27 April, 2009

why we can't go into wholefoods to "just see what they have"

"oh look, they have sample sizes of cheese..."
and so we ended up having an improntu cheese tasting
The results:
**** We both ranked the Drunken Goat at the top; it was mild,
rather soft, and not overly salty.
**** Banik's other favourite was the Pyrennes, which I also liked.
**** My other favourite was the Hoch Ybrig, which smells
questionable but tastes good.
*** The Aussie Jack is a good, versatile Jack that we might use
in other things.
*** The Cotswold has chives in it, and might be good in something.
* The Habanero Cheddar was mostly just hot and didn't taste
particularly awesome.
* The Sottocenere has a nasty rind, and although Banik is fine
the cheese itself with it I think it just tastes like mold.
The sourdough is good. Maybe we'll have to try making a starter again...

26 April, 2009

Fried Calamari

This plate of calamari is the the only thing we have to show for over an hour of cleaning and prepping and cooking half a box of whole squid. They were delectible with a little red sauce, and eating them took far less time than prepping them.

The little tentacles were both crunchy and pleasantly chewy. They are my favourite part.

25 April, 2009

pork burritos with mole sauce

These things were not only awesome fresh but also cold the next morning for breakfast. We just put them on a plate, topped them with baby spinach, tomatoes, and crumbled queso blanco.

The mole sauce was made from:
- 1/2 jar Dona Maria green mole sauce
- a costco-size package of mushrooms, chopped and sauted
- salt added to above cooking mushrooms
- 2c. water
- 1T. chicken bouillon

The burritos themselves were made of:
- wheat tortillas
- refried beans
- seasoned pork, roughly shredded
- queso blanco

cuban-american panini

Like the Reubans that we posted a while back, we also made something that's sort of like a Cuban but not really. For lack of better terminology, I called it a Cuban American. They were pretty good sandwiches, and though we don't have a recipe I can tell you that to make one you can stack (read down as you stack up):
- wheat bread bottom
- boar's head american cheese
- chunks of pork
- a couple slices of speck (which is similar to prosciutto)
- homemade thousand island dressing for which there isn't really a recipe yet
- well-drained sourkraut
- dill pickle slices on Banik's sandwich
- more homemade thousand island
- wheat bread top

24 April, 2009

and obligatory cat pictures

Shade likes places that are warm and has taken to lying under the radiator in the bathroom. Someone (not me) put an old pair of lounge pants down there so he would also be insulated from the cold, cold tile.

And a rare macro of Chewbacca, who is like some sort of ninja at avoiding the camera sometimes. He can be completely asleep, but if you get out the camera he becomes a blur...

Aftershock Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour selected pan (see below).

Start with:
1 chocolate cake mix + its ingredients, prepared loosely as directed
- devil's food with pudding in the mix works very well
- use milk instead of water
- replace half the oil with applesauce

Then stir in:
- 1c. chocolate chips
- 1c. flaked coconut
- 1c. chopped nuts

Pour into prepared pan, then use a hand mixer to beat together:
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese
- 2c. powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese first to loosen it up, then add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Be sure to start on a low setting so the powdered sugar doesn't fly out of the bowl, and scrap the sides regularly because the cream cheese likes to stick. The end mixture should be smooth and moderately thick. Spoon this over the chocolate cake mix in an irregular pattern; go all the way to the edges.

There are two tested pan sizes for this cake, and both are great for different things.
- 9x13 bakes for 45-50 minutes. It comfortably feeds 15-18 people, and gives everyone lots of topping.
- 12x18 bakes for 30-35 minutes. It feeds a large number of people, and there is variation for people to select if they want more chocolate cake or more topping.

The top picture shows the cooled cake, but as you can see just above it doesn't start to fall until after it comes out of the oven. It had actually started to collapse already in the 60 seconds or so between the cake leaving the oven and the picture being taken. The obligatory closeup is below.

This recipe is derived from the Earthquake Cake made by my great-grandmother Scelena Brown. Enjoy.

20 April, 2009

New Things

Good morning everyone.

It's been a bit since we've posted, and I'll pretend it's been because we've been pretty busy. In any case, here's one of the things that we've been into, as of late.

So for a couple nights a week for the past couple weeks, we've been learning how not to kill ourselves underwater. It's been quite an adventure. We'll finish with the opening portions this week sometime, and then have to do 3 open-water qualification dives to get our certifications.

Personally, I'm looking forward to collecting some tasty lobsters, clams, or other tasty denziens of the deep. There's also spearfishing, but we'll have to see how that is around here.

Anyway, all in good fun.