31 October 2010

Happy Halloween! (part the first)

Halloween2010 004I couldn’t wait to post our first treat creation of the day…baked apples!  So simple, just core a couple of apples, fill them with a sweet blend of (1T) brown sugar, (1t) nutmeg, and (1t) cinnamon and a dollop of Brummel + Brown.  These tasty lil’ guys roasted at 350° for 40 minutes, and made the house smell of all things autumn-tastic!  Sam suggested the addition of chopped walnuts as well.  More treats to come later, as baking offers a bit of Zen amidst the report-card writing that will consume the remainder of the day!

03 October 2010

Foods That Start with the Letter ‘Z’

Oct2010 036

Zingers.  Zagnut.  Ziti.  Zatar.  Zucchini.  Ah, zucchini.  The golden child of the squash family, due to its versatility.  With the heat-wave passing in central San Diego, we felt the need to sing a torch song to this blessed vegetable by baking it up into the old standby, ZUCCHINI BREAD!

As a frequent baker, one would assume I had all-purpose flour in the pantry.  Well, I assumed that myself, and we all know the dangers of assuming.  It makes an…well, let’s just say I was lucky to have had a big old bag of whole-wheat flour instead.  Please note that, while the bread did appear ever so slightly drier than usual (just merely), the nature of the whole-wheat flour gave a heartier flair to this quickbread.  I’d use it again, perhaps adding just 1/8c more of zucchini or increase the oil by 2-3t.  Otherwise, yum!

Namaste, Saturday.

Let’s just say that any location near Miramar Road is not the place you wish to include on your errand list on the day of the Air Show.  However, with Whole Foods bereft of paneer and fenugreek (methi) leaves, we had no choice but to venture the way of the traffic jam in order to obtain our necessary ingredients for Saag Paneer and Aloo Gobi. 

Half way down the road, Sam made a quick jaunt down a side street where we saw a sign for Annapurna Indian Cafe.  A-ha!  After convincing him to pull over so I might attempt to persuade the restauranteurs to sell me 14oz of paneer and a handful of fenugreek, I returned to the car with one block of *free* paneer!  The price?  Only a quick bat of the lashes and a friendly smile.  What kindness!  Please go there, eat a lot, and smile at the owners as a thank you from us.

With just one more item to obtain, we took the back roads up to Black Mountain Road to the gem of a grocery store, Bombay Bazaar.  This place is *amazing*, to say the least.  I don’t head up there but once a year to purchase items for the third grade India unit, so this was a rare treat.  We found a stalk (?) of fenugreek/methi, and also picked up a box of ready-to-heat samosas…or so we thought.  It may seem like cheating, but we thought making two Indian entrees and rice from scratch was enough.  Unfortunately, the samosas were ready-to-FRY…and please note that this means baking them will not provide the same result.  That is, unless they were meant to have the consistency of potato-filled phyllo dough bricks.

This was our second go-around with the recipes from the book, World Food Cafe: Global Vegetarian Cooking.  This cookbook was a Christmas gift from my dear friend, Marie, in 2004.  These recipes are so easy to execute and offer a diverse assortment of cuisines for a plethora of palates.  Highly recommended. 

With autumn upon us, the pumpkin ale was a nice supplement to this meal.  Likewise, the pumpkin soup (Ecuador) recipe from this cookbook is quite tempting…