Tag Archives: picspam

August/Summer Wrap-Up … Butter Saffron Basmati Rice and Pepperoni Pizza Sourdough Bread Loaf

PICTURE HEAVY WARNING

Summer has been much too short. Of course, I didn’t get much accomplished. In fact, I can’t even remember the semi-ambitious plans I had made.

Next year, I’m going to have to make and post a list of To Do‘s to keep me on track.

I hope work calls are more frequent this fall than last year and that my insomnia doesn’t flare up again. Going to bed at 5am is a bad habit and I need to get my sleep patterns back on track if I keep getting 6am phone calls to work.

And now, for a quick clear out of dishes I’ve cooked and pictures that I haven’t shared in August. Posting should slow  down quite a bit as work starts again.

I made butter saffron basmati rice with which to serve some leftover green chicken curry.

Butter Saffron Basmati Rice – ~3 cups

1 cup basmati rice
1 1/3 cup water
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 tsp salt

Saffron garnish
pinch or two of saffron threads
2 tbsp boiling water

Combine the boiling water and the saffron threads in a small bowl/ramekin and set aside.

Cooking the rice:

Wash the rice in several changes of cold water and then pour into a colander and drain.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then add the drained rice. Saute for a minute or two. Add the water and salt to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to the minimum setting on your stove and cover.

Cook for 20 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the rice continue to steam for another 5-10 minutes.

Fluff with a fork. Every rice grain should be separate from every other. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle the saffron over the top.

Serve.

I tested the suggestion that using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour in my sourdough baking would give me better oven spring. The result did not bear that out but as I made some other changes to my ‘go to’ no-knead sourdough recipe, they’re not conclusive. The add-ins (1 oz diced hot pepperette, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1 tsp Italian herb seasonings), at least, gave me a very tasty, if flat, oval loaf of pepperoni pizza bread.

It was great as a dip for marinara sauce and toasted or plain, with butter, peanut butter or as a base for an open faced egg salad sandwich.

 

Mushroom and Tofu Egg Drop Miso Soup – It’s hard to take a nice picture of miso soup

A shrimp appetizer

Shrimp and Mushroom Scampi over home made Fettuccine pasta

Some breakfasts/lunches

 

Spicy pepperoni and mozzarella cheese stuffed omelette

Sourdough tortilla pizzas have been appearing often on my plate – from the classic pepperoni/mozzarella, with or without sweet peppers, Canadian bacon and fresh basil to pulled pork/bbq sauce to shrimp or mushroom on a base of shiso pesto. A bacon and mozzarella pizza made today isn’t pictured.

 

 

I was sure I had some fudgy chocolate cupcakes in the downstairs freezer for a quick dessert (even had a frosting idea that I was excited about) but then I had to scramble for a new plan when I discovered that I had eaten them all up, and all that was left were nine red velvet cupcakes. Making a cream cheese frosting was my immediate thought and, after weighing what was left of the last brick of Philly cream cheese (77 gm) in  my fridge, I searched my hard drive for one of the many ‘one day, I must try this’ frosting recipes that I could scale down. I was very pleased with the result … a thick, pipeable frosting with a touch of lemon juice to cut through the cloying sweetness of so many cream cheese frostings.

The last of the raspberry cupcakes with raspberry curd

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Sourdough Waffles

NOTE: I have two brilliant ideas for no churn ice cream flavours but they both involve going shopping first. This is why I keep putting off going out for sushi … I blow my bi-weekly budget on cooking things in my own kitchen. Bread baking is cheap when you already have a 20 kg bag of AP flour in the freezer.

I recently finished the last of the sourdough pancakes in my freezer and rather than making another batch, I decided to switch things up and make sourdough WAFFLES. As I’m basically a lazy cook, I looked for the simplest recipe on line. I even solicited a recipe on my sourdough FB groups. Although a number of people recommended the King Arthur flour recipe and a fellow blogger, from whom I ‘borrowed”, my sourdough tortilla and naan recipes, shared hers, they either had ingredients or time constraints that I wasn’t prepared to deal with. So, I went with a recipe I found at the “Serious Eats” website. You can use either active or discard starter.

I didn’t rewrite the instructions enough that I feel that I can post it here so you’ll have to go to the source for the recipe.

You may remember that my waffle maker is an OLD OLD clunker with reversible plates, no temperature controls and sticking issues. It took me almost the entire batch of waffle batter to get the waffles to release from the top plates, which were probably on the bottom the last time that I used them, more than a year ago.

The plates are made for rectangular waffles, but if you pour the batter in the center and hold back on a tablespoon or so, you can get round waffles.

NOTE TO SELF: 1/2 cup of batter, per each side of my waffle maker, cooked for 2 min 45 sec to 3 min, is perfect .

Some odds and ends I want to share … a steak quesadilla snack on my home made sourdough tortillas.

Or a steak breakfast burrito plate as good as in a restaurant.

I’ve been playing with plating my Hungarian cheese dumplings … honey and cheese is a great pairing.

A first attempt at slider buns with enriched dough. Some hamburger buns were made with the leftover dough.

Odds and Ends of Meals over the last 4 weeks

Warning: LOTS of pictures

I haven’t made anything post worthy in ages. Maybe the sourdough focaccia I made a few days ago. But, I’m sure you’ve had enough of my sourdough/bread posts. (Or, maybe, not.)

Still, a woman’s got to eat and I’ve been doing pretty well over the last 2-4 weeks.

I even made some Halloween themed sugar cookies and tried to decorate them. THAT was fun … NOT!

At least they tasted good.

Snacks like spicy salami, brie and quince paste on toasted crostini (I bought a baguette at the grocery store).

Various meals … mostly chicken (or turkey) and pork

Hot Italian sausage in a creamy blush sauce over shell pasta

Sourdough Tartine loaf toasted and topped with tuna or egg salad. A few pancakes with the sourdough starter discard. (The rest of the starter ended up in that focaccia, I mentioned.)

Basic Walnut Brownies and May Goodies

Sorry for the picspam. I wasn’t going to post the brownie recipe at all, just a soup recipe that I didn’t make until the beginning of June, but then I changed my mind about the brownie recipe. Then the post would have been HUGE, so I decided to throw all the May stuff in the same post.

Basic Walnut Brownies

Made with cocoa powder … just a touch overbaked. For the shiny crust, use melted chocolate/chocolate chips.

Basic Walnut Brownies – makes 16 squares

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter**, softened
pinch of salt
1 cup white granulated sugar, or brown sugar if preferred
1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

** Margarine may be used though in that case, you don’t have to add the salt. You can also use salted butter if that’s your preference.

Extra butter to grease pan

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Fahrenheit.

Grease an 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking pan. (If you want pretty brownies, line your pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper, one lengthwise and one crosswise, with some overhang so you can remove the brownies from the pan for cooling and cutting when cold.)

Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition.

Stir in the cocoa powder and then the flour, baking powder and walnuts.

Pour into the greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. (Mine were too dry at 30 minutes so you might want to start checking around 22 or 23 minutes, just in case.)

Let cool before cutting.

Odds and Ends

Spicy Korean Gochujang Beef and Noodles/Bulgogi

Beef and Broccoli in Black Bean Sauce

Cinqo de Mayo burger

Pork Chops

Pork Ribs and fresh corn on the cob

Chicken and Leek Mapo Tofu

Sole fillets

Sausage, scrambled eggs and blackberry jam challah

Various Desserts

Espresso panna cotta … eat it right out of the glass

Orange Curd/Whipped Cream mini tart or mousse cup

Nostalgia (Picspam)

I’ve been making some tasty food lately … beef bulgogi, beef and broccoli in black bean sauce, Cinco de Mayo burgers, chicken mapo tofu and chicken mole tamales, jerk pork ribs, pan fried pork chops with pan gravy, walnut brownies, orange curd/whipped cream mousse, espresso panna cotta. I just haven’t had the energy or, frankly, the interest, to post them so … if you’ve got some free time, you can check out some of my past posts and food pics.

I’ve been uploading the pictures to Fridgg. I find the site/archive much more useful than Pinterest.

If you’re curious, check them out here.

PS: I may add the pics to this post in the next week or so … probably.

January Round-Up

WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY

Lest you think the last half of January was all about dessert and bread, I made a couple of pasta dishes this past weekend. I had 4 hot Italian sausages (~3/4 lb) in my freezer, along with most of a 2 kg bag of shucked clams. I was going to combine them in a tomato sauce to serve over pasta, then decided to go with a simple sausage/broccoli olive oil and garlic sauce instead. Then I changed my mind AGAIN and did both. The sausage/broccoli (I also added some fennel seed and dry red chili pepper flakes to the sauce) was served over rigatoni pasta. I combined half of the meat mixture with 1/2 pound of the clams and ~1 1/2 cups of a jarred Classico tomato and basil sauce and served it over fettuccine. If I’d had another couple of sausages, and another stalk of broccoli, I would have added it to the pan.

Great meals but not exactly needing a recipe write up. 🙂

And there were some odds and end meals like this prime rib (from my British Christmas menu) on a pretzel bun with roasted potato wedges, onion rings (bought frozen) and Caesar salad.

The last pork tenderloin (1 lb) in my freezer was cut up and turned into pork souvlaki and pork vindaloo. The souvlaki was served on couscous with roasted sweet potato while the vindaloo was served over basmati rice with chickpea curry.

I was tempted by a sale on boneless skinless chicken breasts and bought six which I turned into cutlets and a bunch of chicken fingers.

   

The cutlets were individually wrapped and frozen away. Some of the chicken fingers ended up in buns as sandwiches while a few more were part of a more complete meal. A couple of lamb shoulder chops (from a package of 6… I can’t resist a sale) were marinated with chimichurri butter and roasted for another tasty meal.

A couple of meals featured eggs. The chorizo cornbread with giblet gravy came out of the freezer. In the 2nd meal, a more traditional breakfast, the sourdough starter pancakes also came out of the freezer as did the last of the bacon. A bit of mango added fresh fruit to a diet that’s usually lacking. 🙂

I’ve got some Stilton cheese left over from my Christmas supper so I played with an idea for a cheese puff/gougere ring which could be cut in half and filled with chicken/turkey or shrimp/crab salad. Unfortunately, the ring ended up resembling a relatively flat pull apart gougere ring. Next time, I add another egg to the choux pastry, spoon the choux pastry much close together or smoosh it together into a round. Still, the gougeres tasted good, especially eaten with some of the sparkling wine from New Year. I had enough wine left in the bottle to toss about 1/2 cup into the earlier sausage/clam tomato sauce I made this past weekend. But that was sheer coincidence, not good planning on my part.

I made a batch of lemon curd early in January to use up some softening lemons from my fruit crisper drawer and, between the tarts (leftover pastry from the mincemeat tart bake), the sweet cream puffs filled with whipped cream mixed with the curd and just spooning it over ice cream, it’s all gone now.

I think that about covers my January.

Picspam: End of April Odds and Ends

My dad’s flowers are still coming up bravely year after year. I put together a small vase of daffodils, narcissus and grape hyacinths so I could enjoy them in the house. When they’re gone, weeds will take over until the fall when the Naked Ladies bloom.

In the meantime, I’m thinking of starting some herbs from seeds this weekend.

Other things to do this weekend … bake. I’m thinking butter tarts, or a lemon meringue pie. Maybe I’ll just make some lemon curd and use it to make another pan of limoncello tiramisu with the last of the mascarpone in my freezer. We’ll see.

Closeup

With some flowers on your kitchen table, even a tuna sandwich and a glass of milk can look elegant.

Breakfast or lunch … I made a sandwich out of one of the leftover sweet potato biscuits I made to go with the soup, a couple of home made breakfast sausage patties and a slice of American cheese and paired it with fried diced potatoes and sunny side up fried eggs. Better than any breakfast you could order at McD’s.

I’m still trying to get some consistent waffles out of my ancient waffle iron. I’m almost there.

I had thought I’d make a raspberry pastry cream tart with the berries above but got too tired to do so, so I turned 2 cups of fresh raspberries into a sauce to spoon over the last of the vanilla ice cream in my freezer. Or, I can put some on my next batch of waffles or crepes

Supper

Pan fried boneless pork loin chop lightly coated in bread crumbs, kale salad, corn and stuffing

Jerk boneless pork loin chop, kale salad, baked beans and peas