Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting Medieval

Every year in late September, our Farmer Market has a medieval day, when they invite the local SCA chapter, (the medieval re-enactment people), to present demonstrations of Medieval life, including cooking, fighting, arts & crafts, fashion, etc. My daughters and I have been participating in the food demo for a number of years.

This year we made all the food at home the night before. We made:
Oatcakes (unsweetened oat flour flatbread, served with honey).
Apple muse (applesauce made with almond milk and honey).
Hedgehogs (meatballs shaped like little hedgehogs with almond spines and currant noses).
Shrewsbury Cakes (shortbread cookies scented with rosewater and nutmeg).
Greens Tart (a pie made with greens, eggs, cheeses, and nutmeg).
Onion Salad (roasted onions dressed with wine vinegar, cinnamon, olive oil, S & P).
Spiced Cider.

The people who stopped by the food demo were so interested and polite! One englishman came by several times to taste the Shrewsbury Cakes, which he pronounced "Shrawsbry"- -EEEEE!I heart all things British.

A sweet older woman with the most beautiful light green eyes was very interested in the oatcakes and talked to me for some time about them. They were very familiar to her. Her husband was Scottish and she always tried to make his nostalgic foods for him.

She asked if I ever heard of gypsy creams, which she said is an old British favourite cookie. She couldn't find recipe for them. She described them as having flour, oats, golden syrup, and a little bit of cocoa in them, and two cookies sandwiched with chocolate butter cream. I told her I woul look it up. This recipe sounds just like what she described:
Recipe Name Gypsy Creams
Difficulty Level Easy
Traditional food from United Kingdom
Ingredients 3oz margarine
4 level tsp. golden syrup
6oz self raising or plain flour
2oz sugar
1/2 oz cocoa
2oz rolled oats
Preparation Melt the margarine and syrup in a pan, stir in the sifted dry ingredients and the rolled oats.
Place walnut sized pieces on greased baking trays, flattening them with a fork dipped in hot water.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a gas mark 3 oven, 325 F / 160 C.
Allow to cool before removing from trays and when cold serve plain or sandwiched together with chocolate butter cream.
Makes 16-18.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Homemade Mozzarella!

Actually, Laurel made this cheese last Sunday with a kit from New Seasons.
I have a recipe for it that was on my cooking "To Do" list. Laurel was disappointed with the cheese, and left it at my house in a yogurt tub. The next day I looked at it and it looked pretty good to me! It is very white and softer than store mozzarella. I made this "lasagne-ish dinner with it.I just layered the ingredients in a lasagne pan and baked at 350* until warmed through. The cheese was also good on Bartlett pear slices, sprinkled with a little nutmeg.

TJ's lasagne noodles, partially cooked to al dente
homemade tomato sauce made with dead ripe garden tomatoes, garlic, basil
yellow summer squash
chicken breast poached in broth, then shredded
spoonfuls of homemade mozzarella

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

more cute foods - candy "sushi" birthday cake

Sushi cake - chocolate cake, sushi made with green fruit rollups "seaweed", coconut "rice", orange jellybelly "salmon roe", orange cookie-decoration-sugarball "tobiko", candied ginger "kanpyo", and Swedish gummy fish.

Candy Sushi

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tomato Mustard Tart

Garden Tomato Tart

~ A perfect use for perfect garden tomatoes!

1 pie crust shell (recipe below)
3 ripe tomatoes
6 oz Gruyere cheese (sharp cheddar or provolone works too), grated
A few fresh marjoram leaves, one green onion, sliced, and some basil leaves (the tiny leaves at the ends)
2 T plus 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg, beaten
3 T creme fraiche (or cream, yogurt or sour cream can work)

pie crust:
6 oz unsalted butter, frozen or very cold, cut or grated into small pieces
1 & 1/4 cups flour
2 - 4 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 t. salt
water as needed (2 - 4 T.)

Mix together the flour, salt, Parmesan, & pepper. Stir in the butter. Drizzle in water 1 T. at a time until it just forms a ball (it will look crumbly but hold together when squeezed.) Pat into a flat ball, and chill 5 - 20 minutes before rolling out. Heat oven to 350°. Roll out the pie crust (between wax paper makes it easy) and line a pie dish (or tart pan). Crimp edges. Prick the crust with a fork in several places. Prebake for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Slice tomatoes about 1/4" thick, and place them between towels to remove some of the juice (otherwise the tart gets too soggy).

Brush the prebaked crust with 1 T (generous) Dijon mustard. Mix the beaten egg, cream, another 1 tsp Dijon, remaining cheese, salt & pepper, and spread it over the tart. Scatter on the herbs. Arrange the tomato slices on. Put tart in oven, bake 45 minutes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cute foods

I just can't help it - I love cute foods!

Cheesey Snowman:
Cheese balls made with shredded white cheddar mixed with cream cheese, a little onion, garlic, a dash of Worchestershire sauce and or Dijon mustard, etc. Let them firm up in the fridge on a wax papered tray, then put them together with bamboo skewers or popsicle sticks inside for stability. Hat: pumpernickel bread circles cut with cookie cutters. Scarf: lettuce. Eyes & buttons: olives. Nose: tiny baby carrot (I mean TINY!)

Hedgehog Cheese Ball

Cheeseball made as above, formed into a teardrop shape, pretzel "spines", almond ears, currant eyes and nose. You can use lowfat or nonfat versions of the cheese.

Marshmallow snowman - connect 2 marshmallows with a toothpick. Licorice hat, fruit rollup scarf, sprinkles for eyes & nose.

Fake Amanitas:

gummy amanitas

tomato & egg amanitas

more tomato & egg amanitas and potato little brown mushrooms