Main Archives About kitchenMage My Cookbook Shop Connect:    RSS icon   email icon   twitter icon   Pinterest icon   flickr icon   kitchenMage's Recipes @Feastie

« August 2006 | Main | October 2006 »

September 2006

September 26, 2006

Rachael Ray alert! RR does Celebrity Jeopardy

They get three people at a time, right? I would pay good money to see Martin Short, Mario Cantone, and Rachael Ray go at a round of Celebrity Jeopardy.

I must create a drinking game...   evilChuckle Hey, Armchair Cook, wanna help?

OMG, this totally made my day!

September 24, 2006

wcb: kittens enjoying the lazy days of late summer

Clare and Kiri from eat stuff organize weekend cat blogging to provide us with an excuse to bring on the cute...and we're all happy to oblige... Clare's been MIA for a bit so the WCb home has been floating around the 'net, with Chef Sarah Jane collecting the adorableness this week...


Shhh, Trubble's snoozing...or was until the shutter so rudely clicked and woke her up.

I am sure that pot was supposed to have something planted in it...I didn't think that it would be a gray fuzzFlower, but it's kind of cute, don't you think?


T3, on the other hand, was cruising the walkway looking for small, crawly things to eat. He stopped long enough to pose for me, which was awfully nice of him.

Then he found a toy to mess with. This week, that means snakes on the walkway! MuthaFrakking Snakes on the MuthaFrakking Walkway! (obligatory pop culture reference brought to you as a demonstration that it's not only dairy products that have a limited shelf life)

obligatory food related tidbit: KTCS Cooks is on the TV as background and this nice man is making a cabbage salad and talking about how "...the secret is that the ice cream has hamburger relish mixed into it..." I don't even want to know what he's talking about, but I'm sure some county fair is serving it on a stick... (and it even has outtakes)

September 23, 2006

A cook's basket of herbs

Weekend Herb Blogging is Kalyn's weekly venture into the land of herbs and always offers a collection of international food writers weighing in with delightful ideas for using the goodness that is fresh herbs.

Basketofherbs1 Basketofherbs3The onset of fall in evenTinierTown brings morning fog, cooling afternoon breezes, and the annual wine tasting and auction, an event that always brings out a crowd to sample food and drink before spending a few dollars on a variety of donated goods. Depending on the amount of wine involved, the spending may climb to more than a few dollars...or so goes the devious plan.

Continue reading "A cook's basket of herbs" »

September 13, 2006

Some of my best friends are vegan...

Being neither a vegan nor someone who plays one on TV, I've not commented much on going meatless here. I do, however, end up at a few sites for the non-meat-eaters amongst us regularly, especially over the summer when both the CSA and my bit of a garden are producing a bounty of the freshest and most local of food.

One of my favorite vegetarian/vegan sites is vegblog, which ran a very helpful post on what to do when your vegan friends come to dinner a little while back. I'm not sure I'd agree with all of the advice — there's a suggestion of how to approach an egg-less quiche rather than the "make something else you fool" response that the idea deserves — but there are a number of handy tips and pointers to more data. There is also a page of resources ranging from background on various schools of thought pertaining to veganism to blogs to pretty much everything else you might need to support a vegan lifestyle. Very cool stuff.

I do have one question though: What's with the faux meat?

I can understand it if you don't eat meat for medical reasons and really miss the flavor. From what I hear, soy-based meat analogs have come a long way in recent years and they actually taste meatlike. (Here I pause for a moment to note the irony of the faux meat tasting more like real meat at the same time that the "real" meat is tasting more like some cheaply made soy-based amalgam every year.)

But if you are a vegan for ethical reasons, I can't see how you could eat faux steak. You're not eating a cow because it's ethically wrong so why are you pretending to eat a cow? What's up with that?

of course, right afer I posted this I discovered vegblog is down so the links are dead... wih any luck they will be back soon!

September 08, 2006

wcb: a matched pair

Clare and Kiri from eat stuff organize weekend cat blogging to provide us with an excuse to bring on the cute...and we're all happy to oblige... Clare's been MIA for a bit so the WCb home has been floating around the 'net, with Chef Sarah Jane collecting the adorableness this week...

a matched pair of tuxedo cats

One of these is the mom, the other is not. Can you see why I sometimes have trouble telling them apart? All his nicknames are a reference to him being River's mini-me: R2, Rivulet, T3 (grandma Tux looks like this too), and a dozen others I can't come up with at the moment. someoneElse developed a soft spot for this little guy so the approach to finding him a new home has been, "If someoneWonderful happens to knock on the door looking for a kitten, we will consider it..." which is a long way of saying we're keeping him...

September 05, 2006

Summerset: the evidence

I totally forgot the obligatory lateInTheParty photo of people with their "Buy me or the puppy gets it" prints, so here's the very last shot of the revelers.

I also forgot to mention that, in the spirit of "geekiness" (they were Geek Dinners, after all) we came up with an additional use of technology for Stormhoek. See, they use screwtops (!) and, while I'll skip the technical arguments (how anti-geeky) we did find one aspect of the experience lacking. No satisfying pop of the cork coming out of the bottle. While we could (and did) argue for the use of corks, we did come up with an alternative: chip the screwtop.

It seems like those little chips they use to make music in greeting cards could be repurposed into a higher use. Create a realistic cork popping sound and design a means of triggering the sound when the screwtop "breaks" apart. Small touch, big effect.

Not wanting to offload the work for our idea onto Stormhoek, and in the spirit of international cooperation, we also offer to test the technology. Repeatedly. Through many beta cycles. Just as often as Stormhoek wants us to.

I leave you with a final thought, tossed out somewhere in the Pinotage (the last of the wines) by a wise person and agreed upon by all:

This would have been a lot less fun if the wine wasn't so good!

Thanks again Sam, Jason, Hugh, and everyone else at Stormhoek who helped make Summerset so much fun.

September 02, 2006

Summerset: wine, food, friends...does it get any better?

Pinotgritable_1 As part of their "100 Geek Dinners" promotion, Stormhoek Winery was kind enough to send a case of their wine out here to evenTinierTown and we put it to good use last weekend by holding a potluck wine tasting. Our good friends, Sunrise and Jessica Fletcher, loaned us the lawn by the pond at the Inn at Lucky Mud and we gathered a dozen and a half friends on Sunday afternoon to sip wine, nibble delicious food, and listen to a little guitar music (contributed by Sunrise and someoneElse, both charter members of WAGS). Sunrise even came up with a song pairing for each of the wines, which was a real hoot, especially as we got further into the evening.

I decided that we were going to make our wine tasting a potluck so that we could let everyone's efforts shine in the appropriate setting, with the right wine, and it turned out to be a wonderful idea. Invitations included an "assignment" of a wine to cook for, some tasting notes that Sam from Stormhoek provided, and what I could glean from the blogosphere on food pairings from earlier Geek Dinners. This turned out to be a great idea, everyone brought food that was very tasty and went well with their wine. It may have helped that the people who replied sayng they'd been drinking Shiraz a lot lately were given Shiraz and the farmers got a white to go with their abundance of fresh vegetables, but I'm happy with the results.

My job was bread, desserts and coordination...and onon tarts...and I think I pulled it off; the tarts didn't hurt. I decided to make an assortment of bitesized sweets for dessert, which was almost as good of an idea as having other people bring the rest of the food (did I mention it was all excellent? plus made with mostly locally produced ingredients...I wouldn't be surprised if we were darned close to meeting the locavores goal of a 100 mile radius for our foodshed...well, except for the wine from halfway around the globe...)

Details on the food and wine after the jump.

Continue reading "Summerset: wine, food, friends...does it get any better?" »

wcb: some babies never grow up

Clare and Kiri from eat stuff organize weekend cat blogging to provide us with an excuse to bring on the cute...and we're all happy to oblige... Clare's been MIA for a bit so the WCB home has been floating around the 'net, landing this week at Miss Elle's page where Darlin' Darla dodged the hurricane yesterday and is now holding court for all her feline friends...

fruffle standing nursing
yes, that's one of the kittens, yes, he's getting rather big now that he's four months old, and yes, he's trying to nurse... 'nuff said?

whb: Lavender sugar

Weekend Herb Blogging is Kalyn's weekly venture into the land of herbs and always offers a collection of international food writers weighing in with delightful ideas for using the goodness that is fresh herbs. . This week's edition of Weekend Herb Blogging is being guest-hosted at The Inadvertent Gardener.

LavsugarMany people have used vanilla sugar, and more than a few have some in the pantry (jar+vanilla bean+sugar+time=magic), but few have lavender sugar. Indeed, most folk I say "lavender sugar" to look at me blankly. This is too bad and something I think should be remedied immediately. Fortunately the solution is simple: jar+lavender buds+sugar

Lavender is lightly sweet, and adds a vaguely floral note to food. Too much can be cloying, or "soapy," something which using scented sugar helps avoid. It's hard to go overboard because your food gets too sweet long before it gets too lavendery. It's perhaps the best complement to berries out there, bringing out the berriness without dulling the flavor (as vanilla sometimes does). I use it to macerate berries for shortcake, in whipped cream, even in the shortcake. It's also great in sugar cookies and other lightly flavored treats.

If you buy lavender, make sure you get culinary not aromatic as the latter may have oils or other non-tasty things added. I pick mine from the garden — just when the buds are showing color, but before the flowers open — and use them fresh. As you can see from the picture, I'm not the most particular about cleaning out the papery part of the bud, but you could be if you have nothing else to do with your time.

I use about 2 tablespoons of buds for a quart jar of sugar and let it sit for a month before the first time I use it. I seldom use more than 1/2 a cup at a time so I just top off the sugar, shake it every time I take some out and it goes on forever. Well, almost. I usually add more lavender when I have a fresh harvest.

When using the sugar, you can pass it through a strainer to remove the buds or leave them in. I usually strain it for things like whipped cream or sprinkling on berries, but leave the buds in if cooking the sugar in something. You can also toss the sugar with buds in a food processor to grind it up a bit, which is what I do for lavender shortbread (recipe to be here soon).

I also write at:

Popular Posts

I also write at:

All content on this site is © Beth Sheresh (2005-2012). Please play nice and don't take things that aren't yours.
See something you like and want to use? Drop me a note, kitchenMage(at)gmail(dot)com. I'm pretty agreeable when people ask.