Monday, April 30, 2012

creme fraiche

no story
no fancy words
just a simple plea


creme fraiche

3 cups heavy cream--room temperature
6 Tbs plain greek yogurt--room temperature
stir the yogurt into the heavy cream.  put into a glass jar and cover with a bit of cheesecloth (to keep out bugs and dust, but allow for airflow)
let sit draft free at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 36 hours
-the longer you leave it out, the more tangy it will become-
give it a good stir, it will thicken right before your eyes
tightly cover and pop in the fridge

enjoy where you would otherwise enjoy cream or sour cream

mix with a bit of brown sugar and pour over berries
stir into warm soup
create a calvados cream sauce for roast pork
pour over warm peas, carrots
cold beets
just for starters....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

when life gives you carrots....

i really like carrots

raw dipped in a bit of sea salt
honey roasted with onion dip
deep fat fried loaded into a feedbag
all good
best of all?
baked in cake

 carrot cake
-this recipe comes from my culinary school notebook, it is not my own

4 large eggs--room temperature
6 oz vegetable oil
14 oz granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
9 oz flour
1 Tbs cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 lb carrots--peeled and grated
2 1/2 oz walnuts-toasted and roughly chopped
whisk together sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whisk together the eggs and oil until the eggs are thick and pale yellow (about 10 minutes).  mix in the dry ingredients, just to fully incorporate.  fold in carrots and walnuts.
split evenly into 2 prepared* 9" cake pans. bake at 325 for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
*preparing cake pans includes spraying with pan spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper
allow to cool and split each cake round into 2 layers.  
frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting**
decorate with marzipan carrots

**i'm not opposed to sharing my cream cheese frosting recipe, but truth be told...i don't measure.  i   use 1 part unsalted butter to 2 parts cream cheese, a pinch of salt a bit of vanilla and enough powdered sugar to reach your desired sweetness. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

guilty eatings

have you ever stood over a cheesecake
fork in hand
mouth full of sweet regret
the even weight on your shoulders
devil on left
angel on right

 muddled words ping-ponging
i should stop
just one more bite

shoveling it fast
before you change your mind
thinking of all those poor people
for whom store bought
is the only option

or even worse
no. bake.

side glance to the dogs
looking so disappointed
not because you are gorging
but because
you aren't sharing
me too

the phone rang

Thursday, April 5, 2012

strawberry-balsamic shrub {beverage}

my childhood summers
had one constant
my grandparents
although maybe not the true reality
i remember
last day of school coincided
with their arrival
"the grandparents"
all 4 of them
(yes, both sets)

my grandma grace
oh how fitting that name was for this amazing woman
each and every summer night
wandered into the kitchen
pin curls in her hair
wearing a perfectly pressed house dress
served herself
a tablespoon of vinegar
with the flair
of pouring herself a night-cap

she passed a few years ago
well into her 90s
healthy as an ox
until the day she died
sturdy and strong
peaches and cream
wrinkle free

she ate
fresh food
all of her life
it was all that she could afford


i believe 
her nightly vinegar shooter
was her secret weapon


i like vinegar
i take mine moderated
in a shrub

a shrub marries
sweetness of fruit and sugar
with the 
acidity and brightness of vinegar
in a way that makes
that little shot every night

a shrub is typically meant to be mixed with soda water
it is great in cocktails too

strawberry-balsamic shrub
(printable recipe)
2 cups ripe strawberries-cleaned, hulled & sliced
1 tsp fennel pollen (optional)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
10 black peppercorns-slightly crushed
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
place strawberries, sugar, fennel pollen (if using) and peppercorns into a glass crock or wide mouth jar.  allow to sit for about an hour, then macerate to break up the strawberries. cover and allow to sit 24 hours. (i let mine sit at room temperature, but if you are concerned, it is okay to put in the fridge).   after 24 hours macerate the mixture again, aiming to crush the strawberries.  you can move onto the next step, or allow to sit another 24 hours at this point.  add to the mixture the balsamic vinegar and the cider vinegar and stir well.  allow this to sit 7-9 days at room temperature, stirring daily.  the sugar should eventually "melt" into the liquid.  it is important that you tend to the mixture daily.  after 7-9 days.  strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer (if you don't mind a few bits in it) or a strainer with cheesecloth (if you do) and bottle for use.  for longer shelf life, i recommend storing in the refrigerator.


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