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Everything posted by Genkinaonna

  1. When I was in vegas last and went to the one in the Bellagio I had the Macaron filled with rose pastry cream and raspberries. It was like biting into a summer garden in full bloom. Best thing I ever put in my mouth, before or since... Everything I tried lived up to it's looks. Can't wait to go back again.
  2. I'm having a picnic for my kiddo's first birthday and I thought I'd do a DIY italian soda bar with San Pellegrino and some home made syrups for mixing for the parents. I'm thinking rhubarb-vanilla, lemon verbena, and strawberry basil syrups. I have a recipe for the rhubarb, and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to figure out the lemon verbena, but I'm not sure about the strawberry basil. Should I do a strawberry syrup and a basil and mix them? Or make the strawberry and infuse the basil in it? Any help (and recipes) would be appreciated! It doesn't really have to keep for very long, and I'll be storing it in the fridge, if that helps...
  3. We do veggie food for dinner a couple of nights a week, nothing too crazy and definitely NOT vegan, we love our cheese, but we have pasta with pesto pretty frequently, I make fried rice on a regular basis, and it's hard to beat tostadas with homemade refried beans and avocados. Nothing too crazy. I really like the book Olive Trees and Honey, which is a vegetarian Jewish cookbook. Lots of interesting recipes and also lots of good information on Jewish food in general.
  4. Thanks for the update, Kerry! It's good to hear she's making progress. Amusingly enough, my children won't eat chicken cooked sous vide...they say it's "too soft." Go figure. BTW going somewhere for a month for the express purpose of cooking and trying out new recipes is pretty much my idea of heaven. If only you ladies weren't on the other side of the continent from me!
  5. That's a wonderful cookout menu! I'm doing a barbecue for my little guy's first birthday this weekend so it's nice to get some inspiration...although I'm leaving the sausage making to the experts since decorating the cake is going to take a lot of my time. BTW, your daughter is GORGEOUS! And we have the same bear, although it's usually the stuffed seal that supervises the cooking .
  6. Those cheese muffins look delicious! How is Kira doing? I have wondered about that since I read Kerry's blog for the first time about a year ago. I know that's not food related, so I'll pretend I asked, "what's Kira eating these days?"
  7. Heidi, this is just for you! I haven't done anything with them yet, but soon they will play a starring role in a zucchini and ginger stir fry... I'm also contemplating what to stuff the blossoms with...maybe a soft sheep's milk cheese and some basil?
  8. Hah! Success! Well, the feet were a little uneven on some of them, and I think I could have given the batter a couple more folds, but overall I'm super happy, especially since every macaron I've made prior to this batch has been an utter, utter failure. These are italian meringue method, with the whites aged overnight on the counter, and the filling is rhubarb buttercream. I baked them at 305 for 18 minutes in a convection oven, after letting them sit on the counter for about an hour to dry out. It's super dry out today. Hooray! Now I want to make more...
  9. Really enjoying the blog so far! Happy Anniversary as well! Ours is the 7th. It's nice to know that it's not user error on grinding in the KA...I had a less than satisfactory experience when I tried, but I'm pretty sure that it was gristle that did me in. What else do you use Piment d'espelette for? I bought a jar for a recipe from Around My French Table, but I'm not sure what else to do with it, and it was waaay to expensive to just sit there looking pretty...
  10. The baby looks especially excited! I'll have to check out Clay's, I was just out that way last night and I could go for some good barbecue without having to actually MAKE some...
  11. Wow that pizza looks amazing! Now I have to make pizza for dinner, when I already told everyone we were having fried rice! I love the idea of a biscuit with blueberries in it. I'm not a fan of frozen yogurt (give me ice cream, or frozen custard, but theres not a lot of that around here) but the idea of the popping boba is intriguing...I wonder if they have them at my local bubble tea place? Is frozen custard common around there or is it a midwest transplant that opened Goodberry's up? As for gaining 20 lbs during your foodblog, all the food you consume for the purpose of educating and/or entertaining others doesn't count towards your caloric intake for the week!
  12. Hi Laurie! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us this week! I've never been to North Carolina but I've heard it's really beautiful there. What would you say are the local specialties and favorites, things you wouldn't find elsewhere? Congratulations on the upcoming wedding plans! And as for the mixes, we won't tell if you don't!
  13. Thanks for taking us to Chicago with you! Paris 1906 looked so cool. I love the whole concept of that restaurant...you can go 4x a year and see a whole new menu each time. And I didn't become food obsessed until I moved to Portland, away from the Midwest, so I've never been to Frontera. Looks like I know where I'm going for dinner when I head back to Milwaukee next month!
  14. I'm going out by myself tomorrow evening. I've not decided where yet, but I deserve it, my husband's been out of town for 4 days leaving my with my three little ones 24 hrs a day. It'll just be nice to have a meal without anyone smooshing food in their hair or complaining about "green stuff" in their pasta sauce. Not to mention I can actually focus on the food instead of worrying about carrying on a conversation.
  15. I spot it and "nom" it on Foodspotting. Then I write about it on facebook, since my husband is obsessed with checking us in everywhere we go. If the restaurant has a website with an email and the meal was particularly good, I will email the owner (or whoever checks the email, but all the responses I've gotten have been from owners) telling them what I liked and why I'm planning on returning. I do quite a few of my reservations through Open Table and I make it a point to go review the experience if it was a good one. But I guess the biggest compliment I give is my repeat patronage of the restaurant, when there are so many amazing places to eat around Portland.
  16. Genkinaonna

    Dinner! 2011

    As usual, everything looks amazing... Kim-that spinach, red grape, strawberry and cashew salad looks sooo yummy! Just the thing for spring when we're swimming in good strawberries...and don't despair about your biscuits, I'm sure they were still delicious, and whipped cream covers a multitude of sins! And I must know more about those cheesy noodles, is that ricotta? Cottage cheese? Some heretofore undiscovered variety of cheesy goodness? Enquiring minds (namely mine) want to know! Twyst-that hash looks pretty damn tasty. Love the goo-zy egg (aka the money shot) pulling it all together! And those scallops look about 20x better than mine ever do... Robirdstx-I never would have thought to combine those flavors, but I bet it was delicious, how could it not be, covered in duck cracklings... I would post a picture of dinner, but alas, I had leftovers. But the meal that they were left over from was delicious, although you'll have to use your imagination as my phone was dead and therefore I was camera-less. I took about a pound of shelled and deveined shrimp, and a carton of those leetle grape tomatoes (my tomato plants don't even have FLOWERS yet, it's been a really cool and wet spring) and put them on a sheet pan, the tomatoes cut in half, sprinkled the whole thing with chopped fresh thyme and oregano from the garden, threw on some salt, about 10 cloves of garlic still in their skins and 5 or so smashed up, and covered the whole shebang with about 2/3 cup olive oil. I preheated my grill to about 350 and put the sheet pan on the grate and shut the lid. They stayed on the grill on heat for about 13 minutes, during which I rotated them twice and flipped the shrimp once. Then I turned off the grill, opened the lid to let the heat dissipate for a minute, and then shut it again to keep everything warm. I also moved the pan over to the cool side of the grill, where I hadn't had the burners lit. While the shrimp and friends were grilling, I also cooked up a couple of lbs of fresh rigatoni pasta, then drained it and put it back in the pot to stay warm. Once everything was cooked, I mixed the shrimp, crushed garlic, and tomatoes in with the pasta. I squeezed the soft whole garlic cloves out into the olive oil on the sheet pan, and mashed them in to make kind of a sauce, then mixed that in with the noodles. At the very end, I folded in some crumbled french feta cheese and some baby spinach, which wilted from the heat of the pasta. The whole thing, start to finish took about 25 minutes. Eat that, Rachel Ray! And it was amazingly good for the simplicity of the ingredients and prep. Definitely going into my regular rotation. Maybe next time I'll even take a picture!
  17. I use the plastic shell containers basil comes in (when I get it at the store, not the farmer's market) for transporting baked goods. They're the perfect size for a dozen cookies or half a dozen cupcakes, and since when I make pesto I go all out and make a bunch, I usually have enough containers laying around to transport whatever needs moving to someone else's house. I have a plastic bin that I throw all the cleaned out empty glass condiment bottles in once they've been washed and labels removed. I'm giving vanilla extract for christmas this year and I'm NOT buying any bottles. The booze and beans were expensive enough! I'm surprised that preschools are still accepting egg cartons. I worked in a preschool until about three months ago and we weren't allowed to accept egg cartons or the styrofoam trays from meat due to possible cross contamination risk. Those darn kids put everything in their mouths! I'm pretty sure that was a state licensing rule, too. Toilet paper tubes were a no go too, although that's off the topic...
  18. I love dining alone, but I don't get the opportunity too often, not to say that my husband isn't a delightful dining partner, but I agree with Beebs that solitude can be very mentally refreshing. I spend a lot of time alone as a child (only child) and that's the one thing that I miss now that I have a biggish family of my own. I also can't stand the rigamarole of splitting the check, and eating by myself solves that pretty neatly. The one drawback is I can't justify ordering two desserts to try both and I can't try out my dining companions dessert if they're non-existent. Oh well, you can't win them all ...
  19. Can't wait to see what else you have to share with us this week, Ben! Does your little guy have any food preferences or aversions yet? My 11 month old eats everything, unlike his older sisters ...
  20. I've been hitting the Goodwills near my house for a patio table and pots to plant my burgeoning container garden in...I always swing through the housewares stuff as well. In the last week I've gotten two pyrex mixing bowls for $ 2.00 a piece (in the medium super useful size) a brand new hand crank ice cream maker for $6.99 (donvier) that the kids are super excited to try out, a set of 4 clear pressed glass punch cups that are perfect for "tea parties" for 99 cents apiece, a copy of Joy of Wokking by Martin Yan, the original Frugal Gourmet cookbook, The Southern Living Cookbook, Time Life Foods of the World Provence and China, Play With Your Food, and NW Best Places Cookbook Volumes 1 and 2. All the books were between $1 and $3 each, mostly around $2. Very exciting. And I found a picnic table for the kids for $10. It's becoming an addiction...
  21. We are not a religious household, but I do like the idea of taking a moment to acknowledge the work that went into making the food, and to give thanks that we have it when others do not. I like RRO's idea of the fist bump...it's enough to keep you mindful but not too obtrusive... My husband always (I mean always, every meal, no exception) makes it a point to give thanks to me and makes my children do the same since I do all the cooking, and I make it a point to say thanks to him for making the money that allows me to do all the cooking...I guess that counts as a ritual of thanksgiving, in a purely secular way... If someone else wants to say grace over a meal that we eat (which doesn't happen to often amongst my friends or family, but occasionally it's come up) I try to be respectful of their beliefs and bow my head as well. But if I'm the one who did the cooking I expect to be thanked in the prayer too!
  22. This is the first year I've tried to grow anything! I'm known in my family for killing everything I try to grow, but this year I'm determined not to overwater or neglect my plants (scout's honor!) and actually get some to live through the season. We have a space about 3 ft wide by 8 ft long that's the only spot in the yard with sun, and so I'm making the most of it. I opted for containers since I can move them around if I need to, and it's easier to pull them out to water the ones in the back if I need to, plus I needed the space they were taking up in the garage. I have two sunflowers my daughters planted, potatoes in potato bags, parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, mint (in a pot so it doesn't take over, although I killed it last year) 4 different varieties of cherry tomatoes, and zucchini and mini pumpkins in small swimming pools. I also have a little blueberry bush. We'll see how it goes, I'm cautiously optimistic... I wish I had a shelf that I could raise and lower so I could garden vertically, but I'm not able to spend much money on something and I'm not a carpenter...any ideas?
  23. Genkinaonna

    Dinner! 2011

    Dejah and Soba-The sauce for the ribs was basically a reduction of the braising liquid. I rubbed the ribs with 5 spice and ginger, S & P, then marinated them (for about 5 hrs) with 1/2 c apricot jam, juice of an orange and the juice of a lemon. Then I put them in a pan with a couple T water and let them cook for 45 min or so. At that point I added a cup of mexican coke to the pan and finished cooking them. It was about an hour more, I think, but basically until they're tender and pulling away from the bone at the ends. I think I cooked them at 350 F. The liquid in the pan was really watery when the ribs were done, so I reduced it over high heat until it was syrupy. I added about a tsp and a half of alder smoked salt to give it a little more of a barbeque-y flavor. Hope that helps! I honestly think the same treatment would be incredible on chicken wings too...and a little less time consuming, since they cook so much quicker.
  24. Panaderia-That is such a cool picture! Kudos!
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