Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Foraging for food

Aside from my education at UCLA, I began experimenting with a renewed interest in cooking. For a time I toyed with the idea of going off to Culinary school, but alas, I do not have the bravado to do so... at least not for the time being. Of all the things I have prepared, baked, marinated, so on and so forth, the one sort of dish/appetizer I rarely make is a salad. Forgive me but I just have no interest in salads. Why yes, I am lame.

Anyway, I figured with my good friend Song posting away with her delicious meals and dishes, I have decided to grace all of you (do I hear a cricket chirping?) on my kitchen shenanigans. Pictured there are home-made blueberry buttermilk pancakes courtesy of the "Cooking Light Ultimate Cook Book." Here's the recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs of sugar
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of baking soda
1-1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup of 1% low fat milk
1 tbs canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
2 cups of blueberries

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and salt in a bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine the buttermilk, milk, oil and egg in a bowl, and add to the flour mixture. Stir until smooth.

Then you spoon the batter onto your non-stick griddle or coat your skillet with cook spray. You sprinkle or insert the blueberries in the pancake batter. This recipe should yield about 12 pancakes. It's really fluffy and delicious. Not only is it good, it is made from scratch, literally. Ask any of my friends that live within a 2 mile radius of me and they will tell you that I will feed you as if you were a standing army.

That being said, I also like to bake cakes, cookies, casseroles and what not. Pictured here on the right is Patrick, trying to eat the Old-Fashioned Caramel Layer Cake I made (courtesy of my blessed Kitchen-Aid mixer). Yes, the frosting is also from scratch, non of the store bought stuff. I also own a madeleine pan, which led me to make madeleines. I have yet to perfect those. Anyway, I do not have many photos of my entrees that I usually make. When I lived in the University apartments our neighbors would have a Friday night dinner gathering. That was always fun. I don't remember most of what I made, but that's fine. I concocted up a potato chicken dish, but I recall making curry, jambalaya, vegetarian lasagna, and a lot of casseroles while living there. I suppose those were the days of relaxation for me: stuffing my face with copious amounts of food. I also baked cookies very often, along with brownies. I think for a while I fed the entire floor of my complex. Usually people knew I was cooking because the hallway was filled with whatever aromas were permeating from my apartment. I cooked fish once and regretted it. I take that back... the Maple Salmon dish I prepared was with the stink. Anyway, the cake pictured there was the first cake I ever made from scratch. All I need now is a food processor and rolling pin (the pin is necessary in my next step of baking home made bread. Forgive my photos if my cake does not look appetizing. The caramel frosting was just spread and needed to settle in for a little bit. I also found this recipe in the Cooking Light Cook Book.

For all of you out there, the reason I love the Cooking Light Cook Book is because it gives you the nutritional information for which you are consuming. The Better Homes and Gardens checkered book does so as well, but as the title states, I am cooking lighter without having to compromising the taste. Thank God.

Over the holidays I was perusing the Simply Recipes website, and stumbled across the Brandied Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. I have made it a few times, once including just regular chocolate chips. Trust me, stick with the white chocolate chips... it tastes better. Anyway, the photo below are the cookies I made. They look yummy don't they? Just to let you know, parchment paper is a baker's best friend. DO NOT BE CAUGHT WITHOUT IT if you intend on baking. Oh the horrors.

Well, that's about it. Enjoy my sad little food entry. Oh and if you want a quickie sandwich, I highly recommend grilled cheese. I've used Kerry Gold cheddar cheese with a dash of cumin and a sprinkle of red-pepper flakes. Using softened butter and spreading it on the bread before hand allows for the grilling process to go much smoother.


The Red Queen said...

You should post the caramel cake recipe.

*pokes you*

I like Cooking Light, but I feel that they cheat sometimes with their portion sizes. Cook's Illustrated is a good series, too, but it doesn't have the gorgeous food photography that Cooking Light does.

And I LOVE the Everyday Food mag.

Zug zug said...

It is too long of a recipe to put up. Sorry! So how's watching your fellow peers in class going? Anything else that is interesting?

The Red Queen said...

I have been ditching most of my classes this week, actually. I went to Monday's classes, one of Tuesdays, and a Wednesday field trip.

My life as a law student is made of epic fail, really. =P

I'm going to a summer fellow luncheon today, so I'll be with a group of people who will make positive assumptions about my grades. It's nice that someone does, haha.

Zug zug said...

You are not an epic fail. If you are, then what does that make me?

basketmanguero said...

Hi! I´m spanish so my English is bad.
These recipes are very interesting, especially the cookies.
I like doing desserts and I think that cookies would be easy.
Although Spanish food is healthier :-)

I like this blog.