A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: November 2015

Holiday Crab Ball

Holiday Crab Ball

I suppose it is no coincidence that recent posts are heavy on my MIL Shirley’s creations.  They are always present at celebrations and holidays. It’s Thanksgiving, and it is just the two of us, and we are in a condo on vacation so I am […]

Shirley’s Fried Chicken, and Steve’s Birthday Dinner

Shirley’s Fried Chicken, and Steve’s Birthday Dinner

We are on vacation so I haven’t been posting.  I’m not really in my kitchen, after all! But here is the birthday dinner we had for Steve before we left.  It’s his favorite meal, and I only make it a few times a year because […]

Prepping Veggies

Prepping Veggies

What happened in my kitchen today did not involve cooking.

In less than a week we leave for 2 weeks.  I had a produce drawer and pantry full of veggies.  No one wants to toss spoiled produce.  And in the past I have given anything that was on the edge to friends so they would use them.  This year, I took a different approach.
First up, the last of the sweet red peppers, a Hakurei turnip, and kohlrabi  hanging on from my last CSA deliveries.  I also had some carrots and celery that I bought when making pot roast.
These are all veggies I can snack on raw, chop and put in salads, or use in stir frys.
I cut them all into snack sizes, figuring if I make a salad or stir fry I can dice them from there.  Into a container then into the fridge.
I washed, chopped, and spun dry some lettuce too.   The OXO salad spinner is the best.  I already had my first salad.  The rest is in the spinner with a damp paper towl and plastic wrap stretched across the top.
Turns out I still had bok choy from the CSA too.  Isn’t it pretty?
If I want to make a stir fry (or two) this week, the bok choy is ready to go.  The greens are in a bowl with the damp paper towl and plastic wrap, and the white parts are in a sealed container in the fridge.
I also washed and froze hot peppers whole; sliced 3 1bs of Vidalia onions for making French Onion soup sometime down the road and froze them; and, diced an additional 3 cups of Vidalia onions for the freezer.
It’s my very own form of convenience food.
Peach Cobbler courtesy of a Martha Stewart recipe

Peach Cobbler courtesy of a Martha Stewart recipe

I made this mainly because I needed some room in the freezer.  I had frozen some peaches from Peters Orchard in Waverly Missouri, and if I made Peach Cobbler, it freed up the necessary space!   Win win for all. A little brown sugar, cinnamon, […]

The Best Pot Roast Ever

The Best Pot Roast Ever

I haven’t been very successful with pot roasts in the past.  When done well, the meat is meltingly tender, and has that wonderful beefy taste.  But I never seemed to do it well. Last spring I picked up Cooks Illustrated’s Classic Roasts and Simple Sides. […]

Vegetarian Baked Egg Rolls – Sounded like a good idea at the time

Vegetarian Baked Egg Rolls – Sounded like a good idea at the time

I liked the concept of these egg rolls, and we didn’t hate them, but maybe egg rolls just need to be fried.  Quite an endorsement, right?

We ate all but two so clearly they were not that bad, but I’m on the fence about making them again.  The filling was really good.  But the egg roll wrapper was a little too prominent–maybe not done enough?
Let’s take a look.
The basic ingredients.
I finally got over my fear of the mandoline I bought from the cutest French shop guy ever at E Dehillerin in Paris and thinly sliced a half a small head of cabbage.  Sure, the recipe called for savoy cabbage, but I didn’t have any.
And used my handy dandy box grater to grate a bunch of carrots.  I love the little container that caught most of the carrot.
Chopped the green onion, minced the garlic, measured out the soy sauce and wisked together cornstarch and water.   Oh, and there were no fresh bean sprouts at the grocery so I had to buy canned 🙁
As usual, I made sure all the ingredients were prepped and ready to go before I started cooking.
I heated a little peanut oil over slightly above medium heat, then added the carrots, cabbage, and bean sprouts.
Still a little crispy but hot, 5 minutes later I added the green onions, and heated for about a minute.
After adding the soy sauce and cornstarch mixture, continued stirring for about a minute so the sauce thickened then got ready to fill and roll.
The recipe calls for about 2 tablespoons of filling per wrapper, so I used my 1 tablespoon scoop to place the filling in the middle of the wrapper.
Following the instructions, I brought up the lower corner and sort of tucked it under the filling to shape it like a roll, then brought over each of the side corners like an envelope.
A bowl of water came in handy for dipping my finger into and then moistening the edges of the egg roll wrappers so they stuck together better.  The  egg roll gets rolled from the bottom up, like a burrito.  I used a teflon mat brushed with olive oil and placed in a rimmed baking sheet and placed the rolled egg rolls on it.
Then I brushed the tops with more olive oil.
Hot out of the oven:
And it was dinner:

For me, just soy sauce and hot mustard for dipping.  Sweet and sour sauce, duck sauce, or Thai sweet chili sauce would be good.

This is the recipe I mostly followed: