All posts by Miss J

Pi Day 2016

blueberry pieIn 7th grade math I was intensely bored.  Next to my desk was a poster on the wall of pi.  Having nothing better to do, I set to memorizing it.  I eventually got up to 52 digits.  During the following years of math club and being a big nerd that followed, this was always my geeky party trick.  The really lasting effect (besides being able to calculate the area of a circle to an unnecessarily accurate degree), is that every March 14th I celebrate Pi Day.  And obviously the best way to do this is by baking. Continue reading Pi Day 2016

Onigirazu, Texas style

onigirazuThis week Nami, the author of one of my favorite cooking blogs, Just One Cookbook, posted about a new take on Japanese onigiri — onigirazu.  I’d never heard of these before, but they’re basically like a sandwich mixed with an onigiri.  Interesting, I thought, and went on about my life…but thoughts of “What would I put in an onigirazu?” kept sneaking into my thoughts.  All week.

So there was nothing to do but make my own.  And I wanted to make them with fillings that were more Texas-style. Continue reading Onigirazu, Texas style

Pantry Tour

I got sick this week so all my plans for cooking were dashed and a post about “how to reheat leftovers” isn’t very exciting.  My topic this time may not be particularly scintillating either, but it’s actually one I have a lot of fun with:  pantry organization!

I’m very lucky because since I live in Texas, Land of Giant Everything, I have a giant walk-in pantry in my house.  (I feel like I should rent it out to someone for extra cash or something…)  So here’s a tour of how I keep my ingredients organized.  Starting on the left side… Continue reading Pantry Tour

King Cake

The finished King Cake
The finished King Cake

If you’ve never had one before, a King Cake is a bread-like cake, sometimes with filling and sometimes without, that’s iced with white icing and sugar in purple, green, and gold for Mardi Gras.  They aren’t my favorite of desserts, but they’re a lot of fun around Mardi Gras.  There’s usually a “baby” hidden inside and whoever finds it provides the cake the next year.

Normally you buy King Cake and you can even have them mailed right from New Orleans.  But I’ve been enjoying making foods that match the seasons and so I thought it would be a shame to miss the chance to try making my own King Cake! Continue reading King Cake

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini brownies
Zucchini brownies! Vegetables in disguise. The chunks are chocolate chips, not zucchini.

I recently posted about a very traditional brownie recipe that was amazing.  But the only reason I made it was because I was dying of curiosity about a brownie recipe using zucchini, but I had none.  Zucchini?  In brownies?  Sounds awful…and I had to try it!

Finally I got my hands on some zucchini. Continue reading Zucchini Brownies

Homemade Funfetti Cake

Funfetti cake
Now I wish I still had some of this cake left…

My husband and I have birthdays very close together, so each year we share a birthday cake.  We alternate years between my cake (yellow + chocolate frosting) and his cake (funfetti + Rainbow Chip frosting).  This year was a funfetti year.

Last funfetti year I went hardcore and decided to make all of it, even the Rainbow Chip icing, from scratch.  As it turns out for a few years Rainbow Chip icing was actually discontinued!

I was relieved that it’s back and I decided to just go commercial on the frosting…except I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Ok fine!  Everything from scratch it is.  Continue reading Homemade Funfetti Cake

King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies

Brownie
The holy grail of brownies?

In cooking there are a few things that end up like an Arthurian grail quest of cooking.  The big one is, of course, chocolate chip cookies.  But close behind is the ideal brownie.  Everyone has their opinion on the chewy vs. cakelike, nuts vs. no nuts, edge vs. middle piece, etc. I’m in the chewy, middle piece, and nuts are anathema camp.

Continue reading King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies

Review: Blue Apron

Juicy Lucy burgers
Juicy Lucy burgers

I’d heard a lot recently about services where they mailed you the exact ingredients to cook recipes and each week was a different set of things to cook.  The idea is to be able to make fancy meals without having to do a lot of the work of planning meals or do the grocery shopping.  I was skeptical, but a friend had a coupon for a free week of BlueApron so I signed up to give it a try.  The cost for one week of the service is $60 for three meals, which each serve two people.  So $10 a serving. Continue reading Review: Blue Apron

Dirty Rice

The meat and vegetables cooked down
The meat and vegetables cooked down

Today’s cooking experiment is Dirty Rice, the naughty equivalent to…wait no!  Rather, the delicious Cajun rice dish.  This recipe was interesting to me because it uses meats that I don’t normally cook with (chicken gizzards and livers) and it highlighted to me the power of food taboos.  These are parts of an animal I usually consider waste material and I don’t use.  I actually had to go to a specialty butcher shop to get them, since my regular grocery store didn’t carry them.  But, really, it’s just meat.  Why are they “gross” to me? Continue reading Dirty Rice