November 23, 2012 by MaryAnne
Apparently I’ve been on hiatus.
I popped by here yesterday to update my plug-ins and noticed I hadn’t done anything in two whole months. You’d think I was starving to death or something.
Which I was, for a while.
After we came back from a gluttonous week in Hong Kong in early October, I sentenced myself to a 30 day detox, cutting out everything that was fun in the universe: no grains, no dairy, no sweeteners (not even honey), no starchy veggies, no nothing. I lived on veggies… and veggies and tuna and coffee and grilled chicken enlivened by the spice rub I brought back from Morocco.
Somehow I survived.
I didn’t do much inspired cooking though. Certainly nothing worth noting here.
Oh, hey, look, it’s another freaking tuna salad! I can’t wait to document it for posterity!
Oh, no, wait. Never mind.
Anyway, I’m back. I’ve dusted off the oven and prepped myself mentally to regain the 6 or 7 kilos I lost over the past 2 months. After all, it’s winter now and I need to be ready for the long, unpleasant season of hibernation. Shanghai is bad at winter.
Today’s forecast: dire, with a chance of grim extending to the weekend. Highs of meh, with a projected low of get me the hell out of here.
Category Baked Things, Milky Cheesy Things, Uncategorized | Tags: butter,Cheese,OMFG Yum,quick bread,spicy,Toaster Oven | 4 Comments
September 25, 2012 by MaryAnne
I’m a bad food blogger.
While I’ve been blathering away over yonder about mops and Chinese demolition sites, I’ve been neglecting to talk with y’all about food. Because I have been cooking, believe it or not. And baking. And blowing up the kitchen. Daily!
I just didn’t have the time or energy to take the pictures and blog about it.
Since we got back from Morocco, I’ve spent nearly every weekend being shipped off to 2nd and 3rd tier cities around the East coast of China for work (in addition to my Monday-Friday job, so yeah, hello exhaustion).
The last thing I felt like doing in my rare free time was uploading photos of mashed bananas.
This recipe is a two-parter: banana bread and banana bread pudding.
The first one was sent to me in an email by my mother back in August, when I was having a supremely bad week (I forget why, but if it necessitated an email containing my childhood favourite banana bread, it must have been fairly rough). It’s from our Harrowsmith cookbook, which is well thumbed and streaked with batter. They have really good oatmeal cookies too, for the record.
The second was to use up the aforementioned banana bread that I couldn’t actually finish (Doug doesn’t like banana bread) and it was starting to go stale. I decided to attempt to use semi stale banana bread in a bog-standard bread pudding recipe. It worked. Yay!
The bananas used in the recipe were nicked from my hotel room in Nanjing, where I had been shipped off to for two weekends in a row. There are only so many complimentary bananas that a gal can eat, especially when she’s not actually a fan of fruit. If they left me a plate full of cucumbers and peppers, I might be more appreciative. (more…)
Category Baked Things, Milky Cheesy Things, Sweet Things, Uncategorized | Tags: bananas,OMFG Yum,Toaster Oven | 13 Comments
March 1, 2012 by MaryAnne
I’ve made cheese here before. You may recall my happy forays into mascarpone and ricotta a few months back. As well, over on my other blog, the non-foodie one, I delved briefly into goat milk paneer when I went home last summer. It was creamy and gorgeous and fantastically goaty.
Alas, I have no access to goats here. Also, one of the key ingredients that I had been using for all my previous soft cheeses- lemon juice- seems to be out of season right now in Shanghai. There are a few over priced limes in a few shops but no lemons. I wanted to make paneer again, just to see if it could be done in a wok with irradiated, non-organic, non-goaty Chinese milk and rice wine vinegar.
I’m starting to wonder if there’s anything that can’t be done with a wok and rice wine vinegar. Seriously. I think I may need to include them in my Take Over The World tool kit. And maybe a goat, too. To make a nice wheel of herbed chèvre to spread on crackers when I’m taking a break from ruling said world.
Help! Help! I'm being kidnapped! Geddit? KID napped! I'm a goat! Hahaha!
Category Improbable Things, Milky Cheesy Things, Uncategorized | Tags: Cheese,Indian,Toaster Oven,wok | 11 Comments
February 27, 2012 by MaryAnne
With my crock pot full of fermenting cabbage this month, I’ve had to start re-thinking my usual culinary fall-back techniques of, well, throwing everything in the fridge into the crock pot and hoping for the best. Since I went a bit overboard on tacos and spaghetti bolognese last week, I thought I’d veer out into a whole new direction.
Now, when we were parked down in Oaxaca about three years ago, en route to wherever our money ran out, I ate a lot of enchiladas. I even ate zucchini blossom enchiladas on the Day of the Dead. I’ve had mole enchiladas of all hues, and have delved into both the roja and the verde. I’ve also had some lovely, bastardized, gringa’fied ones since- even some surprisingly good ones here in Shanghai.
I haven’t, however, made enchiladas in Shanghai. I have no idea why, as I’m pretty much the Queen of Tacos and Quesadillas in this household (mainly because Doug can’t exactly be crowned Queen).
However, with the crock pot being used elsewhere and my desire to delve into unexplored realms at a reasonable high, I started researching chicken enchiladas. (more…)
Category Baked Things, Improbable Things, Milky Cheesy Things, Spicy Things, Uncategorized | Tags: Chicken,garlic,Mexican,OMFG Yum,Toaster Oven,tortilla,wok | 17 Comments
October 3, 2011 by MaryAnne
This one had been sitting around in my drafts folder for ages, neatly cut and pasted but never attempted. It just seemed so incredibly decadent that I knew a) I had to make it and b) it had to be for a damned good reason.
I mean, after all, this is a freaking chocolate cake with a great big slug of red wine as its liquid. How awesome is that?
I had originally planned to be all authentically Sino-centric, using corner shop Great Wall 50rmb plonk (dire!) but the astral recipient of this here cake deserves much, much better. Or at least as better as I can afford during my time of semi-unemployment. (more…)
Category Baked Things, Milky Cheesy Things, Sweet Things, Uncategorized | Tags: Cake,Chocolate,OMFG Yum,Ricotta,Toaster Oven | 10 Comments
September 7, 2011 by MaryAnne
I’ll admit now that I’d never actually ever made Welsh Rarebit (or Rabbit or Bunny or whatever) before I was subtly dared to do so the other day on Facebook and so it’s a bit absurd that I’m now taking on the challenge of adapting it for a Chinese kitchen.
My usual lazy Google search for a recipe gave me Food Network USA ,Wikipedia and New York Times pages, followed up by Pioneer Woman. Not one Welsh face in the crowd, as you can see, though the generically British Jamie Oliver did make an appearance on page 2. Rather discouraging, really. (more…)
Category Improbable Things, Milky Cheesy Things, Uncategorized | Tags: Cheese,Cheese Sauce,OMFG Yum,Toast,wok | 8 Comments
September 5, 2011 by MaryAnne
About these pancakes: These are borderline savoury pancakes- I’ve been able to happily eat them with both jam and with sharp, aged Cheddar. If you’re expecting a mild, fluffy, sweet American pancake, you might want to add more sugar. These are more yogurty, more sour-doughy, more…complex. And awesome.
Yesterday, I made home made ricotta cheese. Now, if you happened to read the whole brutally long post, you may recall two key things.
- We ate the whole batch in one go last night
- I saved the whey when I drained the curds
And you may be asking yourself, why on earth is she saving that… stuff? Why did she subject poor Doug to a barely-sealed, leaky Tupperware container of thin, watery liquid placed awkwardly on top of a bunch of other things in our already too-full half-sized Chinese fridge? I mean, we could have fit three whole beers there!
Well, I wanted pancakes. Buckwheat pancakes, to be precise. (more…)
Category Improbable Things, Milky Cheesy Things, Uncategorized | Tags: Buckwheat,OMFG Yum,Pancakes,Whey,Yogurt | 2 Comments
September 3, 2011 by MaryAnne
Let’s start with the ricotta.
Estimated prep time: However long it takes you to juice a lemon, pour 4 cups of milk into a saucepan and heat it a bit, pour in the lemon juice, wait 5 minutes, pour the lemony milk into strainer and then wait 1-2 hours for it to drain. So let’s say a total of 2 hours and ten minutes, with about 15 minutes being active. The rest is low-key coffee drinking time.
In Shanghai, it is actually possible to buy cheese. Not everywhere, mind you, and with very variable options. In most shops in non-laowai neighbourhoods, you’ll generally just find the Chinese equivalent of Kraft Singles. At City Shop, a Hong Kong based grocery chain where the foreigners push their trolleys down aisles full of expensive, imported non-melamine dairy products, German muesli, Mexican salsa and French chocolate, a tiny, tiny 150g pot of dubious ricotta (when in stock, which it wasn’t) costs about 50 rmb (about US$8), which is totally absurd. So I decided to make my own. (more…)
Category Milky Cheesy Things, Pasta Things, Uncategorized | Tags: Cheese,OMFG Yum,Pasta,Ravioli,Ricotta,wok | 8 Comments