Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Not exactly as planned

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

What I thought I’d do today: get up, get dresssed, go to shul, go to work, blah blah blah.
What really happened: I got up, got dressed, and as I was leaving the house I saw it was snowing. Here’s where it all went downhill.
I went to shul, though the drive took twice as long as it usually does. It was slippery, but not crazy. I left shul, got on the Merritt Parkway to go to work and traffic was moving along at about 2 miles/hour. The parkway was a unique combination of parking lot and skating rink. Between Den Road and Long Ridge Road I was rear-ended (I’m fine) and between Long Ridge Road and High Ridge Road I almost spun out trying to drive up a hill. At that point I decided to give up and I got off the Merritt at High Ridge. Snow was still falling and even fancy AWD cars were having trouble. I parked myself at Starbucks and worked there for a couple of hours, until my laptop battery died. By that time traffic had thinned out and the city had started to plow and salt the roads, so I was able to drive home ok. Whew.

I made a crustless pumpkin pie to console myself. It’s delicious. I think if I wanted to serve something like this to company, I’d bake it in custard cups rather than a pie plate, since without the crust it doesn’t cut up “pretty” but for just myself and the husband it’s perfectly fine.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Grease a 9-inch pie dish or some number of custard cups/ramekins. In a large bowl, beat two eggs with a whisk. Whisk in pumpkin, then add the sugar, salt, and spices. Slowly whisk in sweetened condensed milk. Pour mixture in to prepared pie dish.

Baking: I baked this in my countertop convection oven at 300F for 40 minutes. If you’re going to do this in a regular oven, try 325F and see how it goes. It will probably take 40-50 minutes.


Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

I’ve wanted to make these ever since I saw this post/recipe for whole grain pancakes on Bakers’ Banter a couple of weeks ago. I bought the buttermilk almost two weeks ago (thankfully it’s still good) but it took me awhile to get up enough morning motivation and organization to make them. It was quite easy and now I have a batch of mix in my freezer.

whole grain pancakes whole grain pancakes
whole grain pancakes whole grain pancakes

whole grain pancakes

I followed the King Arthur Whole-Grain Pancake Mix recipe almost exactly. I only had 60g of White Whole Wheat flour so used that, plus 420g of their 100% Organic Whole Wheat. My pancakes were a little darker than theirs but the taste shouldn’t be any different. Use what you have. These pancakes are delicious.

2008 CSA Week 9

Thursday, August 14th, 2008


I picked eleven pounds of cucumber from my garden last night. My refrigerator is a wee bit ridiculous right now.

Here’s what we got in the share yesterday.

2008 CSA Week 9 - Veg

Orient Express Eggplant-2
*Walla Walla Onions-2
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Slicing Tomatoes-1 1/2 pounds
Gold Beets-1 bunch
Lilac Peppers-2
Cilantro-1 bunch
*Fennel-1 head
Summer Squash-2 pounds

Someone had put their onions in the swap box so I swapped out my fennel. Excellent trade in my book.

2008 CSA Week 9 - Fruit

donut peaches
shiro plums

Last night I made chocolate chip zucchini bread with the zucchini. I made four mini loaves and two of them are definitely prettier than the other. I was not in a great mood. The kitchen was hot, it was late, and I should have been paying more attention. I tested one loaf and when it was done I pulled all the loaves out. The others could have used a few more minutes but it was too late by the time I noticed. Totally careless mistake.

For dinner we had chopped tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, Maldon salt (it’s large and crispy), a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh ground pepper. Delicious.

2008 CSA Week 8

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I was unable to take a picture for week 6 and we were out of town for week 7. Here’s week 8 for you.

2008 CSA Week 8 - Veg

Orient Express Eggplant-2
Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage-1
Walla Walla Onions-2
String Beans-1 pound
Genovese Basil-1bunch
Slicing Tomatoes-1
Summer Squash-2 pounds
Boothby Blonde cucumbers-2
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket

2008 CSA Week 8 - Fruit
Shiro Plums

I’ve had big plans for these eggplant (eggplant roll-ups) but I haven’t gotten around to making the recipe yet. I’ve also dreamed up an eggplant parm-ish pasta and if I end up making it, I will definitely post about it. We’re getting more eggplant this week so it’s definitely possible.
I made gazpacho yesterday with one of the onions, a pepper, the tomato, and cukes from my garden. The boothby blonde cucumbers were gone the first night. They’re a perfect snack size. I also made a fantastic basil vinaigrette with the bunch of basil, plus some more from my garden. Here’s the recipe:
1 garlic scape
1/4 medium onion
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 lb basil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in order in blender and process. Makes approximately 1 pint.

Last night I made a feta and tomato salad with the sungold cherry tomatoes, some grape tomatoes and basil from my garden, parsley from the farmer’s market (I never got around to starting parsley from seed this year). We also ate the whole pound of green beans, lightly steamed. They were very good on their own and I really liked them with a bit of the vinaigrette from the tomato salad.

prolific cucumbers

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Yesterday evening I picked 3.6 lbs of delicious Kirby cucumbers from my garden. I decided to take three of these tiny giants and make a jar of refrigerator pickles. In the past I’ve used smaller cukes and when left whole, they usually take about a week in the fridge to pickle. Since these were a bit larger, I cut them in spears and I expect they’ll be ready in a couple of days. All that’s in the jar is cucumbers, kosher salt, dill and water.

refrigerator pickles
cucumbers and dill

refrigerator pickles
cucumbers and dill, with salt and water

I really hope they turn out well!

pita pita

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

It was a rainy 4th of July. We had Jeremie’s sister from Michigan and Jeremie’s cousin from Belgium visiting and everyone was in the mood to relax. In the fridge we had a big tub of hummus but no pita. What is one to do in that situation? Why, make pita of course. Oh. My sources tell me that, apparently, one only comes to that conclusion if one is CRAZY.

No, seriously, it wasn’t that bad. I followed the recipe from Secrets of a Jewish Baker. It uses about 40% whole wheat flour and %60 white flour. I have a new dough rising bucket (super fun) and a new, large rolling mat from King Arthur Flour, and that made the rolling out process much easier. I had been using my regular baking silpat for rolling things out and it just wasn’t big enough.

pita dough in dough rising bucket new dough rising bucket and rolling mat
pita dough in balls pitas, flattened
in the oven split open

baked pitas

Homemade pita is tasty pita! I’d do it again.

2008 CSA Week 3

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

…Just in time for week 4. Yeah, I have some catching up to do. It’s been busy at my house this past week and I just haven’t had time to do much more than get the photos off of my camera. And then try to eat vegetables as fast as we can. Lettuce, I love you but it’s getting to be a little much.

2008 CSA Week 3

Scallions-1 bunch
Ty Fon Mustard Greens-1 bunch
Romaine Lettuce-1 head
Red Tide Lettuce-1 head
Grand Rapids Lettuce-1 head
Perpetual Spinach-1 bunch
Baby Red Ace Beets and Greens-1 bunch
Genovese Basil-1 bunch
Red Vein Sorrel-1 bunch

I did ok this week. We were still recovering from having leftover veggies from the week before, a hazard of going out of town during CSA time. There’s a little lettuce left, the sorrel, the mustard greens, some of the scallions, and some of the basil. I haven’t yet used the beets, they’re very small, but I did use the beet greens and the perpetual spinach for “Spanokopita Greens” on Friday night, which I served alongside gnocchi with garlic scape pesto. The lettuce has gone in to many different salads. Tonight I’m planning to make pasta with all the herbs I have in the fridge and maybe the sorrel. I should steam up the beets tonight too.

Wheels, Wings, and other great things

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Shortly after the winter holidays I was browsing through Williams-Sonoma and I found these great cookie cutters. I picked up a set for my cutie nephew Ethan and a set for myself.
This past weekend we went to Minneapolis to visit the family. I made these cookies with my set, as I wanted to bring finished cookies along with the cookie cutters.

Transportation Cookies! Transportation Cookies!
Transportation Cookies! Transportation Cookies!
Transportation Cookies! Transportation Cookies!

We also brought a new book, The Pout Pout Fish. It’s fun to read and the illustrations are great. Most important, Ethan really likes it!

2008 CSA, Week 2

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

2008 CSA Week 2

Bok Choi-2 heads
Chinese Cabbage-1 head
Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1 bunch
Grand Rapids Lettuce-1 head
Red Sails Lettuce-1 head
Red Tide Lettuce-1 head
Mizuna-1 bunch
Garlic Scapes-8
Summer Savory-1 bunch

Things are still pretty green this week. I asked the Magic 8 Ball and the outlook is good for salads. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the summer savory. It smells fantastic so I’ll have to hunt up something good. There’s definitely more garlic scape pesto in my future. Mmm.

flowers outside, flour inside

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

With all the good basil in the garden and the garlic scape pesto in my fridge, I was jonesing for panini sandwiches. It was kind of, sort of, cool enough on Sunday for me to justify turning on the oven to bake bread.
I mixed up the sponge Sunday morning and had just enough AP flour to do it. I saw King Arthur AP at Trader Joe’s earlier in the week for $3.99/bag but I foolishly didn’t buy it. At the Grade A, all their King Arthur flour was $4.99/5 LB bag. I am quite curious as to how/why TJ is selling it for so much less. Anyway. Since all the flour was the same price, I decided to try the King Arthur bread flour. Given that these loaves are about 65% AP and 35% bread flour, I can’t vouch yet for the performance of the bread flour, but these loaves turned out very well. Good sourdough flavor and a good crumb. Not too holey, which is good for sandwiches. The warm house was good for dough rising.


On a recommendation from Bill, I got “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz out from the Library last week. Jeremie read through it and decided we should make the Vietnamese Coffee ice cream, partly because it doesn’t involve any cooking. It was quite easy to put together and the ice cream is delicious.

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
Adapted from “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz.

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream 12 oz sweetened condensed milk
12 oz cups brewed strong coffee
4 oz half-and-half
1 tsp ground coffee

Whisk together the condensed milk, coffee, and half-and-half. Add in the ground coffee, whisk briefly.
Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
The ice cream will be soft. Transfer to a covered container and freeze until firm enough to scoop.