Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I falafel lazy right now.

I should be reading for politics right now, but I'm in food mode (when am I not?). All photos in the entry, except for the last phone pic I lazily snapped tonight, were shot by the lovely Yoonis. Mad props to her and her never-ending need to take photos.

Sometime during the week, we made tilapia en papillote and pasta with peas. En papillote ("in parchment") is a method of baking/steaming. All you do is place the ingredients on a piece of parchment paper and crimp the parchment edges together to create a neat little parcel.

Sunday evening, to celebrate the Sabbath (SHABBATTTTT!), we made falafel and tzatziki-esque sauce. Some homemade flatbread, local greens from the farmer's mkt, and a fruit platter (yum, thx angela) completed the meal. I really enjoyed this dinner; good food in good company (yoonis, diana, angela :D). I love them girlies!

Our first batch was a delicious failure though. We didn't add enough flour.

Don't mind the ink on my thumb nail. I got bored. Also, I just want to point out to the world that my pinky looks like a nub from this angle. Hehe!

And tonight, we had cupcakes from scratch. This is no easy feat for me, you guys. Like I've mentioned before, I'm REALLY bad at baked desserts. Like, embarrassingly bad, like omg bad enough to go with this valley girl speech impediment. These cupcakes were moist and light. I used this vanilla cupcake recipe as the base, then I added a tsp of pure lemon extract (add 1.5tsp next time) and swirled in about 3 heaping spoonfuls of homemade cranberry sauce (add a lot more next time). Eunice whipped up some cream and folded in more cranberry sauce. So good, I must say!

Random food fact (via wikipedia): "A common misconception about cranberry production is that the beds remain flooded throughout the year. During the growing season, cranberry beds are not flooded, but are irrigated regularly to maintain soil moisture."


Monday, April 19, 2010

Hongry pig is hongry

Fo' mac and cheeeeeeesssseeeee!

The first and last time I tried to make macaroni and cheese from scratch was a FAIL. I think it was last summer or fall. I made it at CLiu's and the recipe I followed called for way too much roux and not enough saltiness. What resulted was a bland, goopy/grainy sad excuse for mac and cheese. But tonight I redeemed myself, and no one was around to witness it. Surprisingly, this took less time (20 min) and less effort AKA I didn't follow a recipe or measure anything.

I had made parsley garlic butter over the weekend for flatbread, so I used that for my roux. After making a standard roux, I whisked in milk followed by sharp cheddar and an unnecessary slice or two of American cheese (just for fun, and just to tick off foodies). A few turns of fresh cracked black pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper, optional garlic and onion powder, and deliciousness ensued. Cheesy, creamy, flavorful deliciousness.

I'm not averse to the blue box stuff, but I've gotta say that this was much better :)

Random food fact of the day (it's the COMEBACK, OOOOH!): Annatto, a reddish derivative of the achiote tree, is commonly used to color many cheeses such as Cheddar. Paprika is also used.