Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cheese and Sushi

So finally I get a chance to update this blog. Work has been pretty busy, but in a good way. And of course instead of writing about food so much, I've been making it. Last Saturday I went to a sushi making class that my old coworkers purchased for me. It was so much fun, and I learned a lot about making sushi and sushi etiquette. Plus, I got to make and eat tasty sushi, which is always fun. The class was in this cute little shop called Kitchen Witch with lots of fun cooking and baking supplies to tempt me. But I was fairly good, and I only grabbed a few things like dried lavender and bittersweet chocolate.

But I finally got a chance to make lavender pound cake from a recipe I had, which sadly sounds better than it actually tastes. It's pretty good, but not as fluffy as I thought it would be. Also, I added some lavender to honey to make lavender honey for use with hot tea, and it already tastes yummy.

Also had R&A over on Sunday for dinner and Firefly watching. Made a lime-ginger salmon and a side of warm potatoes with basil vinaigrette. Tried my hand at making yogurt cheese from the tasty French-style yogurt from Trader Joe's. It was quite easy, just a matter of draining the yogurt on paper towels in a strainer, then hung in a ball in cheesecloth. It turned out creamy and slightly tangy, sort of like goat cheese.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Knife class

Last Saturday I had the fun opportunity to take a knife skills cooking class. The teacher was a funny, talented chef who teaches other people that cooking can be a fun, easy way of life. We mostly went through the basics, such as types of knives, sharpening, cutting boards, etc. Of course we also went though slicing, dicing, julienne, and chiffonade techniques. Then using these wonderful skills, the class split into 4 teams and each made a yummy recipe. It was so much fun, and best of all, free! Well except for cost of food stuff ($5 ea) which is practically nothing when you look at prices for S. California. I'm really looking forward to the next class, all about spices and flavorings.

In other home news, my coffee liqueur finished steeping. It was so easy, took only 2 weeks, and it's very tasty. Gave some to friends again, so I hope they'll let me know what they think. Our friends, R & A, are great to hang out with as they love food just as much as we do. In fact, A loves to cook as well, so she went with me to the cooking class, which made it even more fun to have someone else to cook with. Over the last year at least, if not longer, us couples have traded off preparing supper and watching shows together like Alias, Firefly, and America's Next Top Model. It makes a great break in the monotony of the week, and also lets each of us try out new recipes for more than just 2 people. Last time I made a bacon-rosemary wrapped pork chop in sherry-garlic sauce that turned out well. I'm not sure what to make this week, I'll have to see what in my "To Try" section of the recipe file has.

I did make risotto for the first time last night. It was pretty good, but I think I added too many porcini mushrooms, as it was quite heavy and earthy. Of course, next to a side of fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella with balsamic vinegar, what wouldn't be ? ;) Nothing like fresh herbs and veggies. Just wish I had more than a few pots of herbs and more sun at my apartment to grow.

Friday, July 01, 2005


My impatience took over, and I tried my limoncello. It tasted quite good, so I decided to bottle it. Gave a bottle to my friends, and I hope they like it. Making your own liqueur is actually quite easy, if you're patient enough to wait:) I think next I'll try a coffee liqueur, but this time I'll make a much smaller amount. Speaking of, with a few days off before I start my new job, I'm looking forward to experimenting a little in the kitchen. I'm planning on baking a Wiliamsburg Orange cake (courtesy of Betty Crocker, my husband's favorite cake) in tiny size, one for my friend who just got job offers, and one for my husband. Hopefully I can try a few new things with chicken as well, maybe even bake some bread.