Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Bisque

Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea (Toor Dal) Bisque
This is my final selection from the cookbook, The Vegetarian Table INDIA by Yamuna Devi. I might add it is a book filled with many easy and wonderful ways to use common ingredients.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup yellow split peas (aka toor dal)
4 pounds pumpkin or winter squash
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 or 2 seeded jalapeno chilies seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 cup grated fresh, dry, or frozen coconut
6 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 or 3 teaspoons salt
1 medium mango (12 ounces)
1/2 Tablespoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
a sprinkle of raw sugar***
Directions:
Place the split peas in a large pot and rinse with a few changes of water. Halve, seed, and quarter the pumpkin or squash and cut into large chunks and add it to the split peas along with the ginger and jalapeno, turmeric, coconut, 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of butter. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil in the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
While the split pea mixture is cooking, peel the mango and cut the flesh from the seed. Process the fruit in a blender until smooth, then add enough of the remaining water to make a puree.

When the split peas are cooked, whisk them to the consistency of a bisque. Add more water to thin it down or boil it to reduce it. Season with salt.

To season, garnish and serve the soup, dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan until they darken a few shades. Add the remaining butter , cilantro or parsley. When warm, stir the seasoning into the soup. Ladle the hot bisque into shallow large bowls, swirl the mango puree over the top, and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Mushroom Hunt

Our Leader Diane shows The Great Northern Puffball Pheasant Back Mushroom Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
Sunday Afternoon Mushroom Hunt
We received a letter from the Township Trustees that a local wild mushroom expert was conducting a woodland search for Fall Mushrooms. Diane brought the three photographed mushrooms to show what we might be looking for. Also we were treated to a taste of the Chicken Of The Woods mushroom which actually had the flavor of roasted chicken.
We were given the suggestion to just wander into the woods and return with our find. My husband and I each had bags to collect our specimens. The identification was that our find was all non-edible. My theory on Fall Mushrooms if you are not an expert .... they are very reasonable when commercially purchased and indentified as safe to eat.

Vegetable Biryani

This recipe was shared by my friend living in Canada.
Vegetable Biryani
A wonderful melange of vegetables and rice, this makes a superb vegetarian main course. The curry can be served on its own. Serve with yogurt on the side to give the dish a slight tang. Although the list of ingredients looks long it is very simple to prepare.

Ingredients: Vegetable Curry

3 cups basmati rice

2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

1 Tablespoon chopped ginger root

1 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoon garam masala or mild curry powder

1 cup coconut milk

2 cups diced red potatoes

2 cups peeled diced carrots

½ cup water

2 cups small cauliflower florets

1 cup fresh peas

2 Tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Rice:

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup hot milk

1 teaspoon saffron strands

Garnish:

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup sliced onions

¼ cup slivered almonds

½ cup raisins

¼ cup coriander sprigs

***
Directions: 1. Rinse rice well then cover and soak in water for 30 minutes.
***
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drain rice and add to boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
***
3. Heat vegetable oil in sauté pan or large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 8 minutes or until softened and tinged slightly with gold. Add garlic, ginger root, cayenne, cumin, coriander and garam masala. Sauté for 2 minutes longer or until onions are well coated with spices.
***
4. Add coconut milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly evaporated and some oil floats on top. Add potatoes, carrots and water and simmer, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes or until crisp tender. Add more water if curry seems too dry. Add cauliflower and cook 10 minutes longer or until all vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in peas and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Reserve vegetable curry.
***
5. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
***
6. In a deep pot add rice and vegetable curry, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Mix together. Combine milk and saffron and streak through rice. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing lid.
***
7. Prepare garnish while rice is cooking. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and fry until a rich brown colour, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove onions from skillet and add almonds and raisins. Fry for 2 minutes or until almonds take on some color.
***
8. Place rice and vegetables on a platter and garnish with onions, almonds and raisins. Scatter with coriander sprigs. Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Strawberry" Pie

"Strawberry" Pie
My friend Bonnie has shared another wonderful pie recipe with me. This pie is one that is low calorie according to Bonnie, quick to make and diasppears quickly. I love those pies that do not require a dough crust.
Ingredients:
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cup liquid (drained juice and added water)
1 pkg. sugar free jello (four serving)
1 pkg. fat free vanilla pudding
1 graham cracker crust
***
Directions:
Drain pineapple and add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups liquid. bring the liquid to a boil and add the jello, stir to dissolve and add the pudding mixture. When well mixed add crushed pineapple. Allow to cool. Place the quart of strawberries in graham cracker crust and pour the mixture over the strawberries. Refrigerate for at least four hours.
Note: Pouring a mixture that is too hot over strawberries "cooks" them and makes them watery.

San Francisco Saturday

Dinner at Pier 39
Many choices for a meal are along the sidewalks of Pier 39. Here the Dungeness Crab is offered. Seafood Bisque (a cream based soup) is also a speciality.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Roasted Winter Vegetables


Roasted Winter Vegetables
During the Fall and Winter months when so many of the root vegetables are plentiful along with the varieties that work so well with oven roasting, it is so nice to make a large baking pan filled with vegetables and allow them to bake and caramelize. They are so tasty! This is another recipe taken from the cookbook, "The Vegetarian Table INDIA byYamuna Devi
***

Ingredients:
1/3 to 1/2 cup peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (2 lbs.)
4 waxy potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)
6 medium carrots (1 1/2 pounds)
4 medium Portabello Mushrooms*
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro or parsley
juice from 1 lime or lemon
***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 475. In a large pot, heat the oil and mustard seeds over medium heat. When the seeds begin to pop, drop in the fennel seeds and pepper flakes; remove from heat in 5 or 10 seconds. Cut the pumpkin or squash into slices 1/2 inch thick. Steam the pumpkin or squash for about 5 minutes, then add it to the oil. Halve the potatoes, slice 1/2 inch thick and add them to the oil. Slice the carrots 3/4" on the diagonal, and add them to the oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on 2 non-stick baking trays. Roast until the vegetables are tender and browned, turning twice; 25 to 35 minutes. If you roast the mushrooms, slice the caps 1/2 inch thick and toss in the spiced oil left over from the other vegetables. When the vegetables are about two-thirds cooked, sprinkle the mushrooms onto the trays and continue roasting until the mushrooms are softened and browned; 10 minutes or so. Sprinkle all of the vegetables with the lemon or lime juice before serving and garnish with cilantro or parsley.
*Portobello Mushrooms; When using portobello mushrooms in a recipe, prepare the mushrooms by scraping the dark gill from the underside. They create a bitter taste and add a dark liquid to a recipe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bengali Sweet and Sour Chana Dal or Yellow Split Pea Soup

Sweet And Sour Chana Dal or Yellow Split Pea Soup
This recipe is taken from cookbook, The Vegetarian Table by Yamuna Devi. Dal is the Indian name for a soup made from legumes. Rice and beans comprise a complete protein. Vegetarian recipes are very scientifically balanced to nourish. The cool Autumn air brings out the soup pots.
***
Ingredients:
2 cups dried split chana or yellow split peas
10 to 12 cups water
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon groound ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayene powder
2 Tablespoons corn oil
1/2 Tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 to 5 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons shredded fresh or dried coconut
zest and juice from 1 lime or lemon
1 Tablespoon salt or to taste
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1/4 cup yogurt, stirred until smooth
***
Directions:
Rinse the split peas under running water and drain, and place in a large soup pot. Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam that collects on the surface. Add the tumeric, ginger, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon corn oil. Reduce the heat and gently boil, almost covered until the Dal is soft is very soft; this will take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Whisk or blend the soup until it is creamy. To this point the soup can be made several hours ahead.
***
About 5 minutes befor serving, warm the remaining corn oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to pop, drop in the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds daarken slightly, add the sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar turns reddish and carmelizes. Pour the seasoning into the soup and add the coconut, citrus zest and juice, and salt. Bring the Dal to a gentle boil for a few minutes.
***
At serving time, stir in most of the cilantro or parsley. Ladle into warm soup bowls or a tureen, and garnish with the remo=aining cilantro or parsley and a swirl of yogurt.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Corn Pancakes with Jalapeno-Lime Yougurt

Corn Pancakes with Jalapeno Lime Yogurt
This recipe is taken from the book, The Vegetarian Table INDIA by Yamuna Devi. What a great sounding appetizer. It sounds so much better than chips and dip or those sour cream based dips with vegies!
***
Ingredients:
Jalapeno-Lime Yogurt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno chili, minced
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
salt and pepper, to taste
***
Corn Pancakes;
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cups chick pea or all purpose flour
2 or 3 jalapeno chilies, minced
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon garam marsala
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups corn kernels
1 cup water, or as needed
1tablespoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon corn oil
Additional: lime zest, cilantro, or finely minced red bell peppers for garnish.
***
Directions:
To Make the Garnish:
combine yogurt, chili and zest in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
To Make the Pancake Batter: Combine the cornmeal, chick pea or all purpose flour, jalapenos, sugar, coriander seeds, garam marsala, salt, and 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, baking powder, cilantro, and 2 teaspoons of oil into the batter. Brush the griddle with oil, Drop Tablespoons of batter onto the griddles. Turn when the bottom sides are golden brown, and cook on the second side, 4 to 5 minutes in all. Transfer the pancakes to a platter, loosely cover with foil, and keep warm in the oven. Corn pancakes can be cooled, wrapped, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Warm in a 300 degree oven before serving.
To serve, place pancakes on a serving tray and top each one with a teaspoon of lime yogurt and a sliver of lime zest or minced bell pepper.
Makes 24 pancakes

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Panir Cheese

Panir Cheese
Taken from the book, The Vegetarian Table INDIA by Yamuna Devi.
Our daughter Barbara shared a book with me which I have found delightful. My husband has an adventurous palate and I am the lucky beneficiary. I love to cook and he enjoys the variety. It is a great combination!

***

I recently treated myself to a panini maker and our lunch is often soup and sandwich or salad and sandwich. I am not particularly fond of melted cheese that strings from my mouth to the length of my arms. I am anxious to try this cheese. What interests me is that I can fry this cheese without melting but instead it gets crisp. This cheese can be also added to a salad or vegetable dish

***

Ingredients:

1 gallon milk

1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Bring the milk to a boil in a large pan. Reduce the heat to low and while gently stirring, add the lemon juice. When the milk separates into cheese curds and yellowish whey, remove the pan from the heat. Line a strainer with a triple thickness of cheesecloth 33 to 24 inches square. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the large pieces of panir to the strainer, then slowly pour the smaller bits and the whey through it. Gather the corners and tie the cheese into a tight bundle. Rinse the panir curds with a slow stream of water to remove the lemon taste. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Place the cheese on a slanted surface to drain into the sink. Neatly fold the cheesecloth over the cheese to make a flat square parcel and balance a heavy flat weight on top of it. Drain and press the panir until it is firm and weighs about 1 pound; this will take about 30 minutes and could take up to 2 hours. Use as desired or wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

To Fry: Use a small amount of oil in a shallow non-stick frying pan over moderate heat until the cheese is golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and use as desired. May be frozen for up to one month or refrigerated one week.

I plan to make this recipe with one half of the recipe amounts. I will add my results to the blog.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jodie McCallum and Company

Due to their bankruptcy filing releiving the owners of payment of their large debt to me for the sale of my art,  I have chosen to remove the contents of this blog.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

San Francisco Sunday

San Francisco City Hall
A few years ago we saw the tomb of Napoleon in Paris at the Esplanade des Invalides. When I saw the San Francisco City Hall I was amazed at the similarity in architecture of the two buildings. Architect Arthur Brown who submitted the design had studied in France. A very informative guided tour of City Hall is given weekdays. Many changes retrofitting the building had to be made after the 1989 earthquake which were completed in 1999. I was amazed to learn that when the building was originally built, the oak paneling in one of the chambers came from Asia. The detailing in the architecture is amazing. When you go to San Francisco put this tour on your itinerary. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ladies Day Out

click on photo to enlarge
Members of The 21st Century Club
The third Thursday of the month September through May calls the members of The 21st Century Club to their monthly meeting. The September organizational meeting was a luncheon at the Malabar Inn on the grounds of Malabar Farm which was the home of author Louis Bromfield and Pulitzer prize winner in 1926 for his book, Early Autumn. Louis Bromfield was a conservationist, journalist and author. Bromfield's farm home was the site of the wedding of friends, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. I was so lucky to reconnect with the members of the Club that I belonged for 24 years prior to my moving away. I miss these gals so!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My "Hometown" And Some Of What I Miss

A drive down a one lane country road Livestock grazing in the fields Large lush green lawns The church we belonged for forty years My dear former neighbor, Marilyn
Today I drove to the community where we lived for forty years. As I drove into the country for an appointment with my beautician of many years, I appreciated so many of the sights along the way. In California I drive on a five lane in each direction Interstate instead of this one lane country road. Those green lush lawns and huge by the standards of California lawns, had that velvet green appearance. I passed our church where we knew all of the members. In California there are 11,000 members and we are just two of the number. I stopped for a visit with my former neighbor. I have always felt so blessed to have lived next door to Marilyn and her late husband Ken. Moving away reminds one of what was such a wonderful part of everyday and taken for granted.

Happy Birthday Phil

Happy Birthday Phil
Today our grandson Phil celebrates with twelve candles on his cake. Have a very special birthday Phil. Phil happens to be a Cincinnati Bangles fan! A BIG hug and squeeze Phil, we love you! I am especially pleased that Phil checks this posting frequently. I know he likes and appreciates what his grandma blogged.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Waldo Ohio

Home Of The Famous Grilled Bologna Sandwich

While driving to Dublin Ohio this past Friday, we came to the intersection where a right turn would take us a very short distance to Waldo. Not much exists in Waldo these days. The once thriving furniture store which occupied most of the buildings has since closed. I think I noticed an insurance office and of course the G&R Grill. The specialty at G&R is a huge grilled bologna sandwich served with a 1/2 inch slab of bologna, onions, and sweet pickles on a bun and all for $3.50. Notice the menus. They serve $1.00 beer and that is a can of beer. Cream pies which are heaped high are $2.75 per generous slice and fruit pies are $2.00. Arrive at the lunch hour and you wait in line to be served while everyone is there for a bologna sandwich.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eric Grohe Murals

Bucyrus Ohio
Driving through Bucyrus Ohio one can view these impressive murals painted with dimension giving one the illusion of great depth. When old buildings were dismantled they exposed a building side with an unsightly look. The community formed a group accepting donations and with the local Chamber of Commerce contracted Eric Grohe to paint the murals to cover the sides of those buildings. The city actually does not own the murals. Go to his website to see what Eric has done with other buildings in other cities. Bucyrus is also known as the bratwurst capital of the world by the residents of Bucyrus.

Monday, September 15, 2008

10th Ordinance Battalion Reunion

click on photo to enlarge
Army Reunion
Fifty years ago, these GI's were in Piermasens, Germany serving their country. Thank you men for protecting our freedom! This past weekend they met for a reunion. What a bond they share.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Reflections

click on photo to enlarge
Sunday Reflections
Everyone who enjoys photography knows it is all about the right lighting, the right angle and of course being at the right place at the right time. Returning from an early morning boat ride on Lake Erie we found this egret at sunrise out for breakfast in our harbor.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

San Francisco Saturday

Attractions At Pier 39
Like every other tourist at Pier 39 in San Francisco, we were entertained by the Sea Lions. This spoiled child sea lion wanted his own plank. As soon as he threw one in the "drink" another seemed to know the spot was available and he might have changed his behavior.

The irony of the sea lions "residing" at Pier 39 is a rather interesting. In 1989 when the earthquake struck San Francisco, the sea lions were off the Pacific Coast on a small island. Just prior to the quake, the sea lions swan in to Pier 39 for "safe keeping" and have been entertainment for the many tourists since.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kelleys Island Venture Resort

Located on one of the Lake Erie Islands is Ohio's newest resort hotel. Kelleys Island recently opened a brand new hotel designed with Victorian style architecture in keeping with the theme of the island. You have heard how meticulous the Dutch people are. Well, two brothers born in Amsterdam have built the hotel and are managing it. Every detail has been tended to not only in design but comfort. Planning a trip to Northern Ohio or Lake Erie? Reserve your room at Kelleys Island Venture Resort Hotel at www.KIResortHotel.com Every room has a view of Lake Erie and the west wing can enjoy those beautiful sunsets which can be beyond description. The rooms to the South and East enjoy the sunrise.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brie With Roasted Pears

Brie With Roasted Pears
Yesterday I posted a photo of my neighbors abundance of pears. Today I am posting two recipes using pears. The Tart recipe I have taken to co-op dinners and also used when I have entertained. I never have leftovers. My only suggestion. Find Hazelnut flavoring (from a Raleigh Products dealer) and use that instead of the almond flavoring. It then really has an enhanced hazelnut flavor. The Brie With Roasted Pear and Thyme recipe I used when I entertained recently.
Brie with Roasted Pear and Thyme
Roasted pears put a sweetly fresh spin on a perennial cocktail-party favorite.
Directions:
One 6-inch (15-cm) round of Brie, about 17 oz (550 g)
2 almost ripe pears
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme
*
Directions:

1. Cut off top rind of Brie and discard. Set Brie aside. Preheat oven to 425°F .
2. Peel and core pears, then slice ¼-inch thick. Lay on a generously buttered baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn slices and continue roasting 10 to 15 minutes or until edges are caramelized and brown. Arrange pear slices overlapping in a circle overtop Brie. Refrigerate, uncovered, for up to half a day.
3. When ready to serve, heat in a preheated 350°F oven 10 to 12 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with thyme and serve with slices of fresh baguette or water crackers.
Serves 8 to 10
***
PEAR-AND-HAZELNUT-FRANGIPANE-TART
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 2 1/2 hr
Servings: Makes 10 servings.
Frangipane Ingredients:
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, loose skins rubbed off in a kitchen towel, and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Fruit Filling:
3 firm-ripe Bosc or Anjou pears
1/4 cup apricot preserves, heated and strained
***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pulse hazelnuts with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until finely ground, then add flour and pulse to combine.
Beat together butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer at moderately high speed until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in extracts. Reduce speed to low and mix in nut mixture until just combined.
Spread frangipane filling evenly in tart shell. Peel, halve, and core pears, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, holding slices together to keep pear shape intact.
Arrange pears decoratively on filling, fanning slices slightly. Bake until pears are golden and frangipane is puffed and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
Brush pears (not filling) with preserves and cool tart completely in pan on rack, then remove side of pan.
***
Tart Shell
Makes 1 (11-inch) tart shell.
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
*********
Equipment: a pastry or bench scraper; an 11- by 1-inch fluted round tart pan with a removable bottom; pie weights or raw rice
***
Directions: Blend together flour, sugar, salt, butter, and shortening with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 3 tablespoons ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in food processor) until incorporated.
Squeeze a small handful: If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until just incorporated, then test again. (If you overwork mixture, pastry will be tough.)
Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion.
Gather dough together with scraper and press into a ball, then flatten into a 6-inch disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface and fit into tart pan. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang inward and press against side of pan to reinforce edge. Lightly prick bottom and sides with a fork.
Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Line tart shell with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake in middle of oven until pastry is pale golden along rim, 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden all over, 10 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Pear Abundance

Pears, Pears, And More Pears A Sure Sign Of Autumn
A neighbor has a pear tree with branches which are literally hanging to the ground with fruit. They have offered the fruit to the neighbors to keep it from going to waste. Today I am researching recipes to decide how to best utilize this tasty fruit. Stay tuned tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

LED Lighting

My New LED Desk Lite, "LeMaster" The Brilliance The LED Lights Afford
Anyone who believes the science of Global Warming also believes in reducing their carbon footprint. My light is sold by www.environmentallights.com. I love the non glare of the LED lights and the brilliance it offers my business space. Another great consideration is the low watt usage for the brilliance it produces while being so easy on the eyes. It uses the power of a 5 watt lightbulb to produce 1,400 Lux brilliance The lite is fully adjustable for height and angle. I also understand the light might even be in my estate as the lights are sold to last a very long time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baked Oyster Mushroom and Bacom

Baked Oyster Mushroom and Bacon
A great hors-d'oeuvre or first course served with a small salad. Make ahead and reheat for 5 minutes in a 350ºF oven.
Ingredients: 1 lb mussels approx. (16 to 18)
2/3 cup Pilsner
½ cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon finely diced shallots
¼ cup finely diced smoked bacon
1½ cups chopped mixed oyster and brown cremini mushrooms
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
½ cup grated fontina cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
***
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
***
2. Put mussels, pilsner and cream in a large pot, cover with a lid, bring to a boil and steam for 2 to 3 minutes, or until mussels have opened. Remove from heat and drain, reserving cooking liquid in a bowl and discarding any mussels whose shells remain closed. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve, place in a pan and boil for 5 minutes or until thickened. Reserve for sauce.
***
3. Remove mussels from shells, separate top and bottom halves of shells, discarding top halves. Reserve remaining shells and mussels separately.
***
4. Melt butter over high heat in a large skillet. Sauté shallots, smoked bacon and mushrooms for 3 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and vegetables are soft. Combine vegetable mixture with reserved mussels, reduced cooking liquid and chopped parsley.
***
5. Spoon mussels and mixture into reserved mussel shells. Place in a baking dish, top with grated cheese (at this point you can refrigerate for up to 24 hours until ready to serve) and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and mussels are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2 to 4

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Signs Of Autumn

The Pumpkin Patch
Yesterday while driving through a rural area I spotted this pumpkin patch. It reminded me of James Whitcomb Riley's poem;
"When The Frost Is On The Pumpkin".
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin turkey cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
***
They's something kindo' harty-like abo0ut the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here-
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through a haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock-
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodders in shock.
***
Hey classmates: Wouldn't Sister Mary LaDonna be proud of me? James Whitcomb Riley wouldn't pass Spelling at SPH though!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

San Francisco Saturday

The Cannery built in 1907 as The California Fruit and Vegetable Co. later became known as the Del Monte Co. The operation closed in 1937. It was once the worlds largest fruit cannery as Del Monte's Plant No.1 Today, "The Cannery" is a city within a city, a dramatic urban space modeled after old European Villages.
Today the building and courtyard are an attraction for tourists who come to The Golden Gate Recreational Area. The building houses shops and offices while the courtyard is a beautiful setting for additional shops and restaurants and live entertainment daily.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mushroom Soup With Hazelnut Gremolata

Mushroom Soup With Hazelnut Gremoltata
My October edition of Bon Appetite magazine arrived today with a mouthwatering recipe for mushroom soup. Two ingredients are at the top of my list of favorite foods. Those two are hazelnuts and mushrooms. Tomorrow when I grocery shop I will buy the ingredients and voila, the soup will be on the table.
Ingredients:
1/2 ounce package dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
4 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 cup sliced peeled carrot
1 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced (about 6 cups)
3 cups or more vegetable broth
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1 garlic clove, chopped
12 ounces fresh wild mushrooms( such as chanterelle, crimini, and stemmed shitake), about 5 cups
***
Directions:
Place porcini in 1 cup boiling water. Let soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving soaking liquid. Coarsely chop porcini.
Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and carrot until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1 pound crimini mushrooms: sprinkle with salt. Saute until mushrooms are soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Add porcini and saute 3 minutes. Add 3 cups broth and reserved porcini liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until mushrooms are soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree in blender until smooth, adding more broth by 1/2 cupful as needed. Return soup to pot.
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Mix parsley, oil, hazelnuts, orange peel, and garlic in small bowl. Set aside.
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Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add 12 ounces assorted mushrooms and saute until soft and browned, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide soup among bowls. Top with sauteed mushrooms and gremolta. It sounds wonderful to me!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Carrots With Garam Masala

Carrots With Garam Masala
Garam Masala is a spice common to Indian food. It can be purchased in most food stores specializing in organic foods or blended with the formula given August 28 on my blog and found in the book, Field Guide To Herbs & Spices. Ingredients:
2 pounds large carrots
1 cup fresh orange juice
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tablespoon Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon ghee or butter
1 tablespoon dried currants
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Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the carrots and slice on the diagonal about 1 inch thick. Combine the citrus juices, garam masala, and ghee or butter in a large casserole or 11 by 14 inch baking dish. Add the carrots and roast until tender and lightly browned, stirring a few times, for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve garnished with currants and lime zest.
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Garam Masala
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/3 cup coriander seeds
1/2 Tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
15 whole cloves
2 inch piece cinnamon stick
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Preheat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add all of the ingredients and toast the spices, stirring occasionally, until they darken slightly, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a coffee grinder or blender, and grind to a powder. Sift through a fine sieve, discarding the roughage. Use while fresh or store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Variation: Options: you might add 1 or 2 bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds, and after grinding the other spices, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg.

Wilted Cabbage Salad

Wilted Cabbage Salad
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds Savoy or green cabbage
1-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 or 2 Jalopena chilies
11/2 Tablespoons Ghee or peanut oil
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
10 to 15 fresh curry leaves
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup peanuts, toasted
julienned zest and juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons cilantro
salt and cracked black pepper
***
Directions:
Core and very finely shred the cabbage. Peel and cut the ginger into paper thin matchsticks. Halve, seed, and cut the jalapeno julienne a into thin strips.
Heat the ghee or oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat; add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the ginger, chilies, curry leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the cabbage, carrots,, and sugar. Stir-fry until the cabbage begins to wilt and turn bright green; 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a salad bowl. Mix in the peanuts, lime zest and juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Great Pumpkin!

The Great Pumpkin
Recently while walking the dog of our son's family, I passed a home just one block away where I saw this pumpkin growing. It was the same home where I found the fig tree that I blogged August 8. When I saw the pumpkin last month I thought it was a large patty-pan squash. To my amazement yesterday, the pumpkin has achieved a prize winning girth. I inquired about the pumpkin and the homeowner told that she paid $5.00 for a seed last year. The vine yielded a pumpkin which was much smaller. She saved some of the pumpkin seeds to plant this year. I asked if she planned to enter the pumpkin in a show or competition. The lady stated that Half Moon Bay, an ocean community, has a competition in October and she has mailed an application to enter the hearty yield of this year. Good Luck and I hope she is a winner.
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I wonder if her pumpkin pie will resemble a yellow baked custard pie rather than the traditional orange pumpkin pie.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Highway 1

Downtown Princeton CA and Barbara's Fish Trap Restaurant The Harbor of Princeton CA The Coast Highway 1 At Devils Slide
Today we celebrated the last day of the "summer season" with a coastal drive to the ocean. Nature produces the most glorious views along this scenic highway. It is difficult to get the full impact in photography as the scenes are so panoramic.
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Enlarge the bottom photo and you will see a grey area in the photo. A landslide occurred at that site last year closing Highway 1 for a period of six months. The grading is finished but the work of re-enforcement continues.