Comments (0) | 31 May 2010
To make up for my lack of regular posting, I spent a good few hours this afternoon chronicling my sushi-making process. Then I ate them. Now I'm posting about them. Here we go!
Sushi is a very flexible dish. There are some standard fillings, and then you mix and match them however you want. That's part of why I love sushi so much; it does a good job of cleaning vegetables out of my fridge.
First, cook some sushi rice according to your preference. I use a rice maker and all is well. After your rice is done cooking (it should be sticky, not the kind of rice you'd like to pour your curry on), stir in rice vinegar and sugar, then cover--so it doesn't dry out--and cool.
Sushi's also one of those recipes where you really do want to have laid all your ingredients out infront of you, ready to go. As much as I try, I rarely have all my ingredients measured, chopped, or laid out when I begin baking or cooking. With sushi, however, that's different. Gather and prepare all your fillings ahead of time. Here's mine:
(Note: All the colors in this post are going to be crazy because it's splotchy cloudy outside, so sometimes I had natural light and sometimes I didn't.)
You can see my lovely orange knife in the above photo. I bought it at the grocery store in town. That sounds like a recipe for a terrible knife, but I love my bright orange knife.
I included: cucumber, carrot, egg, smoked salmon, avocado and cream cheese. You don't see the cream cheese in that photo above because cream cheese looks ugly if you try to cut it into strips--or, at least, if I try to cut it into strips. But you can see it here:
To prepare the egg as shown above, just cook two eggs like one would cook an omlette--but without any cream or fillings (more precise directions below.) Then it'll look like this:
Then you'll put it on a paper towel to cool, like this:
After it's cool, you'll cut it into a square by cutting off the corners, like so:
and then cut into strips, like this:
The salmon is sliced just as you think salmon would be sliced, but I want to show you a couple photos of my smoked salmon, because I think it's pretty. Just a note, you want to make sure you're using a sharp knife to cut your salmon, otherwise it tends to crumble along the natural boundaries (those little whitish lines you see). Now that I've said that, I can justify showing you my pretty salmon pictures:
See those white lines I was talking about? See how my first couple slices sort of crumbled at the bottom? That's when I switched to my sharper knife, and all was good:
Comments (0) | 28 May 2010
It has been a long time since my last post. For awhile, I had pre-finals, and then finals. So that's understandable. But it's been 1.5 weeks since my last day of class, and almost 5 days since graduation. I have no excuse. I've been sleeping until noon, getting up groggily, playing video games and reading the internets, and then going back to sleep. No excuse. Oops.
I do, however, have these.
I eat very, very many of them. But I figure, they're healthier than all the ice cream I would eat if I didn't have them, right? (Note that I'm basically begging for affirmation).
I'm eating a lemon one right now. And it's delicious. (Can you tell from my sentence fragments and frequent parentheticals that I've been reading a lot of thepioneerwoman.com today? Because I have. An awful, unhealthy lot. I probably know more about her than her distant family. And I dearly, dearly hope that someday I'll have a kitchen that the one in her guest lodge. Do not go look unless you want to feel pathetically sorry for yourself.)
In lieu of a recipe and pictures of food, I have graduation photos!
You can't see because this photo is small, but my favorite graduate (sorry everyone else...) is standing RIGHT THERE. Behind the person in the fancy blue "I have good grades" sashy things.
And the start of the procession out of graduation, after all the speeches and names and majors and (summa) (magna) cum laudes that made me feel bad about my grades were over.
AWWWW. And there's my graduate. This picture is very blurry, but my camera was dying and he was technically still in the procession out, so I had to click the picture fast. I actually didn't even think I got the picture, because my camera died immediately as I clicked the "take picture" button, even though I'd bought (and by "I bought" I mean, sent my mother down to the campus center to buy..) brand new batteries for it not 2 hours earlier. And I'd turned it off a lot during that time, because it started blinking "battery low" within about 15 minutes. I think my camera's on its last legs.
But this weekend, I promise a recipe.
Congratulations to everyone who graduated (or will soon graduate if, you know, you go to a state school or whatever...)!
Comments (0) | 12 May 2010
Fresh radishes means roasted radishes for dinner! They're quick to throw together, and then you can go do something else (like an inorganic test!) while they're baking. If you don't have a spastic oven like mine, they don't take that long, either. They go well as a side to almost anything. We had ours with corn, stir fried green garlic, tomato and new onions, and fried eggs.
In a small baking dish, toss radishes with olive oil pepper, oregano, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven for 15-20* minutes, until radishes soften but are still firm in the middle.
Take radishes out of the oven. Sprinkle sugar over radishes and return to the oven uncovered for about 20-30* minutes, or until the radishes look well roasted, with a bit of crisp, caramelly-sugar covering them. Take out of oven, sprinkle with salt and serve.
*these cooking times are rough estimates; my old oven has a very uneven gas flow, and so the temperature is wont to vary widely while cooking.
Comments (0) | 09 May 2010
Last week some of us chemistry juniors gave a presentation to the freshmen and sophomores interested in the chemistry major to talk about scheduling, what to expect from the classes, requirements of the major, research opportunities, REUs, etc. Naturally, these sorts of presentations necessitate food. The natural college-food option is pizza. The cardboardy, sauce-and-cheese-drenched, dripping-oil-everywhere, floppy pizza. Absolutely turns my stomach. Now, I ate a piece, mind you. But I also believe in offering something more aethestically appealing and tastier, if not more healthy.
Don't pay too much attention to the gritty, disgusting cookie sheet. I didn't bake these babies on it, I just needed it to transport them and ran out of parchment paper.
I say "element" cookie and not "periodic table cookies" because: (a) technically... a periodic table is a collection of elements arranged in a specific pattern, and each cookie only denotes one element, so the cookies themselves are not periodic tables... but mostly, because (b) I only have a circle cookie cutter, not a square, so I couldn't really make them fit together like a table; if I'd made them into a table, I would have called them periodic table cookies anyway... since they're cookies that make up a periodic table. Semantics aside, these were a great hit, despite them being the first time I made them.
The sugar cookie recipe came from Martha Stewart, the royal icing recipe from Not So Humble Pie. Some day, I swear I'll have the time to post my own recipes. Some day soon.
I did, however, make the atomic symbols with my own ingenuity. I printed out two sheets of atomic symbols in a large, bold font with plenty of space between them. Then, I melted white chocolate, put the pieces of paper onto a cookie sheet and covered them with wax paper, and then piped white chocolate by tracing the letters I could see through the wax paper. Or at least that's what I tried to do, in reality, the letters I printed in the science building were too small so I had to go by hand. But if I owned a printer and could have reprinted them easily, that's what I would have done. After all the symbols were piped, I popped them in the freezer to harden. (Tip: try to make sure that the letters in two-letter symbols are touching, like the Tc above. It makes it easier to pop them on quickly as one piece, rather than searching for a lost letter after you've already put on the first letter, just to discover it's already been broken.) I kept these in the freezer until it came to putting on letters; keeping the chocolate extra firm helps not to break them in the process. Piping thicker letters will also help in this regard.
Anyway, I made the sugar cookies according to the instructions linked above, baked them, and let them cool completely. This time, I made them thinner the MS recommends, because I was on a time crunch. Next time I'd make them 0.5" thick as she recommends, if not thicker.
The icing was a bit trickier. Because Royal icing dries out, I only divided the icing into separate containers for coloring as I went. So, I spooned out some icing into a ramekin, dyed it purple, piped my flood barricade (the outer circle of the icing), watered it down a little bit, and flooded the inside of my circle with a spoon. I then immediately dropped white chocolate atomic symbols into the flood icing and pressed down carefully to make sure they'd stick. Then I sprinkled with the appropriate color of sugar glitter and let dry completely.* I did this for however many cookies I wanted of that color, then repeated with each other color. After the cookies had all dried, I used a food color pen to write in the atomic number and mass.
(* I actually didn't let them dry completely because I ran out time, but if you can, let them dry completely. That way, the food color pen won't break through the icing and get icing stuck to the top of your pen. If you don't have enough time, pop the cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes or so; that'll harden the top layer of icing a little, then just... write softly.)
Comments (0) | 27 April 2010
So, it makes sense to start off with the food I make most often: Chocolate Chip Cookies.
They're filled with butter and sugar, and if I were a regular person, I'd only eat one or two at a time. But I'm not a regular person. I'm in college, and what I need before starting an 8-hour long inorganic study session is at least one pan of chocolate chip cookies to nibble on when I start to feel overwhelmed. Because they're so essential to my GPA, I decided they were a decent place to start.
Before we get the actual recipe, a caveat about my photographs: I am a humble college student; I am using a point-and-click digital camera from 2004. Therefore, I apologize for what will be the relatively low quality of my photographs until I can afford a more modern camera which should be... in a couple years.
Back to food.
This recipe is from Deb of SmittenKitchen. I've changed a few, very minor aspects of the original recipe.
- 2 cups white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks margarine, melted
- 1 1/2 cups unpacked brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups chocolate chunks
Comments (0) | 20 April 2010