Category Archives: MC Casual NoshStyles

So you want to live alone and not starve…

I am sitting around waiting for my crustless quiche to come out of the oven.  I recently learned how to make it, and it’s so easy that I can cook it without looking at a recipe.  So to celebrate, here is my list of off-the-top-of-my-head-without-recipe dishes (probably more for my benefit than yours):

  • Gluten-free pancakes and bacon: For every 1 egg, add 1/3 cup coconut milk and 1/3 cup of almond meal.  You can add salt if you’re my friend Monica.  Ladle batter into skillet with bacon grease or coconut oil.  Cook bacon.
  • A really bitchin’ Thai curry: It has to be amazing because I don’t even like the word “bitchin'” that much.  1-1.5 tsp curry paste, chicken broth, coconut cream, crushed tomatoes, snow peas, chicken, carrots, whatever else you want in there.  Sautee curry paste with a little water for 2 minutes or so, add some broth, then add chicken.  Cover pan with a lid.  Once chicken is cooked, add vegetables, and when it is almost done, add the coconut cream.
  • Curried [vegetable matter on hand]: Steam cauliflower, turnips, parsnips, whatever you have around, then add ghee or coconut oil to a hot skillet, throw in some curry powder and cayenne, then heat the veggies and coat with the oil/spice mix.
  • Ground bison: This sounds weird but it’s delicious: throw in a pack of ground bison meat, add tons of curry powder, paprika, and cayenne and pepper and whatever else you can find.  While it cooks, drizzle some sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds.  Eat out of skillet because you are starving.
  • Sweet potato fries: Cut up some sweet potatoes.  Put them on a baking tray and douse in olive oil, paprika, cayenne, curry powder.  Bake until they’re crispy.
  • Butternut squash: Cube your squash, then add olive oil liberally, sprinkle with tons of ras el hanout and salt.  Bake until soft all the way through–nothing is grosser than raw squash.
  • Steak: Easy: get steak out of packaging, drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Cut up a clove or two of garlic and sprinkle it on, broil until it’s cooked to your satisfaction.
  • Brussels sprouts: Halve sprouts, sautee face-down in bacon/duck fat until golden brown.  Shave Parmesan over top.  Traditionally consumed while watching Criminal Minds on laptop.
  • Crustless quiche: For every one egg, add 1/3 cup of milk, cream, or both.  Shave nutmeg into mixture, whisk.  Add salt and pepper.  In your baking dish, arrange gruyere and bacon and pour egg mixture over.  Bake for 20-30 minutes at 300.

So there’s nothing gourmet up there, but it’s all pretty damn healthy.  I was going into this post thinking I had maybe 4 dishes under my belt, but it turns out I can actually cook more than I thought I could.

Guest posting

Today I did a guest post on my limoncello over at Friends and Hammers. Check it out!

Spring fever

Not to brag, you guys, but I’m having a pretty good day so far.  I don’t have work today–which helps–so I slept in until 11.  Then I had the best breakfast ever.

breakfast this morning

Strawberries and cream, toast with butter, two kinds of soft cheese, and my already-mixed Cafe viennois, paired with a free issue of Harper’s that I was sent for being a former subscriber. I have to say: that’s a really effective marketing strategy. I’d been thinking about renewing anyway, and I was so happy to see an issue that I think I’ll pull that proverbial trigger.

Because of quite a few factors that I don’t feel like getting into until things settle down, I’ve decided that the credo du jour (de la semaine?) stems from the Beastie Boys, of all people: No time like the present to work shit out.

This means: spring cleaning, extensive wardrobe culling, storage of seasonal clothing, mass genocide of extraneous papers via recycle bin and shredder, much more of a minimalist approach to my belongings, and organizing my thoughts about what I want to happen in the next year or two. I’m also giving a lot of thought to what I want to do in my free time, of which I do have an atypical surfeit recently. There is going to be a lot of prioritizing that goes on here.

I took a break from all the Serious Bizness TM to tend to alcohol-related matters, with the end result looking like this:

they call me mrs. limoncello

In about a week, I’ll get to taste my limoncello (!), and then you should expect a post about how to make it. I am definitely excited for this.

Anyway, I should get back to what I was doing, since my room is in a state of massive upheaval while I sort everything. It’s hard to walk in here, and I can’t see my desk. This must change.

Officially an obsession

Atlanta is not exactly known for its authentic Chinese food, which is really kind of sad, since this city generally adheres to a pretty high standard of culinary excellence.  This is especially sad for me because I’ve gotten more and more into Chinese as I learn to block the horrors of my summer camp’s “stir fry” (which, to me, represented for years everything that China had to offer me culinarily) out of my active consciousness.

If summer camp was the dark before the light–and years of “Asian fusion” were the rising action, and a summer in Vancouver provided a momentary peak with a single plate of dumplings, and if I was temporarily set back to almost summer camp levels by Chopsticks, the “Chinese” restaurant in Williamstown–then the highlight up until about three weeks ago would be my trip to Toronto with Dan back in May.  I don’t think I was ever hungry in Toronto because I was trying to sample everything that was offered to me by his grandpa.

only a fraction of what we had to eat that morning

Anyway, I had all but given up hope that I would find good Chinese food in this city, Cantonese or otherwise–which is why I’m happy that a series of factors lined up in my favor; indeed, the Fates have smiled upon me and decided to give me good Chinese ITP.*  As it turns out, a peripatetic Sichuan legend has settled in Atlanta for the time being, and both of my parents read articles about him independently of one another.  When they realized that they had both heard of this Peter Chang guy, it was quickly concluded that we all had to go there.

Cheng or Chang? the debate rages on

So I’ve been there three times within two and a half weeks.  Does that qualify as an obsession yet?  I went twice with my family, and last night I introduced it to A.Sals and J1 and J2 (new to the blog).  I’ve gotten something different every time, which is basically unheard of in Casual NoshStyles land.  Yes, it’s that good.

Chang is known for his “hot and numbing” combinations, but it seems like he’s pretty good at everything he tries.  The soup dumplings are really delicate, and even the lowly scallion pancake is jazzed up with air and some curry sauce.  Last night, we decided to order 5 main dishes and share them around, and that was a great call: we got to try a lot more of his cooking styles that way, since we ordered one of every category on the menu (Sichuan, local, chef’s specialty, American-style).

Mama BlogStyles gingerly eats a soup dumpling

hot and numbing beef roll

Js 1 & 2

the only way to show how full our table was

I’m trying to eat here as much as possible before he decides to leave town (and before I do too).  I will never get enough hot and numbing beef.  You heard it here first.

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* ITP = Inside The Perimeter, a criterion which is very important to other people ITP, and not important to those OTP.