautiful peach tree?

See all the lovely peaches?

Don't you just want to reach out a take a bite?

Don't. They don't taste good. I don't know what happened, but this is the 2nd year that my peaches have ripened way too early (they're only about 2 inches in diameter), and have absolutely no flavor. Anybody have any hints?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels sprouts. Normally I roast them in some olive oil, add some garlic near the end of roasting, then dust with parmesan. Yum. This time I tried something different, with a recipe I pulled from somewhere online.


It sounded good. Cut sprouts in half, sauté in a cast iron skillet in olive oil cut side down, until the bottom has a nice crust. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 4 minutes, remove from the oven, add some balsamic vinegar, shake until the pan is deglazed and most of the liquid is gone. Season with s&p.

Again, I say, YUCK!

No pictures. No link to the recipe. Don't try this. Blech.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Awesome Product Alert - Hollandse Chevre

My local favorite market had Hollandse Chèvre cheese on sale, so I picked up a small wedge for $1.26. Goaty, nutty, tangy, with crunchy little salt crystals. Yum.

Picture taken from the manufacturer's site.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Zucchini, Potato, Leek and Carrot Latkes

I had some squash leftover from my chicken curry, and some potatoes in the cupboard, and decided to make latkes.

1/3 yellow squash
1/3 calabacita
1 small zucchini
2 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 small red potato
5 baby carrots
3 inch section of a small leek
2 T shredded parmesan
2 T crumbled feta
1 egg
3 T flour

Shred the squashes, leek and carrot. Squeeze as much water out as possible.
Shred the potatoes. Squeeze them dry too.
Mix veggies together, add in a beaten egg, 3 T of flour, cheeses, and salt and pepper to taste.

Take golf-ball-sized lumps of the mixture, place in a hot skillet with a little bit of oil (I don't recommend olive oil for this), flatten, and cook until nicely browned.

By the time I made the last batch, a little liquid had accumulated in the bowl, so I decided to set the mixture over a strainer. I want latkes, not veggie-mush pancakes.

I served this with a yogurt-garlic-lemon juice-dill-cayenne sauce. They were so pretty! Green from the zucchini and leek, purple from the potato skin, orange from the carrot. All the vibrant colors almost made me forget that they were fried in peanut oil. (But just a little bit!) Very tasty, highly recommended.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seed Cookies

Updated, now with pictures! Originally posted on 4/7/08.

On a recent trip to Trader Joe's, I found candy-coated chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, and remembered a post by Peabody. Had to try it. Glad I did.

I used the recipe off the back of the bag of Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chips, replacing the chocolate chips with the seeds. Actually, I used the recipe from here, because I didn't have a bag of chips from which to steal said recipe.

These are the perfect cookies for me. Not too chocolately (I must be the only woman on the planet that doesn't go ga-ga over chocolate), a little nutty, a little salty. Again, I say, the perfect cookie.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cucumber, Radish and Lettuce Salad

I had made a raita to go with my chicken curry, put it in the fridge to chill while the chicken was cooking, and then promptly forgot about it.

So yesterday I combined some sliced radish, sliced cucumber, and shredded lettuce with the raita, and added some salt, pepper, sumac and lemon juice.

Delicious, refreshing, perfect summer salad.