Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bridal Shower

Yesterday I had my bridal shower. The hostess requested (on my behalf) that each guest bring their favorite recipe to share at the shower. I'm not that into shower games, but I thought that this would be a fun ice breaker (and a good way for someone to bring a gift without feeling like they need to spend money.)

All of these recipes look wonderful, and I cannot wait to try them out. Thank you, everyone!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I should cook more

I came across the following comic from XKCD and thought it was fitting to how I feel. "I should cook more" is part of what inspired me to start ChemEats! Don't you know many people whose cooking can be summed up by this flowchart?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Classic Apple Dishes

Today I am going to tell you about the two apple dishes I make the most frequently: Apple Pancakes and Applesauce.

Growing up, my dad would make us apple pancakes on Sunday mornings. This is something that I have always loved, and therefore made, but more people are not used to considering apple pancakes. Next time you're cooking breakfast, chop up some apples and add it to your pancake batter. I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Apple Pancakes

I love homemade applesauce more than I can explain. This is where all of the remaining apples from our apple picking ended up! I was hoping to get pink apple sauce, so I stewed all of the apples with their skins still on (and then fished the skins out after the sauce was done.) The pluses: no pealing apples, the minuses: fishing out the skins. I'm hoping to get a potato ricer soon to help make this process easier!

Fresh, homemade applesauce.

So we are now at the end of the fall 2010 apple picking adventure. I cannot wait until this fall so I can find more apple dishes to share with you!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Squash Apple Soup

I looked at a number of squash apple soup recipes before I made this soup, but based on the ingredients in my kitchen I decided to tweak and take elements from all of the recipes and I came up with the following recipe.

I also wanted to make sure I measured the volumes of what I put into the pot AND gave these in terms of the amount of vegetable that went into the recipe to make the recreation as simple as possible. When I made this I measured the volumes I put into the pot. I don't think the proportions matter too much.

  • 2 large carrots, pealed and chopped (~2 cups)
  • 1 butternut squash, pealed and cubed (~5.5 cups)
  • 2 green apples, pealed and chopped (~2 cups)
  • 1T veggie oil
  • 1T white sugar (or brown sugar. This is really to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cups broth (I used chicken broth made from 4 bullion cubes and 3 cups of water.)
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put all ingredients into the pot and while covered bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, uncover and simmer until the veggies are soft (~10 minutes).
  • Let the mixture cool until you can handle transferring them to your food processor comfortably.
  • Puree the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!
The soup got a lot thicker once it was in the fridge, so you may want to start out with more broth to your soup. This Squash-Apple soup was SUPER filling and really healthy. I was surprised how creamy it tasted when there was not a lot of fat.

Other Apple Squash Soup Recipes:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Six Layer Jello Shot

Can you count the layers?

I was looking through my old photos, and I found an image that I was so proud of I can't NOT share it with you.

Maybe I'm a little crazy, but in the summer of 2008 I decided to go after creating the most complicated Jello Shot I could imagine... one with six different layers - that each represent different flavors!

What did this shot taste like? Pretty much like the fruit punch you'd have at summer camp (with a bit of a kick).

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sweet Apple Desserts

Whenever I have a lot of apples, I automatically think of sweet desserts. I worked hard to find some savory apple dishes, but this post is 100% dedicated to the sweet dishes I created with my apple picking apples.

1) Apple crisp

If you are going to think about apple desserts, then Apple Crisp is one of the first desserts that comes to mind. (Okay, maybe Apple Pie would come first, but I don't have a pie plate so I can't make pies!)

The Apple Crisp with 11 apples before baking.

Next time: I would cut the toppings in half and just add it to the top, rather than the top and bottom of the apples as the recipe suggests. As it was, I reduced the amount of oats to 2 cups (from 2.5 cups). I also reduced the amount of sugar in this apple dessert (1.5 cups from 2 cups). I may reduce it even further in the future. (I like things sweet, but apples have such a good sweetness on their own that they don't need much extra sugar!)

Yum. I have nothing else to say.

2) Apple Cake

This apple cake is to die for. I used a bunt cake pan to cook it, and As you can see from the edges something in the batter caramelized, giving the edges a crispy sweet taste.

3) Caramelized Apples

The first night after apple picking, I wanted to make something sweet really fast. I found two different recipes for caramelized apples (Caramelized Apples 1 and Caramelized apples 2)

I have no idea what kinds of apples I chose, because they were all mixed up. I sliced up three apples (each of a different variety) and sauted them with 2T butter and 3T brown sugar. I poured reduced apple cider over them as a sauce.

The result? I'm not sure if I actually have caramelized apples here, but I do have a sweet and yummy dessert.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chicken and Apple Curry

Since I had dozens of apples, I wanted to find a main course that could use a significant portion of apples. I then discovered this chicken and apple curry recipe.

I made a few substitutions in the recipe and scaled it down to be suitable for 2 people. I doubled the curry powder (relative to the scaled ingredients) and used red onions that I had leftover from my organic vegetables delivery. Next time I make this curry, I would add more veggies (carrots and maybe pea pods) and use coconut milk or milk with higher fat content to make the sauce richer.

Over all, I consider this a win for my first attempt at a curry!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Apple Picking

An apple picking excursion last fall resulted in a bushel of apples appearing in my home! (I still don't know why Keith and I thought we needed a whole bushel, but aren't they pretty?)

What would you do to use up this many apples? In the next few weeks I'm going to share with you a bunch of dishes I made that incorporated these apples. I covered snacks, breakfast, dinner and dessert!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where's the Chem in ChemEats?

Cooking is chemistry, but I would not be ChemKnits if I did not throw some molecules into the mix!

When our lab hosted Social Hour, we purchased a sheet cake and decorated it with a molecule that is important to the lab. Of course, there is a mistake to the chemical structure... what compound is it?