Friday, May 27, 2011

cardamom rice pilaf - French Fridays w/ Dorie

As often happens with recipes from Around my French Table, this dish will become part of my everyday repertoire. It was easy to make and tasted great. I love basmati rice, but never dress it up. This rice really was good enough to stand on its own. I had picked up lovely wintered over carrots and beets at Langwater the other day and looked in the book to find another recipe I've made before - butter glazed spiced carrots, which used the same ingredients as the rice, so cooking them at the same time was quite simple.

The beets were originally going to be "honey lime beet salad", but turned into "honey lemon dijon beet salad" after I found out I didn't have any limes. Didn't matter, it was still very yummy. The beets and carrots were very sweet and flavorful. As suggested by Dorie, I put the beets over some of the arugula from our CSA order.

Very nice, light, meal to start the holiday weekend. I loved all the flavors together, as did Alan. Shara was in quite a mood, but first impression was a thumbs up for the rice and beets, down for the carrots. 


Last night we finished the first bag of arugula. I made pizza dough in the morning and by the time it got shaped and topped, it was so late we didn't eat until 7:30 PM! However, it was really good. I made one with tomato sauce, prosciutto and cheese, and one with sliced tomatoes, prosciutto and a little mozzarella. As it was cooking I reduced some balsamic and mixed it with the arugula. Then that and shaved parmigiano reggiano topped the hot pizza. Even Shara liked it, but she wasn't in the mood for it so she had peanut butter and superfruit, but didn't eat the crusts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First CSA pickup

We got our first CSA pickup today from Langwater Farms ( For the time of year and the weather, it was a pretty good assortment. I was worried about the amount of arugula we were scheduled to get, but it was fine.

This was our first weeks selection:
Arugula, 2 bags - not bitter at all.
Mesclun, 1 bag - what an amazing variety and everything was so fresh and yummy.
Lettuce, took a head of the red leaf, which will become part of tomorrows lunch.
Radishes, 1 bunch and they are so mild and crunchy. From not liking radishes at all to looking forward to having them again
Herbs, took 2 seedlings, thyme and sage. Hopefully I won't kill them.
I also couldn't resist some carrots and a humongous beet!

So I made salad for dinner, which was very much like the last salad I made for FFWD. I even had some of the very same bacon left. I took some leftover hollandaise, warmed it a bit, added more lemon to thin, and tossed the arugula, mesclun, radishes, and leaf lettuce.
Shara had an egg sandwich with pie filling. No, not fruit from langwater, but strawberry and rhubarb from the farmers outlet.

No, we didn't eat it all, but I'm certainly not overwhelmed with the amount. If it starts getting to be too much with the greens, just have to saute them and they'll shrink down.
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Better with Bacon

Made the asparagus we got yesterday at the farmers market and good thing I peeled it because as our was, it was quite sandy. Tasite was great though. As was the hollandaise and salmon and pea shoots. And of course bacon crumbled over all!
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

First farmers market today

Today was the first local farmers market and guess what I came home with? More asparagus, but local, organic! I also picked up some pea shoots, baby bok choy, and a couple of beautiful tomato plants. I hope they stay beautiful. My garden is so hit or miss, it's & good thing i decided to get a CSA share this year.
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Friday, May 20, 2011

bacon, egg & asparagus salad - French Fridays w/ Dorie

I love eggs, and bacon, and salads that taste better when you get little bites of everything together! My quest for local asparagus has yet to be fulfilled, but I got some really nice, big fresh stalks at the local market. Nicer than I've seen all season, and just in time for this weeks assignment. I asked my husband to look up what the dish was for this week and he kept saying, "bacon, egg & steak salad" wishful thinking, but he liked it, though he could, "do without the asparagus". I even peeled them and didn't over-cook them. I actually liked it much better room temperature than warm. Lately I've also been loving the taste of runny egg yolks and lettuce - last year I started making over easy egg sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, bacon & mayonnaise on homemade toast. So good! This was a hint of that, but a salad makes a nice light dinner. I think Dorie's suggestion of saying the little prayer of, "please don't let my eggs break" as they're going into the water is a good one, but with my sister's wonderful chicken eggs, I didn't need any extra help! If I only had her bacon, it would have been perfect, but without, it was still a nice meal. My daughter had a deconstructed version, tried and hated the asparagus, loved the bacon, had a little of the lettuce, and ate two eggs.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spinach Pasta

    Sunday is a great day to make pasta. Saturday we stopped at Langwater Farm and picked up some fresh, organic vegetables, spinach being one. It was hard to decide how to prepare it, but I think this was a good decision!

I then had to figure out the sauce, and had a few pieces of cooked bacon left over from last week's quiche and had just gotten other vegetables from the market, so sauteed the vegetables, lots of garlic, and a tomato. Added some half & half, lemon zest and the bacon and voila, wonderful pasta!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Spinach & Bacon Quiche - french friday w/ Dorie

I love that this quiche only had a sprinkle of parm on the top, rather than filled with shredded cheese. I used a frozen pie shell from Whole Foods and my daughter actually said that was her favorite part, though she did like the filling too. If I make anything with bacon in my house, it's a hit!

This is a rare time that I didn't do that much tweaking. No surprise, but I used 1/2 and 1/2 instead of cream, and I had a huge container of Olivia's Organics spring greens I wanted to use up. I had no idea what it would be like, with such a mix of flavors, but it was great. The bacon was a strong flavor, but I could still taste the greens and parm cheese. And yes, the crust was truly excellent! It turned out to be a great meal for a weeknight.
[Photos taken by my almost 7 year old daughter!]

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Follow-up, tourteau du cheve

Wow, no one could taste the goat cheese in the torte at all. I took the advice of others and drizzled with honey. This was grapefruit honey and was just perfect. It gave the torte the right amount of tart and sweet. The tart pastry crust stayed crispy too. Everyone was quite impressed and couldn't believe how easy it was to make. There were lots of desserts for so few of us, and I had to take forkfulls and feed people. They were all glad I did. Even my sister, who doesn't normally eat white sugar made an exception and now wants to make it herself
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Saturday, May 07, 2011

tourteau de chevre - french friday w/ Dorie

I made this but won't be eating it until tomorrow. What an easy recipe. I do hope it tastes good. It smells fantastic and I think some of that has to do with a special Mexican vanilla extract my father sent to me. Making this was very easy. I had originally thought I'd make the sweet pastry dough, but after reading the ingredients for the tart dough and the sweet dough, I decided on the tart because I didn't think we needed more sugar and butter and it was easier not having to deal with an egg white leftover. I also only had an 8 oz. log of cheese and a 10" springform, but all went well and looks great! I used cheese from Vermont Creamery.

I'll let you all know how it tastes after we eat it tomorrow at my sister's for mother's day! While I'm reading the other posts I've decided to bring along the grapefruit honey I picked up at a farmer's market in CA last month. I have a feeling it will be a wonderful compliment. This was so easy to make, if it tastes wonderful and I decide to make it again, I think I'll use the honey in place of the sugar in the recipe, as many others have done. Great idea.

dough in the 10" pan

finished torte

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Friendship Cake

First cake. Have a couple portions of starter set aside and started feeding new batch. Since this is a test, thought I better take a picture now. May have shara be my tester tomorrow.
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Bloggers Bake for Hope: Pineapple Friendship Cake & Starter - 1 loaf, star...

Bloggers Bake for Hope: Pineapple Friendship Cake & Starter - 1 loaf, star...: "Become a part of an Amish tradition. You'll receive a pineapple cake with a side of cream cheese frosting and your own friendship starter to..."

Update - the starter really smells good! Come and place a bid.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Homemade marshmallow cream

Not sure if I like it or not. Has a strange smell and I wonder if it's just me. Also think the vanilla I have is not the best, though t's fresh and natural. Need a second opinion. Recipe was from
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