jcd1013: (PB - true love)
I'm in such a cooking mood right now, and I don't know why. I'm in the middle of making Chicken Tikka Masala; I finally gathered up the last of the ingredients and decided at 8 tonight to whip it up so I'd have something good to eat on call tomorrow. 6 days into my rotation at the VA and I'm so sick of the food already (granted, it's the same food that I've eaten there for the last two years, so I guess it's not surprising). So the chicken is marinating and I've decided to share some of my favorite recipes that I've discovered over the last few weeks.

I have recently fallen in love with cooking with yogurt. I had used it in the past to make my famous salmon (which I have since perfected. I know, I know, it was delicious before, but I've made it even better), and then, thanks to this blog that I've linked to before, I tried out some other recipes and have been surprised at how versatile yogurt can be. Her Yogurt Cream is absolutely to die for (although, use half-and-half or milk, the extra calories from the cream just aren't worth it. Especially when you're cooking for one). And it is perfect for making savory, creamy sauces that are lighter on the calories and fat. Since then, all of my google searches have been for cooking with yogurt. Yogurt and rice. Yogurt and cilantro. Yogurt and cucumber. And have I found some goodies. :) Here are some of my favorites.

Salmon with Chermoula Sauce )

Mexican Rice with Cilantro Dressing )

Cilantro Cucumber Yogurt Dressing )

And lastly, the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe that I've been trying out. I'm still not getting the flavors just right. It's too heavy on the tomato, and there's something else missing. I think next time I'm going to try it with half coconut milk and half cream and see if that makes the difference. If any of you have cooked Indian before and know what I'm missing, please fill me in!

Chicken Tikka Masala )

Now if you'll excuse me, I think my rice is done. I'm going to feast well tomorrow!

(Feel free, btw, to share your favorite yogurt containing recipes. I'd love to try something new out!)
jcd1013: (First Impressions)
Hypothetical question (really, truly):

If you were trying to impress a young lad with your homemade cooking, what would you use as a side dish to complement my signature salmon recipe? (I was going to make it into a real poll, but I got lazy.)

1. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. What better way to get a man's affection than through the staple of life? Plus, the author promises that I can expect to be worshipped and kissed for at least 38 hours.

2. Crushed Hot Potatoes. It's got the potato factor in its favor, but it's simple, so it doesn't make me look too desperate.

3. Lemon Flavored Saffron Rice. I brought the saffron in Africa and carried it all the way back with me and haven't used it yet. I love lemony saffron rice and it would really complement the fish. Plus, Cleopatra reportedly had great success with her use of saffron um, probably not the kind of success that I'm really seeking at this time :D.

4. Other! I am obviously an inexperienced Kitchen Goddess and need to be taught immediately that the perfect side dish would be:______________

Your input would be invaluable. And needed before Wednesday so that I can go shopping. Hypothetically, of course.

(As an aside: I LOVE the Pioneer Woman blog. I discovered it a couple of days ago and have spent most of the day browsing through her site. The pictures are goregous and it makes me long for the small town life that I've left behind; I miss those times of absolute solitude. Another part of me is overwhelmingly grateful that Kris Hullinger and I never hit it off, because whoa, I am glad that ranching is not my life.)

This is my last month as a second year resident, can you believe that? It just incredible how time can fly and still seem so slow. I'm not halfway done with my residency yet... that endpoint still seems a long way away. I certainly down feel ready to be released on the unsuspecting world, but I find myself chomping to get done with this all.

I'm rotating on the epilepsy monitoring unit, which is a different experience. Basically we admit people and provoke them into having seizures and I'm learning how to read EEGs, which is really like learning how to read petroglyphs done in a 3-year-old's squiggly scrawl. I have no idea what I'm doing. The worst is that it really comes down to physics and electricity and currents and vectors, and man, that was my weakest point in all of physics. I could never understand it. I read and read this afternoon and I'm still confuzzled. But I'm excited about a new challenge, and the hours will be a little easier than a regular wards month (still have to do call, bleh)

I got my DEA license! And promptly had to renew a prescription for a patient, so I'm already being tracked. We won't talk about how much money this little "privilege" cost me, but all I can say is that the little bonus that they give me at the end of the year to cover licensing and exams(while supposedly leaving enough to fund a gym membership as well), didn't even cover half of what I've paid this past year for the honor of becoming a Real Doctor (like Pinocchio, but still with strings). But it's all done now.

I've had "There are no cats in America/and the streets are filled with cheese" running through my head all day today. I have no idea where that came from, as I probably haven't seen the movie (An American Tail, for those who are less Disney informed (and yes, yes, I know it's not a Disney movie, work with me here)) since I was 10. Weird, especially since I did give in and buy myself a copy of Mulan since I've had an inexplicable urge to watch that movie for the last month, so I should be having "I'll make a man out of you" there in my noggin instead. I did resist on buying the copy of Escape to Witch Mountain which is another one of my childhood favorites; luckily the store didn't have The Three Lives of Thomasina or Toby Tyler --those I could not have said no to.

I think I'm going for the hammock in the back yard, it would fit the space better. One of these days, I'll redo the front and make a real porch where I can install the swing. I've just gotta make sure that the side of my garage could handle the weight if I hook it there. I wasn't able to find a fire pit yet either, so my backyard beautification project is on-going.

And I think that's it. It's all I can think to talk about, unless you want to hear that I have dishes to wash and clothes to fold and my hair to cut and CuteIntern friended me on Facebook (mostly shaved now. Definitely cuter) and I've got a date on Thursday that might almost be called a second date and there's still about 5 clinic notes that I haven't finished. Yeah, you definitely don't want to hear about those tedious details about my life. :D
jcd1013: (Passport)
So the reason that there hasn't been updates on the glorious Indian food was because it was a little bit of a bust. I realized that I didn't have yogurt, ended up borrowing sour cream instead, and then discovered I was out of lemon juice as well. :( So no tikka masala. :( I was really disappointed as the recipe looks fantastically good.

I did try the recipe for Chicken Saag, and it was...disappointing. It was a lot better than my previous disaster with the laab (ugh, just the word brings back memories of the taste, yuck, yuck, yuck), as it was edible and not bad tasting; it just didn't taste anything like the saag I've had in the past. I've just found another recipe that is a slightly different variation, so maybe I'll try it again some time and provide the recipe them. I don't suppose my family is going to be adventurous enough to try my attempts at making exotic take out. Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'm packing up and getting ready to go home tomorrow. I am so excited for a vacation, to be free of work, of responsibility, of patient calls, of 30 hour work days for 15 days straight. It's going to be lovely. I've taken it pretty easy these last few days, though, and that's been nice. On Monday, I decided that sitting behind someone while they flipped through hundreds and hundreds of MRI images was not a productive way for me to learn as I was fighting sleep every day and it was BORING, so I took a reading day and reviewed neuroanatomy. Once upon a time, I was awesome with the anatomy, now, not so much. It was really great--I need more of those.

Yesterday, after getting home post call, I slept a bit and then went shopping. I have almost all of my Christmas shopping done. I did end up splurging slightly for myself, but hey, I figure I've got to play the role of boyfriend in my life sometimes.

Today was spent in a frantic frenzy as I woke up to do some packing before going to work and discovering that I had no idea where my iPod was. None. And the last clear recollection of using it was back at Thanksgiving. So I tore apart my house and car, went to work and tore apart the clinic, the resident room, the work room, asked all of the staff in the unit and on the neurology floors and nobody could recall seeing it in the last 2-3 weeks. Security didn't have it. Etc. Etc. Etc. I was quite sick. So I came home early, pulled out my backpack to put in all of the work stuff I have to bring with me, and there it was in the front pocket. Much relief, as I was getting quite tired of my forgetful irresponsibility that has been the theme for the last 2 weeks.

And now it is time to mark a few other things off my "to do" list. Like do laundry and actually buy my bus ticket for tomorrow. You know, the little, not important things, that's all.

jcd1013: (PB - true love)
Because if all of his recipes are this good, wow, I want him around.

My mouth watered last week over [livejournal.com profile] ginamak's description of the dinner that her husband made for her of a spinach/feta cheese omelet. She graciously provided the recipe, I finally gathered the ingredients and WOWZA. Talk about amazing.

Because I want to be as desired, I'm providing you all with the recipe (and my variations). Steal me away!

1 package frozen spinach
Sliced and diced fresh mushrooms (a handful per omelet)
1 cube of feta cheese
Eggs (3 per omelet)
Milk (1/4 cup or so per omelet)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
A dash of oregano
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Pinenuts (optional although so tasty, they shouldn't be)

Cook the frozen spinach as to the package directions. While cooking, slice mushrooms and crumble feta cheese into large chunks. Once spinach is cooked, drain and squeeze well. Saute mushrooms for 1-2 minutes or until they start to soften and change color and then remove from pan.

Whip eggs and milk together until slightly froathy, then fold in spinach and mushrooms. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour on half of hot skillet, cook for a minute, then rotate pan so egg mixture drains to other side. Cook until bubbly. Work spatula around cooked omelet and flip. Crumble cheese on egg and fold in half. Allow to finish cooking and serve, sprinkled with pinenuts. Keep napkin close by for drool.

In other cooking news (what have I become? A domestic goddess? A food blog???) I have finally tracked down all of the ingredients to make Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Saab and the leftover spinach is perfect for that. So tomorrow, it's Indian day. YUM YUM YUM.

(Don't worry, I'll be providing recipes.)

ETA: Should I be ambition enough to try naan? Never have done bread before...
jcd1013: (PB - true love)
And on the seventh day, Julia maketh french toast for dinner. With eggs and evaporated milk and pumpkin spice and fluffy white bread. And lo, it was good. And her mouth did agree. Insomuch as she maketh more french toast, this time with raspberry jam. And it was very very good.
jcd1013: (Mischief managed)
My Tom Kha Gai soup was a success. I made it much more mild than you'll ever find in any self respecting Thai restaurant, but even that was enough to open up my sinuses. Yummy! It's been a long time since I had any and I can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

The recipe, fyi, can be found here, I'd recommend just tearing the kaffir leaves, but leaving them attached to the central stem--they really aren't edible, and I made the mistake of shredding them into tiny bits. And since you really aren't eating the lemongrass AND the galangal, it makes a lot that you are removing in your mouth. I also used lemongrass powder as well, I think it made the flavor stronger.

The Pork Larb Moo on the other hand was an utter failure. I've never tasted anything so foul in my entire life and my house still reeks of the combination of fish sauce and lime juice. Ugh. I think I bought the wrong fish sauce as well. Fish sauce isn't the most tasty stuff in the world, but this is down right nasty.

Tomorrow I'm trying out the Indian food. I'm really looking forward to the Chicken Saab, as it's one of my favorite Indian dishes.
jcd1013: (LOTR - Hands of a Healer)
I'm so tired of being sick. I'm on day 7 of the Killer Virus and it really hasn't gotten much better. The fevers/chills/hallucinations are thankfully gone but I've still got the burning throat, aching ears and hacking cough and the Dayquill aint' doing nothing. If I didn't know in my little doctor heart since I don't have a fever, exudate, lymphadepathy I don't have a serious infection, I'd seriously be considering writing myself some antibiotics. And possibly some guaifenesin with codeine. I splurged on NyQuil since I finally will be able to sleep in tomorrow. Hopefully, a full night of sleep will turn me into a new person. But I swear, if it doesn't improve by morning, I'm going to be one of those awful people and drop by the ER for a nonemergency, to get a rapid strep done.

Chris call this morning with the offer of visiting. I looked around at my pile of used kleenex (a word to the snifflers. Splurge on lotioned, brand name Kleenex. Your nose will thank you), dishes and dirty clothes and begged off. :( Hopefully he'll have the entire weekend off next weekend and we'll find a festival or something to experience.

I lurched myself off the couch at some point and tracked down a Oriental market, where I have bought supplies so that I can make Tom Kha Gai soup, Larb, Chicken Saab, and Chicken Masala and fresh spring rolls over the next several days. So excited. Why the sudden urge for Thai/Indian food?? While I've been convalescing, I've gotten pretty involved in reading this blog: Six in the World, which is about a fix who took a year off and travelled around the world, which sounded pretty amazing. As in, I almost started planning my trip, until reality set in again. Yeah, won't be doing that for many more years to come. I started getting really hungry when they were talking about all of the great Thai food and the Thai cooking classes, which caused me to remember the spices that Chris had brought back for me from Thailand and the recipes from his cooking lessons... so now I'll be making Thai food and experimenting with Indian. Yummy!

And the last thing, before I drift off (hopefully) in drug-induced sleep. I have an infestation of fruit flies. Darn things are smaller than the holes in my screens. Any ideas of how to get rid of them??
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