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Archive for April, 2010

1.  The changing weather and the earthquakes have left me feeling…discombobulated, to say the least.  I’ve been sleeping inordinate amounts, including random naps (which is totally unlike me; well, totally unlike me post-college) and haven’t wanted to eat much of anything.  In fact, on Friday, I decided I wanted to eat the following:  an egg roll, a taco from Jack in the Box, a spoonful of macaroni and cheese, and copious amounts of coffee. Unfortunately, no one would sell that exact combination of food to me, so I settled for a giant salad instead, which leads me to confession #2.

romaine, chicken, dried cranberries/cherries, goat cheese and homemade ciabatta

2.  I hate premade salad dressing.  Save for the occasional ranch with fries (just one of the many reasons I will never be a runway model), I rarely have it.  I have a delightful little recipe for sesame dressing that, blessedly, does not call for ginger (see Confession #3 below).  It’s 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, 1/8 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar, and 1 tbsp packed brown sugar.  You can whisk all of the ingredients together and then pour it over the salad, or, if you’re like me and don’t use a lot of dressing and/or are super-lazy, you can do this:

Pour all ingredients into a travel shampoo bottle (preferably one that has never been used to house shampoo/conditioner/shower gel) and shake.  You can store the leftovers right in your cupboard or on the counter.  Bonus:  no leakage!

3.  I am quite possibly the world’s worst Asian.  I hate ginger, cilantro, and I’m not great at math.  However, I have crappy vision, am a mediocre driver, and am lactose-intolerant, so I guess you win some, lose some.

4.  I love crappy reality tv.  Over the course of the weekend, I watched:  The Real Housewives of New York City, What Not to Wear, and countless reruns of Law and Order:  SVU.  Judge away.

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Yes, you read that correctly.  Cookie dough + chocolate + truffle form.  My friends (one of my favorite married couples) bought an amazing house in San Diego, and had a housewarming party to celebrate this weekend.  Not wanting to show up empty-handed, and not wanting to force them to take care of a plant, I decided to make them some candy, namely cookie dough truffles (recipe courtesy of my friend Meredith (who runs the lovely blog “Eat, Drink, and Be Meredith“).  These are so good (and so easy to make) that it’s unreal.  There are no raw eggs in the dough recipe, so these are safe for consumption (if you don’t have an aversion to flour.)  Here’s the rundown:

Ingredients:

1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature * 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar * 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract * 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour * 14 oz. can of condensed milk * 1 pound of chocolate   (In my quest to weigh 500 pounds, I also added some peanut butter)

Have I mentioned how much I love recipes that have ingredients I can count on my fingers?  And ones that call for no baking?

Instructions:

(1) Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  (2)  Beat in flour, vanilla, and condensed milk.  Cover and chill until firm enough to form balls.  (2a)  Be 12, and laugh at the word “balls.”  (3)  Form into 1 or 1 1/2 inch balls; place on lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.  (3a)  See step 2a.  (4)  Melt chocolate in double-boiler, aka glass bowl over small pot of simmering water.  (5) Dip balls in chocolate, and place on lined baking sheet.  (6)  Refrigerate -or freeze if you’re impatient- until ready to serve.

So here’s how mine turned out:

Mmmmmm

I placed each truffle in a mini muffin liner and packaged them all in a reusable tupperware container for my friends’ housewarming gift.  Note the imperfect nature of chocolate coating.  I attribute this to my impatience (my inability to wait for the chocolate to melt completely) and to the fact that, despite being only 5’0″ tall and a large consumer of chocolate, I will likely not be cast on the next season of “The Little Chocolatiers.”  So this was the first batch.  I ran out of chocolate, and at the store, I had a revelation:  what if I put peanut butter in these bad boys?  So I did.

...with peanut butter!

I melted down a bunch of Reese’s peanut butter chips and dipped the balls of dough in them; chilled them and then dipped them again in chocolate.  I also decided to make ganache (partially to make the peanut butter truffles easily distinguishable, and partially also because I like the shininess of ganache) to cover these, so that’s why they are slightly more shiny.  Again, they’re lumpy, but I can assure you they are delicious.  I think next time I might incorporate the peanut butter into the cookie dough itself, and just do a drizzle of peanut butter over the tops of the truffles.

Enjoy!  They are extremely sweet and rich, and should be stored in the refrigerator (or outside in the snow if you live in the Midwest.)  I’ve been told they are good with milk, but like any good Asian, I’m lactose-intolerant, so I’ll take my friends’ word for it.

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who doesn’t love brunch?

Seriously – you get to sleep in, there’s eggs/bacon, and it’s socially acceptable to drink during the daylight hours without being at a tailgate?

I had brunch with my friends at The Cottage in La Jolla last weekend.  The weather was gorgeous, which was nice, because The Cottage doesn’t take reservations and we had to wait for 40 minutes while we stared down the people lingering at the tables, willing them to eat faster.  However, the little cart of coffee and homemade coffee cake made the wait feel considerably shorter.

Ashley and I started with Bloody Marys (Ashley’s bf had a Coke.)  They were super good – spicy, good vodka, and a salt rim!  I like drinking Bloody Marys because tomatoes are vegetables, and there’s liquor involved.  I mean, a girl’s got to have her vegetables, right?

Bloody Mary

We also had food.  Lots and lots of food.

Above is my scramble with proscuitto, asparagus, mozzarella cheese, and caramelized onions.  It was good, but I feel like The Cottage and I greatly differ on our interpretations of “caramelized,” because as you can see, the onions above were barely translucent, much less delicious and caramelized.  Regardless, the scramble was good, and I HEART asparagus.  It came with potatoes, an orange slice garnish (which my Asian ass totally ate) and a scone and strawberry jam, which were amazing!

So long story short:  if you like (1) brunch, (2) scones, (3) bloody marys, (4) free coffee cake/coffee or any combination of the above, go to The Cottage!

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