A comment a while ago made me think of all the fun foods served to the creatures of Redwall Abbey in Brian Jacques' Mossflower and Redwall series. In looking through his little vegetarian cookbook published for young fans of the Redwall series, I found a nice casserole worthy of a chilly day. I must admit, this little book is a masterful bit of marketing and it sends a good message to kids about enjoying their vegetables! The original recipe serves 6, but I halved it for Silent Bob and I. We're having it as a side dish with some schnitzel this evening ... whatever is for dinner at your house, I hope you're eating your vegetables!
28 February 2011
26 February 2011
Bright colors are important at this time of year ... for the stomach and the soul.
Say what you will about the politics of Patrick Leahy, Vermont's controversial Senator, he certainly coughed up a sweet little way of dealing with salmon fillets, by sharing his wife's way of preparing salmon steaks in the above cookbook. Sweet Maple is a cookbook of all things maple syrup-flavored. It gives the reader an excellent overview of the botany, history, and anecdotes of the maple sugaring industry. It's a book that comes off my bookshelf at this time of year and gets heavy use through March and into April. When the maple sugar is being made, the recipes for everything from soups to desserts are pulled out for a yearly run through.
25 February 2011
I have been waiting for a few days to pass before re-visiting this recipe. I made it with my cohorts at last weekend's visit to Old Sturbridge Village. These little two-bite beef roulades reminded me of a German beef and dumpling recipe that I had in Weinheim when Silent Bob and I lived there for a bit. They have the chopped pickle, too, that is so reminiscent of a German flourish on meat dishes. The center is like a firm bready dumpling - very German. I really wonder what the original source of this 'Beef Olives' recipe is!
24 February 2011
More on the summertime rant ... I went to visit a friend's mother yesterday and shared lunch and chatter in her sunny little apartment. As I made my way home, I kept thinking how fun it is, sharing tea and a sweet something with friends.
22 February 2011
20 February 2011
18 February 2011
It's always nice to get a nod from fellow bloggers! I had a nice surprise when I opened my dashboard this morning ... Chris and Amy of A Couple in the Kitchen had been there and given me a blogging award ! Well, that sat well with toast and coffee! Thanks guys! Of course, all things come with a few strings attached and this award comes with some too.
17 February 2011
16 February 2011
Crabmeat quiche is a dish that I'd love to love. After all, I love crab meat. I love cheese. I love pastry crust. Put it all together and I should be enjoying the quiche experience, right? I've made quiche with crab meat a couple times before, but it was always bland and a bit soggy, so last night I decided to play around with the recipe a bit. I used some traditional herbs that make crabcakes zing to put some heat and spice into the crabmeat, mixed a tangy Cheddar and mild cheese to put some bite into the cheesy quiche custard, and used heavy cream to give the custard real body. Celery and sweet red pepper also added their veg flavors to the crabmeat filling. It was a much more exciting quiche!
NOT that it can't stand some improvement ... so here's my tack for the next crabmeat quiche. I'm going to drain the crabmeat, add the spices to it and then toss it onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Then, I'm going to put it into a hot oven and toss it about to 'dry it out a bit more' ... that way, I can leave some of the salty juices intact and create a more concentrated crab flavor. Once it has dried a bit in the oven, I'll turn it in to the veggies and correct any seasonings. If you choose to make this quiche soon, consider what I've just proposed and let me know if you like the flavors.
15 February 2011
What better time than this week to spread some 'heart healthy' recipes that I've recently had on my 'must try list' ... remember that list I wrote of a few days back? I love chocolate and cakes and cookies as well as the next foodie, but some of these recipes will warm the cockles of your heart in a different way ...
13 February 2011
I have a fun blogging friend named Dom who has challenged folks to pull and share a random recipe from one of their many cook books... just a fun bit of blogging for a winter's day. This breakfast offering was my 'random pick'. In running my hands over the cook book shelf, I stopped at the count of ten on Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. Then, flipping the book open and opening my eyes , I found a recipe for Apple and Cottage Cheese Pancakes. Sounds interesting ... let's see about that! Just as an aside, The Moosewood Restaurant is a relatively famous place in Ithaca, NY. It's known for its model of operation and its vegetarian cuisine. There's quite a story behind the place that you can investigate here. I have loved their cook books for years because recipe ingredients are fresh and recipes are simple and healthy.
12 February 2011
I woke up yesterday morning to the public radio station, as usual. Coming awake, I was in time for the international update on the revolution unfolding in Egypt, a story on a play being performed for the American top military brass that gives great insight into the culture and historical perspective on Afghanistan, and then, a short remembrance of the children's author, Brian Jacques who passed away this week in Liverpool, England.
10 February 2011
Cannelloni can be such a wonderful surprise ... long tubes of pasta encasing some combination of meat and sauce hiding in a coating of cheesy goodness. They can also be a delicious way of exploring different taste combinations, which is exactly how I approached them earlier this week. I love the Catalan recipe for Canalones a la Catalana - cannelloni stuffed with chicken livers, ground meat, chicken breast, leeks and onion, so I decided to play with the recipe a bit ...
09 February 2011
This is a gluten free snack ... and if you are someone who turns your nose up at GF offerings, I truly think you would never know that these rich little bars are good for you AND okay to hand to your friends who are wheat and gluten free. Really.
07 February 2011
Remember that 'must-try' list of recipes you've had going for a while? The one from food bloggers who you admire? Whose food looks and sounds soooo good? Here is one of MY list items ... Hazelnut Chewies, as Kay over at The Church Cook calls them. I was doing a whole lotta baking over the weekend for my church friends and since it was World Nutella Day, and since I'd been drooling over Kay's cookie recipe for a few days, and since I knew many of these cookies would be eaten with happy hearts, I put a huge platter of them together and got them ready to pack off to church.
06 February 2011
Look at this relic! This throwback to the Brady Bunch years was a wedding gift to Silent Bob and I over thirty years ago ... it's been the starting spot for stews, soups, sauces, and boozed up wine and cider, but this weekend, it's getting ready for some football ... and church.
04 February 2011
Sometimes the lines and squares of life are altered. Mother Nature takes over and tells us, in her own subtle way, that we are insignificant. We are wise if we turn away from the highway's center line and become mindful of the line of the sun's shadow in the forest, the twirl of the birdfeeder in the breeze, the maze of branches clicking against the sky. We can moan about this season ... or we can marvel at its beauty and power. Sometimes it's a good thing to realize there are powers well beyond our petty claim.
Because everyone needs a soup that will warm the cockles of the heart after braving a cold blustery day or dark rainy night - because there are never enough chicken soup recipes - because I had a bag of frozen chicken meat in my freezer and various cans of stuff in my pantry - because Silent Bob was on the roof shoveling a whole lotta snow off the dormers - because it was comin' on lunchtime - just because.
03 February 2011
02 February 2011
I found a book on Jewish cooking a while back and have been experimenting with some of the most interesting blends of flavors and spices. Last evening, I made a colorful braised cabbage and meatball dish that was just out of this world! Look at these colors! Too bad there is no 'scratch and sniff' application for our computers!
01 February 2011
This food blogging thing has become such a far-reaching project that I am sometimes overwhelmed with the scope and levels of cooking ability that are out there in the culinary world! I come away from each day of surfing the blogs with a few recipes that I really want to make for my family, a few that inspire me to adapt to my food tastes, and more than a few that astound me in their beauty and intricacy ... like the latest Daring Bakers' challenge. I can't even wrap my brain around the process of making Mousse Entremets with all its intricacies! I loved reading about the process and the thought that various bloggers put into the creative process and I loved oogling their food photography, but I set those posts aside as 'works of art' - not necessarily anything to aspire to, but posts to admire and honor.
When all is said and done, I always move back toward the more homey and simple foods - the ones toward which Silent Bob and I gravitate. Those are the foods that inspired me to begin blogging. We love rustic stews and spicy treatments for vegetables, crunchy cookies and sweet muffins, classic cakes and homey breads ... I have shared many of the recipes from our family cookbook and many that I've come across in my collection of cookbooks. Of late, I have begun going through my on-line list of 'must try recipes'. I hope folks on blogs don't get offended if I post their link and recipe with my take on it ... I mean these posts as a compliment to them. Those of you reading this post who know me and get frequent comments from me, be forewarned - my imitation of your recipe is my most sincere form of flattery. Thanks for posting such wonderful dishes!
'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.' - Charles Caleb Colton