Sunday, January 27, 2008

Breakfast Quiche

I've really been into making food with crusts lately. Pies and quiches. I've especially excited since I discovered Clotilde Dusoulier's Pâte brisée recipe. I think it's the egg that makes it better than the previous crust I used to make.
Making Pâte brisée
I hosted brunch potluck at my apartment this morning, with my library school crew. For my dish, I decided to make my take on "Bad Baby Pie". What's "Bad Baby Pie" you ask? It's a pie from the movie Waitress, that Kerri Russell's character imagined. It had Gruyère cheese, cubed ham, and egg. My take on it was a little bit different, but the same idea.
Pate Brisee Crust
Instead of using ham, I went for vegetarian sausage, especially for the vegetarians in the group. I also added one chopped, grilled onion, used grated Comté and Monterey Jack cheese, and some cream.
Breakfast Quiche
It was quite a success.
Breafast Quiche

Annette's Breakfast Quiche Recipe
-Pâte brisée (for best results, use Clotilde Dusoulier's, it's amazing)
-3 eggs
-3/4 cup half and half (I used the fat free one)
-1/2 tsp. sea salt
-1/4 tsp. ground pepper
-6 links vegetarian sausages, chopped (I used Morningstar)
- Most of one white onion, chopped
-1 1/2 cup cheese, grated (you can experiment here - I used Comté and Monterey Jack)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Bake your crust for about 15-20 minutes, until it's very lightly browned
3. Grill the onions and sausanges
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the half and half, add salt and pepper
5. Fold in the cheese, onions and sausage
6. Pour mixture into the crust
7. Bake for about 35 minutes, until browned.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh Yea, I Craft Too

I just realized my last 10 posts or so have been food. Not to worry, I still do craft-crafts too. I acquired another cigar box recently, so I decided to cover it the same way I did last time. First, I painted the bright yellow box white.
Cigar Box
Next I started measuring and gluing the fabric onto the box. Usually, I end up trimming the edges up until it's pasted on.
Fabric Covered Cigar Box
It's a super simple project!
Fabric Covered Cigar Box

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hawaiian Tuna

It's been a long week. I still feel like something is wrong with my right eye, it's a little bloodshot right now (I got it checked out, and that eye is fine - it's my left eye that has the problems). Doctors say it's exhaustion, but I go to bed so early, so I have no idea. My days are pretty long lately, for example, today my day started at 6:30am and I didn't get home until about 8:30pm, though I'm surprisingly energetic tonight. I finally got new tires, so my car will not be slipping around the freeway anymore - did I mention it was doing that? It was. A lot. It's raining here in California, and I will be the first to admit, us LA people drive insane when it rains, we don't know what to do. My drive home was okay, thanks to the new tires and my iPod, which was on random, and played 2 rain oriented songs! It played Carol King's "Crying In the Rain" and The Smith's "William, It Was Really Nothing", it's like iPod random knew! Speaking of random, enough with my eyes, tires, and the rain and on to my food of the day.
Rice / Tuna Pineapple
I've been wanting to make this recipe for some time now. I got it from a friend from work, who got it from his friend from Hawaii. It's a Hawaiian Tuna dish that has sauteed onions, pineapples, tuna, all over white rice.
Hawaiian Tuna
It was pretty good, but for some reason, I didn't like the tuna. I bought canned tuna and well, it tasted like can to me. I think next time I might experiment with freshly baked tuna or possibly chicken?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Quiche Oignon & Cumin (Onion And Cumin Quiche) And The Day My Eyes Broke

Since I'm such a visual person, it's always been my fear that something will happen to my eyes. With that, I can't believe I waited this long to get my eyes dialyzed. Turns out I have Lattice Degeneration in my left eye. I guess it's not serious yet, but I do have to get them dialyzed every year to make sure that I don't have holes in my eyes. Ugh. To top it off, because my eyes are so light, my eyes stay dialyzed for the full 6 hours! It's such a strange feeling, I don't like it. Though, this dialysis brings my mom to visit and fun in the kitchen. For her visit, I decided to prepare Quiche Oignon & Cumin (Onion And Cumin Quiche) from one of my favorite new books, Chocolate and Zucchini, by the talented Clotilde Dusoulier. I started with her Pâte brisée recipe and added some rosemary, thyme and Parmesan cheese to the mix.
Pate Brisee
After chilling and thawing, I fitted the dough into my dish.
Pate Brisee
I then grated part Comté, part Gruyère cheeses. The cheeses were fabulous. I paid quite a bit for them ($18!), but they were possibly the best cheeses I've had.
Cheese Mix
I mixed my onions, egg, cream, cheese, cumin, and bacon, and then poured it into the lightly baked crust.
Before the Oven
After about 35 minutes, I got this sexy piece of food.
After the Oven
Not convinced of it's sexiness?
Quiche Oignon & Cumin (Onion and Cumin Quiche)
Did that change your mind? Well, it was sexy. My mom agreed. The Pâte brisée was especially amazing, it's definitely going to be my default crust for all quiches, pies, and tarts.
Quiche Oignon & Cumin (Onion and Cumin Quiche)
Quiche Oignon & Cumin (Onion and Cumin Quiche)
Cooking with my mom was super fun. I never was allowed to cook with the grown-ups when I was little, they were convinced I was a horrible cook. It's getting fun as I turn into a grown-up myself. My mom is pretty amazing, while I was cooking, she washed all the dishes, my oven, my sink, and mopped the floor in about 5 minutes. I don't know how she does it so quickly, it's like I blinked and my kitchen was spotless.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Potato Corn Chowder

It's been a while since I've blogged, but I promise I've been crafty each day. I've rediscovered my love of cooking and I've been experimenting in my kitchen a lot lately. Though I haven't been posting, I have been documenting, so pictures will come soon. I don't know if it's just me, but has anyone else noticed the press that Corn Chowder has been getting lately? I think I have at least 2 magazines with Corn Chowder on the cover, so I went for it. Yesterday, my fellow library geek friend, Julian came over for some crafty fun. I made us fresh Sourdough bread and some Potato Corn Chowder.
I made the dough for the bread pretty early on to give it some rising time.
Sourdough Dough
I started the soup about an hour before Julian arrived. First, I grilled about 3-4 ounces of bacon in a olive oil. After the bacon was done, I added 2 chopped onions and let those grill for about 10 minutes.
Grilled Onions
Then, I added some flour, salt, pepper, turmeric, chicken stock, and potatoes. After the potatoes were tender, I added about 4 cups of corn, and about 1/2 cup of light cream. I added some of the reserved bacon into the soup, and kept some to garnish.
Corn and Potato Chowder
It was a tasty spread.
The spread
Topped with bacon, served with fresh Sourdough bread
Besides eating, we somehow fixed Julian's sewing machine! I'm not sure it was ever broken, but either way, we got it to work and that's pretty cool. We also took a trip down to Reform School to attend the opening of Matte Stephensshow. Right now, I'm off to get ready for library-nerd brunch time!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Morning Cup

It's not coffee..
not coffee...
It's mocha pudding! I got a little into it, after I made the banana pudding.
not coffee..
Add a little swirl of some flavored instant coffee powder into some chocolate pudding, for an extra kick in the morning! Top with some whipped cream and who needs Starbucks?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Banana Pudding

I got this recipe from an old boyfriend, who I think got it from a Jello box, but I can't be sure? It's a super easy, super tasty, and kind of healthy treat! You will need bananas, vanilla pudding, and Nilla wafers. After you have your pudding ready, start chopping some bananas.
Chopping the bananas
Next, you will arrange layers of pudding - Nilla wafers - banana slices, in that order, until all the ingredients run out.
Arranging the layers
You technically could eat it that second, but it won't do it any justice.
Close up of layers ..
You want to refrigerate it overnight, or up to a day or two, so that the Nilla wafers become soft.
Banana Pudding!
It's better the second day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cha Cha Cha Chia

When I was a little girl, I always wanted a Chia Pet. I'd ask for one every Christmas, but never got one. This year, I finally did. A bunny Chia Pet, at that!
Chia Pet
I decided to document the growth of my Chia. It really is an interesting process, the seeds are so strange looking.
My Chia Pet
I don't think I put enough seeds on the little bunny, because it ended up looking more brushy than bushy. All of the growth grew in the direction of my window, covering the cute little bunny's face.
My Chia Pet
I'm not really sure what to do next. I guess I just wait until it dies and do it over again?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Chicken Bok Choy

I don't think I can deny it any longer, I am definitely coming down with a cold. I must have sneezed about 800 times in the last few hours and the runny nose won't quit. My right eye is even all red - not in a pink eye way, but in a i-need-to-sleep-before-i-die way. This all aside, I did buy some fresh farmer's market bok choy, and I really wanted to make stir fry, so I did it anyway.
Chicken Bok Choy
First, I grilled some olive oil, garlic, onions, and ginger. I added the chicken and let that grill until it was almost done, then I added the soy sauce and bok choy. Served over rice, it was tasty!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Honey Wheat No-Knead Bread

My four eyed friends, have you ever walked into the shower still wearing your glasses and not even notice for a few minutes? Drops of water may be piling on those lenses, but you don't seem to notice/care/realize what's going on? Yes. Today was a long day. First day of school and a whole new loaf of bread! I know I said I was going to wait until after school, but I got a little excited when I saw the whole wheat flour package at the grocery store. Plus, making no-knead bread is so easy!
Making the Whole Wheat No Knead Bread
I did a little investigation on blogs, and read that people had bad experiences using only whole wheat four, so I decided to use 2 cups of white flour and 1 cup whole wheat.
Making the Whole Wheat No Knead Bread
After a few hours, I realized that I had orange-blossom honey in my fridge. I added a big tablespoon of honey and folded it into the dough.
Adding Honey to the Whole Wheat No Knead Bread
I let the dough rest for about 24 hours. Normally, I'd stop it at 18 hours, but I've hardly been home and what could 6 extra hours do, right?  Once it was nice and bubbly, I preheated the oven and my Chefmate dutch oven for about 30-60 minutes to 500.
after about 24 hours
I reduced the heat to about 460ish once it was in.  According to the original recipe, I'm supposed to leave the bread covered for the first 30 minutes, then uncovered for the next 15 minutes.  After about 20-25 minutes, I started smelling an *almost* burning bread situation.
fresh out of the oven
I quickly checked, and noticed that the top was starting to get pretty dark.  So, I decided to stop there.
the ready to eat No-Knead Loaf
Normally, one should wait for the bread to cool, but I couldn't. It was almost my bedtime, so I had to try some before bed.
Honey Wheat No Knead Bread
It turned out a little doughy in the middle, but that went away after a few hours. The honey was a nice touch, I'm glad I added it. I think I like this version a little better than the original, white bread version.  Next time, I might experiment with honey and lavender.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Best Pasta Dish I Have Ever Made

I have to admit it, I'm a little shocked at how good this pasta dish came out. I started off with a little olive oil, garlic, and grilled some chicken. I cooked the chicken until it was almost done, then took it out of the pan.
The Chicken
I then added zucchini, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, fresh basil, pinot grigio, salt, and pepper.
The veggies
After the veggies sauteed a bit, I added the chicken and started to prepare the whole grain penne. When the penne was ready, I drained it and stirred in the veggies and chicken.
The pasta with the veggies and chicken
I honestly don't know why it came out so perfectly today. I have made similar pasta dishes, but I don't think I've ever balanced the flavors as harmoniously before. I'm always the first to admit when my cooking adventures go wrong, but this time, I somehow got it.
I didn't even want to add parmasean, because it tasted so good; though, I ended up adding some at my last few bites to expiriment and it was fantastic. Luckily, I made enough for me to eat this during lunch the next 2 days!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mini No-Knead Bread Loaf

My last weekend before school starts and I'm still in baking mode. I have to admit, the rain had something to do with it. Relaxing in my kitchen with the sound of raindrops outside, it was so peaceful. Since I'm only one gal and probably capable of eating a whole loaf of bread, I decided to make a mini loaf instead. It's the new year, and a girl's gotta watch her waistline sometimes, right?
No Knead Dough
The fabric below is the fabric I used to make my new curtains, which I realized I still haven't posted. I think I'm waiting to get my whole room put together a little more first.
Baked No Knead
For my next loaf of bread, I think I'll be using a whole wheat flour. Though, this might have to wait until school is out.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Egg Rolls

I've been a bit more experimental in the kitchen recently. I think a little of my new found cooking bravery is thanks to one of my new favorite cookbooks,Chocolate & Zucchini. Though I didn't use chocolate or zucchini in my egg rolls, I used celery, carrots, apples, shrimp, brown sugar.
celery, carrots, apples
celery, carrots, apples, shrimp, brown sugar
I also baked them, in my continuing effort to eat healthier.
Egg Rolls
The result? So-so. But, it doesn't hurt trying once in a while!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Fabric Covered Push Pins

Inspired by this lovely tutorial by How About Orange, I decided to finally make fabric covered push pins for the fabric covered cork board I made a while back. Though colorful fabrics would make some cute buttons, for my board, I decided to stick with regular black fabric.
Making Fabric Covered Push Pins
I bought this kit buttons to cover kit, which was fabulous. I think I might even order a few more really soon. I removed the hoops from the buttons, using regular scissors, by squeezing them off.
Making Fabric Covered Push Pins
The kit comes with handy holders and templates, making the process so easy!
Making Fabric Covered Push Pins
After tucking the fabric in the button, cover with the button back...
Making Fabric Covered Push Pins
... and push it down, using the handy tool that comes with the package.
Making Fabric Covered Push Pins
Place a drop of hot glue on the back of the button and place a flat thumbtack inside. In moments, you'll have a ready to use thumbtack!
Making Fabric Covered Push Pins
Now all I need are items to tack onto my board!
Making Fabric Covered Push Pins