Peanut Butter Mousse with Kaluah Ganach
As I’ve mentioned before, my husband may be the world’s worst chocoholic. I think one of the first things I ever really understood about my husband was his absolute adoration for all things chocolate. Continue reading
Black Bean Chicken Chili
Last night I was running late. Really late. It’s never a good thing to be leaving the grocery store fifteen minutes before your dinner guest is expected. Even if that guest is one of your best friends and the gathering is only a casual catch-up-drop-by-this-is-really-not- a-dinner-party-spontaneous sort of a thing.
As I was driving home from the grocery store, with no plan about what to make and the knowledge that I would have ten minutes to put it together, I was feeling a little panicky.
Bristling with impatience as I sat at a red light, I came up with and rapidly discarded several menu options. Everything, even my quickest of quick meal classics took at least fifteen minutes of preparation time. Then, with a sigh of relief, I remembered the easiest recipe ever. It also happens to be the first recipe I ever created from scratch by myself. Not that I am really proud of it or anything…
Peanut Noodles with Tofu
I cook for the people that I care about. When they are sick, tired, stressed, or coping with great tragedy. When they are elated, successful, or celebrating. Occasionally, I even cook for them just because they are hungry.
When my two best friends were preparing for their PhD. exams, I brought them brain food to eat the night before: grilled wild salmon with brown rice pilaf and spinach. When another passed his exams it was a tropical carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I’m always the girl who brings the birthday cake or I host the whole birthday dinner. Events like these are fun to cook for, and I do it with great exuberance.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love ethnic markets. Any small storefront bodega or Asian market beckons to me. When I enter, I rarely look for something specific, but rather pick up any ingredients that strike my fancy. I am particularly drawn by colorful ingredients, unfamiliar produce, and new packaging or formulations of favorite ingredients.
I find that this shopping habit keeps my cooking fresh, and challenges me to learn new techniques and cooking methods. It also sparks my creativity, forcing me to really think about the way and ingredients tastes and looks and how it will work with food that I normally use.
Recent trips have netted me a number of interesting finds that come together in this dish.
When is a scone not just a scone?
I might not have mentioned this here before, but I am currently in the process of opening a crêperie (Parisian-style, not the béchamel-soaked-retro-American style) . A few months ago, while I began to contemplate leaving real estate for work that wouldn’t eat my soul from the inside out, I sat down with a friend who owned and operated my favorite coffee house.
I was hoping to get some advice about starting up a food venture, but I emerged from the conversation with a companion in an expansion venture. It turned out that he was adding square footage, and was struggling to come up with food offerings. Ever since I lived in Paris and bought my first crepe pans I’ve been unable to understand why these wonderful foodstuffs weren’t more broadly available in the U.S.. The crêperie concept also had the additional benefit of being operable out of the very limited kitchen space we would have available to us. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I read the article on No-Knead Bread by Mark Bittman with interest and a vague sense of disbelief. His claim, that it was possible to make artisan quality bread with a dense toothy crumb and a substantial professional crust at home, seemed like an impossibility. I was curious enough to try it out, but I lacked a 6-8 quart pot that was oven safe at the 450 degree temperature that the recipe called for. Even though I didn’t have the proper tools at the time I clipped the recipe and saved it for a day when I would have such a pot in my life.
The claims in the article were sufficiently seductive that I was thinking about the possibility of bread even as I was shopping for Betty. As soon as the family left town and I recovered from our still-to-be discussed cookie baking marathon, I had my yeast out and ready. Part of the attraction of this recipe is its total simplicity. A few ingredient, a wet dough, a long 18 hour slow rise, a brief shaping then a two hour second rise all add up to very little active time in the kitchen. Continue reading
Last week, I took Sam up on a challenge to photograph everything that I ate beginning Monday, November 20th until I went to bed on Sunday, November 26th. I didn’t think about it for long before agreeing because it sounded like fun and I wanted to get more experience photographing food.
On Sunday night I made sure to put the digital camera batteries in the charger and I was ready to go on Monday morning. This was not a typical food week for me, because I had a lot of family in town visiting for Thanksgiving that would be staying through Monday morning. Our crew for much of the week included my husband, my sister and her husband and in-laws, my parents, and my little brother. That made nine of us in all.
Because we were such a large group, and almost everyone was in from out of town, we alternated between eating out and my cooking. Featured in some the photos are several of my family’s favorite restaurants in the area, because everyone has his or her own special requests when they come to town.
Looking over the week of pictures makes me realize a few interesting things about my food life. I live on tea, wine and vegetables. I never eat traditional breakfast food unless I am at a restaurant, and my obsession with food clearly comes from my family. When we get together we talk and eat, eat and talk, and most of what we talk about is what we have eaten, would like to eat, or whatever we are eating at the time.
View a slide show of my week by clicking here, or view the web album by clicking here. I forgot to weigh myself this morning, but I will do it tomorrow morning and report back on the damage.