Monthly Archives: June 2009

Culinary History Reading Group!

From the Motte & Bailey Used Books website:

This reading group began meeting at Motte & Bailey in July of 2009, reading books about any aspect of culinary history.  Books for the next meeting are determined at the end of each meeting, and members are encouraged to bring books to suggest or simply to show before the meeting. We meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

How exciting!

Hot Dawg!

BonAppetit has a guide of “global hot dogs” on their website this month.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.  Some of the entries are just downright ridiculous (why would you put vegan mayo on a hotdog?  Why would you put mayo on a hotdog at all?), while others are…interesting enough that I’d try it out but not so interesting as to be completely unappetizing in my particular opinion, and some are just genius. Continue reading

My dream is to one day have my very own chocolate river of delight

But until that day, I will just have to get by on the kindness of my husband (who brings me chocolates from my current all-time favorite chocolatier Schakolad) and good friends like my fellow foodie Brian, who just came back from three weeks in Europe (jealous?  Yes, completely) and brought me a bar (it’s actually 2 bars in one package) of delicious Belgian Côte d’Or Noir de Noir chocolate.  I love this chocolate for a couple reasons: one, it’s freaking delicious; two, I may be somewhat in love with the packaging because it’s entirely in French and, thanks to 5 years of French classes I am a bit of a Francophile (although, really, I’m in love with the Mediterranean as a whole, but France in particular).  Continue reading

I don’t really eat breakfast foods, but this one is an exception

So, yeah, I don’t really eat breakfast foods, per se.  I know, I’m odd.  I’m told that on a regular basis.  I used to eat breakfast foods.  I used to eat pancakes, french toast and waffles until I realized that those delicious yet sugary carbs were exactly the reason I was crashing and feeling crappy by midmorning.  Again, I tend to have low blood sugar and reactive hypoglycemia and the worst thing I can do is start out the day with a metric ton of sugar pouring into my bloodstream.  So I stopped eating those.  Eggs tend to make me sick, and I only ever ate them scrambled anyway and not very often.  And breakfast meats like sausage and bacon are full of fat, which I tend to avoid not only due to my preference for eating somewhat healthy but also because meat tends to make me sick to my stomach for some unknown reason, and the fattier the meat, the worse it is (I know, I know, I’m so oddly delicate, right?).  So I avoid breakfast foods.  We go out to brunch on the weekend and my husband gets an omelet or french toast…I get a chicken caesar salad.  Or a gyro.  Go out with coworkers during the week; they get bagels and cream cheese, I get chicken salad.  That’s just sort of the way I am.  Besides, in my opinion, lunch foods are way superior–and more varied–than breakfast anyway. Continue reading

A Morning at the Market

Eastern Market in Detroit, that is. Eastern Market is the largest historic market district in the nation, apparently.  I’ve been going there for several years now and it’s always fantastic.  It’s a great place to get plants, flowers, fresh produce, cheeses, Josh’s favorite brand of Mexican chorizo, spices, cheap meat, fresh made barbecue and to sit out, hang out, and eat at any of the great restaurants lining the streets.  We go about once a month and stock up and it’s always a good time.  The stall vendors are loud, colorful and friendly and much of the food is locally grown (and some even organic).  Continue reading

Oh Granola

Lately I’ve been making my own granola bars.  I blame Whole Foods for this development; I got the inspiration while looking through the snack recipes on their website and found one for chocolate chip granola bars.  It looked pretty simple (it IS pretty simple) and besides, I love granola bars but often they make me sick.  I tend to have bouts of reactive hypoglycemia fairly often and commercial granola bars are usually full of sugar and corn syrup which is a bad thing for me to have, and natural store-bought granola bars are pretty expensive.  So I thought, why not?  I’ll make my own.  It’ll be like the culinary equivalent of cutting down your own trees for wood.  Or something like that.

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Farm Share Goodies: June 23

So this is the 4th week of our farm share deliveries.  Josh and I decided last fall that this year, we wanted to partake in a CSA on the recommendation of some of Josh’s coworkers.  Lucky for us, there are several farms in the area, and all over Michigan.  In fact, there aren’t just produce CSAs, but meat ones too. However, this year, we stuck with just a produce CSA (after all, we don’t have a storage freezer, so there’s not a lot of room to store extra meat yet).  We looked around and settled on Needle-Lane Farm in nearby Tipton, MI.

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Every family has their favorite dishes, things that appear at every get-together and every holiday.  My family has baked macaroni and cheese.  We’re connosieurs of it, really.  Don’t get me wrong; deep down, the poor kid in me still loves something about Kraft easy mac, and the grown-up in me still likes to experiment with my own homemade version of the stuff, but really, truly and absolutely there is no substitute for a good, hearty backed macaroni and cheese casserole with tons of gooey cheese and a good crispy crust.

This is the version I make.  I got it from Tyler Florence (the man is a god amongst mortal chefs) and I make it with or without the bacon (depends on whether my vegetarian mom is partaking) altho Josh will say that it’s not the same without bacon.  It’s a pretty easy recipe to scale, and I’ve made it for as many as 25-30 people.  It always gets rave reviews.

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Beef Pesto Pasta

As of early yesterday afternoon, I’d had no real plan for dinner.  I’d bought some beef stirfry meat at Busch’s earlier, intending on putting something together for lunches during the week, but had nothing specific in mind.  By late afternoon, though, I’d slowly started putting some pieces together.  I had stirfry meat, ok.  I had pasta, several varieties.  I had spinach leftover from our farm share, and garlic scapes.  A search of the freezer revealed some shelled edamame.  And then I was sitting on the couch looking out at my deck when I realized my basil plant was getting rather tall and needed to be cut down….pesto!  So things all just sort of came together.

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Moroccan Spice Chicken…so good you’ll want to lick your grill

When I was a kid I had, for some unknown reason, a total love of all things Moroccan.  Now, I’ve never been to Morocco (although I’d love to go some day), didn’t know anyone from Morocco, had absolutely no connection to the place whatsoever.  But it intrigued me, and still does to this day.

So I love finding Moroccan recipes.  I was particularly excited to see this one, while watching Tyler Florence’s show on Food Network.  I love Tyler Florence.  I really do.  But I’ll wax poetic about that in another post later.  Anyway, he was making Moroccan brick chicken with yogurt sauce and couscous and it looked, as all his food does, absolutely divine so I thought I would try it sometime.

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Linguine with Lemon, Swiss Chard and Chicken Meatballs

Linguine with Lemon, Swiss Chard and Chicken Meatballs

So this was tonight’s meal.  It was sort of a riff off a couple meals I’ve made before, a combination of  my “pasta with sausage and kale,” which was inspired by this recipe, and my chicken meatballs, which I love.  Normally my chicken meatballs are made with ground chicken breast, and sometimes with a bit of spicy pork sausage thrown in; this time, I used ground chicken thigh and hot Italian chicken sausage.  I wasn’t as big a fan of the meatballs, but Josh liked them.

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I might be slightly obsessed.

Some women collect shoes and purses, and other women collect boyfriends or, if you’re Angelina Jolie, babies.  Me, I collect recipes.  Recipes and various information about food.  I have around 30 cookbooks and hundreds of recipes stored away inside my computer, and I spend my “leisure reading” time on books about the history of salt, the evolution of modern Spanish cuisine and the anthropology of chocolate.  When I’m not reading about food, I’m probably thinking about food, or planning food, or eating food.  My friends know about my obsession, but they let it go, because it’s delicious.  If only all addictions were as delicious and fruitful as mine.  Get it–fruitful?

I kill me.

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