My goal is to run 1,000 miles in 2010. See how far along I am:

Thursday, July 23, 2009


When I was in Japan I found myself marveled at the various food stalls scattered all about Tokyo. I missed out on trying many of their treats since I was on a strict gluten-free diet at the time. The one I wanted to try the most was the takoyaki (たこ焼き), grilled octopus balls made from a pancake like batter and chopped ocotopus (tako たこ in Japanese). poured in to a cast iron grill of little half domes and grilled. I found myself mesmerized as I watched skilled takoyaki chef's hands fly across hot griddles 100 takoyaki wide with a small tool in hand, which looks like the metal nut pick my parents always kept in the nut dish around the holidays for picking walnuts out of the shells, flipping the octopus balls 180 degrees with such speed and precision all with out missing a beat flipping rows and rows of the little octopus balls putting on quite a show.
So as I have still never had takoyaki, I find myself quite obsessed with the idea of a grill that will allow me to make them at home. My husband reminds me that a takoyaki grill is a uni-tasker, which Alton Brown disapproves of. But today I can across this:
Behold-the Aebleskiver pan, the dutch version of a takoyaki maker, which lets me know that it was meant other uses which I do not need to make up. This is meant to be in my home making octopus balls, mini jelly doughnuts, apple dumplings, brownie balls, croquettes and the most amazing sunny side up eggs that protect the yolks.
As I was writing this post I stopped and I ordered it. My new aebleskiver pan will be here in 5-8 days according to Amazon.
Stay Tunned...
We are going to a BBQ on Kuma's side of the family on Saturday and then having one here on Sunday for my sister's birthday, here's the things I plan I cooking this weekend:
Pesto pasta salad
Lemon Blueberry cake
Herbed roasted potatoes
BBQ Chicken
Homemade Ricotta cheese
Something with the cannoli filling I plan to use the ricotta for.
Possibly a fruit salsa too.

Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Omnivore's Hundred #29 Baklava

Sunday I met up with friends who are leaving the US this week for good and going back home to their home countries. So we met up at Moustache Pitza in the west village for lunch.
Moustache Pitza is a middle eastern place, with a big focus on fresh baked pita breads that arrive to your table hot, and puffed up like a blowfish. The food there is amazing, everything is fresh and you can count on a waiting a bit for your food (even when it's slow there) but believe me--it's worth it.
My friends Christy, who is going home to Malaysia, is also doing the Omnivores 100, so when we saw baklava on the dessert menu, it was decided even before we ordered drinks.
So after a delicious lunch of hummus, pita bread and various "pitzas" which we all shared, we ate baklava.
So now about the baklava.

It was pretty tasty, but I wasn't a huge fan. The crust was flaky and buttery with a nice golden top. The filling was full of nuts and a tad dry. I think it was too much for me, too many nuts.I would have liked some dried fruit maybe some raisins in it along with the nuts.
I was expecting a sweeter flavor and a moister filling. Baklava is on my Cook's 100 list, so when I make it I think I might like that one better.
That's really all I have to say about the baklava.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Cook's 100: #63 Deviled Eggs

We went to Matt's grandma's for a 5th of July BBQ today. She loves deviled eggs, quite possibly more than me. So I try to make them for parties and holidays there, and to justify owning a deviled egg plate.
Since my herb garden is growing in full swing right now, I though I would try something
new aside from the standard deviled eggs I make. So I present you with herbed deviled eggs.

Herbed Deviled Eggs
Makes 12

  • 6 Eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder, I use Colman's
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise

  1. After eggs have been boiled, peeled and cooled, carefully slice each egg in half lengthwise.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out the yolks into a bowl. After I scoop out all the yolk, I like to gently rinse out the inside hollow of the white. I think it keeps them looking nicer afterwards.
  3. Mash yolks up with a fork.
  4. Place yolks, and all other ingredients in a food processor, and pulse till mixture is well blended and smooth.
  5. Using a rubber scrapper, scrape mixture into a zip top bag, or piping bag. (Use can use a fancy cake decorating tip if you like.)

  6. Place eggs whites in an egg dish, or cover a plate with salad greens to prevent eggs from sliding about, cut a small corner from zip top bag, and pipe into egg halves.
  7. Garnish with chopped herbs.
You can easily make these ahead of time, a day or two. I keep the yolk mixture stored in the bag, and the whites stored in a container with a lid. This makes bringing them else where much easier, and they assemble quickly.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Cook's 100: #28 Infused Olive Oil

So all these big fancy gourmet grocery stores sell this nicely packaged infused olive oil, for a lot of money. I don't have extra cash to be spending $15 on a small bottle of garlic rosemary olive oil. I do have a rosemary plant though. Make your own instead. It's quick and more exciting when you make what you like. This recipe is about winging it and using what you have.

  • Olive oil, a bit less than will fit in your jar
  • Jar with a lid, or one of those fancy oil bottles with the pouring spout
  • Funnel or measuring cup with a spout
  • Saucepan, or small frying pan
  • Infusions, garlic minced, rosemary, thyme, dill, marjoram, dried chili peppers, anything you like.

  1. In a frying pan or small sauce pan, over medium heat pour in your olive oil, and add in your infusions.
  2. Bring to a high simmer, and simmer for about 5 min
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes
  4. Using funnel or measuring cup with a spout, pour into jar or oil bottle
  5. Taste it, with a nice crusty bread
  6. Make more!

I would make this oil in small batches that you can use within a week or so and keep in the fridge. By heating the oil with the infusions in it, you are also killing off any bacteria, and preventing botulism.

This can also be a nice little quick gift to make too. It took me about 10 minutes start to finish to make this batch.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The worst recipe ever.

This is the worst recipe ever. Don't believe me, go try it. I know enough not to make this dish. What makes it the worst dish ever--maybe it's the tinned pears, or the French dressing to moisten. I'm not sure, and I will pass on finding out. I have thought about making it and secretly bringing it to a potluck BBQ, and watching peoples reactions to it. This recipe was posted in the Guardian, in an article written about British food writer Elizabeth David, with a warning above it. Do not try this at home.

Italian salad
1 pint cold cooked macaroni
½ pint cooked or tinned pears
½ pint grated raw carrot
French dressing to moisten
2 heaped tablespoons minced onion
½ pint cooked or minced string beans
Mix the chopped macaroni and vegetables; moisten with French dressing, flavouring with garlic if liked. Serve on a dish lined with lettuce leaves. Decorate with mayonnaise and minced pimento or chives.

Yup, I do not believe I have ever seen anything worse. The article is about this one particular cookbook in Davis's cook book collection. Ulster Fare, from 1945 had the following note wedged inside:

"Italian salad p50. Sounds just about the most revolting dish ever devised."

Yes, yes it is. I do wonder why they went with Italian salad. If anyone out there does decide to try this salad, please post and let me know how it is.

Here is the link to the Guardian article:

Inspired to change

Since seeing Food Inc. last weekend, we've made some changes. (Yes, it was that powerful!)

  • We've decided to be more conscious of what we purchase and from whom. I found a local organic farm where we can purchase any produce we need that we do not have in our garden. This means that any produce, eggs or honey I buy are being grown 2.5 miles from my house. Talk about local. I also met the farmer who owns the farm, it's nice to know where you food is coming from.
  • We are cutting back on our meat eating. And free-ranging it otherwise.
  • I am limiting what frozen foods I purchase, and will be super picky about which ones I do.
  • I have finally found and decided on a perfect graduate school program for me. I had been up in the air about various Journalism schools, but I discovered NYU's Food Studies MA program. This program was made for me! I will be applying next year.