Monday, June 8, 2009

Speaking of food...

Not only do I love cooking, but I love eating (go figure). And it turns out that Houston is actually a pretty great place to be for a food lover--apparently the city has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the world. I've actually been planning a series of posts about my favorite restaurants here.

In the meantime, I've been ocassionally taking photos of things I eat or drink around town. Coincidentally, Eating...Our Words, the food blog of the Houston Press, recently started featuring one reader photo every Monday--the weekly Snackshot. A photo of mine was featured the very first week they started doing this, and then I got lucky again last week and today. It's a fairly minor thing, but also kind of exciting. You can view my Snackshots with the links below:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Recent kitchen exploits


Being done with my paper means I can finally get back to doing the things I enjoy doing without feeling like I'm procrastinating. Which, apparently, was mainly cooking, an activity I pretty much gave up on during the last few crunch weeks.

But I'm back now, and here are some of the things I've made since last Wednesday:

Homemade pasta

Andrew wanted to make his famous* spaghetti sauce, so I thought I'd try out this recipe for homemade noodles.

Homemade pasta

It was pretty simple, really, just flour and eggs. And rolling it out really wasn't that bad. So it's definitely something I'll do again (though let me tell you, I was happy to let Andrew do the rest of the cooking that evening).

Pasta with meat sauce

*it would become famous if more people got to eat it

Braised baby artichokes, Provencal-style

Braised baby artichokes provencal

This was a Mark Bittman recipe I have been drooling over for a month, but when it first came out I couldn't find baby artichokes anywhere. But, when I was at the store getting this for the pasta, there they were: baby artichokes, all boxed up and ready to go.

Braised baby artichokes provencal

This dish has amazing flavor, thanks to the slow-cooking, seasoned olives, and (basically) candied garlic you end up with (and I added shallots, which also caramelized by the time the dish was done). It's pretty simple to make; aside from prepping the artichokes, you really don't have to do anything except except add it all to the pan and let it cook.

Braised baby artichokes provencal

We ate it with French bread and chevre, and white wine. The outer leaves of the artichokes weren't really cooked enough to eat, but the steams, hearts, and chokes were amazing.

Yellow cupcakes with sticky fudge frosting

Yellow cupcakes with sticky fudge frosting

I recently started reading The Pioneer Woman's blog, and this cupcake recipe has earned her a permanent place in my heart. Not only is the cake delicious, moist, and pretty straightforward to make, but the frosting is a one-step process that takes only a saucepan to complete.

Yellow cupcakes with sticky fudge frosting

I used 70% cocoa dark chocolate disks, and the frosting is definitely rich and not very sweet. I could stand it a tad sweeter, but considering my recent complaint has been cupcakes that are too sweet, these were a pleasant change.

There you have it. For more pictures, click any of the photos above to access my Flickr page.