Friday, July 20, 2012

Making Fun of SkyMall

If you are a traveler, then you are probably familiar with the Sky Mall Magazine that's conveniently located in your seat-back pocket. Yes, you know the one, filled with novel ideas that only the boredom of a six hour flight could induce you to buy. Capitalism at its best... Hold you hostage and make you believe it's something you can't live with out and you can't get any where else!!!! Buy, Buy, BUY!! Now, now, NOW!!!!

A few examples:
For the germ-phobe (** finger points to self**) kill bacteria
with the wave of a UV wand!!! Disinfect everything...
like this dirty plane I'm sitting on......
My mom actually needs this. She used to be a photographer,
and has a whole cabinet  (or  2, or  3...) full of negatives.
Doesn't your car need CAR LASHES????
I should buy this for some of my aunts, brother,
& other family members! Christmas Gifts?
This was just funny to me because Alex is my kid & Jack is my
That's kind of cool... Looks like books, pull them out of the table
& you've got chairs. Want to lend me $1k?
This is me!
Why Carry your luggage, when it can carry you?
Get a DNA test for Fido.... This way you will know his heritage...
Potty Train your cat.... or put her in a cement mixer...
oh wait, that's a self-cleaning litter box.... my mistake!
Buy this laser-powered, hair-growing helmet.
We won't make fun of you, Promise.... ** crossing fingers **
For my geeky math buddies, this is actually kind of neat.
Oh, wait, does that make me an L 7 like my dad said?
Disco in the Shower! 
Another shirt for me... and my gun-toting aunties....
because garden gnomes aren't creepy enough....
Migraine magic... If this works, it would be
worth the teasing that comes with it.
What, shorts that hold your beer for you?
Gift Idea for my Bro....
Another Dork product, this time for the Lawyer inside all of us...
Well, my dog does try to eat his leash anyways...
Why not make him think it's a hot dog?
Cat box/Table. I totally want to hang my towel on that....
Comes in White or Walnut! Hey, if you are going to have your cat poop
in the towel-holding, bathroom table, why not get a matching
end table/nightstand to kennel the dog in?

Another Nerd Helmet.. This one is for tension!

One more creepy one! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First Attempt at Miso Soup!

Click Here for Recipe!

Actually, the recipe was called Ginger Miso Seafood Broth. I saw Ching-He Huang make it on Cooking Channel, and I had to try it even if it was the middle of summer.  

Miso- Soybean paste, found it in the
refrigerated section at the Asian Grocery Store.
As usual, there were a few ingredients in the recipe I couldn't get a hold of.... and even more importantly, some I didn't like and completely omit (i.e. CILANTRO... blech!My review on the recipe may not be  completely fair because of this...

Luckily, I was able to visit a real city recently to pick up some miso... There was no bok choy to be had in this little town, so I used Spinach. Also I used mostly salmon because it's what I had on hand. 

I have to say I'm not a big fan of tofu, but it's tolerable in this soup.  The ginger is what initially attracted me to the soup, but I have to admit if I make this again, I would cut back on the ginger a bit... and I would probably grate it... well, then again, since it's in big chunks, I guess you could fish it out of the soup if you wanted... I think I would leave the fish out. Hubby liked it, but he's much more of a seafood eater than I am.... I'm thinking MEAT!! lol Also, I added parsley in place of the cilantro...

Thinly Slicing Ginger

And as I said, it's summer; it was 100 degrees F today, so I also had this delicious "personal size" watermelon. It was so yummy. I really could have personally ate the whole thing myself, but I shared! ;) 

**Tip: Use a spoon to scrap the skin off of your ginger root. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chocolate Waffle

Made these today for the family :) yummy

Chocolate Waffle Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 c. dutch process cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 c. chocolate chips or chunks 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cocoa powder. Make a well in the center. Add eggs & buttermilk to the well and combine. Fold in Chocolate chips. Let set 5-10 min. Heat waffle iron. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and add enough batter to fill the cavity.

I served this with cinnamon butter. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


From the Mai 2012 issue of Cuisine Actuelle: Carambarmisù
A made-up contraction of the words Tiramisu and Carambar

Carambar is a caramel candy from France with jokes on the inside like Laffy Taffy. They are for kids and are generally cheesy.

  My favorite (that I know would never make it on the inside of a Laffy Taffy for American kids to giggle over):

“Qu’est-ce qu’on donne à un elephant qui a la diarrhea?”
(“What do you give to an elephant with diarrhea?”)

“Réponse: Beaucoup d’espace !”
(“Answer: Lots of Space!!!”)


Ok, that's enough funny business! Back to the recipe! 

This is a change from the traditional tiramisu. Usually you take lady fingers, dip them in an espresso syrup, layer the custard and cookies and top with a dusting of cocoa.

Carambarmisu lets you chose the cookie you use and you drizzle them with the caramel syrup you make using the candy.

The recipe reads:

Beat 2 egg yolks and 50g of sugar. Incorporate 150g marscarpone, 1 tsp. rum, 2 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks. Melt 5 Carambar in 20 cl of cream. Alternate layers of cream, crushed cookies of choice, and the caramel in glasses. Serve chilled.

Yes,  a-straight-and-to-the-point, I-hope-you-know-what-you-are-doing recipe. Typical of the French. They expect that everyone knows what he/she is doing in the kitchen. Now, let's do an American version that clears it up a bit. Oh, and by the way, this recipe does contain raw eggs (That's traditional! Blame the Italians...). Don't eat it if you are not supposed to! ( i.e. you have a compromised immune system, you are very young, elderly, or pregnant) Make sure your eggs are fresh, and you shouldn't have any problems.

You will need:
2 eggs, separated
50 g (about 1/4 c.) sugar
150 g (about 5 ounces) mascarpone*
1 tsp. rum
About 50 g (about 1.5 oz.) of caramel candy
20 cl. (about 7 fl. oz) or cream (heavy cream or half & half)*

Step 1:
Separate your eggs while cold. Let come to room temperature.
Melt your caramel candies in the cream over low heat. Let cool slightly.

Step 2: 
Whisk together egg yolks, most of the sugar, the mascarpone, and the rum. 

+ I actually used 2 tsp of rum because I thought it needed it... then, I was bad and added in a splash of Kahlua, too. I used a hand held mixer to do all my whisking. 

Step 3:
Whip egg whites and remaining sugar to stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture.

+ Apparently, I don't like to follow directions, but I have a good reason. Since it is easy to over-whip egg whites, I reserved some sugar to whip along with it. I also threw in a small pinch of Cream of tartar. Another protection for the proteins in your egg whites. 

Step 4:
The Magazine suggests using individual glasses for serving, I didn't feel like it, so I made one big one. You decide on your container(s). I used an 8x8 square. It also doesn't tell you what cookies to use or how much. All it says is crushed.... Hmmm.... Room for creativity! This is caramel flavored so it could go with so many things.

+I wasn't sure what to chose, so I went for the classic: The Lady Finger. Well, I also didn't crumble the cookies. Why would I, they fit perfectly into my dish? I was also naughty and deviated from the recipe again and used up some left over coffee by mixing it with sugar and dipping the lady fingers in it as with the traditional recipe.... I liked it, but coffee is a strong flavor and it kind of overpowered the Carambar, so I am not sure that I recommend doing that. 

Step 5: Final step! Assembly! Place a layer of your cookies in the dish, top with the caramel cream you made, top that with some of the custard (egg mixture), repeat. You may chose to dust the top with cocoa... or not....You decide. Place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.... 

Voilà! You have Carambarmisu!


Mascarpone is a soft Italian cheese similar to cream cheese. It usually comes in an 8 ounce tub. In our grocery stores, it is over by the fancy cheeses like brie... not over by the cream cheese and cheddar ;)

The recipe says Liquid Cream... I thought immediately of heavy cream, but I didn't have quite enough on hand so I substituted the rest with half & half.

More info on Carambar:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Korean Pancake

Easy to make & delish! 

From what I've read on the internet, this is a traditional Korean-style pancake called "Pajeon". It's so easy to make and really yummy. I made the most basic version with just scallion (green onion), but you can also make Hae-Mul Pajeon which has oyster, clams and shrimp.

I used to beg my friend E. to make them for me because they were so yummy. She looked at me one day and said "You can make these you know, it's so easy." She gave me her recipe, which I unfortunately lost, but here's my Americanized version

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 egg
  • 4 or 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder (hey, I told you it was my Americanized version)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together flour, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. Make a well in the center. Add the egg, water, and sesame oil and whisk together. Stir in the chopped scallion. Let the batter set for about 15 min.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a few teaspoons of canola oil.  

Add about 1/2 c. of batter to the pan. Flip it over when you can see it's cooking through. You won't get the bubbles you get that tell you to flip an American pan cake. You should have a nice golden brown color on both sides. I got 4 small pancakes out of this batch.

If you want to make Hae-Mul Pajeon, add about 1/4 of each: Oysters, chopped clams, chopped squid or small shrimp over the batter in the pan as you are cooking the pancakes. I've never tried tried this version, but I'm sure it's great if you like sea food. :)

Dipping Sauce
I really like to eat mine plain, but if you want to serve a dipping sauce along side your pajeon, This recipe got  good reviews from my husband:
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp rice vinegar (or plain white vinegar)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds*
Stir all these together. The longer it sits the more the flavors will marry...

*Easy. Place the raw sesame seeds in a clean wok or pan over high heat. Toss around a few times to make sure they don't burn. You can get rather inexpensive ones on the "ethnic" aisle at the grocery store in a little plastic bag rather than a shaker.