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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chilled Avocado-Tomatillo Soup pp. 25-26: A Diptych

It's Wordless Wed.  Please use the Linky down below to enter your pictures!  Food only please. :D  The link will temporally take you to another page and then it should bring you back here.  Let me know!

Also the real Wordless Wed. site is here.  Be sure to stop by and leave your link there too!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waldorf Salad pp. 95

History of Waldorf Salad (I know you are just dying to know!!)

A guy peeling celery...  I wanted to know if there was an easier way,  and there is, if you have the right tool.  I only have a pairing knife,  sigh.

Homemade Poptarts!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chilled Chard with Lemon pp. 103

     Today is one of those days where I do not have much to say.  This week when I planned my recipes,  I did not have the farmers market to determine what I was going to make for the week.  So I decided to make it a light week and cook easy recipes.   Chilled Chard was one of them.  The other nice thing is that Chilled Chard is great for a hot summers day... like today.

     I have not really cooked chard,  I really do not have any memories of eating chard before.  I picked this species of Chard because of it's beautiful red coloring.   The fun part of of wilting these greens was the water turned red.  It made me wonder if one could make a food coloring dye with it?  The answer looks like yes,  but if you really want a red color beets is the better option.

     It was good.  It was refreshing for a summer side dish,  but not something my family would enjoy.  I might keep it in mind for myself in case I want something different than a salad. 

Other News:
  I made homemade tomato sauce (it's still cooking as I write) and home made sweet and sour chicken.  Super Yummy!   Here's the link for the Sweet and Sour Chicken.
   This Wednesday is going to be Wordless Wednesday.  This time I want to include you... my readers, in this this venture.  Be ready to post a wordless image on your blog that is a picture of food.  There will be a Linky Tools thingy so you can add your link to the site.  

In case you are down today... here's a wee little smile... I made these for my little chefs today.  The legs finally curled and I was just tickled pink.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Report on Broth Made with Chicken Feet

     A few days ago, I made chicken gravy for a recipe.  I used the broth I made from chicken feet as the broth base.  It turned out perfectly!  I have not had any gravy made from homemade broth taste that good.  There is something important about using feet that really makes the difference.   

Mr. Adams said in his post:
“Since the skin is so full of cartilage, the stock will end up being full bodied and will have a very robust, velvety mouthfeel.”

Mrs. Fallon shares in her article that:
“Far from being old-fashioned, broth (or stock) continues to be a staple in professional and gourmet cuisine, due to its unsurpassed flavor and body.”

    Now I know what I have been missing in my stock all these years!  My husband,  who normally hates my homemade gravies (and asks me to buy the unhealthy store stuff), loved the gravy.   I’m so sad that our homes have steeped away from what our very own great-grandmothers  have used in the past to make wonderful gravys.

     People around the world today still use/eat chicken feet.  Mr. Adams also discusses in his post about what other nations across the world eat chicken feet.

Jenny at “The Nourished Kitchen” talks about some of the health benefits of using chicken feet to make broth:

“Chicken feet – gnarly, repulsive and disturbing – make for the very best stock. Devoid of little else but tendons, bone and cartilage (sound appetizing yet?), chicken feet produce a fine golden broth that’s rich in all those obscure nutrients that make a good stock so nourishing: glucosamine chondroitin, collagen and trace minerals.   Moreover, a chicken stock is an excellent source of calcium without .   Understandably, a stock made from chicken feet gels beautifully just as a good stock should.”

     I know that many people are grossed out by the subject,  but it is an exciting and fun thing to use,  it just takes a while getting used to.  And knowing that you will have awesome flavor and many great health benefits from using chicken feet is so worth it!

Here are some more links if you want to read more about chicken feet:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wordless Thursday...

I forgot a key ingredient for my recipe tonight,  I will not let you all down!  Tomorrow I plan to write a post about the results for the Chicken Feet Broth, Saturday I will catch up with the missing post.  Thanks for looking!  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic pp. 271-272

     How many blogs do you know that starts out with such a despicable subject?  Who wants to read about pests to our cooking?  But it is a fact of life,  they are there, and they need to be talked about.  No way around it. 
     In the middle of my potato,  there was this moldy growth.  I tried to look online (using many different questions in google) to figure out what this is.  I could find nothing,  but if you wanted to find out more about different molds on the outside of a potato go here and if you want to find out how to make a weight for your bow and arrow go here (this was just a random site that came up when I typed in 'mold').
     My rosemary plant seems to have a small pest problem.  I found these black and white egg like things on the bottom of the leaf (where most pests like to hide).  It looks like I'm going to have to venture outside and do some natural pest control on the poor herbs! 
     Another pest has been mosquitoes.  My Mother-In-Law had to finish making this so that I could take my son to the walk in clinic.  His eye swelled up so much after getting bit by one of those bugs.  The poor little chef!  (No worries though,  he is fine).

     Mr. Bishop suggests that you add the herbs to the potatoes at the last 5 min of cooking to prevent burning.  It made so much sense and it was so nice to not have any burnt garlic and rosemary.  I make my own dish, but it was nice to learn something new from his own recipe.

     Besides all the pests and learning curves,  this is by far one of my favorite dishes. I love Rosemary and garlic potatoes,  it has always been a side dish I have made for my family. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Braised Green Beans with Soy and Sesame pp. 173

Vegetables Every Day: The Definitive Guide to Buying and Cooking Today's Produce With over 350 Recipes      I just got accepted into the foodie blog roll.  If you are visiting me through there,  welcome to my blog!  I am cooking through "Vegetables Everyday" by Jack Bishop.  I do not post the recipes,  but rather a review of each recipe we go through.   This is also a growing experiences for me because I am not a lover of most vegetables,  and I am not familiar with most vegetables.  This cookbook has been such a great book to go through,  I have learned so much so far in the over 30 recipes I have done.  A little over 300 more to do,  oh the things I still have to learn!  I cannot wait. 

     I was unprepared for tonight.  I lost misplaced my menu plan and forgot that I needed to do a crockpot meal.  This meant that I needed to move something else to tonight, which was spaghetti!  Homemade spaghetti.   I still was unprepared, for I did not look ahead to see how long it was going to take to do each step and also there were the meatballs, and everything else.  I felt like I was running around the kitchen with my head cut off as everything finished at the wrong time.  I survived.  I am exhausted after spending 2 hours in the kitchen,  oh well.

     It was very delicious.  The two chefs did not care for it as much,  but it was wonderful flavors for us adults.  Mr. Bishop suggested that plain chicken and rice be used in this dish.   I used my homemade noodles and some meat balls (since I forgot to make/buy sauce).   It reminded me of this great dish my mom makes with noodles, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame.  Oh what sweet memories of my mothers cooking!  Do you have any memories of your mom's cooking?

Thanks to Alisa for letting me know about foodista!  This post is now part of: Green Beans on FoodistaGreen Beans

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint pp. 330

Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, oh my!
     a) I do not like tomatoes, unless it is in ketchup or tomato sauce.  But I am trying to get over that.
     b) I do not like cucumbers and I am not doing anything about that now.
     c) I still hate dislike onions,  but I am working on that too.  Amazing to have all that in one recipe.

Draining Cucumbers
     Last year I tried to make a Russian cucumber salad.  The whole adding salt to drain the liquid from the cucumbers mystified me.  Thankfully Mr. Bishop make it all clear, and I think I successfully did that for this recipe.   I think one of the mistakes I did with the Russian cucumber salad recipe was that I did not take the seed part out,  which contains lots of liquid.

     I am pretty sure if I liked these vegetables,  it would have been fantastic.  But,  it tasted good... and like the vegetables.  Sorry for such a boring post,  but the whole thing was very underwhelming and scary for me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farmers Market Saturday, June 19,2010

Today was met with some small bummers.  First off,  my favorite chicken people (who sell the chicken feet) were not there.  Then the other chicken people were sold out of chicken.   So no whole fresh chicken this week,  but that is ok,  I have stored up chicken thighs and wings to make meals out of.

The lettuce guy was out of greens.  I guess it is so hot down here in the south that it is hard to grow things like lettuce and some herbs.  I am going to have to really think about my future garden if I want to grow lettuce and such.   I have decided that the herb guys have short tempers.  That is mostly because they have tons of people asking them what is this herb and that herb and questions about herbs.

I forgot to bring my camera,  I had the sinking feeling when I got half way to the farmers market.   Although there is a farmers market closer,  I really like driving to the bigger one that is half an hour away.  I missed a great camera opportunity.  There were two boys sitting and eating watermelon that had broken at some point.  It was so cute to see one guy eating a gigantic half and the other little guy eating the smaller broken half.  They were sitting behind one of the vendor tables right next to the vendor truck.  Oh! what an opportunity missed.

Today I purchased:
For the cookbook
1 bag of heirloom tomatoes  $4
1 bag of green beans $2
1 bag of garlic $3  (but there was lots of garlic,  great deal!)
2 bags of new potatoes $5

For fun
1 bag of nectarines.

I have one link goodie for you today,  10 mistakes people make at farmers markets...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fresh Tomtao Sauce pp.335

     Not a family favorite 'fruit' except in the form of sauce or ketchup.   But when I saw 'Heirloom Type' tomatoes at the farmers market on Saturday,  I knew that this week I had to make something with them out of the cookbook.  Since these bad boys were ripe (the guy said I only had two days to do something with them), I decided to make sauce out of them.

     I had to peel the tomatoes,  core, and take the seeds out (or maybe it was core, peel, de-seed...).  In the back of my mind were the thoughts of once seeing ways to easily peel tomatoes.  I wanted something easy because these guys were ripe and juicy.  So to Google I went!   I found this great link which aided me in my endeavor.  
     One thing I learned is that you should not be boiling tomatoes and making pickles at the same time.  When you are doing this process to take the skin off of tomatoes,  you need to just focus on that task on hand.  No multi-tasking here.  If you can multi-task while peeling tomatoes,  I will be amazed.  Please post you story in the comments below!   My mother-in-law (MIL) told me she likes to freeze her tomatoes first and then after they are frozen,  you can peel the skin off under luke-warm water.  The tomatoes will come out as mush,  but if you are making non-chunky sauce,  this is a great thing!
    The next step was easy,   popped them in the pot,  cooked them,  then pureed them.  Added some sliced up basil from my garden and then 'voila!' we had sauce.  This was not enough sauce to feed an platoon of men fresh from the fields,  but rather enough sauce for two hungry women who have been chasing the kids and cleaning the house all day.

     It was yummy.  Since I am trying to make things from scratch more often,  this will definitely go on the list of things to make again and again.  I think it would be cheaper to purchase sauce from the store,  but sometimes, when you eat, think about it as life insurance and the investment you are making to your health. 

Pickly Predicament
I wanted to make pickles.  I made pickles.  I now have to wait a few weeks before I can try them.  Or rather,  since I do not like pickles,  I have to wait a few weeks for the boys to try them.  I hope they work! This recipe is from the "Herbs for the Kitchen" book.  It's Garlic and Dill Pickles from the garlic chapter.  I used pickles and Cajun garlic from the farmers market!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Sage pp. 356

     I was supposed to make an endive dish tonight,  but I was met with a great surprise.  In Mr. Bishops book, Vegetables Every Day, the endives are not the green leafy kind,  but rather the Belgian endive kind.  Is there a difference?  Yes.  They are both related to the chicory (so is escarole),  but the Belgian endive is grown in the dark, and can be grated like cabbage to make a fun slaw like salad.  I guess I will have to go to WalMart next week to get some,  because I have not seen any at the farmers market.  So, tonight I made what I had left from my farmers market adventure,  Spaghetti Squash!

     For some reason, for the longest time,  I thought that butternut squash was spaghetti squash.  When the gal at the farmers market told me she had spaghetti squash and then showed me it,  I wanted to protest and tell her she was dumb for calling it a spaghetti squash.  I am so glad I kept my mouth shut  (you know the Bible says that 'In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. Prov 10:19).  I looked up spaghetti squash in my produce book and she was the right.  I have been misinformed all this time. 

     It was great.  I love the taste of sage, and the unsalted butter combined with the soothing notes of sage were wonderful. 

 Special Extra
      I've been reading this great cookbook (yes I read cookbooks), called "Herbs for the Kitchen" by Irma Mazza.  It's a book that was written back in 1939.  I have the 1947 edition that includes a whole chapter on why Americans should use garlic!!  Apparently back in the mid 1900's people did not use very many spices,  I wonder if the great depression had anything to do with that,  or if people were really not taught the wonders of the herb world?  Anyways,  tonight I planned on making one of the dishes she had listed in her book : Beef Roast with Herbs pp. 107-108  A few notes,  I did not have any fresh herbs she asked for,  so I used dried.  Also,  I did not have any dried savory (leave a comment if you keep some), so I used oregano instead.  Oregano pairs very well with meat and thyme.  This dish was great and we will make it again!!

1930's Beef Roast with Herbs
by Irma Mazza,
1 Roast
1 C. Beef Broth
1/2 c. Red Wine Vinegar
1t. Fresh Thyme (1/2 t. dried)
1 t. Savory (1/2 t. dried)
black pepper.

by me, Kris
You need to rub butter all over the roast and then make a coating of flour, salt, and pepper.  I do this by placing the buttered roast in a bag with the seasoned flour and then shaking it to my hearts content.  You could put on some jazzy music and dance with your roast if you wanted.  Place your coated roast into a 500 degree oven.  Close the oven door and then drop the temperature down to 325 degrees.  This is where the fun begins.

Take the next 5 ingredients and put them in a pot to warm it up.  After the roast has browned a bit,  take a baster, fill it with the liquid and baste the roast.  Do this every 15 min till the roast is done.  If you run out of the liquid,  use the liquid in the pan.  My roast was a 2.75lb roast,  so it took about 2.5 hours for it to cook.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Escarole and Orange Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette pp. 151-152

Contribution for wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chicken Feet Broth

 Cooking with Chicken Feet
     So, I have been doing all this research into healthy eating and cooking.  The gals on these sites talked about making homemade chicken broth.  People kept mentioning about cooking with chicken feet to make the broth gel better. In fact, the gelling substance in the feet are actually good for us.  But preparing the feet would not make you think so.

Deal With It
     One of my friends sometimes tells her kids "Just deal with it" when they go through a hard thing.  This was hard. I agree with Elise when she said,
"The "Eww" factor of chicken feet I think comes from the fact that chicken feet look a lot like our hands."
    Look at the nails, and how the chicken feet kind of just sit there so elegantly,  I really did not want to do this.  You might say,  oh, just throw them in the pot and cook them,  but you have to pre-cook them and then cut off their toes and calluses.  That was just plain gross.    Why? I don't know.  And people seem to ask that question on forums and it never gets answered.  So I guess,  since they scratch in the dirt and stuff, it must be a sanitary thing.

Chicken Pedicure
  So, here I am cutting the toenails and calluses off these warm, gooey, chicken feet.  I did all but two of them (the last two did not seem worth it).  But I survived and made it through the whole process.  Apparently our great-grand mothers used to do this all the time,  and chefs and peoples in other countries do this all the time. Why can't I?  I told my friend (who was over to hang out with me and give me emotional support through this) that I just need to become desensitized and then I can keep doing this.  For Pete's sake I fabricate whole chickens,  why cannot use the feet too?   I also have a local source at the farmers market.  Making a healthier broth... is it worth it?  

     Yes,  it's worth it.  I've been wondering all this time how to make a chicken broth that smells as good as the Ramon Chicken soup.  This is how they do it.  Chicken feet is the answer.  Super gooey goodness (as cooled,  it becomes a liquid again when warm).  Loved it!
Are you up for the challenge to make your own?

Linky Love
Check out these awesome sites about using chicken feet:
1) A gal's experience in using chicken feet and chasing her husband with them
2) What are chicken feet?
3) Where I followed instructions on how to do this
4)  Here is a great story about a gal who ate chicken feet!

Hope you had fun reading about my little adventure! Until tomorrow...
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