Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pantry-Item Ice Cream Flavors!

I find it fascinating (and fantastic) that many trending ice cream flavors circulate around common pantry items. A big one lately would be olive oil (which I got to try at Otto, Mario Batali's pizzeria in NYC). There are others that have been around for a while but aren't commonplace ice cream parlor types: burnt sugar, khulfi, etc. As someone who gets tired of things quickly, I'm more than happy to try these flavors out.

Anyway, point is ... Joy got a few of our friends together to put on a "homemade ice cream social" this coming Saturday, and I haven't been able to decide on what to make. Of course I want to bring something unusual but tasty enough that I won't have any leftover to bring home, but then I found 4-6 different flavors I want to try, and I can't decide on which one/s to bring!

My solution for this is to make a different flavor every day this week and bring the one or two I think is best. The flavors I've chosen also happen to focus mostly around pantry items: olive oil, honey, and balsamic ... hence this post. I got to thinking last night that it'd be interesting to do a "cracked pepper" or "chili/cayenne" flavor as well. I wonder if anyone has tried it before?

Now, I haven't really had a successful ice cream yet. My last coffee one turned out to be rock-hard. The blueberry sour cream one I made yesterday was pretty hard as well, but that was forgiveable since it was served in the form of ice cream cake.

So, hopefully, the honey ice cream batter that's currently sitting in the fridge will turn out better. Maybe I should churn it for longer??

Monday, October 5, 2009

Korean Instant-Food Fail

Just wanted to say that, if you're ever trying out an instant-food (e.g. ramen, packaged rice boxes) from another culture with a different language for the first time ... you might want to check and make sure you can read the directions!

For future reference, Ottogi's seafood risotto takes only 1:15 to warm up before making a mess of the microwave.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting a Handle on Burmese: Mohinga

It's been a while, huh? Well I don't have much time to elaborate, but I decided to try making a couple Burmese dishes: mohinga and curry chicken noodle (shwe-taung). Both are noodle dishes, and I know I've tried one, but I don't know which one! Basically, I'm making these dishes rather blindly, without much of a clue as to how it's actually supposed to turn out.

So tonight, I attempted mohinga. Shwe-taung will have to come later. To accompany this post, I have pictures rather than a recipe (but maybe I'll get around to including that later).

Gotta love "fresh" noodles. I think I just love the feel of flour and soft loose noodles!

Ground up most of the ingredients, then made a paste of it.

Fried the paste, then tossed in cooked fish. It's supposed to be catfish, but I couldn't find any at the Korean/Japanese store I went to. What you see here is monkfish.

End result! I ended up using a cup of fish broth for the base (I like soupy noodles), added some of the gravy (which I didn't show .. it's basically fish stock, corn starch and mashed chick peas), then topped with egg, limes and cilantro.

Overall? Not bad! If this is the comfort food of Burma/Myanmar, then I've been comforted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote - 090610

"I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pictures, Finally!

I've finally gotten around to editing photos from my kitchen "adventures"! I could always format it more, but I think it's a better trade-off ... less formatting, more photo postings.

Dutch baby (a.k.a. German Oven Pancake), recipe from Joy's blog. Mine has a funny shape. :)

Herb garden! The plants are now about 50% bigger than they appear in this photo.
Left planter: purple sage, cilantro, ginger mint (not very minty, unfortunately) :(
Right planter: Mexican chili, sweet basil, rosemary
Unseen: plum tomatoes, growing in a Topsy-Turvy planter!

Red pepper jelly! I wanted to buy some, but didn't know where to find it, so I looked up Chowhound. Lo and behold, someone suggested making some yourself, which I obviously did ...

Citrus-mint cooler (non-alcoholic!), which I made for a friend's birthday since he doesn't drink. Unfortunately, the mint wasn't minty enough. Sadness!

Jalapeno poppers--these were AMAZING when fresh out of the oven! I'm definitely making this again.

Salad with chicken hearts and orange segments, in a balsamic-honey dressing. Shrimp in honey and rice vinegar (didn't have any lime, which I think would've been a great add). Boiled potatoes tossed with garlic and rosemary cooked in butter. (I usually roast my potatoes, but I think we were trying to save time?)

I hope you enjoyed the photos! I'll be taking photos more often, since I'm going to be the food blogger for MochiMag.com (yay!).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thrown Back into the Fire that is Manual ...

Here's a quick recap of round two of driving manual (alone!) ... and yes, this time the assignment was more difficult:
  • The Boy needed someone to re-park his car (a Subaru WRX) to the other side of the road while he was away. Street cleaning was the reason.
  • WRX was currently sandwiched between two cars.
  • The Boy's roommate knows how to drive stick, but couldn't move it 'cause he doesn't have a license in the States. I'm the opposite. We made the worst combination. He stayed in the apartment while I went out to attempt the impossible by myself.
  • I propped a pillow in front of the car that's behind the WRX.
  • Going backwards actually went smoothly. I had perfect control with the reverse gear.
  • But I stalled going forward while trying to get out of the spot.
  • People were walking by.
  • Cars were driving by.
  • I got over my embarrassment.
  • I stalled about 5 more times before I finally got out of the spot.
  • Continued to roll forward (still in 1st gear) and made a clean U-turn into a perfect parking spot behind a line of cars.
That's all ...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Getting a Move On ... Finally!

Winter was such a lull. If you asked me "what's new" anytime during the winter months, I most likely said "nothing." All I really remember doing was working, cooking dinner, and watching TV.

But with the help of warmer weather and good dance music, I think my productivity has shot through the roof ... relatively speaking, of course! I'm still as lazy as ever, only I'm a bit more proactive in doing things that I'm interested in. So if you can humor me, I'd love to tell you what I've been up to lately.

(1) Looking for simple good eats
Yesterday, I decided to visit Formaggio Kitchen and Pemberton Farms for the first time. I've passed by these places countless times, and my foodie friends keep talking about Formaggio in particular. Now, I don't consider myself a foodie at all. I'm a fan of technique and the overall process of creating a product--but having discerning tastebuds is something that kind of escapes me.

For example, I tried a comte cheese off a sample table at Formaggio, and I thought it was good. I tasted the brebis that the cheese counter guy picked out for me, and I thought it was good. Then I tasted the comte again and realized that the brebis was far far better! But that's about all my tastebuds tell me. Nuttiness? what? Fruitiness? what? Acidity? wha--okay, I know what these things MEAN, but I can't really identify the elements that make a particular cheese special. The only things I learned was that I bought a sheep's milk cheese, and that there is a difference between a "strong" cheese and a "full flavor" cheese. I think I'm okay with learning a little at a time, but until I develop a discerning palate, I'm definitely not a foodie.

Anyway, in the vein of keeping it simple but trying something new, I got the brebis and a ficelle onion loaf from Formaggio, and dried blueberries from Pemberton Farms. I'm considering getting a small bottle of truffle oil, but I wonder if it's real or imitation ... not that I'd be able to tell. ;D

(2) Turning that brown thumb into a vibrant green one
When I was at Pemberton Farms, I saw that they had cilantro plants! Now, I know it's hard to keep alive and that I might as well start from seed, but remember ... I'm lazy. So I got the cilantro and picked up a ginger mint and a purple sage as well.

When I got home, I promptly transfered the plants into a planter, and set it next to the pepper+basil+rosemary planter that I already have. I also recently bought a Topsy Turvy (which grows plants upside down) and a tomato plant to go with it, so I set that up as well on the back porch. I am a bit worried though, since that corner of the porch looks like it's too windy ... I'm half expecting to see my plants blown over and the Topsy Turvy on the ground by the time I get home tonight! Eek.

Well, we'll see how long this growing experiment lasts. If it all dies within a couple weeks, I'm going to be so sad.

(3) Photo-photo, moto-moto?
I recently attended a MochiMag.com photoshoot on Friday for Yin Chang of Gossip Girls (she plays Nelly Yuki). I didn't do the shooting, but I guess I helped direct? Either way, it adds to the list of photo stuff I've been working on.

So far, I'm done with Harvard's Eleganza09 photos, a sorority's chapter photo, and images for a few Mochi articles. I realize I still have photos to edit and post for a friend's wedding, but that's personal stuff. :) I also need to do a photo for an upcoming Mochi article, but it involves make-up, of which I know very very little. Gah! Anyone want to help?

(4) Last minute is the way to go
I received an email yesterday about joining others from BCNC for a gala/fundraiser/annual(??) dinner by the Mass Asian American Commission. Free tickets that usually cost $80? The possibility of meeting gov't officials including Sam Yoon? The opportunity to dress up? I'm so there!

Why am I in such a talkative mood??