bobthemole: (Default)
Today I made some really good blueberry pie. Took 5 minutes to assemble the ingredients and 1 hr to cook. Spent $2 on pie crust, $3 on frozen blueberries, and had all the other ingredients in the pantry.

I can barely comprehend how much yummy goodness I now have in my hands. And it costs less in time, money and effort than doing my laundry.
bobthemole: (Default)
I made one of those...

Powdered milk
Cajeta Quemada (A Mexican caramel syrup made with goat milk. Tastes like goat-flavored caramel. It's an acquired taste)
Boiled+Frozen dried fruit mix (including raisins, dates, pistachios, almonds)
Frozen fruit blend (including cantaloupe, strawberry, red grape, pineapple, peach)
Mixed herbs and salad greens from a box

Pulverized with an immersion blender.

Poured into a tall glass.

Stuck a straw in it.

I am a culinary genius. Or I have no standards. Pick one.
bobthemole: (Default)
Per my brother's request, I made Mint Chocolate cookies. Used this recipe by Martha Stewart for Dark-Chocolate Cookies, left out the espresso powder, replaced the molten chocolate with molten Tollhouse semi-sweet chips and the chocolate chunks with mint non-pareils, and added chopped walnuts. Oh, and vanilla bean instead of extract.

Verdict: Deliciously rich and chocolatey but sweeter than perfect, and the chocolate overpowered the mint. I'll definitely try these again but stick to bitter-sweet chocolate for the melt, and add a teaspoon of mint extract.

Major challenge: Mailing these to my brother before I eat them all.
bobthemole: (Default)
This recipe is awesome. I used spinach instead of chard and basil instead of sage. I had no whole milk or cream on hand, so I used reconstituted powdered milk and evaporated milk respectively. The texture after baking was more like quiche than custard, but that's probably because of the high egg content rather than any of the substitutions. I also covered the pan with foil while baking, which is probably critical to prevent dehydration.

Read more... )
bobthemole: (Default)
1/2 lb. ground chuck
2 tbsp chopped onion, defrosted
1/2 tsp garlic
tomato paste
red pepper
pomegranate seeds

Rinsed beef thoroughly to get icky smell out. Browned with onion and garlic. Added spices and tomato paste with water. Simmered for a good bit.

Verdict: Too bland. Might have rinsed beef too much, tho more likely I didn't have enough onion. Might also want to brown meat with a sweetener or fruity brown sauce to initiate Maillard reactions. Simmer until tomato sauce is browner. Also, salt the damn pasta.
bobthemole: (Default)
...I just made with Dal Makhani from a can, plus a half pound of ground beef.

bobthemole: (Default)
Instant Oatmeal
Chicken (or other) bouillon cube
Squirt of lemon juice
dash of black pepper

Make 1 cup oatmeal according to instructions, using water with half a bouillon cube crumbled into it. Mix well, add lemon juice and pepper.

Verdict: It's delicious, it's healthy, it's instant, it's cheaper than frozen pizza, it's filling and it uses dry ingredients that I always have in my cupboard because they last forever. Change the spices to vary the flavor. Requires 1 BOWL and 1 SPOON! Take it to work! Take it camping!

My life will never be the same.
bobthemole: (Default)
1/4 lb. Chicken breast strips
1/2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Ginger, minced
4 tbsp. Soy Sauce
4 tbsp. White Vinegar
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1/4 cup water

1 Carrot, shredded coarsely
1/4 head Red Cabbage, chopped finely
1 Bell Pepper, chopped finely
1/4 Red Onion, chopped finely

1/4 lb. Pasta, any shape, uncooked
4 tbsp. Olive Oil

Lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste

Marinate chicken in ginger, garlic, soy sauce and vinegar overnight. Pan fry in 1 tbsp. olive oil until sides are golden. Add water, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until cooked through. Drain on paper towels and chop finely.

Boil pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain water and coat pasta with 3 tbsp. oil to prevent sticking. Heat remaining oil, stir fry onions until translucent. Add cabbage, bell pepper and carrot, stir frying briskly for a minute. Add pasta and chicken, mix evenly and remove from heat.

Refrigerate until cool. Serve with lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.

Verdict: Delicious. More importantly, the guests liked it. The bright colors of the vegetables made it visually appealing, and the flavors were fresh and distinct. It appeared at times that something fruity and sweet was in the salad, but we couldn't identify what it was.
Feta cheese could be a great addition, giving it a creamy texture and interesting flavor. My friend suggests adding pears as well.
bobthemole: (Default)


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1 eggplant, in 1/2 inch slices
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp salt
2 tbsp Indian Pickling Spice
1 cup yogurt

Spread eggplant slice in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle surface with salt. Osmotic pressure will pull moisture out of the eggplant. After 10 minutes, wipe dry and place on greased, foil-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with half the spice. Bake in oven preheated to 400 F. After 10 minutes, remove, turn the eggplant slices over and sprinkle other side with remaining spice. Bake another 10 minutes or until approaching dryness.

Arrange eggplant on bottom of a casserole dish. Whip yogurt until liquid and pour over eggplant.

Verdict: Adjust spice to taste. It was almost too hot for me, but the yogurt cuts the heat and picks up some flavor from the spice. Also need to work on slicing eggplant evenly.

bobthemole: (Default)
1/2 chopped potato, 1" pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinches of following:
- cumin seeds
- anardana (dried pomegranate seeds)
- amchoor (dried mango powder)
- Indian black salt
- finely chopped garlic

Heat oil. Add spices and stir for a minute. Add potato and stir fry a bit. Add roughly quarter cup water, bring to boil, reduce heat and cover. When potatoes close to tender, remove cover and turn up heat to evaporate water. Add some more amchoor for flavor.

Verdict: Taste pretty good. This is the first time I cooked with anardana and amchoor, and didn't realize how aromatic the former was. Not that that's a bad thing. Next time I'll avoid adding garlic since it overwhelmed the fragrance while cooking. Also add anardana and amchoor right before adding the potatoes. Since they are both fruity spices, I should avoid overcooking them.
bobthemole: (Default)

1 lb Red potatoes2 tb Fresh dill; chopped
2 ts Olive oil(or 2 ts dried)
1 c Defatted, low-salt chicken stockSalt and pepper to taste
1 c Frozen tiny peas


Wash potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. On high heat, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a nonstick saucepan large enough to hold potatoes in one layer. Saute potatoes 1 minute. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. (if pan becomes dry, add 1/4 cup more chicken stock) Add peas and dill and cook another minute or two, until potatoes are cooked through. Add second teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.

Verdict: Since I didn't have a pound of potatoes, I eyeballed the recipe and added too much liquid at the simmer stage. Evaporating the water afterward led to overcooked potatoes

Taste: Not bad at all, considering only flavor is from chicken broth, dill, salt and pepper. My South Asian palate is impressed.

bobthemole: (Default)
(I skipped the chocolate chunks)

Chocolate Bread

2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
4 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (we used Nestles semisweet chunks)
Egg wash (one egg plus 1 tablespoon water mixed)

Stir yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar into 1/3 cup warm water and pour into a large mixing bowl; let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. (Our kitchen runs cold unless the oven is on, so this takes a bit longer.)

Mix flour, remaining sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir remaining 1 1/4 cups water into dissolved yeast, then stir in the flour mixture. Stir in chopped chocolate last. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, approximately 1 hour. (Again, this might take longer depending on the temperature of your kitchen.)

Turn risen dough onto lightly floured surface, punch it down (the chocolate will be very gooey -- resist licking your hands until you're done) and divide in half. Form each half into desired shape and place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. (Tester's note: We took one half of the dough and shaped it into two small rounds; the other half we separated into three ropes and created a large braided loaf.) Cover with plastic wrap again and let rise until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Brush loaves with egg wash and bake in 450-degree oven for 10 minutes, Then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 30 minutes more or until bread sounds hollow when bottom is tapped.

Cool, serve with sweetened cream cheese.

Note: In the unlikely event you have leftovers, this bread is great slightly heated (wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds) and lathered with a smudge of butter or margarine. Do not attempt to toast in a toaster -- the chocolate will run!
bobthemole: (Default)
In a complete 180 degree turn from my last post (with its shameless consumerist bent) I want to deal with an issue that bitch-slaps me every time I try to balance my budget... how to eat on slave wages.

I've been spending $20-40 on food from on- and off- campus vendors each month, and that's money I could easily find other uses for. The logical fix is to brown bag my lunch everyday, but that hasnt been happening. For one thing, I'm lazy. For another, I crave novelty and I cannot eat peanut-butter on toast everyday. I've tried, but I end up throwing away the PB toast and buying a pizza. Other lazy options are grilled cheese, or egg or tuna sandwiches but I am sick sick SICK of them now.

So this is an open thread in which I beg everyone reading this to post about the food you eat on a daily basis. I need ideas and recipes on what to eat, and I'm also curious about what everyone else on a grad stipend/ undergrad allowance does. Do you eat breakfast? Brown bag lunch or eat out? Cook dinner from scratch or microwave a Lean Cuisine?

I'm especially interested on how much you care about these factors...

CHEAP - How much do you spend on food each month? On each meal?
HEALTHY - Are you hitting all the food groups? Do you follow a special diet? Do you care how much sodium, MSG or preservatives you eat?
CONVENIENT - How much time do you spend in the kitchen each week? Each meal? How many dishes do you end up washing?
YUMMY - YMMV, of course. Do you fuss over the taste? Do you need variety?

Post away!
bobthemole: (Default)
I love this recipe! It took me 5 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to bake, and after that I just had to wait for it to cool. Tastes pretty darn authentic, especially around the edges of the pan where the "batter" had caramelized mildly.



2/3 (15 oz.) containers Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/12 cup Carnation milk powder
3 1/3 cardamoms
2/3 tablespoon sliced almonds
1/3 cup half and half

Set aside 2 or 3 tablespoons sugar. Crush cardamoms to powder. Mix cheese, sugar, milk powder and 1 crushed cardamom thoroughly. Spread the mixture in 13x8x2-inch glass pan and bake at 350Ffor 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Sprinkle almonds on top and let cool for an hour. Mix half and half with the set aside sugar and rest of cardamom powder. Pour it on top of baked cake.

Chill in the fridge before serving.

This recipe for Rasmali Indian Cheese Dessert serves/makes 8.

Recipe URL:

I've had a block of silken tofu in the fridge for half a month. My parents are trying to eat healthier, but they are huge skeptics when it comes to tofu. I wanted to (a) convince them that tofu has tremendous potential (b) see if I could derive a vegan variation of the above ras malai recipe.

Well, a month passed and the tofu just sat there mocking me whenever I opened the fridge door. I had never made anything with tofu myself before, and I was a tad intimidated by my set goal. Tofu may be "soy curd" but that doesn't guarantee that the proteins in it will behave anything like milk proteins, which make up the body of nearly half the indian sweets I've had. So trying to make ras malai out of it when I knew nothing about its properties was like attempting a sensitive lab without doing a prelab.

The days passed and whaddyaknow - the damned tofu expires tomorrow. With am infinite time enzymology exam this weekend I sure dont have the energy to invent new desserts. So I googled for tofu dessert recipes and found...

Melt the Margarine. Check. Stir in the sugar. Check. Cook and stir until sugar is just melted and is lightly browned. Uh.

What is "just melted" sugar? Is it when I dont feel crystals crunching under my spoon? Or when the mixture boils? Is it when the mixture is cementy or when the margarine solids separate from the oils or when it boils again? Maybe when the sugar and solids form a thick immovable blob in a puddle of fat liquids and refuse to enter the liquid phase? Have I mentioned NOTHING in the mixture has begun to brown yet?

Anyhoo, i gave up and added the rest of the ingredients to the batch. The honey seems to have helped a bit, and I can probably pretend the seized up sugar is bit of toffee :) So now the sauce is drizzled on the tofu and in the fridge and waiting to either be devoured or barfed up tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted.
bobthemole: (Default)
We've been eating quite a bit of Mexican and Indo-Mexican (Indian leftovers + Mexican leftovers) lately. Here's a recipe I haven't tried, but will soon and I want to save it somewhere so I can throw away the damned scrap of paper it's scribbled on.

1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder (dont kill me)
2 tsp onion powder (ditto)
1/2 tsp salt

Heat beef in skillet and stir until it is no longer pink. Drain the water that comes out. Add the spices. Stir and cook more. Eat.
bobthemole: (Default)
1 pkg Pasta (shells or similar)
Water (to boil pasta)
1 can Cream of celery soup
2 cans Tuna (preferably in olive oil)
1 slab Colby Jack cheese (grated)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp ground cumin
salt, pepper to taste

Boil pasta according to directions. Drain. Add the milk, cream of celery, tuna and grated cheese. Stir slowly on low heat until cheese melts, mixes with other ingredients, and coats the pasta. Add salt, pepper and cumin and stir further.
bobthemole: (Default)
Because Val asked, and because more people need to be introduced to the joys of Nameless Potatoes...

3 potatoes
1 small white onion
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste (try 1 tsp)
chile powder to taste (try 1/2 tsp)
lemon juice to taste (try 2 tbsp)

Boil the potatoes until they are soft but still slightly firm. Peel and dice them into 1-2
cm pieces. Chop the onion and fry in oil until it is golden. Add cumin, mustard, salt, chile
powder and potatoes to onions in oil. Stir the potatoes until they are coated with spices
and lightly fried. Drizzle with lemon juice just before serving.