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Days 114-115: EGGS!

25 Apr

I would like to tell you that I combined the following two tasks because they were related. But mostly it was because I’m really lazy.

Task 1: Easter Eggs

It was Easter Sunday yesterday and although we didn’t do anything special here at the apartment, I still wanted to paint some eggs.

Here they are post-hardboiling.

At first I was going to use my paints to do the job because I didn’t have food dye, but then I realized that it probably was not such a good idea to apply actual paint to any sort of foodstuff that you plan on eating afterwards. Because eating paint makes you crazy. It’s true. Ask Vincent Van Gogh. Oh no wait. You can’t. BECAUSE HE’S DEAD. Because he killed himself because he was crazy because he ate paint. My logic is solid and infallible.

So I used the next best thing: colored pencils!

Okay there are probably a lot of things that are better to use than colored pencils. Such as the natural juices of fruits and vegetables or something. Or I could have just stepped out for two minutes to get food dye from the store. But could I be bothered to exert any effort at all to do this thing right? Apparently not. So colored pencils it is. Also, I wasn’t worried about the health hazards of colored pencils because it had this on the box.

Which is basically express permission to ingest. "It is okay to eat this," says the label. Who am I to question its wisdom?

So then I got to drawing. And because I am a huge nerd, all the eggs were transformed into robots/other forms of advanced technology from my favorite science-fiction tv series, movie trilogy, and book.

The TARDIS!

R2-D2!

Marvin, the paranoid android!

And here they all are, mingling in a bowl in what could possibly be the most epic fandom crossover in the history of easter eggs having their pictures taken while mingling in a bowl!

End of task 1.

Task 2: Egg Salad Sandwich

Because it is only logical to eat eggs after you’ve drawn them to look like robots/androids/time and space machines.

Ingredients! Eggs (eggshell decoration not necessary), Mayonnaise (I'm using Kewpie because it is awesome, obviously), salt, pepper, red pepper flake (optional), and herbs (it is customary to use dill but you can use whatever the hell you want).

Step 1: Liberate the eggs from (the TARDIS) their shells.

Step 2: Give them a quick chop so that it's easier to combine them with the other things later.

Step 3: Squeeze some mayo onto the eggs. How much mayo depends on you because you are a free-thinking individual and you have a choice. Don't let other people tell you otherwise.

Step 4: Add in all the other things.

Step 5: Mix everything together.

Step 6: Spread the awesome onto some bread. But make sure to lay down a paper towel first so that when you've assembled your sandwich, you can simply wrap it up in the paper towel, put it in a sandwich bag, and take it to the office in the morning. Efficiency is important, folks.

Or you could simply marvel at how the light hits this sexy bastard, making it look like a gift sent from the heavens. And then get goosebumps as you hear a league of angels in the background performing Handel's Messiah, before you gobble it up.

Tomorrow, we will find out if colored pencils are indeed nontoxic, as the box so confidently claims. Exciting stuff!

See you tomorrow! Or not!

Day 94: Greek Pasta! (Sort Of)

4 Apr

For tonight’s meal, I had planned on just whipping something up out of whatever ingredients I had lying around in the kitchen. But then I was talking to a friend online and they started going on and on about Greek food. Which I LOVE. And so I had a sudden craving for Greek Pasta because 1) I can’t get enough of the stuff, and 2) I had most of the ingredients for it already. So after a quick run to the grocery for some olives and feta cheese, I was ready. Are you ready? This will be quick because I just had a giant plate of Greek pasta and I am now very sleepy. Here we go. This is Niña’s Greek Pasta (Which Is Really Just Italian Pasta Plus Olives and Feta Cheese).

Ingredients! Pasta, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, olive oil, olives and feta cheese.

Step 1: Boil some water in a pot and then drop your tomatoes in.

Step 2: While your tomatoes are enjoying a warm soak, slice up your mushrooms and chop your garlic.

Step 3: When the skins of the tomatoes start to peel, take them out of the pot and dump them onto a bowl of cold water. Stops the cooking process. Also makes it easier to peel the skin off. I think.

Step 4: Cook your pasta in the same pot where you were boiling the skin off of your tomatoes. Because it just makes sense.

Step 5: In a pan, sautee garlic in olive oil. Take a moment to savor the smells that this will produce.

Step 6: Dump your mushrooms into the pan and allow them to cook until they are ready to give up their juices.

Step 7: While waiting for the mushrooms to loosen up and get comfortable, peel the skin off of your tomatoes and give them a quick chop.

Step 8: Dump them into the pan. Cook until you feel like it. At this point, you may choose to add basil to make Italian tomato sauce, mix in your pasta and you're done.

But if you want Greek pasta, add some olives, feta cheese and oregano. I didn't put oregano because the feta cheese I bought already had oregano in it. Efficiency!

That’s all folks! See you tomorrow!

Day 79: Molo Soup

20 Mar

The heart wants what the heart wants. And this week, my heart wanted molo soup.

In our family, we make a mean molo soup. It is so mean that it is only made during family get-togethers and never on regular days. I’ve never actually tasted other people’s molo soup. But then why would I want to? Ours is very mean.

Today, my sister taught me how to make it (because, being the youngest girl in the family, I was surrounded by older, more qualified people so I’ve never actually had to learn how to cook it. Or any dish, really. An error I am trying to rectify with the Epic Year Project. Huzzah.) Well, an approximation of it. The main difference being the fact that they do not sell Knorr cubes in our supermarket! Making the end result not as mean but still pretty tasty, considering.

And now I will show you how it’s done.

Ingredients! Chicken broth (because, Knorr cubes! D:), carrots, an onion, scallions, an egg, molo wrapper, butter, ground beef, ground pork, and chicken. That's right. It takes the entire animal kingdom to make this evil soup. Deal with it.

Step 1: Cook the chicken in some chicken stock. Normally, we would just boil a whole chicken in water (and add Knorr cubes! D:) to make our own stock. But since we are making this dish for just the two of us, and not the usual thirty family members it requires to even warrant the suggestion that molo soup must be made, it's just a chicken breast in some stock.

Step 2: Chop all the things!

Step 3: Once it is cooked, make himay the chicken. I'm sorry, but I do not think there is an English word for himay. Is there? Maybe there's a French word for it. I'm not sure. But basically, use your fingers to shred the chicken.

Step 4: Take your chopped vegetables and combine them with the ground pork and the ground beef and the egg and some salt and pepper. In a bowl. With your hands. As if it were a party and you are the god of food and you are forcing the ingredients to mingle. With your hands.

Step 5: Make little dumplings out of the meat party and the molo wrapper.

Here is a diagram of how to do that.

Step 6: Sautee the onions in some oil and add in the chicken.

Step 7: Add the chicken stock that you used earlier to cook the chicken. Bring to a boil.

Step 8: Drop your brave little molo soldiers into the boiling soup. Their sacrifice won't be in vain.

Step 9: When the dumplings are done, add the scallions and a pat of butter.

Step 10: Enjoy. Because it is awesome.

That is all!

See you tomorrow!

Day 73: Pi Day Pie

14 Mar

Today was Pi Day! So I made pie! It’s a Chocolate Cream Pie but instead of cream, we used marshmallows. So I guess it’s a Chocolate Marshmallow Pie. My sister, the pastry chef, supervised and would like to state for the record that she did not have anything to do with this pie because if she did, she would have made her own pie crust from scratch, instead of just using one that we bought from a store. So here we go.

Ingredients: cocoa powder, eggs, corn starch, milk, sugar, bittersweet chocolate, butter, vanilla extract, marshmallows and store-bought pie crust (I am a noob so this is not cheating).

Step 1: In a bowl, combine two eggs, some milk, some cocoa powder and a bit of corn starch.

Step 2: Whisk until there are no lumps! Lumps are evil and certain pastry chefs wil roll their eyes at you if you have lumps in your chocolate mixture thing.

Step 3: In a saucepan, heat some milk with some sugar in it until the thing boils.
Step 4: Pour about half of the boiling milk into your bowl of chocolate and whisk furiously. This is called “tempering.” If you put your chocolate mixture with the eggs in it into the milk in the saucepan without “tempering” it first, you will get scrambled eggs in your chocolate. “Tempering” is your friend. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Step 5: Pour your “tempered” chocolate in with the rest of the milk in the saucepan.
Step 6: Whisk until it boils. And when it does, don’t stop then. Whisk for two minutes more. Just whisk. Whisk like your life depended on it.
Step 7: After the two minutes are done, add in a bunch of bittersweet chocolate buttons and a few tablespoons of butter. Because butter makes things shiny and it also brings out the rich flavor of the chocolate. Look at all the things we are learning today. When everything is melted and combined into this shiny, chocolate goo of paradise, dump everything into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge for about the duration of a Dr. Who episode.
Step 8: When it’s all nice and cool, pour the chocolate into the pie crust. Make sure it’s level!
Step 9: Add a layer of marshmallows on top.
Step 10: Decorate with more chocolate.

And that’s it, pancit! Happy Pi Day! See you tomorrow!

Day 64: Beef Salpicao Yo

5 Mar

I know I’m probably setting feminism back a few decades by what I’m about to say. But all I really want to be when I grow up is a housewife. Or a house-husband, if Carey Mulligan would have me. I would love to just stay at home all day watching TV while my rich lover works for the money. Of course, I’d have to do the chores, but I find that I quite enjoy doing that now. I do have to work on learning how to cook more things though. I can fry like a true Scotsman, and I learned how to make risotto last month, but I still have a long way to go on the Proper Grown-up Food front before I deserve to prepare Carey’s meals. And what better time and place to learn than here and now? The answer is Culinary School and Ten Years Ago. But realistically speaking, here and now is it.

So here we go. Beef Salpicao yo.

Ingredients: Beef, garlic, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper, butter and soy sauce (not in photo). Mushrooms are optional, but with me they are mandatory. Because I freaking love mushrooms.

Step 1: Chop all the things!

Step 2: Marinate beef in some olive oil, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and red pepper.

Step 3: Sautee garlic in pan with oil until golden brown.

Step 4: Add the mushrooms and a tiny bit of soy sauce.

Step 5: Dump the beef into the pan. Dump the marinade in too. Put everything in. We do not waste shit here in the Epic Year Project.

Step 6: After the beef has been cooking for a couple minutes, add some butter. Makes everything nice and shiny. As soon as the butter melts, turn the stove off and walk away. Cooking beef for too long makes it tough. It just takes a few minutes and you're done. Just walk away.

Step 7: Serve hot. Preferably on a bed of steaming rice.

Step 8: Feed to your sister.

Surprisingly, this dish turned out pretty goddamn incredible, I’m not even joking. It was so awesome, it should be called Beef Salpi-Holy Cow What Tender Beefy Heaven Is This. And now I am a step closer to becoming the perfect spouse for Carey Mulligan. Except she might be vegetarian, I’m not sure. Some other person then.

That is all. See you tomorrow!

Day 38: A Proper Breakfast

7 Feb

I think Erin read my post about the pathetic lunch I made a couple days ago and she took it upon herself to do some grocery shopping. So when I woke up today, laid out on the kitchen counter were the ingredients for a proper breakfast: pancakes, bacon and eggs. I’m sure this seems like such a normal thing to do for responsible, health-conscious individuals such as yourselves, but in a household where the definition of breakfast is “that meal that one skips everyday,” (we have breakfast cereal but it is either eaten at dinnertime or as a snack while working on the computer) this is quite an unusual event, and could be considered a productive activity.

Ingredients!

Step 1: Mix batter in a bowl. We used chopsticks but by all means, use a proper mixing utensil.

Step 2: Heat your pan and add a pat of butter. Exactly how much a "pat" is is entirely up to you.

Step 3: Pour a glob of pancake batter onto the pan. Again, a "glob" is whatever size you want your pancake to be.

Step 4: This is the part where you put in additional ingredients to flavor your pancake. My sister used blueberries because she loves the stuff, but you may use anything in this step. Popular choices are bananas, strawberries, or apples. Unpopular choices are siniguelas, aratilis, or makopa. But nobody's stopping you if that's what you really want.

Or if you're me, add chocolate chips. Because seriously, this isn't even really a choice.

Step 5: Make butter-infused maple syrup by melting several pats (read: copious amounts) of butter in a pan of maple syrup. You should try this at least once in your lives. Not only does it taste awesome, it also eliminates the two-step process of buttering your pancake first and then adding the maple syrup, turning it into a single step of efficiency and deliciousness.

Step 6: Fry bacon. Make sure to lay them on a bed of paper towels afterward to draw out the excess fat. I know this is a last ditch effort to turn this meal into something that's at least a little bit healthy, what with all the sugar and butter in the previous steps but still! Watch your health, people! Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

Step 7: Also known as the "Magpakatotoo Ka" step because it obliterates any previous attempt at making this a healthy breakfast: Fry scrambled eggs in bacon fat!

And there you have it! A proper breakfast! It may not be the healthiest thing in the world but it's awesome and filling and delicious. And if that is not the definition of proper, I don't know what is.

See you tomorrow!

Day 36: Peanut Butter and Lucky Charms Sandwich

5 Feb

If you’ve been following the events of this week, you know that a lot of good things happened. We moved in to a new place, Chinese New Year, I got a job, etc etc. There were a couple of bad days in which I was sick but these only added further support to the decision that I made come Saturday morning: I was going to spend the entire day watching TV. I’ve gone a month without watching my shows (except for that episode a day of Doctor Who to help my sister get through the entire 5 seasons before the 6th season begins in the summer) and I’ve been very good about this whole blogging project, and I’ve been really sick so I deserve this break. I know, I know. The reason I started this blog in the first place was to keep myself away from television, but I figured if I took a break in the middle of my Torchwood season 3 marathon and did something else, no matter what it is, it would count as productive and I would still, therefore, be operating within the conditions of this project.

It has to be said that in the height of my TV addiction, I used to stay in bed with my laptop and not get up unless I have to go to the bathroom. That is the only acceptable reason to vacate the viewing area. Which means food is not even a strong enough motivation. I always waited until my sister got home at around midnight with some take-away because I thought, why should I stop watching this show to make myself some food if I know someone’s bound to come in here and feed me sooner or later? Yeah it was really bad.

So around lunchtime today, I figured out what my task for the day would be: lunch. I wanted to show you how to make the perfect most magnificent triple decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know that this is not a proper lunch but I had to make do with what we had around the house. Baby steps.

ingredients!

Step 1: Take one slice of bread and spread some peanut butter on it.

I was about to do the 2nd step but when I checked the strawberry jam, there was something weird floating in it so in the garbage bin it went. Very serious problem: I do not like peanut butter unless it’s extremely sweet. Lily’s brand peanut butter almost achieves the level of sweetness I require but not quite, and they don’t sell Lily’s here. So I set out to look around the kitchen for some sort of sweetener to make my sandwich bearable. But I found that we didn’t have anything. No sugar. No honey. We didn’t even have Splenda. This house is devoid of sweets! And I am not about to brave the winter chill to go to the supermarket just so I can make my sandwich sweeter. That would take valuable time away from my Torchwood marathon and it’s cold! Then my eyes focused on the top of our refrigerator and there it was, the hero of the day: A box of Lucky Charms. The marshmallows in it are sweet enough, aren’t they? I popped a little shamrock marshmallow in my mouth. Yes this would have to do. It wouldn’t be a triple decker anymore because there weren’t nearly enough marshmallows left in the box but I start again.

ingredients! revised!

Step 1 is still applicable so let's skip on to step 2: Lay marshmallows on top of peanut butter-ed slice of bread until it is completely covered with pretty little marshmallows.

Like so. Look at that pretty sandwich.

Step 3: Stack another slice of bread on top of the first one and you're done!

And there you have it folks! A Peanut Butter and Lucky Charms sandwich. The first of its kind. Try it and tell me what you think! See you tomorrow!

(EDIT: I typed that last sentence before I even took the first bite out of the sandwich. Do not, I repeat, do not, under any circumstances make this sandwich! It’s weird! You’d be better off with a regular peanut butter sandwich. You probably don’t need the extra sugar the way I do anyway. The marshmallows aren’t nearly sweet enough and the texture is weird! It’s crunchy weird not sweet blerk yuck eww.)

(EDIT part 2: I’m halfway done with this sandwich and it’s not so bad actually. Once you get used to the weird crunchiness. Make at your own risk.)

Day 31: Celebratory Risotto of Moving Success

31 Jan

WE HAVE OFFICIALLY MOVED IN TO THE NEW APARTMENT! All our stuff’s here, we’re sort of settled, and most importantly, we have internet! So in celebration of this momentous occasion, we cooked our first official homemade meal in the new place: Cheesy Mushroom Risotto. And I’ll show you how we made it.

We went to the market and bought the ingredients: risotto, mushrooms, onions, olive oil, cheese, and secret herbs and spices.

The photo on the left shows me chopping onions. The photo on the right shows what happens to me when I chop onions.

Steps!

Step 1: Chop everything.
Step 2: Heat oil in pan.
Step 3: Sweat onions then add risotto.
Step 4: Add mushrooms.
Step 5: Add some water and secret herbs and spices. Boil until most of the water is absorbed by the risotto. Mix occasionally.
Step 6: When it has achieved an arroz caldo-like consistency, drown the thing in cheese (which I normally don’t like but it worked out pretty well in this dish.)

Step 7: Get your adorable sister to pose with bowl of Celebratory Risotto.

And done! See you tomorrow!