Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peking Duck in Sports Bras and Drop-Crotch Pants

With the recent onslaught of prelims, projects, and problem sets (oh my!), I've resorted to dressing and eating in extreme comfort.  Not quite comfortable enough to, say, wear leggings as pants, but comfortable enough that instead of wearing a real bra, I've

The Food
Matt said he wanted to roast a duck when I suggested we roast an animal several weeks ago.  So he was super duper ecstatic when I proposed this recipe for Peking duck.  Though, we are not as adept duck-roasters as that lovely human being, we decided to give it a whirl.  So, we started by removing the innards from our slightly frozen duck.
Matt running the duck under some lukewarm water.
Heart, lungs and spinal column to be used for a broth later.
After that thirty-minute struggle was over, we had to pull feathers out and score the skin to maximize fat-drippy-ness.
Scoring with what I thought was a super sharp knife (nope)
Flipping the bird.
There's a part in the instructions that says to tie the legs together with a piece of birch string or something.  Do I have fancy things?  No.  Do I even have spare string?  Nope.  So we decided to cut a slit in the skin-fat and pull the legs through it.
Not creepy at all.  Nope.
So then we roasted it for 4 hours, flipping the bird every hour.  At hour three, we made a glaze of soy sauce, molasses, agave nectar, and sriracha.  I don't even know what's an acceptable substitute for honey, but agave nectar supposedly tastes just as good and has almost the same consistency.  Due to an allergy, I have no idea what honey tastes like.
The glaze
The bird!  With the glaze.
We ate the bird with tortillas and saved the fat for later.  It was beautifully executed meal with Magic: The Gathering and much laughter that followed.  I had not seen Matt for a whole week since he had silly fraternity initiation things to do.  But I had him back, so that was nice.
Corn tortillas are gluten-freely and magically delicious.
My half of the bird.  So good!
3/4 of a cup of duck fat.  Not too shabby.
The Fashion
Duck is a luxury food and luxury sometime equates with comfort.  Comfort to me is a good pair of pants (or no pants if those are the best pants I can find) and a sports bra.
Sweater (Esprit), pants (ASOS, fun fact: I got them that evening), tank top (American Eagle), sports bra (Lululemon athletica), necklace (bought in China), and hat (knit by my friend's mom)

Not to get too personal, but this semester has really taken a toll on me emotionally and personally.  I really wish I could find more time to do fun cooking things and spring break will hopefully open up the doors to some personal development.

Keep it yummy,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Valentine's Day: Now With Truffles

The Food

Sorry this is coming so late.  I have been so busy the passed few weeks that having time to even use the bathroom has become difficult.  But I am back (sort of).  I may write another entry this coming week, but I have so much work that I am taking time out to remember that I am a person and not just a study bot.

But my Valentine's Day was marvelous.  Matt and I were all romantical and took time to appreciate each other.  One of those things was shrimp tacos.  The other was truffles.  And here's the process we used to make them.
TRUFFLE INGREDIENTS: Cocoa powder, cinnamon sticks, whipping cream, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.
The cinnamon sticks made a face.
The smell of heavy creaming being cooked with cinnamon is unlike any other.  I was so excited about that alone that I wanted to eat the heavy cream.  But then I remembered that I had truffles to make.

We thought mixing the heated cream with the chocolate chips would melt them.  Nope.
The return of the ghetto college double-broiler.

Waiting for this to solidify for 3 hours was the hardest part.  But the hanging out while waiting was totally worth it.  You didn't want it to be gooey and sticky, but that ganache was so delicious, I wanted to die.
We decided to roll them up in hazelnuts to help maintain the shape.
I was going to take more pictures.  But our mouths beat my camera to the truffles.
The Fashion
I  like to think of burgundy as pink for girls who don't want to admit they like pink.  There, I said it.  I wear a lot of burgundy because it has the delicateness of a pink but the fierceness of a red.  But it can also be super romantic.  Which is why I wore two different burgundy dresses for my Valentine's day events.
Sweater (from a neighbor), dress (H&M), accessories (H&M), hat (sparkle and fade), slippers (gift from my cousin)
The above outfit is what I wore on actual Valentine's Day.  I love that dress because it is so dang cute.  Since the hem is longer in the front, I feel so much more modest wearing it.  But since Valentine's Day feel on a Thursday, I had to bike to classes.  So I'm pretty sure I flashed half of campus.
Me and Matt at his Valentine's Day formal.  Dress (Free People), necklace (he bough it from Kohl's)
Matt's fraternity had a Valentine's Day formal at a swanky Italian restaurant.  I love getting dressed up and he looks so dapper in a suit that I died.

On Thursday, look forward to a post about the awesomeness of sports bras and trying to cook Asian meals as a European when I attempt to make Peking duck.

Keep it yummy,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mardi Gras Weekend Indulgences: Scallops and Galaxy Leggings

Happy weekend-gras! See what I did there? Though, I think most people refer to it as Carnivale weekend, but either way.  I hope you're enjoying traditional indulgences before Lent (if you're into that).  I also hope everyone stayed safe in Snowgnarok here on the East Coast.

Just before the storm came, Matt and I went to the grocery store to get some food, and one of our purchases was scallops, one of our favorite seafoods.  And I guess I should feature the recipe used here (since it is somewhat original).
Look at them defrosting.
The defrosting was probably the longest part.  But soon after came the spicing and searing.  I like searing because high heat and minimal contact with oil creates flavor and crunch without too much unhealthiness.
Angry scallop is angry.
Look at them sizzling!
In the pan, we tossed in some garlic paste for some added flavor.  If you're into that.  Me and Matt clearly are.
So pretty and yummy looking.
As a side, we made peas and rice, since those are things that go with seafood.  And wine, but we didn't make or have that because we totally don't drink because we're underaged.
So this picture came out pretty dark.  Sorry.
Scallops with Peas and Rice

  • 8 scallops
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper
Peas and Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro (though I'm sure fresh cilantro would be even better)
  • 1/2 cup peas
  1. Defrost scallops
  2. While the scallops defrost, cook rice in rice cooker
  3. When the rice is almost done, add the lemon juice and cilantro
  4. Heat the butter and oil on a large pan on medium-high
  5. Use spatula to put garlic paste
  6. Place scallops on the pan for 1 minute and a half on each side
  7. Add peas
Serves: 2

Shirt (Urban Outfitters), hat (pins and needles), leggings (Tobi), shoes (Aerosoles), cuff (gift from mum),  and necklace (Urban Outfitters)
Since it was Carnival weekend, I decided to go a little crazy with my outfit.  By crazy, I mean, I wore leggings as pants and not just ANY leggings, but my favorite galaxy leggings.  The color also matches the nautical theme of the dinner with the wave-shaped rice with the scallops.  I wish I had a masquerade mask to wear, but that's an art project for another time.

So no entry on Tuesday, but Thursday, look forward to a post about Valentine's Day's ultimate treat: chocolate truffle.

Keep it yummy,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Veselka and the Shoes that Zipper Around My Calves

I have big calves.  Seriously, they're big and muscle-y and I love them, but sometimes putting on boots can be the biggest hassle ever.  But look at these!  They fit and they make my legs look wonderful.
Aren't you excited to be back to awkward mirror pics?  Sweater (Diesel), shirt (Urban Outfitters), skirt (Cheap Monday), tights (H&M), boots (Aerosoles), hat (ASOS), socks (urban outfitters)
I bought them during a recent trip to NYC for my cousin's daughter's Baptism.  That outfit is not the one I wore to the ceremony, but it definitely shows off how the boots fit on my legs.  After the ceremony, we went to brunch at a place called Veselka in the Bowery.  The food is amazing, but most of it is not gluten-free friendly.  So I went with a vegan mushroom soup and eggs Benedict (which was served on toast because I, once again, forgot to be assertive).  Luckily, my allergy is not triggered by food touching, so that's okay.
This is the menu, which, as you can see, isn't very gluten- or wheat-free friendly
Vegan mushroom soup
Eggs Benedict.  You can kind of see the challah bread.
My cousin could not modify the menu too much, but that's okay.  Sometimes it takes a bit of digging and shopping around to find things you can eat (and wear!).

Sunday look forward to a post about no-bake cookies.  I have to cut out Tuesday blogging in favor of homework and having my life together.  Sorry!

Keep it yummy,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sorry Everyone!

It's been a hectic two days back and I left my camera at Matt's house :(  So I will hopefully blog tomorrow.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Can't Follow Recipes: Vegan, Not-vegan Butternut Squash Enchiladas

For some random reason, I decided to abandon meat this week.  Well, not entirely, I did have two pieces of general Tso's chicken that Matt gave because I was really craving protein.  Or meat.  But that's just me trying to  listen to my body and what it wants.

However, this recipe I found on the internet when looking for things to do with squash and pumpkins.  And oh man, y'all are in for a treat.  Why can't I follow recipes?  I did not feel like buying canned tomatoes pumpkin if I had most of a butternut squash lying around.  Since it wasn't enough for the recipe, I also added a sweet potato.
The colors go, it's okay.
The rest of the filling, I kept the same. Wait, that's a lie.  I have a pecan allergy, so I added almonds because I think those are similar in texture.  I also don't have spinach in the house right now, so I skipped those.
Almonds are the best
Sixteen tortillas went into this meal.  Six were Trader Jose's and ten were La Banderita.  The La Banderita tortillas help up a lot better after filling and wrapping, so I might exclusively buy those from now on.  Layering was creative because those 16 did not neatly fit in a row.
Since I also could not come up with a pounds of salsa verde, I mixed it with some hot goya salsa to make the 16-ounces of salsa.  It tasted so good though, highly recommended.  Before popping these into the oven, I sprinkled some non-vegan shredded cheddar.  Hence the non-vegan part of the meal, but honestly, those could have been omitted all together.
Look at my food, my food is amazing.
Put a dollop of sour cream.
And now for the outfit.  I always associate vegans with edgy-dressed girls who may or may not like other girls, I tried to emulate that look with some cargo pants and combat boots.  I thought this look was awesome.  Except for the people who asked about my cleavage.  Screw you guys.
Shirt (American Eagle), red shirt (Abercrombie), pants (uniqlo), and boots (doc marten's)
On Sunday, I might not get around to blogging because I'll be out of town (Ithaca-town), but regardless, the entry will be about navigating cuisines that are inherently not gluten-free (I'll be at a Ukrainian restaurant for brunch and those meals are typically sandwich and flour-heavy).

Keep it yummy,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Keeping Warm and Cute: Blueberry Pie with Spelt Crust

I had the biggest urge to bake a pie. Seriously, it was intense.  But last time I tried making a pie (which I somehow forgot to blog about, my apologies), it did not come out very pie-like.  It looked more like a cobbler, but was still delicious.
Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flour
The crust recipe comes courtesy of the page about Scandinavian baking, which was so simple, I figured, why not give it a shot?
Lauren whisking the flour with the butter
I did not feel like making two pie crusts, so I halved the recipe.  My friend, Lauren, brought a stick of butter, of which we used 2/3 of cup of to make the dough, which looked like this:
My little ball of dough: pie is magic
While the ball of dough was refrigerating, we decided to make the filling, which consisted of frozen strawberries, frozen blackberries, frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries, agave nectar, and arrowroot.  In hindsight, I should have used MORE arrowroot for more gelatinization.
I used the Blackberry Cobbler filling recipe from Babycakes NYC
After half an hour, it was time to roll out the dough!  I am legitimately amazed that show much dough arose from just a cup of spelt flour, but food can be made of magic like that (not really, it's more the proteins in the spelt that cause that, but hey, magic sounds better).
Rolling out the dough!
We spooned the pie filling in the pie and poked three holes so that vapor and whatnot have somewhere to go and my pie didn't explode int he oven.  We had a ton of leftover dough, so Lauren and I decided to be creative.
Two friends worshiping Death?  I dunno what we were going for.
So after thirty to forty minute, our pie was ready!  And leaky.  Due to the lack of gelatinization.  But that just made the whole Death-worship thing that much more legit.
You know how the filling was funny?  I think we forgot to have the pie set a bit, so serving it was a huge mess.  But, whatever, it was delicious and satisfied my pie desires.
Mmmm, pie.
The fashion was definitely inspired by the colors of the pie filling and the fact that it was deathly cold outside. So how do you keep warm?
Sweater (Free People), Skirt (H&M), yoga pants (Lululemon), collared shirt (Cooperative), and hat (knit by Indigo Hare)
Layers.  Like ogres and onions.  Since that day I had a presentation to give, I wanted to dress well.  But it was also in the single digits Fahrenheit, so I had to be smart about how I looked.  The fact that I had to bike a mile round trip between classes did not help either.  I put the sweater over the collared shirt, which kept my core nice and warm.  The yoga pants are so much thicker than regular leggings and have more structure, rendering them appropriate even if I did not have a skirt on.  And of course, I wore my warmest jacket with a circle-scarf wrapped three times around my neck to keep my face warm.

On Thursday, we continue the saga of I Can't Follow Recipes with an awesome recipe for vegan enchiladas and a super-edgy coordinated outfit to go!

Keep it yummy,