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Showing posts from October, 2010

Friday Shout Out: I Want Candy

T to the G to the I to the F. It's not only Friday, but the cusp of Halloween weekend! I just can't stand it, I'm so excited (but not in a bad Saved By The Bell kind of way).

My workplace has a big cauldron of candy - I chose a big Lemonhead ball and a Fireball that I'm presently enjoying - and it's making me wonder - what's the best Halloween treat?

Candy Corn?
Er, no.

Smarties? Those are always the cheap and popular option. How about Fun size Snickers? Now I can dig those.

Personally, I was always a fan of the big red wax lips that occasionally some cool person might dole out to the kiddies now and then. Man, I wish I could find some. They are too fun!

Whatever you wind up nibbling on - be it high fructose-laden or fair trade/organic or even boxes of Nature's Candy, I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween weekend. We're headed back to Nashville to visit friends, see an Avett Brothers show at the Ryman tomorrow night, and tonight - the party is on with a &…

Is It Hot In Here...

Or is it just my warm Rosemary Walnut Loaves?

Yep, I've tried my hand at baking bread, and it looks like I successfully completed my mission!

Exhibit A: Before the oven



Exhibit B: After the oven


A recipe from Cooking Light, it's something one really should take the time to read the entire way through before one proceeds. I scanned the ingredients list and began at 2pm today, while had I read the recipe, I would have known I'd stand in my kitchen four hours later, slicing the bread. A couple of things: Bread takes time, effort, and patience. I know this now. The latter is always my downfall, so this was practice for me. BIG practice.There's the rising of the yeast. Then adding the flour and the rest of the ingredients and letting it rise more. Then kneading - despite the stickiness of the dough, you have to knead it for 10 minutes - that's forever in Erin Time, but just right in Bread Time. I punched it, I poked it, I wrangled with it, and scattered the stubborn sticky…

We've Got It Made: Mmmm Minestrone

In marriage, you can be honest, yes?

Scott's always loved minestrone soup, but in past experience the recipe he followed turned out have more of a thick, stew-ish consistency that I don't really care for. He never has a problem telling me when something I make just isn't quite right. I usually know when 1) there's remnants of food on his plate, and 2) no "Mmmms" ever escape his lips. If it's not "Mmmm" worthy, just stop right there, rip up that recipe, and file a mental note never to make that again.

Therefore, we set out on Thursday eve to make a Minestrone with the Mmmm factor. I'm happy to report that we succeeded - we cooked up a brothy, vegetable-laden soup that included beans (of which I used to be a naysayer. Now I love most of them!), and it's perfect for these fall days. Hello fall, we thought you'd never make it. Welcome!

We took our lead from David Rosengarten'sIt's All American Food, the hardcover edition which I alw…

Good Food In Big Yankee Cities: Part Two

As promised, Philadelphia.

Two words: Cheese steaks. That's how our co-foodies on the trip prefaced our Philly trip. It was our ultimate goal, the Holy Grail of Good Eats, if you will. Drive an hour and a half for a sandwich? Oh hell, why not?

Turns out, there's MUCH more to the City of Brotherly Love than just tasty beef smothered in cheese. Let me just spell it out for you below.

First, yes, the cheese steaks.

Scott's dad, a fan of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, found a place, Cosmi's, in South Philly on 8th that he thought we should try. It seemed like a great idea, as we'd heard the big boys of Pat's and Geno's on dueling corners at Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue are overrated. Those joints are strictly for tourists.

Just by looking at the Cosmi's exterior, it seemed like a solid choice. No fancy lights, signs, or huge crowds extending out the door - just two long tables with chairs for "dine-out" seating. We entered and…

Friday Shout Out: British Dairy Farm Rap

Thanks to Grist.com for the "World's First Organic Dairy Rap Video" featuring cute fresh-faced, young Brits trying their best in hip-hop style to promote organic milk products.I'd buy them. And ignore the discussion in the Grist post where they get into the whole "real environmentalists" wouldn't eat dairy. Or the raw/pasteurized debate. I don't know about you, but nothing's going to come between me and my dairy. Word.TGIF!

Applelicious

Just the title of this alone has me humming some Destiny's Child (and how in the hell did I miss that Stevie Nicks totally cameo-ed the video? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.)

I have an exciting project for fall - Apple Chips! I think I may tackle this tonight. I've never dried fruit in an over before, but I overcooked some meat one time that could have been mistaken for jerky. "Meat Chips" just don't have a swell ring to them, do they?

I know, I've been all about the apples, but can you blame me - the apple is a wonderful fruit of this season we call fall. I also have several small cooking pumpkins I need to do something with - any suggestions?

Happy Hump Day, y'all. Make it bootylicous. Or not. Totally your call.

Tea and Cake, or Death

"Uh, death please? No, cake, cake."



If you haven't seen Eddie Izzard'sDressed to Kill, well, I'm kinda envious, because I'd like to go back to when I saw it for the first time. British male transvestite comedian = good times, I promise you.

Sooooo...tea and cake. It's about to happen here at our house because I have this baking in the oven at the moment. I have to use up my apples, though I know they last a while in cold storage, my Virgo OCD tendencies say food needs to be eaten when fresh.

I wanted to make this apple loaf cake from Tennessee Locavore as it looked so healthy - applesauce, whole wheat pastry flour, less sugar, etc. - but I didn't have any nuts or cranberries and after my canning extravaganza last night, I was not about to make my applesauce from scratch. Thus the easy way out with the cooks.com recipe.

Maybe for a lazy day when my pantry's fully stocked? I'm now officially out of canola oil and flour!

Apples to Apples

As I sit here typing, a funny little sound escapes from my kitchen. "Thwack. Pop." Silence...then again, "Thwack." No, it's not Scott taking out his frustrations on a meal tonight. It's glass jars filled with yummy sweet spreads sealing their lids as they cool. Oh, how I love that sound!

What did I make, you may wonder. Well, let me tell you. It has to do with these shots, taken during our visit to Homestead Farm two weekends ago:


Our host tells us what's up... respect the fruit. We always respect the fruit.
The apples we picked -- about 20 - 25 of the Gala and Cameo varieties, were HUGE - nearly twice the size of the typical grocery store kind. I am obviously all about them, as you see below.In addition to acres of apples, the farm also includes a pumpkin patch - pretty irresistible this time of year. Our friend Ryan demonstrates how Mr. Potato Head has been replaced by a much larger piece of produce - MUCH larger. If apples aren't your deal, you can …

Friday Shout Out: Good Food In Big Yankee Cities

Posting on behalf of my male HTT counterpart:

My dad and sister drove up from Georgia this past long weekend and we explored Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Molly (my sister) had never been to Baltimore nor Philadelphia, Erin was new to Philly and I’d only been to Philly for about six hours in a snowstorm (stopped there midway from Asheville, NC to Montreal, left in a hurry trying to avoid getting stuck in a blizzard).My dad, laid-back as always, was open to visiting all three places, so we started with Baltimore on a Friday.BaltimoreI drove them into town, with quick trek through downtown and then onto Chaps Pit Beef, a place on the far eastern edge of Baltimore City serving pit beef, Baltimore’s local take on barbecue.I’d seen Anthony Bourdain’s visit, so I made sure to try the tiger sauce.That, plus heaping spoons of horseradish, had me in “food sweat,” which isn’t a bad thing as long as tasty, spicy food is involved.Molly and dad got straight-up pit beef, while I opted …

Bitesized: All I Wanna Do (And Eat)

Once I thought I should maybe convert to Tumblr as it seemed like the cool blogging thing to do, then I realized I can get a little wordy now and then and Tumblr isn't exactly great for long form diatribes on the evils of Little Debbie snack cakes or the awful crab we had in Chinatown.

So. No Tumblr, but that doesn't mean I can't give you teensy little blog posts on random stuff, as always. Today I present to you the little bites of this and that floating around in my mind.

A - There are pretty pumpkins growing in my 'hoods communal garden, and I think roasted pumpkin seeds need to be on the agenda. It is October, the best of the autumnal months, n'est pas?

B - I have an urge to make my own energy/granola bars, as my energy has been flagging now for a while and I like bars of all kinds (not just the drinky-drinky speakeasy kind, but these). A recipe I have at home looks simple enough - we shall soon see!

C - Soups. Though yesterday's weather of the 80 degree variet…

Spaghetti Squash FAIL

So last week I tried something new - the spaghetti squash I picked up from the apple-pickin' farm (post on that coming soon...it's been a full weekend and I realize I didn't even do a Friday Shout Out last week...my bad, dogs, my bad. No I did NOT just type that.)

I cut both squash in half, slithered out the slimy bits and seeds, and microwaved them for about 10 minutes. I shredded out the flesh, which really did look similar to pasta in texture - maybe an orange-like cellophane noodle? - and as I was doing the Mexican casserole dish I love from the MoosewoodI gave the noodles some cumin, cayenne and salt and pepper sprinkling, and a little buttah.

Welllllllllllllll.... those "noodles" were rather mushy, and a little too sweet for my tastebuds that evening. I perhaps overnuked them in the microwave? Or just don't know how to massage them and give them their best treatment.

Any ideas are recommended, as I like the idea of a fall veggie that could replace the carb…

Squished and Squashed

Scott and I picked up a few spaghetti squash at the farm stand where we picked apples this weekend.

Lovely. Only one little thing: I've never cooked one. I hear you can scrape out the cooked strand-like flesh and use it just like you would pasta, which sounds wonderful and healthy and so very fall season-y.

Anyone have tips on how to use this veggie posing as a carb?

In West Philadelphia, Born & Raised...

Yes, I have the Fresh Prince theme running through my head...we're headed to PHILLY this weekend with Scott's dad and sister to explore what the City of Brotherly Love has to offer, besides dubious cheese steak distinctions. (Cheez Whiz on bread isn't exactly a culinary adventure, I realize.)

The only things I know about Philly I learned from watching some Boyz II Men videos back in the day. Yeah, that's not much.

One foodie friend has made some excellent suggestions, but I thought I'd pose the question to any other readers out there. Got any Must-Dos in Philadelphia for HTT?

Friday Shout Out: Cheerwine

Yes, it's super sweet and chock-full of high fructose corn syrup and Red 40 food coloring, and I should eschew all of that, but hell, I'm a North Carolina girl and one of the best things to come out of the state - other than (in no particular order) Mr. Andy "Matlock" Griffith, public radio's Carl Kasell, author Thomas Wolfe, musicians Tori Amos, Ben Folds, Nina Simone and James Taylor; Duke basketball, and KrispyKreme doughnuts - is Cheerwine.




Don't know about Cheerwine? Bless your little ignorant heart. Check it out, please, if you're ever in North Carolina. You'll be glad you bypassed the Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sprite and whatnot for some carbonated cherry yum-yums. (I love that http://www.cheerwine.com/ converts into http://www.itsasoftdrink.com - it's kind of a weird-ass page. Do take a look-see.) Made by Carolina Beverage Corporation of Salisbury, North Carolina, since 1917, it's a fine tasting soft drink, indeed.
A friend who hails from…