June 01, 2007

Practising Pizza


I've been practising making pizza and think I've got it down pretty well now. I make everything from scratch except for the pizza sauce - that starts with a can of crushed tomatos. The dough is a pretty standard yeast dough. The hard part is getting the right texture for the crust. I've found that the best way of simulating a pizza stone oven is to heat up cast iron pots and grills over the stove and assemble the pizzas on them before putting them in the oven.

Another option that I saw on TV today was to use a splatter screen to bake on. Since the bottom is open, the heat can get straight to the underside and crisp it up. But I only have one splatter screen and it isn't oven proof.

Posted by JAY at 07:20 PM | Comments (2)

June 05, 2007

Ooey gooey... not good

Sigh. I think I may make a separate category for my feet!

Yesterday it was raining. My shoes aren't waterproof, indeed they're breathable foam, so I wore a slightly uncomfortable pair of boots and just didn't lace them up properly. But they must have been rubbing (or slightly too small?) because when I got home, my entire big toe was covered with watery blisters. It's not especially painful, just kind of gross. Won't be wearing those boots again!

Posted by JAY at 06:57 AM | Comments (0)

Grilled Food

I wasn't up to cooking anything complicated today. So I just grilled a bunch of stuff on the stovetop with basically just salt and pepper (and some leftover rice) It was really good. However, I found out that if you eat a pound of grilled asparagus, your urine smells very strongly like water that you've boiled brocolli in!

Posted by JAY at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2007

Chocolate


Last month, fully one quarter of my "Fun" budget went towards chocolate! Youch. There's a chocolate shop close to where I work and I've been passing in a couple times a week to try the high quality, high percentage chocolates. So far, my favorite is the Amadei Chuao - but at $10 for a 50g bar, it's very expensive. Unfortunately, the store seems to have run out. The other one that I currently like is Valrhona's Guajana (not pictured) and it's a bit more affordable. Still, if you're going to be splurging on something, what's an extra couple of bucks? Anyway, I can't afford to continue on like I have been, but once I've got my favorites I can concentrate on them!

Posted by JAY at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2007

Neighbors...

My well meaning but misguided next door neighbor thought it would be a good idea to seal the seam between the asphalt drive way and garage with... expensive synthetic... motor oil. Sigh.

Not a good thing

Sigh. I spent the evening scrubbing it away with detergent on my side and washing it down with the hose (that said kind neighbor actually gave me a week or so ago!). Ah well, hopefully the second lift will stick down and eliminate any remaining residue.

Posted by JAY at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2007

A "New" Car

I got one of my parents' cars a Toyota SUV. (It was either that or the minivan!) They made me an offer I couldn't refuse and so... Anyway, insurance is all set up now and now I just need to switch over my house insurance so that I can get a small discount. Also, had to rework my monthly budget and it'll take me a year or two more on the mortgage. I'll also have to resist the urge to shop and eat out now that I've got transportation!

Posted by JAY at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2007

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Dinner tonight was pasta with fried chicken. The pasta had fresh herbs from the garden (basil, rosemary, parsley) and the chicken was marinated in buttermilk and double dredged in seasoned flour. It was very yummy (and very fattening, I imagine).

Posted by JAY at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2007

Recipe: New Lemon Bars


This recipe for Lemon Bars is better than the first one - I like the consistency of the lemon topping better. My second batch turned out better than my first batch (though both were fine). Thanks co-workers, for being my beta testers! :-) Baking the crust longer with convection resulted in a crisper bottom which can be used for other toppings too. I only decorated these three.

Lemon Bars

Crust:
7oz / 14 TBS / 0.9 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
9.5oz / 2 cups + 2 tbs flour

Mix it all together and press it into a parchment lined 13x9" pan and prick with fork all over.
Freeze it for 10 minutes.
Bake in a 325F oven for at least 30 min until golden.

Topping:
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tbs flour
pinch salt
3/4 cup lemon juice (4 lemons)
zest of 2 lemons, use rasp

Whisk all of the above together.
Pour it onto the hot crust.
Put it into the oven and raise the heat to 350F (no convection)
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the topping is pretty set in the centre (doesn't wiggle much).
Cool for at least 1 hour on a rack before lifting it out and cutting into squares.

Fine Cooking/Dec 2006/Nicole Rees

Posted by JAY at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)