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eG Foodblog: FrogPrincesse (2011) - From tartines to tikis


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Your daughter is adorable :smile:

Your menu looked fabulous. I'm really enjoying seeing what you're doing with the blog this week

Thanks kalypso!

It's been a quiet morning so far.

I did manage, however, to spill a full cup of cappuccino all over my desk while taking a picture of it.

I am definitely not a morning person! :wacko:

I have been trying to figure out a way to post pictures from my work computer, but that does not seem possible without installing software that only an IT administrator can do.

So pictures will have to wait until tonight.

I did not have time to have breakfast before leaving for work this morning, so I used the work coffee machine, a Flavia, for my cappuccino. It uses little vacuum-sealed pouches of coffee. It makes something called "espresso" but has little resemblance with the real thing.

To make my cappuccino, I use real milk instead of the horrendous "creamy topping" option, and the end result is semi-decent.

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Your menu sounds and looks delightful. Thank you for reminding me about that watermelon salad - I also omit the olives :wink:

Did you baste the grilled shrimp with a seasoning? I have never done them on the grill but now it is on the list to try in that skewered style.

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Its fun to see the town thru your eyes. Your food looks fabulous.

My 6 yr old has the same argument for chocolate chip pancakes that your tadpole princess has for Nutella on toast.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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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 :laugh: .

Thanks Genkinaonna!

The stuffed sausage was more an experiment than anything else. I doubt that I will be making it on a regular basis because of the time involved. Maybe a few times a year? Bulk sausage, on the other hand, is a relatively small time investment.

It's funny because I try a lot of new things in the kitchen, but cake decorating is something I have no clue how to do. I love baking, however decorating is completely outside of my comfort zone for some reason.

I really enjoyed your blog last month, by the way.

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Love the blog so far! We have a lot of tiki ingredients collected in our home bar, but never know what to do with them, so I'm really looking forward to more of your drinks. You inspired me to make an Ancient Mariner last night--it will definitely be entering the regular rotation. I also happened to buy a watermelon this weekend, so that salad will probably show up for dinner some night this week :smile:

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Its fun to see the town thru your eyes. Your food looks fabulous.

My 6 yr old has the same argument for chocolate chip pancakes that your tadpole princess has for Nutella on toast.

Hi Kouign Aman,

Thank you. It's great to see you on this blog.

I see that all kids are the same! :smile:

These chocolate chip pancakes sound wonderful. Do you just add chocolate chip to a regular pancake recipe?

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Love the blog so far! We have a lot of tiki ingredients collected in our home bar, but never know what to do with them, so I'm really looking forward to more of your drinks. You inspired me to make an Ancient Mariner last night--it will definitely be entering the regular rotation. I also happened to buy a watermelon this weekend, so that salad will probably show up for dinner some night this week :smile:

Hi Nishla,

Finding uses for tiki ingredients is never a problem at our house.

I am glad to hear that you liked the Ancient Mariner!

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These chocolate chip pancakes sound wonderful. Do you just add chocolate chip to a regular pancake recipe?

Yup. Make them just like making blueberry pancakes: make batter, add berries / chocolate chips. Cook.

Choc chips dont like high heat cooking. A nice medium heat works well.

Do you guys use the Iowa Meat Farms / Siebels mesquite charcoal or? on your grill?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Kouign Aman,

I had to check with my husband on your question. I am a rookie in the grilling area. Yesterday was only my second time using the grill, and he quickly took over when the kebabs started falling off their skewers.

He says that he tried the Iowa Meat Farms/Siesel's mesquite charcoal, but that we just used Kingsford mesquite yesterday. He finds that Kingsford burns faster, and that the smoke flavor is less pronounced.

So his preference goes to Siesel’s charcoal; it's just that sometimes we forget to buy it.

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It's 7 pm in San Diego, I am back home and it's time for a cocktail.

Tonight we are having a Test Pilot, a cocktail created by Don the Beachcomber.

The recipe is from Beachbum Berry Remixed and contains lime juice, falernum, Cointreau, dark Jamaican rum (we used Appleton 12), light rum (we used Flor de Cana), Angostura bitters, Pernod, and a cherry garnish. It's blended with crushed ice for a few seconds.

We bought the falernum during a recent trip to St Lucia. When it runs out, I will attempt to make my own.

For the cherry garnish, we used brandied griotte cherries from France that we bought at Euro Food Depot. They are wonderful in cocktails, including my husband's favorite, the Manhattan.

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This cocktail is quite complex and interesting thanks to the two different kinds of rums, and the Pernod. It is also pretty strong. :blink:

We are nibbling on macadamia nuts and cherry tomatoes.

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Thanks David.

My husband, who took the vast majority of the pictures, uses professional camera equipment. Photography his hobby, although he tells me he's a bit out of his element with food (he mostly takes pictures of architectural buildings).

He uses a Canon 5DMkII, and a variety of lenses. For most of these photos, he's been using a 24-70mm f2.8L lens or a Tilt-Shift lens. He tells me that this camera has a very large sensor, equivalent to 35mm film, which helps to get a lot of detail. Most compact cameras and camera phones use tiny sensors which aren't able to capture as much detail or light.

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Here are the pictures from the lunch I had today.

No spectacular photography here, I was just using a little point-and-shoot camera and did not have my expert photographer by my side.

Caprese salad and watermelon salad (which tasted even better than yesterday). It's funny how they are completely color coordinated.

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I did not have a chance to try the shrimp yesterday, as I was too full from the sausage and the lamb kebabs.

Even reheated, they were amongst the juiciest and most flavorful I've had. I had not used any seasoning at all, but they were packed with aromas from the bright orange juices that were leaking from the heads. Head-on shrimp is self-basting.

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The pineapple and mint sugar. The mint did not age very well at all in that dish, and I had to discard it.

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A few weeks ago, I ran out of the fresh homemade bacon I had made in February for Charcutepalooza.

So, last week I decided to start curing more bacon.

I used the maple cure from Charcuterie.

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Here is the pork belly that I purchased at Iowa Meat Farms.

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Belly massage with sugar and maple syrup.

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Then it went in a ziplock bag for a one-week long body wrap.

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After a week (yesterday), I took it out of the cure, rinsed it, dried it, and put it in the fridge to dry further.

When I took it our of the fridge this morning, it was completely dry.

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I used a stovetop smoker and hickory chips.

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I was lucky because the belly fit in the smoker exactly.

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I set the burner at medium low, and checked the temperature after about 1.5 hours. It was about 130F at that point.

The smoker was very hot so I turned down the burner to low.

After 2.5 hours I checked the temperature again, which was around 160F. It was time to remove the smoker from the heat.

Then I realized that part of the belly had started to burn.

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I flipped it over... :shock:

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Yes, definitely burned! But most of it seems salvageable.

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For tonight's dinner I decided to use produce from my CSA.

Here is what I got in my farmers' bag last week.

Pinkerton Avocados – Garcia Organics

Arugula & Sierra Gold Potatoes – Rutiz Farms

Eight Ball Squash & Flying Saucer Squash – Jaime Farms

Star Ruby Grapefruit – Shoemaker Farms

Valencia Oranges – Suntreat

Sungold Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes – Tutti Frutti

Spinach – Gloria Tamai

Strawberries – Be Wise Ranch

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I was looking for an interesting recipe for squash and found one in Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin.

I found the recipe using Eat Your Books, a site that I use daily when planning my meals.

If only they could index cocktail books though! That would be so convenient...

That recipe caught my eye because of the salsa verde.

The combination sounded a little unusual, but I liked the fact that the recipe was packed with vegetables and herbs, and I had all the main ingredients.

I sliced the zucchini, salted it and let it drain.

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In the meantime, I started working on the salsa verde.

Cilantro, mint, capers, anchovy, olive oil.

The book called for pounding the herbs to a paste, then adding the various ingredients one at a time.

Since it was getting late, I just put everything in the food processor and pulsed for a few seconds.

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A squeeze of lemon juice

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Then I mixed the zucchini with the salsa and the grated gruyere, and added dried herbes de Provence, garlic and sliced shallots.

I skipped the breadcrumbs toasted in butter that the recipe calls for, as I don't really care for breadcrumbs in gratin.

It went in the oven for 35 minutes at 400F.

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After it came out of the oven.

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It tasted very good. Zucchini does not have a lot of flavor, so the salsa verde was a nice addition.

I may replace the gruyere with a different cheese next time, though. The gruyere felt a little out of place for a summer dish.

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There were three uncooked lamb kebabs left from yesterday and, since I am persistent, I decided to give them another try.

I reworked them with some panko to dry them out a little.

This time, they stayed on the skewers.

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We had them in pitas with cucumber raita, with the zucchini gratin on the side.

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We had them in pitas with cucumber raita, with the zucchini gratin on the side.

One of my favorite meals, hands down. Lovely blog FP :smile:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Your kitchen looks lovely from what I can see from the tasty food pics - spacious, clean lines, bright. Looks like you have lots of drawers? Will we see more pics of the kitchen space overall? I think you have a Miele cooktop, is it induction by any chance? Did you design your kitchen?

It looks like you are busy with work, also - I am impressed with your organization and energy! I'm always amazed when the Food Bloggers are able to write during a busy work-week, I'm not sure my time-management skills would be up to that. :laugh:

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Hi Faux Pas,

Thanks for your nice comments on the kitchen.

I have a lot of drawers and, generally, a ton of storage space.

We completely reconfigured that space when we bought the house, with the help of an architect, and I designed the kitchen.

The cooktop is Miele (as are the oven and the warming drawer). It's quite powerful. It’s electric (not induction).

I will give a complete tour of the kitchen tonight or tomorrow, with more details.

Yes, it's interesting to combine the blog with the normal work week. I do have a new appreciation for all the past eG Foodbloggers now.

I often undertake large cooking projects, but having to document them at the same time is new to me, and can be a challenge sometimes!

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Thanks for commenting on the glasses. I was wondering if anyone would notice them.

They were a great gift from our friends, Dave and Gail, for a tiki party we did at our place for our 10-year anniversary.

Like my husband, our friend Gail is originally from Hawaii and these belonged to her family.

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