Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day OneHundredTwentySeven::ThreeSixtyFive

Egg shells.

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Thoughts on Soup and being a Parent

10 Reasons why soup is like parenting.


1. it can bring back your own childhood memories
2. they both cause the occasional heartburn

 
3. each ingredient has its own personality 
4. and if you're not careful, stronger personalities can overcome the quieter, more subtle ones
5. the goal is to nurture the individual ingredients so that (at some point) they will work together



6. at times it's best to let the ingredients simmer until they mellow out
7. messing with it too much may result in an unintended result
8. not paying enough attention can cause things to catch on fire




9.  you soon realize which techniques work well, and which ones should simply be retired
10.  it's best when shared

 

White Bean Soup with Bacon

adapted from Back In The Day Bakery


you will need:
1 can navy beans-drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 celery stalks- diced
2 sweet onions- diced
1 parsnip- peeled and diced
4 cups chicken stock
4 strips bacon- cooked & chopped
salt & pepper to taste
parsley- chopped


Method:

Saute the celery, onions and parsnip in olive oil for a few minutes until the onions just start to brown and the whole concoction becomes fragrant.
Add 3/4 of the beans and the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Transfer to a blender (or use a hand blender) and blend until smooth. I really like a thick soup...Something I can scoop up with a hunk of crusty bread. So here I use a slotted spoon to transfer all the vegetables and then I add the liquid, leaving some on reserve.
I add in the liquid to get it to a consistency I am happy with.

Return the soup to the pot, add the remaining beans, and warm up over low heat.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with bacon and some parsley.
and a hunk of crusty bread.

and enjoy it with someone you love.
preferably someone who will offer to do the dishes without rolling their eyes.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day OneHundredTwentyOne::ThreeSixtyFive

Today I shot a Father's Day promo for my favorite, Belle Chèvre!!
This is the Greek kiss.
Grilled.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

A party in the country

Country Living Magazine came out to Tasia Malakasis's creamery: Belle Chèvre last night and that's when the party started...
While the ladies were getting dressed by Holly Ellis...

the boys quickly found their way into the barn and unearthed long lost treasures:
like this head,


 a pogo stick.

  a place to pee.
(look carefully)
a tractor
 and a perfect slingshot.
Thank you Mother Nature.

but here's where the REAL treasure was:
a beautiful lamb from White Oak Pastures
and my all time favorite Rancher: Will Harris
(no, that's not him in the photo)


prepared to perfection by the one and only David Bancroft
My apologies for not having the words to describe the experience of this roasted lamb.
It rocked! seems to fall short.
but sadly, that's the best I can do.

More beautiful food was prepared by Tasia Malakasis and the Country Living Staff: oysters, pimento chevre, boiled peanuts, figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, and a decadent goat cheese ice cream with strawberries.
Libations provided by Phil Pritchard and Back Forty Beer.Phil and Trip and their beautiful brides (boot and all) with their contagious smiles, and mischievous grins,  made for a fun fun evening.
 OH! And then there was the band:
mellow
and 
soulful.


and then the sun went down



Fortunately I had my iPhone to get these photos.
Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until next year to see the official ones taken for Country Living.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day OneHundredSeventeen::ThreeSixtyFive

tomato and radish salad.

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Back in the day: coffee cake


Last week I picked up a copy of Back in The Day Bakery  and I fell in love.
hard.
It made me want to break out my KitchenAide mixer,  reclaim the measuring spoons which have (not so) mysteriously found their way into the twins' backyard spoon garden,
and bake.


The Pecan-Chocolate-Espresso Coffee Cake was the first recipe I made.
Nostalgia quickly swooped in, and I found myself reminiscing about the coffee cake we had loved as kids: Entenmanns.


Yes, the Entenmanns coffee cake was as ubiquitous a presence in my childhood as Flav-Or-Ice.
the ridiculously colored syrup in a plastic sleeve that we would suck on so hard it would turn into a white dagger.
and then we'd try to stab each other.


or the granny square afghans my grandmother would make that seemed to multiply like rabbits. Anytime you wanted a blanket, all you had to do was reach behind the couch,
or under  a chair,
or beneath the cushion you were sitting on
and there one was
smelling faintly of olive oil and pizza dough,
ready to snuggle up with you.
(they were also an instrumental element in fort construction)


or the Sears & Roebuck catalog.
That mighty beast that rivaled the yellow pages in massiveness.
But blew it away in terms of slickness and versatility.
Those shiny pages made fantastic paper airplanes.
(also, good for strengthening and stabilizing above mentioned forts)


or the legendary green gallon jug of Ernest & Juleo's finest sitting proudly on the counter top.
dominating it's space among the basket of fruit and yesterday's junk mail.
(this too would have been used in our forts, but alas, was too heavy to relocate)


Entenmanns.
That iconic blue and white box with the plastic window top would be sitting there, nonchalantly, on top of the crusty toaster oven,  happily residing in one of the kitchen's quieter corners.
a clean butter knife placed expectantly on top.


The raspberry and cheese danish.
The chocolate covered donuts (that we would sneak into the freezer, because they were so good frozen)
and the coffee crumb cake.


Oh that crumb cake!
The topping was my favorite.
I would take that butter knife and with the skill of a seasoned surgeon, remove the crumble and shove it into my mouth before someone caught me.
and then I'd do it again.


But I don't buy it these days.
If I'm going to let them eat cake,
then I'm going to be the one to make it.
and so I did.

Pecan-Chocolate-Espresso Coffee Cake

recipe by The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook - Cheryl & Griffith Day

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
1 stick butter (room temp)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted & cooled
1 1/2 cups good quality dark chocolate- finely chopped
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (room temp)
1 egg (room temp)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F
Butter an 8x8 baking pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom.

Break out the KitchenAide monster and mix together the flour, sugars, butter and salt until it looks like a coarse meal.
or little pebbles.
or wet sand.
(basically, don't cream it to a uniform consistency. Leave it loosey goosey)

Then scoop out about a cup of this and mix it with the pecans, chocolate and espresso.
Take a little taste to make sure it's right.
(by the way, this tasting step is completely unnecessary. But it will make you happy.)
This is the crumb topping.

Finish the batter by adding the rest of the ingredients, but only mix it until it just comes together.
Pour it into the baking pan you prepared earlier.
(you did do that right? If not, go ahead and do it now. I can wait.)

Sprinkle on the crumb topping.

Bake for 40 minutes. You can test for doneness : a knife inserted in the center will come out clean.











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