Sunday, December 31, 2006

Food Songs

Food songs, or songs that have food in them. Please expand!

Banana Pancakes - Jack Johnson
The Beer Song - They Might Be Giants
Do the Funky Chicken - Rufus Thomas
Eat It - Weird Al
Green Onions - Booker T. & The MGs
Lemon Tree - Peter, Paul & Mary
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off - Louis Armstrong
No Sugar Tonight - The Guess Who
Saturday Night Fish Fry - Louis Jordan
That's Amore - Frank Sinatra

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I was a little bored today, so I decided to cook. I decided to attempt to make some sweet potato pancakes. For fun, I did this completely by the seat of my pants, no recipe was involved whatsoever. I only had a theory, which I hoped would result in something edible.

First step: I baked a sweet potato in the oven for a bit to soften it up, then I mashed it up on the breadboard with some flour.

For step two I added some brown sugar and an egg. (In retrospect, I may have used too much brown sugar.. ah well live and learn :P).

Next I mixed it all together into a big ball of dough. I had to add a bit more flour halfway through because it got all super sticky. This was actually the funnest part because afterwards I had all this orange sweet potato goo all over my hands. It was just like playdough, only tastier.

After I had the dough ready, I flattened it out (which was tricky because I don't have one of those dough rolling contraptions), cut it into pieces, and fried them up in some vegetable oil.

And voila! The finished product. Pretty simple "recipe" I guess. They didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned, but considering I was making it up as I went it's a miracle they were edible at all.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Laws of Random Cooking

The laws that govern the Land of Random Cooking:

  1. Cooking is in a constant state of Quantum Flux. Attempts to create food identical to the last meal or by following a recipe will result in the destruction of the Multiverse.
  2. No measuring. Measuring is teh lame.
  3. Use Butter. Margarine is really a four letter crossword puzzle hint. I can't believe it's not butter? Oh, but I *can* believe it.
  4. "A little bit of everything" is a valid ingredient.
  5. Mysterious cans of food from your local neighbourhood ethnic grocery store with no English or French labels should be the centre piece of your next meal.
  6. Setting food on fire is fun.
  7. If you think you can dip it in batter and deep fry it, why haven't you already?
  8. Everything should be cookable on the BBQ. Including pancakes. Think about it.
  9. Ask yourself if this will taste good after you've made it and are offering it to your friends.
  10. Beer is an integral part of the cooking process.
  11. Beer is an integral part of the eating process.
  12. Respect Garlic, Shallots and Onions.
  13. Wine is a valid main course (and appetizer, and dessert).
  14. Real poutine is made with cheese curds.

(feel free to Wikify this team)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bread Stuffed with Stuff

There is only one picture of "Bread Stuffed with Stuff" unfortunately. Begin with standard bread recipe:
  1. Poof Yeast in warm water
  2. Add sugar, salt, pepper, melted butter, olive oil and garlic
  3. Slowly add in a mixture of 1/2 flour and 1/2 semolina until it all comes together
  4. Knead with a minimal amount of effort
  5. Coat with olive oil, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for an hour
While rising prepare stuff for stuffing:
  1. In butter, sauté/cook/whatever purple onions, garlic, shallots, oyster mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and as much freakin' basil as possible.
  2. In another bowl add some chopped tomatoes. But good tomatoes; none of that hot-house blight.
  3. Combine everything together and reserve.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 and place the baking stone in it.
  1. Now that the dough has risen, place it on the hot baking stone and push and poke it into a large disc much larger than the stone..
  2. Fill the centre with filling.
  3. Add Cheese! Preferably good mozzarella or Feta
  4. Fold dough back on top as shown in picture.
  5. Brush olive oil on top of thing.
  6. Place stone and bread thing back into oven.
  7. Bake until golden brown and crispy.

  1. Open mouth
  2. Place food in mouth
  3. Close mouth
  4. Chew
  5. Swallow

Monday, December 11, 2006

Super secret mango pudding

Second pan of mango pudding (first one was pretty much finished at the potluck)

Tina hosted a potluck and I was obliged to bring my signature dish. No, it's not made from powder. That is insulting! No, I didn't get the recipe off the internet. No, it's not an old family recipe passed down through the generations. I made the recipe myself! No, you can't have the recipe. I'll give you a hint though:

Secret ingredient

It was quite well received, despite the mango pudding not in its most amazing form, as the coconut milk I used had congealed and left a white film on the top, but it tasted fine. Most of the pan I brought was finished, which is good b/c I wouldn't know what to do with all the leftovers, considering that I had a whole second pan. I've realized that I can pick up girls, or at least greatly impress them, with this dish, and I could open a mango pudding store next to my Indian restaurant.

Friday, December 8, 2006

I should open an Indian restaurant

Today's dinner menu was inspired by Sarah's curry.

It was the first time I tried making curry and it was AMAZING!!! I swear that the flavour was exactly like chicken jalfrezi from a real Indian restaurant, except without the obscene amount of oil and more veggies.

Onions, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, chicken, curry paste, coconut milk, and naan-like bread

  1. Cooked the onions in some oil in a pan

  2. Threw in the chicken and scooped several teaspoons of curry paste in

  3. Cooked for a few min. and then added the coconut milk and veggies

  4. Simmered for a while, using a lid to help cook the vegetables

  5. Wrapped the bread in aluminum foil and warmed it up in the oven

  6. Made a fruit smoothie

  7. Ate to the brink of food coma


The only thing I'd change next time is to cook the potatoes separately for a bit b/c they took a while to cook despite being in small chunks and caused me to cooked the whole thing for longer than I needed, but it wasn't over cooked. I used "boiling" potatoes. I'm so confused at all the different potatoes - frying, boiling, baking, batteries, satellites...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sweet Potato Burritos

Last time I went grocery shopping I bought some sweet potatoes, and today I decided I needed to cook them. I was looking around on google for some ideas and I found this recipe. I would like to thank whoever the genius was that came up with this idea. I had to modify it slightly based on lack of ingredients and portion size and what I felt like doing. It turned out to be one of the tastiest dinners EVER!

First step was to pre-bake the sweet potatoes and mash them up. My trusty red toaster oven came in handy :)

Next I fried up some onions and garlic. Man did that smell good. I threw in a hot pepper too just for fun.

Once the potatoes were done I mashed them up and threw them in the pan. Also some beans and some chicken.

I added some water and spices and stuff and mixed everything together. It looked kinda gross at this point, but I had faith all would turn out well.

To be consistent with the other meals I've posted about, I added some "secret ingredient" to the mix.

Then I loaded up some shells and threw them in the oven for a bit..

And voila!! The finished product. They were UNREAL! As I said before, whoever came up with that recipe was a genius. As usual, I made way too much for just me so I have leftovers for at least a meal, maybe two. I know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow ;)

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I tried to make an omelette this morning. Things didn't quite go according to plan.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Steak and potatoes


Made myself a rather tasty dinner tonight :). Red wine marinated steak (as suggested from this site telling me that everything I know about grilling is wrong) and fries made from scratch!

I marinated the steak in Robert Mondavi red wine (it was on sale at the LCBO) and the Keg steak spice. It was the first time I marinated meat. It was definitely more tender, though it had a bit too much wine taste. Maybe I just marinated it too much (overnight). Next time I'll try something else, maybe a little sweeter as it was a little bitter this time from the wine. I actually felt my face getting a little red from the wine :s. I guess I did a good job of sealing the juices in :).

For the fries, I cut up two potatoes, mixed in some chopped onions, oil, steak spice, olive oil, parsley flakes, red chili flakes, cajan spice, and probably some other random spices. Then, I laid it out on parchment paper, which is non-sticky, but absorbs and keeps too much moisture, and put it in the oven for like 30-40 min. I should probably use aluminum foil to make the fries crispier, but I get annoyed when it sticks, esp. with little bits of the foil sticks to the fries.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Addicted to the blender

For the past 2 weeks, I have been completely addicted to my blender. I have used it every day. Many times, 2 or 3 times a day. I have gone through over 7 litres of orange juice and 5 kg of fruit. I love making fruit smoothies. It's a slurpee made from fruit. 100% pure fruit, healthy, and amazingly delicious! I don't have to go to Bubble Tease, No Name Cafe, or Jamba Juice anymore!!!

Here's how I make mine. It takes less than 5 min. and they're amazing!

The set-up.
Blender, banana, frozen fruit, ice, orange juice,
and my oversized mug (~750 mL)

Step 1: Banana
It adds a nice flavour and it's healthy!

Step 2: Frozen fruit
Frozen fruit gives the smoothie a nice icy texture. A variety of frozen fruit are usually available in grocery stores. Use whatever you want. Experiment. Use fresh fruit if you don't have frozen fruit.

Step 3: Ice
Makes it a bit more icy. This step is optional. I've been doing this recently to reduce the amount of frozen fruit needed as I'm running low.

Step 4: Juice
I use orange juice. You can substitute for apple, pineapple, mango, cranberry, or whatever your heart desires. I use enough to mostly cover the ingredients. The juice is needed to make it drink-like and also so that it can blend properly.

Step 5: Pulse
There are a lot of solids in the mixture. The pulse (P on the dial) spins the blades quickly for a short period of time to pulverize the solids and then allow them to settle back down onto the blade so that the blades don't run dry. I pulse for maybe a half dozen times until most of the big chunks have been broken down.

Step 6: Blend
I blend for about 10-15 seconds on the highest setting. The mixture should be sloshing around quite freely. If it gets stuck and the blades seem to be spinning without blending anything and the contents aren't moving around well, it's b/c there's an air bubble and you need more liquid.

The (blurry) result
I make the perfect amount every time :)

It disappears very fast.

When I ran out frozen fruit, I used fresh fruit. When I ran out of fresh fruit, I started making Kool-Aid slushees (Ice Blue Kool-Aid + ice). Fortunately when the Kool-Aid ran out, I had gotten more frozen fruit and orange juice :)

On Elsa's suggestion, I tried making a red bean drink with the blender. Ordinarily, you have to boil the red beans for like 2-3 hours (maybe more) until they become soft, so it's not something you can just do on a whim (like if you want red bean at midnight).

The idea here is to grind up the red beans so they cook faster. I blended the beans with a bit of water and it was kinda weird. Beans were just flying everywhere inside the jar. Then I boiled it in a pot for maybe 10-15 min. and added sugar. Added ice to cool it down (not supposed to put boiling water in the blender, at least my instruction manual said so) and re-blended to make an icy (I prefer red bean cold).

About to blend

It was kinda frothy after blending and not so icy as most of the ice melted

It was decent, not amazing. I prefer red beans in their whole form as opposed to their blended form. Plus, I think I over cooked the red beans a bit, so it was kinda mushy. My next experiment is to make a pot of red bean and blending just the liquid + ice and then adding the beans to the mix. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Best Idea EVER

Many years ago there was some guy. That guy had a vision. He took two of the world's great foods, tacos and salad, and combined them to make one of the most tastiest meals ever.. the taco salad. My friends, tonight I had a similar vision. I took two more of the world's great foods, spaghetti and sandwiches, and combined them. I have to admit I didn't expect much, but the result was surprisingly tasty. And so, I would like to present to you.. THE SPAGHETTI SANDWICH!!! (da da daaaaaaaaa)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Beersteak Fajitas!

Hey folks. I made myself some fajitas the other night for dinner. They were tasty! I was all pro about it too, marinading the steak beforehand, slicing up some onions and red pepper, grating some cheese. Don't be surprised if you see me on iron chef pretty soon. Anyways, I documented the procedure with photos for your viewing pleasure.

The ingredients for the marinade: Beer, spicy death sauce, and a tiny bit of oil.

I had a minor crisis when trying to open the beer can... the tab broke off!! Not good at all. It was almost a major tragedy, but fortunately I was able to macguyver my way in.

This is what the marinade looked like. Kinda brown and gross looking, but whatever. I wasn't worried.

I dumped the steaks in the marinade and left them to soak in the fridge for several hours.

Several hours later I grilled the steaks on the BBQ. Hooray for BBQ's!

I fried up some onions and red peppers and I put a bit of the leftover marinade in for good measure. Let me tell you, if you've never fried up onions in beer and hot sauce before, it smells AMAZING! Combined with the smell of steak wafting in from the balcony I was like whoa man.... whoa.

And then my camera battery died, so unfortunately I don't have a picture of the finished product. I assure you though that it was quite tasty looking. I think I've discovered that I like cooking, especially with beer! ;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Beer & Cheese Soup

Today I came home from work and for some reason I had a desire to make some beer & cheese soup. I've only actually had it once or twice before, but I always remember it being tasty. I also enjoy the fact that it has beer in it. After a quick recipe search in google, I discovered that I already had most of the ingredients! Hooray! I used a variation of this recipe. Some ingredients I didn't have, so I substituted others. Also, I'm not a big fan of measuring, so I kind of eyeballed some stuff.

The first thing to do was to saute some onions and celery. I'm not 100% sure on what saute means. I think it means to fry up whatever it is you are sauteing in oil or margerine or whatever, so that's what I did.

I didn't have any celery, so I used half of a hot pepper that I had in the fridge.

The next step was to add some flour and garlic salt and some other spices to the mix. Garlic salt I could understand, but I was kinda doubtful about the flour. I've never heard of flour going into a soup before, and it seemed like I was supposed to add a lot, but I thought what the hey, I'll try it. What else am I going to use my flour for anyways?

This is what things looked like after I added the flour and garlic salt. My doubts at this time were increasing. If anything I thought I was going to have a messy pot to clean up afterwards.

Next was to add some chicken stock and the cheese. The recipe called for 8 oz of cheese. I wasn't too sure how much this was, so I just grated half a brick. You can never have too much cheese, that's what I say.

It was starting to look like soup, but it there were still some pretty big clumps of stuff in the bottom. It was kinda like melty cheese-flour porridge with yellow chicken liquid on top.

The final ingredient: a can of beer.

This is what it looked like after adding the beer. It got all foamy and wierd looking. At this point I was like "oh crap.. I've wasted a beer" Things eventually settled down though and after a few minutes of boiling the foam and the melty cheese flour clumps went away and it actually looked like soup.

The finished product. It was actually not bad. The first few spoonfuls were pretty tasty, but after awhile I realized it was a bit heavy on something. I'm thinking either garlic salt or flour or both. It was pretty filling too, I was stuffed after the one bowl. I have some leftover, and I'm hoping it will taste even better in a day or two. I think that's how it usually works with soup type things. If not then I'll just add more beer when I reheat it. Can't go wrong there ;)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Shake Shake Shake

I unpacked my blender last weekend. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to attempt to make the ultimate milkshake. I haven't made a lot of milkshakes, and I've only really used a blender a handful of times, so I wasn't too confident in my shake making abilities. It turned out alright though. Here is a visual record of the event:

The first ingredient: Milk, a vital component of any milkshake.

The second incredient: Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream

The third ingredient: Oreo cookies. (I would have used more, but there were only 3 left)

The secret ingredient: It's a secret ;)

View from the top: Pre-blending

View from the top: Post-blending

The milkshake turned out alright. It was pretty tasty, however it was a bit too liquidy. I think next time less milk and more ice cream. I'll let you know how it goes.