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: (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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March 2012

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