Archive for August, 2009



Clarify – To make a liquid clear, as with butter. Unsalted butter is melted over low heat until the milk solids come to the top. They are then removed. Without the milk solids, the butter may be used in recipes in which you don’t want it to brown.



Snickerdoodle Screw-Up

From snowy Denver, Colorado, family friends of our’s came over for a visit to sunny California. During their week here, they decided to tour around and go to Legoland. Coming back knowing I like to bake and cook, they gave me a Lego Rolling Cooking Cutter. Because of this, I decided to bake them my favorite cookie for the first time… Snickerdoodles! At first I rolled the dough out and imprinted rows of legos. When it was time to cut the legos out, I found it was difficult to have it uniform size and have a lego on each cookie without making it melt and get all sticky. I then decided to just make it in balls, and just roll the cookie cutter over it. This was the day of their leaving back to Denver, so I was in such a rush, that  I did not have time to use a cookie scooper to make each cookie uniform size. Right out of the oven, I saw that the cookies were pretty big, it grew so much that some of the cookies collided with each other. The taste was exactly like a plain ole’ sugar cookie; I did not taste much of the cinnamon. Texture was actually the way I wanted it; firm and cake-like. There was many goods and bads, but at the end I realize this was just one of those dry-runs, and there’s always a way to improve this “real tough cookie”.




Chop – To cut foods into small pieces. Sizes vary from fine (approximately 1/4-inch pieces) to coarse (approximately 3/4-inch pieces). In most recipes, precision is not necessary.



Mushroom Cream Pasta

Dinner was coming up. It was pretty early for it. But it was best to be prepared. Spotting some mushrooms and pasta, I decided to incorporate the two into a pasta I call Mushroom Cream Pasta.

  • 12 oz of any Pasta
  • Olive Olil
  • 1 pound Mushrooms, wiped clean, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • Dash of  Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 2 c. Milk
  • 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and run cool water over pasta to stop the cooking. Place pasta back in the same pot.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft; 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the cream, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon; about 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Add the pasta, stir to coat with the sauce, and cook until the pasta is heated through, 1 minute.


Asian Fried Rice

It’s the first day of cooking. It’s lunch time and I have to fix up something fast. So with leftover rice, I’ve decided to cook-up some fried rice.

  • Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • Steamed White Rice
  • 1 Egg
  • Thinly Sliced Carrots
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Pepper
  • Thinly Sliced Green Onions (Garnish)
  • Sesame Seeds (Garnish)

Coat a hot pan with vegetable oil. Saute the minced garlic then add the steamed rice. Crack the egg over rice, and saute until egg is cooked. Mix in the carrots. Drizzle some rice vinegar and sesame oil. Saute some more until vinegar and sesame oil are incorporated. Drizzle in soy sauce to taste and season with pepper. Turn of heat. Serve with a garnish of green onions and sesame seeds.