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June 2008

June 23, 2008

Tools: Seasonal Produce Map

Epicurious has a sweet little applet that you just might find useful: an interactive Peak Season Map. It's simple to use, just select a state and a month to display a list of produce that is likely to be available at farmer's markets. (I'm going to check when I go to the market this weekend and see how the list matches up to reality. It says there should still be rhubarb and I haven't seen any in weeks. Then again, maybe it is still growing on the other side of the mountains.)

Each type of produce has links to a description of the ingredient and recipes, some also have preparation and shopping tips. It looks like it could be a handy thing to have bookmarked, particularly when planning for the future or sharing recipes with friends in other places, or to reassure yourself that berry season starts next month and that's really not so long to wait.

June 20, 2008

obsession: oat flour

oats, rolled and ground

Confession time: I have a food crush.

It's sort of an embarrassing one, too. The object of my affection is not the sort of gorgeous new thing one can hang off an arm and take out to the glam new place. No, my crush is a homely, comfortable, snuggle up on the couch in sweats sort.

Beige, even.

It all started because I wanted to tweak a pancake recipe. I had simple enough goals: adding whole grains while keeping the pancakes light, although slightly too substantial for fluffy. Whole-wheat flour didn't really do much, neither did white whole wheat. Slightly better nutritionally, the flavor left me unmoved.

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June 19, 2008

food porn: duck pizza

babyduck pizza

We had make your own pizza night during thump thump giggle giggle and most people made faces. DracoMiss made a pepper-breathing dragon, Monstrrr made something monstrrrlike, I made a wand with pepper sparks, and someoneElse babyduck made the cutest duck pizza you ever did see!

June 02, 2008

note to self: just because it looks like chocolate...

I have been experimenting with variations on my favorite chocolate cake recipe, one of which calls for dissolving cocoa in boiling water before mixing it into the batter. It is supposed to intensify the flavor of the cocoa when used in cake batters that do not use milk, and it seems to work. What does not work, however, is my auto-pilot. Or maybe it works too well.

Today, I am making the exact same cake for the third time in three weeks. Yes, the cake that was homeless. This cake has a home already planned - although that's a story for another day - and it's a good home, so I am happy to go bake the cake.

What I am not so happy about is that autopilot. Just now, I wiped up a drip of the cocoa-water mixture with my finger. Then I did what any self-respecting cook does when they have a chocolate smeared finger: I licked it off.

Bleech! Oh my goddesses, is that ever disgusting! You would think I'd have noticed the first time, but no!

Apparently there is a fine line between 85% cacao solid nibbling chocolate and cocoa and I can't find it. Or having found it, I can't locate it again a few days later. Because the good part is that this isn't the first time I have done this. Nor is it even the second, for a small failure of memory I could excuse. No, my friends, this is the third time in as many bakings. Because I am nothing if not predictable.

Continue reading "note to self: just because it looks like chocolate..." »

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