Monthly Archives: October 2010

happ’ly apple-y: pork chops and applesauce

we made it to the last hour of the last day of apple-picking season,
and brought home a half bushel of apples.

a lovely crisp fall day, munching on crunchv juicy Spencers and tart purplish Empires…
IMG_4793apples apples apples
and how do we like them apples?
with pork chops!?
sure they go very well with pork chops, battered and pan fried and nestled on a bed of spiced applesauce.
a whole new way to sweet-and-sour.

“chocolate cupcakes with crispy magic frosting”

he’s 11 today!
it's mah birthday
he waits for this day all year long, because he is showered with love and treats, more so than usual, all day long.
Dash Cupcakes
his birthday “cake” is actually in the fridge, which we’ll have tonight after dinner, before he opens his presents.
(it’s all planned out, we’re on a tight schedule! :dash-d-knight: ).
i didn’t have to make cupcakes for his class anymore (middle school rules), but the little boy finds it hard to break the habit so he asked me to make some anyway to give away to his favorite people.
we chose these little cakes that were just featured in this Wednesday’s Boston Globe Food section: adapted from Joanne Cheng’s new cookbook, a recipe in turn based on Amanda Hesser’s (of the New York Times) . what goes around comes around, ‘ey!

we’ve decided to declare the cupcakes glorious; the frosting, not so much. it was too cloyingly sweet for our taste. however just a little dab goes a long way in complementing the deep moist chocolate.
(i doubled the recipe for the cupcakes, and ended up with 3 dozen!)….recipe follows… Continue reading

roast chicken, Malaysian bbq-style

i’ve been spending the last few weeks in a terrible state of denial, really extreme denial.
i kept trying to convince myself that it’s not cold, and kept on wearing my flip-flops and Birks and refusing to dig out the warm sheepskin boots and down-filled coat.
but the cold bitter winds and icy rain prevailed, and now i’ve given in. for a while i’d forgotten i live in this spot of the world where we could very well get covered in frozen white stuff as early as this month!
in the same mind-state we have been trying to squeeze out as much use as we can from our outdoor grill, the last hurrah as husband calls it.
cookout in the cold
when it’s too rainy out we use our oven/broiler, and make do, but it’s not quite the same without the charcoal smoke flavor though.
i got this recipe from “The Food of Malaysia, Authentic Recipes from the Crossroads of Asia,” one in a series from Periplus Editions, 2000.
bbq mix, oven roasted chicken

marinate chicken (at most 6 hours) in 1/2 tsp. Chinese wine, 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, 1 tbsp. light soy sauce*, 2 tbsps. black soy sauce*, 2 tbsps. oyster sauce, 2 tbsps. honey, salt and pepper to taste.

use your favorite cuts of chicken. the original recipe called for wings for the barbecue; i used whole leg quarters, roasted in the oven in high heat (at 425F;–cooking time would depend on the thickness of the meat; i checked the temperature of my legs after 45 minutes) then broiled at the last minute (watch carefully, don’t walk away at this point!).
for best results and safety, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness (180F at the thickest part), or chicken juices run clear when pierced at the joint.

*light and black refers to the color of the soy sauces, not sodium content. black soy sauce is sweeter and thicker.

a feel-good pizza party

a surprise invitation to a swank foodie event yielded a fun day out in the big city. the bonus was a crisp cool autumn day–just right for pounding the pavement to get to the destination, a function room at the Boston Children’s Museum:
but first i must confess i am not a zealot when it comes to my food, i have not sworn off ALL fast food yet(though it has been years since i’ve been to That One with the Golden Arches). i guess i am picky when it comes to my fast food :fryingpan ! but ever since my kids (my oldest is now 21), let’s just say i became more attentive about the food pyramid and nutrition labels and regular press releases from the medical journals and such. (like you can avoid them huh?)
add to this the loud and alarming consciousness-raising over carbon imprints and environmental impacts and labor practices, conscience-gnawing agonizing over what to purchase, where? is it good? is it safe? where did it come from?

pizza has become one of our go-to’s for a quick hot meal, a surefire meal that all my kids will eat, in varying intervals: #1son constantly (he’s in college after all); daughter, sporadically (she has a lower threshold); and #2son, daily, if it were at all possible :dash-d-knight: :pizzapay:

once in a while the control-freak-monster-mom in me wakes up, roars and makes the entire pizza from scratch. i do this pretty much for the same reason i turn my nose up at supermarket pastries and cakes: i want to know what’s in the pizza.

but life being what it is, sometimes there’s just no time to make the dough and the sauce. it was therefore almost thrilling to find out about Rustic Pizza and American Flatbread. we got to meet the CEO of the company who proudly presented his products in the most delightful way: a good-for-you pizza party.

passionate CEO
(professional) pizza toppings buffet
good for you indeed–read all about the all-natural ingredients in the crusts, sauces, frozen products, and flatbread pizzas, and the production methods (they have perfected the way to wood-fired-oven baking on a large scale).
three of us shared a Traditional old world pizza crust: FinanceFoodie, my dear neighbor, and i created a superduper pizza.

it was sliced up by Brad, the CEO, himself! (i kept my eye on that superpizza cutter, i’ve got to have one of those!)
my favorite way to pizza: veggies all over (too bad there were no anchovies, i should have brought some from home!).

and i won a beautiful goblet from one of the event sponsors:
my prize: a very special wine glass

Huephoria’s dishwasher safe wine goblet, in my favorite shade of pink with a cute cake

so what to do with the loaded goodie bag we snagged after the party? why, a pizza party at home, of course.
pizza toppings buffet, homestyle
i had most of the toppings already: buffalo mozzarella, grated romano cheese, basil, mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, olives. oh, and those anchovies.
husband picked up Italian sausages and green peppers before coming home from work.
and two twelve-inch crusts were put to good use, shall we say.
father and son pizza
the father-and-(#2)son pizza
brother and sister pizza
the brother-and-sister pizza

the whole family dug in and savored their “almost homemade” pizzas and i relaxed, smug in the knowledge that i had served them something healthy in the form of a favorite treat. and that was dinner.

i have no wish to pontificate however, but i firmly believe in these three little words i first heard from my grandmas, and my now-constant nagging refrain: eat your vegetables!

we like it deep-dish, odd-shaped, white-sauced, and with Julia too.