Wednesday, January 30, 2008
This little gem was given to me by a friend of mine who has more Christmas stuff than anyone I have ever seen. It is truly something to behold. I even featured some of her ornaments on a post entitled "A Very Scary Christmas" - remember the Christmas fetus? Anyway, Picture my delight on Christmas morning when I unwrapped this gift. The Moses nut cracker. I think we can all agree no house should be without it.
It may look like my friends are not thrilled with this baby gift for the nursery but in actuality it was exactly what they asked for. This was given to me by my friend Jake for my Birthday last year and while I absolutely love the gift it is now on loan to baby Jonah. I think this is not the last we will see of it though.
Please note that, much like Oprah does, this is just the first in a series of Favorite Things lists. This in no way means that these are the best gifts I got or that I didn't absolutely love other ones I received. The stunning David Yurman bracelet, for instance, that I received from my generous Mother is much adored.... it's just not very funny.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The chicken turned out well and made a good meal but my roommate, Christine and I can only eat so much so the next night I was all set to make Matzoh Ball soup. The grocery store behind my apartment is pitiful. Seriously - I think when my friend Shmara first walked in there she cried (unless that was a secret, then she didn't) . Terrible produce. I complain about this fact all the time so why was I surprised to find out they have no Matzoh Meal? I was too tired to trek across town to a decent market. I would have to find a substitute. I called my Kitty Mom and asked her if I could substitute bread crumbs for Matzoh Meal. She said no and she suggested buying pasta to add to the soup or making chicken and dumplings. Hmmm. Chicken and Dumplings sounded like a close second to matzoh ball soup. Kitty told me there was a great dumpling recipe on the back of the Bisquick box. other than the dumplings the soup was made up of everything I would have used in the matzoh ball soup. I put in baby carrots, sliced celery, mushrooms, and fresh parsley along with some herbs and spices. For a first attempt I was kind of proud of myself. It was a big hit with my roomie too.
The first night I served it over wild and long grain rice but found that it was not necessary to serve it with anything.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
My awesome and talented friends Rich and Heather (pictured above) had me over for dinner last weekend. They made three kinds of chili to accommodate their guests. One regular, one without meat and another without onions. Oy!
I had the real stuff and it was some of the best chili I have ever had. The photo credit goes to Heather since I had already started eating before I remembered to take a pic. I was in a feeding frenzy of great proportion. Seriously. It had been so long since I had chili I forgot just how good it can be with a little sour cream and shredded cheese melting on top. I neglected to get the recipe so if Heather or Rich read this maybe they can add it to the comments section.
We all used to live together and were recently reunited at the reunion party they threw a couple weeks ago.
It was great hanging out with them again and I hope there will be many more meals together.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Here is what she asks for more specifically:
Two of the main passions in my life are people and food. I started a new experimental blog, hoping to capture the two of them in a unique way, but I need your help. I am looking for input from diverse people, both ethnically and geographically. I need only two things: a portrait photograph (mostly face/head) and a food memory. That's all! I think the site will be fantastic, and take on a life of its own. Right now, I am just trying to get it started. Your food memories will not be edited, I will not comment. Under your photo will be your full name and your food memory, as you write it. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at the link on my main website, www.andtheeggs.net. Also on that site, on the upper right hand corner, is a link to the new blog. Or click here to access it- www.foodandpeople.blogspot.comThank you for your consideration!!
And here is my Contribution posted there today:
There are so many great food stories in my memory. My family was lucky enough to have many, many meals together while I was growing up. And while I have fond family memories and recipes, I have also been lucky to learn different recipes from other close families. It is no secret to anyone who knows me that, fortunately or UN, I have had my share of boyfriends. Some say I like variety - like a good tapas plate that has a little of everything. Due to this I have learned some great recipes from the mothers of my boyfriends. Recipes that I would never have normally come across. You can say it was an added bonus. If love don't last forever, well, the recipes will and have.
It is hard to pick a favorite but I will say one of the top recipes I was ever taught and still make to this day is Mrs. Organ's Cream Chipped Beef. This recipe fascinated and thrilled me. Yes, you heard me right. You see, Jews don't eat meat out of can unless, I suppose, they are trapped in a bunker, lost somewhere. Needless to say, I had never seen or heard of this delicacy but Steve kept talking about his mother's creamed chip beef like it was heaven drizzled on a biscuit. I try to be adventurous when it comes to food - at least tasting it if not loving it. My parents taught us to try everything once. I just wish I had realized then that they were talking about food.
Anyway, Steve's parents live in an idyllic log cabin home on the side of a mountain just minutes from West Virginia. Visiting there was always a treat but -- on special occasions --it got even better. I was not sure what to expect when I sat down for breakfast with the whole family - the smell of the biscuits and the chipped beef were almost too much for me to handle. It smelled that good and tasted even better. It was creamy and salty and the biscuits were crunchy. I think I ate two full plates and fell into a food coma. So the next time I made sure to watch the whole process so I could learn how this magical recipe was made. She was kind enough to share this family recipe with me and gave me many helpful hints. Some of the things also apply to other recipes I have tried since then. For instance, the creamed chipped beef starts with a simple roux. I had never done that before and since then it has been in so many recipes I can't count them all. I am grateful to have had that opportunity to learn a recipe that I never would have learned. So, variety may be the spice of life, but it was also my ticket to the best creamed chipped beef anywhere.
Homemade fudge was waiting for us on the table! Above the fudge is Megg during our first course with the amazing coconut, chicken, lemongrass Thai soup.
Lettuce wrap with chicken, cucumbers, rice, carrots with a savory peanut sauce.
These crisps were light and flavorful. Homemade with won ton wrappers.
This was the brie by the end of the night.
This applesauce cake had a thick layer of Carmel in the middle and the top was sweet and crunchy.
Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps
1 cup Jasmine rice or any flavored Thai brand rice (cook according to package directions)
2 grilled chicken breast halves, shredded
1 head Boston, Bibb or Iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/8 inch thick matchsticks
2 carrots, peeled, halved, and cut into matchsticks
OR 1/2 bag matchstick carrots
3 scallions cut into 3-inch long thin strips
Torn fresh mint leaves, basil leaves, and cilantro
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 tbls mayonnaise
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Puree all dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth.
To Assemble: Put all ingredients in bowls on a platter with ginger dressing on the side. Start with rice and layer ingredients inside lettuce leaf. Sprinkle with herb leaves and drizzle with dressing.
Sesame Wonton Crisps
1 tbl vegetable oil
2 tsp cornstarch
12 square wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
2 tbl sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 375. Stack wonton wrappers and halve diagonally. Arrange in single layer on a large baking sheet and brush tops with oil mixture. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds and salt and bake in middle of oven until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer crisps as browned to a rack to cool. Can be made 1 day ahead and keep in an airtight container at room temperature.
Old-Fashioned Caramel Applesauce Spice Cake
1 box spice cake mix
3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
1 1/4 cups applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fat-free caramel dip for apples, heated slightly
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, slivered
Cake: Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. In a large mixer bowl on medium speed beat cake mix with egg substitute, applesauce and oil. Spread half of the batter in prepared pan. Bake until set, about 30 minutes.
Streusel: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.
Finishing: Top partially baked cake evenly with heated apple dip and spoon remaining batter evenly over dip. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake until set, about 15 minutes longer. Serve warm with frozen yogurt, ice cream or whipped cream.