Archive for February, 2011

Home remedies: apple cider vinegar

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 by aliaalafaireet

Today I am feeling cruddy. It’s only the sniffles but on such a nice day it is a real downer. I thought it would be a good idea to start sharing home remedies that are probably in your kitchen at this very moment. A little known fact, vinegar is great for what ailes you. It’s antibaterial, antispasmatic, good for urinary tract infections,  joint pain, bronchitis, healthy skin and nails, thrush (yeast infections), and aiding digestion. According to my Illustated Encylcopedia of Healing Remedies, apple cider vinegar is “the most useful medicinally.” I would recommend Bragg’s apple cider, myself. To start an apple cider vinegar regime, mix 1 tablespoon vinegar with 8 oz. water and drink. You can add some honey if you like. Drink twice a day. If your throat is scratchy, apple cider vinegar provides almost instant relief.

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Choripan

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2011 by aliaalafaireet

When a friend of mine came back from Argentina, he bought the recipe for choripan with him. It chorizzo sausage on bread, so basically, the most no fuss sandwich ever. By itself it’s a great snack, with some sauteed veggies or maybe a cup of soup, it’s a great dinner. Take a link of chorizzo and cut it in half lengthwise. Cook it in a skillet. I recommend a bagette for the bread because it’s nice and strudy. If at all possible get a fresh bagette. When you are eating something with only two ingredients it’s worth the trouble. When the chorizzo is close to done, toast some sliced bagette. Two halfs of chorizzo make two choripan so have a friend handy. Slap the sausage on to the bread and eat immediately.

How to Approach Cookbooks

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2011 by aliaalafaireet

I’ve had quite few friends of mine say that they wished they cooked more but that they don’t know how and don’t have time to learn. Or that they want to try new things but don’t they don’t have time to shop for ingredients everytime they find a recipe they want to try. I do understand these concerns, but make no mistake, these are excuses! I have a few tricks for you if you find yourself overwhelmed. First, think of cookbooks as ideas. Most cookbooks have a theme, a basic idea about cooking the author is trying to explore. So why should you not be able to explore yourself? A cookbook can be a good jumping off point. You can use the basic principles found in a cookbook and use them to prepare ingredients you already have. For example, I found a cookbook the other day at the library called Eat Tea, all about incorporated teas into sweet and savory dishes. And I thought, ” I have tea at home! Cool!” I did a prelimanary flip through looking for a couple of things. First, what type of teas were appeared in the most recipes? These are probably the most versitile. Also I looked at ratios, about how much teas is being used in comparison to the other ingredients.

Later that night after checking out what was in my fridge (which was shockingly and embarrassingly little) I decided to make a stirfry. I had some red bell pepper that were on their way out and and an onion. I put some rice on to cook. I brewed myself a cup of black tea and drank all but about 2 tablespoons. Then I sliced a bell pepper and a good chunk of a large yellow onion. I put them in skillet with some oil over medium high heat. For a sauce I added the tea I reserved to some oyster sauce mixed with a bit of garlic siracha, honey, and salt and pepper. Looking back, some ginger would have been a nice addition too, but you can’t change to past.  I also added a bit of dried camomile that my friend Noah gave me for my birthday. After the veggies where done I added my sauce and gave it all a good stir. By this time my rice was almost done. I was really hungry so those last couple of minutes where intense. Sorry the picture of this dish is so poor. The lighting in my kitchen mostly ambiant so photographing at night can be a challenge. Trust me, it was beautiful and delicious. So next time you have a fun cookbook, or are flipping through a magazine or newspaper and you see something you want to try, don’t fret if you don’t have a jerusalem artichoke or fontina cheese or boysenberries, or whatever the uncommon ingredients may be. Take the basic idea presented and use what you have.

Breakfast relearned: herbed baked eggs with lemon aioli

Posted in Uncategorized on February 7, 2011 by aliaalafaireet

I first read about baked eggs in a book called Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson. I am mildly obsessed with Nigella Lawson. She is a genius and a visionary, but I didn’t truely understand the world of baked eggs until I read Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Not that I would, but you could eat a different variation of baked eggs at every meal for years. For the aioli I put an egg, the juice of one meyer lemon, salt, pepper, and oil into my blender. Two mintues, and bing! Done! For the eggs, crack one egg into a ramekin. Add a tablespoon of the highest fat content milk you can find, and whatever dried herbs you like. Repeat for as make eggs as you want. I usually eat two. Pour some hot water into a shallow baking dish to make a nice little water bath for you ramekins. Bake for 350 for 15 minutes. Drizzle with aioli and eat with toast.

Fun things to do with Root Vegetables: Turnip Gratin

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2011 by aliaalafaireet

A while back my friend Sarah had all these somewhat mushy turnips. I wanted to use them, I always want to make vegetable passed their prime feel good about themselves. It’s really not fair how society treats them. Smothering them in cheese sauce seemed like the best idea.

People tend to feel overwhelmed at the idea of making their own sauces. Have no fear. In fact, feel empowered. You will have so much control, and I promise it does not take too much time.

I pretty much always have roasted garlic on hand. You can roast whole heads at a time and keep them in your fridge. I chopped two cloves of roasted garlic, and a small yellow onion. In a sauce pan I melted 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and briefly sauteed the onion and garlic. Then I added 3 tablespoon of flour. You want to stir this so the butter and flour become a paste. Then add about 2 cups of milk and stir until the butter and flour are mostly dissolved. If it has some lumps in it, don’t freak out, it’s fine. Heat until the milk is hot but not boiling. Add a cup of grated cheese, I suggest colby, and 2-3 tablespoons of soft goat cheese. If you don’t like goat cheese then you are crazy, but it’s cool. Just add some more grated cheese. Also add salt and pepper and turn the heat to low. Slice about 7 medium sized turnips, or 3 0r 4 big ones, into half inch thick rounds. Arrange them in a baking pan. Pour the cheese sauce over the turnips and back at 350 for 30 minutes until the turnips are tender.

The lentil wrap

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2011 by aliaalafaireet

I made this wrap in an effort to use up leftovers. I am a leftover queen. One tortilla, greek yogurt, greens, reheated lentils, cold cucumber salad, and colby.