Soy Glazed Chicken & Onions

April 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: Phew! I finally have a moment to breathe, and by breathe I mean write a post . . . so it has come to this.

I’ve been really bad at documenting stuff I’ve made lately because I’ve been so busy. However, I wanted something that would be easy and low-maintenance, and that would give me something I could legitimately photograph despite that. I’m on the lookout right now for tasty Chinese dishes, and I’m planning on trying to recreate some of my restaurant favorites once I have a bit more time on my hands. But for the moment, I settled on trying this dish from Crepes of Wrath that I’ve been eying for a while. It is quite similar to things that I’ve made on the stovetop before, but being that it was baked it meant less labor for me, so I decided to go for it.

looks tasty, right?

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Asparagus, Broccoli, and Carrot Risotto

April 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

J:  Okay, so I make a lot of risotto.  It’s become one of my “causes” to try and get more people to appreciate how versatile basic risotto can be, and how really simple it is to make once you’ve gotten the hang of it.  Pretty much, if I’m at a dead loss for what to make for dinner and I have some arborio rice hanging out in my kitchen, you can bet a risotto is in the works.

Most risottos that I make are, admittedly, not hugely full of nutrients.  In fact, I think risotto in general is seen as being pretty unhealthy for you, because a lot of people make it with a ton of cheese, maybe butter, sometimes wine, and the other added ingredients can sometimes take a back seat to the creaminess of the rice itself, which really shouldn’t ever happen.  Arborio rice is a fantastic blank canvas, and you can (and should!) get creative with the kinds of things you throw in.  Some really awesome flavor and texture combinations can come out of it.

awesome textures, flavors, and colors!

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Chocolate Idiot Cake

April 24, 2011 § 3 Comments

J:  This is the second time I’ve made this cake.  The first time was back in the days before Nombudsman existed, and while I think there were some things that worked better the first time and some that worked better the second time, both times the cake was pretty indisputably delicious.  It is called the “chocolate idiot cake” because, according to its creator David Lebovitz, it is so easy to make that only an idiot could mess it up.  And seriously it’s true; as long as you follow the directions and bake it for some amount of time it will be ridiculously tasty.

The first time I made this cake, it set completely.  This time around I was making it for a Seder (yay for flourless cakes!) and was in a rush to get there on time, so it did not set entirely — I literally pulled it out of the oven as soon as the top was set (which took way longer than Mr. Lebovitz said it would!), wrapped it in dish towels, and bolted out the door. But according to the people who ate it, it was still “disgusting” (in a good way) and “one of the best things I’ve ever tasted” and “the uncooked part was the best!”  So, yeah, I didn’t get many complaints.

so. much. chocolate.

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Introducing the Wine List

April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: First off, I really dropped the ball this week! It has been five days since the last post went up, and since it has been up to me to write one, and since I’ve been absolutely consumed with finishing up my undergraduate thesis, a post simply has not materialized.

So I’ve decided to send live a page I’ve been working on for a while, but have been waiting to post until such a time when it is deemed ready. I’m not sure that it is now, but I’m putting it out there anyway. The Nombudsman wine list is located here, and should be accessible on the menu to the left.

this was a good one

Just a few words of introduction for the new page before I return to the cracking whip of science:  I love wine. But, I am not a professional. I don’t necessarily even have a hugely developed palate (that would be up to you professionals to decide). My qualifications primarily include vehement opinions and a trust of my gut feelings. That said, if you aren’t a wine professional either, then you might find us on a fairly level playing field. This page will be updated fairly regularly, and may change vastly in organization at some point soon (I’m not satisfied by the way things are sorted at present), so check back every so often. I hope this page helps you find something you like, and I hope that it will not completely embarrass me in front of the world’s online readership. Enjoy!

Warm Couscous Salad with Avocado, Cranberries, and Feta

April 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

J:  So, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to eat this week, and remembered that I had most of a box of couscous in my pantry left over from making these mac ‘n’ cheese burgers.  I decided that, yes, couscous has an extraordinary shelf life, but it was about time that I used up the rest of that box.  So, what to do?  I settled on a riff on a salad that I used to make all the time in college: it used spinach as the base, and had feta, dried cranberries, avocado, and almonds, and a little bit of light balsamic dressing.  I decided to throw in the same mix-ins, but leave out the spinach and add one or two other ingredients I thought might go with couscous.  For instance, I knew I wanted a spice, and Erik suggested turmeric, so I threw in some of that and it worked really nicely.

This salad turned out just the way I wanted it.  It’s so delicious and so, so easy, and it’s even pretty healthy for you!  You can have it as a main course or as a side, and while I prefer it to be just a bit warm, you could serve it cold as well.  It’s got nice fresh flavors, and it would be great to take on a picnic or some other outing to enjoy the lovely spring weather!

One last note: I made this with 3/4 box of couscous, so I’ve scaled up the recipe to be for a full box.  Most of the amounts for the mix-ins can be adjusted to your own taste, so feel free to play around with them to get proportions that you like.

dramatic lighting!

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Homemade Oreo Cookies

April 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: Oreo cookies are one of the great embarrassments for the foodie that I’ve become in the time since I first realized that cooking was not only easy but fun. They are a guilty pleasure for me, a taste of my childhood despite the fact they were never allowed in the house. Oreos were one of those things that made it more exciting to go to friends’ houses, or to stop at gas stations during long road trips. And to this day, if someone nearby opens a package, I am almost guaranteed to consume a dreadful number of them. I have a sixth-sense for where they are, and once I find them I can’t stop at one or two or three (or six . . .). It is a strange thing for me, because I usually don’t over-eat, but after stopping at the eighth oreo I find myself unable to look their Nutrition Facts in the face for several days.

not the prettiest, but tasty all the same

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Zucchini, Carrot & Onion “Tart” with Smoked Gouda

April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: So first-off, let me admit something. This isn’t really a tart. I don’t have a tart pan, so I took a tart recipe, put it into a pie pan, and basically made it a quiche. With that said, it is actually really, really good. One of the best things I’ve had recently. Let me also admit, this is not a health food. With a cup-and-a-half of cream, I wouldn’t suggest having much of this if you want to avoid a coronary. But you will surely want seconds.

a little self control goes a long way

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