Oh the things I would do with this! Okay now I have a confession. . . I have a sliiight obsession with new cooking gadgets. Since I'm laying out out on the table I will tell you that I have a larger obsession with fire. And smoke leads to fire which means this gun is PERFECT for me! Polyscience offers The Smoking hand held food smoker for $99.95. The gun helps to add a smokey flavor to food items that would not necessarily be able to handle a high temperature of heat, or just need a hint of smokey goodness. Examples:
Smoked Ice Cream
Smoked raw oysters
It comes with many flavors such as Cherry-wood, hickory, apple-wood, and mesquite. Watch the video below to learn more! :)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
No idea how I missed this one but on November 17th 2010 New York held it's 13th annual Chocolate Fashion Show. 14 different designers were asked to create an ensemble that was not only made of chocolate, but reflected the theme of "saving the oceans". The four day expo invited world chefs as well as pastry masters and chocolatiers. If anyone wants to get me a fabulous birthday gift next year I would happily go with you! :) Thank you to Stylist for the video as well!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
From what I have noticed it typically takes about a year and a half for international food trends to get mainstream in the states. Some of these may be more time (like using ash as a garnish?!) and some less. So here I give to you some of the Nationals online magazine 2011 food predictions. You can read the rest by clicking the link above. (disclaimer: excuse my messyness! still figuring out lining it all up next to the photos. :)
1. One ingredient restaurants. Places that make sure a main ingredient is in EVERY SINGLE DISH. ie: ketchup, mayo, herring, chicken.
2. Soup pasta (YAY!)
3.New Dairy loaded with healthy bacterias.
4. Neck meat (<---- has anyone had this? how was it?)
6. Ash. Yes the burnt stuff! For garnish and flavor. :)
1. One ingredient restaurants. Places that make sure a main ingredient is in EVERY SINGLE DISH. ie: ketchup, mayo, herring, chicken.
2. Soup pasta (YAY!)
3.New Dairy loaded with healthy bacterias.
4. Neck meat (<---- has anyone had this? how was it?)
6. Ash. Yes the burnt stuff! For garnish and flavor. :)
Monday, December 27, 2010
Living in California has it's benefits but where I am from we unfortunately do not receive the blessings of snow. So for all of you who do get to witness snow on a regular basis I give you this! Surfing the iterwebs (the family kitchen on bable.com) this morning I stumbled across this little gem of a recipe. With a little bit of snow, eggnog, and a few other ingredients you can have a very delectable dessert.
Eggnog Snow Cream Recipe:
1/2 cup eggnog
1/8 cup sugar
4tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 cups of fresh snow
Mix the eggnog, sugar and vanilla together until the sugar dissolves. Then mix with 4 cups of snow, adding 1 cup of snow at a time & mix until you get a thick consistency. Add some cinnamon if you wish!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
What a great Christmas! I hope you all gave and received generously. I know I did! I have a top five of fav gifts but number one definitely takes the cake. Presenting the marshmallow gun! Simply place mellow in gun, pump 15 times, aim and shoot. Of course my husband and I disobeyed the warning that says "Do not aim at each others mouths." So much fun, and I must thank my father-in-law for understanding that I always do love to play with my food!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Christopher Niemann's award winning illustrations have graced the covers of the New Yorker, New York magazine, Wired and many other well respected media outlets. For your pleasure his latest seasonal work is a fun take on what to do with cookie dough! Enjoy! :) To see the rest Click here!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Scrolling down a menu a carnivore like myself is more likely to lean towards a fine fillet than something made from pork butt. "Cheap" cuts of meat tend to be pushed towards the back burner, but more so than ever they can also pack a huge amount of flavor. That is if you have all day. . . . I never said there wasn't a catch! ;) Braising at low temperatures or busting out your crockpot can do wonders for just about any "undesirable" butcher's leftovers. Get Creative! Use some of the following items as braising liquids.
Dr. Pepper (sooooooo good with pork!)
Water and herbs
Place in your dutch oven or crock with your choice of meat and voila! For busy people such as myself prepping it in the morning right before you leave for work makes for a great surprise when you get home. :)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Long before refrigeration and vacuum sealing, the preservation of food in other countries was done in a much simpler way.
The Scandinavians mastered methods of salt-packing, and smoking perishables for the long dark winters. All though technology is now readily available, these forms of cookery are still alive and well in countries like Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
Pickled herring, and smoked horse meat are common food items. Plant vegetables tend to be scarce, but root vegetables are readily available.
The East Bay is made up of few Scandinavian restaurants, but many stores that provide goodies from the lands of the vikings.
Nordic House of Oakland offers meats, cheeses, candies, Dry goods, and most importantly cookbooks. Not only are they right in the East Bay, but their site offers a full shopping service. Order your items and have them arrive at your home in no time. If you live near Berkeley you are in luck! Nordic House will be moving their current location In April.
Scandinavious's site offers a full directory of all things Scandinavian in the bay area. Retail shops, Coffee hangouts, and even the best place to get caviar.
Mild and rich in their cuisine, Scandinavian food is sure to please even the pickiest of palates!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The Gyro is believed to have begun hundreds of years ago. Where it originated we are not quite sure, but Greek historians hold to the idea that the dish began during the time of Alexander the great. Grecian soldiers would use their swords to kabob the meat and turn it slowly over wood burning fires. The Nan like wrap made for easy eating. The first fast food perhaps?
It was not until the 1970's that Americans caught on to this pseudo sandwich when street vendors starting selling it on the streets of New York. Famed for being tasty and realitvely healthy, a good Gyro can be easily found in the East Bay.
Simply - Greek has locations in Oakland, as well as Pleasanton. Fillings include flank steak, vegis, and grilled chicken all topped with a perfect tzatziki sauce. Also offering fantastic Greek Cuisine is Yanni's of Martinez.
Making Tzatziki sauce at home is easy, and can be used on more than just Gyros. It also subs as a refreshing dip for fresh vegetables.
A fine recipe is listed below:
16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced
Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Monday, March 15, 2010
Give me your beautiful red color and take back my sickly pallor!” A Persian new year tradition begins with this beautiful quote. It is screamed as one jumps over fiery flames to mark the end of winter and beginning of spring. Persian New Year is upon us and Tuesday March 16th the city of Berkeley will celebrate in style. The Persian center brings an evening of dinner, dancing, and children's crafts.
Not only does the Persian center offer this event, but it is a place for Persians to meet, share ideas, and keep customs alive.
If you are not available to attend, The restaurant Bijan, has opened its second location in Walnut Creek. Offering traditional Persian Cuisine as well as live belly dancing. Menu items include Must-o-musser (homemade yogurt with wild shallots), and a variety of different hummus.
Persian food is known for its combination of savory, sweet, and sour. A personal favorite of mine is Tah-Dig. It's a golden crusted crunchy rice. The recipe is as follows:
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (not converted; preferably basmati or jasmine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a large saucepan bring water with salt to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. In a colander drain rice and rinse under warm water.
In a 2- to 3-quart nonstick saucepan melt butter. Spoon rice over butter and cover pan with a kitchen towel and a heavy lid. Fold edges of towel up over lid and cook rice over moderately low heat until tender and a crust forms on bottom, 30 to 35 minutes.
Spoon loose rice onto a platter and dip bottom of pan in a large bowl of cold water 30 seconds to loosen tah-dig. Remove tah-dig and serve over rice.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Persian-Rice-with-Golden-Crust-100915#ixzz0iNEM5X4N
Friday, March 12, 2010
Few meals can boast ancient influence, a diverse culture, and the open embrace of foreign cookery. Peruvian cuisine does just that.
Peru has long been known for its colorful flavors and the borrowing of other countries culinary flare. All though some dishes remain firmly their own, most have been revamped with a new spin.
Throughout the nineteenth century Peru was an immigrant haven. Arabs, French, Italian, and the British flooded this South American country. Rather than shun the new arriving cultures and recipes, Peruvians adapted to them. Inca tribal food and French Basque were brought together creating what exemplifies fusion.
Boconova of Jack London Square depicts this custom in perfect form. Chef Rick Hackett, and his Peruvian Sous Chef fuel the creative menu that is sure to surprise the palate. Boconova's mostly Latin staff brings flavors from their homeland straight to your table. Chef Rick's Classical French training is visible as well in each dish. Menu items include Sea Bass Ceviche, Organic Black Bean Soup, Enyucados, and Yucatan seafood stew.
Boconova also allows local artists to show their own creativity right in their dining room. Continual displays are changed out for your viewing pleasure.
As Peru embraces other cultures it's only fitting that you try theirs, and Boconva isn't to far of a travel to do it.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
While originating in France, and being the official doughnut of Louisiana, this powdered deep fried fritter has thankfully made its next stop in the East Bay.
Powderface of Oakland has perfected the Beignet and offers this sweet treat daily. With Plenty of powdered sugar your craving is sure to be satistfied. All Beignets are made to order, and are best cosumed with a large coffee.
Making your own beignets is not as daunting of a task as one would think. Foodchannel.com offers this recipie that will make home feel just like Cafe du Monde. The Blueberry sauce adds a fantastic kick!
Whether you try at home, or sample Powderface, Beignets are a perfect delicacy.
FOR THE BLUEBERRY SAUCE: 4 pints fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
FOR THE BEIGNETS: 1 cup warm milk (about 105 to 115 degrees F)
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 medium eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups (or more) all-purpose flour
Solid vegetable shortening (for deep-frying)
1FOR THE BLUEBERRY SAUCE: Puree all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Strain through fine sieve into heavy medium saucepan. Season sauce to taste with more sugar, if necessary. Simmer sauce over medium-low heat until syrupy, about 20 minutes.
2DO-AHEAD TIP: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
3FOR THE BEIGNETS: Combine milk and yeast in large bowl; let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Whisk in eggs and melted butter. Add 3 cups flour and stir to form moist sticky dough.
4Knead dough on floured work surface, incorporating flour as necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic, and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes. Form into ball. Lightly oil same large bowl; place dough in bowl. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.
5Heat shortening in deep fryer to 325ºF.
6Transfer dough to floured work surface. Punch dough down; cover with kitchen towel and let stand for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle dough with flour. Using rolling pin, roll out dough into 12-inch square. Using pizza cutter, trim edges slightly to form perfect square. Cut dough crosswise into 4 equal strips. Cut each strip into 6 pieces, forming 24 rectangles total.
7Working in batches, fry dough rectangles in hot oil until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Using slotted metal spoon, transfer beignets to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
8Arrange 3 beignets on each of 8 plates. Ladle blueberry sauce over and around beignets. Generously sprinkle powdered sugar over beignets. Alternatively, place beignets on platter. Generously sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve blueberry sauce alongside.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Paella is quite possibly one of the most personal meals to prepare . Somewhere, someone's Spanish grandmother has perfected her concoction and passed it down to the next of kin. The perfect Paella may taste wonderful to you, but there seems to always be someone who claims they have had or can make it better.
Pleasanton's Casa Madrid creates a wonderful Paella and adds a memorable experience. Single servings are brought to the table in it's cooking pan. All Paella's are cooked to order with choices of meat, shellfish, or vegetarian. It takes 30-40 minutes for this meal so be prepared for a wait.
For a much more personal experience Chef Raquel Hermosilla brings a very unique service wherever you desire. Personal Chef Raquel will come to your home and cook her perfected Paella fresh, and to order. Her personal chef services are available through out the entire bay area, and seem to be strictly Spanish so be prepared for an authentic experience.
Paella is a wonderful meal, and is sure to be next on your list of comfort foods.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Finding a cup of great coffee in the East Bay is for the most part an easy task. Finding a fabulous cup of Turkish coffee might be a little more time consuming but worth the undertaking.
For the Turkish people coffee has been an established part of their culture since 1555. It was in that year that Syrian traders brought the first coffee beans to Istanbul. Beans were eaten whole at first. It was not until much later that a drink was made with the fermented pulp of the beans. As the recipes became more developed so did Turkish rituals and ceremonies. Soon coffee makers (or "Kahveciusta") and their forty assistants were depended upon by Sultans to serve a proper brew. As Coffee became more socially acceptable men began using it as their assessment for a quality wife. Women were trained at an early age to prepare Turkish coffee. If she wasn't able to do so, she risked her dowry.
Turkish coffee has become less ritualistic and places like Barneys in Berkeley have put their own spin on this Turkish delight. The very popular Turkish Shake is tasty and is sure to give you the buzz you need.
The Turkish Kitchen of Berkeley offers a much more traditional approach to the drink. At $2.25 you can dicover just how this drink should taste. The Turkish Kitchen's menu is "recession proof" as well! Just about everything is under $10.00, making it an affordable and exotic night out.
For as step by step on making this treat at home, Ineedcoffee.com gives a great tutorial.
Whether you make it at home, or venture out Turkish coffee is sure to leave a lasting impression on your tastebuds.
Friday, March 5, 2010
A sweet pastry is memorable, But a treat with history is unforgettable.
In the late 1600's the Ottoman empire was at the height of it's reign. As the wars continued Hungary was slowly being Vanquished. One morning a few Hungarian bakers arose to begin their daily work. Their early rise helped to warn the local villagers of an impending attack and claim one small victory over the Turks. In celebration, what is now know as 'Kifli' was created. Shaped like a Crescent, or the Turkish symbol, These small morsels were filled with an apricot compote in remembrance of that day. Regardless if the legend is true or not, one thing is for certain. Kifli has stood the test of time for a reason.
A handful of lovely Eastern European bakeries reside in the East Bay. Crixa cakes of Berkley not only offers a few different Kiflis but many Russian Delicacies as well. Crixia's Facebook Deal isn't to shabby either! Become one of their friends on Facebook, and every Wednesday you will receive a special word that gets you a nice discount from their Berkeley shop.
City Of Delights in San Ramon has quite the Eastern European Flare as well. Chef Atilla's Hungarian background and Chef Lynn's Asian heritage offer a unique blend of beautiful and flavorful desserts.
hand-crafted, and rich with stories, our own East bay bakeries continue the tradition of reflecting on the past to sweeten the future.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Trying a new cuisine can often be daunting. When that cuisine has some familiarity to your own culture it often makes it easier to be brave and take that plunge. Afghan food has just that appeal. Land-locked Afghanistan borders six countries thus creating a culinary melting-pot worth sampling. Grilled kabobs, lamb stuffed dumplings also known as Mantu are staples. A pilaf topped with pistachios, grated carrots, and varied stewed meats is the national dish.
Oasis Grille and Wine Lounge serves many of these items regularly and offers a very attractive happy hour. Don't feel like eating out? Bolani is a delectable Afghan flat bread and lucky for you it can be found at numerous east bay farmers markets. East and West Gourmet Afghan Foods proudly sells Bolani as well as other organic breads, sauces, spreads, and even jellies.
Afghanistan's colorful dishes are not difficult to make at home, and can wonderfully change up your typical dinner party. Listed below is a fantastic recipe for Mantu.
Mantu (recipe credit: virtualafghan.com)
Makes 3-4 Servings
1 Lb ground beef
1 1/8 tp salt
1 tp pepper
1 ½ tp coriander ground
¼ tp cumin ground
2 large finely chopped onions
2 cup & 2 tbsp water (plus boiling water for mantoos)
1 package wonton wrappers
2 tp tomato paste 6 tablesthingy oil
¾ cup yogurt
¼ tp dried mint
2 mashed garlic gloves
1) Filling: Combine ground beef, onions, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander ground and 1 cup water in a skillet; stir and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Let it cool off.
2) Place wrappers on a cutting board covered lightly with flour one at a time. Place 1 cup of water in a bowl. Using your finger, wet the edges of the wrapper with cold water. Place one tablespoon of beef mix on the bottom half of the wrapper. Bring the other half on top of the bottom half making a triangle. Take two opposite cornors each in different hands and seal them together making a bow. Place the oil in a bowl. Dip the bottoms of the filled mantoos in oil and place them in a (steam cooker); Steam them for 40 minutes
3) Sauce: While waiting, place the remainder of the filling back in the skillet with tomato paste and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
4) Yogurt: Add garlic, 2 teaspoons of water and mint to the yogurt mix.
5) To serve, put a layer of yogurt on a flat serving (ghori) dish; then place the mantoo on top of the yogurt. Put another layer of yogurt on top of the mantoo; then put a layer of the beef mix and sprinkle the mint.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It is the third most consumed drink in the world (after coffee and tea). Beer has been thought to have originated long before the discovery of bread by prehistoric nomads. It has stood the test of time and is only getting better.
Just about every culture has it's own distinct brew but no single country takes the art more seriously than Germany. German beers are different solely based on "The Reinheitsgebot". Translated it means "Purity Law". This law keeps recipes dating as far back as 1516. Keeping with tradition, each German brewery takes recipes and the law to heart.
Although some East Bay Breweries do use the laws, some prefer a more creative route while still using German methods as well as German hops. Some stay true to the original brewing methods while others are swaying to new methods.
Our own East Bay has jumped on this bandwagon. Breweries like The Hopyard (locations in San Ramon and Pleasanton) and Jupiter of Berkley are pushing out fantastic Pale Ales, Pilsners, and even blends. Pyramid Brewery and alehouse (also located in Berkeley) offers fantastic food as well as their award winning Hefeweizen.
One East Bay restaurant seems to take the cake on its Germanic beer obsession. Speisekammer of Alameda offers Eleven German beers on tap and a menu that is nothing short of traditional.
So, if you don't have the funds to attend Oktoberfest in the next few months try what might be just as best in our own backyard.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
With a history as mysterious as its flavors, its no wonder the earthy spice blend Za'atar is slowly getting recognition in the east bay. A rich blend of toasted sesame seeds, Marjoram, and Thyme provide a perfect base for the simplest of dishes.
Za'atar is thought to have begun as simply wild Marjoram that was dried out in the sun. As time moved on so did the development of the spice. Women of the Arabic peninsula began creating distinct recipes that were kept secret. So much so that they would not even be passed down to next of kin. Each having it's own distinction explains the lack of an original recipe. It has now evolved into so much more. Many modern day Za'atar recipes now call for savory and sumac, which add a very floral dimension.
This Middle eastern spice is not limited in its uses which makes it a local favorite. Added to a first press olive oil, It makes for a delicious bread dip. Dry rubbed on lamb prior to grilling gives BBQ a one up . Pita bread or Nan can also be seasoned with Za'atar then baked.
Want to sample this spice first hand? Appropriately named restaurant "Zatar" in Berkeley offers many dishes that boast the unique qualities of this seasoning. If playing with the spice at home is more attractive, Whole Spice of Peteluma,CA offers an exceptional blend .
With Za'attars versatility and nutty flavor expect to see it showcased more often within the east bay for this culinary trend is on the rise.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Did you know that keeping your freezer stocked will lower your bill? It's true!
It takes more energy to keep a freezer cold that does not have much in it as opposed to one that does. Thus my top 10 list of the freezer essentials for every Epicurian. Without further adieu in no particular order:
1. Puff pastry. Puff is the most versatile dough, and a lot easier to use than phyloo. Left over mashed potatoes become empanadas. Those chocolate chips and ice cream are now garnished with a flaky crust. Use your imagination! The versatility of its uses go from savory, to sour, to sweet.
2. Two whole chickens. Make it a goal for yourself this year to learn how to "break down" a chicken. Many meals can be made out of a single one. BBQ, baked, or fried its worth it. Most importantly its child friendly. The eating of the chicken not the cutting. :)
3. Fresh chicken stock. Know that you know how to break it down, don't you DARE throw those chicken bones! Stock is easy to make. Onions, carrots, leeks, and some seasonings will make chicken stock a new found friend for you.
4. Ice cream. Just because every girl has her days. . . . And boys!
5. ice cold martini and beer glasses. Okay I know I'm pushing it with this one but it is quite impressive and tasty when a libation is in it's frosted glass. . .
6. A small portion of your favorite stew. Stews always freeze well and are a great go-to when you are on the run and need your vegetables and your protein. Set some aside the next time you make a batch!
7. A cake. Surprisingly cake freezes really well. It is after all mostly sugar. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but my husband and everyone else in this world does.
8. Frozen mixed vegetables. Okay I prefer fresh but in desperation i'm not picky.
9. Stuffed specialty pasta. I bought some fantastic butternut squash raviolis that I intend on being greedy with! On this note, I also store a portion of any pasta dough I make in the freezer. Just because It is so time consuming to make I figure I should save that time.
10. Duck fat. I love duck fat. Again, I love duck fat.
Monday, February 22, 2010
So this weekend I have a catering gig. I did what I always do and called mom to give details and get advice. She remembers "the little things" and knows a few tricks of the trade herself. I needed to go to my personal heaven (AKA East bay restaurant supply) so she joined me on this excursion and our 30 minute drive was a lot of her talking and me listening. Typically my mother won't waste a breath on things of unimportance so when the topic of hot dogs came to her mind I knew it would be an "Interesting" Diatribe. She asked me:
"Lydia, what do you do with the extra hot dog buns you get in the package?"
"Let them mold."
I hate to waste but it's an honest answer. I never use them. Guilty as charged. So began my mothers uses for those two annoying extra buns and now I share with you!
1. place buns in cuisenart and mix until crumbled. Toss in olive oil in a small bowl. Saute on low heat until crispy. Breadcrumbs are complete! Use to bread pork-chops, chicken, meatloaf or save for the top of a cassarole.
2. Let buns dry out. (but not mold) use as directed for base of a savory or sweet bread pudding.
3. Open face your buns. Drizzle with olive oil. Add dried oregano, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Place in oven at 350 for your own personal garlic bread!
So there you have it! Now with this wisdom theres no excuse for any waste or any mold! ;)
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Time to get semi-sentimental. . . . . At work today I had the lovely opportunity of talking to two women with a lot of history. One 71 years old and the other 72, both grew up on farms. One in Kansas and One in Texas. Although they lived states apart the similarities of their livelihoods were amazing. Almost in unison they exclaimed to me "you don't know how good you have it!" After our talk I realized just how good I really do have it. In their young lives if you wanted butter you churned it. If you wanted milk you milked it. If you desired fried chicken for dinner. . . well you get my drift! I loved hearing stories of homemade bread only on Saturdays, and the joys of getting to help mom wring the laundry. One of the ladies was however a bit taken aback from my reaction to her stories. Shocked in fact! I said I was jealous. That's right, I'm jealous of what she assumed as mediocrity. Although I realized I do have it pretty good with the luxury of a baker right down the street, How much more do we appreciate food that we have made ourselves. The act of knowing WE completed the process. It feels better, tastes better, and betters others when we share what we have done. With this I encourage you to take the time to make something yourself today. Don't ask for help, and then share it. You will be left with much more than you expected, I promise. :)
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
When I was in high school I had many difficult classes. In College they became even more difficult. Little did I know that the most difficult class I would ever take in my life would be at Culinary school. Butchery. Weird right? Who would have thought the most challenging point in my academic career would be breaking down a lamb. It's tough! It's also becoming one of the most popular and sought out culinary classes in the nation right now. This meaty art is on the rise, and as much as I am one to take a challenge I don't think I want to go back to butchery days at school. Which leads me to the fine appreciation I have developed for the butcher. Creating a great cut of meat and obtaining the knowledge of said cut is something to be sought after. If you live in the San Francisco bay area here's a link to an upcoming class! Hat's off to you my fellow meatheads.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
For the most part I am aware of what is seasonal and what is not. But let's be honest, we are not all farmers. I know that spring brings peas, summer brings watermelon, fall brings sweet potatoes, and winter brings fudge.... I mean pears. Today I bring you the lesser known items of the boring month of January. I say boring because there are no fun holidays in January. Accept new years eve and day. . . okay, time to stop rambling. Most seasonal fruits and vegetables are purchased from local farmers due to proximity, price, and quality. Lemme break it down for you. . . .
1. Proximity: When foods are grown seasonally, markets prefer to purchase them locally because it costs them less for they don't have to transport as far.
2. Price: Seasonal foods are typically cheaper, due to their abundance.
3. Quality: It's seasonal! Which by definition means its produced according to when it should be. Therefore it's flavor will be at optimum levels.
As you go down the fresh food isle at your local supermarket, think of dishes to make with this list. I GUARANTEE it will taste better than usual because these foods are actually in season. Happy hunting friends!
Leeks! (get it?! leeking?!)
Fennel (not a fan. . . just thought I'd share. )
As are the top 10 food trends for 2010 provided by Epicurious. This list is perfect! With the economy down, and our pocketbooks empty this list focus on what real people want. Fried chicken, homemade beer, and potlucks top the list and from personal experience these things satisfy my stomach and my bank account. My husbandmanface (as I so affectionately call him <3) and I love to entertain. This past year however we have learned that it is much more entertaining to have our guests bring their favorite appetizer or drink. The things that show up are typically wonderful and surprising. So I challenge you to try it next time! Refrain from the need to control every detail of your soiree and let your friends show you what they are made of! :) Take a look at the list as well, it is quite on point. :)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
So this past week has been pretty crazy. With the holidays ending, and a fresh new beginning upon us I felt the need to clean. Clean my floors, Clean my cat, Clean my face.... You get my drift. What does this have to do with food you ask? Oh just you wait. I thought what better way to find tips on cleaning that youtube. This is where everyone goes for good, healthy, quality advice on everything right? So as I wrote the words clean, a slew of fascinating viral videos appeared. This one spoke to my Culinary, girly, and weird heart! Cleaning your eye makeup with olive oil. I am all for natural products and cheap. Olive oil has been known for for its INTERNAL benifits, but I was never aware of it's external. So I did it. I tried food on my face and you know what? it really does work. be sure to use a high quality olive oil if you do decide to take the plunge. I personally would steer away from all "infused" oils as well. ie: garlic, rosmary, and the such. Enjoy!!