Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Millennium Falcon as a Pancake

Jim over at Jim's Pancake is a a nerdy genius. Proof:

Millennium Falcon Pancake

His site has a time-lapse video so you can see how to put all of this together. Doesn't this make you want to cook breakfast now?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble, Gobble

In honor of the annual turkey feast, I've rounded up some of the cutest Thanksgiving foods on the internet. Enjoy!

Beautiful sugar cookies from Annie at Annie's Eats:

Cute Thanksgiving Cookies

A turkey bento from Cute Food for Kids:

Cute Thanksgiving Bento

Turkey cookies from Cheryl at Tidy Mom:

Turkey sugar cookies


And my personal favorite: Pilgrim Cupcakes from Tonya Staab (she has a complete how-to on her site as well).

Cute Pilgrim Cupcakes

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cream Soup Base

Bacon, Broccoli, and Red Pepper Soup with Sliced Portabella Mushrooms

Remember Stone Soup? As a kid, I was fond of making what I dubbed "Stone Soup without the Stone" - since, as we all read, the stone wasn't actually a necessary ingredient. It just got the townsfolk involved in making a good soup. So I saved myself the trouble of washing a stone and simply dumped whatever combination of things I could lay my hands on into a pot. The results were usually quite edible, although on occasion, they were uncomfortably green. (Thankfully, my parents were always encouraging of my culinary experiments.)

Approach making this soup with some of abandon of a nine-year-old playing in the kitchen. The soup base is extremely flexible - I sometimes use this as a way to use random bits of things that are hanging out in my fridge. In the photo above, I added baby portabella mushrooms, broccoli, and red peppers. Or you could just add chicken and call it a day. (You can also add additional spices or an extra bouillon cube at the end - I've found that roasted garlic powder or a touch of cinnamon are often good choices.) The most important thing is to make sure that your soup doesn't come to a full boil - this will scorch the bottom of your pot and cause the milk to separate, which produces a grainy texture. Trust me, the result isn't pretty. Never boil a cream soup. Otherwise, feel free to play!

Cream Soup Base


Servings: 8
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:


  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 2-4 cups milk
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon (you can substitute vegetable bouillon)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Make roux: Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Slowly add flour to make a paste, stirring constantly. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the color begins to darken slightly.

Stirring constantly, add 2 cups milk and bouillon cubes. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until the mixture has thickened. Add any ingredients for your soup here - chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, potatoes, etc. - adding more milk if needed. Continue to stir occasionally until all of your ingredients are cooked and the soup is bubbling slightly around the edges. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat and add pepper to taste.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Takes on Waffled Eggs

How to confuse your tongue: eggs with waffle texture!

Jessica at The Novice Chef came up with a creative twist on the traditional Croque Madame - instead of the usual toasted bread, ham, cheese, and poached egg, she replaced the bread with a waffle made from croissant dough and cooked the ham and egg on the waffle iron too. The result looks pretty amazing:

Waffle Croque Madame

Scott at Seattle Food Geek was inspired by this, but lacked a standard waffle iron. However, he did have a waffle cone iron. Cooking the egg white and yolk separately, he came up with this:

Waffled Eggs and Waffles

There you have it: waffled eggs! Simple, and quite clever. I'll be trying variants of this with other foods soon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alice in Coffee

Latte art. It's one of those simple pleasures that makes life much better. (And it also tells me that the cafe cares about its coffee and knows how to steam milk properly.)

Alice in Wonderland Latte Art

Alice: who needs Wonderland?

Courtesy of Cutest Food.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Poutine: La Banquise

Poutine from La Banquise

I have friends in Chicago who are obsessed with poutine. Michi makes vegan gravy from scratch (a concession to the vegan husband, though the meat eaters in the group are quite happy to devour it anyway), sources cheese curds from the farmers market, and tends to turn the fries + gravy + cheese curds combination into dinner for two or the perfect thing to feed a gathering of geeks watching the latest episodes of Doctor Who. Personally, I've never understood the fascination - in my world, poutine falls somewhere between Kraft mac and cheese (gross) and chili fries (possibly edible once every few years). But when visiting new cities, half the fun is trying regional cuisine. And in Montreal, that means poutine.

La Banquise Menu

Talk to any Montrealer about poutine, and they'll probably direct you to La Banquise, which started out as an ice cream shop in 1968. Back then, it was run by fireman Pierre Barsalou, who decided a few months after opening to turn the place into a 24-hour snack bar specializing in hot dogs and fries. Poutine appeared on the menu for the first time in the '80s with two choices: classic or Italian. Today, it's run by his youngest daughter and her partner, and La Banquise features a whopping 25 variations on the traditional cheese curds, gravy, and fries.

Montrealers found my friends' obsession with poutine rather amusing - most of them consider it primarily acceptable as late-night grub, the kind of stuff you eat at 3:00am because your options are limited and you've been drinking all night. That's when the craving for grease sets in, and poutine hits the spot.

Poutine from La Banquise

When I visited, we went for broke and ordered a classic poutine and a smoked meat poutine, otherwise known as heart-attack-on-a-plate and double-heart-attack-on-a-plate (yes, I just made that up - but believe me, it fits). I wasn't expecting much, but I was surprised: poutine in Montreal is far better than the examples I've tried elsewhere, and it's actually a decent late-night snack. I understood its appeal for the first time. But I'm with the locals: it's still not something I'd eat for dinner.

La Banquise
994, Rachel Est
Montréal, QC H2J 2J3
514.525.2415