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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Colored eggs…

Happy Easter!

(In case you’re wondering, the eggs look shiny because I rubbed them with some vegetable oil to give the color a little glow…)

 

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I recently became a member of Arganica, a “food club” that offers year-round access to locally-sourced, artisanal and organic foods delivered right to your door. (I like that last part the best…)

Unlike a typical CSA share, Arganica lets you choose what you receive each week instead of just giving you a box filled with random fruits and vegetables. However, since I bought my membership through a special Groupon deal, one of my benefits is a free produce crate, which is… a box filled with random fruits and vegetables.

So now I’ve got a fridge full of carrots, strawberries, broccoli, apples, oranges, beets, onions and more. And I’ve got to figure out what to do with them all before they go bad.

I’ve already bookmarked recipes for a carrot-cumin salad, broccoli soup and a strawberry crumble…

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I had some sour cream left over from last week’s bundt cake, so yesterday I decided to bake a sour cream pound cake. I found a recipe online, tweaked it a little by adding some vanilla to the batter and then increased the bake time (as usual, it took about 25% longer in my oven than the recipe indicated). The finished cake was moist inside with a crunchy crust and was a perfect Sunday night dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I’m always struggling to do something with the food I buy before it goes bad. There’s only so much celery I can eat after I buy a bunch for a recipe that calls for a single stalk. And since I live in a small city apartment, there’s not a lot of storage space, especially in the freezer.

But now that I’m getting more familiar with cooking, I’m able to be a bit more strategic at the grocery store and buy things that I know I’ll be able to use for more than one dish. And then I’ll push myself to actually use them. This weekend, I fried up a package of bacon that was close to expiring in my refrigerator and wrapped up the pieces to use in sandwiches in the future.

I hate throwing away food, so the extra effort has been worth it. Especially when it means more cake…

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Carry on…

Just a quick shout-out to This Farming Mom for giving me this awesome Tupperware cake holder/carrier. She’s had it for a number of years (note the 70’s yellow), but she happily passed it along to me when I asked for it. I’ll try to use it often!

 

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The other day, I finally got around to using the bundt pan I bought a few months ago. I used this Martha Stewart recipe for the cake, and then I played around with some ingredients on my own for the icing.

The cake was a little on the dry side. My oven runs cool, so I usually increase baking times. But with this, I should have stuck with what the recipe instructed.

And as you can see, the icing was a little too thick to really pour down over the sides of the cake and was mostly concentrated up at the top.

So my first bundt wasn’t a complete success. But no worries, I still ate the whole thing…

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This week, I made chicken cutlets with a pomegranate-honey sauce.

I made the cutlets myself by halving chicken breasts and pounding them flat with my cast-iron pan (yes, it was the first time I’d ever done that). After dredging the cutlets in a little bit of olive oil and giving them a dusting of flour and a generous sprinkle of salt, I fried them in another splash of oil for just a few quick minutes on each side.

Whenever I’ve cooked chicken breasts before, they’ve usually come out dry and bland. These cutlets were so moist and flavorful – it was a pleasant surprise. While I was preparing them, I simmered some mashed up pomegranate seeds with honey and spices for a tangy-sweet sauce.

Served with an apple-walnut salad, it was a quick and easy weeknight meal…

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Well, sort of.

Recently, I’ve been trying to eat more locally-made food, so I decided to switch yogurt brands to something made closer to home. The closest one I could find is from Pequea Valley Farm in Pennsylvania. It’s made by the Amish in Lancaster County from the milk of grass-fed Jersey cows (which I’m not embarrassed to say I just found out originally come from the British island and not the state).

It’s not truly local to me (I’m not within 100 miles of the farm), but it’s closer than before. My old yogurt, though beloved, came from clear across the country.

And while it’s a bit more expensive, it’s seriously delicious. So rich and creamy…

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