Kind of a poorly-written, but relevant article. What I noticed most was the author’s flair for alliteration.
Another successful brunch. I made Smoked Salmon Hash with red & sweet potatoes and sweet bell peppers, foccacia bread with black olive, cheddar and green garlic,and artichoke-jalapeno spread. My sister brought a soy-rizo and egg casserole. It was so damn good!
Photo & Lunch by Heather Sitarzewski
- Cool Mom with skills makes incredible lunch bento-style. ANGRY BIRDS! (via boingboing)
- Six Tips About Bringing Out Flavor. A few of these are like, duh. However, I really am excited about making garlic confit tomorrow. (via bonappetit)
- Dinner-Time: How to make Spiral Hot Dogs. My next great party trick. (via WOW)
- Dumbest Food Study Ever Answers Question No One Asked. I couldn’t have said it better myself. (via boingboing)
- One of the reasons I took a break from the blog. (via flickr)
- A new favorite site for recipes. http://www.yummly.com/
I find the most important thing to have when cooking is a good-quality eight or ten inch chef’s knife. I was lucky enough to receive a nice Henckels for Christmas from my Mom. I found it lightweight at first, and I was not so keen on the sleek handle. I am used to bulky commercial knives we order at work. However, this knife is sharp, efficient, and not very costly (about thirty dollars). It can also nearly slice you damn finger off. I love it now and use it nearly every day. I’ve only sharpened it once since getting it. Thanks, Ma, five stitches and all.
I got a good deal on these at garage sale, the artist who made them said they were a lot cheaper because they were irregular, but so far they work quite well for me (and to my un-trained eyes, I see nothing a flaw with them) . His name is Brian Connolly, and he makes these really lovely and well-made ceramic S&P shakers here in Portland. Here’s a link: www.thingsoutofstuff.com/
Delicious, eye-pleasing and convenient, but also like, ten bucks. From Origami Catering. The seaweed salad in the upper right is like eating a beautiful mermaid.
Taken with instagram
My apologies for not posting for the past two months. Lots of important things going down. Like me wanting to watch Sherlock. Anyways, here are photos & recipes from my picnic today:
I felt like the Iron Chef, because I also had to get most of it done quickly. We decided to have this picnic on short-notice. I got the grill ready, because I knew I wanted corn on the cob fo sho. We had an amazing salad, some pasta salad, corn, and lemon-mate sparking tea.
After taking inventory of my paltry pantry, I found I had three yams, two bell peppers (yellow & red), about four cups of penne pasta, and two red onions. Of course, I always have a decent bottle of olive oil and a couple vinegars I always keep (white balsamic, rice vinegar, apple cider, and balsamic. Plus decent herb & spices.) After I finished the pasta salad I ran two blocks to the grocery store to get some corn and Leah needed salad supplies.
Leah made a seriously amazing salad. She cut collard greens, tomatoes, red onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil. She used a bit of the oil, a little cider vinegar along with salt and pepper to make a simple, complimentary dressing. There was also grilled chicken on the side.
Here is what was in the pasta salad, (which turned out delicious and rad.):
So then I preheated the oven to 450 degrees, put a pot of water on to boil, and got chopping.
- Taking the three yams, peeling and diced into small cubes, about 1/2 inch. Tossed some olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper with them in a bowl and threw then on a sheet pan. My oven was pretty much heated by then. Baking time is weird with my new oven. So I figured I would take some times out to stir them.
- Important note: Yams can get mushy easily, so I roasted them for about thirty minutes, stirring them every ten minutes or so. For the last ten minutes, I put the oven up to 500 degrees, so they would crisp a little.
- When the pasta was al dente, I put them under cold water through a collander. I get the penne with the ridges. when the ridges seems to start to flatten out while cooking, you know they are perfectly al dente.
- I caramelized some red onions while baking the yams. Camarmelizing onions takes forever, so I tend to speed it up with medium-heat intervals, and while they were taking forever, I sliced the bell peppers lengthwise and thinly. Then I threw them in the pan with the onions just as they were almost done.
- The yams, onions and bell peppers all had a good amount of oil on them, so once they were all done, I tossed all of it together and just added a little salt, pepper and a dash of white balsamic. After it cooled off in the fridge, it was terrific.
The tea was super easy and refreshing. I am not drinking much booze at the moment, but I bet alcohol would be really awesome in this. I am thinking vodka. No, gin. MMM.
I just brewed two bags in about two cups of boiling water, added a couple spoons of sugar to dissolve it (I only have demerera, shit takes forever to dissolve). Then I took this classy milk bottle, cut a lemon, stuck the slices in and added ice. Then I muddled the lemon by shaking the bottle. Added the tea, then filled it up with sparkling water. It needs to be fizzier, but still super refreshing.
It turned out to be a lovely time. & THANKS TO LEILA, LEAH AND SAM FOR BEING GREAT GUESTS!
Photographs from April 14th Brunch. My house, Portland, Oregon.
Lunch at St. Honore. Not a bad place at all. The food is always beautiful, the coffee is delicious, and I would eat a whole dozen of their almond friands if they weren’t $2.25 a piece. They are located a NW 24th and Thurman, right across the street from my work.
During my short cooking career I have run into quite a few snafus. I have boiled noodles to a starchy, mushy death. I have burnt nuts beyond recognition while trying to simply toast them. I have sliced fingers open, essentially pepper‐sprayed my kitchen crew, singed much of my eyebrows and lashes, and have accrued many curious burns on my arms. I have baked a mushy cornbread that no amount of time in the oven could revive. Pulling muscles, cutting ripe onions until I fainted (does anyone else get vertigo from this sometimes?), too salty, too spicy, too raw, too well‐done. It happens to everyone, BUT WHEN IT DOES, YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT IT.
I now think of the burns as conversation pieces. It comes with the territory, as they say.
Personal injuries aside, the mistakes I really think about are not the ones that leave marks. Well, except for that one time I was sautéing onions in a pan that was much too hot with olive oil, and then added a ridiculous amount of cayenne by accident. I regret that because the whole kitchen crew looked like that girl in front of the Chase bank at Occupy. A reddish black plume of smoke filled our small work space, resulting in a hacking cough amongst the staff well into the next day. Sorry dudes.
I do not have many regrets, but I hate making mistakes and most of all, I hate owning up to them, despite how easily I make it look. Cooking has taught me much about acceptance in several hundred spectrums. I have learned that true mistakes, the ones you wish you could take back, were the ones you knew you could have changed so easily. A simple, clumsy turn of events. A back turned too long. Inexperience. An over‐inflated ego. Not paying enough attention, not giving enough love. And worst of all, being in a so much of a hurry that you fuck everything up.
Cooking takes time. Cooking takes focus, love and understanding. It needs creativity, your inner‐child and your inner‐adult at the same time. You need some math, some good reading skills. To take a step back and observe, but the ability to hop right in like you know exactly what your doing. Confidence is key, and bullshitting can only get you so far, take it from me. You cannot bullshit a bullshitter. My experiences and mistakes I would never take back, even if at the time I was sore about it and wished I could. In retrospect, my mistakes in the kitchen has taught me a lot about food and even can be applied to life itself. Had I never made them, I would not know what I know now. Embrace them. You will never forget it, and probably, never repeat the mistake again. This is experience. In fact, ten years down the line, I hope my future self will be reading this thinking, “Oh bitch, if you only knew.”