Saturday, December 5, 2009

This Year's Gingerbread House

I love food art. For that reason I have always wanted to build a gingerbread house. So this year we tried our hand at it for the first time.

Using the King Arthur instructions (available of the internet) as a guide, we built quite a successful first attempt. The stained glass windows are melted candies, the snow coconut, the roof tiles frosted mini wheats. The entire structure is edible, from the homemade gingerbread foundation to the cotton candy smoke from the chimney and the fruit roll up shudders.

Next year I hope to try for something a little more grandiose and artistic.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crispy Rice, Egg, and some Vegetables, what could be better?

I love Korean food. Especially bibimbop. The crispy rice and rich egg yolk are so delightful and comforting, it's like macaroni and cheese but with more flavor.

So I've had a bibimbop recipe from The New York Times hanging on my refrigerator for about six months, just waiting for travel that would allow me to buy the right ingredients. On a recent trip to Atlanta I was able to find the daikon radish, shiitake mushrooms, and a couple other choice ingredients.

Upon returning home I anxiously began cooking. And let me say, though bibimbop seems like a pretty simple collection of rice and vegetables, its preparation (at least this recipe) was more time-consuming than you may realize. Many of the vegetables were julienned. That is a cut with which I am inexperienced, and therefore takes me more time than others. Then each vegetable is cooked separately before being combined.

The Times recipe did not have an egg atop it, but I have always seen it that way, and feel it is requisite to the dish's yumminess, so I added the egg. And the answer to the title question: nothing.