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Showing posts from October, 2016

SRC Fall Dishes Reveal: Pot Roast Carbonnade

It's time for the  Secret Recipe Club 's fifth Monday theme reveal . And this month, it's all about Fall Dishes. Autumn means bonfires, roasted marshmallows, pumpkin spice everything, and dishes that warm you from the tips of your toes to the tip of your nose. Though this event can be cross-group, this month I was assigned to Julie at  Little Bit of Everything  who is in my SRC group. I was excited to show her a little bit of love this month. Julie identifies herself as a 50 something midwesterner who loves to cook, travel and garden. She collect spoons, building on a collection started by her mom. Her blog, she shares, is a creative journey through her 100+ volume cookbook collection, newspaper and magazine clippings, newly found recipes and baking groups.  With the theme being Fall Dishes and with the weather turning colder, I had soups on the brain. Julie has some fantastic soups. I thought about making her  Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup ;  Potato, Fen

Gioia di Polpette for Foodie Reads

As we inch towards the final quarter of the  Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge , I cracked the cover on a copy of  Not My Mother's Kitchen: Rediscovering Italian-American Cooking Through Stories and Recipes  by Rob Chirico.* I received an advance reader's copy through a giveaway and was excited to dig in. On the Page I have to be honest - I had a hard time finishing this book. When I was given the choice of books from the giveaway, I immediately chose this one because it involved Italian food. How could I not devour the book? I lived in Italy. I learned to cook in Italy. I'll read just about anything set in Italy and anything that includes Italian fare. Well, there were two reasons that reading the book was agonizing for me. First, his tone bordered on disdainful towards his mother's lack of culinary skills. The first line of the introduction read, "My mother was an assassin." He continued, "Left to her own devices she laid waste to spaghetti, hamburge

{Gluten-Free} Seeded Soft Pretzels

This is my first time making gluten-free soft pretzels. Since I wasn't sure how the dough would stand up to a preliminary poaching, I opted to do a variation of my dough that goes straight into the oven. These didn't end up being pillowy soft, but they weren't bad - especially for gluten-free! I would make them again. Ingredients 1 C whole milk 2 T butter 1 T active dry yeast 1 T organic granulated sugar 4 to 5 C gluten-free flour blend 1 to 2 T mixed seeds (I used caraway, sesame, and poppy seeds) 2 to 3 eggs for binding (mine needed 3) + 1 egg for wash pretzel salt or other large grain salt for baking Procedure Warm milk in a small saucepan until it's warm to the touch, but not too hot. Add the butter and swirl until melted. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and granulated sugar in warm milk. Let stand until bloomed, approximately 5 minutes. Add flour, seeds, and 2 eggs. Form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add 1 more egg. Knead

Prickly Pear Barbeque Sauce

When I was getting ready to leave my friends' house yesterday, I noticed all the prickly pears on their cacti. "Do you have plans for all those?" I queried, pointing at all the tunas on the paddles, as I am always looking to cook with things from my friends' yards! Plans for what? Mike asked. "All those prickly pears," I answered. Oh, no, I just let those fall on the ground. Why? Do you want some? "Yes!!!!!" He grabbed tongs, a long, knife, and a paper bag. I followed him out.  "I heard that I can burn the spines off with a torch. Is that what I should do?" [insert much laughter] Where did you hear that? "I read it somewhere," I answered sheepishly. It sounded like a good idea...all except for the fact that I have yet to locate my culinary torch since we moved. No, you don't need to do that. He cautioned me against touching the prickly pears at all and showed me how to get to

Product Review: Roasted Beet Hummus with the Oster Pro® 1200 Plus #MomsMeet #Sponsor

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of  Moms Meet . All opinions are my own. I'll just start with this: I have an incredibly contentious relationship with blenders and food processors. I love the ease of blenders and food processors and they are so necessary for so many different foods. And, over the past decade, I've owned my fair share of them. One blender had a base that tightened in the opposite direction of 'righty-tighty, lefty-loosey' so, if I happened to forget that, I ended up with blended sludge all over my counter; I always ran that blender in a bin! I had a blender that I really liked - it worked quickly and efficiently - but the jar was plastic and I vastly prefer glass.  So, I always keep an eye out for my next blender, hoping that I'll find one that does everything I want and is made of what I want. When the opportunity arose - through my association with  Moms Meet  - to try an  Oster ®  Pro® 1200 Plus, I was thrilled. 

Favorite Cheeses, Curdling Milk, and a Tasting #TrainingCaseophiles

This week kicks off my six-week cheese class: The International Cheese Board. No, I'm not taking a six-week cheese class. I wish!! I'm teaching a six-week cheese class - to a dozen fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh graders. Yikes. Wish me luck. Thankfully I have a co-teacher this term; that always makes life much easier. Susan wasn't here this week as she was off leading a teachers' workshop in Los Angeles. But, stay tuned for all our cheesy shenanigans. As a little ice breaker, I had them introduce themselves and tell us what their favorite cheese is. I was pleasantly surprised to hear: "I like stinky cheeses. Whatever is the stinkiest is my favorite!" But they ran the gamut from goat cheese to brie and more. Thank goodness no one answered, "American" because, well, that's not real cheese. Milk Curdling I told the kids that cheese is simply milk that has been curdled, drained, pressed, and ripened. Four little steps. That

Vietnamese-Inspired Roasted Pork Ribs

Every time we have ribs for dinner, we chuckle about this story. D was about three-years-old at the time, riding in the cart with me at the grocery store. He asked me about the rack of ribs in the cart, pointing, "Mommy, what are those?"  Ribs , I answered.  His chubby fingers went to his side and he declared, "These are my ribs!"  Yes, that's true.  Horror contorted his little face and he whispered, pointing into my shopping cart, "Whose ribs are those?!?"  Not a person's , I assured him.  "Then who?" he demanded. He knew meat came from a living animal. But, I suppose, ribs were a little too recognizable. Now he loves ribs, but we still tell that story every time they're on our table. The marinade on these ribs were inspired by the flavors in some of our favorite Vietnamese dishes. Well, it has a lot of Asian-inspired flavors. It was tasty! Ingredients 1 medium shallot, finely chopped 2 lemongra

Fideuà Negra for #FishFridayFoodies

It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' October event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of  A Day in the Life on the Farm , to   share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month.  This month, Caroline of  Caroline's Cooking  is  hosting. Here was her challenge to the group: " As fall is upon us and winter all too soon, let's create some pasta dishes with fish and seafood. Whether it's a quick midweek meal for a busy school day or a comforting weekend feast, pair together your favorites." As I was researching possibilities, I came across fideuà which is essentially paella made with pasta instead of rice. Then I came across a  Fideuà Negra and I was sold. I am more than a little enamored with anything that includes cuttlefish ink! Oh, about the name - fideuà is usually made with short lengths of dry pasta called fideus . Since I couldn't find any of that, I opted for some gluten-free spaghetti noodles. I b

New-to-Me Ingredient: Boiled Cider

I came across an intriguing recipe last night that called for "boiled cider" and the recipe included a link to purchase the boiled cider - at $13 for the bottle and $6 for shipping. First, I didn't know what boiled cider was; second, I was pretty sure I could make it myself for less than $19! I did some reading and realized that boiled cider was nothing more than apple cider reduced to a thick syrup. So easy!! Done. And it smelled amazing the entire time it was simmering. It smelled like fall! Ingredients 1 gallon fresh apple cider Procedure Pour cider into a heavy pot; I used my Dutch oven. Bring the cider to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep at slightly more than a simmer until the gallon of liquid is reduced to about 2 C. It took me 4 hours. Pour into a sterilized jar and refrigerate once cool. It should keep refrigerated for several months! You will see this in some Halloween treats I'm making next week.

Uni (Sea Urchin) Handroll

We are huge fans of uni - sea urchin. So, when we have a chance to get it, we always do. I added these on to our CSF delivery from Real Good Fish the other week and asked D how we should prepare it. Last time we got them, we did a Sea Urchin Crostini   and his Urchin Soup is a perpetual favorite. We settled on a simple handroll that would let the urchin shine. Ingredients makes 4 handrolls 2 sheets of nori (seaweed sheets), cut in half lengthwise 1 cooked rice (I used organic Jade Pearl rice) 2 T rice vinegar 8 pieces of uni Procedure While the rice is still hot, mix in the rice vinegar. Place the nori, shiny side down, on a work space. Place 1/4 C rice on the nori - in one corner at a 45 degree angle. Lay 1 or 2 pieces of urchin on the rice. Okay, I drew a little diagram for you. Don't laugh! The bottom right corner will be the top of your cone. Fold the top right corner down over the rice and filling. Then keep rolling until