31 July 2011

Grilled Teriyaki Steak Tips

This post is short ... and sweet, kinda like these shortened steak tips.

Cathy, my friend, has a marinade that is so simple and easy that it would be sinful not to pass it on to you. I was extremely busy this past week - travelling across interstate lines for a family bash, making a Daring Bakers' challenge, and tending two kittens and two dogs that are going through cultural clash (if ya know what I mean!). Still, a girl and her man have to eat (if ya know what I mean!).So, Cathy's marinade was just what I needed.

I threw the marinade together and soaked the tips overnight. When I got back from the flying trip (very late at night) I was able to relax and sleep in, dawdle a bit during the day with the animals and know that dinner was set. Whacked up a few potatoes for roasting, steamed veg from the garden and dinner was ... on. the. table.

When you make them, don't forget a nice red wine. Cheers!

Steak Tips Teriyaki

One day before you want to have the tips, make the marinade, trim the tips of any gristly edges, trim to about 5 -inch sections, and place them in a ziplock bag. Squeeze the air from the bag and seal. Massage the marinade around the tips,place the bag in a bowl and pop it in the fridge.

Grill the tips to medium -rare on a grill pan or on the outdoor grill. Easy as pie, right?


½ c. soy sauce

¼ c. brown sugar
½ c. orange juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. black pepper

This marinade is enough for 1 to 2 lbs. of sirloin tips... go ahead and double it for more servings!
Accompaniments: Green peppers and Vidalia onion chunks are great additions to the grilled tips. Just sayin’.

30 July 2011

Judith Jones ... and Cooking For One ... Errr, Two!

Judith Jones is living proof that foodies are not 'natural born'. They evolve. Her various Yankee relatives influenced her attitudes toward food and dining - from her mother's frugality and somewhat strict dietary mandates to her aunt's more lax and fun kitchen. While she recounts wonderful memories of foods from her youth, she also remarks on the strict set of rules for preparing foods adhered to in her family household. Certain food items were never used, cooking smells were masked or shut out from the general living quarters and there was a 'hemmed in' atmosphere around the family dining experience. Her father, however, gave her an exposure to restaurant fare at a young age and fostered her food curiosity. Their trips to various restaurants around New York City fueled that curiosity and sense of adventure. Her travels to France after her college graduation awakened her appetite for world cuisines. Of course, working for a publishing house also helped her gain exposure to some of the great writers and reviewers of the times - and ideas.

29 July 2011

Green Beans with Frizzled Prosciutto and Gruyère

This recipe comes from a vegetable cookbook put out by Culinary Institute of America. I love all three of the main ingredients and can't imagine a better dress-up vegetable side dish for this time of year! Our green beans are coming on right now. Yesterday we picked a large colander full ... perfect thin fuzzy green beans!

28 July 2011

Daring Bakers' Challenge - Making Fresh Fraisiers

It's cool today and I'm a day late, but who cares. It's the perfect day for addressing this month's Daring Bakers' Challenge.

lime and kiwi meet blueberries

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers' host and she challenges us to make Fresh Fraisiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

Her versions stressed fresh strawberries, but our season has gone by, so I am concentrating on a lime chiffon cake that has kiwi and blueberry fruit accents and a lime citrus tang to the sweet syrup used to flavour the chiffon cake. I have also made blueberry jam that will get a bit of a showcase in the layers of the cake and pastry cream. I am opting out of topping the Fraisier with the almond paste, as our family does not tolerate that thick concentrated confection... sorry, Jana! Instead, there is another very thin layer of blueberry jam, pastry cream, and then a dusting of confectioner's sugar to create the topping.

23 July 2011

Culinary Institute of America's Zucchini Bread ... with a slight change

They're back! The bumper crop of zucchini is starting to make itself a bit of a nuisance in the grey cottage. I warned Silent Bob not to bring a zucchini bigger than a honker Havana cigar into the kitchen, but he ignored me. It's almost like he needs to show off how productive his hill of squash is being. I have begun giving it away and baking with it, but it's still difficult to stay ahead of the deluge!

22 July 2011

Mangoes, Salmon, and Madhur ...

                                                                                                                         Photo credit: Clara Molden

Madhur Jaffrey has made a name for herself as a distinguished actress and as an enthusiastic advocate for Indian cuisine. Her favorite dishes use simple ingredients, but have interesting spice combinations that add tang, heat, zest, and color! Her interview on NPR back in 2006 was such a delight that I'm including a link here. Just listen to this delightful lady tell of her early life in colonial India and her wonderful memories of growing up and into the spiciness of her beloved Indian cuisine! Her memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India is on my bedside table and is enthralling. In her 80's, Ms. Jaffrey has lived the change from colonial India to independent India and has negotiated the paths between traditional Indian culture and Western culture. She has become an established film actress and has lived in New York for many years, but her love of her Indian roots is evident in her discussion of her favorite recipes. She is number seven on our list of 50 Women Game-Changers and well deserves the spot ... join the other bloggers that are paying her tribute this week by linking to Mary's post at One Perfect Bite ... then choose a recipe and make your own Indian feast! I chose to work with fresh salmon that is given a lovely spice rub and is then finished in a hot spicy smooth tomato curry.

21 July 2011

Blackberry and Sour Apple Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I went to a birthday luncheon today! My dear friend Cathy was celebrating her July birthday with a bunch of friends and I was in charge of the cake ... my pretty plate was a blank slate!

19 July 2011

Gooseberry/Blueberry Custard Tart and Whipped Cream

This past weekend, my girl Sara came home for a Sunday dinner and to choose a kitty to be her new apartment mate ... I still haven't pried which kitty she prefers from her. I personally think she is overwhelmed by their cuteness and can't decide. No matter. We have all the time in the world ... or at least several more weeks before the kitties will be ready to leave their momma cat.

In the meantime, we puttered in the kitchen and put together a wonderful summertime dinner - boiled lobster, corn on the cob, zucchini sauté, and this tart ...

the colors in this pie are just so vibrant - like the flavours

16 July 2011

Marcella Hazan's Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce

To look at her, she seems the quintessential Italian Nonna ... round, distinguished, and somewhat formidable, yet with a sparkle in the eye and a strong capable presence. She has distinguished herself as one of the most knowledgable resources for classic Italian cuisine, has published top-notch cookbooks on Italian food, contributed commentary and recipes to The New York Times over the years, taught cooking classes, and has been credited with being one of the driving forces behind introducing balsamic vinegar and all its possibilities to the foodie world - all this a 'happy accident', a result of her need to feed her husband, her wonder of and frustration with 'the American supermarket experience', and a cooking class on Chinese food.
You can hear/read her own words here at NPR. What I find so powerful is the fact that her knowledge is so based in the bedrock of food memories of how her mother and grandmother cooked. Her destiny has been to bring those simple and basic 'food memories' to the public, convincing many foodies that Italian food is not fussy and convoluted. It is basic fare that uses the simplest of ingredients to create soul-satisfying meals.

15 July 2011

Trouble In Paradise ...

What a day! I went with SB to pick raspberries at the farm ... the day was such a beauty! Cooler, sunny, a nice breeze! The berries are just past full bear, but there were plenty to forage. I had plans for picking and then coming straight home to make jam. Duh, duh, duhhhh!

14 July 2011

Fettuccine and Peas in Curried Cream Sauce

No apologies ... this is such a warm, spicy, gooey, creamy, rich pasta fix that it should probably be against the law. To boot, this batch is made with the freshest of garden peas that are like little sweet bullets of flavour. This is what we knoshed for dinner last evening... this and glasses of crisp Sauvignon Blanc. My goodness, it just doesn't get any better. But wait ... as I was cleaning up and pouring a second glass of wine, Silent Bob hollered, "Rainbow alert!"

13 July 2011

The Power of Kittens ... and A Pie

They are such innocents, these two. They claw their way up the sides of the beds to see what's up top and then mew, mew, mew until one or the other is brave enough to jump back down. They toy with each other's tail and scamper sideways across the carpet, stumbling now and then like drunken sailors. They stop at sudden movements of wind chimes, curtains, or my feet and stare intently, before going on to other things. They jump at their mother and play at 'attack' with her until she whips them with her tail and jumps the fence out of their 'nursery room'. They race back and forth and all around ... and then they sleep curled around each other like a little living yin and yang. They have completely captured the hearts of all the neighbor kids, who make small pilgrimages to see them ( "Briefly, please!" ).

12 July 2011

Marinated Grilled Chicken and Mango Salsa

When the heat picks up, the grill goes to work. We are deep into fresh garden peas and Swiss chard these days, so an easy grilled chicken dish went well last evening. To boot, there are mangoes galore in the market right now. An easy salsa and a sweet marinade on sliced boneless chicken breasts made for an easy meal.

11 July 2011

Spicy Wok Shrimp with Coconut Rice ...

Week five of the 50 Women gamechangers is here again and this week, there are sure to be more folks joining in ... look over on Mary's website -

M F K Fisher was a complete unknown to me before this last week. I have been having a time doing some research on her and her body of work. So what do I think?  I think she was a smart lady who never wanted to be stuck in the kitchen, but who wanted to know her way around it and a world of different cuisines. I also think she loved her travel, her circle of intelligent friends, and her ability to write about her passions and get away with making it earn her living. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm seeing her as the Dorothy Parker of the culinary world - smart, witty, talented, attractive, and somewhat of a bon vivant. I mean look at this woman ... doesn't she just ooze style and charisma? No shrinking violet, that's for sure!

07 July 2011

Peas and New Potatoes ... and MFK Fisher

She writes so beautifully ... that, and her approach toward the fresh and local foods around her are her legacy. Enough said.

Once on Long Island I saw jewel-like tiny potatoes lying in a newly plowed field, in late August, and I pulled off my shoes and plunged out into the soft sandy dust and culled enough for a fine lunch. A car slowed down on the road, and I thought it might be the workers back from a break, or the police, but there was a great laugh and it drove on. Later I learned that I had embarrassed my hosts (who enjoyed the nut-like little culls before they felt any qualms). But the next August came an air-mailed box of ‘more of the same’, and I have always wondered how and when other people got knee-deep dirty to pick them for me, out in that elegant banlieue.”

- M.F.K. Fisher from With Bold Knife and Fork

06 July 2011

Hot Day, Cool Pie!

Okay, folks! The heat is on, so I'm all about a cool dessert. I was cruising the food blogs over morning coffee yesterday and found Tammy's recipe for Peanut Butter Pie on her blog Food On Food. You MUST visit her site. Not only is she hysterically funny and fun, but she posts some damn good recipes.

05 July 2011

Good Reads - Fannie's Last Supper

I've been reading Fannie Farmer's Last Supper - Re-creating One Amazing Meal From Fannie Farmer's 1896 Cookbook by Chris Kimball. This all came about because of the 50 Women Game-Changers posts that I've been playing at, plus the research and reading that goes with it.

Chris Kimball had a thing about Fannie Farmer ... an interest that went beyond just living smack dab in the middle of her stomping grounds in the South End of Boston. He and his crew at America's Test Kitchen set out to re-create a multi-course menu right out of her 1896 cookbook and in so doing, he wrote an account and filmed a documentary on how the job got done. It was no easy task, as he and his cohorts used authentic ingredients, cooked almost everything on a coal-fired cookstove reminiscent of those used during the 1890's, and used cooking techniques that have become obsolete for most of us. Of course, some of the original recipes were too strangely textured or bland or fatty for Kimball's and his head chef cohort's taste, so they worked to 'improve' some of the dishes. They always, though, started working with the original recipe from Fannie Farmer's cookbook and went from there.

The book is highly readable, educational, and sometimes funny. Kimball has an easy way of expressing events and has fun commentary on Boston culture, the historical aspects of the story of Fannie and the Boston Cooking School, Victorian manners, Boston culinary history, and the foibles of working with calves' brains, killing lobsters, working with puff pastry, making Victorian punches, and getting ready to host a twelve course meal for twelve highbrows. He also gives history lessons on the development of Boston food markets, the inner workings and techniques for cooking on Victorian cast iron cookstoves, and food trends of the Victorian era.

His altered recipes are included in the book. It's fun to compare them to the originals from Fannie's cook book. Of course, I'm going to try at least one of them! Right now, I'm leaning toward the Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Caper Vinaigrette. I have a fridge full of food leftover from the 4th, though, so the salmon will have to wait. The book, though, is quickly being consumed ...

04 July 2011

Banana Bread with a Tropical Twist

When I first started collecting cookbooks, I fell in love with Rosso & Lukins tome, The Silver Palate. Over the years, anyone who had any connection with that pair got my attention, so it was a no-brainer for me to pick up Sarah Leah Chase's cookbook Cold-Weather Cooking. It's a collection of recipes that are so imaginative and fun! Take, for instance, her recipe for banana bread. It's like a trip to Margueritaville, as far as I'm concerned. Perfect for the summertime, when you are fighting to keep the fruit fresh, the fruit flies at bay, and the larder stocked for weekend guests.

02 July 2011

Daring Baker's Challenge - Baklava. Late, but Whatever

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

If anyone ever tells you that it's a snap to make your own phyllo dough, just kick them for me. Sorry, but I have spent the last three days struggling with doughs that resemble nothing more than large balls of silly putty!  Just look! This dough was such a bear to deal with ... sticky, springy, and frustrating. I tried using little flour on the rolling surface, no flour on the rolling surface, flour only on the rolling pin, no flour on the rolling pin - I just couldn't make it work. Aaargh! I can feel my blood pressure rising two days after the ordeal! Well, life is too short for that kind of stress.

01 July 2011

What Would Martha Do?

good old Martha ... smiling all the way to the bank

We have an on-going joke in our house. Whenever there is a domestic quandry from cooking to cleaning to organizing to decorating to entertaining , the question gets asked, "What would Martha do?"  Sometimes it is clearly tongue-in-cheek, but sometimes it is muttered with dead seriousness.

How omnipresent Martha Stewart has become in our media-driven culture. Her magazines, homegoods, books, television programs, and website posts have saturated everyday life with tips, recipes, and crafty projects. And that was her goal when she formed her media enterprise. She is quite clearly a business phenom and deserves being included on the list of 50 Women Game-Changers . This week Mary of One Perfect Bite has challenged us to deal with Martha Stewart ... business phenom, domestic goddess, established 'brand', media diva.