Something's cooking in Apartment 205.

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Bakesale Betty’s Chicken Pot Pie

In by Deanne, Foodies on the Town, Foodies Take-Out/Bring-It-Home on October 25 at 9:27 pm

We’ve all experienced chicken pot pie at some point in our lives. Some of us are lucky enough to experience chicken pot pie in its purest form: your grandma/mother’s home-cooked chicken pot pie, lovingly baked with roughly chopped carrots, celery, potatoes, and real chicken. Others, myself included, have only had its pallid, frozen cousin: the “mini” personal pot pie with a 4-1 ratio of artificial gravy to chicken. The frozen chicken pot pies are usually noxiously creamy, so I’ve avoided them ever since I first ventured to try one as a child after watching Chicken Run (2000). Although that movie should technically dissuade viewers from eating chicken pot pie, after an intimate hour-and-a-half sympathizing with chickens trying to escape pot-pie doom . . . But I suppose I wanted to see what all the hoo-hah was about.

The chickens dance too!

The chickens dance too!

Nonetheless, I had heard that Bakesale Betty’s Chicken Pot Pie is quite tasty, so I went ahead and bought one for a special Apartment 205 get-together dinner. And the results definitely surpassed expectations:

Creamy chicken stuffing... flaky crust... om nom nom nom!

Creamy chicken stuffing... flaky crust... om nom nom nom!

I bought the large pre-bake chicken pot pie at Bakesale Betty’s (located 5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland) and left it in the freezer for a day. Even after freezing, the freshness of the ingredients used at Bakesale Betty’s really comes across in the scent and flavor of the pie. There is a generous amount of chicken chunks, carrot, onion, and celery in thick, creamy gravy. Traces of basil and black pepper are detectable. It is very filling, and I am sure that the entire pie will last me a week (a huge plus for busy college students). The winning characteristic of this pie is its delicious, flaky crust; it does not get soggy easily and remains in luscious, buttery condition above the mess of chicken stuffing. The only downside is that the pie was slightly more expensive than the usual, at $25 per large pie and $6 per personal pie, but Bakesale Betty’s is really the place to go for legitimate, generous pies! One day I shall return for their famed fried chicken sandwiches and strawberry shortcake.

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Cook to Bang: Recipes to Get You Laid

In by Katherine, The Internets on October 21 at 4:57 pm

Fair warning: this featured blog is not for the prudish, but it was too quirky to pass up a post.  Cook to Bang was started by a foodie/comedy writer who has found his life purpose: to write recipes that get you laid.

Miso Horny Cod

"Miso Horny Cod"

Described as “Tyler Florence meets Tucker Max” by Publishers Weekly, the site’s recipes are all unabashedly sexual puns, the most polite of which include “Pad See Ooh Baby!” and “Mo-rockin’ Moroccan Salad.”   Then again, as the blog says,

“If you’re looking at this site, you are most certainly asking for trouble.  This is not a nice blog to share with your grandmother.  Perhaps your mom, if she’s open-minded or a hot MILF.”

Chicken Out Your Pineapples Salad

"Chicken Out Your Pineapples Salad"

The blog originated when its writer, tired of seeing his fellow men shell out for expensive dinners without getting anywhere, decided to apply his culinary training to the greater good.  As he reasons,

Everyone should COOK TO BANG because it’s…

1.    CHEAPER THAN A RESTAURANT
2.    THEY’RE ALREADY IN YOUR HOME
3.    YOU’RE DESSERT

 

Whether or not you agree, you’ll have to admit that the recipes themselves are pretty legit.  And for the hapless among you, each recipe is accompanied by step-by-step pictures.

Sauce for Raw & Raunchy Oysters

Sauce for "Raw & Raunchy Oysters"

The blog also includes a section for testimonials:

“Up here in Porkland, Oregon there’s very little tail that hasn’t expired or gone lumberjill.  But when you do find one you can’t just be another emo hipster with a cool tattoo.  Cook to fucking bang!  That’s why they call wining and DINING them.  That FLAT ON YOUR BACK FLATBREAD PIZZA recipe cost me a short trip to Trader Joes and a 3-pak of Trojans.” Michael in Portland

 

Ready to get things cooking yourself?  Check out Cook to Bang here.

Chicken Noodle Soup

In by Katherine, The Everyday Foodie on October 19 at 8:24 pm

When you’re sick all weekend like I’ve been, there’s only one thing to do: Cozy up in a big chair with a box of tissues, watch old movies, and eat chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup

This classic comfort food tastes best pieced together from whatever ingredients you have in your refrigerator.  After all, when you’re under the weather, the last thing you feel like doing is making a grocery run to follow a recipe.

Tonight, I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat pasta, a red bell pepper, half a yellow onion, and some chopped baby carrots.  I heated them up with some organic chicken broth, seasoned it with a few thyme sprigs and a bit of salt and pepper, and left it to simmer on the stove to develop flavor.  With some rest, fluids, and a little bit of the placebo effect, hopefully I’ll be feeling better in no time.

Buttermilk Pancakes

In by Amy, The Everyday Foodie on October 17 at 2:23 pm

Cooking time: ~30-45 minutes | Originally enjoyed on: 10/17/2009

Katherine, Sandra, and I decided to reward Deanne’s terrific performance in last night’s Theater Rice show with a pancake breakfast. On the side, we also nibbled on Funfetti cake mix cookies that we baked last night.

Katherine had half a carton of buttermilk in the refrigerator, so we decided to use this recipe to make buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk pancake breakfast, served with a watermelon smoothie.

Buttermilk pancake breakfast, served with a watermelon smoothie.

The recipe was easy enough to follow, although it did require a lot of bowls. It also called for room temperature eggs, so a lot of our time was spent waiting for eggs to warm up. Instead of using regular flour, we used a 60-40 mixture of organic unbleached white and organic whole wheat from Berkeley Bowl(Katherine is trying to make our apartment go “healthy”). I did most of the mixing, Katherine handled the tricky business of separating the egg yolks and whites, and folding whipped whites into our batter, and Sandra cooked the pancakes.

We also attempted to make a Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes, with mediocre results. The whipped cream made up for it.

Mickey Mouse-shaped pancake, with a whipped cream collar.

Mickey Mouse-shaped pancake, with a whipped cream collar.

BTW, random (kind of) – Jueyan and Sandra just bought the domain name omnomnom.com. They’re poised to take over the culinary world.

Good Eats in Boston: Cannoli, Cupcakes and More

In by Amy, Dessert First, The Traveling Foodie on October 14 at 11:28 pm

I recently took a trip to the Boston/Cambridge area, and in addition to witnessing some beautiful scenes of New England foliage, I also made the rounds around the food circuit.

1. L.A. Burdick Chocolate Cafe

Most of my time was spent in eating in the Cambridge area, especially around Harvard Square. If you’re feeling like a hot drink and you’re near Harvard Square, head on over to L.A. Burdick on Brattle Street. It’s a small, narrow shop, with a glass display of delectable chocolates at the front. In the back, you can order an array of drinks. Anna took me here on a particularly blustery day.

Delicious rasberry tart from L.A. Burdick, served with a side of whipped cream.

Delicious raspberry tart from L.A. Burdick, served with a side of whipped cream.

I ordered a dark hot chocolate, and Anna got a chai. The flavor was wonderful–not too sweet. Even the chai wasn’t that bitter, even though Anna steeped it for a while. L.A. Burdick also scores extra points for cute atmosphere and tasty tarts, though its tables are a bit small for proper coffee shop studying/working. A great place for a snack or afternoon coffee/tea.

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Artful Food: Creations from a college cafeteria, and more

In by Amy, The Internets on October 13 at 7:22 am

Our third “internets” related post in a row! I was being unproductive on the internet when I found Artful Food, a food blog from Connie and Annie W. (some of you might remember them from our high school days)!

From Artful Food: an apricot tart, assembled from a college dining halls materials

From Artful Food: an apricot tart, assembled from a college dining hall's materials

The blog features gorgeous pictures of all kinds of meals, including my favorite, dessert. There are also step-by-step recipes you can follow.

Head on over there and start cooking!

How to Shop at the Butcher

In by Katherine, The Internets on October 12 at 9:28 pm

Great post on GQ: “Why Every Man Needs a Butcher.” Seriously informative post with seven great tips tells you what surprising services butchers provide free of charge, and will probably irrevocably change the way you shop for and cook meat.

“A new wave of young cleaver masters are reviving not only a lost art but also a lost pleasure. Get to know your butcher and you won’t just save yourself time (yes, he’ll butterfly that for you) and money (for free!), you’ll learn how to make a skirt steak or a stack of short ribs taste more succulent than you ever imagined. Here’s how to get the most out of your meat man.”

Read it; you won’t be sorry. And this is the female semi-vegetarian of the apartment speaking.

Best butchers in Berkeley, according to Yelp:

Ver Brugge Meat-Fish Poultry
6321 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618

Star Meats
3068 Claremont Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705

Enzos Meat and Poultry
5655 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618

Super Epic Rainbow Cake

In by Katherine, The Internets on October 12 at 4:00 pm

I am loving this rainbow layer cake with white lemon buttercream by Kaitlin over at Whisk Kid.

She made the cake for her best friend’s going-away party, to represent how her friend looks normal on the outside but has a crazy personality. Check out more pictures and the recipe by Whisk Kid.

Via Apartment Therapy.

Absolutely Bitchin’ Coconut Cream Pie

In by Katherine, Dessert First on October 7 at 11:12 pm

This coconut cream pie tastes like an Almond Joy come to life as a pie (only ten times more joyful, and without almonds).

Coconut Cream Pie

If “coconut cream pie” conjures up images of a cloying slice topped with aerosol whipped cream sitting too long under the fluorescent lighting of a display case at Marie Callender’s, you haven’t truly had coconut cream pie. You simply have not lived. Carpe diem, carpe diem! Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary! O Captain my captain!

This pie brings a little something extra to the table with a chocolate shell layer of crust and chocolate garnish on top, and gains an extra boost of coconut flavor by substituting coconut milk for regular milk. And of course, it uses real whipped cream.

It was adapted by my sister from this Bon Appetit recipe and won a Maslyn family pie contest.  That’s legit.  See how to make the absolutely bitchin’ version after the jump.

Coconut cream pie

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Chez Panisse: The Best of Berkeley

In by John, Foodies on the Town, This is Why John's Fat. on October 5 at 4:43 pm
The front of Chez Panisse. Courtesy of neilpeterson.com

The front of Chez Panisse. Courtesy of neilpeterson.com

Ah… Where do I begin. I guess it all started freshman year when Katherine, Amy, and I were talking about this little gem. It’s relatively expensive pricing does not cater to the students of the area but it never fails to attract the locals. We made a pact to save up enough money to go downstairs and eat at this world-famous restaurant before we graduate. Well… I broke my promise with Katherine and reserved a table for two a couple of weeks back. For the upstairs cafe, or restaurant downstairs, it is almost necessary to book a reservation at least a week in advance. Their menus for the coming week are posted online the weekend before so we didn’t even know what to expect.

Their downstairs restaurant has a fixed-price menu that varies in price, with Monday being the cheapest and Friday/Saturday with the more elaborate (and pricier) menu. There is no strict dress-code but one Yelper describes it as “Berkeley-chic”, whatever that means. We went on Thursday so our meal consisted of:

  1. Salmon carpaccio with mustard and  capers
  2. Pasta e fagioli with fresh shell beans and pancetta
  3. Grilled Sonoma Liberty duck breast with wild huckleberries and fried polenta
  4. Cardamom Pavlova with Middleton Gardens raspberry ice cream

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