Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
- We moved cross country. A couple of months ago we relocated up to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. We are still exploring our new surroundings though we are pretty settled in now.
- Honey has moved her bed time to better match with ours so we can have lots more quality family time which often means watching "Pippi Longstocking", dancing to the likes of Katie Perry and Amy Winehouse who Honey has developed obsessions with and generally making a big mess of the house. This also means that I have about 3-4 hours less time in the evenings to tend to my personal business. It's a trade off but I'm sure most people would give a lot to spend 3-4 extra hours with Honey each day.
- It's the year of the rabbit. If you believe in Chinese Astrology than the Rabbit year provides a quiet time for burrowing and having some quiet time to reflect nestled in between the bustling Tiger and Dragon years. It's a good excuse as to why I haven't even logged into this blog for months even though ideas are a-flowing and we are cooking a-plenty.
Since we moved up to Chiang Mai we have been inundated with food options. And I'm talking local foods, foods from all of Thailand's corners and almost any type of international food you can imagine. We've actually been cooking up a storm, opting to infuse our kitchen with all kinds of fresh ingredients rather than having to choose between a million different food stalls and restaurants. Mostly really simple stuff- rice with stir fries with lots of local ingredients, home made soups, noodles etc.
I'm a bit more inspired to tell you about some of the things we've been doing and cooking so I do hope to get on here a bit more in the upcoming months!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
- 2-1/4 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups mushed ripe bananas
- 2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger
Mix the first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the sugar and the butter together. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the banana mush, vanilla and ginger. Once well blended add in the dry ingredients stirring until the ingredients are completely blended. Plop the mixture into a greased cake pan. As usual, I threw mine in the rice cooker, set it on the cake setting and let her do her thing. If you are still slaving away in front of a hot oven, set it to 350 degrees and wait about 45 minutes.
Sweet Banana Jam
- 2 cups of ripe banana mush
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2/3 cup of orange juice
- 1 teaspoons of vanilla
- a pinch of salt
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan on low heat mixing well. Cook the mixture, stirring often for about 30 minutes. The jam will start to thicken up so that your spoon will leave a line in the jam as you rake it through. It's okay if the jam starts to brown on the bottom of the pot- it gives it a toasty banana taste but be careful that it doesn't burn.
Sour Banana Jam
- 2 cups of banana mush
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- about 5 Tablespoons of lime
- 1 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
Follow the same directions as above for the sweet banana jam. This one was definitely thicker than the sweet one. You may want to play around with the taste and consistency. I saw some recipes that added water to the one's using lime but I prefer the sharp sourness and thickness of it.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Beer (easy to come by here) replaces the yeast (not so easy to come by here) to form this super quick recipe. My Thailand beer of choice is Beer Chang, names for the elephant, Thailand's national animal. Chang is by no means the best beer around. It's cheap (just over a dollar for a big 24 ounce bottle) and strong (6.4%) and has a biting bitterness that is extremely rewarding on a hot day. Currently, one of my favorite treats is a can of Chang left in the freezer for a couple of hours so that freezes up into a beer Slurpee. Unlike Jack, who changes his drink of choice every 6 months, I have remained loyal to Chang since I've been in Thailand.
- 3 cups of flour (I've seen recipes that call for self-rising flour but I just used ordinary bread flour)
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 12 ounce can or bottle of your favorite beer
- Something to grease the pan with.
Mix together dry ingredients. Add in the beer mixing well. The dough will be sticky. I tried mixing with my hands at the end but I found the sticky dough was difficult to manage as I tried to keep Honey from all the dangers the kitchen has to offer. Just a spoon works well. Grease a pan, through in the dough and cook. As usual I set my rice cooker to cake and let it go to town but for those of you still using ovens try 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I should back up a bit. A while back I blogged about Black Sapote, an intriguing fruit for the sheer fact that very few people have actually heard of it. During the long ripening stage I got sidetracked to Costa Rica for work. My plan was that on return to Florida I would have a sapote-fest. But just days into my trip I got this email from my mom:
"I hope you are not disappointed but I ate the black sapote this afternoon. I think it would have been too ripe when you got in next week. I added a little Splenda and ate it like pudding but after I read your blog, next time I will add a little vanilla."
Is it just me or does that sound like secret code for something? Regardless, the whole experience is only making me more curious about the fruit (maybe it wasn't an apple in the Garden of Eden after all) and I'm back in Thailand where strange fruits thrive yet sapotes do not...
So one of my resolutions for 2011 is to find a black sapote, let it ripen to mushy perfection, and gorge myself on it- minus the Splenda.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
My parents are members of a local farm's community supported agriculture (CSA). Nearly each week they go to pick up their share of vegetables. Much like the free gifts of food we often get in Thailand, the weekly vegetable share defines the week's meals. I love so much about this- the eating what's fresh and available, the surprise of what's coming and the planning for a week of creative meals ahead. As you see from the picture above there was a variety of goodies that arrived. The most interesting of all was the green apple looking fruit called a black sapote: