February 25, 2003
bridal shower help

hi all
i have a bridal shower to attend this weekend and i am supposed to bring two recipes. the couple (my cousin and his soon to be wife) are early 20's with a young child, students budget. i need help coming up with the recipes.

i was thinking rosemary garlic potatoes and lavender teacake. both are fairly easy recipes and not too expensive to make.

any other suggestions?

Posted by karine on February 25, 2003
February 23, 2003
Tad's 34th Birthday

One down, and one to go. I think i can firmly declare this one a success.

Tonight was Tad's 34th birthday; his gift from the Borogoves was a formal dinner party geared towards Tad-food, with a guest list of his choosing. I know i've mentioned Tad before, and Beca talks about their unique challenges as a family in her bio; it was fun to plan a menu around Tad's loves and adapt for the rest of us, instead of the other way around.

I think that we all had a great time - a fabulous group of people, a lovely birthday boy, a fuzzball under the table, and good talk, food, and wine.

Tonight the menu was:

kir royal

roasted red pepper soup (served in demitasse cups, such fun!)

crostini with asparagus pesto
crostini with millennium tofu spread

wild mushroom cassoulet
salad vert

ollallieberry & pink lady apple tarts
double rainbow vanilla soy cream

joseph schmidt truffled almonds
joseph schmidt toffee almonds

I'm not wild about beans, but i think the cassoulets worked out well. I forgot that i should have cold-smoked the peppers for that psuedo-bacon effect until it was too late, but they were pretty good anyway. Layered in the 11-oz ramekins, i left a third of an inch rather than filling them to the top, and they didn't bubble over (much). I think the Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare paired perfectly with the chilled asparagus pesto; we drank a Bonny Doon viognier and a 1997 Navarro Pinot Noir with the cassoulet. I served the almonds mixed up in the lovely squareish demitasse cups that Carol gave me for Christmas this year. I forgot to photograph the amuse bouche and the mignardaise, but i was pleased by beginning and ending with a similar plating. I'll be posting some recipes over the next few days. Anything in particular you want to see?

Posted by shock on February 23, 2003
February 21, 2003
salad nicoise

Heather's looking for ways to play with fish (as food, damnit!), and asked if i had a favorite salad nicoise recipe. And guess what! I do. 8) As with many of my faves, this is an Alice Waters recipe, adapted from Chez Panisse Menus. This is good enough to be a main course; it's especially nice in the hot summer months. To dress it up a bit for the Bornschlegel Family Vacation last summer i prefaced it with Mimi's tomato bisque and tiny grilled cheese sandwiches.

serves 6

1.5 lb fresh tuna steak
[she says to rub with veggies and oil and bake. i prefer to pan sear or grill my fish. I've been known to sub in good quality Italian canned tuna in a pinch]

the garlic vinaigrette:
2-3 cloves very fresh garlic
1 c virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 c flavorful red wine vinegar
2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper

Crush garlic with a tsp of olive oil. mix paste with 1/4 c. red wine vinegar, and the rest of the olive oil. add 2 tbsp capers and season it with salt and pepper and more vinegar if necessary.

the veggies and accompaniments
(choose only the best of the following)
1/4 lb haricots verts
1/2 lb tiny new potatoes
1/3 lb shelled fava beans
3-4 artichokes and 1 lemon
1 red pepper
6-8 anchovy fillets
4 hard cooked eggs
1/2 red onion
12-15 chervil sprigs
3-4 ripe summer tomatoes
1/4-1/3 c nicoise olives

Top & tail beans. Blanch fava beans, blanch green bean 2-3 minutes, rinse under cold water. Boil potatoes until they are just done. Remove, drain, and let cool to room temp. Wash and seed red pepper and cut into thin slices. Toss the pepper in a little vinaigrette, toss the green beans in some vinaigrette. Quarter the potatoes and toss them in some vinaigrette, too.

To compose:
Rinse the anchovies well and cut filets in half, lengthwise. The 4 eggs should be boiled just long enough so that the yolk is still a little soft and bright orange. Slice 1/2 red onion in paper thin slices. Toss 12-15 chervil sprigs with the artichoke hearts. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and toss them with a little viniagrette.

Arrange them in groups. Toss the tuna with some vinaigrette and put it in the center of the salad. Arrange the rest on the salad, and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Posted by shock on February 21, 2003

Gracious - i have scheduled myself for a double-whammy! This weekend i'm hosting two dinner parties; my brain is swirling with all of the menu planning. Things are especially interesting - Sunday's dinner party will be significantly less formal, and less vegan, than Saturday's party, so i have to keep my styles seperate. Saturday we'll have 8 or 10 people, Sunday there will be 8.

I'm trying to decide on desserts for each.... Saturday night i'm looking for fruit/nut based ideas, advance prep is a necessity, and easy on a lactose-intolerant tummy are my requirements. Sunday it should be easy, made in advance, and yummy. Any thoughts?

Posted by shock on February 21, 2003
February 17, 2003
chocolate babycakes -- a little bit of heaven

upon reflection of my posts it looks like all i make are desserts. for some reason i never think of adding my savory dishes. i will have to work on this. in the meantime, here is another amazing recipe. these little cupcakes are nearly flourless. they are so rich and in a small bite size portion. they resemble a souffle.

it was time to give nigella lawson a bit of a rest, all of her cupcakes were beginning to taste the same, so i moved to my next favorite dessert book, Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book, Judy Rosenberg. Her other book; Rosie's Bakery All Butter Fresh Cream Sugar Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book, is a kitchen must.

I have found that the times judy uses for mixing seem to be very off.
On to the cupcakes.

The Cake
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
9 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons raspberry preserves

The Glaze

6 Tablespoonds heavy (whipping) cream
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate

The Topping

24 fresh raspberries

1. preheat the oven to 325F, grease 24 mini cups with butter

2. Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler places over simmering heat. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

3. with the electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, 5 tablepoons of the sugar, and the vanilla in a medium-sized bowl until light and fluffy, 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.

4. Add the egg yolks and beat on medium speed until blended, 30 seconds, stopping the mixer once to scrape the bowl.

5. add the flour on medium-low speed and blend for 15 seconds, stopping the mixer once to scrape the bowl. then add the melted chocolate on medium speed and blend for 15 seconds, stopping the mixer once to scrape the bowl.

6. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl on medium speed until foamy, 20 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, beating until the whites form firm but not dry peaks, about 45 seconds.

7. Using a rubber spatula, fold one third of the whites into the batter to loosen it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites.

8. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. then place a generous 1/4 teaspoon of the preserves in the center of the batter, and spoon enough batter over the preserves to just fill the muffin cup.

9. bake the babycakes until they set, about 15 minutes. cool them completely in the pan.

10. meanwhile, prepare the glaze (or see step 12): heat the cream in a small saucepan to the boiling point. remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. when the chocolate is melted, stir with a whisk until shiny and smooth, about 5 seconds. transfer the glaze to a small deep bowl.

11. Dip the top of each babycake into the glaze so it is well covered. place the cakes on wire racks, and garnish the top of each with a whole raspberry. allow to set for 3 hours before serving, or place them in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours to speed the process.

12. serve the babycakes that day or store overnight, uncovered on a plate in the refrigerator. if you are making them more than 2 days ahead of time, do not frost them; freeze the unfrosted cakes in an airtight plastic container with plastic wrap, parchment paper, or waxed paper between layers, for up to two weeks. Bring them to room temperature for glazing on serving day or the day before.

Makes about 24 babycakes

Posted by karine on February 17, 2003
February 15, 2003
Mimi's tomato bisque

This is my favorite tomato soup recipe. You can muck with the recipe very safely to make it lower-fat and a little less rich; as written, the recipe creates an incredibly deep, rich soup that's edible only by the cup. If you want it as a main course for dinner, cut the milk down to 1 cup and fill in stock for the rest. Don't miss the gin - it's the secret ingredient! I bet you could make it vegan by using veggie stock, and stirring in a bit of warmed-up soy milk and some plain soy yogurt instead of the sour cream.

Recipe from Allison Becker Hurt's Kitchen Suppers - Good Food for Good Friends, a cookbook i heartily recommend to all of you, especially those of you who like to cook for your clan.

Makes 4-6 servings

3 c. milk
1/2 c. fine bread crumbs
1 medium onion stuck with 9 whole cloves
2 tsp sugar
1 sprig parsley
1 bay leaf
2 c. chopped ripe fresh or drained, canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 tsp gin, to taste
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 c. sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for garnish: lemon slices, pickled onions eah stuck with a clove, chopped fresh parsley, or dollops of sour cream.

1. In a medium pot, combine the milk, bread crumbs, onion, sugar parsley and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over very low heat, then simmer for five minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Remove and reserve the onion.

2. Stir in the tomatoes and baking soda. Bring to a simmer, then cook gently for 15 minutes. In batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree.

3. Pour the pureed soup back into the soup pot. Return the onion to the
soup. Stir in the gin. Bring to a gentle simmer over very low heat. Cook
gently for 20-30 minutes.

4. Discard the onion and whisk in the butter. Stir in the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the soup is very hot but not boiling. Serve immediately, garnishing each serving as you wish.

Notes from meriko:
a) i peeled the onion.
b) i used half 2% milk, and half veggie stock. I'm sure chicken stock would work as well.
c) i used canned tomatoes. Unless your tomatoes are just brilliant, canned tomatoes are usually better.
d) i used bombay sapphire gin, because it's what i had.
e) This took about an hour to make.

Posted by shock on February 15, 2003
A valentine's meal

I generally don't advocate going out to eat on Valentine's day - save the outing for another time, and curl up at home with people you like and have a cozy meal. (Hm. My holiday strategy is becoming predictable.) Here's what Russell and i had last night:

Lucca tortellini in a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce with proscuitto (pink food!)
A simple salad
Steamed artichoke with anchovy butter (for me)

Apple tart with vanilla ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce

And the sufficiently goopy poem i wrote in his card:

The Love Cook

Let me cook you some dinner.
Sit down and take off your shoes
and socks and in fact the rest
of your clothes, have a daiquiri,
turn on some music and dance
around the house, inside and out,
it's night and the neighbors
are sleeping, those dolts, and
the stars are shining bright,
and I've got the burners lit
for you, you hungry thing.

--Ron Padgett

Posted by shock on February 15, 2003
February 12, 2003
not a recipe

Just a quote I ran across that y'all might find amusing:

"If life gives you lemons, why not prepare Smoked Salmon Served on Crisp Cheese Biscuits with Chive and Lemon Cream, followed by Coconut and Lemon Risotto with Mushroom Duxelles and Spinach with a side of Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Butter, and finish with Lemon Pudding Souffle with Champagne Sabayon? At least, that's what they did on Iron Chef." — R.M. Weiner

Posted by russell on February 12, 2003
February 11, 2003
Ravenous (great food in Healdsburg)

Had a wonderful experience at Ravenous in Healdsburg Saturday night -- great food, service, and ambience.

Sunday was Rodney Strong's annual Wine and Chocolate Fantasy, so we headed up to Healdsburg the day before. Spent Saturday hiking (Armstrong Woods/Austin Creek just north of Guerneville, highly recommended if you like steep trails) rather than wine-and-food-ing, but had a great dinner Saturday night at Ravenous. We hadn't called ahead for reservations, and it's a tiny place, but they surveyed the goings-on at the bar and said they'd have counter seats for us in about 20 minutes, and I think they were spot-on.

We had a nice bottle of Dry Creek Merlot (1999?, $31), but as we watched the bartender work we kind of wished we'd ordered cocktails -- they hand-squeeze fresh fruit directly into the shakers and glasses, and the results looked great. Meriko introduced me to sidecars a few years ago, and it's been my standard ever since -- I bet Ron would have made a great one.

We started with a generous smoked salmon and caviar appetizer and a caesar salad. The salmon came with deep fried corn cakes (must have been a very fine corn meal, you couldn't tell by looking that it was corn) that we both really liked. The caesar had very fresh lettuce, a nice dressing (though I prefer it bolder), and big shavings of quality parmesan.

For entrees, I had a ribeye and John (one of those strange almost-vegetarian types) had the stuffed grilled poblano. The ribeye was cooked medium-rare as requested, and had a nice red wine-cognac butter melting on top. The twice-baked potato was good but not outstanding (I couldn't identify anything specifically wrong, but I didn't quite finish it, and I *always* finish my potatoes) and the grilled veggies were great. I only had a wee bite of poblano, but John really liked it. It also came with the grilled veggies.

We had a blood orange sorbet for dessert -- nice and tangy, with coconut macaroons that really complemented it.

Ron the Bartender was busy but took good care of us, and the maitre d' made sure everything was smooth throughout, after his very welcoming seating efforts.

The restaurant is nicely decorated -- warm orange walls, black wrought-iron fixtures, no hint of country-cute, but not pretentious-elegant. Not a high-romance spot, but warm and inviting.

The bill came to $103 (post-tax, pre-tip) for 2 apps, 2 entrees ($25 and $15, which I think were the highest- and lowest-priced), 1 dessert, 1 bottle of wine. We were very happy.

420 Center Street, Healdsburg
reservations highly recommended


Posted by andrea on February 11, 2003
February 09, 2003
miso-marinated beef salad

I'm marking this as an entree rather than a salad, as both times i've made it i've served it as the primary or meat course. It's a lovely balance - the slight bitterness of the greens plays perfectly against the sweet/spicy dressing, and the beef is just plain fantastic, with the carmelized mirin and miso crust. The pic to the right is the plating i used for tonight's dinner. I used this with a fancier plating for the 2001 NYF meat course.

The recipe is taken from Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani's Terra, a fantastic example of a high-gloss vanity restaurant cookbook that actually delivers delicous, accessible recipes. I'd highly recommend it - more than half the dishes from NYF 2001 were inspired by this book. I have a date with Beca to someday (someday!) take a day trip to Napa and try eating the originals.

Serves 4.

Miso Marinade & Steak
1 tbsp red miso paste
2 tbsp plus 1.5 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp grated and peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp grated garlic
1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin

1 12-oz New York steak, trimmed of fat and silverskin.

Whisk together all of the ingredients. Add the steak, cover & marinate for at least an hour, but up to 24. (I usually do this inside a ziplock, and sit the ziplock inside a 9x9 cake pan.)

Ginger-Mustard Vinaigrette
1 1/2 tsp peeled and chopped ginger
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1.5 tsp Asian sesame oil
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp corn oil (i use olive when i don't have corn.)
2.5 tsp Dijon mustard

Purée all ingredients in a blender for 1 minute. Strain and set aside.

Vegetable Salad
1 Japanese cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut on the diagonal into 1/8 inch thick slices about 2 inches long.
1/2 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise on the diagonal to the same size as the cuke.
2 tbsp thinly sliced red onion
a handful of haricot verts (or some blue-lake beans!) stemmed & blanched
1 tbsp crushed red peanuts
a bunch of weeds & fronds (mesclun or other small-leaf lettuce mix)

To finish the dish:
Remove the steak from the marinade. Grill the steak for 1-2 minutes per side on a grille or in a grill pan. Broiling would work in a pinch, too. Grill it longer if you like it more cooked, less if you like it still bleeding. Cut the steak into strips.

Toss the weeds & fronds with the vinaigrette. Toss the beans and carrots in a bit of the vinaigrette.

Plate some salad, some veggies, and the steak in the middle.

Fancy Elements
Fried Rice Noodles
Heat 3 inches of oil in a large saucepan to 350F. Add a few rice noodles at a time, and watch them puff. Remove them while they're still white, after about 30 seconds. Remove the noodles to some paper towels. (This is a lot like watching shrimp chips puff, but they curl, too! Lots of fun.)

Radicchio bowls
Acquire 8 large radicchio leaves. Fit two together into a bowl.

Plate It!
Place a radicchio bowl in the middle of a plate. Divide your weeds and fronds into the bowl. Layer the vegetable salad on top of the greens. Layer the steak on top; garnish with a few fried rice noodles, a sprig of cilantro, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Posted by shock on February 09, 2003
vegan hot fudge sauce!

This is a fantastic fudge sauce, and if you use the right chocolate, it's vegan. It's very rich, and not terribly sweet. It hardens up like a ganache as it cools or hits ice cream; i think it would be fantastic as a frosting for Beca's Mexican Brownies. It's fast to whip up, and will keep in your fridge for months - enabling you to throw together an impressive dessert in minutes when friends drop by for dinner. (As David and Andy did last night - it was lovely!) A small side bonus - because it's not too sweet, it pairs nicely with dessert wine. We tried it last night with a Navarro late-harvest white reisling.

I use Scharffenberger chocolate to make this sauce. It's "Nancy Silverton's Definitive Hot Fudge Sauce" from The Best American Recipes 1999.

7.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp water
1/2 c. light corn syrup
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. instant coffee granules
3 tbsp cognac or brandy

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a large stainless steel bowl (or the top of a double boiler) set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Turn off the heat and keep warm over warm water until ready to use.

Combine the water, corn syrup, cocoa powder, sugar, and instant coffee in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring, over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly to dissolve the cocoa powder and sugar and to prevent scorching.

Whisk in the melted chocolate. Boil the hot fudge for a few minutes to reduce it to the consistency you like; it should be quite viscous and the surface should have a glossy shine. Cool slightly, then beat in the cognac or brandee.

Store the sauce in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator and reheat before serving. It will keep for several months.

Posted by shock on February 09, 2003
Cat Treats

So not everyone on the list has a dog, or is into making doggie treats. This is a recipe for a cat treat that came from the same list as the others.

The following recipie given to me by my buddy Joanne AKA "catlady" who does rescue work. With a minimum of 10 felines in her house at all times, she swears by these treats as a way of getting the fussiest kitty to take a nibble.

Cat Treat
2 small cans, Salmon
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 Egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a bowl. Knead and add more flour or broth to form a dough isn't very sticky. Roll out to a thickness of 1/4" . Place on a non stick baking sheet. Use a knife and score the dough horizontally, then vertically to make a grid of squares about 1/4". Don't score score the dough right through. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until fully baked and crisp Let cool, break into bits and store in an airtight container

Posted by karine on February 09, 2003
Liver Brownies

1 1/2 cup rye flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4cup cornmeal
1 pound, chicken liver
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 cups veggie broth

Boil liver in 1 1/4 cups of vegetable broth for 8 minutes Puree liver and broth in a food processor . Add dry ingredients to liver and add additional water if necessary to make a thick, gooey consistency. Pour into a greased 9 x 12" baking pan Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes Cut into small squares and refrigerate or freeze

Posted by karine on February 09, 2003
Liver Training Treats

I spoke with Meriko awhile back about wanting to make my own treats for my dogs. I was going to try a batch then post them. I got lazy. Never made them. I have a couple dozen recipes I have picked up on various mailing lists.

This one comes from the K9Kitchen list which is focused on diet.

The following recipe is donated by Brigitte Wiatowski. As the proud owner of 17 Alaskan Malamutes, Briggitte knows a thing or two about training treats!

1lb ground liver (I use beef)
1C flour( If your dogs have wheat allergies try Spelt)
1/2C cornmeal or oatmeal ( I use cornmeal)
1-3Tblsp Garlic salt ( I use 1 and grind fresh garlic with the liver)

This is all I use. You can add eggs, cottage cheese grated cheese, fruit veggies etc. This stuff is very thick like wet concrete. Spread on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. I spread mine 1/2" thick. You can spread it thinner and bake it longer and it will get more crispy. cool and peel of the sheet. break into pieces. It will store in the Fridge for 1 week. I freeze mine.

Posted by karine on February 09, 2003
mexican chocolate brownies

Bit by the baking bug yesterday and inspired by Nigella's recipe posted by Karine earlier this week, I went to my kitchen determined to bake some brownies... Only to figure out I lacked the bittersweet chocolate required to execute Nigella's recipe as posted.

So I improvised! I MacGuyvered the brownies together using what was available in my pantry: namely, several boxes of Ibarra Mexican Chocolate that were purchased at $.25 a piece last year on sale, and some margerine from the 'fridge. The result? Less buttery, less fudgy, less bitter-chocolatey, more flavorful: I think I might have made my ideal brownie.

Rebecca's Mexican Chocolate Brownies

note: As this was a first run, all measurements are approximated.

1 1/3 cups margerine
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
9 oz (3 disks) Mexican Chocolate
1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/4 cups egg 'product'
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Spray/grease one 9" square pan thoroughly.

Melt margerine and chocolates together in a large heavy-based saucepan. Beat eggs with vanilla and sugar. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.

After chocolate-margerine mixture has melted and cooled a little, beat in eggs and sugar. Add flour and continue on low speed until mixed. Scrape out of the saucepan into the greased pan.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes. When it's ready, the top should be baked evenly to a just-done shiney firm crust; test with a toothpick to confirm the borwnies are done (i.e. toothpick when inserted and removed should come out clean).

Cool brownies, then cut into 1 1/2" to 2 inch squares.

These firm, flavorful, cake-like brownies would be excellent candidates for a nice sour-cream chocolate frosting or ganache and served with milk or coffee. (After all my acrobatics in the kitchen, I was too tired to work out a good vegan option for the frosting and opted to just sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top.)

Feedback welcome!

Posted by rebecca on February 09, 2003

I could not decide where to put this.. are crepes a main dish or a dessert or just an everyday staple?

I had never really thought about the ability to make crepes at home. I had always heard that they were too hard, too time consuming, required special tools.. and so I just thought that if you wanted to eat a crepe you went out.

That was until about a year or so ago when Heather started making them at home... with a little planning they are simple. A great "make a head of time" treat. Shortly after Heather moved out and took her crepe pan with her I decided to purchase my own and instead of watching her make them, I would make them myself. What follows is the recipe Heather gave me, and some filling suggestions.

Basic Crepe

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

combine all ingredients in the mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides, and blending an extra 5 seconds more. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
You can rest the batter overnight if you like. Just put it in the fridge and remember to stir it before beginning to pour out the batter. I have found that it does separate.

heat a crepe pan brushing w/oil or butter... pour a small amount of the batter (I have a 10" pan and use a little less than 1/2 cup) and swirl to coat the pan. cook until set, and then flip, cook.. remove from pan.

now you can either cook them, fill them eat them, or what I do is cook up the entire batch stack on a plate and then reheat and fill and eat. The cooked crepes will last in the fridge for a few days. Cover in plastic wrap.


butter and powdered sugar
blueberries and whip cream
chocolate and coconut
chocolate and raspberries
chocolate and ANYTHING
lemon curd and brown sugar
green apples and cheddar cheese
cheese and mushrooms
nutilla and coconut

I like to keep the fillings simple. It doesn't take much to fill the crepe.

I generally make a double batch and have them around for a few days, they seem to be one of shari's favorites.

Posted by karine on February 09, 2003
February 05, 2003
one of the best brownies

I wasn't going to post this recipe since it is such a basic brownie recipe. However, Tim and Heather popped in lastnight and I fed them some of the brownies, and Heather said I should post the recipe.

I am on a huge "How to be a Domestic Goddess" cooking kick. The title on this recipe is simply Brownies. Nigella talks about putting them out on a plate with a candle in each piece and serving it instead of a birthday cake. Since "I'd much rather eat a brownie than a piece of birthday cake anyday".

They are very basic, nearly fudge like. I had thought I had found the perfect fudge brownie in one that Heather brought home from Meriko about a year ago. Not sure where it came from. Nigella's brownie rocks my world.

I have yet to try it with lining the pan as suggested, instead I just butter it well, and so far it has worked out. I have also made it with no nuts and with thin sliced almonds, absolutely wonderful.

1 2/3 cups soft unsalted butter
13 ounces best bittersweet chocolate
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts

pan measuring approximately 13 x 9 2 1/2 inches

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line your brownie pan- I think it's worth lining the sides as well as the base with foil or parchment.

melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy-based pan. in a bowl or large wide-mouthed measuring cup, beat the eggs with vanilla and sugar. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.

when the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar, and then the nuts and flour. beat to combine smoothly and then scrape our of the saucepan into the lined pan.

bake for about 25 minutes. when it's ready, the top should be dried to a paler brown speckle, but the middle still dark and dense and gooey. and even with such a big batch you do need to keep alert, keep checking.

makes a maximum of 48... the pieces do not need to be large. It is very very rich.

Variations: Dried cherries, peanuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, shredded coconut, white chocolate chips... so many options.

Posted by karine on February 05, 2003
Allatonce Vegetable Soup

Want to make a fresh veggy soup, and you're in a hurry? Logan found this on, and made a few changes. It's a one-pot chunky hearty soup that's a meal in itself.


3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
4 tomatoes
3 cups tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
1 leek, chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup peas
1 cup fresh corn
2 cans garbanzo beans, (use liquid for water below)
2 cups water
1 cup wild rice
1 tablespoon soy sauce or bragg's!
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill weed

In a large pot over high heat, combine the entire list of ingredients. Yes, the entire list.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. The wild rice may be a bit underdone at this time, but if you put the stew in the fridge overnight, the rice will be just perfect!

Posted by tapeworm on February 05, 2003
February 04, 2003
m-ko request

My absolute favorite, bar-none, soup recipe: Roasted Butternut and
Garlic Bisque. Adapted (a bit but basically intact) from good ol' Epicurious. The
goat cheese on top really makes the soup superb (my own
addition! ha!) so I wouldn't leave it out if I were you.


1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 4-lb. butternut squash, halved lengthwise
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1/2 cup dairy (choose fat content depending on preference;
this soup is rich enough that regular or even nonfat milk is
just fine.)
Goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Insert one half of garlic head in hollow of each squash half. Rub garlic and squash surfaces with olive oil; place face down on baking sheet. Roast for 45 min.-1 hr. or until flesh is soft.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Scoop flesh from squash halves; add squash, stock, and chopped sage to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, squeeze garlic cloves from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth.

Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Stir in 1/2 cup dairy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with 1-2 tbsp. goat cheese crumbled across top of each bowl.

Makes 12 servings.
(original version from Bon Appétit, November 2000)

Posted by leek on February 04, 2003
February 01, 2003

This is a vegetarian recipe which came into our family years ago, from a newspaper to which I would happily give proper credit if I could remember which one printed it. The green is tomatillos, and the gold is winter squash.

We usually have this for Christmas Eve dinner, so the vegetarians have leftovers to eat for Christmas dinner without the cooks needing to do much in addition to the turkey. It's southwestern-ish, and is pretty much a complete meal, though salad and/or bread are always nice.

1 26 oz. can tomatillos, drained
2 7 oz. cans poblano chiles
3 T oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
1/2 t salt (originally said 1)
2.5 # butternut, kabocha or pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 28 oz. can tomatoes, drained
2 C corn
1 C kidney beans
2 T cilantro

Saute garlic and onion. As they're cooking, puree tomatillos with chiles, set aside. Add the puree, spices, and squash to the onions. Cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes, corn, and beans and heat through. Add cilantro to the pot, or pass it at the table if you have those weird people who think cilantro tastes like soap.

Posted by andrea on February 01, 2003