Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A confession

I've had a rather uninteresting past couple of days food wise. Frankly, I'm having a hard time remembering what I've been cooking/eating. I'm pretty sure I ate a lot of cereal. Like, A LOT of cereal. This past Saturday I went to Whole Foods and came back with only large cartons of soymilk and a box of cereal. By Sunday evening, the cereal was gone. I think I ate other things too but they're not coming up too clearly (Actually, now that I actually think about it, Shaila came by and taught me how to make a delicious Indian dish, which I forgot to take pictures of so you'll have to wait until I recreate it to read about it).

Anyway, as a food blogger, I guess I should make this confession sooner rather than later. As much as I'd like you to believe that I come home every day ready to hop into the kitchen to cook the next edition of Apartment Cuisine, most days I just pour myself a bowl of cereal, plop down somewhere, and eat that until my blood sugar level is high enough for me to stand up again. There will be days when I eat pretty much nothing but cereal and be perfectly happy. So really, my diet is more like that of a bachelor than a food blogger.

Since I believe all blog posts are better with pictures, this is where I would have wanted to insert a picture of a bowl of my favorite cereal. But I can't even do that because I already finished the box that I bought on Saturday. But if you really want to know, my current favorite brand is Nature's Path Flax Plus. It's just a little sweet and doesn't get mushy easily, even with a slow eater like me.

Phew. Boy it felt good to get that off my chest. I hope you will still have enough faith in my culinary abilities after reading that. But if I don't post for a couple of days, you know what I'm eating.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Apartment Cuisine: Masaman curry

I've always loved Thai curries. In my mind, they're usually not as spicy or heavy as most North Indian curries and pack more flavor compared with Japanese curries. But I didn't know just how much I loved Thai curries until I actually went to Thailand in high school and ate at a hole in the wall shop in Ko Samui's main tourist drag. Before then, my parents and I would frequent at this place in Arlington that serves very creamy and mildly spicy curries with many pieces of chicken and very little of other ingredients. So when a huge bowl of potatoes, meat, and many vegetables swimming in a watery green curry arrived at our table in Thailand I was pretty surprised.

I can still remember my first reaction to that first spoonful of curry. It was SO flavorful and made me finally understand the phrase "party in my mouth." I paused, and just sat there, tasting all the different flavors. It was citrusy from the lemongrass, sweet and rich from the coconut milk, salty from the fish sauce, a little spicy, and so much more. Compared with really creamy curries, the lower fat content really allowed all the flavors (and trust me, there were many) to come through. The wateriness of the curry also made it a much lighter dish so you can eat more of it (another plus)!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate chip cookies + salt

Remember Sharples? The land of chicken croquettes, rubbery pasta, and free-flowing ice cream (especially if you accidentally grabbed a too-warm bowl)?

Actually, no. I think I've blocked it out of my head.

Except my stomach remembers some things all too well. Once in a while, I get a huge craving for chocolate chip cookies. I thought it was weird at first, then I remembered that on Mondays, when Sharples serves huge trays of cookies at lunch, half my day's caloric intake would be from those chocolate chip cookies. Now my cookie cravings don't seem so inexplicable.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Apartment cuisine: Boiled kale over rice

Not the most appetizing looking thing ever but it was exactly what I was looking for tonight: green, easy to make, and used up some leftover rice. I sauteed some onions and kale before adding some broth, let the whole thing simmer for a bit to soften the kale, put it over rice along with a fried egg. *edit* As per a reader's request (wait, I have readers??), I'm putting a rough recipe of this after the jump.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apartment cuisine: corn curry

My eating habits have been changing almost as drastically as my living situation in the past few months. First, after coming home from college, I ate mostly fresh fruits and veggies which I felt so deprived of at Swarthmore. Then, on my trip to the Pacific Northwest, I ate almost constantly and the meals consisted of fewer green things. The backpacking trip after that involved more peanut butter and granola than I ate in months. And most recently, right after I started working and was doing that ridiculous 3 hour commute, I ate small breakfasts and lunches because I'd be in a rush and a large dinner (cooked by my parents, fortunately) because I was usually famished when I got home.

Now, having moved into a new apartment and reduced my commuting time by a factor of three, I have the time and energy to spend more time cooking when I get back from work. I can see myself making simple but filling meals for dinner when I get home each day and spending more time over the weekend making something big to bring for lunch over the week. For the past two dinners since I've moved in, I thought about what I wanted to eat during the day (and feasibly cook, of course!) and bought the ingredients at the conveniently located grocery store coming out of the metro stop.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Boy baiting

I was at a dinner party hosted by some NIH fellows this past weekend. Since I am absolutely clueless when it comes to choosing wines, I brought dessert instead. It's called a boy bait, named by a 15 year-old girl who submitted it as an entry to a Pillsbury bake off for its effect on boys, but a certain Australian thinks that it sounds like something a sex offender would make. I know I'd have a harder time protecting myself if those people baked like this.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Home Cooking

This past weekend was my last one at home. In a week, I will be buying furniture at Ikea and moving most of my possessions into a lovely apartment in Van Ness (northwest DC). Even though the word "home" doesn't really invoke feelings of permanence and emotional comfort in me because of my family's instability (geographical and otherwise), this place in Falls Church, VA is nevertheless the only place that I can claim as home for now. I mean, most of my stuff is here, although by that definition my home was for a while in a storage unit somewhere in Virginia or in my grandparents' attic.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Sometimes I think my blog really should be called pretty desserts and ugly soups, or something along the lines of that, because those are the two types of foods that I cook the most often (of course, I don't consider making a salad as cooking). So when it came time to make a big batch of something for lunch during the week I unhesitatingly whipped up a good hearty soup.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Peach buckle

Did I say that I was going to research brown bag lunch ideas? What I actually meant was, uh, dessert. More specifically, a buckle.

A buckle is a cake with a layer of fruit and streusel on top. I saw this recipe when I going through my google reader feed diligently doing important work-related research and immediately knew that I had to make it. I have buttermilk leftover from my recent cake adventure and stone fruits out the wazoo at the farmer's market (99 cents/pound for perfectly ripe and sweet peaches!). What more could I ask for?