Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just call me Betty Draper (from season 1, minus the unfaithful husband, naivety, and arrogance)

This week I've had the chance to hone in on my domestication skillz (thanks to no work or school)!  I made almond milk, cooked dinner, baked cookies, bug bombed my apartment, worked out daily, and did enough laundry to fill a whole laundromat. 

1) Almond milk:
  • Here are the ingredients I used:
    • Raw almonds
    • Water
    • Honey
    • Cinnamon 
  • Utensils
    • Saucepan
    • First round - centrifugal juicer
    • Second round - blender
    • metal strainer
    • Masher?
    • Large Bowl
    • Pitcher
  • Steps
    • *First I tried to use my centrifugal juicer.  It worked, but had a very low yield and wasted some almonds, so I changed to a blender*
    • Blanch almonds (boil water, leave almonds in for about 1.5 to 2 minutes)
    • Peel/squeeze brown shell off almonds. When they are blanched well it should be very easy to just squeeze and the white almond will pop out. And by pop I mean fly across the room.

    • Soak almonds in water for about 8 hours.  In my first batch I only soaked for 2 hours and it was a little grainy; in my second batch I soaked for about 15 hours and it came out a little more watery so I think 8 is the perfect amount. 
    • Blend about 1 cup of almonds with 2 cups of water.

    • Add 1 more cup of water, about 1 tsp of honey, and as much cinnamon as you like. Mix. 

    • Placed strainer in large bowl. Poured milk through strainer. This was the hardest part for me. I don't have a real metal strainer, just the one from my juicer and it gets clogged very easily. I would definitely recommend getting a nut milk bag, as cheesecloth allows a lot of the graininess through. 

    • Used the "masher" to get as much liquid out of the strainer as possible.  This is another reason a nut milk bag is nice, because you can squeeze it and get a higher yield. 
    • Chilled in refrigerator. 
  • I really liked the outcome.  I think Jason might need more convincing.  The definite downsides to making verse buying:  the store bought almond milk is fortified with calcium and B12 among other things. I'll probably end up buying vitamins to supplement my diet or find other sources of these nutrients. If you have any good suggestions I'd love to hear them.  I don't eat a lot of red meat (hence the lack in B12) and am trying to cut out a lot of dairy products (lack of calcium). 

2) Dinner - Hatch Eggplant Turkey or Tilapia Burgers
  • I LOVE Hatch pepper season at Central Market. I went there on Saturday, fully intending to only buy Hatch related items, but then I saw the most beautiful eggplant and had to have it. 
  • Ingredients:
    • Eggplant
    • Roasted hatch peppers
    • Hatch Pesto
    • Turkey burger
    • Tilapia
    • Bread
  • Steps
    • Slice the eggplant in half, lengthwise. Cut slivers along the inside of the eggplant and lightly salted over the cracks.  Allowed to sit for about 30 minutes.
    • After thirty minutes, I rinsed off the salt and pat dry the eggplant. 
    • Heat oven to 400 F. 
    • Coat pan with cooking spray
    • Place two sets of two roasted hatch chiles on pan (one set for each side of eggplant)
    • Spread Hatch Pesto on eggplant to cover cut side and in crevices created earlier
    • Place eggplant cut side down on the hatch peppers. 
    • Place in oven, let cook for 55 mins
    • After about 25 minutes I put on a whole grain brown rice, bulgur, and other grains blend with roasted pecans and garlic made by the Near East company 
    • When there was about 18 minutes left to cook I sprayed a pan with cooking spray and cooked the turkey burger.
    • With about 6 minutes left for the eggplant I put the tilapia in to cook (we buy steam fresh tilapia at kroger; it's a good price, filling, and low calorie. I wish I could make it fresh and would probably prefer a different fish, but I'm usually pretty short on time and tilapia is the cheapest.)
    • Took the eggplant out of the oven to cool; placed 4 slices of bread on oven racks. 
    • Finished cooking the rice and pulled bread out of oven (about 5-6 minutes)
    • Made two bowls of salad
    • Placed the turkey/tilapia on top of one piece of bread, placed the roasted hatch chiles that were under the eggplant on top of the protein, then scooped eggplant out and placed about 4 squares on top of the chiles. Topped it off with lettuce. 
    • Spread hatch pesto on my (tilapia) sandwich and a spicy habanero mustard on Jason's (turkey)
    • Enjoy!  I thought it was quite delicious and Jason did too.

3) For dessert I made some Betty Crocker Molasses cookies. 
Molasses Cookies and Almond Milk! 

1 comment:

  1. See this is no fair....I find it very hard for me to believe I could ever convince Jason to try this. But it sounds soooooo goooood to me!