Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ice Orange Honey Nog

I just invented a great dessert. Egg nog ice cream with Mandarin orange slices and honey drizzled on top. Perfect! I finished off the whole can of oranges, I think they're better than fresh ones. And I'm totally in love with honey these days, how do those bees make it SO good? Maybe we really are exploiting them...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rockin' Stew

This is one rockin' stew! Okay it's actually Moroccan but I misheard Sarah over the phone and I think it's a better name anyways. No offense to the Moroccans. It has all kinds of things in it: squash, chick peas, non-chick peas, tomato, chicken, you name it. I did kind of a mish mosh of a bunch of different recipes for it and it was really a success! This is something that could become a household staple I think. The best part about learning to cook by myself: guaranteed NO raisins and NO hot pepper. We had it with couscous which was exciting. One great thing about stews is that it doesn't seem to matter how long you simmer it for. If you're not sure it's done, just simmer a little longer. And bite size chunks seem more reliable anyways, I don't have to worry about peeking in the middle or the juices running clear or any of that. The other cool thing about this dish is that I got to use spices! I'm starting to build a spice collection (I think I might even need a spice rack), and though I don't even know what most spices taste like, they definitely make things taste good. So, yay for (Mo)rockin' stew! The perfect dinner on a horribly slushy winter day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Veal Parmesan

I'd never even eaten veal parmesan before but today I made it and it turned out pretty good! I surprised myself this time and it's all thanks to Uma who gave me the idea and the instructions. I was pretty worried for a while there because I didn't know what cut of veal to get. Cutlets? Chops? I stood in front of the meat shelf for a good long while debating it. Finally I went with the cheaper one which had no bones and was called veal flank steak. When I got home I looked it up and read that it's not very common so I figured it must be terrible and that's why no one used it. But lo and behold it turned out just fine! Tasty even! Though the fluorescent orange oil in the picture makes it look kind of gross.

Question: Most of the recipes I looked up online said to first fry it (brown it) in a pan and then bake it. This seems to be standard protocol. Why do you have to do both? What is the point?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Tonight was my first attempt at pork chops. They came out tasty but I failed at cooking them. I like baking because if you follow the recipe exactly, it almost always works. But frying meat on the stove is the opposite. I do just what the recipe says and it's all wrong. For those of us that don't know how to cook, there is no way to know how high to put the heat or how long to cook the meat. People who cook just seem to magically know. This and the spattering oil that burns me are the most frustrating things about cooking and the main reasons why I have avoided frying things until now. See, I had the chops in the pan on medium heat like the recipe said and after the 5 minutes, they were already burned. I turned down the heat then and after 5 minutes on the other side I had no way to know if they were cooked through. LZ came and cut them all up then declared them too pink. They took a looong time after that but I was totally at a loss and he finished cooking them. Sad.

So: How do you know what heat to fry your meat on before they burn?
And: How can you tell if its cooked through without mangling the meat?