Friday, August 29, 2008

tapas party

For my madre's birthday, we had a tapas party at our house.

Here's what was on the menu:
(from furthest dishes to closest)
  • roasted vegetables with caramelized Vermont Butter & Cheese Company's chevre
  • thinly sliced chorizo wrapped in puff pastry
  • zesty chunky tomato-based gazpacho
  • bites of tortilla (Spanish potato omelette)
  • mushroom caps stuffed with Willow Hill Farm's Blue Moon blue cheese
  • patatas bravas (bites of potato with spicy tomato dipping sauce)
  • dishes of chorizo and olives
  • roasted citrus & garlic shrimp with romesco sauce (roasted red pepper sauce)
  • romaine & radicchio salad with thinly-sliced bosc pears, Green Mountain Blue Cheese's Boucher Blue, and a light lemon vinaigrette

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

pita panini

No bread? No problem.

Throw it in a pita and make a panini!

I made this tasty pita panini with pesto, smoked turkey, and provolone cheese. Yum!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

walnut sauce, my newest obsession

In May, at Pinocchio in Nerja, Spain, I enjoyed a delicious dish of artichoke ravioli with a creamy walnut sauce. Even now, I'm thinking about that meal!

The other day, I cooked up some tortellini, tossed it with parmesan cheese, and poured my homemade walnut sauce over it -- toasted walnut chunks, a little heavy cream, chopped fresh parsley, salt & pepper, and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Delicious. =)

Friday, August 8, 2008

cold rain, hot food

With all the rain we're getting hit with, I've been more in the mood for winter-type comfort food. So, I've been breaking out the casserole dishes, serving up mac & cheese, chili and hot soups. Pictured here is one of my favorite comfort foods - my take on Ireland's colcannon. It's got creamy mashed potatoes, boiled green cabbage bits, and ham. Serve it up with a pat of butter, and you're on your way to feeling warm.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

i've got the blues...


We are in pick-your-own-blueberry season! The bushes at Willow Hill Farm are laden with berries, and although we have been hammered by rain for the last two months, the berries are in great shape!

There are so many berries on the bushes that you don't have to move around too much to pick a flat or two.

Willow Hill Farm's blueberries are NOFA (USDA) certified organic and there are 9 varieties of blues in the field. The bushes are located between two pastures, so you can pick to the sounds of ewes, lambs, and the many birds that frequent the area (keep your eyes peeled for the baltimore orioles!).

Berries are $4/lb for pick-your-own, but if you don't have time for picking or we get rained out (since it seems to be a pattern this year), there are two other ways to get some of our lovely berries:

1) You could drive up to our little store in the cheese plant (look for the sign on the road that says "cheese") and there are usually prepicked blueberry pints in the fridge, along with a delicious selection of Willow Hill Farm artisanal cheeses. The store is also a viewing room that overlooks the "make room" in the cheese plant.

2) Pick up a prepicked pint of berries at the Burlington Farmers' Market. The market is open from 8:30-2:00, but when it comes to berries, coming earlier is better!

As always, we recommend calling first (802-893-2963) to check hours for the day, since they depend on weather conditions and staffing. And, no need for the GPS! There are directions on the machine. =)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

new eats :: Drunken Noodle Thai

Last night, my boy and I were in the mood for some Asian flavors, so we hit up the newest place in the area for some take-out -- Drunken Noodle. Located at 9 Park St in Essex Junction, VT, the Drunken Noodle serves up tasty Thai cuisine. The ambience is much classier than its location's predecessor, and the waitstaff is very helpful. You can eat-in or take-out.

They offer a selection of appetizers, salads, soups, stir-fried entrees
(choose your protein and your sauce), duck entrees, curries, and noodle dishes. They also have lunch specials and desserts.

We highly recommend the crab angels (fried crab wontons served with a delicate sweet & sour sauce), the som tum salad (made with green papaya and carrots), the stir-fried chicken entree with spicy garlic sauce (tip: add rice to your order for an extra $1. you'll want it!), or the pad woon sem (cellophane noodles with egg, bean sprouts, tomato, cabbage, onion, and carrots).

Service is quick, and prices are reasonable:

Appetizers - $4-6
Salads - $5-7
Soups - $3-4
Stir-fried Entrees - $9-11
Duck Entrees - $12
Curries - $9-11
Noodles $9-11

Monday, August 4, 2008

leftovers : Shalimar of India

I've not met an Indian dish yet that I didn't like. I'm completely obsessed with Shalimar of India's food, especially their brunch buffet. It's a great way to experience a diverse smattering of Indian food without emptying your wallet. Pictured here are my leftovers from my last dinner at Shalimar -- palak aloo (spinach and potatoes cooked with cream, tomatoes, and spices) over pullao (basmati rice), served with 3 sauces (tamarind sauce, mint chutney and onion chutney). At a loss for paneer (homemade cheese), I panfried a slice of haloumi.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

versatility of granola

When I'm in the mood to bake, I don't always like to do the same old - same old. I get bored with doing the same flavor combinations over and over, and I love throwing some surprises into the mix.

The other day, I was in the cookie mood, and was thinking of doing some almond- and coconut-loaded sugar cookies. However, I could not find my sliced almonds and did not really feel like toasting coconut. So I grabbed some of the almond and coconut granola I made and tossed it in. It occurred to me that since I like oatmeal cookies so much, I couldn't go wrong. And, man, were they tasty! I recommend throwing some of your favorite granola into the mix next time you're in the need of a cookie-change.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


99% of the time, I am in a hurry when I am supposed to be eating breakfast. Even if there is breakfasty food in the house (eggs, etc.), I don't always have time to prepare something. I was thinking of that age-old addage, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

...So I made some homemade granola! One of my favorite breakfasts is a simple mix of Euro-style yogurt (try Willow Hill Farm's Sheep Yogurt), a little maple syrup, nutty granola, and fresh seasonal fruit. It's tasty and doesn't take a long time to prepare, or to eat. =)

For my granola, I combined rolled oats, sliced almonds, and dried coconut. I tossed it all together with some cinnamon, a little honey, some canola oil, and a pinch of salt (to offset all that sweetness).

estoy pensando...

Estoy pensando en el hecho q, aunq hablo español (pero no es perfecto), casi nunca he escrito aquí en español. Me encanta la lengua, la comida y la cultura de España y he vivido allí, como es evidente en mi blog. Desde este momento, os prometo q voy a escribir aquí en español también -- de vez en cuando. =)

Friday, August 1, 2008

smokin' time

In all honesty, this is a flashback-type post. A while back, I was tooling around with my borrowed (now owned) stovetop smoker. All in all, I smoked some skewered shrimp, some potatoes (all over mesquite chips), and later made a wrap sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and a lightly-smoked slab of haloumi. My favorite so far is still the haloumi wrap. Soooo good!
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