labellementeuse: Sam has her mouth open and her hand to her mouth. She might be eating popcorn? (sg1 what's sam putting in her mouth?)
I'm too lazy to take a photo of this and put it on my faux-proper rarely-updated blog so you get it, you lucky things, you. I finally perfected the cheesecake brownie, which I have been making, on and off, for years. Here is the recipe. It draws heavily on the Smitten Kitchen Best Cocoa Brownie, which I must recommend as a really, really good straight-up brownie recipe.
disgustingly great cheesecake brownie )

Some non-food related cool things:

- Today I read the first 6 chapters of the new Lois McMaster Bujold book, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, which are available for free! from Baen Ebooks. Also you can buy the eARC, which I am trying to resist until November when it's priced more reasonably. But I probably will cave next week so I have something to read on the plane to Australia.

- I was having an awesome solo dance party to Girl Talk today (I've got some moves, y'all, you have no idea) and I'm pretty sure I've linked to All Day before, which is the whole album, downloadable for free - this thing is like the fucking essence of pop music - and I ran into two cool things on the internet:
---> this ... I don't even know what to call it, but it shows you which songs are being sampled at which points in the album. It's really cool.
---> Girl Walk/All Day, a feature-length music video set to the entire album. Honestly this just has some fantastic dancing in it.
labellementeuse: a textless icon of a woman knitting with very long needles (knit knitknitknit)
1. I have raced through all of Parks & Recreation (thanks [personal profile] aworldinside and [personal profile] china_shop, purveyors of excellent things & good lunch companions to boot). If we share TV tastes, I highly recommend it, although I also recommend skipping the first season. It's stuffed with hilarity and team spirit and delightfully quirky characters who are flawed but not in ways that make them unlikeable, rather the opposite.

2. Uh, I started watching Merlin again. We aren't talking about this, but if anyone has any fic recs, I'd appreciate them. Semi-relatedly, I am annoyed that there aren't good screencaps of Morgana in her S1-S2 low-cut dresses. It's not that I'm awful and objectifying (yes I am), but her breasts have actually been relevant to conversations I've had recently and it bugs me that I can't link to them on any tissue-thin pretext. *glumface* Morgana is the prettiest, that is all.

3. this week's Fringe )

4. Food-wise, can anyone give me some really good vegetarian or beef-based slow cooker recipes? I have a Māori class Tuesday and Wednesday nights to which I am trying to take dinner rather than buy it, and I found that slow-cooking a casserole on Tuesday and then taking it to class and leaving it in the fridge overnight was a really good, low-commitment and tasty option. Unfortunately I only have one decent slow-cooked beef stew recipe, and I'm in the market for more.

5. I am massively behind on LJ and DW, so if I've missed something important could you let me know? <3
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
So there's this vegetarian/vegan restaurant on Cuba St called Aunty Mena's and although I am not vegetarian I ate there awhile ago with my friend Clare who is a vegetarian and had this thing called curry noodle and it was totally. delicious.

It was very fresh, not at all limp or soggy cauliflower and broccoli and carrots on fried thick noodles covered in a curry sauce with vege balls and what I think was tofu but I'm not actually sure. It is completely delicious and I urge you to try it next time you're on Cuba St and don't know what you want for lunch or dinner. Really, really good stuff.

Anyway I also like the fresh udon sold by a lady at our Saturday market and wanted to do something different with them than just shove them in a laksa, so, I googled a bit and messed around with some tofu and I came up with this: a really very good knock-off. It's not quite the same as the original dish, which is a little sweeter and has potatoes and also their vege balls are AMAZING, but it's really pretty good.

read on for the recipe! )

In other news:

generic RL update )

- And speaking of milk what would you do if you had a cup of cream and half a cup of coconut milk and a litre of blue top that you needed to use in the next couple of days?

generic fannish/teevee update )
labellementeuse: Sam has her mouth open and her hand to her mouth. She might be eating popcorn? (sg1 what's sam putting in her mouth?)
Potato rosti stack with halloumi and grilled tomato )

Wow it's been a whole week since I got internet back at home and I still haven't posted in that time! Whoops. Here's some stuff I've done instead:
- read a bazillion words of the Social Network fic (a whole bunch of big bang length fic just got posted and it's pretty fantastic, IDK if there's actually a BB fest or if it's just a coincidence though.)
- read Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly, [personal profile] china_shop's White Collar Neal/Jones fic. It's really good y'all! Give it a go even if the pairing makes you side-eye a little, it's a load of fun.
- Got half-way through "The Rebel Flesh" (DW 6x0whatever), realised it was going to be a two-parter, stopped, and now I think I'm going to marathon that, part II, and the last ep before the break tomorrow. Yay for Queen's Birthday weekend.
- Had a really really really busy week at work
- caught up with some publishing people on Friday
- did quite a bit of shopping and cooking and now I'm trying to decide whether I need an external hard-drive or a washing machine more.

I remember when I used to be able to write funny or at least entertaining-in-a-trainwreck-sort-of-way posts that were relevant to fandom, feminism, politics, etc. now all I can do is write recipe posts and link to other people being funny and entertaining. where did it all go so wrong.
labellementeuse: Sam has her mouth open and her hand to her mouth. She might be eating popcorn? (sg1 what's sam putting in her mouth?)
I didn't take photos of this or time it, but I was really pleased with how the meal I made last night turned out, so imma record it here in the hopes that I repeat it later.

self-saucing pork chops )

Relevant to everyone's interests, today's/yesterday's XKCD was laughable in kind of the opposite way to the way it usually makes me laugh. I mean, really?

ALSO: I wrote fic! It is Nikita fic! Only one of you is in that fandom and she beta-read it for me (<3) ... but hey. Outrunning the Bear is Jaden-centric and rated, IDK, PG for swears. Spoilers through 1x09.

Up next: catch up on Nikita and White Collar. Mmmm television.
labellementeuse: Spoiler's diary: 'I know what my next science report is going to be called: "my love-hate relationship with gravity".' (comics my love-hate relationship with gr)
1. I've made a couple of posts over at le blog, most of which I imagine will not be of interest to you unless you need a recipe for hazelnut meringues with chocolate sauce. oh wait, you ALL need that recipe, because it is godly, however the content around the recipe is the same as that post about separating eggs I just made, ie way less interesting. SORRY.

2. What IS interesting to, oh, IDK, EVERYONE:


3. Tonight I went to the Wellington Contra Dance group and it was awesome, exactly what I was looking for - sweaty dancing fun. I had a blast and bumped into a few people I knew (naturally), including an old classmate, my old Physics teacher, and [ profile] dryadwoman! They do it only once a month though, so I'm on the lookout for other similar stuff - I'd really like a dance class once a week.

4. I realised today it's only THREE DAYS until I can start playing and singing Christmas carols twenty-four hours a day. So SOME QUESTIONS. First off, I know I have some Wellington flisties in various choirs, does anyone know if any of them are carrying on over Christmas? Secondly, what's your favourite Christmas carol? Thirdly, recommend me an album of Christmas music. I already have Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens and Jane Monheit and Love Actually. What I really really really want is an album of really seriously bog-standard choral Christmas carols, because as much as reimagined is fun, I frankly want something pure and traditional (i.e. no Snoopy's Christmas although yes I do love it, but I'm looking more for the standards).

Also, I really, really want a nice recording of the carol "As With Gladness, Men Of Old", because it was my school carol and it's lovely and I miss singing it every December. In fact I actually miss it so much I'm thinking about finding out when the QMC Christmas service is and going THAT IS A TERRIBLE IDEA BUT IT'S HOW MUCH I WANT TO SING CAROLS RIGHT NOW.
labellementeuse: Sam has her mouth open and her hand to her mouth. She might be eating popcorn? (sg1 what's sam putting in her mouth?)
I am not by nature a frugal person. In fact I'm a bit of a spendthrift, inasmuch as someone on my budget can be. However, in one area I am pretty cheap, and that area (naturally) is cooking. I don't buy brand name olive oil, I eat canned tomatoes 9 months of the year, and I don't remember the last time I cooked a meat like steak at home (and since steak at home would be a serious event, you better believe I remember it most of the time). I save that extravagant eating for when I'm not home (even though, reasonably, that's much less cost-effective). I am the past master at substitution, I hate doing a shopping trip specifically to try a recipe and will avoid for ages cooking something that I can't make from the typical contents of my pantry.

All this being the case, it will not surprise you to hear that separating eggs makes me crazy. Yes, there are many things that one can do to use up egg whites or egg yolks, but frankly in the moment I rarely have the time or inclination to do these. Who wants to make meringues on top of whatever it was you used five egg yolks for? And egg yolks are even worse: I do like custard, but there are seasons in which it just isn't appropriate. Plus yolks don't freeze like whites do, and I have all these icing recipes that ask for one egg white. It makes me go a little wild-eyed (OK, not an unusual expression for me.) So one of my ongoing life quests is to find many recipes that pair well with each other, in glorious culinary polyphony. Here's a pairing I came up with this weekend that's going straight into my repertoire.

Summer Pasta & Chocolate Meringue Melts

I think these recipes go with each other rather nicely as a summer menu, although admittedly I think pretty much anything goes with these biscuits. It'd be a nice date meal (I think. What's dating like? It's been so long I barely remember.)

These two recipes are what I made for dinner today. I made the biscuits and then decided to do something with the yolks, which I think is a pretty convenient order. I very slightly adapted the biscuits from Brownie Points, who originally got it from Alice Medrich.

guh-orgeous )

The pasta I MacGuyvered a bit. Yesterday I made fresh pasta for the first time in my life, inspired by these really good videos, and I pretty much made it to that recipe. I liked it because it's not focused on specific quantities, but on the right textures; use one egg for every person you're serving, salt in proportion to the eggs, and play the flour by ear. I'm guessing that, like bread, this method means that different humidity levels are easily accommodated. I also really liked that it didn't call for a pasta machine - as it happens we do have one, but I dislike the concept of requiring a machine for something people have been doing by hand for a very long time. Apart from anything, I don't have the cupboard space for a pasta machine, an icecream machine, a pastry blender, a food processor, a Kitchenaid, etc etc. Anyway, so this is what I made yesterday, and it was very very tasty, although slightly thick.

Today I was looking at my two left-over egg yolks and I thought, I wonder if you can do pasta with just yolks. I googled and hit Seven-Yolk Pasta Dough at the Smitten Kitchen (I love Deb, so should you), which seemed pretty promising. So I went ahead and made pasta with two egg yolks and two eggs. I can't give you exact quantities, but I probably started with a mound of about a cup and a half of flour? Maybe two cups? I did use the pasta roller for this lot, although I actually found that I didn't like the end result so much - I think I went a little too thin for my taste, and the pasta ended up kind of unforgivingly thin, meaning it cooked really REALLY rapidly. This was a big pain. However, the pasta itself was still delicious and totally worth the effort, and it was faster than rolling by hand. I urge you guys to watch the videos, read the recipes, and have a play; it's no more time-consuming than making bread and just as fun. I started making the pasta after 7:30, and was eating by ten to nine.

I made farfalle (bow tie) pasta, which is really super easy and looks cute, as well as some fettucine that is sitting in my fridge.

Bizarrely, I got my sauce recipe from some weight-loss forum, I guess because cottage cheese is a diet food? Apparently? (Really? IDK. It is delicious, though.)

- Side anecdote: after reading a series of posts at THM by Maia (and one or two by Anne Else, a food blogger I also love) on "Good" Food "Bad" Food (start 28 August) in which she makes the salutory point that a food by itself doesn't count as good or bad, I felt pretty weird reading a bunch of posters sent to a Labour party electoral office made by primary school students in which they thanked the LP for fruit in schools, saying things like "fruit is good because eating it makes you skinny." And not once or twice: three or four times on each of three posters, made by three different rooms - Room 2, Room 4 and Room 5. Really? This is what we want to teach our seven year olds - that "fruit makes you skinny"? That that's what important about a balanced diet? I found it pretty sickening. I am a fan of fruit generally and like every good freedom-hating liberal I'm a fan of educating people about the relative merits of different foods, but I'm not sure "it's good cos it makes you skinny" is the right message - in fact, I know it's not. The word "skinny" was specifically used more often than the word "nutrition" and about as often as the word "health". This is a bit of a problem (apart from anything else, eating fruit is not going to magically make you skinny! At all! That's just not true!) Oh well, another generation with a dysfunctional relationship to food, par for the course, I suppose. (Note: I feel like as a fat feminist I need to disclaimer this stuff: I don't think that people who are slim have a dysfunctional relationship to food and I don't partake in that "real women" bullshit. I have a dysfunctional relationship to food all on my lonesome (not the kind that makes you slim).)

SO ANYWAY. I did find this recipe on a diet site but it is a pretty delicious summer recipe and since fresh tomatoes are finally a) a decent price b) ripe in the supermarkets, I absolutely had to make it. With some variations.

Summer Pasta
Serves a very hungry 1, moderately hungry 2, 3 or 4 as a side, I suppose.

2 tomatoes
fresh basil
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cottage cheese
salt & pepa

method )
labellementeuse: Sam has her mouth open and her hand to her mouth. She might be eating popcorn? (sg1 what's sam putting in her mouth?)
I have had the most blissfully unproductive weekend, it's been absolutely wonderful.

friday night )

saturday and sunday )

4. Sunday dinner was bacon and eggs on Awesome Toast. Awesome Toast is toast made out of Awesome Bread, which I made Friday and am now going to tell you all about. Because it's awesome.

About a week ago I made Dish & Delaney's Caramelised Onion Bread which, if you read the ingredients list, you will see is full of things that I enjoy having in my life in a very serious way (rosemary, salt, cumin, caramelised onion, yeast breads, etc etc) and indeed I adored this bread. But it's definitely party bread, not the kind of thing you make every day, and it's just not very versatile. Plus onion takes a really long time to caramelise. I wanted to make a bread with similar flavours that would be better for everyday use, like toast, or to freeze and eat in lunches, or with soup, or with bacon and eggs for a lazy Sunday dinner.

So as I was doing my weekly-ish batch of my standard bread (a great flexible recipe I got off my flatmate Lizzie), I made a few alterations, and I produced a loaf of bread I'm really pleased with. It was just darn delicious.

Awesome Bread
Note: Awesome Bread has quite a strong flavour and isn't recommended for most kinds of sandwiches. Make a judgement call. I do think it would be great for roast beef sandwiches &c, though. It's great plain or with a little butter or marge, too.
You can leave out entirely, or swap out for other things, the rosemary, fennel, cumin, etc. I mean your bread won't really taste like anything except flour, but on the other hand you will be able to put Nutella on it, so.

2 t honey
1 1/2 t dried yeast
1 C lukewarm water (you might want this to go up by 1/4 cup, which is what the recipe I based this on calls for; I personally find that too much.)

3 C flour
2 t salt
1 T poppy seeds
1 heaped t ground fennel (I had to go to Moshim's to get this, but it was cheap there anyway.)
1 t dried rosemary (if I had fresh I would have tried that, about 1 T)

olive oil
ground cumin
sea salt/rock salt/flaky delicious salt

1. In a small bowl, dissolve honey in 1/4 C of the water, and sprinkle yeast over. Leave for 5 mins or until foamy.

2. Sift flour and salt into a larger bowl. Add poppy seeds, fennel and rosemary and toss to combine.

3. Create a well in the centre of the flour and pour in yeast mixture. Mix to form a sticky dough.

4. Turn out on lightly floured bench and knead until smooth and elastic - about 2 mins. Rise dough in an oiled bowl until tripled in size - supposedly about 1 hour, could be more (I think my yeast is pretty ancient and this took awhile.)

5. Punch down, turn out onto bench again and knead for another two minutes. Decide at this point if you want a braided bread, rolls, or a loaf.

6. For a braided bread, separate dough into three, braid as usual, and place on greased baking tray (or whatever. I am becoming devoted to silicon mats for all cookie, bread, etc needs). For rolls, divide into eight portions and roll into balls, place on tray. For a loaf, divide in half, roll into two balls, and place in loaf tin. Cover with a tea towel and rise for 30 mins, or until doubled in size.

7. Brush loaf/rolls with olive oil and dust over the ground cumin. Scatter with sea salt.

8. Bake at 190 C (375 F) for 35 minutes or until browned; the bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped (basically, it should be like bread.)

9. Eat it in the manner of your people. I personally am finicky about letting bread cool before slicing it, because I like my slices to be shaped like actual slices and to be fairly thin, not sort of thick squashed slabs. But I'm aware orthodoxy differs on this point. I recommend it with butter or marge.

Ta-da! Awesome Bread. I've been eating it nonstop for three days.

5. It really, really bugs me the way, when you're playing music in Windows Media Player and you've adjusted the size of the window, it's impossible to see what song is playing. Grrrr. Also I'm just generally not a fan of that thing it does where it flashes between title and artist. I want to be able to see the title, artist and album of whatever song I'm playing without having to wait fifteen seconds for whatever to change.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (OT3 OT3 OT3)
More vids! I don't think I'm going to be very talky today, though.

Day 10 - A vid that makes you laugh
United States of Pop, by [ profile] llenka
Community; dance moves; warning for very fast, very highly-lit cutting that even I, who have no vision issues, find a bit difficult to watch; spoilers for the whole season
Read more... )

Day 11 - An AMV you love
This one was tough for me because I'm not at all into anime and the only AMV I've ever really liked is Failed Experiments in Video Editing, which is really good and funny and I'm sure if you're a vidder you'd find it even funnier.

However, I don't really feel that's enough of a sample for me to rec AMVs with authority, so instead I'm going to rec a vid that I love that I could fit into one of these categories:

Big City Life, by [personal profile] lithiumdoll (You can get it here, I couldn't find a vidpost.)
Dark Angel; Max; spoilers for the whole show; violence.

Dark Angel spoilers )

Day 12 - A relationship vid you love
three under cut )

And one thing about food:

So the other day I prepared and froze some World Peace Cookies, except I stupidly left out the chocolate chips so I was like, wow, they're gonna suck. (protip: even without the chips these biscuits are still pretty great, I was just making excuses.) BUT then I was thinking about something I was reading on Debbie Does Edmonds the other day about yoyos and thinking how GOOD the icing that sandwiches together a yoyo is, and I thought - ooh, yeah. That would be awesome.

And it was.

Butter Icing

50g butter, very soft
1/2 C icing sugar
2 T custard powder - USians and other non-Commonwealthers, I believe the standard sub is vanilla instant pudding mix, although that's usually in Nanaimo bars and IDK how it'd work here.

1. Beat all together
2. Enjoy on delicious cookies.

A highly recommended combination, although you really can only eat one.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (fred and george leave school)
So, last night I pulled a horrendous all-nighter in order to finish my book design scrapbook - I am much better at cutting things out using crop than I am using scissors, so I did mine on the internets and you can see if you are interested in knowing what (other than the usual) has been making me crazy for the last week: [community profile] bookdesign_project.

I must be getting older, because the last time I pulled an all-nighter I was basically a bit slow the next day but nothing too serious. Today I was like, becoming hysterical with laughter-verging-on-tears at the drop of a hat - e.g. I started telling one classmate about the folios (page numbers) in Knitting Rules I was so ANGRY and yet so AMUSED because they are BAD but in a FUNNY WAY, so I was like, LAUGH SHOUTING. It was fucking horrible. (It didn't help that I hadn't eaten since about 3am and then it was like, salami and camembert, not exactly a full meal.) I was taking those folios really damn personally.

So anyway, although I had been going to go and hang out with ex-English-classmates Matt and Sarah in our regular Monday gig that I have missed for the past month and it was even my turn to pick the movie (speaking of which:
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 5

What should three former English students watch next Monday night:

View Answers

2 (40.0%)

Mean Girls
0 (0.0%)

The Princess Bride
3 (60.0%)

Something else!
0 (0.0%)


) But instead, I went home. I thought: I have to finish Wolf Hall for book group on Wednesday. I thought: hey, I have two volumes of Scott Pilgrim to read and return to [personal profile] genusshrike. I thought: hey, I have fic I'm in the middle of writing. I thought: hey, how about cleaning some of the things?

Well. I did manage to put on a load of washing. But otherwise, this is what I did between 4 and 8pm today (not in that order):
1. Gave [ profile] senri a lot of probably ill-thought-out advice in what would have been high-pitched tones if we were speaking IRL but instead just lots of caps and swearing
2. Baked a loaf of white bread, a loaf of cheese bread (but I forgot the paprika so it was dull), and giant nutella chocolate chip cookies; prepared and froze World Peace Cookies for my next biscuit emergency, but I forgot to put in the chocolate chips so they probably won't do their job; and improvised Almost Vegetarian Spring/Summerish Rolls for dinner.

Y'all, I don't live alone, but my flatmates are in Japan right now. That's a LOT of baking. What was I THINKING? (It's not actually that crazy: I'm pretty seriously broke right now and I need to get back into the swing of packing lunches, and baking is awesome at making me actually want to do that.) BUT ALL THAT IN LIKE FOUR HOURS. Less because of my time out to shout at [personal profile] sushiflop (and confidential to you, bb, we are friends on DW! But will I call you Senri or Sushiflop now? SO HARD.) SO MANIC. SO SO MANIC.

Anyway, I have this whole resolution that I can't remember if I told you guys about or not, but the resolution was: I am tired of having to google and regoogle every time I want to make the same recipe twice or having to re-make-up the same dish over and over again. I'M WRITING THIS SHIT DOWN. on my journal because have you seen my handwriting? So here have some recipes.

cheese bread ) I ate two pieces lovely and warm and the rest is sitting in slices in the freezer now. I have never tried freezing it before, but I'm not too worried.

white bread ) I slightly undercooked this, I think, and then I cut into it too soon, so half of it is in strangely-shaped slices and the other half is sitting there waiting too cool down and have a starring role in a freezer bag.

I'm skipping the nutella cookies because I've now been working on this post for an hour and a half and that's DUMB. (I was doing other stuff too plus still tired.) And I want to sleep. Got the recipe here on youtube and the woman says nutella in the FUNNIEST way. I can't tell if she's being ironic or not.

But I do want to put down what I did with the Weirdo Rolls.

Tui's Lazy-Ass Vege-Based But Not Actually Vegetarian Dinner: Egg and Carrot Rice Paper Winter Rolls
read more )
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (SG-1 singing!)
Leave a comment saying "Harmony" (or "Drusilla" or your favourite vampire name, or "Sassy" or your favourite ship name. Sassy, by the way, is the pairing smoosh for Sam/Castiel, and I think it is HILARIOUS. It goes so well with their matching bitchfaces.)
- I'll respond by asking you five questions.
- Update your journal with the answers to your questions.
- Include this explanation and offer to ask other people questions.

I got questions from [ profile] sixth_light and [ profile] lady_larla.

questions from Lucy: The Real World, NZ blogosphere drama, best book I read lately, and food. )

Questions from Tas: slebs, books again, time travel, Sarah Palin, and a seriously overworked answer to a music question. with uploads! )

That was so much fun imma do that other meme that I've never done: ask me anything. (Anon commenting is on at LJ and DW.) I don't promise to answer everything, but I'll at least think about it!
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (let me define seven wishes)
I made this recipe up a few weeks ago* and it's just been recipe-tested by my flatmate (who did a tremendous job reading my handwriting considering a) my handwriting is awful and b) she speaks English as a second language and c) her first language is Japanese, which obvs doesn't even have the same alphabet.) Anyway, this was a great success and we like it very much. This recipe is vegetarian-friendly, but I don't think it would be too easy to veganise because of the pastry, filling, etc. Gluten-free people: is wheat-free pastry even possible?

*I am not the first person to think of leek and potato pie, obviously. I believe some people also put chicken in, which I think would just be kind of bland unless you used SMOKED chicken in which case it could be delicious. But not vegetarian any more.

A sufficient quantity of flaky or puff pastry, depending on how much time/energy/butter you have, to make a pie bottom and top crust. Or you can just buy sheets. Puff pastry is one of those things that it's not necessarily worth making at home, IMO.
Three large-ish potatoes
Two leeks
50g + 25g butter
Two eggs
Half a cup of milk


1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F.

2. Peel potatoes and slice into small pieces - cubes or slices are both fine, but the pieces should be small.

3. Boil potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain.

4. Meanwhile, clean and slice the leeks - into rings or julienned are both great. Melt 50g butter in a wide saucepan and saute the leeks in the butter with a little salt (Or not if you use salted butter!) until shiny and soft.

5. Grease your pie dish. Lay out a sheet of pastry over the bottom and press in per usual. (Just as seen on TV, in films, etc!) Scatter drained potatoes over the bottom and top with soft, shiny leeks.

6. Melt 25 g butter in microwave (be careful about this, butter is dairy and dairy goes nuts when heated. Melt slowly on a low temp.) Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together with the butter and pour over leeks and potatoes. DON'T RINSE THE BOWL OUT.

7. Top the pie with the second sheet of pastry. Use the leftover egg-milk mix in the bottom/on the sides of the bowl to brush the top of the pie. Bake for about 30-40 minutes - sorry, not so sure about that time, but the top of the pie should be all crispy and it should all look, you know... cooked. (Sorry, there are learn-to-cookers on my flist and this isn't very clear! Never mind!)

This is a really truly delicious meal during winter and works really well to get rid of those leeks you bought last week because they were super cheap at the vege market and then realised that you were sick of leek and potato soup. On the other hand, I find that, especially straight out of the oven, it doesn't hold together super-well and is likely to fall all over your plate. (When it's been in the fridge for a night this is not such a big deal.) This doesn't bother me because well, I'm just not that picky/obsessive about plating. But I know it would bother some people.

Also! A request! New Zealanders! Go to UKTV NZ and vote for your favourite Doctor Who episodes? I really want some people to vote for Blink (You can only pick 3, and I picked The Empty Child/Doctor Dances, Partners in Crime, and Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords - but I really really wanted to do Blink too.) Anyway they're doing a marathon over the June long weekend, so! If you go and vote you should come over to my place that weekend and we'll watch Doctor Who and eat baking, it'll be awesome. I'll make pie and everything.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (my own adventures)
Man, I've been so boring lately, sorry y'all, and there's really no variety here either: this is a 'what I made for dinner' post because I keep making stuff and being pleased with it & then six months later forgetting what I put in it.

So the other night on food TV a guy said 'Imma make leek and potato soup' and then... he made leek and kumara soup. Like, I know people other places call it sweet potato, but seriously, not the same thing. However, it did kick me with a craving for a leeky soup and the idea of leeks with non-potato vegetables was pretty cool, so this is what I made for dinner tonight. These numbers are all approximations and next time I might up the kumara and mayyyybe down the garlic, which it pains me to say, but. Anyway, it was pretty tasty. Play around.

Leek and Vegetable Soup
Adapted from some random restauranteur on the Food channel last night.

~25, 30 g butter (I am not actually sure about this, I think I cut about half of one of the lines on a block of butter, but it could have been more like 50g)
2-3 leeks
3 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a knife and finely chopped
1 large kumara, I used purple because they were on special, but I think an orange/red one would give it a nicer colour
~6 potatoes
3 carrots
6 cups chicken stock NB: make this vegetable stock and this soup is vegetarian, make it vegetable stock and use a tablespoon of oil instead of butter and it's friggin' vegan, yo.
Pepper to taste, I highly recommend several solid turns of the grinder, and in fact I would possibly up that to a solid 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh ginger and milk or cream - these are optional.

instructions under the cut )
Crusty Herby Bread
Adapted from this epicurious recipe for people much more lazy (i.e. me) with smaller food processors (my flatmate. I don't even own a food processor.)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-oz package)
1/3 C warm water
1 T honey
4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar
A bunch of mixed herbs, I used the kind that come in a packet, if you use fresh I recommend rosemary, oregano, probably parsley, basil, IDK. Use whatever you like. One commenter on the epi page uses rosemary and lavender!
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 lightly beaten egg, HOWEVER, it will not USE all this egg so if you don't have something else to do with it use olive oil or something.

mmm, bread. I was really pleased with how this came out, I have to say. )
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
So I must tell you all about what I made for dinner tonight: 40-clove garlic chicken, roasted vegetables, toasted bread and broccoli. The centrepiece is a bit of a heartstopper but, really, it's not that bad, no added fat except the extra-lite olive oil, and boy oh boy, was this delicious.

roast veges )

chicken )

I prepared the vegetables first and popped them in the oven, then the chicken. Plan to take the chicken out of the oven ten minutes before you serve the meal, and put thick slices of good french or artisan bread on the oven racks to toast while you carve the chicken and steam broccoli (although actually, this would be better with a salad, it's just that we finally killed the Jesus broccoli today.) (Um, it was the second coming of broccoli to these particular planets.) Then you drizzle the chicken with reduced juices from the pan and squeeze the garlic cloves over the bread which is just, ugh, to DIE.

good things about this meal: vegetarians and vegans hate it, but it's good for most other intolerances depending on what vegetables you use (i.e. I wouldn't use potatoes cooking for my friend - though FTR, the recipe called for serving the chicken with rice, I just think that's weird). No casein or lactose, no gluten or wheat or grains, no soy. Obviously, though, you need to like garlic.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (geek chic(k))
I really felt like rice pudding today so I went on an Internets Quest to try to find one that didn't involve baking or cooling (because both of these processes take yonks) or cooking in ramekins (ridiculous, fiddly.) I didn't find one quite the way I wanted it so I synthesised a couple of recipes from Epicurious. It is pretty damn tasty.

3/4 C rice
1 1/2 C water
pinch salt
3 C milk
1 C cream
1/2 C sugar
4 strips orange zest
vanilla bean
cinnamon quill

Note: none of these are absolute.
Rice: I used arborio because we had it, but you could definitely use long-grain, other short-grain, medium-grain - one of these recipes originally recommended basmati rice which I would NEVER have thought to use for rice pudding.
Milk: I used whole milk and a cup of cream but probably you could switch to 4 cups milk and drop the cream, maybe even use a lower-fat milk - it is very, very rich.
Sugar can be upped or downed according to taste.
Orange zest (I used the zest of about half an orange, peeled with a potato peeler) and cinnamon quill can be dropped entirely; lemon zest can be substituted for orange zest; a teaspoon or so of cinnamon can be substituted for the quill.
Don't drop the vanilla altogether, but you can substitute it for vanilla essence. Vanilla pods are pretty dear (however you can get them on trademe for around $1/ea.)


1. Bring rice, water, and salt to boil in a large flat-bottomed pan, then cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer until the water is absorbed (I wouldn't fuss too much about the water being Utterly and Completely absorbed because your rice will burn.)
2. Slice the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out seeds. Zest your orange.
3. When water is absorbed add milk, cream, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds, cinnamon, and zest, and stir thoroughly.
4. Over a medium heat, cook uncovered stirring every five or ten minutes (every ten at the beginning, every five towards the end) until the pudding becomes thick and creamy - about 40 minutes depending on the texture you're looking for.
5. Remove orange zest, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean. Serve warm, or press gladwrap to the pudding (to prevent a skin forming) and refrigerate until ready to serve (it will probably set, like a jelly, if you do this, so think about that if you want it to look nice when you serve it. But realistically, this is rice pudding, one does not make it for its good looks.)
Discard the orange zest. Rinse the vanilla pod - you can grind it up and mix it with sugar, or just store it in your sugar bowl - don't discard it after just one use, although since boiling in milk for an hour is a fairly intensive use don't expect to be able to use it the same way again. You can do the same with the cinnamon quill - use it to stir your tea or coffee, etc.

(Socially) Good Things about this recipe: it is vegetarian. It is wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and egg-free. It is NOT vegan (I'm curious as to how rice pudding made with coconut milk would turn out, although I suspect it'd have to be half coconut milk half soy milk; you could probably do it with soy milk if you have a vegan friend you want to feed but I wouldn't swear to it) and it is not sugar-free. (I have a friend who is, among other things, sugar intolerant; I was just congratulating myself on having made a recipe she could eat when I remembered that. :-/) However, there are plenty of sugar substitutes out there for diabetics etc.

Oh, a me-update: I feel a lot better, still tired but just about over the jetlag - had class from 9 to 5 yesterday so I really had to be awake and alert the whole day, and then managed to keep awake till 10 o'clock and woke up about quarter to seven, so I think I'm more or less sorted. I'm also mostly over the dread illness and much warmer - my uncle brought me round a wee heater so I've been heating my room and basically never leaving it, which is very, you know, cozy. And restful.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (bestfriends4evah!1!!)
I'm rather proud of dinner tonight even though it didn't come out quite perfect, so have a recipe! But please take note: a significant part of this recipe is an unduplicable work in progress, and I'm at least partly recording it for my own note-making purposes, so. Also, I didn't come up with the concept, I stole it from a friend.

pumpkin and kumara curry )

Here are some good things about this recipe: it's vegetarian, and it could be made vegan pretty easily by using extra coconut milk instead of milk, but it doesn't taste like a vegetarian meal. That would make it dairy-free, too. Use plain rice and it's gluten-free and wheat-free and egg-free and soy-free (BUT CHECK YOUR STORE BOUGHT CURRY PASTE) and potato-free, which I bet you thought was a -free you didn't have to worry about, but my BFF is intolerant to all of those things. It's hard to screw up - put just about anything in coconut milk and simmer for half an hour and it tastes fine, trust me. Use light coconut milk and it's pretty healthy - especially if you use brown rice. It's quick and low-maintenance - there's plenty of opportunity to check your email or fix your makeup. And it's great for rainy days, which today is. GO TO AUSTRALIA, RAIN.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
Dear livejournal,

I made the most amazing dinner last night! It was a delicious spinach and roast veges salad, with honey bacon vinaigrette. It was also totally easy peasy, here's how you do it )
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (bestfriends4evah!1!!)
I made ice-cream tonight! Actually, it was "rosewater semifreddo", and the recipe came out of the Sunday magazine in today's SST, and it had like fifteen other things that were supposed to go with it, but basically it was ice-cream that was unbelievably easy to make.

It went down like this (actually, it went down to double these quantities because my mother had an infinite number of egg yolks that had amassed due to pavlovas, meringues, etc.)

Rosewater Icecream from the Guy who Edits Cuisine, Apparently.

100g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
250ml cream
2 tablespoons rosewater

1. Whip the cream.

2. Beat sugar and yolks until pale, fluffy, and twice the volume.

3. Fold cream and rosewater into sugar-egg mixture.

4. Pour into a shallow metal tray, cover, and freeze until it's ready - I left it about five hours and it wasn't melty, but it didn't hold its shape that nicely if you're really into presentation.

That's it! Ridiculously easy, eh? However, once caveat: I found this really strong and sweet. If I made it again, I would probably reduce the rosewater, or (more likely) swap it out for vanilla or mint or coffee or, you know, whatever. Also, I have no idea how long it'll keep - anyone got any idea? Mind you, it doesn't make a lot - our double batch filled an ordinary slice pan right up, but didn't overflow at all. So freezer survival might not be a big issue. Finally, this could be super-delicious with finely chopped nuts in it - unsalted pistachios? Hmm, I really wanna try that now, dammit.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
Alors, mon examen de calcule, c'etait vraiment affreux... je me sens comme j'ai ete couru plus d'une voiture. Surtout l'integration; ca fait trop trop trop mal, je crois. heureusement c'etait seulement un practice, "les mocks"; je ferai plus bien a la fin d'annee, j'espere. Et maintenant je m'inquiete de mon exame de francais, a demain....

Anyway, after that rather dreadful experience I came home, and I've spent the better part of the afternoon baking a cake for my mother's book group. I hope they appreciate it; it's fairly hardcore and when it's done (it's in the oven right now) I expect it will look and taste rather wonderful; this is a fantastic, and REALLY RICH, cake.
Devil's Food Cake )

That's all for today, really. Good cake, though. let you know how it turns out...

Oh, and, this weekend I got my learners license, had my first lesson yesterday and was truly, truly awful, like dangerous, and I worked Sunday. if any of you were at the game and bought coffee by aisle 10, the clumsy girl selling coffee and dropping it all over the place was me. :o

Okay, I only spilled one cup. ;)


labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
worryingly jolly batman

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