Archive for December, 2005


Stock report

   Posted by: Livia N    in lists, stock

So end result:
1 qt of chicken stock frozen for my mother
48 ice cubes of chicken stock put up properly in my freezer
1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock in my fridge waiting to turn into ice cubes
1 1/4 quarts of duck stock in the fridge

I think I need to get everything frozen before I leave the house for a week.

And both refrigerators at work will have maintenance done over break, so I can’t store the leftover lunches I have put together and frozen. It’ll be a fine trick to fit everything in.

I think I can do it, if I leave the ice cube trays out of the freezer after I empty them and just put the containers in whole. Things *should* fit.



Mmmmm food makes it warmer

   Posted by: Livia N    in breakfast, gluten free, non-vegetarian

What could be better to make for dinner when a bunch of women get together to watch Stargate: Atlantis than lemon chicken? Nothing. But having cookies and mashed potatoes on the side is a big plus.

I have had chicken stock AND duck stock boiling away all weekend. Actually, they are both turned off and cooling down now so I can put them up, but – YAY – so much humidity that it is condensing on my walls and fogging up my windows.

And for breakfast today I had an egg white omelet full of cream cheese and bacon (because I’ve been thinking about that ever since Traveller mentioned it. And, no, I am not dieting – I just keep giving all my good yolks to the feral cat.

Mmmm… I may be dressed, but I am all warm and cozy in my bed, cuddling my cat, with a belly fully of tasty hot food.

Later there shall be bridge playing.

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Happy thoughts

   Posted by: Livia N    in chocolate, tea

Just off the top of my head, and subject to change without notice

Teas I Love
Twining’s Irish Breakfast
Ahmad’s English Breakfast

Cheap Anytime Tea
Red Rose Tea – as cheap as Lipton’s, but much tastier.
Orange Pekoe – or any generic chinese restaurant tea.

Grotty Weekend Lounging
Lapsang Souchong (the best I’ve had was from Reading Terminal Market, but I’m not picky)

Dessert Teas
Mad Hatter’s Teaparty (available locally at the Last Drop Coffehouse)
Orchid Oolong (available locally at the Walnut Bridge Coffee Shop)
Celebration (only had at the Hershey Hotel)

Chocolates I Love
Lindt was made for milk chocolate. I like their mini candy bars of creamy rich milk chocolate and hazelnut… but I have found a deep-seated love for their extra-dark truffles. These are not the blue-wrapped truffles that are easier to find… they are wrapped in black.

Dolfin‘s Dark Chocolate with Pink Peppercorns.

A jar full of chunks of Schokinag chocolate

Anything made by my friend who is a Chocolate Goddess

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Figuring out how food works with my finances

   Posted by: Livia N    in economics, Food

I made macaroni and cheese for the first time tonight.

Yes, I do have weird holes in my cooking experience.

So I need to talk about money –
What would you do right after realising your financial management is way out of line? Right – go shopping.

I spent today in the Italian Market.

I bought $27.92 worth of meat for [redacted] (which is excellent because I got almost everything she wanted despite having instructions to stay below $40 – I am a great food shopper)

For myself, I bought miscellaneous chicken bits (backs and necks and stuff) for stock – a 5lb bag for $1.85. I also bought 3 chicken leg quarters ($1.38) and butter ($2.49).

Then I made a strategic error, I think, in going to Fante’s. I bought some paper tea infusers because my teaball was too small to make my tea strong enough ($5.99) — but it cost the same as the teaball I use at work, but they were out of that one. I made tea when I got home – at least the bags work well. I also bought a magnetic hook ($6.49) so I can hang my measuring cups from the range hood instead of having them just hang out on the back of the stove because they don’t fit in any of my drawers.

Trip back and forth took two tokens ($3.30?).

And then I went to the produce truck and bought a bag of potatoes and some celery ($2).

Feeling bizarrely virtuous (aside from the Fante’s part) I went to the thrift shop to see if they had a bigger stock pot so I wouldn’t have to make stock in small batches. No pot, but I ended up with a $2 sweater.

That’s all the money I spent today.
Food: $7.72
Travel: $3.30?
Miscellany: $14.48

I mean, that’s not much and kind of awesome… but on the other hand I am so not good at keeping track at all.



Just my shopping list

   Posted by: Livia N    in lists

Produce Truck
Carrots (for pork pasties and stock)
Potatoes (for hash)
Parsnips (for stock)
Parsley (for stock)
Celery (for stock)

Italian Market
Random cheap chicken parts (for stock)
Magnetic hook so I can hang my measuring cups from my range hood – Fante’s


note to self

   Posted by: Livia N    in soup

Next moot, try this soup

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I made two tasty things this weekend, and I don’t think I have posted these recipes before. Both were inspired by fairly different dishes at restaurants.

Carrot and Ginger Soup
based on the Carrot and Ginger Soup at the Hershey Hotel buffet lunch… their soup was smooth and creamy and the sort of thing where the directions tell you after cooking to put everything through a processor and strain it. I so don’t understand why people think it is such a good idea to transfer boiling hot soup through several different containers and processes, so this one all went into a Cuisinart (because the kitchen I was using had one!) before being added to the soup.

Step 1: Soak a cube of Knorr’s vegetable bouillon in 2 cups of hot water. (Or have real stock available, but we didn’t at the time.)

Step 2: Melt butter in stockpot (minimum of 2oz, but feel free to add a lot more). Chop 2 medium onions in Cuisinart and 1 clove of garlic (only 1 because I don’t think the original soup had any, but I found myself unable to make savoury food without any garlic). Dump onions into pot and rinse the Cuisinart.

Step 3: Peel carrots (7? A bagful? A bunch o’carrots) and put them in the processor (ETA: in retrospect, it would be better to precess the carrots after. There were tiny grainy bits (that weren’t a bit deal but could be improved) in the final product). Peel ginger (1.5-2 inches), slice it against the grain to break up the fibers, and put that in the processor. Dump into the pot. Stir around to just fry it all in fat a bit and then add the stock/bouillon.

Step 4: peel half a normal-sized sweet potato (or one small one), put it in the processor, and then add it to the soup for smoothness. Peel, process, and add one apple, too.

Step 5: Let cook covered until there is no resistance on your tongue.

Step 6: Reduce heat, and finish off with whole milk and/or cream until it looks sexy to you.


Mediterranean Lemon Chicken
inspired by those Moroccan nine-course dinner places with belly dancers… usually one course is really sexy chicken, and this is the closest I can get to the flavour.

Garlic – as much as will – a minimum of 3 pods, but one of those large jars of peeled garlic cloves will be very useful here
3-5 lemons
chicken parts
white wine
(olive oil)
8-10 olives (not in vinegar, not in cans, and not in jars either – go somewhere with a fancy olive bar and look for wrinkly black olives in oil that smell dark and musky – they should add a nice flavour to the chicken without making it olivey)
optional fresh herbs (rosemary works well, and you only get to pick one herb and stick with it for the dish)

Choose a casserole dish that will fit your chicken pieces laid out flat – and deep enough to hold juices.

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with peeled garlic cloves. No, that’s not enough, I said *cover* the bottom – 1 solid layer.

Put chicken in dish. If you are using both dark and white meat, but the white meat to the center and the dark meat around the outside (and, I have a theory that if you are doing both, the dark meat should be pulled from the fridge and the breasts from the freezer, but I haven’t tested that theory yet).

Scatter olives evenly among the meat.

Slice the lemons into slices of any thickness, leaving the ends chunky. cover the surface with lemon slices and put the ends around the edges of the dish.

If you want, take some herbs, still on the stems, and just lay them over the chicken and tuck them under some of the lemon slices.

Add a little white wine to give it some juice as it starts cooking, but no more than will cover the layer of garlic.

If your meat is predominantly white meat, then drizzle some olive oil over the top as well.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake until it is cooked. If you have all thighs, then you might need to check it halfway through and see how the level of liquid is doing… you might need to drain some. After it is cooked though, uncover it, and let it go a few more minutes to get some color.

Furthermore, these dishes have been given the AprilKat seal of approval.

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