December 17, 2012 § 3 Comments
My break before Christmas means more time to get things done. My roommate and I brainstormed this very tasty concoction months ago. We put it on our kitchen to-do list and it’s been there ever since:
Yesterday, I finally made it. Dubbed “Croissant Goodness” and “Still Life in Pears,” it was worth the wait. A half-hearted Google search did not reveal this combination anywhere within the cybersphere. So here it is in all its supposed originality.
To make it, dice two pears into small pieces. Sprinkle with sugar and place in a shallow baking pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about a half hour to soften. In the meantime, slice one onion into long pieces. In olive oil or butter, cook over low heat in a skillet until carmelized/the pears are done. Combine pears and carmelized onions (if we’d had crushed walnuts, those would have been good to add too).
Take two cans of Pillsbury croissants (extra buttery or flaky!) and unravel on a flat surface. Spoon pear/onion mixture down the length of each piece of dough. Generously sprinkle Gorgonzola or Bleu cheese (we had did half of each) over the mixture.
Roll croissant as you normally would. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Eat while warm. Share or hog!
September 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
I love the simplicity and joy of this poem by William Carlos Williams:
To a Poor Old Woman
munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand.
They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. they taste
good to her
You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her
September 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Recently, a friend who’s been dreaming rural, said to me, “Wouldn’t it be fun to be a beekeeper?”
For her, I think it would fit. For me, well, I’m not overly fond of bees. Memories of being stung come quick to mind. But listening to her talk, I realized their community and crafting of a product is fascinating. And I do love honey.
This weekend, spend some time dreaming and enjoying.
1. Do eat some toast and honey. It’s come a long way to your table. Spoon it into tea. Drizzle it onto bread. Dip your finger in it. It’s goodness.
2. Do move with slow and calming grace. This beekeeper from Hong Kong doesn’t wear any protective clothing. His movements, which are as graceful as the movement of bees, makes me want to approach the space I’m in with similar ease and care.
3. Do be sweet. Sweet like honey.
Have a sweet weekend.
August 29, 2012 § 1 Comment
by Caitlin Saniga
- pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 20-30 basil leaves
- 2 nectarines, pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch crescents
- 2 small roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch crescents
- 2 ounces (or more!) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
Place the pizza dough in a well-oiled mixing bowl, and cover with a towel.
August 20, 2012 § 7 Comments
Last winter as I sat chatting about books and writing and life in my friend’s cozy kitchen, I watched her hands (always busy) smooth out a dessert with pie crust and apples, my offers of help shrugged away with an “almost done” look. It was simple and delicious and in the oven before I realized what was happening. As with most of her meals, I tucked the idea away to try later, though “later” so often gets away from one.
But the other day as I stared at some questionable-looking blueberries and a rapidly fading apple in my fridge – neither of which eating raw appealed to me – I remembered my friend’s galette and whipped out the rolling pin.
The dough is easy – just a simple pie dough recipe: 2 1/2 c flour, 1 stick of butter, a dash of salt, and 6 T water. I rolled the dough, sprinkling it with a bit of sugar, and chopped up the apple into thin slices to layer with blueberries in the center, leaving an inch from the edge.
I scattered a few chunks of butter over it to melt in and sprinkled it all with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Then I folded the edges over the fruit as far as they would go and baked it for 20 min at 400 degrees. It was delicious and roommate-approved.
The following day, an unplanned trip to the farmer’s market left me wondering what to do with all that veggie goodness.
The galette was so good, I decided to make a savory one. This time I chopped the zucchini into thin slices, along with tomatoes, onions and garlic cloves. I tossed it all with a bit of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper before spreading it over the rolled out dough.
After baking for 15 min, I took the galette out and topped with shredded cheese (I only had cheddar on hand, but crumbled feta would have been perfect), before baking another 5 min. So good!
What recipes have inspired you to get creative?
August 10, 2012 § 2 Comments
By the end of our first hour as lemonade stand entrepreneurs, we were ready to give away our wares for free. We just wanted one runner or one biker or one driver to stop by and taste what we had to offer.
A week ago, Pakou, our friend Mary, and I decided to host a lemonade stand. We bought lemonade and made cookies, gathered tables and plastic cups, and Pakou created a pretty banner as part of her monthly crafts project. We set up along the bike path and waited.
Though we joked about doing this for laundry money, grad school funds, middle school donations, or a post-stand ice cream venture, really we just wanted to be part of our community, enjoy a summer day and each other, and tackle a project we’d only done as kids. But although we got a few smiles, no one stopped. We sampled our products, just to make sure they were still good.
Finally, we moved our location to a park that may not have had as much traffic, but certainly had more dog-walkers, loiterers, and loungers. And KIDS. Business 101: give away free food to kids in summer programs. When their parents pick them up, these kids will drag them back for more. And this time, they’ll pay.
It really was a lovely afternoon. Below is our first customer, whose dog did tricks for us, and a friend who stopped by and took his order with him.
The kids in the park put on a short angry birds simulation for us and we met a lady who talked about her visits to France. She had a fabulous hat. I was too shy to take her picture.
We also learned about another lemonade stand whose owners (far younger than us – “a different kind of cute,” as our customer put it) advertised 10 cents a cup. As you went up, it was actually 10 cents for a small cup and 25 cents for a regular cup. Very savvy, those girls. We are still learning our business strategy. But I think the day was a success.
What’s on your summer to-do list?
July 23, 2012 § 1 Comment
Today I have far too many things to get done. So naturally I’ve found several distractions to help me procrastinate.
Like Bartholomäus Traubeck’s amazing tree ring record player, which plays the grooves of sliced tree trunks.
Or Susan Straight’s class project on what makes a home, which went from an exercise on materials and floor plans to deeply personal revelations:
“I have a huge crazy Filipino family, and we buy so many presents at Christmas you can’t see the tree. I mean it. We throw the presents at each other. If you don’t pay attention you’ll get hit in the head. Home to me — what I want — is to have a tree and throw presents at my kids.”
Author Jonathan Safran Foer’s (author of Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close) current project is being a curator for the collection “Retrospective of S.” He wrote the accompanying text for each painting, making up the fictional painter’s life story and her various artistic phases. A group of artists were then blindly assigned to paint one piece. Here’s one by artist Rochelle Feinstein.
Graphic designer Dinah Fried’s latest project involved recreating meals from famous pieces of literature like Catcher in the Rye and Alice and Wonderland. Here’s one from Moby Dick.
A nod to good distractions.
May 18, 2012 § 2 Comments
This little heart in my body is beating with impatience for summer vacay. Guys and gals, I’m pretty lucky to have my summer vacay be three months long. In the hot summer months, I’ll be a face of freckled cheeks, arms of tan skin, and sleeping in until after the sun wakes the world up.
In anticipation for summer vacay I have started parts of my summer rhythm. Here’s this weekend’s do.
1. Do eat locally and seasonally. You will find so many ways to be creative with the fresh produce in your garden, farmer’s market or fridge. This is a fun way to expand one’s pallete. Show a little love to local farmers and it will be returned with a loved tummy. OooO the rhubarb is a new pallete love of mind.
2. Do spend daylight outside in dirt. I say ”Get dirty!” This summer I will be helping a friend with his organic CSA farm. I’m excited to learn from him about soil, growth, and tending to plants. I already have spent hours in our front yard planting some flowers and plants. However, the backyard is a forest of weeds, but I’m hoping to turn it into something beautiful. I have the summer to do so.
3. Do take long road trips. A road trip isn’t truly a road trip without the windows down, singing along with the music blaring, and the good ol’ sun shining on bare skin. Aww… yes.
Readers, sit in the sun and do good, real good, with what you have and with those who are around you. Happy Weekend!
Click on photos for photo credit.
April 6, 2012 § 2 Comments
New music and new recipes is one of the sweetest combinations in my life. This month’s project was completed in my kitchen with tunes dancing around with the aroma of baked goodies. Here is this month’s collection of projects:
At a recent show of Little Scream, fronted by Laurel Sprengelmeyer, a petite wise woman with bold white hair danced to her tunes. She was totally feeling the music and freely moving to it. Later, I learned that she was Laurel’s mother. Of course she would be! We conversed later in the evening and it was such a treat. This Harvest Loaf recipe is from a professor of mine from graduate school.
It’s always nice to be reminded of music you can return to. Bowerbirds does that with me with their newest album. So, I return to a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe that got the name Pa’cookies. The recipe name came from a friend in college. I decided to try something different with this recipe and baked it into large cafe cookie size. I think it turned out pretty well.
Inspired by St. Vincent (receive a free mp3 from her latest album here), I decided to try a recipe I made up. Here is the recipe for Strange Mercy Muffins. On a few muffins I drizzled some extra glaze leftover from the Harvest Bread recipe.
These tunes and recipes are like a dance party in the kitchen – try it out!
Dear Readers, happy weekend!
February 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
I often say ”To eat is to share.” One of my favorite meals to share with others is breakfast or on most weekends brunch. It’s just really nice to wake up with the sun beaming through the window and to begin the day with others by breaking bread. I decided to compile a list of gentlemen that I would love to host some day for breakfast along with a recipe.
I would invite Garrison Keilor and Ira Glass to my home and make this Crustless Quiche with Spinach and Mushrooms for breakfast. On the side I would serve a bowl of blueberries. The breakfast will linger into early evening due to all the stories we would share. I imagine that every once in a while I would close my eyes just to listen to their voice because they’re so familiar to me. This would be satisfying on so many accounts.
Some time ago, a friend introduced me to the world of Wes Anderson. He has such an interesting and strong way of telling us about his characters. Wouldn’t it be something if his quirky characters joined us for breakfast? Oh boy, the Banana Bread French Toast would be gone so quick. I can’t wait, just can’t wait, for Moonrise Kingdom to come out, but for now, here is one of his most recent commercials.
Readers, you probably are already aware of my love for Megafaun. I would share a classic brunch with them: eggs any style, turkey sausage or bacon, hash browns, and toast spread with homemade raspberry jam. Give a listen and you will love them too.
Who would you want over for breakfast?