Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday July 23, 2010

July is not the busiest cooking month for us which is always a bit frustrating because food is fantastic this time of year. Figs, greens, okra and herbs are coming from our own garden and the offerings from our friends at Path Valley Cooperative are extensive...I had a choice this week of 15 types of beets! We were happy to cook three times last week for enthusiastic eaters– 2 Home Restaurants and one Nomadic Restaurant. Below is the food and wine we served on Friday night.

Whitmore Farms chicken liver with garlic, lemon and fennel
Whitmore Farms scrambled eggs and sorrel
Whitmore Farms bbq rabbit
Whitmore Farms grilled goat on kohlrabi
Figs with cabbage and radish
Chilled beet soup with cauliflower
Stuffed squash blossom

Lavender Vodka Martini
(Cuilleron) ROSE 'Sybel' VDP des Collines Rhodaniennes 2009

Eco Friendly Foods beef sirloin with tiny potato, fermented grains, chives and parsley
(Pierre Gauthier) Bourgeuil "Vingt Lieux Dits" 2006

Purslane, tomato, peas, figs, green beans, corn, arugula and basil salad
(DeAngelis) Passerina DOC Offida 2009

Pacific black cod, okra, eggplant, carrot, blackened onion and baby red kale
(Regis Forey) Nuits Saint Georges AOC 2006

Ardrahan Cheese on a Walnut Cracker

Corn cake with raspberries, black berries, frozen maple syrup and caramelized pecans
(Tissot) Cremant du Jura "Indigene" NV

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday June 4, 2010

A friends husband contacted me a couple months ago asking if we would be doing a Home Restaurant on Friday June 4 because he wanted to surprise his wife with dinner at 1508 as a birthday gift. This seemed like a great reason to schedule an open Home Restaurant for that night. The rest of the guests who made reservations were a mix of old friends and others that we met for the first time on Friday night...all were first time Home Restaurant goers.

One of our guests generously offered to coordinate with our menu and Tom (who helps us select wines to match our food) and contribute wines for a couple courses. He made two excellent choices from wines he had in his cellar– the champagne for the passing and the pinot that we served with the Halibut course. Enjoyed by all, both were great additions to the meal.

Below is the menu with wine pairings...

Egg and Sorrel Mousse
Beet Noodles with French Breakfast Radish and Parsley
Barbeque Whitmore Farm Rabbit
Asparagus with Garlic Scapes and Basil
Chilled Baby Zucchini Soup with Black Rice Cream
Basil Lime Vodka Martini
Henriot Brut Milliseme Champagne 1996 (Magnum)


Eco Friendly Foods Sirloin with Pea Shoot, English Peas, Sno Peas and Small Tomatoes Salad
(Roucas Toumba) Vacqueyras "Cabassoles" 2007

Pasta with Black Truffles, Stinging Nettles, Squash Blossoms, Morels and Porcini
(Mestre-Michelot) Meursault "Narvaux" 2006

Pacific Halibut with Saffron Mashed Potatoes, Spinach, Fennel and Leeks
Ken Wright, Canary Hill, Pinot Noir 1999 (Magnum)

Tome de Recollets with Walnut Cracker

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Frozen Coconut and Candied Pistachio
(Grange Tiphaine) Nouveau Nez - Sparkling Montlouis 2008

Tiny Chocolate Birthday Cake with Candle and Small Cookies

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Farm at Walker Jones

After months of talking there was finally some digging...
Very Exciting!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Non Dairy Milk and Yogurt

We have a few cooking projects that we are working on this summer. We have made non dairy milk before but have never come up with a specific recipe that we could regularly make to have in our pantry in lieu of buying cartons of milk. This milk will now be incorporated into our larder.

Non-Dairy Milk:

2 cups cashews
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup pearled barley
1 cup brown rice

1.Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with 6 cups of boiling water. Let sit for 20 minutes to an hour.

2.Place oats, barley and rice in a large pot. Add 9 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 3 minutes. Cover mixture and let sit for 10 minutes. Letting this mixture sit longer will result in a thicker milk. Do not worry if the grains do not seem completely cooked they are ideal for extracting milk.

3.Place the grain mixture in a high power blender, I suggest at Vita Mix. Blend in batches for 30 seconds each. Strain mixture through a very fine strainer, discard the solid and keep the liquid.

4.Wash the blender thoroughly. Blend the cashew mixture until completely smooth and there is no remaining grainy-ness, about 2 minutes.

5.Combine the cashew and the grain mixture, chill your milk. This might be more of a cream like texture. If this mixture is too thick for your taste or desired use it can be thinned slightly with filtered water.

Non dairy yogurt has always been illusive because what is available at the market has lots of sugar. We are thrilled to have this as an option.

Non Dairy Yogurt:

9 cups non dairy milk (see recipe above)
1 cup yogurt starter (for first batch you can purchase any non dairy live yogurt for subsequent batches you can save 1 cup of your own yogurt to use as the starter) at room temperature

1.Heat milk to 110 degrees. Wisk in yogurt starter. Pour yogurt into glass or plastic containers, leaves lids ajar, partially covering the mixture but allowing air into the yogurt as well.

2.Let containers sit in a warm place at room temperature until yogurt reaches desired sourness and thickness. This will take anywhere from 8-20 hours. Cover with lids and refrigerate.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vegan Class, Thursday July 8th

Thursday morning a great group of women came over to 1508 to talk about vegan food, vegan cooking and then we sat down to eat what we had prepared…while continuing to talk.

Luckily Suzanne was part of the group and took notes to help document the discussion…

As everyone gathered I asked what had drawn them to spend a good part of the day talking about vegan food. The answers were varied but everyone was interested in at least incorporating more vegan food into their diets. This led to a discussion about how each of us needs to determine a way of eating that works for us as individuals. This method of eating needs to take into consideration your metabolism, lifestyle, desires, schedule…Basically each of us needs to determine what feels right.

While preparing and enjoying lunch we talked about, among other things:
-Nutrition, sources of protein (beans, nuts, grains)
-Satisfaction, nut purees were of great interest
-Seasonal Ingredient Driven Food, sources and availability
-Cooking Methods
1. Roast, grapeseed oil, salt and pepper
2. Pickle/Marinate (raw), salt, pepper, acid (vinegar or lemon juice) and oil
3. Boil or Soak (mostly grains or beans), salt and pepper
4. Seasoning, allium, herbs, spices, vinegars and oils
-Processed vegan food and how to avoid
-Sweeteners, vegan sugar, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, stevia
-Soy how much is good? How much is too much?
-Benefits of coconuts, especially young coconuts
-Setting up a vegan friendly pantry

Beforehand, John helped me prep a bunch of ingredients to facilitate the discussion and the lunch…
Grains (except where noted we cooked one cup of grains with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt)
Cracked wheat- pour 1 ½ cups hot water over and let sit until absorbed, about 5 minutes
Red lentils- bring to boil take off heat and let sit in water (drain sooner or later depending on desired texture)
Quinoa- cooking time depends on your desired final consistency
Brown rice- bring rice and 1 ½ cups water to boil, cover, turn to simmer, cook for 20 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Farro – cook until soft, about 15 minutes
Barley- cook until soft, about 15 minutes

Nuts (soaked in water for a couple hours and then pureed in Vita Mix Blender)

Seeds (made into dressings)
pumpkin seed dressing
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons water
½ teaspoon salt

sesame dressing
½ cup tahini
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Tomato, Fava Beans, English Pea, Sno Peas, Pea Shoots, Fennel, Leeks, Baby Beet with Greens, Carrots, Cucumbers, Purple and Yukon Gold Potatoes, Kohlrabi

While talking Thursday morning we prepared:
-walnut whole wheat bread, follow this link to a blog post I wrote about bread...the last paragraph has a recipe

-water soup, water, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, thyme, rosemary, sage, tiny potatoes and baby carrots

-red lentils with sorrel, farro and olive oil

-roasted baby purple and Yukon gold potatoes with pumpkin seed dressing and fresh chives

-roasted snow peas with barley, walnut vinegar and cider vinegar

-pursalane with kohlrabi, small tomatoes, fresh mint, parsley, lemon and olive oil

-roasted baby beets and tops with basil, balsamic and pistachio cream seasoned with pink Himalayan salt

-english peas, fava beans with cracked wheat, thyme, olive oil and sherry vinegar

-black and red raspberries with cashew cream (sweetened with maple syrup)

-oatmeal cookies
2 1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup soy, almond or rice milk
1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil
1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
(add anything...dark chocolate chips, dried fruit, spices, puree fresh herbs with sugar...)

1.Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix until about half of the oatmeal is broken into small pieces.
2.Bake individual cookies in a 350 degree oven until they are golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes.

-chocolate white poppy seed shortbread

-salty rosemary walnut biscotti, follow link for this recipe and other vegan cookies

Great way to spend the day. I look forward to more discussions like this in the future.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grandmothers Pink Peonies

These fabulous photos by Jennifer Domenick are from one of my June weddings. As I often say, I love doing flowers for weddings because of the collaboration. This wedding was just that...the brides bouquet and some of the other arrangements contained pink peonies from the brides grandmothers garden. The flower were carefully picked and wrapped by the brides mother who brought them to me to store until the wedding day (picked at marshmallow stage, wrapped in newspaper and stored in a cooler for a few weeks).

This wedding was the first time that I had worked with Jennifer Domenick of Love Life Images. The images below are stunning, to see more from the wedding check out Jennifer's blog posting about the event.

Thank you to Aimee and Danielle who I adore working with from Aimee Dominick events, as usual they took care of every detail–