Thursday, August 24, 2006

In direct contrast to the Beet Cake…

the Carrot Cake bars are not only edible, but actually really good.
They are heartier than regular carrot cake with all those oats. And I think that is a good thing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ok, ok, ok.

I got caught up in this internet madness. The blogging! The linking! Wheee!!

So perhaps I was a bit harsh on the zucchini. In my internet madness fit I was basically looking for recipes online. To the exclusion of the multiple hundreds of cookbooks I have sitting on my shelves.

Whoops!

Recipes! From my favorite books and favorite chefs! In print, on paper, rather than in bits and bytes. (I have a small kitchen (read: tiny) and its actually easier to bring a book in there to cook from than my laptop anyway..)

Nigella to the rescue, from her book Forever Summer:

Pappardelle with Zucchini, Sultanas, and Pine Nuts
Zucchini Fritters
The Rainbow Room’s Carrot and Peanut Salad

I can’t link to them, you’ll just have to get them the old fashioned way (ah, books!)

Hrm…I wonder what Keller and Oliver and Katzen have to say about zucchini…

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Enough already with the zucchini already

I have had enough corn. I like corn on the cob, but enough already. How much corn on the cob can one single person eat. Not so much. So I asked for no corn. And I got no corn. Instead I got extra zucchini. When I had enough zucchini to begin with. And I understand the whole “zucchini grows a lot in the summer” phenomenon. But come on!!

So this week’s box:

Roma Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Green Peppers
Carrots
Zucchini
Green Leaf Lettuce
Strawberries
Peaches
Nectarines
Bananas

I also ordered some Avocado, Cilantro, and a dozen really eggcellent (sorry) organic eggs.

I plan on making some gazpacho (the last of the season I’m guessing) and guacamole (See Guac-off 2006 in the Maine post below.) And I think there is a salad in there somewhere, a traditional, old fashioned, lettuce and stuff salad. I’m gonna try Carrot-Cake bars with the carrots, and Zucchini Pie with, yup, the zucchini.

I am open to any and all additional suggestions as to what to do with the rest of the god damn zucchini!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Restaurant Week Summer 2006

Eat at these places. The food, it is good.

Dino
(Especially the Funghi e Gorgonzola, Calamari Fritti, Polipo, Orechietti ai Funghi, Lasagnette al Ragu and Tonno)

Corduroy
(Don’t miss the Seared Sea Scallops, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Chardonnay Sauce, Roast Lamb Sirloin with Mini Goat Cheese Ravioli, and Halibut with Potato-Leek Salad and Meyer Lemon Sauce.)

Rasika
(The Palak Chaat. My god. I could eat a gallon or two of this. The Chocolate Pistachio Honey Ice Cream is excellent as well.)

Philadelphia. Again.

So I was in Philadelphia again two weekends ago, visiting with my sister who was in from Hawaii (where she lives in the lush jungleness.)

We had lots of fun and did the whole family thing, and everyone was on their best behavior, and there was nearly no drama! Wonders never cease. And I didn’t think this would be a foodie trip, but, lo and behold, EVERYTHING can be a foodie trip. Case in point:

Mom, sister, and I went to the Goschenhoppen Folk Festival in East Greenville, PA . Now, this is a road trip back into my childhood. My family went to this festival every year. “The Goschenhoppen Historians was established as an educational society dedicated to learning about preserving and teaching the Pennsylvania German folk culture.” So. Think Colonial Williamsburg, but in Pennsylvania, at the turn of the century, with Pennsylvania German Mennoniteish people. In full costume doing the turn of the century thing.

How is this a foodie thing you ask? Well we had all sorts of handmade turn of the century delights: raspberry shrub (a drink made with vinegar), and sausage and dumplings, and peppermint tea, and peach ice cream, and short tack cookies, and fried mush, and my favorite of all favorites, potato candy. They were sadly sold out of corn pie. And we watched them slaughter a pig. Yup. Really. Did you know that a pig has a more similar anatomy to a human than any other mammal?

Now you do.

Wherein I post a long overdue post, which I never quite finished writing…

Maine

If you want to see me get a stupid grin on my face and sorta gush randomly, ask me about Maine.

Maine continues to be a wonderful escape for me, with good friends, delicious food, beautiful nature, and just not a whole lot else. I’ll try to sum up my trip without gushing too much:

Thursday: I accompanied L to the MMA Company Picnic, which was on Lake St. George . BBQ chicken, cheeseburgers, and all manner of salady picnicy things, yum. L&L and I had a sushi dinner from Cafe De Bangkok that night. Seaweed salad = delicious and flossy.

Friday: On Friday we dragged ourselves out of bed to catch the boat to Monhegan Island. Monhegan is about an hour long ferry ride from the mainland, and Dramamine is a very good thing. Upon arriving on the island we had Lobster Rolls for lunch. And then we hiked! No, really, I hiked. I did. There are photos. And surprisingly, I really enjoyed it, even the “up” parts, (well right up until I had to pee really really badly, and then we headed back to the village.) And then we had ice cream, which, if I hadn’t been enjoying the hiking up until then, would have made it all worth it. The island is amazingly wild and crashy wavy rocky beautifulness. And we picked wild raspberries as we hiked along the trails. We had the requisite Beer Cheese Soup at the Liberal Cup for dinner that night.

Saturday: Saturday was a lazy day. Hot, even in Maine. L made homemade waffles for breakfast (with homemade Vermont maple syrup); we sped off in the car just in time to catch the Pirates of the Caribbean II (which was not great cinema, but a fun movie.) We had a quick and satisfying “I’m craving this” grocery store dinner, followed by a ride in L&L’s neighbor’s ‘67 Volvo to get yet more ice cream!

Sunday: Brunch at Slates, Garlic Fest Planning, Lobster! From Hallowell Seafood and Produce.

Monday: On Monday L and I went to Reid State Park where we laid on the beach, dipped our toes in the ocean, and read in the sun. A lovely afternoon. That night the Guac-off was held (I won with the Café Atlantico Guacamole recipe), and we had fajitas for dinner.

Many many thanks to L&L. I’ll be back before you know it (I don’t know if that is a threat or a promise…)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Philadelphia

Much fun was had by me and SH, on our trip to Philadelphia. Only downside: the AC in my new, three week old, car decided to drain into the rear passenger’s seat floor well. Bailing water from your car = not so much fun. But they say that it’s fixed now.

So, onto the food:

Near my mom’s house in Perkiomenville, PA there is a family farm: Hendricks Farm If I still lived “at home” I would make a sincere effort to buy all my meat and dairy from this place. Their Cow Pie cheese is one of my favorites.

Saturday SH and I did the historical tourist thing in Philly (Art Museum, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall) with some foodie stops along the way:

I think the gelato at Capogiro Gelato is the closest thing to “real” gelato I have had since I was in Italy. We tried four flavors: the Dulce De Leche was good, but unremarkable. The Frutti Di Bosco (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and honey preserve in milk gelato) was also good. But man oh man, Lemon Basil and Cioccolato Scuro (bitter chocolate). The Lemon Basil would make a perfect palate cleanser, light, crisp, refreshing and makes me want to cook up a multi-course feast just so I can use it for that purpose. And I don’t know where to start with the bitter chocolate. So dark as to be almost black. Nearly the consistency of cake.
Chocolate gelato heaven.

We took a quick run through Reading Terminal Market. Another foodie heaven. If I lived in Philly I’d shop here as often as I could. Its busy, loud, crowded and perfect.

Dinner at Buddakan was quite an experience. Huge lovely space, with, um, very very loud techno music blasting. More hip than I actually am. I panicked as we walked in, wondering if my mom, her husband, and my grandmother were up for it. The food was enjoyable, and reasonably priced. "Asian Influence" much like Ten Pehn here in DC. I think we were all most impressed with dessert which included:

“THE CHOCOLATE BENTO BOX warm chocolate cake, dark chocolate panna cotta with cocoa-ginger biscotti, white chocolate-espresso pot de creme, milk chocolate mousse cube atop hazelnut crunch, chocolate almonds and bittersweet sorbet” and

“CHOCOLATE PAGODA triple layer chocolate mocha chip ice cream "sandwich" with frozen chocolate mousse and hazelnut praline.”

Yes, you read that correctly, it was a large ice cream sandwich in the shape of a pagoda…

Finally, before heading home, we stopped at the Russian grocery near my grandmother’s house in NE Philadelphia called "Net Cost Market." SH translated for us, I learned about many kinds of frightening canned things and jellies and jams made from berries I’d never heard of before…and SH ending up buying more than she thought she would. Well worth the trip.

ACK! Where to (re)start?

I think I’ll bring you up to speed with three posts: Philadelphia, Maine, and This Week…