A Kitchen Day

Good morning, my friends. We're nearly halfway through this short month. Do you have any plans for Valentine's Day yet? I know...it's a dumb "holiday," but it's a good excuse for an evening out. Mike and I have a date tonight. There's a special Valentine's menu at one of our favorite downtown restaurants, and we're going out tonight for an early celebration.

There was no sewing yesterday. My wrist wanted me to take the day off, and it was probably just as well. I don't think I've had a day without sewing for a while. Of course, I still did my slow stitching. This was the Tiny Heart for Day 11. This one includes chain stitch, fly stitch, and cross stitch.

In yesterday's post, I warned you I was feeling like baking something. When I see a recipe online that I'd like to try, I first upload it to the Paprika app...which I love, by the way...and then I send it in an email to myself that I save in a folder labeled "Menu." The recipe for these Carrot Cake Cookies has been hanging out in that folder for quite a while...months. It seemed like it was time to give it a try. It's another from America's Test Kitchens. 

The most important thing about them is to use whole carrots, shredded in a food processor, and then mixed with a teaspoon of sugar and a half teaspoon of salt. They sit for half an hour. Then, they're wrapped up in a clean tea towel and the liquid is squeezed out of them. I was able to squeeze about half a cup of liquid from mine. From there, they're mixed up with the usual cookie stuff, some golden raisins, and some toasted walnuts, and into the oven they go. When they came from the oven, they looked like this:

At this point, they needed to cool before I mixed up and added a cream cheese frosting. I used the time to drive into town for an errand. When I got back, I mixed up the frosting and spread it on. Here they are finished and ready for eating. Yum. These are good.

I've linked to the recipe back there, but it's one you might not be able to open. I say this every time for anyone who's new here. You can always email me, and I'll be happy to send it to you. (Just one more reason I love the Paprika app. It's easy to share recipes.) 

Here's another one you might not be able to open, and so the same rules apply. Email me if you want this recipe for Slow Cooker Honey-Soy Braised Pork with Lime and Ginger. This was started in the slow-cooker early in the day for last night's dinner. It's a pork roast with plenty of ginger and garlic, and then a "sauce" is made using mostly soy sauce and honey. I took a picture of mine, but the one from the NYTimes is better and more appetizing.

(image credit: Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne)

I was using low-sodium soy sauce, but we still found this overly salty. I have two things to say about the salt overload. For one thing, I don't use a lot of salt in my cooking, and so my tolerance for it is low. But also, the recipe suggests using tamari. It's not something I keep on hand, but it is supposed to be less salty than soy sauce, and so I'd like to try it that way. 

The second thing I want to say about it is that I was supposed to have drizzled some fresh lime juice over the pork. I had the lime juice squeezed and stored in the refrigerator, but I completely forgot to add it. Also, I might have sprinkled some chives or cilantro over. Those things might have cut the salty taste had I remembered them. (Forgetting stuff at the end is my greatest kitchen faux pas.) In any case, I want to try this again. 

The NYTimes served theirs over rice. We've had rice several times this past week already, and so we had it over the suggested alternative of noodles last night, but I'd like to try putting it on a bun and eating it like pulled pork. I think we'd like it better that way. We had it with some roasted cauliflower, and it was good, but there is room for improvement on the pork. I haven't given up on it because it was very easy.

So that was my no-sewing day in the kitchen. My wrist is feeling better today, and so I'll get back to my quilting for sure today. No more excuses. I'm at a weird place in my assembly line of sewing projects. It feels too close to our trip to start on anything big, and yet, I don't have enough small projects to keep me busy. It might end up being a couple of weeks focused on slow-stitching, and that would be okay too. 

Right now, I'm heading back to the kitchen for breakfast. I'll get back to my sewing this afternoon.


Barbara said...

We love salt, fat and sugar. We're hard-wired to go for those flavors. They trip our dopamine networks, which are our craving networks. ~ Michael Pollan

Kate said...

Both recipes sound really good. Grad Girl made Snickerdoodle cheese cake for someone's birthday and it sounded really good too. I'm glad she's not living at home right now, I have a hard enough time loosing weight with My Guy's wonderful baking. Glad your wrist is much better. Happy stitching.

piecefulwendy said...

The Asian recipe sounds really good. The sodium content in some of the Asian recipes can really get up there, that's the one thing I dislike about those foods. The cookies look tasty, too!

Lyndsey said...

Mmmm those recipes sound good. Sometimes I find the soy sauce is very salty dependant on the brand. I don't cook with salt usually so folks add what they want at the table. In fact we get through very little salt in a year but a lot of pepper.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Happy (albeit now belated) Valentine's day to you and your beloved. We went out for breakfast the day before and last night when I got home from teaching the workshop RC had made me a heart-shaped little cake with ILU on top. Who says he's not a romantic?!!