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I was hungry and wanted something fast so I went to my favorite section of TJOC--the Stocks and Soups section. I decided to make Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup (p. 135). I had the last of the jalapeno peppers that dad gave me and this seemed the perfect recipe.
Easy start--take some stock (homemade for me--I love homemade poultry stock!) and coconut milk, a few jalapenos, ginger, salt....and fish sauce or soy sauce. Easy choice for me. I HATE fish sauce. It absolutely horrifies me. I swear, when I get it on my hands, it doesn't come off for days...so gross. So my soup absolutely had soy sauce...
Then some thinly sliced chicken breast was added, along with some fresh lime juice. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my enormous stock pot. The soup smelled tasty....mmm...
The soup was great. But I thought it really needed some rice, so I added some. I also thought that the broth was too thin...and I don't know what I could have done wrong to cause that...the soup was good but I don't think I'll bother making it again. There are MUCH tastier recipes in TJOC. That being said--I am FINALLY comfortable using coconut milk :)
I was searching through TJOC for other fast, fun recipes. I decided to make Cocoa Syrup (p. 36). I didn't know quite what to expect but I was really hoping to end up with something like Hershey's syrup. Chocolate syrup is something that we almost never use in our house, so it sits around in the fridge until it almost rots. I would adore a recipe that I could whip up when we needed it instead of having a five year old bottle of Hershey's in the fridge. And I was hoping this could be it.
But I'm not insulting Hershey's--I happily eat their products :) And my syrup was made with delicious Hershey's cocoa....
I have dutch process cocoa, but this didn't seem to require it!
The cocoa and sugar are whisked together:
And then malted milk powder and cold water are added. The mix is brought to a boil and then simmered.
Malted milk powder?
Not something I use very often. But the recipe really wasn't very difficult. Does anyone else really dislike non-stick coating? I think I'm moving away it. I really dislike worrying about scratching it constantly and not being able to put the pots in the dishwasher. I don't think my plastic coated whisk works as well as the metal whisks (or Josh's expensive and beloved "special" whisk).
So how was the finished product? Absolutely delicious. Really really good. I can imagine it on ice cream...yum! Easy and delicious? This recipe is added to the "must make again" category. And I really like that it can go without refrigeration for a while--sometimes we run out of fridge room!
What could I use the syrup in? I decided to make an Egg Cream (p. 37) for Josh (I'm lactose intolerant, so milk drinks aren't super smart for me to drink). Egg creams doesn't have eggs or cream in them. The pharmacy near my house when I was growing up had a soda counter and used to serve these (oddly, this was not that long ago, although the pharmacy is gone and gym is in it's place now).
This is an easy enough recipe. Milk and cocoa syrup need to be "stirred vigorously". I decided to use the Ziploc container shaker method again. I added both to the container, stirred on the lid, and shook shook shook.
Eventually it gets foamy...
That is then poured into a tall glass, seltzer is mixed in, and voila! There it is, an egg cream.
How was it? Josh insisted it was extremely tasty and that the colder the milk, the better. Even if you used store bought syrup, it's still a great drink to make.
I searched TJOC for other recipes that used tomato juice, since I still had homemade tomato juice. I made Orange-Tomato Juice (p. 37). I wasn't very excited about this recipe--I didn't think it sounded that great. Orange and tomato? Ick.
And that's pretty much the recipe. Tomato juice, orange juice, sugar, lime juice, and salt, all poured over ice. Sounds great, right?
So how was it? Eh, all right. It tasted EXACTLY like V-8 Splash, which my mom is a big fan off. I think it's a cheap way (and less processed version) to get a lot of nutrients, if you like the flavor combo. Again--I'm not a huge fan, but I would make it for mom because I think she would like it. And it is rather attractive.