Yummy Idea.. Thanks, The Chew!

From Carla Hall, on The Chew:

Lemon Oil
– One whole lemon; she says to use everything, except for the part that was connected to the branch of the tree.

– 1 cup olive oil

– Salt, to taste

Throw everything in the blender, and blend until combined.

BAM! You just saved +$10!!

Thanks, Carla =D!!!

Advertisements

Yo-Ghurt

Being lactose intolerant sucks. It’s terrible.

Luckily, I found out recently that there are ways to get around this *minute* issue.

(Secret food clubs, you’ve got nothing on me now!)

Probiotics and I are BFFLs now.

Or, instead of milk, there’s goat, almond, Lactaid, hemp, coconut, buffalo, etc. etc.

– Goat cheesecake, from the Surf Spot in Pacifica

– Green Valley’s line of lactose-free yogurts, cream cheese, and sour cream

– And now, this glorious company called NOOSA.

Unfortunately, I do not have a container of that heavenly goodness with me, seeing as my father also loves their yoghurt. I would like to say that yogurt is spelled with an h, because they’re English, or just really pretentious, but I can’t verify that yet. I’ll update ASAP.

20130801-205508.jpg

I love strawberry rhubarb pie. That was the first pie I ever made, from scratch, latticed crust and all.

NOOSA’s version of Strawberry Rhubarb….is like a thick, double-whipped, extra firm pillow, with a cool summer cool-down taste. That sentence may be a terrible use of English, but I could eat that entire container, and that isn’t healthy, but will I close my eyes after each spoonful, and hum contentedly?

Possibly.
Maybe.
There’s a high chance of that, but you’ll never know, unless you’re in front of me, with a camera in my face.
I might also smack said camera with my spoon, before I scoop more NOOSA onto it.

All Vinegar Is Not The Same

I moved to SoCal a couple of weeks ago, because I needed a change of scenery.

Living in LA is different than San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz.

My parents have been kind, and I’m living with them for now, because I’m hunting for a job or two. I’ve applied to a few places, and have gotten interviews, but no calls back.

While that’s been happening, for dinner tonight, I decided to cook 3 poached eggs.

Since there is a severe lack of ingredients here, I thought that if I substituted apple cider vinegar for distilled white vinegar that the egg whites wouldn’t spread out all over the place.

Well, I was wrong.

20130801-203721.jpg

The camera would have had steam covering it, preventing me from taking a photo, had I taken it while it was cooking. As you can see in the bowl, though, is are the whites went everywhere. They decided to take a short night trip to the every part of the pot.

Yes, I did not crack the eggs on the edge of the hot pot, and drop them into the boiling water. I couldn’t use a bowl to introduce the eggs into the water; the pot is a small one. I improvised, and cracked each egg in a small coffee mug, then dipped part of the mug into the water, easing each egg into the water. I did break the yolk of the last egg.

The lesson learned today: I will go and buy distilled white vinegar.

So Not Pho-bulous..

I love Trader Joe’s. I do, I do, I doooooo!!!

BUT.

Their Asian food is failing, HARD.

I used to think it was decent, that I could get by with it if need be.

Now, I just want to drop kick it out the window…
…but that’s littering, and not very nice.

So I’ll use my words instead, along with visuals/photos/Vines!!!

First off, 4/10. Now diving into the matter deeper:

20130723-142134.jpg

Pros
1. It’s quick. Stick it in the microwave, and in 6 minutes, you’ve got faux (intentionally wrong word).
2. If you want something small, this’ll match you need.
3. There are vegetables in it, albeit soggy ones.

Cons
1. Okay, the first thing that bothered me was the wording on the box, “a Vietnamese style recipe”. WTF IS THAT.

How hard is it to find/consult a Vietnamese chef, and have *them* sample the product, BEFORE it is mass produced!??!!?

2. It’s TOO SMALL. Before I microwaved this, there’s a rolled mass of rice noodles, that looks like it amounts to 1/4 cup.

As an Asian woman, I am offended. Noodles and rice are my life.

3. SOGGY VEGETABLES. Not only is the broth *terribly* underwhelming, no tang, no soul, no substance to it, THERE ARE VEGETABLES.

WHY.

If you go to a Vietnamese restaurant, any of them, even that one down the street that waters down their broth, there are no green onions/scallions, red bell peppers, grilled-ish onions, and *julienned carrots* in the bowl, EVER.

What they *do* give you is a plate, which is garnish, to help *accent/bring out* the flavors of/in the broth. Thai basil, bean sprouts, jalapeño slices, occasionally cilantro, and lemon/limes slices. There’s also hoisin sauce, sriracha, and soy sauce on the table, but I’m going beyond my point.

4. Something that I almost missed was the cut of ‘beef’ including in this “bowl” of pho.

5-7 of over-cooked, fatty, 2-inch pieces of BLEEP. Not thinly cut steak, not brisket, not beef balls.
Just BLEEP.

The point is WHY IS THIS PRODUCT SO TERRIBLE!???

I associated Trader Joe’s with good quality food, and their Asian food has *seriously* been lacking that.

I don’t know when they stopped having taste testers, but I would like them to hire them back, particularly me, because not only do I need a job, *hint, hint, nudge, nudge*, I would my small amount of money allotted for food each month not to be wasted.

Again, WHAT IS THIS SHIZZ!?!????

20130723-143524.jpg

TAKE OUT THE DAMN VEGETABLES.
I KNOW YOU ALL LIKE COLOR, BUT NO.

#insulted

T Pumps, After Pho #2!

After the redemption of my belief in pho, my friend tried to one up the night, and fix my issues with boba.

Here are my main problems:

1. The tapioca balls are slimey, over-cooked, or not cooked enough.
2. The tea is over-brewed, and I can taste the tannins awakening.
3. There is waaaaaaaay too much sugar/sweet. I like settleness.
4. Too many tapioca balls!

T Pumps is located, also on Irving, between 20th and 21st. My friend and I really did just walk ‘down the street’.

Luckily, we finished dinner early, according to a hypothetical California dinner time standard, a little before 8 PM on a Saturday, and walked over. The line is normally out the door, and down the block, but it was only to the door. I picked a reliable basic, green tea honey, and my friend got a milk tea boba.

While we were waiting in line, he told about this place, and how there are only 2 locations, here and in San Mateo, where the first store opened. The owner reached instant success, but it hit him too fast. He wasn’t ready to deal with it, and the quali-TEA plummeted. My friend believes that with the 2 stores, the quality has come back to about 60%, and might stay there, and possibly grow, if the popularity continues.

Anyway, here’s the thing, though: There are 2 different sizes at this place, 24 oz & 32 oz. Small and Large, no in-between. I spent about $7.50 for both; that’s pretty damn inexpensive! And, they have an option of making your drink sweet, super sweet, or just ridiculously sweet. I went with normal…

…And we waited about 10 minutes, and in that amount of time, we people watched, and the line grew out the door. My friend wasn’t kidding when he said that this place was legitimate!

Instead of the tops being sealed with a sheet of thin plastic, and the logo of the place, it was like a SOLO cup soda top, except you could use a boba straw to open it. I know this sounds silly, but my straw tip didn’t get ruined by me stabbing open the top; that’s a big deal to me, because I was giving boba a second chance.

I look at my drink, and yes, it was green tea, and there wasn’t too much boba at the bottom. It was just enough, and cooked right. While I was drinking the drink, I got 4-6 boba bubbles in the straw, spaced out in-between sips. And the tea was brewed correctly, not watery tasting, and no taste of tannins. My only issue was that I thought that my drink was border-lining on too sweet, and I chose the lightest level of sweetness possible! Good to know, for the future!

Seems like I like boba again….but grass jelly, and probably lychee, you two have lost me forever!

XD

Pho Huynh Hiep #2

So, I’ve been catching up with things.

And you probably feel abandoned, friends.

WELL I’M HERE TO STAY, SO HOLD ONTO YOUR SIPPY CUPS, ‘CAUSE IT’S GONNA GET QUICK XP

I haven’t been out of the apartment for a while, but decided to text a friend who said he was back in town. Frankly, I was surprised to get an answer within 10 minutes of me texting him.

He suggested a new pho place, considering the one I went to last, that he recommended to me, served me a bowl of soup that had THREE HAIRS IN IT. So DO NOT go to Pho Huynh Hiep #3 in Daly City.
I think we can agree that that type of “extra protein” is not the kind of protein that we want to eat….

Pho Huynh Hiep #2, also known as Kevin’s Noodle Place, is located on Irving Street, between 19th and 20th, in the Outer Sunset. They have a very quick turn-around; my friend and I ordered, and the guy brought us our pho in less than 10 minutes. Now that’s awesome!!!

USE THE GARNISH YOU’RE GIVEN!!!! Put the basil in your soup, with whatever else is in that Small, Medium, or Large bowl you’ve now got in front of you, and the bean sprouts. Squeeze the lime over the soup, and try to not slosh everything out of the bowl; store GENTLY!!!

I still with my usual, thinly sliced steak, with extra noodles. Hoisin sauce and sriracha are added, for taste; the steak was a bit dry. The lime helps to bring out the broth flavors.

AND, no hairs in my bowl!!!

Definitely going back here XD

Dietary Restrictions: Part One

Hi! I’m alive, I promise!

Update:

I’ve been keeping my living space clean, keeping my personal demons/demonesses in-check, still looking for jobs, and internships,

AND

I’m ONE class away from competing the Social Media Certificate from San Francisco State University’s Downtown Campus!

WOO!

I’ll have TWO pieces of paper, that educationally official XD!

It feels like I have a better shot at getting a job, with the certificate, than my degree…..Sad?

A UC Education? $120,000
VERSUS
A CSU Certificate? $2,000

…………Yeah, it is XP

ANYWAY, to more tasty matters!

I have a small, tiny, enny, beany, problem. I’m lactose intolerant.

This means that having a glass of milk is a 120% NO-NO.
Or ice cream, or gelato, or eclairs, or cannolis, or anything that have milk or cream or butter.
Eggs are fine.

And here’s the kicker:
Sometimes, I can get away with as much as a Tbsp of dairy, as long as I do not eat that thing on an empty stomach. Other times, when I think it’s fine to do this, since I have some thing in my stomach, NOPE.

My lower intestine hates me.

Luckily, I do not have any other issues, like soy allergies or Celiac’s.

Also, sometimes, I don’t think that something has butter in it, and lo and behold, it does.

At that point, I either consult my Substitution Bible, or my brain.
My brain can also think of using Google. Google is your real BFFL ❤

Since I now really like to make my own granola, instead of Quaker Oats, I used Trader Joe's Gluten Free Oats!

Here, look:

20130430-192947.jpg

Gluten free oats, organic dried blueberries and sweetened coconut; the recipe that I used I modified. I believe that I did post it, in a previous blog post.

If not, Google Search for ‘basic CHOW granola recipe’.

What I did is that I used less sweet ingredients, because my folks, who I made the granola for, don’t like very sweet things.

Looks good, right?

XD

Barbariana Cooking Idea #8: Super, Duper, Easy Guacamole

First, I’d like to clarify that I have made this before.

And no, I don’t measure out the ingredients *insert French exclamations of shock*.

There is a reason that I don’t do this, and I will explain below.

20130412-210643.jpg

Cooking, in itself, is an experiment. Yes, *like* chemistry, but chemistry that is edible and won’t create a hole in your stomach, or burn through your vitals.

Also, it’s more important to TASTE your food BEFORE you eat it. Hey, if you’re eating what you’re making, then you should LIKE it on your tongue, since you’re going to be consuming it.

What I can tell you, exactly, is that if you don’t have all of the ingredients that I’m about to list, don’t fret. Avocados alone are pretty damn delicious.

Table Salt/Kosher Sea Salt
Lime/Lemon/Both, if you want…..I haven’t tried orange yet, but soon!
21 Seasoning Salute*
Powdered Garlic*
Powdered Onion
Smoked Ancho Chili Power**
Smoked Paprika*

* = From Trader Joe’s
** = From Cost Plus World Market

I believe that you can also get these from “your local supermarket”, but I don’t go to super-marts.

Utensil: A small spoon
You can use a fork, but the problem is that since there are tines, which is what the prongs of the fork is called, it won’t be able to cleanly swoop the sides of the avocado.

Being efficient is important, that way, you can eat sooner!

CAREFUL: Don’t get too enthusiastic with the spoon. You don’t want the avocado spilling out of the avocado bowl.

Squeeze ‘n squirt the citrus of your choice into each half of the split avocado, about a tablespoon. If you want more of the citrus-y flavor to come through, use more than what I suggested!

Add in the salt and spices to your hearts’ content.

Then take your small spoon, and carve the avocado meat away from the shell.

Mix together until your get the desired consistency of guacamole, and eat plain, with white/yellow/blue corn/low-fat/low sodium/garbanzo-lentil-black bean tortilla chips, garnish on top of a taco, burrito, etc. etc.

Bon appetit!

Food Though #7 of Today!

Okay, I was reading a Serious Eats article about “Cookies We Love: Macarons at ‘lette Macarons, Los Angeles” that was posted yesterday at 4 PM.

Which got me thinking: WHY HAS NO ONE COME UP WITH MIXED MACARONS!?!!?

There isn’t any gastronomy involved, unless someone tells Chef Andria, then he’ll find a way to make a cookie, OUT of a cookie, IN a cookie. He already did this to an olive, what’s to stop him!?

Think of all the flavor combinations, and the topics! Sweet and savory, salted caramel, chocolate with a strawberry balsamic ganache, lightly coated with/in a mango glaze/bits……this can be ENDLESS.

Hell, maybe I should go to culinary school!!

…………

Or not, because the debt will be crippling, for decades to come………..I believe I will stick to my 1/4 of a kitchen thing I have now…….

*Continues thinking of having my own charming little cafe, called The Spotted Running Cow….What about a dessert truck, with even vegan options….!!!!*

XD

What a Cruel, Cold World!

It occurred to me a few moments ago that I did not post yesterday.

SORRY! THERE WAS NOTHING INTERESTING TO POST!!!!

( I feel like I should be quoting a movie or something, but I can’t think of anything clever to say. The Clever Function in my brain is temporarily out of service. )

And, as retribution, here is my recipe for crunchy, munchy, bagel chips!

I’ve used plain and everything bagels. I have not tried cinnamon raisin, or chocolate chip, or jalapeño cheddar, newspaper, etc. The reason for this is that I haven’t bought those ones, and I like to tear into the in the morning, not delicately nom on them with my pinky up.

If you want these to last for about a week, make sure you buy a dozen; Sigot has bought half a dozen, and we go through the chips a few minutes after they come out of the oven.

– A dozen bagels, whatever kind/flavor tickles your fancy!
NOT frozen, preferably at room temperature; if frozen, let them de-thaw COMPLETELY.

– Olive oil

– Kosher salt, or coarse salt, something with sizable chunks; table salt is too small

– A bread knife, one that has nice, sharp teeth; bagels aren’t friends, they’re FOOD.
(If you get that, then imagine me handing you a cookie).

– Cutting board, or a bread board, if you’re *that* fancy.

– Aluminum foil or Parchment Paper

– Large baking sheet, 12×16 or something around those dimensions

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the the bagels into quarters, and cut each piece as thin as possible, a little more than an 1/8 of an inch, but less than 1/4 of an inch. If you have a mandolin, then use that, if you want all of the pieces the exact. same. width.

Take a small bowl and fill it where the bottom is solidly covered.

Wet your finger tips with the olive oil, and rub a little on each bagel piece as you place them about 1/4 of an inch apart. Not too much, just barely enough.

Slide sheet into oven, and bake for 5-7 minutes on that side.

After the timer goes off, take the sheet out, and FLIP ALL of the bagel pieces as fast as you can, without burning your fingers. Tongs would be safer, but they slow me down.

Take the kosher salt, and sprinkle over the bagel chips. I did try mixing the olive oil and the salt together, and adding the salt on *after* baking, but neither gave me a nice salt taste.

Pop back into the over for another 5-7 minutes. OH, if they don’t look done, continue to bake at increments of 2-3 minutes until the chips are a little past golden brown. I don’t know what your taste preference is, but if you want crunch or crunch-y of some kind, then they aren’t going to be light brown, or the color they originally were.

Take out of the oven, and if you don’t want them to cool off, them have at them, with hummus, or Nutella, whatever you like!

XD