The origin story of the white brined curd cheese from the Balkans has long been a point of contention. As of 2002 the Greeks have the official PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) on “feta,” which was again upheld in 2005 when Denmark, Germany, and France fought to use “feta” as a generic name for any salty, white cheese. As far as the Balkans are concerned, Bulgarians claim the cheese to be a descendant of their “sirene” from the Trakia region in the Balkan Peninsula.2 Comments » Keep reading »
On our surprise visit up to see my dad on Father’s Day we made a trip out to my mother’s garden with scissors and a basket to fill up on greens. The garden is flourishing despite the rain and resulting slug infestation. Even in such a small space (about 4 x 2 parking spaces) there’s still enough bounty that I can take home a week’s worth of lettuce, scapes, chard, kale, and herbs and barely make a dent.2 Comments » Keep reading »
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Sometimes cooking sounds like a sentence of being shackled to the kitchen counter in a prom dress and pink pumps, and makes me want to run away screaming and wielding a knife. A food blog gives you a unique sense of time and cooking. I have realized, for instance, that the domesticity of making food currently gives me hives. Before the blog I simply would have shirked the cooking and ordered takeout, four weeks in a row. While I will never be a housewife angel, I also relish the audience and the gift of nourishing others. I love cooking, and learning, and creating, but hate constraints, habit, and tedious tasks. I move fast and need to keep learning. I rarely put things in my mouth I don’t like, regardless of whether it’s food, ideas, or labels. But if I don’t love to cook all the time, how can I expect anyone else to?
Fish baked in a pouch. Sounds eh, doesn’t it? Well how about Thyme and Lemon Butter Cod en Papillote with Leeks and Purple Haze Carrots? Suit your fancy? Did mine when I came across a variant in Cook’s Illustrated.8 Comments » Keep reading »
I recently accepted a free shipment of herbs from Daregal Gourmet. During the holidays, every marketer is reaching out to try and touch you and I: the consumer. Most cooks are personally familiar with fresh and dried herbs. Fresh, frozen herbs, however, are a curious proposition. For one, herbs are highly perishable. If greens aren’t frozen properly (usually blanched first), enzymatic and chemical activity can damage pigment, cell walls, and also essential vitamins (specifically vitamin C). This means they turn limp and colorless when you take them out, and may lose some of their nutritional value. Many times this information is unavailable on a company site, and it takes weeks to wrangle it out of those who respond to customer email.5 Comments » Keep reading »
Those who can find the perfect bite each time they bring a forkful to their mouth have a rare talent. Most of us shovel in our food, eat without looking, or prefer to eat the best part first or save it for last. Then there are those that eat clockwise, or only one thing at a time. What is that about? Any cook wants you to have the perfect balance of flavors in a good-sized mouthful every time.
I love to look at my food when I eat, and sometimes I focus so hard I miss conversations around me, forget to read subtitles during my dinner movie, or neglect to hear the waitress trying to get my attention for the second time. But the perfect bite usually only happens once a meal.3 Comments » Keep reading »
I have a thing for olives and chicken. In this recipe, the sweetness of the caramelized onions pairs nicely with the savory chicken salad. Tarragon is not appreciated enough. It’s a little sweet, has a licorice flavor and a hint of cinnamon.Leave a comment » Keep reading »