Food, Picture Post, Short Post

20/01/2016: Success Lunch!

So, this post is a little belated. But, I wanted to share with you the lunch I prepared on Wednesday. Little backstory first.

My mum gave me a 100$ gift card for christmas to Amazon. As I’ve been eyeing a wonderful monbento box for a while, I committed to much (~30$) to purchase the one I wanted. I will admit, it was more then I spend on groceries in a week, and it was more then I am usually willing to spend on anything. But, I’ve been wanting it for almost two years now and I figured it was now or never (or then or never, as it is past tense). I may have posted the link in a past post, however, here it is again. It’s not the normal shape, but the dishes are deep enough that when I make “american” sized portions of things that may be to tall for my regular box, they fit nicely. It holds a lot more food than I was expecting as well, it was surprising. Usually I run out of room before I run out of food, but this time, I ran out of food and needed to find something else. So this was my end result:

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From left to right: Onigiri topped with sesame seeds and wrapped in nori; radishes and cucumbers cut into cut faces and flower shapes (I have cut veggies cutters now too), tamago, and then buffalo ranch chicken.

This is WAY more than I would usually pack. Usually, I divide up the meat portion into a dinner and lunch portion, however this time, I still had room to add something else on the right. I had to cut myself off, I felt full just packing this and almost didn’t finish it on Thursday. The smiles and the flowers are supported by tiny silicone molds that were much smaller than I thought they were, I had already bought them and I didn’t want to return them, so flipping them over helps add volume to the lunch (which, until now, I didn’t know was an actual thing).

Sealed up, packed up, and ready to go!

Food, Life, Success Dinner

Success Dinner: Homemade (from scratch) Creamy Tomato Soup

So, hello everyone! I made something delicious in The Half Ginger Kitchen, my feet are killing me! I should actually be in bed but I just had to share what I made.

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Now, I don’t like using recipes. I really don’t. If someone can tell me how to do something that is different. I don’t like opening a cookbook and following a cookie cutter recipe. If I did that all the time there would be many houses on fire (see post  Chicken Fried Evil). Alton Brown, Paula Dean, and several others will never know the tears their recipes put me through. So, I’ve decided that I’m no longer following them. I’m making shit up as I go.

I did have to google the proper way to roast garlic, but I just needed temp for that. But that’s how far I took the seriousness of my from scratch soup. The only thing I didn’t do myself was the chicken stock and that’s because I didn’t have a chicken carcass to boil for a hour or two. But it still turned out AMAZINGLY AWESOME! Oh, and the cream. I used Kalispell Kreamery Half and Half. Not only to support a relative’s business, but because it’s some of the best stuff available.

So here it is.

Kas’ Soon to be Famous Homemade Creamy Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup

Roast The Garlic:

Take a bunch of garlic, and peel off the skins. Keep the cloves together and some of the skin on them. Rub them with olive oil. Oven. 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 30-35 minutes.

Forget it until the timer goes off.

 

Chop Tomatoes and onions

I used 5 Roma tomatoes and about half an onion. I chopped them up into neat little bowls like on the Food Network.

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That’s the oven with the garlic in it.

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I got distracted while the garlic was roasting, but that’s okay. Because I got everything else prepped. Once the garlic is done, you should be able to take out the cloves from their husks by holding the end of the bunch and pushing on the butts of the cloves with a fork. Make sure it’s cooled first.

Then, mix 2 tablespoons of butter, the onion, and ‘some’ garlic (I literally just put some in it. I had chopped it up and put about 2 cloves in it, if we needed t be exact). You want to be a vulture here. Do not leave this alone. Use a low heat and stir constantly. I actually didn’t burn it, but knowing my luck I could have.

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This stage usually only takes about three minutes of stirring and not burning. If you burn it you must start over.

 

Next, we add our tomatoes and chicken stock. Now, I didn’t peel my tomatoes, and it made the soup chunky. So I highly recommend peeling the tomato. It doesn’t effect the flavor, but if you don’t mind a chunky soup don’t worry about it.

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It’s not going to look very good at this point, but GIVE IT TIME! It will look better. You can season it at this stage with salt and pepper, or you can wait until the end. I seasoned both here and the end. Bring this chunky mess to a boil and them let it simmer for a while. I think I did 8 minutes.

While that is simmering, dig around in your mother’s kitchen. “Why would I do that?” you may be wondering. Well, you do it BECAUSE you might find this:

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I was SO EXCITED! I was tripping over myself with excitement. Until, I realized it wasn’t working. I tried everything and it wouldn’t work. So after the simmer, I did this:

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I did it by HAND! I have a tendency to do things by hand anyway, but this was ridiculous. I stood there for a while, chunking away. More and more and more chunking. So that happened.

I then poured the soup back into the pot and added the delicious KK cream! Oh it was awesome! So whisk that in, and wha-la! Soup.

BUT! Then something else happened. I was re-assembling the food processor and I heard a click I hadn’t heard before. I checked the top of the bowl and BOOM!

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I didn’t realize that I needed to use more force to get it to work. So, I decided that it was okay and I RAN IT ANYWAY through the PROCESSOR! BOOM!

It got rid of more chunks and helped thicken the soup. It was awesome.

I topped it with parm cheese and it’s fabulous!

These are my dishes from the food processor, I wanted to show that I was actually able to use it!

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Yum yum yum in my tum!

 

Food, Success Dinner

Success Dinner: Taqichiladas!

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So, hello everyone!

Tonight I was successful at making dinner! Now, as most of you know, I am quite lazy when it comes to food. At least making it, I’m pretty good at the eating it part. I know, from my previous success dinners, it looks FANTASTIC and it looks like I can cook. Well, I can, I’m just lazy about it.

Also, those who know me, know I love taquitos. They are some of the best little concepts around. I buy them from Costco is 50 piece boxes (they are stuffed with beef, not chicken. You only get 30 chicken ones for the same price as 50 beef ones). I also love enchiladas. I think it’s because of all the cheese.

So, Bryant’s mum, is awesome and told me how to taquito enchiladas (hence the name, Taqichiladas (Tak-kee-cha-la-das)). You need taquitos, of course. Enchilada sauce. I couldn’t pick between red or green, so I bought both of them. I mixed them thinking I would get orange sauce and I thought that was cool. Instead it turned kinda brown/red. Bryant’s mum said to use the big can, when I was buying cans of sauce I didn’t think that my pan is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller than her pan. Mine is an 8×8, I think, while her’s is 9×13, I think. So, lots of sauce.

Well, I mixed those together in a tupperware container because I’m going to make these again very soon and I knew I would have lots of sauce. So a full can of sauce if you are using a 9×13, I think. Gauge sauce usage, based on pan size, I would say don’t drown the tasty taquitos in sauce. So, pour the sauce over the taquitos. Take shredded cheese and make a layer on top. Once again, up to you how much you want to use. I used some. It was a nice layer of cheese on top.

Now, to the step I always forget to tell people. You should have preheated the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Ignore what the taquitos box says for cook time, we’re changing that here. With your three layers, taquitos, sauce, and cheese, pop that in your preheated over for 30 minutes. Yep, thirty minutes. I know it seems out there, but it’s true.

After thirty minutes remove them from the oven and let cool slightly. My cheese migrated the the center of the dish so I added more. Serve up like you would enchiladas and enjoy. That’s how I made dinner, and that’s how you can make Taqichiladas!

Happy cooking/baking/not burning down the house!

Food

Fictional Adventures and Boring Cooking

So. Hello everyone!

I’ve been busy lately. I know I’ve been saying that a lot but it’s true, I’m not just saying it so that you think I’m too good for you all. But work has kept me busy. Baking lots of things, being told I’m not allowed to do it, and then doing it anyway because no one else would do it. I’m still trying to get a job out at the mill, but that isn’t panning out like I hoped it would. I really hope I hear something soon, because it’s a great job and has great benefits. A friend of mine works for BNSF and I’ve considered getting a job there, but the one I was looking at would mean I would have to work in Minot, ND and from what I can tell it would be for three years or so, but I would work out of whitefish I guess. I don’t really know, I’ trying to get more information out of my friend, but he’s been off and on all day and it’s hard to have a conversation that way. It’s a better job than plum creek, but it would be hard to have a life while working there. From what I understand, you don’t get to move around as much for a while, and you are on call. Bryant and I have been talking about it. He’s convinced he will never see me. He will but there will be times when we will be apart for a period of time. I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like I’m not doing enough.

Other than work though, I’ve tried to start up writing again. It’s harder than I remember. I haven’t read a good fantasy novel in a while though. I’ve read a lot of H.P. Lovecraft and I love his work, but that’s not what I write about. I am waiting and waiting for payday so that I can go up to Bad Rock Books and see what they have. I have learned in my life to never walk into a bookstore broke. You stay all day and read, and then when the day is over but the book isn’t you have to leave it there and eventually you forget what page you are on, or someone else buys it, or something of that caliber and you feel robbed because you spent so much time with something and then it left you. Hmmm, kinda like real life. 

I don’t have a whole lot of work done on it yet. I have a loose outline but not much else. It has been so long since I read a actual fantasy book, it’s become a little absurd. 

So, I’m cooking a turkey. Why? Because I’m bored. Seriously, it’s the only reason. I made a broth out of chicken bullion, garlic salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and beer. I sprayed some butter flavored cooking spray on the top because my mum doesn’t have olive oil or canola. Hopefully it crisps how I want it too. Hopefully hopefully! 

BIRD! Cook faster! I want to take a picture of you!