Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday, April 9, 2007

Farm Fresh Eggs

I have started buying my eggs from a local farm near my house. They are $6 a dozen but so worth it. They are the most beautiful eggs, inside and out. The shells are sometimes robin's egg blue, some are brown with speckles, some just plain brown and the yolks are the most vivid yellow, almost orange. They are so delicious too. Yum!


I've got to start taking/posting pictures.

We had a lovely Easter party. It started with an egg hunt for all of the 2 year olds, and one 4 year old. They had a great time searching for the eggs in our backyard while the parents watched and munched on salmon mousse, sundried tomato spread and brie baked with apples, walnuts and cranberries. It always amazes me how impressed people are by the sundried tomato spread that takes about 30 seconds to make. It might just mean that I have unsophisticated friends. Ha!

I decided to do a retro Easter dinner. I made a Beeler ham covered with pineapple rings, marschino cherries and studded with cloves and basted with pineapple juice cooked with garlic and fresh ginger. It came out perfectly. Delicious! I also made scalloped potatoes and a salad of baby lettuce, grapefruit (from our tree), baby red onions and avocado. To drink we served mint iced tea made with our own Meyer lemons and a nice Pinot Grigio. For desert a bunny cake! Vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting and dusted with coconut. I died some coconut pink with a beet juice dye for the insides of the ears. For the eyes I used bright blue chocolate caramel eggs that I bought at Peets, his nose was a chocolate egg turned sideways and pocky sticks for whiskers. I decorated the bow tie with jelly beans. It was quite a hit, I almost felt guilty cutting into him.

It was a great day!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Gourmet Everyday Quick Kitchen

Okay so this is officially my favorite feature in Gourmet Magazine now. Every single thing I have ever made from this section has been terrific. This months issue (April 2007) is especially good. I have a friend who just had her second baby and I made her a meal almost entirely out of this issue:

Chicken thighs and drumsticks roasted with lemon and thyme (both from my garden)
Roasted beets a la Jamie Oliver - SO GOOD!
Peas with horseradish mustard sauce (from Gourmet - not spicy at all just yummy!)
Rice Pilaf - from a box I am sorry to say
Rhubard Strawberry Pudding this is real winner. I mean this is so good! I altered the recipe slightly, ommitting the cornstarch because I didn't have any on hand and I didn't have the energy to drag my 2 year old and 5 month old boys out to the store for that one item. Here is the recipe...definitely try it! I have made it twice this week.

Rhubarb Strawberry Pudding Cake

1/4 C water
1/3C + 1/2 C sugar
2C fresh rhubarb stalks, chopped
1C strawberries, chopped
1C flour
1 3/4 t baking powder
1/2t salt
1 large egg
1/2C whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1t vanilla

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400. Butter and 8 inch square glass dish
2. Stir together water, 1/3C sugar and rhubarb. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, then simmer stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in strawberries.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar in a bowl
4. Whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla in a large bowl, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.
5. Reserve 1/2C of fruit mixture, then add remainder to baking dish and pour batter over it spreading evenly. Drizzle remaining 1/2C fruit over batter. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake portion comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in a pan on a rack 5 minutes before serving.