Archive for July, 2010


I got the recipe from the Betty Crocker website.  First thing I thought was OOOH that looks so good.  Second thing, why did they use peanuts instead of walnuts?

Therefor, I waited until I could get to the store and buy walnuts before I made them.

Let me say this: I am not a wimp when it comes to rich foods.  I love ‘em.  A little too much, perhaps.  But this right here…it’s borderline death.  Mostly because of the 4 cups of powdered sugar used just for the filling.  Really good, but really, really sweet and rich.

It was like someone took the best parts of a maple bar and shoveled it onto a brownie.  Maybe with a backhoe or something.

Here’s what I ended up with:

Verdict: good stuff, but if I were to make them again, I’d make some modifications.

I’d decrease the amount of filling.  There has got to be a better way than using 4 cups of sugar to make it thick, I just have to figure it out.

I’d probably make it in a 9×9 pan or a regular brownie pan, instead of the 9×13 it calls for.  Even with a reduced amount of filling, I think it sort of overwhelms the chocolaty happiness of the brownies.

I’d stick with walnuts.  Save the peanuts for…dunno, squirrels or something.

But overall, not a bad brownie.

I don’t know what to call this, but damn, it turned out so good. It was sort of like Spanish rice, but I don’t want anyone smacking me for calling it that.

Here’s what it was:

Brown rice in the rice cooker. Water to the first knuckle. Added a can of diced, stewed tomatoes (non-seasoned). Added a tablespoon or so of fresh minced garlic (thank you, Sunrise!) Added both of these:
Pico & Carne

Put the cover on, pushed the button. If you read my last post, you’ll see that I have a very very basic, small rice cooker. So of course, some of the liquid burbled out over the top.

While that was cooking, I took some pork parts…basically a package of odd pieces I got at the grocery for cheap. Sliced them all about 1/2 an inch, poured on a little olive oil and the seasonings shown above, as well as a ton of fresh ground pepper. Let that sit for a while.

When the rice cooker popped, I left it sitting on Warm while I cooked the meat and tossed one of those steam-in-the-bag packages of corn in the microwave. The meat I cooked pretty high, since it wasn’t cut thick. I wanted it seared a bit, and it turned out great. I guess there’s enough sugar in the seasonings I used that it caramelized just a bit. When that was ready, I turned to the rice.

Into a big bowl went about half the rice, the corn and a small can of sliced olives. mix mix mix. A dollop of sour cream for me, but the roommate had it without and though it was damn good. Served up with the meat, it was one hell of a meal.

And since it was mostly cooked in the rice cooker, it didn’t heat the house overly much.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to duplicate it exactly again, but I hope so. I’m eating the leftovers today, and it might actually be better. The meat sat on the rice in the fridge, so it’s all sort of blended together. Really good.

Go eat.

on July 11, 2010 in Shiny Things | No Comments »

My new favorite thing, especially in the heat of summer, is to make dinner in the rice cooker. My roommate looks askance at me for it, to him a rice cooker is for cooking rice.

But you know what? You can take a box of Zatarain’s, put it in the rice cooker with an extra cup of brown rice and enough water to cover your first knuckle when resting the tip of your finger on the top of the rice, push the button. Tonight I added a half-pound of sliced kielbasa, and there’s your dinner.

I’m reading now that you can make all sorts of other things with them.   An older article in the NY Times introduced me to the concept of using a rice cooker as a sole cooking surface.  It’s apparently common in hotter climates, where using a stove or oven would make heat unbearable.

Like right now, here.  So I’m thinking, as soon as is financially feasible, I’m going to be investing in a new rice cooker.  The one we have is a little 4-cup, single-button guy.  Perfect for what I’ve been doing so far, but I could do so much more…

I’ll be choosing from here, most likely:

Choose your own adventure