Thursday, June 10, 2010

This ain't no Easy Mac

Childhood classic for the sophisticated palate.

So I just spent a good $30.09 on cheese. My previous belief that there were 2 types of cheeses- Kraft Singles or Cheese Sauce (or as the Mexicanos se llaman- Queso) was abruptly shattered when I approached the Gourmet Cheese section of HEB.

It was an international consortium of the most astounding array of colors, shapes, textures and unpronouncable names I had ever seen. Piora from Switzerland, Ackawi from the Middle East, Cornish Pepper from England- milk of goats, cows, sheep- ay ay ay! As a cheese novice, the possibilities seemed overwhelming.

The four such cheeses I was in search of for my home-made mac and cheese: Italian Fontina, Gruyere, Extra-Sharp White Cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano took me a while to collect (and an arm and leg to buy), but I was determined to make this mac and cheese exactly the way Martha Stewart prescibed. If its good enough for her, than it dang well be good enough for me.

Not knowing much about these cheeses I had just purchased, I decided to look them up on the interwebs.
Yes. It's a real thing. Everything you EVER need to know about cheese- right here.
So here's about what I got from skimming (in case you don't feel like browsing thru cheese cyber-space):

Gruyere- a Swiss village, traditional (aka wears clunky wooden shoes), made from cow milk, creamy, semi-soft, nutty
Italian Fontina- from Italy (dur), dense, smooth, elastic (not sure how I feel about this description being used to describe foodstuffs), flavor- hint of honey (which reminds me- more food distraction)
Parmigiano-Reggiano- Italy again, cows milk, hard, use a saw, grating, chunks, rind.. (appetizing diction no?)
Extra-Sharp White Cheddar- ah good. I recognize cheddar. Now just get the pointy, Caucasian version.

I was going to type out the directions. But why do that when someone already did that for me?

** NOTE- for some reason the cheese that the recipe above calls for is slightly different. For some reason the recipes online are nowhere near as deep in flavor, nor so highly sophisticated as this classy combo- (So do this instead)
2 oz Fontina (grated 1/2 cup)
3 oz Gruyere (grated 1 cup, 1/2 c reserved for topping)
6 oz Extra-Sharp White Cheddar (grated 2 c, 1/2 c reserved)
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated 1 c, 1/2 c reserved)

Now you're good to go.
Saaayyyy CHEESE!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pitctures and such

I believe I promised some pictures...
These are the poptarts I made (photo taken right before I added the top layer of dough)

I also forgot to mention I decided to add some variation and made chocolate poptarts by using a Dark Chocolate Almond spread (the more edumacated Nutella) and adding crushed almonds.

This combonation also makes for a suprisingly decadent, totally sophisticated sundae if you heat up the chocolate almond spread and pour over vanilla ice cream.

!Muy Delicioso!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer means SMOOTHIES!

What's a better treat than a freshly blended smoothie on a hot summer's day? Anything? Hm, I thought not.
Summer + sunshine + smoothies = SUPER.
Ok greaattt. So since the last two recipes or so that I've posted have come off of various websites not my own- I thought it would be interesting to post one of my own creations. And for me, smoothies are where it's at. They call me the Smoothie
Well mabs not, but they are my favorite concoction. Sweet, refreshing, semi-healthy- and SO EASY. If you keep the ingredients on hand always, a delicious drink is never out of reach.

Most of the time, I blend together frozen vanilla yogurt (ok so maybe not ALL that healthy- but SO good), frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, mangoes- whatever you please!) a whole banana, and OJ. No measuring necessary. This is one of the few things I'm a-ok with "feeling" out, and tasting as I go.

And smoothies are so versatile! Another personal favorite of mine is blending together Chocolate Soy Milk and Frozen Bananas. Only 2 ingredients- tastes like a milkshake- minus the 1,000 calories :/

And after hearing about how FANTASTIC the chunky strawberry, peanut butter, and granola smoothie is from Jamba Juice, I decided to attempt a similar version.
Peanut Butter and strawberry? Weird right? and Granola- whhaattt?
I'm actually not even sure I can count this as a smoothie- it's more like a blended parfait- the use of a spoon is highly recommended.

Surgeon General's Warning: Do not attempt to drink this with a straw. The risk of choking or, worse, permanent puckerface runs high with this thick dreamy creamy chunky combination.

To make your own: add generous scoops of vanilla Fro-Yo, frozen strawberries (I added blueberries too), a whole banana, skim milk, a few tablespoons of organic PB. Throw in some granola if you please. Put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up, whip it- whip it good, mix it all together- oh yeah- WHAT EVA until everything's all blended.
Pour into tall clear glasses, top with honey sweetened granola and sliced bananas.
Presentation? Incredible. Texture? Superb. Taste? Un. Be. lievable.