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So, the secret destination I mentioned earlier was Oaxaca (say “wah-HOCK-ah”), Mexico. I love this city! I had visited once 15 years ago and always dreamed of going back.
The capital city of the state of Oaxaca, it’s like a jewel-box deep in heart of the southern mountains of Mexico, full of stunning architecture, intricate handicrafts, and oh yes, fantastic food.
The top photo was my first meal there, an ancho chile relleno next to plaintain mash with Oaxacan cheese. Surprisingly, it was actually a lot prettier than it was flavorful, but I enjoyed trying it anyway.
Below are the appetizers from that night, including, from the back of the slate platter, cheese, guacamole, and chapulinas. Chapulinas are a Oaxacan specialty—roasted grasshoppers!
Our Mexican friends told us that if you eat one, it means you get to come back to Oaxaca. It would be a lie to say they’re my favorite dish, but I was super glad I DID eat one 15 years ago. So glad, in fact, that I ate several more, hoping I will for sure get to visit again.
Below you see chiles drying at a restaurant where we ate lunch. The set up was unusual—you walk through the kitchen area up to the roof to eat. Sadly I didn’t take pics of the wonderful chicken red mole enchiladas I had.
Mole is a type of sauce involving many ingredients, including cocoa, which was first cultivated in ancient Mesoamerica. There are many different kinds of mole, and they’re not at all sweet, so don’t worry, it’s not at all like eating candy on your meat.
From the rooftop of the lunch restaurant, there’s a view of the historic Santo Domingo church, and we had great seats to see a traditional wedding celebration going out of the church, complete with dancers, costumes, and these enormous puppets that lead the way to the reception.
Lastly, here’s a photo (from the same location) of Caldo de Piedra, or “Stone Soup.” I couldn’t actually eat it, since I can’t do shellfish, but it was fascinating to watch our chef cook it, tableside.
The rocks were heated to such a high degree that when they were placed in the bowls of raw food (shellfish and broth, veggies), the liquid immediately boiled like mad. After a few moments, the liquid cooled a bit, and the chef removed the first stones and added a second hot stone to each bowl.
If you look closely, you can see the beautiful handcarving on the bowls, which are made of what I gather is a kind of gourd.
Delicious foods not pictured: duck tacos, Oaxacan tamales (wrapped in banana leaves), hot chocolate, and eggs smothered in fantastic sauces. Breakfast was not to be missed.
More on Oaxaca to come. Hope you have a great weekend. It’s like 75 degrees here today. I can’t believe it’s December!
I can’t take any credit for this pie, other than having been an experienced taste-tester. At my kids’ request, my mother-in-law took the reins on this project during a recent visit.
She used the pastry recipe here from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cookingand her favorite apple pie filling recipe for the center. According to her, the dough was “terrible, just terrible to work with,” but of course GF doughs are often tricky and tend to fall apart a lot. We wondered if using a pastry cloth would’ve made it easier (I don’t have one). Still, though, isn’t it a beautiful pie?
The results are so delicious that I would definitely try this again, tricky dough or not! A certain anonymous person (not a gluten-free eater) even tried to eat more than his allotted share.
I would say the pastry was a bit more crackery in texture than traditional dough, but it was still yummy. I think I’ll try it again at Thanksgiving, though I may use a crumble-top instead of a pastry top.
Currently reading America’s Womenby Gail Collins. She’s got such a fresh voice and fantastic sense of humor—-this is the way history should be written.
A few of posts around the web that caught my fancy recently:
–this one from Amy Karol of Angry Chicken about using free digital art from the Rijksmuseum
Hope you had a great weekend. Ours was long and relatively lazy. We even started some Christmas crafting. Feels a little early, but I know it’ll be here before we know it. I even went totallly nerdo and made a spreadsheet of the gifts I’ve already purchased and squirreled away. I have more of a head start than I thought. Woohooo!
I was in Trader Joe’s yesterday, and my eyes landed on these beauties. According to TJ’s, they are “Gold Nugget Squash,” but they’re similar what we called Hokkaido pumpkins in Germany, and I knew I just had to have some pumpkin soup for lunch. I’d been looking for some similar pumpkins here, but this was the first time I’d seen anything close.
I was psyched to find that the Gold Nugget cooked up just like a Hokkaido, which is loads better than a pie pumpkin when it comes to soup-making.
I wanted to recreate some soup, chef unknown, that I’d had at a school function, but I didn’t want to spend my day making soup, since it was just for me. Sadly, the family is not nearly as enthusiastic about pumpkin soup as I am. All the recipes I could find were pretty involved, so I came up with my own.
I’m sure the “involved” recipes are, you know, fancier, but this method totally floated my boat. Super delicious and easy! Here’s my Amelia-Bedelia* recipe:
Simplest Curried Pumpkin Soup
1 thin-skinned, dark red pumpkin/ squash (My pumpkin was about the size of a grapefruit. Adjust spices up if your pumpkin is bigger, always tasting to see if it suits you).
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
a few sprinkles dried onion flakes
a few sprinkles garlic powder
small sprinkle red pepper flakes
salt to taste
One of these gold nuggets made about 3-4 bowls of soup (umm….yes, I ate it all in one sitting).
Preheat the oven (I used the toaster oven) to 375 degrees F. Prick the skin of the pumpkin a few times with a fork or knife tip. Roast whole until it’s nice and tender. I think mine took about 35 minutes or so. At this point, you could set it aside to cool and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the soup.
Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Now scoop the flesh out of the skin, and if you have a hand blender, place directly in your soup pot. I mashed mine a little with the potato masher. Add a cup or so of water, mash a little more, and then puree with the hand blender. Add more water if needed to make it the consistency you like.
Alternatively you could place the pumpkin flesh in your blender with water, then empty the puree into your soup pot.
Okay, you’ve got pumpkin puree. Now heat slowly and season with the spices to your taste. I used Penzey’s mild curry powder, which worked beautifully.
Serve and eat. I added a squeeze of lime and a dash of Sriracha sauce to mine. This is definitely going into my rotation for as long as I can get my hands on those little pumpkins!
*for friends unfamiliar with Amelia Bedelia, she’s a children’s book character. Ms. Bedelia is a little dim with housework, but her saving grace is her fabulous no-recipe cooking. She cooks with ”a little of this, a little of that.”
It’s been Soup Central around here, with tomato soup, golden chick pea soup, and coming tomorrow, chili. For more of my less-meatarian cooking posts, look here. What have you been cooking lately?
Meanwhile I think our costumes are allllllmost finished. Just need to paint our little ninja’s cardboard weapon. Hope to post directions for his tunic soon. Happy Halloween!
Last night I went out and drank wine with old friends, and made some new ones along the way. Two of my favorite things to do.
A lot has changed since I’ve lived in this part of LA. Happily there are many more places to hang out with friends and drink wine and microbrews What does this have to do with a local coffee house, you ask? Well, survival.
One of the best parts about where I live now is that my church, a great little bakery, a coffee house, a spa and a cheap little, very bustling breakfast place are all within walking distance. There are some great hiking trails too. I told Sue, the owner of my local coffee house, that if it wasn’t for her croissants and tuna salad sandwiches, I wouldn’t be alive today. She smiled and said she really appreciated the compliment. Her place is as charming as she is. The people on the sun-drenched patio all engage in the news of the day. But there was trouble brewing. You see, even though Starbucks has a store a mall over, they felt the need to place an additional drive-through satellite Starbucks about thirty yards away from Sue’s place. Petitions were circulated, but by the time I’d come to town construction was just about complete.
So, what did Sue do? She decided to turn her place into a wine bar at night. Last night was the soft opening of her “after dark” business. I had a wonderful Pinot Noir from Oregon which I enjoy, called Acrobat. The place was packed . My friends and I had parted ways earlier that night, so I was just stopping by to show my support on my way home. The small plates she served looked great. Next time I’ll have to try one.
Two days ago the Starbucks drive-thru opened. I’d gotten a coffee earlier in the day yesterday, my favorite Jamaican-Me-Crazy, and watched the cars pull up to the drive-thru one after the other, there was quite a line of cars. The people around me were all very friendly. It was as if we were all answering the silent question, why? One lady said, well it’s easier for moms with small children to get drive-thru coffee. True. One lady just shrugged and threw up her hands. Sue has expanded her business and now works double time to survive. If you are in the area and want to get out of your car to meet one charming business woman, with an almost biblical sense of grace under pressure, check out Sue’s place.
The first in a series of Penguin Cooks blogs, here one of our resident food experts, Pen Vogler, tells us a little about the food featured in some of Jane Austen's earliest works.
Next year, Jane Austen’s juvenilia will be published in Penguin
Classics for the first time. It may seem odd to be trumpeting this on a food
blog, but the young writer delighted in culinary obsessions. Foremost of foodies in the juvenilia is
Charlotte Luttrell of Lesley Castle
(written when Jane was 16) who, broiling, roasting and baking her sister’s
wedding feast, is appalled to hear of the groom’s life-threatening accident;
"Good God!" (said I) "you don't say so? Why what in the name of
Heaven will become of all the Victuals?” Her sister is too afflicted to even
eat a chicken wing.
The Georgian dinner table hosted some strange dishes and I
wonder if the vile-sounding “fried Cowheel & Onion” which comes in her
lampoon, The Visit, was a riposte to
some adult attempt to make her eat it. A more acceptable treat is joked about
by the twelve-year-old Jane whose TheBeautifull Cassandra, “proceeded to a
Pastry-cooks where she devoured six ices, refused to pay for them, knocked down
the Pastry cook and walked away.”
Even I baulk at fried cow’s heel, but I have had a lovely
time cooking my way through dishes that Jane mentions in her novels and letters. As a young woman, left in charge of the
housekeeping, she writes with relish about ordering braised ox-cheek and indeed
it is gorgeous; melty and tender and just the thing for a cold day.
Braised Ox-Cheek, updated from an original recipe by Mrs Rundell, A New System of Domestic Cookery, 1806
Brought up, as she was, on meat from her
father’s livestock, ‘haricot mutton’ is another Austen favourite that deserves
to be restored to the contemporary table.
And who wouldn’t agree with her that “Good apples pies are a
considerable part of our domestic happiness”.
A Buttered Apple Tart, updated from an original recipe by Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1747
Pen Vogler is the editor of Penguin's Great Food series. If you enjoyed the above, read more on her blog, Pen's Great Food Club, where she describes cooking with recipes from history. For more foodie updates, follow her on Twitter / @penfrompenguin
This is a really simple way to do green beans and a favorite in our house. Until I was in my twenties, I had never had a crunchy-ish green bean—always the soft and soupy kind. I still like the soft ones now and then, but roasting is my go-to way to cook them, and the garlic, onions, almonds, and vinegar give this dish lots of flavor.
When I roast the beans and onions, I keep the onions all to one side of the pan so they can be easily separated. The kids won’t touch anything with a visible onion attached to it. They don’t eat the almonds, either. More for the grown-ups, right? The kids do like the flavor the finishing vinegar gives, though, and even my six-year-old, by far the pickiest, asked for seconds when I served this dish.
The Mollie Katzen recipe, from The New Moosewood Cookbook, is here. I just substituted sliced almonds for pine nuts, since I always have almonds on hand and pine nuts are crazy expensive.
Y’all, I’ve tried a LOT of gluten-free pizza. Some baked goods are easy to make GF, but pizza isn’t one of them. It usually tastes kind of card-boardy. The best store-bought kind I’ve found was of a ball of frozen dough from Earth Fare (sorry, I don’t know the brand). But it was crazy, crazy expensive.
This recipe is by far the best I’ve had. Favorito. Really nice texture, not sandy or weird like some others. Even our six-year-old (who is newly gluten-free) loved it. It’s also incredibly easy if you’ve already made your stash of gluten-free flour mix.
And the best part is, the dough only has to rise 10 minutes, so, unlike traditional homemade pizza dough, you don’t have to plan so far in advance. It doesn’t require kneading, either, just mixing.
This recipe is a TOTAL keeper! Like my recent GF recipe trials, it’s also from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli and Peter Bronski. The recipe for a similar version of it is here.
The book includes a recipe for a bulk batch of GF flour mix, and then you’re all set to use it in many of the recipes. It’s completely worth the effort, and, although not inexpensive, is a better deal than buying pre-mixed GF flour.
One note on the recipe. My hubs grilled it, which went really well, but he had to pay close attention to the cooking time. I like it nice and crispy, but there are also directions for deep dish pizza in the book.
Yes, I hear you, you’re not gluten-free, and you wonder when my regularly scheduled cooking program is coming back. No worries, this is not going to become a blog solely about GF baking. It’s just what I’m excited about right now.
In other news, I’m waiting to get editorial notes on my young adult novel, and I’m currently researching for a nonfiction book project that had been on the back burner for quite awhile (since we were living in Germany over a year ago). Now that I’m researching in the U.S., with access to an American library, it’s way more fun! I’m still struggling with the shape of the project, but I’m happy to find that I’m just as interested in the subject matter. Hopefully I can share more about it when it’s a bit further along.
Meanwhile, I’ve been sewing a lot. Close to finishing a couple of projects that I hope to show you soon.
Many gluten-free baked foods taste funky to me. This one is delicious through and through. I include links to the brands I used, so I cannot testify to the outcome if you substitute these for other brands.
3 large ripe or 6 extra small ripe bananas (FYI-I Live in Miami so we grow the small ones here)
1 stick of butter (No margarine!) Melt in microwave for 40 seconds.
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you have a convection oven, set it to the bake/convection combination setting. Spray 2 muffin tins liberally with baking spray. I use Baker’s Joy. Or you may use butter anf gluten-free flour to coat. You don’t need an electric mixer for this. You can just use a whisk.
In large mixing bowl, mash bananas well with potato masher. Add eggs and mix well. Add melted butter slowly so you don’t cook the eggs. Add brown sugar and mix well. Add vanilla. Combine dry ingredients – flour, coconut, salt, baking powder, cinnamon. fold into wet ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips.
Spoon in muffin pans. I put batter all the way to the top of opening so they bake with a nice big muffin top. (This is the only place in life where a muffin top is a good thing!) This recipe will make between 16 and 20 muffins. Bake until tops are light brown, from 20-25 minutes. If you have a convection oven, they will bake faster so check after 15 minutes. Cool on a rack. Eat when it’s still warm! These freeze well.
My kids saw these cinnamon rolls in Artisanal Gluten-Free Cookingand begged for days and days to make them. I usually save my cooking energy for meal-making, but the kids were determined, so we gathered ingredients and gave them a whirl.
As these things go, they were not all that hard to make. As usual with GF baking, the dough is a bit trickier to handle, but rolling it out between sheets of plastic wrap, as instructed, helped a lot.
When you roll the dough into a long tube, you can kind of pull the plastic out from under the dough, and it rolls together quite nicely.
We cut the sugar by about 1/3 cup and didn’t miss it because of the sugar glaze. They didn’t rise much (at all?), and the texture was a bit more like shortbread than a traditional cinnamon roll. As a friend pointed it, that’s probably because of all the butter! That said, they were a big hit with everyone, gluten-free or not, including my parents.
Two thumbs up for these. I’m sure we’ll make them again when we have the time. For more of my cooking posts, click here. For those of you who aren’t gluten-free, don’t worry, I’ll still be posting all kinds of meals, not just GF baking.
Coming up: some craft and sewing posts. Oh, and we just saw two movies worth watching. One, for grown-ups: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The other, for kids: Dolphin Tale, inspired by the true story of a dolphin who got a prosthetic tail after losing hers to amputation. Our kids love animal movies and are extremely sensitive to anything scary. After a little coaxing past the beginning injury scene (not very graphic), it went over very well.
We were going to go to the pool, but it was thundery. So we pulled out our pasta crank and got going on our first try at gluten-free homemade pasta.
Hubs got me Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking as a gift not long ago, and though I’d looked at its lovely pages many times, I’d never tried anything from it. Now that we’ve got two gluten-avoiders in the house, though, I’m more inclined to try gluten-free baking and such. The book has a special gluten-free flour blend recipe. You make a big batch of it and keep it in the fridge for all sorts of recipes.
I’ve made regular pasta with the crank a few times. The gluten-free version was definitely more challenging, and the results, while yummy, aren’t quiiiite the same. Everyone ate it enthusiastically, though, and fought over who got the last bits. I’m sure it will be easier and better the next time. The kids did a great job, but my patience was definitely wearing thin by the last few cranks.
Click here for a similar recipe by the cookbook authors. Hubs and I ate the pasta with basil and walnut puree (same ingredients as in the last post, just adding walnuts. Yum! The kids are begging to try the cinnamon rolls (from the book) next.
For more of my food posts, click here. Have a great weekend!
I often feel compelled to buy summer squash even though none of us are huge fans of it. It looks so cute! So versatile! But then I get home and have to scheme to get anyone to eat it.
Truth be told, I still love the deep-fried squash I grew up with in South Carolina. Ilios Noche, a local restaurant, serves a fantastic updated Greek version of fried squash—with tzatziki!
But I may be onto something here with the basil puree. It definitely gave the squash a nice punch. And it was way easier than making pesto. Don’t get me wrong, I love pesto, but I hardly ever make it.
The basil puree from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarianis super simple, basically basil in the food processor with olive oil, lemon juice, a tiny bit of garlic, plus salt and pepper. I can see it with roasted veggies, potatoes, chicken, pasta…lots of possibilities. So glad we planted basil seeds. I had no idea it was so easy to grow from scratch, and now we have an overabundance.
What are your summer squash (and garden veggie) go-to dishes? I’ve also found that soaking the slices in Italian dressing before grilling is pretty yummy.
The kids made these one day, and I had so much fun watching them. We used baby spinach, shaved carrot, brown rice, and sliced grilled chicken. We also used a sprinkling of mint leaves (our plant hasn’t been that prolific this year).
You can make summer rolls with all kinds of things: rice noodles, shrimp, cooked tofu, sliced beef, lettuce of any kind, sprouts, peppers, scallions, herbs. You’re really just making a wrap out of stuff that will taste good together, and in our case we love to dip them in peanut sauce. My friend tells me that the Vietnamese word for summer rolls translates literally as “rolled salad.”
For detailed summer roll instructions, click here. Just don’t get intimidated by all the detail. Simplify to suit your needs—it’s just a wrap, and after a couple of tries, you’ll get the hang of using the rice wrappers. Our favorite peanut sauce recipe, from The Moosewood Cookbook, is here. For more of my food posts, click here.
Potatoes on Rooftops: farming in the CityHadley DyerAnnick Press. 2012ISBN: 9781554514250Grades 3 and upI borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library.Did you know that city dwellers can grow food too? In Potatoes on Rooftops: Farming in the City author Hadley Dyer will show you there are a myriad of doable possibilities to having your own garden; anything is possible.Using a
Runners get thirsty: drink. Runners get hungry: eat. But, as with most things that seem idiot-proof, the most basic of basics, two of the most rudimentary bodily functions can often turn into a runner’s nightmare. I just finished an article for Competitor providing the perfect example of this: “Got Stomach Issues? You’re Probably Dehydrated”.
What’s interesting, and as you will learn from reading the article, it’s often not FOOD wrecking havoc on your stomach and intestines during your hard or long runs. It’s the (not) DRINKING thing that’s giving you a GI nightmare! Talk about a whodathunkit moment, right?
I’ve been a runner for years and years and still, learning that dehydration is the culprit to most GI problems, both the upward and the downward, came as a bit of a surprise. But if you think about it, it really shouldn’t be; let’s look at what happens when you run:
* Muscles working: Brain and body prioritize the hard-working muscles as the top-tier function at the moment. * Body delegates: In moving the muscles to priority number one, the stomach, intestines, and anything digestive related gets bumped down. * Blood to muscles: All the major blood-flow gets shunted to the muscles, leaving the stomach and delicate intestinal tissues simultaneously deprived of blood-flow. This lapse in blood causes slight damage. Aww, poor, intestines. * Dehydration: Now water is INSANELY important to the body, it makes up darn near most of it, so NOT having enough water content in the blood stream exacerbates the damage caused to the already weakened stomach and intestines. * The Backlash: Need I say more?
Runners experience those GI disasters, up and down, because the stomach and intestines are already deprived of blood-flow while you’re running and then on top of that if there isn’t enough water content in the body to begin with, they stage a major revolt.
Bottom line: It doesn’t matter what kind of food you’ve got in your stomach or intestines, if a runner isn’t hydrated, that food can’t be digested so it’s coming out…pick a direction.
Solution: Duh, Runners, stay HYDRATED! I jest, I jest, kind of…but the reality is, many times runners underestimate just how much fluids they need. What’s more, when I say fluids that includes more than just water: also electrolytes.
The tricky thing with hydration is, once you’re dehydrated and experiencing the effects of it you’re already on a sinking ship. Kind of like it’s too late at that point; that’s why it’s IMPERATIVE you stay in a constantly hydrated state and remain that way through the duration of your hard workout or long run.
Staying hydrated during long runs, and marathon geared workouts, means taking in fluids and replenishing those stores at a steady rate. Read the article for some awesome tips from Molly Pritz and Krista Austin, Ph.D., on how to come up with a personal hydration regimen.
See, you think relying on those little “I’m thirsty” cues is enough to keep you hydrated. But the truth is, especially for runners, by the time you FEEL thirsty you are already in a state of dehydration. So go chew, err sip, on that.
1) Had you been aware dehydration could be the culprit of you GI problems?
2) Especially in the heat GI problems become more common, how do you make sure to stay even more conscious of fluid consumption when it’s hot or humid?
3) An upset stomach after a hard or long run can be common too, and traced back to dehydration. What are some of your go-to ‘safe’ foods for restoring and repairing those muscles AFTER your runs?
Hubby, Oso and I went to a great BBQ potluck on the 4th. We love the mountains and hubby’s family has been going up there for generations. So, there were a lot of new and old friends at the BBQ. Not only did we celebrate the country’s birthday, but a few actual birthdays too Anyway, during most of the party there was this girl in purple pants sitting far away from everyone on her rock. She went and got her food (oh, man was there some AMAZING food!) and went back on her rock to eat by herself. When her brother came and sat beside her, she didn’t really get mad, but she didn’t want anyone to sit with her on her rock either
This is really more of a suggestion than a recipe. As I may have mentioned, I’m not doing wheat these days (long story), and in general I’m trying to eat more veggies and fewer grains. I miss my tabbouleh, though (usually made with bulghur wheat).
As usual, the full-of-fresh-herbs dressing is the key ingredient, and it tied everything together nicely. Even got a thumbs up from the hubs. I planted a whole hedge of parsley this year and have been so, so happy to have it for salads like this. It’s really easy to grow from seed (basil, too).
For more of my recipes and cooking posts, click here. You’ll notice I seem to have a thing for chickpeas.
What about you? Made any interesting salads lately? My new herb garden is keeping me inspired.
Yesterday we had our Journey North Mystery Class wrap-up party. Huge fun all around: each family revealed its Mystery City location and we celebrated with a feast of dishes from the far-off locales. (Even the one American city in this year’s batch is far-off from us here in San Diego.) I won’t say more about the secret locations, since I know some of you are participating in your own groups and may not have had your big reveals yet. But ohhhh, was the food good.
I’ll give this much away: Beanie’s and my contribution were these Icelandic pancakes (pönnukökur).
(Beloved Carl Larsson print hiding a snarl of electrical cords.)
Here’s the recipe we followed, and here’s a delightful video demonstration by Icelandic cook Margret:
At the end of the video she demonstrates the most common ways to serve the pancakes: sprinkled with sugar (as we did above) or spread with jam and a generous dollop of whipped cream. I didn’t think the cream would hold up at a potluck, but you can be sure we’re going to give that version a go very, very soon.
*My sweet broom is in bloom, lightening my heart not only with its sunny blossoms but also the way it puts one of my favorite Scottish ballads into my head every time I glance its direction.
Tomorrow Jane, Rose, and I are off on a new adventure—a Peterson family first: open house at the university Jane plans to attend in the fall. Talk about blinking. Seems only last week this happened:
Hmmmyum... this is a great quiche for parties, and whenever I make a large batch, I make sure to cut some pieces off and throw them in the freezer. They're great for a quick dinner!
I don't have a perfect recipe for it, because I always sort of throw it all together and follow my kitchen instinct :) Put the dough on the bottom of a oven dish, spread a layer of grated cheese over it, then arrange the tomato slices next to each other, covering the layer of cheese. Chop quite some fresh basil and sprinkle it over the dish. Mix a few eggs with some pepper (you don't need salt -the cheese is salt enough!), chopped garlic and finely chopped onion and poor it over the dish. Make sure it divides well. then top it off with a nice layer of grated cheese and put this in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the cheese is goldenbrown. If you can, leave it to cool and eat it the next day - it will taste even better! (cold or warm)
On the flip side there is a difference between recovery and gluttony…haha. As with most all things in running and in life, it’s all about balance. Now, pass this runner the Pop-Tarts!
——- POST on fueling for races. POST with tips on runners eating out. POST on the importance of the 30-minute refuel window. POST on timing your fuel to best support your running performance.
Has it been a little cool where you are? It kind of went from salad weather to soup weather, then back again, and it’s thrown my cooking mojo off. At least, the weather is what I’m blaming it on. It’s time for me to get inspired again.
Do you change up your menu according to the season? I really prefer (mostly) to eat colder-type items in the warm months and vice versa. I thought I’d do a little recipe roundup, mostly salads, though I realized after thinking about it that most of my spring recipes come from one source: The Foster’s Market Cookbook. I get hungry just thinking about that book. The binding in mine is literally falling apart.
Below are links to some of my favorites from Foster’s and a few others. I’d love to hear what your favorite spring salads are, too. I need inspiration!
Jeweled Rice Salad, from the great Mollie Katzen. I’ve been making this for 10+ years. It features the strange-sounding combo of grapes and chickpeas with rice, marinated in a lemon dressing and tossed with parsley, scallions and (optional) pecans. Somehow more than the sum of its parts, and *bonus* won’t be dangerous after sitting in the sun a little while. So I take it to picnics.
Sesame Noodle Salad (pictured above) Again, fabulous dressing, this time with a nutty, citrus vibe. My take (gluten-free!) is here. Btw, does anyone know if such a thing as gluten-free soba noodles exist? I would so love some.
White Bean Salad–I do love a good marinated bean salad, and this one has sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I haven’t made it with olives yet, but I might be ready to try. I’m only a recent olives convert.
This last one I recently made with half chicken, half roasted cauliflower (it has a bunch of other veggies, too), and it was most excellent. Hmmm….I wonder about subbing in roasted cauliflower in full for a vegetarian version of these. All of these chicken salads are on the lighter side, with little or no mayo, plenty of veggies and flavor.
Falafel (from the box—it’s all I have time for) and Tabbouleh with Tahini Sauce and sometimes also Yogurt Sauce. The two sauces and tabbouleh come from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I’m practically addicted to the Tahini Sauce, which is basically tahini thinned with water and lemon juice, plus salt + pepper and cumin.
What are some of your warm weather favorites? I’m hungry!
I was craving a rice salad, but without the rice. Something that’s all about soaking up a good sauce. Roasted cauliflower has been my recent go-to sauce-soaker-upper, and I was really happy with what I came up with. Here’s the skinny:
1 head Cauliflower, finely chopped
2 or 3 handfuls Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic
Red Wine Vinegar
1 T Dijon Mustard
tiny drip of Honey (or something else if you’re vegan)
a few tablespoons or more Minced Chives
a few tablespoons or more fresh Oregano, chopped (basil or parsley would be good, too)
1 T Capers
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped Walnuts (optional)
Oil a baking sheet and throw the cauliflower on it with a couple of garlic cloves. Roast at 375F, for about 20 minutes. Halve the tomatoes and roast them for about 20-30 minutes as well. This brings out their flavor like crazy.
I’m not really a measuring kind of person when it comes to dressing (or, let’s be honest, for a lot of things). If you really want measurements, you could use a basic vinaigrette and add the extras. I think I’d add even more herbs next time. I really wanted something that was so green it would color the cauliflower, but my herb garden wasn’t quite in full swing when I made this.
Chop up the roasted garlic and whisk it together with the other dressing ingredients.
Toss the cauliflower with the dressing and tomatoes. Add walnuts. Yum. I realized later that the dressing flavors were inspired by the broccoli gribiche recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day.
What are you cooking this summer? I’m always on the lookout for interesting salads. Hope you had a great weekend and a happy Father’s Day.
I make up a serving of this simple vinaigrette almost every day for my lunchtime salad. I could make a bigger batch to keep in the fridge, but there’s something very satisfying about stirring up just enough for the day. So quick, so tasty.
To make a single serving, I slosh a tablespoon of olive oil into a bowl, letting it overflow just a little—a tablespoon and a splash, we’ll say. Then a squeeze of mustard, stir stir stir, and a scant tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Dash of salt, and we’re done. Especially good with some gorgonzola crumbles in the salad. I’m eating that now, which is what made me think of posting this. Delicious!
The kids and I have made a list of fun things to do this summer, and one of them is to make popsicles.
This was our first batch, made with this recipe, from the blog Oven Love, found through Pinterest. I love that they’re non-dairy, made with coconut milk and real orange juice. They were a hit. Next I think we’ll freeze our favorite peanut-butter-chocolate-banana smoothies. With maybe a little coconut milk. Do you have any favorite popsicle combos?
Meg of elsiemarley.com suggested that readers share short posts about fun summer activities . If you’d like to play along, leave a comment on Meg’s blog and use the words “Summer Journal” in your blog title or as a hashtag if you’re instagramming or whatnot. While you’re at it, let me know in my comments, too!
For more posts on food, including recipes, click here. I like to cook with less meat and dairy, more veggies, and I do a lot of gluten-free stuff, too.