Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Too Much Food and Not Enough Blogtime

I simply have too much food to write about, seeing as I ended both of my last two posts with caveats that I had more to say. With that in mind, here is the brief lowdown on what I made for this past shabbos

Brought to the meal I attended- Dinner
a big pan of whole wheat macaroni with artichoke arrabiata sauce
a big pan of balsamic roasted green beans with walnuts
a little pan of savory cornbread

Made for the meal I hosted- Lunch
Crockpot Turkey Chili (a hit!)
Sweet cornbread
Romaine Salad with balsamic/dijon dressing
Broccoli/Tempeh/Chickpea baked curry
one of my guests brought wine, another, sesame green beans
and i made a big chocolate sheet cake with cinnamon topping and chocolate chips

Monday, May 15, 2006

Adventures in Indian Food for Shabbos, Satmar Groceries, and More...

This week was filled with myriad interesting experiences.
For one, I was admitted to NYU's Graduate Program In Applied Recombinant DNA Technology. Coming straight out of YU's Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies, unless I hear good things from Columbia's MA in Biotech I'll be doomed to a string of graduate programs with long, unwieldly names that don't tell you much about what you actually will be doing on a day to day basis!
Just Kidding. I'm absolutely thrilled and hope I get a teaching fellowship. If I get into both and I get a fellowship at NYU I might just choose them over Columbia. That was Wednesday.

Interestingly enough, earlier that Wednesday, Hippoboy and I went backstage to the taping of Extreme Makeover home edition and met a visually impaired celebrity chef who prepared very standard American "cool" (nonkosher) fare- scampi pasta, coolwhip and poundcake parfaits... in a fantastic kitchen full of donated Hamilton Beach appliances in Avocado Green (!).

This past Shabbos, I decided to go dairy/pareve and made very simple meals.
Steamed Qinoa (we're very into Qinoa lately. It's quicker to cook than rice and can be made in very small quantities and is perfect as a base for those aseptically packaged heat-and-eat kohinoor kosher curries that I pick up at fairway because they are so magically delicious and easy.)
Lentil Dal (this was very spicy- almost spicier than I had intended to make it. I sauteed an onion and a few garlic cloves in olive oil and toasted with them some whole cumin seeds, tumeric, curry powder, garam masala, and cayenne. I then added a cup of dried lentils and about 3 cups of water and let it simmer for a while, set it on the blech before I lit and then served it at around 9ish - go late shabbos!)
A steamed broccoli dish which went totally untouched
Some yogurt on the side to temper the heat of the Dal
A Hatian Mango (less astringent and blander, sweeter than regular ones, and I really dont think they're nearly as good) chopped up into a fruit salad with blackberries) and some Ben and Jerry's ice cream finished the meal.
Oh, and of course Halla and Wine (Tishbi Estate 2004 Chenin Blanc. Hippoboy was not impressed but I found it quite drinkable.)

Mac N Cheese Kugel (whole wheat penne, halav yisroel english cheddar, shredded, J&J farmer cheese, paprika on top, baked till bublly, fridged, and put on the blech in the morning)
Field greens (horridly overpriced but the only decent lettuce in the market) and endive salad with avocado, lemon, olive oil, and pink hawaiian salt.
Homemade Tehina (sesame paste, water, lemon juice, salt, cumin)
Granny Smith Hard Cider
Ice Cream

This is getting to be rather a long post, so I'll leave our Boro Park and Mothers Day adventures for another one.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More about Cakes, and Lemony Artichoke Soup

I made ugly cake. It was a big hit. It looked a little plain, so I adorned it with dark callebaut chips. Hippoboy was pleased. And I got him a bottle of fine scotch as a 21st birthday present. We opened it with friends and had a lovely party, complete with movie and popcorn and much laughter and silliness.

Augh. How dissapointing then, after a few days of absolutely lovely weather, to come down with a cold. I told myself it was allergies, but when I woke up coughing, congested, headachy, and sore of throat this morning I knew I had to stop kidding myself.

Odd how one's need for theraputic soups comes in direct inverse to ones ability to putter around the kitchen chopping and concocting. I wanted to lie in my bed and have soup brought to me, but as this was not an option, I ground up a telma cube, popped in some frozen artichoke hearts, and rummaged through my fridge. I tore up some parsley, cilantro, and dill, ground in some fresh pepper and splashed in some lemon juice. Lemons have vitamin C in them, right? Drizzled in some olive oil. Celery salt and garlic salt and boiled untill the hearts were cooked. Tastes vaguely syrian. Topped with some pine nuts. Now I want to crawl back into my bed and sniffle for a while more. But remind me to post about the syrian stuffed artichokes I made two weeks ago, and the steak salad that Hippoboy made.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Gaggle of Cakes

Hippoboy's birthday is coming up and I am determined to make him a cake.

Let me explain that I am a good, steady baker but not necessarily a very creative one. I have one cake recipe (a very simple scoop and stir in the pan chocolate one)that I make all the time, and one basic challah recipe that gets translated into whole wheat, regular, rich egg bread, and foccaica as the need arises (ha, ha).

I ventured onto epicurious.com in search of a brave new cake. I found a pecan praline cake which looks simple enough. However, it does not look like it tastes all that yummy. Plus, as Hippoboy confided a few nights ago, he would like a cake with multiple elements preferrably, with layers or a creamy filling.

Now, since this cake will be served on Shabbat, and most likely after a meat meal, I am delimited in my choices of creamy filling. Buttercream is out of the question, and I always thought the Crisco-based buterkreem I learned to make in high school cake design was beyond awful, as is the Reddi-whip and Crisco based confectionary of Kosher bakeries worldwide. I could, however, make an acceptable dark chocolate ganache with soy creamer and fill a vanilla cake with it.