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Polly, woman, you said you liked it cream cheese-y! That's how I like it, too & I'm so very glad it worked out for you! I made a mini zuchini nut muffin birthday cake for my mom several years ago that was held together by that frosting & it was gone in no time.

I've never been ballsy enough to do a full rack of lamb. I've always done well with the steaks & as I said, my leg was absolutely GORGEOUS. You have inspired me to try the rack, Pixie!

Congrats on the found knife, Zoy. All the knives in this place sucked ass until I got out the steel. I find something oddly satifying in the sharpening of the blades.
success in trying new things!

I made a macrobiotic lasagna yesterday, and it was actually amazingly good. Nightshade vegetables aren't really used in macrobiotics, so instead of tomato sauce I made one of carrots, beets and buttercup squash, steamed and blended up and then sauteed with onions and mushroom and seasonings. Also no dairy, but the tofu ricotta was so creamy and salty it was just so good. Also included were brocolli, summer squash, and whole wheat flaxseed noodles.....
The recipe is from The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics, I definitely reccomend smile.gif
Did you recently switch to macrobiotics, Solaria? I remember mention of your partner being vegan & you made some kind of interesting sounding pizza with some nightshade veg.

I don't think I could ever go macro. I don't like having restrictions on what I can/can't eat.
I don't like putting restrictions on my diet either. I can't be strict about it, I need a certain amount of "I eat whatever I want" , or I else I'll end up in an unhealthy repress/binge cycle.

I've been on and off vegetarian since high school, sometimes vegan, a couple times I tried going raw.... But I don't like dogmatic diets. I eat mostly vegan these days because honestly its the food that appeals to me most. When I really want cheese or a tunafish sandwich, I'll eat it, but most of the time I don't really desire it.

I came upon macrobiotics this past summer when my friend, who has struggled with digestive and food issues for years and years started doing it and actually made amazing progress. the thing that I love about macro is that it's really fluid, you can do as much or as little of it as you want, and you don't get kicked out of the club(like being vegan or raw....I definitely notice more exclusivity in those followings), and there's no like, forbidden foods. it's more about noticing how you feel after you eat certain things and learning how to balance the energy of your food so you can be more balanced in your emotions, etc.

and yeah, AP, the pizza I made did have tomatoes, which are nightshades. I don't know what it is about them that is considered "bad", but I'll look into it. I know that my grandma told me once that people used to think they were poisonous and just used them as decorative plants. interesting, no?
My understanding is that macrobiotic diets don't include fruit, which technically nightshade veg are. The stems, leaves, etc do contain toxic solanine, but most folks don't eat those parts anyways. Also they are considered very "yin" & I know macro is all about the balance of the yin & the yang. I do like that it includes a seasonal approach to eating.

Why is it that the most simple of foods are often the most satisfying? Omelettes were the first thing I ever learned to cook when I was eleven. Tonight I made an omelette with cheese, mushrooms & left over Easter ham & it was sooooo gooood. Toss in a couple buttermilk biscuits & some fresh butter & I was in comfort food heaven.
yes there is definitely a de-emphasis on fruits, especially tropical ones. I can see how nightshades would be yin, they seem to be very expansive in their form, the way they just kinda balloon out from their stems.

Also, other nightshades include jimson weed, datura, tobacco, and belladonna, all very hallucinogenic (expansive) though poisonous. I have a friend who swears that you can learn to communicate with the Datura and it will tell you which parts to take and how to take it so that you will trip and not die. Which is so not worth the risk.

Anyway... back to the food.
The Hipchicks Guide to Macrobiotics has a recipe for chocolate peanutbutter cups which I also made for Easter and were phenomenal. What makes them different than "normal" peanutbutter cups:
grain-sweetened dark chocolate chips
maple sugar and maple syrup instead of cane sugar
tofu blended up with the peanutbutter mixture

Chocolate and sweets in general are very yin, but if you eat them only occasionaly and you are in good health it's still macro.
I'm not really, because I eat lots of cookies more than occasionally.
I'm not on any diet, but that lasagna sounds goood, Solaria.

I love cooking, but i've slacked off lately. I need some recipes that spice up (pun intended) my daily cooking, so i thought i'd take a peek in here.

Tonight i ate vegetable broth with seaweed and thinly sliced garlic (raw). I also made a curry out of pumpkin, garlic and onion. I once made it with some chopped turkish sausage that i baked until the fat was almost baked out. Today i settled for a tofu filet.
I'm about to make a delicious peach cobbler with an ancient recipe that calls for a "fist" of butter. sooo excited!
Exactly what constitutes a fist of butter? A woman's fist? A man's? A child's? I tried looking it up, but found some silly quote by Dumas, lyrics to a Judd's song, & some rather disturbing literature regarding a man fucking a giant spider with butter as a lubricant.
I believe it's a woman's fist, about a stick to a stick and a half of butter.
I bought the most beautiful bunch of kale today. Because it's tough, I know it's mostly in soups & stirfrys & such, but I don't know that I'm feeling that right now. I think I'm going to try roasting it. Any ideas/recipes?
God, I love curly kale!

I usually fry it up with bacon and onions and have it with some spaghetti, or boil it for a couple of minutes to have with lamb - it's bitterness brings out the lamb's nummy sweetness.
See, the bacon/onion is my intent for the equally glorious brussels sprouts I bought. I'm also going to pickle some fresh greenbeans.
Mmm, Brussels sprouts. I fucking love them so much. Not as much as asparagus, which I'm going to start to resemble if I eat any more of it this week (and it's only Tuesday). I'm wondering, while we're on the subject of greens, do any of you have a favorite way of preparing dandelion greens? I have a bunch and am looking to eat them in the next day or two. Do you like them best cooked or raw? I've also seen some recipes for salads with a warm/hot dressing that is supposed to wilt the greens. So... suggestions? Favorite recipes? TIA.
Our asparagus was ugly, hence I bought the kale. Damn, but I do love asparagus.

I like to make a hot bacon dressing or a hot gorgonzola (with bacon) dressing over the dandelion greens. Are you into that? I'll have to do some digging around, I'll see if I can get 'em up by morning.
(I don't eat meat, AP, but I'll eat just about anything else.)
Hey raisin, I usually just sautee them with olive oil, garlic, some sort of onion (or shallot, leek, scallion, whatever I have on hand) some crushed red pepper flakes, salt and a squeeze of lemon. I've done it with and without bacon, it's yummy either way.

I prefer them sauteed but thats probably because I never thought to do a hot dressing in a salad.

AP, care to share those recipes? Particularly the Gorgonzola one?

Today the farmers market had the best strawberries I've ever tasted. The sign said "picked this morning" and I'm inclined to believe them. They were so juicy and sweet that I couldn't help but buy a flat of them, which is way too many for us. So I dropped some off at my sisters, which happens to be around the corner from the FM. My niece just called raving about them and said they made her day smile.gif
I also got some sweet ranier cherries, juicy navel oranges, brussels sprouts, squash blossoms, avocados, heirloom tomatoes, and even some local eggs & honey. I heart the farmer's market!
Warm gorgonzola bacon dressing


4 slices bacon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar (I start with an 1/8 & then taste my way through.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
6 cups greens
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds


Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, & cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate; crumble & set aside.

Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, white sugar, salt, garlic, & Gorgonzola cheese in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour the dressing into a small saucepan over medium-low heat and warm gently.

Toss your greens with the bacon bits, add some toasted almonds & drizzle with dressing. I like to garnish with some slices of fresh pear or a handful of spring peas.

Last night I ate nummy liver with a portobello/port wine reduction & some nice brown bread.

Ranier cherries . . . nomnomnomnomnomnom. I can't wait to get those!
Hey, raisin, what have you been doing with your asparagus? I love asparagus but haven't had any in a while and looking for some new ideas.
Speaking of asparagus, I was coming in here to share my meal from last night. I found this recipie in Cooking Light. As I don't love cooking, I found this to be labor intensive but worth it. You will probably need a 12"pan to cook in. I was using a 10" and it was a little too small.

Spring Asparagus Risotto

4 Cups cut asaparagus (about 1" pieces)
3 C fat-free chix broth
1 1/2 C water
1 TBSP butter
1 large chopped onion
2 C uncooked Arborio rice (or other med-grain rice)
1/2 C dry white wine (I used Yellow Tail Chardonnay)
1 C (4 oz) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese**
1/4 C heavy whipping cream

Puree 1 C of asparagus w/1 C broth in a blender until smooth. Combine puree w/remaining 2 C of broth and 1 1/2 C of water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer but not a boil. Keep warm over low heat.

Melt butter in a large & heavy saucepan over med. heat. Add onion to pan, cooking for 8 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 C of broth mixture; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add remaining puree mixture, 1/2 C at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (takes about 30 minutes.) Stir in remaining 3 C of asparagus; cook 2 minutes.

Stir in 3/4 C of cheese, cream, salt & pepper. Top w/ remaining cheese when serving.

**This cheese is expensive! I substituted w/a Parmigan. Asiago blend and it still tasted great.

For dessert I served this:

Strawberries in Lemon Syrup

4 C quartered strawberries
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C whipping cream

Place berries, juice and sugar in a bowl; toss gently to coat. Cover & chill for at least 20 minutes.

Place cream in a med. bowl. Whip w/a whisk until soft peaks form. Serve the cream w/berries.

Consider draining the lemon juice from the berries before serving. It liquified my whipped cream. It still tasted good, like a strawberry sherbert. I have a sweet tooth so I tossed in a packet of Spenda while whipping the cream.

Hey bunny, just last night I came across some asparagus recipes in the June issue of Food & Wine magazine, which I found online here and here.
Bunny, what I do with the asparagus is easy peasy. I heat the oven to a good roasting temperature (400 or 425 F, I don't know the conversion to C) and snap off about an inch off the bottoms. I don't even use a knife. Rinse the asparagus, leave a bit of water on 'em, put 'em in a roasting pan. For every bunch of asparagus I roast, I use a tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Usually takes about 20 minutes in the oven, but it depends on how thick the stalks are. I like them to get a little brown and crispy and also sort of falling apart (some would say this is overcooked, but I disagree). Serve with a big squeeze of lemon juice and that's it. Enjoy!

Thanks, Yuef, that might be the kind of low-maintenance way I want to eat the greens. I've got to do something with them today.
Thanks, raisin and yuefie. I think I'll be purchasing some asparagus this weekend.
The boy doesn't recall ever tasting asparagus so I'm going to try and introduce it to him.

I only ever buy tips, do you both use spears? is there a difference in taste?
I do like the Raisin does & just snap the dry ends off of the asparagus spears. I like to toss 'em in a baggie with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, & balsalmic vinegar overnight & then toss 'em on the grill for a minute or two. I pull 'em off when they turn that bright shade of tasty green.
I buy the whole spears, fresh. Just be sure to snap off a bit from the bottoms (they should break at the proper point). Like AP said, the dry ends -- no good for eating.
I snap the bottoms off mine, toss with olive oil and sea salt, then broil next to a nice, juicy steak. Now that's good eatin'!

I'll eat asparagus in pretty much any incarnation. I just wish it didn't make my pee smell so funny.
Only about 20% of the population have the autosomal genes required to smell asparagus pee & I ain't one of 'em. Huzzah!

Proust claimed that asparagus ". . . transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume."
Is it really that small a percentage? Wow. Proust embellished.

The same smell of asparagus is given off by wine that's really gone bad, or is full of mercaptans. Maybe the mercaptans are what we can smell in the urine after eating asparagus.

Anyway, another really good way to eat asparagus is by making a frittata with it. It's good chopped into the small pieces and sauteed with butter or the fat from bacon you've cut up and fried, with a little bit of black or hot pepper to make things interesting.
What I thought was weird is that the stinky pee reaction supposedly only occurs in some 45% of people

Y'know, eggs & asparagus just go really well together. I like to use them in quiche. And while 99% of the time I hate eggs that aren't cooked to solid, I like to steam asparagus & eat it with soft boiled eggs & parm for breakfast.
QUOTE(amilita @ Apr 25 2006, 11:28 AM) *
Yum, dusty! I've been craving feta lately. Usually I just make a basic salad...any unusual ideas for it anyone?

Amilita ~ Feta on pizza is actually really good! My favorite pizza from The Wedge contains feta. One time I had a friend make homemade vegetarian pizza with feta and tis was an orgasm in my mouth!

Traipsing down into the dairy aisle... I want ice cream but I haven't showered at all today and no one to go with sad.gif Is post-collegiate life always this lonely?
QUOTE(amilita @ Apr 25 2006, 11:28 AM) *
Yum, dusty! I've been craving feta lately. Usually I just make a basic salad...any unusual ideas for it anyone?

Amilita ~ Feta on pizza is actually really good! My favorite pizza from The Wedge contains feta. One time I had a friend make homemade vegetarian pizza with feta and tis was an orgasm in my mouth!

Traipsing down into the dairy aisle... I want ice cream but I haven't showered at all today and no one to go with sad.gif Is post-collegiate life always this lonely?
Okay, so this might seem like kind of a stupid question but is caramelizing onions just a matter of heating up some oil and onions in a pan?
I don't think it's a stupid question at all. Yes & no. Simply, it *is* throwing chopped onions & oil into a pan & cooking them until thery are browned & the distinctive "caramel" flavor comes out. But technically, there are like, eight different chemical reactions going on that are poorly understood by most, not just the breakdown of the glucose & the fructose.
But you don't really need to know all the ins and outs of the chemical reactions--it can be really helpful to know how to encourage them.

Use plain old cooking onions--yellow ones or red ones--for caramelization, don't go for the sweet onions because they actually don't have more sugar they just have fewer sulphur compounds than the cooking onions (and that makes them taste sweeter raw).

Once you've heated the fat and added your sliced onions (the more thinly sliced they are the quicker they'll caramelize) add some salt--the salt will evaporate the water in which the onion's residual sugars rest. So the sugars will be concentrated more quickly--easier to caramelize.

I think adding something sweet is a necessity--particularly when the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, as they'll need to be deglazed. I use white or dark balsamic vinegar, just a small amount, as the acidity of the vinegar actually helps to accentuate the caramelized sugars you've created in the process. The vinegar's own sugar content adds to the onion flavour as well. But another trick is to use a sweet/acid wine, like an off-dry riesling wine if you have one handy. Or, if you've got some icewine lying around (people who seem to hate it seem to receive quite a lot of it as gifts and they never use it), a little bit of that is good too.

Now I have a craving for pizza made with caramelized onions, gorgonzola, and rosemary.
Oh, caramelized onions on pizza is fantastic. There used to be a place across the street from where I live that made a pizza with caramelized onions, pancetta and brie. Sadly they went out of business last month sad.gif
does anyone have or can you point me to a good receipe for chateaubriand? i lost mine--it used butter, and a rub from seasonings with a very fine crumb crust? thanks!!
One more thing to add to the conversation about caramelized onions: the biggest differences between making caramelized onions versus regular ol' sauteed onions is (1) temperature and (2) time. Caramelized onions are cooked for longer at a lower temperature. The result is a lovely, velvety pile of lusciousness.

I went on a bit of a shopping binge and have far too much fruit in the house. Cherries, strawberries, and blueberries abound. I decided to make two things from the cherries: a cherry cake (which we served to friends last night) and cherry vanilla ice cream. I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest, but I'm looking forward to investigating recipes.
Or you could invite me over for breakfast, RV. I'd eat all that fruit in no time! haha
Okay, so summer salads. Since we have rolled into the over one hundred degrees days & I haven't felt much like doing any real cooking that doesn't involve grilling outside, I am going on a summer salad kick. Today I'm making a traditional greek salad, an italian salad with fresh mozz, a hot/cold mushroom salad, spicy pickled green beans, & a bleu cheese walnut potato salad. I am not terribly wild about pasta salads, but am considering quinoa or perhaps a whole wheat orzo or couscous.

Any suggestions? What are your favorite summer salads?
I love love love a simple mixed green with balsamic vinegarette and some extra virgin olive oil. The best is when you add some apples, goat cheese, and candied walnuts.
I had a salad the other night that was mixed baby greens, nectarine, candied pecans, manouri cheese, crispy pancetta and a hazelnut vinaigrette. It was delicious and the necatrine played so well off the salty pancetta.
While both of those sound really tasty, perhaps I should clarify: I do mean salad in that it could be served over lettuce, but I'm looking more for cold stand alone side dishes. My fave salad from today is olives, roasted red peppers, cherry tomaters, artichoke, hearts of palm, spring onions, basil, & garlic tossed with olive oil & S/P.

I decided to go with tabbouleh for one salad. Parsley, tomato, cucumber, etc. I'm making kabobs later in the week & I think they'll go well together.
Not sure if this is what you meant by an Italian salad with fresh mozzarella, but I'm always a fan of a Caprese Salad- sliced plum tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella (preferably buffalo), and olive oil. Perfect summer salad.
Mmm...buffalo mozzarella...

A friend of mine got me hooked on Oreo Balls (heh heh.. balls):

For an insanely delicious dessert, crush up 1 package Oreos and blend with room temperature cream cheese using an electric mixer. Form little balls, and set aside while you melt some white chocolate. Cover a baking sheet with parchment, dip Oreo balls in the chocolate, line 'em up on the sheet and then toss in the fridge for an hour or more. SO GOOD! Mmmm.
QUOTE(JessieLaFemme @ Jul 10 2009, 05:48 PM) *
A friend of mine got me hooked on Oreo Balls (heh heh.. balls):

For an insanely delicious dessert, crush up 1 package Oreos and blend with room temperature cream cheese using an electric mixer. Form little balls, and set aside while you melt some white chocolate. Cover a baking sheet with parchment, dip Oreo balls in the chocolate, line 'em up on the sheet and then toss in the fridge for an hour or more. SO GOOD! Mmmm.

Oh yeah, those are a favorite at Chicago Bustie get-togethers, made by humanist. They are amazing. I don't think she's ever dipped them in white chocolate, though, just regular.
I knew that recipe sounded familiar, I just couldn't remember who made it.
I'll just say this. I ate those oreoballs, knowing full well that they would make me gluten-sick. And it was worth it. smile.gif

And we're just about to dig into some homeade tiramisu ice cream. Oh yeah.
Okay. You best be saving some of that ice cream for when I'm in town or at least be passing on the recipe!
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