20 Jun 2010

Food Sunday: A Cookie Is Never Just a Cookie

Is it? With a tall glass of cool milk, it’s a comforting end to a long day. It’s the sweetness you crave at 3:00 in the afternoon, when it seems like an eternity since lunch. And if you’re a baker, it’s the perfect thing to help you satisfy your need to bake something without getting out too many pots and pans, or making a trip to the store.

Some people like them chewy, others crispy, some with nuts, some without. Or what about the addition of oats, shaved chocolate, dried cherries, or cocoa nibs? Some people don’t give a gosh darn – they just want a hit of sugar, and don’t mind how it’s delivered. I like to say that I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like, but like most people, I do have my ‘druthers’.

0
20 Jun 2010

Food Sunday: A Cookie Is Never Just a Cookie

Is it? With a tall glass of cool milk, it’s a comforting end to a long day. It’s the sweetness you crave at 3:00 in the afternoon, when it seems like an eternity since lunch. And if you’re a baker, it’s the perfect thing to help you satisfy your need to bake something without getting out too many pots and pans, or making a trip to the store.

Some people like them chewy, others crispy, some with nuts, some without. Or what about the addition of oats, shaved chocolate, dried cherries, or cocoa nibs? Some people don’t give a gosh darn – they just want a hit of sugar, and don’t mind how it’s delivered. I like to say that I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like, but like most people, I do have my ‘druthers’.

0
30 May 2010

Food Sunday: When the Garden Runneth Over

I never had any experience with gardening until Dustin and I planted our first garden together two years ago. I was woefully uneducated in the art of growing anything, and Dustin chuckled to himself when I came home with 8 tomato plants, 8 cucumber plants, and 8 zucchini plants, which I planted in a row, all about 4 inches apart from each other. How was I supposed to know that plants get big…I mean really big? So, I learned my lesson that first year, when our little raised garden looked like a miniature jungle. And yet despite my folly, we had a big and bountiful harvest, and our gardening endeavors and aspirations have grown each year since then. I will never go another year in my life without planting a garden, for there is nothing better in the summer than walking into your backyard, and returning to the house with an armload of what will become your dinner.

I knew we were going to be bombarded with more zucchini than we could handle, so I started planning early which recipes I most wanted to try once the harvest was upon us. I made a handful of dishes, both sweet and savory during the past month, all starring zucchini. Our favorite savory dish was the Pappardelle with Zucchini and Mint Parsley Pesto, from Food and Wine. With long strips of zucchini, chewy pappardelle, and the bright taste of the pesto, full of the clean and refreshing flavors of mint and parsley, this dish was simple and satisfying, and wonderful alongside a nice cold glass of white wine.

And our favorite sweet dish? Zucchini and Ginger Cupcakes from Gourmet last month. The recipe was just different enough, that I couldn’t resist trying it. Most zucchini and loaf cakes, for that matter, contain somewhat shocking amounts of sugar and oil, so when I read that this recipe used olive oil, and honey for the sweetener, I was intrigued. I knew the honey would contribute an incredible amount of moisture, which it did, and the olive oil was indiscernable as a flavor, but I loved using it instead of corn or canola oil. The cakes are delicate, and just lightly sweet, which was a welcome contrast to the absolutely delicious cream cheese frosting. The frosting was made of mostly cream cheese, with a few tablespoons of butter, and a relatively small amount of powdered sugar. I loved the addition of cinnamon and ground ginger, which gave the frosting a speckled and golden appearance, and added an interesting and somewhat sophisticated note to the cupcake.

0
30 May 2010

Food Sunday: When the Garden Runneth Over

I never had any experience with gardening until Dustin and I planted our first garden together two years ago. I was woefully uneducated in the art of growing anything, and Dustin chuckled to himself when I came home with 8 tomato plants, 8 cucumber plants, and 8 zucchini plants, which I planted in a row, all about 4 inches apart from each other. How was I supposed to know that plants get big…I mean really big? So, I learned my lesson that first year, when our little raised garden looked like a miniature jungle. And yet despite my folly, we had a big and bountiful harvest, and our gardening endeavors and aspirations have grown each year since then. I will never go another year in my life without planting a garden, for there is nothing better in the summer than walking into your backyard, and returning to the house with an armload of what will become your dinner.

I knew we were going to be bombarded with more zucchini than we could handle, so I started planning early which recipes I most wanted to try once the harvest was upon us. I made a handful of dishes, both sweet and savory during the past month, all starring zucchini. Our favorite savory dish was the Pappardelle with Zucchini and Mint Parsley Pesto, from Food and Wine. With long strips of zucchini, chewy pappardelle, and the bright taste of the pesto, full of the clean and refreshing flavors of mint and parsley, this dish was simple and satisfying, and wonderful alongside a nice cold glass of white wine.

And our favorite sweet dish? Zucchini and Ginger Cupcakes from Gourmet last month. The recipe was just different enough, that I couldn’t resist trying it. Most zucchini and loaf cakes, for that matter, contain somewhat shocking amounts of sugar and oil, so when I read that this recipe used olive oil, and honey for the sweetener, I was intrigued. I knew the honey would contribute an incredible amount of moisture, which it did, and the olive oil was indiscernable as a flavor, but I loved using it instead of corn or canola oil. The cakes are delicate, and just lightly sweet, which was a welcome contrast to the absolutely delicious cream cheese frosting. The frosting was made of mostly cream cheese, with a few tablespoons of butter, and a relatively small amount of powdered sugar. I loved the addition of cinnamon and ground ginger, which gave the frosting a speckled and golden appearance, and added an interesting and somewhat sophisticated note to the cupcake.

0
23 May 2010

Food Sunday: Watermelon Red Onion Relish

I’ve noticed recently how often watermelon appears, somewhat surprisingly, in a diverse and enticing range of recipes, such as a salad with feta and mint, a gazpacho-style soup, curried crab and watermelon salad, or even a parfait with watermelon and mascarpone. In the past, I remained curiously ambivilant each time

1
23 May 2010

Food Sunday: Watermelon Red Onion Relish

I’ve noticed recently how often watermelon appears, somewhat surprisingly, in a diverse and enticing range of recipes, such as a salad with feta and mint, a gazpacho-style soup, curried crab and watermelon salad, or even a parfait with watermelon and mascarpone. In the past, I remained curiously ambivilant each time

1
16 May 2010

Food Sunday: Chop, Chop

I’ve made a recent resolution to fill my life with salads – new salads, full of ingredients I don’t often eat, like beets, endive, or radicchio – topped with different cheeses, and exciting new dressings. So far, this resolution has been easier to keep than most – spring and summer just beg for quick meals that leave you feeling light and refreshed. I’ve been on a goat cheese bender recently too, so most of my salads end up with a good bit of creamy cheese sprinkled over the top, which makes any salad worth eating.

0
16 May 2010

Food Sunday: Chop, Chop

I’ve made a recent resolution to fill my life with salads – new salads, full of ingredients I don’t often eat, like beets, endive, or radicchio – topped with different cheeses, and exciting new dressings. So far, this resolution has been easier to keep than most – spring and summer just beg for quick meals that leave you feeling light and refreshed. I’ve been on a goat cheese bender recently too, so most of my salads end up with a good bit of creamy cheese sprinkled over the top, which makes any salad worth eating.

0
02 May 2010

Food Sunday: Ghost of Freshman Past

When I was a freshman in college, I subsisted solely upon Grape-Nuts, Veggie Burgers, Grilled Cheese and Tater Tots. Oh, what a happy day Grilled Cheese Day was! I had friends that would eat 5 or 6 at a time! Occasionally, the cafeteria gods would smile upon us suffering underclassmen, and they would proclaim that we should be served something different….something healthy, but tasty….and they would serve us Stuffed Peppers. In Kittridge Hall, they would stuff green peppers with couscous and vegetables…they were a little boring, so I’d always top them with whatever soup or pasta sauce was offered that day. Dorm room living wasn’t glamorous, but it sure was easy, wasn’t it?

I would hardly say that stuffed peppers were ever a favorite of mine, but in the dredges of a freshman diet, they create an excitement that is surpassed only by a meal eaten OUTSIDE the dorms. This is no shining introduction to our recent dinner of Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Collards and Scallion Pilaf, but it is the truth. Stuffed Peppers have a pretty homely reputation, and it is for good reason. Vegetarian versions still carry with them that 70’s veggie vibe that scares most people away from “vegetarian” eating. BUT, if something is good, and it happens to be meat free, then most people will gladly forget their carnivorous ways.

0
02 May 2010

Food Sunday: Ghost of Freshman Past

When I was a freshman in college, I subsisted solely upon Grape-Nuts, Veggie Burgers, Grilled Cheese and Tater Tots. Oh, what a happy day Grilled Cheese Day was! I had friends that would eat 5 or 6 at a time! Occasionally, the cafeteria gods would smile upon us suffering underclassmen, and they would proclaim that we should be served something different….something healthy, but tasty….and they would serve us Stuffed Peppers. In Kittridge Hall, they would stuff green peppers with couscous and vegetables…they were a little boring, so I’d always top them with whatever soup or pasta sauce was offered that day. Dorm room living wasn’t glamorous, but it sure was easy, wasn’t it?

I would hardly say that stuffed peppers were ever a favorite of mine, but in the dredges of a freshman diet, they create an excitement that is surpassed only by a meal eaten OUTSIDE the dorms. This is no shining introduction to our recent dinner of Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Collards and Scallion Pilaf, but it is the truth. Stuffed Peppers have a pretty homely reputation, and it is for good reason. Vegetarian versions still carry with them that 70’s veggie vibe that scares most people away from “vegetarian” eating. BUT, if something is good, and it happens to be meat free, then most people will gladly forget their carnivorous ways.

0