Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Foodie in Training

Last night, I dreamt that I was trying to mold granola into onigiri shapes.


See, I bought this really yummy all natural granola at the hippie market that my friend told me about. It's really good, but once you eat the big chunks, about half the bag ends up being crumbs. I was eating the last of it last night and I had to kinda press it with my fingers to make it stick together so I could pick it up to eat it. Kinda like...

rice for onigiri! I was looking at sushi molds and bento accessories on ebay last night, so I guess that would be where the connection happened. I ordered cute little sauce bottles so that you can pack dipping sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, etc. with your lunch, and I got some of those egg molds. Kick butt. I can't wait to try those!

I haven't been to the gym in WEEKS. It's terrible. The good news though is that I am still slllloooooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyyy losing weight/maintaining instead of gaining. We went to a Super Bowl party on Sunday and the food was all just bad crap. Doritos, Fritos, Queso dip (horrible horrible lumpy clumpy dip), meatballs in bbq sauce, chili, white bread with butter, slices of ham smeared with cream cheese then rolled up, cookies, cobbler...oh yeah, and the requisite store bought tray of baby carrots, raw broccoli and ranch.

I don't eat bbq or chili, and the queso dip left me wondering what they did to mess it up that bad, so I had a piece of bread with some cheese slices (that I brought), some baby carrots, a couple little slices of the ham roll up things, and some Fritos. I followed it up with two cookies and had 2 sodas. Healthy, I know! I felt like crap that night. I know that I am not perfect in my eating and cooking, but it really made me see the direct correlation between what you put in your body and how you feel afterwards. I have to say though, I read on Em's blog about her Super Bowl offerings, and I was jealous that I wasn't at her party. Tiramisu Brownies???

It also showed me the importance of offering a true variety of foods when you have guests. Yeah, our pole party menu of california rolls, hummus with cucumber slices and pita, queso dip (non lumpy!) with chips, and chocolate fondue with FRESH fruit as well as marshmallows, pretzels, and graham crakers may have seem strange at first, but EVERYONE found something they could enjoy, because it was a good variety, including bad and healthy choices, and fresh options. We rock.

I've always been into food, I guess, but as I get older I'm even more interested in it. I want to make the standbys as good as they can be, and I also want to start exploring other ethnic cuisines too. I'm playing with the Japanese stuff now, and I've got a pretty good handle on the Mexican food, but I want to try Indian I think. There's always Chinese too, I've tried a few dishes in the past. I'll leave the English food to the British, as the whole cooking things to a bland mush isn't my thing.

Oh, and Italian! Gotta get beyond pasta! Last night I made chicken that was Italian inspired. I browned the chicken tenderloins in a little olive oil, then simmered them in stewed tomatoes with lemon juice and garlic. I tossed some asparagus on the top to steam, and they just got the lovliest tomato/lemon flavor infused in them. It was so freaking good.

Someone on two peas asked, How do you know that you are a good cook? I couldn't think of any way to answer that at the time, but now I'm getting an idea.

*people look forward to eating what you make.
*you can properly follow a recipe
*you can cook WITHOUT a recipe and make something still interesting and edible
*you gain the instictual knowledge of what ingredients, herbs, and spices taste good together and which combinations should be avoided.
*you aren't afraid to experiment
*you actually USE herbs and spices beyond salt, pepper, garlic salt, and Montreal Steak Seasoning
*You know that you eat with your eyes before your mouth.
*you can cook in a NOT non-stick pan and not burn things to hell or have them end up hopelessly stuck.
*you have the ability to combine different recipes (or parts of recipes) to make your own creations
*you can properly cook real rice. This skill is so underrated!

So yeah, I think I'm a pretty good cook. I've been cooking since I was seven or eight years old though, so I have many years of practice under my belt. Does that mean I don't have room to grow? Of course not! Someone was telling me about cod they had marinated in sake and then cooked down in a wine reduction... I'm not THAT advanced, ha ha!

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Blogger Noelia said...

This girl loves rice too! It took me a while to figure out the right way to make rice. My mom thought me how to do it before I got married and I got tons of practice as a new bride...lots of trial and error but I know it works for me. Mind you, different kinds of rices require different preparation...I love me some risotto too :)

10:51 PM  
Blogger Miss M! said...

I think I should have added "properly boil an egg" on there. I had one for lunch and it was wonderful; tender, no gray crap on my yolk. Good times.

5:46 PM  

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