Category Archives: How to

Delicious Day

Sunday was filled with GREAT food. I don’t think I’ve eaten so much in one day!

I’ve been dying to go to The Boiler House for brunch. It has live jazz and I hoped the food could compare to what we had at our wedding. It was a buffet so I knew that would be asking for a lot. I wasn’t disappointed in brunch at all, the roast beef was medium rare, the bacon was crisp, and the eggs benedict was so good the first time around that I had to grab another one. It even had the runny yolk which I love. I had to make room for dessert and had a lemon curd tart and some pain au chocolat. I wish I had room for the chocolate tart and pecan pie. I didn’t even get to try the omelet station. For $25, it was an excellent meal. I ended up ordering a mimosa which was $10! I hope they used real champagne at that price.

Definitely worth visiting again. I’d also like to visit the Hot House again. I haven’t been there in ages and they have a waffle station. Mmm…

The Boiler House

I also had dinner with my parents and I was supposed to make a meal. It was to go with the crabs they were going to bring over and cook. I was relieved when they brought enough crabs that I didn’t have to make dinner.

I have had a serious craving for crab lately. Me being too gutless to kill them myself, I made my parents show me how it’s done so I could eat fresh crab and not have to do any of the work.

Avert your eyes from the rest of the article if me talking about killing live crabs is bothersome.

How to cook crab

I’m sure there’s a ton of ways in cooking this crustacean, but here’s how my dad did it:

– Choose live crabs. Pick lively ones and never pick dead ones. My parents advise to never buy frozen uncooked crab because you can never be too sure how long they’ve been dead for.

– Fill the sink with cold water and dump the crabs in.

– Steam the crabs. This is easier if you have a steamer, but if you don’t like me just take a large pot and put a small amount of water in it. You don’t want to fill the pot halfway and boil the crabs, just add enough water to get some good steam. Really salt the water. Let the water come to a boil then throw the crabs in. Make sure the crabs are upside down. My dad explained why and now I’ve forgotten. Put lid on and watch out for angry crabs trying to escape. I screamed and ran out of the kitchen while my dad threw in the crabs and put the lid on it. But really, it wasn’t that bad. I’m better prepared for when I actually do cook them next time.

– Crabs cook quickly. They’re done when it’s orange/a deep red.

– Drain crabs.

At this point the crabs are hot and you’ll want them to cool down for a bit. I grew up eating crabs plain with rice. I still think this is a delicious way of having them. The rice sops up the juices of the crab.

Or, just pick the crab meat out and use them in a dish that requires it.

Crabs

Notes:
– If the crab or part of it (such as the leg) smells funny, like a fishy kind of smell, it’s bad. Do not eat it.
– There’s white crab meat and brown crab meat. The brown crab meat is found at the top of the cavity. It’s that brown gooey stuff. Some people don’t like it because it’s rich and strong tasting, but I love it. This is what goes so well with rice. It would also add a bunch of flavour to any soup/stock.

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The basics and how-to's

Rose Levy Beranbaum has just posted links on the basics of bread making. As with any Beranbaum literature, it’s really more than just the basics but a comprehensive article that looks at proper measuring, the different types of pre-ferments, recipes, storing the bread, and sourdough. Sourdough will be the bread that finally does me in on my no store-bought bread challenge (haven’t bought any since mid-November). I’ll be picking some up this weekend. Movie Man doesn’t see it as a failure as I tried to make my own starter for over a month and it just never got big enough. Maybe I’ll attempt it again after the wedding when the weather is still warm and I have one less thing to stress about.

Also, now on youtube are baking segments of Rose. Being a cake amateur, the ganache clip was mighty helpful giving me tips on how to frost the cake. Great information considering I’ve volunteered to make my neighbour’s baby shower cake. I’ve at least got time to practice so I’ll make the practice buttercream that’s in the Cake Bible so I don’t embarrass myself in front of everyone.

P.S. All my recent food pictures are on Movie Man’s recently deceased computer. So until he gets the computer back up and running, I’ll be posting some oldie but goodie pictures. I’ll also be posting a brown rice shortbread recipe if I can stop myself from eating it all (again) and take a picture. It’s addictive and probably my favourite shortbread (and I don’t like shortbread).

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Balsamic reduction, my new love

I normally don’t like the tartness of balsamic vinegar, but I am head over heels for reduced balsamic vinegar. Reducing the vinegar emphasizes the good qualities (and flaws) and you’re left with a sticky sweet syrupy substance. I used the technique that’s described here and it worked perfectly. You should use a good balsamic vinegar, but not TOO good. I was at a specialty store and asked how the balsamic vinegar reduces and got one of those looks people give when you’ve made a huge faux pas. So good balsamic vinegar for reducing, GREAT balsamic vinegar for salads and other non-cooking things.  I bought a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena at Whole Foods and it was relatively cheap (less than $5) and it produced a nice sweet syrup without any tartness.  I had mine on some meaty portobellos and it was divine.

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How to: Cutting a Pineapple

My mom once taught me how to cut a pineapple and then I promptly forgot. This time I took pictures so I could refer back to them when the time finally came for me to actually cut one up. I apologize for the blurry pictures, I was testing out a friend’s camera and didn’t quite get the hang of it during this photo session.


Start by cutting the top off. There’s a little soft spot near the crown where you can cut it easier. Then cut the bottom off.

Cut the sides away.

Once that’s done, you can start removing the eyes. Some people remove each eye individually, my mom cuts a little “v” because it’s faster.



Wash off all the junk that’s now on the pineapple

Start cutting your pineapple in chunks.


Don’t forget to remove the core when you’re slicing away.

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