Friday, November 16, 2012

Retronaut Food

You sit down to figure out the Petraeus scandal, and the next thing you know you haven't blogged in a couple of days.  Who did what now?

Anyway, on to more pleasant things.  Lately I have been enjoying getting the Retronaut emails because old photos of odd and interesting things from ye olden times have been far more enlightening and delightful than CNN's headline news.

from WWII, when donuts were  ... healthier?

1951 Donut Queen Kris Nodland and the Gingerbread Donut Boy
another WWII poster, which frankly contradicts the donut one, if you ask me

Superheroes gardening!
the very first McDonald's in 1948
But of course, you can also find photos of a teenage Morrissey, Robert Smith's wedding, the time Cleveland set a world record in balloons, exotic dancers from the 1890s, David Bowie playing ping pong in a kimono (although all photos of David Bowie are pretty much fascinating), and this are-you-kidding-me pro-draft-dodging poster.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Winter Squash Paprikash (Hey, It Rhymes!)

More squash!

This time, we started with delicta squash, which is the most approachable winter squash there is.  It's small.  It's thin skinned.  The seeds are scooped out easily.  

Even though it was pretty easy to chop up, I opted not to roast them.  Instead, I steamed them until they were soft.  It seemed much more efficient than roasting - faster and requiring less energy since you use the burner instead of the oven.

Then I pureed the whole thing - skins and all.  I froze the puree in a plastic bag until ...

Foodgoat decided to make squash paprikash.

Because there's no reason that paprikash needs to be made with chicken.  Remember?  He made Italian Bean Paprikash already.

Here's his recipe for Chicken Paprikash.  Can you just substitute in the two cups or so of frozen steam squash puree for chicken?  Maybe!  I'm not really sure!  I assume so!

I didn't actually watch him cook it, so I don't know.  I would have liked to watch him cook it, and I would have liked to taste it along the way, and I would have liked to have a glass of wine at the same time, but sometimes I don't always get what I want.

Mmmmm, creamy squash sauce
I did get a delicious squash paprikash though.  Super creamy, a nice balance of sweet and spicy, with comforting dumplings.

It has become one of my favorite versions of paprikash.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dumplings and Broccoli and ... Cheetos


I don't think there's enough beer in the world to inspire the use of Cheetos in his cooking.

Nope, the inspiration for this came out of the 2010 Saveur 100 issue, the Chef's Edition.

In that issue, Chef Craig Koketsu of New York City's Park Avenue Winter provided his recipe for Broccoli and Cheetos.  

Apparently foodies in New York will pay for anything.

Anyway, it's basically steamed broccoli with a cheese sauce, topped with crushed Cheetos.  

Foodgoat's version had a cheddar sauce (instead of a mostly Gouda sauce) and joined it with bacon dumplings.   

I'll be honest, I'm not sure that Cheetos will become a staple of the Foodgoat kitchen any time soon.  They weren't bad on broccoli, but I'm not they added much except a crunchy texture and a sense of culinary slumming.  
It makes a nice photo, though, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Future is Ponies

Whew, it's starting to really sink in.  The election is over.

Are you happy? Are you sad?  Optimistic?  Proclaiming the decline of civilization via Twitter?

Either way, it's time to focus on other things now.   It's time to look to the future.  A positive future, based on something that can unite us all, rather than divide us into reds and blues.  Something in which we ALL can win.

I'm talking, of course, about the new season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic starting on Saturday.

Honestly, I'm so excited.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Squash Bread & Thoughts on Mixing

I am really beginning to really admire quick breads for their ability to easily take on almost any kind of fruit or vegetable pulp and transform it into a sweet and delicious baked good.

Here I had some roasted and mashed squash - I don't remember what kind - just sitting in the fridge, cold and a little sludgy and not very appealing.

Then I used My Baking Addiction's recipe for Butternut Squash Bread and voila!

Of course I used a lot more squash puree than was called for (I was determined to use up what I had) and I put raisins in and I had to bake it longer than the recipe said ... but I'm happy with how it came out!  Super moist and tasting very seasonal.  

Of course, I did under-mix it a bit.  I am always anxious to avoid over-mixing a quick bread, since that causes gluten to develop, making the bread tougher instead of more tender.  But under-mixing means ingredients do not get well incorporated, and lucky Foodgoat gets a mouthful of baking soda in his slice of bread. 

Now that I think about it though, I guess I could have mixed the baking soda well into the flour before I had to mix in the wet ingredients.  Just like the original recipe said.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night Stress Eating

There is hope in this endless, bitter war!

No, not Melody Pond.  I wish.  No, it's finally election day!  Soon we can put to rest what has seemed like the longest, most endlessly prolonged, most annoyingly partisan election season ever.

I will never be so happy to see local carpet cleaning commercials.

But first I have to get through the day, and even worse, the night.  A night of being glued to the news channels and their needlessly high-tech maps and their commentators of varying (but mostly low) tolerability.

I'm trying not to be too emotionally engaged in this, but I can already see it's going to be a bad day for stress eating.

Consider the circumstances:

  • We have a ton of leftover Halloween candy.
  • And a box of Mozzarella Cheez-Its. 
  • Ohio is a swing state.  THE swing state. The one it always comes down to.
  • Ohio can go either way.
  • The freezer is really full, and two ice cream cartons are taking up a lot of room.
Oh yes, it's going to be ugly.

Tips managing the election night emotional binge eating:
  • Focus on what you can control:  I voted, and things may go my way, or they may not.  Now I will focus on not eating another Twix Fun Size bar.
  • Know your triggers:  Some things just might cause an uncontrollable upsurge in stress.  Please, please do not me hear Sarah Palin talking on TV. 
  • Relieve the stress some other way:  Take deep breaths!  Vent something you may later regret on Facebook!  Do push ups!  Ha ha!  Got you on the last one.  Like I would do push ups.  Foodgoat will be the one who does all the crazy push up variations just for fun.
  • Drink black tea instead: Black tea, according to one study, reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels and helped men de-stress more quickly.  Black tea doesn't sound nearly so satisfying, though, as a salad made primarily of Cheez-Its. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

It Doesn't Just Remove Staples!

Just an FYI, if you don't happen to have a bottle opener handy, one of these will suffice:

Just try not to get root beer all over your desk, your day planner, or the documents you printed out for the meeting in five minutes.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

For Some Reason, I'm Really Hungry Now

I presume it's only a matter of time before the food blogs feature not only professional, stylized photographs for each step in the recipe description, but animated gifs too.  

They're so mesmerizing, aren't they?  
why anyone would prefer a raw food diet, when heat can do such magical things?

this looks exactly like the mac and cheese Foodgoat makes, right down to the  boing boing pasta.   Has he been foodblogging on tumblr without telling me?

as you can see, I've got a thing about melty cheese

the bulb in my oven burned out long ago, so I find this fascinating

okay, this one is actually a tiny bit gross, but it's still mesmerizing

What are you making for dinner, Foodgoat?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

One Thing I Don't Need: A Banana Slicer

Far be from me to judge other people on the kitchen gadgets, but this one really does seem particularly unnecessary:

It's $10, and it slices bananas.  

It also looks terrifyingly dangerous.  

The reviews on Amazon, though, are pretty hilarious.  

Happy Birthday Matt Smith!

Why Matt Smith, Mr. 11th Doctor, did I forget it was your birthday on Monday?

Happy 30th birthday!

because everything is better as an animated GIF

I feel a little better that not even the Chin Boy got a Dalek cake for his birthday.  For while I thought about trying to make a Dalek cake.  I have seen some wonderful Dalek cakes that people have made, but I think that for me to attempt it is just a recipe for one epic cake wreck.