Monday, September 29, 2008

Microgreens :: Tiny but Trendy

Thinking back on 2008's rainy summer, I continue to be surprised by my lack of localvore consumption. The weather definitely hindered our Vermont farmers this year, as described in the Burlington Free Press' "On the farmstand"
column a few weeks ago.

Although localvore hotspots (aka Healthy Living, City Market, etc.) continue to stock produce from Vermont growers, I can count on one hand the number of times I had mesclun this summer, and don't need any hands at all to count the number of times I had heirloom tomatoes. One thing I did manage to cram into the second half of August were a few handfuls of microgreens.

Microgreens are delicious, smaller-than-bitesized versions of our beloved greens. My favorite microgreens come from Half Pint, and can be used in a variety of ways (dressed simply with a lemon vinaigrette and served over crabcakes, or as the base of a feta salad). More and more restaurants are incorporating microgreens into their menus these days, and let me say, this is a delicious trend.

I find radish and beet microgreens to be especially delicious, but you may be able to find any of the following minis: mizuna, mustard, sorrel, rapini, kohlrabi, daikon, endive, collards, celery, cabbage, cress, arugula, broccoli, basil, flax or clover.

And if the summer season has already passed you by, have no fear. You can grow these delicious bites in your own kitchen! All you need is a plate or dish, a moist felt pad, some seeds, and some light! The Sprout People offer a Micro-Greens Kit as well as a Miniature Garden.

Don't give up on summer flavors just yet!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cosmen & Keiless

If you live in Madrid, it's possible that you have already discovered the most fantastic bakery in the city. But if not, here it is.

Cosmen & Keiless is a bakery and pastry shop situated in the Plaza de las Salesas. There, it's considered taboo to even mention frozen bread (a very common occurance in the city). They carry exclusively naturally leavened (aka sourdough) and freshly baked breads and a lovely selection of other tasty bites. They have a mixture of Spanish and American foods. This reflects perfectly the family of owner Kay Hespen. She (who is American) and her Spanish husband José Suárez are the creators of the delicatessens known as Hespen y Suarez and this store is their latest venture.

They have a delicious selection of breads (including Madrid's classic baguette-style loaf named "pistola" for only 1,20€ and also the "miche" that goes for only 0,42€ per 100 grams). They also have a myriad of sweets -- sweet rolls, cakes, cupcakes, brownies and cookies (which some people call "cookie-bars"). In addition, they sell the best American-style bagels that exist in Madrid.

If you'd like to visit the store, you can arrive from any of the following metro stations -- Chueca, Tribunal, Alonso Martinez, or Colon. Click here to see a map.

If you have yet to find this jewel of Madrid, there is no other option for you... You have to go to the nearest metro station... =)

Info tidbit : When I was studying in Madrid, I did an internship with the company that opened this bakery -- World Wide Food.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cosmen y Keiless

Si vives in Madrid, es posible que ya has dado cuenta de la panadería más fantástica de la ciudad. Pero si no, aquí lo tienes.

Cosmen y Keiless es una panadería y pastelería situada en la Plaza de las Salesas, 8. Allí es un tabú hablar de pan congelado. Tienen exclusivamente pan de levadura madre y un montón de otras delicias. Tienen una mezcla de comida española y comida americana. Esto refleja perfectamente la familia de la propietaria Kay Hespen. Ella (quien es americana, por supuesto) y su marido José Suárez (quien es español) son las creadores de los delis Hespen y Suarez y esta tienda es su nueva ventura.

Tienen allí una selección muy buena de panes (incluyendo el clásico - pistola madrileña a solamente 1,20€ y también el "miche" que venden a solamente 0,42€ por cada 100 gr). Tienen también una selección de dulces -- bollos, bizcochos, "cupcakes", "brownies" y "cookies" (que unas personas llaman "cookie-bars"). También venden los "bagels" mejores de Madrid.

Si quieres visitar a la tienda, puedes llegar del metro Chueca, Tribunal, Alonso Martinez, o Colon. Haz clic aquí para ver un mapa.

Si ya no has encontrado esta joya de la ciudad, no tienes otra opción. Tienes que ir a la estación de metro más cerca... =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Omnivore's Hundred

Ok, I know I'm behind on the times with this post, but to be honest, I haven't been keeping up with my Google Reader. =/

Andrew of
Very Good Taste, a food & drink blog based in England, has come up with a list of 100 things that he thinks "every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life".

Here's what to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The KIP Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison

2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht – this one, I feel compelled to apologize that I haven’t tasted
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses – a cheese from Burgundy
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese – I’m not yet sure how I feel about this one
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepperask Anthony why….
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda – hot dip similar to fondue – Sounds good!
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi – I’ve had mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar – I don’t see this one happening
37. Clotted cream tea – tea taken with scones, clotted cream, and jam – sounds delicious!
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects – probably not
43. Phaal – curry hotter than Vindaloo – bring it on!
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu – I’m a little freaked out about this one, seeing as how, if not cooked correctly, this fish can poison you with its natural neurotoxin content!
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin – not sure how I feel about eating the gonads of a sea creature
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi – stonefruit similar to apricots and plums – I’m in!
53. Abalone – giant sea snail – why not?
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – I’m more of a Big ‘n Tasty girl – It has a real lettuce leaf, not that shredded stuff
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini – I’m in if it’s made with Tanqueray
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine – delicious Canadian treat made of fries, gravy and cheese
60. Carob chips – did not enjoy this one…
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads – thymus glands? No thanks…
63. Kaolin – clay?
64. Currywurst – German sausage with curry sauce – Sounds awesome
65. Durian – Southeast Asian fruit – Can’t wait to try this one!
66. Frogs’ legs – I’ve heard they taste like chicken…
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis – this involves organ meats, so I’m not sure…
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette – Not sure about eating this one…
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe – probably not
74. Gjetost, or brunost – Brown cheese! When have I ever said “no” to a cheese?
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu – seriously alcoholic beverage – I bet Nat would drink this with me.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong – smokey black tea
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum – hot and sour Thai soup – this is next on my list!
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant – maybe when I’m no longer a college student
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse – I just like horses too much for this one…
90. Criollo chocolate – I may have had this, but if not, it’s gotta be done.
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa – I’ve had regular.
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

The totals:

Tried: 47 Haven’t Tried: 44 Won’t Try: 8 Perplexed By: 1

The verdict: I need to get on this list…

Saturday, September 6, 2008

one pot meals

After a long day, and driving home in the rain, I'm always in the mood for an easy and flavorful hot dish. This time, I sautéed together diced chorizo, ham (the Spaniards have rubbed off on me a bit here) and onions, added iron-rich swiss chard, habas (broad beans), chicken stock, and couscous. The result? A satisfying one pot meal that warms you from the inside, out.

Monday, September 1, 2008

almond linzers

I know I'm not alone when I say that there are at least half a dozen partially-used jars of jam/jelly/preserves in my fridge at any given time. Somehow, although I love jam, there are always a few tucked out-of-view, so I end up with multiple jars of the same flavor! In an attempt to minimize the amount of space being taken up by jam jars, I made some buttery and nutty almond linzer cookies. These tasty Austrian cookies are baked, half whole and half with a hole, then sandwiched together with sweet jams, jellies or preserves. Next on the list for jam-using-up: a linzer torte or linzer bars.
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