Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bacon Pig

Cripes...I need to learn Html...theWAREHOUSE: Baconpig

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Nothing but a cute story, and possibly only to me

I found a recipe for Margarita Shrimp I remember having made years ago. I couldn't remember for the life of me where I found the recipe or the exact ingredients, and after doing a web search was pretty convinced that it was lost to me. As I continue to explore my foodie side, I'm looking thru old magazines in the hopes I can recycle those who's recipes I'll never make.

Lo and behold, I found said lost recipe in a Bon Appetit Barbeque! magazine published in 1990! Then I had to try it, just to make sure it was as great a recipe as I remembered (it is). And then I had to get a picture of the dish, cause that's fun too. As U took the first picture, I looked down and saw Ms Jo, the black pud with the sweet petite paws, looking up at me VERY intently. Had to get a pic of that too.

As soon as I was done snapping pics, I gave her a small bite...then thing I knew, her head was plate level and she had a whole piece of shrimp in her mouth. I seem to recall saying that she'd better eat the whole thing. Goodness knows how the cat can eat a whole mouse but not a piece of shrimp. Once I tore the shrimp (making that perfectly clear) into smaller pieces, it was gone.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'll make it thru the summer

One of the best things about shopping on the internet, in my opinion, is having a package waiting for you on the porch when you get home. Today's package was from Monin, and in it is the thing that's going to get me thru the hot weather this summer - blood orange syrup to make Blood Orange Italian Soda with tiny, crunchy ice cubes. (The gingerbread syrup is to make one the almost 200 recipes I have saved on GroupRecipes)

Speaking of soda...have you ever made your own? I can highly recommend the ginger ale and grape recipes. It's a bit of a process but ever-so well worth it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Tale of Two Cakes

I had no idea making your own birthday cake(s) was so frowned on by some. How else do you get exactly what you want? Especially when you have access to some really wonderful recipes and have an idea for a recipe that very few people would make until they've tried it?

May is my birthday month - I realized a few years ago that I needed more than one day to celebrate. I've gone as far as to celebrate 5 months after the date of my birth because I wasn't in the mood to do what I wanted to do in May). There has been a couple of us who have put on an annual spring potluck party for the past 7 or 8 years. I've secretly celebrated my birthday during most of them. Then I'll go out with my "birthday group" for at least one outing, usually involving dinner.

This year, as it is a celebration of my fortieth year, the annual party became my birthday party (a week after the day, as I was in Seattle celebrating with Ri Ri Glitter). And I made two out of the three cakes. And I think everyone was happy I did (I didn't hear any cries of eeeewwwwww).

The one I knew I would make would use a recipe I found on Group Recipes, a tasty Ginger, Lime, Cream Cheese Frosting (doesn't that just sound good?). I have an issue with layered cakes from an early experience, which some day I might admit, but don't think I've made a layered cake for about 30 years. I sucked it up, as I think layered cakes are much more attractive than sheet, even if they're not decorated. So I cheated and bought a couple of cake mixes (as it was going to be all about the frosting anyway).

The first was a yellow cake. I bought some Thai Candied Ginger from Pike's Market the last time I was there, and chopped 3 slices of that up and added it to the batter. So this had the trifecta of gingers - fresh, candied, and powdered.

The second mix I bought was a dark chocolate one - it was completely an impulse buy and I didn't give much thought to what kind of frosting to use until I got home. I looked around some of the recipe sites I use regularly and saw a lot of the same recipes and nothing I thought would really complement this recipe if it really turned out dark chocolatey. I thought back to a curry ice cream a good friend made a few years ago and remembered how well the spices worked with the creamy, rich sweetness. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that this was going to be a combination that was meant to be. I got excited about it. I told anyone who would listen to me about this plan.

This might be the best recipe I've come up with yet.

Curry Frosting
1 1/2 sticks salted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2 tsp curry powder (use your favorite)
4-6 Tbsp milk

Combine the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and curry, blend. Start with about 4 of the tablespoons of milk. Add more to get the consistancy you need. I needed quite a bit.

Just for the record...I am either very lucky or have part of this life figured out, because I have some of the coolest, most fascinating and best people I call friends. Actually, I think it's a bit of both.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Food Fight: My Mother's Favorite Dish

First of all, a huge thank you to Allen at Eating Out Loud for hosting this Food Fight and also for motivating me to blog again. He probably doesn’t know, but when I read about the Mother’s Day blog I started writing. The reason is simple: when I posted my entry I felt like I should have something else for visitors to read.

Those of you who know me, know that I have a somewhat complicated family. I have had the fortune (or not so much, depending on the day and my mood about it all), of being raised by two influential women. The first, the mother who gave birth to me, gave me my first view of food and did a great job I think. There are not many food items I don’t like – a few I grew to like with age, to her delight I assume, and very few I won’t eat, period. She’s the one who, in fourth grade, was a classroom mother and brought enchiladas in on the day we studied Mexico. I don’t remember her making them before that fateful class, but she made them after. I have no idea where she found that recipe, or maybe my memory is faulty…I should ask her if we ever speak again…but she was my introduction to ethnic food. I can’t think of a Mexican restaurant in my small town in Southern Illinois in the late 1970’s that we ever went to. Is a foodie quality remembering restaurants you went to as a child? It has to be. She also taught me how to grow tomatoes and how to can them.

The second mother, my step-mother, was the one who taught me to experiment; that a recipe was only a guideline. She expanded my experience in gardening and canning for a couple of seasons, introduced me to my love of pretty cookbooks, and has had quite an impact on my relationship with food (some strikes I’m still recovering from). I owe her thanks for so much more than my culinary skills and appreciations, but that will be for another post.

One of my step-mother’s traditions, which she shared with me and I have tried to keep, is her family’s traditional English Christmas dinner – Standing Rib Roast, Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas Pudding (still haven’t developed a taste for that) and, my favorite, Tomato Pudding. To this day, I still wonder how, and why, someone came up with this combination, but I sure am thankful they did. It works with meats other than beef – I don’t think I’ve tried it with pork and haven’t with the more recently popular and available animals – turkey, chicken and lamb all work pretty well with it. The story, as I remember it, is that there was a woman who lived in north western Michigan, where my step-mother grew up, who came up with this recipe. I now have to question that memory a bit after reading a post by one of my favorite food writers,
J. Scott Wilson, about a CD that was made up of all food-related songs and corresponding recipes. The no-questions-asked-I’m-going-to-buy-it moment was when I found out Jeff Daniels, of “Escanaba in da Moonlight” and “Dumb and Dumber” fame, sang a song called “Tomato Puddin'”. While the recipe is slightly different than the one I have, it’s a GREAT song. And, it’s about something I thought I was one of the very few to know about. Maybe its history is far more than I’ll ever know. Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Tomato Pudding

1 stick butter, melted
1 inch square cubed Italian or French bread, enough to fill a 9” x 9” baking dish
1 15 oz can tomato puree
1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the bread in the dish and pour the melted butter over the top. Turn the pieces to coat them completely. Heat the puree in a sauce pan, add the brown sugar – start with 1/3 cup; stir, taste and add more until it has the “right” amount of sweetness. Add salt and pepper. Pour this over the top of the bread. Spread to cover as needed. (At this point, you can set it aside until everything else is about a half an hour away from being served…the bread will soak up the liquid and that’s a good thing.) Put in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, the top should just be starting to caramelize, but not burn.

And darn the luck, I had to make a batch last night, just to make sure I remembered the recipe (it’s one of the few I don’t play with) and to get a picture (a food photographer I am not). This may not be HER favorite dish, but it’s MY favorite one of hers. And I thank her for sharing it with me.