Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick Or Treat!


Now that's clever! Follow the links for instructions.

David Leibovitz gives us proof that the Italians know how to get their ghost on.

HISTORY OF CANDY CORN ... mmmm, candy corn ...
Surprisingly interesting, to me anyway.

More Halloween goodies can be found over at Happy Catholic.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

When You Don't Have Any Shrimp Paste

Believe it or not, this actually is something I've done but just from guesswork. *pats self on shoulder*
Also known as bagoong, blacang, kapi, and terasi. Pungent seasoning paste made from fermented shrimp.

Substitute 1 tsp shrimp paste with:
  • 1 mashed anchovy filet (less pungent)
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste (less pungent)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

When You Don't Have Any Gianduja

A.K.A. Nutella. Mmmm, Nutella. This is such a favorite in our household with the girls that a spoonful often is dessert. After converting a few of Hannah's friends a jar or two of Nutella made a perfect going-away gift when they left for college.
Substitute 1 cup gianduja with:
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (omits chocolate and hazelnut flavors)
  • 3 ounces or 1/2 cup milk chocolate and 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, cashew butter, or almond butter; melt in a double boiler and stir until smooth.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Broccoli Beef

I can't believe I haven't shared this recipe before now. So simple, so delicious, and it even makes Rose like broccoli. I wish I could remember which cookbook it came from but there you go ... I've forgotten.

As with most Chinese food in our house, I serve this with what the girls call "sticky rice" which translates to Jasmine rice or Calrose medium grain sushi rice. Mmmm, it makes cleaning plates a pain but it is soooo good!

Step 1:

1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3/4 pound sirloin, thinly sliced

Marinate beef: combine all until cornstarch is dissolved. Stir beef gently in marinade until coated. Let stand 10 minutes.

Step 2:
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

Prepare sauce by mixing all together.

Step 3:
1/2 pound broccoli florets or gai lan

Cook broccoli in a small pot of boiling water until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Step 4:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Heat wok over high heat until hot. Add oil and heat. Stir-fry beef until no longer pink, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.

Add sauce and broccoli and bring to a boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scoop contents of wok onto a serving platter and serve immediately.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Weekend Joke

This doctor always got really stressed out at work. So every day on his way home, he'd stop and see his friend Dick the bartender.

Dick would know the doctor was coming, and he'd have an almond daiquiri ready for him. The doctor would come in and have his almond daiquiri and go home.

One day Dick ran out of almonds, and he thought, "Well, the doctor won't know the difference."

So he cut up a hickory nut and made a daiquiri with it. When the doctor came by, Dick put the drink in front of him.

The doctor took a sip and said, "Is this an almond daiquiri, Dick?"

And Dick said, "No, it's a hickory daiquiri, Doc."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What Does Christmas Taste Like?

The Anchoress and Buster found out when they encountered Baked Oatmeal. I am not kidding when I say my mouth was watering reading her description and then reading the linked recipe. This I've gotta try!

Now Serving Hot Links

Were you ever reading an Agatha Christie mystery and wondered what the heck they were slicing up for tea? Seed cake? What? Baking for Britain has pictures and a recipe. I have to say that a cake flavored with caraway seeds seems like an acquired taste but maybe my "mind's palate" is off here.

Cooking with Amy has all about walnuts including helpful suggestions about how to use them. I don't need any suggestions. My only problem is how to stop eating them once I start!

This has to be one of the most wonderful photos of a marshmallow ever. Maybe it's the chocolate coating. Maybe it's the fact that they are French candy shop marshmallows. If marshmallows don't appeal, check out this more substantial post about French honey.

The Dallas Morning News' annual cookie contest is officially open. If you live in the Dallas area you might want to give it a shot. All proceeds go to charity and the prizes are gift certificates from Central Market.

The Old Foodie has a diverting tale of presidency and teetotaling in the White House.

It's scientifically proven report the Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down folks.

When You Don't Have Any Garam Masala

Scintillating blend of toasted ground spices that originated in northern India. Many variations exist. Garam masala is added to a dish toward the end of the cooking or sprinkled on top just before serving.

If you don't have it
Substitute 1 tbsp garam masala with:
1 tbsp Homemade Basic Garam Masala: Combine 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp cardamom seeds (scraped from pods), 1/2 tsp whole cloves, and two 3-inch cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces) in a skillet. Toast over medium heat, shaking often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. let cool, then grind in a spice grinder. Makes about 1/4 cup.

To save time
Substitute 1 tbsp garam masala with:
1 tbsp Homemade Quick Garam Masala: Combine 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. Toast spices just before using. Makes about 1 tablespoon.
I know which one I'd do ... the quick version ... although I'm sure the other with whole spices is much superior. That's just how lazy I am, what can I say?