Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Everything is better with bacon

Baking powder biscuits and bacon, oh so darn delicious. I have spent the morning puttering with a heavy dose of sock knitting. The biscuits are flaky: no need to overwork the dough when I have knitting on my mind!!! Maple bacon makes for a perfect match with this chilly and rainy season called winter.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Peppermint Bark

The holidays encourage sweets and treats which we would not make at any other time. So, i find myself making batches of peppermint bark because it makes people so happy. This was delicious dark, french chocolate, 10ounces worth, melted and spread on a silpat, drizzled with white chocolate, sprinkled with peppermint, then left to cool. Lord, is it ever rich!

Eating during the Holidays

Well, if you know me, you know I love my greens.  I call it my girl food! 
And here is Kerry Dunningtons' nod to greens.
My recipe that for girl green goes like this:

Kale, chiffonade/finely chopped so it is not cumbersome to eat
Mache or spinach
top with a heavy garnish of:
and drizzle fine olive oil, fresh thyme, salt or lime juice,
stir together and happily refresh your yin! 

Yin's wikipedia definition goes like this:  Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime.  It does not completely summarize my mood after eating this, but I do know I am definitely a little stronger and more centered when I eat the foods that make me feel like a girl!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hot cocoa

Simple and gorgeously delicious.


Ridiculous, but true, I find myself a single mother and woman after 17 years of marriage. One friend said, "it seems some men's 'sell by' date must come due and they just expire after that". Might as well laugh.
Now, a couple months later i am ready to do the things which are my nature. Cooking and knitting are two things essential to my nature.
I made hot chocolate, and oh, how sweet it is! Actually i don't make it sweet. I use Scharffen Berger's cocaoa, add a bit of salt, and equal sugar to cocoa. Bring it to steamy hot, then put it in a french press and give it a lovely fluffy consistency. Yummmmm...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Planning for Mexican

I sat down with my friend Harriet.  We are planning for one of our Great Dinners in a couple weeks.  Spectacular Mexican cookbooks with droolingly delicious recipes is our starting point.  We are busy  tracking down sources for guava concentrate, a range of peppers and popsicle makers.  The organization starts with us, and once recipes are chosen, the work will be divided amongst everyone (4 couple).  Not wanting to give away the entire menu, i will share this:   green shrimp, a slow-cooked brisket, and then there are salsas, and sides, churros and mexican palettas.  It's going to be tasty. We gather on one evening, and make the food together--each group chooses to make one of the recipes, and then off they go!!!  By the end we are so happy for the company, the willingness to experiment, and the joy of tasting what we create.  I am sure i will post photos from that one!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cycling Socks

Cycling Sock for Michael
Madelinetosh sock yarn.  If you know what that is, then you know what I am talking about!  Gorgeous colorways, delightful yarn and more monochromatic.  Never garish.  My sweetie will be getting these socks--i am merely test driving the heel!  They are cycling socks.  Took a simple sock pattern from ravelry, love the heel. They feel fantastic.  Sock knitting is a very OCD behavior.  Knitters will surely nod in agreement!  The good news is that the behavior is coralled, and produces a very nice and useful item you can wear.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CSA--community supported agriculture

Our friend Poki, looks like quality control check before shares are distributed

Bounty from one week, Larry Close shares his ideas and wisdom

Naomi Goldstick Rosner helps organize the garden
Never underestimate the power of people.  Mt Washington proves itself to be an awesome neighborhood:  a local-our-'hood CSA.  Okay, so many people know about CSA's (hurrah).  But this one is on one end of the CSA spectrum.  Mt Washington's CSA is self-funded by the member family who each contribute $50 with 27 member families, working one universal plot.  That is one unusual thing.  Everyone must contribute time to keeping up with maintainance and harvesting.  That is unusual by the meer fact that people ARE in fact actually doing the hard work!  Okay, so these two ingredients, TIME and MONEY, working together!!!  Then the best part of the equation: Master Gardener, Larry Close, a neighbor and Master Gardener.  He loves veggies, and can teach and direct others.  The photos show just a moment in time:  look at the bounty of just one week!  Awesome. 

Tomato Sandwich with Labne on Whole Food Seeduction Bread

And after 45 minutes in the 100 degree day, I took my bounty home, pulled my happiest looking tomato out, and made a simple lunch sandwich!  The one side of the seeduction bread has a spread of labne, which is a rich, thick yogurt common in mediterranean diet.  It ensures that the bread doesn't get tooooo soggy.  Then slices of warm, summer tomatoes (i forgot the variety).  Amazingly delicious.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Breakast, Farmstyle

My aim is to make a tostada with some egg protein with some vitamin-rich greens, and of course a nice cup of coffee.  So I took a corn tortilla, and crisped it on a griddle.  That is what you see on the plate. On the cutting board I have washed and dried some beet leaves, from my friends' amazing garden.  They are rolled up here, and will be thinly sliced and sauteed with onion.  Placed the beet greens on the tortilla, with shredded cheddar.  Now, it's time to fry an egg to perfection.  Some good olive oil, a nice hot pan, and some salt and pepper.  The result is this amazing breakfast!

The local ingredients here are:  beet greens are so local: in my neighbors garden, eggs from Two Oceans Two Food, up in Stevenson, MD, and the half and half from South Mountain Creamery, and cheddar from Hawks Hill Creamery. The flavors are simple and delicious.

Breakfast Tostada:  Corn tortilla, sauteed beet greens, cheddar and egg

Technique Lesson:  Chiffonade is the best way to ensure the flavor of your greens.  Roll your leafy greens or herbs, and with a sharp knife make swift narrow cuts.  You will be happy for the taste, without having a big leafy green dangling over your lower lip!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Care to talk about Local?

Our posts are to Think Local about your food chain.  Where can you find local chicken, local pickles already canned, where to find sustainable fish, and fantastic local eggs.  I am writing in a conversational manner so our community of like-minded people can share their sources, or if they are not in Baltimore, please share good ideas which work in your community.  Our food chain has to shift, and it can happen.

Nimbo Pani

The most refreshing drink this world has is a nimbo pani, translation from hindi:  Lime-Water.  It's so simple, it's just the essence of knowing what you are putting in your body.  

3 tablespoons of granular or raw sugar
hot water
mix that together until it's all melted.  
this is a shortcut method to simple syrup, 
we will talk about that some other time! 
put ice in the simple syrup, then add:
Juice from one lime.  

This could go in the direction of a mixed drink (read: alcohol), and go right ahead.  My feeling in the heat of the summer, your body is craving citrus and water, and the sugar just makes it taste oh so delicious!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Indian Dinner

you know there is just nothing like good poor man’s food.  I made rice and dhal for lunch today.  Why?  Because it was there:  rice and beans are just staples.  They work in our effort to be sustainable.  Spicing them like crazy gives you flavor. 

There are so many different types of dhal.  My favorite is North Indian dhal.  It is a staple of the Indian diet.  Start with black dhal (whole) and kidney beans, after you have soaked them put tomatoes (chunks) and garlic (whole gloves) in the water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer... the tomatoes does something amazing, making it have a depth of flavor.  Garlic always helps with this too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Ready for recipes, via imagination?  Here is where we start:  the photo.
Now, this is not as in-season as I was hoping for… we were invited to our First Friday Dinner in March/April, and I was asked to bring an hors d’ouvres...can you call them that when it's a Chinese New Year theme?.  So in the name of the Rabbit, it included alot of carrots, there’s that tasty carotene.  The shrimp was wonderful.  They came from North Carolina, so just beyond local!  I would have enjoyed tofu, but that is not any more local.  The kale was a great change from the typical lettuce, and of course a lot more nutrition.  The kale was local.
As for recipes, i am not going to bore you with it, rather, just explain the shredded carrots was mixed with pomelo (similar to a grapefruit) with a thai-dressing, that was sweet, salty, vinegery, and deliciously spicy-hot.  Notice, the lime wedge in the kale wrap.  Dare ya’:  Yes, you do eat the whole wedge.  It will make a great sour explosion that made the guests at the party laugh with delight.  There are toasted, chopped peanuts, and toasted sesame seeds.  No other sauce… guess I could have had some thick satay/peanut sauce, but it just would have been glue for ingredients, so not necessary!