Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mung Bean Noodles

A few weeks back I mentioned that I bought a BUNCH of different kind of noodles at MT Market. At the time I couldn't resist the Mung bean noodles.

Honestly, they taste like noodles... I was expecting something else, maybe something bean-y? If someone served me them without telling me what was in them I would have never guessed mung beans.

Perhaps I'll prepare them in a more simple way next time so I am able to taste the actual noodle more. My noodles were in veggie broth with jalapenos, carrots, kale and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. It's all too likely that the jalapeno overwhelmed the flavor of the noodle.

School update:

We did a SPA NIGHT at school. It was entirely too much fun and exactly what I needed. If you see my twitter you know I'm a pretty busy gal. With work and school and the blog and attempting to have some sort of social life it's hard for me to take any time for relaxing. We did all natural face masks, foot baths and I received my first ginger compress. *sigh* School needs to do this once a month for us haha.

Happy April Fools day peeps!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Thai Noodle House

My obsession with finding the best Thai place in Austin has led me to a small, whole in the wall eatery called the Thai Noodle House (2602 Guadalupe St Austin, TX 78705). I've been here once before and tried they're DWI noodles- a play on the more commonly named drunken noodles. My favorite part about drunken noodles in general is that they are SPICY and greasy. Thai Noodle House's DWI is pretty good and they'll make it as spicy as you want.

Enough of my love of drunken noodles and back unto what my order was this trip.

Masaman Curry

As with all curries, fish sauce is commonly used but any good Thai place will allow you to take it out. My favorite things about this particular curry were 1) it came with tons of rice (like a lot of rice and usually have to order more) 2) The potatoes had that melt in your mouth consistency.

I'm used to more liquid in with my curry but the creamy thickness of Thai Noodle House's Masaman was just right. Sometimes I find that Thai places water down the curry and I prefer it to coat the back of your spoon.

If you can't already tell, I like this place and am both bummed and grateful that it is not next door to me. The hole in the wall no, frills atmosphere, and service with a smile reminds me of my trips to Thailand. This will be added to my Thai cravings rotation along with Titaya's.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Juan in a Million

Juan in a Million

With all the insanity of sxsw last week I was thrilled to finally get a chance to try Juan in a Million. First a disclaimer, if you're vegan this isn't the place for you. Eggs, potatoes, bacon and cheese are on everything.

Moving on. The name alone made me want to try the place (you know you like it too). I'd say they're known for the Don Juan, which is what I ordered minus the bacon. There is tons of food for only 4 bucks and after a WEEK of free sxsw and free alcohol it really hit the spot.

Would I eat this or here all the time? I don't think my body could handle it but on a week where I was planning on punishing myself anyway this was fantastico. :)

It was more breakfast than I should have eaten in one sitting and every bite was terribly sinful and great. I mean hey, I don't want to eat healthy all the time right? haha


Friday, March 20, 2009

Austin360 Food & Wine Blogger Bash

Hi folks
It's South by South West here and my computer has officially died on me. I'll be down for a little while but trying to post whenever I can get my hands on a computer. Until then, enjoy some pictures from our Austin food blogger bash!

Menu of the evening the smoked tomato aioli was to die for.

The tomato tatin was easiest thing to eat while standing and talking to fellow food bloggers.

I'm not sure you can tell from this picture but the flower arrangements included asparagus and baby artichokes. Both genius and adorable.

Potatoes and kale are a good pairing but were awkward to pick up and eat.

It wasn't until half way through our TX wine tastings that I realized there were cooking demos going on. Tyson Cole of Uchi did a demo of fried rice balls and bestowed sushi wisdom unto us ;)


Monday, March 16, 2009

Sxsw Cupcake Social

FoodBuzz and Cupcakes That Take The Cake held the Cupcake Social 2.0 at SXSW yesterday and you better believe I was all over that. Free cupcakes at a bar? I'm not sure who would say no. Austin's bakeries stepped up a provided to free treats. Thanks to The Cupcake Bar, Hey Cupcake, Toot Sweet Cupcakes, Sugar Mamas Bakeshop, L's Cupcakes and Polkadots for the treats!
Now if I could remember all the names of the cupcakes I would list them on here, but I can't. You'll have to settle for some good ole pictures instead.

Cara choose this peanut butter, chocolate, banana cupcake
I told you I wouldn't remember all of these cupcakes!

My lovely hand and a raspberry rosewater cupcake.

A ridiculously chocolaty creation that was virtually impossible to eat without looking like you had a fight with a chocolate bar and lost.
What a great way to start my SXSW week right?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Forbidden Black Rice

What is forbidden black rice? It's a short grain heirloom rice that is usually grown in Asia. Black rice is extremely nutritious- high in minerals, fiber and it contains many essential acids. There are some theories as to why it's called "forbidden" including that it was the rice of kings but it's also possible that the name is simply a marketing ploy. Well it worked on me. I love the name as much as the rice itself haha

Black rice porridge

I acquired my rice through school. We made a huge batch so I snagged some to bring home. Black rice is more expensive than your average rice (not expensive in general) but I think it pays for it's self nutritionally speaking. Normally the rice is mixed in with white rice when made and not eaten on it's own.

I made a breakfast porridge with my leftovers and it caused quite a stir while I ate it at my desk. About 4 people stopped to ask what I was eating. Well people, here it is! My version of black rice porridge. It's incredibly simple and the basic structure can be used to make any porridge.

Forbidden Black Rice Porridge

1/4 cup black rice
1 cup vanilla soy, amasake, or water- I used a mixture of soy and water
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 pinch sea salt
optional cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced.

If you give it a try, let me know how you like it!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vegan Tart

While watching a French themed episode of The Barefoot Contessa this weekend I made my mind up to veganize her apple tart recipe. First of all, I cut the recipe size in half because I can't (well SHOULDN'T) eat the amount of tart she made. This recipe is large enough to make 3 small tarts.

1 cup flour
6 tablespoons diced vegan margarine (the colder the better!)
pinch salt, sugar
1/4 cup cold water

NOTE: this can be mixed in a bowl by hand, I used a food processor because I have one haha.

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Add the 1/4 cup ice water thru the feed tube while the motor is on. (you may not need this much water, my dough came out a little wet with this much)
Once your dough as combined,turn it out onto a well-floured board and knead until you have a solid ball (mine came together very quickly and be careful to not over work the dough). Wrap with plastic and refrigerate an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a the shape of your choice. Transfer it to your well oiled baking vessel.

1 apple (your choice I used granny smith)
1-2 tablespoons butter cold, finely diced
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)

Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Place a layer of the apples on your dough and sprinkle with your sugar. Evenly place your small chunks over butter on the apples.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-45 mins. I check at about 25 minutes to see if one side has browned more than the other and to rotate the pan.

1/4 cup jam or preserve of your choice
1 tablespoon water

Warm the jelly/preserves and together with the water. Brush the apples and the pastry completely with the mixture. Be sure to loosen the tart from it's baking vessel so it doesn't stick.

After cooling a bit, EAT AWAY! I'm confident most people will love this simple recipe. I mean who doesn't like fruit and pastry?!


Friday, March 06, 2009

Mapo Tofu

I know the pre-packaged pouch of stuff I get that is labeled House brand Mapo-tofu sauce probably does NOT compare to an actual good version of this meal.... but it works for me until I learn better! haha

Mapo Tofu is a Chinese dish that is usually made with pork and silken tofu. I simply leave the pork out for a veggie/vegan version. This picture doesn't capture the red-ness of the sauce because it's being sopped up by the rice.

Here is some info on the traditional form of this dish with pictures: Mapo Tofu
I've been able to pick up a mapo sauce packets at pretty much any "ethnic" grocery store. If you have a China town or little Saigon near you, I guarantee they have it.

Has anyone else made this? I've never made it from scratch but would love to hear any recipes you have.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Vermicelli Bowl

There's a rumor going around town that Austin's China town complex is shutting down soon. I made a trip there this weekend and stocked up on some non-perishable item including NOODLES- lots and lots of noodles. Corn, rice, buckwheat, you name the variety of noodle and I most likely bought it.

These vermicelli rice noodles are paired with a shitake/shoyu broth, napa cabbage and silken tofu. You have to be careful with vermicelli noodles because it's really easy to over cook them and you're left with a jelly-like ball of mush.

To prevent this I add my noodles towards the end of the cooking time and turn of the heat. The residual heat from the broth is enough to soften them up without over cooking them.