kaitou: (Default)
Yorkshire puddings are the bomb.  They are like cupcakes made of waffles. 

Ahh, it's a good day after all.
kaitou: (hmph)
Man, I asked my dad if he'd like me to make something nice for him for Father's Day / his birthday, a cake or pie or something now that I've been doing all this cooking from scratch. He was all for it, but Mom said she'd already bought a box mix and can of frosting.

This happened on Mother's Day where I offered to cook something fancy or take her out for dinner, but she just wanted hamburgers. AND on my birthday where I had plans to make a nice dinner, but my mom changed the weekend I'd come up to visit and it was another box cake and ordinary dinner.

I shouldn't feel put out, but I'd really LIKE to cook something for my parents. Feeding someone else is 2/3rds the fun of cooking. Oh well, maybe during shutdown.

Choco!

Jun. 6th, 2011 07:34 pm
kaitou: (death!)
My kitchen is absolutely covered in chocolate. If these cookies taste as good as they smell they're going to be amaaaaaaazing.
kaitou: (Default)
You wouldn't think nearly a week could go so quickly...but it did!! I had a lovely time visiting with Twig, Luny, Flidget and Aphe. I wish I could have spent longer and had more one on one time with everyone.

After all my fuss and worry, eveyrone seemed to like their macarons just fine. Aphe made an amazing chocolate cake with apricot filling (she made her own jam!!). I even got to take a jar of jam home with me. And now the jam jar in my fridge is officially too full. Srsly. Watson has nothing on me.

Thursday evening after checking in to the con Twig said, 'let's go check out this new restaruant that I noticed. It has chocolate.' Good golly miss Molly does it ever. Max Brenner's Chocolate By The Bald Guy is amazing. After dinner we were like 'Let's come again, how soon does it open tomorrow?' They even put cocoa powder on their fries. But that's nothing on their drinks. Luny got a 'hot chocolate ceremony' sort of thing where there is a little tea light warming a bowl of milk, and another bowl of chocolate shavings. You add chocoalte to taste, stir with a little flat spoon...which is also a straw. (They have a website. Personally I think I need both a Hug Mug and a Kangaroo Cup)

Friday night was our big 'dinner out' to Eastern Standard. They were definitely having an off night. Even though we had reservations, we still waiting about 45 min because other big parties had paid and were just sititng around talking. The manager even went to gently prod them by asking if they needed the restaruant to order them a cab, or wanted their coats. We also suspected that there was some kind of major problem in the kitchens, because service was very very slow.

BUT. You couldn't beat the company. In addition to the rest of the gang, we also had SolitaryJane. So a lot of good conversation and laughter was had. The food and liquor were also amazing. I got to try real applejack, which was lovely and I need more of it pronto. I also felt very Anthony Bourdain by trying Escargot en Croute. (a.k.a. Snail Pot Pie) The land clams, as I have taken to calling them, were incredibly tender and tasty. Would eat again.

In the weekend news that you actually care about... Saw lots of cute anime. I highly suggest Durarara and Antique Bakery. Our fic panel was not quite as organized as last year, but I think it still held up very well to other panels I saw. We were packed, no one left, and people still wanted reassurance that THEIR character was not a Mary Sue to talk to us afterwards. Someone even chatted with me the next day! I count it as a win.

All good things must come to an end though. So I am back in Ohio. My manager has killed my birthday flowers (or at least put them through some serious trauma) but my cat is still alive and kicking and all is well.
kaitou: (cuppa coffee)
So the orange macarons I made for Boston were a bust. I'm not sure whether it was the fact that not all my egg whites were properly aged, or the orange essence screwed up the balance, but they ended up being all lopsided and hollow in the middle.

But they still taste pretty good. So I put a plate of my oopses together and brought them in to work.

My boss tried one and said. "Wow, these taste like circus peanuts."

*sigh*
kaitou: (Default)
Now that I've made a great big double batch of it, I've remembered that I don't much care for buttercream icing.
kaitou: (cuppa coffee)
I used the game to make a souffle (sort of successful, but more like really tasty baked omlette.  I didn't have the right dish, so I'm gonna blame it on that)  So I am eating that, drinking coffee with hazelnut creamer, and watching a disc of Penn & Teller's Bullshit!  (the ! is in the show title). 

Does it get much better than this?
kaitou: (cuppa coffee)
I just got back from the grocery store and realized that I bought ground mustard when I already have ground mustard. So I did what any good Quality Assurance Engineer does and....entered an inventory of all the spices I have into my phone. God, the dorkery...it burns, precious!

This whole urge to actually cook and not just, like, eat a stick of beef jerky and half a sleeve of fig newtons for dinner is usually doesn't last for all that long, so I'm trying to milk it for all that it's worth!

I actually spent most of Shutdown (the auto industry doesn't work between Christmas and New Years) cooking up at my parents with the DS Tutorials. I cooked SO MUCH FOOD. There were smashed red potatoes with sour cream and chives, more of the balsamic & maple glazed carrots (those didn't turn out as good this time, the quality of the balsamic vinegar makes a big difference...but I managed to fix it for leftovers) pork chops in a brandy sauce, polenta, pot roast with root veggies, chocolate mousse from scratch and banana bread.

I also bought a lot of cooking stuff like a dutch oven and cast iron fry pan. And I finally traded in the crappy mixing bowls that [personal profile] twigcollins and I had in college for a nice deep set.  Now I just need to make all of this stuff fit in my kitchen.  Oh well, I guess I can inventory it while I'm at it!

kaitou: (death!)
So the other day I was talking to a coworker about how cool the Personal Trainer: Cooking "game" was for the DS. Then I tried to find it to show it to him, but...I'm not so good at keeping the game with the box, and...the games are like, postage stamps. Luckily a used copy is only $8. And while I was there I picked up the sequel "America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking."

There are some neat new features in Let's Get Cooking.  You can have more than one chef, and designate tasks to different people.  And you can send a recipe to a friend's DS so that they can test the game out themselves without buying it, or, together you can make more than one recipe at a time. On the other hand it's voice controls are no better.  I was ready to scream at the little chef "WHAT PART OF LAST STEP DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND!?"  And it's lost the ability to adjust the ingredients automatically by changing the number of servings you want.

Still... the recipes in this one look awesome.  Better than the Personal Trainer game.  And it has great videos by the Test Kitchen cooks.  My onion dicing skills have improved drastically.  

So Saturday I made corned beef hash from scratch.  The potatoes were blanched with bay leaves, the hash had fresh thyme, cream, garlic and bacon... and then when the cooking was almost done you make little depressions in the hash and crack eggs into it to cook.  MMM.  Other than the fact that I burnt the bottom a little, it turned out great. 

And tonight I tried their French Toast recipe, which uses a little flour, and a few other twists.  I used the Japanese bread I brought back from Detroit, which is like Texas Toast, but better, and it turned out fabulously.  Will try again.

Next up, Maple/Balsamic glazed carrots.  Maybe.

kaitou: (Default)
I turned on the tv for some noise while I worked on Mom's socks...and saw Brian Boitano making candied bacon for roller derby girls.

Yes. Brian Boitano, Gold Medal winning Brian Boitano has a cooking show now, What Would Brian Boitano Make (yes, and they use that song for the theme music apparently). Where apparently he makes a series of bacon themed recipes for roller derby girls.

I swear, every time I decide I need to get rid of my cable tv, something like this pops up.
kaitou: (squid)
Coffee-Jello Pie....NOT going in the family cookbook.
kaitou: (monkeys)
Yesterday I went to the store to buy Draino and Cat Food, when I was seized with the sudden craving for strawberry pie. Not like, pie with real strawberries and things, but a proper midwest pie created entirely from jello and cool whip. I'd never made one before, but how hard can it be? You mix cool whip into jello before it solidifies and stick it in a graham cracker crust.

Luckily for me I'm not a member of Top Gear, so when I say things like 'How hard can it be?' it actually does turn out to be easy.

And it turned out pretty good too. So now all I can think of is what other flavors I could try. I mean have you SEEN how many jellos there are? And then I was thinking of the Japanese-style Coffee gelatin I make sometimes. AND what if I combined it with chocolate coolwhip? It would be like, a poor man's mocha silk pie!

I can't wait to try it!

I Love Egg

Aug. 28th, 2008 08:54 am
kaitou: (sad moustache man)
I love Mental Floss. It's my favorite magazine, second only to Archeology. And even better they have a blog that they update every day with all kinds of interesting stories. Yesterday they had a really interesting article on 65 degree eggs (that would be Celsius). The basic ideas is that the egg will cook just fine at a lower temperature than 'boiling' and that you'll get a completely different consistency to your finished egg. The idea of a custardy egg white, and non-powdery yolk sounds really interesting. In fact the eggs sound terribly delicious. And it even sounded really easy. Even I can manage that, I thought.

Except....my oven won't go low enough.

65 Celsius is 149 Fahrenheit. And the lowest my oven will go is 170.

*cry* I really wanted to try those eggs!
(P.S. this will not keep me from trying it at 170 anyway)
kaitou: (monkeys)
Last night was a good night. I whipped out my neglected Japanese cooking tutorial (which apparently they have in English in Europe. C'mon! Bring it out in America tooooo!) and made some potato salad. I'm really picky when it comes to my potato salad, there are really only about 3 or 4 kinds in the world that I will eat. But Japanese potato salad is one of them. And now I can say I have made it from scratch. It has potatoes, mayo (J-mayo, since it does taste a little different) ham, hardboiled eggs, cucumber and onion.

So now I've made 4 dishes with my tutorial. And I have to say that I always make it through the recipe with good results. But that it regularly pwns me along the way. I'm not a bad cook. Really. But watching me while I play this game is a lot like an exercise in 'what not to do.' Like when I realize that the tutorial assumed I'd already hardboiled my eggs. Or when I was trying to cut the onion into tinier pieces. Or when I realized I no longer had a potato masher (I swear I had one when I left Dayton). The tutorial had you mashing with a thick wooden stick, so I actually ended up mashing my potatoes with the handle of a cleaver.

No Anns were harmed in the making of this potato salad. But it had more to do with the grace of god than anything.
kaitou: (Damn I'm Good)
I finally got my DS cooking game this weekend and it is SO AWESOME. If you have a DS and know Japanese you should order it right this very second. It's an amazingly robust piece of software and it boggles the mind that they haven't come out with an English version (though they would need new recipes)

My DS game, it has a flavor )

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