Sunday, February 27, 2011

Homemade Natto

The pressure cooker and the crockpot got to share the action this time. Cooked 4 cups soybeans in the pressure cooker, mixed it with one package of commercial natto, put it in a bowl covered with a damp napkin, placed it inside a dishcloth lined crockpot on the WARM setting, covered the lid with a slight opening so it doesn't get too hot, and a day and a half later... natto!

And then I let it chill in the fridge overnight and scooped about two tablespoons each into a muffin tin and froze them to make individual servings. Started with four cups dried soybeans, made 34 servings.

My Latest Toy

Times have definitely changed... choosing to spend my x-mas money on a kitchen appliance??? The younger me would of never guessed... I had been wanting a pressure cooker for some time now but wasn't sure if the return was worth the investment. The one I wanted was $100 and with that kind of money there are surely many other things I could get. But the time in my life where being healthy was becoming a priority has come and so I splurged.
This thing was a lot bigger than I expected, I went to the store to buy one but they were no longer carrying it in-store so I had to get it off their website so I had no clue of its size till the day it showed up at my doorstep. My rice cooker is a 10-cup one, looks so small in comparison!
Immediately that day I cooked some brown rice for that was the main reason I got this thing. It came with a recipe booklet but I chose to follow the rice/water ratio from a Japanese food webblog and was glad I did. Came out pretty good. The next day I tried some beans, presoaked them overnight even though I knew this step could be by-passed. Old habits are hard to break... The beans ended up being overcooked, but still edible. Cooked in under 30 minutes, not days like it usually take since I live at high altitude. Also tried making some beef stew with some cheap meat. They came out oh-so-tender. I think my meat-eating members of the family were pleased. It had been at least two years since my last beef stew. I think the pressure cooker will mainly be to cook brown rice, good for the family and even for Marmu, the dog. I have a pressure cooking book on hold at the library I am looking forward to reading and experimenting with.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I was having one of those days where I wasn't home all day and I hadn't pulled anything out of the freezer but still needed to make dinner. So I made a frittata. It was one of those very quick and easy dishes that taste real good. I couldn't really tell you how I made it because I combined what sounded good from three different recipes. But it had potatoes, onions, spinach, cilantro, tomatoes, and colby jack cheese in it. It was delicious.

Banana Cream Pie

I've been craving banana cream pie for some time now and finally got around to making it. I cheated a little, used frozen pie crust (which cracked during baking... :( ), vanilla pudding packs, bananas, and whipped cream. I've tried using instant pudding in the past and just didn't like the taste. I've never made homemade vanilla pudding before but knew these pudding cups weren't bad so I used those instead. Baked the crust, spread two pudding cups on the bottom, layered some sliced bananas, and then spread two more pudding cups on top of that.

I didn't want to use canned whipped cream nor Cool Whip (don't really care of the taste) so I whipped up my own whipped cream following this recipe from called Stabilized Whipped Cream. I used powdered sugar instead and added a little more sugar cuz I didn't think it was quite sweet enough. It made just enough to top the pie and make little mounds. BTW... this whipped cream was sooooo good. Decorated it with some blueberries and whola, a beautiful pie. It tasted fresh without being too sweet, very yummy. ^_^