Saturday, July 30, 2005

chilled cucumber soup and wisdom teeth

light and refreshing chilled cucumber soup

yesterday, made a soup based on the recipe on's chilled cucumber dill and smoked salmon soup. i cut the recipe in half and uh.. i'm too ghetto for dill and smoked salmon, so i left that out. 1 tbls butter, 1 small onion diced, 2 large cucumbers seeded and sliced lengthwise then into .5 in slices, 1 small russet potato peeled diced, 1.5 cans low sodium chicken stock, .5 cup nonfat plain yogurt. in a big heavy soup pot melted butter med heat, added onions ~3 mins to soften, added potatoes and cucumbers. cooked ~2 mins more, stirring about, then added the chicken stock. simmered covered ~25 mins, cooled a bit, then put in two batches into a blender on puree well. put back into pot, when cool, mixed with the yogurt (the recipe called for sour cream or creme fraiche, but this is just as good, and good for ya). chill in the fridge until cold then put a dollop or little swirls of more yogurt on the top of the individual bowls when ready to serve. the yogurt and the potato and butter flavor made the soup taste really creamy and rich tasting, even though i used no more than a tbls butter for the whole thing. it's good for ya even though it doesn't taste that way. from one of the taste testers, "it looks and tastes restuarant quality". the cake i made today didn't fare so well.

i'm so happy. today, i ate my first solid food. the swelling went down, and i can talk again! today, i did not lie around in pain in front of the tv half asleep. it was someone's birthday, so made a cake for him. one of my first attempts at making a cake... it didn't come out TOO bad. i won't be hurt if you end up throwing it away =) so much fun though-- just chilling with a close friend or two. it's all in the quality, and not quantity. these people are the good ones. this is as close as i'll ever get to be to being a glutton. you know little kids who eat too much and have so much fun that they start to feel sick? yup, haha.. went a bit overboard. probably shouldn't lie down now or i might force up an unpleasant combo of oreo milkshake biscuit gravy antibiotic chocolate cake goodness. ah.. finally, full. goodbye jello and congee. determined to gain back all the weight i lost this summer. in muscle! forced vacation leave isn't so bad after all. funny how the idea of "summer!" never seems to show up until you're not looking for it. !good times.

Saturday, July 09, 2005



1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1-2 eggs, a tablespoon of sugar or two for sweet crepes. mix all together in a bowl until not that lumpy. let sit at least 20 mins, and no more than a day or so (in the fridge). heat nonstick on well seasoned pan on med high until water sizzles on contact. put a lil margerine/butter to grease it up, and ladle 1-4 tbls into pan while rotating it so that the batter forms a round thin layer. cook about 30 seconds each side. flip when small bubbles form.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

roasted potatoes, corn, zuchini, green beans

roasted potato slices

3 med size yukon gold potatoes sliced 1/3" to 1/2" thick. sprinkled with salt, cayenne pepper, little bit of garlic powder, and some rosemary. rubbed with olive oil. preheated oven to 425 F then broiled for 20-30 mins.

braised zuchini

1/3 cup stock, 2 tbls butter, 1 lb sliced zuchini sliced 1/4-1/3". med heat covered cooking for 4-5 mins.

irradiated corn

husked fresh corn. broke in two with fists of might and power. wrapped each half seperately in a layer or two of plastic wrap. nuke for 1 min. flip the sides so that the sides facing the center are now facing out. nuke for another min or two.

stir fried green beans

1 tsp oil in wok or large nonstick pan. a large ainsley-sized handful of green beans trimmed and halved. not so much that it is too much and impedes with cooking. or just make two batches. 1 clove garlic minced. minced ginger or some chili paste. a small splash of soy or oyster sauce. sitr. fry. if using rice wine in recipe, or if just using water and want to make a sauce, use a pinch of tapioca flour to every 2 tbls liquid in bottom of pan to make a thick glaze-type of sauce. make sure the beans are up the sides or out before that part. stir like mad to keep from clumping.

i'm taking care of Joli. she's my wok. while other people have pets, i have pots and pans. well, not really, just Joli. determined not to get another nonstick disaster, i invested in carbon steel. and so i spent the whole evening cleaning and seasoning it. she's got a beautiful patina forming around the edges, but the bottom is burned.. so sad. listen well--season your pans with animal fat, not polyunsaturated oils. poor joli. i must scrub and start over. oh man, i'm boring.

Monday, July 04, 2005

jamie's rice salad, cookie crisp, hotdogs and fresh corn

jamie made a tasty rice salad today. it had kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, some cilantro, feta, avocado, cracked pepper, vinegar, wine, and some other stuff mixed with rice. grilled eggplant sliced 1/2" thin, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt is really simple and tasty. i made a rather tasty drink the other day. albertson's fizzy canned fruit punch with a ton of crushed ice and lotsa strawberries sliced into it. no alcohol in it, but i'm sure it'd make a nice mixed drink with southern comfort or flavored vodka. or whatever alcohol ppl use for something like that. rum?

friday was soma in ramona. i haven't had chocolate cake for breakfast in years. when i was little, my mom wouldn't buy me sugar cereals like cookie crisp. so for the first time in my life, i tried some. so disappointing. it tastes like captain crunch, not cookies. good junk, good company, and that semi-desert dry that i missed so much. the scrub is just different down here. and much too humid and cool. i miss the blazing dog days of summer. i almost forgot that day we had a waterfight at claire's. can't, musn't forget. memories are a double edged sword. they take attention away from the present, but let you hold onto happiness from the past. i want to live in a semi-rural area at least once in my life. city life jsut isn't that appealing.

just got back from being lost in downtown and dropping off qqq and my two little cousins from HK at the train station. one of them is like.. dealing with an ADD macaque on speed. it reminds me of my own trip when i was their age. i was a kid once--moreso than now, of course. i'm not that far away, but still, we all know how much i love kids. no mercy. it's really weird having to make decisions for someone else. one funny thing though.. i was buying some fresh corn in the market when one of them asked what it was, and it it was cooked. they'd never seen corn still in the husk uncooked. their previous exposure was KFC. all they really wanted to do was eat hotdogs and mcdonalds. double ew. it was hard enough finding a place that sold hotdogs, rather than having to buy a pack to grill meself. it was refreshing to not be able to find a mcdonald's in downtown. my grandma sent us a suitcase filled with instant noodles. she believes that there's no food here. which i just don't understand b/c when we went over and ate out, two american kids had to explain food that they ate all the time? i don't understand.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

collard greens, salty chicken, cabbage and chicken salad

collard greens

collard greens, torn up into manageable bite size pieces. 1/8 cube of chinese ham flavored powder stock, 2 tbls water, small amount of butter. dissolved the stock, dumped in the veggies at med high heat. done in about 3 mins, turning to keep from burning. i bet it tastes better with real ham. some brown sugar too.

yim shui gai (salty water chicken)

petty standard chinese chicken dish. enough chicken drumsticks to half fill a pot. but before putting them in, boil half a pot of water.. mines was... maybe .75 liters? whatever. 3 tablespoons of salt. optional half inch of fresh ginger, smushed to release flavor better. high heat. when the water boils, put in the chicken. big drumsticks took me about 15 mins of cooking. turn off heat, let sit.. don't drink the water. if hte meat doesn't have enough flavor, add more salt and let sit longer chilled, or stick the pot int he fridge overnight like i did... i made a dipping sauce for it with a stalk of green onion and tiny bit of ginger finely finely chopped sprinkled with some salt. put 3 tbls of vegetable oil and a few drops of sesame into a pan on high and quickly "cooked" it for about 15 seconds. done.

cabbage and chicken salad

1/3 of a small cabbage chopped or sliced into 1/2 inch by 2 inch ribbons. roughly. put into a pan on high wihout oil after it got hot. stiryfry it to keep it from burning. cook just barely, maybe a minute that way to get rid of the raw taste and bring out the sweetness without making it limp. took it off the heat and transferred to a bowl. made a dressing with 2 tsp ponzu sauce, a small sprinkle of sugar, a few drops of vinegar, a clove of garlic finely chopped, and maybe a tsp of water and boiled that in the pot that previously held cabbage to mainly cook some of the spicyness out of the garlic. about a minute. pour over cabbage and toss. took a drumstick from the previous dish the night before and shredded it over the cabbage. serve cold. very darn tasty. i'm sure it'd be even better if i had some sesame seeds to put in it.

Friday, July 01, 2005

standard vegetable soup

vegetable soup

this is so much tastier than campbell's soup. 1 can plain chicken broth. 3/4 can Hunt's Diced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, basil and olive oil (it was on sale. regular canned tomatoes, whole diced or stewed will work fine.). 1 can water. 1/2 small cabbage, cubed into 1''x1''. half an onion, cubed. 1 large zuchini cubed. 2 cloves garlic. Boil until veggies are cooked. Maybe 10 mins? Basically, as long as you have the 3 cans of soup base ingredients, any veggies will work fine. toss in some sausage or meat is good too. or noodles. or brown rice.

ground beef patties

1/2 lb ground beef. 1/8-1/4 onion diced fine. garlic salt. smush it all together. form into patties, large or small. cook throughly. when the first side starts to turn brown at the edges, flip it over in the pan. it might look nice to be all dark brown and charred looking, but it's rather dry and bad tasting by that time, so don't bother going for the chargrilled look. when they were done, i used the extra onions that were diced, a clove of garlic, a few tablespoons of my soup, some butter, and a pinch of flour to make a sauce. carmelize the onions in butter, then add the other ingredients stirring to make sure there's no clumps.

and of course, the ubiquitous rice.

*july 4th*

i made the same hamburger to grill today, but used soy sauce, onions, fresh garlic and that asian rooster brand chili sauce instead. had quite a bit of kick.