I discovered a decent variation on a traditional breakfast today. I made mostly normal oatmeal in the microwave. (As in, the oatmeal came from the container that you can either cook with a stove or in the microwave.)
However, for half the liquid required, I used cinnamon applesauce instead of milk. The other half was milk.
It was quite nice.
I also added in some pecans.
I’m thinking that next time, it will also go really well with some dried cranberries.
I made a sad discovery recently: I don’t actually like the flavor of buttermilk. Or things baked with buttermilk.
I found this out after I made some gorgeous pretzel sticks (which I forgot to photograph.) But there’s just something about the flavor that is… unpleasant. I have no clue how people are able to actually drink the stuff!
So, I guess I’ll be sticking with fake buttermilk for a while. And for those of you who don’t know, that’s actually really easy:
Take 1 Tbsp of something acidic. (Vinegar, lemon juice, something.)
I tried an experiment, and I like the results! (It definitely has room for improvement, but it’s good.) So, I recently read an article about how to caramelize plain granulated sugar, like the stuff you use for baking, without making it a liquid.
I did that last Saturday, and I love how it turned out. The sugar actually tastes like caramel, and it’s hard not to just eat the sugar as is but to save it for recipes and stuff.
Then, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies using the stuff in place of granulated sugar. (Ok, so I actually made my more usual double-chocolate-chip cookies. With a few variations.)
They turned out well. In the future, I’ll definitely increase the Toasted Sugar / Brown Sugar ratio, though; the caramel flavor is fantastic when it comes through. I may even decrease the chocolate chips!
1 stick of butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 C + 1 TBSP dark toasted sugar. (I toasted it for about 3 hours, I think.)
1/4 C + 3 TBSP dark brown sugar. (<- I don’t have an 1/8 C measure.) (And in the future, I’ll be moving the ratio back to even sugar/brown-sugar.)
1 1/8 C flour
1 C total of semi-sweet and dark-chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 375. Cream the butter with the sugar, add salt, soda, and vanilla. Mix in the egg. Add the flour, somewhat gradually, with the cocoa powder. Add chocolate chips.
Spoon onto cookie sheet. (I made 19 cookies. Size will determine.)
Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size. Cookies will appear not-too-wet in the oven when you take them out.
Sorry I haven’t posted in… almost a year? Wow. I’ve been busy, and I’ve mostly been using old recipes. So, nothing new to share.
But today. Today was fun. I didn’t invent this recipe, but I decided to actually try making bagels!
I (mostly) Followed this recipe, with the exception that I 1) likely didn’t knead for as long as I should have, 2) didn’t bother with the egg wash, and 3) added a tablespoon of brown sugar to the Boiling Water Bath.
They turned out nicely!
Anyway. This was a lovely Saturday activity. But I expect it would be a nice Sunday activity, too. Regardless, yay food.
Recently, I’ve been making some variation on a very simple pasta dish. It’s basically sauteed vegetables, an egg, and pasta. And cheese. (semi-optional.)
For the above, I used:
A serving of thin spaghetti
half a zucchini
A stick of celery
1-2 slices of onion (About 1/4 of a small onion.)
1-3 tsp butter (possibly more if you’re not using Non-Stick cookware.)
Start boiling water for your pasta. While waiting for the water to come to a boil:
Heat butter in a frying pan
When butter is heated, add onions, mushrooms, celery, and garlic. (You’ll want to wait on the zucchini, since it takes less time to cook. You could also use spinach here instead, in which case you really want to wait.)
When water comes to a boil, cook pasta according to package directions. Keep the vegetables sauteing while the pasta is cooking. When there’s only about five minutes left to the pasta, then add the zucchini. Sometime in here, also add cinnamon, basil, and parsley to taste.
When past is cooked, transfer to the frying pan with the vegetables, add the egg, and stir quickly. (The goal is to coat the hot pasta with the egg, not to have an egg/pasta scramble.)
When the egg is thoroughly cooked, serve. Add cheese if desired.
Enjoy your dinner!
The total time for me is usually about 15 minutes or so. It’s a nice, tasty, easy dinner.
A few days ago, I discovered something that gave me an idea… You see, a tomato-cheese sauce kinda “burned” to one of my nonstick pans. But the burnt crispies came up really easily, and were quite tasty.
So tonight, I abused took advantage of the ease with which crispied cheese escapes nonstick surfaces. I basically combined cheese with some tomato sauce and let it fry in its own oil for a while. It was quite delicious. And really easy, if you have a nonstick pan!
1/3 cup shredded cheese. (I used the “pizza blend.”)
2 TBSP tomato sauce
1 tsp breadcrumbs (optional)
A pinch of basil (optional)
Pour ingredients into a nonstick frying pan. Please note, the nonstick is really important.
Turn heat onto medium low.
As the cheese is melting, stir with a small spatula.
When it’s obvious that the sauce has combined, as opposed to cheese floating in the sauce, let sit until bubbling. (Try to make the layer as paper-thin as possible. I used too small a pan for this amount…)
Depending on the thickness of your materials, you may want to flip it over after a few seconds.
When the edges are all crispy looking, and it feels changed, it’s basically done. Turn off the heat, let cool.
Tonight, to complement some previously prepared ground pork, I made a very nice pasta dish. (If I do say so myself.)
Here’s what I did:
(Note: Many of these ingredients are just seasonings. It’s actually a fairly easy recipe. A bit more time-intensive than some, and I wouldn’t have time for it most of the time during the school year. But since I’m procrastinating on studying for my comprehensive exams at the end of the summer, this works out great for right now!)
1 serving of Spaghetti
1 Cup of Broccoli (I used fresh. Hooray for summer!)
1/2 a Zucchini
1-2 cups of either spinach or kale
1 large clove garlic (although I’d recommend more…)
1 shake of cumin (more would be better, so you can taste it)
a pinch of red pepper flakes
a shake or three of salt
a little bit of olive oil
1/3 C shredded jack cheese (optional)
Chop zucchini and broccoli into reasonably sized pieces. Stir in with zest, pepper flakes, 1 squirt of chili oil, juice from 1/4 lime and 1/4 lemon, and ginger. Let sit for a while.
Start water boiling for pasta
While water is boiling, in a large frying pan, heat oil, pour in marinated vegetables. Add the garlic, cumin, and salt.
When water is boiling, pour in the pasta, cook according to directions to al dente
After the initial stirring of the pasta, pour the kale/spinach into the veggie mix. (You don’t want to over-cook these!) Note that at this point especially, you should be using fairly low heat. I always use lower heat than I might, due to non-stick pans, but you don’t want burnt kale/spinach/leaves-of-some-sort.
As needed, incorporate a spoonful of the pasta-water, and the remaining 1/4 lemon. (This allows the veggies to steam as well.)
When pasta is ready, take the pasta out of the water and place it into the frying pan. (Note: I did not rinse my pasta this time.) Turn heat down even LOWER.
If you haven’t already done so, squeeze in the 1/4 lemon.
Stir / combine
When pasta is incorporated, put onto a plate
If using cheese, now’s the time to pour it on top.
So, yeah. This was a more time-intensive, slightly more expensive recipe. But it was very tasty. (I had a serving of ground pork I’d previously cooked to go along with it.)