Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sauza 901 Tasting {#sponsor product review}




A little while back I was contacted by some PR folks who asked me to taste and review Sauza 901.*

Why not?

I mentioned it to some friends on our last camping trip in September and they all had the same question: Where is it?

Whoops. I hadn't brought it.

So, for our annual Halloween camping trip last weekend, I packed the bottle, some skull shot glasses - that seemed festive -, organic limes, and some Himalaya salt.

I had many willing tasters around the campfire that evening. Thanks, guys and gals!

About Sauza 901...
At first I thought this might be just another celebrity endorsement...and typically I steer clear of those. However, it appears Justin Timberlake traveled to Jalisco, Mexico and actually took an active role in creating his own tequila several years ago. This triple-distilled tequila is the result. Its name: 901 refers to his hometown area code in Memphis. That's kind of a nice detail.


Tasting...
I didn't muddle it up with too many other flavors and steered clear of making cocktails. I wanted to taste it mostly pure. So, I served it with just some salt and lime. And I was delighted. Sauza 901 is super smooth with light spice and some smoky and herbaceous notes.

At first I thought that I would just taste a little for the review and end up cooking with the rest. But I just might enjoy the entire bottle with friends and skip the tequila shrimp. Salud!


If you’d like to learn more about Sauza 901, visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter, @Sauza901.

*DISCLOSURE: I received a rebate for purchasing my own bottle of Sauza 901 for the purposes of review.  The opinions expressed here are my own and completely accurate.

Cabbage-Fennel Slaw



I love this quick mayo-less slaw. So easy. So tasty.


Ingredients
  • 5 T olive oil, divided
  • 3 T white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 purple cabbage, thinly sliced

Procedure
Whisk together the first three ingredients. Stir in the fennel and cabbage. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes before serving, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nutty Purple Cauliflower



This is a dish that I have made many times with all sorts of cruciferous bites. But last week when my 'Eat a Rainbow' class was focusing on blue and purple foods for Food Day 2014, I bought a purple cauliflower. So, it got this tasty treatment...


Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower (you can substitute broccoli or romanesco, too)
  • 2 T peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • 1 t rice wine vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Blanch cauliflower quickly so that it is still crisp. Drain and set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients until they are smooth and well-combined. Add in the cauliflower and toss to coat.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Roasted Delicata Squash



While you already know that we are pumpkin fiends, this - beautiful seasonal delicata from our High Ground Organics CSA - is probably my real favorite squash. And I really love that it's three ingredients beyond the squash and about thirty minutes in the oven.


Ingredients

  • delicata squash
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Halve the delicata and scoop out the seeds. Destem, then slice into 1/4" to 1/2" wide pieces. Lay out the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until the squash is softened and beginning to caramelize. Serve immediately.

Where Food and Books Collide: PiBoIdMo 2014



I know that I write about food all the time. This is a kitchen blog, after all. But what I don't do is think about writing books about food, specifically books for kids.

But, nudged by a good friend, and thinking that it's a good exercise along the Food Revolution Day lines, I took the pledge and registered for PiBoIdMo 2014. That's Picture Book Idea Month.


So, for the 30 days of November I'll be brainstorming ideas for how to talk to kids about eating their fruits and veggies...why it's important. You can follow those forays at The Maker Manns, if you like.

And, if anything comes of my picture book for kids - about eating a rainbow or whatever direction I go - I'll shout it from the mountain tops.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Homemade Saltine Crackers for #FoodNFlix




Food‘nFlixFor this month's Food'N'Flixwe watched, or rewatched as the case may be, The Terminal. Evelynne, at Cheap Ethnic Eatz, is our hostess this month. Click to see Evelynne's invitation.

This post contains an affiliate link for the DVD at the bottom.

This is a movie - like last month's selection - that I haven't seen in many, many years.

On the Screen...
This is the story of Viktor Navorski (played by Tom Hanks), a traveler from Krakozhia, who lands in New York and finds himself stranded in the airport terminal. While he was en route, his country went to war and the government was overthrown. The result: Krakozhia no longer exists and, as a man without a country, Navorski's travel visa has been canceled. He can't leave the airport because he has no official documents; he can't be deported because he has no official documents. Talk about a double-edged sword. So, he's stuck. That's all of the story I'll spoil. But I will say that Stanley Tucci who plays senior airport security officer Frank Dixon was phenomenal. And the Viktor-Frank conflict is the backbone of this story.

On the Plate...
Viktor has some food vouchers to begin. He, then, figures out that he can get money for returning the luggage carts and uses them to buy burgers. The food-cart driver befriends him and trades real meals for information on a girl who works in the immigration office at the airport. 

terminal the scene 500x281 The Terminal for Food ‘n Flix
I considered making cannoli, but decided that I wanted to try my hand at homemade crackers. Besides, we never did see the cannoli! So, homemade saltines it was; I did not, however, squeeze ketchup and mustard in between them as Viktor did on many, many occasions. Yuck. But my crackers were good.


Ingredients 
  • 1 C flour
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 4 to 8 T water
  • 1/2 t salt

Procedure
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, place the flour. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Mix in 1 T of water at a time, kneading until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and isn't too sticky. My dough took about 6 T of water.

Roll the dough out on parchment paper. Slice into crackers, whatever size and shape you want. I did squares and pricked hearts into the dough.

Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Turn off the oven and leave crackers to crisp in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.

That's all for now. Check back to see what we're watching and cooking next month.

Monsters' Eyeballs for Halloween



Another festive 'recipe' for Halloween. It's less of a recipe - it's your basic caprese salad; it's more of a presentation...


Ingredients
  • mozzarella balls
  • mini heirloom tomatoes
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • olive oil
  • fleur de sel to taste

Procedure
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Serve on a platter with some toy eyeballs as "garnish."

Charcuterie Skull for Halloween




Remarkably - maybe for the first year ever - I didn't bring anything made with pumpkin for our annual Halloween camping potluck dinner. This year, I went for the macabre. There's no real recipe. Just get a skull prop. Wrap with plastic wrap wherever food is going to touch the skull...just to be on the safe side. Cover with your favorite charcuterie. I used prosciutto, coppa, and various salami. It was as tasty as it was disturbing (to some)! Happy Halloween!