July 16, 2011

Cinna-Man These Are Good!- Rolls

Saturday morning when we were growing up was reserved for cartoons and brunch; wether it's french toast or waffles or - our favorite - cinnamon rolls. In an effort to recapture our childhood while living in a dorm we've come up with a way to make Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls in the microwave. Even though we're calling this one "Store-bought Done Right" we didn't do anything special to these rolls- we were just excited they came out right (trust us... we've had our share of rock-hard, inedible rolls).

Cinnamon rolls + hungry chemists = love!
Butter the bottom of a tall, glass baking dish then arrange the rolls as far from each other as possible . We used a square pan but if you have a round one that will let the rolls climb up the side as they rise that one would be ideal. Nuke on 50% power for 5 minutes then let stand in the microwave for an additional 5 minutes. Take the metal top off the icing container and warm for 7 seconds. Spread the icing over you rolls and enjoy!

Cinnamon roll glamor shot
Since cinnamon rolls are yeast-risen they are tricky in the microwave. If you try to cook them on regular power the microwaves are too intense and will kill off the yeast too quickly leaving gummy, rock-hard rolls. That being said, when prepared this way the rolls aren't the softest on the planet but they're still pretty darn good! All in all if you have access to a conventional oven, use it.

Well that's all for now! Keep cooking and remember:

No kitchen, no problem!


July 14, 2011

"I Can't Believe It's Not Hogsmeade!" Butterbeer

In honor of the premier of the final installment in the Harry Potter series we're serving up a Three Broomsticks staple- butterbeer! The sweet, frothy drink is perfect on a cold winter's night or whenever you need a bit of magic in your life. We hope you enjoy it as much as everyone's favorite trio does.
Butterbeer: taking the phrase "buttery and delicious" to a whole new level since 1997
Ingredients: (for 2 servings)
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 butterscotch syrup
about 1 1/2 cups cream soda
1 Tbs honey

Nuke the honey, butterscotch, condensed milk, and butter in a heatproof cup for 1 minute. I find it easier to deal with the condensed milk and honey by spooning it out with a tablespoon (1/4 cup = 4 Tbs). Another helpful hint is to use nonstick spray on your cup/spoon. In a separate cup, heat the cream soda for 1 1/2 minutes. Divide your syrup mix into 2 mugs and carefully pour in the warm soda. Mix very gently so it stays frothy and delicious. Sip with your pumpkin pasties and chocolate frogs!

That's all for now! Everyone enjoy the movie and try not to bawl too hard when it's over (we know we will)! Keep cooking and remember:

No kitchen, no problem!


July 12, 2011

We Swear It's Gumbo!

Not jambalaya. We're guilty as charged - both of us kept confusing the name of this dish. But it's gumbo, not jambalaya, we promise! But hey, it's an honest mistake! Both gumbo and jambalaya originate from Louisiana, they both have similar ingredients, and they are both outrageously tasty! Our gumbo, like all other crockpot recipes, is super easy to make. Here's how it's done:
Gumbo? It should be called YUM-bo!

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oil
5 Tbs butter

3 celery stalks
1 white onion
1 green bell pepper
4 cups of H2O (well, we are chemists after all)
5 chicken bullion cubes
about 1 Tbs worcestershire
garlic salt salt, pepper, oregano to taste
1 lb saussage
2 chicken breasts
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 can of red beans
2 cups long grained rice
3 1/2 cups cooking liquid (water, stock, whatever)

The Gumbo:
First thing to do is to make the roux, the thickening agent for the sauce. Mix the flour, oil, and 2 Tbs of the butter and cook in the microwave for 15 seconds. Stir and heat again. Then add the remaining 3 Tbs of butter and heat as necessary until the mix is golden brown then add it to the crockpot. Dice the vegetables and put on top of the roux. Precook all your meats and cut them into bite-sized chunks and dump into the pot. Next add the water, worcestershire sauce, stewed tomatoes, beans, and the bullion. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

**Note** Gumbo is traditionally made with shrimp. Since we didn't really want Kate to go into anaphylactic shock, we left out the shellfish. If you want, add 1/2 lb of cooked, shelled, and deveined shrimp for a more authentic taste. Also okra is used as an additional thickening agent. However Madison has had an unfortunate aversion to okra (we blame awful school cafeteria food) so that too was forgone. If you wish to add okra, use 2 cups, sliced.

The Rice:
Pour the uncooked rice into a large, microwave safe dish then add the cooking liquid overtop of it. Keep in mind that rice expands 2 to 3 times its original size as it cooks so take care in selecting your cookware. Microwave for 30 minutes without stirring or until all the liquid is gone. Fluff with a fork and add salt to taste.

This gumbo recipe was inspired by the queen of southern cuisine: Paula Deen! Let's be honest, that woman could fry up a shoe and it would probably taste delicious. That being said this gumbo was wonderful. It's not too spicy so even lightweights can enjoy it. The inclusion of some red chili peppers or tabasco sauce would be an easy way to turn up the heat.

Well that's it for now! Keep cooking and remebmber:

No kitchen, no problem!


July 09, 2011

Microwave Crumble!

We know. Most of you out there are asking "What in the world is rhubarb and why is it in my dessert?!" Well if you ever see in in your local market you'll probably be seeing the trimmed stalks. It's the stuff that kinda looks like skinny red celery. It turns out that various parts of this vegetable are used as herbal medicines and remedies except for the large, triangle leaves which are poisonous. The most common use of rhubarb is what we're using it for here: in dessert. Pairing the strong, tart flavor of rhubarb with the fresh sweetness of strawberries is an award winning combination. Here's how we cooked up a strawberry rhubarb crumple in the microwave in less than 20 minutes!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
1/2 lb rhubarb stalks
1 lb strawberries
1 Tbs corn starch
2 Tbs granulated sugar
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
6 Tbs melted butter
2 1/2 cups of quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar
2 Tbs flour

Wash and cut the rhubarb and strawberries into 1 inch pieces. Toss with the corn starch and granulated sugar then pour the lemon juice over and set aside. Melt the butter and mush it into the brown sugar. Add the oats and the flour and mix well until it's crumbly. Sprinkle 2/3 of the topping over the fruit and set the rest aside. Nuke the topped fruit on high for 5 minutes then on 30% power for 10 minutes. Let stand in the microwave for 5 minutes to firm up. Top with the rest of the oat mixture and serve with whipped cream and/or ice cream.
Ready to present to neighbors
Any sort of fruit would work in this. And if we're being completely honest, the two of us would probably eat the topping all on its own and be perfectly happy. Four out of four chemists loved this crumble. If you made this for home economics class you would get an A+ (gotta love Old Greg) for sure.

Well that's all for now. Keep cooking and remember:

No kitchen, no problem!


July 08, 2011

Sweet Slaw

When I was little I loved coleslaw. When I was ten years old I found out that it was made out of cabbage. Cabbage! I couldn't believe it! How could an awful, smelly cabbage taste so good? Well it turns out that the secret's in the sauce. Here's a quick and easy recipe that will forever change the way you see the slaw.
Sweet Coleslaw
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup vinegar (we used apple cider)
1/2 cup of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 shredded cabbage
1 shredded carrot
the juice of 1/2 a lemon

For this recipe all you really need to do is mix the dressing then add the veggies. That's it. Yes, it's that simple. If you don't want to shred your own cabbage then one of those bagged coleslaw mixes will be fine. Don't go for the bottled dressing though - it's always better to make your own. This dish gets better as you let the ingredients sit together so we strongly suggest that you prepare it at least a day before you plan on eating it especially if you're bringing it to some sort of potluck picnic.

We hope you enjoy this slaw! It's good on hamburgers and (especially) hotdogs or just on its own. Keep cooking, friends, and remember:

No kitchen, no problem!


July 05, 2011

Hello All!

We hope everybody out there had a good 4th of July! We sure did... We were in New York for the weekend.
Us at Coney Island!
The good news is we went to the neighborhood farmers market and we came back with some fresh ingredients and ideas. Tune in the rest of the week to see what we cook up. See you then!