Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wow this blog is neglected!

Soooooooo much has happened since July 2008, so I better take some time and update y'all on the happenings in the Carter House. But, not tonight:D

Monday, July 21, 2008

An Experiment in Pita

There was a time when I was deathly afraid of baking bread...anything bread related scared the hell out of me. I was so unsure of the process and what the effect my willy-nilly, little-bit-of-this- little-bit-of-that, devil-may-care cooking philosophy would have on the baking world. What happens if I murder the yeast in scalding hot water? Why is the line so fine between done and burnt? Why is there so much waiting! Just rise already!

Well, not anymore! Les and I attended a bread baking class at Draeger's Market in San Mateo and we were champions and got through the yeast adventure unscathed. Ever since we took the class, I no longer fear bread. Every time we see a sandwich, we say "we can totally make that bread". We are bread heroes.

I was browsing the latest Fine Cooking magazine last week and came across their Fresh Pita recipe. While reading it, I knew this was an experiment we could handle. Les and I tag-teamed this recipe. I made the dough and watched it through its first rise, Les rolled and shaped them, and we both baked and quality taste-tested them:)

Ready to Rise
Rolled Out and Ready to Bake
Puffed Up Deliciousness
Stuffed with Chicken, Onions, and Feta
Breakfast Pita Stuffed with Egg, Rice, and Cheese

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I stole this fabulous quote from Amy

Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

I thought it too precious not to pass on.

Do you know where your food comes from?

Do you know where your food comes from?
If not, you should. There are major corporations encouraging inhumane conditions for the animals you eat, introduction of synthetic hormones into these animals you eat, widespread use of pesticides and chemicals that affect the nutritional value and composition of the food you eat, and an overall attack on free speech in product advertising which affects EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. Because of it, one day, you might just find your choices being taken away from you to decide what food you buy at the market.

I've been doing a lot of reading about this tonight and think you should get educated, too. Start here:
Chews Wise and follow the links in the articles. Join the revolution and get smarter about the things you put in your body.

If you don't want to do the research, here are some tips:
**Buy organic - who cares if it costs more - we're talking about your health here!
**Buy from local farmers - support your local farmer and your local community
**Don't be lazy - stop eating fast food and make real food for yourself and your family
**Read product labels and buy food that you can eat the way nature intended it to be
**DEMAND accountability from our politicians to ensure our safety with legislation they pass for healthy food and let them know you are a smart American that supports sustainable agriculture

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I love this time of year

I love when Autumn is right around the corner. The change from hot and lazy Summer to the crisp and cool Fall makes me go all tingly inside and gets me really excited for snow adventures in a few months.

It's also the time of year when I do my purging. Not the gross kind, people, but the good kind. It's when I go through every single closet and drawer and clean out the things that I haven't touched in a year and give it to charity or send to recycle. Doing this makes the house seem less full and new in a way. I'm a big fan of simplicity and this is one way to accomplish that goal.

I think we all have too much stuff for the sake of having stuff. If you haven't done this in a while - or ever - you should all give it a try. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. When you get down to basics and resist being a slave to consumerism., a completely liberating feeling takes over and it's wonderful.

That is all:)


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Roast - featuring Nigella Lawson's recipes

Since I've stopped training for triathlon, there's a void in the routine-craving side of my brain. I've decided to fill that void with something food related and yummy rather than more exercise...because I already get quite enough of that!

Starting this week, I will do a Sunday Dinner featuring a renowned chef's menu. Since I was nursing a hangover this morning and flipped the t.v. back and forth between Food Network and TLC for approximately four hours, I decided to do Nigella Lawson's Weekend Wonders menu. I'me not normally a fan of Nigella, and I'm not sure why. There's just something about her that puts me off. But, this particular episode caught my attention because it was such a simple thing to put together.

I went to Whole Foods. I forgot how expensive things are there. I am a Trader Joe's shopper and will continue to be after today's grocery bill exceeded $100 to feed five people. I've never spent that much on cooking one night's dinner at Trader Joe's. TJ, I'll never stray again, I promise. Yes, I am a tightwad with money.

Things I learned for each course:

Onion and Sage Chicken and Sausage Roast
Marinade this for at least two hours and pour all of marinade into roasting pan
Thighs and drumsticks tasted better than the breasts
Leave skin on chicken

Petite Peas
Don't walk away from this while the stock is reducing! Find busy work by the stove, because it happens quickly and will burn. Then, like me, you'll have to start over;)

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad
The longer this marinates, the better. It was great the next day.

Honey Bee Cake
It may not look perfect, but it's soooooooooooo delicious!
If you can't find yellow marzipan, yellow food die works fine.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fennel and Heirloom Tomato Salad

I introduced fennel into the house last summer and Les hated it. I tried to sneak it in again, by mixing into a salad, but he didn't fall for it. He picked out all the fennel, but ate everything else. This salad is coated with my standby red wine vinaigrette. I rather enjoyed it but know a third try with the hubby isn't going to happen.

Mendocino Flower Seeds All Grown Up:)

Les and I went camping on the Mendocino Coast last November. While we were there, we went to the Mendocino Botanical Gardens. It was a beautiful experience and I bought some seeds to plant at home. This is the outcome of some of the Nasturium seeds I planted. She's gorgeous!

Roast Lamb and Vegetables

Les, my English hubby, has a special place in his heart for a proper roast dinner. I'm not 100% in love with lamb because it makes me think about a cute, fluffy baby animal...not dinner. But alas, he likes it, so I make it every once in a while.

Homemade Pizza is the Best

You just can't get better than homemade. Food that is made by hand is full of love and shows the people eating it that you cared enough to spend time making something that would make them happy. I found a recipe for pizza dough in No Need to Knead by Suzanne Dunaway, the book that Sheri gave me last year.

This recipe is very simple and you can't screw it up. Les has always enjoyed my homemade pizza, but that was when I used Boboli pizza crust. Now that I know how to make my own, he loves it even more.

I heart buckwheat pancakes

Sunday morning always means breakfast in bed. For the past two weekends, I've made buckwheat pancakes with blueberries. Love them! Enough said:)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

Photo Courtesy of Jon Cates

Today is about patriotism and remembering how we separated from the stoggy and unkind British Monarchy and forged our own culture and identity as Americans. We are a group of hard-working, industrious, generous, and proud people. Of course, we have our share of lazy do-nothings, as well, but we don't want to concentrate on that!

It's unfortunate that the American Indians had to endure much hardship at that time of our history, but it was bound to happen. We can't honestly think that this country, with all of it's resources and opportunities would not have been exploited and left untouched at some point. That is just not realistic.

I digress.

Happy Fourth of July everybody. Relax, enjoy life, drink a beer, have some cake, and don't forget to show your country you appreciate her beyond bounds. Americans enjoy freedoms that most of the world only dreams about. Don't ever take these stars and stripes for granted.