I have been so sick. So sick. I'm back at work this week, but last week I was out, and even this week, like, last night I went to bed at 8:30.

Mind you, I took some Mucinex Nighttime, and I don't know what they put in that stuff but it's...strong.

[tumblr.com profile] knottahooker was making muffins the other night and inspired me to want to make muffins, but didn't inspire me hard enough to make me go to a grocery store and buy A)ingredients or B)a mix. So I decided to invent my own muffins. It...mostly worked!

MAD BUTTER MUFFINS
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup sugar (or substitute other sweetener)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup shortening (or butter or oil – some kind of fat)
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup applesauce
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or cloves/cinnamon/allspice to taste)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup milk

Whisk together dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Stir in wet ingredients; add more milk if necessary to get a muffinlike batter.

Pour into greased or lined muffin tin, about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 325F for 25 minutes while the internet despairs of you. Makes 12.

They came out somewhat bland (this is an adjusted recipe designed to add more flavor) and they were very, very fragile, but pretty delicious nonetheless.

So this week is/has-been about survival. But R's bringing his dog over tomorrow for me to dogsit all weekend, so I'm going to be cleaning and dog-proofing the house tonight. Because what if the place is messy and his dog judges me? :D
TONIGHT I COOK.

I thought I'd share the recipes I will be cooking from now until sometime late on Saturday, probably. Also keeping them all in one place is a handy reference for me!

Yogurt Bread, Pita Bread, Egg Bread, Mock Apple Pie, Shrimp Cakes )
I HAVE MADE AWESOME BISCUITS.

Using the last of the butter, apparently, so it's good I have Peapod coming today. I found the recipe online, because I really wanted to make some yeast biscuits, but then I added something that makes nearly every recipe better: CAST IRON.

Fluffy Yeast Biscuits )

Also I wrote a threesome. Because nothing goes together like biscuits and threesomes.

Title: Three Step
Rating: R (Steve/Natasha/Bucky)
Summary: "How many times a week can a couple have a threesome with the same guy before it becomes some sort of three-way relationship?"
Warnings: Sex while intoxicated; I don't consider it dubcon, your mileage may vary.
Notes: Written in response to this magnificent text from the Avengers. Thanks to whothehellishistorymiss on tumblr for her help with characterising Bucky!

Here at Dreamwidth | Here at AO3
I do not have good luck with cookies, traditionally. I once made chocolate-chip soulless cookies -- they rose, and then the insides fell, leaving crispy cookie shells with no insides to them.

Now, these cookies may look terrible:



BUT THEY TASTE AWESOME.

I think maybe either I didn't use enough flour, or my baking powder has gone stale.

Yes, Captain America and I made cookies. )
Today is National French Fry day!

In honour of National French Fry Day I am going to go get some killer fries from Burger Joint at some point. Oh yes I am.

I used to make french fries at home on a fairly regular basis, and not like baking freezer fries in an oven, either; I started with a potato and worked my way forward from there. It took me a long time to learn to make fries from scratch because there is something that not a lot of people want to tell you for some reason, which is this: you have to fry them twice.

I KNOW RIGHT? But you fry once to cook them and once to crisp them. When you see someone at a fast food joint dumping a bag of frozen fries into a fry-basket, they've already been fried once and then frozen.

So this is how I made delicious fries at home.

Sam's French Fry Recipe )
THIS IS AN AMAZING MILKSHAKE.

So, about a week ago I made some ice cream, or I suppose some frozen custard, because I made it with an egg base. The custard requires five egg yolks, and of course the problem is always "What do I do with the egg whites don't say meringues I don't own a stand mixer". (Yes, I know you can make them without a stand mixer, but it's way too much work.) Then [livejournal.com profile] foxxydancr piped up that she had a cake recipe that used egg whites, and I was all over that shit. This is some magnificent fucking cake, you guys.

But! It was a little on the dry side, so I soaked it in a lemon glaze, which kind of helped but not totally. And the ice cream was a little bland, because I forgot to add flavoring, and also homemade ice cream, once frozen, is not as easy to scoop or eat as commercial ice cream. At least, mine isn't.

So then I made a cake milkshake.

I put a slice of cake in the blender and turned it to crumb, then added a few scoops of ice cream which made a very pretty slurry, then added some milk and poured the whole thing into a cup and VOILA. THE MOST LABOR INTENSIVE MILKSHAKE IN THE COUNTRY.

Thus, in the end, the eggs were reunited.

I shoulda just made a really big omelette.
Oh my god I have cooked all the food.

Well, I got my monthly grocery delivery, so I had all the food to cook. I made custard, spaghetti sauce, stuffing with walnuts and onions, pickled eggs, and my newest invention, White Trash Casserole.

My excuse for this invention is that I was trying to use up some old cupboard stuff I had and make something reasonably simple I could just nuke and eat at work.

Essentially, you take a pouch of instant mashed potatoes, cook it up, and divide it amongst a couple of tupperware tubs (I use the ones that appear to be slightly more than half a pint, and have screw-top lids). Then you heat up a can of baked beans -- I drain them and add my own sauce, but whatever -- and top the mashed potatoes with the baked beans until they're about 2/3 of the way full. Add some grated cheese if you want to be all fancy about it.

Then you cook up about half a pound of crumbled ground beef and top off the tupperware tubs with that. Toss one in a lunch sack with a couple of ketchup packets for extra class, and when you want to eat it, nuke, add ketchup, devour mindlessly. Protein, fiber, and starch in one handy package!

I know. I'm ashamed of me too. But it's good and cheap, and it used up stuff that was taking up space in my pantry.

If it's any consolation, I'm totally making granola bars this afternoon.
Today I made crockpot spaghetti.

And a website!

Not too bad for five hours of work.

I realised my spaghetti recipe left something to be desired. Crockpot recipes tend to be a bit vague anyway, so this is more a story than a recipe.

The tale of crockpot spaghetti. )

I can't help you if you want to make a website. I'm still not sure how I managed mine.
You guys, this is the saddest four-leaf clover ever. (Warning, that link goes to a PDF.)



But if you want to do a shit-ton of sink folds, THAT'S THE ONE TO DO. Jesus, there were sink folds that weren't even called sink folds. And swivel folds, and rabbit-ear folds with non-triangular starting shapes. Basically I think someone sat down and said "Let's do a design using only the most incredibly difficult folds we can." So I'm actually pretty proud of my sad, ugly little four-leaf-clover.

ALSO I MADE PESTO. It's made entirely of plants! It's a sun-dried tomato pesto, so there's no basil, and I used all kinds of freaky substitutions, but it came out pretty well.

Recipe and photos beneath the cut! )

Now I just need to figure out what else people eat pesto with, because I have like half a pint of it in the fridge and that's a lot of pesto for one person.
This day has lasted approximately five weeks. I was too tired by the end of it to even do my daily origami.

On the other hand, nothing could suck as hard as last week did, so I'm already ahead. I emailed the department where I interviewed to ask if there was any news, my theory being that either a) I didn't get the job and they were avoiding telling me because that's pretty much the most awkward conversation ever or b) I got the job but either they're wrangling over the second identical position or there's a paperwork delay with HR.

I got a reply that gave neither yea nor nay but did say there was a paperwork delay with HR, so I'm allowing myself to get my hopes up just a smidge.

I was aided in this by GRANOLA BARS which I made over the weekend. [livejournal.com profile] amand_r and I were talking granola, like you do, and I mentioned that I have a great granola recipe, but I haven't had much success making them into bars, and it's very hard to eat a full recipe of granola if you're just eating it on yoghurt or in milk. I've tried marshmallows, like you would do with rice krispy treats, but it makes them sticky and I can never get the proportions right. Boiled honey works a little better, but boiled honey on its own reeks. Mandr said her mother had a great granola-bar recipe, so she shared it with me, and it is AWESOME, so now I share it with you. It's the MUM GRANOLA FESTIVAL!

Granola barz! )
So, I finally found some steel-cut oats with which to make Attempt #2 At Slow Cooker Oatmeal. I've never had steel-cut oats and I have to say, those of you who hate oatmeal, if you've been eating the steel-cut variety I'm not surprised. It wasn't terrible or anything, but it's not a patch on oatmeal made with whole oats.

The recipe's not hard, just a cup of oats and three cups of water in the slow cooker before bed, and then half a cup of light cream stirred in when the oats are done cooking in the morning. It is, I think, a recipe designed for busy families who want a hot breakfast, especially since the oatmeal is ready to go when you wake up.

As many people have pointed out, there's nothing wrong with cooking oatmeal in a pan, except that I wanted to try cooking it this way. On the other hand, it makes a ton of oatmeal. I like oatmeal, but I'm not quite up to this industrial amount of it.

Also now I have a lot of steel-cut oats I don't know what to do with. Maybe I can make steel-cut oatmeal cookies.
I have made French Onion Dip.

From scratch.

THAT'S RIGHT YOU HEARD ME. I caramelised the hell out of some onions and busted out the immersion blender and blended them all up with some sour cream and mayonnaise and worchoweverthfuckyouspellitshire sauce and it's AWESOME.

Recipe here. Though the thing with the sugar at the start, I don't know what that does, because as soon as I tossed the onions in the sugar hardened and chipped off and just kind of floated around as a crunchy sugar chunk until it re-melted. I think you could probably toss the onions in a hot pan and sprinkle sugar over them instead, you have to cook them down for like half an hour anyway.

I should be watching the Bears-Packers game, since I'm sure it will be all Chicago talks about for the next week, but I can totally tell who's winning by the noises my neighbors are making. I believe the Packers are probably ahead right now. Uh, go Bears?
I continue to be underwhelmed by bacon in desserts.

The bacon cheesecake came out okay; the bacon really brings out the flavour of the cream cheese, which would probably be nicer if I hadn't used really cheap cream cheese. You don't taste the bacon unless you get a piece of it in a bite, and then it's quite strong. The problem with baking bacon into sweet things seems to be that it tends to either overwhelm or disappear.

Most of the recipes I found for bacon cheesecake seemed to want to make it into a kind of savoury bastard quiche; they involve using salty cheeses or apples and lots of savoury herbs. So I just went with this recipe and added bacon.

Mind you, I cut the recipe by 2/3 (I only had one package of cream cheese) and made mini-cheesecakes instead of one big one, so there's some serious adjustment going on there. I'm actually surprised how well the cheesecake itself came out, I'm not usually this successful at baking.

Bacon Cheesecake Attempt. )
Enough about wasps. LET'S COOK SOMETHING.

I have no-knead bread rising for tomorrow, and there's a kind of bastard beef stew in the oven. I came across this recipe for slow-cooker beef bourguignonne, but since I can't spell bourguignonne without extensive assistance I'm just calling it "stew". Also what I made in the end bears very little resemblance to the original recipe.

Dutch Oven Bastard Stew )

The original recipe calls for simply placing everything in a slow cooker and putting it on low for nine hours. I recently TOTALLY DESTROYED my slow-cooker; the heating element broke (not my fault) and set the food I was cooking inside it on fire, so I don't have a slow cooker anymore. But I found a handy conversion chart that tells you how to use a dutch oven like a slow cooker, so I'm using that.

Up next, once the stew is done -- pumpkin polenta!
I have made Gougères!

Mind you, I left out the peppercorns and substituted coarse shredded cheddar-and-jack for the parmesan, because I still have most of the gallon of cheese R brought me. Baking is not my thing, so my thought was that if I effed it up then at least I didn't use the good stuff on it.



They're not really pretty to look at, but they're delicious to eat -- a bit like yorkshire puddings, without the fuss of smoking hot oil. I had some with fig jam, and some with cheese, and some with a bit of olive oil.

I feel rather smug, really. Normally I'm easily bested by pastry.
TODAY...I HAVE MADE SENFEIER (incorrectly).

I got the recipe from [livejournal.com profile] cruentum, who got it from his mum, and I challenged [livejournal.com profile] amand_r to a Senfeier-off. She doesn't like mustard, though, so I won by default. (She still makes a better Mongolian Lamb than I do, I'm sure.)

I KNOW WHAT I DID WRONG. )
OMG RECC: I beta'd Zihuatenejo for Foxy for a fest, and it is Awesome. Shawshank Redemption fanfic! You don't see that very often.

In other news: my flat was chilly when I woke up this morning, and there's only one solution for a chilly radiator-heated flat:

COOKING.

So far today I have made rice in the rice cooker (so fluffy! So beautiful!), olive oil salt bread (a trifle bland; I might add garlic and parmesan next time), and maple cookies OH SO FLUFFY HOW SO FLUFFY, MAPLE COOKIES?

I have to make one quick statement because otherwise nobody will believe it: for Christmas I got a "Ninja Master Prep" blender, which Mum bought off an infomercial. I was immediately suspicious, but online consumer reviews were good, so I gave it a fair try. AND LO IT WAS AWESOME. It's reasonably quiet, powerful enough to make the dough for the olive oil bread, and everything seems fairly durable. So, good show Ninja Master Prep. (Though if you just want one you're out of luck; it's two-for-$60 or nuffin.)

RECIPES.

Olive Oil Salt Bread; Glazed Maple Cookies )

I am also making baked beans as we speak, for filling in steamed buns. I HAVE NEVER OWNED A STEAMER. I'm very excited about steaming things.
CHOWDER SUCCESS.

Why do I never remember how long it takes me to chop stuff up?

Anyway I made chowder, and I'm almost out of turkey, for grate yayes. Tomorrow I'm going to watch Wheel with R and eat shit-tons of turkey chowder and fried stuffing. OH YES.

[livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox found this recipe for me, because I was moaning about the one I had that I didn't want to use because it had tomatoes in it.

TURKEY CHOWDAH )
MY FLAT SMELLS AMAZING.

After I got of my poor bruised ass, I gathered up a ton of leftovers from Thanksgiving and made some brand of turkey curry in my dutch oven. I love my dutch oven, which after frying two batches of stuffing and a game hen is pretty much non-stick these days.

Curry veterans reading this will no doubt lol, but I have never made curry before and I feel like a CULINARY GOD.

Turkey Curry )

I still have about 4lbs of turkey left. Tomorrow night, after I have bought an onion: TURKEY CHOWDER.
The turkey is in the oven!

I have thoroughly violated it. I washed it in cold water, rubbed herb paste under its skin, shoved apples and onions up its arse, laid it out on a rack, and oiled it all over before pushing a probe thermometer into its breast.



This is either going to be awesome or totally inedible. If the latter, well, it was art while it lasted, and I have the delivery number of an open-on-Thanksgiving sushi place.

Aromatics and Herb Rub )

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