Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

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Merrrrrrrrrrry Christmas!


What did I cook today you ask?
HAM cooked in pineapple juice and rubbed down with brown sugar.

and a whole lot of cookies - chocolate chip, sugar cookies, peppermint chocolate chocolate chip, rice crispy treats with fruity pebbles, peanut butter cookies, and a carrot cake. Yesterday I made a 7 up bundt cake. It was lemony and not too sweet cuz I only used half of the sugar the recipe asked for.

I bought these items to a potluck where the main dish was dok man doo guk, which is a Korean dumpling and sliced rice cake soup with egg, dried seaweed, and beef as garnishes. Pretty delish. I'm glad I missed out on the pizza and the korean fried chicken they were feasting on throughout the day (as I was busy with my own oven).

After dinner with the fam, I brought the leftover ham home and made ham soup. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to make a ham and spinach and cheese quiche.

I love fattening people up for the holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

restaurant sales!

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I just bought $10 gift certificates for $0.60 (that's sixty cents, people... yes, cheaper than a can of diet coke) on www.restaurants.com. Just type in "GIVE" for the promo code and you get 80% slashed off of an already reduced $3 (for a $10 coupon) for a mere $0.60.

What I bought:

Item Name: O'Mamamia
Item Number: $10
Quantity: 1
Total: $0.60 USD


Item Name: Pitfire Pizza Company
Item Number: $10
Quantity: 4
Total: $2.40 USD


Item Name: Soleil Westwood
Item Number: $10
Quantity: 2
Total: $1.20 USD


Item Name: La Bruschetta Ristorante
Item Number: $10
Quantity: 1
Total: $0.60 USD


Cart Subtotal: $4.80 USD
Sales Tax:
Cart Total: $4.80 USD


Payment details
Transaction ID:
Item Price: $4.80 USD
Total: $4.80 USD

I paid $4.80 for $80 worth of food at the 3 places I frequent the most and one new place (la bruschetta) which I always pass and always wanted to try.

suh-weet!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas means cookies!

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Every year, I pretend Christmas isn't really happening and then freak out last minute and go on a ridiculously un-thought-out shopping spree where I inevitably end up buying more shizz for myself than anyone else. Not this year. This year I plan on buying presents only for my family. Sorry if you're a victim of this downturn but this girl will not have a job come January (when I start school) so I get to be cheap for once. However, I am still baking cookies like I always do because it's cheap(er), fun, and it gets me into the Holiday spirit. What is Christmas without cookies? It's almost as bad as Christmas without Jesus.

So last night I baked two batches of gingerbread cookies with my new awesome 12 piece cookie cutters with details! I love it. I bought it at vons for $12.99 and came home to research it online to see if I got jipped. My plan was to return it if I found something online for cheaper but after using it, I loved it so much that I decided not to look it up online so I don't have to return it. =P
Tonight I bought some frosting and pastel writing frost to decorate these cookies.

I definitely think I need one of those baker's cream bags (pastry bags?) that can squirt out cream/frosting with cool designs. I had to use a teaspoon to spread the frosting and my hand wasn't as steady with the writing frost. I felt like I needed a thin paintbrush. Anyway, here's how they turned out:

I messed up on one so I made it a sad albino gingerbread man.


I messed up on a star but then somehow "fixed" it by making it look like a poinsettia.

Someone had eaten half of one of the christmas trees so it was my practice piece before going on to decorate the others.

The diva gingerbread couple.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thanksgiving turkey videos

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Man! These took forever to upload. I had to cut it down and then make them into two parts for it to upload without a problem.

In this first video, you will see all the things I did after brining the turkey overnight, and before putting it into the oven. I basically stuffed a stick of butter cut into slices between the skin and the muscles. I also stuffed the turkey with apples, and the neck cavity was stuffed with onions, carrots, and celery. Last but not least, I poured 2/3 bottle of champagne inside and outside of the turkey (inside the oven bag though).

video

This vid shows how the turkey turned out, and some side dishes I made that I was able to catch on vid before people started destroying my masterpiece:

video

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

brining

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video
A quick video of how I brined the turkey. Still in the process of uploading the final product!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

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The drunken judy bird.

This year, I tried the dry brine (1 tablespoon of kosher salt per 5 pounds of turkey) because it's economical and less of a hassle. Plus my curiosity was piqued. Really? Salt is all you need to keep the juice in the turkey?



After brining the turkey for a few days, the turkey was prepared by inserting butter slices between the skin and the meat, stuffed with cored and halved apples, and some veggies, and then I poured champagne inside and outside of the turkey to cook in it for a few hours.

The result - a juicy turkey with less hassle and for a lot cheaper. However, the sacrifice not having as much crispy skin and it was still not AS juicy as last year's cranberry zinfandel turkey. Next year, I will most likely have to go with either having a crispy turkey or a fully juicy one. I know most people don't have a problem with the dryness of the turkey but my family is really sensitive to it - they're not big turkey people and this is the best way I know to get them to eat it on Thanksgiving day - is to make it hella juicy and tender.
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