Friday, June 27, 2008
It filled the house with wonderful scents of oregano and thyme...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Madcap Cupcake has some nice ideas for games... Here's another one:
1. Post the rules of the game at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog (OR do what I and my fellows before me did instead…see end of meme)
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
What were you doing five years ago?
I was in Raleigh, NC, finishing the first year of my PhD.
What are five things on your to-do list for today?
1) Feed the ants.
2) Pick up ceramics pieces from the studio.
3) Cook something for dinner.
4) Watch a movie.
5) Read "The Hatchback of Notre Dame" (difficult task!)
What are five snacks you enjoy?
2) Watermelon sorbet (or any kind).
3) Ants on a log.
4) Matza with Nutella and raspberry jam.
5) Think Thin bars (if I'm exercising later).
What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?1) Pay off family debts (there's a lot of that, unfortunately...)
2) I've always wanted to open a rehabilitation center for drug addicts. It would be in the mountains (because exercising helps release opiates I would take them mountain-climbing) and they would grow their own food and take care of abandoned animals.
3) I could do something similar for general homeless and battered wives.
4) Buy a small yacht and operate it as a tour yacht in the Galapagos - I will also be the guide! It will only accommodate up to 8 tourists at a time.
5) Convince world leaders to try peace and equality for a change (they should listen to me when I'm a billionaire, shouldn't they?)
What are five of your bad habits?
1) I tend to kill plants (not intentionally).
2) I’m a terrible driver.
3) Man I’m stubborn.
4) Inventing silly recipes (like banana quesadilla).
5) Sweet tooth. Big time.
What are five places where you have lived?
1) Dier al-Balah, the Gaza Strip
2) Jerusalem, Israel
3) Rehovot, Israel
4) Raleigh, NC
5) Tempe, AZ
What are five jobs you’ve had?
1) Night shift meal preparer in a 24-hr coffee shop/restaurant
2) Passport inspector
3) Translator (articles for students)
4) Assistant librarian
5) Stable cleaner
Five people I tag:
I'll just do what the madcap cupcake did:- so you are tagged if you want to be and…
1) You ate a cookie today (or at least craved one).
2) Your name starts with D.
3) You love the scent of a freshly opened container of coffee.
4) You think it's hot in Pheonix.
5) You live with one or more pets (or did in the past).
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Yes, he replied.
You're a treasure, said she, most people don't like to cook at all, they just eat out! (Maybe by "most people" she meant herself?)
What do you like to cook?
Breads, mostly, he said.
If that's not a validation, I don't know what is :)
Monday, June 16, 2008
It's just semolina flour and water, from what I understand. It was my job to cook it, and I'm afraid I overdid it. It was still good. The best thing about fresh homemade pasta is that leftovers are never dry - even if you just warm them up in the microwave (as we did on the weekend), they still taste just as fresh as on the first day!
On a different note, I was thinking of starting a new blog, for all the foods we make that are not breads. I realized that there's a lot of things we make that look really colorful and appetizing, and it seems such a shame they don't get to have their picture taken. Besides, with summer beginning and the AZ heat, baking may not be such a good idea...
So maybe this blog belongs there rather than here. :)
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Making it involved a bit of muscle work: a lot of stirring of dough that got progressively tougher as more flour was added. And then the eggy cream had to be constantly stirred so it won't get all chunky.
The cake had to sit for at least 8 hours, and I didn't know how that sitting would affect it exactly, so I was a bit anxious to see and hear people's reactions to it. Turns out sitting made the cake layers soft and smooth and the flavors all merged. It sliced beautifully, exhibiting nice layers (which are not easily seen in this fuzzy picture).
People liked it! I thought it was pretty good, though a bit too sweet for my taste (and I do have a sweet tooth!).
I wouldn't call it the best cake ever, but it was an interesting thing to try. Now I have to go to Prague and taste the real thing!
So we had homemade pasta for dinner!
We had some leftover spinach, but no ricotta, so instead of spinach ravioli, we had some green fettuccine.
One is supposed to chop the pasta in a food processor, which we don't have, so the consistency of the pasta is a bit chunky. Mark thought it tasted too eggy, so next time he will try to make it with less eggs.
The day after he made pretzels - his specialty! I decided that I wanted to have a pizza-style pretzel, so I topped it with tomato sauce, basil and cheese:
They're very good as-is, of course!
And last night we had to use some leftover yogurt pizza dough, but we didn't have any spinach, and we didn't have fresh mozzarella cheese, so I suggested a herb pizza with goat cheese:
Mmmm... the thyme and oregano scents that filled the house!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Instead, Mark made some blue buttermilk cornbread which turned out just perfect! Soft on the inside - not at all dry, and a bit crusty on the outside, and the yellow corn kernels (for lack of blue ones) add sweetness and juiciness. Great accompaniment to the leftover chili!
Mmm... It looks more blue in real life...
Monday, June 2, 2008
I was in Israel during my real birthday, and celebrated someone else's birthday instead (my cousin's son's Bar-Mitzva). Although another cousin of mine, Tally, baked me one of my favorite cakes (sweet bread with lots of chocolate), which was extremely nice of her, it was hardly a birthday celebration. It was a crazy day that started at 5:30 am with the Bar Mitzva party, continued with a trip to the desert and a visit to my cousin's, and ended at 11 pm, after a dinner with my uncles.
So Mark and I decided to celebrate it properly this past weekend, with a nice brunch at the Mandala Tearoom, a visit to the museum, and a cake baked especially for me by Mark.
It was hard to decide what to bake, but I finally decided he should make cinnamon rolls and peanut-butter-and-chocolate rolls. He made them using his regular cinnamon rolls recipe for the dough, but with buttermilk this time, which made the dough very soft and fluffy.
And today, we celebrated my birthday in the lab :)
Dani baked me a luscious mixed berry pie:
Can you see the ant?
It was a very nice birthday gathering, complete with singing candle that refuses to sing, a happy birthday song (which was weird for me not to join in) and presentations of travel pictures made by Kevin (a trip to France) and me.
Now I have no choice but to accept the fact that I'm a year older.
Not that the chili was so hard to make - it was actually quite easy. I did omit the garbanzo beans, for authenticity, though.
It's the piki that gave us trouble. That simple paper thin bread, of all things!
First of all, the recipes we found online call for juniper ash. Now where the heck can you find something like that? Fortunately, it can be substituted with baking soda. But what's the exchange rate? One place said 2 tbs per cup of cornmeal but that was way too much. The batter tasted like, well, baking soda, and it created gigantic bubbles in the bread after you pour it onto the hot griddle, resulting in multiple little separated islands of baking-soda-tasting mush.
So we tried again, this time with only 1 tsp per cup. That worked much better.
The amount of water to use was also a matter of trial and error, but I think Mark finally got it right, more or less. Of course, we can't say for sure, since neither of us has ever had it. But at least it resembled a thin paper, albeit a rather holey one.
By itself it doesn't taste like much, but with the chili it was nice. And most importantly, as Mark said, it made us feel "Indian", which was nicely complimentary to our visit to the North Scottsdale branch of the Heard.
I didn't care much for the tomatoes - they weren't as sweet as they're supposed to be, will probably be better to use those little sweet cherry tomatoes. But it still was very good - the crust crusty as ever, and the fresh mozzarella, with its pleasant texture but bland flavor, allows for the basil to shine.