mercy_angel_09: (Tohru's Happy)
I've made it absolutely no secret here that I love to cook. I've posted numerous entries of either recipes or experiences in trying/making new foods.

I was talking to my family last week about my cooking (my brother and his girlfriend were up from Florida and as a result my mother invited her parents along with me and my husband over for dinner). It came up over the course of the evening's chatter, about how I had been cooking pretty much since I could read well enough to follow recipes. Hell, I got my first cookbook for my fifth birthday - before I started kindergarten.

I still have that cookbook, twenty-three years later. It's well used - the cardstock pages have warped and discolored due to years of spills - and I realized that I still default to it for lots of recipes. If I'm making brownies from scratch, I'm using this cookbook. Mashed potatoes? Muffins? Homemade "fried" chicken? A quick refresher on the finer points of cooking eggs? A strawberry butter to put on French toast?

I've managed to collect a number of cookbooks since - my husband and I have a great affinity for the basics along with a few niche ones. I have an entire cookbook for the slow cooker, another deals exclusively with snacks to serve with tea. We also look for recipes to try online. Blessed is the Internet that provides us with inspiration.

But it doesn't matter how old I get, the "kid's" cookbook that I got for my fifth birthday is still the one I go to for the basics. I've really been using it when it comes to steaming vegetables. No joke, the section is titled "Non-Yucky Vegetables" and gives you the proper cooking times for an assortment of veggies with the goal of getting them hot but not steaming the bejeezus out of them so that they're roughly the same consistency of baby food in your mouth. And even now it's a God send.

Sometimes wonder if I should have gone into culinary school rather than getting a B.A. in history...
mercy_angel_09: (Meeko compass)
Seriously. When I say that this is idiot proof, I mean it's idiot proof. No candy thermometer necessary! No baby-sitting a pot on the stove! No marshmallow fluff to fight with! No cans of evaporated or condensed milk to open! Takes no longer than re-heating left overs! Doesn't require a boat load of supplies you'll never have any other use for!

32 oz. of powdered sugar
1 cup of cocoa powder (I use the Hershey's)
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of butter (two sticks!)
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

In a large, microwave safe bowl, mix powdered sugar and cocoa together. I like to use a wire whisk to ensure that they blend together nicely.

Add the milk and the butter to the sugar and cocoa mixture, but do not stir! I find that cutting the butter into chunks helps the butter melt a bit faster and more evenly.

Heat on "HI" in the microwave for 4 1/2 to 6 minutes, or until butter is melted. Obviously cook times will vary with the power of the microwave.

Once the butter is melted, remove bowl from the microwave (carefully, as glass bowls will be hot - the plastic one that I use, not so much). If you want to add nut pieces, now's the time, but I usually don't. Anyway, add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth. I use a hand mixer to ensure that everything is blended together and you're less likely to end up with chunks of sugar/cocoa in the finished fudge. Also, your arm is less likely to get tired.

Once blended, pour the fudge mixture into a well greased square or rectangular baking dish. Let it cool a bit, then cover with plastic and place in the fridge to chill.

When you're ready to serve, cut it up and put it on a plate.

Ta-da, delicious fudge that everyone will love! Except for diabetics. And I'm pretty sure dentists will hate it too. Oh well. You can't please everyone.
mercy_angel_09: (What are you looking at?!)
Last night, my husband and I had some Steelhead that my father-in-law caught for dinner. It was a damn good fish, with the only problem being that not all of the bones had been removed and that the only real problem with cooking fish is that the whole house smells like fish when you're done cooking.

The stench of slightly burnt Steelhead permeated the entire apartment all night, and thankfully my husband had enough sense this morning to open up the dining room window to try and get some air moving around the apartment.

I promptly opened every sing window and the sliding glass door once I woke up.

There's still a slightly fishy odor in the air, which hopefully will be gone by the time it warms up later this morning and I'll have to close everything up. You know, in my opinion, if it weren't for the smell, fish really would be my perfect food.
mercy_angel_09: (Cuba Hetalia)
First off, meme from [ profile] dqbunny:

Post a comment, and I will reply with one or two reasons why I think you're great. In return, you have to post this same meme on your blog and comment for other people.

And now a recipe for Cheater's Arroz con Pollo (that's chicken and rice for you non-Spanish speakers):

2-3 cups pre-cooked chicken, chunked
Two cups uncooked rice
Chicken broth
1-2 cups frozen peas (or fresh, if you have 'em)
Manzanilla olives

1) Determine how much chicken broth you need to cook the two cups of rice. (With standard long grain white rice, it's a 1:2 ratio, meaning for every one cup of uncooked rice you need two cups of liquid to cook it in.) Put it in a large saucepan or soup pot and bring to a boil.

2) Once broth is boiling, add frozen peas, and return to boil.

3) Once the broth and peas are boiling again, add chicken and rice. Stir rice and chicken into the broth and peas, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook rice according to instructions. (With standard long grain white rice, cook time is about twenty minutes, sometimes more. The last time I made it, I had to cook the rice for half an hour and it was still a little crunchy.)

4) Once the rice has fully cooked, remove from heat and stir. Top with sliced manzanilla olives and serve.

There is, of course, a longer and much more traditional way of doing this, which involves a whole, uncooked chicken that you simmer for a good part of the day to make chicken stock, which you then use to cook the rice, as well as removing all of the meat from the chicken to put into the arroz con pollo.

While I do love to cook, I don't like dealing with whole chickens because generally it's a pain in the ass to get them properly butchered so you can cook them. Also, my husband and I tend to buy a bag of frozen chicken breasts and then grill or bake them all up at once to use in other dishes, like tacos, enchiladas or salads. It's easy to plan the cheater's version of arroz con pollo than the full version, which, as I previously mentioned, would have to be baby-sat all day while it simmered and made stock. This I can crank out in half-an-hour to forty-five minutes. And it gives me plenty of leftovers. (Leftovers being the key.)
mercy_angel_09: (Default)
Brought to you by cloves, cinnamon and tangerines. X3

I don't know when my mom started doing this, but as long as I can remember.

It goes a little something like this:

  • Take the rinds from oranges, tangerines or another citrus fruit. (Lemons are acceptable, if you want it lemony fresh.) Place in a small to medium pot.

  • Add a small handful of dried cloves. You can buy them pretty cheap in bulk foods.

  • Add a stick or two of cinnamon.

  • Add water.

  • Put on stove and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn it down to simmer and leave it there, adding more water when necessary.

  • Freshen ingredients as necessary by adding more rinds, cloves or cinnamon.

  • The best part is that it will humidify the air as well as make it smell nice. And it lacks any of the harmful chemicals commercial air fresheners contain. Apparently also works in those mini-crockpots that are specifically designed to be potpourri pots. I just prefer to do it on the stove because that's how we did it when I was a kid. :)
    mercy_angel_09: (Witch Hunter Robin)
    So the fabric for the dress is now cut out, leaving just the lining and underlining for tomorrow. Hopefully that won't take me too terribly long and if I'm lucky, I might even be able to start sewing tomorrow. However, if I don't get the chance, I'll just start sewing on Wednesday. Once the dress is finished I'll move on to Lydia's cape. I've decided that I need to find a black tunic of some kind to wear under the cape. I also need to order the Beetlejuice costume and mask for my husband. As I've said before, I have enough on my plate without making that particular costume, so I'm going for lazy and will be buying it. I've looked on various costume websites and I can possibly get both the costume and the mask for less than 50 bucks. Works for me.

    In other news, I'm seeing a lot of buzz about the Supernatural animation. I don't actually watch the show, but I'm familiar with Studio Madhouse's work, as well as with a good chunk of the cast. Also, Raven, I'm going to screw with your head a bit and inform you that Sam's Japanese voice actor is the same guy who does Dr. Franken Stein in Soul Eater. You're welcome. Have fun trying to shake that image from your brain while listening to Sam talk. The main cast (Sam, Dean, Mary and John) is pretty solid, and I'm sure they'll round out the secondary and tertiary characters with some other fairly well known names. Well, well known if you watch copious amounts of anime. (Like me. Hi, guilty as charged. Just look at my icon for cryin' out loud.)

    Third, I have no idea what to do for dinner. The plausible options are still way too frozen to be cooked, leading me to believe that I should just settle for "whatever" I can find. We've got a few options, but they're not really all that appetizing right now. Hmmm.

    Finally, there's this:

    Yes, that is Grover. Yes, he is parodying the Old Spice Guy. Yes, it is awesome, why do you ask.
    mercy_angel_09: (Twilight Princess)
    Today's scent is Versailles - reminiscent of King Louis XIV - from BPAL's Wanderlust collection. It smells like gilded red and gold citrus with amber, ruby roses, jasmine and orris, and reminds me faintly of baby powder. ^^;; It's not a bad scent, but I don't think it's for me.

    In other news, I finally beat DotNW last night, after much swearing at the TV and Richter in general. After a couple of mystic artes (specifically, Lloyd and Zelos, because of the original ToS cast, they can do the most damage in single hits) I managed to finally beat Richter into submission. Oh yes, this also took me something like ten tries and forty-five minutes to officially pull this off. I'm hoping that on the New Game Plus I'll be a little more leveled up so that I don't always get immediately pwned by Alice or Decus, or Richter for that matter (even though you really only have to beat him once, all other battles do not result in Game Over).

    I suppose I should start going through cook books trying to determine what I want for dinner this week. I'm not really inspired and there's nothing that I've really been wanting so I'm completely at an a loss.

    mercy_angel_09: (Meeko compass)
    Because of [ profile] forgotten_relic's allergy to soy, barley and chicken, Cuban food was for dinner tonight. Moros y Christos, tostones and chuletas de puerco criollas.

    Mmm, Cuban food is sooooo delicious.

    Anyway, today my friend Sabrina got her endowment today, so most of this afternoon was spent with her. Then we poked around the LDS bookstore and boutique before coming back to the apartment to make dinner. Now Relic is on her way to visit with her family and I'm going to digest. Then we're going skating.

    Here's hoping I don't fall on my butt. X3

    mercy_angel_09: (Vash)
    Which is completely different from this recent, unexpected ass-hattery that LJ has been going through as of late.


    Anyway, today I started my second temp job. Nothing exciting - checking/sorting mail, answering phones, checking in appointments - and fairly easy going. Tomorrow will probably pick up, but I'm just glad that I had a slow day to ease myself in with.

    Since I got off at three, I was able to come home and do some clean up (make the bed, do dishes, etc.) before starting dinner. A delicious dinner of tacos. With green onions and avocado and cheese and sour cream and olives...mmmmm. Tasty.

    And soon I'll be heading over to [ profile] sideshow_ericka's place to meet kitten!Mal. At least I think the kitten's name is Mal. I think that's what E said. Well, I'll find out soon enough.

    mercy_angel_09: (Gojyo)
    I've decided, that when my friends get their own places, I'm going to get my friends something to welcome them into their new homes.

    Ideal gift: a cook book.

    Admittedly, a few friends already have a stack of recipes or family cook books that they're taking with them, but I've decided that everyone needs a copy of the
    Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
    , which I have deemed the Kitchen Bible. Seriously, my grandmother has one, my mother has two, and I have one.

    I have the Pink edition, the one that is slightly pricier than the standard Red and White edition, but part of the inflated price goes towards breast cancer research and education. Plus they've included bonus recipes from celebrity chefs and additional appetizers, desserts and sides. As to the main part of the cook book, it's the same as the Red and White edition.

    (As an aside, my mother has two copies of the cook book because she has the Pink edition, but I also got her the 1953 reprint a few years back which as all of those wonderfully fattening 1950s recipes and entertaining tips.)

    Anyway, it's just an idea. If my friends don't want that and would rather get a plant, I can do that, too.

    mercy_angel_09: (Witch Hunter Robin)
    Today was a good exercise day, and by good I mean that I actually wend down the the gym and lifted weights and tried to up the weight in a few areas without hurting myself. So far so good. I can feel certain muscle groups starting to tighten up, and while it might be a few more weeks before the flab starts officially going the way of the dodo, I know that I'm starting to make a difference.

    Saint Patrick's Day was pretty easy going. I spent the bulk of the afternoon and evening cooking. I also watched The Quiet Man. I find it amazing that even though I've seen the movie multiple times, I still find something new in it. I was planning on watching The Boondock Saints after dinner with my husband, but a slight miscalculation with dinner made that a no-go. However we watched two episodes of Burn Notice with dinner and tipped our hats to Fi. There's now half of a corned beef brisket in the fridge that will be chopped up with potatoes and turned into homemade corned beef hash on Saturday.

    Prep for SakuraCon is nearly complete. This weekend my husband and I are going to get the oil changed in my car, as well as put air in the tires and vacuum the interior. I'm also going to make sure that my copy of The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road also makes it into the glove box, as interesting reading material for the drive may stave off boredom (playlist ideas, road games, best uses for condoms!). I'm also going to be washing my car here in a few days because it's "EW GROSS." I haven't washed it since I bought it, and I bought it in late October. So yes, we're talking about five months worth of dirt on my car. However, a wash and wax is in the immediate future so my poor little car won't look so pathetic. I also should look into putting the window cling on as well. I'm heading to Seattle - I should put as much WSU crap on my car as I possibly can. (I already have the license plate cover.)

    Short of packing my suitcase, I'm ready to go to Seattle. I even managed to get the printer working so I've even printed off my pre-registration form. All that's really left to determine is where we're meeting up with the people we're caravaning with.

    Dinner tonight is a pretty low-key affair. I'm making white chicken chili in the slow cooker. I'm wondering if it will thicken up any, because right now it resembles soup. If it retains its soup-like consistency, I may just make some rice and serve it over rice, ala Red Beans and Rice (except these are white beans and chicken). Either way, it'll be pretty damn good.

    On the writing front, I'm gearing up for Script Frenzy. I need to learn my way around Celtx, but I have about two weeks to do that. I'm also working on Fire Emblem fic, using the infamous 100 Themes. What the hell - I do some of my best work with prompts. Also, it keeps me writing and most of them are one shots. WOO!

    Annnnnnnnnnd, that's about it.

    mercy_angel_09: (Meeko compass)
    Dinner smells good. I'm making oven fried chicken, which is basically like giving the Colonel the finger and telling him that he and his eleven herbs and spices can fuck off.

    That's a pretty good feeling.

    Side dishes are mixed veggies and four-cheese rice. Not uber-healthy, but not fast food either.

    Meanwhile, in costume land, strawberries are sewn onto the jacket. Four leaves are still pending. Interestingly enough, my mother thinks that this is pretty awesome. I'm just praying that if I prick myself with the needle, I won't draw blood and if I do draw blood, I won't get it on the jacket because the jacket is WHITE. Seeds will be painted on with white fabric paint because sewing some thirty seed beads on to thirteen strawberries does not appeal to me. Still need to order the wig, because I can't the yarn for my tail until I know exactly what constitutes "red" in a wig. An orange red? Red-red? Violet-red?

    Anyway, I encourage my f-list to look at this entry and play along. I have a list of fifteen characters. You a pose a question involving a numbered character. (i.e. "Five and Twelve are going out on a date? Where do they go and what do they do?" or "Seven and Nine are in jail. What are they in jail for?") After enough questions are asked (or a certain number of days go by, because I honestly have no idea who will play along), I'll answer them in a response post. ALSO! You can ask more than one question. You can list as many questions as you can come up with involving any number of characters, or heck, all fifteen of them if you want. ^^

    C''ll be entertaining, and even if it's not for you, it sure as hell will be for me!

    mercy_angel_09: (Amon)
    So I randomly decided that I wanted fresh baked cinnamon rolls this morning. There's nothing wrong with that, I like to bake/cook. And I was determined to do this by scratch. No tube cinnamon rolls for me!

    The process started at a little after seven last night, because the recipe I found online is for overnight cinnamon rolls. Make them up the night before so all you have to do is proof and then bake them the following morning. The recipe I found came from Food Network's site, from one of their top "celebrity" chefs. And by "celebrity" chef I mean Alton Brown who decided to go to culinary school after coming up with an idea to make a cooking show modeled after Julia Child, Mr. Wizard and Monty Python (which is a winning combination in my book!). However Brown is notorious for his use of appliances, like a stand mixer with a dough hook.

    My apartment kitchen is large by apartment standards, but too small to properly house a stand mixer. So.

    I was kneading dough for about ten minutes last night to get the dough to the proper consistency. And then spending two hours waiting for it to rise. Then spending half an hour rolling out the dough and then putting the filling in and cutting the rolls to put into the pan. It was about ten when all was said and done. The rolls were covered and stuck in the fridge until I pulled my butt out of bed this morning to proof the rolls in the oven. Proofing actually went pretty well, considering all I had to do was put a cookie sheet with boiling water under the rolls in the oven. After about half an hour they were ready to bake, and thirty minutes after that, I had freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Which smell fantastic. The cream cheese frosting was also made this morning while the cinnamon rolls cooled.

    By the way, all this was done while watching Bond movies on Bravo. And the 30 Second Bunnies James Bond medley. (As a result, "The decoder weighs ten kilos. Make love to me James!" is currently stuck in my head. >_o) 

    Anyway, I have the Mazda now, I just need to get one of the title holder's to sign off on it.  I left her a voice mail so hopefully she'll call me back within the next fifteen days - or else I have to pay a fee.
    mercy_angel_09: (Integra)
    My husband and I are fans of Alton Brown's Good Eats.  One part food and one part science, it makes for pretty good TV.  Cooking is pretty fun, but when you know WHY your food is doing what it's doing, it's even better.  I'm currently making pork wellington, and for the first time in a while, I'll get to have a nice, sit down dinner because my dining room table is actually clear.

    Speaking of that, my apartment is freakishly clean at the moment.  I finished assembling my gift for the birthday party, and since I don't have any pressing sewing projects, I was able to put my sewing machine away.  Add to that the fact that I have finally started getting a handle on the clutter around here, I'm pretty excited.  My apartment will actually be presentable for my dad.  I was talking to [ profile] teamspyder about this earlier - the apartment is rarely completely trashed, but there is a considerable amount of clutter that seems to just exist in one way or another. 

    Tomorrow ill probably see the windows cleaned and the floor vacuumed, as well as me finally attempting to de-clutter my dresser.  Why is it that when I finally get it under control, it goes right back to hell?

    mercy_angel_09: (Witch Hunter Robin)
    Today the gang got together to discuss the upcoming birthday party. We HAD been planning on doing a lolita-themed party, but since several people just started jobs, are working full-time or close to full time, or have lots of events coming up, the lolita theme was dropped in favor of civvies and casual theme.

    I like this idea. We're going to set up a TV with a Wii and play Rock Band, Raving Rabbids (all three), Mario Party, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and anything else we think of. Get "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" and a pinata. A pinata filled with what, we're not sure of at this point. Play twister. Make comfort food (mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, turkey meat loaf, etc.). I REALLY like this idea. Because I don't have to fuss with making my Loli yet. ^^;;

    ALSO - made the most freakin' awesome shrimp curry for dinner tonight. OH. MY. GOD. I think that I'll have to pimp that recipe out like a two dollar whore. It's THAT good. So long as you're not lactose intolerant or allergic to shellfish. XD
    mercy_angel_09: (Shigure WTF)
    How is it that I do not have a recipe for cinnamon rolls?  I'm fairly sure I have a cream cheese frosting recipe (that's how I like the icing on my cinnamon rolls).  But I do not have a recipe for the cinnamon rolls themselves.

    Clearly I need a new cook book.  On that must include a recipe for cinnamon rolls.
    mercy_angel_09: (Witch Hunter Robin)
    [Error: unknown template qotd]Two nights ago I made chicken stir-fry for me and my husband.  The night before was chicken casserole, the night before that was Hamburger Helper.

    I do a lot of home cooking because my husband and I think that going out is FEO - for emergencies only - or for special occasions. 


    mercy_angel_09: (Default)

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