Saturday, July 30, 2011

what i ate cont'd:



with garden lettuce and arugula:


Slaw with mint, rose petals, sage blossoms, red currants:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homemade peanut butter cups

Are dangerously easy to make!

Melt some chocolate in a heavy saucepan. I used TJ's semi-sweet callets, about 6 oz for 6 peanut butter cups. Use low heat - don't burn it! Remove from the heat as soon as it is mostly melted, then stir it off the heat to continue the melting. Add approx. 1 T butter.

Mix up some peanut butter with a little honey, about 1/2 cup PB with 1 - 2 T honey. Add a little salt. The first time I made peanut butter cups, I didn't sweeten the peanut butter, nor did I add butter to the chocolate, and they were just fine. They were great, actually. In fact, I think I prefer them with out the sweetening. But all the recipes on the internet said to sweeten the peanut butter, so I tried it this time.

I used silicone muffin cups. I was ready to get rid of my silicone muffin cups, which I had bought mostly just because they are red. I discovered that they are terrible for muffins - the muffins stick anyway, and they're a mess to clean. But they are PERFECT for making homemade peanut butter cups! Put a spoonful (about 1 T.) of melted chocolate into each cup:

Then put a spoonful of the peanut butter on top of the chocolate. Don't worry if it looks too lumpy or high - it will smooth down.

I put a little sprinkle of seasalt atop the peanut butter (for layering flavor in the mouth):

Then put the top spoonful of chocolate on and smooth it out a little:

Put the peanut butter cups in the fridge for a few hours. They will pop right out of the silicone cups, and they will look exactly like "real" peanut butter cups, only better!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What I ate

These are some photos of some of the things I ate in the last month or so.

Tiny teri-salmon brown rice bentos:

Dark Chocolate Cups with Bacon, Nuts & Fruits:

Yellow rice, green veg (zuke, haricots vert, pea pods, asparagus, chives), poached egg:

Egg salad and cucumbers with yogurt and dill:

Teriyaki Steak Salad:

Chicken salad with garden veg & herbs & red currants:

Veg with homemade mayonaisse:

Dave's Killer Bread toasted in Schmaltz with garlic:

Buckwheat & Sorghum Flour Pancakes with homemade yogurt and kumquat marmalade:

English Breakfast Fry-Up: (sans blood pudding, roasted mushrooms, baked beans, broiled tom-ah-to)

Beef stew:

herbs for the stew:

the meat is still pink after being stewed low & slow for 4 hours:

I love iceberg lettuce with Thousand Island. Here, with roasted chicken atop:

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Russian Movie and Some Russian Food

I went to see the movie 'My Perestroika' with my sister Sooz. The movie follows five Russian people from childhood during Soviet communism to the present day in Russia.
This little movie made me crave the Russian foods that I love - beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, dill, cabbage, mushrooms, tomatoes. So I came home and made some "Russian food": roasted chicken and vegetables.

This is what I made for dinner when we got home from the movie:
Roasted Beets with Orange Butter
Carrots with Dill
Roasted Mushrooms
Paprika Roasted Chicken
Roasted cabbage wedges
Beet greens and stems with onions

For some reason, I am completely fascinated with Russia, and especially the Soviet Union. I just want to know everything I can about ordinary life in Russia. I don't know why I am so drawn to Russia - and why I get so emotional when I see and hear stories, films, and pictures of Russia.

I saw a documentary on PBS a long time ago, that followed some children in the Soviet Union, filming the same children every few years. And then after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they found the same children and filmed how they were doing. During the time of the Soviet Union, the children lived pretty happy lives, and seemed to me to be much more innocent and sheltered than American children. Even though their families had a lower standard of living than typical Americans (living in crowded urban apartments, for example, and having very simple toys and other belongings), they seemed to have a wealth of stability, family closeness, and time in nature. Almost all families in Russia spend a considerable amount of time every year in the country at "daschas" - small cabins and property in the country, where they grow gardens and fruit trees, swim and hike and enjoy nature.

When I was a teenager, I loved the book and movie Dr. Zhivago. I think I saw that movie (the one with Omar Sharif and Julie Christie) at least 10 times in high school. I used to cut school and take the bus to Philadelphia to watch it on the big screen of a fancy movie theater, one that had balconies, velvet curtains with gold ropes and tassels, and a huge chandelier. I would cry and cry and cry. I loved the part when Alec Guiness, the narrator would say, "nobody loves poetry like a Russian."

I once had a job as a cook in a Russian restaurant in Berkeley called Petruschka. The menu had lots of beets and potatoes and dill and sour cream.