Monday, November 29, 2010

Blood Orange Marmalade

Blood Orange Marmalade
My second attempt at this recipe went much better then the first.  If you've been following my blog, you know that I needed this marmalade to be a layer in the cake I was making.  The first time I made it I hopped in the shower and it got all burned up.  Damn.  So, I made it again.

Two things went better the second time.
1.  I bought some Campari (its a bitter liquor).  The first time I tried using apple juice
2.  I was actually able to find a blood orange instead of a regular orange.  how exotic :)

This had such a peculiar flavor.  It was definitely jelly like, but not so much sweet.  You can taste the Campari for sure.

The morning sunlight shining in on the cooked and diced pieces of blood orange

Campari is a MUST for this recipe.  I'm excited about what else I can use it for and have already started seeking out other recipes

To get it to gel a little fast, I put it in the fridge and then the freezer.  More runny then jam you would buy at the store, but I know exactly whats in it. :)  I like that.

I used this on a cake.  I am thinking it would also be good baked on some brie cheese

hmm.  perhaps I shall have to get some.  See my re-used Smuckers jar?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

To view this recipe, click here.

Every once in a while you find something delicious and you have to keep making it over and over.  See photo:
These are aptly named, To Die For Blueberry Muffins.  I mixed this batch up for a special someone that was visiting during the Thanksgiving holidays.  Nothing like a good hot muffin to warm you up.

Here are a few photos of the cooking process.

The funny directions...Put an egg in a 1c measure.  Add 1/3c oil then fill the rest of the way with buttermilk....definitely not exact measurements.  What if you have a big or a small egg?!

Mixed up batter is like glue

I used frozen blueberries because they don't break when you stir them in.

The batter does get a little purplish.

Fill them up right to the top!

I use brown sugar instead of white for the crumble topping.  I find it more suitable.

These are about the same price as the others, but likely less toxic!

Crumb topping, all mixed up.

Oven ready!

Edits I made to the recipe:
Added 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Used brown sugar instead of white for crumb topping
Made a double batch (makes approximately 1 1/2 dozen)
Do not double crumb topping
Use butter milk instead of regular

*Make sure to give these all away so you don't eat them all!

How to Make Buttermilk

I have a favorite muffin recipe that requires buttermilk.  I typically don't keep milk in the house at all because I think it slows mucous functionality.  However,  I'm willing to buy some for my favorite muffins.  If you need milk for some other delicious recipe, it might be best to just make your own homemade buttermilk.

Very simple recipe for this one.

1c regular milk
1 tbsp. white vinegar

Simply mix the two together and let sit for about 5 minutes or so.
Then you can use the rest of your milk for non buttermilk related activities!  Notice Glee on my laptop in the background :)

Thanksgiving Eve

On Thanksgiving Eve I ventured out into the horrendous downpour to visit with some friends at Neon's Unplugged downtown.  This is quite possibly my favorite bar because of their amazing patio.  It's like Hofbrauhaus but with better food and less frat boys.  And cheaper beer.  I spent $12, and $4 of that was tips for the cute bartender.  :)  Here are two pics of the band, plus a doggie.  <3

The dog was very well behaved and attracted lots of attention.  So cute!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Should Have Oatmeal in a Fancy Goblet

You should do nice things for yourself.
Why do you have fancy serving dishes that you only use on special occasions?
Who are you saving it for?
You should eat your oatmeal in a fancy goblet.

My current favorite oatmeal recipe.  Serves 1 not very hungry person.  Easily multiplied...

1/3c Steel Cut Oats
1c water
1/4c dried cranberries
1tbsp slivered almonds

In a dry pan without any oil, cook the almonds until they brown to release their nutty flavor.
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients (almonds included) and bring to a simmer.
Cook until it looks done.  approximately 10-15 minutes if I remember correctly.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weird Pork Dish

I was hunting around my favorite recipe website for a good pork recipe and I found this:

Asian Pork Tenderloin Fallom

Before you go getting all excited about what a "Fallom" is, I'll tell you that it the last name of the author of the recipe.  Sounds like a cake or something.

Now, if we can move past your disappointment...
This was one of my first experiences cooking with alcohol.  Of course I've made the odd recipe with beer here and there, but never much with liquor.

I trekked over to the Kroger liquor store in Hyde Park and bought a bottle of Brandy. 
Here is a picture of it with some apricot preserves, also used in the recipe:

Before we get to the Brandy portion of this recipe, though, we need to get the meat into a marinade.
This recipe called for several ingredients I didn't have on hand.  Chinese Five Spice powder has been on my grocery list for a while since I kept running across it in recipes.  The oyster sauce wasn't really what I was expecting.  I couldn't find anything more authentic then 'oyster flavored sauce' which sounds absolutely disgusting. 

But I had to make due.  Since I didn't have a clue what it tasted like, I couldn't use a substitute.  BTW, oyster flavored sauce has the consistency of barbeque sauce mixed with maple syrup.  I was afraid to smell it.

While the pork was marinading, I made these:
Those were pot stickers.  I cooked and ate a couple, then put the rest in the freezer for a later engagement.

After the pork marinated for a couple episodes (Time measured in episodes of Law & Order: SVU), I dredged the pork in white flour and cooked for a bit too long on each side.

You can't really tell its too long from this picture.  But you can really tell in the end.
Here is a picture of the mixture served over the pork.  A combination of Brandy, apricot preserves, and shiitake mushrooms.

After it cooks a while, you add some heavy cream.  Here is a picture of the finished product, just before plating.  See how it looks a little burnt?  Whoops....

Luckily if you put some of the sauce over the top, you can't really tell that the top bits are burnt at all.

Final Verdict:  It was tasty enough that I ate all three of the pork chops within a couple days.  I might make the dish one more time with some alterations just to see if I can make it spectacular.  As written its not amazing.

Mom's Apple Crisp

As part of my ongoing meal planning preparations for holiday entertaining, I asked my mother if she would be so gracious as to share her family famous Apple Crisp recipe.

My mom said she has never been able to find Pippin apples, so I just used Granny Smith apples...since that is the flavor I'm used to for this recipe.


4-6 pippin apples (I use granny smiths enough to fill the pan)
Juice of one lemon
¾ cup brown sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
½ c margarine (I use Butter)       
Nutmeg & cinnamon

Slice apples thick or thin as you want. Sprinkle with lemon juice and arrange in a greased pan.  I rinsed the lemon off of mine prior to cooking.

Mix flour & sugar butter/margarine together with a pastry cutter, until pea sized.

Sprinkle apples w cinnamon and nutmeg (light on the nutmeg!) sprinkle on the sugar/flour butter mixture

Bake at 350 for 30-45 min depending on the apples, allow to cool 10-15 min or serve cold.

Whipped cream or Vanilla ice cream is good with it.

So, here goes!  Apple Crisp--Amy Version 1.0
I was just making a small pan full, so I only used three of these apples

I sliced these up while I re-watched the latest Harry Potter movie :)

Sprinkled with Cinnamon and Nutmeg.  Probably a little too light on the Cinnamon and a little heavy on the Nutmeg...
Mixing the brown sugar mixture.  I cut the recipe for the crisp part in half since I was making such a small pan's worth

Pouring it over the apples.  Getting exited!
Finishing product.  Yum! Yum!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Half Off Day at Goodwill

Is pretty much the best event ever if you can brave the crowds (not kidding).
I have a lovely hodge bodge of kitchen utensils and bowls that I purchased at Goodwill over the years.

My latest purchase is perhaps the cutest.  Normally $1 each, I got the saucer AND the teacup for $1 TOTAL.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Curried Udon Noodle Stir Fry

This was delicious.  This is a recipe out of my favorite cookbook, Veganomicon.  First, you start by boiling some Udon noodles.  These have been sitting in my cupboard for quite a while waiting for me to figure out something to do with them.

In the meantime, you make a roux.  That consists of mixing flour with some oil and then mixing in some spices.  Here is a picture of the finished product, waiting to coat the noodles.
I also mixed up some vegetables in a little stir fry.  Some onion, red bell pepper, and broccoli.  This recipe calls for seitan, but I didn't have enough time to make any that day.  So I just dumped in a brick of pressed tofu instead.  Click the hyper-link for my post on how to press tofu.
Add the udon noodles on top, sprinkle with some soy sauce and stir fry for a few moments.

Here is the finished product in the pan:
And divided into handy little containers to take to work for lunch!  This made four delicious servings.

Friday, November 19, 2010


The girl at Country Fresh said, "Wow, you must really like apples...."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How not to make orange marmalade

I needed homemade orange marmalade for a cake I was making.  It seemed simple enough...boil oranges in sugar water.  Drain, chop, add a few other ingredients, then boil down into jelly like consistency.

Nowhere in the recipe, however, does it say "go take a shower so you won't be late for your evening plans."  You should know that this recipe does not end well.

It starts off simple enough.  Sugar and water.

Then you mix in some orange slices and boil until the orange peel is tender.

You drain away the syrup from the boiling and then chop the oranges into appropriate sizes to be in a marmalade.

Here it is in the pan, pre-burning.
Delicious, right?  Except then I decided I would multi-task and get in the shower.  Never get in the shower the first time you try a recipe.  And certainly not when you have sugar boiling...

Not exactly what I intended.  I ended up using Smucker's Organic Blackberry preserves instead.  Oh well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yam Fries

I'm amazing that I am so far into this blog and I haven't made a post with yams yet.  Yams are tasty and delicious.  Hopefully now that the weather is getting cold I will remember to cook with them more.
Sometimes I get little fingerling yams from the Farmer's Market at Lunken Airport.  But I typically stick with huge yams like this one (TWSS!):

Are you reading TWSS and wondering what that means and wishing you got my joke?  The first time I read that I had to google it to understand.  It means, "That's What She Said."  Which is a fairly common saying around here.

So there are all kinds of things you can do with yams.  This time around, I chose to make chunky french fries.  I will warn you in advance that the finish picture isn't quite as tasty looking as the yam fries actually were.  They just didn't brown up like I would have liked.

So...first you cut the yam into fries.  I used a huge knife to make the task a bit easier.
Coconut oil is second only to peanut in for my favorite cooking oils.  I didn't discover the use of anything other than olive oil and vegetable oil until sometime in the last year or two.  Buy other oils...its worth it.  Here is the coconut oil I use.  Ironically, I've also been using this as a face moisturizer for the last month or so.
Coconut oil comes as a solid, but liquefies very easily.  I put a blob in that bowl and then microwaved it for just a short time.  Afterwards, me and the yam had a massage party :).  This turned out to be a bit of a gritty massage for the yam, as I also sprinkled on some seasonings.  For this batch, I used course ground salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of cayenne powder.

I sprinkled some sugar over them before i put them in the oven.  This is supposed to help caramelize them.  Mine didn't really caramelize though.

These were absolutely delicious.  I ended up making two batches over the course of a week because they were so yummy.