x_los: (OMG)
From the Leon I cookbook:

Lemonade: (second time making it, made it last weekend for Badjer's visit)

Instead of their 5 lemons I'm inclined to go with at least 6, and to include the pulp after carefully flciking out the seeds. Katy got us a little lemon juicer! It was one pound fifty, but she had to hunt all over Hounslow for it, poor dear. Still, it means a more efficient and less laborious use of the lemons than my arduous hand-squeezing. The one-pound bag of five lemons in ASDA v. handy, but perhaps would get even better value from the barrow boys on the high street. Switchover to fructose is not as weird as I thought it'd be. Needs stirred. Biggest problem with this recipe is my impatience--cannot wait nicely for the simple syrup I've made to cool, so it won't quickly melt the ice. Should probably consider this a two-step recipe and pop it in the fridge before adding the ice to avoid the temptation to bung everything in early, thus wasting the cold ice.

Think about variations in future: Raspberry Lemonade

Compote:

After the DISASTER that was Nigella's pink grapefruit marmalade over Christmas*, where she advised the wrong type of preserving sugar**, I frantically blitzed the fruit in hopes of releasing acid that would keep the shit from congealing further, and I ended up with a huge BLOCK of solid pith-tasting crap cursing Lawson's name to the heavens and trying to chuck it off Katy's balcony at passers by, I have been a little wary of jam-making.

* My maiden voyage into the world of stuff what goes in bottles.
** or indeed /any/ heavy-duty preserving sugar in a recipe that already had a glut of pectin, as I later found out from Serious Jam Makers over Christmas--they laughed at me for listening to her kind of a lot.

STILL unable to find bloody rhubarb, I made the blackberry compote. Katy's chaste electric hob refuses to give even a little heat--had to cook this WAY longer than the recipie suggested. In the end it was /very/ nice, and just the right consistency. Encouraging! There wasn't much of it, though, and the berries were expensive. This probably cost, at best, only a little less to make than what a similar-tasting, very nice jam would cost in stores. Must try it again with cheaper fruit, fruit close to going off, fruit from the barrow-boys, etc., so as not to waste money.

Leon Biyaldi: (dinner, some leftovers for today)

An Imam bayildi. Fine. Next time REALLY cook the eggplants BLACK so that they mush better. Had to cook far longer and add tomatoes to contemplate, and it still wasn't quite perfect. Also next time /lightly/ toast the pitas, these pita chips were too hard. Less cheap-ass flatbread would not go amiss, should try Oli's next time.

Good Morning Muffin!:

Easy-peasy bran muffins. Had to make my own apple-sauce quickly for it, though, as apparently this isn't big in the UK. I don't really like bran muffins, but Katy does, and these /smell/ so damn nice while cooking--like the maple and banana and apple they contain. V. nice topped with maple syrup, as per book's suggestion, or I might try them with the rest of the quick home-made apple sauce (peel and chop an apple, put it in a saucepan with a little water, brown sugar and cinnamon, cook down, roughly mash w/ a potato masher--for GOOD home-made apple-sauce I suggest the Earl Grey Apple Sauce from Desserts That Have Killed Better Men Than Me). Should make muffins more often, as Katy likes them for breakfast.

Chicken, Asparagus, and Fairtrade* Lemon Cassoulet: (dinner tonight)

Have just made the marinade, will finish up for dinner today when Katy gets back from watching her mom run the London Marathon. Accidentally added WAY too much Thyme after misreading the recipie with a quick glance and not realizing they meant fresh rather than dried. Oh well, we'll see how that goes. Picture looks fabulous.

Has to marinate overnight, like a lot of these recipes, which are relatively easy and speedy but for that. Not the end of the world, just a not for planning--this is a better entree cookbook when planning your weekend than when hungry RIGHT NOW.

* Leon's title, b/c of a promotional tie-in/awareness raising Fairtrade Fortnight.


From Nigella Lawson's Kitchen


Curly pasta with feta, spinach and pine nuts: (halved, lunch yesterday, AMPLE, some leftovers for today--made once a few months ago)

Had to use less feta and substitute with Parmesan. Worked fine. For once in her life Nigella said 'add water' and was not being a mad maddo who mads madly. Still she, like Alegra and really all of these people, probably uses a good gas stove, and as such I should not be surprised that the cooking times are so off--in addition to the pre-prepared ingredients cutting down the cooking time, which is just cheating, and Nigella should be ashamed. Prewashed and diced potatoes /indeed/. It's mean to make recipies look easy and approachable, but it gives people no real idea of how long anything takes to make, which is just useless.
x_los: (On A Ship)
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bobs-Mexican-Stuffed-Chicken/Detail.aspx

I forgot to /crush/ the corn flakes--/dumb/, Erin--and we had 8 chicken thighs instead of 4 breasts, so I had to laboriously scrape all the meat off these bones and then, because they were too small to properly roll, to use half a strip of bacon to wrap them so they could be something /sort/ of close to Stuffed rather than simply Accompanied. But these were /very/ tasty, and not terribly difficult (if you have the right meatstuffs), and not expensive. I recommend them highly!
x_los: (Not My Real Dad)
Food idea I had a little while ago in a friend's comments that I want to jot down so I remember to try making it:

There's an Israeli breakfast pizza-like-casserole thing with eggs, sambrougha (?? spelling from Hebrew to English gets hard) and an Arabic all-day pizza thing (not even ATTEMPTING this transliteration) baked in massive clay ovens, very popular in E. Jerusalem--either of these would lend themselves well inspiring something like the Ultimate Breakfast Pizza (and I often thought, as I ate the horribly shitty cucumber and tomato mash that comprises your typical Israeli breakfast, that breakfast innovation was desperately needed here).

I might start with:

* the arabic pizza's thick, warm, puffy, herb-y bread, top it with
* the thick tomato base from the Israeli thing (possibly with the egg too, but they tend to get REALLY rubbery there, and that's Not To Be Desired), then top it with
* veggies from a Southern American breakfast hash (red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, hot peppers to taste), and finally add
* spanish chorizo (oily and lovely like pepperoni, but more breakfasty), Southern breakfast sausage (greasy and crumbly like jummy dean?) and bacon (streaky? canadian? BOTH?!) and
* CHEESE--mozzarella for the melt, parm for the flake and cheddar for the breakfasty taste and the sturdy structural integrity, resulting in:

The Real Ultimate Breakfast Pizza Experience!!

And now that I've thought about it I REALLY want to try it.

Random Food Advice from Friends:

vonquixote on November 1st, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Pumpkin innards make for an absolutely fantastic risotto. Fry 'em up in butter for about two minutes to soften the blighters, chuck in some spring onions, about a pint of vegetable stock, some prawns or bacon or some other salty meat product, and a modest glass of alcohol (anything that makes vinegar is fine - I used strong Cornish cider) and fry for a few more minutes, then bung a big handful of rice in and simmer on a high heat for about quarter of an hour, until it starts becoming not!runny.

Science.


gritsinmisery on December 14th, 2010 12:17 pm (UTC)
*nods* I wondered about the Velveeta after I hit "post". I once saw something on a "how to make the perfect cheeseburger" show about all the different stuff that goes into American singles, but I don't remember it all, much less have any idea about how to go about imitating Velveeta. You can get the ingredient list online, but of course it doesn't say exactly what sorts of cheese they start with (if any; this is Kraft.) The important thing to note is that it is less than 50% cheese.

A quicker version, should you be able to get Cheez Whiz in a jar, is the old Cheez Whiz and salsa (adding cooked mince or sausage as you wish.)

I dunno; they have Brit shops here in the States; do they have Yank shops in London? Look around Addlestone down in Surrey; there's a big enclave of Yank oil companies in that area. Try this site for ideas, too.

Boozy Bow-Wows are Li'l Smokies Crock-potted in a mixture of BBQ sauce and whisky (note Yank spelling *g*) and Beagle Dicks are Li'l Smokies wrapped in Yank bacon, coated in brown sugar, and baked. Yes, the latter is a Sweet Potato Queens special, as is Pig Candy (bacon coated in brown sugar and baked.) Not kosher by anyone's definition.
x_los: (Make a Note.)
I'll tell you all later what I've gotten up to in New York, but packing at the moment. Have Intriguing London Links to celebrate my arriving at 8 am tomorrow and (hopefully) clearing customs, about which I am unreasonably terrified. ...probably because I actually am doing something slightly shady. IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN awesome London links, sites or recommendations, please do drop me a comment, and I will be as happy to include them in the general list as I will be to take you up on your suggestions.

London's Finest Bookshops -- a really good, contributory Guardian listing that doesn't seek to limit excellence to the London parallel of NewYork's 'the Strand,' or the equivalent of City Lights/Prairie Lights, all of which is what I was initially looking for.

London's Best Cheesemongers
-- Time Out does a good Best of London culling generally, but this is clearly the greatest love of all. I mean. Cheese.

Shady Old Lady
-- A user-edited selection of weird sites and sights about town, and potential routes for self-guided tours thereof. Occasionally dumb, often pretty great.

Derelict London -- I'm really drawn to the uncanny beauty of decaying urban architecture, and Derelict London is a good guide. What is /could/ use is better web design (which is odd considering the site is associated with a glossy, well-turned-out published book), more sensible organization as a whole, and better commentary, in terms of the history of the sites depicted, where to find them, and more essayistic content. That aside, it seems an invaluable resource for exhaustive documentation of the city, as thorough as the Wayback Machine.

Disused Stations on the London Underground -- Another case of Big Name, Book-Affiliated Website Apparently Designed With Geocities. The organization's maddening, but it's a potentially fascinating guide to extra-legally exploring the historic London underground beyond the currently-operating 287 stations. There's often interesting alternate histories for the Ghost Stations, which are eerie and intriguing in their own right. Certain platforms and tunnels were used as bunkers and secret records storage in WWII, chosen for their ability to outlast a more complete blitz which would have razed the upper city. Lurking along the lines, you can find 19th century relics of the fierce competition of the privatized-undergrounds era that predated the triumph of the modern, unified civic tube. The closed British Museum stop is supposedly haunted by the pissed off ghost of an appropriated Egyptian mummy, and the newspaper company that offered a hefty reward to anyone willing to spend the night on the all-too-readily closed platform never had to award that prize.

I'm thinking of doing a larger project, tentatively based on this sort of thing, the two or three existing, seemingly lackluster books on the tube's history and a Village Voice article from a few years ago on the character of the infrequently visited final stops of all the major New York lines.  I'll let you know if anything materializes.

Adult Travelcard -- For everyone that bitches about how the tube is soooooo expeeeensive, omg, doesn't this look relatively comparable to the MTA bulk unlimited passes?
x_los: (Make a Note.)
I'll tell you all later what I've gotten up to in New York, but packing at the moment. Have Intriguing London Links to celebrate my arriving at 8 am tomorrow and (hopefully) clearing customs, about which I am unreasonably terrified. ...probably because I actually am doing something slightly shady. IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN awesome London links, sites or recommendations, please do drop me a comment, and I will be as happy to include them in the general list as I will be to take you up on your suggestions.

London's Finest Bookshops -- a really good, contributory Guardian listing that doesn't seek to limit excellence to the London parallel of NewYork's 'the Strand,' or the equivalent of City Lights/Prairie Lights, all of which is what I was initially looking for.

London's Best Cheesemongers
-- Time Out does a good Best of London culling generally, but this is clearly the greatest love of all. I mean. Cheese.

Shady Old Lady
-- A user-edited selection of weird sites and sights about town, and potential routes for self-guided tours thereof. Occasionally dumb, often pretty great.

Derelict London -- I'm really drawn to the uncanny beauty of decaying urban architecture, and Derelict London is a good guide. What is /could/ use is better web design (which is odd considering the site is associated with a glossy, well-turned-out published book), more sensible organization as a whole, and better commentary, in terms of the history of the sites depicted, where to find them, and more essayistic content. That aside, it seems an invaluable resource for exhaustive documentation of the city, as thorough as the Wayback Machine.

Disused Stations on the London Underground -- Another case of Big Name, Book-Affiliated Website Apparently Designed With Geocities. The organization's maddening, but it's a potentially fascinating guide to extra-legally exploring the historic London underground beyond the currently-operating 287 stations. There's often interesting alternate histories for the Ghost Stations, which are eerie and intriguing in their own right. Certain platforms and tunnels were used as bunkers and secret records storage in WWII, chosen for their ability to outlast a more complete blitz which would have razed the upper city. Lurking along the lines, you can find 19th century relics of the fierce competition of the privatized-undergrounds era that predated the triumph of the modern, unified civic tube. The closed British Museum stop is supposedly haunted by the pissed off ghost of an appropriated Egyptian mummy, and the newspaper company that offered a hefty reward to anyone willing to spend the night on the all-too-readily closed platform never had to award that prize.

I'm thinking of doing a larger project, tentatively based on this sort of thing, the two or three existing, seemingly lackluster books on the tube's history and a Village Voice article from a few years ago on the character of the infrequently visited final stops of all the major New York lines.  I'll let you know if anything materializes.

Adult Travelcard -- For everyone that bitches about how the tube is soooooo expeeeensive, omg, doesn't this look relatively comparable to the MTA bulk unlimited passes?

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