Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strawberry Dumplings -- Summer Fruit Future Experiment

As I was browsing through my google reader -- I came across this in The Kitchn blog.. and cannot wait to try this recipe out (compliments of Gourmet). I'm obsessed with strawberries.. especially now that summer has rolled around, and want to get some from the farmer's market asap. Yum.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Experiment: Beer Bread with Wheat Flour

From the CSA (community shared agriculture) I was in last fall, I received some fresh wheat flour from the farm. It looked great.. and I got 2 pounds. Pretty stoked. I haven't gotten to use it much since wheat flour is said to have much more gluten in it (higher protein = more gluten output), which results in a denser baked good. I decided to test it out with a little beer bread -- the easiest of the breads as far as I'm concerned.

The recipe came from here, and is as simple as can be:
3 cups flour (I used wheat, but they suggest all-purpose)
1TBSP of sugar
1 tsp of salt
1TBSP baking powder
12oz of beer --> 1 reg can.. but if you buy a tall boy, you'll have some left to drink ;)

Mix the dry ingredients together -- then add the beer. Mix until smooth(ish), then pour in and bake at 350 for about 35-45 min (My oven runs hot, so I tend to cook for a shorter time).

The wheat bread made a delicious, yet flat (as you can see) bread. It was a tad crumbly, but add butter on top, and it's great. Def dense, but b/c it was so easy, what do I care?

Next time, I'll prob use all-purpose.. and add some mix-ins. Choc chips? Herbs? I'll go wild.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Newest Addition to the campsite: Nutella and Banana additions to S'mores.

First of, I'm obsessed with The Kitchn blog. They have great ideas and answer questions that I've always been dying to know about food.

Check this: a new way to dress up s'mores. I feel a dinner party dessert in the works...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vintage Inspiration: Home Decor

Lately, I've been obsessed with Etsy and all that it has to offer. These are some of my latest vintage purchases, and I hope I find the perfect place for them around my apartment.

S$'s Surprise Birthday Party Menu OR good-thing-the-guests-were-drinking menu.

To my defense, this was my first LARGE dinner party in my small little kitchen. I had about 20 or so guests, and was a little too ambitious with my menu:
-cheese platter, with nuts, spicy chutney, crackers, grapes.. the works
-garlic pasta salad
-green beans
-corn/black bean salsa
-salmon (provided by the guest of honor's wonderful mother Cynthia)
-zucchini/squash casserole (also by Cynthia)
-bread -- which right now I realized I left in the oven (with the oven off.. but warm from the steak to warm it..) 4 days later. great.
-caesar salad..

Overwhelming is a slight understatement -- but it ended up being worth it! She was completely surprised and a ton of her favorite people were there to celebrate with her! Even our best friend Rach, all the way from Asheville. How lucky were we?!

The picture is of the steak that I WISHED I would have made.. however, what did come out was an overcooked tough piece of meat. Things that I need to do next time:
-put the batteries BEFORE cooking in the meat thermometer
-cook at a LOW temp, for a long time. 350 for an hour, with 6 pounds of flank steak was a little too much
-don't forget the chimichurri sauce -- Now I have a fridge full of mint leaves.

When life gives you mint, make mint juleps?

Recipe for the steak here . yum.

One thing that was a huge hit:
Lemonade Pomegranate Punch
-1 gallon of chik-fil-a lemonade (the best)
-1 bottle of pomegranate liquor
-1 bottle of raspberry vodka

Pour over ice in cups -- party. hit.
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