Category Archives: eating

My other blog

I recently wrote a post called  Fall projects for my ceramic art blog.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall projects

{Image borrowed from Raw Foods Rehab}

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Ratatouille rocks!

Sunday, I happened to be traveling in my car during a broadcast of a radio program about food called The Splendid Table.  Lynne Rossetto Kasper, the program’s hostess, was about to introduce a guest to discuss a rustic French stew called ratatouille. I was familiar with the dish, but I had never eaten it.  This I had to hear.

Francis Lam was the guest and he discussed his special method of making ratatouille.  I wasn’t really intrigued with his method, I don’t have time to stand and stir tomatoes into a jam-like consistency for let’s say, an hour.  However, I was intrigued with making my own ratatouille.  Now to find the best recipe, and of course, one that was easy.

Not only did I find an easy ratatouille recipe,  I also discovered a fabulous website about sustainable cooking, called Sustainable Pantry.com.   I followed the recipe as instructed and combined basil, thyme and marjoram for the mixture of herbes de Provence.  I must boast and add that the marjoram was the kicker!  Definitely glad I used it.

OH MY! It was so delicious! I didn’t know what to expect from a mixture of onions, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini, but I never thought it would taste so good!  Perhaps I was just very hungry.  Food often taste better when you are famished.  Regardless, I just had to write about it!

If you are looking for an end-of-the-summer meal, perhaps for a meatless Monday dinner, ratatouille might be a hit. Watch the movie, too. Ratatouille is one of my favorite Pixar films.

But if you have any picky eaters in your family, particularly those who don’t like onions, peppers, eggplant and zucchini, you could get lucky and end up having it all to yourself.  Like me.

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The search is over

When my dad’s family gather, my dad and his sister will reminisce about their mother’s (my grandma) brown sugar pie.  I had never heard of a brown sugar pie until they mentioned it.  My grandmother was not an elaborate cook by any means, but she did have a knack for making certain dishes – brown sugar pie being one of them.

Since there was only a memory of the pie and no recipe, I had to search for one and then offer it to my dad for the taste-test.  The recipes I used were found on the Internet with everyone claiming their recipe was the best.  I found out that this was not true – in my opinion.  It sounds like a simple recipe, but the different variations in ingredients can make or break the outcome of the pie.  The first one I made bombed – too sweet.  The second pie was runny.  

I began to lose hope that I would find the best brown sugar pie recipe…until yesterday.  The Washingtonian‘s Ann Limpert published an article about  pastry chef Lisa Scruggs’ brown sugar pie recipe.  Her Canadian father made the pie every Christmas.  This recipe sounded promising and fortunately, it included ingredients that I had on-hand.

Last night, I made a pie and a tart. I even made the pie crust, which I have never done before.  The pie will be for my dad and the tart was for us (me).  So far, in less than twelve hours, I have eaten half the tart all by myself.  It is safe to say that this brown sugar pie recipe is the best!

Why am I determined to find a good recipe and make a pie for my dad?  Well, because I love my grandma (who passed away in 1999), and I love my dad. 

Happy Father’s Day!

Lisa Scruggs’ Brown Sugar Pie

Makes one 8-inch pie.

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 disk pie dough (half the recipe below)
1 8-inch tart pan
Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients (except the pie dough and ice cream or heavy cream) in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Roll out the pie dough, press it into the tart pan, and trim off any excess dough around the edges. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the pie shell and bake for 35 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the filling has set. Remove from the oven and let cool. Slice and serve with heavy cream or ice cream.   
 
Pie Crust Dough
Makes enough dough for two 8-inch pies.

1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces of cold butter, cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water

Put all the ingredients except for the water in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Blend until the butter is incorporated. When the dough just begins to come together, keep the mixer running and quickly pour in the ice water. Mix until the dough is blended. Divide the dough into two balls, flatten them into disks, and wrap them in wax paper and plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

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My first time

…making sushi!  What?  What did you think I was going to talk about?  🙂

Oh, how I love to eat sushi! 

One of my favorite places to shop is Borders Books.  I went there on my birthday and I bought a sushi recipe book/DVD kit, Simply Sushi by Steven Pallett . Then on Saturday, my besty, who knows how to make sushi, took me to an Asian market in the city to shop for ingredients.  I made my first sushi tonight and it was FABULOSO!  Making the rice was easier than I expected.  I didn’t go for raw fish, I just used chopped mushrooms, long green beans, avocado and a soft cheese.  I even improvised and used shrimp cocktail sauce instead of wasabi.  I got the rolling technique right on my third try, and now I feel like a pro. 

My picky son even loved it and kept asking for more.  Now that will make a mom happy.

You know you grew up in the 80’s if you get this song stuck in your head.

Turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so!!

  

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Another new year

Twenty-eleven is here and we started the year off the same way we have started every year since 1999, with our son’s birthday.  This year was extra special because the date was 1/1/11.  It would have been cool if he had turned 11, but he turned 12 instead.  As you may guess, puberty prevails these days.  He has a small “mustache” on the corners of his mouth, and he is almost as big as me and weighs almost as much.  He is growing too fast and so much is changing.   Sometimes, I get a little sad to see the little guy growing up.  

Our final week of  2010 was spent enjoying the snow from our beautiful white Christmas.  It was the first white Christmas I can remember.  I didn’t mind it at all.  There was something serene and cozy about being snowed-in.  Christmas 2010 will be one we fondly remember for a long time. 

Ian’s Christmas gift to me was a handcrafted Maple wood bowl.

As I wrote in my previous post, I was anticipating to roast my first ever “pulled pork” and I am happy to say that I pulled it off. Literally!  Well, I roasted it and my hubby pulled it when it was done.  The method I chose was slowly roasting uncovered at 325 degrees F (basting every hour) until the internal temperature reaches 180.  It was tender and delicious and lasted for days and days.  In many ways, that was a bad thing.  I think I’ve met my pork quota for the next two years.

There was something funny about sprinkling Kosher salt on the pork that made my hubby chuckle.  I know there isn’t anything wrong with it…I guess you had to be there. 

Finally, with another new year comes another birthday for me, in 10 days! UGH!  Seriously, I don’t dread my birthdays as much as I use to.  I attribute this to diet and exercise, though they were on hiatus for the past month.  Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t learned how to embrace my age, partly because I still feel like I should be in my late 20’s.  I have a hard time accepting that I can no longer say I am thirty-something.  Where have the years gone?  However, my son’s friend told me he thought I was 25, (which was ridiculously WAY off) and so I couldn’t help but to be flattered…just a little. 😉

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