Posts tagged ‘tips/techniques’

New Category and Other Stuffs

I started this blog post about fourteen cups of coffee ago and while this page has been blank I have: made a fort with the kids, played Wii with the kids, made lunch, prepared dinner for the road (driving to Copenhagen tonight,) played outside with the kids,  washed/folded/sorted laundry while the kids drew, and more or less watch the house be destroyed by the tornado that is ‘play time’ then cleaned it up again.  We are leaving to drive down to Copenhagen in one hour and I haven’t packed yet.  Because I won’t really be posting this weekend (except for Feminist Friday Quick Clicks which is scheduled to post as usual) I wanted to get one in today.  Only I don’t really have anything cooking or crocheting related to blog about*.  Lo and behold, new category: Book.  Because it rhymes.  But I’m not changing the title of the blog because Book, Cook, & Hook just sounds ridiculous.  Anyway I’m thinking of starting up a book club or something to go in it.  Who knows.

* Starred because I actually now do have something cooking related to discuss (and am too lazy to start a new blog post to do it in.  Check out this fantastic tip my host mom gave me for packing quesadillas (haha, I win.  nom nom) so that we can eat them on the road: put them in coffee filters.  Thats it.  Brilliant though, imo.

-Ariel

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October 14, 2009 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Sharing Advice: 3 Tips to Getting Dinner Done (On-Time.)

I saw this topic on a different blog while browsing tags, and it seems to be a popular one.  I posted my tips in the comment section of the first one, and I’ll copy them below.   Getting dinner on the table on time with kids running around (or even not) can be difficult for anyone, so knowing what other people are doing and collecting tips can be a great help.  Here are my three tips:

1. Keep it simple. I consider this one to be a biggie.  It’s good to keep a couple staple items always in the house that can be used with any kind of vegetable or meat to make a good meal.  For me, I always try to keep the ingredients to a spaghetti sauce or Thai curry on hand (ie: rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, red curry paste, coconut milk, and fish sauce.  Because I can put anything in these sauces and it’ll still taste good.)

2. Prep ahead of time. Chop some veggies when you can and toss them in a bowl with some water and a drop of lemon juice. It’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of days and you can grab handfuls and toss them in with whatever your cooking when needed. This works great with carrots, peppers, string beans, you name it. Saves 15-20 minutes chopping.  I also put them in the kids lunches sometimes.

3. If it can be made in advance, froze, and re-heated, do it.  Sauces and soups are best, imo.

What tips do you have to share?

-Ariel

October 5, 2009 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

Blowing an Egg

This video made me laugh.  How to blow an egg.  I’m filing this as a tip on technique. Next time I make devilled eggs, I’m definitely going to give this a try.

September 30, 2009 at 8:56 am 1 comment

What to Do with a Whole Pumpkin

What to do with a whole pumpkin (or what I did with one, at least.)

First, a tip on technique: always cut away from your hand.  Obvious I’m sure, and something that theoretically we all know, but that doesn’t seem to change that I now have four small cuts on my left hand =/  Also, I definitely recommend anyone who hasn’t cut a pumpkin before to watch this video first. It’s always easier when you know what you’re doing…

Anyway, the other day my host family came home with a medium-small sized pumpkin and a MASSIVE squash (seriously, this squash was impressive.  It rivaled my small pumpkin in size.)  I’ve gotten into the habit of doing my Tuesday chores on Wednesdays, so I had plenty of time yesterday to tackle the pumpkin.

After cutting it open, I separated the seeds, removed as much of the stringy bits, then separated the flesh from the skin.  And then I got to cooking.

Seeds:

  1. Pre-heat oven somewhere between 375 degrees fahrenheit and 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Remove all the stringy bits, rinse, drain, and remove excess water.
  3. Toss in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat, salt and pepper to taste (generally I’m a minimalist, but other seasonings can be added to taste as well, of course.)
  4. Spread on a lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown (approx 7-15 minutes.)

Flesh:

At this point I cut the flesh of the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces and separated into thirds.  One third for dinner (Autumn Harvest Thia Curry,) one third for pumpkin-banana bread, and one third for the freezer.  (These thirds are approximately 300g each, though the banana bread portion was larger.)  I made the bread first, so that it would be ready when the kids came home from school.

Pumpkin-Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 350g pumpkin
  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup or 1/2dl vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup or 2/3 dl honey
  • 1/2 cup or 2/3 dl sugar
  • 2.5 cups or 310g flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 teaspoons of seasoning (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, whatever you like.)
  • raisins and/or walnuts (optional)

Cook:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celcius or 350 degrees fahrenheit and grease a loaf pan (9×5 is what I used.)
  2. Soften the pumpkin on the stove, in the microwave, or in the oven.  Puree by mashing through a strainer, sticking it in a blender, whatever.  Mash the banana too.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients, then the sugar, then the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour into loaf pan and bake 45 minutes to an hour.  It is done when a knife, stuck into the middle, is removed cleanly.  (For those who like things fully cooked, keep it in the full hour.)
  5. Let it cool in the pan for a bit before removing to a wire rack.


Autumn Harvest Thai Curry

(Please note that other than the sauce, I have no idea if there is anything even remotely Thai about this recipe.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Thai red curry paste (this may be too hot for some people.  If you like things very mild, start with one heaping tablespoon and add more to taste.)
  • 14oz/400g coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • approximately 300g pumpkin (or, 1/3 of a medium-small pumpkin)
  • One regular sized squash
  • One large red pepper
  • One medium sized onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • Rice

Cook:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions
  2. Chop all vegetables into bite-sized pieces (they’ll cook faster and you don’t need a knife to eat them!)
  3. Pour enough oil to cook vegetables in into a wok/large saute pan with higher sides/large sauce pan.  On medium-high heat cook the vegetables and Thai red curry paste for about 5 minutes, to allow them to soften.
  4. Pour coconut milk in and stir.  Let this cook for about 10 minutes, then stir in the fish sauce and sugar.  (If you did not use all the red curry paste, taste now to consider adding more.)  Once the sauce is hot enough and the vegetables are soft-to-your-liking, it’s done!

The rice the I use takes 35 minutes to cook.  If I start the curry then I’m always done at the same time the rice is ready.  Pour the sauce over the rice and enjoy!

I froze the extra pumpkin and squash I had so that I could make this dish again.  One of the things I love about the curry sauce is that it tastes good all year round, is super easy, and can be adjusted to any vegetables in season or meats prefered.  Fantastic.  Tonight I’m thinking about Baked Potato soup (where did all these potatoes in the house come from?  We have nearly 6 kilo!)  I’ll post how it goes once I figure out what else is in the house to put into it.  =]

-Ariel

September 23, 2009 at 4:49 am 1 comment


Cook & Hook

A fun, feminist blog for the Suzy Homemaker in some of us.

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