Friday, June 24, 2011

Drinking: Spiced Ice Tea

I picked up the book "Spice and Ice" by Kara Newman last summer. It was an amusing purchase because the book was not on the regular shelf but was set up in a display with other drink books, pitchers, glasses, and party games. Actually, the pitcher that is on the cover of this book was directly beside the book. As if to say 'Hey you - buy this pitcher! Oh you don't know what to put in a pitcher? Why here's an idea! Actually here is a book full of ideas!" It was set up for the very unimaginative!

Anyways, this drink was way to spicy for me to consume and because the resident spice lover in my family was away sadly the drink was dumped. SCANDAL!

I did want to mention a unique technique used in this drink. The vodka is directly infused with tea by immersing a tea bag in hot water for 10 seconds, then removing the tea bag and placing it in the vodka. Allow this to steep for 5 minutes.

I've yet to use this techinque in other drinks. If you do, will you let me know?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dough: Red Bean Paste Pancakes

I picked up some sweetened red bean paste last week. After a couple of hours (yes hours - I like the Internet and I like food) I found a couple of recipes to try with the red bean paste. The recipe that I used as the jumping off point is here. The technique used to make the pancakes is actually really fun to do - plus they taste pretty good.

Knead two cups flour and 1 cup boiling water together until smooth. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness and cut into 3 inch circles. Brush circles with a tiny amount of oil. Stick two circles together and roll out to one 6" circle. Cook in a dry cast iron skillet until browned. Flip and cook the other side until browned. Remove from pan and peel the two circles away from each other - the inside will be hot with steam so be careful. Cool. Then consume with sweetened red bean paste.

It is important to use a tiny amount of oil. If you use too much oil, the cooled pancakes will not be pliable but will be crusty. Also, the steam is really hot!

Generally, the pancakes can be used in the same manner as crepes. Also, they have a naan like consistency as well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Drinking: La Perlita

This drink has a very interesting flavor as there is a hint of carmel. Also be forewarned - be very careful while pouring the lemon juice. One teaspoon is perfect but even a few drops more and the drink becomes kind of icky. Don't ask me why I know that!

La Perlita - modified from the book Coffee Drinks by Michael Turback

Ice cubes
2 ounces espresso
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces soymilk
1 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the espresso, sugar, milk, honey, and lemon juice. Shake. Strain and pour.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wed

Moustache. Wacky Cake. PB icing. Half Birthday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Culinary Goals - 15 June to 1 Jul

1. Make crepes. I bought a crepe pan last summer but I have only made crepes two times!
2. Make Hasselback Potatoes. I've seen a lot of these on food blogs lately and they look so yummy. 
3. Visit an African grocery store. Buy Cassava flour. Make bread.
4. Use the vanilla beans I bought. I am waiting to find a perfect recipe that showcases the vanilla.
5. Use the liquid smoke I bought. I bought this because 'I have tons of recipes to make using this.' but when I got home 'What? What recipes? Where did they go!?'

Do you have summer food goals?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Brain Freeze!

The trucker joint - Burger Pit - in the small Saskatchewan town that I grew up in, served up some epic soft ice cream treats. They put a whole heck of a lot of sugar in their soft serve, so it was always extra tasty. We would stop there on summer Sunday afternoons.

They served this extreme dessert called a Volcano. A volcano is basically soft serve ice cream with slushy. The juxtaposition of the sour, crystallized slush and the sweet, smooth soft ice cream is just divine.

On a humid, stormy Ottawa evening, I experienced a strong craving for this summer dessert. First I tried to think of where I could buy one. Technically all you need is a slushy machine in close proximity to soft serve. The next morning - a breakthrough! I could make these at home!

Homemade Volcano
1 cup vodka
2 cup water
1 pkg orange koolaid
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix. Freeze. It will take about 24 hours to freeze but it will not freeze solid due to the booze.

To serve:
Mix freshly churned (or extremely softened) homemade ice cream with slush. Eat with a thick straw and/or a spoon.

Notes: This was the first and only time I have ever (or will ever) buy koolaid. It does give the slush the authentic, neon color required. However, it does not offer much in the way of taste. The next time I will use an actual fruit juice.

There are so many flavor combinations here! Can you think of any?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dough: Homemade Saltine Crackers

After the first time I made cookies I vowed to never purchase cookies again. I made this vow because cookies are fast and simple to make and have the added benefit of tasting better than the purchased version.

Crackers are very satisfying to make and they do taste a lot better than the purchased version. However, they are very time consuming. It is because of the time required that crackers will remain on my shopping list.

*recipe from The Wooden Spoon Bread Book by Marilyn M. Moore.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Drinking: Vanilla Express

This recipe is a definitely winner. A few weeks ago I had three in a row but then I ran out of ice. This drink is strong as it resulted in a drunk dial to my husband at 11am - to which his response was 'Awesome! Drunk before lunch!' (which is pretty much why I am married to him) Running out of ice was a major bummer - and I have since bought another ice cube tray for the freezer!

I've since made this for the husband and he enjoyed it as well. Don't skimp on the coffee beans on top - they add an extra aroma which is really pleasant. Also, I just used regular vodka!

This recipe comes from a book called 'Shaken 250 Classic cocktails with a twist' by Jane Lawson.

Vanilla Express
ice cubes
1 oz gold tequila
1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz chilled espresso coffee
1/2 oz simple syrup
5 coffee beans

Add a scoop of ice to a cocktail shakier, then the tequila, vodka, coffee, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously and strain into a tumbler. Sprinkle the coffee beans over the top.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wed

Friday, June 3, 2011

Drinking: Frozen Hot Chocolate

My husband hates the name of this drink. I simply do not understand why! For some reason, frozen hot chocolate has become a huge rage in the restaurants. Therefore, I had to try a homemade version.

I made my regular hot chocolate (1 cup soy milk and 4 heaping tablespoons of Camino dark hot chocolate mix). This gives a really thick and creamy hot chocolate when consumed hot. However, after throwing it in the fridge and drinking over ice the result was somewhat lack-luster.

To make really successful Frozen hot chocolate you need an extremely thick hot chocolate and maybe incorporate chocolate in the icecubes? Overall, I think I'll stick to my iced coffees.

Frozen hot chocolate completes the trilogy: Iced Coffee and Iced Tea