November 30, 2008
November 29, 2008
And because Stephanie is such a cool person, she is offering all D.R. readers Free Shipping. Just enter "Domestic08" at checkout. Note that the cut-off to receive orders before the holidays is December 5th.
November 28, 2008
Turkey stock makes the best base for soups like this. The flavors here are fresh and exciting (oohhh exciting!) -- ginger, coconut milk, lime, fresh cilantro. Probably different than the tastes you've been having lately. I make this every year. And, yes, every time I make it I think of the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"
Turkey Mulligatawny Soup with Cilantro
Gourmet November 1992
the carcass of a roast turkey, broken into large pieces
about 4 1/2 quarts (18 cups) plus 1/3 cup water
4 garlic cloves
three 1-inch cubes of peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large boiling potatoes (about 1 pound total)
4 cups chopped onion
3 carrots, sliced
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
In a large kettle or stockpot combine the carcass with 4 1/2 quarts of the water, or enough to cover it, and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 3 hours. Strain the stock through a large sieve into a large bowl, return it to the kettle, and boil it until it is reduced to about 10 cups.
In a blender purée the garlic and the ginger with the remaining 1/3 cup water. In a heavy kettle heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it cook the purée, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the liquid is evaporated. Add the potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes, the onion, the carrots, and 5 cups of the stock and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. In the blender purée the mixture it batches until it is smooth, transferring it as it is puréed to another large kettle. Stir in the remaining stock, the coconut milk, the lime juice, and salt to taste, simmer the soup for 10 minutes, and stir in the chopped cilantro. The soup may be made 2 days in advance, cooled completely, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled. The soup keeps, covered and frozen, for 2 months. Serve the soup garnished with cilantro sprigs.
November 27, 2008
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) canned pumpkin (or the equivalent in pureed freshly-roasted pumpkin)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell (try this recipe)
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with unsweetened freshly whipped cream before serving.
November 26, 2008
Since about the time C-Man started talking (not just words, but little phrases), he has always been a singer. Sometimes we get the *joy* of waking up to him singing in his room. (Problem is, it is usually still pitch black out. Any ideas on how to get him to sleep later? We've tried EVERYTHING.) Off and on during the day, we get to hear him singing to himself around the house or performing a new song for us. His personality is such that he obsessively sings the same song over and over and over until he moves onto a new one. "Swinging on a Star" by Bing Crosby is what we've been hearing from him lately.
Not familiar with the old tune? I urge you to refresh yourself with this clip from YouTube:
Now go ahead and feast your eyes and ears on this rendition by the one and only C-Man.
November 25, 2008
This past weekend however, B and I found ourselves with one of the ultimate parental luxuries: an entire afternoon at home without the kids. Yes, you read that correctly. My mom came over and took C-Man and Baby J to my parents' house from about noon to 5 p.m. Pure bliss, people, let me tell you. B and I had never been in our house alone, if you can believe that!
We napped, watched a movie, and, yes, I got to read a few magazines. One of which was the September issue of Domino (I had been through it quickly a couple of months ago, but hadn't dissected it, if you know what I mean). When I came across Vanessa Bruno's apartment in the Marais district of Paris, I about fell over. As in B couldn't communicate with me for a couple of minutes. Now, I love most all homes that Domino features, but this one. This one could be mine. All mine. Take a lookie.
The living room is fabulous. Rustic, open beam ceilings, light and airy furniture. Lots of natural light. Sleek and modern, but with a rustic, homespun feel. Sort of the epitome of "organic modern," as The City Sage calls it.
Don't you just love it??
photos via the style files
November 24, 2008
Sloppy Joes on Trader Joe's Brioche Rolls
Molly's Escarole Salad with Avocado and Parmesan
Baked Potatoes with all the Fixings
Turkey Mulligatawny Soup with Coriander
November 23, 2008
I first need to find a punch bowl, ideally with all of those coordinating cute cups with the little handles. Vintage. Ebay. You get the idea.
How about this, which just happens to be listed on ebay right now?
I'm thinking of filling it with something like this Pineapple Punch from a 1959 issue of Gourmet Magazine. It is certainly from the era I'm going for, and it looks like it would give a real, er, kick in the pants. Just right for a cocktail party at this time of the year. What do you think?
Gourmet June 1959; reprinted September 2001
1 large ripe pineapple (4 1/4lb) (preferably "extra sweet")
2 750-ml bottles dry white wine
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 chilled 750-ml bottles Champagne
Cut off and discard top of pineapple. Cut off rind and cut rind into 2-inch pieces. Quarter pineapple lengthwise and cut away core, then cut core into 2-inch pieces. Blend rind and core to a coarse purée in a food processor, in batches if necessary.
Put pineapple purée in a bowl and stir in white wine. Chill, covered, 1 hour.
Cut remaining pineapple into 1/3-inch dice and stir with brandy and confectioners sugar in another bowl. Macerate, covered and chilled, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.
While pineapple is macerating, bring granulated sugar and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil syrup over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it registers 230°F on candy thermometer. Cool syrup.
Pour wine mixture through a large fine sieve into a punch bowl set in cracked ice and stir in syrup, pineapple with liquid, and Champagne.
November 22, 2008
November 21, 2008
One of B's old friends sends her family's letter out before Thanksgiving, so it is always the first we receive. She and her family are very special -- for the last many years they have run a non-profit organization that provides clean drinking water to small villages in Central America. They are, obviously, very selfless and spiritual people. This year, Dana's letter was uplifting as usual, but I really, really liked something she wrote at the very end. I've been thinking about it ever since I first read it.
"May gratitude continue to take over your heart -- crowding out worry, fear, jealousy, envy, hate and the litany of other useless emotions."
Such wise words.
I first discovered Amy way back when she guest blogged for Design Mom. Here are some things you need to know about Amy:
1. Her blog is always full of thoughtful reflections and great music picks. Plus she posts everyday -- NaBloPoMo or not!
2. She and her husband make the BEST maple teethers (and other goodies) for your little one.
3. I love that she wears her heart on her sleeve. As just one example, on election night, twitter was going crazy with people posting updates on returns, feelings of nervousness and excitement, general random thoughts. Lots of blabber to get through (although I admit I was glued to twitter that night...along with CNN). When the returns from Ohio (where Amy and her family live) were coming in and going for Obama, I smiled and got all warm and fuzzy when I read Amy's tweet. It went something like: "OHIO!!!!!!!! I love my crappy weather state everybody!!!" She's just that sort of sweet and excitable spirit.
In other words, I highly recommend you go check her out.
November 19, 2008
Take a look at this, for example. There isn't a woman alive who wouldn't feel instantly prettier, more feminine, I dare say more capable in the kitchen wearing this darling apron -- even if she is just transferring fish sticks from the baking sheet to the Elmo plate. It's $28, by the way. You can't tell me your girlfriend isn't worth that.
Throw in these pretty measuring spoons if you really like her. So much nicer than the Plain Jane ones I use from the hardware store.
November 18, 2008
November 16, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 14, 2008
In the meantime, I want to get Baby J something nice. Something simple, classy, keepsake-worthy. Nothing crazy expensive, just something she can always have. Necklaces are sort of out of the question (too dangerous, right?), and I don't really believe in piercing babies' ears, so I guess it has to be a bracelet. I like this sterling silver one:
It's made in San Francisco and hand-engraved with the following: "Who and what art thou? 'I'm youth, I'm joy, I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg."' ~ J.M Barrie
Sweet, no? Any other ideas?
November 13, 2008
I half-jokingly said to my neighbor, "Hey, do I have to share these bars with the family or can we just keep this between us?" Well, those bars were so darn good, I did almost eat all of them myself (in one sitting). And I immediately began planning to make up a batch with the persimmons he gave me.
Lemon-Glazed Persimmon Bars
from Gourmet 2004
3 very ripe (very soft) Hachiya persimmons (1 1/4 lb total)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup loosely packed dried pitted dates (5 oz), finely chopped
1 cup walnuts or pecans (3 1/2 oz), finely chopped
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
Make bars:Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep), knocking out excess flour.
Discard dried green or brown calyx (stem and leaves) from each persimmon, then force persimmons 1 at a time through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, using a rubber spatula to press hard on solids (discard solids). Transfer 1 cup purée to a small bowl (discard remainder) and stir in lemon juice and baking soda. (Mixture will become foamy, then jell slightly.)
Sift together flour, salt, and spices in another small bowl.
Whisk together egg, sugar, oil, and dates in a large bowl until just combined. Add flour mixture and persimmon mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and stirring until just combined. Stir in nuts.
Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack.
Glaze and cut bars:Stir together all glaze ingredients until smooth, then spread over top of cooled cake. Cut crosswise into 8 strips, then lengthwise into fourths, for a total of 32 bars.
Cooks' note: Bars keep in an airtight container 3 days.
November 12, 2008
For a couple of years I was obsessed with making one type of salad. Sure, I made and ate lots of others (especially when made by someone else!), but this was my go-to salad. I never tired of it. Until, well, maybe day 753 hit and then I stopped making it. I finally hit the wall. However, just the other day I pulled out the recipe for the salad dressing (which is the critical component of the salad) and whipped up a batch. We've been eating salads with it ever since.
The salad I make with this includes the following: red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, arugula, thinly sliced carrots, green onions, avocado and homemade croutons. But it tastes good on just about everything.
from Gourmet Everyday Cookbook
1/2 c. red-wine vinegar
1/2 c. freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1/3 c. water
1 1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 1/2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 large garlic clove
1 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
Puree vinegar, cheese, water, mustard, sugar, salt and garlic in a blender. Drizzle in olive oil while blender is running. Add parsley and puree until finely chopped.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups (enough for a week's worth of salads!) and keep for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
p.s. I still love that other salad dressing, but it is not something I want every single day. This dressing, however, I do want everyday.
November 10, 2008
(We had leftovers and I roasted a chicken)
Eggplant Parmigiana (I stole this idea from Sarah)
Tossed Green Salad
Escarole and Orzo Soup with Turkey Meatballs
B's Seriously Good Italian Chickpea Soup
Bruschetta with Cavolo Nero
Cauliflower Salad with Green Olives and Capers (we already made and ate a batch of this yesterday -- so good!)
Seven random facts about me. Here goes:
1. I had both of my babies completely drug-free. The births were the most difficult and rewarding things I have ever been through. And I wouldn't have done it any other way. I realize this also makes me just the teensiest bit crazy in most people's minds.
2. Although I absolutely love shoes, I spend most days of the year barefoot or wearing flip flops. I hate having my feet constricted, I guess.
3. I was cooking my family complete meals by the time I was 10. One of my first "specialties" was buttermilk biscuits. I really wish I still had that recipe.
4. Growing up, I had an alter ego that I named "Martha Beauty." She was my more sophisticated, beautiful, grown-up self. It is a little embarrassing to admit, because it sounds like I am talking about, you know, The Martha. But I didn't know who Martha Stewart was.
5. I knew I would marry B within seconds of meeting him. Also, the first time I met him in person, we didn't say a word, but he did give me a kiss on the cheek and put a Baci chocolate in my hand.
6. I didn't celebrate any holidays growing up. That (and other things) made for a very unusual childhood.
7. I was born at home without a doctor present. My parents were total hippies. I spent my first year or so in an A-Frame cabin (no electricity or running water) that my dad built in a small town on the Oregon Coast. No doubt this is where my obsession with teepees comes from.
Rachel of Heart of Light
Kim of 180/360
Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere
Sarah of Sarah's Fab Day
Sarah of Whoorl
Alyson of Unruly Things
P from What Possessed Me
November 9, 2008
So yesterday afternoon, Adrianna (not the pumpkin soup one, a different one), C-Man and I enjoyed ourselves some of these lovelies:
The Mother-in-Law Scones
3 c. flour
½ c. sugar
2 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
¾ t. salt
¾ c. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. berries, raisins, nuts, etc.
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter until the butter is the size of small peas (or, rub butter in with fingertips, but work quickly so as to not warm up the butter). Add the berries (or whatever you are using) and mix well. Add buttermilk and mix just until blended. Work dough into ball and knead 10-25 times (this is what the recipe says, what can I say?). Pat dough into two circles about 2 ½ inches thick. (The dough will be sticky and a bit hard to deal with. Don’t worry. Keep going.) Cut each circle of dough into 6 or 8 pie-shaped pieces. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. (These can also be frozen and heated in the oven until they are crusty on the outside.)
November 6, 2008
Well, the other day, our little man announced to us, "I am going to take this neighborly gift to Nelson!" Nelson is our 85 year old neighbor, and in C-Man's hands are some oatmeal cookies we baked and a few random things from the garden. How cute is that??
(By the way, C-Man's father dressed him that morning.)
1/2 c. chopped celery
3 T. butter
1/2 c. white wine
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. pepper
3 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. heavy cream
Saute onion and celery in butter until translucent. Add white wine to simmer. Lower heat and add remaining ingredients, except cream. Cook for 1/2 hour. Turn off the heat and add cream. Puree soup till smooth.