Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Dorothy's Wild Huckleberry Jam-Filled Muffin Mix, from Boise, Idaho, is a fabulous idea. Dorothy's has made muffin-making easy, scrumptious, and quick. And she did it by filling it with jam. Grandma Irma and My Little Daddy sent me a stocking full of goodies, (including Rosetta Stone Espanol Levels 1 through 5, how do you say "jam" in Spanish?) and the muffin mix was inside. Yippee!
Making huckleberry jam is on my agenda for next Summer when they are in season. Huckleberries grow all over Idaho, and it is the Official State Fruit. Yes, my friends, it is. What is a huckleberry? A wild blueberry. That's it. But...the huckleberries in Idaho are very special. They are sweeter and smaller than your average blueberry, and they have never been successfully commercially grown. They rely on snowcover to protect their growth cycle, and grow as high as 11,000 feet. Sadly, when hopeful, greedy horticulturalists try to transplant the bushes, they die. Every time. It's just another way of Idaho saying, "Come, visit, fall in love...and then kindly leave. Please."
If you'd like to try Dorothy's Wild Huckleberry Jam-Filled Muffin Mix, click here to buy: http://www.idahotaters.com/index.php?main_page=products_all&disp_order=2&page=6 They also have a website, but I didn't find the Muffin Mix on their actual website. You can probably google it and find it no problem. And...you can probably try this yourself with your flavor of choice, right? I'm going to. xo, AB
|I still drink large glasses of milk with breakfast. Sometimes at restaurants. I actually got asked once, "What *are* you, 12?"|
|BTW, it doesn't say on the packaging, but the 12 oz. bag only makes 6 muffins. 6 perfect muffins.|
Monday, December 19, 2011
It's official. The Jalapeno-Onion Relish is really an awesome thing. This hot dog was amazing, and I invented it! :)
Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Sausage with Jalapeno-Onion Relish
Cheese-stuffed turkey sausage
1 TBSP Olive Oil
Use 2 strips of bacon and wrap around hot dog. Cut open sandwich bun lengthwise like a hot dog bun. Heat olive oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat. Place hot dogs in the pan, cook slowly, rotating about every 2 minutes for approximately 15 minutes. Place dogs in the bun, spread relish over it with mustard. Very easy...and I'm not claiming this to be healthy but at least they are turkey sausages and you know exactly what's in the relish! xo, AB
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon."
I've been wanting to make my own quince jelly for awhile now. I've seen recipes on other blogs and websites, and more often now while they are in season -it cooks up beautifully in taste and color. I have seen quince jelly at farmers markets and specialty grocery stores, and there are several recipes in Mes Confitures that I thought I might try. To look at, quince (a quince? Quinces? Quincees? ;) ) looks like a cross between a lemon and a pear and is about the size of a pomegranate. They are bright yellow on the outside, but inside the flesh color is similar to that of a pear.
Go to this web link for the recipe I adapted. I used 2 pounds of quince (3 quince, cored) and 1 pound of Red Bartlett pears (4 pears, stemmed, cored)...yummy! xo, AB
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Spend a day in the Bay Area, and you can't walk one block without finding inspiration for your own foodie adventures. I spent this past Sunday with my brother J and SIL C in Berkeley and Oakland. I've never had a bad meal at a restaurant here, and I'm here often. Of course, J & C probably filter the bad ones for me, but I'd like to believe that I could blindly walk into any hole in the Bay area and potentially be blown away by the food. Brunch at Restaurante Dona Tomas was lovely, authentic regional Mexican food that I loved. And though it may seem oxymoronic, I am a Mexican food snob so I am not easily impressed by your average burrito. I had the Carnitas Hash...I looooove pork in all of its iterations, so this great carnitas made me very happy. You should go there and eat some. Other fun places are Gather (seasonal, local, gourmet - it may be my favorite restaurant I've ever been to--order the vegan charcuterie, another oxymoron but just get it, you will not be disappointed), Jupiter (craft beer and gourmet pizzas are the highlights), and Chez Panisse (*of course*), all in Berkeley. Also...a grocery store like no other you've ever seen unless you've been there is Berkeley Bowl. If we had something like this in Hermosa Beach, I would never have to go to a Whole Foods ever again. Berkeley Bowl blows WF away!! I wish Southern California had options for good, healthy food like the Bay area is so lucky to have. It's way too hipster of a term to call myself a foodie (because I'm neither hipster nor a foodie, of course - this can be deadpan or sarcastic, whicher you choose), but the East Bay is a foodie's play land that some San Fran residents may be too cool for school to admit.
But...today my goal was to check out the Temescal Farmers Market in Oakland....
A jaunt through the small but lively Temescal Farmers Market was a source of inspiration for me. I loved seeing these canned heirloom tomatoes because next Summer I plan on jarring LOTS of tomatoes and I had the idea of trying heirlooms and also other varieties - yellow, green, tomatillos, and I haven't seen anyone else do it before. Well, Happy Girl Kitchen Co has done it and although I didn't buy any (kinda kicking myself now), I think they look delicious and I'm definitely going to do this on my own when tomatoes are in season next year!
Also, I acquired some quince recently that I will be making into jam or jelly - haven't decided which yet - and Happy Girl had some quince jelly that looks amazing as well:
This is not supposed to be an ad for Happy Girl Kitchen Co, in fact, I had only just heard about them through a google search and coincidentally saw their booth at the farmers market. I'm just talking about inspiration here, people. And it appears they put out beautiful and tasty products. I'll have to order some online and see for myself.
Another interesting item I had never heard of: Buddha's Fingers! So cool to look at, but not so cool as something I would deem as useful unless you want to spend $18 on lemon zest and pith. Seems kinda silly to me, but novel and fun nonetheless. This is my brother making an offering to Buddha....
Another small company that specializes in artisan jams and jellies that sells their wares at Temescal is Blue Chair Fruit, and they are located in Oakland. I've read about them and know that their book is pretty popular, but again I'd never sampled their offerings until today. We had a little taste of the Blood Orange - Chestnut Honey Marmalade and Bourbon Lemon Marmalade...it was delicious. I didn't buy because I live in Los Angeles and thought it would be better to order some online for delivery rather than attempt to travel with a jar. I am all about carrying on - checking is for high-maintenance women - and at $12 per jar I don't want to chance a mess! I loved the creativity of Blue Chair Fruit's flavors, very inspirational.
|This picture is from bluechairfruit.com, it's not mine.|
If you live in the East Bay, definitely check out this small but fun market. There are yummy food vendors and plenty of variety ~ we also saw potatoes, about 15 varieties of squash, onions, and one booth even had some tomatoes for roasting. Temescal Farmers Market is open on Sundays from 9 am - 1 pm and is located at 5300 Claremont Ave in Oakland, CA (the DMV parking lot). xo, AB
Ha, get it?
After a day of gastric gorging in the East Bay, burn it off in the best yoga class in Berkeley - Yoga to the People taught by Catherine! http://yogatothepeople.com/berkeley/ - A fantastic, donation-based, non-judgemental yoga experience. xo, AB
Friday, December 9, 2011
With the help of my friend Mandy, we invented a new cocktail using the leftover juice from the pickled cranberries I made for Thanksgiving. This delightful little concoction is perfect for the holidays, I highly recommend it! Recipe is below. If you'd like a non-alcoholic version, just use 7-UP or sparkling water and don't add rum - it's really yummy!
Cranberry Holiday Cocktail
For one drink:
2 oz. leftover cranberry juice from pickled cranberries recipe
2 oz. spiced rum
2 oz. 7-UP
1 oz. or splash of freshly-squeezed lime juice
Stir with ice in a tumbler (if you shake with the 7-UP, it squirts everywhere, ha!)
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Pickled Pepper-Onion Relish. I more or less followed it, except I changed the peppers based off of what I had at home. I still used 6 cups of finely-choped peppers, but I had 1 yellow bell pepper and a bunch of jalapenos, which miraculously chopped up to be exactly 6 cups.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
I came across this recipe on simplyrecipes.com and I just had to make it. Grandma Irma always had a jar of escabeche in our fridge; she would eat the veggies straight out of the jar, or put it in a tortilla with refried beans. I never quite paid attention to it myself, but I should have. This recipe turned out great, and since one jar didn't seal in the water bath, I already opened it and sampled. It's delicious! You can see I used White Pearl Onions, and I went against the recipe and I did peel the garlic. This decision was purely for aesthetics, but after reading the comments under the recipe, I'll make the next batch without peeling. Any creative suggestions on how to eat escabeche? xo, AB