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Monday, December 24, 2012

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish

with hope, by now the tender peace of the season has settled in your home, in your heart, seeping thru the cracks of the woes we've faced recently, & tho it will not erase the tragedy, it is a reminder to hold dear to our loved ones and pay homage to the innocence lost.

in our dwelling, again, we are keeping it simple and private. dw will be toiling in the kitchen while i am at work, creating a delightful bounty for our humble table. i am so rewarded that i have him in my life, to not only nurture my spirit, but hold my hand during the darkest of times. i will arrive home, likely early, to a well seasoned abode, a warm hug and much to be grateful for.

this extremely simple side dish has been made three times already this season, it's his favorite. making use of autumn's apples, cranberries and oranges, as in, every part of the fruits, even the skin, it's sweet and tart and invigorating. it's important to use only organic fruits. adjust sweetness levels according to taste, as well as how sweet the fruits are naturally.

may the merry cadence of this holiday occasion be as sweet for you all as it is for us.

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish
1 package cranberries, washed
1 orange, thoroughly washed
1 apple, thoroughly washed
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar, to taste

chop up the apple, removing the stem & seeds. chop up the orange, removing the seeds but keep the pith and skin.

in a food processor, add all three fruits and process until reached desired consistency, be careful to not liquidize the concoction. the consistency you're going for is similar to the pickle relish you put on hot dogs.

add in the sugar and mix to dissolve. you can eat it right away, we do sometimes, but i think when the flavors have settled a bit in the fridge it tastes even better. sometimes we have it with our main entree and other times it's dessert!

this is my contribution to the Food Matters Project, a weekly reminder that we are a perishable item and we need to eat accordingly. we draw our inspiration from Mark Bittman's cookbook of the same name. if you'd like to join in the fun, invest in the cookbook & check out the schedule for what recipe is hot for the week.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tofu Coconut Flan

Tofu Coconut Flan

it's a testament to my grocery shopping skills that i was able to create this week's The Food Matters Project 3 times without having to head to the store for restocking (or that i am a food hoarder). the first time i thought i had not cooked the geleatin properly and the second time i came to the realization that the gelatin was just sketch. as a result, the 3rd time i used agar powder and rather than canned coconut milk, i used coconut creamer instead. i will admit to being exasperated & impatient when making the caramel and i didn't let it deepen in color enough.

Tofu Coconut Flan

now. i love me some flan. i've said it before, and tho i don't order it when out anymore for fear of dairy doom, it is still one of my all time favorite desserts. this version is completely vegan. personally, i like the addition of the eggs, it provides creaminess and a smooth texture. tofu, even silkened, doesn't do it for me. either way, this is a no-bake version, very quick to put together (combined, all three times probably took me just under 90 minutes) and if you're wanting to keep it egg-less, this is the way to go.

Tofu Coconut Flan

my other flan for Lan versions:

this is my contribution to the Food Matters Project, a weekly reminder that we are a perishable item and we need to eat accordingly. we draw our inspiration from Mark Bittman's cookbook of the same name. if you'd like to join in the fun, invest in the cookbook & check out the schedule for what recipe is hot for the week.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco + side of Spaghetti Squash

our season of giving thanks this year was a private affair. we were not inclined to venture far beyond our little roost, aspiring instead to create our own tradition of being mindful and grateful.

in the weeks following thanksgiving and leading up to the holidays, i will be seeking solace in Winter's soothing charms: burrowing under warm lap blankets, crocheting, and sipping on spicy hot chocolate (dairy free, of course). there is, admittedly, a burgeoning hope for snow, a light dusting mayhap, enough to brighten an otherwise dark season.

this dish was a simple something that dw & i decided upon, depending on what cuts of meat Whole Foods had to offer. we spent that thanksgiving morning putting this together, npr on the kitchen radio, the potpourri pot simmering gently and the world a distant noise beyond our door. if you've no dinner plans for the coming yuletide this would make a great meal.

Osso Bucco + side of Spaghetti Squash

we could not decide on which recipe to go with, so we incorporated both methods and used what ingredients we had on hand.

as inspired by :

we served the osso bucco alongside roasted spaghetti squash, that was seasoned simply with salt & pepper, and a cranberry relish that is dw's fave thanksgiving treat. our sweet treat was chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vegan NYT Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan}

this december has been standoffish, ill-content in what temperature range to stay in, one day warm, the next fickle and cold, leaving much to desire -- along with my dressing room in disarray. so unlike november, when it was a steady coolness that encouraged soft sweaters and gloved hand holding, the first week of the 12th month has had its ups & downs.

december has always been a busy succession of days reserved for holiday cheer and birthday accolades. we spent our weekend among friends and little ones, sharing these delightful cookies, something that i can finally bring back into my diet. i made them often and when i nixed dairy they disappeared. now, this is their 2nd appearance.

the first time we agonized over the cold dough, combining two ice cream scoopfuls. then we decided to make do with one scoop prior to refrigeration and they turned out wonderfully. the first time dw ate these cookies, he had to with a fork. the cookie were fresh from the oven, had not yet set and were too soft to handle. they are that good.

adapted from: papillon

another vegan recipe i'm wanting to give a try: rosewater & thyme.



this is my contribution to the Food Matters Project, a weekly reminder that we are a perishable item and we need to eat accordingly. we draw our inspiration from Mark Bittman's cookbook of the same name. this week was sponsored by Margarita of Let's Cook & Be Friends. the recipe is for walnut-orange biscotti. i won't lie, i've made biscotti once & failed, i opted to save my pride & make cookies instead.

if you'd like to join in the fun, invest in the cookbook & check out the schedule for what recipe is hot for the week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

mixedcon ~ up in the mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains

i attended my first food blogging conference over the weekend. what i imagined to be a chaotic foray into networking madness turned into a revelation. i have grappled this year with what to do with this here space, i have moments of flights of fancy and then other moments where i am left unmotivated. this retreat allowed me to finally come up for air.

nestled in the blue ridge mountains of southern virginia, where i attended college, is a tiny resort where a big movie was filmed. there we immersed ourselves in not only the barren landscape that the exiting autumn left behind, but in each other, drawing breath and ideas and inspiration.

Blue Ridge Mountains

i left on sunday morning, driving down the mountain with the windows open, these mountains that when i was in school always provided such comfort just from the sight of them. the long windy road home was spent reflecting on what i had learned. to keep this to the point, i will simply say that i traveled that distance, i spent that time to come to the conclusion that i am where i want to be, where i need to be.

Blue Ridge Mountains

so, in the meantime, thank you to the organizers and sponsors (like kitchenaid and dreamfields) of Mixed, to the speakers and the staff at mountain lake. last, it was wonderful meeting people. i should be back next week with new recipes to share.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

there are quite a few things in this life that make my days brighter just by simply existing: that expanse of 81S going thru 3 states, where the mountains are blue-grey and hazy and seem to stretch on to forever. sipping fresh, hot coffee on my faded elephant couch while watching saturday morning foodtv. dw. and noodles.

it’s a weird thing. i grew up with noodles, not of the italian pasta variety, but the asian rice kind, and it’s never once occurred to me that they would be so much a part of what my body craves now. we have a diverse meal plan at home, it’s whatever is in season, on sale and can be prepared quickly and simply. this is such a dish that i can put together on a week night, after a busy day at work, and all i want to do is enjoy the simple brighter things that an evening shared with my beloved can provide.

Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles
adapted from the complete vietnamese cookbook by Ghillie Basan
this can just as easily be made vegetarian, use tofu instead.

sesame oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
knob of ginger, finely chopped
4-6 green onions/scallions, chopped
1 skinless chicken breast fillet, cut into bite-size pieces
3 1/2 oz pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces
1 TBL tomato paste
2 TBL tamarind paste
1 TBL fish sauce
juice of one line or lemon
2 tsp sugar
2/3 cup water or stock (i used chicken)
rice noodles cooked accordingly to package instructions
bunch of fresh basil & mint to garnish

heat up a heavy pan and add the oil. stir in the onion, garlic, and ginger. cook until they begin color and get really fragrant. add in the green onions, cook for a minute, then add in the meats.

stir in the tomato paste, tamarind paste, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. pour in the chicken stock (or water) and cook gently. allow the liquid to reduce.

in the meantime, cook up the rice noodles in a pot of water. i typically cook them until just barely done. drain noodles, add to the meat pan. season with salt/pepper or fish sauce. serve immediately, with basil & mint.

dig the eff in.

Singapore Noodles

other asian noodle dishes:
noodle with tofu stir fry
veggie noodle bowl
veggie stir fry with banh canh noodles
wonton noodle soup
Pho Bo
bo kho
fancy ramen noodles
bun bo hue