Sunday, May 17, 2009


So my latest kitchen acquisition has been a bag of Bulgar wheat. Bulgar is basically just another grain, but its different than cous-cous, rice, pasta, and quinoa. It's a little wheatier - more like brown rice, but less "together'. It's great because you get the texture of brown rice but it takes half the time to cook.
To cook bulgar, you can either follow the instructions on the package, or boil 7 oz. of bulgar with 750 mL water (the recipe I used today was metric.) Some recipes will call for cooked bulgar to start with. Some will give you instructions.
Today we had a ton of leftover mushrooms (why, oh why, do I shop at Costco?) so I made a mushroom bulgar pilaf type thing.
  • 7 oz. Bulgar
  • 750 mL water
  • Bunch of mushrooms (I think probably a half pound)
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Parmesean cheese
  • Sundried tomatoes, chopped/sliced thin.
  1. Cook bulgar and water together (with some salt). Cook for about 15 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.
  2. In a separate pan, saute garlic in olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add mushrooms, saute until mushrooms look delicious.
  3. Add bulgar to mushrooms. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Add parmesean to mix.
  5. Serve garnished with sundried tomatoes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chocolate Crinkles

To celebrate the end of exams (one paper left) I put together some cookie dough. I'm about to bake it up to test it out (I've been having trouble with cookies coming out flat lately.)
These are Chocolate Crinkles from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 sq. unsweetened chocolate (4oz., melted)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups Gold Medal Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (yeah, I don't think you actually need this much)
  1. Mix oil, chocolate, and granulate sugar
  2. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed
  3. Add vanilla
  4. Add flour
  5. Add 2 tsp. baking powder, and salt.
  6. Chill overnight/for a few hours
  7. Roll in powdered sugar and shape into balls
  8. Bake at 350
Uh. I just realized I didn't add baking powder or salt. I'm going to go deal with that.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


A friend had this link up this morning. All of the food on there just made me feel really really nauseated. I mean, seriously, who wants to wrap bacon around that much food?
I love the way food tastes. But as much as I find McDonald's french fries delicious and love to indulge in the occasional burger or greasy grilled cheese, I find that as I've gotten older, my tastes shift more to whole foods. Foods that offer texture, taste, and flavor at the expense of high amounts of fat and chemical processing.
So I find pictures like these much more appetizing. Even if the food is not necessarily "health" food, it is real food. I wish I could translate this recipe, it looks delicious.
Now I really want a fresh mixed greens salad or a vegetarian panini. Unfortunately, its mystery hot pocket day in the barefoot lunch bag.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mr. Barefoot's Guest Post #2

This Slate piece on homemade vs storebought crossed my screen last week; many of the items considered turned out not to be worth the time, but the bagels got rave reviews, so I decided it would be a good weekend project (something I've been short of lately, other than wedding planning). The recipe is pretty involved, so I won't reproduce it here - just follow the link and try them yourself.

Baking isn't really my thing, so it probably wasn't a smart move to kick Ellie out of the kitchen for offering too much advice - especially before she'd gotten around to defining a "light coat" of flour on a work surface...(hint: It's not light. If you can see any part of the work surface, you're not done. Bagel dough is sticky, sticky stuff. I may start using it as a construction adhesive.) (hint #2: dough allegedly sticks less to plastic cutting boards than wood. Ideally I would have used the counter - it wound up covered in flour anyway so it's not like I got out of cleaning it - but I didn't feel like dealing with any remnants of the various toxic - er, all-natural - cleaning products it's most likely coated in.

Despite all those challenges, the bagels turned out pretty darn well. They were amazing straight out of the oven, and at least as good as generic store-bought the next morning. I wouldn't expect them to last too well, but I didn't have the chance to test that. I topped a handful with various spices that were within easy reach - minced onion flakes, cinnamon sugar, mixed-up pepper, and cumin seed, but the dough was tasty enough to stand on its own. In the future I would probably experiment with including cheese (chunks, so you get the big pockets in the dough lined with thick melted cheese) or caraway seeds, but always leaving at least half plain. Next time I'll also make a smaller batch, because this is too much bread to eat in a single weekend.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cornbread Verdict

The cornbread was good - especially with chili, because the chili was moist enough that the cornbread soaked it up like a sponge - I'm still on the quest for the perfect moist cornbread, and have yet to find it. I've tried adding applesauce, extra water, extra eggs, extra milk, rum, none of these are the answer. I think the answer might just lie in like, a full stick of butter. Any tips???