I haven’t been posting lately, and I’m going to blame Google. I was once a faithful user of all things Google (I used Wave, for crying out loud, Wave!), but lately they don’t seem to like me. Picasa got all kinds of weird and hard to use on me, so posting photos of food became annoying. Blogger decided I shouldn’t be an administrator on the blog, and also that having two Google accounts was infinitely confusing, so posting anything became really, really annoying. Oh, and Google+, it’s awful.
And then Google Reader was killed, which caused several days of wailing and teeth-gnashing. How was I supposed to connect with the world? Was I to type in each website, like a barbarian?
But eventually I figured out feedly, so what the heck, let’s try this WordPress thing out too.
I don’t specifically remember eating this, but it sure looks good, doesn’t it?
I’m all for almost anything involving avocado. Or fried bread crumbs. Or bacon.
I love not only that they served Cheez-Its at the Inauguration, but that they saw fit to label it.
You have to admit, it’s a really good snack, and if I didn’t already know what it was, I’d be asking the nearest Secret Service agent, “My God, what is this wonderful, delicious orange cracker?”
The other day, Foodgoat passed on making breaded pork with crumbled Cheez-Its. Opportunity lost.
I know we’re haven’t been very close over the years. In our previous encounters, you’ve been fresh but kind of … grainy. It’s a texture thing. I didn’t care for it. Also, your shape makes you a little hard to hold. Sometimes I eat my lunch fruit at my desk, so my fruit really needs to be one-hand friendly.
But I’m still a believer in no bad foods, just bad preparations, so a few weeks ago I bought some Bosc pears, watched them sit untouched on the counter for a few days, discovered we had half a bottle of way-too-sweet for me Gewürztraminer wine
left (you don’t want to know how many times I tried to spell that
right), then poached them exactly as David Lebovitz
In addition to the wine, I also threw in dried cranberries. It’s an incredibly easy and simple recipe. The result?
Poaching the pears was transformative. It made them soft and sweet and smoothed the texture enough to make it totally delicious. Maybe anything can be good swimming in a sweet syrup, but it really made me like pears for the first time in my life.
The nice thing was that the poached pears sat in my a jar in their syrup for a week, and I could dip in and have a few slices whenever I wanted. On top of oatmeal. On top of banana pancakes, as above. Warmed up, by itself in a bowl, along with an episode of Modern Family.
It’s a lovely way to have fruit this time of year, when it’s so cold outside (and 45 degrees still counts in my book as SO COLD) – warm, sweet, but not too heavy.
|Don’t make your oven too hot, and don’t be distracted by kids who have managed to find the lollipop hiding spot in the pantry
That, my friends, is an oven baked sweet potato chip.
I’ve made them a few times in the past few weeks because everyone will eat them. Because they are chips, and who won’t eat chips? Aliens, that’s who.
I found the recipe for them online, but now I can’t find the original one I worked from. No matter, I’ve had to modify it anyway, because I’ve learned a couple things in making them.
- It can be easy to miss that cooked-just-right sweet spot and end up with burned sweet potatoes. Especially if your oven is 450. See the photo?
- If I brush one side with the butter/syrup mix and then go off to organize a race between Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, the mix will have effectively soaked through so it doesn’t need to be brushed on the other side.
- The edges will burn if you wait for the center to get totally crisp. Once the edges start to look dried out, the chips are done.
- A mandoline is my slicing friend, and works best if I don’t push down too hard.
- If I do push down too hard and end up with chips that are way thinner on one side, I can overlap the chips for the thin parts don’t cook too quickly.
- I really should buy more baking sheets. I only have one.
Here’s how I make them:
- Slice one sweet potato. Thin.
- In a small bowl, mix equal amounts of melted butter (or olive oil, or coconut oil) and maple syrup (or honey or nothing, if you don’t want it too sweet). About two tablespoons of each should be enough.
- Brush on one side of the potato slices. Or just toss it all together.
- Bake in a 375-400 degree oven, for oh, about 8-10 minutes.
- Flip the slices over. Brush with more of the good stuff if you want.
- Back in the oven for 8-10 minutes more, or until the edges look dried out and crisp. Keep an eye on it!
- Take out and cool for bit, and enjoy!
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
|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.
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.
NOTE: THIS DISH WAS NOT FOODGOAT’S IDEA.
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?