31 January 2010

My Southern Christmas Lunch

I didn't really celebrate Christmas last year, but I did humor the holiday by doing a little something for lunch. I had been craving yeast rolls, and I saw these dill sour cream rolls on Coconut & Lime so I decided to give them a shot along with some homemade pimento cheese. The cheese was awesome and easy; I combined a couple of different epicurious recipes and made it with extra sharp cheddar only (some call for white cheddar but that's harder to find). The rolls kind of failed, but I want to make it clear that that was entirely my fault, not Rachel's recipe, and I may try again with less fail-y yeast and a warmer environment. I knew they wouldn't rise in my 65 degree apartment, but tried anyway. I have to say though, despite the completely different consistency (very, very dense and not flaky or fluffy), the taste is pretty good. They worked well for a little pimento sandwich.

Pimento Cheese

8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz pimentos, drained and mashed up into little pieces with a fork
2/3 cup mayonnaise
Black pepper and cayenne to taste

Mix together everything but the mayo, then add mayo and mash it all up real good with a fork. Let rest in the fridge a couple of hours. Enjoy.

26 January 2010

TWD: Cocoanana Bread

This week, the TWD bakers are making Cocoanana Bread. This bread is chocolate to the max, almost more like a cake. I loved the taste, with the melty bittersweet chocolate chunks and my good Trader Joe's cocoa powder. It was a little thick and hard to work with with the hand mixer, but my little mixer persevered well. It was a little dry, and I think next time I'd do the optional melted chocolate in the batter to see whether that helps. The top is wonderfully moist and cakey, though. A hint for any banana breads: if you freeze your bananas once they get brown, you can stick 'em in the microwave for a minute per banana and then you'll have a warm, pre-mashed banana ready to go. Just cut the peel open and let your banana glop out into the bowl.

22 January 2010

From the Pantry: A Slightly Shinier Beans and Rice

I must have been about five when I learned that beans and rice are the perfect protein complement. And when I'm trying to save money and get my nutrition in, they are definitely the way to go. This New Year's Eve, I ignored the black eyed peas wisdom and threw together this simple black beans and rice combination. One bag of boil-in-a-bag brown rice, one can of black beans, a healthy dollop of sour cream, a big shake of garlic powder, and a fair shake of paprika, and you've got this beans-and-rice medley. Sour cream makes everything worth eating.

16 January 2010

Devilled Eggs

 A while ago, I looked through a book of devilled egg recipes. Just devilled eggs. Sixty or seventy devilled recipes. Some were really weird. Some were intriguing (avocado?) Some were just plain snooty (caviar). The other day, I needed something to eat and I didn't feel like going shopping, so I boiled some eggs, and I decided to make them more fun by deviling. The recipe I was used was not really a recipe, it's just what I tend to do. The yolks of four eggs go with a big spoonful of mayo, a small spoonful of mustard (I used the Emeril's horseradish brand that Foodbuzz provided to me a while ago; very good combo), a bit of garlic powder, and of course paprika on top. You can't really go wrong.
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05 January 2010

TWD: Cocoa Buttermilk Birthday Cake

Happy birthday, Tuesdays with Dorie! This week there were two options to celebrate TWD's anniversary, and I chose Cocoa Buttermilk Birthday Cake. I had to buy malted milk powder online, so it was a bit of an ordeal, but fun nonetheless. My cake turned out a bit dry, probably because I didn't add the optional melted chocolate to the batter. It was the kind of cake that really is best on day one, served room temperature as suggested. The frosting is tasty, sweet, and smooth, so even if you're eating the cake throughout the week, you can do a trick where you microwave a slice for 30 seconds, softening the frosting to a melty consistency, and then combine the frosting and cake crumbs to balance moisture and sweetness. It didn't have an obvious malt flavor, but maybe that's just me. You can see how the other TWD bakers did here.