Sunday, May 8, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
I couldn't help myself. In addition to the cheese heart, I ordered some rose petal confit and decided to put its first use towards some Tea Rose ice cream, thus adding to my ever expanding flavour offerings at Janicey Goodness (aka my kitchen). It helps that I have a nice view of a faux English Garden Courtyard.
I was a little overzealous with the use of rose water, indiscriminately pouring it into the custard when I thought that wasn't fragrant enough. Olfactory senses numbed, it wasn't until the next day when I realized that my perfumed custard might be....extremely rosy. And surprisingly yellow! (Presumably from the egg yolks) My mistrust in commercially produced (perfectly powder pink) deepens.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I couldn't resist. Near valentines day, I sent for a Cheese Heart. It was on sale at Murrays Cheese as well as some adorable jars of rose petal confit. I'm not one to observe this occasion, but it was too cute and the disappearance of my other love (monte enebro) from most cheese retailers around here was enough to push me to the brink of purchase. In my very vulnerable state, all I needed was something (ANYTHING! brunch, pigeons....garbage??!!) to remind me of NYC and I'd go on a virtual Murray's Cheese binge.
Speedily, the Cheese Heart arrived. My human heart raced. Momentarily distracted by the Monte Enebro and dried sour cherries, the Cheese Heart waited patiently in the cheese drawer.
The rind was incredibly velvety and pillowy. The label said that it was a natural for Valentine's Day" In fact, the whole eating experience of this cheese was like a great first date. It looked appealing. It wasn't overpowering, but it was firm (not a pushover). It was buttery smooth. Almost mild, but had enough complexity to hold your interest enough to want more.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Sometimes I procrastinate making the week's food on the weekend and suddenly it's midweek and I'm foraging like a raccoon through my fridge, eating pickles and cheese when I really should be thinking about making a pot of something substantial.
This early Jamie Oliver chicken recipe seemed to require just about as little effort as I was willing to put into. So little effort, in fact, you could spend more time eating it than making it or thinking about it. It doesn't even require any babysitting, so It's even better if you want to take a nap before dinner and awake to a delicious smelling apartment.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I'm sorry Jamie, but all that butter's gone to your gut, and the wild pheasants and truffles hunted and picked in your private country woods have buried your naked chef-ing with too much inaccessible excess. I'll always love you, and I love what you do for kids and the cooking helpless, but... I love a new celebrity chef now.
Hello Sophie, The Delicious Miss Dahl.
She's gorgeous in any shape, is Roald Dahl's granddaughter, and not only do I want to make and eat her food, but I want to wear her clothes, inhabit her (fake) kitchen, listen to her music, beat eggs in her second hand teacups, and live her lovely life.
The Delicious Miss Dahl opening sequence
BBC only ran six episodes before cancelling her. Each episode is inspired by a certain eating mood: Selfish, Romance, Melancholy, Celebratory, Nostalgia, Escapism. She tells anecdotes about her Norwegian grandmother, and explains the history of dishes and food items, like the Arnold Bennett omelette, or Napolean's distaste of pyramid-shaped cheese. She recites poetry centred around food and love, and gives you precious kitchen tips like dabbing meringue mixture under wax paper to keep it in place on the pan. She sticks her hands in food, not so the camera can get a choice shot of her cleavage, but because it's quicker, and saves fuss.
The first episode I watched, "Selfish", chronicling a day of indulgence and self-reverence from breakfast, lunch, to dinner and dessert for one, was absolutely pitch-perfect. It made me want to mix a dirty martini and listen to her fawn over cheese all evening. So I did (sub fennel and peppermint tea).
You can watch Selfish here if you are in Canada (or check your local food network website).
This was her recipe setlist for Selfish:
1. Arnold Bennettish Omelette
2. Buffalo Mozzarella Bruschetta with Shaved Fennel and Courgette
3. Peanut Butter Fudge
4. Dirty Martini
5. Roasted Halibut Steak with Sweet Potato Fries and Wild Mushrooms
6. Rich Chocolate Pots with Cherry Liqueur Surprise
Buffalo Mozzarella Bruschetta with Shaved Fennel and Courgette
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
So while I get my typing fingers warmed up for the season of eating, I've been doing some designing and here is the beginnings of what might be a a very extensive tea towel collection....
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It took me many winters to adjust and accept the cold. The first 4 years in the North East, coming from the equator, were brutal. At the slightest hint of fall, my mood would take a turn for the worst. I would never be warm enough and at -11 Celsius with the wind blowing through every layer I had on, I thought I'd never be warm again. Now, although I do enjoy summer, I complain about being hot far more than I do being cold and summer might be my favourite season only because of what's around to eat.
My lunch today was the essence of summer:
tomatoes, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar on toast rubbed with garlic, grilled eggplant, sweet corn and a nectarine (not pictured)
(I caved and went to the market to buy some green zebra tomatoes, even though I have CSA tomatoes coming out of my ears, vegetable drawer overflowing)
Just my luck that my grand welcome is the most brutal summer anyone who has lived here for the past 30 years can remember. And just when temperatures were about to hit beyond unbearable was the time I decided that I would stop taking the metro in protest of its steep fare hikes. Sweat and burning calves be damned, I power walk home so fast that its the pace of a slow run, just so that I have the satisfaction of outwalking the bus and saved money that I've put towards some heavy duty sandals bought specifically for...outwalking the bus.
After a very crappy Friday that was utterly unrewarding and short of a mini heart attack, I reminded myself that no one died (ok, maybe some have fallen victim to some unfortunate road signs) because of graphic design and decided the only way to soothe my sour self was to make some blackberry yogurt pops. So I walked over to a kitchen supply store and picked up some molds for $10.
It's equal amounts of fruit and plain yogurt, with some lemon juice and honey and blended until creamy, then frozen.
Friday, August 6, 2010
The thing about living in DC is that I've had to accept that apples will cost a zillion dollars a pound and won't be as delicious and I have to think twice about buying a whole bundle of apples. On a more cheerful note, peaches, nectarines and apricots are much cheaper!
And although I am a little sad about the absence of green zebra tomatoes in my life, I get many very delicious tomatoes delivered in my CSA every week.
This is my usual after work snack – lush tomatoes on garlic bread (I made the bread!) with some farmers market cheese and basil.
Behold! My apricot tart! (I made it with a chocolate mousse filling because...well...I love chocolate mousse and do not love pastry cream as much)
"WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF STRAWBERRIES"
People stated how many pints they wanted. It was usually just one. Or a meek two. "EIGHT."
"oh COME ON! LEAVE SOME FOR THE REST OF US WHY DON'T YOU!"
People in line were fidgety and disgruntled, making protesty noises. The girl behind me gets the last of the strawberries and does a double fist pump like she won a bar of gold and shouted half dazed "YEAH! I MADE IT!" and I start to relax a little, my strawberries now secure. The old man in front of me had a granny cart and he recounted joyfully and resentfully how last week he had been behind the one who got the last strawberries and with an upwards fist swing announced that he "wanted to PUNCH that M*****F****R!!!!!!" and then added emphatically, "I really did!"
That night at Blue Hill, sandwiched between two old new york old money couples who were behaving absolutely insufferably, we ate a truly spectacular dinner. The first 3 courses were delicious, but painful to sit through: scathing passive aggression was rampant and it was exhausting. Tolerating their stares at us like we were were two rats that wandered out of a drain was very trying. On top of that we had to put up with preposterous and confusing comments like "I cannot f-ing stand it when guys don't tuck in their shirts. It's so sloppy." and "I hope these peaches aren't form Pennsylvania. Good. Because I can't eat anything from Pennsylvania" – whether it was a joke or serious was not entirely clear. But thankfully they both left before the desserts started and the wait staff relaxed. The first dessert they brought out were strawberries on a little bit of mint ice cream, topped with an elderflower cloud. The strawberries were unmistakable – small and bursting like flavor like Japanese candy. After she came to clear the dishes I asked where they were from and she checked with the chef, and came back to report that they were from Mountain Sweet Berry and was surprised when she learned that we had thought as much – who goes into a restaurant and identifies produce by farm? So I recounted the story of the morning's events, enthusiastically and with actions, hushed and whispering diners all around as we burst into peels of laughter and then she told her coworkers about the morning's near brawl over the strawberries.
Shortly after the next course, she slipped a little bag beside me on the seat, leaned over and said "These are from the chef, he says no fighting."
and inside was a green carton – a whole pint of Mountain Sweet Berry Strawberries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!
P.S Here are a couple of articles about Mountain Sweet Berry:
Food and Wine by Dan Barber, executive chef at Blue Hill
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Cat's tongues are these long, rectangular round thing biscuits which are....generally not very exciting. I was enticed by Laduree's cat's tongues only because of the mysterious blind embossed black cat with a pink tongue. But Parisian treats never disappoint. These were really exquisite, moist biscuits with little flecks of vanilla bean in them, their tips dipped carefully in colored chocolate.
Monday, July 19, 2010
I recently returned from Paris with the extra bag bursting at the seams with chocolate, caramels, macaroons, cats tongues, violet pastels and all sorts of other yummy delights which have now dwindled to little multicolored crumbs in pretty boxes as I put on the Sofia Coppola version of Marie Antoinette in all its delicious Versailles-y glory to extend the memory of my sweet treats.
Pastries in America have become these big monstrosities, weighed down by sugar and thick glazes, although I have been known to scarf down Pain au Chocolats with very little discernment. It takes me a while to warm up to the idea of pastries, because I've had few exceptional ones, but they're not hard to find in Paris, where everything is beautiful, dainty and always just right.
This lovely was a violet cream puff with violet icing and a crystallized violet. So many violets! So delicious.
This was on another trip to Laduree. Their set lunch is the best deal – 2 or 3 course meal where you can pick any dessert you want. I picked the cassis sorbet and violet ice cream with an equal amount of Chantilly cream on top.
Then we did a market tour near the Bastille which stopped first at a little Patisserie called Ble Sucre (wheat, sugar) which had won the honor of making the best croissant in Paris. It was so exquisite that I ate it before I photographed it.
Besides croissants, it is the birthplace of these delightful creations:
apricot danish, chocolate mousse cake, chocolate eclair
Then, on a a last minute trip back, to run errands (picking up cheeses and chocolates) I had to do the impossible and pick between a tart tartin that i'd had my heart set on for 3 days and the rhubarb rouge (rhubarb has a special place in my stomach), and was ultimately swayed by the pink knotted rose marshmallow.
Oh sugary bliss.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
In order to plant our veggie garden, B and I dug up a plot on our rental property of what we thought were tall obnoxious leafy weeds.
Look what came up from a patch we didn't dig! A beautiful day lily (edible I might add!). Our landlord was somewhat shocked and offended that we dug up a plot of strong growing perennial flowers! Oh well. I'll plant some surprise bulbs to come up for him when we move out. :)