Many have wondered where I went to since my last post. Since the move to the temporary rental house I have found it hard to blog about food. Mostly because the kitchen here has depressed me. I hate that its small and that the electric stove does not cook evenly. I have been looking to buy a new home and of course the first thing I look at is if it has a gas stove, if it doesn’t would it be easy to install one. Then I am looking at the counter and cabinet space. I dream of having a double oven too.
So while in these temporary quarters I have done a few cooking projects and will be blogging about those soon. But what have I actually been up to? I have been collecting cookbooks. Looking inspiration in both old and new. I do think that I am crazy for French cooking as I have purchased several sole on that style cuisine. The other cookbooks I have collected recently have been vintage cookbooks.
At the beginning of this year I decided to go back to school. I am in a Public History and Historic Preservation program, which has also kept me busy. One of my classes was a Digital History class and the professor kindly suggested I do my finial project on my vintage cookbooks. Its been a spark for me when it comes to cooking things. I have created a digital archive of vintage cookbooks. While not a vast amount currently it is a start. I will be keeping up this new website as time allows me to update it. I am hoping to add a little every month. So if you come across something that you think might help to add to the site, drop me a note.
Hello all my fellow Foodies. I know it has been months since I have written anything. You probably think I fell off the planet. Actually I was just that busy with the crazy move to Virginia. For a while I was living between two house and driving back and forth to get our house on the market. The house actually had many bids and went under contract four times. It was just plain crazy. Monday I returned from my last trip to the Georgia house. We had some last few things to check on before we sold it. Tuesday it finally sold and are now ready for the next adventure.
So besides moving what else have I been up to? Cooking but in a much smaller kitchen. The place we are renting currently has a galley kitchen and little cupboard space. It also has a very outdated electric oven. I have days I miss my old gas stove. So while we are looking for our new place, I made a gas stove my #1 request for a house, a double oven being my #2 request, and last but not least counter/cupboard space as my #3.
I have several new blog post that will be coming up featuring everything from new herb garden, spice stores, and tasty desserts. I have had some new adventures to tell you all about.
A month ago I wrote and told you that I was in the middle of a move. This has been my biggest move in the last twenty years in way of packing stuff up. Currently I am in Georgia finishing the final small projects and last bits of stuff needing to be packed before I head north to Virginia where my husband is at. The movers delivered our stuff the week before Thanksgiving. I was trying to unpack that week and get my new kitchen in order and then prepare a meal for the holiday. This year it was just the three of us. My daughter came home from the university which was nice to see her. I missed having friends come for the holiday but was relieved that I didn’t have to scramble to clean and organize the new place. I managed to get most of the kitchen and pantry squared away and make my traditional turkey. At the end of the week headed back south to return our daughter to school and finish up here in Georgia. So here I am the first week of December in a mostly empty house, sleeping on an air mattress and I realize how much I miss cooking. My meals of late have been frozen foods, pre packed salads or eaten out. I have paper plates and plastic utincils I have been using up. It’s been several crazy months of trying to get everything done and finished up.
The point to all this is to let you all know what I have been up to, but to also let you know how badly I miss being in the kitchen. I started thinking about all the things I missed making and realized what I missed making the most. Because it’s winter now I keep thinking about my heartier recipies. Meatloaf is what on my mind. I have been thinking about it with my creamy mashed potatoes. Is it weird to dream of food? I hope not because I do. When I head back north in another ten days again I have already been planning what I am cooking first. Meatloaf obviously but because it’s cold I also have to bake. This time of year I always bake a lot as well. Not being able to just seems weird, it’s how I heat my house on those cold days. I have a holiday party I will be going to so I will be baking my poppyseed tea cake to take with.
When you can not get into the kitchen what is it do you miss making? I look forward to hearing what it is you like to make the most.
Currently in the middle of a move from Georgia to Virginia. It’s been rather crazy with everything not to mention putting our sweet home on the market, I have not cooked anything new in a while and hope to be back up in about 2 weeks with lots of interesting things. Until then, Bon Appetite!!!
This one was too cute not to pick up. As I read through it I found several tasty looking recipes that I know my Kitties will enjoy. There is one recipe that I have been looking for about a year now. That is how to make homemade kitty treats. After attending a pet show and seeing a vendor have homemade pet treats that were super expensive I thought I could make them at home if I could just find the right recipe. Then I find this book. When I read it in this book and saw how simple it is, I could not believe it. I will be cooking for my four little fur babies this week. Yup my whole family is spoiled. I will post picks once I make the cat treats. I even have a cute little fish cookie cutter for them.
Recently went to my local library to renew my library card. I went to a different branch than where I originally signed up. My daughter and I were walking around afterwards to see what they had on their shelves. Having come back from my Japan trip last October/November, I felt drawn to the travel section. How could I resist seeing what they had for my next grand adventure. I found this book among the shelves and had to recommend it. While not a true cookbook, it fell into travel section. It has wonderful pages of photos, recipes, places to see and what I should try while there. It gives names of resturaunts, special events, festivals and markets to visit. It covers a plethora of cuisine in exotic places and regional faire. I am already making a list of some of these places to see in the future. It’s almost a bucket list book for every food lover out there. I have to admit I am excited to try out some of the recipes in the book as well. So check out “Foodlover’s Guide to the World” it’s a Lonely Planet book.
Today I made a nice light lunch and realized that I had not blogged in what seems forever. It is crazy because I have all these food things to blog about and have been cooking up a storm as of late. For a while this year I was by myself and had a hard time getting inspired to cook for just me. I read tons of recipes, searched Pinterest like a crazy woman and even took cooking classes. Normally I do not mind cooking for myself because I love food way to much. I guess it was the case of uninspired. Fear not I am no longer uninspired. I went out today and bought myself a new planner to help keep me on track for blog post and am in the middle of working on my blog binder. Very excited when I realized it has officially been a year blogging and looking forward to many more years ahead.
Today’s lunch was homemade hummus with veggies and pita chips. While this is not a new recipe it is one that I get asked for most often. It is one of those throw it all together and does not have precise measurements. It is cooking by feel and taste.
I use the following and mix it all in my food processor.
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
2 cans Garbanzo beans (I like Bushes brand best)
paprika(couple of dashes)
Lightly toast sesame seeds in frying pan, remove and put into processor. Add 1/2 can beans and drizzle of olive oil. Turn on high to blend. Once mixed add rest of beans and another drizzle of olive oil. If you like really light hummus then use 1/2 can water to get lighter mixture. spice to taste buds. I like it very salty, so this will be where you will have to play with mixture to your taste. You can add little bit of lemon juice if you want a light zing to it as well. I put a little bit of paprika in the hummus as well as garnish on top. When done I also drizzle little bit of olive oil on top. If out of sesame seeds I have sometimes substituted sesame oil for the flavor. This is a recipe you can really play with on flavorings to your taste buds. Today I had with Stacy’s Pita Chips and nice veggies. It was very light and easy to make.
The weather is finally turning where I am at. Spring is in the air and I feel the need to get out and garden. I happily admit that as much as I like to cook, I like to play in the dirt too. If I can combine the two even better. Today was spent getting my pots on my back deck ready for planting fresh herbs. Making my list of herbs and seeds to purchase. Who doesn’t like to have fresh herbs while they cook. In the past my two favorites have been Rosemary and Basil. Every time I go out there during the summer I would run my hands on the plants and then smell my hands. Silly I know, but how can you not like the fragrant bouquet from these two plants. However last year after making compound butter, Tarragon has become my new favorite. I have been trying to figure out dishes to use this tasty herb. Surprisingly I think eggs are favorite paring with Tarragon. This year I hope to be able to harvest and dry herbs which I usually never get a chance to do. What is your favorite herb? What is your favorite dish to use it in?
Recently I got a card in the mail for this new store. I had never heard of them and so I checked them out online. After looking at their website I was so excited to go see it. There were so many cute aprons there. I told my husband about this store and he decided to go with me. Our drive down to the mall and checked it out. Oh boy it as like being in a candy store for adults. There was so much in the store that we both wondered around for a while in the store. All I wanted was a new apron, I ended up coming out of the store with a few new ramikins too. My husband took one look at them and said I needed them for chocolate souffle. He knows they are on my list of things to cook this year. I think that was a hint. Anyways if you have a chance to visit this store or go to their online site, I highly recommend it.
Enjoy the photos from the store. They offer a discount in store if you are a professional.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I really love to cook. Growing up I only knew of two ways to cook turkey. One was the tradition stuff the bird into a bag and place it in the oven. The second one was to deep pit it. In my personal opinion only the deep pitting of a turkey was exciting to me, but did not happen very often. That was until I was married and watching Martha Stewart. She showed how to cook a turkey using cheese cloth and basting it with wine and butter. Her turkey sounded so wonderful and looked beautiful. I thought to myself that surely I could make the same turkey. So that year I followed her recipe and my family loved my non boring turkey. After that I always made my Martha Stewart turkey. Over they years I have played with the recipe and finally perfected what my family now call my “Drunk Turkey”. Martha’s recipe called for only 1/2 cup of dry white wine and 1 stick of butter to melt and baste the bird with. Over the years I have tried different wines and finally settled on one that I really enjoy. Cupcake winery makes a lovely red wine called Red Velvet and this is what I use to baste my turkey. I use the whole bottle and 2 sticks of butter.
My Drunken Turkey Recipe
1 bottle Cupcake’s Red Velvet wine
3 sticks unsalted butter(soften 1 stick)
Poultry fresh herb bouqet
8-12 red onions(depending on pan size)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut onions in half and peal. Place in bottom of pan to place turkey on top of to cook. This will act as your roasting rack. I use a roasting rack now, but still tuck onion halves under the rack. Thaw and clean turkey, pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey in pan. Take hands and gently run hands up under skin to loosen along top of turkey. Use soften butter to rub under skin and on top of skin all over tukey. Season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Truss legs and tuck wings up underneath turkey. Place sprigs of fresh herbs under skin and in turkey cavity. Place one half onion in cavity of turkey. Melt remaining two sticks of butter and pour in bottle of wine. Dip cheesecloth into wine and butter mixture, then place damp cheesecloth over turkey. Cook turkey at 425 for 30-45 minutes. After 30-45 minutes, baste turkey with butter and wine mixture then rotate in oven. Lower temperature to 350 degrees, continue to bast turkey every half hour and rotate for even doneness. Remove cheesecloth after 1 1/2 hours. Check temperature on turkey at 2 1/2 hours for doneness. Turkey should register 165 degrees on the thickest part of thigh. Cook longer if nessessary. When turkey is done remove from oven, place on platter or cutting board and lightly cover with foil to let rest at least 20-30 minutes. Congratulations your turkey is now drunk but very juicy and tender.
For gravy I remove most of onions from pan to serve on the side. Cooking down the drippings in pan on top of stove and scraping bottom of pan for extra bits. Skim off fat from drippings. Cook juiced down. Slowly add several dollops of sour cream to thicken gravy.