Monday, November 22, 2010

To the window, to the wall

I'd been feeling very uninspired lately.  The best thing I've made recently are Hungarian cookie bars that I didn't even photograph, because they were ugly and sticky...but everyone ate them all.
In fact, the most exciting things I've done in 2 weeks are finish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series...and go canoeing/camping. 

Anyway, here's my (lack of) culinary life in pictures:

 Naked Pizza---$15.99 for a 12 inch pizza that is a 6/10 at best....meh.  (I can picture the objections of "But it's ORGANIC!" Crust, sauce=lackluster.  Toppings were okay; my favorite part was the strong mozzarella.)
Happy Hour at BD's Mongolian Grill.  "I may not always drink beer, but when I do...I drink Dos Equis." (The wings sucked though.)
 Can you broil tofu and eliminate oil?  Yes, but then you get a LOT of burnt parchment paper.  And one warped pan.

 Sushi at Sapporo Grill---mediocre at best, but for half off, not bad!
 Sliders at Hamburger Hinkel's in Madison, IN---I've decided that I don't like sliders, but these were a hell of a lot better than White Castle.
 My upstairs neighbor made us flan, which I do not like.  This was kind of flavorless. :\  And yes, my husband is responsible for the left side of this picture. 
 We finally bought a cast iron pan.  This is Mr. S.'s deep dish pizza.  Yum.
And his Grandma's biscuits.
 Our dear neighbor J's potato kuku!  (Nope, couldn't stop Mr. S. from taking a piece of this either...)
 Mr. S. made these for some people at work (as opposed to asking me to make them for a change).  ;)

Alton Brown's steak.  Too salty and peppery for us, and more rare than medium rare, but it's not bad. 

Mr. S's grandma's chili with saltines.  My camera died that night, so I don't have pics of the eggs and bacon we had the next morning (not that you can't imagine what those look like...)
Our pizza box last night from Papa Johns; it made me laugh. 
Future posts someday:
-Semolina pasta
-More bread
-Review for Lilly's (yet another ritzy Louisville restaurant) 
-Hungarian cookie bars (because they're worth it)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Speak softly and carry a large spatula.

A couple of weeks ago, I made Peter Reinhart's Portuguese sweet bread.  The bread came out all right, but I didn't like it.  The flavor consisted entirely of artificial orange extract.  :(  

This week, I really wanted foccacia.  So much so that I made an extra trip to Wal-Mart just for a bottle of olive oil.  I will post the recipe soon, but here are some pics.  :)

 Before refrigeration and proofing
 After proofing (end product was 12" x 16")

Too oily, but very tasty.  :) 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Here's what I've been doing instead of studying....

Eating this from Nord's Bakery (like a Ho-Ho, but much better):
 And making these:

 Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (  I used the spice modifications in the first comment.  Also, this yields 42 mini muffins!

 Cake pops for a candy maker (I feel intimidated...unfortunately a couple of these decided to crack. Ugh.)

Homemade sugar cookies + frosting + Wilton's Master 56 Piece Tip Set = me making a bunch of smiley faces.  :P Making frosting is exhausting, mostly because the butter is greasy and hard to wash off. 
Recipes here: (Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe--with the following modifications: I halved the recipe, and used 1/2 c butter, 1.5 c sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla)  The cookie recipe is:

I like soft cookies and Mr. S. likes hard ones, so take your pick on the baking times...As I have an electric oven, I always set it at approx. 25 degrees lower than the stated time in the recipe.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Round-up of random pics (yep, today is double post day)

 Mikato's Steak and Sushi---one of your generic places where the food is a little more American than Japanese.  But nevertheless still tasty.

 Mocha espresso at Derby City Espresso, with my delightful book club.
 Beautiful sugar cookies at Doll's Market
 Sombrero pasta, also at Doll's
Doll's Market mini cakes
 Above: lemon berry bar; below: Oreo dream bar (from Doll's and delicious)

 I've become attached to several bakeries in this area.  Cake Flour is my absolute favorite for scones and muffins (I'm eating a pumpkin chocolate chip scone now as I type, actually).  Nord's is for doughnuts, Heitzman's makes awesome butter kuchen, and Plehn's Bakery makes some of the most beautiful cakes I've ever seen.  They also sell cookies, brownies, doughnuts, bread, kuchen, and Amish noodles.  PLUS they have a soda fountain counter where you can get drinks and sandwiches. 

Unimpressed yet again.

I visited Corbett's: An American Place, a couple of weeks ago.  This restaurant has a very high reputation (much like Seviche) and I know a couple of people who adore it.  Just the name alone struck me as being ostentatious, but maybe I'm being nit-picky.

It's important to note that I did not pay for this dinner (so thanks, Novo!).  I unfortunately don't have many pictures because I was trying to be on my best behavior, so I will quote the menu and state my opinions. 

Shrimp & Grits
Fried Quail Egg, Maple Syrup, Chorizo & Kentucky Cheddar

This was by far the best looking and tasting of the appetizers.  The grits were yellow and atypical, and the shrimp were tiny.  I couldn't taste either maple syrup or chorizo, but the presentation was lovely and I especially liked the egg.

Skirt Steak
Crispy Tortilla, Roasted Poblano & Jalapeño  Sauce
This was okay.  I tasted the poblano pepper very faintly, but I have no idea where the jalapeno sauce was.  The crispy tortilla strips kept falling off.  When I finally did try one, it just tasted like a Frito.  *yawn* 

Mushroom Medley, Reggiano, Truffled Bread Crumbs

The worst of the three---bland and unimaginative.  This tasted creamy and was dull despite the textured bread crumbs.

Main Course:
Prime Filet
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Risotto, Asparagus,
Roasted Baby Carrots, Espagnole Sauce

The steak was well flavored, but very chewy.  (I'm not a big filet mignon fan, though.)  The risotto was a little too overpowering (probably due to the goat cheese).  I don't remember much about the vegetables, except that they were there and I ate them all.  The plate was lukewarm and turned cold after about 2 minutes.  That stuck with me the most, unfortunately. 

Vanilla & Chocolate
Mini Vanilla Bean Creme Brulée,
Moist Chocolate Cake, Whipped Ganache,
Passionfruit Syrup

The creme brulee was good, although missing the caramelized crust.  It tasted of vanilla bean and was the perfect size.  The chocolate cake was rich and moist.  I do not care for passionfruit syrup (which is slightly tangy) but I didn't mind it on this dessert.  (The maimed portion of the cake is courtesy of Mr. S., who got a little too excited...and dare I say greedy.) 

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