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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Travel Oregon put together a really awesome Oregon-themed cookbook that highlights autumn ingredients. The recipes are gathered from restaurants around Oregon. What a great idea. Methinks I’ll be printing this out and trying a bunch of stuff, including the crazy-but-very-right-sounding Juniper Granita. Between this cookbook and the Bon Appetit Thanksgiving planner, I think I’ll be set for My Big Fat Turkey Thursday (mostly vegan).

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Eeek! A Spider!

Pickle dressed in a spider costume

"Happy Halloween!" --Pickle

More dog torture:

PIckle_Spider on couch

Please...help me.

And for those of you looking for a last-minute Halloween  treat, this pumpkin fudge is quite easy and surprisingly tasty. Here it is in the pan on its way to work with me:

pumpkin fudge

Mmmm, pumpkiny!

Happy Halloween to all!

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Did I wake up this morning and it’s already September 1st? How is that possible? And yet, already I feel those strange cool breezes and notice the sun acting funny, setting a lot earlier than it should. Alas, I have a mere twenty-one days of summer left to enjoy.

Thankfully, the weather actually seems to be cooperating here for once. We’ve had some beautiful days of eighty-degree weather. I’m hoping it holds so that my newly planted collards, kales, and greens get a decent start before The Rain begins. Also, it’s nice to use my stovetop again finally. I’m making a soup right now from my old Fields of Greens cookbook. Mmmm!

If I must bid summer adieu, what better way to do it than to post my strawberry ice cream recipe? This is the recipe we served at El Puerco this year, so for those of you in attendance, you’ll (hopefully) remember it fondly. Somehow, sadly, I forgot to take a picture of it, so I have included a photo of the menu instead.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 can coconut milk
2 c chopped strawberries
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c agave syrup

Macerate the strawberries in the sugar for 30-60 mins. Put the coconut milk, agave syrup, and macerated strawberries into a blender and blend. Pour this mix into your ice cream maker and proceed according to mfr’s instructions. I think it’s especially good to top the finished product with more macerated strawberries, as we did at El Puerco.

Every time I post one of these coconut milk ice cream recipes I feel obligated to say my disclaimer, which is: forget about dairy-based homemade ice creams. Using coconut milk is the BEST. You don’t have to make it up ahead of time and it freezes way better than homemade dairy ice cream. Take a leap of faith for me on this, and let me know how it turns out if you try it.

El Puerco Menu next to the Declaration of Independence
El Puerco Menu next to the Declaration of Independence

Oh yeah, and I also updated my Flickr feed. One day on my way to volunteering at the Travel Portland Visitor Information Center, I took some photos along the way, mostly to entice my friends and family to visit me. You should be able to click on that in the right sidebar. Enjoy!

Oh yeah yeah, I also finally created http://afoodiesfallfromgrace.wordpress.com. Everything should be working fine, but pardon some of the inevitable glitches while I figure things out.

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At work the other day, a fellow food lover brought in his brick pizza oven. Only it wasn’t like any pizza oven I’ve ever seen before. It was a do-it-yourself brick pizza oven made out of an old barbecue grill. I think a picture here will be helpful (more pics available in the Flickr feed – click on the sidebar widget):

Do It Yourself Portable Brick Pizza Oven

Do It Yourself Portable Brick Pizza Oven

Basically, he took an old barbecue grill and outfitted it with a little metal shelf on which to place the bricks. The shelf gets the bricks up and away from the gas element in the bottom of the grill pan. Then he also put two more bricks on the upper warming tray of the grill.

This thing was totally awesome. It combined my nerdy technical side with my love-to-eat side. Yea!

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Once again, I’ve surprised myself by how long it’s taken me to post. I have been so busy I can hardly see straight. Somewhere in the chaos of daily life, I’ve come up with the menu for our second annual El Puerco de Julio Fiesta. Here ’tis:

  • Watermelon
  • Cole Slaw
  • Pulled Pork
  • The Man’s World Famous Gluten-free Mac and Cheese
  • Cornbread (gluten-free and maybe even a vegan version as well)
  • Ice Cream (coconut milk and agave based/gf vegan)

I’m still not sure about the ice cream flavor. We’ve been tossing around a lot of ideas, including just going vanilla and then providing fruit sauces such as peach, cherry (our trees are so weighted down with cherries at this point), lychee, and strawberry. I really like this idea, but honestly, it sounds like a lot of work, which is time I just don’t have right now. Other ideas are peach (using black-peach tea with peach chunks) and strawberry. I’m torn. Naturally, I want it to be perfect, so I’m having a hard time committing. I really need to kill my inner Martha!

Any ice cream flavor suggestions out there? What is traditional (since my menu is traditional) yet super yummy and maybe a little different too?

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Look, Look, LOOK at this!!!

Went to a garden party, sat around with my old friends...

Went to a garden party, sat around with my old friends...

It’s my first garden salad of the year! By that I mean that I grew everything in this bowl. Well, I didn’t grow it, I put the seeds in the ground and they grew themselves, like great little children. And now, I must eat them!

What we have here are: spinach, rouge d’hiver, salad bowl, Australian yellow, crinkly cress (man that stuff is spicy) rocket, flat leaf parsley, marjoram, and some other stuff. I tossed all of this in a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. It’s so fresh it’s still bleeding, so what more could it need?

I’m really, really pleased about this because this year I gave up on anything remotely fancy for my garden (ix-nay on the ucchini-zay, eets-bay, etc.) and just gave the garden what it most likes to grow, and that is LETTUCE. Et voila, gardening success! Finally!

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When I was a kid, my parents would often take my older sisters, brother, and I back to their small hometown in California’s Central Valley. Think cotton fields, dust, unbelievable heat, drive-in movie theaters, strawberry soda, and the smell of alfalfa everywhere. One of my uncles, whom I’ll call Floyd Owens, was a real character. Think bolo tie, cowboy boots and hat, thin lips, Texas accent, and a major leg-puller of small, gullible children. He used to call me “Melon-eye”, which now sounds to me like an exotic Hawaiian cocktail, but at the time was one of those mildly annoying things about Uncle Floyd (when you’re twelve, “Melon-eye” just doesn’t sound cool somehow).

As I mentioned in my last post, my market had a sale on galia melons. I got to thinking about aguas frescas and how much I love them. Then the Craving started, and I knew it would have to be satisfied. Hence, I bring you, The Melon-Eye. Improvise as you wish. Methinks it cries out for vodka, but you probably have better ideas (which you naturally should let me know about).

The Melon-Eye

serves 2

  1. Select a galia melon. I typically push in the bottom gently with my thumb and smell it. If it smells like melon and my thumb can push in just a bit, it’s ripe.
  2. Cut up the melon, discarding the seeds and peel.
  3. Place the melon pieces into a blender or food processor, pulsing until blended.
  4. Strain through a colander or sieve.
    MelonPulp
  5. Add agave syrup to taste. I use 1-2 T per glass.
  6. Add ice and serve.

Like I said, this just screams cocktail! and next time I make it, I’ll probably add some vodka and maybe a sugar or salted rim. I mean, it is summer after all, and one must make the most of it.

The Melon Eye

The Melon-Eye

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