Mini Snickers Cheesecakes

Posted in Dessert on January 15th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

I don’t normally go for gimmicky baking where the appeal is dressing up someone else’s brand name, but my coworkers were going crazy over the idea of this Mini Snickers Caramel Cheesecake. I joked that I could go home right then in the afternoon and make it and I think they would have let me, assuming I actually came back with cheesecake in hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. chopped Snickers Bars
  • 2 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbl. granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbl. melted butter
  • 2 8oz packages softened cream cheese
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbl. pure vanilla
  • 3 Tbl. caramel sauce

My biggest downfall in cooking is that I still am not good at reading recipes thoroughly before I start. First I misread 2 cups as two Snickers bars and had to go back to the store.

Then I missed the two mentions of sugar in the ingredients, so when I started making the crust I used the whole one cup and thought there was nowhere near enough butter to turn this powder into a crust.

That went in the trash and I had to start over.

Instructions:

  • Place graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter into a mixing bowl to combine. Spoon a couple spoonfuls of crumbs into each section of the muffin pan and press down and up the sides.Bake for 5-6 minutes or just until browned.

  • Remove from oven.

Good to remember. It would be really hard to get the cheesecake in those little cups while still in the oven.

  • In a stand or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined, scraping sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.

Looks like cheesecake!

  • Beat in caramel sauce until well combined.

I keep saying that I bake for selfish reasons. It’s not that I don’t like making other people happy with sugary treats, which I do, but I also fill up on the compliments I receive back. And so I insist on using quality ingredients because my reputation is on the line – I want people to be excited when they see something made by me. That means, for example, no high fructose corn syrup in the caramel sauce.

  • Pour about 1/4 c. of cheesecake mixture over each baked crust then top evenly with chopped Snickers

I augmented the original two bars with a bag of “fun size” and chopped as I went so the leftovers could go in the freezer. (Frozen Snickers – try it.)

  • Bake for 23-26 minutes or until cheesecake edges are just starting to brown and centers are nearly set. Remove and let cool completely. While still warm, loosen all edges with a plastic knife to make for easier removal from pan.

This knife thing is a good idea because those melted candy parts are still gooey and not yet glued like cement to the pan – at least for the first 30 seconds.

My first impression was that these are the ugliest things ever… and the right out of the oven taste test was okay but not my thing.

However served properly after being refrigerated, topped with homemade whipped cream and the rest of the caramel…

Beautiful and wonderfully yummy.

Thanksgiving Greens

Posted in Vegetables on November 25th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Every year for probably as long as we’ve been a couple, Andrew and I went to the same friends for Thanksgiving. It was pretty much tradition, but this year they decided to go and move across the country. So left with no other choice, we had to start our own tradition at home, and invited the band. Andrew likes to cook the big holiday meals which is great because I’m not ready to tackle a turkey, and don’t plan to be either.

I admire anyone who can get up at an absurd hour to turn this:

into this:

I especially admire them as I sleep in and only have to make sure to be dressed before guests arrive.

For my part I did contribute some vegetables to the meal – mashed potatoes (of course) and newly discovered mustard greens.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

I have a feeling that any green leafy vegetable could be thrown into this recipe as those are pretty standard looking accompaniments.

Directions:

  • In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.

Onions, doing their thing.

  • Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

It’s almost like a magic trick how these things cook down from overflowing a pan to a condensed blob. Unfortunately with Thanksgiving involving a lot of running around between guests and the kitchen, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. So instead I present an artist’s representation, in bad-MSPaint style.

Can you believe I cheated and used Photoshop? That plate is its own layer!

(I now promise to never do that again. Real pictures or no post. But it was funny in my head.)

Anyway mustard greens, I learned, live up to their name. Mustardy. Spicy, like you wouldn’t expect from an inconspicuous leafy vegetable. Unless you like to burn your mouth with vegetables I wouldn’t recommend this recipe as-is, however they could liven up a mixed-green type dish. Add some kale to start. All the trendy people are eating kale (and making bad MSPaint drawings.)

Nutmeg pasta

Posted in Pasta on November 15th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Oh how I wish I had this recipe back when I had an excess of nutmeg!

There’s not really much to it, but a magazine cover in the grocery store was making me hungry for pasta with cheese, and even though the picture looked like your everyday Parmesan-on-spaghetti, I still had to go looking to see if there were any inspirational ideas out there. Not only inspirational, but “A Eureka Pasta Moment” is what I found.

His Eureka Moment was using a big of pasta water to make the cheesy sauce. Mine was the nutmeg addition.

al dente

I’m going to get a little controversial here but I feel like this phrase is overused these days. I’m not referring specifically to this person but I see it all over when I’m looking at pasta recipes and get the feeling people are throwing it in just to sound good. I’m pretty sure I first heard “al dente” used in an Olive Garden (or similar) commercial as a kid and it exploded from there. At the same time my mom had taught me that spaghetti’s done when it sticks to the refrigerator – I wonder if there’s an Italian word for that.

According to the Wikipedia, “Keeping the pasta firm is especially important in baked or “al forno” pasta dishes, which will be baked.” Beyond that feel free to cook your pasta as mushy as you like. I’ve been throwing it in, setting the timer, and walking away my entire life without a problem so maybe I’m just defensive that people are turning the easiest meal in the world, short of ramen noodles, into something that can be done “wrong”.

Actually I have to admit pasta can be done wrong, only because I had a boyfriend in college who didn’t know to boil the water first, and made us very wrong, soggy macaroni and cheese. “Al dente” would be a good cover for a bad cook on the other end who makes crunchy noodles though, just like I used to my burnt food “blackened”. (Don’t be offended. I’m making fun of myself!)

Oh look, pictures… there’s some butter melting in the pot.

Trying to pretend to be healthy, I cut up some fresh spinach. Normally I used frozen but this was some Andrew bought that I knew was going to be forgotten about.

This is my version of “freshly grated”…

And by magic it’s a plate of spaghetti!

With nutmeg on top… really. It was quite good. The nutmeg added enough flavor that you could easily cut back on the cheese, but who eats pasta not expecting it not to contribute to a future heart attack?

Red Velvet Milkshake

Posted in Dessert on November 11th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Andrew came home last week and said he found something at the grocery store I had to know about, but didn’t buy for me because he was afraid of being accused of sabotaging my diet.

Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream with
Red Velvet Cake Pieces & a
Cream Cheese Frosting Swirl

I see a lot of “wrong” red velvet out there but I have faith in Ben & Jerry’s.

Red velvet isn’t just chocolate cake with red food coloring. The red tint originally came from a reaction between the chocolate and buttermilk, and except for my inappropriate cupcakes I consider the flavor more important than the color. In fact I think too many people have been turned off of red velvet cake due to the artificial dye taste.

I also learned while making my cupcakes that cream cheese frosting isn’t actually the traditional frosting, but people use it that way anyway so I’ll give them that. I saw vinegar in the ingredients (same as my cupcakes) which convinced me that this is the real thing… in ice cream form.

Adding milk and a blender… it’s red velvet cake in liquid form.

Wine glasses are good for portion control, and they make anything you drink feel fancy.

(And yes I realize in retrospect that photographing on a white background was a bad idea… that’s why this is a cooking blog not a photography blog.)

Asiago Mashed Potatoes

Posted in Potatoes, Vegetables on November 4th, 2011 by admin – 2 Comments

Okay here’s my sob story… First I know I’m going to lose a lot of sympathy when I say I hadn’t been to the dentist in over ten years. But I did go to the dentist and then my teeth started falling apart. I’m guessing they cleaned off all of the gunk I needed to keep holding them together. So with a painful broken tooth (which later stopped hurting more mysteriously than it started) I left the coffee shop early and looked ahead to a weekend eating mashed potatoes.

However, tragedy, I had no potatoes at home and for the same reasons I left the coffee shop early (er, mainly intense pain) I didn’t feel like grocery shopping on the way home. However, luck, I was parked right outside of a little organic grocery store that I’d never noticed before, ten minutes before closing, and acquired a bag of mini gold potatoes.

For reference, those are about 5 curious pink cat noses wide.

(I lie, I totally guessed that number.)

‘But I don’t want to search for some new mashed potato recipe,’ I whined to myself, ‘I just want plain old mashed potatoes.’ (Plain Old Mashed Potatoes, for the record, is garlic and sour cream with bacon bits on top) So I’ll write about when I tried to make asiago mashed potatoes instead.

Oh there’s that word ‘tried’ again. But it was good, I promise.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I like Yukon Gold)

Me too!

  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
  • 1 scallions, thinly sliced

I could start my own personal stock photography collection of things like ‘cut potatoes’.

Directions:

  • Cook potatoes in boiling wate….

Okay we already know this part. Cook, mash, etc. Actually no etc., that comes next.

  • Add the warmed milk, sour cream, butter, salt, white pepper, and garlic, mixing well
  • Sprinkle in the shredded cheese and scallions, stirring until cheese starts to melt and incorporate.

Somewhere in here is where the “tried” happened…

It seemed like a lot of milk but I trusted the recipe and got a pot of potato slush. So I turned to what I call the Unhelpful Internet. How to fix runny mashed potatoes? “Don’t add to much milk.” Right… I’ll get right in my cooking time machine and add less milk.

Other suggestions were to add more potatoes (which I would have figured out on my own if I had more potatoes to cook) and to add instant mashed potato flakes – something I consider potato blasphemy, but I might have to start keeping on hand because I’ve seen them as an emergency fix for a number of cooking problems.

The best suggestion I found was also the one I was already doing, leaving it on the stove to try to boil it down.

It’s not a mashed masterpiece, but I’ll still take it over instant.

Anyway looking at the recipe again I realize what the problem is – I had scaled down the 6 servings to 3, and the recipe recalculated the 3/4 cup of milk to be… 1/2 cup. Some faulty math but the original recipe is still good. Whoever wrote the code though, I know no one wants to figure out 3/8 of a cup (that’s 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons) but there’s no excuse for recipe-ruining rounding.

Back to basics: Ham and Cheese omelet

Posted in Breakfast, Eggs on October 9th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

First, I think it’s both a little strange and sweet that I’m 33 years old and my mom still sends me care packages. Back in college it was boxes of Rice-A-Roni and coupons for toilet paper. Now I get a combination of bakeware, purple things, purple bakeware, and Hello Kitty.

Yes, I’m a Sanrio fan-girl.

A while back she sent me a purple omelet pan, I’m guessing after reading about my failed omelet attempts. I hadn’t wanted an omelet since getting the pan and felt guilty for not using it. I think it’s the pressure of going in knowing you can’t pretend at the last minute that you really meant to make scrambled eggs after all.

That doesn’t show it in all of its purple glory.

Today however I was in a breakfast mood. I had breakfast for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, and lunch… well lunch was two mini Snickers ice cream bars. (They make them small so you have to eat more.) I decided to make a good old fashioned ham and cheese omelet. No extras. Three ingredients:

  • Ham

I broke the reclosable seal, a bad start.

  • Cheese

No omelet is complete without good old cheddar cheese.

  • Eggs

Yes that’s a family pack which they usually mean for more than two people, but you’d be amazed how many eggs you go through when you start baking. And butter, I can go through a scary amount of butter.

Then I looked online for any last minute advice and found the Basic Omelet Recipe. It started…

Many people are intimidated by omelets, but if you can make scrambled eggs, you can make an omelet.

What!? Totally disagree… turn that around and it’s been my experience.

Omelets should always be cooked in a nonstick sauté pan. An 8″ omelet pan is the best choice.

Sorry mom, wrong size.

They added on ingredients “2 Tbsp clarified butter or whole butter” (what other butter is there?) and “2 Tbsp. whole milk”.

Add the milk to the eggs and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

After learning what ‘to taste’ means, I don’t think I’m going to taste my raw egg mixture, it’s more like ‘season to guess’.

Then, grab your whisk and whisk like crazy. You’re going to want to work up a sweat here. If you’re not up for that, you can use an electric beater or stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whatever device you use, you’re trying to beat as much air as possible into the eggs.

Again recipe, seriously? First I have to get mixing bowl off the top shelf which means getting out the step stool just to make an omelet, and then you suggest I might even need an electric mixer? I used my Hello Kitty whisk, and while I didn’t work up a sweat, I had a little left over from the walk from the grocery store so close enough.

Yes, Sanrio fan-girl. I have the matching spatula and strainer too.

When the butter in the pan is hot enough to make a drop of water hiss, pour in the eggs. Don’t stir! Let the eggs cook for up to a minute or until the bottom starts to set.

This is the moment of perfection, omelet potential, unbroken.

With a heat-resistant rubber spatula, gently push one edge of the egg into the center of the pan, while tilting the pan to allow the still liquid egg to flow in underneath. Repeat with the other edges, until there’s no liquid left.

Kinda working…

Your eggs should now resemble a bright yellow pancake, which should easily slide around on the nonstick surface. If it sticks at all, loosen it with your spatula.

I haven’t cooked with nonstick pans before so this was amazing. I would have taken video of the egg sliding around the pan if I could.

Now gently flip the egg pancake over, using your spatula to ease it over if necessary. Cook for another few seconds, or until there is no uncooked egg left.

And there it is, the expected outcome for me and my omelet.

If you’re adding any other ingredients, now’s the time to do it.

Add the ham and cheese and my breakfast for dinner is complete with chocolate milk.

Red Velvet Cake Redux

Posted in Cupcakes, Dessert, Uncategorized on September 14th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

So I (totally cheated) bought some store-bought red velvet cupcakes on a whim. After being thrown in my shopping bag, this is how they made it home.

Apparently I’m not the only one having trouble with slippery frosting.

I’ll forgive them for that since I couldn’t do better, not to mention my haphazard self-check-out bagging, but let’s see…

Texture: kind of dry, definitely not moist
Taste: A little off, chemically… red dye taste?

An expensive reminder of why I have the rule I can only eat junk food I make myself. It’s easy to resist store-bought when I know I can bake better.

(Except for Starbucks’ mini peanut butter cupcakes… so, so, so good… and less calories than a slice of banana bread.)

Inappropriate cupcakes

Posted in Cupcakes, Dessert on September 5th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

People got a little too excited when I mentioned that I was going to make inappropriate cupcakes for my next baking project. I think they imagined something intended for a bachelor/bachelorette party and I just don’t have those kind of molds or sculpting skills. The cupcakes themselves are completely normal – it’s just the story behind them.

If girl stuff (you know, girl stuff) bothers you – or you’re one of my coworkers who ate them – then skip ahead to the recipe while I tell the story.


It occurred to me recently that, while I don’t know the exact date (I just remember it was the first day of school 8th grade) I’m coming up on the 20 year anniversary of my first period. Or in other words, the beginning of my fertility, which itself didn’t mean much to me as a 13 year-old but much more so as a 30-something. So I decided to mark the occasion (because what’s wrong with an excuse to celebrate?) with red velvet cupcakes – both perfectly appropriate and inappropriate at the same time.

In fact I think it has just the right level of appropriate inappropriateness when I told Andrew the story and he had to think for a second, and then it hit him.


I originally made these cupcakes for Christmas a couple years ago. I remember they were good, but cupcakes don’t mail well, especially when you add in frosting and perishability. The recipe, like every red velvet recipe, also uses an absurd amount of red dye. I cut it in half originally and then decided that the next time I made these I’d leave out the dye altogether and they could just be ‘velvet cupcakes’. However since this time the color was important I at least went for quality – the main reason I’ve heard people say they don’t like red velvet is the artificial dye taste.

This set of India Tree Natural Decorating Colors claims no corn syrup or synthetic dyes, and at $15 – that’s $5 a color! – was the single most expensive thing I bought at the grocery store.

I’ve already dyed the packaging… that’s how you know it’s loved.

I decided to make them, right then that night, pretty spontaneously so that grocery store trip I just mentioned didn’t take into account things like frosting. It turns out from a little research that cream cheese frosting typically used on red velvet cup/cakes isn’t actually traditional. The “real” red velvet cake frosting used (nearly) all ingredients I already had at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. vitamin D whole milk (too runny if you use other)

I say nearly all of the ingredients because the closest I had is 2% milk, so I tried to substitute by adding a 2 tablespoon frozen cube of cream to 2 tablespoons less of milk to increase the fat content.

Directions:

  • Cook flour and milk in double boiler until thick, stirring constantly.

They mean that, stir constantly. Otherwise you’ll come back to a thickened white goop and panic until you remember that the recipe you just stepped away from the stove to check said “until thick”.

It is done.

  • Cool.

No problem.

  • Cream sugar, butter and vanilla until as fluffy as possible. Blend cooked mixture with creamed.

A bit of a problem… Even though the recipe warned that it would fall apart at room temperature, I wasn’t getting anything frosting consistency to start with. I added about half a cup of powdered sugar (maybe overkill – suggestions say to add a tablespoon at a time to thicken frosting) and the put it in the freezer to harden.


My plan was to make the frosting first, and then if it turned out, to make the cupcakes. While I was iffy on the frosting texture, it tasted good at least so I kept going.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

I decided to cut the recipe in half this time so it wouldn’t be cupcake overload.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups.

I pulled out my mini cupcake pan because it was on top and considered it… Andrew asked, didn’t I learn my lesson with that already? Yes, that it ends up too much work. but the next cupcake pan I found was only a 6-cup so I decided to make half normal and half mini sized.

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla.

I still cut back the amount of dye to a teaspoon, and added a couple drops of blue to deepen the color. Still, it was pretty…

  • Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended.

It seemed like a good idea to do step 2, the combining part, before step 1 because I’m pretty sure step 1 involves a chemical reaction that doesn’t want to wait five minutes while you look for the which cupboard you put the cocoa powder in this time.

I’m totally cheating in this picture. Not only did I not bother to use a real mixing bowl, that’s Ghirardelli in the background while I actually used up the end of my old Hershey’s powder.

  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.

“Evenly” gets a little difficult when dealing with different sized pans. In the end I think I came out with three or four sizes of cupcakes, depending on the amount of muffin-top.

Those still look on the brown side, although the red would probably show more if they were next to some actual chocolate cupcakes for comparison. However a little Photoshop work will give that real red look people expect:

Personally I’d rather have purple velvet cupcakes:

Now back to the frosting… cold it was too stiff to spread and warm it was too soft… and either way the frosting didn’t actually stick but slid around the top of the cupcakes as I tried to frost them.

Way too much frosting as always.

I have a new appreciation for people who make pretty, fancy cupcakes. While I still think taste is more important than looks (especially with frosting – if you have to make it into glue to keep its shape then it’s not going to be edible) I was kind of embarrassed to bring these into work, especially when they’d be one coworker’s first impression of my baking. I can make pretty cupcakes, I swear.

Oh, and it only got worse from there. I put them in my new brownie pan because it came with a cover, and in the fridge overnight. However in the morning I forgot about the cover, and put the pan on the passenger’s seat of my car – not a problem except for my backpack precariously propped up in front of them, which of course fell backwards while driving to work… at least twice. The backpack was covered in frosting, but I don’t think the cupcakes could look any worse than they started.

People ate with closed eyes and open minds I think. My frosting kept being complimented especially. I’d really like to find a way to package, preserve and sell frosting along with baked goods – I imagine little canning jars with petty ribbons and labels of artisan frostings. However I’ve found out the canning process itself won’t work on frosting because of the heat involved. It sadly looks like there’s a reason the only options are store bought Betty Crocker variety, full of preservatives, or making it homemade. If someone knows how to pull this off, I’d love to know, and would happily trade a cupcake or twelve for the secret.

The lemon drop

Posted in Drinks on August 20th, 2011 by admin – 1 Comment

There is a series of videos out there that Andrew found – Andrew found and I watch when he does since my ancient desktop does the computer equivalent of hiding in a corner and crying when I ask it to do anything media related – called My Drunk Kitchen. (The videos are not work safe but did I really need to tell you that?) She seems to have gotten quite popular, and with good reason. My first reaction to the videos though was, ‘That’s totally me! If I got drunk while cooking, recorded it and put it on the internet anyway…’

Maybe not, but there’s definitely something in there that I identify with and as my tribute I’m writing about tonight while it’s still tonight – although by now I think I’ve regained enough coherency that this won’t read any differently than any other middle of the night forcing myself to finish a post before bed (and then back-posting the date since while it’s 2am on a Sunday, it’s still Saturday in my head.) [Note, some coherency was added to that very sentence by proofreading and editing.]

Let me go back to the beginning, when it was still Saturday and even daytime. First I’ve caught a mild cold, which is just enough to be a good excuse not to do things I don’t want to, like go to a party of one Andrew’s friends where I won’t know anyone and will feel awkward, but not sick enough to keep me from doing things that I do want to do, like going to set up tattoo consultations with my friend, having dinner afterwards at a cafe, and then deciding that since Andrew’s was going to be out at the party we should get some ice cream, alcohol, and watch movies. (Blame that massive run-on sentence on the alcohol.) I’ve only been married 1.97534246 years but I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of thing you’re supposed to do while the husband’s out for the evening.

So we went to Safeway and got some cheap wine (Selina’s choice), some less cheap wine, and lemons to make lemon drops. To illustrate how cheap cheap wine is, while picking out lemons I realized I just needed one more to spend more on lemons than the cheap wine. We also got some So Delicious coconut milk ice cream, since she’s not eating dairy and I like to experiment. For the record, I think I could actually live with coconut milk ice cream as a replacement if I couldn’t do dairy, and that’s the first non-dairy dairy replacement product I’ve been able to say that about.

I considered being true to the video and making it from memory but I did sneak back and check the recipe. I am not in any claiming this is the best or proper way to make a lemon drop, knowing practically nothing about mixed drinks, it was just the easiest one to bring up on my phone while at the store and didn’t require anything that wasn’t already in my kitchen or able to buy there.

Ingredients:

Actually the ingredients didn’t show right away because I have noscript enabled but I guessed correctly equal vodka and lemon juice. Without looking I would have missed the extra sugar in the glass.

Directions:

  • Add sugar to the rim of an old-fashioned glass

I actually read right over the “old-fashioned glass” part because I was thinking how nice it was that they didn’t tell me what kind of glass I had to use. Since we only own wine glasses and regular drinking glasses, anything I want to look fancy (alcoholic or not) goes in a wine glass.

It doesn’t say here but I read on another page I brought up on my phone while looking up recipes that you rub the lemon on the rim of the glass and then dip it in sugar to make it stick.

So if anyone wonders why there’s a slight lemon taste to our sugar bowl… never mind, I’m the only one who uses that sugar anyway.

  • and drop a cube or packet of sugar into the bottom of the glass

Doing this part second definitely makes more sense than doing it first and then remembering to sugar the rim. And I wasn’t even drinking yet as an excuse.

  • Pour vodka and lemon juice into a stainless steel shaker over ice, and shake until completely cold. Pour into the prepared old-fashioned glass, and serve.

What I actually did – first squeezed some amount of lemon juice (two lemons).

A measuring cup told me it was 1/3 cup so I added the same amount of vodka to the measuring cup.

Then I got fancy and dug out our… not-so-fancy plastic shaker, which came with a bubble tea making kit. Note to everyone – don’t buy cheap bubble tea making kits. It was horrible, but Andrew wanted to keep the shaker because it might be useful someday. You’d think we’d go buy a nice metal one when we were ready for that kind of thing but turns out he was right about being useful someday.

Pour into sugar-rimmed glass. Yes the sugar’s uneven, but come on, it’s my first time!

That’s the cheap wine on the left

Our makeshift coffee table:

I can tell that I don’t drink often because my first thought was, “that’s some weird tasting lemonade!” However the lemon drop is “my” drink, if I get to claim one, because it was my first. My 21st birthday was on a Tuesday, and what interesting happens on a Tuesday? Especially when you’ve just turned 21 and don’t even know how yet to find out if anything interesting happens on a Tuesday. Selina and I wandered Capitol Hill and ended up in the Broadway Grill where I ordered their Broadway Lemon Drop (which looking back seems to be any other lemon drop with their name tacked on, but at the time it was something special, sugar rimmed glass and all.)

Now before I edit the publishing time to make it look like this was written on a Saturday night like it technically is, hit the publish button and go to bed, I’m going to end with my favorite quote from My Drunk Kitchen which I would totally make the motto for this site if I wasn’t blatantly stealing it:

“When cooking it’s important to remember… use food.”

Andrew’s yellow rice

Posted in Rice on July 27th, 2011 by admin – 3 Comments

Andrew: Now that’s lazy blogging.
Me: What, letting you cook and writing about it?
Andrew: Not even cooking, I’m throwing stuff in the rice cooker.

I asked Andrew to make me some yellow rice since I failed my last attempt, and it’s a known fact that food tastes better when someone else makes it for you. Some good examples:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Toast
Garlic toast
Cheesy bread
Cheesy garlic bread

We’ll just say anything bread related tastes better when it comes out of someone else’s toaster.

Ingredients

  • Rice. Andrew says he uses the long-grain but it probably doesn’t matter. It’s just the only rice in the kitchen that isn’t already claimed for a specific purpose.

    When I asked how much he said, “This much,” holding up the measuring cup that came with the rice cooker.

  • Butter, about a tablespoon. This is also why someone else cooking for you is better, because the calories don’t count as much when you can’t see them going in.
  • “Yellow” aka Turmeric. Sprinkled on, unmeasured, but definitely not tablespoon(s?) like I did.

Directions:

  • Turn on rice cooker. Shower. Let the rice cooker god do it’s magic.
  • Enjoy magic yellow rice.


Also here is something not lazy I did recently:

It started with a box… specifically the box the blurry cat is laying on in the background. The project was delayed a few days due to unexpected cat-on-box-ness.

And when you finish this, you’re going to learn how to focus the camera on the right object, right?”

Three sides were cut out and a seamless background panel added. Morgan inspects the work before I’m allowed to proceed.

After adding tissue paper the sides, I have a decent photography light box for about $5 of material, that much because I insisted on buying the box new. I ran out of the fancy white tape I’ve had since who knows when and had to finish with the black masking tape I’ve definitely had since art school, but outside aesthetics don’t matter here.

Now I can take fancy pictures like this: