“Woz” Up?


How NOT to cook.
March 26, 2008, 3:20 am
Filed under: Food, How To Cook (In College) | Tags: , , ,

Just remember: When you tell someone with a headache that you’ll cook for them, they won’t forget.

DAMN YOU HINCHUI!

Also, the new cat? Totally cute. Yes. We got ANOTHER ONE.



Popcorn Balls!
March 19, 2008, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Food, How To Cook (In College) | Tags: , , , ,

What can I say, I had a craving. SOMEONE was talking about them last night. Well, so was Deborah. (Who, by the way, is all annoyed by the fact that she’s number Four on my list of things I like.)

Well Popcorn Balls. I’m making them soon. Why? Because I love them. And because they look like easter eggs if you make them weird shapes, so I’m doing that instead of going home.

Well the basic recipe is pretty easy, good for college students, kids, and my mother.

I tend to use a BIG bunch of pop corn. Somewhere between 4-6 quarts. Depending on how much of the sticky binding goo I make. (I tend to eyeball stuff, it’s faster..and so I eat sooner.) The lazy way to do this? Make 2-3 bags of microwave popcorn. Screw those fancy popcorn makers. That’s why I can nuke stuff. Stick it in a warm oven to keep it hot. Or just have someone make it just as you start making the syrup.

The sticky syrupy junk:
BUTTER
Sugar: 2 cups
Water: enough to dissolve the sugar (1 to 2 cups, but less water than sugar)
Salt: healthy pinch
Corn syrup: 1/2 a cup (the reason I haven’t made these yet…Need to stock pantry)
Vinegar: 1/2 cap (or a teaspoon)
Vanilla: 1 cap full (teaspoon…optional, but yummy)
Other small optionals: a little cayenne, some maple syrup, peanut butter, Kahlua, banana extract, peppermint extract, marshmallows, that kind of stuff. Just tweak as you see fit.

Basically, make a syrup:
FIRST: melt some butter in the pan.
Dissolve the sugar, corn syrup, salt, vinegar, and whatever else in the water, and make you-self a simple syrup. Stir it. A LOT. This stuff gets hot, so be careful, take your time, use medium heat, and let it get good and sticky. Let it start to bubble. It’s technically “Hard” stage on a candy thermometer, or 250F…That translates to kinda bubbly and sticky. It’s not an exact science. It’s really hard to screw these up.

Once you have syrupy yummyness, toss in the popcorn, stir to coat, butter you hands, and start shaping. You’ll figure out if you like them more loose, or more dense, leave them on a lightly buttered cookie sheet (or cutting board, if you’re me…). For fun, dust on some colored sugar at the end…they start to look like play pen balls.

*Yes this entry was written a while ago, sorry. Just got around to finishing it. OKAY!?!?! I’ll make them soon.



Salt: a love/hate relationship.
March 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Food, How To Cook (In College) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So, it’s well known by many that I have salt issues. Not like, it’s falling out of my ears or anything, or that I don’t like it. I like salt, I REALLY REALLY DO. I just forget to add salt.

Case in point: Egg drop soup. I always buy low sodium broth if I’m buying stock (I’m LAZY! Yeah, I know, I hate me too.) About two weeks ago I made egg drop soup and somehow neglected the salt. It tasted like crap. And I was left to wonder why. In my saltless stupor.

Deborah then swooped in and salted the soup, making it taste not bland. I was forced to admit defeat. Damn.

This leads me to wonder. Why do I neglect the salt so much? I’m a big fan of kosher salt. I like it better than granulated. (Damn you Alton Brown!) But I haven’t been using kosher salt for about two years. I just forget to buy it. Again, with me sucking at life.

This leads me to my next idea. I’ve been planning a pantry stocking set of entries, and with my salt prompting I think it’s time. So Item one on the “Well Stocked Pantry” list is: Kosher Salt (unless you need the iodine. Then you’re beat.)

One final thought: Iodized salt: They iodize salt to prevent thyroid problems. Like goiters! Fun. So if you’re going to make the switch, eat some sushi once in a while. (It has iodine too.) Yeah.



Blender: Of Doom!!!
March 5, 2008, 3:32 am
Filed under: Food, How To Cook (In College) | Tags: , , , , ,

So I just found out that you can use a blender as a Grinder/Food Processor. Just stick a mason jar on the top! Seriously? How cool is this? Yeah.

Blowing. My. Mind.

So Cool.



Not Tempering an Egg
February 27, 2008, 6:29 pm
Filed under: Food, How To Cook (In College) | Tags: , , ,

    So, you get tempering, but why did you temper that egg?

Well, it’s basically to keep from scrambling the egg in your sauce base, right? Scrambled eggs don’t belong in baked mac and cheese. Tempered eggs do.  Now, what about adding eggs to a base (maybe a chicken stock?) without tempering? That’s the basic idea behind egg drop soup. Which I love. I usually do this with noodle soup. (Those Lipton packet thingies.)  For the recipe (if you can even call it that…) you’ll need an egg (or two), a packet of noodle soup, and maybe frozen veggies at the end. Easy!

College student egg drop soup:

  • Make packet of noodle soup by recipe on box. When soup is almost done boiling/rehydrating, scramble egg in a separate bowl then pour SLOWLY into the soup pot, making sure to stir the whole time. You should get long ribbons of eggy yummyness.
  • Add frozen veggies, cook until they’re warm.
  • Eat. Out of pot if you’re me. Or too lazy to do more dishes.

So basically, that’s it. Now you have the skill, and a fake recipe to make with it! The best part about this recipe is that it’s cheap, and it has protein, and veggies.

Yay.



How To Temper An Egg
February 27, 2008, 2:18 am
Filed under: Food, How To Cook (In College) | Tags: , , ,

Hey, the average college student doesn’t know how to do this. How do they make hollandaise sauce? It’s a mystery.

Step 1: Cut a Hole in the Box.

  • Have whatever pot of hot stuff you wish to temper the egg into ready.
  • Put egg into another bowl, scramble it.
  • Have fork/whisk and a spoon to move hot stuff with ready

Step 2: Put your junk in the box.

  • Whisk/beat egg.
  • While whisking, add small spoonfuls of the hot liquid to the egg, slowly, a little bit at a time
  • DON’T STOP WHISKING

Step 3: Let her open the box.

  • Keep adding until you either add all the hot to the cold, or the cold is warm enough to add to the hot.
  • Continue on with your regularly scheduled recipe.

The End!