Friday, July 17, 2015

Downslope and Kitchen Experiments

After the last time I wrote, everything came screeching to a halt as we got a family cold. Andrei felt very sick and David had a pretty bad case, too. David even now seems a little sniffly. I had my usual kind of malaise for a few days and the general feeling that I was fighting a virus, but no other symptoms.

It's been a very mild summer, and right now I am enjoying a terrific summer rain/thunder/hailstorm going on outside the kitchen window. Hopefully it will clear up in another 3 hours when I need to leave!

A blog friend recently did a fun post about some favorite foods and kitchen tips, and I thought I would share a few as well, including things that David is into.

In no particular order...

1) "Korean" carrot salad.

If you've been to Russia, you know this dish. It's the one that's sort of marinated, not the one with mayo. A little zesty, with coriander as the key spice. It's usually recommended that you use a mandoline slicer to get the right-size carrot pieces, with just the right amount of crunch. David loves it! It's good with onion, but we leave it out for picky eaters. We cheat and use a spice mix, but there are some recipes online, like this one:корейская-морковь.html

2) Finn Crisps.

I'm pretty sure I've seen these in the U.S. too. They're Finnish whole-grain crackers and I like to munch on them as a healthy snack, maybe with a piece of cheese or some hummus. Lots of different flavors.

3) Squash (or zucchini, radish, etc.) chips.

I'm still kind of working on my technique. 2 hours in the oven is a bit of a drag, and I get similar results after 5 minutes in the microwave. So I shave a few slices off for David and make up a quick single portion for him in the microwave. The issue is that I find that they get charred as they're getting crunchy. I think I prefer them non-burned, but David likes the crunchiness, so I make them that way for him. Maybe I can figure out a way to sneak some protein in.

4) The Multi-Cooker.

Andrei bought this for me for Christmas one year. I figured it would be nice to load all the ingredients in and then be free to chase after David or whatever. It doesn't work quite like a slow-cooker though, so it can be hard to adapt recipes as you have to figure which function to use. Andrei is the master at cooking meat in the multi-cooker; he seems to have a magic touch and it comes out perfectly tender each time using the bake function. I tend to use the oven more, but the multi-cooker is nice in that you can just walk away from it, and it doesn't heat up the whole kitchen.

I use it more for cooking rice and buckwheat and making chicken broth. When it's cooking grains, it turns off automatically when it senses that all the liquid has evaporated. I also want to try making homemade yogurt. If I could get the family to eat hot cereal, I would use it for making oatmeal.

5) Black rice.

My MIL brought me some of this the other day, and I decided to try it. Tastes pretty much like a brown rice or something similar. As far as I know it's pretty healthy, too. I added way too much water so it came out a little gummy, but otherwise fine. Nice to add another healthy side to the rotation.

6) Fruit flies.

Oh wait, that wasn't on the menu...yuck.

7) Yummy baked goodness. Since our weather has been cooler, I've been able to continue using the oven all summer. One dish we make a lot is chicken wings. Other than that, I've been making a lot of baked goods, but I won't go into detail here. There are a few new recipes on my cooking blog and then I've also been revisiting some classic favorites.

Let me know if you have any fun culinary discoveries to share!

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