Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cats morphing into croissants

You may be getting tired of these nonsensical posts, but I just can't help it. Not when The Daily has a post like this:

"If someone ever asks you to describe the Internet to them in four words look them straight in the eye and say 'cats morphing into croissants. The Internet is cats morphing into croissants.' Then walk away."

And since this is a pastry chef/ culinary school/ baking/ foodie blog, I shall leave you with a recipe. And since I am not patient enough to make croissants at home, here is a fantastic and fun (fantastically fun!) beignet recipe to make. Mmmmm....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Suddenly it all makes sense...and chicken salad

By now, I'm sure anyone who spends any amount of time on the internets and email has stumbled across this web phenomena:

Yes, I mean the "LOL Cat," who is the mascot and founder of

This cat, and that entire sense of humor, have never gripped me. Photos of cats and dogs with bad spelling and poor grammar? "Why is that supposed to be funny?" I thought, until just the other day when I was fixing this amazingly low fat and high protein chicken salad recipe. My so-adorable-we-wonder-if-he-is-indeed-actually-a-dog Yorkie, Toby, was standing next to me waiting to bum a chicken scrap (or five) and I managed to snap this picture on my phone:

When I looked at that pathetic photo, I could almost hear the little guy saying in my head...

"I can has chickin?"

And it all made sense.

I still don't die laughing like other people, and I doubt I'll ever subscribe to the website. However, the more I think about it, the more I think the creators of that first viral photo were on to something.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Married to the Baker

Hello, I thought I would take this opportunity to stow away an entry on this blog. It's something I've been thinking about for quite a while, but just didn't get around to it.

You see, I have been reading my wife's entries in this blog for the past few years and like you have enjoyed reading about her forays into all different types of dishes and deserts. However, I thought you all wouldn't mind a break, and hopefully a bit of humor...

So what is it like being married to a baker and general food lover? Well, here is what Naka's adventures in cooking have meant to me:

Culinary School:

The baking assignments in school always resulted in a box full of pastries, bread, cookies, fill in the blank coming home on one or more nights each week. This seemed great at first, but after gaining 20 lbs. I decided that taking the "assignments" to work to share was the best strategy.

Planting a Garden:

Great idea, and aesthetically pleasing. What is less understood is how physically taxing it is to get all of the soil for a 2' by 8' from a local hardware store into our trunk and then out and up the hill to our back yard.

Baking for things like wedding showers and brunches:

This usually produces reject baking items or scraps that a spouse can munch on. However, the prime stuff is left in plain sight to tempt you while at the same time you know you can't have any of the good stuff. Bittersweet :)

Experimenting with new recipes

9 times out of 10, this is pure goodness. Being able to come home to a variety of dinners keeps a hungry spouse like me happy. I also like variety in food and enjoy almost every type of food, so this is a real benefit.

Having a wife understand what good food is and wanting to buy the best quality:

Special cheeses
Organic, free range, grass fed, etc.


Well, that's it for me. Enjoy the blog...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hot Buttered Toast

For a few weeks I have been meaning to blog about toast. I was just about to write about it, when I noticed that Molly from Orangette had beat me to it. But I want you to know, toast was my own idea...if toast could be anyone's idea. I think that's the think about toast.

Who is the pig in the picture you ask? Why, that's Mercy Watson. You see, I have a little friend* who loves to read Mercy Watson books. Mercy is a porcine wonder who lives at 14 Deckawoo Drive and loves stacks of hot buttered toast.** She gets in to all kinds of mischief and trouble, but unfailingly seems to find a way to resolve each situation by sitting around the table with friends and eating hot buttered toast. Sometimes I will read the books to my friend before he takes a nap. Every time I then go downstairs and fix myself some hot buttered toast.

I will say it again- hot buttered toast. Now, you tell me if you can read that phrase over and over again and not begin to crave the crispy, golden, savory flavor. Oh, you can spread jam on it if you like. It is your toast after all. I, however, like it plain in the afternoon with some sweetened black tea...and guess where I'm going right now....

*He's 3, and today happens to be his birthday, which is why I was thinking about it in the first place.

** Can you tell I 've read these a lot?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Healthy Peruvian Asparagus Locavore Mathematician Bitches

I am beginning to have a reasonably sized collection of articles that I want to share with you. Some I have gotten from friends, some I have found on my own, some I can't even remember where they came from. I haven't shared any yet, because I was having a hard time figuring out how to present them to you. One link per post doesn't seem like a sufficient blog, but it's hard to put them together, also.

But all that is not important. What is important is the contents of these articles, which I find informative and thought provoking. The three I am bringing you today really have no like themes whatsoever (hence the blog title). Some may even disagree at points. What they do have in common is that they all must be read critically, letting you, the reader, form your own conclusions on the matter. Hopefully they will spur you on to think for yourself. Can you do it??

Are toxins making you fat? Comes from the co-author of the semi-famous book Skinny Bitch. The two girls who wrote it certainly practice what they preach, and it's working for them, so I feel what they say must have some merit.

Math Lessons for Locavores was in the NY Times a while back. It's an interesting take on eating local- or at least one's environmental motivations for doing so.

And speaking of environmental issues, who knew asparagus would be one? This article explains how regions of Peru are in danger of permanently damaging water supplies in order to grow and feed the world (Namely, GB) asparagus. I'm not saying we need to stop eating asparagus from Peru, but I do think it's a good reminder of mindful consumerism. Everything you do, including eating vegetables, can have an impact.

That should keep you busy for a while!

PS. Just for fun, I googled the title of this blog and decided to post the #1 image that came up. It was Top Chef (I think?)

Is that host, Padma, Peruvian or something?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nutella Swirl Banana Bread

I love this, and I think I shall forever more make banana bread in this fashion. I started with this recipe from Cooking Light as inspiration. However, I don't know if you want to use that recipe, because while it was low fat, it was bit on the dry side. You can really use any of your own, favorite banana bread recipes.

Start with:
1 recipe for plain banana bread batter

In a pyrex measuring cup, measure about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Nutella. Microwave it for about 30 seconds until it's soft. Measure out 1 cup of banana bread batter and mix it with the Nutella. Alternate spooning in the plain batter and the Nutella batter until it is all used. Take a small paring knife and swirl around until the batter looks marbled. Bake as directed.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Me and Goji

I am still trying to decide what I think about this....It's quite a brilliant business idea. At you can build your own custom cereal. You pick your own personal base, flavors, and add-ons...and you can name your own cereal, too! The ingredients are, indeed, whole and healthy.

Here's where someone got smart. Just for fun, I made a mix online. It's like ordering a pizza, but with cereal. Oh! Cocoa nibs I love those! Mmmm goji berries are so healthy. Well, this all needs a little nutmeg and cinnamon...and quinoa flakes for protein. And pouf! There you have an $11 cereal. Plus $4.99 shipping. In their defense, the ever so modern "cereal capsule" does hold about twice as much as a normal box of cereal, but that's still for at least three times as much money. Even for a high quality cereal.

I am inspired, though, to go to my local natural food store and make the same cereal out of the bulk section. I'm craving it now, anyway.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I just died in your arms tonight this morning

Ooooh Portland, how you tempt me. Besides having a plethora of beautiful old houses well within our price range of affordability, you also have some fantastic food (also well within our price range of affordability).

I just could not believe the prices when we went to the Waffle Window on Saturday morning. I really did just about die...but let me back up. The Waffle Window is exactly what it sounds like...a window...that sells waffles...with a couple of tables set up outside to eat on. I was snobbily reluctant to eat there when it was suggested to me, but I went along and am so glad I did. These are no ordinary waffles. Let me explain by telling you what we ordered.

Raj and I shared the "Farm Fusion"

{mushrooms, spinach, roasted peppers, tomatoes, bacon, and marinated chevre}

And the "Granola and Fruit Waffle"

{house made granola, vanilla yogurt, seasonal fresh fruit}

And though we were absolutely stuffed after these two, still ordered a banana nutella waffle for dessert.

{exactly what it looks like}

Our total bill? $13. Oooh, Portland, you do tempt me so.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Moussaka, Moussaka, Moussaka!

For those of you who don't know much about my personal life, my sister married a Greek man exactly a year ago next week. This past year has been an incredibly frustrating emotional roller coaster as we have been waiting (and waiting...and waiting...) for George's immigration to go through. Now FINALLY the wait is almost over. His interview is in Athens on September 15th, and he should be here by the end of the month! (Good vibes, everyone, good vibes...)

I can't imagine what it must be like to move on the other side of the world- especially from a place where the food is so good (Greece) to a place where McDonalds is still considered a treat (the US). I have been brushing up on my Greek food to help my brother in law feel at home when he comes.

I started yesterday with Moussaka. (what is moussaka?) I used a recipe from a Greek cookbook, but it was missing some of the essential elements that I remember eating when I was there. Because of this, I won't give you the recipe I made- although it was still pretty dang good. Next time I will make this one here. If you make it, don't substitute ground beef for ground lamb. It's just not the real deal. Nor is it as healthy.

Don't be put off by how many steps there are. It's no more labor intensive than lasagna. Not to mention it's a big recipe and will last you at least two meals. And it's better the second day, so it all works out. Worth it!