Sunday, August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers: Eclairs

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I don't love chocolate.

If you haven't clicked away from my blog after that admission, let me explain. I don't hate chocolate either. I eat chocolate but it isn't my first choice for dessert. So, I felt fairly neutral when I learned that our challenge this month was chocolate eclairs. The hook for me was the originator of this specific recipe--Pierre Hermes. I frankly have never even considered attempting any of his recipes. After all, he is Pierre Hermes and I am a woman with Cherrios in her purse (Belle's, not mine.)

But, if we are going to play French pastry chef, choux pastry is the way to go. I have made cream puffs in the past. They are so incredibly easy (given it isn't a crazy humid day.) Frankly, I am always amazed at the miraculous way 1 cup of flour can become an almost endless number of puffy balls.

There was a lot of talk about the eggy nature of this dough. I made very strongly flavored fillings, so I didn't mind the tone of the puffs. As it is me, I made mini-eclairs (baked for 7 minutes). I then filled the 3 inch eclairs with: cardamom pastry cream and red currants, vanilla-lemon zest cream and blackberry, cinnamon pastry cream with pumpkin seeds, and of course, the Hermes chocolate cream. The fruit ones were the delicious, the pumpkin seed brilliant and as you might expect, I didn't taste the chocolate. But Maybelle's Dad says that Hermes' recipe was right on.

Thank you to Tony and Meeta who picked this month’s challenge--it was a nice change from the marathons of the past month. Check out their blogs for the recipe and don’t forget to look at what other fellow Daring Bakers came up with! eclairs3chocolateeclair

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fennel Handpies

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I am a word nerd. And while this blog doesn't necessarily exemplify that aspect of my personality, I promise you it is true. When I hear someone say I absconded a cake, I mentally add the with. Word roots and the history of terminology fascinate me. And, then there is menu language. There is the high end. "Open" raviolo anyone? I am guilty of such language, though I am usually winking as I type such things. And, the ethnic menus, where words like chunks, pungent, rich might have any variety of meanings (not all good.)

Recently, the hand pie seems to be a hot menu word. According to the unfailing consistently correct Internet, the term hand pie is of American Southern origin. Having tested out pronouncing it with a drawl a la Dinah Shore, I have decided that sounds like a feasible assessment of the root. Basically, it is an individual, half-moon shaped pie in the vein of an empanada or pasty.

This version, savory Fennel, Ricotta and Feta Handpies, was very light. I used a dough that combined butter and shortening so it was moist and flaky. After creating a round 5 inches in diameter, I filled them with a mixture of fennel fronds and stems, ricotta, red pepper flakes, and plenty of feta cheese.

These were light and tasty, though you would need at least 3 to make a meal.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tomato Salad

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A little while ago, I was reading a post at Gild the (Voodoo)lily about how time gets away from you. That was forty minutes ago. What have I done in this time? I can't exactly say. She had some link about a girl in lucite heels, that lead me to something else (what, I can't remember), then I linked around to some food blogs, and now I am finally here. Point being? Time just disappears. It is not even like sands through an hourglass. The older I get, the less tangible time becomes. I don't even have a minute to feel those grains between my fingers. 1/2 hour seems like nothing when as a child it was an eternity.

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Anyway, my point is that tonight. I needed a dinner that took no time. The baby had gone to bed, Maybelle's dad was working and it was just me. We had one "so ugly its a stunner" heirloom tomato from our CSA. So, I sliced it thick, added olive oil, shards of hungarian pepper and purple onions. And, after reading about Dog Hill Kitchen's tomato and mint salsa, I decided to add mint to the lot. Mint really worked with this. Seems like not enough for dinner? Well, I also had some bread to sop up the juices.

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Lunch Soup

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So, we are trying to do better bringing our lunch to work. As weather is getting cooler (sorry,
but it is), perfect as a lunch item, soup boasts little work in production, filling, and healthful. And, you can take your whole lunch (protein, carb, veg) in one easy tupperware. For some, this might not be an issue of contention, but for me it is. We have a variety of attacks on the tupperware in our house. There are some figures in the household who don't always put all the tupperware in the right drawer. There are also some tupperware gremlins, alright just one and her name is Belle. My beloved magpie has lids and bottoms here and there. So, just before we get to bed, I need to have pack up lunch, and I dream of finding but one tupperware. As much as I have bento dreams, I know that a bento box wouldn't last in a minute in my house.
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The first soup for work was with some lovely fresh kidney beans from the market. I sauteed cubed eggplant with garlic, cinnamon and fennel seeds, added one fresh tomato diced, and some vegetable stock. Near the end, I added macaroni (it was a little over cooked in the end because I got distracted.) The soup was very delicious and hearty. This meal was also baby-friendly. She loves eggplant. And, she loves kidney beans.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Peach, Fennel, Blue Cheese Pizza

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With the end of summer, we are madly using up our CSA portions. We had some peaches that needed eating. We made muffins, cupcakes and even pizza. This simple pizza was par cooked, then topped with ricotta, black pepper, mint, thinly sliced fennel, and peaches. When it came out, we topped it with fennel fronds and blue cheese. Fancy and delicious.

And, since I made the dough with yeast, I thought I would send this to Yeastspotting over at Wild Yeast.

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Eggplant Parmigiana

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Everyday is like a marathon crossed with a sprint. You wake up to cries of mom, then the race begins. Tooth-brushing, lunch-packing, shoelace-tying, teddy bear-finding, book-reading, bottle-cleaning all before getting to work. After 8 hours of work, you stand in front of your fridge dazed and knackered. Hey, I know that so many people live the same life but with even more children, work, etc.

Should you have the balls or stupidity to have people over on a weeknight, what do you make? Well, the other day, I did eggplant parmigiana. It was an epic plan that came together as a I drove home. This is how it worked:

1. dice up onion, carrot, parsley, celery, garlic and sautee in olive oil

2. add 1 large can crushed san marzano tomatoes

3. slice Sicilian Eggplants in cross-sections of 1/2 inch thick, salt and place on napkins

4. put a large pot of water to boil.

5. then set up an assembly line: eggplant, egg wash, bread crumbs, skillet with canola oil, cooked tomato sauce (steps 1&2), casserole, mozza cheese, parmesan. After everything is together, set to it. And, once everything is layered. Bake at 400 until cheese is melted.

6. while egggplant is baking, boil pasta.

This was delicious and made me feel super organized to get everything sorted so quickly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chipotle Peaches and Mint Jalapeno Cream Cupcakes

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I have always wanted to participate in Cupcake Hero (because they have the coolest logo in town) but somehow keep missing the deadline. So I decided to get in on the game with the jalapeno challenge. Apparently because I love lost causes?

These were actually quite tasty though I would say the candied jalapeno is not baby friendly. (Still had a kick.) A moment after this picture I grabbed the jalapeno out of that adorable hand. DSC_0028

Chipotle Peach Sponge Cupcake
based on the plain cupcake recipe at Cookie Madness
Mix:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 T brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter (slightly cooled)
1/2 t ginger powder
1/4 t chipotle powder

Mix:
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Yolk of 1 egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup peach puree

Mix the wet into the dry. Set aside.

In a blender, beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks

Fold the egg whites into the batter. Be careful not to deflate the batter.

Fill greased mini-cupcake tins until almost full. (Makes 14 mini-cupcakes)

Bake at 375 for 7 minutes. (in a convection oven)


Jalapeno Mint Cream Frosting
In a blender, puree
4-6 leaves mint
1/4 inch piece jalapeno diced

Add:
6 T cream cheese
2 T sour cream
3 T sugar
1 pinch salt

Top with Candied Jalapeno

Candied Jalapeno
Cut 1 jalapeno into cross-sections
Create a simple syrup from 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Add the jalapenos and boil for a 3 minutes. Remove and cool and repeat with same sugar. It might take 3 dips in the sugar syrup to be candied.

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Vegan Muffins Again with the Family

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I posted some vegan carrot muffins last week. They were so good I thought I would make them again. Sadly, this time the recipe turned out terrible. In fact so bad, that I took down the post. My guess is that I miswrote something. There is always a fear with posting a recipe that it will turn out terribly. After all, we bloggers put these things up and someone might think we know something. This authority is awesome and horrible, no?

Anyway, my failure made me retry the recipe from scratch. Though, we did it as a family. The joy of vegan baking is that there is no fear of salmonella with eating the batter, so it was fun to make with Belle, who spent half the time licking her fingers. Baking with toddlers? Let me pass on some tips. Have everything measured out and placed in unbreakable containers. We decided to put all the wet together in one big bowl while she looked on. Her job was to dump in the wet. (Lick the peach pulp from the bowl too!) With dad's help, the batter got stirred. Then, mom filled the muffin tins.

Recipe
Peach Carrot Vegan Wheat Bran Muffins
(adapted from the Veganomicon Banana Muffins)

Combine:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1.75 whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 t cinnamon
2 t ground ginger
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

In a separate bowl, combine
1 cup soy milk
1 t vinegar

In a third bowl, combine
1/2 cup peach
1/3 cup carrots
1/3 cup canola oil

Mix wet into dry. Fold in 1/2 cup blackberries.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Royal Foodie Joust: Orange Ginger Caramel Popcorn Balls

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This month for the Royal Foodie Joust the ingredients were whole grain, citrus and ginger. I can only assume Kittens In The Kitchen is hoping for a whole series of healthful entries; and knowing the gang, she will recieve them. I, on the otherhand, created something that wraps up the wholesome goodness in sweet, sweet caramel. Let me explain: vitamin C from the orange for a cold, ginger to soothe the throat and popcorn for...alright, basically this is delicious rather than healthy.

I bring you Orange Ginger Caramel Popcorn Balls (dentist co-pay comes separately.) For my recipe, I did adapt a recipe from cooks.com for the caramel, but the flavor additions are all me.

Recipe:
Orange Ginger Caramel Popcorn Balls
Pop 1.5 cups corn as you wish (we used the microwave). When warm, toss with butter and salt. Add thin slivers of orange zest and chunks of candied ginger. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, warm
3 T butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp orange extract
a splash of freshly squeeze orange juice
1 t ginger powder

When the mixture comes 230 degrees, pour over popcorn. Either wait one minute, take a deep breath and then form into balls. Or, use two spoons to form into balls. It cools quickly so you will need to work fast.

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Elderberry Fennel Mini-pies

elderberry and fennel minipies

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are using fennel all the time now. Recently we picked up some elderberries at the market. Unfamiliar with elderberry? I would suggest you read the entry at Modern Beet. I only knew this product from the numerous references to elderberry wine in literature. Of course, wine is not quite baby friendly--and we still have some red currant infused vodka left around.

So, we went with pies. As this was slightly experimental, I went with the mini pie format. I use cuts to cut rounds of dough, and place them in mini-muffin tins. Though after seeing the 7 inch pie pans at Do Better, I have some plans. To top, I rarely use another round of dough, but only for aesthetic reasons.

For the filling, it was equal parts elderberry and fennel (both the gorgeous green fronds and the stems), brown sugar and corn starch. The result was very nice.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Melon Risotto

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Ages ago, Rossella from Ma che ti sei mangiato made a lovely melon risotto. The recipe left me wondering for a good long time. Then this week we found a lovely French melon at the market the other day. As with all market goods, they are best eaten quickly, so my Tuesday, my melon was looking a little worse for the wear. I needed to consume it quick. Rossella's recipe came to mind.

I didn't have full confidence in the combination of melon and risotto; but it turned out quite filling but at the same time light and summery. I should say my lack of confidence in the combination meant that I didn't mix the melon into the risotto but served it on top. In addition, I did add a little dry goat cheese of Greek persuasion to the mix. Goes to show you there is a reason to waste so much time reading blog recipes.

French Melon

Pie Crust Recipe

Peach Raspberry Pie

So, I believe I have settled on a pie recipe. It draws heavily from other sources, including Dorie via Zoe Bakes, Cakes and Pastries by Christian Teubner, The Joy of Cooking, and my husband. But, this is how I have decided to do things:

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment:
Add 1/4 cup sugar and 2.5 sticks cold butter cut into pieces. Whirl quickly.

Add shortening. Whirl quickly. You should have chunks of butter coated with sugar.

Add 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour. Beat on low. You should get a crumbly mess.

Dump in 1/2 cup water that has been in the refrigerator. Whirl on medium just until it comes together.

Place dough in refrigerator for 1/2. Roll out, form, fill, and then bake at 375 until brown.

What have I done differently? Well, I am lazier than the average pie maker. I don't freeze anything. And, I don't use two knives. But the resulting pie has always gotten raves, so either my friends lie to me (are they really my friends?) Or else it works just fine.

NB. The pictured lattice pie used Zoe Bakes Peach Raspberry filling but used raspberry and blackberry.

Peach Raspberry Pie

Vegan 100

And now Bittersweet Vegan's Vegan 100. I have more work to do here.

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble

4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos

12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi

15. Taco from a street cart (but make vegan tacos often)
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza

20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish

26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas

32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. PiƱa colada
58. Birch beer

59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips

61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian

66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob

75. Whipped cream, straight from the can (Housemade at Vegiterranean)
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy

79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes

83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup (Chickpea stock was delish)
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi

93. Butterscotch chips (not a fan)
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti

97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

Thursday, August 21, 2008

NewMango cupcake

What do you do when you are home sick? I apparently blog. Really, mostly I just wandered around and read other peoples blogs. I created a Vegetarian 100 to mimic the Omnivore 100 that is snaking its way through the internet. Then, I annotated by Vegetarian 100. Now I am finishing up a couple of memes that were on my to do list. The next meme is the food photography one. Pick your 10 favs. As with all memes, I won't tag someone, but hey, I suggest you try this one, because it is nicely introspective (but not overly introspective.) My favorite is an oldied but a goodie, the vegan mango cupcake (above.) Thanks Pixie of You Say Tomahto, I say Tomayto.

mango feta saladmango feta salad
Blackberry mini piesblackberry mini-pies
minimatchaoperacakeoverviewopera mini cakes
Morel Risottonot a morel
DSC_0456ras el hanout on sweet potatoes
Strawberry Caprese Fusilistrawberry caprese pasta
minimatchaopera2opera cake again
DSC_0066farmer's market photography
Red Currant Cupcakered currant cupcake

Vegan Carrot Raspberry Blackberry Muffins

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I have been reading a lot of muffin recipes lately (at Modern Beet, Mango Power Girl etc.) So, when I had too many carrots around, I thought I would try my hand at making up some vegan ones. My goal was fluffy but hearty.

I have been noticing how hungry I am in the morning by the time I get to work. That might be because I haven't time for breakfast. Yes, I know, breakfast most important meal; I am sure you eat a balanced one every day etc. But, when I wake up, I generally feel too groggy to even figure out how to put cereal in a bowl, let alone eat breakfast. I have made resolutions to eat breakfast before, but then come morning, it doesn't happen. Let's see if these will make me change my ways.

I ended up remaking this recipe a week later and didn't get the same results. However the updated recipe is at here.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fennel Frond Expose

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It has been a good summer for fennel. Two coworkers have mentioned that their tiny plots are being overrun by the herb. The wonderful writer Amy of the Great Whatever commented ages ago now, whatever will she do with all her fennel. And, while colds, travels and politics have slowed me in my answer, here it is plain and simple. Eat it!

Fennel, I have come to learn, is a perennial (i.e. if treated properly, you could be overrun next year too.) Likely native to Mediterranean, its easy temperment helped it become a common herb in the Europe and in the Indian subcontinent in part thanks to those industrious Romans who took it with them on their conquests. (Take this little tale with a grain of salt or a fennel seed, because my source is Wikipedia.) I can imagine that it would have been very attractive to each subsequent culture as its fronds, bulb and seeds are all edible and delicious.

It is at this point in the story if you are a black licorice hater, you might stop reading. But, please don't. I am not a fan of licorice, really, really not a fan. But, I have really come to like fennel. This is in part because I only sparingly use the seeds, the most strongly anise-flavored element of the plant. The fronds and bulb have a pleasant but very subtle kick.

So, what can you do with fennel? Well, I have much more fennel eating to come, but here is the beginning. I will be posting recipes soon...but here is the rundown.

Sweet:
Elderberry and Fennel Frond Pies: toss fennel fronds with elderberries, brown sugar, cornstarch and agave nectar. The fennel taste is subtle.

Candied Fennel Fronds: Inspired by the French art of candying the herb angelica, I will make an attempt at this. I am dubious, but I will get back to you.

Fennel, Peach and Blue Cheese Pizza

Sour:
Fennel, Blue Cheese, and Red Currant Salad: Shave fennel root, add fruit, and blue cheese. Dress with rice wine vinegar and grapeseed oil. Don't add so much vinegar that this puckers your cheeks, but just enough to give it a kick.

Spicy:
Amaranth Leaves Daal with Fennel Seeds: Got to get back to you on this...

Salty:
Savory Fennel, Ricotta and Feta Handpies: Toss fennel fronds and stems with ricotta, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and plenty of feta cheese. Place the mixture into dough rounds, seal, and bake.

Oven-roasted Fennel with Roast Chicken: Toss quartered roots with olive oil and salt, line then up in a baking pan, and top with bone in Chicken breast and roast at 375 for a good long while. (Tent with foil if everything is getting too brown.)

Chicken, Chickpea and Fennel seed soup: Sweat diced onions, add fennel seeds and a bay leaf, chickpeas, diced potato, and water or chicken stock. Once vegetables are cooked, add cleaned chicken meat (if desired) and thinly shaved fennel root.

Grilled Fennel Sandwich: Slice root into 1/2 inch thick portions. Grill. Top with heirloom tomato and goat cheese. (This also makes a good pizza.)

Check back to me for other fennel recipes.

Since this seems very herby, I thought it fell in the new rules of Weekend Herb Blogging (hopefully.) This week it is run by Cooking 4 all Seasons, who always does a great round-up, and it was, of course, started by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen.

Vegetarian 100

Ramps

Well, what if there were a vegetarian 100? Maggie from Dog Hill Kitchen mentioned on her site that it would be interesting. Here is my stab at beginning a list...

If you do do this, Post a comment here at http:feedingmaybelle.blogspot.com, linking to me. Also, add more, because there are more than 100 veg yummies. Click on the (?) if you are curious what the heck that is...

  1. Edamame (?)
  2. Cha Soba (?)
  3. Arame (?)
  4. Earth Balance Buttercream
  5. "Homemade" sprouts
  6. Green Bamboo Rice (?)
  7. Absinthe
  8. Eat at a raw restaurant
  9. Fresh (real) wasabi
  10. Deep fried pickle
  11. Fiddleheads (?)
  12. Garlic stuffed olives
  13. Smen (?)
  14. Goji Berries (?)
  15. Shiso or Perilla (?)
  16. Amaranth (?)
  17. Pomegranate molasses (?)
  18. Water convulvulus (Water Spinach) (?)
  19. Pea eggplant, Thai eggplant, green eggplant, Japanese eggplant, Indian eggplant, Sicilian eggplant...
  20. A Zen Buddhist Vegan Meal (?)
  21. Kohya Dofu (?)
  22. Wild Asparagus (?)
  23. Elderberry (?)
  24. Candlenuts (kemiri) (?)
  25. Salsify (?)
  26. Nutritional Yeast (?)
  27. Pandan (?)
  28. Roman cauliflower (?)
  29. Anything with acorn flour (?)
  30. Poi (?)
  31. Chaya (tree spinach) (?)
  32. Pitahaya (dragon fruit) (?)
  33. Asafoetida (?)
  34. Fried plantains
  35. Basil seeds (?)
  36. Cardoon (?)
  37. Durian (?)
  38. Ground Cherry or cape gooseberry (?)
  39. Fresh waterchestnut (?)
  40. Cashewnut cheese
  41. Nettles (?)
  42. Fake duck from a can, tofurky, or any prepared vegetarian product to resemble meat
  43. Kimchi (?)
  44. Masala Dosa (?)
  45. Lotus Seed (?)
  46. Matcha (?)
  47. Loubie Bzeit (?)
  48. Quince (?)
  49. Blue Potatoes (?)
  50. Injera (?)
  51. Nasturtium (?)
  52. Turkish Delight or Lokum (?)
  53. Spruce tips (?)
  54. Breadfruit (?)
  55. Mangosteen (?)
  56. Swede or Rutabaga (?)
  57. Garlic Scapes (?)
  58. Lavash (?)
  59. Candied Angelica (?)
  60. Rambutan (?)
  61. Sambal (?)
  62. Bhutanes Red Rice (?)
  63. Candy-cane or Chioggia beets (?)
  64. Mango
  65. Ras el Hanout (?)
  66. Vegan marshmallow (?)
  67. Umeboshi (?)
  68. Red Currants (?)
  69. Puy or French lentils (?)
  70. Millet (?)
  71. Fresh Bamboo shoot (?)
  72. Jerusalem artichoke (?)
  73. Wild strawberry (?)
  74. Jambool (?)
  75. Po cha or Yak butter Tea (?)
  76. Adzuki beans (?)
  77. Shirataki (?)
  78. Manioc, yuca, cassava (?)
  79. Quinoa (?)
  80. Ramps (?)
  81. Chufa (?)
  82. Purslane (?)
  83. Curry Leaves (Kadipatta) (?)
  84. Sorrel (?)
  85. Sumac (?)
  86. Vegan cupcake
  87. Montreal bagel (?)
  88. Peri-peri (?)
  89. Syllabub (?)
  90. Chartreuse (?)
  91. Kamut berries (?)
  92. Kalamansi Lime (?)
  93. Aloe (?)
  94. Morels (?)
  95. Raw “bread”
  96. Dandelion wine
  97. Rosti (?)
  98. Loomi (?)
  99. Stinky tofu (?)
  100. Something grown by you~

Proof I will eat anything once? The Omnivore 100

Here is a list from Very Good Taste on the 100 foods any self respecting omnivore should try at least once.

Feel free to play along.
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/ linking to

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (used it in art class though, is that what they mean?)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake


Carrots in Yogurt Sauce

Carrots in Yoghurt
We have a had a very bizzarre thing happen in our garden this year. First, I should say that having a child only further separates one's ideal life and one's actual life. We planned to put in a big garden to produce all sort of veggies to fill up Belle's belly. This was our ideal life. In real life, work was so crazy that we ended up with a CSA and farmers market (plus most evening running around after the baby). We do have herbs, oh so much fennel, tomatoes and peppers.

What we did not plant is carrots. Our soil isn't really sandy enough for sizable carrots; or so I thought. I should be clear. We don't remember planting carrots. Unless there is a carrot fairy wandering purposefully through Cleveland, or a large amount of carrot seeds were transported to our yard via the thick fur of a deer, we must have planted carrot seeds. But, then, thanks to sleep deprication, we forgot about the carrots. Finally, the other day, I was sitting out front watching Belle play, and I investigated the carrot like weed. It turns out we were gardeners and we didn't know it. Go figure.

So for the first of our carrots, we steamed them and dress them with a garlicky yoghurt zataar sauce. It was slightly pungent and tasty.
carrots

Carrots

I just thought there were interesting little carrots. A too too mini and one that looks a little like a penguin.
carrots

Carrot?  Penguin?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes

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I was reading Dragon's blog earlier today. Her stuffed tomatoes were so lovely; I decided I needed them. It was quick, easy and delicious. I followed the recipe at Dragon's Kitchen but instead of the cheese, I used nutritional yeast to make a vegan version. I stuffed the filling into small heirloom tomatoes. With all the herbs, they were so flavorful that I didn't need the cheese.

Peach Galette from Cooking in Cleveland

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As I said a few weeks ago, instead of tagging people with memes and awards, I will instead be making one the giver's recipes. So, next up for this treatment is Cooking in Cleveland. My fellow Northcoaster has a great garden and uses fresh produce to make wonderful, fresh recipes.I met her through her very successful Strawberry Moon Festival. She is very enthusiastic and kind in her blog and her comments.

She has been busy all summer so I had a hard time picking what to make from her site. It the end, I decided I needed something sweet after one heck of a tough couple weeks. I went with her peach galette; though I also coveted her peach kuchen. (There is still time in the season.) My husband and I cuddled on the sofa eating our rustic pie while we watched the olympics. Right on recipe, let me tell you.

So, she tagged me a while ago in hopes that she might learn 6 things about me. (or because she had to pass on the meme.) So, below are my six things...

  1. I adore the movie “Clue”
  2. Cooking from recipes makes me anxious
  3. My strong dislike for coconut is slowly abating (but only in spicy food.)
  4. I still love macaroni and cheese from the box
  5. It takes me over 1 week to eat a chocolate bar. (1 little nibble a night.)
  6. I can polish off a bag of potato chips in one sitting. Easy.

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Vegan Currant Cupcakes and White Chocolate and Currant Frosting

Red Currant Cupcake

Well, there were the eggy zebra currant cupcakes, and then their leaner cousins, the vegan cupcakes. There were very different in texture than the Zebra cupcakes (which are dense like pound cake). Instead, these were fluffy.

Currants played their hand in two ways. A few whole currants were folded into the batter. The frosting on the otherhand was studded with loads of red jewels and vegan white chocolate. While fruit-filled (therefore healthy), these were decadent.

Red Currant Cupcake

Recipe
Currant Cupcakes
(makes 16 mini-cupcakes)

Blend:
7 T shortening
2/3 cup sugar

Add:
1/3 cup soy milk
2 t olive oil
2 T vanilla soy yoghurt
½ t vanilla extract

Sift in:
1 cup + 2 t flour
1 ¼ t baking powder
pinch salt

Either add 1/2 cup chopped fresh currants or place them in each cupcake

Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.

Top with vegan buttercream to which chopped currants and grated vegan white chocolate is added.

red currant cupcakes