Monday, December 21, 2015

An Update, after forever

Hello, non-existent readers.

That's not a slight on you, if you readers are indeed existent. (Or, I don't know, maybe you enjoy existential crises. If so, you might be an English PhD student like me.)

That's right. You read that parenthetical comment correctly: since the last time I updated this blog, I have graduated from undergrad at Cornell, and am now selling my soul to the devil working away at my second year of grad school life in the English PhD program at Emory University. All those hours procrastinating while I was supposed to be studying for the GREs and which were actually spent watching TV and baking have paid off, it would seem (if three hour seminars on literary theory and posthumanism and crime fiction and feminist theory are your kind of thing).

Roasted fingerling potatoes (multi-colored!) & broccoli (curried!), but most importantly: Sarah Manning

Let's cut to the chase though: I am a terrible blogger.

Raspberry muffins: made with this blueberry muffin recipe, substituting raspberries instead
It's true. You can say it. I really am.

The last time I updated was more than two years ago. No goodbye, no apologies... nothing. I just up and went. Can we blame it on the grad school applications? Well, not really, since I didn't take the GREs until the September of that fateful year (2013) and then the Literature Subject GRE in October and then applications in December and January... and then the last year of undergrad.

Ah, those days... the sandwiches from Temple of Zeus I remember fondly; the GREs, not so much.
But then there was a whole summer of doing absolutely. nothing. zero. zilch.

I learned to cook, added more baking recipes to my arsenal, and still. Crickets.

I never touched this blog.

How naive was I back then in the summer of '69 2013, when I thought that I could properly maintain a quality food blog? So so naive.

Fruit-infused vodka (12, 3, 4), and also see: fruit-vodka lychee-juice cocktail.
Grad school has made me slightly less so. (Grad school has also driven me to drink... but seriously, my fruit-infused vodkas are so. damn. good.) So... this is  not a promise that I will update this blog frequently, or even at all. But: I am going to go through comments and reply to the few that you lovely souls have left on my posts, and we'll see where we go from there.

Popovers, perfected!
I can minimally cook now (and even on a grad school stipend!), and I've perfected some of my old recipes (see popovers above and below), so maybe, just maybe, one day I'll find the time and willpower to update once more.

When your popovers are more photogenic than you are.

Until then, here is a link to my Instagram (username: @airplangs), where I mostly post photos of food I eat and occasionally even food that I've cooked. Me! I can cook! (When I'm not being lazy/too stressed out to eat anything other than potato chips and bread.) I've even come up with my own concoctions, like the mini latticed blueberry pies (shown below), roasted potatoes and curried broccoli (pictured above, with the Orphan Black picture because oh god yes, that show gives me LIFE), and other easy/healthy one-person dishes, so hopefully (maybe this winter break! Or more likely, next summer break) I will get my butt back into gear and post some recipes for you!

Mini blueberry pies, made with crescent dough, and accompanied by Oryx and Crake

Ever yours in procrastination,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Easy Blueberry Muffins

I think I spoke too soon.

It is even hotter than it was before. 102°F. 102°F. Ahhhhhhhh!

And yet, I decided that today was the perfect day to whip up my second batch of blueberry muffins in the span of a week.

Still perfect. Still delicious.

Still dying in the heat.

But still worth it. Oh yes. These muffins are so good.

The recipe, which is almost identical to the one my mom and I used to use but couldn't find anymore, is from here. Yields 12 muffins.

And those 12 muffins go quickly.

- 1 (large) egg
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup blueberries

Preheat your oven to 400°F and either line 12 muffin-tin cups with paper liners or spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray. (I like how the ones without paper liners get nice golden sides, but the ones with paper liners are much easier to get out of the tins.)

In a small or medium mixing bowl, beat the egg until foamy. (I don't think it matters how foamy it is, but beating until foamy should make the cupcakes slightly lighter.)

Beat in the oil and milk.

In a separate, large mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt).

Stir in the blueberries. I used slightly over 1 cup because I mean, come on- the more blueberries, the merrier!

(In the past, I have waited until after adding the wet ingredients to add the blueberries, but I'm guessing that putting them in before yields blueberries that burst open while baking, which is deliciously awesome.)

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients.

Incorporate the wet into dry ingredients fully. (Original recipe suggests only mixing for 25 to 30 strokes, but I don't think this matters very much.)

Fill the cups in your muffin pan(s), filling each muffin cup slightly more than half-full. (I forgot to take a photo the first time, so these are from the second time I made them this week!)

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until muffins are golden-brown and the centers test done with a toothpick.

Loosen the sides of each muffin with a spatula or toothpick and turn them out to cool.

These taste best when still warm, but the ones I didn't immediately devour were inhaled for breakfast the next day.

I'm going to say it: blueberry muffins are the best muffins.

Unf. So so good.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Idea #3: Quick-Pickled Radishes

Okay, I'll fess up. The real reason I wanted to buy radishes? Everyone was taking photos of them on instagram, and I got jealous!

They are so pretty. (Look: I even made you some radish art! Haha.)

But in truth, I don't even really like radishes all that much... unless they're pickled. Quick-pickled, just like the quick-pickled cucumbers I posted about a few days ago.

Pickling removes that astringent bite that some radishes have, and adds a nice flavor! True, the glorious pink colour becomes a little less pronounced, but they are still beautiful, and in my opinion, infinitely more delicious.

As the weather has cooled down a bit this weekend, I think this will be the last of the "summer idea" posts for a little while (although next week is looking to be very hot again) but don't worry! I made some delicious blueberry muffins yesterday, and luckily I took photos before they all got devoured!

Onto the radishes!


- small radishes
- dark rice vinegar
- sesame oil
- pinch of sugar
- pinch of salt
- optional: Korean spice (red pepper powder)

Wash and slice up the radishes into halves or quarter-pieces. Don't cut them too small, otherwise they might get soggy depending on how long you choose to let them pickle. (Also, the larger pieces are prettier, in my opinion.)

Place the pieces of radishes in a bowl and add salt. (I'd say that this is about 1 tsp.)

Cover the salted radishes with a plate and place a cup or heavy object on top, to help drain the radishes of excess water. Let it sit for at least half an hour.

Add in the dark rice vinegar (again, I have to approximate since I didn't measure out the amounts, but I'd start with 1 tsp and taste before adjusting), followed by some sesame oil (approx. 1 tsp).

Add in some sugar. These can take more sugar than the cucumbers did, so maybe 1 to 1½ tsp sugar.

Sprinkle in some Korean red pepper flakes, if you so choose. This particular spice powder isn't too spicy and it has a nice depth to it that balances out the sharpness of the radishes. (I swear I'm not trying to be pretentious, but that's the only way I can think of describing it!)

Taste, and add more rice vinegar or sugar if desired.

Let the radishes marinate for at least half an hour, although my mom has let them sit overnight in the fridge in the past, and they were very delicious. But if you're impatient like me, somewhere between half an hour and 1 hour should suffice.

Voila! Quick-pickled radishes!