Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peru Bound

My best friend and I just purchased our tickets to Lima, Peru, and now I have negative 7 dollars in my bank account (thanks hulu sarcasm intended, I LOVE YOU HULU PLUS). BUT, it is all okay, because I'm dreaming of fresh ceviche on a warm Lima day and the chilling mist of the Incan ruins, Machu Picchu (and llamas! / will be reenacting The Emperor's New Groove BRB)

What I am not dreaming about, however, is an interesting array of things I didn't think of till last night really: pirhanas, suffocating altitude sickness, food poisoning, eating cuy (aka guinea pig).

Though I'm probably never going to say, "yum I love me some fried guinea pig" if the chance arises to try it, I'm going to have to take it.

In reality, all the things I'm kind of dreading, I'm also kind of excited about. I mean, if I'm going to get altitude sickness anywhere, I don't really have a problem with that being at one of the 7 wonders of the world. And so long as I stay out of amazonian rivers I think the pirhana's are avoidable. However if Piranhas 3DD taught me anything, they might come up the toilet. Looks like I'll be peeing in a bottle.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ice Cream, Cupcakes, and Whipped Cream (ALL HOMEMADE!)

I was craving sweets this week, and since I'm on a tight budget - saving to go to Machu Picchu in the spring - I haven't had the money to run out in the middle of the night and buy cartons of Hagen Daas or several dozen chocolate bars like I normally would. Instead, I've been making all of my stuff, after I get home from work at around 11pm to midnight, and then not going to sleep until... never.

On sunday, I made my go to Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcake recipe by Martha Stewart. The secret to the deliciousness of this recipe is the cup of sour cream you add at the end. The tanginess counteracts the overwhelming sweetness of the 3 sticks of butter, 3 cups of sugar, and cocoa powder, and creates a delicious but not overly decadent chocolate cupcake, and trust me, if it weren't good I wouldn't continue to make it. I'm not that into chocolate sweets - brownies, cupcakes, etc. - so it's a miracle I even like these.

I'm positively terrible at making frosting. I don't know what it is but every time I try, it ends in disaster. For these cupcakes I made whipped cream instead because... 1. It's super easy and 2. you can eat it straight out of the bowl and not feel nearly as guilty as you would eating frosting straight out of a carton. I put it on top of my cupcakes, on top of my fruit, on top of my hot cocoa, and on top of my spaghetti (well... not yet).

Finally to finish off my trifecta of sweets, I made homemade vanilla ice cream with my new ice cream maker! Of course, I did not do this the same night I made my other goodies because I mistakenly forgot to put the ice cream bowl in the freezer a day in advance, which, BE WARNED, is absolutely necessary. Just always keep those puppies in the freezer. When you finish making ice cream, scoop it out, put it in some tupperware, wash out your bowl, and stick it back in the freezer, or you will regret it!

Making the ice cream was not easy, even though every article I read and every youtube video I watched said it should be. They made it seem simple enough for a monkey, which means I am simpler than a monkey. I locked the bowl into the machine, put the mixer upright and inside the bowl, topped it off with the lid, turned the switch, and.... nothing happened. It wasn't until fifteen minutes later that I realized I needed to reset the switches in my apartment and that I had in fact been doing everything correctly. When I finally got it working, the bowl had defrosted too much and the ice cream would not form. So I stuck it in the fridge and finished it with my additional frozen bowl when I came home from work.

I didn't want to take any chances, so I just made simple vanilla ice cream. When the ice cream finally formed, it was still to soft to eat, so I stuck it in the freezer and when morning finally came, I hopped out of bed like a kid on christmas - at 6 in the morning - stuffed my face with ice cream, and went to bed with heartburn. My mom is sending me vanilla beans, so it will be fancier the next time I make it. No pictures of the ice cream today, it went to fast, but rest assured, I will be making a lot more.

XOXO Fat Pig.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Frying Everything

We're Americans, so therefore we must fry everything. So I did.

The day before I left California after my short return, we decided to use my mom's year old deep fryer for the first time. I wanted...

1. To test my mothers limits in seeing what she'd let me fry


2. Fry anything and everything I could afford.

I spent hours prepping the following.

-Cheese Sticks
-Potato Chips
-An array of tempura vegetables

How does it take hours to prepare twinkies for frying you might be wondering? Well actually unless you want the twinkie to disintegrate upon hitting the scalding oil you have to freeze it. They come out looking like corn dogs, and tasting half baked in a bad way. The cream inside soaks into the foamy walls around it, and what makes a twinkie traditionally great is no longer there.

Maybe if I had used real twinkies that wouldn't have been a problem, I will never know though now that they're off the market. It's a sad day when the knock-off brand becomes the only brand; it was Little Debbies Cloud Cakes or nothing.

The oreos turned out just as good as I remembered them being the first time I had them last year at the street fair in Little Italy. I like oreos well enough on their own, but for some reason, when they're fried they become positively sublime. I rolled the oreos around in some pancake batter and dropped them in the deep frier for a good couple seconds, and poof, a foolproof treat and a sin to human nature. Also, it was vegan! (jk not really, used egg in the batter)

The cheese sticks did not work, at all. My guess is because we didn't follow a recipe, we just blindly dusted them with egg yolk and breadcrumbs and dropped them in the deep frier. I had a feeling potentially viscous cheese could cause a hazard when placed in excessively high temperatures but I didn't say anything, regrettably. They melted upon contact and we fished out - and ate - what we could. The rest stuck to the metal grating of the basket, and for all I know is still sitting there waiting for my mother to clean it out.

The potato chips were so freaking good, and so were the tempura and the wontons. Things I regret about this experience? NOT FRYING MORE! I wanted to fry pickles, and coke (not cocaine, Coca Cola [yes it's a thing]) and really anything in our fridge, because if you put your mind to it, YOU CAN FRY ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

Another thing excessive frying taught me; the grease in the air is exhausting. Within ten minutes of frying I was ready for a nap. I could never work at a fast food restaurant; however I have no problem eating at them so I wish to take this moment to express my eternal gratitude to those who do work there. THANX.

For Christmas, I got an ice cream maker, and a dutch oven. Imma be up in the kitchen cooking up dem stews and mixing up dat ice cream. More soon, leave comments, LOVE YOU ALL ( - belated christmas joy)

 P.S. Extra special thanks to Christine Jackson for taking such noiice pictures.