October 21, 2009 at 9:12 am
I didn’t intend for this blog to suddenly become PastaQueen’s book review bonanza, but that’s how everything landed, so let’s just go with it, ok? My friend, Stephanie O’Dea, who blogs at A Year of Slow Cooking just released her first cookbook, smartly titled Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking. Please note the usage of the word “slow cooker” and not “crockpot” which is a trademarked term that we will avoid for fear of litigation.
Steph sent me a copy of her book, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone, or rather kill half a peck of apples with one recipe.
I dug out my mother’s slow cooker, which is literally older than I am, and grabbed nine apples from my freshly picked peck, to make the Apple Crisp recipe on page 402. This meant I got to use my favorite kitchen appliance, the apple slicer!
My knife skills are nothing to brag about, so I spent at least 15 minutes peeling the skin off of the apples, [...]
June 11, 2008 at 7:59 am
Last Sunday I did something I’ve been threatening to do for years, something that required extreme heat, something that required specialized utensils, something completely bizarre and unimaginable which took an hour and 15 minutes.
I cooked all my dinners for the week.
Lately I’ve been so hungry for dinner when I come home that I haven’t been willing to wait 20-30 minutes to cook something healthy and wholesome and all that crap. I’ve been eating TV dinners or stopping at the grocery to buy overpriced sushi. A week ago Sunday I noticed my fridge contained a couple of zucchini and yellow squash in the fresher drawer in danger of going bad, a bag of fish fillets I’d thawed out several days ago, and a chicken breast I’d been meaning to grill for days. “Crap!” I thought. This stuff was either going to go bad or kill me when I did eat it if I didn’t cook it soon. So, I decided to get a little crazy and try a new strategy – I cooked three dinners [...]
January 4, 2008 at 7:03 am
I bought myself an apple slicer for Christmas. Actually, I bought an apple slicer and it happened to be December. Strangely, everything I buy for myself between Thanksgiving and December 25th automatically becomes a Christmas present to myself. Check out those 12-packs of soda I got myself for Christmas! Does the holiday themed aluminum can count as gift wrapping?
I saw the apple slicer at Target and was immediately reminded why I don’t let myself browse that store much anymore. It’s because I buy stuff. Like apple slicers and silicone muffin pans in the shape of hearts and $5.50 DVDs that I will never watch. Thankfully, I have already used the apple slicer, like this:
Isn’t that awesome?! I positioned the tool over an apple, pressed down, and instantly I cored and sliced it into 8 pieces. I didn’t even have to press that hard. The only way it could be more perfect is if it peeled the apple too, but then I’d have no use for my paring knife, so I guess it’s for the best. [...]
December 4, 2007 at 7:41 am
God help me, but I learned something from Martha Stewart.
I don’t have anything against Martha Stewart, but I’ve never vibed with her either. She cooks quail eggs. What could I possibly have in common with someone who cooks quail eggs? But when I was out sick I watched daytime television. I don’t have cable, so I have about nine stations, six of them without static. After three cycles through the channels, I watched the last ten minutes of Martha as she made a pumpkin bunt cake. She scooped the pumpkin into her state-of-the-art mixer which probably costs more than my laptop. Simply owning that mixer would probably transform me into the type of person who cooks quail eggs. As she dumped pumpkin into the mixing bowl, she mentioned that if you are using homemade pumpkin puree, be sure to drain it using a cheesecloth because it retains a lot of water. Otherwise your cake will get really soupy.
That same week my mother came over and showed me how to chop, boil and puree a pumpkin. [...]
November 29, 2007 at 7:55 am
Once a month I try new fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I even know their names.
Sometimes I do not know their names. Thank you to everybody who told me that the strange, green fruit I picked up at the grocery store is a cherimoya. They are a very popular fruit that have several web sites dedicated to them and Mark Twain called them “deliciousness itself.” Still, I’d never seen or heard of them before. I’m evidently out of the fruit loop. I don’t recognize any of the musicians in the Top 10 anymore and I cannot identify a somewhat popular and beloved custard fruit. I am old and out of touch with the world.
The cherimoya is described as having a creamy, custard flavor and it lived up to its reputation. It was very yummy, sweet with a tart after taste. My only complaint is that there are a lot of hard brown seeds that I had to pick out. As shown in the picture below, after I ate all the white stuff they took up one [...]