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Showing posts from June, 2013

Chocolate-Cherry Crisp

We always raid the cherry trees  after Gabe's birthday party. This year was no different! As soon as we got home, Dylan pulled out his cherry pitter and pitted 4 C of cherries for dessert. Then we just needed to decide what to make. Cherry pie was an obvious choice as was Clafoutis . Then I remembered a Croatian Cherry Cake with Maraschino Liqueur . I also considered some Cherry Hand Pies . In the end, I decided to make a Chocolate-Cherry Crisp. I still have more cherries, so I guess I'll get to make something else this week. 4 C fresh, pitted cherries 2 T flour 1/2 C dark chocolate chips Crisp 6 T butter 1 C flour 1/3 C organic, granulated sugar 1/4 C ground almonds 1/2 t ground cardamom Mix the cherries and flour together until the cherries are well-covered. Pour them into a pie dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the cherries. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all of the crisp ingredients together with a pastry cutter u

Liberating Cherries from Gabe's Trees

Every year we pick cherries at the end of Gabe's birthday party. They have Bing and Stella trees; I'm not sure what we were picking, but we had a blast! Look for cherry recipes to come. Dylan had his cherry pitter out as soon as we got home.

Coconut Oil Pannekoeken

I saw a post from a fellow food blogger this morning, stating: "I believe there are omelet people and pancake people. Discuss." Agreed. I am an omelet person who lives with three pancake people. But since my three pancake people don't like my pancakes, I make Dutch Pannekoeken . Click to read how I  re-discovered this childhood favorite  during a  cookbook review for Shauna Sever's  Pure Vanilla .  I decided to give favorite recipe a try without using butter in the batter. No particular reason...just because...I thought it would be an interesting variation. And I love the way it smells. 1-1/3 C milk 6 eggs 2 T coconut oil, melted 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 coconut oil, and ground cardamom. Blend in the flour and baking powder. Whisk for a full minute. Pour the

Jiro Dreams of Sushi-Inspired Round-Up {Food'N'Flix}

Here we go. Below are all of the submissions for the June Food'N'Flix event where I selected  Jiro Dreams of Sushi  as our inspiration and starting point. If you haven't seen this, you should! Meet Jiro Ono. His restaurant only serves sushi. As they tell one customer: no appetizers, no sake. Just sushi. The restaurant is tucked into a subterranean space and only has 10 seats at a counter. Despite that less than sexy location and configuration, Jiro has been awarded three stars, the highest possible rating, by the Michelin Guide. Director David Gelb paints the picture of a man whose relationship with sushi is passionate, vacillating between love and madness. Jiro is a perfectionist and his apprentices must strive for that perfection as well. At one point the narrator describes how apprentices spend weeks learning how to squeeze out a towel properly before ever touching a piece of food. One apprentice spent months perfecting tamagoyaki . And to prepare the octopus, so

Cooking Around the World: Cabbage Rolls. Beet Salad. Chickpea Pudding {Moldova}

I had to get out my atlas for this one. Moldova? Never heard of it! Landlocked Moldova lies between Romania and Ukraine and consists of hilly grasslands flanked by the Prut and Dniester Rivers. Mostly pastoral lands, Moldova was part of Romania before World War II, and a majority of Moldovans still speak Romanian. Soviets annexed Moldova in 1940, and Russians and Ukrainians settled in the industrial region east of the Dniester (known as Transdniestria). After Moldova gained independence in 1991, Transdniestria seceded, making Tiraspol its capital. Here's what we made. Click on the titles to go to the recipe post. Sarmale  (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves) Moldovan Beetroot Salad Moldovan Chickpea Pudding These Culinary Adventurers are heading to Monaco next in our Cooking Around the World journey . Have you been cooking along? If so, what's your favorite cuisine so far?

Chickpea Pudding {Moldova}

This is a surprising sweet although mine is not a totally traditional version. A traditional Moldovan pudding uses yogurt or sour cream.  I have never used chickpeas for a dessert. I definitely will do it again soon. 2 C precooked chickpeas 3 T honey 3 T ricotta 2 T heavy whipping cream 1 t ground cinnamon Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until preferred texture is achieved. Scrape down the sides, as needed. Pour into individual serving dishes.

Moldovan Beet Salad

This is a Moldovan recipe for a traditional salad of cooked beets mixed with nuts, garlic and mayonnaise. I'm sure the beets used are usually magenta; I had golden beets in my CSA box, so I used those. This was not a hit. Here's how the conversation went with Riley... R: I don't like coleslaw. C: It's not coleslaw. R: I don't like sauerkraut. C: It's not sauerkraut. R: I just don't like it! C: Well, eat three big bites anyway. Ingredients 2 cups beets, cooked and shredded 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 2 Tablespoons ground almonds 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise 1 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice freshly ground sea salt, to taste Procedure Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside to infuse for at least 1 hour before serving as a side dish.

Sarmale {Moldovan Stuffed Cabbage Leaves}

Ingredients 1 large head green cabbage, cored 1/2 cup rice, parboiled for 10 minutes and drained 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh arugula 2 Tablespoons ground almonds 1/2 Tablespoon sweet paprika 1 pound organic, grassfed ground beef freshly ground sea salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 cups sauerkraut 8 sprigs fresh thyme 4 bay leaves 1 cup crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup chicken stock Procedure Place ground meat in a mixing bowl with parboiled rice, paprika, salt, pepper, arugula, and fresh thyme. Mix well with your clean hands. Take out the core of the cabbage. Leave head whole. Place in large pot of boiling water to wilt the outer leaves. You will be able to gently pull off whole cabbage leaves. Trim off thick center vein of cabbage leaves. Make a pile of leaves on your work station. Shake excess water off. Place 2 T of meat and rice mixture on a leaf (starting at the thick end) and roll

The Popcorn Shoppe

You know your kids are foodies-in-training when you hear them swapping popcorn recipes with their buddies. So, Nonna lent us her air-popper and Riley went to town. Family Friday Movie Night just got a lot more delicious. Step One : Measure out the kernels, as directed by your machine... Step Two : Wait and watch... Step Three : Toss with melted butter. Riley went with a traditional popcorn tonight. Plain ol' butter. His friend said we should try worcestershire sauce plus onion powder. But we didn't have either of those. Next time. Do you have a Friday night movie tradition in your household? What did you watch tonight?! We rented Oz the Great and Powerful .

Cooking Around the World: Curry and Coconut Chutney {Micronesia/Palau}

from Though not politically affiliated with Micronesia anymore, Palau is geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia. And, for that, I'm calling this country done and moving on. I cooked a Palauan feast years ago for a friend's birthday. Micronesia consists of the Caroline Islands Archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean. Initially owned by Spain, Germany purchased the islands before the turn of 19th Century. Japan later occupied the region. Then, in the late 1980s, 600 islands and atolls became self-governing in free association with the United States. On the food front, they grow: black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, cassava (tapioca) and pigs. They export fish, bananas, and black pepper. Palauan food, at least the dishes I selected, were a blend of spicy and sticky and in need a cooling counterpart. Fresh coconut chutney was the perfect foil. Fresh Coconut

Cooking Around the World: Mexico

Back on track in our Cooking Around the World Adventure because Dylan wrote on his "to accomplish this summer list": Cook with Mommy. Learn more about countries by cooking around the world. Talk about a guilt trip. Yes, I have been remiss. Fine. We have actually been cooking, but not systematically and not blogging. So, here we go. Mexico A few little known facts... Mexico and Luxembourg are the only two countries in the world that are spelled with the letter X. In the 1990s Mexico accepted the indigenous languages as official languages for the country so Mexican legal documents can now be written in any of the 60 languages!  An underground river 95 miles long flows beneath Mexico. The river occupies a lengthy series of limestone caves below Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Two SCUBA divers from Europe spent four years exploring these caverns and discovered that the second and third largest Mexican cave systems were actually connected. The piñata, the q

New Kid on the Block: Yafa {Food Review}

Last Friday, Jake and I went to a Summer Solstice celebration hosted by a good friend and his landlord. We kicked up our heels, charged our glasses, and reveled in the views of a verdant gorge out in Carmel Valley on the longest day of the year. It had all the makings of a great party - delectable eats, free-flowing wine, live music, and lively conversations with friends. But the point of this post is to introduce you to a new kid on the (Carmel restaurant) block:   Yafa.  This is a food blog, after all. Many new restaurants require time to work out all the kinks. Like several months. Not so with newly-opened Yafa in Carmel. These guys have been open for less than a month and their food is impressive! Granted, I didn't actually eat at the restaurant, but the food at the party was fresh, light, and delicious. It's everything you want in a summer meal. And it was an absolutely perfect way to celebrate the Summer Solstice.  On the menu : Watermelon Salad - piqua

Camilla Dreams of Onigiri {Food'N'Flix}

Years ago I hosted a sushi-rolling party for my running group. We were 'on a roll' toward a half-marathon and I wanted to celebrate our successes. We were also celebrating a friend's birthday, so I made a Sushi Cake. Well, it was a cake that looked like sushi... I considered doing something like that for this month's  Food'N'Flix   dinner. I had chosen  Jiro Dreams of Sushi   for the group, after all. But, honestly, after watching the movie twice I just felt completely deflated. I was not inspired to cook anything; all I wanted to do was hop on a plane and go to Sukiyabashi Jiro .  I considered taking a trip to the local fish market for both ingredients and inspiration, but ours pales in comparison to the Tsukiji Market. Then I toyed with making a noodle dish like the one the apprentices were eating in the kitchen...something like ramen. No matter what I put on the table, nothing would look as delectable and fresh as his creations. When I started watc