Food

food stuffs // a scarecrow

Once upon a time there was a sad scarecrow who wanted to save the world one organic veggie at a time. Once upon a time, one gluten-free girl in D.C. was very happy for the people who care enough to know what is in what they cook and not make her sick.

When I saw this three-minute, barely-branded Chipotle ad (for a game nonetheless), I really did think what is this and it’s going to be absurd. And then the ad totally hit me in the organic-loving heart (for those are like, i’ve seen what you sometimes eat, yes, I still eat Doritos, I can’t help it…I’m working on it).

Let’s cultivate a better world.

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Food, Life, Photography, Travel

foodie friday: turkey // eats

turkeyeats

One of the greatest parts of travel is the food, and I can easily find myself snacking waaay too often while on vacation. I’d say that Turkey was no exception, except that we were almost too busy to indulge in the greatness. I said almost. I personally had plenty of my favorite food groups, cheese and bread. And every now and then, I managed to squeeze in a vegetable, some fruit, baklava and one night, we worked in the greatest Indian food that I have ever had and I forgot to take a picture of said meal. The spices were unreal.

spice market, istanbul

spice market, istanbul

figs, sirince

All of the elements, the spices and the fruits and veggies, were amazing to see. The prepared meals and meze were just as wonderful. And nothing could top the adorable Turkish man on Heybeliada who pulled us over to the glass counter filled with pyrex dishes as he held his list of the meze options in English. He would point to an item, say the word, and point to the English word on the page while saying it aloud. My personal favorite was him pointing to an item, looking confused and then going with aubergine, everything else was a spot on translation, so we with it, because the french (and foodie) side of Ann and my brain clearly got that it was an eggplant dish.

sirince

heybeliada, prince islands

Also, if you don’t love tea…prepare a great response ahead of time, because people are going to offer to give you a lot of tea.

istanbul

Next in the Turkey adventure, let’s get on a plane and see something great!

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Food, Inspiration, Video

oh happy day

I love Julia Child.

So when a coworker sent me the above from PBS Digital Studios, I may have re-watched it repeatedly. Cause, well, it’s amazing and I, as a little person, watched Julia on PBS with Jacques Pepin…my intro to the food world. So Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child! You did more for the food world than anyone even thought possible.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude” — Julia Child

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Food

must make || haloumi cheese

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There is a day when you wake up and you think, oh my gosh I need a better blog structure. And then you hit a road block. That is kinda the way it’s been in the Kitchen of Throwing Cake. My creative brain went on sabbatical without telling me. So, to coax it back I give you (what I hope to be a regular feature), my current favorite recipe from the internets.

Haloumi Cheese.

So yummy, so Greek, and so perfect as a snack pre-summer BBQ. You can serve it on thinly sliced bread or pita (which can also go on the grill) and then sprinkle it with either dill or oregano. So simple, and so impressive. Adding this onto my giant “must make” list.

Grilled Haloumi Cheese & Lemon
From Melissa Roberts  c/o Gourmet Magazine, June 2007

2 lemons
1/2 lb Haloumi cheese
1 large garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices peasant or country-style bread
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderately high heat.

Cut 8 thin slices from lemons, then squeeze enough juice from remainder to measure 2 tablespoons and put in a bowl.

Halve cheese diagonally, then cut each triangle, cut side down, into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using side of a large heavy knife, then add to lemon juice. Whisk in salt and sugar until dissolved, then add 1/4 cup oil, whisking until combined.

Separately toss lemon slices and cheese each with 1/2 tablespoon dressing.

Brush both sides of bread with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Grill bread, cheese, and lemon slices on grill rack, covered, turning over once (use a metal spatula to scrape under cheese to loosen before turning), until bread is toasted (2 to 3 minutes total), grill marks appear on cheese (3 to 4 minutes total), and lemons begin to wilt (4 to 6 minutes total).

Whisk dill into remaining dressing. Divide bread among 4 small plates and top with cheese and lemon slices. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

COOKS’ NOTE: If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, bread, lemon, and cheese can be cooked in a hot oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderate heat.

Photograph: Romulo Yanes

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Food

foodie friday: ancho honey butter

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For those in NYC and DC, you get the great joy of Hill Country BBQ, a texas style bbq restaurant that makes even the Texans in the area happy. I love it and most things about it (sorry world, I just can’t do collards). And one thing I dream about is their ancho honey butter. It is the sole reason I get the cornbread.

So when the urge hit me to make it, away I went.

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Ten minutes out of your day, and people will be super impressed that you made “fancy butter” as we decided to call it.

Ancho-Honey Butter
Elizabeth Karmel care of the Huff Post
10 mins total | 5 mins prep

Ingredients
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
zest of an orange
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (each cup is 2 sticks or 1/2 a pound)
1 tablespoon ground dried ancho chile peppers
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions
In a stand mixer, or handheld mixer, combine orange juice and about one-half of the butter and beat until smooth.

Add the remaining butter and mix until smooth. Add the orange zest, cinnamon, coriander, honey and fleur de sel and beat until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Transfer to a small bowl or molds and set aside at room temperature.

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Food

featured on The Goods!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Every now and then all you want is a hearty salad. And in my household, that comes in the form of the warm steak salad. It is a thing of legend, and in all honestly, it changes a wee bit every time I make it.

So when I was asked to create a salad recipe to showcase one of uncommongoods newest serving items, a wheelbarrow, I knew it was time to perfect the warm, hearty salad that I’ve been improvising on for years. And so I went for it, and the end result was pretty amazing. It can be served sans meet (as the recipe states) or feel free to serve with grilled steak, chicken or salmon. You can even add in a few other veggie options (broccoli, peppers, etc) as your heart desires.

More then that, it was really fun to photograph.

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

You can find my debut/recipe on The Goods at blog.uncommongoods.com

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Food

foodie friday: ricotta cheese

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In my great attempts to emulate both Little House on the Prairie and every cooking blog alive, I decided to make my own ricotta cheese (because going to the grocery store sounded difficult). But to answer all the questions of “is it really that different?” the answer is yes. I’m now obsessed. It it smooth and creamy and wonderful. And it also went really well on toast with my strawberry jam. Success.

Homemade Ricotta
from Jennie Perillo care of Food52

Makes 2 cups
4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Add the ingredients to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, line a sieve or fine mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a deep bowl or pot.

Once the curds begin to separate from the whey (you’ll see little specks of white bob to the surface), stir gently and set heat to the lowest setting (see NOTE). Cook for 2 more minutes, then remove pot from heat and set on an unlit back burner for at least 30 minutes, and up to one hour. (this will help the curds further develop).

Gently ladle the curds into the cheesecloth-lined strainer (this helps produce a fluffier, creamier curd, than pouring it into the strainer). When all the curds have been spooned into the bowl, pull the cheesecloth up the sides to loosely cover the ricotta in the strainer.

Let sit for 10 minutes to drain (this will yield a very moist ricotta. If using for a cake recipe, you may want to let it drain longer for a drier consistency).

Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

NOTE from Jennie: After making one to two pots of ricotta for a year, I’ve learned it likes to be left alone to produce the highest yield, so resist the temptation to stir it frequently once the curds begin to separate from the whey. One stir is enough, and if you’re curious, you can dip the spoon in the pot once or twice to see how the curds are developing.

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Wedding

wedding wednesday: brunch, anyone?

This wedding caught my eye because of the awesome location, a great looking couple and well, a long table.

I stayed on it, because of the menu. Brunch food, anyone?

When I first saw it, I thought it was a brunch wedding (which is an amazing idea that Dawn talks about on a regular basis). But actually, it’s a breakfast for dinner wedding. I love the unique food ideas, and have plenty of other interesting event food posts in my head. But I’m curious…

…what is the most unique food that you’ve had at an event/wedding?

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Food, Photography

cookbooks

I can read a cookbook cover to cover, pretty much the same way I could read Harry Potter. I love them. Though I do say, I generally only love the ones with lots of pictures. But I have collected some great ones over the years. So when I had the assignment to shoot “out of the box” I figured what better thing to shoot then my books (actually, in all honesty I though “gosh darn it, why is it raining? I’m in a bad mood. I want to go back to bed. My assignment is due tomorrow. What can I shoot…..fine, I’ll do cookbooks”). But we’ll just pretend I was really inspired from the beginning since I really liked the end results.

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books featured
Good Eats, Alton Brown (amazon)
The Barefoot Contessa, Ian Garten (barefoot contessa)
A Platter of Figs, David Tanis (amazon)
Flour, Joanne Chang (flour bakery & cafe)
Sky High, Alice Huntsman & Peter Wynne (amazon)
Baked, Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito (baked nyc)
Simply Organic, Jesse Ziff Cool (amazon)
Vefa’s Kitchen, Vefa Alexiadou (amazon)

cookbooks beloved (but not in the photo above)
The Blackberry Farm Cookbook, Sam Beall (blackberry farm, amazon)
Tartine, Elisabeth Prueitt & Chad Robertson (tartine bakery)
Tartine Bread, Chad Robertson (tartine bakery)

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Food

food love.

-This was my lunch, that made it on to the iPhone because it was served on a cutting board with cute cast iron servingware (lunch: Againn Gastropub)

Let me count the forms I love thee in:

Food quotes, food photos, food trivia, cookbooks, cakes, cookies, pastries, appetizers, dinner parties, dessert parties, food blogs, food trucks, tacos…and the list goes on an on.

But the point of this is, expect lots of food references. Lots and lots.

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