Thursday, December 9, 2010

homemade mini-bagels and lox =)

The other day, I got it in my head that I wanted to make bagels and lox. So... on Monday, I started the salmon cold cure (gravlox style - coated it with half sea salt, half sugar, then added cracked pepper) and wrapped it up in many layers of plastic wrap. I flipped it a few times over the course of three days, and today I unveiled it! Check it out... The texture was so lox-y, the taste was just what I was looking for!Now, just have to make the bagels. No recipe for those, but I just used honey, yeast, warm water, flour and salt for the dough. I let the dough rise twice, then formed my mini-bagels. I then boiled them in honey water for a few minutes, added some toppings, and baked! The result? Montreal bagel taste, super soft in the middle, slightly crispy crust - the bagel of my dreams! What's next? I must combine them! I sliced them down the middle, add cream cheese (not homemade - I don't know how to make that... yet.) and top with my gravlox. What's the verdict? Wait - let me take a bite.... Delicious. And SO worth the effort.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Souza's Brazilian Steakhouse

Type of establishment? restaurant
131 Main St, Burlington, VT

they have 40+ items on the salad bar, great selection of grilled meats, everything is seasoned well, fresh fruit juices are delicious and refreshing, there is also a dessert bar, they were offering a special on Vermontopia ($80 of food for only $30)
Cons: we were freezing the entire time we were there - the thermostat was at 59 and we couldn't take off our coats - i also had to order a hot tea

Things to Try: roasted mushrooms, grilled lamb, turkey wrapped in bacon, coconut custard, flan, trifle
Things to Avoid: pork ribs

Random fact: the waiters are dressed as gauchos and they serve the meat using skewers and swords

: 6.5 - would have been 9.5 if it had not been so cold!

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. =)

Monday, September 20, 2010

too poivre-y!

I bought some delicious-looking steak au poivre seasoning paste from Williams-Sonoma and tried it out... I went overboard. As much as I love pepper, it was too poivre-y for me. I had to scrape off some of the pepper. =)

Here it is next to some tasty seasoned frites and Sticky Fingers bbq sauce.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Las Dalias hippie market, Ibiza

Ses Salines salt flats, Ibiza

Playa Ses Salines, Ibiza

Zebra art & grill, Ibiza

Delicious lunch in Ibiza - took us nearly forever to find a place that served non-British food, but it was well worth the search.

Tomates asados con mozzarella di buffala - roasted tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella
Very cool clear balsamic vinegar from Barcelona
Galtas de cerdo - pork cheeks (really!)
Tallerines frutti di mari - seafood noodles
Tarta de queso - cheese cake
Pera al vino tinto - pear poached in red wine
Little kitten that sat near us while we ate

fruit and vegetable market, Ibiza

Bar Patio, Ibiza

Slightly British, but still good, meal at Bar Patio in Ibiza - pork chop, sausage, egg, fries, and salad. Liked everything but the sausage.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Delicious discovery - cured duck! (Madrid)

We found this at Degusto gourmet store one day while shopping - it's incredibly flavorful, rich and perfectly salted. A great find and a beautiful addition to our tapas dinner below:
Olives and cocktail pickles skewers, croquetas, smokey cheese spread, tortilla, bread and breadsticks, mixed cheeses and cured meats, and zesty salads with feta.

Cupcakes from Cosmen & Keiless, Madrid

After a particularly bad meal out, we decided to redeem the day by stopping by Cosmen & Keiless for some cupcakes. Both are vanilla and delicious!

buy canned tomatoes, get new shoes?

We were grocery shopping in Corte Inglés last week and saw this deal: buy a few cans of tomate frito (tomato sauce) and get a pair of flip flops - FREE! Only in Spain...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Museo Sorolla

Nat & I have been to Madrid twice since we lived here, and never went to the house of the artist Sorolla, even though it was very close to our hostparents' piso. We finally got there today and it was fantastic! I didn't take any photos of his work, but here are some images from his house (this is for you, Dad!).

Very interesting window
Alcove on the lower level
Fountain in the garden
Tile detail
Garden view

Embassy, Madrid

In the median on the Paseo de la Castellana, this bar terraza serves up drinks in HUGE Beefeater glasses. Beefeater & tonic on the left, Jameson & ginger ale on the right.

Wagaboo, Madrid

tartare de langostas (prawns with avocado) and a selection of dim sum (not pictured)
Japan noodles Tsuyo no moto
Tagine Casablanca
Texas pecan pie & Bomba de chocolate (as suggested by our waiter)
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