Friday, April 23, 2010

Grocery-Shopping Tip: Butter Up Your Freezer

I've written about my reliance on frozen peas on more than one occasion. Another staple of my freezer: unsalted butter. I can't emphasize this tip enough: When butter goes on sale at your local supermarket, stock up and stack the boxes in your freezer. They'll keep for a good year at least (I wouldn't really know; mine never last that long). You can quickly and easily defrost individual sticks of butter in the microwave. (I don't have one, but I'm told this.)

This is an especially good thing to do in the month or two before the holiday season, or if you have a birthday cake to make -- you'd be surprised how many sticks of butter you can go through making Christmas cookies or frosting.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Potato Pancake Birthday, Brooklyn Girl Cooking!

Today is Kitty's Birthday! and although I didn't get to celebrate with her in person today, we will be seeing each other this weekend.

BUT- in honor of her love for potatoes, I made potato pancakes!

I grated 3 potatoes and a half an onion into a bowl, and then squeezed the excess liquid from the grated potato and onion using a cheesecloth

I added 2 eggs, some minced garlic (because i pretty much add garlic to everything), ~tsp of salt, ~tbsp of flour and ~2 tsps curry powder (I don't always measure exactly, and in this type of recipe, the eggs and flour act as good binders, so a little extra flour won't hurt)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken Marsala, Sorta

This recipe came about at the suggestion of Rob, who requested "Chicken Marsala over egg noodles.” Though I didn't follow a proper recipe for it, we were both very happy with the resulting dish.

Here's my non-authentic (primarily because I didn't use Marsala wine) version of Chicken Marsala (serves 2, multiply as desired):

  • Take thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets and slice them in half lengthwise. Put these in a Ziploc bag containing about a half-cup of flour, and a healthy pinch each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil if you have it.
  • Sunday, April 18, 2010

    A Simple Spring Salad

    This was a very lovely and delicious spring salad that I served with a lemon vinaigrette (Vinaigrette 101 coming soon, trust) and, at the request of The Rob, an on-the-fly version of Chicken Marsala (recipe also coming soonhere -- it turned out DE-LI-cious).

    It goes without saying that you can vary the ingredients and/or proportions of any salad recipe--this one is really just a springboard for ideas a step beyond the standard lettuce-and-tomatoes formula.

    In particular, it being spring, I was excited to use peas in a salad, even if they were frozen rather than fresh. If you have access to fresh peas this (or any) spring, say, at your local farmers' market, ZOMG you must try them--you can get shelled ones or do the tedious shelling in front of the TV, and the taste and texture are to frozen peas as home-grown tomatoes' are to supermarket ones'. They will erase any memory of negotiating with your mom about how many more withered little khaki pellets you had to swallow before leaving the table.

    Anyhoo, here's what I combined in this spring salad, for two people (multiply as desired, with the proportions to taste):

    Saturday, April 17, 2010


    Last week I headed down to Tampa, FL to visit my fantastic sister who was freshly home from an overseas deployment. A few weeks before my trip, I was reading through an issue of Bon Appetit, and saw that during the weekend I would be down in Florida, the 2010 Gulfcoast Rhythm & Rib Fest would be taking place in Palmetto. I confirmed with Annie that Palmetto isn't a prohibitive distance from Tampa, and we were in!

    I have only recently (in the past few years) experienced ribs. Some good friends of mine here in Brooklyn are pretty astute barbecuers and smokers, and I have had the good fortune to be included in the "I've had ribs on the smoker since 10 am, come over and bring beer" call-to-action texts that circulate before spontaneous summer barbecues.

    As a kid, I don't recall ever eating ribs, so I was excited to take my newly acquired appreciation for ribs to the Rib Fest and see what different Rib Masters had to offer.

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Veggie Rage

    Hey everyone, did you know that Chef Boyardee has a full serving of vegetables?

    Actually, Ragu does too!

    Also providing alternative options for servings of fruits and vegetables are V8 and Fruit2Day.

    Thank goodness our national nightmare of having to eat vegetables is over! It's hard to express what a nuisance it is to clean, prepare, cook, and then *actually chew* individual servings of vegetables. Overwhelming even.

    Okay, maybe you are getting my sarcasm here, but I have a deep-seated rage against this new trend towards tricking people into consuming vegetables, "hiding" vegetables in other food vehicles, and designating fruit juice as a veggie allowance to get around the challenge of eating vegetables. What it comes down to is that I don't get it. Am I that much of a freak that I really enjoy vegetables? I like them raw, steamed, grilled, sauteed. I like them as a side dish, snack or main meal. I like them on a house and with a mouse... and okay, you get it.

    But my point is that vegetables can be such an enormous pleasure precisely because of the variety of options that they afford (as opposed to pasta and sauce, pre-packaged by Ragu and Chef Boyardee, that scream bordeom and monotony to me).

    So in order to tackle this "anti-veggie" rage, I will be posting about my veggie love affairs, and I figured why not tackle one of the most maligned veggies first?
    Yes, I am talking about Brussels Sprouts!