Friday, November 4, 2011

lord, i was born a ramblin' (wo)man....

per usual i am being quite erratic with my postings. c'est la vie.
life is for livin' not bloggin'!

in any case, here are some of the things i've been eating and cooking and doing since we last saw each other.

i made grape jam for the first time a few months ago and boy is it delicious!

first we picked a buncha grapes.

then i slipped 'em outta their skins and pureed the skins with a little sugar. then it all went into a pot with some sugar and it cooked for a long, long time.

then i put the jam through the food mill to get rid of all those pesky seeds.

then into the jars for processing so i can eat it all winter long!

oh, and i made some grape juice too. soooooooooooooooooo good!!

and while the tomatoes were still kickin' i roasted, pureed and froze a bunch. now i can take those little containers outta the freezer, defrost 'em, add some stock and voila! roasted tomato soup and sauces! mmm!

here they are right outta the oven. killer! roasted with a little olive oil and salt in a 400 degree oven for like an hour. these were some san marzanos i snagged at the farmers market. i am going to plant like 70 of these suckers next season!

into the food processor. i just pulsed them a bit. you still want to have some chunks.

off to the freezer with these little gems!

oh! i made some chicken tikka masala the other night.
man oh man was it tasty.

check out this MONSTER chicken breast!

we've had meat birds all summer and we could've butchered them back in august but they like pecking around the yard and hanging with the other birds and i don't really like butchering so we've let them live. until recently that is.

this breast weighed 2lbs! fucking crazy!

i marinated the chicken in a really yummy yogurt marinade for about an hour. then i skewered the chunks and broiled them for about 4-5 minutes per side. mmm!


and even more yum - all finished with a side of naan and coriander chutney.

we picked up a rooster at the county fair and named him sue. and then he had his way with every hen in the coop and we hatched our very first chicks!

let me introduce you (from back to front) to mortimer, billy valentine and randolph. three cheers for anyone who can name our movie inspiration behind those names!

we went to NYC on halloween to see one of the very best bands in the land. we were in the city for 29 hours and managed to stuff our faces with some really good grub.

case in point - park italian gourmet.

that sandwich was hands down the best italian sub this gal has ever consumed. the bread - oh the bread! - it was marvelous. and it was loaded down with prosciutto, capicola and real mozzarella. a little tomato and lettuce and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. i could've eaten ten of those things! we also got a side of calamari salad that was just tops. and they gave us extra bread to dunk in the oily dressing on the salad.

park italian gourmet KICKED TOTAL ASS and if you ever find yourself in midtown you should stop there.

we also snacked on a delicious belgian waffle with nutella and walnuts from a cart in central park and of course we got pizza.

oh NYC pizza you are truly the best in the land. my love for you is a fiery passion and if i was closer to you i would gobble you up every single damn day. i love you NYC pizza. and i would carry your child if you'd let me.

over and out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

can all you can continues....


(the can of bug spray is a necessity back at the garden. egads!
the mosquitoes are terrible!)

first on the agenda was something new - tomato paste. i've never made it before but i do love it. sometimes when i'm cooking with tomato paste and i only need a blop or two i finish off the rest of the can with a spoon. mmmm!

anyways, tomato paste. it's a lot of work and a lot of time but it's also a lot of delicious!

first up - wash, core and chop the tomatoes.

next up, cook the chopped 'maters in a little olive oil until tender and bubbly.

then put your cooked tomatoes through the finest plate of your food mill and spread it all out on a big baking sheet.

this baked in a 300 degree oven for like 5 hours or something. i'd fold it and spread it around with a rubber spatula every 30 minutes or so. then once all the water had evaporated and it was a deep red color it was ready to go.

look at that paste! beautiful and very, very tasty!

next up - crushed tomatoes. i use tons of crushed tomatoes - soups, sauces, indian dishes. mmm....palak paneer.....

anyways, these tomatoes gave me 6 pints of crushed which will go to good use.

and for fun - some ground cherry chutney. i am thinking this will be delicious with a pork loin. when all was said and done i had 8 or 9 four ounce jelly jars of chutney. mmm!

and one of my very favorite summer staples - pickled peppers! i just hot packed these hot blocks with a vinegar/water/salt brine and some garlic and dill from the garden. mmm!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

we have a lot of tomatoes

i have crushed 'em. i have jammed 'em. i have BLT'd 'em.
and last night i souped 'em.

i got about 4-5 quarts into the freezer when it was all said and done.
mmm! tasty!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

does this blog even work anymore?

if so - here is what i have been up to lately!


a sink full o' tomatoes to canned crushed tomatoes

ground cherries and tomatillos

ground cherry jam

garden tomatoes to spicy tomato jam

our new family of goats! meet patches, little edie and alobar!

oh yea - and i went and got hitched too.

and while honeymooning/road tripping down the east coast (ocean city, MD to jacksonville beach, FL and back) i discovered firefly sweet tea vodka. mmm.....

summer 2011 for the win!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

some odds and ends

hello again!

i am still cooking and we are still eating even though i haven't been keeping this ol' blog up to date. in fact, we've been eating really well as of late!!

let me demonstrate.

a few sundays ago i made an AWESOME cider and onion braised pork shoulder. here's the fixin's for a killer sunday dinner.

the shoulder braised for a few hours and i served it over a cauliflower puree with some braised kale on the side. mmm! tasty!

and look at these beauties!

the days are slowly but surely getting a little longer and the temperature is slowly but surely getting a little warmer so our chickens are laying again. we have 6 birds total now and are getting 4-5 eggs a day.

here's my girls!

my love for eggs is hard to put into words. i think my last meal would be dippy eggs and rye toast. or maybe a scrambled egg and chorizo taco. mmmm....eggs.

just look at these babies!!

and speaking of killer eggs - check out this incredible sandwich i stumbled across the other day - an egg in a hole grilled cheese.

my gawd! dippy eggs AND grilled cheese!! they are like my two favorite foods on the planet! i made them that night and they were HEAVENLY!

here's the supplies.

butter. eggs. cheese. seriously. this is what life is all about man!

sorry. no photo of the finished product due to me gobbling this baby up the second it came out of the pan. this sandwich is pure perfection. totally awesome. i wish i had one right now.

in other news the pork from our meat share arrived.

in addition to the nasty bits we received bacon, steaks, ham, butt roast and this gigantic tub o' lard!

i've got big plans for this lard. namely pie crusts and fried chicken. oh man. i am so pumped! i also ordered pork & sons from the library and am super excited to start researching.

my culinary co-conspirator and i are gonna kick that pig's ass!!

and speaking of my culinary co-conspirator (aka sister-by-choice aka soon-to-be-sister-in-law) check out her butchering skills!

this past weekend we played duck, duck, goose with one of our ducks and a duck and a goose from our meat peeps.

this was the first big butcher for both of us. i have done some plucking with our own birds but mike did all the butchering. i was intimidated and a little scared but NOT anymore!

we propped up our main man's cookbook for guidance and went to town. we each tackled a duck and then since it was my co-conspirator's birthday celebration she tackled the goose.

i think we did a helluva job!

and after the butchering - we cooked!

first of all we bagged up the carcasses and got them in the freezer. they will become stock at some point down the road.

then we rendered all of the fat from the fowl. it slowly bubbled away on the stove top while we tackled our other projects.

one duck breast became duck prosciutto (it's hanging right now and should be done by tomorrow). mmm! once it's ready we will slice it thin, pour ourselves a nice glass of red wine and sit back and talk about how awesome we are (hopefully).

all of the legs, thighs and wings got rubbed down with a salt/oil/pepper/garlic/bay leaf paste and went into a pot to rest for confit.

and then we tackled our dinner.

we seared the goose & duck breasts and then made a sauce using onions and garlic and red wine and fig preserves. mmm! we served the seared breasts over a sweet potato puree alongside some roasted brussel sprouts (sprouts i blanched & froze back in september or october!).

and we feasted!

to top it off - a lemon curd tart with blackberries and homemade whipped cream.

man oh man! this was a killer meal! i was exhausted and drunk on wine and enthusiasm by the end of it all. it was a wonderful day!

but the fowl didn't stop there!

we split up the legs, thighs and wings and the rendered fat and tackled the confit the next day (or was it two days later...) on our own.

i didn't have enough rendered fat to cover the fowl so i used some olive oil too. i should've used some of that darn lard but i didn't think of it till afterwards!

here it is at the beginning.

and here it is at the end (3 1/2 hours later at 300 degrees).

it had shrunk down quite a bit so i transferred it to my single woman's dutch oven and stuck it in the back of the fridge.

we'll revisit this confit in a month or so when my culinary co-conspirator and i regroup and tackle cassoulet. (and i know that ours will look much better than this wikipedia picture. blegh!).

and let's end on a sweet note. creamy, warm rice pudding with pure ohio maple syrup. mmm!!