Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oh Fudge.

Fudge isn't just for the holidays anymore, at least not in my kitchen where we still are without a functioning oven. But, the burners still work, so thank goodness for that. I have spent the last month eating peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Which is pretty good.

But, I miss the baking, and I have been trying to come up with things to make without an oven. no bake cheesecake? no bake cookies?

so far, I have made cookie dough and that's about it. I guess I made some ice cream too. but, that is a separate post entirely. I just felt like 'baking' something.

So, I broke down and made some sweet sweet fudge.

I don't make fudge alot. and, it was good, but for me to post it here, it might need a little tweaking. I used the ol' Marshmallow creme, chocolate chip, evap milk, butter combo with a healthy dose of sugar. It was good, but I think next time,  and I can't believe I am going to say this, but, next time, I might even add nuts. I am normally NOT a nut in fudge/brownies/cookies/banana bread person. unless its oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the nut is a nicely toasted pecan.  (long live the Crusty Loaf for turning me onto that one.) But, I think my fudge could have used a little savory. It was all too sweet. And, I think next time I would use a really dark chocolate instead of  both semi sweet and milk chocolate chips...

My hope though is that next time isn't until the Holidays roll around, and that much before then, like next week, I will be baking up some nice muffins, in a new working oven.

we are close. just crossing fingers.
and toes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the land of sopapillas.

As I sit here in my 90 degree house, the last day before T goes back to work after a 6 week hiatus, I reflect back on the last weekend spent with my best girlfriends in the world. It was the first time I had left my 2 year old son for more than 6 hours. I was gone for 3 days. It was hard, of course, to be away from my little family, but I so needed a little refresher. I have no childcare and my husband normally travels during the week. So, having him around for 6 weeks was like a vacation for me too. I was able to steal away and do yoga during the week, get a pedicure and dinner with a friend, go shopping here and there, go to Trader joes solo...all things I used to take for granted. And, last weekend, at the close of T's vacation time, I was able to get on a plane with nothing more than my dear friend, a carry on(!), some smutty magazines and my big bag of peanut m&m's. Let me tell you, it was a little piece of heaven and yet something else I always took for granted.

C and I landed 3 hours later in the land of New Mexico. the land of chilis, the land of sopapillas. the land of 3 blissful days spent with my 3 best friends in the world.

I loved Santa Fe. We just walked around, ate some delicious food, saw some art, went to a really nice spa, and of course, ate some sopapillas. It was a little piece of heaven, a weekend I will never forget.

I am incredibly blessed to have such dear dear friends.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My latest craving.

And no, I dont just eat peanut m&m's and spoonfuls of peanut butter dipped in a bag of chocolate chips.

A few months ago, I was in the midst of morning sickness and I ate something that tasted so so wonderful. I was at the Zoo on a warm late Spring day and had met a friend there who had run into another friend. We all ended up sitting on the lawn while the kiddos actually stuck around us, and we had a little picnic. My friends friend whipped out this tupperware of rice and some nori looking things and proceeded to wrap the nori around the rice for a nice treat. It wasn't just your everyday nori though. This stuff had some special name that at the moment I cannot recall. It was nori, but it was toasted and brushed with sesame oil and salted. I was practically drooling it tasted so good. and, it was so incredibly simple and also somewhat healthy. After this, I was on a quest to find it. She usually got it at a Korean market about 15 miles North, but I was able to find it a little closer at another Asian market. (the source of my bubble tea cravings last time around) Funny, I actually refrained from the Bubble Tea and made a Beeline for the seaweed aisle this time.

What is so great is that I actually was in Trader Joes a month later and they had the exact same thing! I was elated to say the least. And, at the moment, I am debating a drive over there just so I can fill my cart with the stuff. At Trader Joes, it comes in a little green package labeled, "roasted seaweed snack."

What I have been doing lately is boiling up some sticky rice, cutting some slivers of avocado and then just putting some of each in the middle of the seaweed. I love it because the texture is great. the salty seaweed kind of crackles with the sticky rice and sweet avocado in between. Maybe its just my darn hormones, but it is a really tasty treat. and, much easier than making sushi.

Now, if I could only have some raw Ahi.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chilled Tomatillo and Tomato Soup.

Since I am flying without an oven these days, I am trying to cook with out really cooking. I guess this is the time of year I would prefer, as it tends to be warm, well, sometimes, in Seattle. I found out yesterday that this summer in Seattle has been the cloudiest on record, since they began recording in 1951.
But today, it is perfect. And, if those tomatoes are popping up in your yard as they are in mine, this might be a good thing to make.

I took a recipe for a Tomatillo Soup featured in Sunset this month and put my own spin on it. I added tomatoes, and instead of using fresh tomatillos, which the market didnt even have more than a handful of, I opted for the canned variety. I omitted some things here and there and added more of things too. and, this is what I came up with. I was quite pleased with it.

and, if you make it, make enough for leftovers. it was even better today at lunch.

Chilled Tomatillo and Tomato Soup.
(adapted from Sunset Magazine)

14 oz tomatillos. (2 12 oz cans-yields about this much in actual tomatillo)
1 pint red cherry tomatoes
1/2 white onion
1 c chicken broth
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 an English Cuke (the really long ones, seedless)
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1/4 c salsa verde
2 Tablespoons cilantro
1 avocado, diced
1 pint yellow tomatoes

Drain the tomatillos. Halve the tomatoes. Chop the white onion, garlic and cuke. Put in Processor or blender with the other ingredients except the avocado and  the yellow tomatoes. whiz until blended and of the preferred texture. add salt and pepper to taste. then, Halve the yellow tomatoes and dice the Avocado and stir this in too. Chill until nice and cold.