Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.

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How to Throw a (Pumpkin) Beer Bracket Party

Every year I throw a gathering that focuses on pumpkin beer and tasting it. Since that is not fun enough, I usually throw in some assessing activities (ranking, voting, etc). The past two years, which you can read about here, and also here, focused more on evaluating each beer through many criteria (pumpkin spice taste, overall flavor, drinkability, etc).

This year, however, we kept it simple: two beers match up against each other! The voters are blind to which beers are matched up against one another! Winners progress through a bracket format!

And I enjoy food themed brackets.

It’s the 2015 Pumpkin Beer Blind(ish) Bracket!


Organizing it and implementing it requires a bit of work, but it is very fun in the end.

Read below to see how to organize your very own food/drink bracket party.

Go to the bottom to see the winners of this year’s pumpkin beer bracket!

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2nd Blind Pumpkin Beer Taste Test (2014)

Welcome to the second Blind Pumpkin Beer Taste Test, 2014 edition.

Taste in beer is very subjective. For example, the popular Southern Tier Pumpking is either loved or strongly disliked. Some people really enjoy the unique sweetness that resembles a pumpkin pie in their beer. Others have different ideas of what a beer should be like. There is no right answer!


But it’s still fun to try and rank ’em!

Which beer won this year?

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Brownies Experiment: No Oil, No Problem PART 2

I have had some tests brewing (baking?) in my head for a long time, ever since the ever popular brownie oil/eggs-substitution test went up over a year ago. I decided it is time to try out a few new substitutions and do a blind taste test.

How do brownies (from a box) taste when you substitute certain things with the oil and eggs?

Today’s new substitutions:  mayo, yogurt and avocado!


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How to Conduct a Pizza Taste Test

Happy New Year!

First, I apologize for the gap of several weeks. Holidays and transitioning out of a job (and frantically looking for a new one!) has kept me busy. But I’m back with a fun activity my family, best friends and I experienced at home:

A pizza taste test! Specifically with your friends. Or family. Or complete strangers.

I will go over the step-by-step process of how to organize your own pizza taste test.


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Sea Salt in Coffee?

Coffee can be a sacred thing.

No matter how you treat your coffee –  whether you treat this universally-loved drink as a necessity to function as a productive or even awake human being, or whether you ritualize the meticulous step-by-step process with your freshly roasted beans to appease the coffee gods – coffee is important to many people.

Some get by fine with their same Folgers or Starbucks blends, and could care less about things such as “freshly roasted”, “perfect water temperature”, “whole beans vs. ground.”

Some people care (read:obsess) over the different brewing methods: there is drip, but then we get into more fancy territory with devices such as the French Press, Aeropress, cold brewing, Chemex, Siphon, and pour over … and this is just normal coffee. I’m not even talking about espressos.

This post will focus on my preferred method of brewing – the French Press – and look into an interesting trick given to us by none other than Alton Brown:

Putting salt into the coffee.

Is there a difference in one’s coffee when sea salt is added to the brewing process?

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Queso Fresco: Type of Milk

Making homemade cheese. It’s such a breeze. I want some now, please. The freshness will appease. Make sure you don’t … sneeze…on it…

Ok, I’m done.

Making a good queso fresco may seem daunting, but once you actually give it a try, it’s not that intimdating. It is labor intensive, yes, but it only requires three ingredients! One is salt. One is an acid (vinegar). The most important one is milk. We’re going to make homemade cheese, but which kind of milk should we use?!

Does the fat content in milk make a difference when making queso fresco?

We will test making cheese using whole, 2% and 1% milk.

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Quick Test: Canned vs. Dry Garbanzo Bean Hummus

Here is a typical time of making some yummy food while simultaneously conducting my own experiment. Measurements and other scientific guidelines were not really put in place. I just made two things and compared them.

I made three batches of hummus today, because I had a ton of ingredients:

1) Hummus from canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

2) Hummus from dry beans (the ones you need to soak over night first)

3) Hummus from a mix of canned and dry beans but roasted!

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Gazpacho and Tomatoes

Forgive the improper timing of this post; I should have made this available during the summer. But this is a favorite dish of mine and I couldn’t wait for next summer to proclaim this to the world. Time for a tasty ciencia experimento …

Question: What is the best tomato to use for gazpacho?

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Kale Smoothies: The Fruit

I swear that this site is not sponsored by kale farmers! But kale is just so dang fun and easy and healthy (does this make me a hipster? Please get back to me on that as soon as possible).

Healthy smoothies are totally what’s hip these days; these can include a variety of fruit, dairy and leafy greens. Instead of jumping to smoothie recipes right away, I wanted to break the components down to two of the showcased ingredients: kale and fruit.

Today’s question: Which fruit and kale combination is the best?

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