January 31, 2011

my dominican jumping bean

um,
are cats supposed to be able to do this?

  video

 insane.



and awesome.




that's my kitten.




my apologies for the awful quality, 
my phone is nothing if not crappy.

January 30, 2011

the different frozen possibilities...

ok,
so everyone has heard of ice cream.
(i hope.)

and they have probably heard of sorbet.

maybe even sherbet. 

or gelato.

or frozen yogurt. 

but what about water ice?

or granita?

ever heard of those?
(all are some sort of frozen delight that one can find in
malaysia, singapore, turkey, the philippines, south asia, or germany) 




basically,
there are a million different frozen possibilities.
but what the freak is the difference?

haven't you ever sat there thinking
"what the crap is difference between sherbet and sorbet?"
or
"what the hell is water ice? 
isn't that sorbet?"



god knows i have. 
it plagues me.



and i have looked it up. 
(thanks wikipedia)
and i am going to buy myself a sexy ice cream book any day now.
(the perfect scoop by david lebovitz has been recommended to me)
and hopefully that will clarify a lot of things, 
but i think the real question is
why the crap are there so many different frozen possibilities?




so let's dissect this--
what are the differences between all of these things? 

ice cream
has greater than 10% milk fat.
but normally no more than 18% milk fat.
(delicious)

ice milk:
(also called low-fat ice cream):
less than 10% milk fat.
(lame)

frozen custard:
just like ice cream 
but with eggs in it.
(apparently that is what most homemade ice cream is.)

soft-serve ice cream:
between 3% and 6% milk fat. 
and stored at a warmer temperature than ice cream.
hence the softness.

dippin' dots:
(my personal favorite)
ice cream that has been flash frozen with liquid nitrogen.

gelato:
has less butterfat than ice cream,
between 4% and 8%.
(now we are measuring it in butterfat, not milk fat. so confused.
thanks a lot wikipedia.)
it also has a lower sugar content than ice cream.
in further reading, 
it seems gelato is a much more fancy and volatile frozen dessert;
it holds it's peak flavor for only a little while, 
and has been stored at the correct temperature.
that's why many gelateria's make their own gelato.
fancy.

semifreddo:
has equal parts milk and whipping cream.

frozen yogurt:
has 0.5-6% milk fat. 
and is made of yogurt.
(duh)

sherbet:
between 1% and 2% milk fat.
can we pause and discuss the saying of the word sherbet?
it's spelled sherbet--
one would think it is said "shur-bit"
but it is actually pronounced "shur-burt"
explain.
(i can not tell you how much this confusion stresses me out)

sorbet:
no dairy.
just water. 
(and flavoring,
normally fruity flavoring)

granita:
like sorbet, 
but instead of smooth, 
it has been agitated during the freezing process.
basically, it is little sorbet-ish crystals.
(as it freezes, 
you scrape it with a fork.
or at least that's what dolcetto did.) 

italian ice or water ice:
like sorbet,
with the flavored water and all,
but may contain egg whites?
(i don't get it.
it's called water ice--
how can it have anything other than water and flavoring in it?
i mean egg whites? 
what?
i'm so confused.)

shave ice:
a huge block of ice is shaved
and a concentrated flavor is put on top.

snow cone:
like a shave ice, 
but instead of the ice being shaved,
it is crushed.
concentrated flavor is still put on top.





i don't know that all my questions are answered with all of this.
but i guess it is a start. 

i wish i had each of these kinds of frozen delights in front of me, 
all the same flavor, 
to see if i could really figure out the difference. 
because, while i have this handy little guide,
i am still pretty flippin' confused. 

and i will probably still use the term ice cream for every frozen thing i eat.
it is just too freakin' complicated. 
i can't handle it.

and now i want to eat some ice cream. 
or should i make some?
hmmm...

seeing as how i have 5 flavors in my freezer right now,
maybe eating
and not making
is the best option. 




plus, mom just got me a present:

awesome.



ps. if you are interested - 

January 29, 2011

the kumquat, a pepino melon, and a cherimoya

so remember when i said i love creepy fruit?

well, 
i found some more---
the kumquat
a pepino melon 
and a cherimoya.



first of all, 
the kumquat.

what a great name? 
i mean it is delicious just to say it. 

i feel like i've had a kumquat before in some fancy restaurant,
but never as a solo act.

and as a orange-ish type thing, i thought you would peel it to eat.
but apparently you do not.
you just pop the whole thing in your mouth. 

crazy.
and awesome.

kind of sweet 
and a little sour
(maybe i got it a little under ripe?)
and awesome.



according to my research
the pepino melon
has many relatives---
(and not relatives i would have expected)
namely, the tomato and the eggplant.
(and less distantly melons and pears)

but i am still unsure of how one eats this bad boy.
um...
cut it open and eat?

ok.



well,
it smells like a tomato.
(which i guess makes sense,
seeing as how they are related and all. 
it is still creepy though.)

and it kind of tastes like a cucumber.

but with the consistency of a honey dew melon.
(which is what it looks like.)

basically,
i don't get it.

and it's creepy.
not creepy looking,
(it's actually kind of cool looking)
but just creepy.



the cherimoya
is an actual creepy fruit. 

(the kumquat and pepino melon are weird for sure, 
but not necessarily creepy. 
or at least not creepy like the cherimoya is creepy.)

it is wearing a suit of armor. 
like an armadillo.
weird. 

and one place i was looking said it was from
"the tree of the ice cream".

um,
it's a fruit.
not ice cream. 
what??


well, i like ice cream,
so whatever,
let's give this sucker a go.


um.
hello, super creepy.

first of all,
those seeds are out of control.
they are the size of almonds.
weird.

and secondly,
the taste.

???

it has the consistency of a papaya,
maybe.
or maybe a custard.

it tastes like a tropical fruit.
but there is no way i can place the flavors.

one website i found said it had a combo of flavors---
papaya, banana, mango, passion fruit, lemon and pineapple.

i don't know about all of that.
but it is good.
but weird.

this sucker is not like anything else i've every tried.
and even as i sit here eating it,
i am still intrigued.
and confused.


one thing i do know--
it is 100 percent creepy.
for sure.



i think the real question is --
have these wild and crazy fruits
turned me off of buying weird and cooky fruits?
um,
no.
not by a long shot.

January 27, 2011

buddha's hand creamy water ice

  • buddha's hand
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
zest buddha's hand.
(i just cut off the zest in large chunks, but you could use a zester, i suppose.)

mix water, sugar, and zest in a pot. 

simmer 10 minutes.

let steep for an hour or so.
(but don't leave it in too long. 
i think i accidentally did, 
and now my ice cream is not as awesome as it could be.
a little too zesty,
but in a bad way.)

add milk. 
(my guess is you could add heavy cream too--
i didn't have any on hand, 
so i didn't. 
but i bet it would make it creamier.
and who doesn't want creamier ice cream?)

throw it in the ice cream maker. 

freeze.



eat. 


and enjoy the idea of eating a frozen, creamy buddha's hand.


    January 26, 2011

    kiwano sorbet

    • seeds from one kiwano (or horned melon)
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    cut kiwano in half.
    (maybe keep the shell--
    maybe it could be cute to serve the sorbet in?)


    put all of seeds (and their creepy fruit sacs) in a pot.
    simmer for 10ish minutes.

    put seeds through a sieve.

    add sugar. 
    cool.

    ice cream make it.

    freeze.


    eat. 


    are kiwanos creepy?
    100 percent.

    but creepy sorbet is fun.


    ps.
    i have an orange container
    and i thought it would be super adorable
    if i put the creepy green sorbet in the orange container
    cause, you know, it's just like the fruit.


    too cute.

    January 25, 2011

    kiwano and buddha's hand

    so i have this thing with buying creepy looking tropical fruit. 
    as in, 
    i do it whenever possible.

    i mean, 
    who doesn't want to eat something that looks as creepy as these??



    so the yellow, many fingered hand looking one is
    the buddha's hand. 
    (apparently it is some sort of citrus fruit.
    all rind though. 
    i'm intrigued.
    obviously.)



    and the orange spiky looking thing is
    the kiwano or horned melon. 
    i found a website that explains how to eat it. 
    something about sucking out the sac of fruit. 
    sounds creepy.

    i'm down.


    so after doing some research, 
    i am not quite sure what i am supposed to do with the buddha's hand.
    so i decided to make a sorbet water ice thing.

    now there are no recipes on the internet. 
    but there is some restaurant in LA who makes it.
    so it must be doable. 

    i checked out dolcetto's lemon verbana water ice for inspiration.

    if it works i'll post the recipe.
    but i'm mildly skeptical. 

    i mean, 
    it's just a lemon. 
    ish.

    now the kiwano is a whole different animal.
    and a super creepy one at that. 

    check out the inside. 


    um.
    orange outside. 
    lime green inside. 
    what?

    new name: scary fruit.
    because, hello, that sucker is scary.
    and creepy weird.

    what island did this bad boy come from?
    what kind of animal eats this that it needs these wild colors to survive?


    and the fruit sacs?
    um.
    weird. 

    they are the consistancy of jello.
    but taste like star fruit?
    maybe?
    i am so confused.

    maybe i'll try and make sorbet out of this too?




    January 23, 2011

    terrine update

    so the terrine is ready to eat. 
    and we had a little feast. 
    oysters. 
    (always awesome)
    smelly cheese.
    and, of course, 
    sweetbread terrine.

    turns out it was pretty delicious. 
    rockstar.
    feast.
    (the oysters have already been devoured.)


    look at all of those sweetbreads
    and pistachios. 
    baller.

    January 22, 2011

    man hat tan


    i did it. 

    i finished. 

    and i hurt. 
    a lot.


    (maybe for the next one i'll actually train. 
    maybe.)


    2 hours 20 minutes 56 seconds. 

    not bad for the amount of pain i endured
    or the distance that i walked.


    but part one of resolution number one is complete. 
    only four more half marathons to go.





    and a special thanks to av and mm. 
    thanks for the hospitality. 
    and the food.





    ps. saw the cutest gloves when picking up my number.
    they have all of the boroughs on them.
    one for each finger.

    i want them so bad.

    January 21, 2011

    sweetbread terrine

    so jb's winter break project was to make a terrine.
    a sweetbread terrine. 

    do you know what sweetbreads are? 

    apparently they are all sorts of creepy things--
    throat, ear, neck, gullet, heart, stomach. 

    they better be delicious. 
    cause that stuff is creepy. 





    those are the sweetbreads.
    creepy, right?

    i had the prestigious honor of rolling out lard to line the terrine.
    awesome.

    (plus side, my hands are super soft days later.)

    papa and baby terrine need to be cooked.


    terrine fresh out of the oven. 

    now we have to wait 3 days to eat it.

    lame.



    but i am excited for the final product. 
    it better not be lame. 
    i mean, 
    it has pistachios in it.
    baller.


    January 20, 2011

    the worm list

    have you ever felt like no one likes you? 
    that everyone hates you? 
    that you should eat worms?
    of course you have.
    everyone has.

    but even worse than that
    is listening to someone who feels that way.

    vomit.




    well, i know someone who is the king of what i like to call
    "the worm list"
    the list of things that have gone wrong in their lives.
    things that would drive them to eat worms.


    well, even though we are only slightly into 2011, he has already decided that 
    "this has been a rough year." 

    20 days into 2011 and it's already "rough"??
    disaster. 



    since it has been a rough year already, 
    one can only assume it will get worse.

    so i have decided to keep track. 
    keep a "worm list".
    not my worm list, 
    his. 

    hilarious. 

    this could be a good year.


    ps. i don't want to put up the list --
    that's super rude.
    (it's not really mine to share after all)

    but

    i will leave you with this:
    "well, i almost died last week"

    (he didn't)
    (but i'm pretty sure he needs some worms)

    January 18, 2011

    snow is the opposite of sunshine

    and it makes me sad.



    also,
    running 18 miles a week is clearly never going to happen. 
    especially when it continues to snow 17 million times a week. 
    vomit.



    ps. half marathon this weekend should be interesting.
    and sore. 
    double vomit. 

    January 14, 2011

    cranberry ice cream

    • 2 cups cranberries
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice - you might not need this much.
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1.5 cups heavy cream
    mix cranberries, lemon juice, sugar in pot.
    boil.

    mash the berries.
    really let pop and get smushy.
    simmer. 
    only about 5 minutes.


    basically, pretend you are making cranberry sauce, 
    minus the cinnamon and orange. 
    (although, orange could be delicious in this)



    add milk.
    puree.

    stir in heavy cream.

    put through a sieve.

    chill.

    put that business in the ice cream maker.

    freeze.

    eat.



    ps. i will slowly try to add to my ice cream recipes here. 
    and i think we should all pretend that i'm not a total loser-- 
    maybe i got excited about the whole blogging thing 
    (and the ice cream thing, obviously) 
    and wrote up a whole bunch of recipes already. 
    maybe i have 5 more recipes in reserve to post. 

    such a loser.

      January 13, 2011

      goat tacos + homemade tortillas

      so, we made tacos. 

      it's not our first time. 

      but it was our first time making homemade tortillas. 
      (cause maybe we got a tortilla press for jesus' birthday.)


      all i can say is, delicious. 
      times a million.

      everything is fresh or homemade.
      can't get better.

      well, i guess you could.
      but you would have to pay for it.



      anyways, here are some pictures.

      ps. here is the recipe.

      tortillas -- 








      i don't know if you can tell,
      but i am pretty freaking good at making round tortillas.
      rockstar.



      salsa --





      it's a face. do you get it?


      goat tacos -- 







      January 12, 2011

      blood orange sorbet

      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 2 cups blood orange juice:
        • (i had to use juice oranges and orange juice to make up the difference, as i was so not prepared for this recipe -- i saw blood oranges in the store, and couldn't resist. i had no idea how many you would need, but using orange juice worked just fine.)
      juice oranges.

      add sugar.

      put through a sieve.

      make ice cream.

      eat.

      awesome.


      ps. this works for all citrus juices.



      • orange -- use juice oranges. they will give you way more juice than a regular orange.
      • grapefruit -- made it last summer. awesome.
      • lemon -- although i would add lemon zest. and maybe more sugar.
      • lime -- again, add zest and more sugar. for this you are going for a limeade phenomenon. (one of my favs.)



      maybe i make a lot of citrus sorbets.


      pps. i may have stolen the basis for this recipe from dolcetto. see the recipe here.

      January 11, 2011

      a day late and a dollar short

      well, not quite. more like 5 days early.






      so i made cranberry ice cream and blood orange sorbet days before 2011 began. 
      and before i knew that making tons of ice creams was on my to do list for the year.

      so, can they count for 2011? 
      my guess is no. 
      but maybe they will have to. 
      we'll see next december. 
      it could come down to the wire.

      (like most things in my life. vomit.)


      also, started a book in 2010 (RATS!!), but finished it in 2011. 
      does that count?

      ugh.

      i guess the rules can be whatever i make them. 
      but god knows i can make and break rules as fast as i think of them.

      i guess it is another one of those, let's see if i make my goal, 
      and if not, maybe i can say that it happened in 2011. 
      and then i'll be a teeny tiny bit closer.

      whateverz.

      January 10, 2011

      apple ice cream

      • 2 gold rush apples, cut in half and cored
      • 1/8 cup sugar
      • 1 tsp. lemon juice
      • 1/2 cup apple juice
      • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
      • 1/2 cup milk
      on a pan, put apples with innards side down. 
      (throw some lemon juice on the freshly cut apple so that it doesn't turn brown. 
      that could make for some creepy ice cream.)

      bake apples for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
      (or until squishy)

      once done, put into a pot and puree, using an immersion blender. 
       
      hello, apple sauce. 
      it's nice to meet you. 

      creepy.

      add lemon juice, sugar, and apple juice.

      taste constantly. 
      if it needs any more of anything, add it.
      you aren't an idiot, as long as it tastes good, you are doing it correctly.

      make sure the mixture isn't too hot, and add the heavy cream and milk. 

      (i've totally added the cream/milk too early and cooked it. 
      it's gross. 
      be a smidge patient and it won't be a huge disaster.)

      puree again, to make sure it is super silky smooth.

      throw the whole concoction through a sieve to get rid of the fibery bits -- 
      cause let's be serious you are making ice cream, not apple sauce.

      then put it in the ice cream maker. 
      let that bad boy do it's magic, and presto change-o: 
      apple ice cream.


      eat.

      January 8, 2011

      2011 to do list

      so everyone has a resolution list.

      1. grand prix - 5 half marathons, 5 boroughs -- starting on january 22nd. fml.
      2. read 52 books
      3. make 26 ice creams (or sorbets, gelatos, sherbet, etc. -- the chaos that is the different choices for frozen treats will be discussed later)
      4. go to the dominican republic
      5. learn spanish (preferrably in the DR. but also use rosetta stone. duh.)
      6. get another tattoo -- cheese (on my foot) and maybe expand on the flowers, maybe add color, so many options, all of them permanent. yikes-a-doodle.
      7. take a philosophy 101 class -- so that i can pretend that i know what jb is talking about
      8. start taking classes to improve in my teaching of ELLs (Queens College, Hunter College, linguistics --- research!!)
      9. run 18 miles a week without more than 2 days off in a row. (disaster? 100 percent.) 
      10. NYC marathon??? (if i get accepted to the lottery; if not, no bigs.)
      11. visit bg and baby in HOTlanta?

      obviously this list will be added to as time passes. but i think 9 things (and 3 maybes) is a nice start.