LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Friday, July 30, 2010

.:Bagby Pizza:.

Picnik collage
pizza joint
*** group shot courtesy of Fernando Puyana

for ana's birthday...

Bagby Pizza
1006 Fleet St.
Baltimore MD 21202

Bagby Pizza Company on Urbanspoon

have a loverly weekend!

today's song: Skunk Anansie, Squander

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baked Ricotta Cheese & Veggie Patties

Picnik collage

remember when i told you i think i'm a lactard? yeah, obnoxious amounts of not really tears have been shed over this. i still push the boundaries on what my body will accept. apparently ricotta cheese is something it's ok with. sweet.

097

these cheese patties are kinda sorta my take on the mozzarella sticks. only they're not shaped like sticks, or made of mozzarella. and they're full of random leftover veggies i had in the fridge. and. they're baked. AND! i didn't serve them with marinara sauce. so they're not like mozzarella sticks AT ALL.

Baked Ricotta Cheese & Veggie Patties
as usual, no exact measurements, add at your discretion and preference

1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed of any excess water
1 medium carrot, shredded and squeezed of any excess water
1 small onion, minced and squeezed of any excess water
1 garlic clove, minced
1 container of ricotta cheese
bread crumbs, more or less a cup
cilantro, rough chopped
salt/pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes

preheat oven to 350F
in a bowl, mix all the ingredients well. depending on how liquid-y the mixture add, add more bread crumbs. shape into patties, coat with more bread crumbs and put on baking sheet.

bake for about 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. i served with a yogurt/lemon concoction mixed with a bit of cilantro.

they were quite the hit. i had a few the next day for lunch and i ate them cold. still delish.

special thanks to Nuria, she took the pix.




Monday, July 26, 2010

oh, what a weekend

005
Picnik collage
017
029

oh what a weekend.

it was the kind of weekend that kept me on my toes, that got me out of bed earlier than usual, that made my heart glad for what i have and what i know i will eventually have. it was a weekend spent with friends, spent in my favorite room, spent playing with paint, reading subtitles, drinking wine, smiling, laughing, watching the sunset, watching it storm.

oh what a weekend.


And lately I've been satisfied by simple things
Like breathing in and breathing out
Finding sweet relief in knowing that it won't be long

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stormy Weather

017
022
nuria

"life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain."

love it. live it. mean it.

it stormed this week and i loved it. but the fallout from the sky did nothing to dissipate the heat.

this weekend, i've plans to see a highly anticipated foreign film with friends, a cheesecake to bake, dockside dinner with some broads and well, other things in between. have a loverly weekend!

today's song: Melissa Etheridge, Breathe

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Homemade Spelt Ravioli ~ New Beginnings



did i ever tell you the story of how i came to live with my grandparents? i won't go into the back story, it's rather maudlin, a little indulgently war-ridden, and lord have mercy if Oliver Stone ever caught wind of this plot; we do not need another Vietnam War movie, thanks!

instead, i will start with from my earliest memory, i was always in my grandmother's arms, it was always my grandfather's hand that held mine as we walked to school. i started doing complicated addition in first grade, fractions and long division in second grade, all because of my grandmother. my grandfather painted my tricycle, which he found in a dumpster, fire-engine red, and then walked up and down the steep hill tirelessly to watch me ride it, all the while smoking his cigarettes. yeah, i was that kid who lived with a much older couple and their youngest son who was still in high school. during a time when they were just about finished raising their children, they had to begin all over again and raise me. peter was in college and in no state to be a single parent. so the child rearing went to his parents and to this day, they are the only people i would not hesitate to obey.

so i was one of their new beginnings. i've been thinking about beginnings lately. how exciting and daunting they can be. you'd think i'd be an expert by now, having moved around so much when i finally did start to live with peter, globe-trotting. but when i sit down to think about it, i still catch my breath: i'm single. for the first time in a really long time, i'm not attached to anyone. it's scary. it's nice. and i'm enjoying it.

last week i decided to give ravioli making a try again, this time with an ingredient i'd like to use more often, kinda start a more healthy approach to pasta-eating and possibly baking.

i used this recipe for the ravioli pasta. i made a simple ricotta stuffing, mixing in dried thyme, lemon juice, salt/pepper to taste. i topped with a thinned out pesto sauce i keep on hand now.

it was light, it was eye opening, it was easier than i imagined. just like how all new beginnings should be.

photo credit: some pix taken by Nuria, who is becoming quite the photographer. be on the lookout for some of her snaps. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Coconut Cake

Picnik collage

for a friend's birthday recently i made her a coconut cake. the recipe called for three layers but i only have TWO pans of the same size and being pressed for time last weekend, i decided to make just two layers, they'd just be a little bit thicker. so the baking time was a bit off. the recipe i'll post will be straight from the original with my notes in italics.

019

Coconut Cake
adapted from Scott Peacock, Better Homes and Gardens, April 2010

Batter - made the day before
5 eggs
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk (i used coconut milk)
3 cups sifted cake flour (AP for me)
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sugar (cut back to 1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbl pure vanilla extract

Frosting - made the day of celebration
1 fresh coconut, husk & peel removed, grated or finely shredded, 3-4 cups (i ain't lying, i used packaged sweetened coconut flakes! who has time for that shit?)
3 egg whites
2 cups sugar (again, cut back to 1 cup)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup water (i may have cut it to just 1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (nixed it, i ran out!)

Allow eggs, butter and milk to get to room temp for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. in a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and kosher salt. grease cake pans (i used 2 8" round pans, recipe calls for 3 of them or 3 8X8X2 square pans), set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, add the vanilla and eggs one at a time until well combined. alternately, add in the flour mixture and milk to the batter, beating on low after each addition until just combined. it should be really smooth. divide the batter among the pans.

for 3 pans, bake for 20-25 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched. (i baked it for an additional 15 minutes, i hawked it very closely every five minutes.) cool on wire racks. from here, i covered them up really well with plastic wrap and left at room temp till the next day when i could make the icing.

for the icing, make the sugar syrup by putting the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a saucepan. cook & stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. leave it alone for a bit, then cook until temp reaches 240F with candy thermometer. meanwhile, make sure the egg whites have reached room temp before beating them until frothy. add the salt and beat until stiff peaks begin to form. with the mixer running on low, slowly pour the hot syrup and vanilla. increase the speed to medium-high, until light and fluffy and a dollop of whites lifted off the beater holds its shape.

to assemble, arrange the first cake layer on two pieces of waxed paper. (in the first pic, you'll see the uneven layer. i had nuria cut the top off to make it even because i was doing the dishes and i wasn't paying attention. bless her heart, she messed up something fierce. the best way to evenly cut the top of a cake is to turn the cake with the knife still in it and saw in slow-mo. she was cutting it straight across and well... you can see how that is not the way to go...) Spread top of each layer with frosting, then sprinkle generously with shredded coconut. when cake is completely frosted, heap with additional coconut, pressing gently with your fingers to bed the flakes.

remove waxed paper on the bottom. makes about 16 servings.

if using all original ingredients, each serving: 482cal, 19g fat, 98mg chol, 219mg sodium, 74g carbo, 2g fiber, 6g pro.

we dug in after the final world cup game... not only celebrating Spain's victory but ana's birth.

today's song: Chuck Prophet, No Other Love

gorgeous song.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Key Lime Meringue Pie

017

for a recent new hire orientation, i got two requests for key lime pie. i am not a fan of key lime pie and i thought of doing the no bake route again but decided to do something a little different.

028

i used this recipe but cut back the sugar amount to just 1/2 cup.

it was quite the hit in the office. there was tartness there but i still thought it was a bit on the too sweet side.

have a loverly weekend.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rabbit with Mustard Sauce ~ Bending My Ways


it's been a rough summer for me this year. it has been hard to smile as of late and yet thru it all, i have been laughing my hardest. friends are the best balm - for anything. i have been feeling uninspired in the kitchen, with yarn, with crafts. i even had an ethan allen type scoff at my attempt at refurbishing my desk, which i have yet to unveil... a project i may not even show, just due to the sneer. good lord, cry me a fucking river, will you?

003

i bought rabbit again recently at the farmer's market, this time freshly butchered the night before. but like the last times, i couldn't bear to look at the skinned bunny, i cringed when the butcher lady handed me the 2lb bag of $13 carcass. and at home, i couldn't chop up the body into pieces. i could not bend my mind around the fact that this flesh had been a furry animal ~ probably living happily on a farm, just 24 hours prior. i did take up the duty of browning the meat tho, something i had always relegated to nuria. small steps. i just have to learn to bend before i break.

008

Rabbit with Mustard Sauce
adapted from the Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn

dish can be made with bone-in chicken thighs.

about 2 lbs rabbit pieces
coarse salt and black pepper
1 Tbl dried thyme
AP flour, for sprinkling
3 Tbl olive oil
dijon mustard
1 Tbl butter
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup of brandy* (i used Brugal Rum)
2/3 cup chicken stock


preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and dried thyme. dredge lightly in flour, shaking off excess. in a large dutch oven, heat the oil over med-high heat. brown pieces on all sides, in batches if needed. remove meat from pan and drail oil. generously top each piece of meat with the dijon mustard, set aside.

in the same pot, melt butter. add the onions and cook until translucent. add garlic. add the brandy* and chicken stock, simmer until slightly reduced. Return rabbit pieces to the pan. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes in the oven. (tho on the stove top would suffice too, i'd think)

i served this with some rice, drizzling the sauce over the meat and rice.

verdict: this is nuria's fave rabbit dish. it was good, i dug the touch of dijon mustard.

today's song: Brandi Carlile, Before It Breaks

I can make my own mistakes/Let it bend before it breaks...

it will get better. i promise.

Monday, July 12, 2010

World Cup Kinda Weekend

006015Picnik collagePicnik collage

a weekend happy hour-ing, hanging with friends - old and new, baking, watching soccer and then celebrating a birthday, as well as a much-deserved win ...

well. i'm exhausted.

the coconut cake recipe post will happen... soonish.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bacon & Leeks Quiche ~ perfect poolside snack

062

the day after America's birthday, Nuria and i spent it with friends by their building pool. it was a sweltering day, with not much of a breeze and truth be told, a tempermental sun that made tender promises to show but spent most of its time behind clouds. but it was lovely just to hang out, make fun of the guy hitting on the lifeguard ~ an utterly perfect time. we snacked on quiche that nuria and i had made the evening before, after watching the fireworks. nuria slaved and cried over the crust while i smiled because i knew her pain well. but it all worked out in the end. i made the quiche filling, using fresh farmer's market ingredients: bacon, leeks... even the havarti cheese.

adapted from The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn

Pate Brisee
standard dough used for savory tarts and quiches. can be made up to one day in advance.

2 cups (300 g) AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (113 g) butter, cut into pices, chilled
2 Tbl water

in a food processor add the flour and salt. process a few seconds, add butter. pulse until it appears crumbly and coarse. add water, little by little, pusling until the dough forms into a ball and sticks together. form into a disk, dust with flour and wrap in plastic. Let rest in fridge for at least 1/2 hour or up to a day.

preheat oven to 425F. Roll out dough and press into 10" pie pan. pierce bottom with fork. set foil in center and fill with dry beans. bake for 5 minutes, remove beans, brush with beaten egg and return to oven for another 7 minutes. cool slightly.

067

to make quiche:

4 slices of bacon, cooked, save the bacon grease
4 smallish leeks, sliced and cleaned of dirt
salt
a smidge of brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (175 ml) milk
grated havarti cheese, amount at your discretion
salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
thinly sliced tomatoes

after bacon has been cooked, transfer to small bowl, keeping the bacon grease. cook the leeks in the leftover oil, adding in the salt and sugar. cook over medium-low heat until brown and soft. set aside and cool completely.

meanwhile, whisk eggs and cream in a bow. stir in grated cheese, salt, and thyme. arrange cooled leeks in cooled pastry shell. pour the egg mixture over leeks. sprinkle with the bacon bits. arrange the tomato slices on top. sprinkle with some more grated cheese. bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 400F and cook for another 15 minutes, until firm, browned and a bit fluffy.

serve hot, warm, room temp or even cold.

061

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Latin Burgers topped with Sweet Onion & Jalapeno Relish

050
Picnik collage
051

for Nuria's 2nd Fourth of July, i made burgers. specifically Latin burgers. i'm not a burger kinda chick but it seemed fitting for the day. they turned out really, really, really well. moist, flavorful and because i used ground turkey, light. i topped them with a sweet onion and jalapeno relish. we had a side of juicy farmer's market tomatoes, fresh from the ground red lollo lettuce and sliced havarti cheese, which is mild and does not mess with my stomach. afterwards we had it in our heads to walk to the inner harbor to check out the festivities. yeah.

Burgers

1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
1 packet of Sazón Goya
handful of breadcrumbs

mix everything in a bowl and divide into four even patties. refridgerate for at least 30 minutes

Sweet Onion & Jalapeno Relish

2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp brown sugar
pat of butter and some olive oil
1 tsp thyme
salt/pepper to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely diced

sautee onions in the heated up and melted butter until translucent. season with salt, pepper and thyme. add in the brown sugar and jalepeno pepper, allow the onions to deepen in color and caramelize, about 20-30 minutes.

meanwhile, grill up the patties to desired doneness. because i used turkey meat, i cooked them well-done. serve topped with the relish.

011

hope you had a loverly 4th of july! what did you make for America's Birthday?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

006

Let freedom never perish in your hands. ~Joseph Addison

Happy Independence Day!