Saturday, October 30, 2010

pre-Halloween midnight snack

Organic (Dr. Oetker) chocolate cupcakes with orange-oil spiked frosting and Halloween non-pareils. Tested the idea last night and left a midnight (or 2-3 am) snack out for my guy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the year of the tomato

I grew almost all of our tomatoes from seed this year -- some from heirloom seeds that I saved from last year's tomatoes, and some from heirloom seeds that I bought. Some were mystery varieties, like a small plum tomato that is pale red and pointy on the end.

Tomatoes are easily my favorite ingredient - fresh they are delicious, they meld well with herbs to make sauces and creamy soups, and are a salad staple. One of my favorite meals is a caprese salad made with colorful heirlooms and local mozzarella (but only if the basil is fresh!).

Here are some heirlooms dressed with just cracked pepper and smoked chardonnay salt:
All sorts of tomatoes heading to the oven to roast for tomato bisque:Tomatoes, beans, and husk cherries heading to a friend's house (note one of those mystery tomatoes in the box on the right):
My most recent harvest -- note the white tomato (it's a Fantôme du Laos and very rare):
Also, check out these pole beans from seeds I saved last year (and Ukrainian yellow mushroom beans on the bottom) - I know it's not the year of the bean, but look how long they grew!
Here are some of the beans I will save for next year - valentine black bush beans, yellow mushroom beans, and some heirloom pole and bush beans from last year's crop:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

little bites

A few weeks ago, we had a friend over for dinner -- there was only one problem. We don't have enough chairs to all sit at the dining room table, nor did we have a coffee table (we do now!), so any food that required big plates was out of the question.
The solution? Small bites.
Tapas.... =)
So, here they are on our dining room table, from left to right (and sort of squiggly in order):
  • homemade sangria on ice (we made it with lemon, oranges, lime, and apples - and strawberries? I can't remember.)
  • tortilla de patatas (we only have one non-stick fry pan, and it's a big pan, so our tortillas come out super-skinny, but still delicious)
  • manchego, feta, and chorizo (sweet, not spicy)
  • mixed olives from the Healthy Living olive bar (my favorite are the bright green Catalán olives that are hot-pickled with chiles and celery)
  • salted peanuts
  • assorted Spanish sweets - candied fruits "bathed" in chocolate, and pine nut toffees
  • smoked almonds
  • fresh strawberries
  • sweet yellow pear tomatoes and red cherry tomatoes
  • zesty gazpacho
  • pastelitos de gambas (shrimp pastries - Spanish-style egg rolls made with sauteed vegetables and two shrimps apiece - I learned how to make these when I worked for Paulino in Madrid)
  • delicious soft rolls from A Taste of Europe
In the top of the photo you can just barely see a near-black sunflower peeking out -- these were supposed to be crimson-colored and only 12" tall, so I planted them in the front of the garden. This did not work out - they are taller than me.

Other tapas posts :
tapas party
bites in San Sebastián - Donostia
tapas at the piso
tapas with Kay & José
tapas in Barcelona
first real tapas in Madrid
little bites in Boston!
Delicious discovery - cured duck! (Madrid)
bites in Granada
back to Dalí!
a few days in the Berwicks

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

German lunch

Homemade pork schnitzel, spätzle (spaetzle), and sliced and seasoned heirlooms. Delicious. =)
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