Posts Tagged 'cooking'



Cooking on my DS?!

No, Im not talking about Cooking Mama (although I do love that game) Im talking about cookbooks for the DS. When I was in Japan one of the things I envied in the game shops was the sheer number of cookbooks for DS. Walking down the aisles of the many electronic shops in Akihabara here were dozens and dozens of them, sadly my total lack of reading any Japanese prevented me from picking any of them up. However when I was out shopping this weekend I saw Personal Trainer: Cooking available for the DS and quickly snatched it up.

I LOVE THIS PROGRAM! There just wanted to get that out of the way before I go any further. This is seriously such an amazing program and incredible for the $19 sticker price (by the way, I’m saying program because this isn’t a game so much as a computer application). Personal Trainer: Cooking features over 240 recipes from all over the world all with step by step instructions to help you create spectacular meals.

The best part of this program is the attention to little details that they put into it. If you are making Spinach Namul and don’t know how to blanch spinach, in the middle of the recipe it will give you the option to click on a mini guide to perfectly blanching spinach. There are even videos for some preparation tips, like how to clean a trout or perfectly dice garlic. Another nice touch is the kitchen timer that will pop up in the middle of you cooking steps and it will be automatically preset with the time needed for that recipe. You can also adjust the number of servings to be either 1, 2, 4 or 6 and it will automatically adjust the recipe accordingly.

Example of cooking video….look REAL people! Not cartoons!!

However, the greatest feature of all would have to be the voice control option that lets you repeat a step, go back or move on to the next without ever touching your DS (trust me chicken grease and a touch screen don’t mix). My biggest gripe with cook books is having to constantly dry my hands so I can look up the next step. With Personal Trainer: Cooking I can just say the word and it reads off the steps too me along with photos to illustrate the task.

The step menu allows you to pick up where you left off or skip ahead.

Searching on this program is also far better than any cook book because aside from searching by region or ingredient you can get really specific. To decide Monday night’s dinner I looked up by ingredient and calorie count (after eating heavy foods over the holiday I wanted something light). We have a ton of cucumber so I put that in and the result was a Chinese dish called Bang Bang Chicken which features a spicy sesame sauce and cucumber slices. It was delicious! Tonight I decided I want to cook some gorgeous salmon steaks that we have in the fridge, so I found a nice French recipe for Salmon with Green Sauce and a side of ratatouille to accompany it.

When you are looking at a recipe it displays the ingredients and allows you to check off ones that you are missing and it creates a shopping list to take with you to the store! But, lets say you’re at the store and you don’t know what parsley looks like, well it has photos of all the ingredients to help you along. Or what if you get to the store and they are out of an ingredient? Many ingredients have substitution suggestions like using unsweetened peanut butter if you can’t find sesame paste. Another nice feature is you can set the program to exclude certain ingredients. So if you are like my friend Becky and unfortunately unable to eat onions, with a click of a button you can make sure no onion recipes ever grace your DS.


You can use the map to look around the world to find your next meal! All the meals display a picture along with calories, time needed to cook and a short description.

The only thing that Personal Trainer: Cooking doesn’t have that I would like is a meal planner where you could schedule out the recipes you want to cook for certain days. If it had this feature, it would be the most perfect program ever! I am able to somewhat simulate this by adding a note to the recipes I want to use saying “Thursday night dinner” and I can then filter the recipes by notes. Its not the best solution but it works.


Another nice section is the Homemade Ingredients which teaches you how to make basic stuff like pizza dough or Béchamel sauce.

Overall, what I like most about Personal Trainer: Cooking is that they didn’t half-ass the game. They couldve easily shat out a bunch of recipes that you just tap through, but they didn’t go that route. All the little details and perks are what make this one step above your average print cookbook. They really thought about everything that someone would want or need in the kitchen. Hopefully this will inspire more cooking programs for the DS and PSP, I would also love to see celebrity sponsored editions (ahem Alton Brown’s Cooking for DS please!). Apparently a program called Whats Cooking? With Jamie Oliver did come out recently so I am now on the hunt for a copy of that (although I’ve heard that one isn’t quite as good). Honestly I would buy just about any other DS cookbook as long as its even half as good as Personal Trainer: Cooking. If I were to score this program I would undoubtedly give it an A!

“Cooking By The Book” LazyTown Lil John Mashup lollage

My friend Greg just sent this amazing video to me…rather than explain it I’ll just let the video speak for itself.

Sadly LazyTown is none too pleased with it so they removed the video from youtube…im trying to find another embed code from a different site but am not having much luck so you’ll just have to do a little work and CLICK THIS LINK.

So amazing and so wrong….yet so right.

FYI I do not condone cooking by the book! Recipes are all about making them your own and creating your own fusion of flavors. So I think we can all learn from this video that if you do cook by the book, Lil John will bust into your kitchen, scream in your face and spray you with his lil frosting.

EDIT- LazyTown is none to pleased with this mashup so they are removing it from many sites….thankfully its still up on some! watch it before they catch it!

Cooking Mama: The Unauthorized PETA Edition.

This morning my friend pointed me in the direction of what may be the most ridiculous thing ever…

Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals

Basically the game has you making a delicious turkey dinner…but instead of sweet innocent mama you have A BLOOD THIRSTY HELL DEMON WITH BLOOD DRIPPING FROM HER ARMS AS SHE BUTCHERS INNOCENT TURKEYS! rawwwwr!

Once again PETA is trying their tactic of gross out and shock in order to convert people to veganism…only it doesnt quite work when its a brightly colored flash game. (which by the way the game sucks…its really hastily and poorly designed).

Im all for not eating meat…I was a vegetarian for 6 years and havent eaten any red meat in over 9 years..but come on PETA just cut it out and quit giving all vegetarians and vegans a bad name. You are just a parody of yourself at this point (especially after that Ben and Jerry’s boobie milk stunt) so please just slink off quietly into the good night while you still have some shred of dignity left.

I guess the other reason why I find this game so stupid is not only the blatant copyright infringement (countdown to lawsuit in 3….2…..) but the fact that I firmly believe all turkeys should die. Not because I think turkey is particularly tasty or anything, but because turkeys are the dumbest most annoying birds on the planet and contribute absolutely nothing. Someone show me how turkeys are vital to the cycle of life…really what do they do? Aside from humans not many animals eat them and they arent like keeping any species in a population check. Honestly I think if all turkeys disappeared the world would be unchanged aside from Thanksgiving. I guess its also because I have a bias…my old college had wild turkeys roaming around the campus and they would always run out in front of our cars and we would have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them. Then they would just sit in the road and flap their wings tying to fly (which if you’ve never seen a turkey try to fly, its the most pathetic thing on earth) instead of getting out of the way. They nearly caused so many accidents and made me late for class all the time, I didnt eat poultry back then and I still wanted to strangle them! Sorry about the rant but I just REALLY hate turkeys.

So in conclusion, PETA STFU seriously and enjoy your Majesco lawsuit!

Tapas Week pt 1

So I wrote this last week but incorrectly published it….so here is my original tapas blog from last Monday! Better late than never!

I cant even type the word tapas without salivating so last night when Cesar and I had to cancel our tapas dinner my tummy was devastated. However, it did give me the opportunity to try some tapas recipes of my own. For those that are wondering “WTF are tapas?!” they are traditionally a Spanish style of food which is comprised of many small plates from which the dinner chooses a few to make their whole meal. In the US and UK they have evolved into their own style of cuisine not necessarily Spanish in style. I love tapas especially for eating with friends because everyone shares their food and you are focused more on enjoying each other and the experience as opposed to your own plate of food. Also Im a sucker for appetizer snacky type food ;)

So last night I made some tapas of my own! Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas, Garlic Roasted Mushrooms, and a Sardline Lemon Salad. All were quite excellent if I do say so myself and since Im going to two parties this weekend Im making some more…so as I try more recipes I’ll post em up! Today I’ll start off with the Empanadas and Roasted Mushrooms.

The Garlic Roasted Mushrooms are the easiest so I’ll start off with those.

Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
Ingredients

Assorted mushrooms (button, oyster, shitake)

Garlic

Olive Oil

Rosemary

Salt and pepper

Water

Preheat the oven to 450. Gently wipe the mushrooms clean (dont wash them! wipe them with a towel!) and place them in a baking pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and fresh minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. You could also add other spices like oregano, thyme, or basil! Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated and pop them into the oven. Cook until they are brown (about 20 to 25 minutes). Remove from the oven and add a little water to the pan to soften the dried brown garlic bits and stir (it creates a nice little sauce). Serve immediately!

Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas

Ingredients

2 cups Cornmeal

2 cups Water

1 cup diced eggplant

1 cup diced red peppers

1 cup diced mushrooms (oyster or button)

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 cup onions

1/2 cup goat cheese

garlic

salt and pepper

cumin

In a bowl mix 2 cups cornmeal with some salt…slowly add warm water and mix with your hands until it is elasticy and sticky. you want it to be firm and pliable but not liquid like pancake batter. cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Cover the red peppers in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt…roast in a 450 degree oven until they are soft.

For the filling, use a saute pan to heat some vegetable oil and saute the onions, garlic, eggplant and mushrooms until the eggplant is soft. Add the red peppers and spices and give it a few quick tosses. Remove from heat and mix in the goat cheese and cilantro.

Take a ball of the dough and place it on a piece of plastic wrap and place another piece on top. Using a rolling pin or cup roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 5 inch cookie cutter or a cup make circles (going thru the top layer of plastic wrap). Pull of the plastic wrap and remove the excess dough from around the circles. spoon about a tablespoon of filling on each one filling only the lower half, use the plastic wrap to help fold over the top of each empanada. pinch it with your fingers to seal it shut.

Once you have your empanadas made, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pot or fryer. Drop and few in at a time and cook until golden brown then flip. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.

I served mine with a tequila lemon hot sauce…basically take any red chili hot sauce, add some tequila and lemon juice and ketchup then mix until its a nice consistency.

Hope you enjoy! I’ll post up a few more recipes to enjoy tomorrow!

Geek Gear: Museum of Modern…Appliances?!

Who knew that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art sold ridiculously chic and sleek kitchen and home gadgets?! And here I thought it was just Dutch Renaissance notepads! Well heres my wish list of gear from SF MoMA

Sorapot
sorapot
A sleek simplistic teapot that looks like a work of art. Swoooooon. Now if only I could justify dropping $200 on a teapot when I have a perfectly good $25 on on my stove.

Paradise Birds Salt and Pepper Shakers

I never thought I would see the day where I actually desired bird shaped salt and pepper shakers! Hell I never thought I would want any sort of decorative shakers because it seems like something my grandma would collect. But lo and behold, I want these innovative and cute shakers to sit aside my penguin set, my grandmothers vintage porcelain set and my 1UP mushroom set. To my boyfriend, Im sorry, I swear I wont start collecting doilies!

Drop Bottle Opener

This hopelessly chic bottle opener claims to be lightweight and ergonomic … I dont know it looks like you could bludgeon someone to death with it which makes it a multi use item! I love items with multiple uses!! I can open a beer and slay a burglar all in one swift motion!

Salad Servers Plant

Yet another kitchen item that I dont need but desperately want. I could only justify this purchase because they would match my 1UP mushroom salt and pepper shakers perfectly.

Cubix Lamp

Im not much of a lamp person but theres something about this that is so elegantly simple and comforting that I just love it….well either that or it just reminds me of Jenga.

To drool over and or purchase these items and more, head over to the SF MoMa shop.


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