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Showing posts from October, 2012

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes {Food'N'Flix} Round-Up

Today's the day that the round-up of our October Food'N'Flix entries went live. Click for the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes-inspired culinary creations . Everything looks so good - from the bloody mary to the BLT. It's all on my to-cook list now. Thanks for hosting such a fun movie, Elizabeth at the Law Student's Cookbook . I'm looking forward to next month's pick; I'll get to re-watch and cook from Julie & Julia .

Spiced Zucchini Bundt

2 C white whole wheat flour 1 t baking powder 1/2 t baking soda 1 t ground cinnamon 1/2 t ground cardamom 1/2 t ground ginger 3 large eggs 1 1/2 C organic raw turbinado sugar 2 T maple syrup 1 T molasses 1 C melted butter 2 C grated zucchini Butter your bundt pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk all of the wet ingredients (except for the zucchini) together. Add in the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Fold in the zucchini and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove cake to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Mushroom, Poblano, and Cilantro Salsa

Ever heard of mushroom salsa? I haven't. But this will definitely be on my fresh salsa rotation from now on. Salsa de Hongas adapted from  Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavors by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangelina Soza 1 pound crimini mushroom, washed, dried, and chopped 1 t crushed garlic 1 roasted poblano pepper, deseeded and diced 1 C fresh cilantro, chopped juice from 3 limes 2 T olive oil salt to taste In a bowl combine all of the ingredients. Let sit for a couple of hours - at least - to allow the flavors to develop and the mushrooms to soften. This will appear at my friend's Halloween Street Taco Party. Happy Halloween!

Dylan's BOOtiful Fruit Salad

This hardly merits a recipe, but I wanted to share my mini-chefs' creativity for this BOOtiful Fruit Salad with Goolish (sic) Grapes and Scary Berrys (sic). Happy Halloween! The boys argued about whether they would put mint in with the fruit. Riley said, "Not everyone likes fresh herbs in their fruit salad." Dylan argued that it was his class party and he liked mint! And in they went. blackberries raspberries strawberries black grapes 1 C chopped fresh mint

Mandazi {Kenya} + Coffee

Mandazi - also known as Maandazi or Ndao , sometimes called Mahamri or Mamri - are, basically,  East African donuts. You can find them in large urban areas and also among the Swahili people of East Africa. Most small restaurants, called hotelis in Kenya, serve mandazi as a breakfast or a snack. You can also find them being sold by street vendors. Usually mandazi are eaten with chai, spiced tea, or coffee. D had a great time shaking the finished mandazi in a bag filled with sugar. It was the perfect activity to get his early morning energy out. One more note, these are typically fried. I decided to bake them in a butter pan instead. Ingredients 1 egg, beaten 1/2 C organic granulated sugar 1/2 C milk [2 Tbsp. butter, melted] I forgot to add this in...whoops! 2 C white whole wheat flour 2 t baking powder more organic granulated sugar for shaking Procedure Mix all the ingredients together, adding more flour if necessary. The dough should be sof

Cooking Around the World: Kazakhstan

We are launching into the K-countries this week in our cooking around the world adventure . Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is the world's  ninth largest country in the by land area and is also the world's largest landlocked country. It  is located in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.   Kazakh national cuisine is heavy on meat and milk. And though a traditional Kazakh dinner involves a multitude of appetizers followed by soup and, then, one or two main courses, I kept it simple with a single dish tonight: Kazakh Plov , rice pilaf. Their traditional drinks are intriguing, but not readily available here. They drink mare's milk - kumys,  camel's milk - shubat,  and sheep milk. We poured airan , cow's milk, and I had some goat's milk leftover from our Jordanian dinner. I also made a pot of chai which is one of the staples of the Adai Kazakhs. Black tea was introduced from China along the Silk Road and is usually served with sweets af

Cardamom Pannekoeken with Poached Quince

Click to read how I re-discovered this childhood favorite during a cookbook review for Shauna Sever's Pure Vanilla . And since I knew it would be the perfect way to kick off this chilly autumn week, I doubled the recipe and made several pannekoeken . I topped them with my Vanilla-Yuzu Poached Quince . 1-1/3 C milk 6 eggs 4 T salted butter, melted 2 t pure vanilla extract caviar from one vanilla bean 1/2 t ground cardamom 1/2 t baking powder 1-1/3 C white whole wheat flour Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter two baking dishes and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla caviar, vanilla extract, and ground cardamom. Blend in the flour and baking powder. Whisk for a full minute. Pour the batter into your prepared dish and bake until the  Pannekoeken  is puffed and golden, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. I topped ours with poached quince.

Cranberry-Quince Sauce with Cardamom

Looking forward to Thanksgiving - and my Bounty of the County theme this year - I decided to make a cranberry sauce with the poaching liquid from my quince. Jake's response: "That's different. Wow!" And that is one of the reasons I married the man - he is always up for an adventure, culinary and otherwise. 2 C leftover quince poaching liquid 1 C poached quince 3 C cranberries 3/4 C organic granulated sugar 1 t ground cardamom Place all of the ingredients in a flat-bottom pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until set. Hot pack in jars to seal. This will be the perfect with our marinated, grilled quail. *Update 11/16/2012: I just added this post to  Katherine Martinelli's Thanksgiving Blog Hop *

Quince-Poblano-Pumpkin Salsa

Enough of the sweet quince's time for something smoky, spicy, and savory: quince-poblano-pumpkin salsa. Before you start, roast two poblano peppers and one mini sugar pumpkin. Poach four quinces (cored, peeled and sliced). Thinly slice the peppers and cube the pumpkin. In a large flat-bottom pan, brown three sliced shallots and the peppers in a splash of olive oil. Add the quince, 1 C water, 1/2 C white balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer. Cook until the quince begins to soften and come apart. Add in 2 T yuzu juice, 2 C cubed roasted pumpkin, and more water if needed. Continue cooking until the pumpkin begins to soften. Then stir in 2 t smoked paprika and season with freshly ground salt to taste. Spoon into sterilized jars and process in a water bath.

Vanilla-Quince Jelly

Not wanting to waste the poaching liquid from my vanilla-yuzu poached quince , I simmered it down to make a bit of jelly. And I do mean, a bit. A wee bit. After topping off my jars of poached quince, I strained the liquid through a mesh and had about 2 C left. I added 1/2 C organic granulated sugar and the vanilla bean. I brought it a boil and boiled rapidly until setting point is reached, about 15 minutes. As the liquid cooks, it will turn from golden to a rosy, apricot color. I ended up with about 1/2 a cup of jelly. Next time I'm going to have to set out to make jelly...versus making jelly from leftovers!

Vanilla-Yuzu Poached Quince

Today is Quince least it's the day that I was able to pick up the ten pounds of quince that I ordered from Happy Girl Kitchen. There's something magical about quince and I'm sure it's only augmented by the fact that it's in-season time is so brief. But that scent is intoxicating and I waiver between wanting to cook it all immediately and just wanting to sit here with a fruit to my nose, breathing in the heady, floral aroma. I decided to poach a batch first. When Barbara Ghazarian writes in  Simply Quince , "the old-fashioned, long simmer method on the stove top is the only process that develops the characteristic caramel color and full-bodied flavor of the fruit," I'm going to trust her and not try to re-invent quincing. Yes, I'm making it a verb: to quince. But I added in a whole vanilla bean and used yuzu as my citrus. 7 C water 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 whole vanilla bean 2 T yuzu juice 8 C peeled, cored, sliced qui

Cooking Around the World: Japan

I almost wasn't sure we needed to cook for Japan on our cooking around the world adventure . I mean, that's our usual escapist meal. When we don't want to cook, sushi, teriyaki, and udon are at the top of our list. So I decided that instead of trying to replicate our favorite eat-out-dinner, we would make something completely different. I had a whole head of cabbage in the fridge; we decided on okonomiyaki for the main course. We started with inarizushi and steamed edamame. And I let the boys get some package treats for dessert. Fun facts about Japan that the boys found interesting: Raw horse meat is a popular food in Japan. A musk melon, similar to a cantaloupe, may sell for over $300. Coffee is popular and Japan imports 85% of Jamaica's annual coffee production. Japan's literacy rate is almost 100%. Sumo wrestlers eat a stew called Chankonabe to fatten up.  Noodles, especially soba (buckwheat), are slurped lo

Edible Flower Friday: Saffon

Welcome to my monthly post about cooking with flowers! I kicked off this series last month by showcasing recipes with elderflower . This month, inspired by my pulling a bottle of Liquore Strega out for Halloween, I decided that saffron deserved the spotlight today. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus , commonly known as the saffron crocus. Because each flower's stigmas must be collected by hand and there are only a few threads per flower, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.  Saffron also has a long, colorful history, with cultivation documented as far back as ancient Persians in the 10th century B.C. Inhabitants in Derbena, Isfahan, and Khorasan wove saffron threads into textiles, included them in dyes and perfumes, and even steeped them into teas to fight depression. Legend has it that Cleopatra used saffron in her baths to enhance sensations during sex. Alexander the Great used saffron in his infusions, rice, and baths - not as an

Okonomiyaki {Japan}

   Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake. Okonomi means something along the lines of "what you want" and yaki means "grilled" or "cooked." Widely available around the country, the dish is typically associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas. And toppings and batters vary by region. We kept ours simple: cabbage, dried shrimp, and green onions. The batter: 1-1/2 C chicken stock, 1-1/2 C white whole wheat flour, and three eggs. Whisk all of the ingredients together to form a thin pancake batter. Stir in 6 C of cabbage, 1/2 C dried shrimp, and 1/2 C chopped green onions. Cook in a flat pan until the batter is cooked, the cabbage is softened, and the pancake is lightly browned. I had seen beautiful images of okonomiyaki garnished with okonomiyaki sauce marbled with mayonnaise. Dylan opted for the plop and smear method. So, it wasn't very photogenic, but it was delicious. All the okonomiyaki sauce recipes I found were slightly differe

Yuzu Inarizushi {Japan}

Riley's absolutely favorite Japanese food is inari , a fried tofu pouch stuffed with seasoned rice. So, when Dylan and I were picking up some things at the market, Dylan insisted that he was going to make inari for his brother. Sweet boy! Well, he can be... Typcially you would use sushi rice - for its stickiness - but we had some leftover rice from our Jamaican dinner, so we used that. We brought our leftover rice to room temperature, seasoned it with a mixture of sugar, yuzu juice, and a splash of soy sauce, and folded in some Nori Furikake (sesame seeds mixed with mini strips of seaweed). Then Dylan stuffed the rice mixture into the fried tofu pouches. We didn't measure; he just improvised. He kept it under wraps until dinner. When Riley came over, he squealed and gave Dylan a huge hug. Awwww...brothers. They are either best friends or worst enemies. There is no in between.

Cooking Around the World: Jamaica

It been a busy couple of weeks. And though I've been cooking, I haven't been blogging as much about the Cooking Around the World adventure as we have been eating. I'll try to catch up this week. When looking for what to make for our tabletop travel to Jamaica, I kept singing this in my head... Down the way where the nights are gay And the sun shines daily on the mountain top I took a trip on a sailing ship But when I reached Jamaica I made a stop But I'm sad to say I'm on my way Won't be back for many a day My heart is down, my head is turning around I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town Sounds of laughter everywhere And the dancing girls swinging to and fro I must declare my heart is there Though I've been from Maine to Mexico But I'm sad to say I'm on my way I won't be back for many a day My heart is down, my head is turning around I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town Down at the market you can hear Ladies cry out while

Spiced Chocolate-Molasses Cake

During this October #Unprocessed month, I learned that molasses is the epitome of processed , but it adds such depth to cakes that I couldn't resist. 1 C butter, softened 4 eggs 1 C organic sour cream 1 C dark molasses 1 C organic, raw turbinado sugar 3 C white whole wheat flour 2 t baking soda 1 t baking powder 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder 1 t ground cinnamon 1/2 t ground nutmeg 1/2 t ground cardamom 1/2 t ground ginger 1 t pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter your baking dish (I used a 9"x13" rectangle for this recipe). Whisk together all of the wet ingredients until they form a smooth batter. Gently fold in the dry ingredients until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the dish and bake for an hour - or until the cake bounces back to the touch in the middle. Serve warm or cool with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Get ready for some Mexican cooking adventures! I just received my copy of the tri-generational cookbook - Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor - from  Hippocrene Books . Today. And perfect timing, too. Our friend assigned me to bring salsa and guacamole to our Halloween street taco feast. Can't wait to get cooking.

Nonna's Pink & Purple Bundt Cake

I got to see my boys' sense of humor when we were talking about my mom's birthday cake. Dylan said, "I want to make her a pretty pink and purple cake with - " Riley interrupted "with Medusa snakes made of marzipan!" They both collapsed on the floor in a fit of laughter.  Why?  "Mom, Medusa is a witch." Let's just hope that Nonna has a sense of humor, too. She did. I was able to talk Dylan into the fact that pink and purple blend to a magenta color - the same color as beets. So, he went with a beet bundt cake with a beet-lemon juice glaze. To make it pretty, he added sugar pearls. CAKE 1 C all-purpose flour 1 C white whole wheat flour 1 t baking powder 1/2 t baking soda 1 t ground cinnamon 1/2 t ground cardamom 1/2 t ground nutmeg 3 large eggs 1 3/4 C organic raw turbinado sugar 1 C extra-virgin olive oil 2 t pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 C julienned beets (I roasted them, peeled them, and used my julienne pee