the Life and Times of Warrior Woman

blonde recluse. nihilarian pronk.

Posts Tagged ‘recipe

recipe: le breakfast d’excellence.

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(tl;dr: scroll down to pictures for ingredients and ~method~)

I had thought that maybe the reason I didn’t feel hungry until late at night on both Monday and Tuesday was my being busy.  I rarely eat when I’m busy, quite often because I simply forget, and also because after eating I feel sluggish and want to lie down, which is not an option on busy days.  I’m more prone to consuming food when I’ve got nothing better to do, so even after a 15-hour day I wasn’t surprised to feel not even hungry, but peckish.  Today wasn’t the busiest day in the universe, but it wasn’t very laid-back either — yet there I was, ravenous and with a headache barely after noon.

I have an odd relationship with breakfasts.  I always try to eat one, and unless I have to be out the door at 5, I always succeed.  (Even when I have to be out the door at 5, I’ll probably eat something on the road.)  I could skip all other meals, but breakfast must always be present.  Yet I never really know what to have for breakfast.  I know I prefer savoury over sweet, but that’s about it.  Eggs are good, but not too good; porridge takes too much time to prepare and leaves an odd aftertaste; fruit feels more like a snack than a meal (though I’m getting over it); veggies I prefer for lunch…  My favourite is French toast, perhaps, but it slows me down considerably, so I try to only have that on weekends.

So on most mornings I end up with a sad commercial pseudo-yoghurt and a piece of buttered toast.  Which on a usual not-too-busy day means that I feel like hunting someone down to eat about three hours in.

Enter the Miracle Breakfast of Divine Pleasure and Wonder.

I had an avocado.  Avocados come at the price of kidneys here, so the paradox happens:  I rarely buy an avocado, and when I do, I take so long to decide what to do with it, I end up throwing half of it away, because it starts to rot.

This was how this breakfast came to be.  I remembered I had two avocados.  Both of them were quite ripe when I bought them, and instead of just making a guacamole the silly old me decided to look for something better.  As always, I never did, so when I fished them out of the bottomless pit of the fridge’s veggie compartment, I found out that they were quickly going past their prime.

Ingredients:

  • a sad overripe avocado (you need to be able to spread it easily)
  • a tomato
  • bread
  • goat cheese (here goat cheese is cheapest.  I know it’s not the case in many other places)
  • an egg (optional)
  • salt (optional)

Method:

0.  If you choose to have an egg, put it on the stove to boil the usual way.  (That’d be, place the egg in water, wait until it boils, and then cook to desired level, from 1 to 10 minutes.)

1.  As your optional egg cooks, slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scrape out the flesh.  Discard pit and skin (and all the bad parts if you, like me, have waited too long to eat the avocado).

2.  Slice tomato in 4-6 parts.

3.  Slice bread.

4.  Slice goat cheese.

5.  Spread avocado on bread.  Optional: salt a bit.  I skipped salting.

6.  Put a slice of goat cheese on top of avocado.

7.  Put a tomato on top of cheese.

8.  Repeat steps 5-7 until desired quantity of sandwiches is achieved, or until you run out of avocado/ bread/ other ingredient.

9.  Remove the optional egg from the stove and place it under cool water for 1-2 mins.

10.  Optional: Fight off the looming family members eyeing your precious breakfast.  Very optional:  Share.

11.  Eat.

What do you think, will I win some kitschy kitchen competition?  I think I’d need to garnish it with parsley and possibly some flowers fashioned from cucumbers first.

The plate above holds two (maybe even 3, depends on who’s eating) portions.  I find that 1/3 avocado, 1/2 tomato & 2-3 slices of bread and cheese each plus an egg is way more than enough for me.  Epic enough.  Not eating till Saturday enough.

So there you go.  A winning combo of good fat, good protein, fibre, and carbs.

(This post was originally published on my old and obscure blog on 14 September 2011.)

Written by Alexandra

9 August 2012 at 4:03 pm

un-recipe: the pesto that wasn’t.

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Ever have a day when you go to the kitchen with full intention of preparing three hundred tasty dishes for the next week – only to come out with three failures by the end of the day?  Even when you’ve followed the recipe precisely?  Or cooked a tried and true, old, from-the-archives recipe?

That’s kind of what happened to me yesterday.

I wouldn’t call these things that I cooked complete disasters (they were all liked and eaten, interestingly), but they were definitely not something I expected to turn out.

Fresh basil is usually very pricy here.  At times it would go for nearly $10 per bunch.  So when I spotted one for about a dollar, I grabbed it. 

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I knew you could make pesto from it, and I’ve always wanted to make pesto.  This is the recipe that I’ve wanted to follow.  I lacked pine nuts or walnuts, but I had this bright idea to substitute them either with chestnuts or almonds. 

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There they are.  A nice generic 200g pack of almonds.  Usually very pricy too, but my father scored three bags in a discount store.

Olive oil is even pricier than basil here, so I went for regular sunflower.  And I didn’t want to add cheese immediately, because I wanted this sauce to keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

Already not very pesto-like, is it?

I set out to milling (or is it grinding?) nuts.  See, I don’t have a food processor.  Food processors are for sissies.  Instead, I have this.

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This, is a manual nut grinder.  Sort of like meat grinder, only for nuts.  I inherited this from my grandmother.

Now, in an ideal world, it’s supposed to be secured to the edge of the table.  Unfortunately, our family’s kitchen table, nor countertops, are compatible with it.  So I had to hold that thing, make sure nuts were not spilling out, spin the handle, and catch ground almonds in a bowl, all at the same time.  I think I gained about two pounds of muscle on my arms from that.  Not too sure, though.

So I ground nuts.

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About one handful.  They’re pretty coarse, but when they’re mixed with other ingredients, it’s perfectly fine.

I tore basil leaves from the bunch.

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This is where the recipe calls for food processor again.  I decided to use a blender instead.  I have two.  One immersion-type, one regular.

Guess which one I went for first.

Yep.

For the record, immersion blenders are bad for pureeing herbs.

So I scraped nearly unchopped basil leaves from blades and bowl, and put it all into my regular blender.

Pulsed a bit.

Added oil.

Pulsed a bit more, added salt, three good pinches, and pressed garlic.

Added more oil, pulsed a bit more, added nuts, pulsed.

Nope.

I didn’t like it.  Nor its taste, nor its consistency, nor quantity.

So I added a tin of peeled tomatoes to it.  Pulsed some more.

Et voila!

It became a very tasty, very spicy sauce all of a sudden.

Its only downside?

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Its colour.  Yeah, yeah, it looks like very runny poop.  But don’t let it stop you!  You can use it as pizza sauce if all else fails, or with meat.  I caught my mum just spooning it and eating it with bread.

Ingredients:

  • one bunch basil
  • five cloves garlic, pressed
  • contents of one tin of peeled tomatoes
  • vegetable oil, I’d say about… 5 T
  • salt, about three good pinches
  • ground almonds, maybe 1/3 cup

Method:

Put everything in a food processor or blender.  Run until smooth.  Don’t forget to pause as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Today is its third day in the fridge, and it’s still good.  Some separation during storage is okay, just mix it with a spoon before using.

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You know how they say.  Don’t judge the sauce by its colour.

… No, I know, they don’t really say that. 

Whatever.

Written by Alexandra

30 July 2012 at 2:09 pm

recipe: semolina lemon cake.

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I picked this recipe from a cooking magazine focussed on recipes for losing weight.  And although the amount of sugar puts weight-losing qualities to question, this is still a great and simple recipe for a five o’clock dessert.

You’ll need:

  • 100 g semolina
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch vanilla sugar
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • Optional: berries, nuts, and cocoa (can be quick, like Nesquick), for decoration

Method:

Juice the lemon.  I used an antique (well, anything older than 52 years old is considered antique by law where I live) citrus juicer I inherited from my grandmother.  Who inherited it from her mother.

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This thing deserves a better picture.  Maybe when there’s decent light.

Anyway, so you juice the lemon.

Mix the juice with semolina flour and half the sugar.  It should be a bit crumbly, but also paste-like.

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In a separate bowl, beat egg and remaining sugar, and vanilla sugar.  It should be a touch foamy.

Pour egg mixture to semolina mixture.  Mix together.

Pour into a baking dish.  Since the amount of batter is pretty small and I don’t have a small dish, I used silicone cupcake forms.  It only filled five of them.  It doesn’t raise much, if at all, so you can make them pretty full.

Bake for 30 minutes at 150C.

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And since it’s my life’s goal to win a kitschy food decoration competition, this is what I did to mine after taking them out of the oven.

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I haven’t actually tried them yet (just made them less than two hours ago), but they smell amazing, and the batter was tasty (though very, very sweet.  Maybe next time I’ll lower the amount of sugar).

I’ll try to veganise them next week.  Since it’s semolina-based, leavening shouldn’t be an issue.

[Note:  Nesquick is not sponsoring this post.  Nestle has never heard of me.  If they were to hear about me, they wouldn’t like me, because I generally avoid Nestle products.  It’s just that Nesquick was the first thing to come to mind when I thought of quick cocoa mixes.  Darn corporations and their endless money.]

[Note 2: I used Brumi. … They’re not sponsoring this post either.]

Written by Alexandra

28 July 2012 at 8:16 pm

recipe: quick potato pancake.

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Quick and very satisfying, this is a variation on a traditional Belorussian dish known as draniki.

You’ll need:

  • 2 large or 3 medium potatoes
  • 2-3 eggs (I used 2)
  • oil for frying

Method:

  1. Peel potatoes and grate them into a bowl.
  2. Beat eggs into the potatoes.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.  The original recipe doesn’t call for it, but I added a pinch of salt and pepper anyway.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium fire.
  5. Pour potato & egg mixture.
  6. Fry for 10-15 minutes, flip.  (Note:  If you have trouble flipping, you should probably let it cook a bit longer.)
  7. Fry on the other side for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Serve hot, plain or with sour cream.  Can be kept in the fridge and eaten as left-overs for next day.  Better reheat!

I’d say it feeds two kids, or one adult.

I sincerely wanted to take a picture of the entire thing, but brother stole it from under my nose.

Written by Alexandra

25 July 2012 at 12:30 pm

recipe: cake, suitable for fast.

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I found this recipe in one of the many cooking magazines that my mother and I have collected over the years, and continue to collect.  The original title of the recipe is “Lenten Gingerbread”, but I believe ‘gingerbread’ in English has a slightly different meaning, so I’m just going to refer to it as ‘cake’.

You will need:

  • 1 c water
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 T honey (can be changed to agave nectar, I believe)
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 t soda bicarbonate
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts
  • jam or marmalade to your taste
  • 2 bananas
  • oil for greasing
  • dried fruits, candied fruits and peels, pectin-based fruit candy for decoration

Method:

1.  Pour water into bowl, add vegetable oil, sugar, and honey. Heat until honey and sugar are dissolved.  Cool to approx. 30 C.

2.  Add cocoa, soda, raisins, nuts, flour.  Batter should be as thick as sour cream.

3.  Pour batter into an oiled pan.  Bake in an oven preheated to 200C for about an hour.  Check!  It could be less, could be more.

4.  Wait until the cake is cool, then cut it lengthwise into 2-3 layers.  My mum cut into 2.  Spread jam or marmalade over a layer.  Put banana slices on top of that.

5.  Put layers together.  Cover top with jam or marmalade as well.  Decorate with dried fruit, candied peel and fruit candy.

I find it tastes even better on a second day.

Some pictures!

ImageImage

Written by Alexandra

7 July 2012 at 4:45 pm

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