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Showing posts from March, 2015

Swazi Babotie

This is a traditional Swazi recipe for a spiced meat meatloaf that's finished by baking it under a spiced custard. While S made the Malva Pudding for dessert, D, R, and D made the main dish for our feast from Swaziland. Ingredients 1 lb organic grassfed beef, ground 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced olive oil 1 T curry powder 1/2 t ground turmeric 1/2 t ground, smoked paprika freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste 3 T ketchup 3 T apricot jam 7 eggs, lightly beaten 1 C fresh chopped herbs + 2 T for garnish (we used a mixture of parsley, cilantro, and oregano) ½ C organic whole milk Procedure Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat a splash of olive oil and cook the fennel and leeks until translucent and softened Add in the meat and cook until completely browned. Season with spices and stir in the ketchup and jam.  Spoon the mixture into a well-greased, oven-proof dish. Then c ombine the egg

Malva Pudding {Swaziland}

Tonight, to go along with our tabletop travel to Swaziland, S made a Malva Pudding while I made the caramel sauce. Ah. Mazing.  Malva pudding is a sweet pudding that contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. A cream sauce - or a caramel sauce - is poured over it while it is still hot; we went for the caramel. Ingredients Pudding 3/4 C organic granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 T apricot jam  ½ C flour (we used whole wheat pastry flour) 1 t baking soda 1/2 t salt (we used a vanilla salt) 1/3 C whole milk 1 t apple cider vinegar 1T butter, melted + some for greasing pan Sauce 7 T butter 1/3 C organic granulated sugar 1 C organic heavy cream 1 t pure vanilla extract Procedure Pudding Line a baking dish with parchment paper and butter generously. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and eggs. Beat until thick and lemon-colored.  Mix in the apricot jam and beat again. In another bowl, bl

Chavez Cellars 2010 Zinfandel {Tasting Notes}

We went on a hunt for wildflowers yesterday. According to one of the park docents, we missed it by about three weeks. Instead of hills draped in a carpet of orange poppies, we had charred blossoms; they weren't just wilted, they were positively singed. Look at my crew of unhappy hikers. They felt duped, as did I. I had promised them wildflowers. Boo. We stopped at the store on the way home from the park and I spotted this bottle of wine. It had poppies on the label and it was from Antelope Valley. I know the kiddos couldn't - and wouldn't - enjoy it. But Jake and I joked that we found poppies! And though I readily admit that I bought this bottle for the label, it was perfect with dinner after a day in the desert. Tasting Notes: Garnet color with rose, plum, and vanilla aromas. On the palate it's medium-bodied, elegant with great texture and mild acidity with a lingering sweet finish. Lighter than I expected from a zinfndel. Easy drinking wine. I paired

Food'N'Flix Invitation: Chef

It's my turn to host  Food'N'Flix   where we watch movies and head  into the kitchen and cook or bake or make something based on a recipe they actually make in it or just something we were driven to make after watching it. For April's round, I selected Chef . I watched the movie when it was released last year, but I'm excited to see what inspires all of you. There is so much from which to choose. I won't tell you too much...just that the main character is a chef in a high end restaurant. He leaves that job and starts his own business - in a food truck. Here's a trailer... If you’ve never seen  Chef,  you must. Really. Just watching him plate pasta is gorgeous.  But all the food looks incredible. Jon Favreau does his own slicing, dicing, and cooking in the movie. It's impressive and inspiring. Just be sure to eat ahead of watching...or have dinner reservations right after, because you will want to eat some incredible food when the movi

Ostrich Lasagna

Yesterday we visited an ostrich farm and fed some of the animals. I had warned the kiddos that it was a farm and we might purchase eggs and, possibly, meat. The guy manning the store didn't have the meat there, but told me where - in town - I could find it. So, today, we tracked some down. The kids had voted for the steaks, but all the store had was ground ostrich meat. I had been planning on making lasagna anyway, so I decided to make ostrich lasagna. I'm certain that the flavor is masked by the herbs and the wine, so we'll have to try again another time. Ingredients 1 onion, peeled and diced 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced olive oil 2 pounds ground ostrich meat 2 T butter 2 C fresh tomato sauce 1/2 C red wine 1/2 C water 1 C fresh chopped parsley 2 T fresh oregano freshly ground salt, to taste freshly ground pepper, to taste lasagna noodles 3 C shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella, asiago, provolone, and Monterey jack) 1 C sh

Goedangan, a Surinamese Salad

Goedangan is a cool and refreshing salad that's similar to Indonesian gado-gado . It's made with blanched vegetables in a coconut-based dressing. Ingredients 1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced 8 oz green beans, ends trimmed 2 C mung bean sprouts 2 hard boiled eggs 1/3 C coconut cream 1/2 C yogurt 3 T organic turbinado sugar 3 T fresh cilantro, chopped juice from 1 organic Meyer lemon pinch of salt ground paprika for garnish Procedure Whisk together the coconut cream and yogurt. Stir in the sugar, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt. Chill until ready to serve. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and trim the ends off the green beans. In batches, blanch the cabbage, green beans, and mung bean sprouts. Drain and plunge them into a batch of ice water. Let stand for 5 minutes. then drain. Place the vegtables in a large mixing bowl. Spoon dressing over the top and toss to coat. Arrange vegetables on a platter and top with wedg

(Non-Traditional) Bojo Cake from Suriname

Bojo is a flourless cake made, traditionally, from grated coconut and cassava. Cassava is a starchy root plant also known as yucca. It's also, traditionally, made with rum-soaked rasins. I completely failed on multiple counts in bringing the ingredients for this dessert. I forgot the cassava in my freezer at home; so we used potatoes instead. And I intended to just use raisins - without the rum - but I left those at home, too. So, we did without raisins, too. It was dense and delicious...but is not your traditional Bojo. Ingredients 1/2 pound new red potatoes, boiled, cooled, and grated 2 C grated coconut (we used dried) 1/3 C organic granulated sugar 2 eggs 1/4 C coconut milk 1 T organic pure vanilla extract 2 t organic almond extract 4 T butter, melted 1 t salt Procedure Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Stir the coconut and grated potatoe together with t

Redemption: Kouign Amann v.2

Remember when I made briquettes ? Well, I couldn't let that failure stand. So, the day after I completely failed at creating those dreamy, buttery, flaky morsels, I went back into the kitchen and gave it another try. This time - success! Ingredients 1 C water, room temperature 1 T active dry yeast 2 3/4 C flour, divided 1 t sea salt 1/2 C cold salted butter + more for greasing the pan 1 1/2 C organic granulated sugar, divided, plus extra for shaping the pastries ground cardamom for sprinkling Procedure Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Add 2 1/2 C of the flour, keeping 1/4 C for later, and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately one hour. Once the dough has doubled, place it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or as long as overnight. Pound the butter into rectangle. Some

Spring Blossom Syrup from #FlowersandGin

Last week I went to #FlowersandGin - and I still do need to post about that class - where we infused booze and a cold-process simple syrup with foraged, seasonal deliciousness. It was a lovely evening with some lovely gals. Thanks, Katie and Lolo! I received an email reminder last night to check my syrup. So, this morning, I gave it a taste and was happy with the level of flavor. I strained out the blossoms and transferred the syrup into two small bottles. Ingredients 1/2 C organic granulated sugar water, enough to fill the jar blossoms (I used a combination of elderflowers, jasmine, violet, chamomile, white sage, and comfrey) Procedure Place sugar in a mason jar. Place your blossoms on top of the sugar. Fill the jar with cool water. Tighten the lid onto the jar and shake. Shake. Shake. Shake. And, then, shake some more. Shake till the sugar is completely dissolved and the blossoms are bruised. Let stand for up to a week - really it's for as long or as

Tasting Notes: Tarpy's Roadhouse

Fifteen years ago, Jake and I celebrated our wedding with a beautiful, sun-kissed afternoon on the upper patio at Tarpy's Roadhouse . Funny story: when we told my parents that's where we had chosen for the reception, my mom pitched a fit. "Why are we having your reception at a roadhouse? What does that mean anyway? Roadhouse. That doesn't sound appetizing at all!" she objected. It's just a name, Mom. I assure you there are no animals or carriages there anymore. And it's close to the church. She assented and we have a lovely lunch surrounded by friends and family. The meal was served in the library and on the patio. Then we danced and sipped the afternoon away and - yes, it's true - I won the limbo contest in my wedding dress. So, when my parents offered to keep the boys overnight for our anniversary, I dug out a gift certificate that a friend had given us during the holidays. I heard that Tarpy's had rolled out a new menu and I figured it w

Apricot Apple Pie & Whiskey Sours Helped Us #PartyLikeaMadMan

When the authors of The Unofficial Man Men Cookbook extended an invitation to toast the Mad Men Season Finale at their Mad Men Blogger Virtual Dinner Party , I almost skipped reading the rest of the email because, well, I had never seen Mad Men. Then I discovered I can stream the episodes on Netflix. Sweet. So, over the course of several weeks, my husband and I knocked out five seasons! We're still plugging away on the sixth. But this cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin - below along with the seasons on DVD  - inspired me to host a Mad Men-themed Party for one of my best friend's 42nd birthday celebration. Along with another friend, who borrowed the cookbook to pick some recipes, we whipped up Sterling Cooper Blini and Caviar, Classic Shrimp Cocktail, Jackie Kennedy's Avocado and Crabmeat Mimosa, Betty's Swedish Meatballs, and Trudy's Ribeye in the Pan. We planned on letting the kids try the Popcorn Balls, but my air-popper decided to poop out that

Matcha-Yuzu Cheesecake + Waaaaaayyy More Than #FifteenCheesecakes

My husband Jake and I are celebrating 15 years of marriage today. Fifteen years. On one hand that feels like a lifetime; on the other, it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. In this past decade and a half, we've had two kids, lived in two states and five different houses, and juggled probably about dozen different jobs between us. We've been to Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona; we've traveled to Italy and Costa Rica. We've SCUBA'd, zip-lined, canoed, and tangoed. It's been an amazing adventure. But it's also been work. Don't let anyone tell you that marriage is easy. So, today, as we celebrate fifteen years, I have an amazing crew of foodie bloggers lined up to share cheesecake recipes with you. Initially I put out a call for fifteen cheesecakes - hence the hashtag #FifteenCheesecakes - but the spots filled up within an hour and I had more friends who wanted to participate. So, I figured: you can n