bobcatmoran: The twins from Ouran, talking about robots and flowers (robot flowers)
My Brooklyn brother had moved again just this week, and Thanksgiving was at his new place, held with him, me, his roommates, and one of their friends. Good times all around. The new apartment is in a really cool building. It was apparently a former union hall back in the early 1900s, and it's in the process of being renovated to be fit for human habitation, so when I walked in the building, I was like, am I in the right place? as it was all half-plastered walls and an iron staircase that looked rather as though it hadn't received a coat of paint since the Truman administration. Once I got up to their floor, though, it was all newly fixed up and quite lovely. Also, they have access to a fabulous rooftop view of the Manhattan skyline.

Anyhoo, I tried out a couple new recipes this year, and thought I'd share them/archive them for next year, because they have a great ratio of effort:deliciousness.

Basic Cranberry Sauce

How to make pie crust without tearing your hair out
bobcatmoran: (al/toaster)
Ha! I am a genius! I figured out a way to make Cook's Illustrated's super-delicious pumpkin pie that still results in a silky-smooth filling but doesn't require the horrible, horrible step of forcing the entire piping-hot filling through a strainer. The secret: a food processor. Give the pumpkin-yam-spice mixture a whirl for a minute or so before cooking it and voilá! Sooo much easier.

Oddly enough, I got the idea from CI's earlier version of pumpkin pie, which suggests doing just this. Why on earth they opted for the laborious sieve over the food processor this time around is beyond me.

You can find the recipe here, should you care to make it. It's more complex than the recipie on the Libby's can of pumpkin, but it's also the tastiest pumpkin pie in the whole world, even when you cheat like I do and use a premade crust.
bobcatmoran: (al/toaster)
I have discovered delicata squash, and, lo, they are delicious and insanely easy to prepare. They're winter squash, but a lot easier to cut into than most winter squash — you don't need to break out the cleaver and rubber mallet for these. And as a bonus, the rind is edible. Just wash off the outside, chop in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, maybe cut into easier-to-manage bits, then drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Roast at 400° until soft and caramelized (about half an hour, depending on the size of your pieces). Eat.

Unfortunately, they don't keep as well as, say, acorn squash, so I fear their season is fast approaching an end.
bobcatmoran: (yay books)
I tried making The Pioneer Woman's sorta key lime pie. The "sorta" comes from the fact that it uses regular limes rather than key limes, which suits me just fine, as real key limes are about the size of large walnuts and a pain and a half to juice.

The amount of crust for this recipe is kind of ridiculous (which, to be fair, she totally mentions), but the filling is AMAZING. It's an incredibly limey firm custard that makes me think that this recipe could, with minimal adaptations, work as a key lime bar. I have a key lime bar recipe from Cook's Illustrated, and it's delicious (because it's, y'know, Cook's Illustrated, and they test every recipe to death before publishing it), but like a lot of Cook's Illustrated recipes, it's a lot of fuss to make. Plus, it doesn't cut into bars very neatly, while I've been able to slice through this pie without getting filling goop all over.

Also, making it gives me an excuse to put a bunch of graham crackers in a ziplock bag and then bash the hell out of them with my rolling pin, which is a terrible lot of fun. I suppose I could use a food processor (if I had one) to make the crumbs, but it's more fun and cathartic to do it manually.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
I'm listening to "Swan Lake" backwards (as in, last song first and first song last, not *really* backwards 'cuz that would sound like crap, and I like Tchaikovsky too much to do that to his music) and drinking made-from-scratch hot cocoa. I just recently started playing around with mixing my own cocoa, and I think I've found something really good.

Mix together in a large-ish mug: 3 Tbsp cocoa powder, about 1 3/4 Tbsp granulated sugar, and 3 Tbsp water until the cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Add 1 cup hot milk. Stir until blended. Drink right away while it's still hot! You can tweak the amount of sugar to suit your tastes. I like mine kind of on the bittersweet side.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
The chocolate shortbread turned out surprisingly well, considering that we've had a rather lousy track record with this cookbook (not entirely surprising, considering that it's painfully obvious that it's a UK cookbook with the measurements converted. Most recipes call for at least one ingredient, like self-rising flour, that's common on the other side of the pond, but not a pantry staple over here).

Anyway, here's the recipe hiding under a cut for the sake of your f-lists )
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Well, the good news is that I have mastered Proper Lifting Technique, so even after carting around several large, heavy boxes yesterday, my back doesn't hurt. The bad news is that my legs feel like somebody's been beating them with a big stick.

It's another week of trying new recipies for my sister and me. Last night we found a real winner. It's really easy and tastes wonderful.

Macaroni and Vegetables )

The recipie says it serves six, but that must be six awfully small people. We got about 3 1/2 servings out of it.
bobcatmoran: (Fics)
Well, it took me two years, but a few nights ago, I sat down and finally finished "Cookies of Chaos." Here's the entire thing. Hope y'all enjoy it.

Summary: This is why you should never let robots get bored. The robot masters are taking over Skull Castle’s kitchen in an attempt to make chocolate chip cookies. Chaos ensues.

It was a dark and stormy night… )

And, as a bonus, here's the recipie they were working from.
How to really make chocolate chip cookies )
bobcatmoran: (Default)
*kicks Gmail* Arrr! Work, you!

I'm trying to send a recipie to a couple of people from church who wanted to know how I made some very nummy brownies. I can't send it, though, if I can't access my e-mail account. :(

Well, at least I can share it with anyone reading this.

Oatmeal Brownies )
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Wow. The weather is absurd. It almost got up to 80° yesterday. At 9:15 pm yesterday, and it was still warm enough to be out in a 3/4 length sleeve blouse without a jacket. I drove home with the windows open, subjecting the local populace to OC Remixes. I went out on a bike ride this morning and it was GORGEOUS.

On a completely different note, the massive cooking experiment that was last week had quite a few successes. This was one of the easier-to-make ones.

Country Style Potato-Leek Soup )
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Took my little sister out for driving practice today, which was surprisingly low on stomping-on-the-imaginary-brake-pedal incidents. She's actually a way better driver than my brother, who's the sort that drives in a manner which , "You can't go thirty-five in the parking lot!"

I also made an extraordinarily yummy Thai stir-fry.

Recipe under the cut )
bobcatmoran: (Default)
In my opinion, in order to have a proper Christmas, you need to make cookies--absurd quantities of cookies so that you end up giving them to friends, neighbors, relatives, and random passers-by. It's a bit like zucchini in that way, only much more tasty.

This is one of my favorite recipies.

Little Gingersnaps )

The best thing about these is that you can get wildly creative with the shapes. One year, we made several French Revolution gingerbread men, women, and various animals, with guillotined heads.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Since about mid-June, I've been baking my own bread, partially because it's a bit cheaper, but mostly because it give me something to do and it's really fun and satisfying (although at 6000 feet, stuff tends to rise really fast, so you need to keep an eye on it). I tried something a bit different this week and made pitas from a recipe my sister sent me. They're really yummy! This recipe has directions for both flat and pocket pitas.

Here's the recipe )

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