Monday, June 27, 2011

Food Klepto

A quick lesson in how to steal dorm food:

1. Invest in ziplock bags and tupperwear.
2. Carry a bag that is easy to access, preferably a sling, or a large backpack. Depending on the items.
3. Collect the food on a plate, then transfer to container while at table.
4. Be cool.

Fruit is the easiest.
I've been making trail mix with dried bananas, walnuts, raisins and granola.
Vegetables are pretty easy too.

I'm going to graduate to warm food this week.
And perhaps ice cream.

I've also accepted a challenge:
To steal an entire tray of mashed potatoes, in one meal sitting, through the use of ziplock bags.

I'll keep you posted.
Or call you if I need someone to post bail.
Dorm Trail Mix- my down fall. 

Music wise- I've been listening to a lot of Gershwin, for my composition. Also some Old Crow Medicine Show (also for the composition, but that's all I can reveal, until we perform on Wednesday).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grown up Dorm Food?

For the next month, I'll be on the Skidmore College campus in Saratoga Springs NY, taking part in the SITI Company Summer Theatre Workshop. It's intense, but I'm so excited to live, breath and sleep theatre, train with some amazing people and solely do art for one month.

So what does this mean for KDP?
I'm still going to blog, but it'll be my dorm food creations. I'll be living on the campus and eating dorm food for the 1st time in over 6 years.
Last time I was here, I survived on ramen.
I'd like to think that I've grown up enough to avoid the ramen route (plus, I still can't even look at it without feeling sick), but there is a solid chance that chick pea salads will fill the ramen's shoes.
I'm going to blog about the Frankenstein dorm dishes that I throw together, any good scones I find and I'm keeping up to date with music, so keep an eye out for that.

And Mags and Val (and other contributors) will have to step it up on the home made food part. I'm not allowed a hot plate.

Music Arena:
I just went through a music buying binge.
I'm really into Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi's "Rome" with Jack White, Norah Jones and some of the musicians who recorded Ennio Morricone's  film scores. It's been a long time coming, but totally worth the wait. "Timeless" is a really good word for it.

Hobo Gourmet

Beach Parties!

When you live here, it's hard not to love them.

Hobo Moose/Vegetable packets on a campfire

Moose marinade:
3 Tbs Canola Oil
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Soy sauce
1 Tbs Chili-garlic sauce
2 gloves of garlic- minced
1 tsp pepper

-Mix it all together in a bag, put the moose meat in. Let sit (this one was soaking for 36 hours).

Potatoes, onions, spinach, zucchini, garlic, red peppers..

I put basil leaves, parsley, thyme, red pepper flakes and olive oil in with the veges.

To Prep:
Put meat/veges on a sheet of foil, cover with another sheet and make sure the edges are sealed/rolled up tight. Throw on the fire for a while, turning once. These went for 20-30 minutes, depending on how much attention I was paying.

Note- try not to breath in the aluminum oxide.
And tongs and hot pads are your friends.

Hobo in training

Here at KDP we do it right. Alex (other roommate of Val and Mags) has jerry-rigged a portable speaker system that attaches to his i-pod. There was the typical Daft Punk, Kayne, Gorillaz party mix.

In other music news, I'm currently obsessed with the new self-titled Bon Iver album, available on NPR First listen and dropping on June 21st. It's another one that's going in the "sit in a hammock and cry" mix, but it's good. Really good, even through the tears and gut punches.

There was also the ceremonial burning of the "Will Dance for Food" sign. I needed to clean out my car.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken? Dinner

Funny story.
I got some meat from Fiona (one of my fellow theatre interns). Her parents have a farm/hunt in Fairbanks, so because I have met the person that raised and killed the animals, I deemed the meat worthy.

So, Fiona gave me a bag of frozen chicken from their farm and at the time, I thought "I never knew chicken could grow so large. There must be something in the air up north?" These were some monstrous chicken legs, but I was told it was chicken and followed blindly.

It seems like everyone has been talking about adobo lately (There have been some end-of-night runs to the Valley Restaurant lately). So I decided to use my chicken to make some.
But I'd never had it before.
This was a true KDP experiment.

To make a not-so long story shorter: I drank wine, I made the chicken adobo, I tried the chicken adobo and realized it was turkey.
Looking at the photos, the only explanation I have is that I'm a dumbass. 

There was some tofu adobo thrown in the mix too, but I knew what that was from the get go.

Chicken/Turkey/Tofu Adobo
1 c soy sauce
1 c apple cider vinegar
2 c water
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp pepper
squirt of honey.
Chicken/turkey/tofu/a combo/whatever you have.

-A couple of hours before your going to cook it, brine the poultry.  It really helps to moisten the meat.
             Put some water and salt in a big bowl
             Lay the bird in the water, make sure the water covers it.
             Pat dry when done. The longer you can brine it, the better.

-Combine soy sauce, vingear, water, garlic, pepper and honey in a large skillet. Bring to a boil.
-Lay the chicken/turkey/whatever in a single layer in the skillet, drop the temp to medium low. Cover and cook for 30 mins, turning once.
-Preheat the broiler to high, lay the chicken/turkey/whatever on the pan and broil, close to the heat, 5 mins per side.
-Meanwhile, increase the temp on the pan with sauce to high and let reduce to about 1 cup.
-Serve with rice. Put the sauce over.

Mags states that "this is pretty close" to adobo. I don't think I like it.
I'm not really into soy sauce, and that's exactly what this tastes like. You'd think I would have figured that out looking at the recipe....

Music World:
Monagle had the music controls.
We listened to Fleetwood Mac.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Baking with Bacon!

No, I didn't give up on the no meat diet that fast.
Yes, I understand that buying industrial meat is the same as eating it.
But this was an exception.
I promised a colleague a bacon cake back in January when we were working on The Blue Bear at Perseverance Theatre, but time got away from me and I never followed through with the promise. So when he came back to town, the obligation was fulfilled.

I grew up Jewish, so bacon was the forbidden fruit of my childhood. So naturally, the rebel in me not only wants to always eat bacon, but use it in everything. My newest obsession has been to put it in baked goods.
So good. And So forbidden. 


It belongs there, trust me.

Maple-Gingerbread-Bacon/Pecan Cupcakes (heavily adapted from Bon Appetit)

Maple Coated Pecans
1/2 c pecan halves
1/4 c pure maple syrup
Coarse kosher salt

-Place foil on your work surface
-Mix syrup and nuts in a heavy skillet (don't use non-stick) over medium-high heat and bring to boil, tossing to coat. Cook until the syrup is dark amber and thickly coats the nuts, about 4 mins.
-Scrape nuts onto foil, with 2 forks, separate the nuts. Sprinkle with salt and cool until coating is hard, about 2 hour.

Caramelized Bacon (Pig Candy)
Bacon- about 7 slices
1/3c Brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

-Preheat oven to 350
-Cover a broiler pan with tin foil. Spray with Pam/oil.
-Mix the brown sugar and pepper in a bowl. Press both sides of  the bacon into the brown sugar mixture so it sticks. Sprinkle any remaining topping onto the pan.
-Bake bacon until crispy, about 30 mins.

Maple-Gingerbread Cupcakes
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 c crystallized ginger- chopped
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp maple extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
2 eggs
3/4 c hot water
2/3 c molasses

-Preheat oven to 350, put the paper things in a muffin pan.
- Combine the flour, 5 spice, soda and salt in a food processor. Add the ginger and blend until finely ground.
- In another bowl, beat the sugar, maple extract and butter until fluffy. Add in 1 egg at a time.
-In yet another bowl, stir the hot water and molasses.
-Beat the dry ingredients and molasses into the butter mixture, alternating between the dry and molasses.
-For bacon cupcakes- chop and fold in some candied bacon bits.
-For the vegetarian option (pecan)- chop and fold in some of the candied nuts.
-Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for about 20 mins. Cool on racks.

Maple Sugar Frosting
1 1/2 c chilled creme fraiche
1 1/2 c chilled heavy whipping cream
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp maple extract
6 Tbs powdered sugar

-Combine everything in a food processor. Whip until thick and stiff.

-Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and decorate with bacon chunks or pecans.
-Chill until ready to eat.


I don't think I've professed my love for Daft Punk yet, which surprises me, because I love me some french electronica. I challenge you, dear readers, to find an occasion where Daft Punk doesn't fit/ isn't the best option out there.  I may have a slightly unhealthy obsession with it (except the Tron soundtrack. I can't get behind that, most likely because I haven't seen the movie).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meat Free (sort of)

I am no longer eating meat. Again.

I've always been on the fence about being a vegetarian.
My mother has been once for my entire life and I'm starting to realize that I am becoming her.
I was vegan for a short time in university, but gave that up because I was really unhealthy about it and couldn't resist cheesy-goodness anymore.
I've also not eaten anything from the ocean for the past 4 years. I'm not a supporter of over-fishing and it's my small fight against that. I know that AK salmon is sustainable, but it's just easier for me keep one solid rule than make exceptions.  (Plus, I'll rule the world when you all die of mercury poisoning).

So, what prompted this new attempt? I just finished re-reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, which is a really horrifying inside look at factory farms, the meat industry and what stories we are passing on to our descendants by the food we eat. One of his arguments is that one cannot be an environmentalist and eat food from factory farms and I consider myself an environmentalist....

But, that doesn't mean I'm cutting meat out of my diet completely. What I am doing is only eating locally-killed game/family farm food. So for Juneau that means that I'm a vegetarian, though I do have some chicken and moose from a friend in Fairbanks and I'm ruling that fair game.

It's going to be rough in grilling season. Val (the unseen contributor to this blog and Mag's housewife) is BIG on grilling steak and takes it personally when someone doesn't consume steak, but she's also accommodating and created this for me a few nights ago.

 A grilled egg in a pepper with goat cheese. It's a wonderful vessel for Siracha. 

Things are about to get inventive here at Kitchen Dance Party. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ginger Pecan Scones

The time has come for me to stop eating other's scones and actually make my own........ here we go.

Ginger-Pecan Scones (adapted from Bon Appetit)

3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 c sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
12 Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) chilled butter, cut into cubes.
1 1/2 c pecan halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 c crystallized ginger- chopped
1 cup buttermilk
3 tsp fresh ginger- finely grated
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 Tbs buttermilk
1 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs crystallized ginger- chopped
2 tsp ground ginger

-Preheat oven to 425 (FYI- I usually toast nuts at 350....(that's what she said)). Put some parchment (or aluminum foil with a little oil) on a baking sheet.
- Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Add the butter. Using fingers or a pastry cutter, mix the butter with the flour mixture until is resembles a meal.
- Throw in the pecans and crystallized ginger, mix.
- Whisk buttermilk, grated ginger and vanilla in a separate bowl.
- Form a well in the flour mixture, pour the buttermilk into the well and stir with a fork until it's in moist clumps.
- Knead just until the dough comes together on a lightly floured surface.
- Form into a disc, cut into wedges, transfer to sheet.
- Brush with buttermilk, sprinkle sugar and ground ginger and press the crystallized ginger to the tops of the scones.
- Bake until golden, about 15 mins.

- Eat.

Things to try next time:
More ginger- all kinds.
Maybe stew some dates in brandy and add that... (melting pot strikes again).
I've often kneaded scones in powdered sugar. I didn't here because I was lacking in that department and didn't want to go to the store. I think it would make it a tad too sweet.
In the Valentines recipe search- I'm going to try bread flour next time and see if that makes them more crusty.

Finally had some time to sit down and listen to the new Deathcab for Cutie and Eddie Veder.

Deathcab- They do "deathcab" well and they did it again here. It's been done already. I would love to see them branch out a little more.

I'm not a huge Pearl Jam fan, but I'm digging solo Eddie Veder and a ukulele. I think I'm adding this disc to my "sit in a hammock, drink PBR, listen to sad songs (country, bluegrass, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, Vic Chesnutt, Bon Iver etc...) and cry" repertoire.