Tuesday, November 29, 2011

almost time

Wonder where I've been this week? I'm working on blog posts, just not here. For the last several months a new website has been in the works and finger crossed, it's going to launch later this week. Yay! So check back in soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

feeling thankful

My mom always insisted that we go around the dinner table at Thanksgiving and share a thought or two of gratitude. As a kid, I felt embarrassed  and didn't know what to say except that I was thankful for my family and for the beautiful table full of food in front of us. It seemed too obvious, almost a cop out. Most years in my adult life have not put me in this public position of expressing thanks, but I do always find myself taking a minute or two to think about how I have been blessed in my life. This year has been one full of big changes and I cannot express enough how much the support around me (especially from my wife) has helped ease me into new things and given me courage to go out on a limb. Thank you dear readers for another year of sharing with me!
And now, a special recipe I will share with you. Cranberry Ginger Cocktails for all!
First you will need to make a cranberry puree. In a medium sauce pan, combine 1 bag of cranberries, 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you want to make it extra tasty, grate in a heaping tablespoon of fresh ginger. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes as the cranberries pop. Turn off the heat, and cool for at least a few minutes, or until cool. Pour the cranberry mixture through a sieve and push through all the pulp with a spoon. Discard skins. (This makes amazing granita by the way.)

In a shaker, combine:
3 oz either gin or vodka (I prefer gin)
1/4 c fresh tangerine juice
1/4 cranberry puree
juice from 1 lime
Shake well. Pour into 2 martini glasses and top off with ginger beer-the spicier version the better

Monday, November 21, 2011

renegade is coming

I'm starting realize that every spare minute I have should be used to make products for the Renegade Craft Fair. It is the largest fair of its kind in the area and always a success for me and The Heated. This year I'm keeping it simple, selling bow ties, neckties pocket squares and scraps. The Heated has a few new designs to check out. Come and see us!
Dec 17th and 18th at Fort Mason. 11-7. We're booth #162

Sunday, November 6, 2011

it rained this week

Leftover risotto became stuffing for kabocha squash and I finally finished a quilt and pillow project which means my website is one step closer to going live. Winter arrived overnight and while beautiful, the wedding flower delivery to Treasure Island sure was cold. How was your week?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

fall foods

Even though it was warmer than usual all week, I had intense cravings for fall foods. Roasted root vegetables, a potato and leek gratin and finally a gingerbread cake were exactly what I needed. The cake recipe came from Simply Recipes and was very dense and rich. It would have been improved by a good scoop of barely sweet whipped cream. Ha! What's not improved by whipped cream? You can find the cake recipe which is nice and easy to follow, right here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

back in the kitchen

After 10 days without cooking a single meal, I was actually excited and inspired to get back to making dinner. This month's bon appetit magazine was particularly full of good recipes so last week I tried out a few. Padang Curry was the best coconut based curry I have made yet. Going through the "hassle" of making curry paste is the difference between edible and good. A bigger hit though were the Corn Fritters which were devoured fresh and did surprisingly well reheated the next day. I recommend you give them a try. Don't forget the dipping sauce.
We took a trip to the library over the weekend and I picked up a book called "The Modern Vegetarian" by Peter Berley. Of the hundreds of options at the library, this one called to me because the recipes came across as creative without being weird and healthful while still being appetizing. Last night I made the Creamy White Bean-Garlic Soup with Rosemary which was somehow chock full of flavor and had about 5 ingredients. I will definitely make it again. I also tried this salad using raw mushrooms. The simple dressing contains no oil (healthy!) and the combination of fresh lemon juice and thyme and perfect for the season and their zing brought mushrooms to a whole new level. I just reread the recipe and found that I skipped over the step of whisking in 6 T olive oil. Umm, okay. How did that happen?! If you are attempting to avoid oils, go ahead and skip it like I did. We really had no idea. I'm sure adding it will mellow out the tang of the vinegar and lemon juice though so that is an option too. As it was, we decided the dressing was reminscent of mignonette and this would be our vegetarian version of oysters on the half shell. Therefore, next time I make this salad, I will be serving it with champagne.

Fresh Mushroom Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

2T fresh lemon juice
1T white wine vinegar (I used sherry vinegar because this is what I had)
1T finely chopped thyme leaves
1T finely chopped parsley
1t coarse sea salt
fresh black pepper
6 T extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz fresh white button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 cups mixed greens or lettuce

1) In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking to emulsify.

2) Add the mushrooms and toss gently to coat.

3) Add the greens, toss gently and serve.