Sunday, November 23, 2008

shredded brussels sprouts and apples

First of all, I think it actually turned out okay. I am always apprehensive when trying out a new recipe, especially when it says things like "serve immediately" because the taste apparently goes off if left sitting for even ten minutes. No pressure. But it was colourful, and looked fresh, and was a really great combination of fall flavours.

The full recipe is from 101 cookbooks, btw.

Let's see, then. Recipe debrief, as it were.

The recipe calls for juice of one lemon, and I always forget that this particular author likes to do everything from scratch. The lemon juice is basically to keep the apples from going brown before you cook them, so juice of one fresh lemon, with the attendant squeezing, reaming and stinging fingers, is probably not 100% necessary. Two or three tablespoons of lemon juice out of a bottle would have sufficed. I figured this out after I'd reamed the thing, though. Brilliant.

I did do the tofu, as I had a slab of it in the freezer. Only used a third. It cooked up very nicely from frozen, and with the frying, garlic and maple syrup, had a wonderful, delicate flavour. I would definitely do that again. I might make the cubes a little tinier. They were also a little bit chewy, which means I slightly overcooked them.

The pan was too hot when I added the maple syrup, but I managed to pull things off the heat quickly enough that the syrup and garlic didn't burn. Mixed that all up, added the apples (which only cook enough to be hot through, not mushy) and then pulled all that and cooked up the sprouts.

Remembered at that point that I'd forgotten to toast pine nuts. That went really quickly though, so that was good...

And voila! It was pretty tasty. I don't see myself doing it regularly, but I would definitely make it again for lunch. I don't think it would work for a large group for dinner, for example, because of the fast turnaround time for serving. But for lunch again, I would definitely try it, even with the sprouts. fishy also suggested a variation with walnuts and cinnamon, which I imagine would be quite tasty.

adventures in the kitchen

I have two posts I really want to do. Both of them require photos of current projects. Not difficult to do... just haven't gotten around to that. So instead I will point you in this direction, to a recipe that I am going to attempt to make for lunch.

I am waffling on the tofu, but seriously... fried in garlic and oil and maple syrup? Even tofu should be delicious after that.

What I am trying to do here is introduce myself to brussels sprouts in a way that I will enjoy. Fried in oil seems like the way to go.

I've also put on a slow-cooker tortilla soup for supper. I am a little concerned that it is nearly an hour later and the soup is still cool. It is supposed to cook on low for eight hours. I got a little
anxious and turned it up. Likely I will overcook it now...

Friday, November 7, 2008

feed the birds

I have birds. Lots of birds.

The list for today:
  • House sparrows
  • Starlings
  • Goldfinches
  • White-throated sparrows
  • House finches
  • Chickadees
  • Blue jays
  • Cardinals
  • White-breasted nuthatches
  • Downey woodpecker
  • Mourning dove
  • Juncos
The joint is jumping. Which makes me quite happy, of course. It's fun to watch the finches try to figure out the finch feeder, too -- they have to hang upside-down to get the seed, which goldfinches (and I believe house finches) can do. The goldfinches have got it for sure. Haven't seen anyone else attempt it yet. It's niger seed, so not too many birds are all that keen on it, other than the finches.

I put up the suet when I saw the nuthatches. So far the house sparrows are hogging it, but I did see the downey woodpecker working on it earlier.

Christmas Bird Count season is coming up, too, and barring a nasty virus like Eric and I had last year, we're going to be heading out to our usual area in St. Catharines and having a blast. It's the weekend after I am done school for good, so that's awesome.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

and when I wake up in the morning, will things still be the same?

What a night. I am... really? I think I might actually be hopeful.

I wonder if this will translate into true change. I can listen to Obama and believe it and be hopeful. We will have to see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

geek pumpkins

For the librarians out there:


And tasty. I made two sets of toasted pumpkin seeds with the innards of these pumpkins, following recipes from 101 Cookbooks. The curried pumpkin seeds are extremely tasty, but the sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds were undercooked. I expect I could re-toast them, but I haven't yet. The curried pumpkin seeds were in the oven for 15 minutes or more, being checked every minute after 13 minutes.