Tuesday, September 30, 2008

weekend update: i found the camera!

a really, really big head of red lettuce
prepping fruit to make leather - recipe forthcoming, pending tweaking
croissant and homemade jam....

Monday, September 29, 2008

welcome, foodies! or, weekend tidbits.

hi, there! a bunch of people are coming over to the almost sustainable kitchen from the foodie blogroll today. it's nice to have you. stick around!

another lovely weekend of food and friends around here. the weather was fantastic, too. august and september are typically warm and dry in these parts. it's supposed to be 87 today. holy cow! better eat my breakfast so i can get out and exercise before it gets too late/hot. i'm a real baby about sweating it out in the sun.

saturday morning's farmer's market haul: strawberries, baby bok choy, a gigantic head of red lettuce, a croissant, summer squash, shelling beans (tongue of fire, i think), tomatoes and red peppers. i'm still reeling from the fact that strawberries and red peppers are available at the same time here. nuts! and they're both good!

i made a new chocolate and peanut better no-bake recipe for a potluck yesterday. these are really rich, and could even be cut smaller. which i rarely advocate. another hint: natural peanut butter doesn't seem to want to "heat until runny." save yourself the trouble if you're using the freshly-ground type.

i seem to have set our camera down somewhere that made sense at the time. ahem. so, it's temporarily out of service. but can i mention that i took that farmer's market croissant from fleur de lis, and we that enjoyed the first taste of my blackberry jam with it? wow. the fresh and punchy blackberry meeting the soft and buttery croissant was just out of this world.

sunday morning, it was whole wheat waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. man, life is good!

wheat waffles
modified from the food network

3 tb melted butter
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup wheat flour *** or up to 1 1/4 cups wheat flour to total 1 1/2 cups total
pinch of salt
3 tb sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs

preheat waffle maker. i like 'em crispy! sift dry stuff together in big bowl. beat milk and eggs together. add to dry stuff until just combined. stir in melted butter. measure scant 1/2 cup of batter onto waffle iron and cook until steam stops coming out, or your little light turns green, or however your waffle iron works.

i cook all the waffles at once, then reheat as needed by placing them back on the iron for 10-15 seconds. this crisps them back up.

enough for two fairly hungry people. great for sunday mornings before roller derby practice - without the whipped cream.
excuse me if this looks a little funny - blogger is forcing me to learn html on my feet, since it's not behaving very well.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thanks, Paul Newman

sad news today. paul newman brought natural and organic foods to the marketplace before it was fashionable, and "recycled the profits" to charitable causes. if i could die with that kind of legacy, i could die happy, knowing i did more than my part. thanks.

Friday, September 26, 2008

don't buy fiji water.

hi. the last i checked, there was an ad for fiji water on the top of this page. i'm checking into that, because there aren't supposed to be product-specific ads on the banner at the top. in the meantime, if you're interested, here's an article from treehugger explaining why fiji water is not so great. thanks! *almost immediate update: the foodbuzz people e-mailed back, and said they'd remove the ad right away. aces! thanks, foodbuzz!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

preserving summer: blackberry jam

hey! i did it! 3 1/2 pints of blackberry jam. all the jars made their little "thwink!" noises and i can't press down on the top, which should mean we probably won't die when we eat it. i'm not sure if it really jelled (or jammed, maybe), but i don't think i'll care when we have summery blackberry delicious goo in the winter. who isn't down with goo? the 1/2 full jar will be opened tomorrow, so we'll see. maybe, if i'm feeling ambitious, we can have biscuits and jam in the morning. oooh yeah. next: more fruit leather, after the next store run. jam uses up a LOT of sugar.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i-pick blackberries.

here's an upside to being unemployed! you can go berry picking on a tuesday. no crowds, and the crop has had a few days to ripen since the weekend. i went out looking for raspberries, but stumbled on a much heartier blackberry crop. ended up with probably 4-5 pounds of blackberries and a couple pints of raspberries. it was the last week for the last variety of raspberries, at this farm at least, so willamette valley raspberry-lovers take note.
blackberry picking is not a camera-friendly enterprise. a few pints in, and your fingers are covered in dark red-purple berry juice.

so, trust me, i got a lot more than this:

...but what to do with all of them? i got some canning equipment from my mom the other day, and i'd love to preserve some that way. i'll definitely make some more fruit leather. blackberry-infused vodka? the sky's the limit! within a budget, of course.

blackberry syrup?


Sunday, September 21, 2008

fresh, local weekend.

this was one of those slow burn weekends. somewhat eventful, but definitely low key.
on saturday, i went to the beaverton farmer's market with my parents, who were taking care of my 19-month-old nephew and 5-year-old niece for the weekend. i didn't have any grocery cash on me, so i had fun sharing free samples with the niece. and when brian came over to pick me up, the first words out of her mouth were, "aunt kelley bought an artichoke!"
white chocolate oatmeal cookies. for a barbecue. they turned out better than the last time i attempted this recipe.
the aforementioned artichoke. brian's first! i couldn't resist buying ONE thing at the market.
potato-broccoli-cheddar soup. with a red pepper for good measure.
waffles. but that's not too exciting.
raspberry fruit leather. mmm. if you have some raspberries that get compressed, smooshed, or are just starting to look long in the tooth, look into it. yum. i'm hoping to refine my methods and report back on this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

my vegetarian 100

these "100" lists are going all around the blogs these days. and hey, i'm unemployed, so why not indulge myself for a moment? these are all things one certain person thought that everyone (except vegans, in some cases) should eat in one's lifetime. bold the items you're eaten. here we go! 1. Real macaroni and cheese, made from scratch and baked 2. Tabouleh 3. Freshly baked bread, straight from the oven (preferably with homemade strawberry jam) -probably not with jam, but otherwise, sure! 4. Fresh figs 5. Fresh pomegranate 6. Indian dal of any sort -oh no. i have no idea! i don't remember the names of things, and rarely eat Indian. 7. Imam bayildi 8. Pressed spiced Chinese tofu 9. Freshly made hummus 10. Tahini 11. Kimchi 12. Miso 13. Falafel 14. Potato and pea filled samosas 15. Homemade yogurt 16. Muhammara - come again? 17. Brie en croute 18. Spanikopita 19. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes 20. Insalata caprese 21. Stir-fried greens (gai lan, bok choi, pea shoots, kale, chard or collards) 22. Freshly made salsa 23. Freshly made guacamole 24. Creme brulee - weirdly, i don't think i've ever had a classic creme brulee. maybe a bite. 25. Fava beans 26. Chinese cold sesame peanut noodles 27. Fattoush 28. New potatoes 29. Coleslaw 30. Ratatouille 31. Baba ganoush 32. Winter squash 33. Roasted beets -yuck 34. Baked sweet potatoes - double yuck. man, i love summer food so much more than winter food. 35. Plantains 36. Chocolate truffles 37. Garlic mashed potatoes 38. Fresh water chestnuts - they don't grow in the cans? 39. Steel cut oats 40. Quinoa 41. Grilled portabello mushrooms 42. Chipotle en adobo 43. Stone ground whole grain cornmeal 44. Freshly made corn or wheat tortillas 45. Frittata 46. Basil pesto 47. Roasted garlic 48. Raita of any type 49. Mango lassi 50. Jasmine rice (white or brown) 51. Thai vegetarian coconut milk curry 52. Pumpkin in any form other than pie 53. Fresh apple pear or plum gallette 54. Quince in any form 55. Escarole, endive or arugula 56. Sprouts other than mung bean 57. Naturally brewed soy sauce 58. Dried shiitake mushrooms 59. Unusually colored vegetables (purple cauliflower, blue potatoes, chocolate bell peppers…) 60. Fresh peach ice cream 61. Chevre 62. Medjool dates 63. Kheer 64. Flourless chocolate cake -yes. oh yes. 65. Grilled corn on the cob 66. Black bean (or any other bean) vegetarian chili 67. Tempeh 68. Seitan or wheat gluten 69. Gorgonzola or any other blue veined cheese 70. Sweet potato fries 71. Homemade au gratin potatoes - not sure. mom, did you use a box? 72. Cream of asparagus soup 73. Artichoke-Parmesan dip 74. Mushroom risotto 75. Fermented black beans 76. Garlic scapes 77. Fresh new baby peas 78. Kalamata olives 79. Preserved lemons 80. Fried green tomatoes 81. Chinese scallion pancakes 82. Cheese souffle 83. Fried apples 84. Homemade frijoles refritos 85. Pasta fagiole 86. Macadamia nuts in any form 87. Paw paw in any form 88. Grilled cheese sandwich of any kind - since i lived off these when i was newly vegetarian and still partake often, 1000x yes. 89. Paneer cheese 90. Ma Po Tofu (vegetarian style–no pork!) 91. Fresh pasta in any form 92. Grilled leeks, scallions or ramps 93. Green papaya salad 94. Baked grain and vegetable stuffed tomatoes 95. Pickled ginger 96. Methi greens 97. Aloo paratha 98. Kedgeree (the original Indian version without the smoked fish, not the British version with fish) 99. Okra 100. Roasted brussels sprouts wow. i have some eating to do! be sure to leave a comment and a link if you've done your own 100 list. thanks to tiger & strawberries for this one. *Update: Excuse me! My mother has never made au gratin or scalloped potatoes from a box, and is mildly offended that I might think that she did. Sorry, mom!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


eh. my loaf of ciabatta wasn't really worth much type. i have a few ideas up my sleeve about how to improve the next loaf, and have some experimenting to do with my bob's red mill yeast. and bigas in general. hmmph. at least it smelled good, and almost any homemade bread is worth eating.

i spent a lovely evening with my parents, niece, and nephew (and air conditioning) last night, and was sent home with a goody bag of slicer tomatoes, romas, and sweet 100's from the garden.

i roasted the roma and cherry tomatoes, immediately devoured the cherry tomatoes straight out of the oven, and saved the romas for dinner.

it wasn't a lot of work, but brian called it "a treat." a treat! it was - you don't get that pure, sweet, concentrated roma tomato flavor from a can or a jar.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

baking between heat waves

august and september are normally warm, dry months in the pacific northwest, but as sad as i am to see summer go, i can do without these 90+ degree days. suppose if it extends the berry season, i have no reason to complain. on thursday, (a 91-degree day i spent walking waaay too much, not realizing that a bus route had changed), i stopped by the eastbank farmer's market in my old neighborhood. man, there's a lot of good food in one small parking lot. with my $20 allowance, i took home red and golden raspberries, mixed salad greens, a big fat brandywine tomato, red peppers, and red onion, with just enough left over for bus fare. since we planned on going to the beach the next afternoon, i made a plan to use up all those raspberries. step one: eat a whole bunch by themselves on thursday night. step two: eat the rest of the golden raspberries with breakfast friday morning. step three: incorporate remaining berries into some kind of baked good for the beach trip.

on friday, i made the raspberry-topped lemon muffins from smitten kitchen. i only used the zest from one lemon, to reduce any bitterness. they still had a full, delicious lemon flavor. however, these guys are really cupcakes masquerading as muffins. a stick of butter creamed with sugar to produce a muffin? mmm-hmm. suuuure. i'd still eat one for breakfast though. or two. i overcoked them a little, afraid they'd be raw around the berries, but they were still very very good. i reccomend. go forth and bake. tomorrow, maybe. today it's supposed to be 95. let's hope it's going to be a little cooler tomorrow, because i have some ciabatta dough hanging out in the fridge.

i've always wanted to make this recipe from the bread lover's bread machine cookbook, but it called for a 6 quart bucket. and i was bucketless. that is, i was bucketless until this weekend at the beach, when we went to an ice cream shop that was selling its old ice cream tubs for $1 a piece, with the proceeds going to buy books for local children. how could we refuse?

what a lovely way to reuse materials. ice cream + bucket for me + books for kids = win-win-win.