GatroPorn Menu: July.2013

GatroPorn Menu: July.2013

It is getting far too hot outside for my tastes. Mid-90’s and the humidity is on the rise. I keep forgetting every spring that my hair does not do well in humidity and so I don’t preemptively get it cut in time for the great *poof* that becomes my hair in the DC summers. And in addition to that the temperature of one’s food can make a difference to the comfort levels in this god-awful heat.

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas because I often associate the two holidays with a large amount of cooking and eating and partying. I’m not the greatest fan on the patriotic holidays because the types of foods do not create insane food memories of intense bliss in my head. But there are still foods that can excite my palate during the summer holidays… Here is a menu with a few of them along with a couple new items I’m keen to try this month:

Boozy Sweet Tea

“Boozy Sweet Tea” from Dessert for Two
(Click HERE for “Peach-Infused Moonshine” Recipe)

Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad

“Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad” from Food & Wine

New Potato Salad with Garlic Mayonnaise and Cress

“New Potato Salad with Garlic Mayonnaise and Cress” from JamieOliver.com

Mediterranean Sliders

“Mediterranean Sliders” from Athenos (there’s something to be said for good advertising!)

Vegetable Kebabs

“Vegetable Kebabs” from Epicurious

Berry & Fruit Popsicles

“Berry & Fruit Popsicles” from Call Me Cupcake!

Ice Cream Week: “Olive Oil Gelato” (Day 7)

Olive Oil Gelato

“Olive Oil Gelato” from Saveur

Some time ago, back during the aftershocks of almost ending up in a very bad situation in Chad, I went with my mom to Jaleo in DC with another lady who was giving me tips on getting a job in foreign aid. My resume looks good for that type of work. Unfortunately I know I would hate it. I love traveling. I love helping others. And I really do want to be of use to the world. But that just really isn’t my niche.

All that personal junk aside… I remember that when we were there the most interesting thing on the menu for us was the “Olive Oil Ice Cream”. My mom thinks it will taste horrible. I think it could be interesting. But we never actually ordered it and so we still have no end to the debate. I recently finished up my good quality olive oil that I had around so I might need to buy a small amount of something really nice to try and make this gelato but I’m for sure going to give it a try. And I might try doing it as an ice cream as well because I would like to see the difference between the two with using a rather simple ingredient (which is also complex in flavor) like olive oil.

And that concludes the Foodie Nation’s Ice Cream Week! Hope you all enjoyed and are getting your regular dose of frozen goodies wherever you and whatever the weather might be.

Ice Cream Week: The Scoop (“Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream”)

Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream

“Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream” from Deliceux

This is the official announcement that I am finally the owner of my very own ice cream maker. If you remember, last summer I intended to buy one and just… well I didn’t. And I still haven’t. Here’s the scoop (and no I’m not above a few puns every once in a while).

I was down having lunch in the ol’ English department with a beloved professor (who is, funny enough, the only professor in the department that I never actually took a class from) last week and we got to talking about making stuff yourself. Root beer is the one I’m planning to try next. I’m pretty sure I actually have all the equipment and ingredients at home so more on that adventure later. But I mentioned that I had been planning to get an ice cream maker but had just never made it far enough in the process where I actually owned one. And so, in the midst of all this, he jumped on the office computer and on Friday afternoon when I returned from running errands with my dear maman there is was… Under the big box of reading books I had ordered for all the professors teaching for my program next year, there it was…

First thing I did was a quick read through of the instructions and all that care and keeping stuff then into the freezer it went until Saturday when I made up a very simple vanilla bean custard with whole milk, eggs-yolks, a little sugar, and a whole vanilla bean. There was no room in the fridge to chill the custard so into an ice bath it went and as soon as it was cool enough. Wwhhhhhiirrrrrrrrrrrthunkwhirrrrrrrrrthunkwhrrrrrr…. Yeah there was a drip in the freezer or something weird and this line of ice dribbled down the inside of the barrel and made this bad thunking sound so that had to be fixed before continuing. Then it was scraped (carefully, because grabbing a frozen metal barrel with your bare hands is almost never ever a good idea) into a container and put back in the freezer while company filtered into the living room for a viewing of “The Hobbit” which I had bought my mummy for Mother’s Day. She had to work while we were watching the movie but she was at least in the room with us and somewhat interacting.

We had our ice cream (which was still rather soft but like I cared. I mean I had just made ice cream at home in my brand new ice cream maker) with brownies and a few leftover mini apple pies I had made on Friday. And as soon as I had managed to clean out the machinery without there being a frozen residue on it I popped it back in the freezer (which is impressively not too full for me to do that) and on Sunday I made an overly ginger-y “Rose & Candied Ginger” “Gelato” with just milk that had been attemptedly cooked down a little. I’m not actually sure how that process works but I don’t think I did it quite right. The product turned out just fine, though, if not too spicy from me using about a 1/2 cup of ginger to make an extract and then candying the remaining bits and adding them in.

But the weather is getting warmer, not that this has ever been a factor in my ice cream/frozen treat consumption, and so I’m declaring this the first (of many) Ice Cream Week in the Foodie Nation!

We start off with the above ice cream from Delicieux: “Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream” and will continue with a new recipe that I find to try every day this week.

GastroPorn Menu: June.2013

GastroPorn Menu: June.2013

It’s getting warm and slightly uncomfortable weather wise but things are also growing in the garden and we’re planning to get an umbrella for our back yard so we can actually enjoy our outdoor furniture. Now if only my back yard looked a little something like this:

Santorini-blue-and-white-paradise

This month’s menu is inspired by a little Mediterranean Island sun. Meant to be enjoyed outside with with lots of loud friends and family.

Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme

“Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme” From Leite’s Culinaria

Beefsteak Tomato Salad

“Beefsteak Tomato Salad” from Martha Stewart

Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta

“Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta” from Martha Stewart

Mini Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt

“Mini Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt” from Applemint

Zucchini Patty Sandwiches

“Zucchini Patty Sandwiches” from Whole Living

Lamb

“Lamb” from Joseph De Leo Photography

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Lime Dip

“Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Lime Dip” from Our Best Bites

Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake

“Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake” from Simple Provisions

Honey-Ricotta Turnovers

“Honey-Ricotta Turnovers” from Martha Stewart

Gan Bei!

"The Persian Princess" by Tanya Zouev

“The Persian Princess” by Tanya Zouev on The Cook Who Knew Nothing

Welcome to the weekend my Foodie Nation!!!! Mine started yesterday but I have a feeling yours did not so this one is for all you harder working people that have to figure out how to look busy on Fridays to the point where you just end up exhausting yourselves.

I was browsing about the grandness of the internet (stuck to the GASTROporn this time) and found a lovely post about martinis. And they all looked just so yummy and appropriate for the heat that’s going on in the outdoor areas. So check them out! (You click on the pretty photo above. Just as usual.)

Business. Serious Business.

Foodie Nation…. you know I’ve got my struggles with the Bean Juice. I wake up in the morning and I almost automatically just make coffee even if I know I shouldn’t be having any. But even with all my cravings I still won’t lower myself to a bad cup of coffee. I have some serious limits there.

During our Mother’s Day lunch a few weeks ago I had carefully made the coffee in the french press and set it on the counter to steep when one of my cousins (whom I love dearly) decided that playing with the plunger bit looked like fun and just started pumping it up and down. There’s were actual gasps from the company and I shouted across the room for her to cease and desist immediately… which she didn’t do. When the horror had ended and she had gotten the talk from someone, I was in too much shock to tell from who, we asked her “What were you thinking?! Why would you do that?!”. Her response was “It was fun…”

ARGH!

Now my dad tells me I’m not allowed to be picky and all “uppity” about my coffee because I’m just not and he’s wrong. He also commits some pretty horrifying offenses against the art of making coffee and it drives me nuts. He comes from a land where coffee is ground into a superfine powder and steeped directly in the cup it is to be drunk from. The “silt” settles to the bottom of the cup and all is well. I have had some pretty awful tasting Indonesian coffee. It tasted burnt and bitter and in one case it was sour… SOUR. I’m not saying there aren’t people who don’t think that’s just the epitome of food engineering but I’m gonna just put my hand up and say “Thanks…. But no thanks.”

The photo above comes from “The Biggest Coffee Brewing Mistakes Slideshow” on The Daily Meal and the slideshow covers the basics. If you are concerned that you might be making your coffee wrong I highly suggest you check it out. I’ve been lax in some of my coffee bean keeping methods but lately with the workplace being what it is and my need to retreat into the safety of the Dreamtime more than is medically advisable I’ve been polishing off a Costco sized bag of Mayorga’s Cafe Cubano pretty quickly. Not in a week but fast enough that I’m not losing much on the flavor by the time it’s ready to go and buy a new one. Also, I’m pretty sure this particular coffee is magic and can easily replace several prescription drugs.  Mayorga coffe: migraine and anti-depressant in one delicious cup!

Drink up me Foodies! There’s is a full day of pillaging ahead…

Photo from Desde my Ventana