Monday, December 26, 2011

"Dutch Goose", Hog Maw, or whatever else you want to call it but it's still Pig Stomach

We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas day together. Started off at church and then home to do some cooking.

Here is the Colonel Mustard making a Grilled Crostini with Brie, Prosciutto, Arugula and Figs.

We made the bread earlier - an italian bread called pugliese. We started Christmas eve making the biga and finished it in the morning before church. Very good.

He made a few with a pesto brie (that I had gotten at Jungle Jim's) and the rest with regular brie, and truthfully I didn't like the pesto brie, so I won't be trying any more fancy bries - give me plain and I will dress it up myself or eat it by itself.

I made soup, a spinach tortellini soup. I made the tortellini Christmas eve, so it was pretty easy to throw together. The broth was just a boxed broth labeled tuscany broth, but it was very good and then I just tossed in the tortellini and topped with parsley. Delicious.

Vanilla Bean made a "dutch goose" or hog maw or whatever you want to call it. Straight up it is stuffed pig stomach. We have been talking about having pig stomach for Christmas dinner for a number of years so strange as it may seem, it was with great excitement that it was served up this year. It was good and served with a gravy and garnished with parsley, cranberries, and orange slices. Tasty.

We had gotten it pre-stuffed, and decided sometime we will have to stuff it ourselves. This stuffing had sausage, potatoes, onions and bread stuffing, which I think I would prefer it without the bread, so some day we will try it ourselves and I think I will try it with cabbage too.

Mom fixed a rhubarb raspberry roly-poly and english custard sauce. Fabulous.

Dad meticulously made red velvet cake, which he cut into 4 layers and frosted with a delicious buttercream frosting. Decadent.

The first course of soup and grilled crostini.

Second course of stuffed pig stomach.

Third course of Red Velvet Cake and roly-poly with custard sauce.

And for something different a little chai bubble tea.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cow Goes Up the Mountain....or something like that

I had the wonderful opportunity around Thanksgiving to get together with some friends of mine from all around the world and enjoy a special Cambodian meal. The khmer title is translated something to the tune of "cow goes up the mountain" or "cow went up the mountain". You use a special pot which has a space in the bottom for coals and then a moat around the outside of the pot for broth - where you make soup, and peak in the middle - where you cook the meat.

Hot coals ready, now for the food - oh yeah it is a little different in Ohio in November when you can't be outside, we had to keep some windows open - since we were doing one of those taboo activities of grilling inside. Cambodia never gets quite this chilly, so they can always be outside to enjoy this meal.

The above picture shows Lok getting things started. You can see some of the various items we cooked throughout the evening, greens, mushrooms, watercress, and noodles for the soup, beef and pork to cook on the "mountain." Throughout the meal you add items to the pot and then take them out as they are cooked and you are ready to eat. There is a spoon for the soup, but the meat is all chopstick work. Then of course there is also rice.

Cooking and eating. From the bottom left the group included Lionel (Brazil), Andrea (lived in Cambodia for 4 years), Lok (Laos), Marlin (I believe he works for MCC - the organization who does IVEP), Albert (Kosovo), Wilmer (Guatemala), Emily (recently returned from several years in Turkey), Gloria (Dominican Republic), and Susan (China), and just out of the picture Ronnie (Ukraine) and Holly (Ohio). We had a good time, not all of us were as good with chopsticks as others, but we all had plenty to eat.

Thank you Andrea, for cutting up all that food and inviting us over, as well as providing the pot and "recipe". I am so grateful that the Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people from all over the world.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Regardless of the lack of posting here, I haven't starved, in fact I have tried some new recipes and enjoyed some cooking adventures.

Last year was the first time I have ever had a persimmon, and I find I really like them, maybe someday I will have a persimmon tree next to my blueberry bushes :). In case you are wondering I don't have the blueberry bushes yet either, but one can dream. Well, I somehow got it in my head that I wanted to make persimmon cookies, so after a trip to Cincinnati to visit my sister and a stop at Jungle Jim's I headed home with 4 persimmons, plenty enough for a batch of cookies....and boy were they good, or at least I thought so.

A ripe Hichiya Persimmon for anyone who is curious, make sure the persimmon you set out to enjoy is ripe ..... or you won't like the experience.

The persimmon puree ready for cookies.

The finished cookies, they also had craisins and pecans in them, but I made a few without the extras and I liked them that way also.

My desire to try a persimmon, came mostly from my Great Aunt Anna, who was known to climb out on the porch roof to pick persimmons from her tree even in her nineties. I always admired her and still miss going to visit her now that she has gone to be with the Lord.

Great Aunt Anna showing me how her nut cracker worked. Here she is at 97, she shelled 40 lbs of pecans for people that Christmas.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Adventures in the Kitchen

Well, I have been doing a little adventuresome cooking recently and thought perhaps I would share it.

This first one, I have no visuals of the finished product, but just know it was quickly scarfed up by my friends who were over for dinner - well all except for Luke, my good two year old friend who liked the color but not the taste. I was surprised though when he actually tried and swallowed some fresh beet without the dressing. It was a spinach beet salad with a rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and hot chili sesame oil. I of course didn't measure and just dumped but about 4:1 vinegar to soy sauce and then just a little of the sugar and oil.

The red beets were from my garden. Um-mm...

The spinach was mandolin cut and then you tossed it together and added the dressing.

The next adventure happened after I visited the farmer's market that was located next to the 5K I ran on Saturday morning for Ohio Adaptive Sports. I purchased a few tomatillos and the lady at the booth says she likes to make a sauce with them and avocados, lucky for me I happened to have some on hand. Well I didn't really have a recipe and she said she uses sour cream which I didn't have, so I just threw some things together, I am not sure I could even tell you what. It turned out pretty good. I made some tortellini and ate it on top like a sauce. I also liked it with crackers.

And last of all with the cooler days, I made a salmon chowder. Nice and warm and filling.

Now one of these days I am going to have to try making clam chowder....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Vanilla Bean!!

Hanging with my sister in Cincinnati. We visited Findley Market for some fresh fruit and veggies, hit the bookstore - to peruse the fine literature (escaped with just a box of post cards I would say there was self control, but I am not sure there was or we wouldn't have post cards) --- and then to finish the day off we biked 22 miles on the Loveland Bike Trail (well technically The Little Miami National and State Scenic River and Trail) to finish off the day perfect. We tried to catch fireworks at the Roebling Bridge in the evening, but didn't find a parking spot fast enough after our fine dining of sweet corn, sweet potato fries, black bean and corn salad, and grapes, so we watched them from the car over the tops of buildings, hearing more than seeing, but we enjoyed a beautiful view from the far side of the Ohio River looking back at Cincinnati and two fine trips over the Roebling Bridge.

Sweet corn with a little olive oil and then some Herbes de Province.

Black beans, fresh corn, onion, lime juice, and a little pepper.

Sweet potato fries tossed with olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and Jane's crazy salt.

This morning Vanilla Bean fixed Blueberry Buckwheat pancakes and a fruit cup with watermelon and blueberries. She knows my weakness for blueberries.....

Then a quick trip to the Lentil Park in Hamilton, to see Robert McCloskey's Lentil and his dog from his children's book Lentil. Very pleasant despite the rain.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Strangely Inspired...

I am not sure what happened to me today, but I am not sure I have cooked so much for just anyhow since I was avoiding studying for finals in college. My guess it was either subconsciously avoiding thinking of my upcoming eye surgery and the housework I should be doing or just enjoying the arrival of spring and the first chance to cook up some rhubarb.

I made a batch of egg rolls, baked two blueberry rhubarb pies and cooked up some rhubarb salad all while sipping on someyerba mate - perhaps the reason I didn't peter out in the middle, although the clean up still looms and I am not sure I am going to find the energy to deal with that yet.....

I love rhubarb....

Although, I love blueberries even more, and this pie contains them both ... and yes it is my favorite....

In the oven and ready to bake, can't wait to enjoy!

Finished all that baking off with a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade - a zested lemon doesn't stay moist very long....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Late Night "Breakfast"

When the cats' are away, the mice.... err, kittens.... will play. (Don't worry mom, we cleaned up afterwards, I think.) The Colonel fixed eggs, while I made coffee. Yes, that is right I made coffee....and I hate to admit it, but I drank TWO cups - well my size cups, so maybe one cup.

I love veggies, especially in eggs.

Mom left hamburger in the fridge, it was a nice addition to our omelette.

I feel sorry for you, if the colonel has never made you an omelette, because he makes a very good omelette, always beautiful and delicious.

Indian Expresso Coffee, an interesting concoction. You mix instant coffee with plenty of sugar (2 TBSP:3TBSP) and then mix in a little milk (1 TBSP) and mix...and mix....and mix, until you have a nice thick paste. Then you take some of the paste, add a little milk (1/2 cup), microwave a little, stir well (yeah, Colonel, even if I forget to tell you to, you still need to) - till smooth, add a little more milk, microwave a little more, sprinkle with cocoa and cinnamon and ENJOY! I typically would say "as if that is possible", but I actually did kind of enjoy it.

My second cup....