The Virgin Stove

Making everything for the first time

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Tomato, Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta

If Rachael Ray has a You-Won’t-Be-Single-For-Long pasta, I took the next step and made sure the cook will be married by morning. 😀 J/K. This is something that I threw together while Dad and I just arrived and were both hungry. I just came from the gym and my legs were screaming bloody murder. If you like to eat as much as I do, a little maintenance is a must. So, while Dad was doing the dishes, I offered to cook pasta because I don’t think I can eat chicken again for the nth time this week.

The spinach pasta cooks so fast. And make sure it’s al dente, not soggy. I wanted to make it completely vegetarian but that might make Dad a little sad so I added a little shrimp to taste. It’s invented and hurried but it’s surprisingly yummy so I decided to share it.

There isn’t really much more to say so I’ll go straight to the recipe. Read more of this post

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve been wanting to try the pumpkin rolls from The Kitchn ever since I saw the recipe last week. I’ve never made bread before and I figured I may as well start with yummy cinnamon rolls with a vegetable mixed in.

I had a lot of time in my other kitchen (I live in 2 apartments) after I did the laundry. I didn’t have pumpkin so I used butternut squash. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree but I don’t think we have that in Saudi Arabia, or at least not where I go food shopping, so I just peeled, chopped, boiled and pureed the squash. I wished I had roasted pecans but I would have to add that the next time I make this. The amount of butter and sugar required to make this made me feel guilty so I substituted around half of of the flour with whole-wheat flour and added a bit more squash.

There was a minor incident with regard to the yeast. I used active dry yeast and though I’ve seen my mom use this ingredient so often in the past, I never paid attention. After one hour, the dough refused to rise as promised so I Skyped my mother and asked her.

Mom: Did you use lukwarm water?
Me: Er… very hot water.
Mom: You killed the yeast! It’s ok, the dough can be salvaged. Just add the yeast again. Mix it in a cup of lukewarm water first and if it rises in the cup, work it into your dough.

I did exactly what she said, added more whole-wheat flour, and covered the dough. I had enough time to go to the gym and clean up. After an hour an half, the dough had doubled. The rolling pin was in my other kitchen so I just beat the dough with my well-floured fists into a rectangle over a clean, floured counter. I thought 2 tablespoons of cinnamon wasn’t enough so I added more cinnamon and used less sugar for the filling. Rolling the dough into a cylinder was harder than I thought as the dough was so sticky!

After around 25-30 minutes, the rolls were fragrant and ready. I left a tray to my roommate and a couple of friends and brought the other tray to my father. They all liked them, especially with tea or coffee, but Dad felt bad we didn’t have pecans. All I had were the leftover chopped almonds from the cake that morning so I used that instead.

The original recipe used sugary drizzle but I opted not to. For the sake of those who want to risk the calories, I’ll include the drizzle recipe here.

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Chocolate Moist Cake with Vanilla Icing

Also known as the heart-shaped man-cake. My dad turned 51 today. I promised that I would make something appropriately birthdayish to bring to work. Last night, I conked out while reading at 7:30 pm. I woke up at 4 am the next day, realized that I had made NOTHING and that I had 3 hours to make something great.

I deserted my fiancé on Skype and ran to the kitchen, wondering if I should make something new and unique or just trust older recipes. I did both, sort of. I used my mother’s trusty chocolate moist cake recipe, added a caramel glaze center and marshmallow vanilla icing. Having a n00b kitchen meant that I had to improvise on borrowed portions of the recipe.

By the time my dad woke up, I was assembling the cake. He had my grandparents on Skype. It was noon in the Philippines and we talked as I worked. (Grandma Emma: “It looks too sweet. Aren’t you putting too much almonds?”)

The end result was a pretty, two-layer, heart-shaped cake placed in the tackiest flowered tray I could find. Now I know why this was the only tray that no one bothered to steal or keep from potluck parties: no one wanted it.

Oh yeah, I even had enough to make a little cake just for us here at home.

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