just call me seven


Frosting And Other Yummy Stuff.
9 February 2008, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Eating Of Food Is My Specialty, I'm a Crafty One

My parents own a cookie business. We usually just sell chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookies, but on holidays some of our accounts order cutout cookies. So my sister and I were helping my mom make them, and there were some that weren’t quite perfect enough to sell, but still delicious. So we have 7-1/2 dozen cutout hearts that we can’t sell. So I’m going to take a bunch to church tomorrow, and my parents will probably give their church some as well… but in the meantime, I had a hankering to decorate a cookie. We had some fondant frosting that can’t be used, because it takes a long time to dry, so I brought that home and used some of that. My sister made this killer chocolate cake, and she also made some buttercream frosting to go on top of it. Have you ever had buttercream frosting? It is amazing. It’s made out of 1) butter, and 2) powdered sugar (with a little bit of milk to make it all stick. Holy heck. It’s killer. So I piled some buttercream on my cookie, and then went to town with the fondant. Behold:
I love me some fondant.

Yes, I said rad. I’m bringin’ the 90s back. Deal. Anyhoo… Delicious, and pretty, no? Have another look:

I am getting all angle-y in your grill.

I am grateful to my cookie for giving me this opportunity to use my new tripod. It was a steal at $1, people! I love the Dollar Tree.
It was only a dollar!

To show you how small this disgustingly cute tripod is:

I just want to eat it.

The moral of this story is: Eat buttercream until you throw up. Also, shop at the dollar store.
Fin.



Options.

After a dearth of posting from me, two in one day!  Not too shabby.  Too bad neither of them are real posts.

I stole this from Meg Fowler… it just seemed interesting.

Lemon or lime?  Lime.  All things lime are wonderful.  Though lemon is amazing too…
Edamame or corn on the cob?  Corn.  But cut off the cob… I have this tooth thing… I hate having stuff stuck in them.
Curries or jambalaya?  I’ve never had jambalaya, but I love me some curry.
Papaya or mango? Mango, mango, mango.  I would kiss (on the cheek) the person who would give me a mango this week.  I love mangoes, and I haven’t had one since the summer.  Poo.
Coffee or tea?  Coffee.  Tea is just dirty leaf water.
Still or sparkling water?  Still… but Talking Rain has this new (I think) flavor, Lime Mojito… heaven.  I’ve always said that if I was going to drink, I would drink a mojito.  I once invented a drink at the coffee shop where I used to work that was a Mojito truffle… mint & lime syrups & chocolate sauce=yummy.
Lobster or crabcakes? Not sure… not much of a seafood fan.  Maybe lobster?
Stew or stirfry?  Stirfry.  If I believed in reincarnation, I’m pretty sure that I would have been Asian in a past life.  Seriously.  I can’t get enough of it.
Vinaigrette or ranch/creamy dressing?  Vinaigrette all the way.  Ranch is only for dipping.
7-UP or Coke? 7-Up.  But I’d rather have Dr. Pepper, or Pomegranate 7-Up.
Bell peppers or carrots? Peppers… Carrots sometimes make my throat itch.
Milk or soy milk? Regular.  Soy makes my throat itch too.
Nacho or potato chips? Potato… mmm…
Lettuce or spinach? A mix of both, thanks so much.
Gummi bears or licorice? Gummy WORMS.  They’re better.
Potatoes or rice? Can I have noodles?
Sourdough or multigrain? Oooh… I love both.  No white bread for me unless it’s fermented, baby.
Chocolate or vanilla?  Usually vanilla, but it depends on what it is.
Sushi or teriyaki? Teriyaki.
BBQ or pizza?  Pizza, unless it’s hot wings.  I love me some hot wings.
Olives or pickles? Both.  I love both.  You know what’s really good, that I thought wouldn’t be?  Pickled green beans.  They’re my new favorite.
Sandwich or salad? Depends on the sandwich.  Probably salad.
Roast chicken or roast beef? Chicken.
Hot fudge or caramel? Caramel.
Risotto or pasta? I’ve never actually had risotto… I’d like to.
Apple pie or lemon meringue? They both have their place… I’d have to base it on what was for dinner.
Appetizers or dessert? Dessert… I have a huge sweet tooth.
Grapes or berries? Strawberries.  Grapes are okay, and I really don’t like any other kind of berry… it’s weird, I know.
Ice cream or sorbet? Ice cream… with big chunks of candy in it.



My Latest Obsession: Pot Pie.

Yes, you read a-right. I am recently (since Wednesday) addicted beyond belief to pot pie of all flavors. I had some at Marie Callendar’s when I was there Wednesday with a friend, and, while I enjoyed it, my immediate thought was, “I could make this… better.” So I did. I looked up pot pie in my mom’s trusty Betty Crocker cookbook, and set to work.

Oh. My. Gosh. The crust that Betty has you make is a celery seed crust, and it is to die for. It’s really light and flaky, and it has this great flavor from the celery seed. I actually used celery salt (since that’s the only thing we had) and just omitted salt from the crust and the filling to make up for it. It turned out really well.

Liquid-y stuff:
1/3 C butter
1/3 C flour
1/2 an onion
1/2 teaspoon salt (remember, if you use celery salt, I recommend that you omit this stuff.)
1-3/4 C chicken/turkey broth (I used bouillon… who has chicken broth just sitting around?)
Lots and lots of pepper (I’m obsessed… you might want to use less.)
2/3 C milk
Heat butter over low heat until melted.
Whisk in the flour, and keep whisking until it’s smooth, with no lumps (trust me).
Stir in onions & pepper… and salt if you must.
Heat until thickened (it says to stir constantly, but whatever. I didn’t, and it turned out fine. I also had to turn the heat up to almost medium before it would thicken at all… Betty knows some stuff, but she’s not a magician).

For the chicken, I just cooked some thighs up in my mom’s cast-iron pan, along with half an onion, chopped pretty big, and some sage and some cardamom (another obsession of mine). I just cooked it until it was all done, and then drained it and set it aside until I was ready for it.

Crust: (I would do this after your saucy stuff and chicken are done, so it doesn’t just sit there and dry out.)
1/3 C Crisco (that’s right… Crisco. This ain’t no diet food.)
2 C flour
2 t celery seed
1 t salt
4-5 T water
~Cut the shortening into the flour, celery seed and salt until pieces are the size of small peas (mine never look like peas… they always look like shredded cheese… Betty, I am not.)
~Sprinkle in water, 1 T at a time, tossing with fork until all the loose flour is moistened and it almost cleans the side of the bowl when you stir it around. (I didn’t measure the water at all… I just added a little bit at a time until it seemed like it was the right consistency. Be sure to just toss it with a fork instead of doing some hard-core stirring, because I think when you handle the dough too much it gets tough.)
Use 2/3 of the dough for the bottom, and the other 1/3 for the top.

I improvised a little lot on the vegetables… Betty thinks that a 10-oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables is going to cut it, but she’s WRONG, folks. Don’t do it. I did some layers… I love me some layers:
Frozen spinach
Chicken mixture
Sauce
Cut-up baby carrots (that’s what we had…)
Broccoli that was about to go bad, cut up in little pieces (keepin’ it real, people.)
More chicken mix
Sauce
Frozen french-cut green beans
Frozen corn (I love corn)
the rest of the chicken
the rest of the sauce

I used this really deep crockery-sort of dish that we have, so it’s like the mother of all pot pies. But really, it needed to be that big to fit all the veg I crammed into it. I’m not about the weenie pot pies with two peas, a few carrot slices and 1 piece of chicken (Hey! I never knew there was chicken in this soup!)… I like my stuff to be hearty, and well worth my time.

So you just put all this crap in the crust, and put the top crust on… I always make something pretty in my crusts, because that’s how I roll, but you could just cut a couple slits for ventilation, otherwise your pie might sprout a leak and blow a hole out the top.

I would recommend brushing the crust with a little buttah to make it extra delicious. As I may have mentioned before, this ain’t no diet food. But really, it’s not that bad for you, either. Aside from all the butter. And the Crisco. And the flour. You know. It has veggies! Lots and lots of veggies! That’s all I’m saying.
Bake this puppy uncovered in a 425 oven for about 30 minutes, or until your crust is golden.

I am looking forward to experimenting further, using zucchini and summer squash and “every good thing” (if you can name this movie, I’m just going to say, you have issues. Just like me.) now that I’ve used up all the stuff that was in the freezer.

Here are a couple more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

My sister drew this one on the computer… I love it. I thought he was blowing through his nose onto the pot pie; I am wrong. He is sniffing in the zesty aroma. Yummy, yummy in his tummmmmy. Ho, ho. (Family inside joke)


That’s all folks. Chicken Pot Pie: Eat it.



Christmas.

Wow… I ate way too much today, most of it an abomination to everything that is decent and healthy. But so good… funny how that works.

For the last couple of years, my family has drawn names and bought presents for just one person instead of everyone… This year I had The BFF and I got to buy all kinds of cool, girly, fun stuff for her. It was nice.

I’m always a little afraid that someone won’t have a good Christmas… I think know that I get that from my mother. I think we both just want so badly for no one to be hurt, for everything to be perfect. And you know what? Life just doesn’t really support that concept.

I’m not saying that our Christmas was bad… just that there were really good parts, and some not-as-great parts, and I cried a little, but I do that pretty much every year day anyway, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

All in all, I’d say it was a good one.

Plus, we got a little bit of snow, which is a rarity in these parts.



In Which I Share a Soup Recipe.
6 December 2007, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Eating Of Food Is My Specialty
It's A Soup-Tacular!

Soup is…the Nectar of the Gods, as long as it’s homemade and not out of a can. I’m not against the convenience, mind you… I just hate the taste and (especially) the texture. I categorically refuse to eat most soups that come from a can… the two exceptions being cream of mushroom as a sauce (always doctored up though) and clam chowder. None of that Chicken-less Where’s My One Soggy Noodle, Oh Yeah, I Forgot This Soup Is Only Made From Water-Out-Of-My-Own-Dang-Tap And Salt crap (is it just me, or does that picture actually look like a microscopic view of the bacteria that composes that “nasty cold” they’re claiming to soothe?).

Hence, I must make my own. And I have to say that I make a mean corn chowder… so from my (mom’s) kitchen to yours, Corn Chowder That Doesn’t Suck.

(Disclaimer: I always make a huge ol’ pot of this stuff, because we eat a lot, and we freeze some too… so if you don’t have a huge family or a lot of boys, you may want to cut the amounts in half or something.)

(Disclaimer #2: I don’t follow recipes (to my mother’s sometime-grief, when I can’t duplicate something that was fabulous last time I made it and this time looks (and tastes) like a reject from Fear Factor). I am also woefully bereft of the ability to be serious when instructing. So if this recipe doesn’t make sense because I am rambling about it instead of Spouting My Wisdom Seriously As Betty Crocker Would Do, I’m sorry…I hope you can interpret pretty well. Good luck!)

The Really Real, For Reals, Recipe (With No More Disclaimers):

-2 packages of bacon, fried as crisp as you like it (my mom likes it more, I like it less crisp… it does get softer in the soup, a little bit, so take that into account).
-1 or 2 large onions, chopped up (but not too finely).
-12 to 15 red potatoes, diced in a chunky fashion. This soup is all about the chunks.
-3 zucchinis, sliced about, I don’t know, 1/4″ thick or thereabouts.
-2 summer squash, if you can get your hands on it, sliced the same as the zucchini.
-A medium spoonful of minced garlic (I don’t know about you, but we’re all about the big jar around these parts. I hate pressing garlic with a passion. I suppose if you wanted to use fresh, it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 cloves).
-A small handful of dried rosemary
-A wee bit of sage
-Some cardamom, if you’ve got it. I put cardamom in everything, because I’m obsessed with it.
-1 quart of half-n-half (diet food, this ain’t).

So you cook the bacon and let it drain on some paper towels. Save some of the grease (or, if that grosses you out, just use a little Pam or somethin’-somethin’ to lube the pan with) and cook the onions until they are nicely browned.

Meanwhile, boil the potato chunks until they are pretty soft (they’ll soften up some when you add the rest of the stuff, but I often make the mistake of undercooking them, and then they’re a little crunchy. It’s much better to err on the too-soft side, as this just make it creamier). Drain most of it (leave an inch or two in the bottom so you can steam the veg on top).

Add the onions (nicely browned) to the potatoes and stir. Rub the rosemary between your hands to crush it, and drop that into the pot. Plop some garlic in there. Sprinkle the sage (about a teaspoon) and the cardamom (2 tsps, maybe… I cook to taste. I’m horrible about following recipes!) on there and stir it in. Crumble (if you made it crisp) or cut up (if you didn’t) your bacon and stir that in there too.

Load the zucchini and the summer squash on top (stir every now and then so the potatoes don’t start sticking to the bottom) and cook ’em until they’re softish.

When everything looks cooked through, pour in the half-n-half until everything can move fairly freely. Your whole soup is now cold, so let it heat back up, but don’t let it boil, since milk and boiling aren’t the tightest of friends.

I sometimes stir in a little bit of flour to thicken it up, but mostly I just enjoy it how it is. It’s a hearty soup, and even with just some plain bread and butter or rolls or something, it’s a great meal.

This concludes my haphazard tutorial on Soup That Doesn’t Suck. Thanks for watchin’, folks… good night, and good luck.