29 June 2012

Spicy Peanut Sauce ... and a Dish to Go With

the random cookbook and the middle recipe in the book ... what might it be?

Rhubarb Cordial ... A Springtime Recipe for a Summertime Glass !

How easy is this ! The first of the rhubarb, some sugar, some orange zest, and water ... boil it up until the sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb is soft and giving up its color and flavour. Dump the mix into a super clean jug that has a tight cover. Add some vodka and some white Zinfandel wine. Slosh it all about and screw on the lid. Cover the jar with a towel to keep out the light and put the jug aside in a dark, cool spot for a couple weeks. Slosh it around a bit every few days or when you think of it.

22 June 2012

Two Words ...

New Cookbook

Roasted Vegetables

Cold Eggs

Fresh Herbs

Salad Bowl

Broccoli Gribiche

19 June 2012

Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Turkey, Prosciutto, and Cheese

We're having work done on the kitchen this week ... a new floor is will be taking the place of the age-old linoleum with cracks and spots. There will be ceramic tile to replace it! Kitchen construction, however changes my cooking routine. No puttering around out there! Any cooking that gets done is done during the hour that the guys take in the middle of the day for their lunch break ... so I plot during the morning and dash out and around their gear as soon as the truck leaves the dooryard. I mop the counter and pull things out of the cupboards, search for counter top staples among the boxes and bins and put together crockpot meals. The crockpot goes on the dining room table for the  afternoon ... out of the way of tools and elbows and dust.

The guys come back after their lunch and bang and saw and rip and tear and while they do, a nice smell starts to fill the air... something other than wood chips.

16 June 2012

Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

Every once in a while, I take a trip down memory lane. I have a huge bag of clippings, recipe cards, notes from friends, and magazine articles that all have foods that I've made and loved. The collection goes back over the thirty-plus years of my married life and come to think of it, even farther. It goes back to the college years when I first got an apartment with a bunch of wild young women. In those days, we would have parties on Friday nights that always began with pans of lasagna or big pots of chicken soup or dueling crockpots of stews and chilis. Then there would be some easy dessert left on the counter or pulled from the fridge. The first time I made this easy cheesecake was for one of those Friday night debauchery scenes.

15 June 2012

Middle Eastern Lentils and Peppers with a Side of Rice

My sweetheart has been gone for two weeks ... he's a long-distance bike riding maniac. My brother, Rich is his cronie and partner in insanity. They took a big loop of a trip from New Hampshire to Boston to Cape Cod to the Rhode Island and Connecticut coasts to Long Island to New York City to the Hudson Valley to western Massachusetts and back to New Hampshire. The weather has been less than stellar for the past couple weeks, so I wanted their welcome home meal to be hot, comforting and simple. I thought they would be wet, hungry, and tired ... and I was correct. Last evening, the guys dragged themselves and all their gear into the house at around 6 PM. They'd been riding since 7 AM. Boy, did they look haggard, but lo and behold ... dinner was just being placed on the platter! It was piping hot and so comforting! When I grinned and chortled, " Just in time for dinner !", they  asked, "Are you clairvoyant? How did you do this?" There was no clairvoyance. It was luck, folks. Pure luck.

12 June 2012

Garlic Soba Noodles ...

Phew! What a day! I have been out straight planting and watering flowers, edging and hoeing in garden beds, composting and top dressing, and slapping mosquitoes! I am feeling so righteous ... so what can I do to top this day off? Well, I could just harvest two shopping bags full of prime spinach ... and use a few big handfuls to make a healthy, garlicky, cheesy platter of Soba noodles.

08 June 2012

Gateaux de Crêpes à la Florentine - It All Began With a Classic

Last year at this time, I happened upon Mary Bergfeld's post for a proposed blogging challenge  called '50 Woman Game Changers'. The premise was to follow a list of influential women that Gourmet's on-line magazine editors had deemed the most talented, inspiring, inventive, ground-breaking, marketed, media saturated, and controversial of all women in the food industry over all time. A tall order it is to make a list of that nature ... and a tall order it is to address these women on a weekly basis, but that's just what Mary and a group of women did.

02 June 2012

Chicken Biryani for Two

When I have this dish, I think about the Iranian traders who traveled the ancient trade routes, bringing cooking methods along with them as they made their way toward Pakistan and India ... oh, the spices and goods that passed to and fro along those hidden trails. Biryani is a Persian cooking method that means 'fried' and 'roasted'. That's just what this dish is ... fried chicken and aromatics with roasted rice. I love its spicy heat with cool side dishes and a large dollop of yogurt ...

01 June 2012

Strawberry-Rhubarb Stacks and A Nod to Julie Powell

Julie, Julie, Julie! Just look what you've done! I wonder if you sometimes think about the numbers, no, legions, of foodies that have joined the blogging world because of your memoir and blog. I wonder if you are completely happy with the level of notoriety that your romping through Julia Child's masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking brought to you? It has certainly earned you the final place on Gourmet's on-line magazine list of 50 Woman Game Changers. Your humor, angst, and fearless approach toward some of those daunting recipes have inspired many a cook to haul out the cookware, sharpen the knives, track down the ingredients, and get to it in the kitchen!

Good for you! I imagine, though, that you don't give a ratatouille's ass about all the attention. Somehow, I think your mind must be on the next great project ... I see that you've spent a huge block of time recently learning the art of butchering and charcuterie. I can only speculate what will come next! Perhaps cheesemaking or pastry preparation?