Sunday, June 21, 2009

Quesadilla Maker?? Why do I love thee so?

The delicious consumption household is downsizing! Big things are happening in my life-- I am about to start school and so I am looking to move somewhere closer to campus (read: Im going to be spending more $$ for a smaller space). I have gotten used to living in a 4-level townhouse with a huge kitchen... but its time that I let go of some stuff, so that lil ol me can fit into a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. Oh yea with room for fluffy and potato as well he he he.

So here is my conundrum of the day: Should I keep my Quesadilla Maker? I love my quesadilla maker; I know it is possible to make quesadillas without a quesadilla maker-- I just dont know if I actually would make quesadillas without one.

Why a quesadilla maker in the first place? Quesadillas are just that good. I actually use it once or twice a month (I know...still not that often) and the quality of the Quesadilla is much greater than any other method of cooking (for me.. unskilled in the ways of traditional mex or tex-mex cooking). Plus, these save well and are super portable.. so they make a great lunch on the go.

Above, my classic beef and bean filling (ground beef, and homemade bean dip mixed together) with shredded Mexican cheese. These are topped with an easy homemade salsa of fresh cut tomato, cilantro and the juice of a fresh lime wedge, salt and freshly ground pepper.

The downside of course, is that I have an entire appliance for 1 specific type of food. I dont think I own any other kitchen appliance that has such a specialized function.. What do you think? Does 1-2 amazing quesadillas per month justify a quesadilla-only appliance? I am especially seeking votes from people who have eaten the very tasty product of one of these machines.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strawberry Shortcakes-- a Summer Staple

Strawberries are making their grand appearance in grocery stores and farmers markets everywhere... Poking around the neat cartons of deep red berry goodness, I glance over and see those delicious little dessert cups.. and some marketing guy somewhere just got a big fat bonus because I fell for their little ploy (I am sure Im not the only one) and JUST HAD to buy the dessert cups.. oh and whipped cream.. and vanilla ice cream!! (Turkey Hill, no less)

This shortcake is, in short, an assembly of goodness. And its easy. Pick up the ingredients on your way to a BBQ and its sure to be a hit!

Want to be more natural/healthy/organic? So do I. Next time, I will delve into the world of making my own shortcake dessert cups.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My birthday is on June 12!

My birthday is on the 12th! To celebrate, we are going to Udupi Palace to eat paper dosas!
But wait? You dont know what paper dosas are? Dont worry. This post describes a few of the items on the menu at Udupi (although the pictures were taken from food made in India, at my mother's and from my own kitchen)
Paper Dosa or Dosai

As you can see, this is quite a large piece of food. It is a very thin crisp griddle-fried rice-batter that you eat with sambar and chutney (minced coconut and spices, or minced mint or coriander and spices). It is hands down my favorite food (so far) :)

Batura and Channa (Garbanzo Beans)

These are fried breads, which rise before being rolled and fried so they have a different taste and texture. I love the combination above. If you order this at a restaurant, they usually serve one or two significantly larger baturas.

Poori and Yellow Potatoes

Pooris are made from whole wheat flour and are rolled flat and fried. They puff up in the oil, giving the bread a light soft double-layer structure. As with baturas (explained above) pooris are usually much larger (like the size of the plate) if you order it in a restaurant.
Idli and Sambar
Idli are light delicate rounds of steamed rice batter. When made properly they are melt-in-your-mouth soft. Restaurants usually dont make these very well, unless they specialize in South Indian cuisine.
Well I cant seem to locate my vada pictures, so I guess I will have to post later with that. Get excited-- and dont worry, theres lots of great things to try at a South Indian restaurant!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cilantro Lime Tilapia: 5 steps to a 10 minute lunch

Starving? Need something quick? Try this super easy cilantro-lime tilapia!
Step 1: Place a frozen tilapia fillet on a small plate, add 1 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp ground cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. (I have these handy tubes of mashed cilantro-- available from Safeway, you could also use frozen cilantro cubes, available from Trader Joes)

Step 2: Thaw in microwave. Mine took less than two minutes, since it is only 1 fillet.

Step 3: Grill. I used a George Foreman, but I bet you could easily have done this stovetop. Grilling took only a few minutes.

Step 4: While the fish is grilling, prep your salad and/or rice side. I always have a bag of cooked rice in the fridge (it is a staple in our household), so I put about 1/4 cup on my plate, added some soy sauce, dry ginger, and sesame seeds. Heat in microwave till warm. The salad is generic- use what you have on hand. Mine consisted of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, and olives.
Step 5: Plate the fish. and voila! Lunch in 10.