Friday, May 20, 2011

Drinking: Spicy Cucumber Margarita

A few weeks ago the power was off due to a wind storm - for almost four hours. After my Ipod died, I made this yummy, spicy drink. It is from "Spice and Ice - 60 Tongue-Tingling Cocktails" by Kara Newman. The recipes in this book all look very interesting but this is the first one that I have made. I like this book because the drinks are separated into the four seasons.

Due to copyright I won't be posting the exact directions but it is pretty simple. Just muddle cucumber and jalapenos in a shaker. Add tequila, triple sec and ice and shake it up.

This was a very interesting cocktail because of the cooling nature of cucumber against the backdrop of the spicy pepper. The proportions can be tailored to individual palates. I think that these ingredients have the potential to make an interesting white wine sangria.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wed

Jalapenos. Present for the Husband. Too spicy to taste. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Foodie Book Club: Fat Land

This book started out very promising but overall I wouldn't recommend it. The first part of this book is a history of weight gain in American. Weight explained from within the context of the history of science and nutritional advances. This part was well done and thoroughly explained.

Then there is a detailed explanation of the range of health problems associated with obesity. This part was trite and did not offer much in the way of new information.

The author's bias is explicit through the use of specific word choices that show a bias against obese individuals. This bias is odd when the author spends a large word count trying to explain the root causes of obesity.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dough: Cranberry bread pudding

In all honesty, I've never made, or eaten bread pudding. So bread pudding lovers beware when making this recipe! However, I enjoyed consuming this concoction. It is sweet, cinnamony, and tart. I think a rum and/or citrus sauce would make this just divine.

Cranberry Bread Pudding
4 cups cubed 'Perfect White Bread'
2 cups soy milk
zest and juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup frozen cranberries
1/4 cup agave nectar

Preheat oven to 350. Combine milk, spices, berries, and agave. Pour over cubed bread in a loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before consuming.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Drinking: Iced Coffee

There are a million ways to make iced coffee out there - but this is my latest way.

First I make a coffee simple syrup to use as a sweetener. This is really easy. Just make some regular coffee. Use a ratio of 1 cup coffee: 2 cups sugar. Bring coffee and sugar to a boil and then turn off the stove. This is to simply dissolve the sugar into the coffee. Keep in the fridge.

To make the iced coffee - make a double espresso and cool in the fridge. Add cold coffee, coffee sweetener, and soy milk to a glass. Add ice cubes. Enjoy.

The extra step of the coffee sweetener really helps increase the coffee flavor in the drink.

The next step in my iced coffee adventure is to make coffee ice cubes. I am also toying with using coconut milk instead of soy milk.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wed

Biscotti. Chocolate chips. Reese's Pieces. Yum.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Foodie Book Club: Kitchen Literacy

  Kitchen Literacy: How we Lost knowledge of where food comes from and why we need to get it back by Ann Vileisis is this week's book. I enjoyed the very detailed American food history that the author presents. It was very interested to see that modern food problems are not recent, but instead emerged with the rise in modernity and the industrial system. The picture presented here does not allow for an picturesque and ideal utopia of farming to which we can return. Rather, the author presents an American food history rife with problems and food anxiety.
  Given the subtitle of this book, one would think that a substantial portion of the book may be dedicated to how we can return to a state of kitchen literacy. However, the author does not present a clear picture on how we can return to this type of food interaction. She specifies only that we need to understand how food is linked to people and places, be able to read food labels, and understand how culture and politics affect people and the land. While the history of the food system was very detailed the solution of kitchen literacy is not sketched with much detail.
  Overall, this book is a decent read.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dough: Perfect White Bread

This bread came from Marilyn M. Moore`s book The Wooden Spoon Bread Book. The recipe was called `Perfect White Bread` and is on page 71. I like this bread - it has a nice internal structure but still is very light and fluffy. Sometimes white bread can be basically homemade Wonder bread. By this I mean that sometimes even homemade white bread sticks to the roof of your mouth. This bread has substance while remaining light. All in all this is a perfect white bread.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Drinking: Sun Brewed Iced Tea

Sun Brewed Iced Tea is one of the simpliest things to make. I just use a giant jar, throw in some tea bags (I like Orange Pekoe) and let it sit in the sun for a day or so. Then I move it to the fridge - leave the tea bags in - and let it hang out until I want to drink it. When ready to drink, I pour it in a glass, add some lemon juice, and usually some ice. And that's it. I used to add some simple sugar to sweeten it but tried it without and it's pretty yummy by itself.

Sun Brewed Iced Tea = summer!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wed

Homemade orange and lemon marmalade. With rum. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Foodie Book Club: Slow Food Nation

   I enjoyed this book - but because it's translated from the original Italian some of the word choices and sentence structure is odd. This makes it difficult to read at times. The author does not adhere to the academic standards of notation. This is irritating to an academic. He appears to only reference Brillat-Savarin and Wendell Berry. There is nothing inherently wrong about this but once again, as an academic, I would have liked to a see a broader range of reference.
  Overall, the set up and material covered in this book is good. It was a good read. I especially liked the fact that Petrini uses the word gastronome instead of foodie. However, a clear definition wasn't given for the differences between these two groups of people. The structure of the book was clear and concise. He moved from outlining the problem, to his proposed solution, and application and creation of his solution.
  Generally, Petrini's ideas are good but he presents them in idyllic and grandiose ways. Petrini clearly thinks of himself as being on the same level as Brillat-Savarin and Berry, and while his ideas are (were) cutting edge and vital to the future of food it is presumptuous to place yourself in those ranks. Overall, I would recommend this book because of the content covered within.