Month: May 2013

Peering Down the Pie Hole – Rustic Apple w/ Sage and White Cheddar

I tend to go for the gender/bender kind of flavor combinations when it comes to dessert. I don’t know about the rest of you… but ice cream with bacon, or pancetta brittle sounds pretty damned good to me. I like the play of savory against something bracingly sweet…. Nothing really finishes a meal more perfectly than a well thought out cheese plate Those of you that follow us on Twitter or FB know that I did a pig roast this past weekend for my birthday. I’ll talk about it more later in the week, but I bring it up because of one of the sides that went into the magic box. I made a compound butter with parsley, sage and black pepper – and stuff it deep into cored granny smith apples. They got wrapped in foil and spent the afternoon simmering away in the box with the pig. They were, in short, fabulous. I loved that herbaceous scent folded through soft, tender, tart apples. And that got me thinking… If sage made baked apples …

Garden Project 2013 – Children of the Hay

As with all living things, our offspring and progeny  begin flexing their muscles, testing the waters and moving out on their own… even the Hay Garden has not been spared. Through the past three seasons, I’ve poked and prodded the limits of the bales, trying to coax out the best possible production from this unorthodox medium… with mixed results. Courgettes, tomatoes, and cucumbers – all perform beautifully producing ample stock for the summer growing season. The okra, while it never ceases to amaze me how well it does, But with 8′ plants it really strains the ability of the hay bales. By mid summer I’m already augmenting the medium with additional garden soil just to keep the root system cool and moist. Greens and Root vegetables… not so much. I’ve been awash in lackluster, affected plants with little to no production So things must change. Tomato Bales: Judging by my past season notes, I’m sticking with Pink Brandywine, Parks Whopper, and Better Bush. I know, only one of those is an heirloom. Here’s the thing – Trying to …

Gooey Gluten-Free / Dairy Free Pineapple Cake

It’s not often that I see a food posting on some social networking thing and immediately run off to make it. But, that’s kinda, sorta, exactly what happened here. Food.Com shared a photo of a “Do Nothing” Cake. And. if you know my baking skills, that sounded right up my alley. Here’s the thing – the recipe is stupid simple. So whether you do the original from them (click on the name to follow their link) or try my Gluten-Free version – you aren’t going to have a lot of time or effort invested in it… so, in that sense, it’s definitely a doer. And, if the STUFF-MY-FACE-TIL-I-HIT-A-SUGAR-OVERDOSE actions of earlier this evening are any indication, anyone you make this for will think you hung the moon, or name a street after you, or lay beds of roses at your feet. Seriously, it’s that good. Gluten Free  Pineapple Cake with  Seriously Gooey Topping Serves 1, go make your own. Actually, it will generously serve 8 Ingredients For the cake: 2 Cups Gluten Free Baking Mix …

10 (tamales) the hard way

I guess first and foremost I should say these aren’t what you’d call authentic tamales. I didn’t learn to mix the batter on my Hispanic Nana’s lap. There were no Mexican housekeepers bringing sacks laden with those beautiful little jewels when they came to the house. Nor, have I ever lived with anyone that made them.. I am the walking / talking embodiment of an Anglo/Saxon gene pool, and my childhood idea of a tamale came in those little glass jars stuffed with six paper-wrapped, cigar shaped cumin flavored cylinders. So, no instinctive knee jerk aptitude there. But… I worked for a time with a South American construction company. We ate a lot of tacos… and tortas… and tamales. So I know a thing or two about them. Well, I know what I like and don’t like about them. And, as it happens… I’ve eaten a lot of crappy ones, especially in Mexican restaurants. For me- the masa should be dense, cohesive, flavorful – with just the slightest pudding consistency; the filling – plentiful, meaty with a couple …