Sunday, December 29, 2013

Miguel's Jalapeno White Sauce

I fell in love with this dip/sauce the first time I had it at Miguel's; a Mexican seafood restaurant here in San Diego. It came with baskets of chip as an appetizer before the meal. I ate too much of it needless to say! I loved it so much than when I was packing up my leftovers from dinner that night, I scraped every last bit of the sauce into my box. I took the leftovers home to my daughter and had her taste the Queso Dip. Another person now obsessed with this dip/sauce!! Apparently, the waiters will give you the recipe if you ask for it so it was fairly easy to find it on the internet. This is my second time recreating this dip/sauce. I think it is quite a delicious simile of the legendary sauce. Give it a try!

2 cups whipping cream (470g)
1 cup sour cream (254g)
1 tsp chicken base
2 tbsp. flour
1 pickled jalapeno, minced (30g)
1 tbsp. juice from bottled jalapenos (30g)
2 oz shredded jack cheese
2 oz shredded cheddar

Red the Fox

We had a blast making elephant and mouse. I will not lie, we struggled with letting them go because they were so adorable. It made it a little easier that the Fox Amigurumi is staying home with us.

Made the head first. Add the muzzler and embroidered the nose. Attached the safety eyes and stuffed the head.

What does the Fox say?

What does the Fox say?

The Fox say " I miss you Elephant and Mouse. I know you will enjoy living in the Forest living with lovely Sophie. She loves you already. Share her secrets, make her laugh, wipe away her tears. She will introduce you to Poopsie and Plum and their lively gang- Gary the Hog, Mung the Bird, Zin the Bear and the Pole brothers. What a glorious time you'll have. Cannot wait to hear about your adventures when we meet in Imagination Forest! Love you"

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pear Cornmeal Cake with Rosemary Syrup

Too many pears. Not enough time to eat. Actually, too many fruits. The tray of Jonagold apples from Costco was placed on top of the Bosc pear, which was bruised, which required that they be made into something. I have been incorporating cornmeal into my baking dishes recently, ever since I bought a box of cornmeal to make cornbread for my cornbread stuffing. A google search later, I came across this Pear Cornmeal Cake with Rosemary Syrup from the Real Simple magazine. Finally, I get to use the square Springform  pan I had bought awhile back.

The cake is in the oven. It is dark outside... I am debating going into the garden for those sprigs of rosemary. Ha, ha. Who am I kidding, I will be making the rosemary syrup and brushing the cake with it.

NB So this cake is a keeper. Daughter asked if I used the batter from my Blueberry Peach Cobbler, another favorite of hers/ ours. Totally different method of making the batter but a flavor reminiscent of the Cobbler. Delicious warm with a dollop of whip cream. A hot cup of tea is the perfect complement. 

Poppy Seed Dinner Rolls

It has been awhile since I made this Poppy Seed dinner roll. This buttery rolls are delicious and fun to eat. Layers are peeled apart to mop up gravy. The important thing to remember when making these dinner rolls is to prepare the dough the night before. I made some this Thanksgiving weekend to accompany a rack of lamb dinner.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cornbread Stuffing with Chestnuts, Leeks and Chanterelles

Cornbread Stuffing is a constant staple on our Thanksgiving menu even if the turkey is not!! This year I perused a number of cookbooks and magazine for ideas to make it even tastier. I was challenged by the fact Thanksgiving dinner would be not be hosted at my house. I wanted to break it down to a number of make ahead components especially since I like to make everything from scratch including roasting those chestnuts! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer's Fresh Tomato Sauce

This is my favorite thing to make at this time of year. Nothing could be simpler...well, maybe if you omitted the sausage. It is a joyous celebration of my summer garden. With a smile, I head out to the garden. The garden is heady with the scent of all the fragrant herbs like basil, oregano and thyme. Plump tomatoes weigh down the tomato branches seeming to need tying up each time I get out there. A quick harvest of sun ripened tomatoes, some basil and oregano and I head back to the kitchen to make the Fresh Tomato Sauce.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

From Garden to Table

Went to Costco, bought some lamb loin chops. Searched Food Network for recipes and finally settled on Cat Cora's Lamb Chop and Bobby Flay's Rosted brussel sprouts, pancetta and potatoes. Why those recipes you ask? Yesterday I spied in among the weeds in my garden the making of such a dinner- a garden to table adventure.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Broken Treasures

In my garden, broken flower pots are never thrown away. I use the shards to cover drainage holes in flower pots to prevent soil from washing out. They are incorporated in the  planting medium I use for repotting orchids. Most of all, I have a fondness for succulents displayed in broken pots. I like the organic and rustic feel of succuelnts spilling over and out of pots.

I woke up with that thought in my mind and excitedly headed into my garden to do just that. Luckily for me, I found two small pots that were broken when they were either toppled over by strong winds or knocked over by my dog, Frasier or the landscapers. Strange how one can regard finding broken pot as lucky! No precious plants were damaged when those pots were broken.... In fact, the plants that were originally in the pots, spilled out and rooted themself in the ground, leaving me with the perfect containers for my succulent garden.

The fun part is deciding which succulents to include in the display. I made use of smaller specimens that I started a few months ago together with bigger cuttings from existing display plants. I chose a balance of sizes and colors for each of the two pots. The pot at the back was intact enough to be planted vertically with aloes "Red Riding Hood" and Oscularia Deltoids drapping over the sides. The pot in front had to be laid on its side to be planted. It was planted with Sempervinum Arachnoidem (cobweb in center) and Echeveria "Doris Taylor" (red tip with fine white hair)  of various sizes. The trick is to fill the pots enough plants of the right size to be attractive but leave enough space for the specimens to grow. The plants will grow larger and have pups, filling in the broken pots until the broken edges are conceal.

Continously propogate the succulents so that you will always have specimens to use when an inspiration strikes you as it did that morning. Check out post on my spring time propogating.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Spring time sprucing and making babies!

My body is aching from the hours spent hunched over my succulent collection yesterday. It is a good ache...I got a lot done. It is nice to be outside again, without being burdened by heavy winter coats. Much as I enjoyed the change of being in wintery New York these past two weeks, I did not enjoy donning the heavy coats outside, the hot dry air inside, looking at the bare gardens and how early it darken each day. I am glad to be back in San Diego.

Reviving Succulent

I worked on neglected succulents to rejunevate them for the new year. As a testimont to their hardiness, you can see the rosette of the live echiveria in the center of the brown ring of the dead leaves. They were in a pot that was not connected to any water source, totally dependent on San Diego 11" of annual rainfall and the occasional douse of water from the hose should I notice it at the times it needed water. Echeveria will become leggy as it grows. Most of the brown leaves will still be green and not shrivel brown like in this picture....that is why I say I have neglected it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My tree is almost bare........

It is chilly and wet in the garden this time of year. I am lucky that in San Diego I still get to enjoy days of 70-80F sunshine filled days among the norm of 40-60F rainy days during the winter. It is now January and all the leaves have fallen off my Persimmon tree. A small number of paper bags still hang on the tree, hiding the remaining ripening persimmon from the birds! At this time of year, I call the tree my Paper Bag Tree!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Siew Yoke - Chinese Roast Pork

1/1/2013  Made Siew Yoke- Chinese Roast Pork for the first dinner of 2013!! A delicious, addictive basic Chinese dish but not easily available food here in the USA. Generally, it requires going to a Chinese restaurant or a specialized Chinese Supermarket to purchase Siew Yoke.

My brother in law makes a mean Siew Yoke and shared his secrets with me. However, I have been unable to obtain the right cut of pork i.e. belly meat with rind/ skin. A visit to the new Seafood City for new year meals cooking supply yielded the required cut of pork.

It is the simplest recipe. Mix equal part kosher salt with equal part of Chinese Five Spice powder - 1 teaspoon of each. Use enough of the mixture to generously season both side of the meat. Wrap the meat and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Next day, take it out and let it come to room temperature.

Preheat broiler to 420F degree. Place seasoned pork, meat side up on broiler pan. Broil until meat is brown. It could take 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the piece of pork. Turn the meat over to skin side and broil at 390F. Start with 10 minutes, after that rotate the pan every 5 minutes until skin is brown and crackly.

Succulent Basket

It is a miracle. It is January 1, 2013 and I am blogging!! Actually, I am blogging because I following through with my "resolution" to put me first this year. I signed up for a gym membership at the local YMCA with my daughter just before the new year so physically I will get back to being more active. Hoping to finally take some yoga and pilates classes. 2013 I am committed to devoting more time to my creative pursuits.

I started the year on the right note. I spent some time gardening- my first love. It was kind of chilly but the need to garden was overwhelming. I needed to create something not just potter around. I recycled an old metal toiletry metal basket/ container/ caddy for a lovely succulent garden. I lined the basket with damp sphaghum moss, tied the moss to the basket with some twine and filled the center with some fast draining soil and perlite mix.