Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A rainbow of salad yumminess.

OK. I think I have mentioned this before and if not, I know that I am not going to tell most of you anything you didn't already know.

She just does. I can only dream that one day I could write or photograph like her. I am nowhere near....

BUT - earlier this week I needed to catch up on her blog and found this amazing looking salad.

OMG!!! So beautiful. And full of yummy peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers and onions and feta. My 2nd niece's dream meal. She does love veggies...what 3 year old do you know who loves peppers and cucumbers?? She insists that I am growing tomatoes just for her to eat. Honestly, she can have anything she wants. As can her sisters and brother. I am her aunt, afterall.
She ate it tonight - as did her father. They both liked it. My mom - she, as I suspected, prefers no onion.

But I digress.

I had to make this. I bought everything needed - in 3 trips, as I forgot the feta (hello!! key ingredient!!) and the tomatoes (umm...hi??).

Honestly, this is an easy recipe. No cooking. Beautiful presentation. Perfect summer food and a great way to use that which fills your garden. The hardest part??? The chopping.

Chopping cheese. Not so hard, really.

Chopping onions.

Chopping tomatoes.

Chopping red peppers.

Chopping orange peppers.

Chopping yellow peppers.

You get the picture.

But gosh - was it worth it!!! Yummo!!!

My only suggestion - watch the salt. She suggests salt in the vinegrette and then adding to taste at the end. The feta is also salty. So...maybe hold back a little on the dressing and on the ending seasoning and do some tasting. Oh for shame. Tasting.

And I made mine Tuesday night and ate it for lunch on Wednesday. It was still fairly crunchy - and really so tasty. So it CAN be made ahead of time.

Thing I learned - the marinading of the red onion really did mellow the flavor. I am amazed.

So so yummy. Go make it now. Go make it for your 4th of July parties. Go make it for dinner.

Saturday, May 30, 2009 this thing on???


I know. It's been a long, long time. I got married, then the holidays, then this and that and blah, blah, blah. I'm now back and hoping to do a better job of updating on a more regular basis. Please forgive me. Especially my brother-in-law.

Tonight our friends Jen and Greg came over. We grilled out and talked and caught up - it was good. Such a gorgeous night out - got dark for like 10 minutes but otherwise, perfect...great breezes, etc. And it got scary when Jen went inside and got a phone call from her house saying there were tornado warnings. We turned on the TV to find that indeed a mere 20 miles north of us...tornados!! crazy!!

Anyway...I introduced Jen to rhubarb for dessert. For those who have never seen...smittenkitchen is a foodie website to die for. Perfect yummy things all the time. Tonight, I made her Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. To. Die. For. Absolutely.

Rhubarb is so pretty...especially with strawberries. Pinks and Greens and Reds.

I don't have a finished picture. We dug in and put it with some ice cream and it happened before the picture. I will take one tomorrow....of what is left.
If any makes it through the night. MMMM - was this good!!!!
Go try it as soon as you can...easy, tasty, tart and sweet and so darn good.
more soon, I promise.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The results of a cooking class...

George and I went to a cooking class last week at The Party Source. If you live in Cincinnati, you need to go and check this place out. Any liquor, wine, beer you have ever wanted and tons of great decorations for parties - and great fancy food.

They also have a great cooking school. You can take classes and learn great things...the classes are small and some are hands on, some are demos. For the demos, they bring out the food and pair it with drinks. Ummm...dinner and entertainment...what more can you ask for?

We went to a grilling class. George is trying to learn more about grilling, so one day he can take over the responsibility. Yea!!! This was a great class.

One of the dishes (and trust me, we'll be making the others too, so you will see those) was what we had tonight. Grilled flank steak with a chimichurri sauce. He also made grilled pineapple. I was going to make this, as it's George's new found love...but alas, my pineapple had gone bad. Look for this coming soon.

But...the steak. Flank steak, simply seasoned with Adobo seasoning. This was a new discovery for me. I love the flavor! I bought the pepper one, and it adds flavor, not heat.

And the tasty. But full of garlic and George isn't too into kissing me tonight. He didn't have any. sigh. :) That will have to be the sacrifice we make, as I will continue to eat this yummy stuff on lots of things...chicken, pork, sandwiches, salads. mmmmm.

Look at the great color!!

And the steak...a little on the rare side and mine was cold when I ate it, and it was yummy.

Here is the recipe:
(straight copied from Eric's - the teacher - notes.)

1 large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley (he says to toss the stems, I usually leave quite a bit on)
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 minced onion
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 palmfull fresh oregano
½ to 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Chop up the parsley a bit. This will make processing easier. Add parsley and garlic to food processor and hit the pulse button a few times to mince. Add remaining ingredients and pulse some more. Slowly pour oil through the chute, while taping away on the pulse button. Pulse just enough to where everything is mixed properly. When I stopped, the oil was just starting to emulsify, and that happened very quickly. I don’t find emulsification aesthetically pleasing with chimichurri.
If you like the fresh crisp flavor of parsley, use immediately. Letting it rest overnight will balance out the flavors.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What to do with peaches going bad....

Clearly when you have peaches that haven't been eaten and are going bad, you should make peach pie!! Now, let's be clear...I have never done this before. A peach pie...heck, a pie. Well, I've made pies with pilsbury dough before...but this time, kinda from scratch. I used a mix from Crate&Barrel - from Barefoot Contessa. But it only had the flour mix in it, so I had to do the hard part...mixing in cut up butter and ice water. And roll it out.

The recipe was from and it was for Bride's Peach Pie. I thought that was appropriate. We are 2 months away, you know. is the peach mixture. I think it needed a little less nutmeg. I used fresh...maybe that was the problem.
Mixing the dough
The final product. I was happy! and the crust tasted great. It was a perfect dessert to take with us to the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra's concert at Devou. What a pleasant night!!

Oh...and this would be the mess in my oven bottom. Lesson learned...pies don't get baked in the little top oven, where there isn't a rack to place something to catch the drips. Or...wait until I get those cool mats I registered for that you place on the oven bottom to help with clean up.

1st Time Daring Baker making Eclairs

So...this was my first month as a Daring Baker!!! This is a group of people online who all make the same recipe...and then post the pics of the results and a few comments about the process. I'm a day late with with posting...but wanted everyone to see anyway!!

This month was an Eclair by Pierre Hermé. It was chosen by Tony Tahhan and Meetak of What's for lunch, Honey. You can see the recipe on their websites. You can also go over to the logo for the Daring Bakers on the right here and check out some of what the others have done!!

Let me say, they were good. Yummy. Rich. And almost too much chocolate for me. My mom and sister loved them. I was excited to make the Pate au choux - which is the pastry for eclairs...or cream puffs. I needed to let some of them cook just a bit more...they fell when I took them out.

I had visions of this being an all day was not. 3-4 hours...not bad for a first timer!!

Below are some pics....enjoy!!

I used Ghirardelli chocolate....

Mixing the Pate au choux

This is my empty the last minute I decided to buck up and mix the flour in by hand with a wooden spoon.

Here it is coming together in the pot...just like the recipe said it would! Have faith!
I used a pastry bag to pie out long rows of the Pate au chox, then froze them slightly and cut...made for more uniform pastries.

They came out of the oven...and looked great, mostly!

And some deflated on me.
glazing the tops of some of them

Final product with the chocolate pastry cream...

On a plate, ready to go!!

Farmer's Market goodies

I love going to the market. I went after the instructer for the course we took recommended the Covington one. Here is what I picked up....

purple and yellow peppers. I liked the purple. George preferred the yellow. The yellow tasted more like a green to me.
Basil. yummmm.
White peaches

Zinnias. love them. Next year I want to plant some along our back fence....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Omnivore's Hundred

So, I haven't been doing a lot of cooking worth posting lately.

In fact, tonight, I let the local extension office of UK feed us. We got to taste all sorts of tomatoes and peaches and onions and apples and melons and peppers. It was so good. George is all gung-ho to grow apple and peach trees. I'm set to grow onions and peppers and melons and tomatoes. lol

I'm looking around and catching up on blogs tonight. I found this. I encourage you all to use it too!! I think it's interesting. I got it from so - it's English in nature. But let's go with it!!

(note: I started this....but I am just going to post it and then come back and mark those I wouldn't eat)

From the website...

Here’s what I want you to do:
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 linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding - ick. :(
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 - oddly enough, I'm not sure I have.
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 - I've had tons of chowder, but not 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
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