Monday, July 20, 2009

Cantaloupe Cocktails

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.

Cantaloupe Cocktail on Foodista

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Infamous Banana Crepes, Just in Time for Bastille Day

I took an after-school French class in 5th grade where we learned basic French words and learned about French culture, perhaps it was my foodie mind working at a young age, but now one of the only things I can remember from that class is my French teacher throwing a plush brie and a plush sausage link around the room asking us to throw it back shouting “La saucisse!” “Le fromage!” Not just because I am food-obsessed, but as today is Bastille Day I figured it would be appropriate to celebrate the food of France with my favorite French-inspired recipe, Banana Crepes. My mother made us these banana crepes one morning for breakfast and they were so memorable that we had to have them more and more. I took the recipe with me to college and made them for my college friends. To this day, on special occasions I still make it for them when were together.

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.

Bon Appetit!

Banana Crepes on Foodista

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Taking a moment

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 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

Barbecue and Wine Pairing!

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

Canning is Cool

When my mom used to make homemade strawberry jam and give it to people- you’d swear they had just been given a jar of diamonds; “Oh this is wonderful!” “Thank you so much! I can’t wait!” When I was younger, I never really got it, it’s just jam. It wasn’t some fun toy or a trip to the park; these people were being given homemade jam, Yawn. Now that I am older the thought of someone giving me homemade jam, banana bread, pickles or slow-cooked peach sauce is a true gift. Not only do these delicious edible gifts taste better when they are homemade, someone spent time making me something from scratch and time in my eyes may just be the most valuable gift anyone can give.

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.

Fresh Strawberry Jam on Foodista