- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.eVyALSMd.dpuf born and raised: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Nick and I had an amazing start to birthday week!
We went to Sea View Saturday night, had a hearty breakfast of potatoes, sausage, and a poached egg salad.

After we cleaned up, we got in the car and made our way to Mendocino.
We stopped at Glass Beach, where the weather was gorgeous, warm and sunny. While admiring the beach we discovered our camera was broken so unfortunately, we are unable to show you how magical it was. From Glass Beach, we drove to Ricochet Ridge Ranch, where Nick treated me to a ten mile beach ride. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day, and part of the ride was through the forest where we were able to snatch blackberries as we rode by.
My horse was a retired race horse who was still very competitive and didn't like it when Nick's horse tried to walk in front of him. Throughout the whole ride I had the most ridiculous grin from ear to ear. I really felt wrapped in love, it was such a beautiful day, such an amazing experience, and such a special and thoughtful birthday gift. Experiences are so much better then things.
After our ride it was time for dinner, so we got a bite in Mendocino, and headed home. We had to stop twice on our way home, once to climb onto the roof of our car to admire all the stars we can't see living in town, and once to admire the giant orange moon low on the horizon. Perfection.
Yesterday, I was gearing up for today, cleaned the house a little and making a carrot birthday cake, sorry no pictures, but it was delicious,
(the recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen):
Carrot Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger (I used fresh but you can use ground)
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend.
Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins.

Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans (I don't have any two cake pans that are the same size so I did a slightly smaller cake for the top layer). Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Cool cakes completely. And frost with cream cheese frosting.

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Beat all the ingredients until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.
I have frosting left over so I am going to fold in some whipped cream and use that to fill my birthday cream puffs!
I am feeling particularly blessed this birthday, thank you all for the love, support, and sweet wishes.
AND bear with us as we may have either very few or very crude pictures, until we figure out what is wrong with our camera, or we get a new one.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Vegetables Will Not Be Ignored

My friend Tobais and his girlfriend Janne made this wonderful little short.
Happy weekend, eat your vegetables!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hot Child on the Birthday

It had been too hot to cook.
We went to the river with some figs and some salami, and ate at the farmers market, and took a lot of naps.
Now it has cooled off and I look forward to getting back in the kitchen.

My birthday is on Tuesday, and I am officially kicking it off tomorrow, and the celebration will last until September 6th!
Tomorrow Nick and I are off to spend the night at Sea View because he is taking my horseback riding on the beach in Mendocino on Sunday, and I am making a birthday carrot cake for our after ride snack.

Expect a slew of birthday related food posts, a week long indulgence!
Until then, eat well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If You Can't Take the Heat

We have been sweetly promising our tomato plants that they would surely see some hot sunny days. We have been hoping we would have some nights in witch we could walk around jacket-less. Our dreams came true... and then some!
Our outdoor thermometer obviously doesn't quite work, but it sure felt this hot.
Olive did this most of the day.
We did too, to be quite honest.
We were invited to a barbecue for dinner, which we were grateful for because I was dying to make a peach cobbler, yet there was no way I was staying in the house after I turned the oven on.
These peaches are amazing. You just cant find ripe peaches in the stores. Sweet peaches with soft flesh that juice and drip all over your face and down your arm when you take a bite. They are so perfect, I did almost nothing to them for this simple cobbler.
Biscuit dough. Whatever your favorite recipe is, for mine I used 1 1/2 cup flour, 6 T cold butter, and 3/4 cup heavy cream as well as a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar.
Peaches were my favorite as a child, and when I have a good one now all the desire for that particular sweetness I craved as a kid comes back.
Romance your peaches, then slip off there skins. Slice.
I mixed a tablespoon or so of flour with my peach slices, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. You could add more sugar, but I felt these lovely peaches really didn't need much, and I wanted there own sweetness to shine.
Arrange peaches in a dish, I used a pie dish.
Arrange your biscuits on top. Bake at 375 for 40 minuets or so.
Until the peaches are bubbling and the biscuits are beautifully browned.
We have an abundance of squash so I decided to bring a summer squash dish too.
I simply thinly sliced some squash, thinly sliced an onion, added some fresh basil in layers. I poured 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk over the top, salt and lots of fresh black pepper and baked also at 375 for 40 minuets or so.
While you are waiting for that to bake find a cool spot, bring a large glass of ice water and relax.
When it was ready we brought our baked goodies, as well as some wild plum sorbet, and cold white wine to our neighbors house. We sat outside, ate too much, talked too loud, and very much enjoyed ourselves.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I love Sundays. They are sweet and slow, and ours started with a delicious mess of a breakfast, Blackberry Dutch Pancake.
We walked across the street for the Northern California Bike Expo and then we made our slow way to sweet peaches.
We bought a flat of soft sweet yellow peaches, and a few tomatoes.
Today it is my task to transform our peaches. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Art of the Tart

We love pizza. We eat it once every two weeks, maybe once a week. We usually decide Tuesday night to have pizza on Wednesday. Nick makes the pizza dough Tuesday, and then I go to the farmers market Wednesday morning for toppings. The only problem with having pizza for dinner, is we need a day for the dough, so it is not exactly something you can trow together day of (I suppose you can, but I wouldn't want to mess with Nick's dough for an inferior product).
We didn't make any dough Tuesday, but we were hankering for pizza so I decided to make a few savory tarts, the flaky cousin of the pizza. Tart dough is easy as pie (forgive me), and it only needs an hour to rest. This dough was two cups of flour, a stick of butter, salt, and a little water to bring it all together.
We have many happy squashes in the garden, we have been using them in every meal.
Our tomatoes are still green, but a friend left a bunch of sweet delicious grape tomatoes at the bookstore, I was eager to use. Squash, tomato, garlic, and feta on the first tart.
On the second tart I thinly sliced a potato and an onion, fresh garlic, and feta. I brushed both with a fresh egg, and decided to only turn the sides up on one, but I recommend turning up the sides.
Bake for 40 minuets...

I piled the tomato squash tart with fresh spinach before we cut into it.
Both were delicious, simple, and filling. A fine substitute for pizza night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blackberry Fingers

Sunday Nick and I went blackberry picking!
I made a tart, and several jars of blackberry sage jam.
I love blackberry season. I feel a particular kinship with the berry, as we "ripen" at the same time of year.
More berry picking, and pie and jam making to come...
I love summer.


I love the South. At least I think I love the South, I have spent very little time there, but I would like to spend a lot more. Last summer my dear friend Chelsea and I went to Tennessee for a week, we realized the sweet Southern summer on a drive to Chattanooga, and a swim in the river. Later on our way to a cabin in the beautiful Smoky Mountains we stopped at a farmers market for green tomatoes, honey, and Amish butter for frying.
Chelsea and I had made fried green tomatoes before, we made it up as we went along, they were wonderful, and we were looking forward to making them again, in the South, like Jessica Tandy. Traditionally, to make fried green tomatoes you are supposed to bread your tomatoes with cornmeal, which we did, however apparently we used the wrong kind of cornmeal, because we were nearly breaking our teeth with each bite. Our tomatoes were awful, but we were enjoying them on the porch with thousands of fireflies, so it wasn't that bad.
I always fantasize about the South in the summer, maybe because I've only been to the South in the summer, and because that is the way I romanticize it.
I made fried green tomatoes this weekend, my way, and they were amazing.
I was thinking a lot about the movie Fried Green Tomatoes so I really wanted to incorporate honey into the dinner. I decided I would caramelize some onions in honey. We always get honey from Hector the Honey Man (and we go through it very fast), although someday I hope to be a bee charmer myself.

I made mashed potatoes with truffle butter, to accompany the caramelized onions. I use truffle butter on everything, but I really love the flavors of honey and truffle together.

Rather than cornmeal, I used bread crumbs. I sliced the tomatoes, salt them, coat in flour, then an egg/milk mixture, and then breadcrumbs.
Fry until golden.
I've only had corn a few times this summer, and nothing makes a meal seem like a summertime meal, like sweet corn on the cob.
I threw some broccoli rabe on to the plate as well, because I have a guilty conscience if I serve a dinner without any green on the plate.
Success! Dinner was amazing, although it tasted decidedly Northern California rather than Whistle Stop, Alabama, and that's OK. After dinner we got cozy and watched Fried Green Tomatoes.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Three Long Days

After I jarred up all the applesauce (our freezer contains nothing but ice cream and jars of applesauce) I decided to make some ice box pickles. It seems the only reason we grow cucumbers is to pickle them, and we had just run out.
I like dill pickles, and I add some garlic, because I add garlic to just about everthing. Simple is better for these guys. Stuff everything into a jar, top with vinegar, and put it in the refrigerator. The hardest part is trying to leave it alone for a few days. It seems every time I open the door, for whatever reason, the beautiful jar is glowing, begging me to open it.
Today is the day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Forbidden Fruit

It is beginning to look like apple season at my dad's house, and I lovingly accepted a large paper bag overflowing last week.
Apples are such simple and delightful fruits. There are over 7,500 varieties know, unfortunately we usually see about 12 at the farmers market, and maybe only four or five at a supermarket. I would love to try an Arkansas Black, with dark red nearly black skin and yellow flesh. Or a Pink Pearl with light green skin and bright pink flesh, what an amazing looking applesauce that would make.
I had so many apples I decided to make applesauce, and one apple crisp, I couldn't resist.

I had never even heard of a food mill until a few years ago, and it is one of my favorite kitchen contraptions. I cut my apples in fours and cook them until soft, scoop them into the food mill, twist, and voila, applesauce. You don't need to core!
I like to add a little cinnamon to my sauce, and I made so much that I added some maple syrup to some, some vanilla to others, and strawberries to more still.
Nick mentioned pork chops might be in our near future.

For the apple crisp I rarely stray far from the tried and true Gunheim recipe.

Although, I may have grated some very sharp cheddar on to the crisp before I put it in the oven.

Unfortunately there was not an after picture, as we ate it all.

Dreaming of pork chops and applesauce.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Screaming Ice Cream

As I mentioned in the last post- we were asked to make food for an event, which took place last night. I made two kinds of ice cream, lemon and apricot pistachio, as well as two sorbets, plum and chocolate coconut. The ice cream was amazing, the venue unfortunately was not.

The show was primarily made up of high schoolers and early twenty-somethings, young folks who spent their money on the cover and had some left over to buy cheap beer or cigarettes (god bless 'em, we were there once too). We are looking for folks who would gladly shell out to watch their friends’ band play with some money left over for a locally sourced, handmade snack.

We are torn between doing every gig we are asked to be at in order to have a presence, or only do gigs we want to do, where we will be received by our target audience.

Nick and I decided at this point we simply can’t afford to work every gig. We certainly don’t expect to make money on our little ventures, but we would like to break even, and most importantly be well received.
On that note, the friends who did buy scoops were very pleased and impressed, which I suppose means our night was a success.

Until next time!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I guess we are not off to a very good start, as we have not posted in a week.
Trust me we have been eating, cooking and gardening... only the latter two have fallen to me for now as Nick broke his right collar bone so he cannot contribute the way he normally does, in face he cant do much without hurting and typing left handed takes forever...
I just have not been able to keep up on my own, especially right now because I am getting ready for a show where we will be selling scoops of my homemade ice cream.
Nick and I have made and sold Banh Mi sandwiches for a few local events now and we were very successful . We have always sold out, and people seem to really love them! After our last event (a local craft fair) we were asked to make food for an upcoming art and music show. We decided to make ice cream because the show was after dinner time.
Nick's broken bone is not slowing us down, just making us work a little longer and harder (we only have three arms after all).
I am making two ice creams, lemon and apricot pistachio, and two sorbets, plum and chocolate coconut.
I promise next week there will be many posts! Stay tuned.