Archive for September, 2014

21st September
2014
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Week 33 – August 13, 2014 – August 19, 2014
Made on September 1, 2014

I decided to try another cheesecake. (Those graham crackers aren’t going to eat themselves.) This was another recipe from Food & Wine. It has a lot of ingredients. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to find all of them. I had never made anything with rhubarb before, and didn’t even know what they looked like. I had to go to 4 grocery stores before I found it. The elderflower was a little annoying too because the bottles are so large. But I finally found one of the smaller bottles at a wine and spirits shop.

The recipe is pretty straight-forward, even though there are so many ingredients. I was especially excited to see that the cheesecake set, i.e. it wasn’t liquid-y. Not only was it straightforward to make, it was delicious. I don’t think I’ve had a cheesecake I’ve like more. :)

20th September
2014
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Week 32 – August 6, 2014 – August 12, 2014
Made on August 29, 2014

One thing I’ve been wanting to try is making a neapolitan style pizza. I had learned a little about how when I did the cooking tour in Italy. However, I had never tried making it at home. Well, I decided to stop putting it off, and give it a shot. I used this recipe from Food & Wine. I was tempted to count this as 3 recipes, since you have to make the dough, and the pizza sauce, but I figured I’ve cheated enough in this challenge. 😛

Even though the dough takes days of time to make, there’s very little active time, which is nice. I agree with all the comments in the dough recipe, don’t put all the salt as specified in the ingredients. The sauce was simple. I didn’t have a food mill, so I used a food processor instead and it seemed to work out well. I’m not sure what a food mill would do that the food processor didn’t. I grabbed the basil from my basil plant. The only thing I didn’t make myself was the mozzarella and the pepperoni. I did by a pizza stone to cook the the pizza. Overall, I think it turned out well. Even with the extra salt it was edible. And now I know, not to use that much salt in the future.

19th September
2014
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Week 31 – July 30, 2014 – August 5, 2014
Made on August 29, 2014

I’m not done grilling yet! I decided to try this recipe, again, from Food & Wine. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to find the Harissa sauce, but Whole Foods did have one option! The only change I made to this recipe was that I used naan instead of the suggested “oval rolls”. I’m not even sure of where to find oval rolls. In any case, it was delicious. This was probably one of the more flavorful dishes I’ve made and it was super simple. I’ll definitely be making this again.

18th September
2014
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Week 30 – July 23, 2014 – July 29, 2014
Made on August 26, 2014

To continue using my grill, I decided to make some burgers. I hadn’t made burgers all summer, I figured I’d try it now. I tried this recipe from Food & Wine, bit I made some changes. I didn’t use pickles (I didn’t notice the recipe called for pickles until just now…). Instead of potato buns (which I couldn’t find at the store), I tried brioche buns and ciabatta buns. I couldn’t find 30% fat burger meat, I bought 90% lean meat. Instead of cheddar cheese, I used cheddar-pepperjack. Finally, I didn’t have a spice grinder, so my umami dust, wasn’t really a dust, lol. It tasted and smelled good though. I also added some tomatoes to the recipe.

I made my concoction and it tasted ok. I’d like to make burgers with the umami dust again though, now that I have a spice grinder.

16th September
2014
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Week 29 – July 16, 2014 – July 22, 2014
Made on August 24, 2014

I wanted to do some more grilling, since summer was coming to an end. Looking at what I had pinned on Pinterest, I decided to try this recipe from Food & Wine.

Whole Foods didn’t have any skirt steak, but I can’t remember what I bought instead. Whatever it was, it was a little tougher than what I hear skirt steak is supposed to be like. Grilling the steak was simple though. I wasn’t impressed by the chimichurri sauce though. I think I should have chopped up the parsley a lot more, or even had made the sauce more of a puree. Or maybe I should have soaked the parsley for a couple hours, so it wasn’t so stiff. Flavor-wise, things tasted ok, but I couldn’t get past the sauce.

15th September
2014
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Week 28 – July 9, 2014 – July 15, 2014
Made on July 24, 2014

I recently bought a crepe pan. I was so excited to have a crepe pan, I decided to make crepes for dinner on day. I used the crepe recipe from this Food & Wine recipe. I didn’t actually make the Suzette part. But if you’re looking for a good basic crepe recipe – following steps one and two, and ingredients listed there is all you need.

For what to put inside the crepes, I decided to look at what I had in my fridge. I had a bunch of left over cheesecake… and since it wasn’t set, I figured it’d make a great filling for my crepes. I guess I had dessert for dinner.

14th September
2014
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Week 27 – July 2, 2014 – July 8, 2014
Made on July 23, 2014

Next on my list of things to try was Gazpacho. I wanted to make a cold soup. I had never tried that before. I also wanted to try Gazpacho, in general, because it has a pretty cool name. 😛 I used a recipe I had found on Food & Wine.

The recipe was pretty easy – chop up a bunch of veggies, grill them, and puree them. It was interesting… I see why they are often served in small portions. After eating enough of it, the consistency started to get to me, and made me feel ill. I don’t think I’d be making this again. It’s also possible I’d like it more, in Spain. 😛

13th September
2014
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Week 26 – June 25, 2014 – July 1, 2014
Made on July 22, 2014

For my 5 year anniversary at Microsoft, I brought in the usual fondue. This year, I had graham crackers, so people could make s’mores. But I ended up with a *lot* of extra graham crackers. So many, that I decided I needed to start making cheesecakes, so I could use some of those graham crackers.

This was my first attempt at making a cheesecake. I used a recipe I had found on Food & Wine. It tasted good, but the consistency didn’t turn out well. The cheesecake was a little too loose. (Maybe I should have left it in the fridge longer?) The graham cracker base just fell apart, I don’t know what I could or should have done to fix it… But again, it tasted good.

12th September
2014
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Week 25 – June 18, 2014 – June 24, 2014
Made on July 18, 2014

I made this recipe from Food & Wine for the Tae Kwon Do club field trip to the Kubota Gardens. It was pretty straightforward. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find bocconcini, so I just got regular mozzarella and chopped that up. I also left the chicken on the grill for too long and that caused the chicken to be very dry.

11th September
2014
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Week 24 – June 11, 2014 – June 17, 2014
Made on June 29, 2014

This time around I made a grilled mahi mahi dish, again from Food & Wine. I never really cook with fish, but I had these in my freezer and figured I should try something with them. Also, I wanted to use my grill more. This dish was surprisingly easy to make and really tasty. I would definitely make it again. The main thing I changed in this dish was that I used chopped walnuts instead of pine nuts.

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