Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leftover Ingredients: the mother of invention!

I don't know if I've ever had so many different food items in my fridge and on my shelves! Between the normal, everyday perishables and pantry stock, I also acquired leftover soup, home grown tomatoes, and babaganoush from a party (which meant, of course, that I had to go buy pita bread) and apparently bought too many ingredients for the recipes I did have in mind to make that week. For instance, I had one too many habanero peppers, too much shredded cheese, leftover "lime sour cream", some brussels sprouts that I intended to eat for lunch but forgot about, etc. Oh yeah, and a turnip that I forgot to put into a root vegetable soup. And this, my friends, is what the stress of midterm preparation can do to you!

In order to rectify this odd situation, I did something I haven't done in a long time: I made up a recipe! It was so fun and easy to make. Here's what I did, though since I didn't measure much, have fun adjusting to your own tastes. :)

Hot chicken, tomato, and corn soup
(This is a lot like chicken tortilla soup, but no tortilla. I joked to Peter that it's great for the low-carb diet.)

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl canola oil (the fat choice is random, I know, don't ask...)
1 small onion, chopped
Salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste (I used the Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning plus cumin)
A few splashes Tapatio hot sauce (or a favorite hot sauce)
1 habanero pepper (omit or use jalapeno for something milder)
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted (could have used more)
1 large tomato, diced (could have been 2)
Enough chicken or vegetable broth (I used a mix) to cover everything, but not so much as to make it too brothy
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded

Optional (but highly recommended) accompaniments: shredded mexican cheese blend, sour cream, freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro

1. Saute onion and pepper with seasonings and hot sauce over medium heat for a couple of minutes (should be very fragrant).
2. Add corn and tomato, sauteing another minute.
3. Add broth and chicken, bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will meld, but just do whatever you have the time for.
4. Serve with accompaniments.

Yield: 3-4 servings

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Something Old Revisited

As you may or may not remember, in July Christina and I embarked on the ultimate baking challenge: to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie. We found one recipe that was absolutely delicious, however it had one minor flaw -- the dough was a bit on the goopy side and the cookies were rather spread out and thin. Because we were baking in Rochester, New York, on what I remember was an extremely warm and humid day, we attributed the consistency of the dough and resulting cookies to the humidity. This could mean only one thing: the cookies would have to be baked in another part of the United States (preferably without the extreme humidity) to see if the same thing happened again.

I, one half of Le Tablier Rose, took it upon myself to make them in my hometown in Southern California and find out if I would experience the same results. After baking (and tasting!) this recipe, I am happy to report the consistency was, indeed, due to the Rochester summer, and they are just as good now as they were in July. :-)

Now, this post would simply not be complete without the customary photos, so please enjoy. Hm, I'm starting to feel like Martha Stewart since we're documenting the progress via photography!

*If you would like to try our "something old" recipe, please see July's blog post with recipe #1 in the title.

Gathering ingredients & mixing well the flour and baking powder

The dough is amazing! Warning: You will be tempted to
eat more than you bake.

On the cookie sheet with somewhere to go: the oven!

The finished product.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mrs. McCabe's Poppy Seed Cake

I am not one for cake. I don't like cake. But this is one cake I absolutely love! It's moist, texture is delectable, and flavor absolutely delicious. The recipe came from a Tae Kwon Do Mom, and per her request, the following story stays with the recipe.

"The recipe is named after a sweet old lade from Santa Ana who lived across the street from us. She was just a sweetheart. She and her husband lived alone and she would bake a cake every weekend. When I found out she had died all by herself I cried. One night when she found out she was very sick and could not drive she left from 11th street in Santa Ana to the bus station (in downtown Santa Ana) about one mile from her home. Where the bus station is, is not a good neighborhood. She then took the bus to the hospital. About a week later the neighbors said she had passed away. She just never wanted to bother anyone. After hearing this stry, I decided I would try to be a better neighbor after that."

Preheat oven to 325 degrees


One yellow cake mix
One small vanilla pudding, instant
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup very warm water
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tbs. poppy seeds

Place all ingredients in a large mixer, except poppy seeds. Mix for 5 minutes on high. Fold in poppy seeds. Pour into greased and floured bunt pan or angel food pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, cool in pan for 15 minutes on rack. Remove and dust with powder sugar when cool.


You can also change this to a lemon, orange, chocolate, with a chocolate cake mix or add a different extract.

You can also vary the size of the pan for different thickness. Any way you make it, it's delish!

Enjoy, and if you pass the recipe on, please don't forget Mrs. McCabe.