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Showing posts from August, 2012

Daiquiri de Pepino (Cucumber Daiquiri)

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I love cucumber*.  I love sitting outside on a patio sipping a cucumber drink.  And it turns out that Dona Tomas, a favorite local restaurant, has an absolutely divine cucumber drink.  They call it the Pepe Pepino, and at the restaurant they serve it with Hendricks Gin and Cointreau, which I will need to make next.

However, in their cookbook, they boast a Daiquiri Pepino. 

*It pleases me that while I do love the cucumber, and this is a pretty heavy cucumber drink, I forgot to take any pictures of said cucumber for this post.  Oops.



What I want to talk about the most, though, is the daiquiri.  The daiquiri has gotten a bad rap.  You just don't hear of people saddling up to the bar and ordering a daiquiri.  I wonder if the daiquiri took a nosedive because of the pre-made frozen concoctions one can purchase at any large box store (I think that what is most disturbing about this link is the 96 ounce bucket of "master of mixes."  Yikes).  But a proper daiquiri is simply …

Fresh Mint Sherbet with Figs Roasted in Chartreuse and Honey

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So the story I tell myself is that I don't really like mint ice cream.  Well, I am rewriting the story today, people.  It turns out I don't really like bad mint ice cream.  But give me freshly made mint sherbet, and I am a fan.  A big fan.  Maybe even mint sherbet's number one fan.




First off, I made this to serve at our family dinner last night.  I started on Friday by crushing a nice, giant bunch of mint leaves and stems (I admit, I used the stems because I wanted a pretty powerful minty flavor.  Some say they don't like to add the stems because it makes the sherbet a little herby, but given that I was serving this sherbet with Chartruese, herby was not a concern).  My entire house smelled fantastic--really bright and clean and, well, minty--as I steeped warmed milk and sugar with mint.

Then yesterday morning, I whipped up some egg whites and sent the minty milk and egg white mixture through the ice cream maker (seriously, one of the top wedding gifts we received.  …

Family Feast August 2012

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August 18, 2012 Oakland
Daiquiri de Pepino Chips and Salsa
Olives and Almonds
Mixed Green Salad with Grapefruit, Beets, and Queso Fresco

Corn and Zucchini Budin Grilled Baby Artichokes Tacos with Chipotle Crema:
Beef or Chicken or Poblanos, Onions, and Wild Mushrooms
Fresh Mint Sorbet
Figs Roasted in Chartreuse and Honey









Zuni Fideus with Wild Mushrooms and Peas

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If you're thinking, why would a crazy lady make a dish with freshly shelled peas in August, you would be correct in the assumption pertaining to my sanity but incorrect about the date I made the dish.   In the excitement of the summer, I failed to post this recipe, and it truly is an oversight of epic proportions.  This fideus is that good.
Fideus, you ask.  Fideus is a Catalan pasta dish that is, for intents and purposes, paella that uses pasta instead of rice.  And it is delicious.

Specifically, fideus is a thin vermicelli-like pasta; if you cannot find traditional "fideus," simply pick up the thinnest pasta you can find and then break the strands into inch-long lengths.  Then toss them in oil and toast away. 
Then,  like with a risotto, add broth to the noodles until they soak it up, and then add some more.  And then add some more.  
But the best part about this recipe is the onion jam with saffron.  Gah.  However, one expects such treats from Judy Rodgers, our c…

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

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This summer, I have been exploring the concept of Plenty.  Lucky for me, I had just the cookbook to help me explore it.

(A beloved friend of mine (and you know who you are!) took it upon herself to shower me in cookbooks lately, and this spring, she sent me this lovely one.  It is the work of Yotam Ottolenghi--go HERE to learn much more.)

In addition to going on a road trip, having my teenage niece visit for two weeks, and attending my high school class reunion, I spent four weeks immersed in a yoga teacher training (which I affectionately dubbed "yoga camp" to all who would listen).  While I began the class believing I was merely (hah!) going to learn how to become a better and even safer yoga teacher for my own students (both of which I think I did), I ended the class plenty more: wildly in love with "The Waste Land," achy around my hamstring attachments (which I learned I have been abusing), and connected to an amazing group of women and men.


How do I describe t…