not feeding/feeding

September 19th, 2008 · 41 Comments


my rss feeder broke.  and i didn’t realize it for 3 months.  mostly because i (still) don’t even understand what exactly an rss feeder is, or what it does – talk about being oh so techno savvy… but my stat’s were dropping off and well, try as i might to just ignore the cold hard numbers, i started to take it personally.  was it something i said?  something i cooked?  where did so many of my bleaders go and why would they leave me after all we have meant to each other? 

but before i called my therapist, i called mark from simpler computing! and he quickly came to my rescue – again.  thank you mark.  you solved the mystery and now once again you are so totally my blero

so listen up – all you techno losers out there that just like to cook and write and take a little photo here and there, but do not want to bother your pretty little heads with html and templates and embedding and wordpress editors that suck and the like, call mark.  today.  he can tweak your blog into submission.  AND he likes to cook… (btw – ceF is still under construction as i type so please bear with…)

speaking of liking to cook… here’s the deal.  i cook a lot.  but sometimes it’s just dinner.  and sometimes it’s not my idea of a blog worthy post.  and usually it’s just that i’m too lazy to write.  but it’s totally me, not you.  you, i adore.  you make my life better, adding an entirely new fangled dimension that did not exist just 16 months ago. but still, i am often unmotivated, or perhaps even more often than that, i’m just reading OPB’s…

so what happens is that some of these dishes fall by the blogosphere’s wayside.  but i thought since we were dealing with feeds and feeding, i’d show you what gets fed around here to my immediate world.  so i’m going to hit you with a fair few of what i’ve not bothered to bother you with until now, along with some pictures. take a deep breath – here goes…

look familiar?  this one was made with the half and half, as per ripert’s recipe.  was it better?  yes.  did i LOVE it?  not so much.  it’s ok.  kinda brunchy, not desserty.  i like custard.  life is good.  and eric, you’re totally cool and sexy and hot and all those things.  but my tony still has you beat, big time. i hope you can understand…

ok so i realize i am blogger #4721 to make jim lahey’s no knead bread.  but i did it.  quietly.  and it was a good and crusty loaf of bread that if nothing else looked very, very impressive. 

i baked it in my romertopf that i dug out and dusted off.  although it stays unused and because it looks so beautiful – i keep it.  i’m sure you understand such things.  so, i soaked the terracotta in water and then baked the bread as per the direction for a dutch oven.  i felt my dutch oven was too big and i didn’t want a 2" high bread.  somehow, this worked out quite nicely.  so take a chance, dear readers – bake no knead bread.  oh, and have i made this again since?  nope.  will i?  maybe, probably not.

this was made quite awhile ago.  it was panko encrusted chicken livers served over what i think was swiss chard and finely sliced ‘delightful tiny purple potatoes’ and shallots sautéed with pimm’s and port.  what?  you think they may not have been tiny and delightful?  you are sooooo wrong….

i present to you… delightful. tiny. purple. potatoes.  i only wish i could have been in the room when the marketing team thought of that.  can you imagine what the discussion would have sounded like?  i only know they were republicans with bad haircuts.  after that, i know nothing.

so now you ask, what the hell is that?  that, my dear readers is a watermelon salad with mint leaves, chili oil and feta – topped with a very anti-locavore piece of barramundi from costco via australia.  in a previous life i lived down under (husband #1) and ate this fish regularly.  perhaps i didn’t need to sit the barramundi on top of the watermelon, but it seemed like a good idea at the time… and it was our dinner that night and we were happy enough.  so stop smirking.  thank you.

i made this last weekend and it was good and rich and saucy and chicken thighey – all that with trofie pasta thrown in for very good measure.  it’s what patricia wells eats when she’s at home in provence, a recipe that i picked up from feeding groom.  oh and it’s got sherry vinegar and garlic cloves and dijon mustard and lots of tarragon and minced sundried tomatoes… it’s more wintry than it is septembery in nashville, but i had 4 chicken thighs in the freezer and suddenly this just happened…

ok are you ready to hear what this was supposed to be?  what it almost was… what i wished it might have been and what it could be if i ever decide to take it on again?  salted butterscotch pudding with chocolate covered bacon.  thank you and goodnight.  the end.  by claudia. 

except it never really thickened properly.  and benton’s bacon is crazy salty.  so salty that i forgot just how salty it was therefore making it an out and out wrong bacon choice.  because it seems that is actually possible.  to make a wrong bacon choice.  you’d think not, but what this dessert needed was a thin cut good bacon that crisps up in a curly, artsy strip, and only then could it be dipped into lindt chocolate and put into a pudding recipe that WORKS.  because this recipe did not.  and another blogger tried it and it didn’t work for her either.  so. oh well,  we all drank our pudding and chucked the wayyy too salty pork.  seemed sinful but we got over it.  we lived and learned, moving onwards and upwards – with the comforting knowledge that bacon rarely ever lets you down…

so not even a little pretty.  AND the wrong color bowl.  but it was just a simple dinner of fresh crowder peas with bacon.  the bacon did just as it should, redeeming itself from the previous mishap.  there was something else served with this but really, i have no idea… i think it was grilled tilapia.  unexciting, quick and easy and not exactly memorable – but hey, not every night can be foie gras…


oh, hi, you’re back.  wonderful, because i was worried… ok, just a few more…

this was lazzaroli’s sweet potato and ricotta ravioli.  i dressed it up with a side of kale, done in a sauce of olive oil, cream, honey and sage, and then dusted the pasta with nutmeg and parmegiano.  again – super fast and easy.  (tommy noodles, you are a nashville godsend… thank you for giving me an option that is first rate and still allows me to get creative.)

yes, i too jumped on the bandwagon thanks to michelle from thursday night smackdown and all the rest of you that grilled the hell outa a bunch of pizzas…  except michelle was the one who took my call on a saturday night so i could get very specific information about the whole pizza grilling process.  this particular pizza was taken from her post and it was damn fine.  i cooked down some swiss chard in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and used copious amounts of minced garlic and ricotta.  i also sliced up a big ripe yellow tomato with red stripes running through it (we will miss you beautiful heirloom tomatoes),

awesomeness, no?  well yes – but… from here on in i’ll stick to the pizza stone with my oven set to broil and 550f… because grilled pizza is too damn white on top.  and flipping it before the toppings go on doesn’t allow the cheese and sauce to bake into the dough and well, my grill runs hot (it’s infrared) so even on the lowest setting it never got the top brown and i kept having to turn the flame on and off so as not to scorch the bottom and was nervously moving it to the top rack and well, i like my pizza stone in my oven.  so if i had a real charcoal grill which i don’t and do not plan on getting because it’s too much work and i am not willing (go on – think of me what you will but there are extenuating circumstances… like a boyfriend who is also happy with oven baked pizza’s), maybe that would be better.  but as it stands, and i repeat – i am a pizza in the oven kinda gal – set to broil on super high heat with the stone on the very bottom rack.  but i made the obligatory grilled pizza.  yes i did.

i present to you… voodoo mac and cheese

do you read gild the (voodoo)lily?  if not, you need to read gild the (voodoo)lily…  heather is very smart and very funny and this bitch can cook.  and i mean that in a good way.  heather is another one of those foodcentric people that seriously knows how to put ingredients together.  like if you turned your pantry over to her, she’d blow your mind.  and you’d be thinking all, why didn’t i think of that?… and the answer is because she KNOWS MORE THAN YOU DO.  plus she’s a botanist.  a freakin’ botanist... so she’s always growing and foraging and well, it’s a little bit intimidating.  heather could totally kick your ass and never even touch you…

anyway, back in july she made something called garden mac.  for her it was merely a ‘clean your fridge out’ kinda dinner, and i’m thinking – mac and cheese with roasted tomatoes in a bechamel base?  sign me the hell up. 

the ingredients i used were as follows; mostaccioli pasta, the 4 cheeses were – asiago, parmigiano reggiano, st jerome and fontal.  and for the garden part – fresh thyme and heirloom tomatoes, kale, onion, squash and zucchini.  i drove all the ingredients about an hour south, down to my friend shannon’s house and we spent the day cooking and drinking wine and talking and laughing and then we sat out on the porch overlooking her farm and had a late lunch…

and for the grand finale i give to you an extremely abbreviated version of my veal stock mission…

bones arrive from snook’s.  i tried for weeks to find a local source.  nada.

20 lbs.

because i am awesome…

i made brown and white stock.  i followed the ruhlman way.  it is the only way. (great version here)

otherwise when you die, you go to culinary hell where you are forced to live on nothing but shoney’s buffets. (please click on the shoney’s link.  there are no words…)

and hey, thanks so much for reading.  i realize this post was a commitment. 

you can go now…

Tags: bad · baking · beans · bread · cheese · chicken · dessert · fish · fruit · greens · local · mexican · not food · pasta · pizza · polenta · potatoes · tomatoes · travel · vegetables · wine

41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 michelle @ TNS // Sep 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    man, now i need a nap. or a cigarette.

  • 2 Mary Coleman // Sep 19, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Or both!

  • 3 Mal Carne // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Nap, cigarette, and maybe a beer.

  • 4 Tina // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm


    You just blew my mind. And now I know what heaven looks like. I don’t care if the pudding was too soupy, you had CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON.

    I think I need a smoke.

  • 5 Tim // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    That was an amazing pictorial of some really great food! It was just what I needed in the middle of the day! I guess you won’t be doing another post like that anytime soon, huh?

  • 6 Robert // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm


    Innocent changes…… ?

    Mark’s plug I totally understand.

    But why am I thinking that’s a cleverly disguised Shoney’s advertising banner there.

  • 7 Becky and the Beanstock // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I use Google reader so I never knew you were gone. Glad you’re back though. What’s all this fuss about chocolate-dipped bacon lately? It’s suddenly EVERYWHERE. Granted, it’s been 16 years since I’ve eaten meat but I just can’t figure out how that would taste. Salt and chocolate I get. But the meat part? If I break my vegetarian ways, perhaps that will be the reason.


  • 8 jim voorhies // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Robert, that was excellent. Not even I am that wicked. :)

  • 9 Donald // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    You know, your feed never hiccuped in my iGoogle reader page. Odd.

    Just put the stone on the grill and shut the grill.

    I miss Shoneys!

  • 10 Biz // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Wonderful read! Love the voodoo pasta!

    And I haven’t thought of Shoney’s since I was a kid – thanks for the sentimental journey!

  • 11 Peter // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the catch-up post. Feeds gave me stress last year so I feel for ya.

    Well, at least we can feed ourselves!

  • 12 caviar and codfish // Sep 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Don’t you hate it when you pick the wrong bowl color and don’t figure it out until you upload the photos.

    Oh and by the by – your feed has always worked on my reader.

  • 13 Amy // Sep 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I came up on you upon either Ruhlman’s or Lebovitz’s site but wow.

    I’m shocked, amazed, entrenched (is that even a word?)…..In other words I’m… just…. : ) Yeah.

  • 14 Julie // Sep 19, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Hey, your feed has always worked on my feed reader too. (Bloglines. I’m old school.)

    I’ m seriously bummed out about your butterscotch pudding. I just read the recipe, and, damn, it reads so good.

  • 15 any little reason // Sep 19, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Very impressive…the dishes I refrain from post ing never look quite so nice!

  • 16 Heather // Sep 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Damn, that was one hell of a shout-out you gave me. It was true, too, all of it. Especially the part about how I can kick people’s asses. I use mind bullets, which is why I don’t have to touch them.

    This was a post worth waiting for, Claudia! Way better than my lame-o “hey, I grow some beans n shit” posting. :)

    I never use those RSS feeds because I don’t know what they are. I use the analytics to stalk my readers instead.


  • 17 Kitt // Sep 19, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    That’s quite the roundup! Very productive and yummy.

    You might try the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method. It’s a lot more convenient than Lahey’s, but based on the same principle. I bake it in an assortment of containers (don’t have a pizza stone) and it always comes out great.

  • 18 Jack // Sep 19, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    You’ve been busy! It all looks and sounds great except maybe the panko crusted livers and maybe the cla…..well I promise not to go there again if you agree not to chastise me for cooking Beaneeweenies (I did at least make them from scratch)! The Voodoo Mac and Cheese sounds especially good. I go to Voodolily regularly. Heather kicks it alright! I agree with her reply to you over there too:)

  • 19 Nate // Sep 19, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    I get your updates in my Google Reader just fine.

    There are lots of dishes that I haven’t blogged about because the pics aren’t drool-worthy enough or I didn’t get the whole cooking process like I wanted or I am too lazy

    sometimes I put up my non-House of Annie pics on my personal Xanga blog but haven’t updated much lately.

  • 20 Lauren // Sep 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    love it! except for the crack about my peoples, you know- republicans. anyway… aside from the dish with the feta, it all looked lovely. (i’m thinking of another word actually, the y word, but i have refrained from using it.

  • 21 claudia // Sep 19, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    hey everyone

    the rss issue was only if you subscribed direct from my blog – google and bloglines worked fine because those readers go and fetch the info – or something , but i think that was about it…

    anyway – ceF is still having issues but moving in a forward direction…

  • 22 The Italian Dish // Sep 19, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Whew! What a post. You’ve been busy. The ravioli looked really good. Can’t wait to see the new ceF.

  • 23 Jennifer Hess // Sep 19, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I love you even more for this post. And we will totally make you pizza grilled over hardwood charcoal if you want to come visit. :)

    Okay, so barramundi. I had heard of it, but hadn’t tried it until one fateful night at the kick-ass bistro which is stumbling distance away from our new place. We haven’t gotten any for home consumption yet, but it’s ON THE LIST:

    Panko-encrusted chicken livers? O HAI.

    Also, I envy your crowder peas. I have decided that next year’s garden is all about the shell peas, to the exclusion of tomatoes, because we can get amazing tomatoes from damn near every stand at the farmers’ market, but not a shell bean in sight. Except for cranberry beans. Which we love and buy but we want more. Or different. Yes, NYC spoiled us.

    I want to make out with that mac and cheese.

    We now have three bags of bones in the freezer left over from our suckled veal consumption. Stock is happening soon. Yours looks amazing.

    In closing, I miss you. xo

  • 24 Peter // Sep 19, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Yeah, just another substandard week chez Claudia. Nothing to see here. Just move along.

    PS Heather is CLASSICALLY TRAINED to rock your socks off. That’s how come she has mind bullets.

  • 25 Jack // Sep 20, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Can’t believe I just noticed your friend shannon uses the same silverware pattern as us – Fiddlehead I knew there was something familiar about the picture. Duh!

  • 26 Kim // Sep 20, 2008 at 7:52 am

    First- I am glad I am not the only one who chooses the wrong color bowls etc. Blog worthy or not, you have a mighty impressive assortment of dishes. Looks like your loved ones are feed well…..

  • 27 chefectomy // Sep 20, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Excellent Claudia, man have you been busy!

  • 28 Lesley // Sep 20, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    1. That voodoo mac and cheese made my heart race. Oh, yum.
    2. I’m going to Lazzarolli’s soon.
    3. Shoney’s website…why haven’t people learned not to put sound on their websites?
    4. I can’t wait to tell you about BLT Prime. I need to send you an email, but the written word won’t do it justice.

  • 29 [eatingclub] vancouver || js // Sep 20, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Okay, I don’t know anything about the tech issue, but you made a whole lot of food and I know I like a lot of them. Especially, the grilled pizza and the sweet potato and ricotta ravioli.

  • 30 Marc @ NoRecipes // Sep 21, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I feel like I’ve ODed on food porn looking through your post. I want to eat everything now… even the chicken liver!

  • 31 Nikki@ Nik Snacks // Sep 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I love to read. Reading makes me as happy as cooking. And I loved this post so much, I want to marry it and have its babies. Food babies, that is. Thank you. Thank you for this.

    Gawd, now I sound all weird and stalkerish, commenting like this on your blog. Oh hell. LOL

  • 32 Beth // Sep 21, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    SO FUN !!! Can you do this again soon or is that asking way too much? My favorite was the watermelon salad even with the fish on top. It’s hot here in Florida and I love the idea for that recipe! Where do you come up with these ideas?

  • 33 Ginger // Sep 22, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Wow, I shouldn’t have read this post with these beautiful pictures right before bed.

    I desperately need a midnight snack! :)

  • 34 Lynn // Sep 22, 2008 at 10:27 am

    I read the whole thing. Where do I get my card stamped?

  • 35 Lynn // Sep 22, 2008 at 10:31 am

    I read the whole post! (and enjoyed it)

    Now, where do I get my ceF card punched for completing the reading assignment?

  • 36 Melissa // Sep 22, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Loved this post. And all your food, as always. Plus, it was a very *real* look at your cooking, which is, regardless of ingredients, not that different in approach than many of us. Some meals are wowzers, others are just… well, they’re good, but they’re not necessarily something we post about.

    Of course your wow level is still far above mine. I’m learning. :)

    Love the Patricia Wells chicken dish and the mac n cheese. I know Voodoo’s page and she is highlarious.

    Thanks for sharing…. well, everything, with us.

  • 37 Ethel // Sep 22, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    read it all and tasted each sentence. You are amazing. I made spinach with oil and garlic and thought I was ready for the Iron Chef. Enjoyed all your food and love love your writing voice.

  • 38 We Are Never Full // Sep 22, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    seriously!!! i’m going to take a nap now! but i read it! read it all. how long did that post take you to write? regardless – the food… fabulous spread! glad you got the RSS fixed. you’ve gotta make some $$ from those ads too!

    and thanks for the snooks link!

  • 39 Brittany // Sep 23, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Sheesh! I don’t blog surf for a day or two and you go and post an epic adventure! That, my darling, was a fun read. Seriously. Two thumbs way up.

    Nice to see Heather’s blog getting a shout out. She truly does make me feel like a total nimrod. What with her amazing food and her botanical latin.

  • 40 TaratheFoodie // Oct 1, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks… that damn Shoney’s song is gonna be stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

    Oh, and great post. I’m just like you… sometimes it’s just dinner and I don’t feel like making it look pretty and it’s not good enough for a post. Yeah, that’s right, I’m a food blog post snob and if it’s not pretty enough or it didn’t come out right, I’m not posting it. So there.

    Oh, and next time you’re in Cleveland, girl, you better let me know! We’ll go to WSM together or something. :-)

  • 41 Romertopf Clay Bakers // Oct 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Have you tried the actual romertopf bread baker? I’m just wondering if the results are the same. I’ve never done bread before in our clay pot and am curious.

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