Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Fail

This one is for all you math people out there.

That's how many pounds and how many ounces? Is Turkey weight measured differently?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are we ready?

Well today is Wednesday, and cook I did, although I'm not really sure if this counts or not since I wasn't really trying out new recipes from my cookbooks, but instead making the old standbys that have graced our Thanksgivings for frogeye yeah.

Actually, recently my Thanksgiving specialty has become Pecan pie. I made one for Thanksgiving a few years ago, and my dad has been raving ever since, and thus my calling in life has been found. I figure, though, I'll make him as many pecan pies as he wants as long as he's around to eat them. Eating pecan pie won't be the same without him.

Pecan pie itself is one of those recipes that really impresses guests, for some reason, but is, in fact, the easiest pie to make, ever (unless you count those pudding pie things in pre-made graham cracker crusts, but I'm going to have an elitist moment and declare that those don't count). The trick, I think, is to get really fresh Pecans and be generous with them. The best source I've found is a little shop called Kitchen Kneeds, but it's very local. There's one in the middle of Ogden and one on Redwood Road in the Taylorsville-ish area. There may be more, but those are the only ones I know of. (ok scratch that, the best source is my Grandpa's tree in Arizona, but since he passed away a few years ago, that became less of an option) Anything sold in a grocery store probably won't cut it.

The other reason my dad rants about mine, I think, is that it's my mom's recipe from a cookbook from the 1950's. Man, those guys knew how to use fat in their cooking. None of this lame-wad low calorie crap. You can compare recipes from the 1953 version of the Better Homes and Garden's cookbook and the current version, and one now will have half the fat, skip a bunch of steps, and not taste nearly as good. Of course, if you want to live past 60 without having a heart attack, maybe this is not such a bad thing, but here's what I figure; if you're eating dessert, make it good, make it satisfying, and only eat a little bit. If you're craving something, eat it--so you don't go around eating everything else and not being satiated.

So, anyway, here's my version of Pecan Pie.

Crust: from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 195? (it doesn't even have a copyright date)
This is from the How to make plain pastry directions.

2 C sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 C. shortening
6-7 Tbs cold water

I'm not actually going to write out the directions, but I also added 1 egg yolk and a splash of vinager, and it worked pretty well.

The filling is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cook Book 1965

Southern Pecan Pie

3 eggs
2/3 C. Sugar
Dash Salt
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/2 C. dark corn syrup
1/3 C. Melted butter or margarine

1 C. (lots of handfuls) of pecans

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell.

Beat eggs thorougly with sugar, salt, corn syrup, and melted butter. Pour into unbaked pie shell and sprinkle pecans over the top until there's enough to fill the top layer of the filling. Push them down into the filling with a spoon so that they are just coated.

Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 50 minutes or till knife inserted halfway between the outside and center comes out clean. Cool pie before serving.

Their version vs. my version.
See, there you go, peice of, pie.

Incidentally, I did actually make frog eye salad as well, for the first time on my own. Which also went pretty well, but I think I sort of scrambled the eggs into the sauce. :P Once we got the whip cream in, though you really can't tell.

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, go eat some turkey.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Back in the Saddle...what is the kitchen equivalent to a saddle?

Ok, folks, I know I've really dropped the ball, in fact, I don't know that I was ever really carrying the ball to begin with, but I just saw Julie and Julia, which was such a great movie. It really made me happy. Really. Freakishly so.

I guess maybe it just reminded me of something I love that I've forgotten lately, and that is the joy of cooking. Not the cookbook by that title, necessarily, in fact I've never even owned a copy, but just how much I love to cook, and eat a really great dish.

I kinda want to start something like Julie does in the movie. What she does is make something from Julia Child's cookbook every day for one year. I can't afford this, but I have so many awesome cookbooks that I never even open that I want to push myself to use them and discover what secrets they have to offer. I think I want to make a goal (how's that for commitment) to make something from one of my cookbooks that I haven't tried at least once a week, which means that I'm going to have to invite people over a lot, or die of left-overs. It also means I'm going to have to plan ahead, and budget better so I can afford something besides eggs and ramen, which do make a rather interesting combination, but are sort of nasty nonetheless.

So, here goes...I think I'm going to make Wednesdays my cooking nights since the rest of the week is filled with things like church activities and swing dancing. Tomorrow I shall choose my first recipe, and post what the plan is.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Prophet?

'Cause nothing says reverence like an effigy in squash.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cowboy up and take it like a man made out of chocolate.

What do you know this single's ward stuff actually works; I went to ward prayer one Sunday and found the perfect man sitting on the kitchen counter. Dark, mysterious, sweet looking, and I bet he'd just melt in my arms if I held him long enough.

Yeah, I don't know where this came from, but my first thought was '?!'

Who wants a lousy old Easter bunny or Santa when you can have your very own chocolate cowboy (as long as it's not a chocolate cow pie I suppose). I thought he'd be an appropriate post, it being nearly Pioneer Day and all, but the weird thing is that I took the photo in the middle of winter.

Now if only he were life-sized.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finally, another restaurant review (Pics coming as soon as I'm not on an iPhone)

So we're trying something new today and I'm posting via my iPhone while I guard the front gate of the pioneer village. Yeah I know I'm supposed to be doing something period, but you can only crochet for so long before your eyes fall out or something. Anyway, I took these photos quite a while ago when my collegues and I decided to have an after school shindig and go out to eat. My good friend and fellow food finder Maribeth Clarke suggested we go to Asain Star on Fort Union. I have to admit I wasn't absolutely sold on the idea since I really have to be in the mood for Chinese and going to eat out with Emily usually fills that quota pretty fast, but I had not yet learned the ways of Maribeth and her mad retaurant finding skills, seriously, every place she's taken me to has been incredible, another of which I intend to post about, but you all know how that goes.

The restaurant itself is rather chic and kind of overlooks a long hill. It's really not what you expect a restaurant to look like, with huge 2 story windows and sort of modern styling. The interior is very clean feeling with two huge well-kept aquariums. The hosts were very cordial, and seemed to recognize that Maribeth is a returning customer and I feel they grated us well.

The parking lot is pretty horrendous since they're on a funny-shapped lot and have a funny-shaped building and people in Utah like rediculously large cars. I admit, I never understood the SUV craze, even though my parents have two of them. *shakes head

Anyway, as it turns out the parking lot is worth braving. I loved that it had all the usual dishes found at the every day Chinese joint, pus dishes from Japan, ant I think other cultures as well. Like I said it was a while ago, and we stuck to the common stuff, and the sushi. Mmm, sushi. They had flying fish eggs on their California rolls, I love that.

Some of the must haves at this place are the lettuce wraps, the honey chicken or pork, the gyoza, and above all the Walnut shrimp, which is really saying something considering how I feel about walnuts and shrimp; although my caution is to plan on sharing the shrimp, since I think a whole order of it would be a bit overwhelming, simply because it's fairly sweet, and quite rich. You need something to cut that sweetness.

I have to give them full marks for presentation, too. The garnishes were quite stunning, large flowers that looked like they were made from a shaved jicama or something and died lovely colors. We took them back to school to show the culinary students we liked them so much.

The icing on the cake, or maybe the fortune cookie in this case, was that we had a leftover buffet of awsomeness the next day. This is a real test, I think to have food that will stand up to a night in the fridge and the microwave. All in all this place gets a pricey thumbs up.

I think the best plan of attack for this restaurant is to do like we did and go with several friends so you can do it family style and try lots of things. Also, make it a special occasion because cheep is one thing this place is not.