Saturday, February 28, 2009
1 medium banana
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4-ish cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2+ teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flour
3/4-1 cup oatmeal (or until dough is not too moist and holds together)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350. Mash the banana beat in egg, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, until smooth. Add flour, 1/2 cup oatmeal, cocoa, and baking powder. Add oatmeal until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet by heaping teaspoon. It made 15 small cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I thought I'd take time to list a few of my favorite products and what I do with them (listed in the order I pick them up in the store):
- Stoplight peppers, these are frozen, precut bell peppers. They are not as good as fresh, don't get me wrong, but they are good to zest up spaghetti or make a tasty addition to my scrambled eggs. Actually, my scrambled egg "recipe" is so good that it is beyond a convenience food at this point. I like to add peppers, cilantro, and crushed red pepper. Yum.
- Frozen cilantro/basil cubes. Lets face it, fresh herbs can be expensive for a grad student, when you cook for one it's hard to use a whole bunch, and when sharing a fridge with 3 other people there isn't really room to keep these AND all the regular vegetables. Trader Joes sells them in cubes with a teapoon of frozen herb, which is perfect for adding to eggs, soup, pasta, my favorite thai stir fry, or really almost anything you would normally add these herbs to. And it's much better than substituting dry for fresh in recipes.
- Black cocoa almonds. Trader Joe's has everything covered in chocolate, but I'd say these are my favorite, not too sweet, very chocolatey and the almond provides a nice crunch. But like I said, they also have the best collection of chocolate covered things I've seen, and lots are good, but not the chocolate covered ginger. I would stay away from that if I were you.
- Pesto tortellini. My suitemate introduced me to this. It's simply an awesome quick meal, I like it with a little Parmesan/Romano cheese blend (which incidently, I also got at Trader Joe's)
- Precooked/seasoned chicken/turkey sausage. Pork sausage is something you will never see me eat. But I don't mind chicken sausage in the right context. These are delicious because they come in many great flavors, and oh so easy because they are precooked. Keep them in the freezer and just defrost. I like to cut them up and cook them with (fresh, not frozen) bell peppers and brown rice. It might be my favorite quick and easy meal, and one sausage and one pepper plus a half cup of rice has the perfect amount for lunch leftovers the next day. I've tried and like the sweet basil pesto, but I'm sure they are all really good.
And for the record, Trader Joe's did not pay me for this endorsement, but maybe they should have.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
- 1/2 head of garlic
- 2 cups milk
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 branches thyme or 2 pinches of dried
- 2 Tablespoons chopped basil or 1 teaspoons dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 1/3 Tablespoons flour (ie. 1 Tbsp+1 tsp)
- Grated parmesan/romano cheese to taste
My recipe involved browning eggplant and making rigatoni, then baking it all together. This was okay, but like I said, I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but I wanted to try it according to the recipe before making recommendations. I think this would definitely be a great sauce with some sauteed red pepper and maybe some spinach.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Whole Grain Wheat Sandwich Bread
2 1/2 tablespoon, 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar, divided
1 cups warm water (105F-114F)
1 packages active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
2 1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour
3/8 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tbsp and 1/2 teaspoon oil
1. Dissolve 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar in warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add yeast and let mixture stand.
2. Place 2 cups flour, powdered milk, remaining brown sugar and salt into mixer bowl. Attach bowl and with dough hook, mix on Speed 2 (low speed) for about 15 seconds, until ingredients are combined. On the same speed, gradually add yeast mixture and oil to flour mixture and mix about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Stop and scrape bowl as necessary. (Note that I just stirred this with a spoon, which might be my problem. I usually knead dough with my hands)
3. Continuing on same speed, add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at the time and mix until dough clings to hook (it will be very sticky and thick). Knead dough on speed 2 until sides of the bowl are clean.
4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a dish towel (note, use a damp towel or plastic wrap). Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
5. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf* and place into a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
6. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake 30 minutes longer. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. (Note: I think this might be a problem, next time I'm going to try baking it on 350 for the full 45 minutes)
*To shape dough into a loaf, roll into a large rectangle, about 9×14 inches. Starting at the short end, roll dough tightly and pinch to seal the seam. Pinch ends down and turn them under, placing the dough seam side down in a loaf pan.
I finally learned what this meant, thanks to this video on youtube. I should really start watching food network more...
Friday, February 20, 2009
Split Pea Dahl
1 cup dried split peas
2 tablespoon oil (not olive!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
Boil split peas in a quart of water until they are tender (about 45 minutes). Then fry the spices in oil until they are fragrant. Add a half cup of the split pea juice to the spices, simmer for a few minutes, then add the mixture to the split peas. Simmer the peas and spices for a few more minutes, then serve with brown rice or eat like soup.
Edit 2/20/10: I computed the cost of this meal for the food stamp challenge. At the prices I paid for spices (an average of about 60 cents for 2/3 of a cup), this meal cost me 54 cents. For 3-4 servings! That's ridiculous!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Final opinion: it's pretty good bread, but not worth the hassle.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
And then I served my brownies with the weird cherry ice cream. My friends though the dessert was fantastic. Most people who have tried the brownies do like them, especially if they like dark chocolate, since they are a little more bitter than regular brownies. They are certainly worth trying again with oil rather than butter to hopefully make the consistency a little less dense and a little more... brownielike.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Well, here's what I did:
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups cherry juice
1/2 cup butter
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt
1/2 chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup dried cherries (more or less)
Boil 2 cups cherry juice down to 1/2 cup. Stir cocoa and baking soda in bowl. Blend in 1/4 cup butter. Add boiling cherry juice and stir until mixture thickens. Stir in eggs and remaining butter. Stir until smooth. Add flour, vanilla and salt. At this point I added the remaining cup of cherry juice (I boiled it down slightly, mostly to help the butter melt). Blend completely. Add chocolate chips and dried cherries. Pour into lightly oiled 13x9 or 2-8" square pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I kind of liked the flexibility of making everything ahead of time, but I still had to knead it and wait, put it in a pan, and wait, which meant it took even more time than making everything at once. Also worth noting, I didn't have whole milk, so I used skim (which is probably horrible to people know how to bake bread, but this is one of the challenges of being a grad student: there is not room in my fridge for both whole milk and skim milk).
It tastes pretty good, definitely like whole wheat bread, and it is great with jam. I'm sure it will make great sandwiches, plus it is whole wheat, so it has the added plus of being hearty.
I'm still new to using yeast, so I'm not very good at it yet. I don't think either loaf I've made so far has risen as much as it ideally should, to the size of a normal slice of bread used in a sandwich, but this one was closer.
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see additional notes for a 100% whole wheat version)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1. *Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir.
2. Add flours and yeast, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
3. Punch dough down; knead for a few minutes until smooth and then form into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan and cover. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If loaf starts browning too soon, lightly lay a piece of foil on top of the loaf to prevent too much darkening.
5. Remove bread from oven and allow to rest in pan for a few minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cover with a cloth. Slice and enjoy while still warm! Leftover bread can be stored in an airtight bag or frozen until needed.
I'm sorry for not taking a picture, I wasn't planning on do this until I searched for a good student food blog and couldn't find one. But the summary of the bread: it was delicous, but very sweet. It would be fine for a peanut butter sandwich, but I bought turkey this week and it didn't work very well because of the sweetness. So it is not the best sandwich bread out there, but it is great to just snack on (I love anything sweet). So I'm going to try another bread, a Peter Reinhardt bread I found, it's a little more complicated, but you make a starter and soaker a day ahead of time, which is more convienient with my unpredictable schedule. I'll probably post later today, actually.