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Archive for January, 2009

January 25 will go down in history as one of the greatest days of our lives (according to Amanda, Christina, and Emily). After a semi productive morning, we braved the cold and ventured out for some breakfast. We were blissfully reminded that sunday morning means the wonderful farmer’s market outside of our dorm and decided to scout it out on the way to seek food. Upon arriving at the corner stand, when what to our wondering eyes may appear, two of the most perfect creatures ever created: tucked tightly into the corner of the booth, under two bright heat lamps, lay two three-day old baby goats. After cuddling and loving our lives for the next few minutes avec le bebe chevres, onto breakfast we went.

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Due to our recent obsession with onions, we split an omelette of onions, potatoes, and chives. After an unfortunate incident, we got our meal for free. Gleefully skipping to West Side Market after our $4 brunch, we decided to invite our chinese-food-loving friend, Daniel Mohrer, to not only dine with us later that evening, but to partake in our culinary quest to trump the local asian eateries. Our mission: scallion pancakes followed by golden cock noodles, tofu and veggies coated in a lovely peanut sauce.

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We set our sous chef dan dan to work washing, peeling, and chopping carrots, zucchini and broccoli, while we prepared to conquer scal pans. Stina wrestled with the sticky dough, while amanda whipped up the peanut sauce. Before we knew it, we had sizzling scallion pancakes that our sous chef/scallion pancake enthusiast was flipping like a pro. As we devoured the pancakes and concoted various dipping sauces, we began to saute the veggies and tofu. We added the peanut sauce to the veggies while the noodles boiled for a quick two minutes. Once the veggies were done we added the noodles to the pan and let everything sit and simmer for another minute. Despite the fact that we all claimed to be full, we filled our bowls and dug in. Dan even had seconds, obviously.

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Scallion Pancakes

2 cups flour, plus extra as needed
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
canola oil

Combine the flour and boiling water, stir with a wooden spoon and then knead with your hands once it has cooled down enough. Form the dough into a ball and cover it with a damp paper towel for 15 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about 1/4″ thickness and add the scallions and brush with sesame oil. Knead the dough so that the scallions and oil are incorporated then roll it into a large ball again and split into four smaller balls. Flatten each ball into a pancake and fry in a thin layer of canola oil until it has browned. Remove from the heat, slice, and eat!

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Peanut Sauce:

Peanut sauce is relatively subjective, and so all of the measurements are approximations.  Here is a basic recipe to work off of, but it’s important to keep trying it along the way.

1/3 cup peanut butter (natural, no sugar added kind)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup coconut milk or water
1/4 cup water
Red chili flake to taste
1 clove of crushed garlic
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar

Other possible extra additions:
sesame oil
shallots sauteed in oil till brown
fish sauce
curry paste

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl with a wisk, and put the water in last.  Pour the mixture into a saucepan and stir over medium heat.  Let it thicken and bubble.  Taste test the sauce and add some of the extra ingredients if you desire.

While making the sauce, begin to sautee the chopped vegetables in a little bit of oil in a large frying pan and put a pot of water on to boil.  After the vegetables have sauteed for about ten minutes, add the peanut sauce to the frying pan and let it simmer with the veggies for another ten or so minutes.  Once the water comes to a boil, add the noodles and cook for two to three minutes. Strain the noodles, then add them to the frying pan with the vegetables and sauce. Stir everything together and serve immedietly.

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Playing with Quinoa

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So perhaps I was a little overzealous with the amount of quinoa that I cooked for our Quinoa bowls last week because I was left with a giant tupperware of leftover quinoa that I have been picking at for days. I did a little bit of research and came up with the following concoction…

1/8 cup of unsalted butter, melted
zest and juice from one lemon
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 corn on the cobs, cooked and cut off the cob (is this what these are called?!)

I basically added the lemon zest and juice, honey, salt and pepper to the melted butter and stirred to combine. I threw the mixture in the quinoa tupperware, added the scallions and corn and shook the tupperware like it was my job. Added a little more salt and pepper and voila! Yum.

-Amanda

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Bananananana

BananaBreadAfter 11am wake-ups and a lazy morning, Amanda headed to ballet class while Christina ran some errands. The browning bananas on our counter were begging to be squished and mushed and made into a warm loaf of banana bread. We argued for a minute about the possible inclusion of chocolate chips (A voted nay, C voted yay) and ended agreeing to one-and-a-half the recipe and make two smaller loaves (plus three muffins with the extra batter.) After a run in Riverside Park we returned home to warm banana bread that made us forget all about our cold hands and runny noses.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Cream together butter and sugar then add the eggs. Slowly add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined. Add the banana, sour cream and vanilla then stir in some chocolate chips. Bake for about an hour and ten minutes and allow it to cool before feasting on it.

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Io Sono Quinoa

During our most recent trip to Fairway we picked up a bunch of asparagus, some new potatoes (that’s what they were, google it if you don’t believe us), three white onions and a big purple box of Quinoa. Amanda had been dreaming of quinoa ever since her sister introduced her to the so-called “mother grain” of the Incas and had recently come across an amazing recipe for a Quinoa bowl that she couldn’t get out of her head. Our tummies rumbled as we sat in our last class of the day, Intensive Elementary Italian. Between the “io sono’s” and the “di dove sei’s” we plotted our quinoa feast. As the clock struck 8pm we raced home and promptly began to feverishly slice and dice. Twenty minutes later we had a steaming bowl of quinoa topped with steamed asparagus and sauteed potatoes and onion. Five minutes after that our tummies stopped rumbling.

2 cups quinoa

1 small white onion, diced

5-6 new potatoes, diced

1 cup asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch segments

salt, pepper and olive oil

Combine 4 cups of water with 2 cups of quinoa. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed the excess water and has opened up slightly. While the quinoa is simmering, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the tatoes so that they’re coated in olive oil then cover the pan for 4-5 minutes. Add the onions to the potatoes and leave the pan uncovered as they saute. Steam the asparagus spears and set aside. Once the quinoa has finished, spoon it into bowls and top with the asparagus, potatoes and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!Quinoa & Friends

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Welcome!

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After months of anticipation, January 20th, 2009 has finally arrived. Christina was racing between our warm living room and the festivities happening on campus (live projection on a jumbotron and free hot chocolate courtesy of PrezBo) while an interning Amanda compulsively refreshed Daily Intel’s live blog coverage in true Blair Waldorf style (“REFRESH!” if you don’t get the reference shame on you!). We both wore our DeerDana Barack tees, obvi. (get yours here!!)

Obama’s speech left me, Amanda, with goosebumps (perhaps partially due to the open window I was standing next to as I hovered next to a co-worker’s computer but shh!) and with a newly charged desire to finally bring Saucy into the world. Though arguably less monumental than the swearing-in of our 44th President, the long-anticipated launch of Saucy is exciting nonetheless.

And so here we are, presenting you with our newest love-child, Saucy.

We thought it best to briefly introduce ourselves. We met in September 2001 as freshmen in high school. Christina was probably sporting a three-quarter length plaid button-up shirt while Amanda may have been working it in khaki cargo pants from GapKids.  So we were awkward, but that’s what you’re supposed to be freshman year in high school so back off. Now we are seniors at Columbia University and two of five (sometimes six) girls living together in Cuddlegan, an on-campus apartment that bursts with roomie love. Despite what it may lack in square-footage, counter space, fancy appliances and organization, our kitchen is our playground. Throughout our friendship, we both have been interested in food and entertaining, but it was not until we actually moved in together that our forces truly combined (think Captain Planet) to create a haven for cooking and baking

We’re extremely prone to dance-like-nobody-is-watching dance parties that include lots of eye-closing, knee-bending, and spastic arm movements. We often munch on goldfish and Christina is to chocolate milk and lemonade what Amanda is to iced skim lattes and grapefruit juice (obsessed). We love Michael’s Pasta at Pisticci and are currently engaged in a steamy love affair with P&W Sandwich Shop. We share a common love for fresh whole wheat pasta and roasted vegetables but we’ve got big plans for this blog and the various cookbooks that Santa brought us have been tirelessly paged through and marked. Add that to our own personal culinary dreams and desires and you’ve got yourself the beginning of a beautiful newborn baby blog.

We are basically the (self-proclaimed) Serena and Blair of the real world. Tall blonde with sass? Check. Short brunette with attitude? Check. Christina has mastered the Serena-smirk and Amanda does a pretty mean Blair-glare. Instead of the Upper East, we strut our stuff all over the Upper West, our reusable grocery bags weighed down with organic skim milk, cage-free eggs, colorful carrots and mini chocolate chips. So maybe we’re not true Gossip Girls because there’s no Dorota in sight but you know you love us anyway.

In his address Barack urged us to find a “willingness to find meaning in something greater than ourselves” and we hope that we will do just that during the culinary adventure we are about to embark on.

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