My colleague brought me a dozen fresh eggs from her chickens. Thanks S.
I loved how each egg had a date written on the end. I made an omelet this Saturday morning with some Cabot Creamery Extra Sharp White Cheddar. Maybe a tad too much butter. Couldn’t cook and photograph with the cell phone simultaneously. I was told you want “sound” when the eggs hit the pan.
I know the chickens are well cared for and eat organic feed. Fresh eggs make the best omelet. It was delicious. If I were a true photographer I would have made a neater looking one and photographed it again but no one else around to eat the wrinkled one. I went on Google images to see how my omelet fares by comparison and I think it is fine. These eggs are too precious to waste.
Yes, a little too much butter. Eat the toast with jam no butter due to excess amount on the eggs!
Hiding the imperfect folds with the farm grain bread toast. Now to polish the French PepperMill that was a wedding gift in 1974.
Late Sunday afternoon, I drove across the river to shop for dinner ingredients and some fruit for lunches this week. The larder was looking a bit sparse. It was either go shop or eat another grilled cheese and/or egg sandwich. M and I had just talked on the phone, earlier in the day about wanting a real meal. She was thinking Thanksgiving like. I opted for meat and potatoes.
At the meat counter I asked the butcher for two petite steaks (on sale). Not too big. It’s funny about meat. Sometimes it actually turns me and I can’t even think about eating it, and other times I am actually craving a serving. It was one of those days of wanting it. Not thinking about it having a face.
Came home and sautéed an organic yellow onion in some Amish butter and then sliced up a box of fresh mushrooms. Baby Romaine salad with Steve’s favorite brown Clamato tomato( I swear they look chocolate) and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Garlic smashed Russets.
After I plated the food, I used the phone to capture the dinner. Feeling ready for the start of a new week, fortified.
It was snowing and really cold. I actually pulled over,got out of the car and took this pictureI. I was headed home from school on Friday.
The idea of going to the regular grocery store was out of the question although the larder was fairly empty. Had to stop somewhere.
I was in the Bloomfield neighborhood and decided to shop at Groceria Italiana and pick up some essentials.
When I got home I cooked the sweet and hot sausage and added the house sauce I had purchased. (Chicago John avert your eyes- if you click his name you get a recipe for homemade meat sauce)
Snow in the door mat!
This is the first meal I ate in Zagreb when I visited Matty. I must have had the spoon in my hand when I took the photo?
Thought this bowl of hot soup looked inviting for this way below freezing January night. I shot all those vacation pics with a Canon 20D and I miss that camera. The shutter eventually failed and I even had it repaired but it failed again. I just liked that camera.
The only problem is that they are resting in my DIL’s fridge in Ohio and I am back in Pittsburgh. The temperature going down to nine and I am thinking SOUP!
I just got a kick out of the label from their market. Soup BONES?
I had never heard the rinds called soup bones and it struck me funny. I use a rind in my minestrone and it really adds to the body of the soup flavor. Any be any soup will do.
and a prettier shot with the lid off
After school let out, I drove down to Homestead from Carrick. Judith and Daniel extended a warm welcome and we caught up. I hadn’t been there in awhile but was so glad I went.
I had my Christmas list and wanted to support my Independent Kitchen Store.
First, I ordered the 4 cheese pasta bake with a side of sautéed spinach at the Tin Front Cafe. where I sat at the old Chioda’s bar. The restaurant is vegetarian. A lovely Spring mix salad with balsamic dressing and asiago cheese shavings, a slice of crusty bread.
Yum. I heard about the up and coming new restaurants coming to the avenue in Homestead. Judith showed me the special honor in the Pittsburgh Magazine. Her son, Daniel Valentine, was recognized for his work to rebuild and revitalize Homestead and was chosen as a winner in the Forty Under Forty awards.
“Winners were chosen based on their passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and overall impact on the region.”
You might remember I blogged a visit to both places when Laura visited Pittsburgh.
Supporting independents! Scroll down and see the specials on USA Pans- Bakeware manufactured in Ambridge PA!
Buy three (any shape) and get a free jelly roll pan. (I love jelly roll.) Everyone needs a new cookie sheet!
I can’t say what I bought as that would be a spoiler. You can call Judith 1-800-862-6639 and she’ll ship out in time for the holidays.
All- Clad is manufactured in Canonsburg PA, just down the road from Pittsburgh.
Judith has a Holiday Special on an All-Clad 3 quart lidded saute pan for just 99$! WOW! I love cooking with my All-Clad pans.
This is the store where I bought my Nespresso machine before the display was so high speed.
I hear George Clooney is advertising them on TV in France, oui?
Check out the elegant and classy Museum of Modern Art flower vase. Understated and stunning.
Love the quirky clocks! A 3 cup steamed pudding mold. The Twoolies and the Riviera Bags are one of a kind gifts.
Shop YOUR Independent Store today. Now to gift wrap everything………………..
You’ve read their comments on my blogs. Flat Ruthie has been fortunate to have been hosted by all three bloggers.
I’ve posted links to their photographs and recipes for some wonderful dishes.
It’s summer vacation and I’ve a bit more time on my hands. Have a plan to try some new recipes and what better way than to experiment with fellow bloggers posts of beautiful and delicious dishes.
And my daughter-in-law’s kitchen makes me feel like I’m on a cooking show! Six burner stove and all.
When I forwarded her the recipe for Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Citrus she agreed it would be good for dinner and we had all the ingredients, including fresh tarragon from her garden. You can get the recipe at Rufus Food and Spirits Guide and see a great looking photo of Greg’s Roast Chicken. I am already behind as yesterday Katherine posted a Blue Crab Dip recipe and today it is stuffed zucchini. I can’t keep up!
And a nod to Chicago John as I attempted to make the garlic cloves fall onto my keyboard but was unsuccessful! (see his posts of berries and an earlier one of peas at his blog From the Bartolini Kitchens ) Watch for a future post as I make homemade pasta for the first time.
Food photography is a challenge unless I’m just shooting what I’m eating. When I try to set something up, think too much about it and what I am trying to accomplish, it’s stressful.
People as subjects seem easier than assembled ingredients.
By the way the aroma alone is worth the cooking effort for this recipe.
Divine! and delicious. The kids loved it! So thanks to Greg and Katherine and Chicago John.
Just last Thursday I ate dinner at a friend’s and she told me that someone told her, “Butter is love.”
A year ago this month the butter sculptor and “butter cow lady” from Iowa, Norma Lyon, passed away and her obituary is in the New York Times.
The butter in this photo was captured in early April. When we lived in Germany the commissary sold Danish butter and I see my family buying Irish butter these days.
What’s your favorite butter?
My mother never cooked one. (she was from Durand, Illinois.)
I can’t remember ever tasting one. An unsophisticated palate or a cultural deficiency?
But I’ve been pondering eels for three days now-and all the people in my life have been talking about food and diets a lot. No one mentioned eels.
I was driving along in the car, listening to the radio and the voice of author, James Prosek, was talking eels and the fascinating book he’s written about them. I mean, this guy knows EVERYTHING about eels.
And I got to thinking how I feel about eels. The eating of them. When you’re driving a couple of hours, you think about all kinds of things. You’ve got time. And as I said it’s three days later and I am still pondering eels?
Now eels, their habits and lives aren’t something I’ve thought much about until I heard him interviewed. I found a link for Vintage Recipes for eel and the title Collared Eel isn’t something I’ve heard come up on anyone’s food blog recently. Maybe eel is part of your Christmas Eve dinner? Lots of Pittsburghers are talking about eating more fish cause it’s Lent. I’m thinking they’re referring to Fish Sandwiches, not eels.
Here is a photo I shot at the Zagreb Fish Market when I was visiting a few years ago. Some eels.
How do you feel about eels?
Here’s the book title
See an EEL restaurant at a fellow blogger’s post here
Time for a new oven…..
And stove. (from Perla’s Appliance Plus Maytag Repairman statue post yesterday)
It was time! Past time. It actually went kaput the day before the cookie bake off in December. Fortunately Erika’s Uncle and Aunt own the appliance store and they came right over to deliver on a SUNDAY!
This model certainly livens up the old kitchen. And matches the range hood.
I felt a little sad about discarding the one my parents had bought when we moved into this house in ’91. But it wasn’t reliable anymore. Who knows how many meals I cooked for the kids on that one. A lot!
This one looks “high end” to me. But it’s not. (Well, from afar it does to the untrained eye)
The stainless finish is an update from the white enamel and black top. Those burners seem so flimsy compared to these cast iron ones.
My sister had just given me an oven thermometer after her visit here in the fall. She knew something was wrong. My signature cookies had to be pitched as the insides weren’t baked.
This is my justification for the splurge. I think it will inspire me to cook more!
Not sure why all the blue reflection but took this with the iPhone as I made breakfast. Seemed worthy of a post as it is what is happening in my life these days. Now to learn more about a convection oven.
You have to be vigilant. Pay attention, non-stop. We were all in the same room, together.
No one saw her with the salt shaker. Gone wild.
But I had to photograph it when I noticed it in the morning as we cleaned up after movie night. Hers was the pink bowl. The morning light through the back door caught the colors.
This just in- I had dinner in Arkansas and looks like good luck will be with me in 2012 as I am chowing down on some Black Eyed Peas. ”Cardboard me” showed up in Greg and Katherine’s kitchen. Check it out on their blog here
Oh why didn’t I bring the 70-200 lens this weekend? And even if I had, who could have switched it if it were in the camera bag and not on the camera body? Looked out the window to see how the weather was and what a surprise! This hawk was sitting out on top of the swingset and as I slid the glass door open, trying to be so quiet, I was sure he would fly away. I got two shots off and his head moved and he flapped twice and was gone in a flash. Looked up Ohio hawks online and this one seems to be an immature Cooper’s Hawk. He was definitely looking for breakfast. He heard the shutter on the camera, turned his head and was gone.
And that was the planned post for Monday, already set up to go.
Then I get a comment from Joanne in Nebraska (Sunday’s Hot Air Balloons) and a special request for the five lasagnas pic so here they are and a link to the Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe by Giada Di Laurentis, 3rd from the left. We omitted the nutmeg from the Butternut Squash recipe- why? we didn’t have any. Aunt Mary cooked all five with some assembly assistance by Anna and Michael. The lasagnas were accompanied by Garlic Bread and salad and fresh fruit. Here is the ground sausage and meat recipe- omitted the sugar and the fennel seeds from this recipe. The four veg lasagnas were the most popular! Anna wrote labels for each one. Many guests tried a sampler of a few of them. Butternut Squash was a favorite.
Wednesday’s mail brought a box with holes punched in it. I knew no one was shipping a guinea pig to me.
The postmark was Okanogan WA- It was a box of Chesnok Red (originally from From Shvelisi, Republic of Georgia) David had packed it in gray egg carton parts, They arrived in perfect shape.
When I spoke to David on the phone he was hoping that Mary and I would cook with it for Laura’s Bridal Shower in Columbus. We’re making lasagne. He told me it’s Hardneck garlic (can’t braid it, Greg- you can see Greg braid his garlic harvest here)
This particular type is supposed to be great baking garlic. I shared some with my neighbor as he is a great cook.
David told me about the organic farm where he got the original seeds to plant years ago. Filaree Garlic Farm. They have photos and descriptions of the different types of garlic and you can get a catalog. Planting season is real soon. Last week of September, first week of October for Okanogan’s zone.
I sat on my side porch and photographed the beautiful purple striped skins. Thought about our brother David and we’ll be thinking of him as we cook and eat this wonderful harvest.
When I saw this recipe for Stuffed Eggplant on Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide, I left a comment- something to the effect of oh, that looks sooo delicious and I am going to try it. I comment a lot on Greg and Katherine’s colorful and tasty blog and am inspired by their food photography and writing. So when Steve and I went to Aunt Linda’s to drop off Jackie’s dishes, Aunt Linda gave me a perfect eggplant from her garden along with some gorgeous fresh tomatoes. What better day could there be to make this recipe? This is what mine looked like before I baked it.
Yes, it was different from the photo on the blog but I baked it up as someone was in town and going to stop by at 6 to dine. Six came and six fifteen and then six thirty and I didn’t want to overbake the eggplant so took it out of the oven and it sat on top of the stove. I made a salad. I waited. Sliced some bread. I started a large pot of water. When it boiled, I threw in a box of DeCecco Penne and then I cut up the entire baked stuffed eggplant and added it to the cooked pasta. Still no sign of a guest! Almost seven. I put it in a huge skillet and tossed it around and the garlic and basil smell was amazing. Guest arrived. Finally we were able to dine and it was quite good served out of the white pasta bowls. I am going to make it again. Just today someone sent a message that they made it from the post I put up to the link on FB. YUM is all I can say. Thank Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide blogfriends. That link will take you to the Zucchini Fritters recipe as well!
Keep or Pitch post back in business, too.
Steve and I went to Laura’s this evening. She baked a vegetable Tian (click here for Ina Garten’s recipe)t was delicious on a cold winter night. I lay on Laura’s couch under an afghan my Grandmother Hendricks knit .
Talking to my sister(NYC) Sunday morning I asked her the best way to warm the brioche from Saturday. She responded French Toast! and so while we talked on speakerphone I made it and it was so good. Had never made it out of brioche before although have seen it on a menu. Soak. Saute in heavy pan with a bit of butter and oil. Eat with warmed maple syrup or jam.
A chill in the air, the leaves start to turn. October 4th is a good day. My DIL was born. She would rather eat a bowl of soup than a piece of cake. Happy Birthday Erika ! I watched my friend Roberta make this pot of minestrone Friday night. Fragrant, nourishing, delicious. We all ate a bowl and had some Hearth Bread from Whole Foods and it was a great kickoff for the beginning of soup season. I photographed it on my kitchen table in one of my mother’s bowls. The recipe is from The Best Recipe Cookbook by the editors of COOK’S ILLUSTRATED. Follow the recipe to the letter and you will be surprised. It is a different method and has no garlic unless you add it in the pesto or Rosemary mixture at the end. The key to the recipe success is the real Parmesan Cheese Rind.
2 small leek washed thoroughly, white and light green sliced thin crosswise
2 medium carrots peeled and cut small dice
2 small onions peeled and small dice
2 medium celery stalks trimmed and cut small dice
1 medium russet potato peeled and medium dice
1 medium zucchini trimmed and medium dice
3 c stemmed spinach leaves cut in thin strips
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained and chopped
1 Parmesan cheese rind about 5×2 inches
1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed, added last 5 minutes
ground black pepper
at end add 1/4 c basil pesto or 1 T rosemary mixed with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and extra- virgin olive oil
Bring vegetables tomatoes and 8 cups of water, cheese rind and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a big soup kettle or pot.
Reduce hear to medium low simmer uncovered, stir occasionally,until vegetables are tender but still hold their shape about an hour.
Add beans and cook just until heated through about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
Remove and discard cheese rind. Stir in pesto or Rosemary mixture if desired and adjust seasonings adding pepper or more salt if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
If you want to add pasta be sure to cook separately, drain and put in soup bowl, then ladle soup over it so it doesn’t suck up all the broth.
You feel fortunate when you receive an invitation to dine in someone’s home. It doesn’t happen that often these days. Sharing a meal and conversation is the best. But when your new neighbors entertain their parents who are visiting Pittsburgh from Spain and the mother cooks for the meal, you are really lucky. The menu was fish balls! Albondigas de Pescado ( I hope I spelled it correctly). Delicious! Rice and green salad, a crusty bread, Spanish wine, followed by pie with whipped cream. Oh my. You wish your grade school Spanish was more than two sentences. And a house next door that has sat empty for at least five years, no lights on all this time, has new life and new friends and it feels good to be home.
UCONN-Rome dining hall Grillmeister cooking five omelettes simultaneously, while the fillings heat up under the small paper plates we’d each handed him with our filling choices. His cooking skill was something to watch. We had waited all week to get in the omelette line and today was the day. Well worth the short wait. Back to oatmeal tomorrow before we leave.
Rigatoni alla Vodka Spaghetti alla Rucola (Arugula) Tagliatelle Zucchini When we arrived Anna had bruschetta made on grilled bread, a plate of verdi and Kalamata olives and two cheeses for appetizer placed on a table waiting for us. She poured a glass of wine for each of us, red or white. A bottle of water, too. She demonstrated all three dishes and then each of us got to choose and make one by ourselves. The four of us made the Rigatoni with the Vodka Sauce. Watching all the work behind the scenes in the restaurant kitchen was impressive. When Anna prepared each dish it looked effortless. The combination of the ingredients makes each dish taste perfect! She had the recipes printed and tied together so we could add more recipes from another class. We ate AND took home leftovers. Delicious. We learned a lot about different olives, cheeses, pastas, olive oil, how to dice an onion without crying. All the classes are held 12:30 so we were finished in time for them to get ready for the evening service. What a satisfying way to spend a winter afternoon.
Next class February 27th. La Cucina Flegrea 2114 Murray Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412)521-2082