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Aug. 30th, 2012



Inedible Spam Alert!

Apologies to anyone who was surprised with some off-topic images on your friends feed today! Our little community has recently been spammed, and not with recipes for processed canned meat.

Normally I just delete spam as I come across is - like dust and dirty dishes, they're just part of life these days. But when we're talking about multiple Not Safe For Work images showing up on unsuspecting friends lists, more serious action is called for.

So for now, I've set posting to be members only. We're still inclusive, though: all you have to do to be a member is click this link!

(Nonmembers and non-livejournalers can still leave comments. And I'll continue cleaning things up as I see them.)

EDIT: If you're unable to post and you think you should be, send me a message (or comment here if you can leave comments). I'm still getting the hang of their security settings so there may be some glitches.

Jul. 27th, 2012



Japanese Curry (from scratch)

Japanese curry is sweeter and less spicy than the typical Indian variety. This from-scratch recipe is surprisingly straightforward and only slightly more time-consuming than the pre-made mixes (not to mention much lower in sodium!). I recommend making enough for leftovers as reheated curry and rice makes for a good lunch.

As always, curry recipes are flexible depending on what vegetables you happen to have in your fridge, your personal tastes, and your spice tolerance.

(Recipe adapted from http://norecipes.com/blog/karei-raisu-japanese-curry-rice/)

Serves 4-6ish


- For the curry itself:
1/2 large onion sliced
2 carrots cut into chunks
2 large potatoes cut into large chunks
1 small apple cored and pureed
1/2 C peas
4 C water
chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu etc cut into pieces (I used frozen scallops actually)
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp oil
rice or pasta
optional: 2 tsp kosher salt (optional)

- For the roux (sauce):
3 Tbs butter
1/4 C flour
2 Tbs garam masala (or curry powder)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust depending on spiciness)
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 Tbs tonkatsu sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)

Cooking Instructions:
Heat oil and onions to a cooking pot (or large saucepan), saute on medium heat until the onions are caramelized and golden brown. If you are using raw meat/chicken, add it in and saute briefly (for tofu or cooked meat, wait until the end).

Add the carrots and water to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Skim off any foam or oil that accumulates on the surface.

Lower the heat to medium and add the potatoes, apple, salt and garam masala. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked.

While the vegetables are cooking, it's time to make the roux. (If you plan on serving rice or pasta, this would be a good time to cook that as well. ;) )

The roux: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour and garam masala, stirring until you have a thick paste. Stir in the cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, ketchup and tonkatsu/worcestershire sauce. Cook until the paste becomes crumbly, then remove from heat and set aside.

Once the carrots and potatoes are cooked, ladle 2 cups of liquid from the pot into the roux saucepan and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour this mixture back into the pot and gently stir until thickened. Add the tofu (if you're using it), peas and any other quick-cook vegetables. Stir gently until the mixture thickens.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Shortcuts/Adaptions: I suspect that one could make the roux ahead of time and leave it in the fridge (or possibly freezer?) ready to go for a quick dinner. Will report on this after further experimentation.

Apr. 22nd, 2009

default pic


Basic Bread Recipe

this is a really basic bread recipe which is really versatile. i like to add basil and tomato paste or seeds.
herbs and seeds are added to dry ingredients and wet ingredients like tomato paste should be added just before second proving.

3 1/3 cups of plain/all purpose flour
2 teaspoons/1 sachet of yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/5 cups warm water (don't let it be hot as it will kill the yeast)

Mix together all dry ingredients and stir to have a even mix. make a well in the centre and slowly add water and stir.
put on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. grease the mixing bowl with oil/butter and put the dough back in and coat in the oil/butter, cover with a teatowel and put in a draught free place, for 45-75 minutes to prove (rise). once it's doubled in size punch the dough in the centre and knead again for 2-3 minutes. put in a bread tin and cover again and put out again to prove for 30 mins. brush it with water or oil/butter and place in the oven at 200'C/400'F for half an hour. once you take it out of the oven take it out of the tin immediately so it doesn't go soggy.

take a look at my journal if you want more indepth instructions or photos to see the change in dough size after the first proving

Feb. 2nd, 2009



Chicken Stroganoff

Yummy! I made this today, and it was well-received. Here's the steps for your perusal:

White button mushrooms
Chicken base
5 or so skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 package onion soup mix
Sour cream
Condensed milk
White wine


1. Slice five boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips. Saute over high heat in large saucepan until mostly done in white wine.

2. When chicken is mostly done, add package of onion soup mix, some chicken base, and a tablespoon of horseradish.

3. Cook until done, and keeping juices in pan, add one package sliced, white button mushrooms. Let cook, with pan slightly covered.

4. In small mixing bowl, mix 1 small (5 oz) can condensed milk, 1/2 cup or so sour cream, another tablespoon of horseradish, and two tablespoons flour.

5. Pour mixture into chicken, mushrooms, and juices. Add sour cream to taste. Heat on low heat until sauce thickens, then remove.

6. Serve poured over egg noodles.

Nov. 28th, 2008



Rhonda's Pumpkin Bread

I'd meant to have this up before Thanksgiving, but I was too busy eating turkey! This is the recipe for the famous family pumpkin bread. Makes 2 loaves.

3.5 c. flour
1.5 t salt
1 t nutmeg
2 t cinnamon
2 t soda
3 c sugar
2/3 c water (less for fresh pumpkin)
2 c pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 c. salad oil (Canola oil)

Sift dry ingredients into larger bowl. Combine salad oil, eggs, pumpkin, water in other bowl. Add to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1-1.5 hours. May add 1 c. chopped nuts.

Nov. 11th, 2008



Pumpkin Puree

How do I make pumpkin puree?

What to do with all those leftover jack-o-lanterns? Making pumpkin puree is incredibly simple, and can be frozen for later use. Use the puree in (of course) pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, or the delicious pumpkin cheesecake recipe one of our members just posted. :)

Pumpkin puree is made with the smaller variety of pumpkins (generally, the Jack-o-Lantern brand is too tough and stringy!). To make the puree:

1. Slice the pumpkin in two and scoop them out.
2. Place the two halves face-down in about a cup of water, and cover.
3. Cook the pumpkins, covered, in the oven at 350 for about an hour and a half or until tender.
4. Scoop out the flesh with an ice cream scoop.
5. Puree in a blender/food processor.

Puree can be frozen and used later.

Nov. 10th, 2008

holiday, cheesecake, thanksgiving, pumpkin


Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Step by step recipe with pictures can be found on Veronika's Cookie Spot! Happy Thanksgiving!

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: about 1 ½ hours
Yield: one 9-inch cake, about 12 to 16 servings

2 ¼ cups of graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup of sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¾ cups of unsalted butter, melted

1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp salt
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1 ½ pounds (3 packages) cream cheese, left to soften at room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 large eggs, left at room temperature about 30 minutes
1 cup heavy cream

For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and spices in a medium bowl with a fork. Drizzle melted butter over, and mix with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened. Turn crumbs into prepared pan; using your hand, spread crumbs into an even layer. Using a flat-bottomed ramekin or drinking glass, press crumbs evenly into pan bottom, then use a soup spoon to press and smooth crumbs into edges of pan. Bake until fragrant and browned about the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

To remove excess moisture from the pumpkin, line a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. Spread the pumpkin on the paper towels in a roughly even layer. Cover the pumpkin with a second triple layer of paper towels and press firmly until paper towels are saturated. Peel back the top layer of paper towels and discard. Grasp the bottom towels and fold pumpkin in half; peel back the towels. Flip pumpkin off the towels onto the baking sheet: it should flop right off in a solid mass. Do not skip this step! The excess moisture in the pumpkin will make the filling taste watery if it's not removed.

For the filling: Whisk sugar, spices, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat cream cheese at medium speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and sides of bowl well with a rubber spatula. Add about one third of the sugar mixture and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl and add remaining sugar in two additions, scraping after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat at medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl. Add 3 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add remaining 2 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give the mixture a final stir by hand.

Pour the filling into the springform pan and smooth the surface. Bake until center of cake is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken and center of cake registers 145 to 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 to 1 ½ hours (start checking at 1 hour). Run a paring knife around the sides of the cake to loosen; set on a wire rack and cool about an hour. Remove springform pan sides from the cheesecake, and continue to cool on wire rack until barely warm, about 3 hours. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

Brown Sugar and Bourbon Cream
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp bourbon

Whisk heavy cream, sour cream, brown sugar, and salt until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve cheesecake, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Stir once or twice during chilling to ensure that the sugar dissolves.

When ready to serve cheesecake, add bourbon and beat mixture until fluffy and doubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Spoon cream on top of cheesecake slices.



Breaded Chicken with Creamed Mushroom Sauce

I made this after realizing I wanted a mushroom sauce, and was out of mushrooms. But, I /did/ have cream of mushroom soup handy. It turned out wonderfully, and it's been requested again.

1. Cut 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into quarters.

2. Dip chicken pieces in a mixture of:
      1 egg
      Heavy cream
      White wine

3. Coat dipped chicken pieces in a bread mixture of:
      Bread crumbs
      Parmesian cheese (I used fancy shredded for the texture)
      Black pepper
      Onion soup mix

4. Place in oven in a slightly greased pan to bake at 350 degrees. Be sure to cover lightly with aluminum foil.

5. When chicken is near completion, begin a sauce using:
      1/3rd can cream of mushroom soup
      White wine
      Chicken bullion
      Some parmesian
      Mustard (I used honey mustard)
      Heavy cream

6. Sauce should be lightly thick when done--be sure to bring to a simmer to help cook out the wine, and be sure to stir consistently when cooking. Serve chicken with sauce ladeled on top. Good served with wild rice or a mushroom salad.

EDIT: Made this again today (from scratch). Went over just as well as before. I might be onto something, here. :D

Nov. 5th, 2008



Ratatouille (no, not the movie!)

(from "Craig Claiborne's Gourmet Diet")
Note: This is one of those recipes that actually tastes better the morning after. Eggplant was not in the original recipe but I've seen it in other versions.

4 large red tomato
4 small zucchini
1 large eggplant (or 2 japanese style)
2 medium onion
2 small green pepper (or one large)
4 cloves garlic
black pepper

4 bay leaves
2 tsp thyme
2 tbs olive oil


Combine in a large bowl:
- onions, cut into 1 inch squares
- green pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
- garlic, minced

In one small bowl:
- bay leaves
- thyme

In separate bowls:
Tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes.
Zucchini cut into thick slices.
Eggplant, cut into thin slices.

- Heat oil in saucepan. Add the onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook until the onion wilts - about 10 min.
- Add the bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the zucchini and eggplant.
- Cover and cook for 15-30 min on low heat.
- Uncover and cook down for 5-10min to thicken.
- Serve with lemon wedges if desired.



Biscuit Recipe (from "Craig Claiborne's Kitchen Primer" 1969)

Note from Claiborne: Within limits, the amount of shortening used in making biscuits is not critical -- e.g. in the following recipe it may be increased to 1/2 cup. Using the same recipe, cheese biscuts may be made by adding 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese just before adding the milk.

Note from me: A friend experienced at such things suggested parmesian + provalone instead of the cheddar. I have yet to try this, so let us know if you do!

2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, shortening). Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the shortening until it has the consistency of coarse corn meal.
- Add milk and toss gently with a fork (or your fingers) until the dough is evenly moistened.
- Lightly coat a cutting board with flour. Gather the dough into a ball and turn it onto the board. Knead gently with the heel of the hand.
- Lightly flour the board again and roll the dough out with a lightly floured rolling pin to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the dough into rounds with a floured biscuit cutter.
- (Note from lethea: If you don't have a biscuit cutter, separate the dough into small balls and gently flatten them to the right thickness. You will end up with lumpy-looking biscuits, but they will taste just as good.)
- Place the rounds on a baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 12-15 min.

Yield: about 16 2-inch biscuits.

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