chavvah: (Default)
This is a long-standing favourite in my kitchen, and the spice and garlic are great if you have a cold.

Seasoning paste:
20 large cloves garlic
1 Tbsp black peppercorns

Mash these into a thick aromatic paste.

1/4 c soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce

Mix these together in a bowl.

I use a top round steak sliced against the grain

Broccoli is great, but you can also use carrots, snap peas, or pretty much anything else that is fibrous enough to withstand some hot stir-frying.

Put some veg oil or peanut oil into a pan over high heat. Fry the spice paste until your eyes water. (Seriously.)

Add the meat and brown while coating in spice paste.

Add sauce and cook until it bubbles.

Add veggies and stir fry.

Serve over rice.

For a less spicy/more saucy version, add some oyster sauce and some water. (That's the way I make it for my mum. ;))
chavvah: (aim to misbehave)
Things I did today that I thought about not doing today, but then decided "screw it" because it's the last day of my vacation:

- play Treasure Madness
- wear camouflage pants (I hope to one day find a relationship that is half as fulfilling as wearing these pants)
- eat Tic Tacs all day (SO MANY TIC TACS)
- watch Food Network all day (apart from a couple of hours where I watched Mystery Diagnosis)
- drink a giant cherry slush

Things I did today that I am proud of:

- ten tons of laundry (SRS BZNS) including my camouflage pants
- bought groceries (rather than surviving on leftover party food)
- cooked delicious dinner (I haven't done this yet but will get on it as soon as I am off the computer)

Not a bad start to the new year!
chavvah: (lick me)
One thing I've been doing while cleaning my kitchen is to organize all my loose recipes into a recipe box. During this process, I found a recipe I have been saving. I am hoping to try it sometime this week, provided the stars align: carrot cake ice cream.

In summary, it is: candied carrots, spiced pecans, and cream cheese ice cream.

Candied carrots:
2 cups diced carrots
2/3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
2 cups water

Combine all in saucepan over medium heat, bring to boil and simmer for 45-60 mins.

Spiced pecans:
1 cup pecan halves
1 Tbsp butter, meltd
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and spread in even layer on baking sheet. Bake 7-10 mins until toasted. Cool and chop roughly.

Ice cream base:
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lemon

Whip in stand mixer until blended. Add pecans and carrots. (I am going to try and make it in my ice cream machine as I do not own a standing mixer.)

The recipe also says to add 1/4 cranberries marinated in Crown Royal, but I am ignoring that because the recipe is from a magazine put out by the provincial liquor commission. ;)
chavvah: (Default)
It's fall, and I'm using up the herbs from my garden with two delicious recipes!

Sage and onion chicken and sausage bake

Greek lemon roasted potatoes with oregano

They are both bubbling away in the oven now. The whole apartment smells savoury and delicious! Best of all, there is an undertone scent of clean laundry, which gives away the secret of how I spent my afternoon. ;)
chavvah: (Default)
I've lived in Canada for as long as I am capable of remembering, but I do find the concept of Thanksgiving a bit perplexing. I know it's about the harvest, etc, etc, but there's something about celebrating Thanksgiving that has the tendency to make me feel a bit awkward, like going to someone else's church. I'm a transplanted person with my roots in one place, celebrating a transplanted holiday with its roots in another. It's easy to see how one might feel a bit disoriented.

I decided to go to Nigella Lawson for help on this one. In her notes on Thanksgiving, she says it better than I could:

"I am necessarily cautious about tackling Thanksgiving. It's not my party--though where there's food concerned, I'm always glad to be invited."

This year, once again, I have found myself in the position of going to a Thanksgiving dinner and having no idea what to bring. A couple of years ago I went to [ profile] xandersgirl's outstanding Turducken celebration and brought carrot soup, which was well-received but not altogether practical for transportation purposes.

Lo and behold, in her book Feast, Nigella actually has a recipe for sweet potatoes with marshmallows--a dish of mythic proportions (and I have to admit, it sounds kind of horrifying). She gives a brief history of the dish and remarks that when she first came upon it, it gave her, "as a startled foreigner, much cause for alarm". It's her introduction to the recipe that sums up how I feel about this particular holiday:

"To a European reader, no doubt to any non-American reader, it is downright alienating. Although I've become an eater of sweet potatoes over the years, I've never quite taken the marshmallow element seriously, presuming it to be so positively excessive, as unfathomable as a memory from someone else's childhood." (emphasis mine)

So I tried instead to think about my childhood, and what kinds of foods my mum would make to go with a roast chicken (she doesn't like turkey). Yorkshire puddings would probably be my first choice--my mum makes individual ones in muffin tins and she has it down to a science--but I know it's not to everyone's taste, so probably best to go with something a little more conventional. Roast potatoes would probably be the next best bet, but I'm guessing that there will be potatoes at this particular shindig.

As I was pondering, I was flipping through Feast, and I did find something that my mum has made for years, and that is also quintessentially American and very Thanksgiving. Something that, thanks to my years as a heritage interpreter, I could make in my sleep.


My mum always bakes cornbread to go with a hearty winter meal. She bakes it in a round tin, and then cuts thick slabs of it and puts them in a little basket, wrapped in a red-and-white checkered tea towel to keep them warm.

Nigella uses it for cranberry-orange stuffing, but her recipe calls for you to make the cornbread from scratch. I say, why ruin a perfectly good pan of cornbread by making it into stuffing?

Here--for those of you celebrating the weekend, holiday or no, in whatever style suits you--is Nigella's recipe. (I paraphrase her rather wordy directions.) I even did all the conversions from metric weight to make it easier.

175 g cornmeal (about 1.5 cups)
125 g flour (about 1 cup)
45 g caster sugar (3 Tbsp)
fat pinch of salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
250 ml full fat milk (1 cup)
1 egg
45 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled (half a stick is 56.7 g, so a bit less than that)

Oven to 200 C. Grease a baking tin (Nigella recommends 23 cm square).

Standard baking procedure: mix the dry together, mix the wet together, then add the wet gradually to the dry. Don't worry about lumps. Pour the batter into the tin.

Bake for about 15-20 mins. The cornbread should be starting to pull away from the sides of the tin.

Best of all, I have most of the ingredients in stock. I just have to nip to the store to get whole milk and I'm in business!


Oct. 5th, 2009 11:24 am
chavvah: (oh dear evelyn)
I went into the kitchen to have my customary 10:30 orange, and I noted that some unscrupulous person has left an open box of Turkish Delight on the table. I returned again at 10:35, 10:39, etc, to double-check and make sure that it was still there and maybe eat some more.

It's as if somehow, someone has discovered my one* secret** weakness***!

Also, I have a ridiculous amount of apples in my fridge. Like about 20 or so. I got a ton in my Freshbox and then my ex gave me a bunch when he came back from BC. I think there are more apples in my home than there is any other kind of food. So tonight I am going to get hooked up with a little of this action:

Recipe here.

Last but not least, I believe someone working on the CBC News Ticker has been at the hooch. Or perhaps the A key on their computer is just stuck. Here is an actual quote:

A man is dead and another is in critical condiation after a fieary fatal crash on the 401 near Whitby just before midnight.

*Okay, we all know I have more than one, shut up.

**Not so much, ha ha. I think even strangers I meet at parties instinctively know this about me. I give off a vibe or something.

chavvah: (oh dear evelyn)
So the other night when we were at [ profile] pyroclasticgrub's place, my mother busts this one out on me. (I should preface this by saying that she'd had a few.)

"You're so moral. You have always been like that, ever since you were a child. You have a sense of morality that I would say is quite Victorian. I don't know where you got all those morals from. It certainly wasn't from me!"

I just had to share. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
chavvah: (sandwich)
This happened a few days ago, but I have to report it because it is still making me chuckle.

In the building where our admissions desk is, there is an exhibit that includes a taxidermied polar bear.

A dad with two little girls (one about five, the other about three) came into the centre to look at the exhibit. Here is the conversation between the two little girls:

Age five: I'm going to see the polar bear!
Age three: And I'm going to see the lions!
Age five: IT'S NOT A ZOO, STUPID!!
chavvah: (Default)
I am making some deliriously simple coconut chocolate tarts for a pot luck at [ profile] imperfectmedium's this afternoon--hopefully they turn out! The shells are baking now--the kitchen smells heavenly.

recipe under the cut )
chavvah: (Default)
Making this seafood pizza, but I didn't have any smoked salmon, so I upped the amount of crab (imitation crab) and subbed in a few slices of prosciutto to add the same saltiness and smokiness. The bechamel sauce is amazing--I can't believe I didn't think of infusing the milk before.
chavvah: (Default)
Still ridiculously itchy, and now also sweaty. This is definitely not an improvement. The temperature is not high, but the humidity is out of control. My plan today involved lots of house cleaning and then going to the Fringe Festival, but I am just so tired and so hot. Think I will go have a cool shower, and then perhaps drink a icy root beer on the balcony.
chavvah: (mystery and botulism)

seriously, I just want to sleep. This makes me so sad.
chavvah: (lj post)
In the foodie category, here's what I plan to make with my daikon radish:

Ginger, carrot, and daikon salad
(A recipe that came with my Freshbox)

Salad part:
1-2 daikon radish, julienned
3 carrots, julienned

Dressing part:
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped ginger (I will probably grate it as I don't like chunks of raw ginger)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
splash of soy sauce
1/3 cup veg oil
1 tsp. chopped cilantro (I will omit this as I don't care for cilantro)

Basically, you pour the dressing over the salad and let it marinate 30 minutes in the fridge.

I am going to make this for a barbecue I am going to on Saturday--provided I can get a ride! [ profile] prairiedaun, is it possible that you are going to this shindig now that your social is on Friday night?

In the TMI category, I have heat rash at various points along my panty line and I am not pleased. Basically my choices are to continue having heat rash until it cools down or not to wear underwear. Neither of these are acceptable.

And in the random observation category, I like that in English crime dramas, the police rarely shoot anyone. I watched four hours of Wire in the Blood (at my mum's behest) and never once did anyone even draw a gun.

I had previously conceived of a super thoughtful post about stuff that has happened this week, but it got derailed by the late hour and my inability to form coherent thoughts. So this is what you get instead.


Jun. 22nd, 2009 07:52 pm
chavvah: (lick me)
Does anyone have any advice on how to cook daikon radish? I'm getting some in my Freshbox on Wednesday and I've never cooked with it before.

I've looked online, but I keep finding things like this, which is a little more effort than I was hoping to put in on a weeknight (or... ever, really).

If you need further ingredient inspiration, here is what else I'm getting.

Recipes would be awesome if you've got 'em!
chavvah: (Default)
This morning I woke up early, read for a while, then cleaned my kitchen. I organized my recipes for the week, did my shopping (and didn't buy anything ridiculous or unnecessary), whipped up some lemonade, and repotted my basil plant. And I still have the whole afternoon ahead of me!

It's good to be back!

If anyone wants to come over for dinner tonight, I am going to attempt that kale pie. Let me know if you want in. The more the merrier!
chavvah: (Default)
I'm hoping to do some cooking tomorrow, something I haven't had the energy for in a while. I am still grappling with some kale from my Freshbox, so I thought I would try a tomato pie made with kale pesto and lots of cheese. Recipe here. The recipe is from a site that promotes "healthy" recipes, but it seems to have genuinely good stuff rather than just being about calorie counting.

I also have a fuckton of carrots, so I am planning to make a few batches of curried carrot soup for lunches.

Just as I was making all these plans, of course, I was hit with a sucker-punch of indigestion (why now? I haven't had any of my usual trigger foods all week) so I'm not sure if I am going to get to actually do all of this. We shall see.

As you can probably tell from the above recipes, I have been eating less meat lately. I tend to go through phases where I really crave it and phases where I don't, and right now I'm in the midst of the latter. I'm guaranteed to get a pretty solid dose of animal flesh once a week at my mum's, and I usually like to have a burger during my time of the month (I tend to get low iron) but right now I'm not really feelin' it apart from that. It probably also has to do with the weather warming up--my body doesn't feel like it needs to eat so much anymore.

(Lest you think I am in danger of being seduced by the Diet Monster, I am at this moment scarfing down a giant bag of peanut butter M & Ms. ;))
chavvah: (Default)
I just concocted this with stuff leftover in my kitchen, and seriously, it's so good you won't even need syrup. (Although I did have a small dollop just on principle.)

French Toast For One
(Two slices)

1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp brown sugar
dash of cinnamon
splash each of vanilla and dark rum
tiny pinch of salt

Mix this all up into a batter. Soak the bread in it, then fry in a skillet in butter until the outsides are golden brown. Then put in a 200-degree oven for a few minutes. Then eat! I had mine alongside a few slices of bacon.
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