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Showing posts from July, 2015

Grano Saraceno Risotto con Funghi e Miele for #ItalianFWT

This month the Italian Food, Wine & Travel - #ItalianFWT - blogging group is traveling to their tenth region of Italy: Sardegna (or Sardinia, in English). I'm joining for the first time and was thrilled to be heading to Sardegna by tabletop and goblet. When I lived in Italy, after college, I hopped on the overnight ferry out of Civitavecchia to Olbia. My friend and I couldn't afford a seat, so we slept in sleeping bags on the deck all the way across. Good thing I was young and resilient! Sleeping on an unforgiving deck bench in this decade would be torturous. From the port, which I remember smelled of orange blossoms, Kristin and I caught a bus to Costa Smeralda and camped on the granite cliffs overlooking the white sand beaches of Santa Teresa di Gallura. It's a town on the northern tip of Sardinia and you can see the southern coast of Corsica from the beach. Absolutely stunning. I loved it so much that I went back one more time before I moved back to the State

Scallop-Shrimp Ceviche

Ceviche  is easily one of my top three favorite appetizers of all time. It's a simple dish of seafood "cooked" by the acid in lemons and limes. It's so easy, but it requires incredibly fresh ingredients. I usually ask my fish monger which is the best choice for  ceviche  that day. Sometimes he'll say shrimp, sometimes it's the scallops. The day I made this, he said both. So, I used both! Ingredients 1/2 pound scallops, sliced (click  here  to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch findings on scallops) 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise 1 t freshly ground salt ½ t freshly ground pepper 6-8 fresh lemons, juiced (I used Meyer lemons from a tree we have in our yard) 1/2 C chopped organic red bell pepper 1/2 C chopped organic cucumber 2 organic green onions, thinly sliced 1 T olive oil 2 T salsa or hot sauce (I used some Carrot Karma Hot Sauce from Intensity Academy ) fresh lettuce, for serving

Gluten-Free Fridays: Lemon Bars #glutenfreecheatsheet #sponsor

Earlier this month - before I left on a 10-day camping trip and before my laptop went kaput - I introduced you to a brand new cookbook from  Perigee-Penguin : THE GLUTEN-FREE CHEAT SHEET:  Go G-Free in 30 Days or Less,  written by gluten-free maven April Peveteaux, author of the blog  Gluten is My Bitch . Thank you to  Perigee-Penguin  for inspiring this series of posts. This is my third Gluten-Free Fridays post. Don't forget about your chance to win a copy of the book. I will continue to post gluten-free recipes, but that is a story for another day. This is the final post before the giveaway ends. One of my biggest challenges, when cooking for my GF friends, has been making sweets.  Sometimes a crust will be as dry as the Sahara Desert. Sometimes it's rubbery. Like Flubber rubbery. Yuck. I should probably blend my own GF flour more regularly to create some consistency and predictability. When I'm in a pinch, I use Trader Joe's gluten-free blend. I have tried

Jake's Mint Julep

This is a first and I'm still in shock. My husband was in the kitchen. And he made something I'm going to share! On. My. Blog. Let me explain: I know that my husband ate before he met me. He must have cooked, too. But in the seventeen years that we have been together, he has only cooked (not counting the grill) a handful of times. Let's see...seventeen and a half years. That's over 6300 days. Three meals a days. That's almost twenty thousand meals. And he's only cooked five of those. Maybe. But it's not because he's unwilling; it's because I'm territorial. I've eased into letting the Kitchen Elves in. But Jake doesn't come in unless I'm too sick to stand in front of the stove! So, while we were unpacking from our 10-day camping trip, I was downloading photos and shuffling laundry. He and the boys had Alton Brown's Good Eats  going on Netflix. "Do you have bourbon?" I heard him ask. Yes. "Do you have s

D's Camp Kale Salad

When my garden goddess of a sister-in-law invited us to "come take as much kale as [we] wanted" from her beds, as we headed to the coast, I don't know if she really understood what that means to the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf. He loves his kale! He plucked and plucked, then asked if he could have some of her marigolds. She let him. We had so much kale that we made this salad three times during the rest of our camping trip. It was delicious each time. Ingredients 1 to 2 bunches kale, larger ribs removed and torn into 1" pieces 2 to 4 T olive oil zest from 2 organic lemons juice from 4 organic lemons freshly ground sea salt freshly ground pepper fresh herbs, destemmed and roughly torn (we used a mix of dill, parsley, and marigolds) Procedure Place the kale in a large mixing bowl. Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the leaves. Massage until the leaves are softened and have turned from a greyish-green to a bright, deep emerald. Toss in th

ROUND-UP: The Interpreter of Maladies-Inspired Creations for #thebookclubcookbookCC

Remember we kicked off our year-long journey to cook - and read - for #thebookclubcookbookCC. Here's my invitation for the inaugural event: Interpreter of Maladies .* I invited bloggers to make an egg curry or drink a lassi...or get creative with their favorite Indian recipes. The mango lassi seems to be the most popular choice with variations that included a parfait and a cocktail. Love the creativity! photos used with permission from participating bloggers But we did have a few wonderful entrees as well! Only Shannon braved the egg curry which Judy had cautioned was an acquired taste. photos used with permission from participating bloggers Here's what the hosting bloggers shared... Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm posted her recipe for Chingri Paturi, Steamed Mustard Shrimp . Wendy was inspired by A Real Durwan . “The woman tells the story of how she was once very wealthy and lived in the lap of luxury.  Nobody knows if these are truths or fa

Elderflower Soda

I've been mildly obsessed with elderflowers recently. So, as we were driving to our first campsite - during our 10-day camping trip around northern California - and I spotted the distinctive puff of creamy-hued flowers, I made a mental note to go pick some and make elderflower soda. My mother-in-law and I hiked up the hill and liberated some flowers from their roosts. Then it was back to camp we went. Elderflower Soda Ingredients 2 C elderflowers, large stems removed 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 C cold water sparkling water for serving ice for serving Procedure Place elderflowers, sugar, and water in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake, shake, and shake some more until the sugar is dissolved. Let stand for at least an hour to let the flavor of the flowers permeate the cold syrup. To Serve Place 3 to 4 Tablespoons of syrup in the bottom of a cup. Fill with sparkling water. Add ice, if desired.

Blue Lake Trout

I love fish. I love cooking fish. I love eating fish. I do  not  love catching fish. And neither does Jake. Sitting on a boat, quietly, waiting for fish to bite. Ugh. Did I mention the silent part. Ugh. I'm just not that patient...or quiet. Jake has fishermen on his Swedish and his Portuguese sides. My ancestors are from the Philippines; they ferment fish and sprinkle it on everything. So, even though the fishing gene obviously skipped us both, the boys have fishing in their blood...and they love it. So, the first morning we were at Blue Lake with my in-laws, the boys were up, dressed, and on a boat before 6 in the morning. Jake and I dragged ourselves out of our cozy tent, spent the morning on a canoe, and paddled over to see what they got. Back at camp, with the help of their cousin, the boys gutted and cleaned the catch. Then I sprinkled them with herbs, drizzled them with olive oil, wrapped them in parchment and foil, and put them in the fire.

Pasta Stir-Sticks

The people in the shop probably thought: What is that looney woman doing...taking photos of the pasta sticks?!? But I have just never seen this and loved the idea! We were at a coffee shop in Point Reyes Station at the tail-end of our 10-day camping trip and R pointed these out to me. "Look, Mommy!" he exclaimed. "They use pasta to stir instead of cutting down trees." I think this is pretty cool. What a great idea. I'll implement this soon.

Indian-Spiced Roasted Chicken Thighs

After 10 days in the wilderness, using my oven was a treat. I love that this recipe is so hands-off, but the resulting dish is tasty and tender! Ingredients 6 chicken thighs 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1 t ground cardamom 1 t ground paprika 1/2 t ground ginger 1/2 t ground coriander 1 T ground cumin 1 t ground turmeric 3/4 t freshly ground sea salt 3/4 t freshly ground black pepper olive oil Procedure Place chicken thighs in a lidded container where they can lay flat in a single layer. Add the remaining ingredients and rub the spices into the meat. Drizzle with oil oil and cover the container. Refrigerate overnight. Remove chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you want to start cooking. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken in a baking dish. Drizzle with more olive oil. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes, or until chicken is browned and crisp and cooked through. Serve hot.

Weekends in a French Kitchen: Clafoutis

Weekends in a French Kitchen (click to read about the project:  here ) launched this month.  And if you're game, I'm including affiliate links to the cookbooks at the bottom of the post. Yesterday I posted from Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan's cookbook. Today I'm sharing a dish from Mimi Thorisson's  A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse. Special thanks to the project organizers: Alice of  A Mama, Baby and Sharpei in the Kitchen , Christy of  Confessions of a Culinary Diva , Tammy of  Telling Stories from Chez Nous , and Emily of  Blue Bungalow . What a fun, fun project they have designed. Join us. This week's selection from Mimi Thorisson's  A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse  is Clafoutis. You'll find this recipe on page 135 of the  A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse ...we will not be posting the actual recipes on our blogs. Clafoutis and My Thoughts... Before a couple of year

Weekends in a French Kitchen: Pasta with Tomato, Arugula, and Mozzarella

Weekends in a French Kitchen (click to read about the project:  here ) continues with this quick-to-the-table recipe.  And if you're interested in joining the fun, I'm including affiliate links to the cookbooks at the bottom of the post. Special thanks to the project organizers: Alice of  A Mama, Baby and Sharpei in the Kitchen , Christy of  Confessions of a Culinary Diva , Tammy of  Telling Stories from Chez Nous , and Emily of  Blue Bungalow . I am having so much fun with these recipes. This week's selection from Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan's cookbook -  Café Boulud Cookbook  - is Pasta with Tomato, Arugula, and Mozzarella. You'll find this recipe on pages 306-307 of the  Café Boulud Cookbook ...we will not be posting the actual recipes on our blogs. My Thoughts... I didn't have any bow-tie pasta to match the original recipe. I used small elbows, but think that I'd use orecchiette next time. This came together so quickly. It was perfect

The French Winophiles: Spiced Orange Salad + Cave de Saint-Roch-les-Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé #winophiles

Welcome to second event for a fledgling group - The French Winophiles - coordinated by Christy of  Confessions of a Culinary Diva . Here's her initial plan... We start with the Regions first and then move to the Appellations. The proposed schedule, based somewhat on the seasons is as follows: June 20 - Loire Valley (click for my post: here ) July 18 - Provence or Corsica August 15 - Southwest September 19 - Languedoc-Roussillon October 17 - Cote due Rhone November 21 - Bordeaux December 19 - Champagne January 16 - Burgundy February 20 - Alsace I love this group already! And I'm having so much fun exploring wines and recipes that are unfamiliar to me. To Provence So, today, the crew is heading to Provence. Provence is a region in southeast France. Its name derives from what the Romans used to call it:  la provincia nostra , meaning our province; it was the first Roman province outside of Italy. Wine has been produced in this r

Improv Cooking Challenge: Pretzel-Crusted Chicken with Maple-Mustard Sauce

It's been a couple of months since I participated in the  Improv Cooking Challenge  hosted by Lesa of  Edesia's Notebook . I don't know where the weeks are going. The idea of this challenge: we are assigned two ingredients and are tasked to create a recipe with those two things. July's assigned ingredients: pretzels and mustard. I thought about making homemade soft pretzels - like these - and homemade mustard - like this . But, in the end, I decided to bread some chicken thighs with crushed pretzels and drizzle it with a mustard sauce. The boys devoured it. I think it's a winner! Ingredients  serves 4 Chicken 4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless 1/2 C flour 2 eggs, beaten 2 C pretzels (makes about 1 C crushed pretzels) 8 T butter splash of olive oil Sauce 1/2 C organic yellow mustard 2 T maple syrup 1 T vinegar (I used organic apple cider vinegar) Procedure Chicken Crush pretzels. Melt butter in a splash of olive oil. I