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Showing posts from August, 2013

Spicy Grahams

I originally made this dough for my Food'N'Flix offering this month; I had planned to make a version of Mallomars, but they ended up being Mess-omars . Still, the cookie part was good. So, I stuck the dough in the fridge for another time. This was it! I guess Jake was bolstered by his fulfilled request for Mango Sticky Rice. So, when I asked what I should do with the chestnut paste I found, he ventured another suggestion: cheesecake?!? Okay. I decided to bake up my graham cracker dough for the crust. 1 C plus 1 T white whole wheat flour, plus more for the work surface 1/2 t baking soda 4 T butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces 1/4 C plus 1 T firmly packed organic dark brown sugar 1 T ginger syrup 1/2 t vanilla extract 2 T whole milk dash of ground ginger dash of ground cinnamon dash of ground nutmeg dash of ground cardamom Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium-h

Mango Sticky Rice

It is a rare day that Jake makes a request for food; he usually just eats whatever I make. But when he looked at the mango in our fruit bowl and asked, "Do you have any rice? The white, sticky kind?" I followed his gaze and commented, "You want mango sticky rice, don't you?!" Yes! Okay. This is not a traditional Thai  Khao Neeo Mamuang ; it's my own fast and loose interpretation. But it is delicious! 2 C Kuhuho Rose rice 2 C coconut cream 2 C milk 1/2 C organic granulated sugar 1 t pure vanilla extract 1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced Place all of the ingredients - except for the mango - in a large saucepan that has a lid. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and let steam until the rice is tender. If the rice is not cooked, but all the liquid has evaporated, add in more milk. Once the rice is cooked, spoon it out on individual plates and top with mango.

Elderflower Tomme {Formaggio Friday}

Though I have been completely remiss in trying a new cheese every Friday as I had planned for this year - Formaggio Friday - yesterday I found one at Trader Joe's that caught my eye: Elderflower Tomme. So, I bought it and served it with stuffed olives, rustic baguette, and an unfiltered wheat beer with a slice of lemon. Tommes, the story goes, are made by alpine cow herders during the winter, when milk is scarce and the nutrient concentrations in the milk markedly different. These are the same herders who make Comté and Beaufort—rugged, elastic cheeses that are crafted in huge wheels durable enough to sustain long transport down the mountain. Tommes were meant for the family versus something sold at market. As such the wheels are smaller than their summertime counterparts, they are aged for fewer months, and their interior is more creamy and fragile. Tommes tend to be grassy in flavor with an unctuous texture.  I can't say that we could really discern the elderf

Bushels of Fun with Apples {Call for Recipes}

The beginning of September means one thing for my family: apple picking! It's a family tradition...though we don't always go to the same orchard every year. Each year I stare at the bounty - juicy delicious orbs in all shades of red and green - and try to decide what to make. Apple Butter is a must. The boys love Apple Hand Pies . I've made an  Apple Tart with Plum Glaze , Spiced Apple Chutney , and even stuffed a pork tenderloin with apples when we made Fyldt Svinem Rbrad . But I've decided to open it up for suggestions, this year, and ask all of my foodie blogger friends for some suggestions. I'll keep the link open till September 6th and post a round-up that weekend. Feel free to link up to five recipes.

Label Lingo

We all see these labels every time we go to the store, but do we really know what they all mean?! I decided to delve into this a little bit more. Here's what I found: In 2002, the USDA's National Organic Program standardized label lingo so that consumers would know that when one product claimed 'organic' it meant the same thing as another product labeled 'organic.' I found this graphic at , but will include the details below - just in case you can't read it clearly. This  is  important! 100% Organic:  All ingredients must be certified organic and processing aids must be organic as well. The name of the certifying agent must be on the label which may carry the USDA Organic seal. Organic:  Products must contain at least 95% certified organic ingredients. The remaining 5% (except salt and water), along with any non-organic processing aids (such as chlorine to wash packaging equipment), must be from a national li

Dylan's Spiced Pear Jam

Bolstered by his Pickled Green Tomato Adventure , Dylan plunged head-long into creating his very own pear jam. I reminded him of our Pear-Vanilla Bean Jam , our Pear-Rhubarb-Rosemary Conserve , and told him we could do a version of our Apple Butter ...with pears. But, in true foodie fashion, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf decided to do his own thing. Actually, he wanted to do a Pear-Curry Jam. I steered him away from that for the night. Maybe when a smaller batch is at stake! Here's what he made... 10 pears (liberated - with permission, I hope! - from the neighbor's yard) 2 C organic granulated sugar 1 C water juice from 1 lime 1 T ginger syrup 1 star anise 1 green cardamom pod, crushed dash of ground cloves dash of ground cardamom 2 dashes of ground nutmeg 2 dashes of ground cinnamon 1 t pure vanilla extract Place all of the ingredients - except the juice from the lime and the ginger syrup - in a large flat-bottom pan. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and sim

Prinsefisk {Norway}

When I saw this recipe, I knew that I wanted to make it. Then a friend gave me 2 cups of homemade duck stock and it was a done deal. This is, of course, my adaptation; the original uses fish stock instead of duck, lemon juice instead of lime, asparagus instead of peas, and parsley instead of carrot top greens. As always, I use what I have! boneless and skinless Pacific Cod (click for Seafood Watch designation: here ) 2 C homemade duck stock (thanks, Undine!) 2 T butter 2 T flour 1 egg yolk freshly ground sea salt freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 C cooked and peeled shrimp 1/2 C blanched fresh peas 1 T carrot top greens Cut the fish into pieces. Poach in duck stock for 8-10 minutes - until fish is opaque and firm to the touch. Transfer the fish to a deep serving platter and keep warm. Melt the butter and stir in the flour. Gradually whisk in the stock. Simmer until thickened. Beat the egg yolk and whisk into the sauce. Season with salt and lime juice. Garnish

Green Tomato Pickles

Yesterday I picked up my kids - from my parents' house - and Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf had a box full of green cherry tomatoes and pockets full of pears. Mom , he gushed, I want to make pickled tomatoes and pear jam tonight!  Well, we were busy last night, so I stalled him. But his enthusiasm hasn't waned, so tonight is the night. First up: pickled green tomatoes from my parents' friend's garden. I found several different version of this recipe and melded a few together for my own batch. I accidentally forgot to add in a few tablespoons of sugar, but I found several pickle recipes without sugar. So, I didn't fret too much. firm green cherry tomatoes (we had enough to fill 8 half-pint jars) 2-1/2 C water 2-1/2 C white vinegar 1/2 C garlic salt 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved whole coriander seeds 8 bay leaves Bring water, vinegar, and salt to boil in a non-reactive saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes. In the meantime, poke a hole with a toothpic

Noodlemania! Lasagna Pinwheels {Cookbook Review}

Several months ago, Quirk Books mailed me a review copy of Melissa Barlow's Noodlemania! 50 Playful Pasta Recipes .* I had agreed to review it because my boys were on a huge homemade pasta kick. They had rallied together for a pasta machine and are quite adept with it; they are the Pasta-Making Manns . They even had a "roll-off" with friends for a birthday party. It was Team Linguine v. Team Fettucine . But I put it in the wrong stack of books and completely forgot about it. Yikes. Sorry! Melissa Barlow's  Noodlemania! 50 Playful Pasta Recipes   is heavy on the fun factor. Super duper fun. Like play with your food fun. Vivid colors and cutesy drawings grace the pages of the cookbook. And the interspersed Fun Facts are a kick. Did you know that the average American eats 20 pounds of pasta in a year while the average Italian eats 60 pounds of pasta in a year?!? Or that noodles are one of the world's most popular foods, and scientists have found noodles dating b

October #Unprocessed 2013 {Pledge}

Andrew Wilder, of  Eating Rules , started this four years ago - a month of eating only unprocessed foods. And while we are a household that eats very little packaged food, we do have  processed  ingredients. But, on second look, Andrew offers this: "Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients. I call it “The Kitchen Test.” If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed. It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you  could , in theory, do so." Since I  could  make my own pasta, pasta from the store can fit the bill?!? But even though I make my own jam, I don't make my own does that fit into the rules? I'm guessing jam

Defining October #Unprocessed 2013

While I made a  modified  pledge for October #Unprocessed 2012, reading these definitions made me feel a whole lot better about my possibility of success. And I've renewed my intentions for this year. What do you think? Can you do it? Would you?! Join us! Click here  read it on Andrew's Eating Rules website. Or read below for  his  answers to the questions that  I  had. Would these have been deal-breakers for you? Chocolate.  Yup, it’s okay, because it’s possible to make chocolate at home. However, if the store-bought chocolate contains extra emulsifiers, flavorings, or other additives that you wouldn’t use if you were make it at home, it’s off the list. Coffee.  Yup. Try this fun project: Buy some  green coffee beans  (they’ve already been cleaned for you), and toast them in your popcorn air popper. (Skip the little yellow, blue, or pink packets and the powdered creamer.) Or you could grow your own coffee plant, and then  wet-process the beans yourself . To

On a Stick! {Cookbook Review}

When I tore open the envelope from Quirk Books and revealed On a Stick! 80 Party-Perfect Recipes by Matt Armendariz*, I had to fight all three of my boys to flip through it. Literally fight. By the time I got to thumb through the pages with post-it notes and a pen in hand, there were already some pages marked as favorites. 'Please!' was scrawled in someone's messy handwriting on a scrap of paper, holding the page. Probably Dylan. The only stumbling block: many of his recipes are deep-fried and I, as a general rule, don't eat fried food. So I knocked Breakfast Pancake Dogs with Maple Syrup , Chicken and Waffles , Corn Dogs , Deep-Fried Mac'n'Cheese , and Doughnut Holes off the list immediately. They just didn't appeal to me plus I don't have a way to deep fry anyway. I really wanted to figure out how to adapt his Fried Mushrooms with Roasted Onion Dip , Molotes with Fresh Tomato Salsa , and Savory Tofu Dango into non-fried versions. I'll g

Ginger Marshmallows {On a Stick!}

I originally made these for what turned out to be a disaster - Mess-omars for Food'N'Flix - then I realized that I could skewer them. Thanks for the inspiration, Matt Armendariz! I am right there with you: things on a stick just taste better. Besides, stabbing them helped me get out some aggression after my kitchen flop! butter powdered sugar 1 C cold water, divided 3, 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin 2 C organic raw sugar 2/3 C ginger syrup Prepare a 9×13 inch pan by oiling it with or butter. Dust powdered sugar over the oiled sides of the pan. Place 1/2 C of water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soften, 5 minutes. Place remaining water, sugar, syrups, and salt into a large saucepan. Melt all of the ingredients together, without stirring, and bring to a boil. Boil until the syrup reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour hot syrup down the side of the bowl, being sure to avoid the

Mess-omars Inspired by 'When Harry Met Sally' {Food'N'Flix}

Before I start this post, I want to say that I made a HUGE mess. It was a gigantic, sticky, tasty mess. I had good intentions and my components were all perfect. But, when I tried to put them all together...let's just say, 'ugly' would be a generous description. I originally titled this post 'Gingo-Mars' but after I made them, they became Mess-omars. Caroline from Caroline Makes  is hosting  Food'N'Flix  this month. And her pick -  When Harry Met Sally  - is one I've probably seen fifty times. No exaggeration. Maybe more. When I was in high school, my best friend, Jenn, and I would make apple pies on Friday evenings and watch it ad nauseum; we were real party-girls, can't you tell?!? Click  here  to see Caroline's invitation to her movie selection. Please, forgive the long, long, Dostoyevsky-long post. This is one of my favorite movies of all time! So, one night, I pulled out my DVD and Jake and I watched it again. I had a notepad and