Archive for April, 2010

randoms now in the kitchen.

April 28, 2010

i heart multi-colored corn kernels + fiestaware.


making amends to grandma.

April 27, 2010

i have a griswold cast iron skillet that belonged to my grandmother. look what i let happen to it:not cool. i am going to reclaim it.

after learning about various methods to remove rust and reseason the skillet, i rejected such suggestions as spraying it with oven cleaner (WHAT!?). i decided to use a pumice stone – no chemicals, no detergents, no need to wear gloves. my local ace/pleasants hardware folks were really helpful – a little plug for spending your $ with them, instead of the big 2 in town.

here’s a pic of the product i used (Pumie Scouring Stick) and the skillet, post pumice. i did the deed in the kitchen sink and used water to help it along.

then i rubbed the entire skillet with canola oil (inside + out, top + bottom) and put it in the oven at 300 degrees for 1 hour. it’s upside down with a foil covered tray under it to catch any mess:  i’m going to re-oil it and bake it again tonight.

then, i’m going to use for frying a couple times before i try to make cornbread in it. that should help the seasoning and encourage a nonstick surface.

i don’t do much, if any, frying so this sounds like a good excuse to try it out. if i have to. ha!

i’m thinking fried fish and fried green tomatoes. anyone have suggestions of things to fry?

more to come re: the skillet. including exciting entries about the fully seasoned piece, the results of my research on its history (there are legions of cast iron collectors. i’m going to email a griswold collectors club in the hopes they can ID the markings.), and updates about my attempts to fry.

b-b-q tofu

April 26, 2010

after pressing – this is a shot of my tofu before baking. i love this TJ’s bbq sauce but Love L isn’t a big fan. they have another kind that i’ll try next. 

pressing tofu

April 25, 2010

before cooking with firm tofu, you’ll want to press it to remove the liquid. getting the water out gives cooked tofu a better consistency.

here’s a good method for pressing:

  1. put the block of tofu on a plate and put another plate on top of the tofu.
  2. place a cast iron skillet or other weight on top of the top plate to press down on the tofu.
  3. let sit for about an hour.
  4. pour off the liquid and pat dry with paper towels.

Now it’s ready to slice and marinate in soy, bbq, or other sauce. then can be stir fried, baked or grilled (foreman-type grills work great).

food lion clearance wine – who knew!?

April 22, 2010

after a visit to toys r us, C and i stopped in at food lion to get organic cottage cheese and a couple lemons. no luck on the cottage cheese. but as we were leaving i noticed shelves and shelves of discount wine.

i didn’t expect to be excited about the selection – it was sure to be bottles of jacob’s creek, yellow tail and that one with the penguin on the label. WELL…when i saw sterling, nobilo and estancia for $3 to $4 each, i bought 9 bottles. oops!

hummus, ASG’s way.

April 17, 2010

i made hummus for C – his first batch. i know, i’m crazy to have waited so long -14.5 months. not sure how i overlooked feeding it to him. it’s near criminal!

at the suggestion of friend ASG, i subbed sesame oil for tahini. keeping sesame oil in the pantry works better for me than having tahini around. and, i always hated fighting with that tahini can – stirring the oil and sesame paste together was inevitably a mess.

1 clove garlic + 1 can chickpeas (drained & rinsed) + the juice of 1 lemon + 1 TBS sesame oil + salt + olive oil to desired consistency. All in the food processor and let ‘er rip!

C ate it with a spoon. I put it on whole wheat pita sprayed with olive oil + lightly salted then baked in the toaster oven for a few minutes at 400 degrees. kalamatas on the side.

best tortilla chips – hands down.

April 14, 2010

i should write: best tortilla STRIPS -Nana’s Cocina white corn tortilla strips.

i love the shape, texture and saltiness. yuuummmm. and they’re made right here in VA. Here’s a pic of what a bag of their chips looks like:

distinctive packaging. I got them at Ellwoods – not sure where else they’re carried in RVA.

neighborhood gelato spot

April 9, 2010

we have lived in our house for 9 months and it took this long to get to deluca gelato at gayton crossing. actually, i haven’t set foot in the place yet but LB visited tuesday night and brought home 3 flavors: pomegranate sorbet, peanut butter chocolate gelato and expresso gelato. there’s no picking a fav – all are A.MAZ.ING.

LB loved his visit. he saw the master in the back of the shop making each delicious flavor. i want to go in for a taste of their olive oil + sea salt gelato. say what!?

while enjoying all three containers of deluca tastiness, i was thinking about how much better specialty foods are. in an ideal world, i’d rarely go to the grocery. i’d get my gelato at deluca, seafood at tuckahoe seafood, fruits + veggies at the farmers market (or from my CSA – june can’t get here soon enough!!), bread from the bakery, etc…you get the idea.

food as a gift.

April 6, 2010

thanks to student worker RT for sharing her ethiopian cuisine with me. her mom made her this amazing meal and i was lucky to be included. the greens had a subtle spiced flavor. the spice of the red dish tasted like its gorgeous color. the bread was the vehicle.

where the magic happens

April 6, 2010

check out my crib.we designed our kitchen around this piece. and it is amazing.

36″ gas cooktop, including two 20,000 BTU burners. some serious power. it took me a bit to adjust to this beauty after using the electric range at our old house for years. no complaints about that!