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CookOrDie last Saturday: Decadent Dessert party

| cooking, cookordie, friends, party

I confess: I threw a dessert party just to have an excuse to bake more

You see, I'm a social chocolate eater. Knowing it to be one of my
weaknesses, I try not to have chocolate unless I have company. And as
9×13 pans result in a _lot_ of brownies, I absolutely must have
friends over if I'm going to even think of baking.

So I did. Dan Howard, Quinn Fung and Jedediah Smith came over. We had this absolutely
decadent dessert: freshly-baked double-chocolate brownies topped with
French vanilla ice cream and hot fudge bought especially for the occasion.

As a concession to healthy eating, we followed it with pineapple
chunks and loose-leaf green tea. (I've graduated to loose-leaf tea!
With a tea ball! Proper.)

Now _that's_ a terrific way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Kelly blogged about brownie sundaes. I _so_ want to have a Sundae Sunday now, complete with whipped cream and a light dusting of chocolate shavings or almond slivers or toasted rice or _something_ equally indulgent…

Life is so much better when you know how to make dessert.

CookOrDie: Danger, Will Robinson!

Posted: - Modified: | cookordie

Uh oh.

I now know how to bake brownies from scratch, and I can make them as moist and chocolatey as I want.

I have vanilla ice cream in the freezer.

I am so dead.


IF I promised a tray of chocolatey desserts for a potluck dinner at 7:00,
AND I have enough ingredients to bake a second batch of brownies…

Don't even think about it, Sacha. That way lies danger.

They won't mind if I try a bit of it first.

Maybe a bit more.


CookOrDie: Bacon, eggs and toast

| cooking, cookordie

I think I've figured out a neat way to store bacon. If you roll slices
up individually and loosely pack them into a plastic container,
they're easy to break off even when frozen. I think it's because you
minimize the contact points between each slice, whereas freezing it as
an entire slab requires you to hack parts off. To unroll, microwave
the bacon until soft (30 seconds?), unwind, and cook as normal.

This means that I can have bacon and eggs for breakfast practically
any time I want, which *might* not be a good thing. <laugh>

In other news, lunch today will be some kind of cold chickpea salad. I
soaked the chickpeas yesterday and then boiled them in my rice cooker
while having breakfast. They turned out nicely cooked, and I didn't
even have to pay attention to them. Neat.

More cooking misadventures

CookOrDie: Vegetarian virtues

Posted: - Modified: | cooking, cookordie

After quite a hiatus from CookOrDie blogging because I'd either been
eating out or cooking simple things, I decided to experiment a bit
today. I had leftover vegetables from Saturday's barbecue, so I
broiled them. The mushrooms got special treatment, courtesy of a
recipe suggestion from the Joy of Cooking: I tossed them with garlic
and olive oil, and _then_ I broiled them. Wonderful stuff. Zucchini,
green pepper, red pepper, and portobello mushrooms. I rounded off
dinner with corn on the cob. Yum yum!

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the eggplant…


| cooking, cookordie, friends

When Steve called me up on my cellphone at around 8:00 and said only
“Help!”, I panicked and nearly fell off my bed. I slipped into my
kimono and went to the second floor only to find that he had conned me
out of bed in order to surprise me with pancakes for breakfast. How

When I learned that he was actually still okay and in one piece, my
non-morning-ness reasserted itself. He was so cheerful, though, that I
couldn't help but wake up – and the honey-lemon tea certainly helped
restore my voice. He wanted help cooking the rest of the pancakes so
that they didn't turn out like crepes, though, so I added more mix to
the batter and poured out neat little silver-dollar pancakes. I'm
getting better at them – I burned only two this time!

Hooray for instant pancake mix. Yes, I know, pancakes are so easy to
make from scratch, yada yada, but the recipe requires a whole egg, and
that's hard to divide. =)

It was very nice of Steve to surprise me with breakfast. I usually try
to wake him up and cook breakfast. He doesn't have an alarm clock
right now and he doesn't wake up to his cellphone, so a human without
a snooze button can be pretty effective. Besides, it's a good way to
force myself out of bed. <grin>

Ay, friends… what would life be without them?

Chicken breasts marinated in red wine vinegar

Posted: - Modified: | cooking, cookordie

I invited myself over to Quinn Fung‘s place for dinner. <laugh> She had a mac and cheese casserole, so I prepared chicken breasts marinated in red wine vinegar. I didn't get to marinade them for long enough, I think, but I could taste a bit of the tartness of vinegar. It worked out pretty well. I wonder how white wine vinegar would work with it?

I splurged on the Joy of Cooking book yesterday, and this was the
first time I used it. The basic recipe for sauteed chicken breast
called for the chicken breasts to be lightly salted, peppered, and
floured. I added rosemary, too. I browned some butter and mixed in
some olive oil on a skillet, then added the chicken breasts and cooked
them for four minutes on one side at medium-high heat. Then I flipped
them and cooked them for another three minutes. I was worried that I
might've burnt the chicken because it was a bit black, but it turned
out nice, juicy, and cooked through.

Level up!

Quinn's place is pretty nice. I like high ceilings. We had a lot of
fun chatting after dinner, too, and she gave me several ideas for a
few parties I'd like to hold sometime.

Comfort food: SPAM

Posted: - Modified: | cooking, cookordie

Here's incongruity for you: jasmine rice and SPAM. Yes, rice is rice,
but jasmine rice is soft and fluffy and sticky and wonderful, and SPAM
is SPAM. But SPAM is one of my comfort foods, and today I just didn't
have the energy to cook anything fancier. Ah, SPAM. SPAM reminds me of
breakfast at home – fried rice, fried eggs and SPAM, SPAM, SPAM…