Posts Tagged ‘tofu’

TOMATOES

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Photo 1

So I’m sure you don’t know that tomatoes are awesome right now. Because of how you don’t go to any stores or look at the internet at all.

These are some heirloom babies that Crockett and I picked up at Whole Foods. Yes, they were $4 a pound. Yes, I find that entirely reasonable. I wanted to use them for BLATs, but then I forgot, and then they’d been on the counter for several days….

Photo 2

And then they (and a buttload of my purple basil) were this.

Isn’t buttload a charming word to use when referring to food?

Other things that happened yesterday:

Photo 1

More Fresca (consumed while everyone else was eating lunch and I just got back from the gym).

Photo 2

A tiny chunk of super tasty Murray’s fromager d’affinois (it’s sort of like brie and sort of like butter and sort of completely awesome).

Photo 3

Some of the Whole Foods sweet chili tofu that I definitely should have already eaten…

Photo 4

and a peach – not pictured, peach pie.

Photo 5

These bowls of rice and cottage cheese are not for me. As shocking as that may sound. My Cloey has been having some digestive issues lately, and on the vets instructions she’s on bland foods for a couple of days. The bowl on the right is for Maida – she gets a little rice and cottage cheese with her dog food so she doesn’t feel left out.

I’m not actually sure if she’s capable of feeling left out, but I would feel like she’s left out, and that’s close enough.

Photo 3

Also? I intentionally drank red wine for the first time since May. That was a weird choice.

cuppy cakes!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Despite my solemn promise of a cuppy cake recipe yesterday, I totally did not share a cuppy cake recipe.

Why am I saying cuppy cake? Because I’m currently super adorable, I guess?

IMG 5331

See?

Oh, that’s not adorable.

That’s the kind of thing that happens at a 5 year old’s birthday party.

(Crockett’s nephew turned five. Wearing that mask is one thing I did yesterday that was not publishing a cupcake recipe.)

(Apparently seeing myself in a Spiderman mask was enough to knock me out of that ‘cuppy cake’ nonsense.)

NewImage

We also helped my mom move a couch into her garage. It’s a nice leather couch. It’s for sale on Craigslist – let me know if you’re interested (and not halfway across the country)! It’s from Scandinavian Designs but was the only piece of furniture in her guest room and does not make much of a guest room bed.

IMG 5300

We went grocery shopping and brought home whatever we felt like for lunch. Crockett apparently felt like a tiger roll.

IMG 5301

I, less sensibly, felt like a big sweet chili tofu steak.

We shared, because he did not begrudge me my odd choice.

Now, without further ado… Cupcakes!

IMG 5366

(What? I told you I forgot to take pictures of them!)

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here’s what you need to know about these cupcakes. They have been gradually and professionally optimized by me to consistently bake up gorgeous at 5000 feet, give or take. In other words, this is a high altitude recipe. It will probably be fine at sea level, but if your’e up in the air with me know that this does not need any alterations, mmkay?

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 30 cupcakes – can easily be halved or two-thirded (two thirded? really?)

15.5 ounces all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 salt 
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 tsp white vinegar
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup water
3 eggs

Heat your oven to 350. Line your cupcake tins with papers.

Note: remember what I said last week about making buttermilk with milk and vinegar? That’s not ideal here – buttermilk is actually the flavor of red velvet, so use the real stuff if you can. If you really think you’ll never use it again and want to buy just half a pint, make up the extra 1/4 cup with 2% milk.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar with the oil until combined and then add the remaining ingredients and whisk until uniform. Add half to the dry ingredients and stir until they’re all moistened, then add the rest and beat the crap out of it by hand for about two minutes or by machine for about twenty seconds. You don’t usually do that with cake batter, but the amount of acid in the batter means it’s going to stay tender and this will help give you a light texture by putting a bunch of air in the batter.

Using a half cup measure or a half cup ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake paper. If you’re making all thirty and using regular tins with space for twelve cupcakes, leave the center two empty in each. If you’re baking them in batches, which I suggest, beat the batter for a second before filling the liners each time.

Bake for between 13 and 17 minutes – I would tap the top at 13 and if the dent sticks, give it two more minutes. If it still feels a smidge squishy, give it one more. No more than that. Seriously, don’t do it. You’re asking for dried out cupcakes. Turn out of the pans to cool and frost or wrap well and freeze.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (three packages)
1 pound butter (four sticks)
1 – 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar (it comes in one or two pound bags)
2 tsp vanilla

Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. Seriously. This is the most important part. DO NOT SKIP THIS PART.

Blend the cream cheese and butter together until TOTALLY combined. It will seem ok to have little lumps but it is NOT OK. If you see a lump and you think it’s the last lump, it is not the last lump. Keep mixing.

Sift over about 1/2 pound of your powdered sugar and carefully beat. (This will be messy. It’s worth it.) Do it again, mix in the vanilla, and taste. If you want it sweeter, which I usually don’t, gradually add what you have left, tasting as you go. It’s easy to over power the cream cheese tang, so proceed carefully.

Use to frost your cupcakes. You’ll have a tiny bit left over, so you should probably just eat that.

 

happy hallowgiving!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I seriously don’t know why I said happy Thanksgiving earlier. I’m a little concerned about my grey matter.

Anyway. Halloween.

IMG 2705

For breakfast I busted out my new Bob’s 5 Grain cereal.

IMG 2706

I cooked it in my favorite little two cup cereal pot that my dad got me two years ago for Christmas. I seriously use this thing so often it never makes it to the dishwasher.

To my cereal I added flaked sweetened coconut and chopped frozen peaches.

I froze the peaches myself and I think I used a knife that I’d used to cut garlic when I sliced them before freezing. It adds an interesting and not particularly welcome taste to things – let that be a lesson to all of us. I have to use the garlic peaches, but hopefully no one else will face the same fate.

IMG 2708

My schedule this semester has been such that I don’t eat lunch on campus very often.  Today, though, I had a meeting that was necessary to verify that I’m going to graduate in May (whoooooohooooo), so I ate while grading Minitab assignments. (Minitab is a statistical version of Excel, basically, that the students in my class use to do projects).

IMG 2707

Leftover tofu, leftover creepy cauliflower, and toes desperately in need of nail polish remover.

I stopped on the way home to get pumpkins for the stoop, so trick-or-treaters would know they were welcome, but pumpkins are apparently passe in the grocery store. Christmas stockings are the new pumpkins. I got a big orange leaf sack with a pumpkin face on it instead, and we stuffed it with leaves from the yard.

Trick-or-treaters have been drizzling, not pouring. The Evil Flash Drive, who was here to steal our gigabytes, has been my fav so far.

Between homework and stopping Maida from trying to eat the little kids, I made falafel tacos.

IMG 2709

Falafel Tacos
Adapted from How to Cook Everything

Falafel:
1 can chickpeas
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 handful greens (arugula is what I used, but parsley/baby spinach/cilantro/whatev would all add something nice)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Tzatziki:
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped, seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt

hummus
tortillas

Whiz everything in the ‘falafel’ section up in a food processor. It should be chopped finely enough that you look at it and go ‘damn, that would be a pain in the ass if I had to chop that by hand’, with a little bit of paste, but no finer. It’s better that it fall apart a little while cooking than it be tough and icky.

Mix the tzatziki ingredients together and set aside. Start with the smaller amount of salt and adjust to taste. (If it tastes more like yogurt than vegetables, you can probably use more salt).

Heat a nonstick pan up over medium-medium-low heat. If you feel like a little fat in your day, add a few little puddles of vegetable oil once the pan is hot – it will lead to crispier falafels but isn’t necessary. Either way, grab golf ball sized amounts of the falafel mix and flatten them out, then drop them in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on the first side and two on the second (or until brown and tasty looking on both sides). It will take two batches unless you have a griddle sized pan, so if you want to eat them hot, keep the falafels warm in a low oven while you cook the second batch.

Spread each tortilla with hummus and tzatziki, and top with falafel. Eat.

Serves 2 – 3. (We ate it all).

IMG 2714

Happy HALLOWEEN!! I think our candy-wanting-kids are done – it’s dark and cold and 8:30. We have lots of mini Snickers and M&Ms and Baby Ruth. Hopefully you all have leftover candy too!

suburgatory

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I’m not actually watching Suburgatory, because our TV either doesn’t get CBS or it’s moved somewhere that I can’t find it.

However, I’m feeling very suburban lately. Friday night, Crockett went out to Denver while I hung out with a girlfriend in Louisville. Then Saturday night Crockett and I went out… again in Louisville. Last night I did school work and we watched tv and went to bed at a reasonable hour. Today is HALLOWEEN and my plans involve handing out candy while wearing… my normal clothes.

Sigh.

IMG 2701

After I writing yesterday, I realized how much meat and cheese and how few vegetables I’d eaten over the weekend, so I made myself an insane salad when I got home from my run. First, I microwaved half a spaghetti squash. While that was happening, I sliced segments out of a grapefruit, and put them in a bowl with arugula and goat cheese. I mixed the super hot ow-my-fingers squash with a little olive oil and pepper, put it on top of the greens, and topped the whole thing with some fluffy grated romano.

IMG 2702

When I mixed it all up, it was warm from the squash, spicy from the pepper and arugula, creamy from the cheese, and tangy from the grapefruit. It was a taste experience, y’all.

(Yes, I know I just said I was eating too much cheese and then I ate more – but it was offset by the two pounds of vegetables. That’s a totally valid nutritional choice. I think.)

Awhile ago, I read that freezing tofu and then thawing it and draining it gives it a more appealing chewy texture. I stuck some in the freezer like three weeks ago, and then freaked out on Wednesday thinking maybe it could freeze for too long. I moved it to the fridge to defrost and promptly forgot about it.

Sigh. Food planning.

Anyway, last night I made a marinade of lemongrass and curry powder for it, and then pan fried big pieces to put in a sandwich.

IMG 2704

It was… ok. I’m eating the leftovers for lunch today. I don’t really feel like I have the hang of tofu.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

ETA: Yeah, I wrote Thanksgiving right there. What? I have no idea. Brain? Mine? Where?

Sixty

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

My momma turned 60 years old yesterday!

Wait, let’s back up.

I sort of feel like I’ve been all cookies all the time since Valentines day, so yesterday I decided to start off with a nice fruitful smoothie instead.

Mmmm, smoothie. I finally bought Grape Nuts, so I’m back to my yogurt/milk/frozen banana/blueberries/Grape Nuts combination. Crunchy and delicious.

Crockett left last night for two ski trips. It’s all very exciting – first he’s going to Vail with some old friends, and then he’s driving to Crested Butte with some other old friends. All of these friends are men, so if you’re picturing nine days of snowboarding, cigars, and scotch, you’re probably not far off. At least, that’s how I picture it. Perhaps right now they’re sitting around discussing how much they miss their girlfriends. Who knows.

We had some crucial Costco shopping to do before he left, so we ended up nibbling on Costco snacks and eating a late lunch.

We’re still working our way through the Asian Cabbage Casserole from Sunday. I swear to god it’s actually multiplying in the fridge, and now that he’s gone the remaining servings are up to me. Making an appropriate amount of food for two people is proving to be something of a challenge – more than twice what I needed alone, but less than a full family size.

Then, it was BIRTHDAY TIME!


That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. My wonderful mother turned 60 years old yesterday.

See her, there towards the right, already getting ready to walk away and welcome more guests?

One of her good friends put together this great party in the back room of The Cactus Wheel in downtown Louisville. There were 30+ people there, and we had margaritas and all sorts of fun. My mom is a competitive sprinter and cyclist, and most of her friends are as well, so this was a room full of athletic fabulousness.

She got all kinds of fun cards and presents.

That’s my hand-drawn hilarity in the top right corner.

In case you were wondering.

Crockett came by to say happy birthday to my mom, before he took off to pick up his friends from the airport. He and my dad had a beer and talked about all the crazy athletes in the room.

I had tilapia tacos, which were great. I think we overwhelmed the Cactus Wheel’s tiny kitchen, because the food came out in fits and spurts and mine took an awfully long time. It’s a small restaurant, and 30 people ordering at once must’ve hit them hard. Everything was good, though.

We had cake (also courtesy of my  mom’s lovely friend Valerie). And then? Things started to get a little goofy.

Like, helium sucking goofy.

I gave my mom a new updo, appropriate for her new age, and, then I went home. You know, sometimes grown ups don’t want their kids around to witness their goofiness.

Happy Birthday Mom!

hibachi

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Hibachi!

We got a very exciting email yesterday afternoon.

A ‘hey you wanna come have hibachi with us tonight?’ email.

What, some days fewer exciting things happen than other days.

Our original plan was to go to Benihana, but they could only fit us in at 5 or 8:30. Since our dinner companions have a lil girl and we’re not 100 years old, neither of those worked for us. We ended up at Hibachi.

Do you know how much food you get at a hibachi place?
Wait – do you know what hibachi is? It’s that thing where you all sit around a massive hot plate and you get your food cooked in front of you? Ok, just checking.

While we debated what to order, I asked for a glass of Cupcake chardonnay (so tasty) and took pictures of our place settings. I’m not usually a fan of Japanese design, but these plates – man alive, if I’d been carrying a bigger purse we may have been using them for breakfast this morning.

I ended up ordering the veggie hibachi entree with tofu. If I were able to play ominous music, this is where it would start, so consider yourself foreshadowed.

Our chef was very nice and had nothing to do with the tragedy that is forthcoming.

Doesn’t he look… active?

Seriously, the man never stood still. It was fun but not particularly photogenic.

We’d ordered some sushi, but it didn’t come before he started cooking our veggies. Also, first he put some mystery stuff under bowls. (That will be important later, so I hope you’re paying attention.) The veggies got all sautee-ee – it was fun.

At some point during the sauteing, Crockett’s cold sake came. The container had ice IN it, which I found genius.

I don’t necessarily appreciate cold sake.

I like warm sake. I know it’s plebeian. I don’t care. Maybe I’m a plebe.

Our chef then made a flaming onion volcano.

That’s right – Flaming. Onion. Volcano.

I would tell you how he made that happen, but Hibachi made me sign a NDA.

(That’s a lie.)


During the flaming, our sushi came.

I haven’t had that much sushi here on MBD, have I? In general, I prefer my sushi sweet. I like salmon, because it’s a little sweet, but I love the ones that come with sauce. (Again, plebe, right here. Whatever.) I love me some Unagi, you guys. I would eat these little sauced eel morsels every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could. Of course, for breakfast I would probably stir them into some oatmeal.

Crockett, on the other hand, really likes his tuna. He ordered two tuna pieces and two yellowtail pieces, and then traded a tuna for a salmon with our buddies at my request, because tuna isn’t my favorite thing. Salmon? Sure. Raw shrimp? Okey dokey. The tuna, though – just not my cup of tea.

When we’d finished our sushi, our vegetables were miraculously done and ready to be plated.

At this point we’d already had soup, salad, our sushi, and our rice had been served.

Yeah, a lot of food.

The chef then threw a big pile of noodles onto the grillhotplatething, sauced em up, and added em to the list of things to consume.

Here’s where things got a little sad.

I’d ordered the veggies with tofu, and because I was being silly and assuming that the veggies would be those that I’d already seen (broccoli/onion/carrot/squash), I didn’t ask if there were green bell peppers or eggplant involved.

What with green bell peppers and eggplants making it hard for me to breath via allergic reaction and all.

See the peppers in the above pic?

That’s Crockett’s plate. Turns out there were some peppers hanging out in one of those upsidedown bowls, and by the time I’d noticed, they’d already been all stirred up with my tofu.

The chef offered to make me a new tofu, but I felt like crud for not remembering to ask, and Crockett is wonderful and was all ‘dude, tofu? Awesome! You can have my sea bass, ok?’

So I had some delicious crispy sea bass.

Crockett got some too, though.

Did I mention you get a lot of food at a hibachi place?