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Showing posts from July, 2013

Road Trip? It's Time for Ice Cream!

Every family has road trip traditions, right? Ours - finding fun ice cream shoppes along the way. No matter what the season. Here we are, in Sausalito, a couple of years ago. It was Spring Break. It was cold. But that didn't stop us from getting some scoops and enjoying the view of The City! Ice cream has come a long way since I was a kid. I remember going to Thrifty's when scoops were fifteen cents. Yes, I'm that old! And the flavors from which you could choose were basic: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint chip, and bubblegum. There may have been a few more flavors - butter pecan comes to mind - but not too many. Combinations were had by getting more than one scoop with whatever flavors you wanted to combine. And the ice cream tower teetered precariously on your cone while you ran your tongue from one flavor to the next.  Gone are those days. Ice cream flavors now are dictated by what's in season and bound only by the creativity of the ice cream maker. Thin

Aunt Tiffy's Sugar Cookies

NOTE: This is NOT my recipe. This was given to me, by my cousin Tiffany,  cookie-maker extraordinaire . We had gone to a baby shower for my cousin M - Tiffany's sister -  this past weekend and the favors were these cute-as-a-button sugar cookies. There are tons of sugar cookies that are pretty but taste like, well, cardboard.  As the boys munched on these, they insisted that we send Tiff an email and get her recipe because - and I quote - "these are the BEST sugar cookies we've ever had." So, I emailed. And she shared. Aunt Tiffy's Sugar Cookies - 2 3/4 C flour - 1 t baking powder - 1 t salt - 3/4 C butter, softened - 1 C sugar - 2 eggs - 1 t vanilla extract Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside in a bowl.  Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix.  Gradually add flour mixture.  Mix completely.  Chill dough for about 2 hours.  (You can keep the dough in the fridge for about a week, or fre

Zucchini Pizza, Take Two

After I brought out my Lemon Zucchini Chevre Pizza - and after the boys each ate a slice - Riley, very politely, asked if I had any more dough and could I make a version without the chevre. I knew it wasn't a mini-boy favorite when I made it, but went with it anyway. So, I asked what kind of cheese he would like me to use and he walked over to the fridge: Can you use this shaved parmesan and romano instead? I like everything else. "Can you skip the black pepper, too?" piped up the littlest Mann. Fine. More leftover chevre for my lunch and Daddy's lunch tomorrow.  Here's take two of the zucchini pizza tonight. It's a good thing this dough is fast. Quick and Easy Pizza Dough 1 T active dry yeast 1 T organic granulated sugar 1 C warm water 3 C white whole wheat flour 1/2 C ground almonds 2 T olive oil Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let bloom until creamy, about 10 minutes

Zucchini-Lemon-Chevre Pizza

I was inspired by this post at Cupcake Muffin: Zucchini-Lemon-Goat Cheese Pizza . It made me miss the fresh, seasonal pies at The Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley and when I saw that my CSA box, from Fogline Farm , had zucchini today, I knew what I was making for dinner. Here's my version. Thanks for the inspiration, Sara! Quick and Easy Pizza Dough 1 T active dry yeast 1 T organic granulated sugar 1 C warm water 3 C white whole wheat flour 1/2 C ground almonds 2 T olive oil Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let bloom until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, ground almonds, and oil. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes. Press dough - with floured fingers - onto baking stone.  Toppings 2 organic Meyer lemon 4 oz goat cheese, at room temperature handful of fresh cilantro, thinly sliced freshly ground sea salt freshly ground black pepper drizzle of ol

Cooking Around the World: The Netherlands

As we have already cooked a Dutch dinner, I'm simply reposting those recipes and counting it as our tabletop travel to the Netherlands during this Cooking Around the World Adventure . Quick background: I lived in Holland for three years as a kid. I went to pre-school and kindergarten there. I spoke Dutch fluently; well, fluently for a five or six-year-old. And I thought that I really was Dutch. I lamented my black hair, brown eyes, and weird name; I wanted to look like my friends. I swore to my mom that when I turned eighteen I was going to dye my hair and legally change my name to a Dutch name. Thankfully, that was a fleeting fancy. I am very happy with my dark looks and unusual name now. But I still have my  klompens  and I still put carrots and celery in them for Sinter Klaas on Christmas Eve. And I still love, love, love, love, love my tulips. So, despite realizing that I am not Dutch, Dutch traditions still hold a dear place in my heart. For dinner...  Vooriaarsgroent

Cooking Around the World: Nepal

Our  Cooking Around the World Adventure  has brought us to Nepal. Dylan and I - a couple of years back - went to a Nepalese restaurant when we took Pia there during her Eat-Your-Way-Around-Berkeley Birthday weekend. The food was delicious. Country: Nepal Fun Facts : Nepal’s local name for Mt. Everest is Sagarmatha , or “goddess of the sky.” The flag of Nepal is the only national flag that is not quadrilateral in shape. [See right.] Eight of the world’s highest peaks can be found in Nepal. Touching anything with your feet is considered offensive in Nepal. The abominable snowman, also known as the yeti, is a legendary apelike creature that is believed to frequent the high valleys of Nepal. Greetings in Nepal are similar to the greetings in India– people put their palms together and then bow their forehead, saying “ Namaste ,” which directly translates to “I salute the God in you.” Here's what we made... Momo Click for the origin

Dal Bhat {Nepalese Lentil Curry}

Another of the Nepalese dishes we tried at the Taste of the Himalayas was a must: dal bhat , Nepalese lentil curry. Yum! 1-1/2 C red lentils, washed and drained 3 C organic chicken stock, or water 1/2 t turmeric dash of ground coriander dash of ground cumin dash of ground cloves dash of ground cinnamon dash of ground cardamom freshly ground pepper freshly ground salt 1 T mustard 1/2 onion, diced rice to serve In a large souppot, cook the onions in a splash of oil until they are softened and translucent. Add the lentils and stir in the spices, except the salt and pepper. Add the mustard and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and beginning to fall apart - approximately 30 minutes. Season to taste and serve with cooked rice.

Momo {Nepalese Meat Dumpling}

These [right] were the momo that Dylan, Pia, and I had in Berkeley a few years back. They were delicious and I knew that when we reached Nepal in our tabletop travels we were going to (attempt to) make them. Here we go! I put both kitchen elves to work tonight... Dough 2-1/2 C all-purpose white whole wheat flour (I think next time, I'll go with all-purpose flour, but white whole wheat was all I had tonight) 2 T oil water, as needed (I think I ended up using about 1 C) freshly ground sea salt In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water. Mix well until the dough comes together. Knead until the dough is elastic. If too dry, add more water. If too wet, add more flour. Cover and let for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the filling... Filling 1 lb ground turkey (from what I read, they make this out of yak, traditionally. I had turkey in the fridge) 1/2 C minced onion 2 T crushed garlic 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped 1 tablespoon fres

Taking the Lunchbox War Head-On {Call for Recipes}

The reality is setting in: summer is almost over. And I am steeling myself to the advent of the Lunchbox Wars , year seven. Seriously. My mini-foodies don't like to stand-out in the lunchroom. Their adventurous palates are reserved for our house for some reason. Here's a poem that a friend wrote about me - just in case you had any doubt that I am a kitchen witch... There once was a really mean mother Who was evil to two little brothers "Nothing deep-fried!" She yelled as they tried To eat food just like the others. So, I'm asking for your recipes and hope that this little exchange helps inspire you as well. We can all use new, kid-approved lunches, right?!?

Lunchbox Wars with My Closet Foodies

What!? Summer's almost over!!!? Say it isn't so. School is back in session in a couple of weeks which means a few things for us: (1) less time during the week for tabletop travel, though I do promise at least two or three meals from our Cooking Around the World Adventure ; and (2) the advent of the Lunchbox Wars, year seven. My boys are not picky eaters. They eat escargot for goodness sake. They pluck lettuce from the ground and shove it in their mouths. They love kale. But, for some bizarre reason, they don't want to eat like that at school. They are closet-foodies. And each and every year we fight about what goes into their lunchboxes. My all-time favorite comment, from Riley, was during 1st grade: "Mom, can you please pack the pad thai and take it to Nonna's so I can eat it  after  school? I really want to eat it. But I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at school...just like the other kids."  Really?!? What's wrong with pad thai? So sand

Tomato-Peach Cobbler {Recipe Testing}

As part of the F ood52 community, I occasionally volunteer to test a recipe and submit some headnotes. This weekend, I signed up to try  In My Kitchen 's Sweet Tomato and Peach Cobbler . And we were invited to a barbeque at our friends' house, so I thought it the perfect addition to the potluck. Sweet, vine-ripened tomatoes and succulent stone fruit are the embodiment of summer. But in the end, the verdict was a resounding THUMBS DOWN from everyone who tried it. I will say that I have never brought a dessert to a party and had more than half of it leftover. So that is saying something. People liked the peach and loved the cobbler topping; the tomatoes just didn't fit. I had to agree: the idea of the dessert was fantastic. The actual dessert was not a hit so I am opting not to post the recipe here. You can click here to try the original recipe for yourself. *Update 7/23/2013: I emailed the Food52 editors in a quandry - the dish wasn't a hit, do you want my

Skinning Tomatoes Easily {How To}

Have you ever read in a recipe that requires 'skinned tomatoes' and thought that it would be easier to deseed strawberries?!? Well, it's a piece of cake if you do these two easy steps first! Step One: Bring water to a boil, turn off the heat, and submerge your tomatoes - whole - into the water. Let sit for two minutes. Step Two: Quickly plunge the tomatoes into ice water. They can sit in there for as long as you like. Step Three : Peel 'em! Now you can score the skin and easily peel the skin off! Piece of cake.

Sensational Summer Squash Linky {Round-Up}

Squash Noun 1. A state of being squeezed or forced into a small or restricted space: "it was a tight squash but he didn't seem to mind". 2. An edible gourd, the flesh of which may be cooked and eaten as a vegetable.  We're talking about the latter. I put out a call for recipes - anything and everything that uses summer squash. Check out what the bloggers brought to the party. Savories Zucchini Tagliatelle by Noshing with the Nolands Fresh Zucchini Tart by Call Me PMC Gluten Free Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Meatballs over Courgette Noodles by S mall Wallet Big Appetite Zucchini-Lemon-Goat Cheese Pizza by Cupcake Muffin Spiced Zucchini-Carrot-Yam Fritters by  Cupcake Muffin Stuffed Zucchini by Making Miracles Zucchini Parmesan Crisps by Making Memories with Your Kids Zucchini Bacon Cheese Quiche by  Making Memories with Your Kids Baked Zucchini Tots by  Making Memories with Your Kids Zucchini Hamburger Pie by BCMom's

Cooking Around the World: Nauru

We're into the Ns in our  Cooking Around the World Adventure . Next up: Nauru. It's the world's smallest independent republic and is one fascinating country in as much as I can hardly find any information about it. Granted, it's less than 15 square miles, but it is populated and they have to eat something, right?!? I found references to white rice and SPAM. Ugh. Sorry, that's not going to happen during this tabletop trip or any other! Another mystery: the exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific. A German-British consortium began mining the island's phosphate deposits early in the 20th century. And phosphate mining devastated the island environmentally. So, virtually all of their food is imported, including fish caught by nearby Kiribati fishermen. In pre-mining times, Nauru had plenty of pandanus and fish, and they ate those with coconut meat. White rice is a staple, and fish with ri