These Days

These days have been super busy for me. As the semester reaches it’s crescendo of due dates, I’ve also got a few extras added to the list. Next semester will be my last in college (oh no facing adulthood!) and I’m having to meet with counselors and coordinate meetings and what not. Also, kind of as a result of this, I’ve given myself a few more deadlines. Hopefully, this time nest year I’ll be writing posts from Japan. I’m applying for the JET program (meaning I’ll be teaching English in Japan and maybe even attending some cooking classes) and there are a lot of things involved in that. In short, I’ve been pretty busy.

But that’s not to say I haven’t been cooking.

Recently I’ve been experimenting a lot. Thai tea candy is harder to make than you’d think and perfecting it is taking more than a few trial and error batches, but we’re also coming up with wintery flavors that so far have been really awesome. (Egg nog caramel is incredible!) And I tried my hand at making green curry. I don’t know how traditional it is but it tastes good. I’ll probably be asking for help on that one since I’m feeling stubborn about buying curry paste. But we’ll see how that goes.

Also, I tend to post little extra things on my facebook page and twitter, so if you want to keep better updated, I’d recommend checking them out.

Good Mexican Food is Hard to Come by

So I’m currently in California visiting people and being a gigantic tourist. Not just doing the cheesey/awesome stuff, but also eating a lot of food, most of which has been tacos. I have yet to find a good taco place in Texas and I think it’s safe to say that I utterly hate Tex-Mex. But here I have found a delicious taco heaven and am enjoying every minute of it. In fact, I think I’ve eaten at least one taco every day I’ve been here (ice cream too so far, but that’s just a coincidence).

So, if you live in California, be thankful for the bountiful tacos that surround your everyday existence, and if you live in Texas, I’m sorry. Maybe it will get better someday.

Mom’s fruit trees

Mom hasn’t been in this house long enough to see what explodes out of the backyard every summer. Last month, we had to figure out what to do with a million plums.

Because of the overwhelming task at hand, we ended up giving most of them away. But because of that, we were slightly more prepared for the peaches. So far we’ve made two tarts, ice cream, grilled them (which is super good), and made cobbler. Monday we’re making jam. And possibly some candy once I get back to Texas.

Everything’s been tasty so far, but we’re running low on ideas and there’s still about a half a tree left. So I’m coming to my point. I need ideas! Feel free to leave comments with whatever ideas you have! Also, expect a few more peach posts than normal for a little while. I’ll try not to make a bore of them, so I’ll probably spread them out anyway, so hopefully you’ll enjoy them!

Popcorn and Candy

This is just a quick update, but I wanted to let you know about the wonders of popping your own popcorn! It’s explosively fun! Quite literally. There’s a video coming soon about that last statement.

I plan on venturing into different flavorings and whatnot and making my own gourmet popcorn and it should be fabulous. Popcorn is pretty much my favorite snack and not too long ago I found out that the glue on the bags can supposedly give you cancer and/or infertility, two things I’m pretty keen on avoiding. So to avoid that, I’ll just make my own

I also am in the middle of building another website in collaboration with my candy making friend who doesn’t yet have his own site. Expect greatness.

Treasure Chest and Past Memories

So as you may know, I’ve been in the process of moving/unpacking for the last month. Right now I’m down to the very last bits. And today, while organizing the last of the boxes, I went through all the things I saved from my year in France.

And I found a list of the tasty things I had with my host family that I wanted to try to replicate once I had a kitchen of my own.

I’ve already made some of them, like the P√Ętes de Manette, a quiche, soupe au potimarron, tarte aux pommes, compote, and a lot of things on the right side of the list (which is stuff my real family makes that I want to make too).

Instant Food

Normally I’m not that big a fan of instant food–I figure if you’re going to eat, you should make it worth it and eat something awesome, but things are different when more than half your things are in boxes. So I figured I’d write a post about the different instant foods I tried out before my kitchen was all the way unpacked.

The first thing I tried (and can’t find pictures of) was a frozen make-it-yourself orange chicken dish. It was neat because you actually were supposed to cook it in a skillet, not the mircowave, and the ingredients were separated for you to throw in like you normally would while cooking. The only thing that was done for you was the frying of the chicken. It came out really tasty, but a little too much for two people, but hooray for leftovers!

The next interesting one I tried was a prepackaged paella. Sounds weird, right? I’ve had real paella before, so I wasn’t even going to consider boxed paella until it was highly recommended to me by a customer.

It comes with seasoned rice and canned seafood.

And like the orange chicken, you cook it in a single skillet, all you need to add is water and stir a little. Overall, I liked the taste, but the mussels were a really weird, almost crumbly texture, so that made me kind of sad because mussels are normally super tasty. So I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it considering it was about $5 and that you can get a similar tasting rice for around a dollar:

Then there’s also the really simple stuff.

Grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh yeah.

I’ve made a few other things too, like butterkase-fontina fondue with chicken, apples, and bread for dipping, pudding (which I’ll be writing about later), and some more upgraded pasta. So I’ve found out that even if most of your stuff disappeared one day, there’s still plenty to cook.

New Apartment!

I’m moving! (Sorry about the lack of posts, it’s just hard to cook when your pans are packed up.) To be more precise, I’m actually in the middle of moving–tonight will be my third night sleeping here–but there are still some things in the old place.

I’ll be uploading pics from my new kitchen soon and tell you about the neat quick meals I’ve found (like pre packaged paella).

Hoo-ray moving!

Camcorder

Now I know this isn’t directly related to food, but I thought I’d let you know anyway.

In a few months I’ll be moving and I’ll have fewer roommates to share my badass kitchen with. One of the things I’m considering doing there is actually filming recipes on occasion. (One of my silly little dreams is to become a TV food person who travels around and cooks.) But in order to do this I’m going to need a camcorder. Though my camera does have a video function, it’s not that great. If you know anything about that sort of stuff, it’d be awesome if you could enlighten me.

I also need a tripod. Imagine, never having another blurry picture again!