seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
I was adventurous today. We went for Korean food.

It turns out that my abhorrence for Korean food was somewhat due to the odors in the previous instances. Like when we went in to this restaurant it didn't smell like rotting meat and fish with an overtone of burned broccoli and gag.

However, despite getting something today that I normally really like from the food court place that's completely inauthentic, I was grossed out. I got the glass noodles with beef and vegetables. First they don't tell you that the vegetables are overcooked mushrooms and that nasty bitter green stuff that looks like a cross between poor people greens and broccoli (it's got a split in the leaves and in the crotch of that there are sprinklings of wartlike broccoli buds---- it looks like an alien STD). It took forever to fish all the crud off the heap on my plate. Then my noodles were in a congealed glob even though they were too hot to touch.

Speaking of touching hot food.... yeah, they had metal chopsticks. WTF? Why bother? If I'm going to burn my hands anyway, I would rather just use my fingers directly. I wanted a fork but the server was Speedy Gonzales *zip-zip-zip Arrriba!* and we were clearly not ordering as much as the family-sized groups at other tables.

Once I got some beef that wasn't touching mushrooms or bitter green Shthuph, I discovered that it was rimmed with that jiggly fat. I ate about a third of my food and gave up.

I'm not entirely sure what the little dishes of things in the middle were. Auditions for Fear Factor? Julienned strips of milky white gelatinous ooze? rehydrated cinnamon jelly beans? leftover tempura from other restaurants owned by the same family? shredded Easter grass in 3 colors? and something that looked like griddled old people skin but tasted like eggplant?

So. overall. I still hate Korean food. But I feel reassured that my dislike of Korean food is because the food is yucky and not because I'm somehow unworthy of being a human.
seryn: food stuff (food)
I think I'm going to have a sandwich. I have hard boiled eggs, pita bread, hash brown patties, sliced turkey.... Surely all those go together, right? Be better with avocado though or better yet, salsa. Mango salsa. Not worth going to the store on a weekend though.

biscuit and gravy

Friday, 7 October 2011 12:41 pm
seryn: food stuff (food)
I live in California. It's just next to impossible to get anything with gravy on it without going to a chain restaurant.

So today when I was craving biscuits and gravy, I came home and made some. You can't get it in any restaurant. Even the "southern" ones which have biscuits do not sell the gravy.

However, it is a gigantic pain to make a batch of biscuits because they like being baked in a really hot oven. Getting the oven to 450 takes longer than I'm willing to wait, plus then the biscuits need to cook. And they're not anywhere nearly as good leftover and reheated the next day. So I needed a way to make just enough biscuits for me.

I used butter, yogurt, salt, pepper, baking soda, baking powder, flour... and I mixed up a thinner than usual biscuit batter. This I spread on a pre-heated pancake griddle (iron) and covered with a domed pot lid. It required some attention to make sure I flipped it before it burned, but there was enough butter in the dough to keep it from sticking and to crisp it up.

The sausage gravy is the standard kind. Cook sausage, add flour, salt, pepper, spices to the grease to make an in-pan roux. Add milk and water and stir vigorously until lumps are dissolved and gravy is proper consistency. Then ladle over biscuit.

I will definitely be doing this again.
seryn: food stuff (food)
I sort of cooked food today.

for brunch, too upset to eat first thing this morning, Simon cooked and burned his own breakfast, I had tortillas with guacamole hummus, scrambled egg, and cottage cheese. I don't like the guacamole hummus as well anymore because it turned brown overnight.

The overall food was okay, but not something to share with other people with the flag, "You have to try this."

We had leftover hot&sour soup for lunch.

Dinner was hamburgers in pita (mine with cottage cheese, which really makes that pita feel like something other than a "damn, no bread left" option) and then fried potato chunks. (We cook the potatoes in the microwave and then put them in the iron skillet with a bit of fat. Not a lot of fat like a pan fry and definitely not a deep fry.)

It's so weird to go from developing new concepts of food two months ago, to barely being able to reheat soup or microwave potatoes. Half the time when I walk into the kitchen I walk right back out, unable to comprehend eating anything.

I can't even explain to people why I know I'm not okay, because so few people cook their own food now, being unable to be creative in the kitchen doesn't seem like something that's new to them. It's like if I said I couldn't build a car engine. Everyone would be like "Well, yeah." But after seeing the Iron Man movies, if Tony Stark said he couldn't build a car engine, you'd make sure Pepper Potts knew about it so she could arrange whatever would resurrect the Tony she knows he normally is. Not that I'm that kind of awesome in the kitchen, but you get the idea.
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
Today's morning beverage was banana, apple juice, & whole milk yogurt all blended. Then I added a handful of fresh blueberries. They float in my drink.

If you haven't tried apple juice and plain yogurt, you're really missing out on the potential. Everyone thinks plain yogurt is a lot of trouble compared to the individual cup yogurts with the fruit (and often sugar) pre-mixed in. Sugar doesn't dissolve in cold yogurt, honey seizes up, and unsweetened plain yogurt doesn't really feel like a treat without something balancing the inherent sour flavor. Apple juice mixes trivially into plain yogurt, it's often fortified with vitamins, but even if it's not, you're using a natural source of sweetness. What I like best is that I end up with a yogurt I can drink so no spoon is needed when I want to take it with me.

Also if you buy a quart of plain yogurt, use some for Indian curry or to pretend to be sour cream in another recipe, or you've used it to make "buttermilk" pancakes and you have a lot left.... you can freeze it in individual containers, sure, but if you pre-mix it with the apple juice, it thaws with a better texture, even in the microwave. I have several small dishes in my freezer that have labels on the lids saying "Yo Juice". I know I can drop one of those in my bag and in a couple hours I can scrape it with a spoon and have a "granita" or I can microwave it for a minute and have a drinkable yogurt beverage at lunch.

The next test is going to be whether a frozen Yo Juice can be used to make a smoothie and how much thawing it requires. I often freeze bananas when they're approaching that over-ripe phase. I tell myself I'm going to make banana bread... but really I hate banana bread. (I do use them to make banana pancakes though, but having them frozen doesn't hurt anything since the bananas' texture for pancakes improves with microwaving.) So it's possible I could freeze actual smoothies.

This post was for [personal profile] ames because she always has nice things to say about my food posts and suggestions. Other people say nice things too, but Ames consistently loves on them.

cookie monster

Sunday, 17 July 2011 07:20 pm
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
I came up with an interesting dessert option.

I'm the only one who eats sweet food. But I'm not supposed to gain a bunch of weight, right? Kind of counteracts the point of exercising to splurge too much. So when I really want something as a treat, I like to make a single serving. One cookie, not 4 trays.

I've been trying to winnow down what kicks off that "I'm a cookie" experience. Interestingly it seems to be the blend of butter and sugar with vanilla for me. I've been experimenting with variants on buttered cinnamon toast. Because that's pretty much like spreading the base of cookie dough on toast. Then I swapped out the sugar for brown sugar and that was exactly the flavor I wanted. Cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar, and real butter.

Tonight I melted the butter, stirred in the cinnamon and brown sugar along with salt and pepper (because I'm in the middle of a stick of unsalted butter that I bought accidentally). Obviously I didn't want my toast to get soggy, so I stuffed the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes and then stirred vigorously.

I have whipped butter that tastes just like cookie dough now. It's easy to spread quite thinly on toasted bread (less than I was using when I spread with butter to get the cinnamon sugar to stick) and it's just this phenomenal match to "I want a cookie".
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
I want to eat waffles. This is not possible because I do not have a waffle iron. I do not have space in my kitchen to use a waffle iron unless I move my giant mixer. I've been lifting weights for more than a year (minus the past few months) and I can tell you that I would not feel like cooking anything after hauling the mixer around.

Yesterday I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen where they talked about the differences between pancake batter and waffle batter and how melted butter had more water than oil does, thus the substitution of oil, and then added more than a cup of seltzer water.

My pancake batter runs toward the dry side. I like them to come out like little cakes. If you baked my batter in a muffin tin, I think it might turn out credibly muffin-like in appearance.

I used some pancake mix in recent memory and followed its directions. The pancakes were really thin. The batter ran all over the skillet. It was hard to find a heat level where the pancakes would cook properly. Normally I cook mine on medium low so they have time to cook through without charring... the mix's pancakes needed to go much hotter and for a lot less time, but time is what helps the surface set, so they kept breaking and glopping.

Today I was reading a Smitten Kitchen post about multigrain pancakes and realized that I really am very good at this cooking stuff. I looked at her recipe and thought, "I would have used apple juice instead of the milk because then I wouldn't have needed sugar too, and if you'd used cream-top whole-milk yogurt, you could use the thick floating cultured cream ("yo crisco" in my personal vernacular, because at heart I'm really a 6 year old boy who loves gross words) for some of the oil."

I have one piece of advice if you're thinking about trying to make the thicker pancakes. Try it with chopped nuts in the batter first. The nuts get heated through and radiate into the insides of the pancakes so there is less chance of undercooked middles.

Orange food.

Monday, 27 June 2011 12:59 pm
seryn: food stuff (food)
First, B vitamins for the win, because I run hotter when I take them and my creativity has come back.

Second, let me tell you how I treat myself when I'm feeling anti-social. I needed to go to the grocery store, so I made sure to look at the prepared foods. Today I saw butternut squash ravioli. Locally made. No yucky weird ingredients. Not cheap, being $5 for 8oz of ravioli. I really wanted that, so I put it in the cart. I realized I wasn't going to want a tomato sauce with that and added cream and butter and parmesan cheese. Then I realized I don't really like vegetarian food, so I bought Italian sausage. I didn't end up using the cream and just went with a topping of melted butter and a sprinkling of shredded parm. The sausage I cooked separately, sliced, then just ate straight while the ravioli cooked.

Total cost for lunch, about $10. Which includes some stuff I'll use the rest of another time (otherwise I wouldn't have done this variation).

I feel sated and wonderful and inspired to do nifty things.

today's food

Saturday, 18 June 2011 09:43 pm
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
I made banana pecan pancakes for breakfast.
While I was cooking them, I was thinking, I should post recipes for everything I make because that would be really neat to see an archive of this.

But I couldn't quite tell you what I did. I microwaved a banana to "puree" it. Then I added apple juice and oil. Then I added buttermilk and an egg. Then I glopped on 1.5 scoops (of indeterminate size, probably 2/3C or so for the 1-egg size batch) of flour and some salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Then I added finely chopped pecans and cooked them on medium low on my iron skillet.

Tell me you could recreate that yourself... that's why it's not really a recipe.

I find that banana-pecan pancakes cook better than the ones with just banana... I think the nuts get heated up and radiate heat internal to the pancake so there are fewer doughy pockets in the middle.


The other thing I did was a new way of cooking sausages. I had raw breakfast sausage links. I knew I wasn't going to be able to watch them carefully because I was cooking pancakes and making coffee and not very awake, so I put them in a pot of boiling water until they were cooked through and then fried them. Like the bratwurst cooking method.

It takes the same amount of time (or possibly more) and dirties a second pan. But the sausages were juicy in the middle without having any questionable bits where you're wondering if that's just a little too pink to count as all the way cooked.

If I have help, where Simon is minding the sausages, there's no problem, but if I'm cooking alone, this kind of insurance is probably a good idea.

I was also thinking that I might do this to all the sausages when I bring them home from the store. Then I'd freeze the cooked sausages and we could just fry them lightly when we wanted them. It would be like those meat-product things that claim to be heat-and-serve sausages but actually made out of food.


I made cornbread a few nights ago. I was so embarrassed that I had to go look it up in the cookbook.
seryn: tea (virgin tea)
Sometimes I buy something because I'm just so astounded that they can say that on the packaging or marketing material.

I bought these ice cream bars.

But the screamingly funny reason I bought them is the tag line on the back of the box which says: "Magnum. the pleasure is all yours..."

They do come in gold wrappers and are sold in a 3-pack. :-P

None of the images on the box would work well as an icon, but I did buy it at the same store that flagged the Virgin [Organic] Tea as being newly available in Cherry. There wasn't a double entendre this time, just a hand-written sign saying $1 off. Personally I would have had the sign say, "Introducing Magnum gold wrapped ice cream bars. Double Magnum in caramel, dark, white, and classic gives you even bigger flavor."

And, having eaten one, I can tell you that it really is too big to get into my mouth and I had to nibble at it... and once the chocolate shell is cracked you can suck the caramel from between the chocolate shells until the ice cream starts to leak and drip from the top.

almond milk.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 09:03 am
seryn: food stuff (food)
I'm thinking about whether I could make cocoa using almond "milk".

I despise soymilk. The stuff is vile and especially toward the end of the useful period (it's 7-10 days after you open it, no matter what the date on the carton says and unlike regular milk the date is almost never 7-10 days from when I open it, they should come with a space to write the toss-by date on the carton.) it tastes like the liquid leftover from soaking Cheerios for a week on the counter.

Additionally, one cannot freeze soymilk. I regularly freeze normal milk. I put it in 1 pint dishes and microwave for 2 minutes when I need one. Then I refasten the lid and shake vigorously. This gives me mostly re-homogenized milk and a plethora of milk foam. It's like instant latte when I add it to coffee.... Frozen milk doesn't do amazingly well on cereal, but works great anywhere you would have heated the milk.

But, stupidly, stores around here have stopped carrying quart containers of soymilk. Simon's milk-intolerant. So when he wants cereal, he uses soymilk. But he's not a big cereal eater, so we're talking maybe a pint used in the 7 days. If there's a big push or it's deathly hot that week, he can finish a quart before it lames.

So, I am trying the almond milk. It also comes in half gallons. It costs the same as the soy, but I don't hate it. It makes really excellent rice pudding. The disadvantage of that is that I don't like rice pudding and Simon doesn't like desserts. I'm not hugely fond of almond milk like I want to drink a glassful. So now I'm trying to find other applications wherein it might be useful.

Or maybe almond milk can be frozen and thawed successfully.

Any ideas? Are there other non-milk fluids which are good on cereal? It can't be orange juice or other citrus because that's really gross. Or any experience with almond milk?

If the cocoa's good, I'll report back.
seryn: flower with text (eryngo 2)
Things are better with the insurance issue. (Like tons better. I'm almost happy about it now.)

Today I went to Trader Joe's to buy frozen fruit because Simon and I both bought bananas so we had 17. Simon wanted smoothies but when I admitted we didn't have any other fruit, he wanted something else for breakfast. Now we have strawberries, mango, pineapple, and some sort of mixed berry blend.

I'm making quiche filling, curry, rice, and naan all at once. They're not all for tonight, but the last three are.

When I was at Whole Foods, they had fresh chorizo on sale. Not the salami-style Spanish chorizo either. So I cooked up 3 links worth (sans casing) and added minced onion and minced potatoes. I had in mind that I would chop spinach and add cheese to blended eggs and then bake the whole thing. But right now I'm actually considering whether I should save some of this out in a dish in the freezer to be tossed into plain eggs on an ordinary day. Not to mention that there's more of it than it looked like. Theoretically one can freeze quiche though, so we'll see how far I actually get tonight.

Curry is with curry sauce from the grocery store. Maya Kaimal's vindaloo. I put in cubes of yukon gold potato, half a bag of baby carrots, rough-dice onion, and boneless lamb stew meat. I also added some water because I like my curry wet and so there's liquid for cooking the potatoes.

Today I went out for Thai food at lunch. Mango chicken stir fry.

There was a bunch of new Iron Man fanfic on AO3 that I found today. And, shockingly, most of it was het too. (I can buy Harry Potter being gay although it's unlikely and I'm still not reading the fic. But I cannot even comprehend anyone who has any experience with the Iron Man canon (in any medium) thinking Tony Stark is gay. Bi, sure, he's wealthy enough to have anything he likes, but not anti-woman-interest like a lot of the slash fic claims.)

There were also a slew of new novellas released as free k-books lately too. I grabbed at least 2 dozen yesterday. I'm starting to understand why people want software that allows them to organize their k-books. When I look at the title/author listings I have absolutely no idea what that was or why I thought I wanted it, or even if I thought grabbing it was questionable but I thought I should get it while it was free just in case. But organizing this stuff would take work.

I saw the new ChromeBook ads. I'm in the market for a new computer. Simon thinks I want a laptop so I'm not tied to my desk so much. But I'm kind of against laptops because their very portability requires some obnoxious security software. My desktop computer, which is behind 2 hardware firewalls, has the Windows security running, has anti-spyware, anti-virus, and a software firewall running.... got infected with a virus TWICE since I bought it. But the software firewall and the anti-virus fight with each other. The first anti-spyware had to be uninstalled when a version of something incremented because they stopped playing nice together and attempted to brick my machine. How on Earth do people use unsecured wifi hotspots for anything without Hal-ifying their computers to insanity from electronic syphilis?

Not to mention that whenever I use the media laptop or Simon's laptops, they stop connecting to the world. No one knows why. And they have these arcane rituals one must go through to get it back. The wifi switch must be turned on and off 3 times and the router rebooted. Or the battery removed and reinserted. Or one must hold a certain key which is only labeled in blue on black (signifying that one must use a function key in combination with another key in order to get the blue alternate function) but by the time one figures out which key that was and how to press it correctly, the machine has completely booted and the process must be begun anew from scratch because wifi cannot be hotswapped.

So. As much as I'm not a Chrome fanatic. As untrustworthy as I consider a machine whose premise is that Google owns all my data and I should pay them for the privilege. I still WANT what the marketing for the ChromeBook promises.

They promise that they will take care of your machine's security. No antivirus to update, no clunky firewalls constantly displaying error messages about "OMG! SOMEONE IS USING THE KEYBOARD!!!!!!" false positives. They promise the ChromeBook will connect; 3G, wifi, whatever, it will just work. No more networking nightmares that require a live goat and braiding potion-soaked sawgrass around the user's nutsack. (Which means, yes, actually it cannot work for me.)

It's not that I believe them that they can do that. And Google has a shite track record for supporting their self-branded hardware... remember the G1? Yeah, no one else does either, but Google forgot it first. But I'm really tired of this computer stuff being hard. I didn't breed myself a brood of tech support staffers, so technology needs to catch up to my declining brain power.
seryn: food stuff (food)
Since my last topic-based discussion was so fruitful, let me try discussing something else (which is likely to be less effusive, but interests me just as much)

Do you bring experimental food when you're sharing with other people?

Our block is active in the National Night Out evening. I usually bring something new. That's where I debuted my black forest cupcakes (which were the easiest things to make). I'd been making "brown suede" cupcakes and taking them places for a while, and those were things I'd never made before. I don't think I made them the exact same way twice either. Half the time I don't even measure, just eyeball. But when I mistakenly only had cherry yogurt, because I'd mentally allocated the last of the plain twice, I figured I'd halve the sugar and swap it evenly for plain. Really stellar experience.

I brought my new fried apple muffins to two places. With the coffee woman, I brought low-fat ones (with added pumpkin!). For the knitting woman I brought cream-based ones. But in neither case had I made those before. The first time I hadn't even tried that method of cooking the apples.

Two nights ago I made polenta with red sauce. I've never made savory polenta before. I've cooked cornmeal to that stage that will set up in the refrigerator and which can be sliced and fried. Mush. The difference between that and the polenta is the parmesan cheese mostly. (Theoretically there's egg too, but since I was winging it and 3 other things happened at once, I kind of forgot the egg.)

Last night I made homemade pizza. recipe )There were 3 things there I didn't do "right". I didn't have the meat I thought I had. I didn't make the dough normally. And I haven't made pizza sauce in years. It was great pizza.

But even if the pizza hadn't come out well, I would have fed it to Simon anyway.

Not only do I make food haphazardly, relying upon my "knack", but I assume it will come out well enough to be served to other people. Sometimes I lose my confidence; if I'd had to take that pizza to a pot luck, I would have cut it in my kitchen so I could taste test it first.

Most people I know only take tried and true recipes (that were published somewhere with good editing) when they're sharing food with friends.
seryn: food stuff (food)
I want to complain about something.

Where do people get off telling me I shouldn't eat iceburg lettuce? I get that it doesn't have vitamins or minerals. But it also doesn't have a lot of calories and has a lot of crunchy texture. What's the problem? It's not like I'm anorexic and if I fill up on lettuce I won't eat any real food. That's not likely to happen and if it did happen every once in a while, it wouldn't be a crisis given my current body resources.

It completely pisses me off when it's a mushroom-eating vegetarian who says it. Mushrooms have no nutrition either. And compared to iceburg lettuce, which texture would you rather eat? Mushrooms are kind of disgusting. And they're certainly pointless in terms of vitamins or minerals or calories.

The other food thing that irks me is when people tell me I should get rid of anything in my home that has white flour.

I like white flour for a lot of things. It's good in gravy. If you're going to make stew, you really need it. If you're frying chicken, you have to have it.

Plus "whole wheat" flour is just white flour with some ground bran thrown in. It's not a whole grain flour with the germ ground in. Kind of like brown sugar, which is not sugar that hasn't been all the way processed like turbinado, but white sugar with some molasses stirred in.

Do you want to know why most people prefer to eat out and only eat pre-made foods at home? Some of it is laziness, obviously. Some of the people don't know how to cook. But a large part of it is these stupid rules that make it impossible to have a pleasant dining experience.

I make coffee at home and I put regular sugar in it. The coffee woman goes out for coffee and gets it flavored with a shot of syrup. That's even worse because it's full of preservatives and fake stuff. She tells me I should stop using sugar and use that new cactus-derived stuff--- the same plant they use to make tequila. She pays $4.50 for corn syrup sweetened coffee almost every day. But I shouldn't have real sugar in my home. Even though I pay less than $4.50 per week for my coffee and can drink it in my pajamas and don't have to fight for a seat.

If I didn't have sugar at home, I'd probably go out for coffee too because the coffee house coffee would taste so much better.

The more foods we have decided should not be allowed at home, the less likely we are to cook for ourselves. Whenever you cook at home, you eat less fat, less salt, less sugar, less processed fake crud.... it's almost inherently superior to any restaurant food. But people can't understand that and keep harping on stupid fads that make eating at home extremely unpleasant.

How about this. I'll eat whatever kind of lettuce at home that happens to appeal to me at the store for under a buck. And none of you who complain are invited to join me.

mocha me.

Friday, 15 April 2011 11:29 am
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
I made myself a mocha today. It's a good use of the Peet's coffee I don't like and the remaining TJs cocoa powder.

I put a teaspoon of cocoa in a giant mug, 3 teaspoons of sugar, and a couple tablespoons of cold milk. (The coffee is in the French press, brewing.) I stirred until the cocoa stopped floating on the milk, then microwaved so it would dissolve the sugar and I could check the ratio. Then I added more cold milk and the brewed coffee.

Things have not been going well and there have been a number of locked posts about it. If you're lurking, that's probably why I appear absent. But I find that little moments of pleasure are more centering to share than the woe. So I will be attempting to do more of that.

Let me share a story that starts out badly but improves near the end:

Simon was really angry that I had lunch at home yesterday, mostly because we don't have a lot of lunch-speed food (we have ingredients for long-cooking meals, but really need to visit the grocery store for fruits and salad components and other fresh items.) I had cottage cheese pancakes for lunch. It didn't suck, but it wasn't my first choice. There were some reasons for staying home, I was waiting for a phone call and for someone to come over, but the main reason I ate at home is that Simon had said last week that pizza was too expensive.

This is completely ridiculous because we get three meals for 2 out of a $20 pie; so although it's not the cheapest meal we have, it's not ludicrous by any means. I think he was not wanting pizza whenever that was, or had gone for an expensive lunch (his coworkers are all young and single and tend to buy lunch with credit cards so they don't notice how much they spend... and I know when I go out with the coffee woman and my lunch hits $20+ that I do not go out to the store to buy pre-made lamb kabobs for grilling.)

But I felt like Simon was saying that I was wasting money. So I ate at home and had cottage cheese pancakes. Simon was disgusted.

He told me explicitly to go out for lunch today. I might circumvent that and buy something pre-made at the grocery store. It costs the same as going out, but I could watch the saved Criminal Minds... restaurants have really bad entertainment compared with eating at home in front of a whole TiVo full of things you've saved.

But I might go out too... I saved $5 on a mocha. That would make any lunch I wanted practically free.
seryn: food stuff (food)
I was at Whole Foods. They had pork sausages on special. So I looked in the case and they had some very nice looking bratwurst, so I asked for some. The guy behind the butcher counter picked up mild Italian sausages. I said, "Er, The ones next to that are the bratwurst." Then I realized the signs were wrong too. And since they sell the Italian sausage in bulk, it's easy to see the Italian sausages are mis-labeled. I suggested this might be the case, but when he insisted, I said, "I want two of the white ones, whatever you're calling them, please." I got two bratwursts. They smell like bratwurst, but sure enough the wrapper says "Italian sausage".

I'm going to be doing my meat shopping somewhere else from now on.

(And no one better get on my case about Whole Foods being expensive. I live in a really expensive area and I find that with careful shopping, WF prices are actually lower and they have better selections of some items (especially organic dairy) than where I normally shop. Plus they feature locally made items. So I could save a bit more money shopping at Safeway or something, but I'd wait a lot longer in the queue and I'd be buying WTF milk.)
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
A lot of my food has been smoothies lately. These are generally made with bananas and frozen fruit. I like the mango+strawberry+cherry-berry-blend combination pretty well. I thought about making the peanut butter & banana ones again but that wasn't so enticing.

It honestly helps if you microwave the fruit for a minute or so before blending. It's still cold, but the blender does a much better job. I've been using the two cup method where I put the yogurt and banana in one cup and blend those while the fruit is microwaving with a splash of juice. Then I blend the fruit, then mix the liquids... it keeps there from being stuff slopped over the edge of the glass.

Last night I microwaved the whole smoothy for a hot creamy soup. It was tasty but got a bit cloying.

Soup in a box... a few months ago I got squash+mango soup which was quite tasty, but when I was grocery shopping, I completely spaced the soup at the good store, so I picked up a couple boxes from Trader Joes when I was there (buying the frozen fruit). I liked the carrot-ginger flavor okay, but the low-salt tomato was icky. Haven't tried the low-salt squash soup yet.

Today I made pancakes. Now I can't really chew anything. If it just needs smushing, that's fine, so I knew I would have to have very wet pancakes. They can't just be undercooked because that's dangerous with eggy things. I didn't want to just add a gob of syrup (first, no syrup; second, ewwww.) So I melted some sugar (about 1.5T) in a saucepan, straight sugar no water or anything, so I had to watch it really close. Then I added about 1/3 C milk. The milk turns that caramel color and got all sweet. This was poured over my pancakes and made them all soggy. Normally soggy pancakes are gross and I don't necessarily recommend this, but I really enjoyed being able to have food that wanted.

Today I went outside for the first time in almost a week. It was nice to have a world-expanding moment for contrast.
seryn: food stuff (food)
I want to make these:

mmm.. pretzels.

And. other than the cooking method, it uses a recipe pretty close to "standard bread" so I could make 2 or 3 pretzels at a time whenever I was making bread just by adding a cup of flour and a bit more water.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011 10:24 pm
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
I achieved one of my goals for the year...

I learned how to cook hash browns that meet all the criteria. They're relatively easy to do. They get cooked all the way through without taking forever. They're actually crunchy. They're not greasy.

Normally breakfast potatoes here were made from leftover baked potato. But that requires some advance planning... even if you microwave the potato, it holds together a lot better if it cools a bit before dicing.

I've seen TV chefs and cookbooks that recommend squeezing the water out by grating the potato onto a smooth clean kitchen towel and wringing. But that makes an unholy mess and you don't want to wash the towel with anything else because it's got raw potato all over it. It works, but it totally wasn't worth it.

However, with a moderate amount of oil, like a tablespoon or so, spread over the bottom of a heavy skillet, one grated potato cooks relatively fast and crisps up without getting sodden. The potato does have to be salted right after grating to keep it from changing colors, but I just don't salt it afterward.
seryn: bowl of yogurt w/owl drawn in chocolate (food2)
Food again.

Sweet potatoes.because )
Result: Tastes like "pumpkin" pie. Can't really taste the coconut flavor, but there is a hint of it if you concentrate. Came out nice.
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