Archive for Delicious

Prunes, nature’s candy. Seriously.

Posted in Food, Health, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2016 by urbannight

I would love to share a photo of delicious prunes but I’m on a borrowed computer and borrowed internet tonight and can’t really download and upload one.

Dried prunes are delicious.  They are super sweet.  They taste like candy.  I don’t buy them to much because I over eat them and they are bad for me.  Dried fruit generally is bad for you.  It has an entire fruit worth of sugar in a single bite.  So this is really bad if you are a diabetic.

I fail to understand why people claim to hate prunes.  Why do prunes have such a bad rap?  I’m guessing a lot of people assume they are bad because they have been told it.  (Like me and Brussels sprouts.  I thought they were bad because everyone said so.  Turns out I actually like them.)

I know that a long time ago that all food was cooked, including fruit.  (We are talking middle ages.)  But eating raw fruit and drying fruit has been a thing for as long as the United States has been a country.  Not sure when the people decided that maybe fruit didn’t need to be cooked to death.  But I do recall references to stewed prunes in novels.  Some were old novels, from the 1800’s.  Some were more recent, from the 1900’s.  I don’t think I’ve read or heard that reference in this century.  Maybe the people saying now bad they are only ate stewed prunes.  Stewed fruit just doesn’t sound very good to me in general.

Still, dried prunes are delicious.  Seriously delicious.  I think I will have to go out and buy a small box of them.

Cayenne Pepper

Posted in Cooking, Food, Health, Hobby, Tea with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2013 by urbannight

cayenne-pepper-diet

The queen of peppers. She is in the middle of the bar for heat. (A three on the 5 point chart I was looking at the other day.) They are a lovely, shiny, bright red but can look pinkish as well. You can eat them green or fully ripe. A lovely, barely there flavor, they work wonderfully to add heat to any dish without significantly altering the inherent flavor of the dish. High in Vitamin A and other vitamins, most people can’t eat enough to make it count. But it has often been used as a warming spice, to combat cold-temperature areas as well as something to help make you sweat and thereby, somehow, keep you cooler in hot climates. That second half never made sense to me.

It supposedly reduces pain, improves blood flow, and helps ulcers. Yep, a chili pepper that helps ulcers. It is supposed to be calming on the stomach and a tea of it is sometimes used for this purpose. It is quite good at getting the sinuses flowing. All chili peppers are anti-inflammatories. The hotter the pepper the more capsaicin. The more capsaicin, the better it is as an anti-inflammatory. Making it good for arthritis and other inflammations and inflammation based pain.

I’ve heard tell that the peppers help you lose weight because you eat less. But any help in weight loss may actually be attributed to thermogenics. The capsaicin produces a reaction where the body gets very hot. This reaction actually requires a lot of energy, like putting coals on a fire. So your body starts burning an increased amount of calories and uses more oxygen for around about 20 minutes. Perhaps I should have a much of cayenne tea in the morning and before or after every meal.

This is my all time, favorite herb.

Chicken and Rice Noodles and the danger of cooking with a migraine.

Posted in Food, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by urbannight

There are all these ways to cook with less oil to make things healthier.  But I’ve discovered a secret.  And I will share it with you.

 

If you want to properly sauté up onions and garlic, and get the onions close to caramelizing without them starting to char up, you really need to use more oil and not less.  For a veggie that is very strong and bitter, it amazes me that it has enough sugar in it to caramelize when cooking.  I’ve found that I like mine best if I stop just as it is hitting that stage.

 

SO . . . I started by mincing up three slices of onion and adding a heaping spoon of minced garlic from the jar.  I dumped it into the heating oil and sprinkled with cayenne.  Yes, I use a lot of cayenne.  I love it.  Like I may have mentioned before, it has a lovely sweet mild flavor with heat that comes through otherwise mildly flavored dishes.  And it adds a lovely heat to strongly flavored dishes without altering the flavor.   

 

The smell of onions and garlic sautéing in olive oil is one of my favorite smells.  Unfortunately, migraines screw with your sense of smell.  Not for everyone, but definitely for me.  You probably don’t really want to know that it smelled like cat piss to me.  I was very unhappy about that. 

 

While I kept an eye on the minced herbs (because, really, an onion is more of a very large herb than a veggie) I diced up a chicken breast.  It was a lovely chicken breast.  If I had been thinking, I would have taken pictures of my lovely sautéing onions and garlic as well as the chicken breast.  I have, in the past, tried using precooked chicken.  It ends up tasting rather horrible with a terrible texture.  No matter how horrible I feel, if I don’t start from raw chicken breast from the meat counter, it doesn’t turn out right.

 

Now this is the trick, to not only cook the chicken, but to get it to start to brown up without the onions starting to fry themselves.  I stirred often and let it sit for short bursts and for once managed this trick perfectly.  At this point, I had used no salt at all.  I used a salt-free chicken and poultry seasoning my parents sent me from their last trip to Hawaii.  I added several cups of water and two chicken-flavored bullion cubes.  And the salt goes through the roof.  If I had been thinking, I would have picked up low sodium chicken broth.

 

I opened a package of rice noodles.  It was in 3 ‘sheets’ for lack of a better description.  I took out two and put the last back in the bag for another time.  Gripping a sheet firmly in each hand, I twist it in the middle to break it in half, slowly and carefully, so not to send bits of rice noodle in every direction.  I have tried cutting it with kitchen sheers but that just made a huge mess.  I stirred the noodles in, covered it, and let it cook until the noodles were done.

 

By this point, it lost it’s distressingly unpleasant aroma.  It smelled quite good.  It tasted even better.  I could have had two bowls of leftovers.  But I decided to have a second bowl instead.  I would have taken a picture of it today but it just doesn’t look as pretty in a Ziploc bowl as it does in a proper bowl at home.  So no pretty pictures for you.  I really have to do better to remember the camera when I cook up delicious things.

Not Vindaloo but Delicious Anyway

Posted in Entertainment, Food, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by urbannight

Last night I decided to make Vindaloo.  Without a recipe.  Not actually knowing what IS in Vindaloo. 

I started by dicing chicken and cooking it up.  Anytime I cook with chicken, I pre-cook the chicken.  I just feel better about it.  I tossed the diced chicken with cayenne to cook some of the heat and pepper into the meat.  After that was done, I added a small tin of tomato sauce, some vinegar, vindaloo seasoning I got at Penzeys, and more cayenne. 

From past experience, I knew that the vindaloo and hot curry seasonings I have bought or been given are all flavor and no heat.  Hence the cayenne.  Cayenne is my favorite seasoning.  It has a very mild taste with heat.  If you add it to mild dishes, you taste the light pepper flavor.  It is really great for adding to dishes where you want more heat but you don’t want to alter the actual flavor.   So it is perfect for jazzing up dishes with a stronger flavor.

I let that heat up and then sit and simmer while I cooked up some long grained rice. 

The final result tasted wonderful.  I loved it.  I wanted more but I already had two servings and had two packed up for lunches today and tomorrow.  It tasted nothing at all like vindaloo.  Despite the rather heavy hand I had with the cayenne it was still not hot enough.  But that was okay.  I will make it again. 

Like I said, it might not have been a proper vindaloo, but it was definately a success.