Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Hey, before we get on to the food…in case you didn’t notice, the freakin’ sun came out, finally!  July 5th marks the first day without any rain since I think I can remember, or at least since, like, the beginning of June.  So, everyone molding in New England can now begin to dry out.  Hallelujah!

Now…for this week’s OLS meal: barbeque chicken pizza!  


Photo taken after the first servings were enjoyed!

Photo taken after the first servings were enjoyed!

It’s not exactly a “garden meal,” but for a stormy, damp July 4th, it was perfect.  We had leftover barbeque chicken, which we had glazed with some great sauce from Stonewall Kitchen (Mainers, ‘eh), and some fresh mozzarella in the fridge.  I used the America’s Test Kitchen pizza bianca recipe for the crust (registration required at ATK site).  So far, this is my favorite homemade crust recipe.  

Natives: King Arthur Flour*, Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle Barbeque Sauce, chicken,VT mozzarella (sorry, can’t remember the farm name), garlic scapes, parsley.

From Away: Olive oil, yeast, salt, pepper.  

*King Arthur Flour is an employee-owned company that produces flour in Vermont.  The wheat is not from New England, but I consider the flour as local as I’m going to get at this point!


Read Full Post »

My apologies to all the good people organizing One Local Summer ’09.  I’ve been a slacker, slacker, slacker!

I should say, we are still eating out of our freezer.  It’s June, and we’re still supplementing the first of the green stuff with frozen beans, corn and zucchini.  A month or so ago I figured I’d gone overboard freezing stuff last summer; now I’m grateful!

So, by way of contrition, I offer three meals for the good of the order!

First, smoked Rock Farm ribs, slow-baked Meadow’s Mirth Jean’s beans and an apple-rhubarb pie:


For goodness sakes, folks, have you made a pie crust with lard yet? Have ya?

The locals: Ribs, beans, apples, rhubarb, honey, butter, lard, flour 

From away: Salt, spices, molasses, sugar.


Next, a grill-roasted local chicken with Maine russets and zucchini from the freezer:


The highlight of this meal (besides the yummy chicken) was the fresh dill and chives from the yard!

The locals: Chicken, zucchini, potato, honey, dill, chives, butter

From away: Salt, pepper, soy sauce, olive oil.


After our first CSA pickup, I used arugula in a little pesto for a steak:


I have to say, I don't love arugula (I've tried, leave me alone). But in a pesto with some pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil, it's pretty okay on a perfectly cooked, lean steak!

The locals: Rock Farm steak, arugula, butter, lemon-thyme, parsley and chives from the yard (starring in the herbed pasta).

From away: Olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan, salt, pepper, pasta


So, for those of you still following along – thanks for sticking with me!  I’ll check in again soon!


Read Full Post »

…the food is growing again!

Tonight’s dinner:

  • Frittatas with local eggs, bacon, cheese and milk
  • ASPARAGUS from a science teacher at school
  • Salad with lettuce from the Family/Consumer Science teacher’s kitchen garden in the school courtyard

Thanks, Spring!

Read Full Post »


What is it about a chocolate chip cookie that drives us to try recipe after recipe, forever pursuing chocolate chip perfection?

Whatever it is, the May/June (yes, that’s right, May/June) issue of Cooks’ Illustrated includes a tweaked version of the classic Toll House Cookie recipe that immediately caught my eye in my search for Shangri-La.

I shoudl say that I did not jump on the NYT Chocolate Chip Cookie bandwagon last year, and I haven’t even attempted that recipe, which has made the rounds of nearly every food blogger in the blogiverse.  I haven’t found myself anywhere that I could pick up chocolate feves, I don’t always have cake flour, and I usually want cookies NOW, not tomorrow, after resting the dough.  That may very well be the cookie I’ve been searching for.  I’ll just have to go there one day.


The CI version was appealing for it’s familiar ingredients (flour, baking powder, butter, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, vanilla, egg, chocolate chips) mixed with just enough kitchen dorkiness to make it something of an adventure.  

The real twist in this recipe is that most of the butter is melted and browned before being whisked with the sugars, egg and vanilla.  The other different technique is to let that mixture sit for a few minutes between three rounds of whisking.  

Sunday dawned rainy and dreary around here (Don’t get me wrong, rain=snow melt!) so I made a batch of the cookies.

Were they perfect?  I’m not sure.  They were, however, pretty darn good!  The browned butter definitely lends a toffee flavor that is more pronounced than in the everyday recipe.  The texture is crispy, chewy and moist, but I’m not sure it’s any better than a good traditional cookie. 

I’d definitely make these again, perhaps doubling the recipe.  The original recipe calls for cookies made of 3/4 cup of dough, yielding only 16 cookies.  CI likes the bigger cookie to allow for even more contrast in texture between the crispy outside and chewy inside.  I, however, wanted more than 16 cookies, so I made mine smaller and ended up with 28.  Those will definitely be gone by Wednesday!


A couple of other folks have already tried the recipe and have their own spin on it, and FamilyFriendsandFood got permission to include a copy of the recipe, if you’d like to check out her thoughts.   

So, perfect?  I think maybe my perfect cookie would be warm, homemade and baked by someone else in my kitchen, which they clean up after serving me cookies and milk.  But maybe that’s just me.

Read Full Post »

I’m not sure what’s going on this winter with the old blog here.  I have limited motivation for posting, but we really are eating very well from our freezer and pantry.  It’s this time of year that I really feel good about all that work I did over the summer and fall to can and freeze.  Even though it’s March and lots of people are talking about Spring, we’re still months away from fresh, locally grown foods. 

Lest you think we’ve been slacking, here are a few meals we’ve enjoyed, mostly from local ingredients.

I’ve discovered Vermont Smoke and Cure Pepperoni.  What better to do than try it on a pizza?

I prefer a crust that’s crispier more than deep-dish, but this was yummy, nevertheless.

 Local: pepperoni, frozen tomato sauce, Cabot cheese.  Not-so-local: crust ingredients, mushrooms.

Then, there was this little beauty:

A sirloin from Rock Farm, cooked rare and served with super-tender parsleyed potatoes I picked up at the Seacoast Eat Local farmer’s market on Saturday.


The meat looks super-rare in the photo.  It wasn’t quite as bloody as it looks!  Along with this meal we enjoyed a salad with FRESH GREENS! from the farmer’s market.  Heaven.

Local: sirloin, potatoes, Cabot butter, greens.  Not-so-local: parsley, cucumber, carrot, salt and pepper.

The FRESH GREENS! have shown up in meals all week.

Tonight, it was alongside some mini-frittatas.



Quite yummy!

Local: eggs, milk, FRESH GREENS!, bread.  Not-so-local: salami, parmesean, cucumbers, carrots, cranberries, S&P.

The farmer’s market was great.  In addition to the FRESH GREENS! I scored some chorizo and a ten pound bag of fresh Atlantic shrimpies, now stashed in the freezer.  I’m wondering if most people cook these and then pop the heads and shells off, or peeel ’em before cooking?  Ali?  What’s your advice?

Finally, we’ve been eating home-made desserts, too.  I made a batch of vanilla ice cream that we ate with this heavenly thing, and now we’re enjoying it with apple/peach crisp made from fruit I froze this summer.  

All’s well!

Read Full Post »

Returning from the warm, sunny West Coast to another 8 inch snowstorm was not pleasant.  

Having a snow day to simmer ham and beans on the stove, was quite pleasant!  Although, I do realize that some of you are now able to get things like strawberries and asparagus and green stuff, oh my!  


Although pleasant to eat, this is not a very photogenic meal!

  • From here: Rock Farm Ham, homemade chicken stock, pinto beans (Maine), Rock Farm bacon fat
  • From away: organic onion, organic brown rice, salt & pepper, spices

Warm and yummy on a snowy day.

Read Full Post »


This week’s meal was an easy one, and a great example of freezer shopping.  

I walked down cellar Sunday morning and took these pork chops out of our freezer – shopping done!

We grilled the boneless chops (we grill year round, snow be damned) and roasted some red potatoes from Maine.  I could have easily added some green beans or squash from the freezer, too, but we had a little bit of salad left from the week before (not local).

  • From NH: Pork chops
  • From ME: Potatoes
  • From Away: salt, pepper, olive oil, dried red pepper flakes

Note: I’m in Inland Southern California this week, so I will try to post a local meal we eat there for next week.  I’ve been disappointed by my ability to find local foods in that area of the state, but I’ll do my best to get to a market!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »