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Showing posts from 2011

Key Lime Pie...

Key Lime Pie To market, to market to buy... how does the nursery rhyme go? I think of this rhyme often when I head to Wegman's for my weekly shopping trip. Almost always I shop with a list to stay within our grocery budget. This week as I walked through the fruit and vegetable stacks, I saw packages of key limes. I can't remember ever eating key lime pie and I had never made a key lime pie, but there they were right in front of me!  An opportunity waiting to be zested, juiced, and made into something (hopefully) delicious! Upon arriving home, I looked up several recipes ( epicurious and Gourmet ). Some topped with meringue, some with whipped cream.. but they didn't ring true with what I imagined key lime pie to be. So, I checked with my neighbors who spent their vacations on tropical islands and talked of key lime pie with knowing appreciation. They indicated that meringue or any other type of topping had no place on a key lime pie. I decided on the almond graham

Beer Grain Bread

Spent brewing grains Earlier this week I dusted off my brewing equipment. Brewing beer is a great hobby but it is not an easy hobby while looking after an infant/toddler . Before the little guy showed up, I brewed everything from dry malt extract kits to my own recipes using specialty grains with unprocessed hops. (Processed hops look like the food for the rabbit in your 3rd grade class.) Brewing like most cooking activities produces organic waste. I have to admit that most of the organic waste either goes to our compost pile or to my worms. (Yes, I really have worms in two medium size bins on the patio. It's incredible what they do with kitchen scraps.) Anyway, with beer the hops go to the compost pile but the spent brewing grains get put in freezer and made into bread. I needed a recipe to use my grains in so I pulled out my favorite bread book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day . This is a great book for making the making of great tasting bread easy! Recipes that make y

Hurricane Irene IPA ...

Hurricane Irene had an interesting effect on DC area. People were rushing for last minute shopping, at one of the local  Target 's there were no D size batteries, and my weekly early morning shopping trip found the cashiers struggling to keep up with the unexpected rush.  I tracked the storm on and off as it approached and decided that a few hours housebound would be most productive in the kitchen. As long as there was electricity the only thing to do is make a batch of home brew. Brewing Pot Home brewing is a science and art project which creates beer for personal consumption. The nice thing is that with the right ingredients you can make a darn good beer... the not nice thing is you have to wait! Wait for the water to boil, wait while the wort (wort is jargon for unfermented hop, malted barley water) boils, wait while the wort cools, wait while the wort goes through 2 or 3 fermentation stages. The average amount of time is about a four to five weeks from start to finish; 5

S L O W…. Cooked Pulled Pork

Few things are as satisfying as those that require us to slow down and take our time! Think back to your first kiss…that first glance, the waiting and wondering, more eye contact before you begin talking, casually at first… then talking endlessly in every free moment. Next perhaps you’re holding hands and talking more. Eventually a moment arrives in quiet embrace and just before your lips touch, you catch your breath! (Savor this moment!) Then BOOM! Fireworks explode as time stands still and you wish the moment would never end.  Slowing cooking pork can be like the build up to your first kiss; only the dinner and lunchtime sandwiches really last longer. I prefer a picnic shoulder over a Boston butt cut. Yeah, both are technically shoulder meat. The store-bought Boston butt (in this area) is over-trimmed leaving too little fat. Consequently, the absence of fat doesn’t allow the meat to maintain the sweet, moistness that should be in every bite of a pulled pork sandwich. Another way o

8/3 - CSA delivery - This week your box includes...

The challenges for the week a mild considering this week's delivery.  But I'll have to see how I can make it interesting. Squash - Crookneck and paddy pan Beta greens (a mix of swiss chard and beet greens) Tomatoes Red bell peppers Fennel Green beans Onions Garlic Tarragon

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie straight from the oven.. the foil prevented the juices from spilling into the oven (thank goodness!) - This was my first attempt at making cherry pie - The recipe for the crust and pie are from Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters - (Our copy is signed by the author thanks to our good friends Liz & Nick at the Blue Room  in Cambridge, Ma.) The Sour Cherry Pie recipe calls for 5 cups sour cherries 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup) 3 tbs tapioca 1 tsp kirsch 2 pie crusts 2 tbs heavy cream (for brushing the lattice crust) 1 tbs unsalted butter The recipe was surprisingly easy. Mix cherries, kirsch, sugar and tapioca and let stand for 30-45 minutes.  Rollout crust, place in GLASS pie pan (the metal pie apparently react with the fruit juices), load filling into crust and cover with a lattice crust. Unfortunately, I didn't have tapioca and didn't want the chalky mouthfeel that I often get from cornstarch so I skipped the thickener altogether. My pie was a littl

Raspberry Tart with Chocolate

My father-in-law would say the best raspberries are black raspberries. I would disagree and say the best raspberries are those growing wild in your backyard!  My wife has been nurturing a wild raspberry plant in our backyard and this year it paid off. The cornmeal crust is from Chez Panisse Fruit  made by me but SHE picked the fruit and brought the tart together.  She also made a pint of raspberry jam with fruit picked from this plant. Ingredients: 1 precooked cornmeal tart crust - enough chocolate to line the bottom of the crust and about 100 freshly picked raspberries. Enjoy!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

"This week your box includes..." is written on a slip of paper that arrives with our CSA delivery. Our CSA delivery comes with the share we purchased from  Virginia Green Grocer . The program allows us to receive fresh, organic produce. Our participation allows the farmers to offset their costs. The box usually comes with 6 types of vegetables and 2 types of seasonings and provides most of our vegetables for the week. Tomatoes full of flavor and meaty texture, eggplant with an even cream color inside, peppery arugula, spring greens and the basil aroma fills the room before opening the bag. All in all, it is really nice to have this service available. Some say to be successful in business, business needs to be nimble ; to encourage a successful farming community, the community needs to be engaged! CSA is one way to get engaged with your local farmers. Our CSA supplements our local, 6x8 garden... though I really wish we had a big house on 5 acres just down the road where our

Cherries in cornmeal tart crust

Right around father's day the local farmer's market had fresh cherries. Having achieved moderate success with my Black and Blue Tart, I decided that it would be fun to try again. I of course forgot that cherries must be pitted fortunately my father's day present saved the day. Now what you need to know about me is I know nothing about baking! This should be evident since the cherries pictured are sweet yummy eating cherries and not pie cherries. In addition, the crust I was using for this recipe is a tart crust. I think the water content is too high to make cherries into a tart. Anyway, I forged ahead with my cherries and cornmeal tart crust. The result was pleasing though it did not come together the way a tart should. I cannot say enough about this cornmeal crust. It is awesome! The recipe can be found in Chez Panisse Fruit .

Fresh heavenly!

Our weekly pilgrimage to the farmer's market is like sending a child into a chocolate factory! This past week I noticed the fresh pasta stand and asked about the pasta.... SIX DOLLARS A POUND! Are you out of your mind? That is not to say fresh pasta isn't worth the price but the mark up is unbelievable. Here is the cost of the materials to make fresh pasta 10 oz of flour = $1.75/(5x16)=.02 x 10= .22 cents 2 eggs = .22 cents 1 tbs Olive Oil = .01 cent 3 tbs water = is like a .0001 cent so lets call round it up to a penny 1 tsp salt = .01 cent Total cost of materials $0.47 (This recipe will yield approx. 15.5-16 oz of pasta dough.) You'll have to figure your own labor costs. With the Kitchen Aid it takes (me) about 20 minutes to roll and cut the pasta. My Kitchen Aid has three attachments : an adjustable roller, a cutter for fettuccine and a cutter for spaghetti. I roll my fettuccine until the adjustable roller is set to 6; spaghetti is rolled to 5. The pasta mak

7/27 - This week your box includes...

The CSA delivery this week. Now what to do with it? 4 ears of corn 2 heads of cabbage beets eggplant tomatoes cucumbers carrots thyme mint So this is third time this summer we've received cabbage and there is only so much coleslaw can eat. Needless to say, I need some ideas. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison offers some options. One is Cabbage Leaves with Rice and Green Herb Filling (p. 349) - Epicurious has a couple of recipes I am eager to try: Holishkes (Stuffed Cabbage) from The 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook and Beet and Cabbage Salad by Jerome Navarre from Chez Navarre in Toulouse, France. Pictures and comments to follow....

Oven-roasted chicken

Oven-roasted chicken is one of my favorite meals to prepare.. it is also my nemesis! The breast meat is often done before the thighs are fully cooked! Leading to longer cooking time, which results in dry breast meat. (Ir)Regardless, I attempt this meal every few weeks. Thank heavens for Jamie Oliver and Christopher Kimball . Jamie Oliver provided the inspiration for this herb stuffed (under the skin) bird with citrus stuff deliciousness! Christopher Kimball provided the guidance on how to cook it without drying out the breast while achieving success in with a perfectly cooked, moist thighs! Yummmmm! This chicken was stuffed with garden fresh tarragon and parsley creating a new found appreciation for tarragon! It was awesome.

Yogurt - The healthy breakfast

Yogurt for Two 1 cup of plain yogurt, 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, 1/8 cup of pine nuts lightly toasted and 1 tbs sunflower oil- place these ingredients in a blender until smooth. Separate into two bowls and add 1/4 cup of your favorite granola. Enjoy!

Black and Blue Tart

My own creation though I should follow a recipe. The cornmeal crust recipe came from Chez Panisse Fruit ; It was great. For the fruit, I mashed 1/4 of the fruit, mixed 1 tbs of cornstarch, 1 tbs of sugar, 1/4 cup red wine (this was my mistake), 1/4 cup of water - I heated this mixture and simmered it for 5 minutes. The remaining fruit I mixed with 3 tbs of sugar. I combined the mixture, then poured the ingredients into the tart crust and baked it for 15 minutes. It was pretty but the flavor wasn't fantastic.

Ray Lee's chicken choy

It was asian menu night, I selected Ray Lee's chicken choy from "The Breath of Wok " by Grace Wong and Alan Richardson. I love this book! The recipe's are easy and flavorful. The chicken choy will be remade along with the stir fry red peppers.

Green apple, cheese & chard omelette

From the host of “The Splendid Table” this recipe can be found in “How to Eat Supper ” by Lynn Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. This was easy to make but why omelette? Crustless quiche or frittata would be good names.

Delivered on 6/15

T his week your box includes Broccoli Turnips Beta salad mix (defined as chard and beet leaf) Bunching onions Collard greens Parsley Cilantro The challenge in the box this week is the turnips. I never know what to do with them. There is a recipe for a gratin but I think it uses rutabaga. Hmm.. I think I have menu block! Ideas on the turnip welcome. One other thing… are the turnip greens edible?

Orecchiette pasta with greens

High Flavor, Low Labor - The greens are arugula from our garden. They are quite peppery but they are well established in our garden.