Monday, June 16, 2014

The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream

It seems like I just finished my first year of graduate school, but suddenly summer is here in less than a week. After a hectic yet encouraging spring semester, I have returned to a somewhat relaxed life [for now]. With my new freedom and with Dave's cast removal, we can finally get back to cooking regular meals at home and blogging about it. I vaguely remember the last time I made a blog post, way back in January. I actually had to dust off my camera today before I could begin taking photos. Tsk tsk. While I am not collaborating with Harlequin this year, I still hope to get back into the swing of weekly or bimonthly posts throughout the summer. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Oat & Sesame Peanut Butter Bars

Before we fled the coop, my parents would take my sister and I to San Francisco each summer en route to visiting my grandma. While getting a view of the ocean was exciting enough for us Montana girls, we were also fascinated by the bustling ado of Chinatown. We were the predictable tourists, buying trinkets and personalized keychains in little shops that filled the Chinatown streets. While our trivial purchases have long been forgotten, I still remember the smell and taste of the fried sesame pastries we would find on our visits.  

These pastries, known as jian dui, are made with rice flour and sesame seeds and filled with a sweetened paste, often black bean. I am still not sure what provoked my picky younger self to try this treat. Regardless, my adult self is thankful because jian dui opened up to me the wonderful world of sesame seeds. They are nutty, healthy and versatile in cooking and baking. While not a huge candy fan, I still can't resist a sesame seed sweet and gomasio is one of my staple seasonings. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Whole Wheat Sesame and Black Pepper Crackers

Oh, hello there. I nearly forgot I had a blog. Yikes. After attempting to work full-time and attend graduate school this fall, something had to give, and unfortunately it was my blog. After a few recovery weeks and the holidays, I am ready to approach blogging again. It was a necessary break, but I hope I am able to maintain at least sporadic posting during the following semester.

Since I last posted, some fun food activities have developed in our house. Dave has become an avid bread baker, busting out beautiful, delicious loaves every week. For Christmas presents this year, I took a stab at making chocolate bars from scratch. I roasted cocoa nibs and blitzed them into oblivion with some cocoa butter and sugar. It was a complicated, but super satisfying process. Tempering the chocolate was a bit frustrating, especially because I'm not detail-oriented. I found the finished product to be gritty, which can only be prevented with a special food processor. Still, the chocolate flavor was intense, floral and very delicious. If I make chocolate again, I will post about the process. 

Dave's 50 Percent Whole Wheat Bread
Autumn's Dark Chocolate with Roasted Pistachios and Sea Salt

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Fancy Ragù Dinner for the Humble

I neglected to post a recipe last week. I made a creamy baked eggplant dish, and the ratio of eggplant to cream was out of whack. The flavor was awesome, but the pools of cream were not. If eggplant is on the horizon for a future CSA share, then I will attempt to improve the recipe for a blog post. 

Anyhow, when I go to a restaurant and find soft polenta with a ragù of braised pork shoulder on the menu, I look no further. I cannot resist such a hearty, satisfying dish. The polenta perfectly sops up the rich sauce from the slow-cooked pork. There is nothing more satisfying to eat in the dead of winter. 

While I love the heartiness of such a dish, I also love to make a lighter, vegetarian version.  This slight - though temporary - turn in the weather got me excited about making such a polenta dish. Plus, several of this week's CSA share vegetables can be used.