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December 2007

December 28, 2007

Rosemary Feta Beer Bread recipe

feta beer bread

Some people insist on doing things the hard way, the complicated way, and I will gladly admit to being one of them - especially when it comes to bread. Not all the time, mind you, there are days when I need bread today and throw together a quick batch of baguettes, but on the other hand...well, lets just say that when I had to make fresh sourdough starter - after doing unmentionable things to my old one (the pretty pink stuff growing on it was cute but unappetizing) - I insisted on doing it by capturing wild yeast.

Worse, I made three kinds of starter: rye, white whole wheat, and white. This met with varying degrees of success, let's just say that if you plan on doing this at home, you can skip the plain white flour version. After ten days of nurturing three starters along, however, my kitchen is but a Bunsen burner away from qualifying as a mad scientist's lab. And I still haven't made any bread from the wild yeast starter, two jars of which are bubbling along in the refrigerator.

Continue reading "Rosemary Feta Beer Bread recipe" »

December 25, 2007

Bûche de Noël: It's done!

buche de noel with candied rosemary sprigs

Well it isn't the world's best picture and I went for simple decorations, but here it is. A minimalist Bûche de Noël with candied rosemary sprigs. The weather report says there may be snow before it is served. But what do the weather folks know, they predicted mushrooms! Merry Christmas (if you do that) and Happy Tuesday (if you don't) - see you all in a day or so with the rest of the photos of the madness.

December 24, 2007

Bûche de Noël: Chocolate Apricot Frosting Recipe

The crazy continues

frosting: all of the meringue and a pile of apricots

I'd love to sit and chat but I have a cake to frost. With this.

Chocolate Apricot Frosting Recipe

Cream 3/4 cup each butter with 3/4 cup powdered sugar + 1/3 cup cocoa

Beat 3 egg whites until foamy and slowly sprinkle in 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Beat to billowy, stiff  peaks.

Dice a handful of dried apricots, splash with amaretto and set aside for 30 min.

Gently fold 1/3 of meringue into the sweet chocolatey butter. Repeat with other 2 thirds. Add apricots and mix in gently. refrigerate until cake goes into oven, then set on counter to soften.

flickr set of this craziness:  Bûche de Noël

Merry, merry, merry!

If you are anything like me, you are just starting a rather complicated dessert and have no time for blogs...and therefore you probably aren't reading this.


Maybe I need another lede.

clears throat

Continue reading "Merry, merry, merry!" »

December 19, 2007

the cookbook whisperer

cake book

As an unapologetically enthusiastic cook, I own a lot of cookbooks. A quick survey from where I sit reveals four bookshelves-one with easily 125 books-and six piles of books in varying states of precariousness. Books with recipes make up the bulk of these, but McGee, Nestle, Pollan, Schlosser, Parsons and others contribute a couple dozen reference books to the clutter in my office. It should be noted that I can only see the dining room and my office.

Out of sight, the guest room has a bookcase of food essayists, designed to be read in small bits: Reichl, Steingarten, Bourdain, the annual Best Food Writing series. Two more boxes, utterly untouched, sit where they were shoved under the entryway bench a few months ago "until we build more bookshelves," an event I expect to happen real soon now. Like next year.

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December 09, 2007

KitchenAid Classic - what a deal!

We have moved on from floods to snow (and I hear the think I hear the plague of locusts lining up offstage) and it seems like a perfect day to stay inside, mug of warm cider in hand, and do some shopping. Starting with this: Amazon has KitchenAid Classic mixers for only 109 bucks (and free shipping) which is a good enough deal that I almost wish I needed a new one.

December 05, 2007

Ewwww! Just ewwww! (and excuse me while I shower off the memory)

We all know how much I adore the gratuitous use of scantily clad bimbettes to sell your product so it should come as no surprise that I am annoyed by yet another Food network chefebrity (like my new word?) who has decided to sell themselves based upon assets (although in this case it's more tit-ets than assets) that have nothing to do with food.

In this case, however, the photo shoot is downright disturbing. And when I say "disturbing" I mean  I just ripped your still-beating heart from your chest and now I am going to saute it with garlic and fresh oregano.

Esquire has its 'women we love to see mostly naked' collection up online and one of the women they lust after but can never, ever have love is Giada de Laurentiis. Who goes all Carrie on their asses in the photo shoot.

Maybe I am wrong, but I believe this set of photos represents one of those immutable gender lines. Some men (and a few women) will look at the photos and get all warm and tingly over them.

My guess is that most women, however, are going to have a different response. Something like "Didn't your mom tell you not to wear white during those special times of the month?"

grokked from someone who snagged it from Slashfood

December 04, 2007

Instant waterfront!

Under the old rules (as if I had any), this would be an occasional fog valley photo - except that this is an occasional theOtherCity photo and I just don't want to create a new category. This is my pasture. Or more precisely, this is my pasture on floods. Any questions?

December 03, 2007

Stuffed Acorn Squash with sausage and two rices recipe


Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote that there was a "distinct nip in the air and a slight crunch to the grass. Fall was creeping in on little cat feet."

Um yeah, whatever. What a difference a fortnight makes.

Can you say 129 mph winds, boys and girls? How about 3 inches of rain in six hours? I knew you could.

Seriously, in the last few weeks, we have gone from start of fall to first time they used the word hurricane to describe a northwest storm. The main interstate between Seattle and Portland is closed, probably for days,  (But remember, global climate change is a myth.)

Along with the overnight shift in seasons comes a shift in menus. Grills have been stored for the winter while tomatoes and basil have given way to winter squash and sage. Mmmmm! I love fall! It is all about warm comfort food around my house.

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