Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nabe for the ladies

The Boyfriend is off visiting relatives until Christmas proper and I have to work the day before and after the 25th so I stayed behind. To keep myself from being too sad and lonely (and because she's an amazing person) I invited my good friend Lilian to spend the night.

Before he left, The Boyfriend and I traded presents (I got him a very nice hat). I received the "Thunder Range" gas grill. So before work, I finally got around to re-firing my nabe (fill with water, put in hot oven for an hour to avoid cracking your nabe over the open flame) and looked at my nabe recipe book and found the Fukugawa recipe which traditionally is for two people, which they bumped up to four and I bumped back down to two.

Clams (which I left in the shell), mizuna (which I substituted spinach), tofu, and mushrooms went into a dashi stock with some miso paste smeared on the lip of the pot so it would caramelize and slowly melt into the stock. It was very fun to put a few clams into the broth and eagerly wait for them to open.

Of course, the best part of nabe is spooning the enriched broth over some rice (or noodles) and devouring the essence of your entire meal over the pleasant chewiness of hot rice.

The Boyfriend definitely "did good" with present shopping this year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Omuraisu! Or, how sometimes it's okay to put ketchup on rice

Days off usually mean more culinary exploration.

I've been wanting to make "omuraisu" or "omelet rice" for a while, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I'm not sure what prompted me to make it today, but I'm glad that inspiration struck because it's tasty. Oh yoshoku, how deliciously ironic you are.

I used Maki's recipe, as she's very reliable for this sort of thing. I did add a little salt to the onions (which isn't called for) but since I was using unsalted butter I figured it was fine.

Basically you dice half a small onion and saute it in butter, then you add half a cup of chicken or ham (I used ground chicken that was in the fridge) and cook that through. Add a cup of rice and two tablespoons of ketchup and mound on a plate. Then you beat two eggs and half cook an omelet and flip it onto the rice mound (runny side down). A little more ketchup on top and you're good to go.

I didn't really measure the amount of chicken I put in (I was trying to use it up) but it made a hefty omelet.

I made some glazed carrots to go on the side. That was two carrots (for two servings), peeled and chopped roughly, maybe a quarter inch of grated ginger, a splash of soy sauce and two tablespoons of simple syrup. I added enough water to cover and let it reduce down. I actually added more water as the carrots weren't soft enough and had to let it reduce again, but I don't think that hurt anything.

It was a very yellow/orange/red kind of meal, but that's not a bad thing.

What are your views on the ketchup raise combination?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Roll Cake II: The Wrath of Sarah

I would recommend using only half the cream called for in that recipe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rolly Polly Cake

Now, that probably looks more like some kind of killer space slug than its intended form of "jelly filled roll cake". Let me count the ways I went wrong.

Firstly, the recipe called for four egg whites beaten until stiff but not dry. I have no real clue as to what this meant and beat them until I got bored of it (which I think was around the right place).

Secondly, the recipe called for the filling to be whipped cream. But it's flooding here (which is why I baked a cake instead of going to work) and I didn't feel like braving the elements for two cups of heavy cream to beat.

The jam itself was a gift (a delicious and much appreciated gift) but it never really set correctly and was runny even before spreading it on hot cake.

The recipe also called for using parchment paper and stated that this would get rid of all the little brown bits (which I concluded meant the skin) but it came off cleanly.

Basically... you should just follow the recipes correctly and contrast/compare against as many similar recipes as possible.

I bet this will still be good if I can get whipped cream into it, or I'll just eat strangely curled jellied cake and call it good.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cry Baby Pie

You know what makes a good pie? A good movie. I watched "Cry Baby" staring a young Johnny Depp. Oh...! The lines in that movie. "That's why I gotta do somethin' rotten everyday for my folks."

A good recipe helps too. I used the dough recipe from Alton Brown's apple pie recipe. Unfortunately, the larger food processor I recently acquired from a friend doesn't seem to work. So I had to mix it in batches in a smaller food processor (which I suspect is mainly meant for fresh sauces).

I didn't follow the recipe exactly (par for course for a Sarah). I replaced the apple jack with vanilla rum because I don't have an extra twenty dollars for liquor and still have a hefty stash from my birthday. Also...I have a secret. To season the apples... I used garam masala. Yes, my curry seasoning stash went into apple pie. Personally, since apples aren't even a native plant I don't feel that putting an Indian spice mix into a fruit that is no longer grows in its native soil doesn't feel strange at all.

The pie would have been more attractive if I had a pie bird instead of just scrunching a bunch of tin foil into a cone shape, but I feel that it was pretty good for a first attempt.

Now, if you'll excuse me, that left over pie won't eat itself.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Apple Bunnies FTW

Hah... did you think that since this is a food blog that was updated on Thanksgiving that there would be helpful hints on how to get crispy turkey skin or how to make the perfect pie? How little you know me...

The truth is that the Boyfriend and I are going to the Boyfriend's dad's house tomorrow to celebrate. I have also never cooked a turkey in my life. I think I made a turkey burger one time, but that's about the extent of it. I do love to eat turkey though. My mom makes the best turkey noodles (think chicken noodle soup, but actually delicious). They're pleasantly slick with turkey juice without being overly greasy. I suspect that I'll never master the art of turkey noodles because it's going to be a long, long time before I cook a turkey.

Instead, I present to you: apple bunnies!

Apple bunnies are a bento staple, and also a fun way to serve raw apple. At H-Mart organic apples were on sale, and I decided I couldn't live without one. These apples are really too big to eat in one sitting, so this was how I shared it.

First you cut the bunnies into the appropriate size. They're supposed to be eaten in two to three bites, so cut them to fit that. I ended up with twelve bunnies from an apple a little bigger than the size of my two fists.

Make an inverted V (or an A without the middle line... kind of like "^") incision into the skin of your apple slice on one end. (Unless you're superman, you can't see the incision in this picture).

Put your pairing knife under the skin and slide it up until you've reached the apex of your inverted V.

"Pop" the wedge out. I usually just eat it. It's full of... red... nutrients... just eat it okay!

If you leave them in cold, acidulous water (just add lemon juice) the bunnies won't brown. If your water is cold enough, the bunny ears will curl up in an attractive way.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sometimes you've got to live a little, and if that means homemade, peppered bacon pizza then that means homemade, peppered bacon pizza.

I'm not going to give the recipe for this because I used the first dough recipe I found on the internet (ended up with a very harsh yeast flavor) and the rest was just toppings. Those were the quintessential tomato paste, a mozzarella/cheddar cheese combination, bacon, mushrooms and olives. I am a die-hard mushroom/olive fan. I can eat pizza without them, but unless it's just an average pizza it seems a bit lacking.

In any event, I'm probably not going to make pizza again for a while. I'm going to wait until I get my grubby little mitts on a stand mixer, then I'm going to follow the good eats recipe, which requires fifteen minutes of machine mixing (half an hour by hand) and twenty-four hours of resting. I'm sure it's fantastic, but I'm not kneading anything for half an hour.

Making pizza at home is definitely the way to go though. Including a brand new bag of whole wheat flour (I substituted half the white flour with whole wheat), three cans of of pizza paste (I've only used like a quarter of one), a can of olives (only half the can), a brick of mozzarella, and the mushrooms it was only like ten dollars (I used left over bacon). Ten dollars for a delicious and somewhat nutritious pizza. Homemade pizza is definitely where it's at.

In short, I love peppered bacon and pizza and cheap eats that are also delicious, so this pizza was very satisfying. I suggest you also make pizza.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Soup what nourishes the soul

Or is just plain tasty.

Ah, my gentle readers, I'm such a negligent writer. I don't blame you if you seek comfort in the blog of another. But know that I am always thinking of you.

This soup was what happened when I went shopping for Italian chicken sausage at the Korean market. I ended up with chicken thigh.

For the soup, I slowly cooked half a large onion in a decent pat of butter. I cut two chicken thighs into bite size pieces and coated them in flour laced with salt and pepper. I added that to the pot, and cut my two red potatoes into chunks. Before adding the potatoes I deglazed the fond (the bits of flour and fat that had carmelized on the bottom of the pot) with a splash of cream sherry which I had looted from my former roommate's liquor supplies (Thanks Ellen!). The potatoes went in and I simmered it with enough chicken stock to cover until they were soft. I had already cleaned and stemmed perhaps half a bunch of kale. I tore it into bite size pieces as I threw it into the pot. This is perhaps the tastiest soup I have ever made. The perfect thing after tromping about in the rain.

The Boyfriend and I ended up finishing it off that night, so I'm planning on making another pot of it tonight. I often have problems making the same dish from scratch two nights in a row, but you have to understand how delicious this soup is. I recommend it to people who have the ingredients and enjoy delicious things.

That's the long and the short of it for this post, my gentle readers. I hope you have some delicious soup after your own trudgings through autumn.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

West Meets East Meats West?

In Japanese food there is a little something called "yoshoku" which is food that comes from the West. This includes things like kareraisu (curry with rice), hayashiraisu (beef stew with rice), and omuraisu (omelet with rice). The thing that I made from this category is "koroke" or a croquette.

To make these, you boil potatoes until they're soft, add cooked ground beef cooked with diced onion (cooked so that all the little bits of meat are separate) add shredded carrot and salt. Then you form it into little balls or patties, dip it in beaten egg, dip it into panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and deep fry until golden brown and delicious.

It's usually served with a thick dipping sauce like tonkatsu sauce, shredded cabbage and rice. I'm going to omit the rice though, deep fried potatos and rice seems a bit excessive.

I know it seems like all I do for this blog anymore is deep fry, but I assure you that I'm eating simmered and boiled things properly in between posts. Plus it has raw cabbage, what could be healthier than raw cabbage?

In any event, this recipe was very hap hazard, but that's how I like to give things to you. I'm under the impression that the sink or swim nature of my recipes will make you more self reliant.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My oh my, it's a flan not a pie!

As you're quite aware, the holidays are steadily approaching. With it, the pressure on home cooks to put out delicacies, and on dieters to not gain four pants sizes. With this post, I give you something close to a solution. Pumpkin flan.

See, aside from the occasional cookie, I don't really make many desserts. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I try to cook "healthy" things, and aside from fruit, most desserts just don't have much in the way of vitamins and fiber. It's probably just laziness though. However, what could be healthier than some pumpkin?

For this recipe, you need:
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
5 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 can pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla (or a split bean)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of allspice
pinch of mace
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk

You heat the first amount of sugar with the water and let it melt into caramel. Then you pour that into the bottom of eight oiled ramekins (which are sitting in a deep, oven-proof pan). The rest of the ingredients get mixed together (you have to heat the milk, so mix it in after you've already mixed the eggs into the sugar and pumpkin so they don't set up in your mix), then poured on top of the caramel. Then, you pour hot steamy water into the pan, halfway up the ramekins, and pop into a 300F oven for 45-50 minutes. It's done when a knife blade goes in and comes out clean.

Or, if you would like a much more accurate and professional description of the process, here's Chef John who made this recipe. Chef John makes wonderful posts and wonderful food, so definitely check him out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tempura Tempura, space people

That above is me being silly. "Ventora ventora space people (supeisu peporu)" is the traditional method for Japanese students to try and summon aliens.

Every once in a while, you have to cook something that's a pain in the ass, just to eat it. Tempura is something I feel that way about.

You remember the left over sake/soy/giner/garlic infused chicken meat I had left over? I cooked that up in unflavored water, and then I parboiled all of my vegetables in that chicken infused water. The veggies included: purple yam, kabocha (a Japanese pumpkin), carrots, and green onions. (I didn't parboil the onions).

After parboiling everything (except the green onions), I dipped them in batter.

The batter was kind of my "economically challenged" version of a few recipes I found. I used one egg, 1/3 cup sake, 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup mochiko (sweet rice flour), 1/3 potato starch ('cause I'm sick of eating corn byproducts), and 1/3 regular all purpose flour.

Perhaps it was because the outside was wet from the boiling, but the first few pieces had very little batter on them; it just wouldn't stick. Then I sprinkled in about a 1/4 cup more of the mochiko. That worked fixed the problem.

Deep frying is something I do from time to time. It's pretty simple, and I don't see why some people are so afraid to attempt it. You just have to learn a trick or two.

These are Sarah's rules for successful deep frying:
1) Keep flammables far away.
2) Use a heavy pot.
3) Use high smoke point oil (I like grape seed oil).
4) Be prepared to par cook or finish in the oven.
5) Don't be afraid of pops.

If you're afraid of popping oil, go ahead and wear long sleeves, just make sure they really hug your wrists. You don't want them dipping into batters. You really don't want them dipping into hot oil.

Anyway, we ate this with white rice, and and tentsuyu sauce from a bottle. You mix 1/4 cup with 1 cup hot water. It made a salty soup base.

The Boyfriend and I polished off this basket of fried goods but, since they were all veggies (aside from the chicken) I didn't feel bad about this.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I managed to burn my right thumb and index finger while making this.

Actually, I burnt them while trying to hard boil quail eggs (told you you'd hear from them again), so my hand isn't feeling too nice while I type this.

Congee is basically rice soup from what I can understand. I had accidentally made too much rice a day or two ago, and had a lot of mushrooms and such in the fridge, so I figured it might be a good time to try it out.

I put the rice back in the cooker and added what looks like way too much water. Then I turned it on. While that was happening, I sliced some more shiitake mushrooms, along with the enokidake mushrooms. I also sliced up some more tofu. I let it all cook until the rice was very fat and the soup thick.

After serving it up in bowls, I threw a handful of spinach into each bowl and let the residual heat cook it down. I added soy sauce at the table.

This is apparently something you eat when you've got a cold and the like (congee in general, not specifically my mushroom enhanced version).

Even with the soy sauce, this tasted way too bland. I think next time I'll lace my cooking water with some kind of stock (chicken or the like) and see how that does.

A quicky.

Free Rice is a site that improves your vocabulary and feeds hungry people at the same time. So, go, test your knowledge and feed the world, ten grains of rice at a time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chanko nabe!

So, after watching this video by Runnyrunny999 I decided to try my hand at chanko nabe.

Chanko nabe basically means "sumo wrestler stew" (according to Raani-san), but this recipe isn't loaded with fat or anything. Sumo wrestler fat is actually very interesting, because of the amount they exercise, the fat doesn't penetrate the muscle or anything. The amount of rice they eat is what loads on the calories.

This is most of the ingredients here. I already had some dashi soup stock in the pot. Dashi is made from konbu (a kind of pressed kelp sheet thing, I think) and bonito flakes. You let it all rest in cold water for about twenty minutes and then you simmered it for a couple minutes, and then you strain out all the little fish flakes and such. It's used in a good portion of Japanese soups and dipping sauces.

Here we have tofu, aburage (which is deep fried tofu), enokidake (the white, thin mushrooms), shitaki (you're probably familiar), carrots and cabbage.

This is a small package of ground chicken with grated garlic and ginger, and a shot of soy sauce and sake. You mix this together really well, and make into small balls to drop into the soup.

I put the ingredients that would take a little longer to cook into the pot first. That includes the cabbage, carrots and the chicken balls.

I think I may have put too much into the pot already. I ended up putting most of the super firm tofu into a tupperware container with clean (filtered in my case), cold water. I only made a couple chicken balls, the rest also went into the refrigerator. The mushrooms basically covered everything up.

And here's the money shot. Don't you want to eat this up? We had white rice with this.

Friday, October 29, 2010


So, as I mentioned before, there are a few ethnic grocery stores about my (extended) neighborhood. At "JD's Vegetables" there were goat chops. I had to try them

I used what I like to call "the steak method" on the chops (sear on both sides, then finish in the oven).

While that was happening I also used my rice cooker's steam basket to steam some couscous. This required wrapping it up in a clean kitchen towel, then stopping midway through to rub olive oil all over the tiny noodles, trying to coat and separate each one. I think the point of stopping midway through is to avoid a chewy and unpleasant texture. This I seasoned with lime juice and black pepper and just a smidge of salt.

There was also a vegetable stirfry, which I believe I also seasoned with salt, black pepper and lime. I was kind of trying to get a semi Middle Eastern flavor going on, but I'll be honest and admit I have no knowledge of that food and was winging it. I believe that I put a couple pinches of garam masala into the vegetables.

I ate it mostly with my fingers, which I find makes most bone-in chops more delicious. Probably not a dinner I would serve to guests (along with any other messy foods), but very tasty.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The return of the camera!

So, as it turns out, my computer has a slot for ...macro(?) sd memory cards, so a lack of cords isn't going to keep me down anymore.

Basically, I've moved to the land of eternal rain. It has rained (off and on) for the past five days. This has kicked in a need for soup. Tomato, specifically, and that's not happening without some kind of grilled cheese.

The soup is just a can of something semi-organic (any soup that doesn't have corn syrup in it immediately gets two more points). I think it's Campbell's "Harvest Select" or something. It's not bad with some generous pepper grinds and a little rosemary sprinkled into the pot.

The sandwich is Monterrey Jack (cheese melted in the microwave for speed and not burning bread) with pastrami and baby spinach. I also rubbed the inside slices (the ones not covered in cheese) with a apple cider vinaigrette that has garlicky overtones. I think it might've over powered the pastrami's flavor, but it didn't make any overt clashes.

I think next time I'll grill the sandwich, then open it and press the baby spinach into it. It wilted much more quickly than I had anticipated.

The problem I have with the George Foremen grill is that it doesn't have an adjustable thermostat. You could do some very fun things with it if you could control the temperature.

I would expect more soups from me in the future.

If you have a good tomato soup recipe, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just like Mama used to make

These camera less days are just as hard on me as they are on you. I think I'm going to use The Boyfriend's camera here shortly.

But for now, another wild tale with no photographic evidence.

When I was little, sometimes my mom would make been burritos. All they were was composed of refried beans, salsa and a tortilla. So simple, so easy! Mix, fill, bake, good. They also freeze well, making them a great fall back meal.

I didn't quite go the burrito route this time. The tortillas we have are too small to easily fill and fold. No, I mixed beans and salsa, covered the surface with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, and microwaved until the cheese melted. Then it was corn chip city. It was kind of like nachos, only without at least half the ingredients.

Sometimes you just need something easy and filling, and let's face it: beans are healthy and super cheap. Plus, I use chunky style salsa, so I'm sure there was at least one serving of vegetables in there... I'm sure of it...

In any event, it was delicious and right now that's all that I'm after.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I only know to call it delicious

Sometimes the Boyfriend cooks, usually to take mercy on an exhausted Sarah. It's always good, healthy stuff (a standard being "broc's 'n' potats" which are broccoli and red potatoes boiled together then drained and tossed with shredded cheddar cheese and black pepper). Last night he made something utterly delicious.

First, he sauteed some onion slices and some green bell pepper strips in a little butter. Then he set that off to the side (I think, I was playing "Animal Crossing" while this was going on. Those weeds aren't going to pull themselves). Then he fried two eggs sunny side up, and set those aside. Then he took a small tortilla and smeared it with refried beans and put an egg and half the veggies on top and put it back in the pan to toast. Then he put another tortilla on top and flipped it to toast the second tortilla (making a tortilla sandwich perhaps). Of course he repeated with the rest of the ingredients. Served with some chunky salsa (sour cream would have been nice too, get some microbial action going on).

Maybe it was the three hour walk that proceeded it, maybe is was the combination of egg and beans and butter, but it was really... really good. It's definitely going into the "keeper" list.

If it had been made with oil instead of butter, it would been proper "country" food: cheap, unrefined (read "honest"), healthy and quick.

The moral of the story is that even if you are the self proclaimed "Foodie" of the house, letting others cook can be quite the welcomed treat.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Brussels Sprouts, my favorite green child

Okay, so maybe it's creepy to call a food your favorite child. I just liked the way it sounded.

But I do love Brussels sprouts. It seems that no matter what I do to them, they are delicious. I've steamed, boiled, fried, broiled, baked and am considering raw (shredded in a slaw), and it's all delicious. And I know what you're thinking. "Sarah, you just like things coated in hot fat". Wrong! Well, I mean that that's a separate matter. They're just so good.

I made a pretty good dinner tonight of kippered herring, sweet potato, and steamed Brussels sprouts. I must've eaten ten of those tiny cabbages. I ate them as though they were going to be taken away from me.

Anyway, if you're not a Brussels freak like myself, here's a thing I've been known to do with them that might swing you closer to my persuasion.

After cleaning a good number of sprouts (remember to buy the smallest ones you can, they are sold by weight and the smallest ones are the sweetest) cleave them in half and pan fry them in a cast iron skillet in regular olive oil until they have a nice bit of brown on them and a fork will go through them with minimal force. Then sprinkle with salt, and grate Parmesan cheese on them. Put this under your broiler (I mentioned the broiler, right?) until the cheese starts to brown. Pull from oven. Remove from pan (cast iron holds a lot of heat) and eat as soon as you can avoid burning yourself.

That "recipe" also works with a variety of vegetables.

In short, there is not a sprout that I will not welcome. Is it so wrong to call it my favorite child?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back in the Library

My friends, I have seen things. I have seen the meaty offerings of a Korean market, and let me tell you that I was startled by things! There were things I thought were mainly eaten by the French (frogs' legs and the ilk), and things I knew not the purpose of (pig jowls). There was a bounty of rice, in sacks fifty pounds in weight and the size of a small child.

I went to a Super H-Mart, which is a place I'll most likely go back to, especially considering it's just across the way from the Alderwood Mall. I was intimidated by some of my finds, and by the fact that all the over head broadcasts were in what I assumed to be Korean (I base this on my ability to recognize written Korean, if I cannot actually pretend to read it, like Japanese).

You see, all I know about Korean culture I have learned from J and K dorama. And in fact, the only K dorama (Korean soap opera) that I've watched was the show Coffee Prince This means I know exactly nothing, except that you can find good coffee shops in Korea.

In any event, I've found a reputable, but cheap source of quail eggs, so be prepared for their appearance.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Did you miss me, gentle readers?

Because I've missed you.

Unfortunately, this dalliance must be short. I, while basically unpacked, cannot find my camera cord. This means less than satisfying posts. Coupled with my lack of internet (I am in a library) means irregularly updated, unsatisfying posts.

Now, here's a picture of a panda.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

La comida filipina

That is (aside from being another example of my terrible outdoor photography) was "the combo" from a farmers' market stand selling Filipino barbecue and noodles.

The noodles were nice, with bits of bell pepper, onion, and cabbage. Aside from a lack of soy sauce, it tasted like chow mien.

My Latino/Asian confusion was only enhanced by the presence of an egg roll. It was a good egg roll, standard cabbage-carrot combination with a crispy skin.

The barbecued pork was amazing. I've always loved the taste of a slight singe on grilled meats. Makes a nice contrast with the... well meatiness of the meat.


A quick search has revealed to me how ignorant of the Philippines I am. Apparently Chinese cuisine was a large influence on their own. My confusion is dispersed!

Anyway, the moral of the story is that barbecue is always delicious.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Liquids of Various Stimulating Properties

Remember that post I did waaaaaaay back about infusing liquors with fruit? Well here's the fruit (or rather, the liquor) of that experiment.

It strangely has kind of a smokey flavor for such a refreshing spirit as gin. I suspect that it would be much better very cold. I say "suspect" because the plastic bottle I stored the berries in has frozen shut and I don't drink liquors at ten in the morning. I still love its color, especially in the little jar I bought for it. I have two other bottles made by the same company as the first. You can't quite see the details, but there are little flowers with stems etched into the glass.

I'm thinking of doing a vodka blue berry and perhaps a vodka kiwi for the other two colors. I'd love to get a yellow colored liquor (primary colors), but I can't really think of a yellow fruit (banana skins are not delicious) that would work. Perhaps lemons?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the coffee pot that I want. Available at Amazon.

It's a vacuum coffee maker, you put hot water in the bottom, and coffee grounds on top. Then, you light the butane burner underneath, which causes the water to boil. The boiling water is forced through the tube to the top bowl, passing through a filter and into the grounds. You kill off the burner, the water cools slightly, creating a vacuum in the second bowl and sucking the water back through the filter, giving you coffee.

I dabble in steampunk and the aesthetics of this are almost captivating to me. The next time I have an extra $60 (who has "extra" money these days?) I will be picking this little beauty up.

Also, I (my physical self and not the blog) will be moving shortly! Wish me luck and be patient with updates.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Not quite a frittata...

...neither quite a quiche. I like to call it "baked omelet". I recently picked up MFK Fisher's "How to Cook a Wolf", which is a fantastic book. It was written during the height of WWII rationing. The introduction made me laugh really hard (Miss Fisher has a dry but sharp wit). There's a section dealing with the manifold forms of the omelet. My "baked omelet" isn't a quiche because it lacks a crust (which would tempt me to call it "egg pie") and the eggs were never fried, so it can't be truly called a frittata (my hodgepodge language skills lead me to believe that frittata is related to frita and fritters and thus must be a fried thing).

I did fry the veggies (carrots, zucchini, onion), sans cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, in a pan slicked with rendered bacon, and a bay leaf and probably some thyme and sweet marjoram. I felt that the bacon added enough salt to not require additional sprinklings. Then I let the mess cool down, and tossed them with the remaining vegetables into a baking dish that had been buttered generously. I beat six eggs with about half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese (I say about because I just stopped grating when I got tired of it). Popped it into a moderate oven (350 F) and let it cook for half an hour.

I paired it with some buttered (man, I've been using that a lot) tri-color rotini with lots of black pepper.

I felt it was a great dish and I will be making it again.