I went to see the movie Julie and Julia today. If you haven’t heard of it, it is based on a book by Julie Powell who undertook cooking through the entire “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in one year. 365 days – 524 recipes – and blogging about it each day. It is a charming book especially if you are a foodie or just someone lost in the world and trying to find their way. The movie takes the book Julie and Julia and combines it with Julia Child’s memoir of her time in France. Meryl Streep is brilliant as Julia Child as is Amy Adams as Julie Powell. There are laugh out loud moments and moments of pure tenderness as the men in each of these women’s lives try to understand and support their wives in the world of food and self exploration. As a food blogger, the book and the movie are both inspirational. I don’t know if I will ever work my way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” but it definitely reaffirmed my love of food; not just the eating of the food, but more importantly, the preparation and sharing of food. If I dare speak for all foodies, I would say, what draws us most to food is the sharing of it with friends and loved ones. I encourage everyone to try a new recipe and share it – don’t test it first – just go for it, call a friend and enjoy the whole process.
Archive for August, 2009
Dev wanted waffles for breakfast this morning. We haven’t had waffles in a long time, so I figured it was worth the trouble.
And trouble it is, kids. These always turn out wonderfully, but oh my gosh what a pain in the posterior this recipe is! The only reason I used the recipe again was because I knew where it was and didn’t need to look it up…
Here’s the recipe…
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup veggie oil
Preheat your waffle iron. I use the crispy setting on mine.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites to soft peaks, slowly add sugar and beat til stiff. Remove egg whites to separate bowl.
Use mixer to blend the egg yolks, milk and veggie oil.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk together until just mixed- a few lumps are fine.
Gently fold egg whites into batter.
Pour batter into the center of each portion of your waffle iron. Close lid and bake. Repeat with remaining batter.
Makes 10 waffles.
Well, mine makes more like 14 because I make them a little smaller. But they are really good. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
On the down side- I used every dish and spatula in my kitchen to make these. Clean up is a nightmare.
On the up side- I now have home made waffles in the freezer than I can pop into the toaster during the week. They taste just as good after they are toasted as they did when they came out of the waffle iron.
There are probably easier waffle recipes out there- I just haven’t gotten around to finding them yet!
So this was my first attempt at peach jam. So sad, it was.
The original recipe calls for 2 quarts of sliced fresh peaches and 6 cups of sugar. I went to the farmers’ market and bought 3 pounds of peaches, which would have been enough to get the 8 cups- but after slicing one and tasting it, I got greedy.
I decided to half the jam recipe so I could have peaches left over to slice and eat fresh. Sounds like a good idea, huh? BIG MISTAKE!
Here’s the original recipe- my notes on the epic failure follow.
Old Fashioned Peach Preserves
2 qts. Peeled, sliced peaches
6 c. sugar
Combine peaches and sugar in a large, shallow glass or plastic container. Cover and let stand in a cool place for 12 to 18 hours.
Pour peach mixture into a large dutch oven; slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil gently until peaches become transparent and syrup thickens (1 ½ to 2 hours), stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Skim off the foam with a metal spoon.
Quickly ladle preserves into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch head space; cover at once with metal lids, and screw bands tightly. Process in boiling water bath 15 minutes. Yield about 7 half pints.
Ok kids- let’s review the game tape and figure out how we screwed up!
First of all- I really don’t think halving this was a good idea. Or if you do half it, use a smaller pot. I used my chili pot and it was too big. I think if I had used a 2 qt. saucepan, for instance, and reduced the surface area, it might have worked.
What I made turned out more like caramel with peach slices in it. I only boiled mine for half the time, cuz if I would have boiled it for an hour and a half I’d have to throw away the pot and start over. I think 4 cups of peaches and 2 1/2 cups of sugar yielded about a cup of stuff for me. I can’t really call it jam.
But worse case scenario, if I can chip it out of the jar and reheat it- we’ll have some mac daddy peach sauce for home made vanilla ice cream!
The fun thing about this dinner was the peanut sauce. I love it, but have never thought to make it before. It was pretty simple.
In a sauce pan add:
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsps of soy sauce
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
Bring to a boil – stirring occasionally; remove from heat and keep warm.
The rest of the meal was very simple; I cooked the chicken in a cast iron skillet so the outside would get very brown, I steamed some sushi rice and then steamed broccoli. I used the peanut sauce on just about everything. I really enjoyed it, though I doubt it is very good for me, I will make it again.
Terrible picture – great dinner.
I started with talapia fillets which I salted, peppered and then dredged in flour. In a saute I added about 2 tbls of butter over medium heat.
When the butter starts to bubble – add the fillets – cook until golden brown on both sides.
I de-glazed the pan with a dash of wine and then added capers and parsley – YUM! The asparagus was a simple roast with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and the quinoa was simply steamed – if you haven’t cooked quinoa before – it cooks like rice. Its a nice flavor and a healthy alternative to rice.
I had a crazy allergy headache today from too much yard work. I trimmed all the azaleas and could smell the mold on them as I was cutting them – so – as I was healing with a few hours on the couch today, I was flipping channels and landed on Mystic Pizza. Naturally a pizza craving was not too far behind. I decided to mix up my typical pizza making and go deep dish. I used my regular crust recipe – as I was making the crust I preheated the oven to 400 and set the cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well. When the crust was ready I formed it and then set it inside the cast iron skillet and pressed it on the sides of the pan – it started to sizzle as soon as it hit the pan – yum. I put the crust in the oven for about 6 minutes while I prepared the toppings. I removed the pan – added the sauce, toppings of spinach and feta, and topped the whole thing with cheese – then back it went into the oven for another 17 minutes. The crust was crispy on the bottom and done all the way through – it was quite tasty! I will definitely do this one again. Normally I go for the thin crust but this was just what the doctor ordered.
This was actually Sunday brunch, by the time I was done with it. I made home made buttermilk pancakes and maple sausage. Dev had coffee and I had chai.
I think I’m going to have to punch up my repertoire now that I have a decent kitchen. I have no excuse anymore!
This is my kinda lunch. I have some flatbread crackers, sliced smoked gouda, pepper jack, dubliner, sliced apples, smoked turkey, smoked salmon and prunes. I know- gross. But I’m getting old, plus I just like the way they taste- everyone needs more fiber!
Saturday was a busy day. We did yardwork for most of it. I decided we needed a very healthy breakfast to stick to our ribs.
Can you tell I’m trying to get used to a different broiler?? That toast got a little dark, huh? But I feel I made up for it with the artfully arranged banana/orange offering.
Breakfast was: scrambled eggs, broiled tomato and dubliner cheese on bagel toast and bananas and oranges. Dev had coffee and I had chai.