Sunday, November 23, 2008

Egg Nests

Want a quick, easy and delicious breakfast?
Do what I just did...make some egg nests.
For 1 person, take an english muffin, 2 slices of good black forest ham (shaved thinly), 2 eggs, 2t of cream and a pinch of basil. Basil and cream are the key - don't skip that part...
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 2 slightly oiled muffin pan holes with the ham a muffin-paper of ham. Crack an egg into each of the ham-cups (mmmmm...hamcups), put a teaspoon of cream on top of each, with a pinch of basil and bake about 15 minutes until the whites are set, and the yolks are half set (or longer if you like hard yolks). Toast and butter your english muffin, set it open faced and place the 2 egg nests on top of the halves.
Sounds simple, but the flavours work together to be absolutely delicious.
Perfect for a lazy weekend or holiday breakfast...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feel Like Chicken Tonight?

Or beets, or carrots or figs?

Like many working class people, I usually cook an evening meal with the next days mid-day meal in mind. Boredom and revulsion with and toward ones own cooking can quickly ensue so there is a need to experiment and try new things regularly. Chicken, rice and roasted veggies. Sounds potentially boring, but the meal I made last night was quite exciting and was even more so today.

The essentials:
-Two chicken thighs. (skinless in my case)
- Chioggia beets (also known as candystripe or bull's eye beets) and eastern carrots. (purple, white, yellow and red in colour)
- 2 cups brown rice.

Put the vegetables and fresh chopped parsley in an oven pan and rub them in olive oil, dark balsamic vinegar along with black pepper/grains of paradise, a small amount of smoked paprika and halved dried figs. I set my oven for 375° and usually roast for at least 50 minutes. Your oven is probably different so adjust accordingly.
I took two cups of long grain brown rice and cooked it in 3 cups of water and tossed in about 2 1/2 tblsp of white balsamic vinegar and a pinch of course salt. Cook that until done and keep it separate.
As for the chicken, I sauteed two cloves of crushed garlic and 1/2 of a naga pepper together in a small bit of olive oil. I then sautee the chicken and add a marinade of this description:

- 1/8 of a cup of red wine (I have been drinking Malbecs from Argentina of late)
- 1/8 of a cup of dark balsamic vinegar
- 1/16 a cup of water (something like that, what the hell do I remember about fractions?)
- 1 tblsp of honey
- 1 tsp of Dutch cocoa (although I would use another variety of cocoa for the health benefits, as the Dutch process apparently destroys the antioxidants I was hoping for)

Shake this all up quite well and add to the pan once the chicken has been seared on both sides. How much you use is up to you, I used it all. I also sprinkled ground grains of paradise over top.
The sweetness of the roasted vegetables really compliments the robust, dry, hot flavour of the chicken and the generally neutral flavoured rice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stay tuned to this station for an important update

After consulting with the leaders of the world and my advisors (J and Magnus) I've figured out the new name for things around here. Thing is...I need a few days to tweak the logo and all that come around and see the new digs in a while. I just need an hour or so of free time to do this...he heh...yeah...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's in a name...

I've had many people tell me they think that the blog name Food Whore is a bit too...well...something. Enough people to make me think "hmmmm...perhaps the name has gone off and I should pick out a fresh one."
I wanted to put in words my desperate love of cooking and love of food.
Any suggestions for an alternate?
I can't call it the Bacon Queen, as my good friend Magnus is also cowriter here, and he is not the Bacon Queen (my nickname) and is decidedly straight, so that won't work.

I'm trying to think of another name...suggestions?
Possibly involving muffins....

Winner gets some.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

I am the Queen of Pancakes.
It is true…I've often thought of getting an apron printed up…I love pancakes. I always make them from scratch and I diddle with recipes until they are fluffy delicious perfection. Most of my favourite recipes for pancakes come from The Joy of Cooking…their regular pancake mix is great and there is a multigrain pancake with honey in it that is fluffy and delicious. How It All Vegan has a deadly banana pancake recipe too…but I digress…

I had leftover buttermilk from the derbies I had to use up, so I took out my trusty cooking bible and hunted for buttermilk pancakes…and found this recipe. Blueberry buttermilk cornmeal pancakes…with a touch of lemon. These are now my favourite pancakes…and that is saying something…they are fluffy, yet the cornmeal gives a slight crunch to them…and the slight lemon zing just puts it over the top into decadence. You almost don't need syrup for these…
Make them yourself this weekend. I know it looks daunting, what with all the egg separation and whisking but let me tell you…a better pancake you will not ever have. Not even my Grandma's were this good…and she's the one who got me started on this pancake obsession in the first place.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Joy of Cooking

Whisk together in a bowl:
1 c flour
½ c yellow cornmeal
¼ c sugar
1 ¼ t baking powder
¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt

Whisk together in another bowl:
1 ¼ c buttermilk
4 T melted butter (1/2 stick)
2 large egg yolks
1 ½ t finely grated lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)

Pour the wet over the dry and gently mix them together until just combined.
Beat the 2 egg whites until the peaks are stiff but not dry and then fold into the batter.
Finally, fold in 1 c blueberries.

Spoon ~1/3 batter onto a hot oiled griddle per pancake, nudging the batter into rounds. Flip when the top of the pancake is speckled with bubbles.
Serve with maple syrup if you have it.
You'll thank me for it... :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


A quick post to jot down a marinade that I have been using on chicken and pork. (one piece each time) I take about 1/8 of a cup of water mixed with 1/8 of a cup of red wine (Malbec from Argentina in this case) and stir it in with 1/2 a teaspoon of course sea salt. After the the salt has dissolved enough, I add a tablespoon of honey and a somewhat heaping teaspoon of smoked paprika and two dashes of ground grains of paradise. In the pan I have lightly sauteed one or two crushed cloves of garlic and some variety of hot pepper - I currently have serrano, habanero, naga and a couple of chipoltles. (also see the Scoville Scale) I don't allow the heat from the peppers to overwhelm the dish, just give it some kick. I know how much hot pepper is enough for me and for the dish at hand, but I suggest you learn the way I did: experiment.

- Magnus

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Let's party like it's my birthday

I made myself some tasty baking for my birthday.
LOTS of it.
Because I can.
So there.

At work, everyone has to bring their OWN cake on their birthday (you get what you like and noone is left out unless they want to be). I hummed and hawed and settled on making some spice cake derbies.
What is a derby you ask? Well, a few years ago I bought a make your own Twinkie set from a kitchen shop…It's called a "Cream Canoe" kit so they don't get sued, but is a really good pan -the pan has 8 canoe/twinkie spots in it and comes with an icing decorator/injector to fill them with any little flavoured filling that your little heart desires.
At the moment, my heart desires cream cheese icing.

I've tried vanilla derbies with lemon pudding inside, chocolate and almond with vanilla or Bailey's pudding inside…and thought some spice cake with cream cheese inside would rock the casba. I was actually going to cheat and buy a good spice cake recipe (layzee dayz) but I made this one.

When I first made derbies
, version 1 (vanilla cake with lemon curd filling), Magnus said I should call them derbies…after Rocky and Bullwinkle, when Bullwinkle was hypnotized to desire a hat ("derby…I must find derby…"). Magnus can do the Bullwinkle "derby" perfect…makes me snicker like a kindergarten student everytime. It stuck. They became derbies.
And they're relly worth all the effort. Unlike real twinkies they do not suck…and are totally customizable and pimpable.

Pimp my cupcake.
Aw man…if I get a cooking show, I totally want a baking segment called that.
ANYways….back to the cake.

I commandeered my favourite apple spice cake recipe from the Joy of Cooking - it makes exactly 1 pan worth of derbies (or a 9 inch round cake). I made the batter and sprinkled some diced apple and a few walnuts into the derby pans before I spooned in the batter. This is a nice spicy moist cake with no eggs. I've used splenda in this instead of sugar for a diabetic friend, and cheated with 1 c milk + 1 t vinegar when I had no buttermilk and it tastes great too. Odd, but doesn't matter…it just tastes all kinds of good.

Apple Spice Cake

Whisk together in a bowl:
1 ½ c flour
1 c brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t \cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
½ t allspice or cloves
½ t salt

Add and stir until just smooth:
1 c buttermilk
½ c oil
2 t rum (I add ~ ½ t rum flavour)
1 t vanilla

Stir in/sprinkle on top:
1 apple diced up small and ½ c chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans are all good)

Scrape into a greased and floured pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean (it may not look quite baked - don't let it fool you…) about 40-45 minutes for a 9x9 cake or ~18 minutes for the derby's or cupcakes. Tip derbies out of the pan onto a rack and let 'em cool completely.

Then I made some cream cheese icing - again the Joy of Cooking cream cheese icing recipe. The icing gods didn't smile on me so it's not as fluffy as it could be, but it tastes delicious...
8 oz light cream cheese (cold)
4 T butter/margarine (room temp)
2 to 2 ½ c icing sugar (to taste. I do ~2)
2 t vanilla
Use a food processor or the paddle on your mixer and beat together butter and cheese until smooth…don't overmix. Whip in vanilla and sugar. You can freeze this apparently, but I've always…um…eaten it all, so I can't say from experience if that is true. Eez good.

Usually I don't ice this cake as it rocks hard with disco lighting on it's own. But since I needed creamy filling for the derbies, this worked. I injected about 1 T worth of icing into each derby, in 3 injection spots…and they were most tasty. None were leftover…

Then there was the OTHER cake.

Heh heh.

I wanted to have something pumkininny for my birthday, and wanted to have it with family, so I tried making a pumpkin spice cake recipe gluten free to share with my brother and his wife…I used the Pumpkin Spice Cake I recipe from Allrecipes (A great recipe site). I have never made the cake before, but it looked pretty simple and looked moist enough to easily to convert to gluten free, if not slightly (OK pretty, bad) for you.

Pumpkin Spice Cake
1 c oil
3 eggs
1 (14 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 c white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used just over 2 c of gluten free…exact measurement is 2 1/8c (I ran out of flour just over 2 c so that was what I used…general rule is 7/8 c of gluten free flour for every regular cup of flour in a recipe)
1 t baking soda (if gluten free - use 1 ½ t - general rule is 1.5 x leavening)

1 t ground nutmeg
1 t allspice
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (or other nuts if you want)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease one 10 " bundt pan or a regular 9x13 pan. Because I used gluten free flour I went for the 9X13 pan, as I wasn't sure how it'd turn out. I usually dont' mess with a recipe until I've tried it first.

Cream oil, beaten eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together. (according to some commentors on the site, they subbed out ½ c oil for ½ c apple sauce and cut back sugar by ½ c and the cake was still good…again, next time).
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined (no worries about overmixing if gluten free flour). If desired, stir in nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 min in a 9x13 pan or 1 hour in a bundt pan until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool cake. Serve with either confectioner's sugar OR cream cheese icing. Or both .Y'know.

I used the same icing as for the derbies (just made twice as much). Originally I was going to ice it up with grey icing to make it look like Han Solo trapped in Carbonite (nerd!)…but in the end I just made 2 iced layers in a slightly misshapen but very delicious cake. I don't think I overbaked it too much (it's hard not to with a larger cake) so it was really good. I am tempted to replace some of the oil with applesauce and perhaps cut back the sugar next time…we'll see. I picked this cake mix for being moist…and it was. I always try something "as is" before I mess with it. I just wanted a cake we could all enjoy. And we all did.

Happy Halloween everyone!