Thursday, June 24, 2010

hummus and pita

For me, the thing about cooking is that it never gets old. I try something new, and I'm honestly surprised that it works and that it tastes great. Then I realize that all this time I've been buying these items when I could have been making them myself. Each singular success is enough to keep me going, to keep looking through cookbooks for other projects or flavor combinations. So if you looked inside my fridge, you'd see that I now make many things from scratch instead of buying them already processed; pesto, tapenade, pie crust, mayonaisse, salad dressings, hummus, tortillas, ricotta cheese, lemonade, iced tea. Yes, it's more convenient to buy these things regularly, but it's much tastier and confidence boosting to realize that I am, and you are, able to do them yourself.

My latest project was pita bread, introduced to me as a home baking idea by a recent visit with Kate @ the Dinner Chronicles. Baking any kind of bread makes me nervous. Like I've said before, yeast is alive. It could overtake me or my children or my kitchen. I force myself to do it the way I'm told you're supposed to face your fears.

This recipe is wonderful because in the morning you can decide you're in the mood for pita and you can get it done by lunch. After making one batch for lunch, I put the rest of the balled dough into the fridge overnight. Last night I brought the dough up to room temperature and made the remainder with dinner.

Pita bread recipe at the Fresh Loaf

What's pita without hummus? I used recipe below at Saveur. Instead of boiling and soaking dried beans, I simply used two cans of chickpeas. It includes tahini - which you can omit if you don't have any in the pantry.

Hummus with Tahini at Saveur

Saturday, June 19, 2010

final meal in DC

Tapas and sangria make me happy. Giddy even.
Especially being fed by my baby.

Jose Andres is the man. This is not your run-of-the-mill tapas. Click the picture above to check out the menu.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Central : Michel Richard

A family trip to DC is a wonderful excuse to get some good east coast grub. On a previous trip to DC my husband and I had hit Citronelle, the fancier sister restaurant of CENTRAL. I knew that I wanted to try to get to this one if the schedule allowed. Central's Michel Richard is a rare genius. As if an appetizer itself, a slideshow of pictures from his cookbook (read: food porn) flashes above the lounge seating.
Famous gougeres

Soft shell crab tempura

Shroomwich - tastes as good as the cookbook looks. Phenomenal.

The sauces of every dish are what bump them from great to stellar. Cheese sauce for the shroomwich, basil oil for the burrata salad, tartar for the crab topped with fresh pickled cucumber slices, ginger mayo for the fries. The layers and dimensions are outstanding and imaginative. Contemporary American comfort food at its best. This lunch is reason enough to get yourself to Washington, D.C. Or at least get a copy of Happy in the Kitchen (one of my favorites) and prepare to be amazed.

-- Posting From My iPhone

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I have a weakness for the character that is Anthony Bourdain. I haven't yet read his new book, but this clip on Borders Media is a wonderful interview with the chef and author to celebrate the upcoming book. What I love most about this is that Tony has conversations with all of my favs over at Kerrytown, Bob at Sparrow, Tracklements, & Mike at Monahan's. Throw the farmer's market in there, and basically you have my Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

chocolate pie and a new hobby

There are many other BETTER things I should be doing now instead of blogging. It's my five year old pixie's birthday today. Birthdays do not make themselves around here. Lasagna was requested, and is now baking away in the oven. Chocolate pie was also requested. This is a deviation from the typical cake, and I don't know exactly what the diva means by chocolate pie. So I'm risking it a little with an oreo crust (one whole package of newman oreos food processed with half of a stick of melted butter, baked for 10 min at 400 degrees) filled with Julia Child's MtAoFC chocolate mousse. It's delicious, but let's hope that it passes for her mental version of "chocolate pie".

With all I have to do tonight, I would not simply blog about those normal happenings. I'm writing today to explain that I have started another hobby that I've been wanting to pick up... beekeeping. It fits right in with the rest of the menagerie, fits in metaphorically, but fits in about as far away from the house as possible.

looks like we lost one in transit -
but if there's only one dead stinger out of the 10,000 in there I think we've made out well

Thanks to Carl! With any luck, we should have honey in the fall!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

friday's strawberry picking leads to ...

saturday morning pancakes topped with sliced strawberries

strawberry rhubarb pie

old fashioned strawberry jam

strawberry vodka (to be consumed in a few days)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I love it in any form. I do. Around here we tend to cook it, for example, quickly sauteed with garlic over pasta, or gratined with parmesan and cream...or my favorite, kale chips (tossed with olive oil and kosher salt and baked at 400 for 15 minutes or until crispy). But I've recently come to discover that it is so enjoyable eaten raw in a salad. Plum market makes a wonderfully refreshing kale salad with raspberries, blackberries, mandarin oranges and a light citrus vinigrette. This is what turned me on to experimenting with kale in salads at home.

Tonight it was great, thinly julienned and tossed with pine nuts, pecorino romano, extra virgin olive oil, white vinegar, salt and pepper.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Found in a2 :: comet coffee

THE best cappucino in town. Foam so smooth it'll give you goosebumps. This is not a mass marketed dumbed down coffee experience. Clearly the goal at Comet coffee is excellence, no, superiority. And they have achieved it.

Check them out in Nickels Arcade.

-- Posting From My iPhone

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Taste of A2

You have about 90 minutes left of this year's Taste of Ann Arbor. It's a blast, although a little crowded. Just hold on to the hands of your little ones very tightly. Seems like they could have used three blocks instead of two- maybe next year. Here are a few shots from today's lunch experience.

Tomato mozzarella salad from Gratzi

fried ravioli from Palio

Chocolate covered pancetta

Fish taco from Black Pearl

Scallop & shrimp skewer from Great Seafood Co

enjoyed but not pictured::
  • Shalimar samosa & paneer wrapped around baby corn
  • BW3 wings
  • Blue Nile spiced beef and mild chicken crepe, spiced iced tea
  • Dolce Vita chocolate strawberry
  • TeaHaus Black iced tea
  • Cupcake Station red velvet mini's

Thursday, June 03, 2010

garden update

I know this really belongs in my 2010 garden chronicles, but I can't help myself. I'm not sure enough people click over there in the sideline. So I'll put it here too.


lettuce - 6 varities, spinach, leek, dill, hot pepper, arugula, green bean


rhubarb, carrot, artichoke, parsley, cucumber, blackberry


arugula, latin kale, eggplant, sweet miniature pepper, tomato (various kinds), thyme, garlic chive, rosemary, celery, mint


corn, fennel, blueberry, radicchio, basil, raspberry


asparagus, jalepeno, radish, zucchini, broccoli, swiss chard, rhubarb, lima bean, thyme


potato, bay, okra, sweet pea, watermelon (3 of four seedlings have died off), lemongrass, sweet pepper, nasturtium, tomatillo, garlic chive, beet (homegrown seedlings didn't make it), quinoa (this will be a first), pumpkin

the eternal question

Everyone needs ideas for meals, whether you're a chef and want professional inspiration or are just trying to squeak by with basic knowledge.

Here's a list of some great online resources. Please leave a comment if you know of any others.

What the f**k should I make for dinner?

Yes, someone's answered this question for you... finally.

This week for dinner
Another blogger tackling menu issues...

Food on the table
for the type-A's...

Dinner Feed
a local Ann Arbor-ite answers the question with an RSS feed or twitter tweet

want to work around one ingredient? search here.

FoodieView: weekly meal plan
want an entire week's worth of meals?

Dinner tonight @ Kitchen Daily
fabulous for you visual learners

Of course, there's always The Last Bite list of what's for dinner?.