Archive for March, 2008

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Behold the joy of rice-cookers!

March 24, 2008

I was bored, and procrastinating, and bored.

And when you’re feeling bored, and you’re procrastinating – what’s better than rice pudding? Nothing really.

But I’m way to lazy to sit and stir the rice for 40 minutes as it absorbs the loyal ingrediants.

TA-DAH!

Rice-cooker-rice-pudding.

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For this recipe you need to have a decent rice cooker – I used my housemate’s rice cooker, it looks like this one –
rice cooker

Nothing too fancy, but its a great rice cooker nonetheless. I altered the rice pudding recipe from “how to cook everything” and came up with this sassy lady.

“Coconut rice pudding – because its just one of those days”

1 cup of short grain rice

1 1/2 cups of water

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 15 oz. can of lite coconut milk

1 /2 cup of milk

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup of sugar

Steps

1) Combine rice water and salt in the rice cooker bowl.

2) Push the cook button.

3) When the rice is done, fluff it, and stir in the remaining ingredients.

4) Push the cook button. This time as its cooking, open the cooker a few times to reincorporate all the ingredients. Cook until it reaches your desired rice pudding consistency.

Rocket science, right?

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Breakfast(s) of Champions

March 19, 2008

As much as I loved the Quaker Oats Peaches ‘n Cream instant oatmeal when I was a little kid, sometimes you’ve just got to have a little bit more. This oatmeal is made by cooking Quaker rolled oats on the stove top with half water / half apple cider, about a teaspoon of unsalted butter, and a sprinkle of good salt. Stir in the oats with a handful of dried cherries, a pinch of nutmeg, Cinnamon and the zest of one orange. While you are making the oatmeal, on the side roast a handful of chopped pecans.

When its finished, top with a drizzle of maple syrup and a bit of milk… Mmmm Mmmm.

Grown-Up Oatmeal

Sorry there is no recipe, but its pretty much self-explanatory.

Breakfast of Champions

This is another one of my favorite breakfasts. I haven’t made it in a while, and now that I have fresh no-knead bread in my pantry I’ll be sure to try it again.

Pretty simple no recipe required. Toast two slices of good bread (Zingerman’s day old semolina if you’re a snotty college kid in Ann Arbor) With a slice of fresh Mozzarella. Meanwhile, heat up a small skillet with a tsp. of olive oil and a dab of butter (raise the smoking point of the olive oil… get it?) Fry two eggs over medium and while they are cooking, sprinkle with dried basil and black pepper. You want the eggs well cooked but still runny. Anyways, Put a dollup of tomato sauce over the eggs, and enjoy.

My favorite part is when you bite into the yolk and it mixes in with the sauce and the cheese and the bread. Mmmm.

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No Knead Bread

March 19, 2008

Okay, I’m only a year behind the trend. But seeing that no-knead bread is sweeping the blogosphere, this is a bandwagon I’m happy to jump on.

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All together now: Oooh pretty!

Here’s the original recipe / Video of Marc Bittman from the New York Times learning how to make this bread at the Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan:

My only beef with this bread was that it was a bit too bland. Next time I make it I’m going to try the Cooks Illustrated version which calls for slightly higher salt and lager to boost the flavor. I think I’ll also try rolling the bread in sesame seeds to get that nice semolina-ishness.

Nic and I also made Guinness beef stew last night with the Cooks Illustrated: Best International Cookbook. It was very delicious, robust, and perhaps laced with testosterone. No cream of mushroom needed! But I umm, forgot to take pictures. Whoops.

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1 page down 64 to go!

March 9, 2008

I have a lot of writing before I graduate… Too much, I’ll likely die of exhaustion. But since I’m a glutton for procrastination…
1.What is your occupation?
I’ll be graduating fro U of M in May – I’m desperately trying to get a research job at an Industrial/Product Design firm. My frustration at the fact that nobody ever mentioned what you could with design (and fallow my fourth grade dream of being an Inventor AND an artist on the side) Knows no bounds. Especially given that now I could have a bachelors in ID rather than a PolSci/History dual major from the angry sadistic pretentious tenured Professors at U of M who enjoy making my life a living hell the semester before I graduate with two majors I’ll never use. Angry much? Yeah, a little.
2. What color are your socks right now?
Gray with purple blue and green hearts!
3. What are you listening to right now?
The soundtrack from Ratatouille. What an awesome movie!
4. What was the last thing that you ate?
I just had lunch so: leftover Pad Thai I made with Nic, an orange, and a chocolate chip cherry cookie.
5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yup, my mom and dad taught me on their Jeep Wrangler before I was allowed to touch an automatic.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Yellow-green
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Mom
9. Favorite drink?
Non-alcoholic would be French press coffee, alcoholic would be a good Belgian beer or a G&T
10. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Michigan Football (Go Blue!)
11. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Yup, every year I was on the swim team in High School, four years of awkward growing out stages.
12. Pets?
Someday I’ll have a huge dog, until then I’ve got my ivy plant Verna.
13. Favorite food?
Can’t pick
14. Last movie you watched?
Across the Universe – It was “artsy” in the bad way, cool visuals with no continuity and bad bad acting.
15. Favorite Day of the year?
Thanksgiving, you come together as a family without the pretense of gifts – while sharing a whole bunch great, and not so great culinary traditions.
16. What do you do to vent anger?
Bitch and moan, become cynical and sarcastic.
17. What was your favorite toy as a child?
My fisher price kitchen set.
18. What is your favorite, fall or spring?
Spring, because everything is alive again.
19. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs
20. What kind of pie?
Pecan pie with ice cream!
21. Living arrangements?
Shitty college house… no comments.
22. When was the last time you cried?
The other day when I was stressed out about school.
23. What is on the floor of your closet?
My stash of yarn, dirty clothes hamper, discarded shoes.
24. Favorite smell?
I like nutmeg and bread baking in the oven.
25. What inspires you?
Pretty things.
26. What are you afraid of?
I have an irrational fear of starfish and long toenails
27. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers?
Cheese!
28. Favorite car?
Our beat-up volvo station wagon. I LOVE station wagons.
29. Favorite cat breed?
Gross, I’ll take any large dog that can eat your favorite cat breed.
30. Number of keys on your key ring?
4: House key, room key, bike key, guitar case key
31. How many years at your current job?
Two years as a lifeguard for Michigan recsports, I just quit though, goodbye, we’ll meet again.
32. Favorite day of the week?
Saturday
33. How many states have you lived in?
Two: California and Michigan
34. How many countries have you been to?
Only Canada, studying abroad is for rich kids.

That’s it, Sweatergirl

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Cooking Indian food with my Sous Chef

March 5, 2008

Last night Nic and I made Indian food! Using my AMAZING international cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen we managed to make some pretty delicious Chicken Tikka Masala accompanying some homemade Naan – delicious! Here is the Chicken Tikka Masala simmering in my flamed orange Crueset, one of my favorite pretty kitchen things.
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So maybe Indian food isn’t the prettiest, I however, think its heavenly. Naan is traditionally cooked in a stone tandoori oven. Seeing as I don’t have a tandoori oven readily available, my cookbook suggested that I use a super hot cast iron skillet on my stove top. It seemed to do the trick nicely.
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The dough is a simple combination of flour, yeast, water, olive oil, sugar, and yogurt. I kneaded it in my kitchen-aid and let it rise while I was at class. Then you punch it and separate it into 8 balls and let them rest. Once you are ready to make them you roll them into 6″ circles, stretch out a bit, and throw them onto the super hot skillet.
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Note the cute boy and the nasty college kitchen in the background – its a dichotomy of juxtapositions.
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Et Voila!
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After dinner was ready we enjoyed our favorite pastime of making fun of the “chef personalities” on Food Network – Namely Rachel Ray. Her stoup and sammies can’t touch this.

I have a ton of cilantro to use up – stay tuned for Thai food!

Ciao, Sweatergirl