Friday, April 30, 2010

Pita pita pita



Tennis and laundry and sheet-changing and engineering design happened today...this supper was a simple but delicious end, especially when combined with Anton's wine.

We fried up:

chicken breast
olive oil
lemon juice
garlic salt
pepper

and added it to a pita bread with:

cucumbers
spinach
radicchio (interesting experimental purchase...)
scallions

Yum.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baked Artichokes

Baked this in a cute little ramekin:

4 artichoke hearts
1 tomato, diced
olive oil
lime juice
salt
pepper
oregano

Don't know how long I kept them in there for; I was making truffles and blabbing incessantly at the same time. But they were tasty mixed with Simon's garlic chicken mix and some rice!

Truffles for Nana


Nana's first love in life is dark chocolate, so I decided to try out these truffles for her birthday party. They were puuuurdy simple! I beat:

3/8 c. cream cheese
1 c. confectioner's sugar

to get this mix:



and then beat in:

1 c. melted Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla

and then refrigerated it for an hour. Took it out and rolled it into one-inch balls, and rolled it in

confectioner's sugar
rainbow sprinkles
walnuts

They came out a lot more intact than I envisioned...









Late Dinner

Class ended at 10 PM again; I'm sure whoever scheduled that winner is chuckling quietly with their hot cocoa right now...

But the point is, I had to have dinner. Bean has been strangely motivated lately in the bread-making department, so I used up our old spinach and an egg (and a fresh basil leaf and salt and pepper and butter) and made a scrambled egg mess. On top of the bread went Provolone cheese and spinach.

And it was damn good.


As soon as this was over I spent too many minutes making this card for my Nana; I'm going home for her birthday festivities this weekend, and for some hardcore fiddle playing with the gurls in Amherst.


Monday, April 26, 2010

CWAH-SANTS!


I guess if I'd thought about it I would have realized that there's no way creating a flaky, butter-filled pastry like this would be easy...but I decided to embark solo on the project anyway the other night while the household was quietly snoozing to some big-screen magic.

Preparation went like this. In a bowl, combine:

1 c. flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 packet yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1 c. warm water
1 tbsp softened butter

Mix these thoroughly; I had to do it by hand since we lack a mixer (but somehow I wouldn't have it any other way). Then stir in:

up to 1 1/2 c. flour

until a soft-ish dough is formed. Knead for a few minutes, and let rise in a greased bowl for 45 minutes. Take it out, punch it down, and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

This next part was where it got laborious. Luckily I had Hannah around to amuse me with girl talk and other such inanities. First, 1 entire effing cup of butter had to be "massaged" until it became soft, but not melted. Then, roll the dough into a rectangle and spread precisely one-quarter of the butter over the top. Fold the rectangle in thirds, and roll out again; spread more butter. Repeat this until the last butter has been applied, and put the rolled-in-thirds dough back in the fridge overnight!







We went to sleep, and dreamed some dreams, and walked blearily back the next morning to prepare. We rolled the dough out easily into about a fourteen-inch square, and cut it first in quarters and then in eighths (by creating two triangles out of each quarter). Then we simply rolled up each triangle starting from the wide end.

We let these cool in the fridge for another half hour, and then took them out, brushed them with beaten egg, and baked them at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. They rose scarily in the oven; when we took them out I was astonished by how beautifully puffed and flaky they were; soft and buttery and mmmmmmmm.

















It was breakfast, after all, so an egg sandwich was necessary. The mission was to recreate this sandwich from our beloved Mocha Blend, so we mixed up:

4 eggs / milk / salt / pepper / basil

These scrambled with spinach were delicious, and I suppose worth waiting 3 hours after waking for breakfast. Also, the housemates seemed to love them...


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sean's Birthday :D

Mary's confetti cake :DIt was Sean's birthday yesterday -- he's a man everyone seems to adore (although, for good reason). His sister Mary came over to make him a confetti cake from a box, with rainbow frosting and a Jiggly Puff drawn in pink icing on the top. It was a sugary and surprising dessert, and delicious, although I'd pick chocolate cake any day (which may explain my not-quite-whole slice).


Friday, April 23, 2010

Avocado Fudge (and a Milkshake)

The avocado from yesterday was due (more than ever) to rot, and after some searching I found this seemingly unlikely fudge recipe from allrecipes.com.

First, blend together:

1 avocado
1/4 c. butter

and simmer over low heat until melted. Then add:

1/4 c. Irish cream liqueur
1 c. cocoa mix (I used Ghirardelli)
3 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar

The recipe required 1 c. of melted chocolate chips; we didn't have any, so I used half each of two 90% and 99% Lindt dark chocolate bars that Jeremy had neglected in the back of the pantry. These were melted and mixed in, and then the goop was poured into a tinfoil-lined tupperware and put in the freezer.

It took longer than the advertised hour to solidify, but it was surprisingly delicious, and no trace of avocado could be detected. I really think this was an improvement on regular chocolate fudge, because it was not quite so unbearably sweet.
































Afterwards I also made this refreshing (to da max) milkshake:

1/2 c. coffee ice cream
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. Irish cream
1 c. pumpkin spice coffee
a few ice cubes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(Kind of) Burritos


Was hungry hungry today because my class got out at 10 PM. Since, however, I had this avocado to use up, I had to be patient with the meal, but it was pleasing as ever to concoct alone in the kitchen -- it never ceases to be relaxing.

So!

This made two tiny burritos. I mashed up all of these ingredients in a bowl:

1/4 avocado
1/4 c. pinto beans (mashed)
1/2 c. white rice
scoop of salsa
red pepper flakes
garlic
salt

I also had pita pockets in the fridge, so I carefully sliced one in half (which turned out to the most difficult part of the meal) and wrapped the burritos in them. Then I fried them in a pan with Simon's leftover fried egg butter and some cooking spray. They were hot and GOOD.

















Keep in mind that this is how burritos must be assembled:



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Breadbowl!

Breadbowls are the most delicious thing on all of Panera Bread's menu, so Simon and I decided to try making them tonight. It was a lot of work, and took longer than expected, but it was definitely well worth it.


To make, dissolve a packet of yeast in 1 1/4 c. warm water. When it has reacted, add:

1 tsp salt
1 tbsp (+) olive oil
3 1/2 c. flour (added in stages)

We kneaded that for a few minutes, and let it rise in an oiled bowl for about 45 minutes. Took it out, punched it down, and separated it into four pieces. After letting it rise 45 minutes more, we realized they weren't big enough for a meal, so we massacred one and split it up between its brothers so that there were three total. It rose beautifully and we brushed it with a mixture of egg white and water before putting it in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

While it was baking, we cut up

one carrot
bunch of spinach
garlic cloves

and put them in a pot to simmer with

water
chicken bouillon
basil
bay leaves
red pepper flakes
salt / pepper

When the 15 minutes were up, we brushed more egg mixture on the loaves and put them back in for 15 more. We dumped some tortellini in the soup at the exact moment of bread removal, so that the soup would be done when the loaves were cooled. Then we excavated those bitches, ladled in the soup, and went to town.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cinnamon Buns

Bean got it into his head that we were going to wake up early and let ourselves in to Jeremy's house and cook up some cinnamon buns for everybody's breakfast. By the time we got over here, though, it was 2 PM and it was more of an afternoon tea.

We made the dough the night before, from Alton Brown's overnight cinnamon bun recipe, which we changed slightly for lack of ingredients or otherwise:

4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 c. sugar
6 tbsp melted butter
3/4 c. milk
4 c. flour
1 package yeast
sprinkle salt

Upon returning here in the morning, we made the topping, which was simply:

1 c. brown sugar
sprinkle salt
sprinkle cinnamon

It was surprisingly easy to roll out the dough, and then we spread 2 tbsp of melted butter over the top and pressed the topping into it with our hands. Rolling it up was a team process; and when the roll was cut into pieces they threatened to lose bun integrity. But we shoved them in the oven and hoped for the best. After 30 minutes at 350 degrees, they had risen beautifully and were golden brown and seriously just wonderful.

For glaze, we whipped:

1/4 c. cream cheese
3 tbsp milk
~2 c. confectioner's sugar

I am fairly certain the entire house rejoiced.




Friday, April 16, 2010

Oatmeal(ish) Bread

We made bread tonight, and it was something like

1 c. warm water
0..25 oz yeast
1 c. bread flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
some amount of oatmeal
some brown sugar

We let it rise twice, which was tough because I wanted it NOW NOW NOW. But it was worth the wait -- perfectly sweet and then

we put it on sandwiches with avocado slices and provolone cheese, and eggs in Simon's case. Geez, just so good.



Thursday, April 15, 2010

French Loaf

Simon made a baguette, and I made the slightly-old remnants into a deliciously toasted tomato + spinach + provolone sandwich.

I think his bread-making skills are improving.

Riverdance

I drove home for our much-awaited trip to Worcester to see Riverdance. I'd seen it once before with my then-boyfriend Andrew, and it was beautiful; but the experience was somewhat dampened by the fact that he didn't enjoy it. This time was completely perfect, because we-the-sisters all love the show and can feel our hearts beat along with freaking all of it. Moth and Fath are less attached to it, but I do believe they had a grand time too. It's good, too, for all six of us to be once again together in these college-ridden times.

We went to Funky Murphy's, which is a regular pub-type place apparently frequented by mostly young people. Fath and I split a chicken pesto wrap (which we both agreed was bland) and a seafood-pasta dish. Squid included...


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fish Boooowl
































Hannah and I were in the mood for a girly (to da max) drink, so I went shopping for various ingredients during the day, and we partied during the night. Here's what was in the fishbowl:

Pebbles:
nerds (Easter present from Ear)
chewy sweet tarts

Water:
blue vodka
sprite ($0.88 Pricechopper brand)
orange tangerine juice

Fish:
Juju fish

At first, it was a very bland drink. But as the sugar melted, it got very strong indeed. Eventually we finished it and sat down to play Parcheesi while I ate all of the vodka-soaked candy. Sugar....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pig Cookies

These cookies were supper one night; I got out of class at 10 PM and didn't feel like making real food. Consequently, of course, too many were consumed by me...

I made two batches of the following recipe, but to one I added a bag of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, which Bean had purchased to make muffins with (HA!).


Cream:

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar

Add:

2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

And then:

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
a sprinkle of salt

The plain sugar cookies were allowed to cool for about an hour, which made them very easy to roll out and shape with the pig-and-man cookie cutters which I pilfered so long ago from my parent's house. Less than 24 hours later, all of the chocolate chip cookies are long gone, and a few lonely pigs linger on the kitchen counter.

Artichoke Hearts

are strange roses.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cookout

Meg wanted to have an apartment cookout, so we dragged the grill and some chairs and a guitar outside, and invited Ryan over to partake in the sun and shine. But halfway through, the charcoal got cold, the sun went down, and the burgers did not cook. So, merrily enough, we lugged everything back upstairs and continued the festivities there. Meg made some delicious concoction of broccoli + gluten-free crackers + cheese, and the burgers came out pretty good; we put some interesting curry sauce on the top for flavoring. All in all it was a good meal, beginning and ending with some cheap wine and good budsies who I see far too rarely...



Saturday, April 3, 2010

Subway

"Flatbread" sounds like it can't help but be delicious; I tried a veggie one today and was severely disappointed. The flavor reminded me of perhaps plastic.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Blackberry Muffins

On a far-off field in our farm, there are millions of native blue and blackberries. They're a bitch to pick, but they're good good good. SO! I took a bag of them (frozen) back to school when I went home for the weekend. With them I made these blackberry muffins, and when I announced my plans, Hannah immediately yelled at me for cooking with baking powder during Passover. Apparently that means more for us...

Cream:

1/2 c. butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Beat in 2 eggs.

Add mixture of:

1 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Alternately with 1/2 c. milk.

When mixed, add in 2 cups of delicious farm-fresh blackberries. Then fill the muffin cups 3/4 full or so, and sprinkle the tops with a mixture of:

1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter (cubed)





































The first batch swelled a little too much, and Jers seemed to think my knife-tactic of removing them from the pan too terrifying to watch -- he insisted upon taking over and ever-so-gently coaxing them out of their pans, all the while staring disapprovingly around him.

They came out un-pretty, but they taste good -- although this household seems to like cookies far more than anything slightly out of the ordinary. Sugar cookies are next! For Easter, you see.