29 September 2013

Channeling Nonna ... Ranting On Kitchen Creativity


So .... the dishes and background suck given the food colors ... get over it. Our grandparents had to! That's exactly what I said to myself, as I shot this gorgeous plate of food ... and the food is what it's all about ... right?

This post involves small chapters (or free association interludes) that unfold to the food on that plate...

28 September 2013

IHCC - Soba Noodles With Eggplant and Mango

Golly! I love noodles! I plan to wax eloquent on this dish, but first...

27 September 2013

Fruited Pork Loin Roll - Easy Entertaining

This is a simple and very tasty meat dish that I always have a hankering for when the autumn season rolls around ... it must be the colors of this dish - golds and browns plus the greens and oranges of accompanying fall vegetables. They have cued my brain to make this for dinner. Do you have certain dishes that you positively must make once the air crisps up and the trees start to turn? Or the first snow flies? Or the snowbanks melt and the breezes soften and springs seems eminent? Or summer's sun is blazing and the humidity is climbing? Seasonal favorites ... you gotta go with the urge because it's then that that certain dish tastes the best! Really! I truly believe this to be true!

25 September 2013

Puddings, Cakes, and Bakes ... A Random Recipe

This month's random recipe brings us to the back of the book, so to speak ... the sweets and baked goods that end a good meal or give us a little bit of sweetness alongside tea or coffee. So here we go ...

22 September 2013

Tessa Kiros and Pumpkin Crostone - IHCC

Each time, the potluck has come up, I've tried to choose a different chef to highlight and this month is no different. I have never cooked any of Tessa Kiros' recipes, so this weekend, I'm trying her recipe for Pumpkin Crostone from her cookbook called Limoncello and Linenwater.

18 September 2013

Makin' Cake ... We Should Cocoa

I was looking back at past posts and realized that it has been an age since I made a cake. A chocolate cake - a cake that is so rich and gooey and crumbly that it makes you tremble with the initial sugar hit and puts your teeth on edge (in a good way). I realized that this chocolate cake deficit must be rectified almost immediately.

14 September 2013

Viennese Potatoes ... or ... Glorified Home Fries

So ... the first time we had these taters we had them with lamb kabobs and a side salad. The second time we had these, I plopped eggs in the center instead of that sour cream and cooked them to a soft yolk finish.There were dollops of plain yogurt on the side. Tonight, we had them as the cookbook suggested  (with the sour cream front and center). They shared the dinner plate with vegetables all around to make a meatless meal.

12 September 2013

IHCC - You Made Me Love You ... Bulgur !

Let me introduce you to the perfect side dish ... this is a fruity, spicy dish of bulgur with sweet red peppers, sweet Vidalia onions, and a hint of tomato paste. It is such a surprise to me because I have tried bulgur in the past and it has always been too chewy, too coarse, to dry. But THIS bulgur is none of those things. Yotam Ottolenghi credits this dish to a friend - Itamar Srulovich. I fell for making it when I saw the illustration in YO's cookbook called Plenty. It reminded me of couscous and when I read the description of the bulgur needed (medium grind), I thought that I might have to try bulgur one more time.

10 September 2013

Pflaumenkuchen with Almond Streusel

The plums of September are not the plums of August ... no huge round orbs of sweet flesh with tangy after bite. The prune plums of September are small blueish ovals, sweet and fleshy and easy to go soft.
Every autumn, one sees the foragers in Germany gathering these blue prune plums along agricultural paths or off along the walkways of parks. Home they go with their cache to make pans of Pflaumenkuchen for their daily Kaffetrinken. This 'cake' is a soft cross between a coffeecake and a soft bread with a fruit topping (kinda like a pizza, SB, but NOT !)

08 September 2013

Winner, Winner! Chicken Dinner!

This was a busy Sunday! SB, the forester guy, gave a guided walk on a piece of conservation land this afternoon and I was the designated photographer, so dinner was thrown together when we got home from the wilds ...

Chop, chop, rub, rub, sprinkle sprinkle, whiz, whiz, roast, roast, voila! We ate like lions - lions, I tell you!

06 September 2013

Morning Snack ... Winter Supply

I made apple jelly at the crack of dawn ... and by 9 AM I was snacking on sharp Cheddar, dollops of apple jelly and super crisp wheat crackers.

04 September 2013

A Tailgate Supper - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork and Creamy Cole Slaw

Fall's here in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire! No more knocking on the door with a tentative crisp day or a showy bright blue fall sky. Labor Day has come and gone and now it's back to busy school days, harvesting the final garden produce and beginning the buttoning up of things for the coming (say this word in a whisper!) winter. Soon we'll be raking leaves, planting spring bulbs, cleaning out the greenhouse and stacking the planters and hanging baskets for the season, cleaning out the gutters, stacking the wood up closer to the house,and enjoying the occasional high school football game. Busy days, indeed!

02 September 2013

Tomato Basil Tart - A Simple Work of Art

This was the easiest tart that I've ever made ... and in fact, Silent Bob and I are having a debate on whether it is a tart or a pizza. I say tart because the crust is made with freezer-aisle puff pastry and not yeast dough. SB says it doesn't have the depth of a tart, is baked flat on a pizza pan, and has cheese and tomatoes,not to mention copious amounts of basil. It's a pizza in his eyes. Whatever the case, it is a simple affair to make, looks dramatic, and tastes wonderful!

01 September 2013

Italian Whole Wheat Walnut and Raisin Bread

This past week, SB and I spent time up Vermont way ... camping is always such an adventure and we had our share of adventures! We weathered two nights of torrential rains without having the tent and gear float away, listened and chuckled at our luck, as a tree fell over in the woods adjacent to one of the sites near ours, rode the bicycles along a beautiful stretch of Lake Champlain shoreline bike path, discovering Michigan dogs at one of the most popular food trucks in Burlington, and enjoyed daily visits to our campsite by a pair of pileated woodpeckers. By the end of the week, my feet were dirty, my clothes were damp and sweaty, the tent and gear were pretty musty, my ankles and elbows sported mosquito bites, and we were ready to return to the comfort of the grey cottage. Vacation is fun, but boy, is it strenuous sometimes!