Eating out, cooking in, cooking out and our opinions on everything culinary

Friday, June 25, 2004

Haven't been cooking....

Since I started dieting I go through spurts of cooking where I'm totally into making stuff I can't eat, and other times I'm just trying to get through the day not eating crap, so it's a toss up.

We are planning a little get together for 4th of July, just probably Ben and I at my parents...since Thad and Amp and Baby will be in Cancun, and we are going to do Pizza's on the Grill. We have done this before with raving successes. I am trying to come up with some yummy options.

I've also been obsessed with the idea of Carrot Salad. I have to make some, but I want to use Miracle Whip. Well we shall see when I will have the time. For 4th of July I'm also going to make some Strawberry Sorbet or Granita, with blueberries, and maybe a little whipped cream for Red, White and Blue. This is a much better suggestion than my grandmother's recipe for Ice Cream which is basically Ice MILK which is fine, but I'm a little more refined in my taste for the frozen culinary creations than I was when I was a kid. This stuff just tastes like frozen Vanilla Extract....

Anyhow that's the latest and greatest. Still trying to get a Personal Chef gig. I could do company lunches too. If you're in Los Angeles, email me :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Baby Becca Cooks

So she says to me this weekend, "I hate it when people call me Becca", at age 3 she's still trying to grasp the concept of nicknames. I told her, not to worry that most people with longer names have nicknames, and that it is a term of endearment. Yeah a 3 year old is going to grasp that.

So this kid loves to cook. The other day she told me she's such a good cook that she's going to be a Chef when she grows up (aww just like Auntie Shawnie, I'm blushing). So she came over to hang out Sunday with me, and since it was "just girls" as she requested, we decided to tackle the French Yogurt Raspberry cake that I've been coveting for sometime now from the Chocolate & Zucchini website.

We had a great time, grinding up our almonds, measuring everything using the yogurt tub, mixing and of course, layering in the fresh raspberries. Becca ate a few herself, more like a 1/2 dozen if you ask me, but I told her, she's the Chef she can taste. So cute!

So the cake came out fine, my only problem with it is that it is way dense. Clotilde has talked about how hers was as light as air, moussy was the term she used. Mine is dense and doughy like a poundcake...which is fine, but not what it's supposed to be like. So I am a bit dissappointed. I think it has something to do with the fact that she mentions using a 4oz tub of yogurt, and all I could find in the store here was a 6oz. So I didn't adjust the baking powder or the ground almonds, or the eggs, which were all based on a 4oz yogurt I dunno I left her a message on her site, hopefully she'll see it and give me some ideas.

I love cooking with Becca...she takes direction well and is so eager to learn. She loves to help! Such a giving and sweet heart on this kid. I adore her.

Onto more exciting ventures..........I have Ina Garten's lemon cake, and Martha's Lemon Bars on the dockett this week...........gotta use up those sunny California lemons! Shawn

Friday, June 04, 2004

Bok Choy and other veggies of late

So since I have been watching what I eat lately, I'm getting back into veggies again. I don't mean your average salad, I'm talking different veggies than I would normally eat each day, in interesting preparations.

I loved my Asian Foods class in school. I learned so much about cool flavorings and exotic ingredients. Not that baby bok choy isn't available just about anywhere, but I love it from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.........and I love to prepare it simply, sauteed with shallots and garlic in a little olive oil........or even better than that Dragon or Chinese Spicy Oil that we made in Asian class.

I have to go to the Asian market. I need to get some fermented black beans, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, heat them up in 1 part sesame oil to 3 parts veg oil. Immediately this gives flavor to stir fries and salads, just anything you want to have that real Asian flavor that seems to be missing when most of us non-Asian cooks try to copy Asian cuisine. It makes things taste authentic to me. I absolutely love to cook vegetables in this oil. I make it super spicy~!

Anyhow, another favorite veggie recipe is one I learned from my Private Chef client. Her mom was Middle-Eastern and she said they used to eat a lot of "roasted cauliflower" when growing up. Now I'm not a big cauliflower fan, but man is roasted cauliflower good~~~~! I can eat almost an entire head.

Here's how I do it.....

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, washed, and de-stemmed, broken into florets
1/2 c. Olive Oil

Preheat oven to about 350. I use parchment on my sheet tray but you don't have to. Take a bowl and place the olive oil in, toss your cauliflower florets and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in 350 degree oven, turning occasionally for about 20 mins. I check every 10. I love that roasty caramelized goodness and it takes awhile to get to that point. Enjoy!

I can eat this cold or hot...........normally I burn my mouth on it I can't wait to try it.

Dragon Oil

Sesame Oil
Vegetable Oil
Red Pepper Flakes
Garlic-to taste (I use about 6 cloves, halved)
Ginger-to taste (I use a good chunk, peeled and sliced thin for surface area)
Fermented Black Beans-this is your salty component...use sparingly...maybe 6-12 beans

Cook in a pot.........just bring to a slight bubble, then turn off, cool and keep on the shelf. It gets hotter the longer you keep it ;)~

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