Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chocolate Syrup

It's so much fun to make your own junk food! 

Chocolate syrup is pretty much unhealthy no matter what, but doesn't there  seem to be something a little healthier about it having only five very pronounceable ingredients?

cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla extract and salt

Essentially, you just put them in a pot, bring to a boil for a bit, simmer for a while, wait for it to thicken, cool and enjoy. 

The nuances:
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar, to taste
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 Tbsp vanilla

1. Mix cocoa, sugar  and salt in a small sauce pan and remove clumps.
2. Add water.
3. Bring to a boil, let boil for a few minutes
4. Reduce to simmer and simmer for a while (at least 10 minutes)
5. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and allow to cool. 
6. Refrigerate - the colder it is the thicker it is. 

It's getting dangerous in my kitchen!!!! 

Worse, I discovered my crappy oven in my current crappy rental does NOT overheat like my last 3 crappy I can finally start to bake successful CAKES! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

My New Potholder!

One of my coworkers is a very talented crochet artist, and I commissioned her to make me a potholder in the likeness of my dear Mojo, so that he can *always* be in my kitchen no matter what.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fettuccine Alfredo with Roasted Asparagus

The entirety of last week I was consumed with the idea of making fettuccine alfredo with asparagus.  Not sure where the craving came from, or whether it was a nutrient craving (asparagus) or a dairy craving - (butter, cream, and cheese?) or what but once I get an urge like that it will haunt me until I try it.

I have no idea if this is an "authentic" recipe but holy hell was it GOOD!

After consulting a few recipes, I came to the conclusion that if I melted some butter, added some cream and Parmesan, it would be pretty good. 

I love being right!

I was too hungry and nervous about making this for the first time, so I didn't take step by step pictures, which means - I'll have to make this again!!

Fettuccine Alfredo (maybe)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 half pint cream (4 oz)
  • 2 very large handfuls of freshly shredded Parmesean
  • a tiny dash of garlic powder
  • a few twists of freshly ground pepper
  • a bit of freshly chopped parsley for garnish if you want
  • Fettuccine noodles - I used 1/2 a package of fresh Spinach Fettuccine by a local company (Pasta Plus), and as always, I made way too much.  Don't be like me.  Measure your noodles.  Just don't ask me how much to use.
Begin to melt the butter over low heat while you are bringing salted water to a boil in another pot for the noodles.  Cook noodles according to directions.  When butter is melted, add cream.  It is so much fun to watch it blend as you stir.  Add a tiny dash of garlic powder if you want.  Add 1 very large handful of Parmesean, and stir until it's pretty much melted. Even if it doesn't melt, it probably doesn't matter. After the noodles are done and drained, decide you need another handful of Parmesean.

When the sauce is awesome and to your liking, add the noodles and stir gently to coat.

This is really really really good with freshly roasted asparagus.  I mean just look at it!

If you want a more polished recipe, check out the blogs I routinely scour for inspiration: the Pioneer Woman and Simply Recipes.

Roasted Asparagus

I was in too much of a scramble to make sure all the components for Fettuccine Alfredo came together that I didn't stop to take a picture of the lovely lovely sight that is freshly roasted asparagus.

So I'll have to make it tomorrow, but you can see part of its glory in the picture below.  This is now my favorite way to prepare asparagus.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Toss asparagus with enough oil so they're all coated. Toss with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.  Roast for 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven - I shook the pan halfway through so they could roll over and roast on the other side.

Mint Sugar

What makes a good fruit salad even better?  Mint sugar!

Wash and dry about half a cup of fresh mint
Process in a food processor or blender until finely chopped
Add about 1/2 cup sugar (raw sugar or unprocessed cane sugar)
Process until well blended

Toss with chopped fruit and serve immediately. 

I have been known to refrigerate the leftovers - the longer this sits the more liquid comes out of the fruit just so you know.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dirty Mustard Vinaigrette

There are no pictures I could take and no words I could use to adequately describe this wonderful salad dressing!

You'll just have to try it yourself.
Grab a blender. Put in:

2 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 heaping Tbsp good dijon mustard (or less, if too intense
a dash of dried herbs if you want such as oregano or tarragon

Blend. Keep the blender running, lift the lid, and carefully pour in your favorite oil (safflower, sunflower, olive, or a combo) until it's as much as you want (about 1 cup of oil).  Taste as you go and adjust any of the ingredients as needed.  The mustard gives this dressing a very intense flavor, so you don't need to use much!