Saturday, January 30, 2010
So, not much has been going on in terms of cooking or recipe-writing over that period. My energy levels aren't at their usual "energizer bunny" levels and honestly, I just haven't felt like doing much of anything, except for sleeping and lying around the house doing things like reading, knitting, or watching movies on TV. As I described to a friend of mine earlier today, "I feel like a coughing Tommy gun." ;) The coughing has subsided for the most part, but I still don't feel back to normal just yet. It's weird to feel restless but yet still tired. Hopefully, only a few more days of this, because it's about all I can take. ;) Frankly, after about the first two weeks, being sick becomes just plain BORING, and believe me, I'm not the type who's easily bored. ;) There's only so much reading, sleeping, home movie-watching, & knitting one can do before one is ready to tear one's hair out. ;) I just want to get back to the usual groove of what I was doing before!
What's really weird is that, even though recipe-writing is basically a stationary activity, I don't have the patience or the focus right now to do that activity. Those other aforementioned activities don't take very much energy or focus for the most part, so it's not a huge effort to do them. Perhaps it's time to cut myself some slack and just take a time-out until my energy levels come back to what they were a few weeks ago.
To a certain extent, that probably explains why there are a lot of recipes on this blog that are queued up with nowhere to go. :)
And then there are the queued recipes-in-the-making that precede the above time-frame. In other words, I have absolutely no excuse or apparent explanation for why they are still in "recipe purgatory," i.e., in draft form on Blogger. ;)
One such example is the "upcoming" tamale recipe. :) (And by all means, major sarcasm is implied by my use of the word "upcoming." ;) ) As some of you may recall, this was a dish I made months ago that I still haven't posted... er, that is, yet. I wouldn't hold your breath there, but it'll probably be posted at some unforeseen moment in time. :) Don't exactly know what happened there. At first, I think I became slightly overwhelmed by the daunting prospect of writing up such a lengthy and involved recipe. ;) Of course, it's the general exposition and the recipe directions -- especially since they are highly detailed and complex with multiple steps -- that usually take up most of my writing time.
Then there's cooking endeavor itself. After all, I was fairly exhausted after spending 10+ hours preparing and cooking the tamales; it was quite the time- and labor-intensive undertaking. I didn't exactly feel like writing immediately after doing that. ;) Anyone probably would've wanted to have taken a bit of a break after such a monumental effort, just to recharge the batteries. Again, it's not an excuse; just a fact. :)
corresponding photos on Flickr.
Also, the following recipes are part of the backlogged queue as well:
--Caruru de Camarao com Coentro (Shrimp & Okra with Nuts & Cilantro) (Brazilian dish)
--Jugo de Maracuyá Con Leche (Passion Fruit Smoothie) (Colombian/Latin American drink)
--Panera-style Orange Scones (from the "Make It Healthier" Challenge, promised to @britishbulldog)
--Restaurant-quality General Tso's Chicken (also from the "Make It Healthier" Challenge, promised to @nturnage)
--some lentil dishes (possibly Ethiopian &/or Middle Eastern dishes of some sort) (promised to @JenZenator)
--some kind of recipe with chía (promised to @saltenhaus)
--a wheatberry recipe (promised to a family friend) (recently added to the queue)
These haven't been forgotten, as I've promised several of them to friends. :) Let's just say they've been postponed to a later date, until I can approach them with renewed energy, inspiration, & enthusiasm. Of course, these sentiments are in no way a reflection upon the individuals or their recipe requests; my inspiration to cook particular dishes just naturally cycles in an ebb & flow pattern. For me, recipe creation is all about timing. So, if I'm just not feeling it, I'd rather not force a recipe into existence if can be helped at all. Most times, the practice of creative coercion (at least with regard to recipes!) is highly inadvisable, as it typically yields less-than-satisfactory results.
Anyhow, that's the stuff that's currently backed up in the queue. If my usual pattern is any indication of what's to come, I'll probably make a few new recipes that have nothing to do with the above queue. ;) Then, when I'm feeling refreshed & fully healthy, I'll get back to full-on cooking & recipe posting. So hang in there. Right now, that's what I'm doing too. :)
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Frozen Banana Custard
2 frozen bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp. honey
1/2 c. soy milk
Directions: Toss all ingredients into a blender & pulse until thick & creamy.
Yield: Makes 2 servings.
Chef's Notes: Make sure bananas aren't frozen solid when you put them into the blender, or the liquids will just swirl around in your blender & not chop up the bananas. :) Best to remove bananas from freezer & let them thaw for a bit first. However, don't leave them out for too long, or you won't have frozen banana custard; you'll have a banana smoothie instead. :)
This recipe literally takes less than 5 minutes to make. It's very healthy for you, as it contains no sucrose or cream.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I have to say, and this is actually not said to brag or revel in smarmy self-satisfaction, that my man is pretty darned awesome. I'm stating it more as an ode of appreciation to him.
While many women often complain that they don't get enough help from their mates, especially when it comes to chores around the house, I'm happy to say that in my particular case, that this statement doesn't apply to our situation at all. Even though he works full-time, Erik still pitches in on a multitude of household duties, & I truly appreciate it. He's the true definition of an equal relationship partner, & I thank my lucky stars for that.
Friday, January 22, 2010
And of course, they are also very nutritious. I won't rattle off their many merits in this post, but if you'd like to read more about their health benefits, you can do so here.
Last week I had a craving for avocados. Big time.
"Solorunner's Infamously Addictive Kale Salad Recipe", which is quite delicious & nutritious. You could say that, for me, this kale salad recipe was the go-to recipe of 2009. My runner pals used to crack jokes on Twitter about how many times I made/ate that recipe as a "training staple." :)
Even though that recipe is truly wonderful, I think that perhaps I need to give it a rest for a bit & move onto something else for a while. No matter how tasty a recipe can be, if made one too many times, it can dull the desire for it, (at least momentarily).
So, I went in search of another recipe to satisfy my avocado cravings. I perused the web & also this blog's existing archives (i.e., Avocado Soup, Steak Fajitas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Seared Tuna Drizzled with Wasabi Ginger Soy Sauce, Salsa Roja, Sina Qua Non Salad, etc.) for ideas. Although there was a lot of variety to be had, I wasn't really finding anything that I was in the mood to eat.
A recipe has just got to hit the spot at a particular moment in time. You know what I mean?! It's often a mood thing, which is why I usually don't like to plan meals 5 light years in advance. Sometimes, I don't know what I want to eat until my stomach starts to growl. :)
Speaking of which, I like to remain flexible when planning meals for any given week, preferring to generate a roster of ideas that can be rotated around or completely changed to suit what we are hungry for on a particular night, versus having a hard & fast selection for each day of the week. Erik & I aren't the type of couple who schedule "date night" every Wednesday, so it logically follows that we don't want to eat beans & rice every Monday evening either. :) We just don't think that way. We don't like to live our lives like pre-programmed robots. We are both creative souls (in both the arts & sciences), & need room to breathe. We live for variety & not always knowing what we are going to eat every Monday. :) Besides, too much routine dulls the senses. At our house, we like every day to be a "food adventure."
Anyhow.... Since I couldn't find anything that satisfied the senses in that particular moment, I decided to create a new recipe. That's the nice thing about creativity: When you've "got nothing," you can always dream up something. :)
So, below is the new recipe I created as a result: (It was inspired by a snack idea listed in an earlier posting.)
|Yeah, I know this isn't a photo of the salad I made, because you |
can clearly see radishes & other ingredients not included in
the below recipe, plus there's no edamame, scallions,
& sumac, but it's close enough. :)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/2" slivers
1/2 c. edamame, shelled and cooked (Boil fresh edamame 5-6 minutes, frozen 4-5 minutes.)
2 green onions (scallions), sliced crosswise into thin rounds
1/2 c. nonfat feta cheese, broken into bite-sized chunks (NOTE: President brand makes a non-fat version; best to buy it in solid block form; not only is it a better value, but it lasts slightly longer in this way.)
Directions: Toss all ingredients into a bowl & mix thoroughly. And that's it! Yes, it's really that simple. :)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
In my travels to Mexico, I had the lucky experience of tasting dulce de tamarindo, or tamarind candy. These are sold pretty much everywhere there -- at open markets, festivals & fairs, in grocery stores & convenience marts, etc. -- Heck, you can even find them in airports. :)
While they are sometimes sold in mini clay cazuelas, I more commonly found them wrapped in cellophane.
I've eaten them in various forms -- sometimes in a more natural incarnation -- i.e., shelled whole tamarind covered with sugar, chili, & salt -- & other times, they were pulverized mixtures of tamarind pulp, sugar, chili, salt, etc., shaped into little balls of confection.
1 c. hot water
1 c. tamarind paste (a concentrate)
1 c. honey
1 tsp. powdered chili (Or alternatively, you can use Tajín Fruit seasoning.)
1 small pinch of salt
Chef's Note: Working with tamarind tends to be a messy affair, so you might want to wear latex/rubber gloves, an apron, &/or old clothes you don't care too much about while working with the stuff. Also, please note, that it stains & is hard to get out of clothing. Not that I would know that from personal experience or anything. ;-)
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Today, while I perusing one of my favorite blogs, Orangette, I discovered another fantastic blog via the comments section of a post there; the comment was interesting, & so, out of curiosity, I clicked on the associated link to a blogger's profile, which then led me to their blog. The name of this blog is Figs, Bay, & Wine.
I also found yet another excellent blog by the name of Kitchenography. (I think I found this one while searching for a particular recipe on the web.)
These two blogs are the latest "shiny new objects" of my online food-related fascination.
The food photos at both of these sites are truly gorgeous, polished, & highly professional-looking, & the photos are truly mouth-watering. They almost jump from the page, in all their glistening, picture-perfect glory. These sites simply make me sigh, & momentarily wish I had the time & the inclination to make my blog as photogenically flawless as both of theirs.
But it's not just a superficial love. The recipes look really amazing as well. Sigh. :)
A large number of recipes at both of these blogs really hit my "optimal recipe zone." :) If you enjoy my blog's recipes, then you will most likely enjoy the ones at these sites as well.
Happy Exploring & Bon Appétit,
Saturday, January 9, 2010
And, if you haven't guessed by now, all of the above exposition is also the lead-in to a plug for my brand new blog, Underage Knitter. :-D Here is where I plan to document past & present projects, dole out knitting tips, & offer original patterns (created by yours truly), & just talk about knitting in general. So, those of you who are knitters or who might be interested in learning might want to check it out or subscribe to it.
Friday, January 1, 2010
I belong to this website called Tastespotting.com that features absolutely gorgeous, mouth-watering pictures that people have taken of their recipes or things that they're about to eat. Now of course, it's wonderful fun to look at these pictures, & I once even submitted a picture of my own. It was an unceremonious snapshot of a new soup creation, captured while still boiling madly on a gas-lit stove, in all its bubbling, frothy glory, with its steam rising like a volcano about ready to blow.