Category Archives: Uncategorized

This blog has moved!

Hi!
I’ve been thinking about moving the blog for quite a while, so last weekend, I finally purchased a URL and started the long, tedious, and mostly uncertain process of moving the content. I’m still working on finalizing the set-up, but please visit me at http://annasrecipebox.com.

Does anyone know how to make it redirect automatically?

Food-related goals

I’m a big fan of goals.  I love New Year’s resolutions, personal goals, career goals, reading goals, traveling goals, etc.  This year, I’m adding a food goal to my list.  This might sound funny to some of you, but yes, I’m adding a culinary goal to my life.  You see, I have an absolutely unnatural and irrational fear of baking.  I know, strange.  No good reason for it.  Other than perhaps the fear of the mess I’d make, but my kitchen always looks like a tornado went through it after I’m done cooking.  But baking towering cakes doesn’t really appeal to me and I’ve never been a dessert person (well, until a few years ago).  So I figure I’ll try something rustic/easy/something I have space for in my kitchen.

So, here are my culinary goals for this year:

  1. Learn to bake one kind of bread
  2. Learn to make a baked dessert
  3. Learn to make yogurt
  4. Cook more Uzbek food
  5. Cook more soup

I know yogurt isn’t a dessert, but it is often an ingredient in dessert.  Yeah, that’s it.  That’s a good reason to learn making it.  Oh heck, I just want to learn to make my own yogurt, something that will be creamy, sweet, thick and luscious, and won’t cost an arm and a leg.

And after the Chaihana post, I’d imagine the Uzbek food goal is self-explanatory.  😉

As I’ve started cooking soups, it seems fairly easy and healthy.  Should be a good match for the bread.

As the year goes on, I’ll update this page.

*Update on 5/9/2010
I made Mastava, which goes towards goals #4 and #5.
I’ve also been working on making yogurt and bread, but no success with yogurt yet, and gotta figure out this yeast thing for the bread….
Stay tuned.

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I consider myself to be richly blessed and thank God for my blessings regularly. Having a nationally recognized holiday to do so is wonderful. In my family, I have taken over Thanksgiving responsibilities in the last few years and relish the opportunity to cook up a feast. And a feast it truly is.
This year our menu was as follows:
Appetizers:
Baked Salmon
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Pickled tomatoes (store-bought)
Hummus (store-bought)
Smoked fish (store-bought)
Goat cheese bruschetta
Seafood Salad
Roasted Red Pepper Salad
Roasted Asparagus

Main course:
Vegetable Soup
Mashed potatoes
Turkey

Dessert:
Spice cake
Puff Pastry “strips”
Meringue cake (store-bought)

The turkey I’ve made in the last 5-7 years has always been moist as a result of both brining and baking it in a bag. However, this year it was absolutely superb. Please don’t think that I’m boasting. I did absolutely nothing differently from years past. The difference is in the turkey itself. I ordered a turkey at a farmers market earlier this year through Rueggseger Farms. The turkey was never frozen, it was “harvested” on Tuesday morning and we took delivery in the evening. It was astonishingly fresh and well-cleaned and absolutely lip-smacking when cooked.

Additional Recipes will be coming soon.

And the winner is…

Drum roll please……  The winner of the first ever give-away is Entry #2.  Congratulations Yulinka of Yulinka Cooks.  I’m hoping to see some recipes posted on your blog that you’ll make with these tomatoes.

Woohoo!

It’s so completely cool when another blogger links to you.  What’s also cool is if that blogger is blogging for the local paper and links to you.  Today I noticed that my blog was part of Alison Sherwood’s blogroll on Post-College Kitchen. Yay!  Thanks Alison!

Checking out the other local blogs that she listed, I found a few that I really liked.  So, I added them to My Favorite Links section of the blog.  See for yourself how much awesomeness happens in this cold little state.

Shrimp and Pasta

Shrimp and Pasta

Shrimp and Pasta

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. Not because I haven’t cooked, but because I’ve been so busy. But tonight, amazingly enough I had enough energy to go to the grocery store, get some groceries, and actually cook the food today. But like any busy woman, I want something quick, effortless, and most importantly, delicious. So here is what I came up with today.

Seasoned Shrimp

Seasoned Shrimp

Vegetables in the Pan

Vegetables in the Pan

All ingredients in the pan

All ingredients in the pan



 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
10 oz package of shredded carrots (I used about half)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 red bell peppers (sliced)
rice pasta (gluten-free pasta; a handful or so)
shrimp
asparagus (a handful or so)
olive oil (as needed)
1/4 cup or so of white wine
salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chipotle powder

Steps:
1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a heavy pan. Once the oil is hot enough, drop in the veggies (though, you might want to drop in asparagus close to the end, so it’s not too mushy).
2. My package of this rice pasta indicated that it takes 5 minutes to cook, so I started the water water for it in a separate pot.
3. Season the shrimp before adding it to the pan. I seasoned the shrimp right in the collander where I defrosted them. For the seasoning, I used salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and chipotle pepper powder. All to taste, of course. Then, add to the pan.
4. Add the wine, close the lid, and let steam for about 5 minutes.
5. When the pasta is ready and shrimp is cooked, add the pasta to the pan and toss everything together.

Dig In!

Dig In!

Shurpa

Shurpa

Shurpa

When I say we cooked yesterday, I mean we really cooked. In addition to Nora’s Salad and Damlyama, we also made Shurpa. Shurpa is a rich and brothy lamb soup that warms your soul. There are many variations, mainly having to do with vegetables and garbanzo beans. My dad likes garbanzo beans in shurpa and that’s how we made it back home, so that’s how we made it here too, though many people leave out the garbanzo beans. The main thing to keep in mind is that you want the broth to be clear and free of color. Take a look at the picture at the bottom of this post. That is why the vegetables are generally whole or halved. But here is our version. Nora, please correct me where/if I missed anything.

Veggies in Shurpa

Veggies in Shurpa. See the carrots, onion, greens, and pepper chunks? See the floating tomato half?

Ingredients:
2 whole carrots
1 small onion whole
1 tomato (we used Roma) cut in half
1/2 red pepper (cut 2 sides off)
2 lbs of garbanzo beans (we used 2 1-lb cans drained)
1/2 large onion cut into half moons
2 lbs of lamb (get soup bones, not just the fleshy bits)
1.5 – 2 LB of potatoes
Salt, black pepper (whole, not ground!), cumin (all to taste)
parsley and dill (about 10 stems or so whole, if they’re kinda full)
parsley and dill for garnish (put into each plate, about a teaspoon each plate)
Water

Steps:
1. Salt the meat and put into a large pot (a stock pot would work). Cover with water and let come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat but keep it at a low boil. When the meat is cooking, you will see a grayish film bubble up (I’m sure there is a name for it, I just don’t know what it is in English), but be sure to skim it off; nobody wants to eat that.
2. Add the carrots, small whole onion, 2 halves of the tomato, pepper pieces, and parsley.
3. Cook for about a half hour and then add the garbanzo beans. Season.
4. About a half hour before the soup is done, add the potatoes which have been cut into bite size pieces.
5. Cook for about 4 hours total, on a low boil.

Potatoes in Shurpa

Potatoes in Shurpa

Brothy Shurpa

Brothy Shurpa