Saturday, January 31, 2009

junior league centennial cookbook

I have MANY cookbooks, too MANY cookbooks. Most sit within the closet shelves. Of course, that isn't the intention. I think I buy them because I like the pretty pictures. There are a few that I pull out every once in awhile. One of them is the Junior League Centennial Cookbook. I have used two or three of the recipes and each of them turned out brilliantly. No longer can I eat traditional meatloaf. I will only eat mine. My mom taught me how to make French toast when I was little but the recipe from this cookbook showed me that missing ingredient(s). When I make it, I don't even touch syrup. I'm hoping my lazy ass will make some French toast tomorrow morning. I bought the French bread tonight so best not to let it go to waste.

Okay... this post just created a new New Year's Resolution. It's not too late is it? I'm going to pull out a new cookbook each time I want to make something new. That way, I can share more reviews with you. Oh, and I should probably try some more recipes from the book in discussion!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

korean food isn't half bad

I've never been a fan of Korean food (aside from kim chi). I had a narrow-minded view that it was all about sweet bbq. When my cousin and his family came to visit around the holidays, they were adamant on having Korean. They believe Korean food is better in Dallas than Houston. That's a new one... if you're Asian and you live/ been in Dallas or Houston, you know that Houston far surpasses Dallas in good Asian food.

Anyways, we went out one day for lunch to a Korean cold noodle house on Harry Hines. I wish I could remember the name but it leaves me at the moment. I'll have to call my cousin or wait for their next visit. Because, I know we'll be stopping by there again.

It seemed like a several course meal. Food was coming at us one plate at a time. It all started with potato pancake thing... very YUMMY. I enjoyed it a lot. Then, we had dumplings. They were pretty good, too. Next was some bbq beef with all kinds of condiments to compliment it. I never knew I liked tofu skin. I didn't know tofu had skin. You see that small bowl of bean sprouts? It was pickled in something that I will just say- GROSS. Finally, we had some cold noodles. I don't know what I think of it. It was definitely interesting. It was definitely pretty to look at. I just don't know if I like cold noodles. Final verdict, I like Korean food.

6 starbucks gift cards and counting

For some odd reason, I'm a magnet for Starbucks gift cards. People keep giving them to me for Christmas, for birthdays, etc. They give them to my husband, too. Out of the gazillion different gift cards out there, why do people think that Starbucks is the perfect choice? At first, I used them. They did come in handy when I ran out of coffee at home. But now, they are just starting to collect. So far, I have found 6 of them but I think there are more lingering around my home somewhere.

So why do I keep getting them? Yes, I love coffee. You probably figured that out being it was my first post. But, I don't like Starbucks coffee. It kind of tastes like dirt to me. If I go there, I lean towards the frou frou options.

What am I to do with all these cards? One suggestion was to regift them. That was a thought that ran through my mind for a second. At the same time, I didn't want to continue the torment of "Why another Starbucks gift card?"

At first thought, I wanted to use them for stainless steel travel mugs. After months of trying to find a similar one to the one I already love, I have lost hope. The options pretty much suck.

Now, I have a new plan. I'm going to use them to get a coffee or tea press or both. I'm just not sure which one to get. Here are the options I'm considering:

Assam tea press tea pot $24.95

This one has a black plastic handle. I kind of like that.

Assam tea press pot $39.95

$15 more and I can get it in stainless. Do I really care?

Assam cast iron tea pot $89.95

$65 more and it can be cast iron. It has a nice aesthetic to it. I have enough gift cards to cover the expense. If I'm going to get a press, might as well go all out, right? Oh, and it's got that Asian thing goin' on. Maybe, it will make me feel more Asian.

Columbia thermo press $79.95 or $99.95

I'm leaning towards this option because it's perfect for tea or coffee. Plus, it will keep it hot for a few hours (so they say). I just don't know what size to get? The smaller one is more than enough. The larger one would serve guests we never have. Hmmm?

I would love to hear what you think I should get. This, that, or this and that? Why?

Monday, January 19, 2009

pass the soap

What does soap have to do with cooking? Well, nothing really (aside from washing hands frequently while cooking, HOPEFULLY). But I saw these two devices in my recent Sur La Table catalog and I like them a lot.

So... there are two options. You've got your more traditional pump-style contraption. Then, if you are seriously too lazy to use the pump and you have another $20 to spare, you can get the sensor/ touch-free version. I might be one of those people. Oh... and I forgot to mention, the latter also has a timer so you wash your hands the appropriate length of time. Um, that might be a good thing (if you haven't read Washing Hands for Dummies).

I have always been a fan of simplehuman. I've got one of their trashcans and I'm even planning on replacing it with a new one because I was graciously given a Crate and Barrel gift card. You can rely on simplehuman to be just as they are called- simple. Yet, the design is still sleek and modern. So as I head to C&B for my trash can, I'll accompany it with one of these soap pumps (or maybe both because I don't really like to see my dish soap in the plastic bottle it comes in).

simplehuman precision soap pump $20

simplehuman sensor soap pump $40

Sunday, January 18, 2009

coffee, please

I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I've wanted a food blog. I'm no amazing cook but I do like food (don't we all?). So here is my first entry...

I don't see the point of denying myself of coffee. We all need our vices and this is one (among several). I love the stuff (practically since birth). It must come from having a French influenced family. We want our cafe sua da.

I remember being a very, very little girl and my mom forcing coffee down my throat. I think she thought it would help her sick little daughter so coffee-soaked french bread was pushed down my throat. Of course, I didn't enjoy it at the time... you can't make me do what I don't want to do. Anyways, the coffee bug stuck...

I know it's not the best thing for me... the caffeine, the teeth staining, etc. So what? I don't really care. It tastes good and it makes me happy.

Over the years, I've always had some form of a coffee maker starting with the cheap crap that will do in college to what I have now. I'm going to be using the one I have now until the thing dies on me.

When I first saw the machine, I was in awe. It seemed like the perfect kitchen appliance for me... a single cup coffee maker and a nice one at that. I'm talking about the Breville single-cup coffeemaker. It didn't take long from the time I saw it for it to land in my kitchen. Of course, I wasn't going to have such a nice coffee maker without accompanying it with an equally nice coffee grinder- The Breville Ikon burr grinder.

Then I started to use it. When it says you have 4 sizes, it doesn't just mean 4 sizes. It also means coffee strength because you need to fill the K-Cup thingy with 2 tablespoons of coffee no matter what. Once I figured out what size I want (which was the largest; I know, I like my coffee on the weaker side), I've been in coffee heaven.

The machine is beautiful to look at, it's easy to operate, and it makes the perfect cup of coffee every time (amount and strength). I'm equally happy with the burr grinder. I don't know what I was thinking buying my coffee already ground. It's just not the same.