October 17, 2013
Irish Potatoes are a weird snack. Being from North Jersey, I never heard of them. You wouldn’t think driving an hour and half south would make such a cultural difference. Apparently, I was the only person in Philadelphia who didn’t know what an Irish Potato was. It’s such a big treat that there is a local factory that makes pre-made Irish Potatoes for the yearly demand during Saint Patrick’s Day. And I see them in every single supermarket.
My roommates insisted to break my “Irish Potato” cherry and make some. To my surprise, there wasn’t anything Irish about it, nor was there any potatoes in there. The recipe was pretty simple, crisco (or butter if you are fancy), cream cheese, and coconut. Roll it in cinnamon. Bam! Done. If I remember correctly not liking them much, but I couldn’t help but grab more.
But I am a sucker for local traditions. And seeing the popularity of cake pops and oreo truffles, I feel like it time for Irish Potatoes to shine. But I think they could be more creative, and more flavorful. I cut down on the fats, and added some leftover mashed potatoes. Sounds crazy, but this idea isn’t new. It is the basis for the Needham candies that are made in Maine.
The result? I told my husband to take to candies to work and give them out. Nobody knew. Everyone commented on how they were some of the best Irish Potatoes, so as far as I can tell I improved on the recipe. One person said that they could taste a little bit of the potato once I revealed my recipe, and I agree. But I think it add a nice velvety layer to it, and makes them a little less rich (which means you can eat more right?)
September 1, 2013
Wanna impress your friend? Make your own hot sauce. Yup, that will win you to the bad-ass chef status. But you don’t have to tell them that this hot sauce was absurdly easy to make. All you have to do is chop some jalapenos like a five year old, cram in a jar with brine, wait a few days, blend.
This sauce I made after reading a recipe for an Indian pickle recipe. It was pretty interesting, and different from most pickles I’ve read. They incorporated oil into a brine, and added sour limes at the end. This sounded pretty yummy for a hot sauce. So for this recipe you will be making lacto-acid-fermented jalapeños. It is seriously as simple as adding salt, water and peppers to a jar.
August 9, 2013
I love ice cream. I love fruit pops. I love sorbet, ice cream sandwiches, basically anything that is cold, sweet and creamy. Of coarse that creates issue when you are trying not to eat dairy. Soy, rice, and coconut milk based ice creams pack a lot of sugar and raids your wallet.
Although I own an ice cream maker, I found that making ice cream pops is a quick solution to an ice cream craving. I’ve been trying to also make some raw alternatives, with some awesome results. This week I made some Mexican Avocado Fudgsicles.
The trouble with frozen desserts is that as thing become colder, the flavor isn’t as strong. Which is why so much sugar is added to ice cream, and fruit pops. To sweeten, I used a mix of various sugars; some dried dates, agave syrup, and stevia; in hopes of balancing out flavors. The chipotle powder gives a nice kick, and matches well with the avocados.
I made the mix very thick, to give the pops an ice cream like consistency. This way you can bite into the pop and have it melt in your mouth. If you are too frustrated with your blender, feel free to water down your pops. Just be aware you will dull down the flavors, and taste to before pouring.
July 22, 2013
I first was exposed to it when I was little. My Aunt Hannah, who is Korean, brought over some “black spaghetti,” as she called it. The black spaghetti looked like packets of ramen, but instead of a soup, it was drained and covered in a sauce. I remember her teaching me the “best” way of cooking it, and going to the local Asian Market snatching them up. Fast forward to 2007. I watched the Korean Drama Coffee Prince. The first episode featured a Jjajangmyeon eat off, and dawned on me what my “black spaghetti” really was.
At the time, there weren’t many online sources for the dish and when checking out local Korean restaurant, none actually had the dish on their menu. The reason is that Jajangmyeon is based on a Chinese dish, Zhaziangmian. The original Zhaziangmian dish uses hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and various bean pastes to get the black sauce. The Korean version uses chunjang, which is a black bean sauce that is much sweeter than it’s Chinese counterpart. There are many differences, but today, you are likely to see Jajangmyeon at a Chinese restaurant in Korea. Think of it a little bit like General Tso in the US, distinctly American in it’s own right but you won’t find it anywhere other than a Chinese food shop.
July 18, 2013
Blog Baking can be very tricky business. Sure some of the photos look delicious and amazing. But when you break into the kitchen, toil over a hot stove, all you have accomplished is a nice new Pinterest Fail Photo.
So I was a little hesitant when I found a vegan recipe for zucchini cupcakes. I have been a slave to my CSA Farm membership. Heck I’ve been cooking less because I am hungry, but instead more about freeing up more refrigerators space for beer. So I end up eating enough veggie fiber to make a septic tank tremble in fear, and drinking way too much hard liquor. But I drank up all the gin, so I had to get rid of all the summer squash.