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Showing posts from July, 2012

A Saucy Shot for a Sweet Ending

Along with my tiramisù  and  Estonian rhubarb cake , I decided on a dessert shot to round out my sweet trio. I had all of the ingredients and I couldn't resist the name; I knew the guys would be all over it. And I was right - no man turns down a hummer. 1 mini scoop of lemon sorbet 1 mini scoop of mango sorbet (the original called for orange, but I wanted mine a little more exotic) 1 shot of Calvados or brandy Sweet. Potent. Cheers! I neglected to get a photo of saucy shot - 'The Citrus Hummer' -  but it was a hit. Here's a photo of the saucy hostess instead.

Estonian Rhubarb Cake v.2

After I made Biskviikattega Rabaribrokook , Estonian rhubarb cake, last week, Jake declared it "better than rhubarb pie" and I decided to include it in my trio of desserts for our dinner party. He had one request, though - make it more tart. So, here's take two on the Biskviikattega Rabaribrokook . I reduced the sugar, used fresh lemon juice - instead of lemonade - and added lemon zest. A delicious success... Part I 6 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced into 1/2" chunks 1/2 C organic granulated sugar Roll the rhubarb in sugar and set aside. Part II 2 C white whole wheat flour 1/2 C powdered sugar 2/3 C butter, softened 2/3 C olive oil pinch of pink Himalaya salt 1 T cold water Preheat oven to 350. Place flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in butter and oil till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in water until the mixture forms a ball. Press the dough into a 9"x13" baking pan and bake for 20

Skewers Galore!

Yesterday Jake and I hosted our annual dinner party for the HOGS (Happy Omnificent Gourmet Society). This fun group of eight couples takes turns creating a festive event, usually, with a theme. We decided to kick it ol' school by making everyone play kickball - in our Che Cazzo! kickball tournament. Che Cazzo! is an Italian cuss-phrase that translates - roughly to WTF! - although it's literal meaning is about balls. In any case, it launched me into serving up a feast with foods that were round. Truth be told, we didn't make it to nine innings...not even close. We called it quits after two, but did work up quite an appetite. And glasses of cherry-chardonnay sangria helped to ease the pain of pulled groin muscles, bloodied knees, and bruised egos. To kick off the dinner, I served a trio of skewers - with mostly round elements. Skewers galore! I. Mozzarella Ciliegie + Mini Heirloom Tomatoes + Fresh Basil Leaves II. Strawberries + Feta Cubes + Mint Leaves

Cherry-Chardonnay Sangria

  I wanted to make a summery (adult) drink for a picnic with friends. So, I put D to work with his cherry pitter and made a white wine sangria. 2 bottles of chardonnay 2 lemons, halved 4 T organic, granulated sugar 2 shots brandy 2 dozen pitted sweet cherries 4 C sparkling lemon water Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze juice from the lemon into the wine. Toss in the fruit and add sugar and brandy. Chill overnight. Add sparkling water just before serving. Cheers! Here's a shot of the final product, at the ballpark...


 After watching the very disappointing tiramisù demonstration aboard the Star Princess, I've been craving my version. I learned how to make this in Italy...from a woman who didn't speak English. That has to be authentic, doesn't it?!? Layer 1: ladyfingers moistened with an espresso + brandy mixture (with a 2:1 ratio) Layer 2: zabaglione (3 egg yolks + 3 T organic granulated sugar cooked over a double boiler until frothy) + 3 egg whites beaten until peaks form Layer 3: marscarpone cream + 1/3 C espresso Layer 4: unsweetened whipped cream + unsweetened cocoa powder

Cooking Around the World: Estonia

Every now and then this lone resident of the testosterone land called 'In the Land of the Manns' flexes her estrogen-fueled muscles and makes things a little bit frilly in the kitchen. Tonight's tabletop travel to Estonia is a case in point. I wanted everything to be pink...well, except the beer! Typical Estonian dishes include: Silgusoust (Baltic fish in acid sauce), Mulgikapsad (pork with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes), Verivorst (blood sausage and barley), Marineeritud angerjas (marinated eel), Sült (boiled pork in jelly), Keel Hernestega (tongue), Suitsukala (smoked fish) and Karask (a kind of dry cake-like barley bread). But none of those sound very girly or pink. I opted for... Rosolje Beet Salad Salad 4 potatoes, boiled and cooled 3 beets, boiled and cooled 3 eggs, boiled and cooled 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped Garnish cornichon pickled herring 1/2 sweet onion, chopped 3/4 C sour cream Dressing 3/4 C sour

Biskviikattega Rabaribrokook {Estonia} - Rhubarb Cake

Biskviikattega Rabaribrokook (Estonian Rhubarb Cake) has displaced rhubarb pie as my family's favorite dessert...ever. That's saying something. Wow. Part I 6 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced into 1/2" chunks 1/2 C organic granulated sugar Roll the rhubarb in sugar and set aside. Part II 2 C white whole wheat flour 1/2 C powdered sugar 2/3 C butter, softened 2/3 C olive oil pinch of pink Himalaya salt 1 T cold water Preheat oven to 350. Place flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in butter and oil till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in water until the mixture forms a ball. Press the dough into a 9"x13" baking pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Part III 4 eggs 2 C organic granulated sugar 1/4 C white whole wheat flour 1/2 t baking powder 1/4 C strawberry lemonade (the original recipe called for lemon juice, but I wanted something pink!) Beat together the eggs,

Superhero Abalone

When Sarah, the editor of Edible Monterey Bay , commissioned me to cover an abalone cooking class, I had no idea how much I would have to invoke some superhero skills. I had to juggle a notepad, a camera, and a knife because I needed to (1) photograph, (2) take notes, (3) interview, (4) shuck, pound, and cook my abalone! But, I did it. And it was fabulous. I even got a "Wow! Nice job." from the chef on my presentation, garnishing my dish with sea lettuce, oyster leaves, and sea grass. We even got to take home an abalone. Without a sousvide contraption of my own, I made due with a double boiler and whipped up a late snack for my love. I didn't have any of the sea greens; I garnished the dish with fresh tarragon. After I tucked the boys into bed and came back downstairs, it was gone. I guess he liked it! 2 T diced onions 1/2 C fresh corn 1/4 C freshly shelled tiger eye beans 1 bay leaf 1 C chicken stock abalone* butter 1/2 t minced garlic fresh tarragon fre

Crab-Tarragon Soufflé {Food'N'Flix}: Because I Said So

Unlike our esteemed event hostess for the month, Heather of girlichef , I am not a movie buff. My husband and I hardly ever escape to the theatre for a date. 'Dinner and a movie' is tough to justify when you're paying a sitter by the hour and most movies don't need to be seen on the big screen anyway. We usually opt out of the movie part and just languish around a table, eating, drinking, and remembering why we like each other. Case in point: while we were in port during a cruise with my parents, they kept the boys and we stole away for Alaska beers and reindeer pizza. And by the time movies make it to DVD or netflix, I usually only have my eyes on the screen for 50 to 75% of the time; it's challenging to watch a movie when you're reading a book or making jewelry at the same time! So, when I do sit down to watch a movie, with undivided attention, there's usually a purpose. Once a month, I watch one for Food'N'Flix , with a notepad in hand, to d

A Winning Recipe

I just got the email..."Congratulations, Camilla! Your recipe for  Malfatti di Ricotta e Bietola is the store finalist recipe winner for We Olive Paso Robles,  in the 'Discover Cooking with California Olive Oil' recipe contest." Woo hoo. So, we're headed to Paso. I didn't win the Grand Prize which would have given me four tickets, but I did win two and a lot of perks. Now begins the ticket wrestling - Jake and Pia both feel that the ticket should belong to them. Here's my winning recipe... MALFATTI DI RICOTTA E BIETOLA .

Cooking Around the World: Eritrea

Tonight we headed to Eritrea for dinner in our Cooking Around the World Adventure. Eri - where? Eritrea. Eritrea, roughly the size of Indiana, was formerly the northernmost province of Ethiopia and was once an Italian Colony. The Italians named the colony after the Roman name for the Red Sea, Mare Erythraeum , controlling the area until World War II. Eritrea is bordered by the Sudan on the north and west, the Red Sea on the north and east, and Ethiopia and Djibouti on the south.    This was probably one of the easier international meals I've made. And, surprisingly, Jake declared it in his top 5. When I asked what were the meals above it, he shrugged.  "I don't remember, but this is defnitely 'top 5'." I served a traditional Eritrean recipe for a classic leavened flatbread flavored with garlic, cumin, and cardamom: Hembesha . 1 1/2 C warm water 1 T active, dry yeast 1 T organic granulated sugar 4 C white whole wheat flour (I have no idea w

Cooking Around the World: Equatorial Guinea

When I was looking for a recipe to make for our virtual stop in Equatorial Guinea, I came across a recipe that was translated as "Guinea Fowl Paella." I absentmindedly asked aloud, "what's a guinea fowl look like?" And my 8-year-old immediately launched into what ended up being a very detailed - and accurate - description: Mommy, it's black and white,'s like a chicken...but with a blue, bald turkey head. You know it has a comb. Well, the males have a comb on the a rooster. Click here to read what the Animal Planet website has to say about the birds. Turns out that not only does the bird look like a chicken-turkey, but it, apparently, tastes like a chicken-turkey. The Guinea Fowl Paella recipe resembled a variation of the ubiquitous, and almost sacrosanct, West African recipe for Jollof. Every West Affrican country has its own version and abhors "inauthentic" variations. From Ghana to Senegal, each country pu

Y-Om Mani Padme Hum-y Fruit Galettes

Om Mani Padme Hum click here to read more about this Tibetan mantra I was inspired to make a plum galette this morning with the bounty of plums from the Mobley's tree and the simple yeast dough recipe from the monks at the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center that was published in the Monterey County Weekly this week. Riley wanted to hull some strawberries, with his gadget . So, we ended up with one strawberry galette and one plum galette. Om Mani Padme Hum ... cooking is my happy place. I doubled the recipe and then made some adaptations because the dough seemed far too wet.  Here's my recipe for the dough: 1/2 C warm water 2 t active dry yeast 2 pinches of organic granulated sugar 3-1/2 C white whole wheat flour 1 t pink Himalaya salt 2 large eggs 6 T soft butter Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let bloom for 10 minutes. Add 3 C flour, 2 room temperature eggs, salt, and buter. Beat with a wooden spoon until you form a smo

Cooking Around the World: El Salvador

We're blazing through the 'E' countries in our cooking around the world adventure with a stop, tonight, in El Salvador. Here are some fun facts about El Salvador... El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, but it has the largest shopping mall in all of central America! El Salvador’s currency is the US dollar, and it’s been like that for over 10 years. El Salvadorians are also called Guanacos. El Salvador is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world hosting tons of surf competitions yearly. Out of all the Central American countries, it’s the only that doesn’t have a Caribbean coast line. El Salvador is known to have some of the most active volcanoes in Central America. And, unlike most of our virtual travel, we actually have had authentic Salvadorean food, so it was just a matter of replicating it. Dylan said that I did a good job. Success! Here's what I made: pupusas - one with a kale and potato filling and one wi