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.

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!

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

must make || haloumi cheese

haloumicheese608

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

foodie friday: ancho honey butter

IMG_0154

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.

IMG_0140

IMG_0143

IMG_0132   IMG_0134

IMG_0150

IMG_0161

IMG_0158

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.