Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jelena and my trip to a Asian market

My friend Jelena and I went to this Vietnamese restaurant that we really like. After we went there we went across the street to the Asian super market. When we were there we took pictures of the fish tanks, they had all kinds of fresh sea food. I was looking at the prices and it was really cheap, I think if I wasn't a vegetarian I would have bought some crabs or something. It was pretty cool.

Vanilla Extract

I was watching Chef At Home on the food network and he made vanilla extract. I really wanted to try it myself and I did a few weeks ago. I looked online for several different recipes and found that it was basically vodka and vanilla beans. When it came time to me making it I didn't follow a recipe. I don't know it that was a good idea or not. Right now(about a month after making it) it still isn't the right colour. I think this may have the do with the amount of vodka I used. I used a whole small bottle. I added another vanilla bean yesterday and I'm going to let it sit for a few more weeks to see it that helps. Since this is the first time I've made this I don't know if there is a certain kind of Vodka that makes it taste better. I used Smirnoff, but I would think that any kind of Vodka would be fine. Vanilla bean are a little expansive, so is the vodka. I got 2 beans for $6.99, but I think if I went to a bulk food store I could of saved a bit but oh well.

You will need
1 small bottle of vodka
3 or 4 Vanilla beans
1 glass jar with a tight fitting lid

1) Cut two vanilla bean in half length ways and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds inside the jar. Cut the Vanilla bean into half width ways and place into jar.
2)Cut two vanilla beans in half width ways and place inside jar.
3)Add Vodka and put lid on jar.
4)Shake vanilla ever couples days until dark brown.

Oven Dried Tomatoes

I use sun dried tomatoes a lot. I decided to make my own, I kind of went on this whole preserving and dehydrating thing little while ago. I like the way the tomatoes turned out. I used cherry tomatoes but I also used these orange and yellow ones. I don't really think you can tell that there is a difference in colour.

You will need
Tomatoes cut in half length way
wire rack
baking pan

1)Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees or the lowest setting on your oven.
2)Cut the tomatoes in half length ways
3)Place the tomatoes on the wire rack in a single layer
4)Put the tomatoes in the oven for about 6 hours or until dry
5)Let cool and place in a jar
6)Add oil to the jar and place inside the fridge

Dried Mushrooms

So I've always wanted to make dried mushrooms. I was at the super market and there was a big bag of mushrooms on one of those 5o% off racks so I bought it.I ended up making a bunch of stuff from it. I haven't found a recipe that I want to try that used dried mushrooms but that's alright. I still enjoyed making these.

You will need
As many mushrooms as you like
Salt- varies depending on the amount of mushrooms
oil- varies depending on the amount of mushrooms
baking pan
wire cooling rack
Mason jar or a glass jar with a lid

1)Preheat the over to 150c or the lowest setting on your oven
2)Take the stems off the mushrooms.I think that taking the stems off make them dry faster. You can use the stems in stock or just throw them out, whatever you perfer.
3)Put mushrooms in a bowl and add a little salt and oil.
4)Place the wire rack on the baking pan.
5)Place the mushrooms in a single layer on the wire rack
6)Place in the over for about 6 hours or until dry
7)Let the mushroom dry completely and place inside a glass jar

If the mushrooms are not completely dried when they are out inside the jar you may find water droplets around the jar. If this happens all you have to do it shake the jar a bit and it will go away. I also find that depending on the size of the mushroom it may take a shorter time or a longer time to dry.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strawberry Jam

Alright so I finally made Jam. I was super excited about it to because it was my first time ever. It is really easy.

You will need
2 pints of strawberries
1 package of pectin
2 cups sugar
Put the strawberries and sugar in a large pot and cook for several minutes until the strawberries are soft and there is a fair amount of liquid in the pot. Add the package of pectin and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Put the jam into clean jars and cover with the lid. Put the jars in a cannier of a tall pot and boil for about 20 minutes. Let the jars cool completely. When the jars are cooled press the lid. If it springs up and down it was not preserved correctly. You can either use that jam first of put a new lid on and preserve it again.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Food I love

So I've been thinking a lot about what to post next. I've decided to talk a bit about some food that I really like. I'll try taking some photos of some of the food I'm going to mention the next time I make it.

Since I'm pretty busy all the time I find it hard to spend alot of time cooking. I think that if I had the time I would but sometimes it is just not possible. Here is a list of some of my favorite quick and easy foods. I think this is also a good time to mention that I love bread, cheese and mustard.

Bagel and Cheese
Yes I know it sounds very simple, which it is but it is fantastic. I cut a bagel in half and put whatever cheese I have inside. I then pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until the cheese melts. Don't put it in the microwave to long, the bread will come out all hard.

Tomato Paste on toast
Another one that is exactly what it sounds like. I toast bread and put butter on it then I spread tomato paste ontop. It taste amazing.

Sauteed Mushrooms
I tend to eat this for breakfast with eggs. Slice mushrooms thinly, I tend to use button mushrooms but I have also used shiitake mushrooms. In a frying pan heat some butter, when the butter is melted add the mushrooms. Sautee the mushrooms, don't put to may mushroom in the pan because the mushrooms will let out quite a bit of water. I add a pinch of salt to the mushroom and once they are golden brown they are done.

Croissants with brie
I live above a 24 hour grocery store, that sells fresh croissants. For whatever reason they like to make them fresh at 11pm every night, but when I have late night food cravings I can always get a fresh croissants. I put brie cheese inside them and they taste lovely. If the croissants are warm when you put the cheese in it taste even better

Blue cheese sandwich
Alright I know another one with bread and cheese but this is to die for. Well to die for if you like blue cheese. I toast some bread and put butter and mustard on it. I use Dijon mustard for this, I tried honey mustard once when I didn't have any Dijon and it wasn't that great. Then place a few slices of blue cheese I use Danablu but I want to try it with Stilton. Enjoy!

I can't think of anything else at the moment so I'll leave you all. I assume I'll be posting more of these little ramblings of what I like. I'm currently in the process of moving so I'm trying to move with as little food as possible. I'm going to be making banana bread and alot of pasta dishes this week so I'm sure there will be alot of new postings

Kiwi Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes to eat. It is a white cake with a layer of whip cream and kiwis. Then the whole cake is covered in white cream with toasted almonds around the sides and topped with more kiwis. You don't have to use kiwi's for the cake, I've used strawberries and blueberries before. I think that almost any fruit would work really.
The cake itself is just a plan white cake. I've made it from fresh and from a box, I prefer it from fresh. I don't really like the taste of boxed food, it taste to fake to me. Anyway I use a really simple white cake recipe.

White Cake
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

1) Pre heat your oven to 350f. I tend to put the oven a bit higher then this then when I put the cake in I lower the temperature to just under 350. I do this for almost everything I make because all ovens are different.
2) Sift flour and baking powder together
3) Cream together butter and sugar.
4) Beat eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. Beat one egg in at a time, making sure that the egg is combined before adding another egg. You can also add the vanilla now.
5) Add the flour mixture to the wet eggs,sugar and butter.
6) Add the milk and mix
7) Put in a greased cake pan and cook for about 20 minutes.

The cake when it comes out of the oven
Let the cake cool completely

Toast Almonds
250g of blanched sliced almonds

I toast the almonds right after the cake is done. I do this because the oven is already on and I don't have to worry about preheating it. Arrange the almonds on a baking pan in a single layer and place in the oven. It takes about 10-15minutes for the almonds to toast. I would check them often because they burn easily.

The whip cream
500ml of whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
wine of your choice (optional)

1)Mix the whipping cream and the sugar together. You can add some vanilla or some wine to the cream. I have used a strawberry wine that I really like but this is optional. If you do add some wine I would not add alot. Maybe 1/4 cup.

2)Using a mixer or a whisk beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Do no over mix the whip cream. If you over mix the cream it will become butter. Set the whip cream aside.

To assemble to cake

1)Peel and cut 4 or 5 kiwis.

2)Take the cake out of the pan and cut in half width ways. You should have two pieces of cake, a top and a bottom.

3)Take some of the whip cream and spread it over the bottom piece of the cake. Then take some of the kiwis and place them on top of the whip cream.

4) Put the top on the cake and cover the side of the cake with a thin layer of whip cream. This will help the almonds stick.

5) Cover the top of the cake with whip cream.

6) Put the rest of the kiwi's on top of the cake.

7) Take the almonds and gently place them on the side of the cake. I find that the almonds tend fall off at first but if you apply a little bit of pressure when putting them on they should be fine.


My first blog entry!!!!

Alright well, I've started my own food blog. I'm going to be posting recipes and pictures soon. I just have to start cooking stuff now. I think all the recipes will be vegaterian since I'm a vegaterian. I do cook meat for other people so if I make something nice I might post it here.