Friday, April 30, 2010

Update on Crispy Carrot Patties

My overall assessment - not bad. I'll hang on to recipe with a note to add more dill next time. My preference was to eat them with horseradish sauce but Ronnie ate them plain. They weren't bad plain, I just thought they needed more oomph, you know? And there were enough that we each ate them for breakfast the entire week. I wonder what we'll have for breakfast next week....

Ice Cream

Three years ago, but maybe more, my friend Dennis gave me his ice cream maker on permanent loan. I moved it from DC to Milwaukee to Evanston without even opening the box.

This week, I decided to try making ice cream and opened the box. Yes, there was an ice cream maker in the box and no, there were no other surprises.

Making ice cream has never been on the short list of things I want to learn how to do in my life, but I like to experiment and this seemed like an opportunity.

I wanted just to see if I understood how the whole thing was going to work so I started with soy milk, since we have a lot of that in the house and added sugar and cocoa powder. It was okay. Nothing to write home about, but I now had enough confidence to try the real thing.

Last night, armed with whole milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar, unsweetened chocolate, eggs and vanilla, I made the base for real chocolate ice cream. I wasn't 100% sure what it was supposed to look like, but it looked like it would be pretty good.

This morning, after letting the mixture cool in the fridge over night, we poured it into the magic machine. Thirty minutes later - amazing chocolate ice cream. Very rich, and surprisingly excellent. In comparison, the first batch of ice cream - well, there is no comparison.

Tomorrow I'm going to try blueberry, or maybe a chocolate cinnamon. Thanks, Dennis!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Crispy Carrot Patties

Maybe 15 years ago, I made a binder of all sorts of recipes copied from books, magazines and the backs of the labels of canned goods. I don't remember whether it felt like a lot of work at the time or not. I do know that I was clearly not so industrious as to clip recipes from newspapers. If there were a few things that looked interesting, the whole section got stuck in the back of the binder. I've continued to put things in the binder over the last 15 years, but not so much.

Yesterday, I decided to go through the binder. Somethings still look interesting, and some, I can't believe I ever copied the first time, much less kept for 15 years.

I found a recipe for Crispy Carrot Patties. Even the name doesn't sound so appealing. But I happen to have a lot of carrots in the refrigerator, so I read on. It also called for two cups of cooked brown rice - exactly what I have left from last week's pot of brown rice. And it called for two cups of garbanzo beans. Now things are seeming strange. I have exactly two cups of garbanzo beans left from the huge can I opened on Friday. The author considered the recipe "rich" because it includes 1/3 cup of tahini. It so happens that I have tahini in the house.

I found a big bowl and dumped in the carrots (grated), onions and celery (sauteed), matza meal (gotta use that up!), tahini, soymilk, garbanzos (smashed), dill (fresh) and a few eggs. What I now have is a huge pile of pre-cooked Crispy Carrot Pattie mix. Really, a huge pile.

For the life of me, I cannot understand how, given how much I have, 1/3 of a cup of tahini, incorporated through the whole thing, can be considered rich.

They're in the oven now. Even if they're good, I'm not sure what we'll do with 22 of them. And a small baking dish full. Like I said, it was a really big pile.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Not quite the Princess or the Pea

The next day, after the whole "tripping over a toothpick" incident, my father's hearing aid evidently fell out of his ear but he didn't notice. It's like the Princess and the Pea in reverse. Only not quite.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Things Heard in St. Louis

"I just tripped on a toothpick!" Evidently my mother has a very well-developed sense of balance. We all knew which character she would identify with in the Princess and the Pea, but that gave us no guidance as to her balance. Now we know.

"You wouldn't like your picture taken (pause) on a trapeze." If you knew the characters, this would be funny. I'm not sure when the last time anyone in our family was on a trapeze. Probably never. There's a reason for that...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Charoset Truffles

I'm not sure how who originally sent me this recipe, but it's destined to be a classic. I did learn this year that date paste makes it a much, much easier recipe than dealing with actual dates. And rather than just rolling them in sugar, I rolled them in cinnamon sugar, which just gave them a little more flavor.

This year, I tried to travel with them. Note to self - not a good idea to put them in a plastic baggie. They really need a container that won't allow them to be smushed. They still taste good, but they don't look very pretty....

I also made chocolate-covered things. Everyone kept asking me what they are called, and didn't believe that I really do call them "chocolate-covered things." Melt a bag of chocolate chips (it doesn't matter if they are milk or bittersweet chocolate), add a handful of mini marshmallows, a handful of dried fruit (I like raisins and/or cherries), a handful of nuts (I used almonds in one batch and walnuts in another), and a handful of something crunchy (I used farfel, but I think they would be really, really good with broken pretzels). And then just dump it on to wax paper, or spoon into paper dessert cups. 10 minutes - dessert done.