multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I've got a pot of Cock-a-leekie soup on the stove, and I need to remember what else I've got ingredients for so I don't forget to cook them. To wit:
  • Char Siu (to combine with miso custard)
  • Chili (some to eat straight, some to combine with beef custard, and that may leave some ground beef to make something else, I'm not sure how much I actually bought) 1 lb ground beef remaining, but that can go in the freezer
  • Shirred Eggs Benedict a LOT of fail in this attempt, from the sauce separating to me forgetting the water bath, but I'll still eat the results.
  • Lo carb bread smells SO GOOD while baking. Surprisingly bread-like.
  • It wasn't on the list as such so I can't really cross it off, but the Cock-a-leekie soup  is done and made into custard with at least a quart of broth leftover. And what looks like a thick layer of fat on top. Hello Hanukkah schmaltz!
  • That brings my total of custard-based meals on hand up to 22, a full week+. Woohoo! Maybe I'll throw the pork tenderloin in the freezer for a few days.
I'd be really surprised if I get to all that today, but as long as I have the list maybe I will get to it sometime. One of those should probably be dinner. The recipe says the soup simmers for 4 hours, but I like to let my stewing hens go for a day or more, really extract all the flavor and break down the tough old birds, so I'm not planning on that making a meal until at least tomorrow. Chili makes sense for watching the Saints-Cowboys game, but the Eggs Bendict has been on my mind for days already. Making Hollandaise sauce is a little daunting, I've never done it before. Then again, the prospect of bread is pretty exciting. I miss buttered toast.

Anything could happen. Even the dark horse Mac and Cheese, which I'm not including in the To Cook list only because I only have enough noodles for one meal.

Meanwhile, laundry is kicking my ass. Semi-literally - I just dropped a full basket of laundry on my foot and that hurt. Mostly it's just an overwhelming mountain of laundry. Between decisions I've made to not wash some loads on prior days because i didn't need them right then and the large number of recently unpacked clothes that need to be washed before they can be worn, it's a lot. If I can get some of the clothes that are too big for me out of the house, and the things that are too summery to wear for a few months packed up, my wardrobe will be so much more manageable, but it's one of those looks-much-worse-before-it-gets-better processes.

Edited to add: yeah, this is looking more like laundry week than laundry day. I suck.


multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Quick and Dirty Chawanmushi: can of shrimp divided between 4 jars, teaspoon of soy sauce and a 1/8 t ginger in each jar. Let that marinate while I mix up a cup and half of Easy Miso, and beat 3 eggs into that. Pour egg mixture over the shrimp. Steam for 20 minutes or so, until the custard is pretty much set.

Ate the first jar hot from the steamer. Yum! A llittle on the salty side: I didn't think to rinse of the shrimp. Kind of contrasted nicely with the not so salty custard, though. Could use some water chestnuts or something.

I got a leek in my produce box, I'd better pull a hen out of the freezer so I can make soup. Huh, and I am actually out of chicken stock. Good timing!
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Yesterday I layered roasted beets (and carrots because why not?) and broiled steak into mason jars and covered that in a beef stock based custard to make Borscht Chawanmushi. I haven't actually tasted it yet (although I sampled all the components and they were good) but it sure looks pretty, sort of a ruby red ombre effect.

And this morning I made "muffins" featuring bacon, blue cheese, and bloody mary mix. Yum, although I need to tweak the oven temperature/cooking time a tiny bit. The tops browned up great but the bottoms could be drier which I think a little longer cooking at a little lower temperature might accomplish.

I have a full week's worth of meals in my fridge! Unfortunately, I also have the equivalent amount of pots and pans needing to be washed up. That's mostly a matter of loading the dishwasher several times, though, so still a net win.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Not that I have made more custards, but I bought a bunch of ingredients. I think the next thing up is...you know, that will take more explanation.

I don't think I mentioned that in addition to the chawanmushi, I came across something called "Egg Muffins" in a low carb cookbook which is practically the same ingredients, basically the same assembly, but instead of steaming or baking in a bain-marie as is usual with a custard, it's baked in a hot oven till it puffs up a little and browns a bit and somewhat resembles a muffin. Pretty tasty, and doesn't necessarily require a fork.

So anyway, next up is a batch of those made with ham and cheese. I just need to decide between sharp cheddar and gruyere. It's a tough call. I bought the gruyere because it sounded good with ham, but the cheddar might be calling more to me. Hm.

Well, not gonna make any tonight, so I can sleep on it.
 


multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I've been feeling like never grocery shopping again, for whatever reason, so yesterday I scrounged up all the stewed chicken meat off the carcasses that had been turned into stock (about 4 oz) and steeped appropriate spices in a quart of that very stock and assembled four jars of Pho Flavored Chawanmushi. I didn't consult my notes while cooking and I think I got the ratio of stock to egg a little off, but it tasted fine both hot out of the steamer and cold today for lunch. Maybe better cold? The spices seemed more pronounced. Definitely lacking lime and cilantro and bean sprouts, and would only be improved by the addition of noodles, I think, but not bad for what I had lying around. Will make again, probably with more actual ingredients.

Custard!

Oct. 7th, 2013 06:01 pm
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I have found a food obsession to temporarily and partially fill the void in my kitchen that eating low carb has created by disallowing dumplings. Chawanmushi! I've already been toying with making custards out of soup stock and found it delightful, and now that I know there is an actual culinary tradition out in the world that has been refining this idea I am all over it.

So far I have not come close to making anything authentic, just steamed some miso custard in tea cups (why don't my lidded tea cups fit in my bamboo steamer? WHY?!) and that is freaking delicious. I don't know if I'll get quite as far as hunting down gingko nuts or, you know, following actual recipes but I am all kinds of excited to marry my long standing love of soup with my newly discovered appreciation of custard's texture and already have a list of 31 combinations of flavors to try...I am halfway serious about eating custard for every meal for a while. It would be pretty easy, although a dozen eggs would not get me through two weeks anymore...

multipurposegoddess: (Simpsons)
Not immediately, you understand. Tomorrow. But I have successfully put together my new natural spectrum lamp with attached magnifying lens for an easier time working on my cross-stitch during the game, and the semi-traditional El Pollo Loco leftovers (usually it's Popeye's, I'm branching out in an effort to maintain my low carb diet) in honor of the dirty birds. Whee!
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Had a salad for lunch and cut up one of my mustard pickled eggs to go in it. I couldn't tell you how mustardy it was, it mostly tasted like vinegar (which is actually fine with me, I like vinegar), but it was very pretty, bright yellow, and did not have the rubbery texture that I feared it might get. Now that I think about it, I think my pickled-eggs-getting-rubbery fears are all based on how vinegar will leach the calcium out of eggshells so they aren't hard anymore and probably has nothing to do with hard boiled eggs. Huh.

Anyway, pickled eggs are a fine way to preserve hard boiled eggs and if I ever get a good source of lots of farm fresh eggs again I will make more! In quantity!

The yolks were noticeably a nice texture, so I might try making deviled eggs with them. And I haven't even tried the beet ones yet, maybe they will be more flavorful.

Tired

Sep. 20th, 2012 08:31 pm
multipurposegoddess: (Aruba)
So, I decided to do the good old-fashioned Atkins Induction 14-day eat-exactly-what-the-book-says thing, because that's easy on the brain. But it meant buying a frickin' ton of groceries (I had the foresight to let myself run out of just about everything first, so the last couple of days feeding myself has been more challenging than usual), so I had them delivered, which helped a lot, but just putting all the perishables away has taken me about two hours (to be fair, a good bit of that time was making sure I knew how long I could wait before dividing and freezing the various meats, since I sure as hell don't want to do that today if I don't have to, and some of it was making and eating lunch). And I have the final delivery of Soul Food chickens today - good thing my parents are letting me use some of their freezer space for some of that!

I don't know if I'll get to any of my overdue items today, just keeping up with what's due today on top of this major grocery shop is kind of kicking my ass. But that's okay. It's an extremely flexible plan. And I"m already down to only 242 Past Overdue tasks, so that's a marked improvement for such a short time.

I somewhat randomly decided to make chocolate pots de creme yesterday, mixing and matching the Cook's Illustrated recipe with Ratio creme anglaise/custard advice, and sweetening with Splenda. It ended up looking pretty ganache-like, which I was pretty okay with, but then I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I knew how to fix it and actually got up and tried it. That's kind of odd for me. Now they are actually kind of thin and liquidy, but pretty tasty if a little more bitter than sweet. My Net Diary seems to think they are acceptably low carb, so I'll go ahead and finish eating them over the next few days.

Edited to add: OMG this day! I head out to get the chicken delivery about quarter to five, the Toyota won't start. Fine, I can always take the Volvo. Except that won't start either, in a slightly different way that makes me think if I can hook the batteries together with jumper cables maybe one of them will start. They're parked side by side in the driveway, but the batteries are on opposite sides of the engine compartments and the cables won't reach. Of course. So, I call the farm and ask if they can hold my chickens to tomorrow, which they are agreeable about, and figure out how I can take the (infrequent and slow) bus to an auto parts place and buy a battery or a charger or something, I don't know. Fortunately, as I'm leaving my favorite neighbor M pulls up and asks what's wrong, she saw I had the hoods up, and I explain and she not only offers me a jump, she calls her husband to come help my push the Toyota out of the driveway so the battery is reachable. I need to get them some kind of thank you gift, they are awesome. I call the farm and tell them I'm coming, drive out there, leave the engine running while we load up the chickens, come back to the house and get the chickens into the kitchen with the engine still running, and then go drive around some more in the hopes that I can get the battery charge up. We'll see how it is tomorrow. I suspect that one of the accessories that was plugged into a cigarette lighter was draining a little too much power with the engine on - I haven't been driving at all much lately, so it would have had some time to work with. I really hope that's it. The battery is about two years old, which doesn't seem like time for a new battery, and everything got completely checked out by a shop that specializes in the electric system, so I think they would have caught anything more esoteric.

In better news, all the chickens fit in my freezer and fridge, hooray! Even the liver, which I forgot I was getting. I have so much food right now. But I haven't had dinner yet. Cooking time!

More editing for further update: another neighbor just knocked on my door to tell me he'd turned off the inside light in my car. I have no idea why it was on, but I've been only driving during the day for I don't know how long (just because that's my schedule these days, I'm extremely diurnal), so it's probably been on a long time. That would explain the dead battery! And it was still on when he turned it off for me, so hopefully that won't be a problem anymore.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
First attempt to bake frozen soufflé failed to rise. I was pretty casual with the oven temperature (I didn't look up what the temperature was supposed to be, neither did I confirm that the oven was the temp I thought it should be before I put the soufflé in), so I'll be more careful with the next one (still have two in the freezer).

Even so, pretty tasty. 
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
 The plan was, if I could start off the week disciplined and focused and productive, I could carry on like that and get tons done. And I did pretty well yesterday - started doing housework before breakfast, got the lawn mowed and all the dishes washed even the things that are too big to fit in the dishwasher or the sink and therefore often languish on the counter for an unconscionably long time, various little things that always need doing but slip through the cracks, etc. I did run out of steam in the afternoon, but that seemed acceptable.

Today I've gotten virtually nothing done. I spent a bunch of time taking apart the Wii and deciding that I needed to order another part for it, so that's not even a completed task. And that's about it. Meh.

Will try to get back on track tomorrow.

Edited to add: OK, I did also make my first attempt at a deconstructed matzo ball soup soufflé, and I am pretty pleased.Image behind tag )Needs more tinkering, but proof of concept is quite tasty!

Also, I expect to clear my todo list of everything that was due today, so that's not nothing.

multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
 Finally made the Chocolate Fallen Soufflé Cake. Hooray for standing mixers, that's for sure, but as long as I have my beloved Kitchenaid it's not a hard recipe. I do not understand how it has no flour. That just doesn't make sense to me. And yet, somehow it's cake. Yum. Some of it is almost surely going in the freezer.

I had saved the poaching liquid from making, shoot, I forget the name but it's basically chicken poached with ginger and garlic and served with dipping sauce. So the poaching liquid is like a light chicken ginger broth. Used that as the liquid to make a custard, browned up a little ground chicken and stir-fried bok choy, a carrot, and some shiitake mushrooms for the garnish and made actual pastry dough for the crust (actually made enough for, like, 9 crusts, so I can experiment further pretty easily) -> a delightful little quiche. I should be able to make one, maybe two more before I run out of vegetables.

I still need to start my challah dough tonight. Why am I doing all this baking when it's so hot? That makes no sense. The things you do for bountiful egg season. At least the bread should have no trouble rising.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
As you may know, I have been stocking up on farm fresh eggs before my egg farm shuts down (woe!), so I have been exploring the exciting and heretofore largely unknown to me world of egg cookery. The first new thing I thought I'd try was soufflés. Now, I still haven't made the Fallen Soufflé Chocolate Cake (I may have some of those words in the wrong order) that first caught my eye, but that recipe led me to a recipe for individual cheese soufflé, and I actually have the right whaddaycallit mold? Pan? Thing you cook soufflés in. So, made that and, y'all, I really like soufflés. It's very possible I never had one before - I've certainly never made them before and I feel like they are usually one of those order at the beginning of your meal if you want them for dessert kind of things in restaurants and, not knowing whether I liked them or not, it's unlikely I would ever have done that. I certainly don't remember having one. And it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought. Pretty much my whole knowledge of soufflés was that they fall and they are fancy, so I was prepared for great difficulty, but it was really pretty straightforward and didn't even take forever.

So then I was all, must make every kind soufflé that can be made, right? So, naturally, I turned to Ratio and looked up soufflé in the index. No joy. So I looked up eggs and that led me to custards - a whole chapter I hadn't gotten to (honestly, there are many chapters I haven't gotten to, I am, like, halfway through cakes, maybe, but it is slow going to master the basic ratio and then experiment with all the wacky things I want to try with it) all about custards, in which I learned (a) your basic custard takes a long time but is actually pretty easy to put together and just requires egg and liquid (2) you can make custards with stock instead of milk or cream and (iii) quiche is basically custard in piecrust. So I immediately started making custards out of chicken stock and that is like the best I'm-kind-of-queasy-but-I-need-some-protein food (I just don't like milk, even as an ingredient, so custards made with milk have never appealed to me that much and custard made with cream is pretty clearly a sometime food). It's gotta bake in a water bath for an hour and a half or so, and then chill for 8 hours, so it's not a thing to whip up when you suddenly realize you are starving and have nothing ready to eat, but a weapon I am pleased to have in my arsenal nonetheless. Especially since the other thing (besides eggs) filling my refrigerator right now is chicken stock (in fact, the freezer is filling up with chickens, and I am constitutionally incapable of throwing out bones that can be made into soup, so no stock shortages are in the offing)

So, today I made my second, not quite as successful but still quite tasty cheese soufflé (protip, ramekins are not the same thing as soufflé molds, volume definitely matters) and while I was making it couldn't help but notice that it felt a lot like making matzo balls. So I toyed with the idea of making some kind of deconstructed matzo ball soup soufflé with chicken filling (ooh, needs some kind of glaze. Can you glaze soufflés? And what would be appropriate? WIne?), but clearly I have not mastered the soufflé enough to be improvising wildly like that.

But I have mastered the chicken stock custard. And I feel pretty good about my pie crusts. And that adds up to some probably unwarranted confidence regarding quiche. So I made a crust out of matzo meal and filled it with chicken stock custard and it was good. Like what I like best about chicken pot pie but no dairy - if I add bits of chicken and vegetables it can only get better. Nom nom nom will definitely make again.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
My beloved Soul Food Farm, source of delicious fresh eggs and stewing hens and super yummy fryers/roasters and the occasional sweet little black kitten is having financial problems and will close down in September. So I need to stock up (on chickens and eggs,  I am fully stocked on cats). Might be time to go vegetarian when I run out of chickens. I do have another source for fresh eggs, but it's going to be tough to match that quality of chicken.

I'm bummed for them, they're really nice people and they've worked so hard on the farm. They are just getting squeezed by rising chicken feed costs, mostly, and they don't want to raise their own prices too much. I hope that they'll be able to keep the farm and I'll be able to buy something from them in the future - lavender or olive oil or whatever works out.

Edited to add link to news story  
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
For some reason, last night I had the strong feeling that today (i.e., last night's tomorrow) I would be super productive and get tons done. That is totally not happening. And I'm not even wasting a lot of time being distracted (at least, not that I'm noticing) or napping or whatever, I'm just moving slowly. Stuff is getting done, but not a whole lot.

So I am reacting to my frustration with that by making pound cake. I would say that makes sense in my head, but, really, it doesn't. It's just what happened. But I was planning on making pound cake at some point because I do have to use up all these eggs, and I made sure I bought more than a pound of butter while I was at the store so I wouldn't be completely out after making cake (it feels extravagant, buying more than a pound of butter. 5 lbs of flour or sugar feels normal, but 2 pounds of butter is getting too rich for my blood, apparently. (I also picked up 6 dozen eggs from the farm yesterday, which is a LOT of eggs but I paid for them in advance and have to eat them up so my innate frugality is pushing me the other way there) I compromised by getting half a pound of fancy "pasture" butter from presumably happy cows to not bake with. I splurged on some before and I think I do prefer the flavor for, like, bread and butter, simple things like that). And I have all these limes (even after making a quart of cordial and a quart of lime syrup) and I found a lemon I'd forgotten about, so it's lemon-lime pound cake, heavy on the lime. Two loaves, which doesn't seem like that much but will undoubtedly take me a long time to actually eat.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
So, I've been out of a bunch of stuff, and I made lime cordial last week and want to try it in gimlets, and I needed some ingredients for the upcoming week's dumplings, so I went shopping this morning. Spent $40 at the grocery store, $100 at BevMo and $125 at PetCo. I think that reflects what I happened to be most lacking (my fridge was already full of chicken, eggs and veggies from last week's unreported CSA hauls while the cats had no food at all after getting fed last night) rather than my actual priorities, but it struck me as funny.

Gonna be another hot day (hot for April, I mean, I'll probably be nostalgic for the mildness come August), so taste testing gimlets might well be the order of the afternoon, now that I don't have to worry about the cats eating my head.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I didn't mean to be all silent for over a week, like that. These things happen, I guess. 

Anywa, I got myself an eight-person seder meal + tzimmes and chopped liver from Whole Foods, which turns out to be well over enough food for me for a week. I think I still have a pound of chopped liver I should get int the freezer. I performed the most abbreviated seder ever using the 30-minute haggadah and abridging it further because I felt like I just read that part of Exodus recently (it might have been a couple of months ago, but it's fresh in my mind). But I got in all the wine drinking and herb dipping and invited Elijah in, which is much more observant than most of my holidays have been recently!

I haven't actually had leavened bread, yet, which is kind of peculiar. Well, the week was pretty easy as far as that went - I was aware that I couldn't go get a sandwich or make myself pancakes, but that was never a hardship. Went out to dinner with my mom on Wednesday (before seeing Anything Goes at the Willows, which was excellent, even with the last minute understudy stepping in for a major role!) and had sushi, so I even got the annual "do I eat rice?" debate with myself.

I meant to feed my starter last night so I could make bread today, but I forgot. And then this morning I discovered that the dog had messed the kitchen floor (he was scared by the train going by on his evening constitutional (I don't know what that's about, we have trains going by all day and all night and he's never been scared before) and dashed back inside and then couldn't hold it 'til morning, I presume. He's normally a very fastidious dog so I'm trying not to make him feel guilty about it) which (a) is better than the carpet, at least but (2) meant I couldn't have coffee or breakfast until I'd cleaned up. Well, I guess I could have, but ew. So, anyway, today's getting off to a slow start.

I still haven't dealt with the bees! Argh. I need to call Vernon tomorrow, and if he isn't going to come get them soon I have a line on another apiary that says specifically that they are set up to integrate captured swarms into their honey-making process safely, so they should be able to handle my hive. Part of my problem is that I don't want strangers judging the unkemptness of my backyard, but I have to just get over that. They can judge, whatever, it's not like they'll be dropping by every morning asking if I've cut back those blackberries yet.

I think I should probably make a doctor's appointment while I know my last premium check cleared, but that is a whole other post. I'll try and get those thoughts out tomorrow, and then I'll make the appointment. Saying it in public makes it more likely to happen, right?

Mmmm, Food.

Apr. 4th, 2012 03:42 pm
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
So, I ordered a seder meal from Whole Foods because that seemed way easier than actually deciding what I was going to cook, and buying groceries, and cooking. I pick it up Friday morning (presumably, that's when I ordered it for but I haven't gotten a confirmation and the website says the order is "received" but not "completed" so, I don't know, but I'll go on Friday and pick up whatever they have for me), so I'm trying to not go grocery shopping before then because, you know, I hate grocery shopping. So I'm eating what I have lying around and the pantry is getting pretty empty, my friends. Which is kinda good, but coming up with meals that sound at all appealing is a challenge. 

I had forgotten I had an avocado in my FFTY box and i came across it today in my fruit hammock, looking a little shriveled, so I figured I'd cut it up and eat whatever was salvageable. It was actually perfect all the way through and sliced up beautifully. I still have a large number of my mom's limes, so I squeezed one over the slices and ate them up on saltines. OMG y'all that was so good. Can I live on avocados and lime?

Sometimes living in California is really worthwhile. 
multipurposegoddess: (Aruba)
I didn't make it out for breakfast (it's extra hard to get out of bed when it's really cold and I was up late doing laundry last night so this morning I didn't try very hard) but I did get to Bab's for lunch. Delicious, as always. I need to figure out how to balance being frugal with taking myself out to lunch with some regularity, it's just so very pleasant and there are so many restaurants near my house that need my support. Eco-Delight closed (possibly temporarily but the note on the door mentions reorganizing their business plan, so who knows?) and while my one cup of coffee and maybe a pastry being bought slightly more frequently is probably not enough to make a difference, it reinforces that I should do what I can to keep the businesses I like open.

For dinner I had the brainwave that I could call in an order for a Restaurant Week Special to pick up and eat at home. Genius! Except for the part where I hadn't thought of it before. Of course, since I picked up the whole meal at once, my sopapilla was cold by the time I finished the taquitos and shrimp tacos, but it was still very good. Must remember that's an option when I find myself wanting beignets.

In conclusion, nom!

I also called my garage and confirmed that I could drop the Toyota off tomorrow morning to get that Check Engine Light, er, checked. It's probably due for a bunch of maintenance because I've been neglecting the hell out of it, though I haven't put many miles on it, either, so maybe it won't be too bad. I love having a garage walking distance from the house, so convenient. Anyway, that was my Responsible Adult Accomplishment of the day. 
multipurposegoddess: (goats)
Operation Eat Out All The Time hit a snag yesterday as my digestive system demanded clear liquids only for most of the day. Blergh, but at least I had plenty of chicken broth and ginger ale stocked up for just such an occasion.

Anyway, all better today and I hit Pad Thai for a restorative Tom Yum Gai (i.e. Magic Soup), Pad Kra Prao with chicken, and Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango. This is the best thing about restaurant week, the specials often include dessert which, for a typical meal out, I am usually too full to order even though they sound delicious. So I ate half my entree and really enjoyed the sticky rice - it's warm and tastes of pandan, if I'm not mistaken, and it's always nice to have some mango. If I don't make it back during Restaurant Week I'll have to make a point to try the fried banana and coconut ice cream dessert that was the other option.

I don't think I will make it out for dinner since I am very full and still have half my Pad Kra Prao to eat. Aiming for breakfast tomorrow.

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