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Fabulous Imaginary Menu!

My chef friend is conducting a survey for his culinary school course. Please take it?

It involves selecting items from a fabulous, fictional menu. It's also very short.


Oatmeal Cookies

3 cups quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the egg substitute, corn syrup and vanilla; mix well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS OR THEY WILL STICK. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cookie equals 101 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated fat), trace cholesterol, 47 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g protein.

Surf & Turf

So, I have in my possession a package containing two (frozen) filet mignons and two lobster tails. The filet mignons I can cook, no problem. My question is concerning the lobster tails. I have no experience with cooking lobster - in fact, I have never even eaten a lobster tail in my life.

Can anyone share with me some tips on how to cook these things?


Opinions, please

Alright. With my tax returns, I've been thinking about buying some super awesome cookware (since all I have is the stuff from Goodwill and other assorted thrift shops). I've heard about the oozing glory of stainless steel. And I've heard that nonstick pans are better than stainless steel, so I'm posing a question to anyone who cooks with them. Which do you think is better, and why? I've heard that you need a lot of oil when cooking with stainless steel. And, for those of you with stainless steel, how do you keep them shiny clean? Or, is there maybe something else out there that I'm not aware of? Recommendations of your favorite cooking brands would also be appreciated. Thanks for helping with my research!

x-posted like, everywhere else.

For the tea lovers out there...

I'm a tea addict, so when I noticed that my favorite place to order from was offering $5 gift certificates to new customers, I thought I'd share with other foodie types.  I checked and it's a genuine gift certificate - so you can use it on anything, big or small - no limitations except that you have to be a first time customer.

This place is called Adagio Teas (www.adagio.com) - their teas are simply awesome and they offer free shipping on orders over $50/flat rate $3.95 on anything under that. Much better deal (and much tastier) than any bagged/boxed tea you'll ever find in the store.

They've got some pretty awesome items, including the ingenuiTEA pot + Tea Sampler - (You may have heard of this, it's sold a number of places.) It's a personal 16oz tea pot that fits over your cup. Drop in tea, let steep, place over cup to release tea. Best bit is if you buy it from them under the gifts section, you get free tea instead of just the tea pot.

There's tea sample tins and sample packages. ~$2 to try new tea = win. $8-$12 to try 5 new teas = double win.

Oh and my favorite: Make your own tea blends which is the main reason I buy from this place. You can combine up to three teas into your own personal blend - 4oz for $10. I haven't seen something like this anywhere else, I'm sure some other place has it but their pricing likely beats any others you'll find. 4oz may seem like a tiny bit, but put it into perspective: 1 BOX, that's 18-20 bags, of major brand tea is about 1-1.5oz - that includes the paper tea bags. So... 4oz = equivalent of 3-4 boxes of *customized* tea? 100% Made of Awesome.

The other bit? They offer refills for tins. Keep your tin, order a refill for it and it's $0.50-$2 less than the original tin. Has to be a 4 or 8oz tin, they don't offer it on samples or bags but if you're a repeat offender, it's nice to have that extra bit of savings.

If you're interested, I'll toss you the cert. Just reply with an email, or send me an email at anam_chara *at* livejournal *dot* com.

Mexican Baked Chicken

This was so good, the kids asked me to make it 2 nights in a row!!

Chicken parts of your choice, I used boneless breasts

Bread Crumbs seasoned with:
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
(I never measure anything so use your best judgement)

Coat chicken (no need for egg wash or flour but you can if you want)

Bake to 140 degrees

Top with Taco Sauce (I used leftover packets from Taco Bell :P)

Continue baking to 160 degrees

Top with cheddar cheese

Bake until cheese is melted and chicken is at 165 degrees

Serve w/ sour cream and accept compliments graciously :D

Puffy Pumpkin Cookies

I found this recipe somewhere (pretty sure it was from http://picky-palate.com/) , decided I had to try it and now I'm addicted. I might have had a couple of these for breakfast this morning even...

I blame both the soft cake-like texture and the frosting for this, especially the cream cheese-pumpkin butter frosting. They are... divine.

Just make sure you have a 1 tbsp cookie scoop. Trying to scoop the batter by hand made me run out to the store and buy one. Oh and these really need to be stored in the fridge if you're going to keep them for a while.

Puffy Pumpkin Cookies
½ Cup butter
1 Cup sugar
½ Cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 15oz can pumpkin (the small size, not the giant size)
2 ½ Cups flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Completely Awesome Frosting:
6 oz light cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 Tablespoons Pumpkin Butter
2 ¼ Cups powdered sugar
Cinnamon to sprinkle on top

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars in a stand or electric mixer until creamy. Slowly add eggs and pumpkin, mixing until well combined.
2. Place flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Slowly add to wet mixture on low speed until just combined. With a cookie scoop, drop onto parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes. Let cool completely.
3. Whisk cream cheese and butters in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in powdered sugar until smooth. You might need to add a few drops water if it's too thick. Frost cooled cookies and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

makes about 3 dozen

Note: You can omit the butter from the cookies and use applesauce for a lighter texture, I did and it worked well. I also used half whole wheat and half regular flour. However, the frosting needs its butter, if you don't have pumpkin butter you can use all regular butter (or do what I did, say screw regular butter and use all pumpkin! -Thank you Trader Joe's.)

a new favorite

rum/bourbon balls

2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup rum or bourbon
1/2 cup crushed pecans (i use a food processor)
1/2 cup chopped raisins (ditto with the food processor)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

i find the crushing the 'nilla wafers with a mortar and pestle works well (though tires your arm). mix all of the above ingredients except the sugar and chill for 1 hour. put the powdered sugar in a pan. roll 1" balls of the mixture and place in pan with sugar, then rock pan back and forth to spread sugar on the balls. i find that somewhere between 5-10 works best, but it will depend on the size of pan you are using. place balls on wax paper with enough space so they don't touch too much (which will make them stick together). fabulous with coffee or black tea.

Israeli Donuts for Hanukkah

While most European and N. American Jews make Latkes, in Israel they tend to make fried donuts (Sufganiyot) instead as part of their Hanukkah celebration. I make both.

Credit for both recipes comes from: http://www.jewishfood-list.com

Sufganiyot, Yerushalmi-StyleCollapse )

Sufganiyot, Oven-FriedCollapse )


Happy Hanukkah to those others who celebrate! Festival of lights, and fried tasty goodness.

Per request from farawaypoints , one traditional Latke recipe, with a few options for variations and a dessert Latke that I fell in love with last year.

Potato LatkesCollapse )

Apple LatkesCollapse )


Serving even the nerdiest palates

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January 2011


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