Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

I’m a HIPPO!!

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

My original post title was I’m a hippie… then I made a typo. Then I corrected it. Then I decided Hippo was funnier. Anyway, last night, I sat down and started writing things, and almost all of those things fell under the common theme of me being a treehugger. It has progressed into a sort of slideshow. Exhibit A: The most explicit evidence.

Exhibit B: Picture of my floor. I literally just stood up and took a picture. Plaid, Birkenstocks, balls of yarn. Yeah..

Furthermore, Exhibit C: My Dinner. I know pictures of delicious cooking are usually V’s territory, but guess what – this bitch can cook too, ya hurd? Tonight, I made myself Hippie Smoked Trout Pasta, complete with onions, capers, and a cashew pesto sauce, all gluten free, all organic. I actually refrained from eating it for a whole ten minutes while my camera charged so I could take a picture of it for you.

Hardest ten minutes OF MY LIFE. But I was so proud! The whole thing is healthy as shit, and muchos delicious. Nom nom nom nom.

To further my case, yestermorning (it’s a word now because I said so) I finished knitting my new toque! The first one I made was getting a little stretched out, and also a little too heavy for our current spring that is hovering right around light-toque temperatures.

Anyway, to balance off all the treehugging, I present to you the anti-hippie-dessert: The Denny’s Maple Bacon Sundae. I almost want to try it out of curiosity. I mean, I just don’t know what to think of it. Logic states it shouldn’t exist. Could it possibly be any good? Stay tuned for a potential follow up post.

C ❤

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I’ve been floating around on a veritable cloud of joy the past two weeks, and I honestly think it’s largely due to the fact that it’s been sunny! Even though the weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating, temperature-wise, I’ve ditched the hobo clothes in favour of legging & dress combos and actually caring about how I look…and for the first time since we moved to Canada, I am fully OVER winter and its accompanying coldness. I’m done with you, winter. Seriously. It’s over.

To perk myself up further, I’ve been listening to Anberlin’s Dark is the Way, Light is a Place. The entire album is extraordinary, but this song, in particular, just puts a smile on my face:

So, I’m the happiest because of school working out, sports and the weather being reasonably nice, but then the plague comes along and shacks up in my body. Ugh. Every time I laugh, I start to make alarming hacking noises and subsequently lose a lung or two. Ugh. When I am sick, all I want to do is consume everything that I can, especially if it’s bad for me. This is the opposite of good news, as I’m working on losing weight to be a VOLLEYBALL MACHINE. So, how do I deal with this? Basically, I just made myself some healthy comfort food (?!), the recipe idea courtesy of Serious Eats: French Lentil & Barley Salad. I switched it up by removing the tapenade, lemon and oil, and by adding roasted cherry tomatoes and a few tablespoons of 5% sour cream to make the whole shebang super-creamy. I think I successfully fooled my body into thinking that I consumed total garbage. That, and the grilled pineapple I had for dessert was so incredibly sweet that it couldn’t have possibly been healthy. Mmm. Well-fed and happy!

Apparently, my plague cure is cooking? I don’t know. In any case, I made some coffee cake for the whole family, too:

Yeasted Chocolate Coffee Cake (recipe adapted from The Pastry Affair):

Dough
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus a pinch of granulated sugar
3/4 cup warm milk (I nuked it on high for about 70 seconds)
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick salted butter, room temperature

Fillin’
8 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used an assortment of chocolate found in my house)
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash

Instructions:
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar over the warm milk. Let stand until foamy (i.e. sit over the bowl like a creeper and watch the Saccharomyces get ‘er done).

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, the whole egg, and the egg yolk. Stir into the yeast mixture. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Add the salted butter and mix until the dough is soft and sticky.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, which is approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours (I cleaned my room in the meantime). I actually just threw my dough into our bread maker so that it’d mix the dough & knead the life out of it, so I avoided the mess that was to be Battle Dough, and I combined two steps into one.

In a small bowl, mix together the chocolate, brown sugar, and a cinnamon. Using a pastry blender fork, cut in the butter until the mixture is uniform. Reserve 1/2 cup for later use.

The next part is my favourite: punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is an 18-inch square. Brush the egg wash around the edge of the dough to make a 1-inch border. Spread the chocolate mixture (minus the 1/2 cup) evenly throughout the dough, leaving the border clean. Starting at one end, roll the dough tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch the edges closed. Fold the dough in half and twist 2-3 times. Place the dough into a greased loaf pan. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of filling over the top of the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow the dough to double in size, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the loaf for 55 minutes, or until the top is deeply golden. Transfer the masterpiece to a cooling rackplate and allow to cool completely. Make yourself a nice espresso, slice a piece off, and enjoy the sunshine on a lovely Saturday afternoon 🙂

NEXT TIME: Job hunt panic & more real life things.

Bis später!
-V


This week has been absolutely insane on the school front, and I’m pretty sure I have science leaking out the ears. To alleviate the agony, I’ve been practicing plating meals, even when I’m just making myself lunch. Here is an example:

This is chili chicken and cinnamon & cumin carrots grilled to perfection (FINALLY), served with polenta. I’ve also clearly been playing with the filters available on the Instagram application on my phone. It makes my photos look a touuuuch less ghetto, though adds a touch of pretension. Whatever! I like it.

There’s another tournament coming up this weekend, two labs, and exams loom…despite all this, I haven’t felt better in ages! The sun’s out, the weather’s getting warmer and I feel that I am going to rock everything. That’s right. BRING IT ON, WORLD. BRING IT ON.

Bis später!
-V

Now that I am pretty comfortable with the semester’s work, my crazy baking urges have returned. I had some spare time (read: I was pretending I had nothing to do) yesterday, so I decided to make dinner for the family. This is what happened:

I made a chicken & veg pasta casserole! I am continuing my adventures by baking some cookies for my OCVL team, as we have a game tonight. Since I only have to be in the lab for about 30 minutes today to do a presentation, I’ve got this 6 hour gap that could be better spent studying. Naturally, I’m going to bake some cookies. It makes sense, right? Or something.

Without further ado, I present to you…

The Oatmeal & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Loosely based on the recipe found at Love & Olive Oil)

Seeing as how I don’t actually believe in “measuring,” all the values were approximated using scientific eyeballing and tactile texture-sensing. 99% of the time, it works every time. All kidding aside, my (very picky) 15-year-old brother is currently trying to inhale multiple cookies at the same time, so I think this batch turned out well! As for me, the intoxicating smell of peanut butter is definitely still lingering in my house, and I feel drunk off of cookies. Awkward. There’s also the fact that I ate more dough than I baked, but that’s another matter entirely. The only complaint I’d have about this recipe is that it’s definitely lacking in oatmealy goodness, but that’s also to taste. Next time, I’m full-out going to double the oatmeal content and enjoy picking bits out of my teeth. It’s how I pick up all the men; you’re just jealous.

With a batch of deliciousness successfully delivered unto the Earth, I am off to get ready for my OCVL game tonight!

Bis später!
V

P.S. My lab partner and I KILLED the presentation; the TAs were impressed. V: 1, School: 0

Since there is no point in my life at which I stop thinking about food, I am a huge fan of cooking & baking blogs. For the most part, I will follow links to amazing recipes and be pretty loose, blog-wise, but there are a few that I will visit every single day, eagerly anticipating new posts.

Serious Eats

Covers all the different facets of food culture; food and drink, both recipes and restaurant reviews. Posts several times per day, so no matter when you’re bored, there’ll be new content to browse!

The Kitchn

The Kitchn is pretty recipe- and technique-centric, and I find I’ve learned a lot of little tips and tricks that make my kitchen adventures that much easier.In addition, they show cute, functional kitchens (readers’ kitchens, I presume) and review interesting new gadgets. Ace.

Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Two twenty-something New Yorkers cook up a storm! Very accessible recipes for us youth (hahaha) and great ideas for entertaining.

Love & Olive Oil

Classic, delicious savory recipes, but mind-blowingly delicious sweets. Chocolate cookie dough truffles? Heck yeah!

Not So Humble Pie

A lovely scientist in the kitchen. Her recipes can be a bit more complex, but man, are they ever appetizing.

So there you go! Enjoy drooling over recipes and learning things about cooking.