26 July 2012

kohlrabi fries

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So, remember how I was at a total loss on what to do with this kohlrabi I inherited?  Well, with a little research and chili powder, I did something that's totally confusing my guilt meter.  I made this vegetable into the crispiest oven fries ever.

Yep.  This cabbage guy = french fries.  I know.

I am a super fan of oven baked sweet potato fries and always try to persuade myself that they are better for you than regular fries.  I know that they are, sort of... but, I'm not completely convinced. THIS gets me.  

Recipe for Kohlrabi Fries
1 large kohlrabi (you can find these easily at the grocery store, I promise!)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 tsp chili powder
dash of black pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Peel the leaves off your kohlrabi, wash, and cut into small, fry-sized wedges.  Toss with rest of ingredients and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very golden brown and crispy.

Serve with spicy ketchup or a herb yogurt dressing.  YOU'RE WELCOME!

24 July 2012

Nectarines and Farmer's Cheese on Sunflower Bread

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I seem to have a knack for making friends in the produce department at work.  At my last gig, I managed to score a case of artichokes, endless bananas, occasional figs, and so much more fresh swag I can't even begin to list.

Lucky for me, I have adopted another produce pal who was kind enough to supply me with this perfectly ripe nectarine.  Opening the fridge this morning, I knew immediately that I wanted to slice this sucker onto a slice of sunflower bread with some farmer's cheese.

Brilliant, I tell you.  This afternoon I get to decide what to do with some kohlrabi.  I'm thinking pureed with some garlic and paired with chicken?  Sauteed?  Roasted?  I need help!

17 July 2012

Raspberry Oat Bars

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Like any good American, I live for my days off.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my job. I get to make pretty cakes all day and go home at three.  I listen to the radio, occasionally interact with customers, and get to brush up on my kitchen Spanish. Not a bad gig, but it's a job.  

In my dream life, I wake up around eight.  I make coffee and have what I call "office hours" until about ten or so, when I decide it's time to get going and bake something already.  I muster up a recipe, gather my ingredients, and get going.  I probably listen to the radio or some guilty pleasure country album, maybe shedding a few unexpected goosebump-tears brought on by Ira Glass.

It's quiet and productive, sprinkled with some half-yoga stretches that turn into just laying next to the dog for a minute or two.  It results in things such as these Raspberry Oat Bars or Honey Broiled Nectarines.  

I take pictures, write, and even get a decent amount of housework done before it's time to think about what's for dinner.  Rinse and repeat.

It might not seem like much, but it's good for the soul.  No one would be able to say I didn't do anything all day because I have these to prove 'em wrong.  The proof is in the pudding (or 9in square baking pan).

Recipe for Raspberry Oat Bars  (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
1 cup raspberry preserves

06 July 2012

peach upside down cake

Pin It Yep.  Peach Upside Down Cake.  That's what I said, alright.  Just when you thought the only thing to do with your peaches was make cobbler or peaches and cream whatever, this guy came around and totally jazzed up your summer plans.

I love a good upside down cake.  You never have to worry about them melting in the heat and they get better with age.  And you can eat them for breakfast?  Maybe.  Maybe just today.

Recipe for Peach Upside Down Cake  (adapted from southern food)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 or 5 fresh peaches, sliced
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 375.  While the oven is preheating, put your 10in round cake pan in with your butter to melt.  When butter is melted, remove and sprinkle in brown sugar.  Spread the mixture around the bottom until it is consistent and gooey.  Layer in sliced peaches.

Now we make the cake batter!  Beat eggs in mixer until a light lemon-y yellow.  Gradually add sugar.  In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to egg mixture in two additions, alternating with the hot water.

Pour onto peaches and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until semi-firm.  Remove and let cool 10 minutes before flipping upside down onto cake plate.  Let sit 30 minutes before removing pan.    You can eat it now, but it's totally better the next day or even on the third.  I'm totally serious.

PS: you might want to make two of these.  Just sayin'.

01 July 2012

roasted cherries + black pepper + goat cheese

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It's hard to believe that this is what I was doing right before the big storm hit us on Friday.  Here I was, sitting on the patio on a breezy summer night, catching up with my best friend on the phone and eating these dressed up appetizers all by my lonesome.  I had the day off and I was damned if I didn't enjoy it:  a lengthy catch up with a pal and some goat cheese would surely do the trick.  Little did I know that when our call was dropped, it was just the beginning of my media and power-less weekend off of work.

I blamed a run-out on her international calling card, or maybe a dying iphone, but in fact it was a ten minute storm that blew out the power for a few million of us over here in the mid-atlantic.  In 105 degree heat.  In the nation's capital.  When I had JUST went grocery shopping.  Oh, the odds.

I'm just glad I went out of power in style and with a full belly of roasted cherries.  These were so impeccably delicious, I will keep them in my hostess arsenal forever.  I can't wait to share them with other people and eat them over and over again.

I tossed about two pounds of stemmed cherries in olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.  I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for about half an hour, tossing them a few times along the way.  When they were nice and wilty, I took them out and smashed them a bit with a spatula.

You can go through and remove the pits, but since it was just me, I left them.  I would do the work if I were serving them to others.  No one wants to be the guest who is looking around for the right place to spit out their cherry pit.  Make sure you wait until after you roast them, though.  I think keeping them intact helps keep the cherries juicy.

I spread them on slices of a whole wheat baguette with generous amounts of goat cheese.  Everything is better on goat cheese.  Everything.  Don't forget that, ever.