Kitchen Chemistry

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wake and bake: How to cook with cannabis

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 8:36 AM

On the upcoming stoner holiday of 420 (better known this year as Easter), folks will be celebrating in all sorts of ways - tokes, vapes, bong rips. For cannabis culinarians, that means a wonderful assortment of cannabis-based edibles. That is, weed made delicious.

The practice of ingesting cannabis has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to 2500 BC when its euphoric properties were discovered by the ancient Chinese. Since then, folks have been tinkering with methods to extract the mood-altering cannabinoids (the stuff that gets you lifted), primarily tetrahydracannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) from the plant, to add to their favorite recipes.

Edibles run the gamut from baked goods to full-on culinary applications, such as soups, sauces and even breads... and weed, man. Most commonly, edibles arrive in the form of cookies or brownies, although there are thousands of recipes to, um, elevate your curiosities.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

The best buttermilk pancakes

Posted By on Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I finally made those buttermilk pancakes that were assigned for the MIT Kitchen Chemistry course on pancakes, and I am so glad I did.

My previous "Bette's Diner Buttermilk Pancakes" recipe from Bette's Oceanview Diner in Berkeley is getting replaced. Sorry, Bette!

This new recipe, courtesy of Bon Appétit, produces super thick, fluffy, tender pancakes, like I've never seen come out of my own kitchen before. The sour cream makes the batter incredibly thick, which prevents the batter from spreading out too thin in the pan. And even though I used light sour cream, the results were still fabulous. Be sure not to overmix the batter. Bubbles are good.

To scoop the batter onto the griddle/pan, I used a quick-release ice cream scoop. Don't be tempted to swirl the batter around – just drop it, slightly use the scoop to make the blob of batter a little more circular if it isn't, and leave it. If you swirl it around and spread out the batter, your pancakes will not come out thick and fluffy.



If you aren't feeding an army for breakfast, half the recipe. I halved the recipe and got 10 pancakes.

These luscious hot cakes would be perfect for breakfast this weekend. Get on it! Click here for the recipe.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Death by Chocolate Cookies

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:59 PM

OK, so I finally made the Death by Chocolate Cookies that were part of the MIT Kitchen Chemistry course's week #2 assignment.

I was only planning on making them and pawning them off on co-workers – not eat them myself (because goodness knows I eat way too much sugar already). But one bite turned into another, and before I knew it, the whole cookie was gone. Whoopsies.

These thick cookies have crispy exteriors and warm brownie-like middles. Containing over 8 ounces of chocolate, they live up to their name ... though it'd probably take way more chocolate than that to do me in.

They only take one bowl to make and you can bake up the entire batch of batter at one time. Too easy. Instead of chocolate chips, I used white chocolate chips for color contrast.

death cookies

For the recipe, click here.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

MIT's Kitchen Chemistry class # 2: Chocolate

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 4:05 PM


Ok, so I've been really slacking on my MIT Kitchen Chemistry course. It's been weeks and still haven't completed class #2, which is surprising, because this class is all about my favorite food – chocolate.

I've done my reading now and here are a few tidbits I learned from doing the homework questions:

* There is something common to both marijuana and chocolate.  Chocolate contains "cannabinoid" chemicals, chmicals similar to the active ingredient in marijuana, as well as other molecules that cause brain cells to accumulate cannabinoid chemicals.

* Though high in sugar and fat, you can justify eating chocolate in moderation from a health perspective.  The saturated fat in cocoa butter is a type of fatty acid that the body immediately converts to an unsaturated one, so it is actually beneficial to your heart. Eat up!

* The reason cats and dogs should not consume chocolate is because chocolate contains theobromine, an alkaloid and stimulant, which can be toxic to those animals.

The homework recipe for this week is "Death By Chocolate Cookie." If I get around to it, I'll try making it this week, but in the meantime, here's the recipe for those of you who want to try it.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Kitchen Chemistry

Posted By on Mon, May 24, 2010 at 4:19 PM

MIT offers OpenCourseWare online for their undergraduate class Kitchen Chemistry. That means you can follow along on your own using the the posted syllabus, readings and assignments for free. You don't get any credits or assignment grades, but it's a great way to educate yourself.

I've just received my textbook for the class "On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen," and the first few pages are pretty intriguing. The first class covers avocados and peppers. As you go through the assignments and reading, you learn stuff like what makes a pepper hot and why avocados brown. Did you know capsaicin (what makes peppers hot), an alkaline, is actually an oil? So drinking water to quell the fire in your mouth actually won't work well. Try milk (a base), bread or rice instead.

Take the class with me by visiting MIT's site for their class Kitchen Chemistry. Assigned recipes for the week include guacamole and salsa.

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