Sunday, January 30, 2011
We went to AMC Theatres at Esplanade where The Fighter is Playing. Wow. You must see this movie. Christian Bale nailed the role of the crack addicted brother/boxing trainer. Great dialogue and photography. The actress who played the mother was incredible too. I need to go to imdb.com and find out what else she's done. It's a very cool website for film buffs.
Anyways, after the movie we went to Hazelwoods, which is right in front of my place (within walking distance, so there Phoenix P.D.!) They have great bar food, I really like their zucchini and mushrooms, wings and sliders. You can see from the picture that the sliders look pretty tasty. And they have lots of beers on tap: kiltlifter, fat tire, etc. so you can't go wrong.
Happy 25th, WVR! (in the spirit of full disclosure that's not his exact age but I was given liberties)
I was driving to my Mom's yesterday and there is a home in the neighborhood with a lot of rabbits in the backyard. With hutches and everything. I had a brief flashback of the movie The Whererabbit (with Wallace and Gromit), which is one of my favorite movies. Anyways, it occurs to me that these folks may very well sell these rabbits that are hopping lively in their backyard. Of course, they would need to do the butchering as well, since I don't think I have the stomach for it.
I will have to ask my aunt if she still does...if it turns out that they do not butcher.
How does one approach this with a loved one? "Hey, auntie...how do you feel about rabbit fur floating about your kitchen?" (and other things I will not mention here)
1. It's one of my favorite songs (still) and
2. Don Pedro is the name of a drink made in S. Africa. It contains two key ingredients: vanilla ice cream and...(drum roll) whiskey!
Put 4 scoops of good vanilla ice cream in your blender and a 40% ratio of whiskey. Jameson works well. Blend. Drink.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
My contribution is a pasta salad. It has whole wheat pasta shells (courtesy of my brother Mike who prefers the whole wheat version), chick peas, bell pepper, scallions, Italian parsley, pepperoncini, tomato, celery, carrots and a red wine vinaigrette made with olive oil and dijon mustard.
Is it snobby that I say I used Italian parsley? Food City did have the regular version but I spotted this first. And it seems like you have to de-stem it a bit less.
Oh boy! Good eats for us.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
For tonight I'm cooking 4 sausages and one huge russet potato, sliced thin. I add a whole brown onion to this, a splash of olive oil and a big handful of lima beans (precook them for 2 minutes in the microwave or you will have little rocks in your casserole).
You bake it at 400 for an hour, uncovered. It comes out all brown and yummy, and your potatoes will be crispy.
I'm paying for it a little this morning with la cruda (one too many Chimays) so I stopped for a big fresh squeezed juice at Pro's Ranch Market on 16th St. and Roosevelt. For $3.27 you get a large juice with three fruits/veggies of your choice. They have beets, carrots and celery, and then your standard fruits. I had apples, oranges and pineapple. Let the hydration begin!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
In my family we have always cooked spaghetti in a 4-6 quart vat of water (as much as the pot can hold) and my aunt has an even bigger pot that you can cook 2 lbs. of pasta in (it is enormous). Anyways, this grist.org article said you can cook your pasta in less water and it will cook quicker. I've tried this twice, and the first time my pasta came out great. It was spaghetti. Today I did it with angel hair pasta and there were some strands that stuck together. But really, I don't mind. I like a little "chew" to my pasta.
My aunt had given me some sauce to take home last Saturday as a "thank you" for going with her to Costco for her monthly haul, which includes frozen chicken breasts for her doggies. Yes, her doggies are quite spoiled. Anyhoo, this sauce was amazing and I just finished it with today's lunch. She sometimes does a sauce with Italian sausage and little bits of meat. I don't know how she gets everything so tender. And she uses salt pork in her sauce. You can freeze it and cut it in slices and then put it in the food processor and pulse it until it resembles "peas." Then put it back in the freezer and take it out as you need it, maybe use 2 tbsp. per batch of sauce you make. My aunt also uses bay leaves and I'm not sure what else in her sauce. I guess I need to watch her make it one day from start to finish.
Try cooking your pasta less water and let me know how it goes.
|Cioppino with Kohlrabi, say that three times fast|
Cioppino with Kohlrabi
adapted from this recipe
1 T butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
-bulbs peeled* and diced
-greens with stems removed and leaves chopped (I had spinach that needed to get eaten, so I used that instead of the kohlrabi greens in the picture)
1/3 cup dry sherry
2 teaspoons of italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
28 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups of chicken stock, or thereabouts (or water or fish stock, whatever liquid you have - I used water and a few teaspoons of Better than Bouillon)
1 1lb bag of Seafood Blend from Trader Joe's
Salt and Pepper to taste
Crusty sourdough, for serving
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and cook the onion and kohlrabi until the onions are translucent and the kohlrabi is slightly cooked. Add the garlic and and cook 30 seconds more. Add the sherry to deglaze. Pour in the tomatoes, slip in the stock, sprinkle the italian seasoning, toss in the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the kohlrabi is tender. Just before serving, heat up your bread in a hot oven and add the seafood to the soup. By the time the pot comes back to a boil, the fish should be done. Add salt and pepper to taste and dig in.
*You can peel the kohlrabi using a peeler or just a knife - that's what I do. I found a wacky video on youtube to help (and entertain): Swami Durchananda singing Janis Joplin and peeling kohlrabi.
Monday, January 24, 2011
When you make these muffins, and I urge you to do so, you need to be prepared to have bit of clean up. This is because you need to mince your ginger (food processor), make the batter (beaters/bowl), melt sugar and ginger together (small saucepan) and zest your lemon (microplane). However, in the spirit of "knowing what is in our food" and the yummies factors, I think you will agree once you down a couple, you will agree to put up with the extra cleanup.
If you are a person who is trying to buy local (like me) as much as possible, ordering from Foodzie.com can be a problem, though. When you do a search by region, there are only 4 vendors in Arizona. 4!
I'm not sure why more artisan food vendors here are not using Foodzie. I don't know what the agreements are between Foodzie and vendors, my guess is that Foodzie gets a % of each sale and maybe for some folks it is too high.
Foodzie can be nice though if you want to ship gifts to your loved ones in California, where there are many vendors such as Knight Salumi (I love salami) and Amella Caramels (mmmm Caramel) or Curry Love (I'd like to start making Indian food this year).
Foodzie is also useful for ideas, if you get inspired by looking at what vendors are making and then searching for recipes online that will keep your wallet in check, and curb your sweet tooth. A struggle, I know...
And if you're not into doing it yourself, we have plenty of local bakers here like: Fairytale Brownies, Urban Cookies, Barb's Bakery, AJ's Fine Foods, La Purísima Bakery, etc. The list is quite long, and growing.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Unfortunately they had closed already but the owner gave us a menu (looks pretty good) and my friend Rosa said she had tried the Aiko dog (mango chutney, diced jalapeños, red onions, fresh cilantro and mayo) and gave it snaps.
I can't wait to try their dogs!
Check out their website to find out where they will be:
Also, Shady's is a pretty neat place to have a beer with friends, and they make a mean black & tan.
Shady's (602) 956-8998 · 2701 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
My aunt and I were talking about making/eating rabbit tonight. She used to live on a ranch near Silverton, Colorado with her ex-husband (a golf pro) and she raised rabbits. She said she used to "cacciatore" them in tomato sauce and serve them atop spaghetti.
How good does that sound?
So, now we are planning a rabbit cacciatore night. The date isn't set yet, since we need to find out where to get the rabbit (I know some of the carnicerías have them). We're making a trip to Hobe Meats soon, who may have them, and I heard that another butcher moved across the street from them - I think they are mostly a "game" butcher for elk and the like, and they may have them as well.
Will take a picture once we get this project rolling so you can see what aunt Char's version of rabbit looks like.
Do you cook rabbit? If so please share your recipe with the kitchen wench.
My host mother in Spain (Mailen) used to braise a rabbit with mushrooms. It was very tender and I remember always wanting more. She would serve it with French bread and a simple green salad with oil and vinegar. I sure do miss the food in the north of Spain.
Let me know your rabbit recipe(s).
Moo goo gai pan (ask for it with white sauce)
Spicy cabbage salad with pork
I'm teetering on being in a Chinese food coma right now. We demolished the potstickers, which are delicious. Just the right balance of pork, ginger and garlic. My aunt is a big fan of cabbage so we had the spicy pork salad which I had never tried before. It is very crispy and the pork is lean and succulent. The dressing is sort of a vinaigrette with a kick.
I've always been a fan of the crispy duck at Little Shanghai. It is my favorite dish. Sometimes I will order it just by itself, with white rice on the side. We also had the moo goo gai pan, with white meat chicken, mushrooms, snow peas and carrots. The chicken is very tender and tasty.
We'll be back!
Little Shanghai (602) 957-7666
4017 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ
Sunday, January 16, 2011
So, I used what any industrious kitchen wench would use to grate carrots...the grater attachment to the food processor, of course. This did not work well, which amounted to a bit (haha) of frustration on my part and only some of my carrots were grated. The other 1 1/2 carrots are in a bag in my refrigerator waiting to be placed in a salad, perhaps tomorrow. I do not want to look at them now.
Thankfully, the batter came together just fine without all of those carrots. It has many currants and pecans (I used them instead of walnuts because that's what I had) and the cookies are going to be delicious. I say this because the batter contains ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. This spice combination is a winner.
So, for future reference...let's review. Make sure you have something to grate your carrots with before starting the carrot cake cookie recipe. Oh, and also, have a silpat (silicone baking mat). Otherwise you will have to "fight" your parchment paper to get it to the correct size of your baking sheet.
The Kings Speech is playing at Camelview 5, and if you haven't seen it yet, you should probably go soon. It was nominated for a Golden Globe, and after viewing the film, I understand why. Colin Firth and Jeremy Irons did such an excellent job, as well as did Helena Bonham Carter.
Also, the movie Biutiful is being released at the same theatre towards the end of Jan, so you might want to check it out also. I mean, Javier Bardem is in it, so...enough said.
The Jewish Film Festival starts on Feb 12 at the same location. I went to the one they had last year and saw a couple of amazing Jewish foreign films. It is worth checking out.
The Kings Speech
Jewish Film Festival
Friday, January 14, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
I forgot to add the lemon rind so at the last minute (while they were baking) I added a bit to the tops and hopefully that dose of flavor will be enough.
Thirty a Week is a blog done by a couple living in Brooklyn, NY and they attempt to eat on $30/week. They eat vegetarian minus egg and dairy. You should check out their blog, it is really informative and practical, based on today's economy and meat sustainability (or lack thereof).
Here's the recipe:
2 cups flour
3 tbsp coarse sugar (I like Zulka moreno)
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk or cream
5 tbsp butter (cold, cut in pieces)
1 handful currants
zest of 1 lemon
Fry's on Thomas near 32nd St. had currants on sale for .69 cents, which is an amazing deal. I gather it was surplus they had from the holiday...so, I added a handful of currants after the dough came together in the food processor. Then I rolled it out about 3/4" thick and cut the dough in triangles. Then I brushed a little egg on top and sprinkled with coarse sugar.
These smell great! Can't wait to inhale a few when they cool.
You can also make these with coconut, blueberries or cranberries. Cinnamon sugar would be good too.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
It was nice because we were able to shoot the breeze a bit before eating. We were both unrushed, which is not always the case.
She made the "sauce" with 2 cans of diced tomatoes (I think they are 15 or 16 oz), garlic, onion, bay leaves, a bit of basil, a couple tablespoons of salt pork and 2 pounds of shrimp. It is the last of the shrimp that she had, and she is talking about going to Hobe Meats soon to buy more. She read in a local newspaper that it is a good place to buy seafood. She's going to take me when she goes, so we can have lunch at Niccoli's beforehand. Sounds like a plan to me. They have delicious Italian sandwiches like prosciutto and Italian sausage. Mmm.
I digress...the kitchen wench is easily distracted by food, as you know.
The shrimp cooked quickly in the sauce, about 4 minutes, and picked up a nice garlic flavor.
She made a pound of angel hair pasta so there was a lot leftover, even though we both had two healthy servings. Then she sprang a couple of small hershey bars on me afterwards, which I never turn down.
As you can see from the picture, she gave me quite a bit to take home, must be two quarts or so. I'll be eating it for the next few days, very happily. She also let me take home the rest of the shiraz we shared (thank you Phoenix PD for not pulling me over- haha) and some grapefruit from the neighbor's.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
These are seriously large and tasty cookies. You can get them at AJ's Fine Foods or at Barb's Bakery. They have them seasonally so at Easter there are little chicks and at Valentine's Day there are hearts, and so on. The icing is yummy and the cookie is quite thick and has a hint of what I think may be almond extract. They are soft enough so they do not "break" and make a pretty good breakfast, in the kitchen wench's opinion.
It's only day 7, people. I've still got time to redeem myself, right...?
Friday, January 7, 2011
I'll be going back! Chef/owner Aaron May has done a great job with this place.
This week, he makes pasta "handkerchiefs" with chunky pesto.
I'm just going to include to pasta part since you probably know how to make pesto already (basil, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, parmesean).
For the pasta, he used:
2 cups flour
3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
You pulse all of this in your food processor until it becomes a "meal" consistency. Then you add 1 tbsp of water and pulse again a few times until it becomes a ball. (Adding 1 tbsp water thereafter as needed to have it become a ball).
He let the dough rest for 30 minutes on the counter or in the refrig. He floured it a bit before wrapping it in plastic. Then once it's rested, you roll it out with a rolling pin (and a bit more flour) and get it as thin as you can.
Then you boil the "handkerchiefs" for 1-2 minutes and that's all there is to it! You can top it with pesto or a light tomato sauce.
I'm making fresh pasta this year a lot, for sure. Give it a go and let me know how it goes.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Afterwards we took a walk around his old campus (Brophy) just a few steps from mine (Central). Jason quips that he received a superior education in high school, and that is probably true. It didn't help that I zoned out in class so much in high school. I was not exactly a social butterfly and wanted to be somewhere else most of the time. Except my senior year when I went to Spain.
From this point on we will be watching our respective figures a bit more (new years resolutions) by exercising and eating more healthfully. I suggested as we get to our respective milestones we should celebrate with a cornish pasty at Cornish Pasty Co. in Tempe. Their steak, onion, potato and rutabaga pasty is so delicious, with a black and tan, of course.
It's hard to take the foodie out of the girl.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Sol y Sombra was really cool. There was an outside patio with comfy neon green couches. The inside was kind of dark and you would always see "beautiful people" there. Anyways, he closed up this shop and opened Iruña. Word has it that they have a lot of the same menu items like pollo colonial and tortilla española. Sounds good to me. I've got to go there soon.
In the meantime, I'll be trying Vitamin T. I'm looking at the menu tonight (planning my next meal) and I'm pleased that they have tortas de pollo milanesa. This is a breaded chicken sandwich and I've become quite fond of the version made by Tortas Paquime on McDowell and 24th Street. We'll see how Chef May's version measures up. His reputation says that it will be a great torta.
I noticed also on the menu that he has different tequilas and Dos Equis (XX) on tap, which makes me very happy. I'll let you know how dinner goes!
I highly recommend a visit!
Old Heidelberg Bakery
2210 East Indian School Road Phoenix, AZ
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Lola has yummy pastries - I spied a quiche and
some kind of fruit tart.
(not to be confused with the kitchen wench)
I might have to make a trip to Iruña soon, as I have a coupon for a free pitcher of Sangria. If you go to Overeasy for breakfast/lunch (48th St./Indian School), you can ask for the coupon and they will probably give it to you.
I digress. Lola Coffee is very cute and urban with a minimalist feel. I had an oj (fresh squeezed) since I had coffee already at my breakfast meeting. Lola has all kinds of yummy pastries that I need to go back and try. Sooner than later.
Update: Oasis Raspados has re-opened after taking a hiatus for Christmas and New Years. I talked to someone there today and their Glendale location is open but he was not sure when 32nd St. was opening (I didn't ask him about their Central location since 32nd St./McDowell is closest to me). Also they have a new location opening very soon at 32nd St./Greenway if any of you live up that way. Very exciting to have a new Oasis!
Also...Herb Box has opened at Southbridge in downtown area Scottsdale. You must go and try their tzatziki with pita chips. They also have sweet potato chips and sweet potato muffins. Then there is this steak sandwich on ciabatta bread with carmelized onions that I absolutely love. It is worth the trip.
I was in Paris with my girlfriend Arantzazu and we were staying with her cousin and his girlfriend from Belgium. A very nice/friendly couple. I remember their bathtub was very tiny! But they put us up (or put up with us) for about ten days so they scored major major points in my book.
We had nutella sandwiches for breakfast in their kitchen. The bread was this amazing crusty baguette one of them had picked up from a local bakery.
Europe spoils you for bread. After a trip to Europe, you only want artisan breads. Very snobby! But oh, so tasty.
Today my brother Mike and I went to Costco to pick up a few things which included Nutella for me. I also got some La Brea french demi baguette rolls and made myself a Nutella sandwich for lunch.