Thursday, September 29, 2016

Buttermilk Pancakes (2)

I thought it was time to update my buttermilk pancake recipe. It's 4+ years old and the food photography is *thumbs down* and I've since tweaked the recipe a bit. I was inspired to redo the recipe because my sister received some Vermont maple sugar from her boss as a gift and though her thoughts automatically went to making some maple candied bacon, mine went to pancakes. It's not like we couldn't compromise though; we made both.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
1¼ cups flour
1½ tablespoon maple sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup melted butter
1 egg
1¼ cups buttermilk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Monday, September 26, 2016

What I Ate: Tacos & Nachos

Guys, my patronus is a Siberian cat. What... the... motherflippin'... The thing about Pottermore is that once you've discovered something about yourself as a witch/wizard, there's no going back, which totally makes sense. It's not like Harry was like, "Uh, yeah, excuse me, wand? I don't fancy having a stag as my patronus. You mind?"

I was proudly sorted into Slytherin (Severus Snape is my hero) and my wand is basically the same as Bellatrix Lestrange's - same shape and aggressively unyielding - and I trust those results wholeheartedly so why am I so disappointed about my patronus? Well, I guess it's because I'm a stubborn dog person so I thought I would get something adorable like a saint bernard or a mongrel dog. Instead, I got some sort of fluffy cat, which I can't deny is stupid cute but just not my cup of tea. I have been told time and time again that I look like a cat (I think it's my super pointy cupid's bow and maybe my preference for cat eyeliner) and I like my independence and I can be standoffish at times, so maybe Pottermore knows what it's doing.

Anyway, let's get into today's post. Beyond this introduction, it's basically wordless (as you sigh with relief). Remember that hot sauce I shared on Friday that I used for fajitas? Well, I also used my freshly made habanero hot sauce as a condiment for tacos and for grilled nachos. We had tacos for dinner and then the nachos were made with the taco leftovers for lunch the next day. I made chipotle beef, cilantro chimichurri, pico de gallo, and we had some leftover tomatillo salsa. I actually made the chimichurri by hand (meaning I chopped up the cilantro with a knife) because I was too lazy to get the food processor out; I've got to say, it was kind of delicious to have big chunks of cilantro. The pico de gallo was also made rather lazily; I quartered the cherry tomatoes instead of giving them a finer chop, but as it turns out, the bursts of bright tomato are rather welcome when you're fighting through the spice of a fresh habanero hot sauce.
The day after we enjoyed the tacos, when our stomachs were mumbling on about wanting some lunch, I fried up the stack of leftover fresh corn tortillas to make the chips for nachos and they were awesome. Freshly fried tortilla chips that are made from freshly made corn tortillas are probably one of the most pretentious things I've made in my kitchen so far. But you know what? They're so good that it's worth being kind of a try-hard.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What I Ate: Habanero Hot Sauce

Our garden did really well this year and we had loads of habanero peppers. I decided I had to make habanero hot sauce because I hadn't made it in three years and I had a big craving for it. I made some small adjustments to the recipe - I used a full orange pepper and omitted the carrot, mostly because I forgot the carrot - and it turned out just as delicious as I remember it.
I actually made this over Labor Day weekend and I decided to serve it with some fajitas. I marinated some ribeye steak and slapped in on the grill. It was delicious.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What I Ate: Nutella Pancakes

I tried that Pinterest trick where you freeze little circles of Nutella and drop them into your pancakes on the griddle.
Technically, it worked. But I'm such a Nutella fiend, I think I'd still like to spread more on top. But I held back. Instead we topped our stacks with a little maple whipped cream.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Grilled Peach Salad

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I'm not in denial about summer coming to a close. How could I when there's a certain chill in the air in the mornings and walking my dog in the evenings is much more bearable in this crisper air. But, while there's still summer produce in the markets, I'm going to continue to take advantage of it.

Last weekend, we got a big box of white peaches that smelled incredible and tasted great. I wanted to incorporate some into our dinner, which I was preparing on the grill, so I decided I would make a big, gorgeous salad and make the peaches the star.
Ingredients [serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side]:
1 peach
3 cups baby greens
1 baby cucumber, sliced
½ bell pepper, chopped
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons pepitas (or nuts of your choice)
3 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons feta cheese
1 slice thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup short cut pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
+ salt & pepper

*This salad can certainly be customized with ingredients that you love.
**I didn't make a recipe page for this post since it's just as simple as assembling the ingredients in a bowl.

Monday, September 12, 2016

What I Ate: Strawberry & Peach Mini Crumble Pies

I'm still holding onto summer for as long as I can and even if you can't deny that the trees are starting to change color and that the morning temperatures are much crisper than they were a few weeks ago and that it's dark when I wake up in the morning, I can always trick my brain with food. I made these mini pies, mostly because I was craving something sweet, but also because I was in the wanted to celebrate the continuing sunshine with a summery, cute dessert.

I used my standard pie dough, mixed up the filling with sugar and cornstarch and some spices and lemon juice, per usual, and then topped it with a crisp topping.
The great thing is, even though I'm in denial about summer's end, now that it is a little cooler, I can actually bear turning the oven on. The glass is half full, my friends.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Summer Holiday 2016 Food Diary

This is going to be a slightly different style of post. I just wanted to share all of the snaps of food I took whilst on holiday a few weeks ago. For more detailed holiday posts, you can head over to my travel blog (I went to London and the Greek Islands).
But here, I'm literally just sharing the photos, food pr0n style.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Korean Spicy Watermelon Noodles | Soobak Naengmyun (수박냉면)

Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. I've been having a great time, mostly because I love a nice long weekend but also because the weather was amazing. It was perfectly warm but breezy and the evenings had that crispness hinting that autumn is definitely approaching.

I don't really keep up with Korean trends or anything. I'm not that into K-pop or even Korean beauty, which seems to be super popular these days. However, the one thing I do get curious about is the food. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of watermelon naengmyun (수박냉면), which is basically bibim naengmyun (비빔냉면) made inside of a watermelon and mixed with bits of watermelon.

I thought this would be the perfect toast-to-the-end-of-summer kind of meal. It isn't quite yet the end of summer and I'm definitely not someone who jumps on the pumpkin spice bandwagon as soon as it hits September. However, watermelon season is definitely coming to a close, so if you feel like making this, go out and buy some watermelons today.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
8 oz. naengmyun noodles (buckwheat noodles; these are different from soba but soba can be substituted)
2 baby cucumbers, julienned
¼ cabbage, chopped (savoy or green)
2 dozen perilla leaves, chiffonade
2 baby watermelons
4 eggs, hard boiled
1 scallion, sliced
+ sesame seeds for garnish

1 cup watermelon
2 cloves garlic
2 scallions
¼ cup Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)
3 tablespoons Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
¼ cup cola

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Garden Update 3

Our garden did really well in August. We had a bunch of habaneros ripen and turn orange, the poblano plant is humongous and out of control and making loads of peppers (and I plan on making some stuffed peppers or maybe chile rellenos with them), there are several watermelons going nuts, and we finally had a few wildflowers blossom in our new garden box.
I think I'm going to make some hot sauce with the habaneros this weekend.
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