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eG Foodblog: Malawry - Expecting a future culinary student

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#211 Kouign Aman

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 03:26 PM

baby food...my main hobby for the past year.

I was given the cool little grinder and found it useful as it made a very fine puree, but coarser than commercial babyfood. I didnt want our kid to get too used to the very fine texture, so we made our own puree as soon as we figured out a favorite food, and started 'texture training'. My friend used hers as SnowAngel did - travel, meals out, family dinners etc. (The angelmonster eats much more nutritiously than I or Mr KA do, so grinding family dinners didnt seem like a good idea (pureed potato chips and dip, anyone?.) I was more likely to pack frozen pre-made puree and a hotpack for warming. But for extended road trips, that doesnt work and the grinder is a godsend for a critical few months.
note: the grinder really struggles with meat - its ok for a single serving, but not much more at a time.

I made most of our baby food at home - either foodprocessor-pureed or hand-chopped, then frozen in "plops" on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap. The frozen plops were transferred to long term storage in ziplock freezer bags. As baby aged, the plops got bigger and the texture coarser. Eventually we were freezing sticks or tiny cubes of food to allow for picking-up practice. (I found 'plops' easier in many ways than icecubes).

The funny thing to me was that babies start with puree, then go to finger food, then they want to use spoons "allbymyself" and its back to sticky pureed food that will grip the spoon! Then the fork comes into play and its back to those soft practice chunks.... sort of deja vu.

babyclothes... these get obsoleted every couple months by the stores, so if you want to make returns, do so ASAP or you'll only get credit for clearance price which would be a huge shame if the giver spent full price on them.

Car seat - if you know which make and model you want,there would probably be time for your husband to run out and buy it after you start labor & before you are admittable at the hospital. O'course, you may not want him running out at that time..... and you almost certainly wont want to be selecting one at that time. :eek:
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#212 Malawry

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:17 PM

Are you allowed to post your mashed potato article or handouts on here? I would love to see them.

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The newspaper owns rights to my columns, so I wouldn't be comfortable reprinting them here without permission--and my editor is certainly long-gone for the day by this hour. (And this blog is slated to end tonight!) However, my columns usually appear online and stick around for a week or so when they are published. This Wednesday, go to the Journal-News site and click on "living" on the left sidebar. Hopefully, you can read my article then.

As for my handouts...somebody asked about that earlier and I never got back to them, sorry. I use a combination of my own recipes and copyrighted recipes from books in my handouts, and I credit the books I use on the handout itself. So I can't paste my whole handout right here, but I can paste some of it.

Menu:
Tomato Bread with Anchovies
Breadsticks with Serrano Ham
Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
Spinach with Pine Nuts and Currants
Tortilla Espanola (Potato Omelet)
Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)
Manchego Cheese and Quince Paste

Tomato Bread with Anchovies

6 tomatoes, Roma
3 cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
12 generous slices Crusty country-style bread
Anchovies, preferably Italian or Spanish ones packed in olive oil

Slice tomatoes in half. Cut out any white or green core areas and press out most of the seeds with your thumbs or a small spoon. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in a shallow baking dish. Mince the garlic and distribute evenly among the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned around the edges, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool till just warm.

Toast the bread slices lightly. Rub each slice with one roasted tomato half, pressing the pulp into the bread without tearing the bread. Discard the tomato skins. Drizzle with more oil and top each slice with one anchovy. Serve.

Romesco sauce
[from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison]

Spinach with Currants and Pine Nuts

1 lb baby spinach (the pre-washed sort is easier to work with)
2 tbsp Spanish olive oil
¼ cup dried currants
¼ cup pine nuts
Salt and pepper

Boil 1 cup of water and pour over the currants. Let rest until room temperature. Drain. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add spinach in batches, cooking until each batch wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Add currants and pine nuts, stir well, and sauté until spinach is deeply green and fully wilted. Serve.

Tortilla Espanola (Potato Omelet)

3 medium Idaho-type potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
1 large onion, chopped
6 eggs
1 cup Spanish olive oil
4-5 saffron threads (optional)
Salt

Peel and slice the potatoes very thinly. Chop the onion and place together with the potatoes in a frying pan. Cover completely with olive oil and fry slowly over medium heat until soft (20-25 minutes), turning them occasionally and gently breaking the potatoes with a fork. Drain the potatoes in a sieve, reserving one tablespoon of the Spanish olive oil in which they cooked. The rest of the olive oil can be stored and reused next time you make a potato omelette.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs (Option: infuse a pinch of saffron threads in a cup with 2 teaspoons of boiling water for 10 minutes, then add to beaten eggs). Add the fried potatoes, mix well and season with salt. Leave the entire mixture to rest for a few minutes. Heat the reserved tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Add the egg mixture, lower the heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Use a plate to carefully turn the omelette, and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Spanish tortilla can be served hot or at room temperature.

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)
[From Tapas by Jose Andres]


I did not include a recipe for the serrano ham and breadsticks (just wrap pieces of ham around breadsticks, drizzle with olive oil and scrape some pepper over it and you're done) or for the manchego with quince paste (which is about as complicated).

Here is the brownie recipe from last week's chocolate class:

Brownies:
18oz dark chocolate (64% is perfect, or “bittersweet”)
1 pound butter
21oz sugar (weighed on a scale)
8 eggs
10.5oz all-purpose flour (weighed on a scale)

Prepare a “half-sheet” pan (13”x18”x1”) by greasing it thoroughly, adding a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom, and greasing the parchment paper. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

Chop chocolate into small pieces. Cut butter into small chunks. Combine chocolate and butter in a metal bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the surface of the water). Stir periodically until the chocolate has melted; remove the bowl from the pan and carefully wipe any condensed water off the bottom of the bowl.

Combine the eggs and sugar in a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until the eggs are very light in color and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and mix on medium speed until well-blended. Add the flour and mix just until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted into the brownies comes out covered with moist crumbs, about 30 minutes. Let cool about 20 minutes, then invert onto a cutting board, cut and serve.


I went over ganache verbally, but did not give a written recipe since proportions tend to change depending on how you will be using the ganache.

Here is the text of the handout from last Thursday's "Basics of Cooking" class. I make my students learn to write their own proportions on their handouts rather than giving measurements for ingredients.

Homemade stocks transform the simplest dishes into gourmet fare. Learn how as we prepare fresh chicken stock and use it for creamy tomato soup. We’ll finish with a lemon tart.

Chicken Stock

Onions
Carrots
Celery
Parsley
Bay leaves
Black peppercorns
Thyme
Chicken: either bones, parts (dark meat is best) or whole chickens
Fresh cold water

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot and add enough fresh cold water to cover. Bring to the boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the top of the pot. Once the stock is at a full boil, cut the heat back to low and simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming the surface clear of any impurities periodically. (If you are using parts or whole chickens, you can remove them when they are cooked, let them cool, pick off the meat, and then return the bones to the pot to simmer the rest of the time.) Strain out and discard all the solids. If desired, reduce by boiling the strained stock until it’s at the desired concentration. Keeps refrigerated for about 5 days or frozen indefinitely.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Onions
Carrots
Celery
Butter
Canned diced, peeled tomatoes
Chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Sugar, if needed
Heavy whipping cream

Sweat onions, carrots and celery over medium-low heat in butter until translucent and softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock and seasonings. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cut back to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes until vegetables are completely soft. Puree in a blender and return the soup to the pot. Taste and add a small amount of sugar if needed. When ready to serve, warm the soup and finish with heavy whipping cream. Serve with croutons or a chopped fresh herb if desired.

Lemon Tart

Pate sucree
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
8oz sugar
3oz butter, melted
3 lemons, zest and juice

Bake pate sucree shell (see recipe below) at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Beat eggs and yolks in a mixer using whisk attachment on high speed. Slowly add sugar while the mixer is running, and mix with eggs until they become ribbony. Add zest and juice and whisk by hand. Pour butter over the back of a rubber spatula and use the spatula to fold the butter into the mixture. Pour into prebaked crust and bake until set in the center, 15 minutes at 300 degrees. Chill and serve with whipping cream.

Pate Sucree:
½ pound butter, room temperature
4oz sugar
1 egg, room temperature
Vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
12oz flour

Combine butter and sugar in mixer; beat on medium speed using paddle attachment until light but not fluffy. Add egg and mix. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Slowly add flour while mixer runs on low speed. Sprinkle additional flour on table and turn out dough. Knead gently. Form dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out and bake in tartlet pans as needed.



#213 Malawry

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:22 PM

Malawry:

I just finished re-reading your blog on cooking school... it's really amazing to see how much you've grown.  I had to chuckle at all your references to maintaing a vegetarian kitchen at home, given that Erin is now doing low carb!  :laugh:

...

Best of luck on Colin's arrival, you know we want to see pics of mom and baby as soon as you can manage! (If you're comfortable with that, of course!)

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My spouse still doesn't eat much beef, and he won't touch a hunk of beef in the form of something like a steak...he WILL eat corned beef, and anything made with ground beef is ok. He snarfed the leftovers from the braised short ribs I wrote about for the Journal-News last month. I have a hard time figuring out what he will eat sometimes so I just have to ask him about it. He's been the driving force behind a lot of culinary housekeeping for the last few years...when I started eating meat again, I respected his preference for maintaining a vegetarian kitchen.

As for updates on me and Baby Colin...there probably won't be much posted about it here on eGullet, as it's not really germane to food. However, if you want to keep up with me and my family on a level beyond our culinary life, I maintain a personal blog at LiveJournal. Feel free to check in there. There are some other eGullet folks over on LJ too.

#214 Malawry

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:44 PM

I caved and took some pix of my three existing "daughters"--the cats that own us--since there was demand and it seems like an obligatory component of the foodblogs. They are extremely camera-shy while eating (except for Diana, who would only show her ass since her head was buried in the food bowl), but they submitted while at rest on three different couches in our household...

I can tell them apart, but you might have trouble. Maggie and Snuggles are sisters from the same litter, while Diana is about 3 years younger than the other two. The sisters were my husband's cats, while Diana is my Jewish American Princess kitty...they get along okay or at least live under an uneasy truce most of the time.

Snuggles:

Posted Image

Magnificat (aka "Maggie")

Posted Image

Diana (aka "Gump"--not the brightest bulb)

Posted Image

#215 hathor

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:50 PM

I love the pussycat tradition!! :biggrin: Thanks for blogging and hang in there....one day you won't have a big belly and you will have Colin!

#216 Malawry

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:58 PM

Oh yeah, and here's what will probably be my last photo of this blog. I made my husband dinner as I usually do on Monday nights...he has an evening rehearsal at school on Mondays and normally doesn't have time to come home to eat. Tonight's dinner was some turkey burgers, celery sticks with leftover spinach dip, a few slices of leftover cheddar from the shower for a snack later on, and a little dish with ketchup and relish to spread on the turkey burgers.

Posted Image

I have still eaten very little today, though I am considering going upstairs and noshing on the last of the comice pears Abi brought to the house this weekend. I should probably eat something with protein, but I suspect a PB&J sammich on whole wheat is about all the culinary energy I can muster at the moment. I'm in a sort of stasis, conserving my foodie reserves for tomorrow night's class.

#217 Kouign Aman

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 05:39 PM

As for updates on me and Baby Colin...there probably won't be much posted about it here on eGullet, as it's not really germane to food


You could keep track of how Colin responds to what you eat. Does he like it when you eat spicy foods, etc. :smile:

Thank you for blogging. I've enjoyed reading your writing. I am stunned at your energy level.
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#218 eJulia

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 06:59 PM

Thanks for indulging us (me) with kitty pics - they all look so similar - even Diana! Magnificat (great name!) looks like she doesn't miss many meals... (BTW, that's a compliment... I don't look like I miss many meals either!)

I've been pet-less due to living circumstances for two years, and while my two "boys" are in good and loving households, I miss them to distraction some days. Again, thanks for the kind indulgence!

Best of luck!
"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”
Francois Minot

#219 Malawry

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:18 PM

We keep the cat food on the ground level and the litter boxes upstairs and in the basement, so the cats have to get at least a LITTLE exercise, but yes, Maggie is rather...corpulent. Lately we've been taking bets on who has the bigger belly, me or her.

I ended up eating PB&J and a comice pear for a late dinner, as predicted. I'm starting to crave another hot dog and might have one for dinner again tomorrow before my class. You're not missing much by my blog ending, because this week is pretty much a repeat of last week with a midwifery appointment thrown in.

I'm off to write my MEP, shopping and pack lists for the tapas class to round out my somewhat lazy day. Thanks for being so responsive to my posts, ya'll! Time for the next blogger to take over...

#220 mizducky

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:34 PM

Oooooooh, kitties! :wub:

Many thanks for such a terrific blog, and Mazel Tov in advance on Colin. :smile:

#221 helenjp

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for your blog, have a good rest, and all the best for class tomorrow!

#222 Rebecca263

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 09:39 PM

Thank you for blogging for us during this busy week. My calico cat is so fat, I thought all 3 of yours were slender! Be well, I hope that you can get a lot of rest before the baby arrives, and have time to keep your feet up!
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#223 Jenny McClure

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 08:01 AM

Thanks for the blog. I'm amazed that you find the time and energy to do all these things being pregnant. I have several pregnant friends that don't work and find a trip to get groceries a huge undertaking. All the best in your remaining weeks of pregnancy and take advantage of any sleep you can get in preparation.

#224 bleudauvergne

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 08:27 AM

I loved seeing the many ways food is a part of your daily life and the way you share it with others. :smile:

#225 Malawry

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 08:06 AM

Even though my blog is officially over, since it is still open I wanted to share my Mashed Potato story with you all. Thanks for everybody's help with it!

Comfort in a Bowl

#226 Chufi

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 08:15 AM

Thanks for a wonderful blog Rochelle.. I really enjoyed it and like others have said, am amazed at your energy and the amount of things you do..
All the best for the next couple of months, and I hope you'll be able to thoroughly enjoy the first time with your baby. Relax, and let others take care of you for a while! :smile:

Great column about the mashed potatoes, and I'm quite pleased you mention the Dutch and their creative ways with mash! :smile:

#227 BarbaraY

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 08:40 AM

You are a girl after my own heart. Cream and butter in mashed potatoes! Mmmmm!
Great blog!

#228 MarketStEl

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 09:48 AM

Figures you would save the best for last. Nice column there!

Good luck with your students and your new arrival now in the gestation stage.
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