Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Hundred Foot Journey: Food'N'Flix Collides with Cook the Books {Invitation}

The Hundred Foot Journey - DreamWorks Studios

You're invited! It's my turn to host Food'N'Flix where we watch movies and head  into the kitchen and cook or bake or make something based on a recipe they actually make in it or just something we were driven to make after watching it.
Food‘nFlix
For November's round, Food'N'Flix is partnering up with Cook the Books for a double-header of The Hundred Foot Journey*While I am hosting the Food'N'Flix portion during the month of November. Deb of Kahakai Kitchen is hosting the book part for our October-November Cook the Books read. Click to see her invitation

Of course, it's strictly optional to do both events and how you do it (a combined post or two separate posts) is completely up to you!

If you want to join in the crossover fun:
  • Read the book and watch the film, make a dish inspired by both, and post it by our joint event deadline of Monday, November 30th.
  • If you have one post for both the movie and book, email both Deb & Camilla (debinhawaii@gmail.com & constantmotioncamilla@gmail.com) with your entry and let us know that you are doing the combined event.
  • Or, if you prefer to make two separate dishes and have a post for each event - one inspired by the book and one inspired by the movie, send each of your entries to the event's respective host. (Send your Cook the Books posts to debinhawaii@gmail.com & your Food 'N Flix posts to constantmotioncamilla@gmail.com) by Monday, November 30th - noon, Pacific time.
  • I  will be rounding up the crossover posts and Food 'N Flix-only posts on my blog shortly after the joint deadline. Deb will be rounding up crossover posts and Cook the Books-only posts on the Cook the Books site.

Again, reading the book and joining in Cook the Books is optional, so if you just want to watch the movie, that's perfectly okay. Just send your Food'N'Flix entry to me by Monday, November 30th - noon, Pacific time. I'll have the round-up posted by the evening. Still in November...by the skin of my teeth!

For the Cook the Books event, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and I made our version of Sungta ani Bende Kodi. We're still undecided about what to make from the movie.


I took my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf to see this movie on opening day late last year. And, when he walked out of the theatre, he asked, "Mommy, can we go buy the DVD tonight? I want to watch it again!" I explained that that wasn't how it worked...it gets released in the theatres, then it goes away, and then - months later - it gets released on DVD. In fact, it took almost a year to come out on DVD. We pre-ordered it and it arrived on release day. We have watched it countless times since then. And I was happy to have the opportunity to read the book again; I had read it several years ago.

Here's a trailer for the movie...


I watched it again last week when the house was quiet and all my boys were asleep. I pulled out a notepad and scribbled down some recipe ideas.

When we first watched the movie, D was inspired to cook urchin soup. First he had to learn how to clean sea urchin! Thank goodness for YouTube because I was clueless. Then he made Spiced Coconut Sea Urchin Soup.


What should I attempt this time? I haven't quite decided yet and haven't been successful in getting any sea urchin. Something about an echinoderm epidemic. That sounds wholly unappetizing.

But I hope you'll join the fun. Watch the movie, then post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and to Food'N'Flix. Use of the logo is optional. Your post must be current (during month of film). And of course we don't mind if your post is linked to other events...the more the merrier. Have fun with it!

Email your entries to me at: constantmotioncamilla[at]gmail[dot]com and include...

  • Your name
  • Your blog's name and URL
  • The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you're submitting
  • Attach a photo of any size (or just give me permission to "pull" one from your post)
  • Indicate "Food 'n Flix Submission" in the subject line

Deadline for submission is: November 30th (noon, Pacific Time). 
I will have the round-up posted before the end of the day.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Eats: Go Batty Wings


Halloween always makes us all a little batty. And it launches our entire household into the state of constant motion that is typically only in my domain.

My husband and boys have been beyond busy with their costume construction. R is BB-8 and D is an AT-ST. Can you tell we're huge Star Wars fanatics? But, seriously, I ask my husband why Halloween costumes require schematics and months - literally months - of planning and execution. He just ignores the question and asks what's for dinner. We all have our areas of expertise.



I needed a quick, mostly hands off dinner that would cook while I ran around the kitchen like a mad woman, getting things ready for all the Halloween festivities. Chicken wings it was. But - in the Halloween frame of mind - bat wings they were called. I laughed as my husband asked if everyone had already eaten - we had - and he took the entire bowl and a beer to his seat and polished it off.

Ingredients serves 4
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, separated into drumettes and wings (tips discarded)
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 C hot sauce (I used some homemade hot sauce from my friend Belle)
  • 1 t white garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 t black garlic*, peeled and minced
  • 1 T chili flakes
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T water
  • 2 T vinegar (I used a rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 t gluten-free tamari (soy sauce is fine)
  • black sesame seeds for finishing
* If you are unfamiliar with black garlic, you can read about it: here. And if you can't find any, just use more white garlic.


Procedure
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the wings with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place wings - skin side up - on the prepared baking sheet. Roast them for 45 to 50 minutes. They will be cooked through and the skin nicely browned and crisped.

While the wings roast,whisk all of the remaining ingredients together to create a hot sauce. When the wings are done, add them to the sauce. and toss to coat. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Halloween Eats: Spiderweb Eggs

I've made marbled eggs before, but I thought they were the perfect, eerie appetizer for a Halloween potluck under the redwoods. Tonight.



Ingredients makes 12
  • 12 eggs
  • water, as needed
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 3 T red wine
  • 2 C water
  • 3 T black tea leaves
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 t red chili flakes
  • salt for serving

Procedure
Place the eggs in a pot with the water, making sure that there is at least an inch of water over the eggs. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 - 20 minutes. Run the under cold water to cool. Reserve 1 C of the cooking water in the pan.

Tap the boiled eggs to make a series of cracks all over the eggshells. Try to keep the shells intact. But if some pieces happen to flake off, don't worry.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan with the water. Bring back to a boil. Add the eggs. If there's not enough liquid to submerge them, add more water. Simmer for 2 hours.


Turn off the heat and let the eggs cool in their liquid.


Before serving, peel and place on a platter with black salt.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Eats: 'Not Dull' Cheddar Ghouls


I saw a photo of cheese cube jack o'lanterns somewhere and I thought they looked super cute and super simple. So, I asked the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf if we could bring that for his school Halloween party. He agreed, asking for black grapes for the eyes and mouth. Done.

He also requested sharp cheddar. "Mommy, I don't like dull cheddar."

Dull cheddar? 

"Yes, the cheddar that's not sharp...it's called dull, right?"

Ummmm...no. But I like that!

While I working on other dishes, he put these together all by himself. Okay, they don't look exactly the way I envisioned them, but he loves them. And they're done. That's all that matters.

Ingredients

  • cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes (we used a combination of medium and sharp cheddar)
  • black grapes

Procedure
Place cubes on a platter. Arrange grapes in the place of eyes and a mouth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Matcha Hachiya MOffins


I whipped these up for the boys this morning because I had some Hachiya persimmons that were on the edge of turning unusable. I considered making a Hachiya shrub for some fun cocktails - and I might still make that when I get home tonight with the remaining mushy Hachiya - but thought I should make something the boys would enjoy this morning. Eccola! Breakfast... 

In case you haven't been following my blog, or haven't read any of my MOffin posts. A MOffin is a muffin made with mochi flour. 


Ingredients

  • 4  eggs
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C Hachiya persimmon pulp
  • 1 C coconut water
  • 1 C organic 2% milk
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 T matcha powder
  • 1 box of rice flour

Procedure
Mix the eggs, persimmon pulp, and oil together in a large mixing bowl. Then fold in everything else until just moistened. Spoon the batter into greased muffin hollows.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 375˚F till the top of the MOffin is slightly browned and slightly cracked. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning the MOffins onto a cooling rack.

And just in case you want to order your own adorable muffin molds, I'm including an affiliate link below. We love them!


*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more, but if you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

A Little Green and a Little Sting Smoothie {Detox}

Just more proof that I really can't follow a recipe to save my life. I had written down a "recipe" for a green smoothie called 'The Stinger' from my 21-Day Detox group (read about my Detox and Team Level Zero Training plans). Then I made the smoothie. When I looked back at my scribbles, I wasn't even close. Whoops. But this left four empty glasses and requests for seconds. Winner!

I have made a variation of this every morning this week. By 'variation' I mean: I might use different greens, different herb, or different fruit. But the proportions are the same. Oh, well...I don't even follow my own recipe very well!


Ingredients

  • 2 C unsweetened coconut water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 C baby spinach
  • 1 C green tipped banana, cut
  • 1 C organic frozen rhubarb
  • 1 C cucumber, cut and peeled if peel is bitter
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeds intact
  • 1/4 C fresh mint
  • juice from 1 organic lemon (we have a Meyer lemon tree, so I use those)
  • 1 T hemp seeds

Procedure
Place everything in the blender and whirl till desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ika Pokē (Squid Salad)

When my blogging friend Aly of Cooking in Stilettos and Aloha Flavor suggested a blogging event called the Harvest #BloggerLuau, I was in. Immediately. I love all the flavors of the islands. 

The event didn't come together for a variety of reasons, but I decided to share the recipe I had prepared anyway. It's too good not to share it. Well, if you don't mind tentacles!


I had always thought that pokē was a raw salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Turns out that pokē is the Hawaiian word that means "to section" or "to slice or cut". So, it's about how it's cut.

I found lots of recipes for tako (octopus) pokē. but none with squid. I decided to give it a try. Ika means squid. Click for how to clean squid.


Ingredients
  • 2 pounds squid, cleaned
  • 1 C onion, diced
  • 1" knob of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C sake
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 t roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 C soy sauce or tamari
  • hot sauce to taste
  • salt to taste
  • cabbage leaves for serving

Procedure
In a large pot - I used a Dutch oven - heat 1 T olive oil and saute onion and fresh ginger. Cook until the onion turns translucent. Place the squid in the pot and pour in the sake. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to a simmer.


Let braise for 60 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Bring liquid back to a boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to a simmer for another 30 minutes.


Thinly slice the braised squid tubes on the bias. Leave the tentacles intact. In a small mixing bowl combine squid and 1 C of the cooking liquid with hot sauce and salt, to taste. Chill for, at least, two hours in the fridge. Serve in a cabbage leaf.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Trio of Shrubs and a Smashed Pumpkin Sour for #HandCraftedEdibles


In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, I invited some of my favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of the twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule: here.

This week, we're continuing our homemade libations - here's the first installment that kicked off the series, Libations, Part I - and here we are at Part II.

Thanks to these fabulous, cocktail-serving gals for these creations:
As for me, I shared my Nocino (green walnut liqueur) during Part I. I've also recently posted about my Sad Rhubarb Liqueur. Click on the recipe titles to go to the original post.

This week, I was torn, put the question out to friends on social media, and there was absolutely no consensus. So, I'm posting about both bitters and shrubs. This post is about homemade shrubs and a cocktail you can make with one of them.


I was introduced to shrubs when I met Lauren DeVine while working on my piece Commonwealth Wednesday Debut in Carmel, that was published on the Edible Monterey Bay blog in October of 2014.

What are shrubs? Shrubs are essentially fruit preserved with sugar and vinegar. They add a certain je ne sais quo to your cocktails and can be mixed with sparkling water for a refreshing homemade soda. You can make shrubs through a cooked process or a cold process; I do the latter.

 Cold-Process Fruit Shrub

This can be done with any fruit. And the more ripe, the better. This is a great way to preserve the fruit flavor even if the fruit itself is too far gone to really enjoy. Just don't use any fruit with mold, okay? As I think this is a great way to bottle up the taste of a season, I used some late summer pluots and figs.


Ingredients
  • 2 C fruit, cubed
  • 3/4 C organic sugar (for the pluot shrub I used a raw turbinado sugar, for the fig shrub I used a granulated sugar)
  • 1-1/2 C vinegar (for the pluot, I used apple cider vinegar, for the fig shrub I used a combination of apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar)


Procedure
Put the fruit and sugar in a quart-size mason jar.


Put the lid on the jar and shake around to coat the fruit completely with sugar. Place the jar in the fridge and allow to macerate, at least, overnight; I usually leave it for a day or two.

Add the vinegar to the jar and agitate with a wooden spoon or chopstick to dissolve most of the sugar. Return it to the fridge for three to five to allow the flavors to develop.


After three to five days, strain the fruit out of the jar and transfer the flavored vinegar to a clean bottle.


Shrubs should be refrigerated, but will last for several months. Unless, like us, you drink it all within a week!

Serving suggestions for the shrubs
Fill a pint glass with ice. Add 2 T shrub to the glass and top with sparkling water. Stir to incorporate, add a cute straw and enjoy!

Spiced Pumpkin Shrub
Ingredients
  • 2 C pumpkin puree (how to make pumpkin puree: version 1version 2)
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground mace
  • 1/4 t ground cardamom
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 C apple cider vinegar 
Procedure
Put the pumpkin, spices, and sugar in a quart-size mason jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake around to coat the fruit completely with sugar. Place the jar in the fridge and allow to macerate, at least, overnight; I usually leave it for a day or two.

Add the vinegar to the jar and agitate with a wooden spoon or chopstick to dissolve most of the sugar. Return it to the fridge for three to five to allow the flavors to develop. It's ready to go.


Smashed Pumpkin Sour
Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon (I used Knob Creek)
  • 1 ounces spiced pumpkin shrub
  • 1/4 ounces ginger syrup
  • 2 drops Spiced Vanilla Bitters
  • ice cubes

Procedure
Place ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass. Pour in the bourbon, shrub, and syrup. Drop in the bitters. Stir gently to combine. Drink immediately.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

      
      

Homemade Bitters, an Old-Fashioned, and a Naughty Gnome for #HandCraftedEdibles


In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, I invited some of my favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of the twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule: here.

This week, we're continuing our homemade libations - here's the first installment that kicked off the series, Libations, Part I - and here we are at Part II.

Thanks to these fabulous, cocktail-serving gals for these creations:

As for me, I shared my Nocino (green walnut liqueur) during Part I. I've also recently posted about my Sad Rhubarb Liqueur. Click on the recipe titles to go to the original post.


This week, I was torn: Do I share a recipe and serving suggestions for (1) homemade bitters or (2) homemade shrubs?

I put the question out to friends on social media and there was absolutely no consensus. So, I'm doing both. But this post is about homemade bitters and two cocktail recipes you can make with those bitters.

Honestly, I didn't know what bitters were until I had a champagne cocktail at a friend's house a few New Year's Eves ago; but I didn't know that I could make them until I interviewed a bartender at Restaurant 1833. You can read my piece Adventurous Libations for Whatever Ails You, that was printed in the Fall 2013 issue of Edible Monterey Bay.

What are bitters? They are to cocktails what spices are to cooking. They add dimension and depth. They balance flavors. They are warm, rich, spicy, and astringent. They are a cocktail game-changer. But they are also simple to make.


In preparation for this event, I made Spiced Vanilla Bitters and Meyer Lemon Bitters. Click on the recipe titles to go to the original post. Bitters are simply a combination of seeds, herbs, bark, roots, flowers, leaves, and more that are concentrated. Historically, they were used by apothecaries to cleanse the body of toxins and aid in digestion.

Today bitters usually come in bottles with eyedroppers or some way to dispense them judiciously. A drop or two can drastically change the flavor profile of a drink. What a difference a drop makes!

I strained out the bittering agents and poured my homemade bitters into cobalt glass eyedroppers* this week. I can't wait to gift these to some cocktail-loving friends for the holidays.


As Jake watched me bottle up the bitters, he asked, "Do we get to try them out?" Of course! So, I created two cocktails. The first used the Meyer Lemon Bitters, the second the Spiced Vanilla Bitters.

Bourbon Old-Fashioned 
serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 drops Meyer Lemon Bitters
  • 2 ounces bourbon (I used Knob Creek)
  • sparkling water

Directions
In an old-fashioned glass, drop bitters onto the sugar cube.


Crush cube with a muddler or a spoon. Add a couple of ice cubes. Pour in bourbon and top with sparkling water to taste.

Naughty Gnome 
serves 1

Ingredients


Directions
Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Pour the rum into it, followed by the ginger beer. Add the bitters and stir.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Dovetailing a Detox with Team Level Zero's Training Regimen

This summer, Jake and I experimented with our eating habits. He went gluten-free and dairy-free for a month. I did a 7-Day Summer Detox. Now I'm signed up for a 21-Day version.

Do I feel I need to detox? No, not really. We eat pretty cleanly as it is. I just thought it would dovetail nicely with my kick-off to train for the 2016 PG Triathlon. So, over the course of the next three weeks, you will be seeing more recipes posted that are detox-friendly.

Here's the scoop on the triathlon: my husband (rider), one of our best friends (swimmer) and I (runner) are determined to do a Take 3 on the Olympic distance relay in September 2016. We did it in 2007 as Team P, B, and J when P was supposed to be Pia running. But after they registered, she went and got pregnant. So, despite the fact that I was doing the complete sprint distance on my own the following day, I ran the 10K portion of the Olympic distance for them. 


In 2009, we did it as Team The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Don't ask who was which! We couldn't agree.


Now, what will be seven years and many pounds heavier, we are happy to be "Team Level Zero" for 2016! Yes, there is a level zero and we're at it.


So, I'm using the 21-Day Detox as a more purposeful way of eating and shopping. Besides, they say that if you do anything for 3 weeks, it becomes a habit. So, I'm thinking that this will simply kick-start Team Level Zero's training regimen. Wish me luck!

Pink-Pickled Red Onions

I really love pickles. I've pickled cherries, pickled green tomatoes, pickled mouse melons, pickled blueberries, and more. And that's not even delving into the lacto-fermented pickles. But one of my favorites is pickled red onions and, it appears, I've never blogged the process. How on Earth is that possible?

You have to try these, especially if you're an onion fan. I've used them to add texture and flavor to grilled cheese sandwiches.


I had some red onions and a splash or two of leftover Luc Belaire Rare Rosé (tasting notes here). So thought I'd try to add pink sparkling wine to a quick pickle.

Ingredients
  • 1 organic red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (approximately 2 C)
  • 3/4 C vinegar (I used a white vinegar)
  • 1/4 C sparkling wine
  • 1 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t salt (I used a pink Himalaya salt)

Procedure
Place sliced red onions in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Stir to coat and let stand for 10 minutes. In the meantime, pour vinegar and sparkling wine into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the onions and stir to submerge completely. Boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Spoon into a jar, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours before using. These will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Drain onions before using.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tasting Notes: Luc Belaire Rare Rosé


I like bubbles. And, despite three decades of avoiding anything pink, I really embrace anything in the the girly hue. It probably has something to do with being a permanent resident of Testosterone Land. I am totally outnumbered. All. Of. The. Time.

So, when I saw this sparkling rosé, I bought a bottle. I should have picked up two bottles!

Hailing from the Cote d’Azur region of Provence, this can't bear the name Champagne, but it has all the drama and elegance of a great bottle of sparkling wine.

I already mentioned that it's pink. But it's not a timid hue. It's rich, vibrant, and beautiful. 


The visual appeal is easily matched on the nose. I got strawberries and roses. Then you taste it and you're in bubbly bliss. Made from France's three most famous rosé grapes - Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache - it has a perfect balance on the palate. My favorite part: it's refreshing but not too sweet.

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