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mhadam

eG Foodblog: mhadam - Food for Thought, Thoughts on Food

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I want your cat! Cashew is too cute!

More pics, please!

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wow-

can't wait for the dim sum and your anniversary dinner(20 more than you coming up :biggrin: ) happy and healthy new year for your life together. your precious baby is beautiful and wonderful, sleek baby and i love the picture of what most cats do all the time :wink:

oh, gosh. i remember when i was a kid(in the stone age) having our milk delivered by the milkman(mr. price). didn't have to leave the cooler out since we had a "milk box" on the porch though i was lucky since i was a sick kid he always saved our house for last so i could hear the bell on the milk truck and, though i couldn't run out to get the milk, i could stand at the door and mr. price in his white pants and shirt, black bow tie and white cap would bring the milk nana needed into the house.

the arancici look wonderful , especially since i'm not a sweets for breakfast person. am looking forward to the rest of the blog....

thanks

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was the starbucks good? and what's in the dessert box??

you're making me hungry....

all that talk about how tall your kitty is, is making me want to measure my two....but they are only 7 months old and extremely feisty.

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We are home, after a few trips, and I'm starting dinner now.

Here are a few photos from our shipping trip after work - to Mitsuwa, the Japenese grocery store in Arlington Heights, IL. For those local readers, it's on the corner of Arlington Heights and Algonquin (by Yanni's Greek restaurant).

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I apologize for some of the photos -- it's hard to sneak a good shot.

Here's the produce section, the back of the store (what you can kinda see in the picture) has the refrigerated products: tofu, wonton wrappers, and some nibblies.

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Within the produce section is also the fish counter. Here is a sampling of what they offer. I have purchased sashimi grade tuna from here and taken it home to make spicy tuna.

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Here's a blurry photo, that husband took, of the pocky display. We purchased, as you see below some Men's Pocky and Caramel Pocky.

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The wrappers are for the dim sum, the wasabi peas are for snacking, and the panko is for tonight's eggplant.

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We also got two Ramune sodas -- peach (which tastes like boonsfarm) and a melon that I have yet to try. Oh and soy sauce -- not for drinking of course :laugh:

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need to get back to my eggplant. my temp is at 375.

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I can't believe the photo you got inside Joesph's..........I've never seen it so empty! You could see the floor.........and across a couple feet..........how strange.

Did you notice that they are building a Trader Joes over in the Algonquin mall. That will be nice!

I can't wait to see more insight to local places I've never visited........this is auesome.

P.S. Love your cat! His size is mind boggling.

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Wow, and I thought my boyfriend's cats were huge. There's no way they're three feet tall, though!

Great blog. I look forward to reading the rest of it!

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Cashew is a cutie! What a great name. I think that orange male tabbys tend toward the gianormus. Ours is 17 lbs and can also reach the kitchent table on standing.

Love the pictures of the groceries! I wish we had a Mitsuwas, but I'd be happy with a Trader Joes (please come to the southeast...pleeease I say to the Trader Joes folks).

Looking forward to the rest of your blog-

Anne

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I can't believe the photo you got inside Joesph's..........I've never seen it so empty! You could see the floor.........and across a couple feet..........how strange.

Did you notice that they are building a Trader Joes over in the Algonquin mall. That will be nice!

I can't wait to see more insight to local places I've never visited........this is auesome.

P.S. Love your cat! His size is mind boggling.

Wendy -- this is what happens when you go grocery shopping at 8pm in the evening :smile:

Sorry to those not in the area, but a TJ's less than 40 minutes away is F#$@% AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! This is so cool. Husband and I did dance of joy!!! So cool!!!

Anyhoo -- there are many more local places I will take us to. Rosmart, the Creperie, Francesca's and maybe Distinctions wine shoppie.

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Wonderful start! I'm looking forward to the descriptions of Polish food. Second everything on Cashew, how cute.

It's nice to see pumpkins in the stores. Over here we're just going into Spring.

Happy blogging!

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So dinner is fantastic, a bit of a rest and it will be time for dessert. I guess you need to wait till tomorrow to see what's in the box *tee hee*

I will modify this post tomorrow to add pics, the damn USB controller is not working again.

Dinner Pics:

Here is the sliced eggplant, pre-dredging. I try to have 1/4 inch slices. As I mentioned earlier, I don't salt/drain my eggplant for this. I don't see a benefit in the end product for the extra work.

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I thought I had a picture of my dredging station, but can't seem to find it. I use three bowls - one for seasoned flour (AP, salt, and hungarian sweet paprika), one bowl for beaten eggs seasoned with freshly ground pepper (I use 2 eggs for one eggplant), and the last bowl has panko.

The eggplant goes into the flour first, then the eggs and finally into Panko.

I shallow fry the eggplant slices in vegetable oil at 375 degrees (used Wesson last night) in a heavy-bottomed pan. I do about 2-3 slices at at time, depending on the size. I do use the end of the eggplant as well. It's my favorite piece since it's the "meatiest".

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Here's a closeup of the fried eggplant. The panko really does give it more texture than regular breadcrumbs.

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I pull out the slices once they are GBD and lay them on my broiler pan to drain. You can see my white flowered bowl in this picture -- it has the panko. The container above the panko bowl is for my kosher salt. I find it easier to use a canister that hinges, i have two scoops in there for easy measuring: 1/4 tsp and 1 tsp.

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Once the eggplants are fried, it's time for the ramekins. My mother bought me a set of these oval baking dishes (more flower pattern) that are perfect for this. They hold two slices perfectly.

I use a garlic salsa for the bottom of the ramekin -- 2 tbs, then lay the fried eggplant, then 1 tbs of salsa on top of each slice and then shred some shredded cheese -- yesterday I used the queso fresco from Joseph's.

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Now it's time to go into the toaster oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. I have the toaster oven at 350 and it's been warming for about 7-10 minutes.

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Above the toaster oven, on each side, I have a clear pushpin on which I hang my pot holders. It keeps them handy and out of the way. Note more flower pattern.

Here's a closeup of the done dish -- melted cheese and all.

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It's a great contrast of flavors and textures. Gooey cheese, crispy eggplant, cold and chunky salsa. Sometime I will use a sweet pineapple and mango salsa instead of the garlic. When I do that I season the eggs and flour so they are spicier and more savory to balance against the sweet.

Dessert Photos:

When we were at Joseph's on Monday, I couldn't leave without getting some sweets. We purchased 2 cannolis and 2 tart shells filled with a sweet vanilla pastry cream -- the shells were topped with more dough. So yummy.

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I also had a cup of early gray tea with dessert.

Thank you for all the posts, I'm finely relaxing into this.

Maggie


Edited by mhadam (log)

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Speaking of which, a small sampling of my cookbooks.

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I have so many of the same cookbooks you have. Did you get your mom's Mastering the Art and Joy of cooking? I love having some of my mother's and grandmothers' cookbooks.

Thanks for the blog. I know nothing baout Polish food and look forward to learning.

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I'm finely relaxing into this.

Maggie

blogging's not so hard..it's fun :biggrin:

wonderful shops.. And I also love those wasabi peas!

Cashew is a brilliant name for a pet.. when I got my rats, I was trying very hard to think up foodrelated names for them.. wish I had thought of cashew!

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Wendy --- have you been here, to Rosmart? It's on Algonquin across from St. Margaret Mary.

No, I've never heard of it. What do they have?

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do you make your smoothie with yogurt and fresh fruit?

Perfect timing -- I have photos.

I try to make a smoothie at least twice a week for breakfast. It's light, freshing but provides enough energy to get me to lunch :raz:

My ingredients for today:

2% Milk

Fresh Strawberries

Plain Yogurt

Vanilla Paste from TJ's

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I always use milk and yogurt, but will vary between vanilla and plain yogurt. If I fresh fruit I will use that -- bananas, strawberries, any berry - if not, then I will use frozen fruit -- mixed berries, cherries, strawberries, peaches and even TJ's tropical fruit mix (pineapple and mango). I usually don't add any sugar as the fruit has enough. I do like to add a bit of flavoring though: the vanilla paste, or citrus zest.

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For two cups, I use about 1/4c of fruit, 2 tbs of yogurt, a 1/4tsp of flavoring, and two good splashes of milk -- blend at a high setting and then taste. If it needs to be creamier I add more yogurt, if it's too thick I add milk, if I can't taste enough fruit -- add more fruit. I don't have set recipes for this.

We also had the pasztets from Rosmart, the Polish deli. These are like sausage rolls, but made with a homemade liver pate which is rolled in the puff pastry and baked. I heat them up in the toaster oven for 10 minutes at 350. They get oh so crispy and a bit buttery as the oils come through.

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Edited by mhadam (log)

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I really need to get some work done, so here are a few kitchen and dining room photos to tie you over :smile:

I will elaborate on my setup later -- feel free to ask questions.

The kitchen table, hutch, and wall hangings

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Back door, more stuff on the walls and some cabinetry

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stove, fridge, more cabinets, note the baking pumpkin I have yet to bake for pie filling :angry:

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sink and dishwasher

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Dining room:

lowboy, john's scotch, wine rack

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the room

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That eggplant thing looks to DIE for!

I know what I'm making this weekend!

Milagai

must.... add..... panko..... to ..... shopping .... lust... i... mean..... list....

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So, have you gone to Farmer's Market yet?

I work from home, live within walking distance, and still haven't made it there yet!

I am impressed that you can do so much considering just how long your commute is each day. How do you do it.

- kim

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As I have a few moments...

Rosmart, the local Polish deli, sells sausages, lunch meat, cheeses, bakery items such as cakes and breads. It also has a decent selection of ready to eat items, like salads, beets, kopitka (potato noodles akin to gnocchi), pizy (large potato balls filled with meat akin to arancini), breaded and panfried cutlets (pork or veal) and of course herring. The store does offer pantry staples as well: juices, candies, flour, grains, bottles of water. Almost all of the pantry staples are imported. Husband tried taking a picture for you last night but was polited asked not to and then stared down. :raz:

Below are our groceries from Rosmart -- John went last night since he had a hangering for Mandarynka, which is one of a selection of sodas that I grew up with in Poland. These are neon-colored, fruit flavored carbonated beverages. When I was a tot, it came in really 3 flavors: Ptys (multi-fruit), Oranzada (Orange -- like Orangina) and Cytryna (Lemon). Now the market, as with everything else, has exploded and you can get Kiwi and Mandarynka (Madarin Orange).

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Sorry for the blurry pic -- The center is the soda. It's sweet, a bit tart and very carbonated. To the right in the square styrofoam is the potato ball filled with meat. The top is sprinkled with bacon and chives. This is best reheated in a frying pan with bacon -- all you need is a few minutes. They are prepared by taking leftover potatoes, flour and egg and forming them into balls. You can also make them with potato flour should you not have 6 million pounds of leftover potatoes. Once filled, they are boiled and ready to eat -- or fried until GBD.

Above the piz is a vegetable salad. John was great to buy a container of it, so you can see it. He hates it, but I love it. My dad (before becoming ill) would make it all the time and it's a staple of Easter and New Years.

Salatka (little salad) as it's called is made with beans, peas, carrots, red pepper, celery, potato, onion and a little apple. The binding is mayo, a bit of mustard and of course there are seasonsings: salt, pepper. Occassionally you may find a bit of herring diced in -- but not this one. The texture is smooth, due to the potatoes being mashed a bit, but you have the bite of the peas and apples. It's really great. You can't tell but there is some missing from the container :raz:

To the left of the soda in the round container are the kopitka -- you can see they are about the same size as gnocchi but without the grove. The "dough" of potatoes, flour and egg is rolled into logs (as if you were to make cookies) as thick as a thumb and then cut inch sized pieces on an angle. You then have the option to freeze them or drop them into boiling water. Like gnocchi they are ready when they float to the top.

The best way to reheat the kopitka is to pan fry them with sliced bacon and diced onion or if you are in the mood for something sweet, with browned buttered bread crumbs (not panko), cinnamon and brown sugar. :wub: The savory version is a great soaker :biggrin: or a side dish to a saucy piece of meat or even breakfast (as you can see I don't eat many traditional breakfasts). The sweet work as dessert or breakfast.

Above the kopitka container is the sack (6 in all) of the pasztety, which I discussed earlier in my breakfast post.

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for the garlic salsa....is that homemade or store bought?

those smoothies look good...how come smoothies are never meade with pears?  They sure are juicy enough.

The garlic salsa is store bought -- it's the generic Safeway brand from Dominick's. It's quite chunky with lots of garlic slivers. I'll try to remember to take a pic for you.

Hmmm -- a pear smoothie. Is that a request?

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stove, fridge, more cabinets, note the baking pumpkin I have yet to bake for pie filling  :angry:

gallery_2590_3_25312.jpg

sink and dishwasher

gallery_2590_3_590861.jpg

Dining room:

the room

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It looks like you have about as much counter space as I do. I take it the table under the pumpkin is your main prep area?

Your dining room is lovely! I wish we had a dining room - but then, we like having an eat-in kitchen, too.

The cabinet under the sink makes me laugh. Does Cashew like to explore when he isn't sleeping? :biggrin:

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So, have you gone to Farmer's Market yet?

I work from home, live within walking distance, and still haven't made it there yet!

I am impressed that you can do so much considering just how long your commute is each day. How do you do it.

- kim

Kim -- I've been to the Green Market at least 6 times this season. We've gotten peruvian potatoes, the zuchinni blossoms, apples, beets, you name it we probably bought it.

We are going back on Saturday, 10/29, in the morning. You know it's the last one for the season?


Edited by mhadam (log)

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It looks like you have about as much counter space as I do.  I take it the table under the pumpkin is your main prep area?

Your dining room is lovely!  I wish we had a dining room - but then, we like having an eat-in kitchen, too. 

The cabinet under the sink makes me laugh.  Does Cashew like to explore when he isn't sleeping?  :biggrin:

Smithy, it's a small kitchen but I make do -- hence all the bars on the walls (gotta love ikea). I do use the kitchen table as well as the corner counterspace infront of the delonghi. If my picture of dredging station came out you would have known. I like to chop and set my mise in that counter space. It's more efficient when cooking than using the table.

We are thinking of expanding the kitchen out -- *gasp* I haven't even taken pictures of my garden and yard. bad maggie very bad maggie :angry: I might not be able to until Saturday since we get home so late you wouldn't even see anything. I'll save the expansion comments for later then.

Yes, Cashew is quite good at open doors, so the cleaning supply cabinet (under the sink) has a velcro ribbon to keep it shut. He can figure out how to pull open a door but not tug on velcro :laugh:

I love our house. It has the formal dining and living rooms so you can have space to entertain in. Thank you for the compliment.

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