August 2007


espresso panna cotta

This makes me wish I had pictures of my first attempt at this food network panna cotta recipe. The results that time were still pretty tasty, but little brown gelatinous chunks were all over the place and it really didn’t look very delicious. However, someone on craftster suggested that a temperature issue made the espresso mixture chunky, so I just set the pan in cold water instead of ice.

Results? Very smooth, very creamy, good coffee flavor, and a whole lot more successful than whatever I did here.

sweater, frogged

I frogged again. The sweater was just outrageously huge. So this time… I think I’ll just stick with the bottom-up because after the 4th or 5th decrease I had the right circumference to fit me properly, so I have the measurements right now. More later.

buffet

This was fun! Making guacamole and salsa from scratch is definitely worth it. Most of the groceries were from Trader Joe’s this time, which most importantly contributed to the guava nectar, the abundance of cilantro in everything, and of course, hot peppers. A good and filling meal :)

plantains

Plus plantains.

chopped nectarines

Mostly based on this recipe, but what I did:

  • 2 cups of nectarines
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • I don’t know how much but quite a bit of chardonnay

nectarines poached in white wine syrup

Boil sugar and water for quite a long time (but I don’t think I ever got to the soft ball stage). Add wine and fruit and and bring to boil again.

Soak for one night and then coat with granulated (NOT confectioner’s, oops) sugar.

nectarines coated in cane sugar

Put in the oven at 250F for… a really long time.

This does not look very appetizing, but once you break off the surrounding “puddle” of sugar…

nectarine candy

Candied nectarines! A success.

oven-dried nectarine candy

noodles for dinner

Plus some soy sauce and vinegar for dipping on the side.

And now, for a far less successful than usual dessert:

disturbingly mushy panna cotta

Probably the only good part of this mess is that I learned that eggless mousse, as described by several recipes on the internet, is really panna cotta… I think. So this is a recipe from epicurean which is very similar to the one from the food network I used before… only I don’t know what I did wrong here. The coffee flavor is too mild and it was a little too creamy, so back I go to that first successful (albeit chunky) method.

bottom-up sweater

Somehow, my aspirations for a top-down raglan turned upside-down… so here we have a slightly larger than expected (I swatched, I swear!) start to a bottom-up striped raglan sweater. It’ll probably be long-sleeved, probably be too big, and probably require inhuman amounts of unraveling and re-knitting. Still, this is all a first for me so I’m just hoping for the best.

In other, unrelated news, dinner last night was fried rice: leftover tomatoes from something like a week ago, leftover eggs from the mousse, leftover rice I made with the curry, and leftover tuna from a can. It was far more delicious than it looks.

fried rice

I think I’ll do noodles tonight.

a successful flan!

Recipes for desserts do not get easier than this… or so I thought. Not-so successful things happened in the mixing/preparing process, like poorly distributed caramel and way, way too many air bubbles:

kind of poorly done

flan, pre-baking

Plus having to keep the flan in the oven for double the suggested time was both disconcerting and also made a weird scab-like surface.

flan in the oven

Fortunately, flan is made to be flipped and regardless of appearance it tastes delicious.

flan slice

PS: Curry with beef, not flan, was the main dinner course :)

quick curry dinner

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