Romantic Food Blogging

July 29, 2010

A dramatic look at Duck and Potatoes.  Try viewing it on an i-pad, should be easy to swipe through the steps.

From NPR’s the Picture Show Blog:

“My hope,” Hereford writes on his blog, “is to develop this video to work with tablet computers so that you could “swipe” between the vignettes instead of them playing with a rigid sequence from start to end. … I like the idea of creating a moving image which runs on a loop or is shot over a long period of time so the media can be consumed and studied in ways a traditional film cannot.”

Oh, and the duck looks delicious, too.  Props to the chef for picking his vegetables from a roof top garden in New York.

Bon Appetite!



July 16, 2010

Spinach, Carrot and Apple Juice

 I know, I know, I know.  That looks disgusting.  But I’m going to apply a wine writers trick and call it “earthy with “hints of green tea and sour apple.”   What is it? Well, it’s the rest of my CSA box, that’s what!  I’ve had a large bunch of carrots and a huge bag spinach in my fridge for just too long.  These warm summer days really turn me off to cooked veggies for lunch and dinner, and just can’t do another salad.  “Grrr!”  I said, craming the bag of greens back in the cripser. “What am I gonna do with all this?” 

 “Juice it.”  Said Mr. Oakland Garden Kitchen without looking up from his lap top.  A moment of brilliance. 

 That same day, a friend mentioned her favorite “juice” is spinach, carrot and apple.  Well, lemme tell you, I have spinach and carrots comming out of my ears! And I managed to find 2 organic apples grown in the Etats Unis at the local Lucky’s.  After an “all call” to the neighbors, a dusty never-used juicer emerged from the house accross the street.  I could just feel the vitamins getting ready to juice up my system! (no pun intended…)  

  Earthy Apple Juice  

From Shooting Star CSA :
– 1 large bag of spinach (about 1/2 a lb of large leaves, not baby spinach)
– 15 medium size bright orange carrots
From Lucky’s tiny little organic produce corner:
– 2 red apples 

Just cram it all through juicer and try not to let the juice or the pulp over flow their tiny containers!  

At first I thought the spinach was just being shredded and producing no juice. But after pushing the first hand full of spinach through, I did a few carrots and out came the frothy green liquid. I kept alternating between spinach, carrots, spinach, carrots and finished it off with the apples.  All in all, it yielded about 30 ounces, or a little less than a liter of concentrated juice. I drank a glass and a half before I stopped to take a picture!  This is all I saved for Mr. OGK.  Sorry hun, it was good!   

It also yeilded about 8 cups of pulp!  This colorful bowl of fluff is headed into a carrot cake for tonight’s pot luck dinner.  Stay tuned for that report.  

Spinach, Carrot and Apple Pulp

Plum Good

July 15, 2010

Plum sauce.

Where I grew up, people use the word “plum” to add authenticity or credibility to a statement.  “Well, that’s just plum crazy.”  Or, “this pie is plum delicious.”  That is to say, “this pie is nothing but delicious; that is the only word to acurately describe this pie.”

Well after spending a good 10 hours in the kitchen with 10+ pounds of plums, I can say I’m begining to understand.  There’s just nothing like a plum.

How did I get all those plums?  Greedy smurf.  I stopped by a friends house on a visit to Monterey.  Poor friend, she was out of town while her plum tree just dropped pounds of fruit a day into her drive way.  Well, I couldn’t let her come home to a plum purple drive way!  I’ll take home a few for snacks…..

10 lbs later, I took home a “few,” and googled, “what to do with all these plums.”

Plum Jam!  Hunting the perfect youtube teacher, I found a few videos of “how to’s” for plum jam.  The first was a short film in a nice sunny kitchen including the ingredients I had on hand:  plums and sugar.  I had to laugh at her plum jam experience.  The electric mixer breaks, the jam pours over the edges of the jar.  Now that’s what my kitchen experiments usually look like.  However, when  tried her recipe, it turned into plum sauce.  I’m looking forward to plum sauce on vanilla ice cream, but I was hoping for jam.

My second youtube teacher came from Under the Tuscan Gun.  Her plum trees look just like mine, and yes it took her just as long to pit all those plums.  This batch turned about much better, thickened like a decent marmalade, and is amazing on a baguette.  I’ll let Debi’s Italian mother-in-law teach you instead of explain what I attempted to do.  I did add the juice of 2 back yard lemons to Nona’s recipe, I like my jams tart. 

Red plums, they are cherry size.

The most time intensive part is cutting up the plums!


Plum jam bubbling on the stove.

Jars of Plum Jam

Even after two batches, I still have a good pound of plums left.  They are headed for the dehydrator and future trail mix.



July 7, 2010

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes and Marketmore Cucumbers

Cherry tomatoes, cukes and a morsel of homemade goat cheese.  Could summer get better?

Thank you, thank you Shooting Star CSA for my nostalgic favorites!  These little cherry tomatoes are just sweet and acidic enough to make you smile when you pop one in your mouth.  And the cucumbers are cool and refreshing with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  I suppose I could have made it into a salad, but I just didn’t have the patience.  A little bit of goat cheese makes the snack more filling, otherwise I think I could eat cukes and tomatoes from lunch to dinner!

Dinner?  Black eyed peas and collard greens on the stove.  mmm…..

Summer is in full swing and so is our CSA and our travel schedule!  We just returned from Charleston, SC, where we enjoyed the bounty from two farms.  My parents are members of Pinkney’s Produce CSA, who loaded them up with extra watermelon and corn when they stopped by the farm on the way to the beach.  Our family very much appreciated their generosity!  My sister and her husband are a member of Ambrose Family Farm CSA and they came every day with loads of basil, squash, potatoes, and eggplants.  We were doing such a good job of relaxing, I didn’t have a chance to recap every meal, but here are a few highlights from our low-country kitchen.  Follow the link for the recipes: 

Katie’s Eggplant Parma, a recipe from the Joy of Cooking

Mom’s Watermelon and Feta Salad

Low Country Boil

Corn, Tomato and Black-eyed Pea Salsa 

I also have to recommend our one night out at the Brick House Kitchen

the Brick House, during renovations

  A charming restaurant on Folly Road, set in an early 19th century home under enormous live oaks behind a long red fence, this family run business features local, seasonal fare and manages their own compost in the back yard!  We loved the shrimp and angel hair pasta, the soft shell crab, and the decadent chocolate pot!  We were also assured by a fellow diner that the Wahoo was pulled out of the Atlantic that morning.  As far as I can see no website yet (they are just 3 months old) but they’re easy to find on Facebook.  

And of course, I must admit to a $0.75 chili dog form Bert’s on Folly Beach and a delicious Fallafel Crepe from Tokyo Crepes.  

We returned to Oakland just in time to pick up our own CSA box, this time full of basil, onions, garlic, spinach, potatoes, carrots, green beans and a lovely head of cabbage.  Craving something cool and crunchy, I whipped up this dependable coleslaw for a picnic lunch at Funk Town.  I could have used some of the halapenos from my sister’s box back in Charleston and it could rival Bake Sale Betty.  

Simple Summer Coleslaw: 

One medium head of cabbage, shredded (our box had Farao cabbage)
One large carrot, cut into thin strips (our box had Nelson carrots)
Three small onions (our box had mini purplettes)
3 tbs sugar
¼ cup olive oil (spicy Bear Paw EVOO, Grand Lake Farmers Market)
¼ cup vinegar (I used a combination of red wine vinegar and raw apple cider vinegar) 

Crunchy coleslaw

Toss all ingredients together in a big bowl and store in the fridge till you’re ready to serve.  It was the only thing my girlfriend, suffering from a queasy first trimester, could stomach at our picnic.  Better than