[ Modest ] Make

Day 68: Fennel Tortellini
6 November, 2009, 12:33 pm
Filed under: main course, masterlist | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Item 19: fennel and pork tortellini with a fennel cream sauce

raw tortellini

The last time I made pasta from scratch was a good 10 years ago, in my junior high home ec class. It’s a miracle that I turned out to be a foodie consider how bad of a gong show that class—and by extension, my first exposure to cooking—was. I was partnered with a girl who was allergic to peppers, onions, dairy, shellfish, strawberries and more. While my classmates were making tacos, my partner and I essentially threw some unseasoned ground beef into a taco shell and called it a day. I also remember a boy mixing his apple crisp ingredients by hand (because … he’s a 13-year-old boy) and he and his partner ended up with a major case of food poisoning. From what I heard, he ALSO put too much cinnamon in his apple crisp. What a disastrous class.

Aside from the trauma, I also remember pasta dough being one of those messy, but easy to make things. You start with a well in the flour and crack an egg into it. Blend the egg in, add more flour if the dough was too sticky, and eventually you’ll get it right. The best part was to crank that dough through the pasta machine and roll it into thin sheets. That was fun.

I don’t have a pasta machine. I’m also not keen on getting one until my pasta consumption goes up significantly. So I just rolled it out with a rolling pin. I know the dough is not as thin as it can be had I used a pasta machine. But the end result was still very delicious.

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Day 58: Pho-bulous

Item 5: phở


I was down with a light case of sniffles and sore throat last week. It’s not bad enough to consider myself a full-blown flu victim, but I did fall into that intolerable whinge-y mode that I normally adopt when I get sick. Anyway, times like this makes me reach out for a bowl of warm, satisfying soup. Sorry, Jewish grandmas, I don’t want chicken soup. I want something heavier, more filling. I want Vietnamese pho.

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Day 53: One Potato Two Potato Red Potato Blue Potato
22 October, 2009, 8:46 pm
Filed under: off the record, Veg | Tags: , , , , , ,

Off the record: lemony roasted potatoes

herb roasted potatoes

I pretty much consider this one of the most fool-proof recipes that I have in my arsenal. It’s easy prepare, easy to cook and mildly impressive if you use fancy new potatoes and a pretty casserole dish (You can’t see it from this angle, but that’s a Fire King peach lusterware dish). I have been trying to make Vietnamese pho all week and that recipe is giving me a rainbow full of disappointment. So I figure I’ll settle on something familiar, something delicious, before I ready myself to try a difference  pho recipe. I’ll post something on that within the next few days.

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Day 45: Apple Overdose
14 October, 2009, 3:51 pm
Filed under: condiment, off the record | Tags: , , , , ,

Off the record: apple butter

apple pieces

I was not kidding about all the extra apples left over from my apple pie. I bought around 8 pounds of apples for a 12″ pie (partly because all pie recipes are for 9″ pies and I didn’t scale up the recipe properly; partly because I wavered between the different types of apples and got too many extras.) That should give you a rough idea of how much leftover I’m dealing with. I thought of making apple crumble. But that will only add to my current “burden” of half a leftover apple pie and half a leftover pumpkin pie. Let’s not add another cinnamon-spiced dessert to the mix, m’kay. That’s why I’m going to make apple butter and can all of it until my cinnamon phobia dies down.

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Day 42: As American as Apple 3.14159…
11 October, 2009, 11:22 pm
Filed under: dessert, masterlist | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Item 26: apple pie (with lattice crust)


Long time no see! Ugh, life has a way of sneaking up on you and disrupting your blogging and cooking schemes. And by “life” I meant parents visiting and treating me to various restaurant and home-cooked meals. No complaints there! In fact, I learned a few tricks and tips from my mom, who’s a fabulous cook, that will come in handy for future cooking endevours.

Unfortunately, the one thing my mom cannot teach me is pie-making. Pie is a pretty foreign concept in Chinese cuisine and my mom didn’t growing eating or making it. So we did not have the luxury of inheriting a fantastic pie dough recipe. But everybody I know (and strangers on the internet) have been raving about the Cook’s Illustrated vodka dough recipe. With apples in season, and a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner to host, now’s the best time to tackle the apple pie on my list.

(Sidenote: Speaking of Cook’s Illustrated, do you know America’s Test Kitchen is located in Brookline? I know because I’d creepily [read: pathetically] poke my head around the area every so often, hoping for a glimpse of Chris Kimball, back when I was living in Boston. True story.)

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Day 22: Cornbread muffins
20 September, 2009, 6:00 pm
Filed under: breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Off the record: in which I deviate from my predetermined list of recipes and try something else that strikes my fancy.


Good lord. Moving is a HASSLE!

I’ve been meaning to do some cooking and baking this week (in fact, I’ve even offered bribes in the form of Wichcraft chocolate cupcakes to get my friends to help me move.) But moving turned out to be far more time consuming than I expected. Also, the fact that I’ve been sharing kitchen supplies with a roommate means I have a very odd collection of kitchen stuff—I happen to have a pastry cutter and a blender, but no mixing bowls or spatulas. Yet somehow I do have three different types of Ziploc bags! Serious baking supplies fail. I’ll need to replenish my pantry and my utensil drawer before I have the proper tools to tackle my list.

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Day 9: Slow Jam
7 September, 2009, 8:04 pm
Filed under: condiment | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Item 17: jam

fresh marmalade

Faced with 6 empty canning jars and a long weekend Monday, I tackled the next logical item on my list—jam. Technically, since this recipe contains citrus rinds, I’m making marmalade, not jam. According to Epicurious, Seville oranges are the most popular fruit for marmalades. According to my own eyes and nose, the Seville oranges that I came across at Whole Foods were pitifully unripe. (Not surprising, since September isn’t exactly the peak season for citrus fruits.) However, the grapefruits look (and smell) much better. So grapefruit marmalade it is!

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