not feeding/feeding

September 19th, 2008 · 781 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

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