Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Very Exciting News!
Foodista has put out a call for entries for the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook.
For the next couple months, food bloggers can submit their photography, writings, and original recipes to Foodista.com. The public can view all submissions on the website and vote for their favorites. That feedback and editors at both Andrews McMeel Publishing and Foodista.com will determine 100 entries chosen for inclusion in "The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook." More info available here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook.
I'm telling everyone I know that has a food blog! You should too!
Friday, November 20, 2009
At the same time I roasted the Kabocha, I roasted chopped onions and carrots tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper in another pan, until caramelized. After sauteing three cloves of garlic, fresh ginger, one Thai chili and two stalks of chopped celery in a large pot with olive oil and dried herbs, I added the roasted vegetables with the squash with four cups of chicken stock and simmered for another 20 minutes. Once the soup took on the characters I was looking for most, then I pureed it in a blender until smooth.
served the Kabocha squash and ginger soup with toasted multigrain bread, smeared with a French triple cream brie. The pungent cheese paired with the warm, sweet ginger spiced soup couldn’t have been more ideal for a Northwest rainy, blustery November evening. Looking for an autumn soup, or perhaps a starter to your Thanksgiving meal, try experimenting with the delicious Kabocha squash.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I sliced about two cups of the tomatoes in half and gently coated them with olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh thyme leaves. Next I spread them out on a sheet tray and put them in the oven to roast. When sweet tomatoes are slow cooked, they get even sweeter. Candy-like actually. To really slow cook them, I would have had to cook them in a 200 degree oven for two hours, but most week nights don’t allow for that kind of time. So I put these in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes and reduced the heat to 300 degrees and cooked them for another 10 minutes.
While the tomatoes were cooking, I sauteed the onions and mushrooms with olive oil, added some garlic, salt and pepper and a little more fresh thyme. Once the tomatoes were done, I added them to the mushrooms and onions. Then I seared the salmon separately, just to medium rare, with only olive oil and salt and pepper. I placed the salmon on a plate and covered it completely with the rich tomatoes, chanterelles and onions. For a second I was like, oh man, you took something so great and you wasted it by drowning it in sweet tomatoes! But you know what- it worked! Juicy-sweet layers of flavor capturing the end of summer and the beginning of fall in one dish.
** Also posted on the Foodista blog
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
*Taken from my previous posting from Foodista.com
As a passionate subscriber of Gourmet magazine for many years, and a writer for an online food encyclopedia, it’s only natural for me to have mixed emotions about the closing of a legendary print publication like Gourmet.
Just this summer, Gourmet’s circulation was still at its decade- long high peak of 978,000. So what was the real deciding factor to suddenly shelve a 68 year-old, beloved cooking magazine that for some, our great grandmother’s subscribed to? Was it because Gourmet needed to turn its focus to an online audience and balance its advertising between the two? Or is this just another example of how times are changing, for better or for worse?
I’m sure there are more than a couple reasons behind Conde Nast’s decision to stop the presses on Gourmet, but one of the main reasons for sure is that Conde Nast also publishes Bon Appetite, another cooking magazine which has a larger subscription base, and according to the L.A. Times, tends to focus on more economical recipe driven content. No one can argue that there is a growing need for cheap meals, I understand that.
But, as much as I can agree that each Gourmet magazine must have cost a fortune to produce, I don’t agree with the statements that Gourmet spoke only to an elite audience that cared solely about luxury hotels and four star restaurant reviews. Not too long ago, I was a broke culinary student ear tagging Gourmet recipe pages and circling menu ideas in bold red pen because I was so passionate about a recipe that had inspired me. For many culinary students, Gourmet was just another text on our required reading list.
Besides writing only about caviar and molecular gastronomy, those who have read Gourmet in recent years can also attest that Ruth Reichl devoted several full page articles in recent editions to the farm to table movement; including interviews of humble farmers and lengthy pieces on the importance of eating local.
New media brings with it, new advertising possibilities and to print, advertising dollars mean everything. Nostalgia aside, if someone were to ask the question “So is online media to blame for the death of print?” My answer would be “Advertising dollars say yes.” What’s more, people are consuming media in new ways, for example instead of a press release from Conde Nast being announced on the radio or learning about the end of Gourmet in a farewell issue, Gourmet’s readers are learning from a Twitter post re-tweeted from a friend that the magazine will no longer be published. So from an advertiser’s perspective, I can understand where the advertisers would want to place their ad dollars.
The ability for companies to see the click through rate on their ads, and receive measurable results on exactly how many people have viewed an add, and then discover the amount of people who purchased a product directly from their ad is something that traditional media has a hard time proving.
As much anguish as I feel about the end of a print publication that has affected millions, I am writing this on a food blog and posting it to the web.
Above Photo by Bittenword.com
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This weekend I had the epitome of a “staycation.” No plans except to sleep in, cook good food and watch the second season of Mad Men with Mark. On Sunday night we decided to open up a great bottle of syrah and slow cook a pork belly with a homemade huckleberry sauce. We had gone to the Sunday farmers market earlier in the morning and purchased a pint of foraged huckleberries from Christina Choi at Foraged and Found Edibles. The berries were plump and glistening, looking like violet caviar, simply perfect for a thick piece of pork belly.
We roasted some golden beets and Ozette potatoes we had purchased from another vendor to add to our pork belly. After searing the pork belly on all sides, I removed it from the heat and set it aside. Next I added 1/4 cup of finely chopped shallots and sauteed them over medium-high heat with a good pinch of salt and pepper. I deglazed with some balsamic vinegar and syrah wine. Next I added 1 cup of wild huckleberries, 1/2 sprig of fresh rosemary, two fresh sage leaves, a fresh oregano sprig, two garlic cloves that were smashed only slightly and a sprinkling of brown sugar.
I brought the pan to a simmer and let the sauce work it’s magic for a couple minutes. Next I added the seared pork belly back to the sauce, covered it and let it cook at 300 F for almost two hours, turning the meat half way through cooking. Once the meat was more than fork-tender, I removed the pan from the oven and onto a plate. I covered the pork in the sauce and sprinkled on another handful of the uncooked huckleberries for color and a nice tang to balance flavors.
The result was rich, juicy and over the top indulgent; absolutely perfect for a weekend all to ourselves. For the whole recipe for Pork Belly with Wild Huckleberry Sauce go here:
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Here was the rest of the menu:
Dragon Roll (sushi of unagi, cucumber, seaweed, avocado and toasted sesame seeds)
Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers
Balsamic Pork Belly Skewers with Caramelized Figs
Arugula and Sorrel Salad with Soft Boiled Duck Egg Sprinkled with Black Hawaiian Sea Salt
Shaved Pecorino Cheese, Chive Blossoms, Honey Citrus Vinaigrette
Mango sorbet with Kaffir Lime and Mint Simple Syrup topped with Borage Flowers
Marinated Grilled Flank Steak with Basil Chimchurri
Heirloom Tomatoes, herb mash
Grilled Pound Cake with Mike and Gene’s Berry Farm Sauce
Grilled stone fruit, local cream freshly whipped
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Really wish I could be blowing up this blog...but unfortunately and fortunately, I'm writing for Foodista. So for now, I'm focusing on the Foodista blog and hope to return soon to Honey Bee Sting...
Monday, July 20, 2009
I had some left over bits and pieces in the kitchen and some white rum, so Mark and I tried a new combination of flavors for a cocktail: cool cucumber, cantaloupe and fresh mint blended with ice, lime and rum. I think this little cocktail might be that much better with vodka or gin.
- 2 cups cantaloupe
- 1/2 cup English cucumber
- 1/4 cup mint
- 2 ounces rum (vodka or gin)
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
Pulse it in the blender until smooth. Then strain the juice into a martini glass and garnish with a cucumber and cantaloupe slice.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Some cool history:
Bastille Day could also be known as the restaurant tribute day- a true foodie celebration! Restaurants in simpler forms have been around for ages, but restaurants as we know them now partially exist due to the French Revolution. When the monarchy was forced out, so were their chefs, or catering guilds, which led to several chefs setting up restaurants all over Paris. The word “restaurant” comes from the French word restaurer- or to restore, referring to a place where one goes to regain health. Therefore it only makes sense that Bastille Day in Paris brings people out into the streets to visit boulangeries, cafes, bistros and street vendors to celebrate French Revolution.
If you are not storming the streets in your town searching for French restaurants, crepe stands or beignet street vendors, you can celebrate the food of France at home with the infamous banana crepes recipe.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
There are times when I have to slow down a second and realize everything that is going on. It's years like this one where I sit at the end of a marathon day with a glass of white wine and I think, whew where did it all go. They say your "Saturn return" happens right around 30 and it can be good or bad or both, whatever it is, it means a strong change. Nothing could be more true. As I walked through the Herbfarm today, I said to Mina, one of the apprentices, "this place is beautiful right now...it is July after all and I suppose this is how the farm should look." It is true. I remember walking in the snow in the hard fields helping Bill pull out parsnips and salsify, just waiting for the spring to come. Now, we work in our shirt sleeves and avoid the bees. The South 47 farm right next door to us is busy with visitors, like they told us back in March- "Just you wait until summer- your quiet oasis will be gone."
I counted 22 eggs this morning. The new buck-eye chicks that arrived in mid-June are almost big enough to move into the coop. And the baby quail...well they fly of course and some have
escaped, I believe we still have 8 left. I need to remind myself to write down the story of me chasing the quail in the lavender bushes, damn near impossible to catch them.
I've found my dream job working at Foodista, I research and write about food all day and I am surrounded by fantastic people, we may be a small group, but I am quite fond of all of them and I only see my adoration growing. There is so much more I could say about Foodista, but all in good time.
We're still living in Edmonds and still working on moving into the new house, but there is still an endless list of stuff that needs to be done. Mark is working his butt off to organize roofers, crawl space, plumbers and electricians. It's funny, since we can't control what is going on inside the house, Mark and I have spent our energy on the outside of the house. I have 10 heriloom tomatoes growing amazingly well in the same area where Ed had planted the Early girl. I've planted some borage starts, sweet Italian peppers and some pickling cucumbers. They are all responding well. Perhaps it's a foreshadow of how Mark and I will do once we move into the house.
Soon soon, I think to myself, the dust will settle.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I posted a barbecue and wine paring post on Foodista and wanted to pass it along- when it comes pairing wine with grilled and smokey foods, I turn to this list myself.
With all the wonderful sweet, smokey, rich barbecue sauces out there, it would be a shame to not pair your slow cooked ribs or juicy blue cheese burger with something as equally delicious.
There is something magical that happens when you pair the right wine with the right food. It happens when the best of both worlds collide and unique flavors are brought out of both your dish and the wine. When deciding which wine pairs best with your barbecue, here are a couple tips!
5 Tips for Pairing Wine with Your Barbecue
*Avoid high alcohol content wines when pairing with spicy sauces. The higher level of alcohol in the wine will increase the spiciness of your dish.
*High acid white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris help cut through high-fat meat and pair well with tart and tangy sauces.
* Cabernet Franc and Syrah make excellent choices for pairing deep tomato and peppery sauces and pair perfectly with grilled steak.
*Experiment with several varietals depending on what you are grilling. There are many great quality rose wines that make the perfect pairing with barbecue salmon, shrimp or chicken.
*Save your delicate pinot noirs and your mild or complex wines for another pairing. Barbecue flavors are bold, bright and smokey, asking for bright or bold wines.
If planning a party, remember variety. What may be the perfect paring to you may not work for others. So if you are asked to bring wine to the barbecue, bring a full-bodied red and a crisp white and likely you’ll have a match.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Now, maybe it’s just me, but canning is cool again. Maybe it never was un-cool, maybe I’m just realizing how fun, rewarding and delicious creating sweet raspberry jam or vinegary pickles can be. And I’m definitely not alone. Perhaps it’s the recession, perhaps it’s this jump in homemaking interests that my generation is hankering for. Whereas the microwave generation prior, often wanted more time for careers and less time in the kitchen. Making slow sauces, cupcakes from scratch, learning to garden and making pickles all by myself?! That’s waayy cool.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This last Monday night, Foodista collaborated with Michael Hebb of Onepot.org and Foraged and Found Edibles in the Caffe Vita Loft for a "Friends of Foodista" dinner. What came together in the kitchen was beyond extraordinary. If you have followed Michael Hebb lately, you'll notice that the guy is involved in a variety of projects all over Seattle and making the rules up as he goes.
As part of the evening's experiment, I showed up to the Vita loft around 11:30 am and set up my laptop at the edge of the kitchen counter right next to Chef Conor Donahue, from San Francisco who was busy slicing butter clams and began to document recipes directly into Foodista as each recipe was created in front of me.
The dinner wasn't completely thrown together by the seat of their pants- over the weekend, chef and co-founder of Foraged and Found Edibles, Christina Choi and Chef Donahue met with Hebb and decided on a menu inspired by seasonal and foraged ingredients from the area. The menu would be about the ingredients. Every recipe on Monday night's menu was either foraged wild or locally harvested. Even the butter clams for the Butter Clam Fritter Appetizer was foraged by Foodista co-founders Barnaby and Sheri over a long weekend near Hope Island.
Chef Choi showed up at the loft carrying ingredients freshly picked only 24- 48 hours prior and set to work baking off Elderberry Shortbread to go with the local strawberries with elderberry syrup that we would later eat for dessert. As I was attempting to write precise recipes into the Foodista site, I received less than standard responses to measurements, techniques and even ingredients for most of the recipes. Not to anyone's fault, it's just that chefs don't often use measurements while they are cooking, chefs cook by feel, taste, touch and smell. So when I ask for the recipe on how to make their specific court bouillon, they're recipe suggestion was to "use what you have lying around," only half joking of course. For example, while Hebb was preparing the octopus, I asked, "Okay, so what is the next step?"
“Use a sharp knife and cut head from tentacles," he said.
“And then what do you with the head?"
“Say... give it to your cat."
"Michael, can you tell me what is in the spice rub for the elk shoulder and what the amounts were?"
His response was, “Open your pantry, use a variety of spices that appeal to you. We used juniper berries, fennel seeds, chili flakes, cumin and corinander guajillo chili peppers."
Over the course of the day and into the evening I watched the three experienced chefs create stunning dishes out of simple, but high quality ingredients and all inside a fairly basic kitchen set up. The dishes were beautiful, delicious and made with respect to the ingredients. I kept thinking as each gorgeous dish was passed around the table, I’ve seen these ingredients before, I can do this at home. When you buy fresh and local, the ingredients speak for themselves and don’t require too much work on your part. Plus, you are supporting local farmers and foragers who didn’t fly your produce from half way around the world to get it to you. If you need a little inspiration for turning your farmer market seabeans or garlic scapes into a great meal, check out the recipes created by Onepot on Foodista.
butter clam fritters with wild sorrel aioli
lemon balm leaves with raw porcini salad and chive flowers.
local scallop crudo with sea beans and shiso
Octopus with fingerlings and wild onion blossoms
elk shoulder with porcini, farro, and garlic scapes
wood violet and miners lettuce salad
local strawberries with elderflower syrup and cream
farm direct vita sumatra gayo river coffee