Thursday, 11 February 2010
My apologies, noble readers, for not blogging in a while, but my life kinda got turned upside down on friday. I decided when I started this blog that it was going to stay on-topic and not delve into my personal issues maybe it wouldn't hurt, just this once... I was laid off from my job (which I'd had for the last five years) on friday. Now I'm scrambling to get this unemployment stuff figured out, getting my resume and portfolio put back together, and I just haven't had time to think about food. We've been eating a lot of hamburger helper and dollar-menu around here, and I just didn't think any of that was blog-worthy.
But fear not, my loyal readers... I'll get back to my quest for culinary creativity, just as soon as I have some food in the cabinets to work with. :)
Friday, 05 February 2010
So, I cheated last night...
My brother has been down with bronchitis for the last few days (thats why he hasn't reviewed the first experiment yet), but apparrently, his illness doesn't extend as far as his stomach. He asked for something "substantial" last night, "like meat and potatoes." But since the cupboards were bare of such things, and I was feeling lazy, so I went to the grocery and got some tubs of pre-made mashed potatoes, gravy, meatloaf, and turkey... It wasn't too bad either.
But I didn't want to disappoint my faithful readers either, so I also bought the ingredients for last night's experiment, Monkey-Bread! (Don't worry, no actual monkeys are used in this recipe)
I found this recipe (and that joke) on another blog, Cooking Stuff, and it was delicious! Here's the recipe:
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 40 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 8
- 3 cans Buttermilk Biscuits (the Non-flaky Ones)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Cinnamon
- 2 sticks Butter
- ½ cups Brown Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Open up all three cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters.
Next, combine the white sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon. (3 teaspoons of cinnamon gives it a fairly strong cinnamon flavor. If you’re not so hot on cinnamon, cut it back to 2 teaspoons.) Dump these into a 1 gallon zip bag and shake to mix evenly.
Drop all of the biscuit quarters into the cinnamon-sugar mix. Once all the biscuit quarters are in the bag seal it and give it a vigorous shake. This will get all those pieces unstuck from one another and nicely coated with cinnamon-sugar. Spread these nuggets out evenly in the bundt pan.
At this point, you’re going to want to melt the two sticks of butter together with ½ cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. This can be light or dark brown sugar. Cook butter/sugar mixture, stirring for a few minutes until the two become one. Once the brown sugar butter has become one color, you can pour it over the biscuits.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the crust is a deep dark brown on top. When its finished cooking, remove it from the oven. If you have the willpower, allow it to cook for about 15-30 minutes before turning it over onto a plate.
I thought I did a pretty good job of it, but I made a few mistakes, and I think I can do it better next time. (I'm also going to get better about taking pictures of the whole process next time.) Judges, what did you think?
Thursday, 04 February 2010
Greetings, my loyal Bachelor Chow readers!
Well, my house-mates and I all had separate business to attend to last night, and we didn't sit down for a meal together. Hey, we still need a quarter-pounder, or a pizza occasionally, right? But never fear, fellow bloggers... I'm going to keep writing, even when I have nothing to write about! (Isn't that what blogs are really for anyway?)
But I'm at least going to TRY to stay on-topic. So with that in mind, today I'm going to share some of the coolest kitchen-gagetry I could find on the interwebs. To accomplish this, I went to the "Kitchen Tech" section of one of my favorite websites, www.thinkgeek.com, and picked my 10 favorite gadgets... Enjoy.
1. LED Faucet Lights:
How cool is this?? You turn on the cold water, and it glows blue, like Anakin's first lightsaber... Crank up the hot water, and it turns red, like Vader's! I see myself standing in front of the faucet, turning the hot water on and off, saying, "Light side.. Dark side... Light side... Dark side..."
2. Rubik's Cube Salt & Pepper Mills:
The Rubik's Cube and I have a history together. My high school choir teacher taught me how to solve one, and its still one of my best stupid-human-tricks. Any excuse to have two of them sitting on the kitchen counter works for me.
3. Dark Side Apron:
Yep... you caught me... This is the kind of uber-geek I am. If I'm going to wear an apron in the kitchen, this is the one I must have...
These things are awesome... Just stick one of these digital timers on your tupperware dish full of leftovers, and you'll know exactly how long it takes your lasagna to grow Penicillin!
5. Swashbuckling BBQ Sword:
My name is Inigo Montoya... You killed my weiner... Prepare to die.
6. Onion Goggles:
I HATE cutting onions... They make me tear-up faster than the ending of Titanic. (I don't give a shit that Leo drowns, I'm just always so happy that movie's finally over...) From now on, I'm cutting onions in style!
7. The Ex - Unique Knife Holder:
You know you want one too... Who's face are you going to imagine on this knife-holder?
8. Fusion Silicon Finger Tongs:
Hey! I may have actually found something useful this time! I'll admit, flipping those Monte Cristo sandwiches without slopping ham and cheese all over the griddle was a little bit of a challenge. Looking back on it, I'm sure it must have crossed my mind that the task would have been vastly easier if only I'd had some kind of silicon finger puppet to help me...
9. Chef's Quad-Timer:
Oh crap, another useful one! This one's pretty simple though... Its a kitchen timer that's really four kitchen timers in one kitchen timer...
10. Homo Sapiens Caveman Kitchen Tool:
Yep... Its a rock. But its a wicked-cool rock that you can use to grind and grate herbs, sharpen your knives, and bash in the skull of a wooly mammoth, before you cut it up for mammoth burgers... Chunga HUNGRY!!
Wednesday, 03 February 2010
I'm going to introduce my trio of tyrannical test-tasters momentarily, but first I want to describe last night's experiment...
If you've never had a Monte Cristo, you're missing out. I first tried one of these nummy little French sandwiches in an Irish pub called The Smilin' Pig. Faith and begorrah, Mon Amie! Despite its deep-seeded cultural confusion, this sandwich was one of the best things I ever wrapped my lips around. Basically, its a ham and cheese sandwich, made with two slices of french toast, then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with either Strawberry or Raspberry jam. Its sweet; its salty. Its meaty; its fruity. This delectable dish is dripping with delicious dichotomy!
(from www.allrecipes.com)8 slices sourdough bread2 tablespoons honey mustard1/2 pound sliced deli ham1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese2 eggs, beaten1/4 cup milk1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg1 tablespoon butter
1. Spread one side of 4 bread slices with mustard. Top remaining 4 slices with ham. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and mix together; sprinkle mixture evenly over ham and close sandwiches, mustard side down. 2. In a shallow dish or bowl combine the eggs, milk and nutmeg and mix well. Melt butter in a large skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. Dip each sandwich in egg mixture, turning to coat. Let excess egg mixture drip into dish or bowl, and place sandwiches in hot skillet. Cook until golden brown and cheese is melted. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 2/3/2010 <\/script>');
Except for the nutmeg, which the store was out of, I followed this recipe exactly, and the results weren't too bad. I served the sandwiches with strawberry Jam, powdered sugar, and a bowl of Campbell's Cheese & Brocolli soup. I even opened a bottle of white wine that I had laying around, to commemorate the first Bachelor Chow creation. Next time, I'll do better, and include pictures.
The first, and most difficult to please member of my panel of distinguished food critics is my brother, Damon. He's definitely the Simon Cowell of the group. He may not be British, but he's watched enough Monty Python to apply for citizenship.
A buxom readhead with a killer smile, a sweet tooth, and a taste for adventure. She's going to be the easiest to please. Trust me, you're going to hear the word, "Fantastic" a lot from her.
A raven-haired seductress with enough neuroses to put Mark Summers and Howie Mandell to shame. I'm expecting her to be fairest, and most impartial of the three judges.
That's it! Now I'm going to hand the comments over to the judges. They're going to be rating each meal on a scale of 1 to 5 'forks'...
Tuesday, 02 February 2010
Can you mash potatoes? ...cream corn? ...re-fry beans??
Well, me neither. But I going to be cooking meals for four adults every day.
My name is Darren. I just turned 30, am recently re-divorced, and for financial reasons, have just moved in with my brother and two of our friends. Living with three other adults, two of which happen to be members of the fairer (and crazier) gender, is going to be enough of an adjustment, but to top it off, I have been elected to the position of head-cook. This decision was reached after I admitted that I could successfully prepare a meal of sloppy joes and mac & cheese, which is more than my three roommates could say...
So, as long as this is my job, I've decided that I'm going to do it right. I'm endeavoring to learn the ins and outs of the modern kitchen. I'm going to learn to make each of my roommates' favorite dishes better than their own mothers. I'm going to put applebee's and chili's to shame with my Fajitas. I'm going to concoct a cornucopia of culinary creations that will conquer the most cantankerous cravings known to Christendom!
...but I can't do it alone. I'm going to need your help and support, my as-yet non-existent readers. Got a favorite recipe? ...a strong opinion about gas stoves vs. electric? ...a list of essential kitchen utensils and gadgetry?? Now is the time to share them with me.
In the entries to come, I will be posting recipes I've tried, photos of the finished products, and the scores each meal received from my three critics. So stay tuned, this is going to be fun!
Next time on Bachelor Chow:
I'll be introducing you to each of my three critics, and the system by which my culinary experiments will be judged... Stick around!