Archive for the 'food' Category

I Got Suckered Into Buying a McKung Fu Panda Meal

May 30, 2008

It consisted of 6 pieces of spicy nuggets, 10 onion rings and a drink.

How that relates to the Kung Fu-ing Panda, I have no idea.

Maybe pandas love chicken nuggets. And everybody knows Chinese people love spicy food.

And maybe the onion rings will produce spontaneous and explosive releases of gastrointestinal gases that will aid flying leaps and leaping kicks.

Either way, I ate the meal and still got no kung fu.

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Chocolate and Orange and Mint

May 4, 2008

I’m currently nursing a bar of Vivani’s Fine Dark Orange, a 70% melt-in-your-mouth concoction that’s made of just four ingredients, none of which are unpronounceable quadruple-syllable words.

It helps that no one else in the household fancies dark chocolate, and The Brother, my most frequent chocolate-purloiner-adversary, is especially averse to chocolate-orange combinations.

I would love to get my hands on their Fine Dark Green Tea, Fine Dark Cassis, Praline Chocolate and Winter Chocolate. Even their made-for-kids Felix bars look yummy. Check out the rest of their stuff here.

The lovely Chocablog has also enlightened me to the existence of a certain Lindt bar, the Chocolat Provence Orange-Thyme Fantasy. Sounds delish. Someone get me one!

Another of Chocablog’s post appealed especially to me – the Lindt Excellence Mint Intense. Mmmm… bright mint, rich chocolate. None of that sweet white fondant. Can’t go wrong.

Ok… Time for chocolate break.

Wings and Rings

January 10, 2008

I crave.

Buffalo Wings

Onion Rings

Bill Granger’s Ricotta and Herbed-stuffed Roast Chicken

September 14, 2007

Ok, so I made it and it was absolutely delish, just as I thought it would be.

BUT… I have no idea how Bill managed to stuff all 13 ounces of Ricotta into that one chicken. I had 9.5 ounces and managed to decently stuff two chickens, though mom did say that one of the chickens was a tad lacking. But still! 13 ounces in one chicken would be like one part Ricotta to four parts chicken. And even if we weren’t calorie-counting, the chicken would be rather bursting!

Regardless, this recipe is a keeper. Ask for it the next time you come over for dinner.

Yom Teruah

September 13, 2007

Watching TV early in the morning last Sunday, I came across a food program featuring a chef who grins disconcertingly into the camera every so often.  Well, it did look sincere enough, but still rather “hmm”-y.  Anyway, he was making this roast chicken dish that looked absolutely delish, so I googled him and found the recipe.

Bill Granger’s Ricotta and Herbed-stuffed Roast Chicken

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Ingredients
1.6kg/3lb 8oz free-range chicken
375g/13oz fresh ricotta
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil
2 tsp grated lemon zest
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To spatchcock the chicken, place the bird, breast-side down, on a board. Using poultry shears or a sharp knife, cut along both sides of the backbone, cutting through the skin and bone. Remove the backbone. Turn the bird over and press firmly on the breast bone to break the bone and flatten the breast. Tuck the wing tips under the breast.
3. Mix together the ricotta, herbs, lemon zest, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. With your fingers, carefully loosen the skin over the breast of the chicken and down to the thigh area. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly under the skin to cover the breast and thigh.
5. Put the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 50 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. Leave to rest for five minutes before carving.

So that’s what I’ll be cooking for the Feast of Trumpets.  Think I have enough Ricotta for only two chickens though.

Yes, contrary to what some people think, we do NOT eat trumpets for the Feast of Trumpets.  That name is actually a misnomer.

The Feast of Trumpets, or Yom Teruah, is one of YHVH’s appointed holy days and is marked by the blowing of trumpets (hence the English name) to call the people to awareness of coming judgment and of the need for repentance.  The Hebrew name, Yom Teruah, actually means “Day of Shouting”, a day to make noise unto YHVH, in prayer, in praise, in worship, with voices, with instruments and with a sincere and contrite heart.

Let us make noise!

Findings In The Midst Of Madness

August 28, 2007

I spotted this dress in a “What Is She Wearing?!?” sort of column while hanging out with patients and reading a magazine in the day-room of the behavioural health ICU.

All around me, people were either in hospital gowns, hospital gowns layered over or under mismatched clothing, or plain ol’ mismatched clothing. Some were also reading a magazine, some were making phone calls, some were dozing, some pacing. People in scrubs were going about dispensing pills, asking about bowel movements, or administering a dose of reality.

One guy was wearing a newspaper hat and made newspaper hats for everyone. I like him. And his hats. They are cool. He matches hats to faces, putting them on someone’s head and then changing to another if he deems that it doesn’t fit. All his hats can be folded flat for easy storage in the pocket. I was rather sore that he thought the one that fit me was a simple triangular one, not dissimilar to what a house painter might wear. Not the fancy tall one, nor the one shaped like a bishop’s, nor the funky square pill-box. Oh well…

But I digress. Here’s the dress.

Dress

I don’t see what there is to dislike about the dress. Sure, not everyone would look good in it. And I can’t judge if this particular person looks good in it. But, the dress is darling.

Another find I’d made in the same circumstances is the best recipe for a chocolate dessert ever. It never stays intact for long every time I make it, so no photos. But here’s the recipe.

Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Tart

Preparation Time

10 minutes, plus time to bake tart shell

Cooking Time

5 minutes, plus refrigeration time

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream

2 ½ tablespoons honey

8 ounces bitter-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

pre-made tart shell (preferably a graham cracker crust, baked as per instructions on the package)

Heat heavy cream and honey in a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbles begin to form.

Place chopped chocolate in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add half the hot cream to chocolate, let mixture stand for about 30 seconds undisturbed, then stir lightly to combine.

Repeat with remaining cream, then stir the resulting ganache gently until all chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth

Add butter and whisk until well blended.

Fill shell with ganache, transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate until filling is set, about 1 ½ hours. When ready, remove tart from refrigerator and serve.

Do yourself a favour: Make the tart, choose one – and only one – loved one to share it with, make a pot of tea, sit down, enjoy.

Cereals Are We

August 26, 2007

Over dinner, some friends were discussing what kind of cereal best represents ourselves.

TBF is a Banana Nut Crunch. He sure is bananas, nutty and cranky.

Banana Nut Crunch

Roommate proclaims herself to be Special K with Blackberries, to collective understanding “mm”s. The Special K cos she is health conscious and the blackberries, a minor amendment to the colour of the fruit, as a reference to her preference for guys of African descent.

Special K

I’m good ol’ Corn Pops, simple and old-fashioned, yellow and mildly sweet.

Corn Pops

And it seems coincidental, or perhaps our personalities do dictate our tastes, that those cereals are each of our favourite cereals.

When one guy asked about another mutual friend, Roommate and I immediately shared a look and laughed. The newest cereal on tv was the half-frosted shredded wheat. Can’t remember the exact name of that cereal. The commercial had the shredded wheat pillow as a Jekyll and Hyde kindof character, where the frosted side was all sweet and polite while the plain side was gruff.

This guy in question would call us on the house phone, and depending on which of us picks up the phone, would be all, “Hello Honey! How are you doing, Sweetie?” or all pal-ly, “Hey, you guys want to catch dinner tonight?”

We had just found this out a few days before the dinner conversation, when Roommate was done with a conversation with him, hung up and duh-ed, “This Jeff, he’s such a flirt.” Puzzled, I asked what she meant. That’s when we found out that he uses a different vocabulary for each of us. Ha!

So, what cereal are you?

P.S. Hello Roomie!

Time Flies And Soup Boils

August 20, 2007

Time flies.

Yes, cliche, I know. But true.

Today is a new day, the first day of a new leg in life.

Yes, cliche again, I know. But also true.

Anyway, I made the most delicious soup for dinner yesterday. I reverse-engineered it after I had it once at Souplantation.  They never served it again, well, at least not whenever I was there, so I had to make my own.

Try it yourself!

All quantities are estimates, adjust according to taste or whim.

Olive, Spinach and Basil Soup

1 onion, diced

1 can jumbo pitted olive, bruised and roughly chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

2 stalks of celery, finely sliced (or use the tender heart, throw in the leaves uncut)

1 package of spinach leaves

2 stalks of basil, cut leaves into ribbons

1 pot of beef stock

1. Saute onion and olive, in a large soup pot, with a little olive oil until tender.

2. Add tomatoes and saute for a bit more.

3. Pour in beef stock, add celery.

4. Boil gently until flavour melds, about 1 hour.

5. Taste and add a commercial beef cube for flavour if necessary.

6. Just before serving, add spinach and basil.

7. When spinach and basil are wilted, serve.

This soup is especially yummy with home-made beef stock.

Beef Stock

1 tonne of fresh beef, cubed

4 carrots, cut into half

4 stalks of celery, cut into half

1 onion, whole

6 bay leaves

1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add in beef.

2. Boil for a few minutes to remove scum.

3. Pour out water, quickly rinse the beef.

4. Add more water and bring to boil.

5. Add carrots, celery, onion and bay leaves.

6. Boil for 2 hours, keeping watch initially to remove scum.

7. Remove all ingredients and strain gently to achieve a clear beef stock.

Of course, I’m kidding about the 1 tonne of beef. I used about $5 of stewing beef cubes from the fresh market.

Enjoy!

Sunday Morning

June 13, 2007

Local breakfast joint, seated and contemplating menu.

B: The minyak zaitun looks good.
Me, thinking: The what-oil looks good?!?

Turned around to check out what B is looking at.

A banner on the wall says “100% Minyak Zaitun. Sedap & Sihat”. Under those words is a picture of two dishes, what appears to be mutton and chicken piled up on a bed of flat bread, surrounded by freshly-cut cucumbers and tomatoes. I seriously doubted that the names of those dishes are “something-oil”.

I looked to the other end of the banner. Ah… English translation “100% Olive Oil. Tasty & Healthy”. I turned back to him.

Me: I hope you’re not going to order the minyak zaitun.
B: Why?
Me:Cos minyak zaitun is olive oil?
B: Huh!?!

Nestle Reads My Blog!

June 10, 2007

Guess what I found in the candy store last week?

Yes, that’s right! Peanut Butter Kit Kat! It was yummmyy!

Peanut Butter Kit Kat

I should start blogging more about things I wish to have.

Ok, let’s check if my boss reads my blog.

Dear Boss,

I would love to work only 4.5 days a week. Or better still, 4 days a week. Of course, I am a reasonable employee and am willing to accept a proportionate pay cut.

If you’re reading this, please give me a reply via Post-It note on my desk by Monday evening.

Yours sincerely,
Reasonable Employee

*fingers crossed*