Sunday, July 31, 2011

recipe: grilled romaine salad

To spice up a simple head of romaine, my mom and I decided to throw it on the grill with the chicken we were grilling for dinner. Recipe by photograph below.

[Chop head in half lengthwise]

[Grill 3-5 minutes]

[ Add chopped tomatoes and cucumber, top with vinaigrette.]

Friday, July 29, 2011

an afternoon with the sister

I love hanging out with my sister because we do things like drive 20 minutes out of town in the semi-rain to the only taco truck anywhere near our house so we can drink MexiCoke and tacos.

Yup, she's the best.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

recipe: fingerling potatoes

The past three weeks have been spent lazing around my (later) childhood home and with my family at the beach. It's been wonderful and now I'm getting ready to spend a week traveling the East Coast (upstate New York, The City, DC and then Richmond) before leaving for the west coast. Two days ago, Partner-in-Crime found us a place so now only the actual moving my things across the country by large truck is left. I'm not sure that I'll have time for writing much over the next few weeks but there are few posts schedule and the Tumblr will be tumbling for quite a while. So my online existance will go on while I barrel down I-80W.

In order to add value to this post and avoid two imageless posts in a week, I give you an entirely simple recipe for roasted fingerling potatoes. I love all potatoes but I am partial to fingerlings. Not just because tomorrow at 7am, technically today, I leave for the Finger Lakes and old Cornell.

[Sliced fingerlings]

[Roasted fingerlings]

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Slice potatoes lengthwise, typically into thirds. Roughly 6 potatoes per person.
Toss with olive oil and rosemary.
Roast at 450 for 20 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the centers puffy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

etsy shop temporarily closed

The shop's closed while I'm traveling/moving across the country but there are still plenty of wonderful jewel at Blue Elephant for those of you in Richmond!

Friday, July 22, 2011

recipe: for my southern father

When I arrived home, there were several green tomatoes in the kitchen to greet me. My father had recently had a wonderful fried green tomato dish in Charleston and my mother wanted my help in recreating it. It had involved pimento cheese so we decided to make fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese from scratch to complement the sliders she was preparing.

For the fried green tomatoes, I used a recipe she had found on The Food Network website, courtesy of The Neelys, whoever they may be. It wasn't my first time making fried green tomatoes but the use of panko instead of cornmeal intrigued me. I followed the recipe, finding it easiest to set up workstation right next to the stove so I could dredge the tomato through each bowl quickly.


[fried green tomatoes]

The panko crust was light and airy, overall I think I'll continue to use panko as at least part of my coating in the future. They could have used more flavor, perhaps a heartier pinch of cayenne and more black pepper.

[Daddy's fried green tomato stack with pimento cheese and prosciutto]

For the pimento cheese, I found recipes right and left. I combined one I found in Bon Appétit from Parker and Otis in Durham with one found the day of the cooking in The Charlotte Observer. I'm having trouble finding the article online, but the Observer credited the recipe to "An Irresistible History of Southern Food" by Rick McDaniel.

Pimento Cheese Recipe
16 oz (roughly 4 cups grated) sharp yellow cheddar cheese
4 oz drained, chopped pimientos
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Grate cheese coarsely. Add rest of ingredients, stir to mix. Let sit to incorporate (in refridgerator) for about 30 minutes before serving. Great warm or cold.

[My slider with fried green tomato and pimento cheese]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

recipe: little sister's lime cakes

I've been home the past week and enjoying time with my family. It's been fairly relaxing and besides a few meals and the Harry Potter premiere, I haven't left home. What I have been doing is eating lots of lots of these tiny lime cakes my sister made. The radio silence will continue while I head off to the beach for the next week. It's a darling little cottage with no internet or cell service. I will be bringing a stack of books instead.

Lime Cakes
1 box yellow cake mix and ingredients listed on box
1/3 cup key lime juice
whipped cream
raspberry sauce

Make cake according to box, substituting lime juice for 1/3 of the water called for. Bake sheet cake, cut out circles of cake. Top with whipped cream and a dallop of raspberry sauce.

Friday, July 8, 2011


[Manhattan, on the rocks. Bellini with glass swizzle stick]

Sometimes I am very spoiled. Lemaire, which I wrote about recently, has a wonderful happy hour where their expertly prepared classic cocktails are only $5. Yesterday I joined two friends for happy hours where I enjoyed a manhattan while they sipped bellinis and Pimms Cups. We had several amazing appetizers that I do not believe are listed on the menu. Whatever comes with grits though- order it. And I will dream of this risotto.

[Fettuccine wrapped prawn with corn grits and coke barbecue sauce]

[Parmesan risotto with balsamic roasted figs and preserved meyer lemon coulis]

lunch from leftovers

My recent post from Fourth of July showed a bevy of food from our cookout spread and I've been making meals from it all week. Above is the delicious grilled chicken, provolone, grilled pepper, arugula and pesto sandwich I made yesterday. All from leftovers, it was possibly the best sandwich I've ever made. Probably due to the use of homemade bread (thanks, Stephen!)

On the more actual-cooking side of things, I had some uncooked green beans from the farmers market to use. Wanting to eat more of the fresh corn, I created this Green Bean and Corn Succotash. The first day I ate it solo and today I reheated it and served over toasted crostini and basil pesto.

Green Bean and Corn Succotash


1 pint steamed green beans
2 ears of corn, removed from cob
spring onions sliced and soaked in vermouth
balsamic vinegar (not pictured)

[To prepare:]

Saute the onions in butter. Add the green beans and corn, saute until hot.
Add splash of balsamic. Salt, pepper to taste.


[For crostini, slice bread thinly. Fry in butter.]

[Spread with basil pesto]

[Cover with succotash. Enjoy!]

Thursday, July 7, 2011

weekend review: long fourth of july

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. My lease here in Richmond ended on the 30th but I knew I needed to stay around at least through the Fourth (and now have been convinced to stay through this coming weekend as well.) I enjoyed relaxing after a June full of travel and packing. Posting here has been slow, but today I offer two (easy!) recipes.

I started my celebration Sunday morning with a lunch with the pup at the park. Byrd Park's concession stand impressed me, offering this hearty chicken sandwich for roughly $5. The sandwich itself was standard but the chips were fresh and quite tasty. Plus, I got to sit and watch families paddleboat. Next I headed back to my friend's house where I am staying for the week. He and his girlfriend were hosting a cookout, which was a great chance to see some friends before I leave.

[California Israeli Cous Cous]

[Grilled peaches]

[The (mostly) complete spread]

[My sandwich creation- grilled chicken, green apple, avocado, lettuce]

The feasting was followed by outdoor activities, then resting, then fireworks over the river. Monday itself was even lazier, spend mostly by the pool and then lounging on a porch watching a lightening storm instead of manmade sparks.

California Isreali Cous Cous
1 cup of cous cous according to the package.
3 small cucumbers (farmers market style) or one grocery store size cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 green onion, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine first seven, salt and pepper and olive oil to taste.

Grilled Peaches
Slice six barely-ripe peaches into eights.
Thread on skewers soaked in water. Place in baking dish.
Pour about 2 tablespoons olive oil over peaches then crumble 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
Mix to coat.
Grill 3-5 minutes per side until fork pierce easily. Enjoy plain or over ice cream.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

the last first fridays (for me)

This being my last week in Richmond, there was no way I was going to miss July's First Fridays. While the event has become more contentious recently, in my opinion that is no reason to stay away. The event is crowded, but there remains much to do. My friend Holly and I went somewhat early, worried about parking now that Broad is closed to parking. Our 6:30 arrival put us there before most and our first gallery stop was fairly empty. The night picked up quickly, however. A highlight was this band playing outside Visual Art Studio, the young woman leading the band had such a soulful voice.

At Quirk's front window, an artist was creating portraits using a sewing machine. They were quite inexpensive at $10, but I would have wanted a larger size. I didn't catch his name so I guess I'll just have to work on my sewing machine skills. (A recent attempt to use a friends abruptly ended in less than desirable results.) Holly and I did pick up several whimsical items from the sale section.

We ended the evening in need of a drink and cool place to sit. The Broad Street restaurants were packed, so we headed back to the area we had parked and went to Lemaire. We enjoyed labeling items on our table with stickers from our purchases (though moved them all to the paper napkin before leaving.) Lemaire is an upscale establishment in the Jefferson Hotel and so diners are a mix of hotel guests, locals and other out-of-town visitors. As Holly and I were waiting for another friend to join us, a bathrobe clad woman came strolling through the premise asking if anyone had seen her husband. Weary of the scene that could happen if he was discovered, the waitstaff quickly helped usher her back to her room, handling the situation professionally, as expected. Later, a friend who is a chef there revealed that she had previously been dining with her husband and enjoyed several $400 bottles of wine as well as $80 shots.