Dramatic name, right? We can thank M.F.K. Fisher, author of "How to Cook a Wolf," for the recipe and name. I know I've mentioned how awesome she is before, but I'll do it one more time. If you're a bit of a foodie, I'd highly recommend her book. She laments the downfall of good, crusty bread and praises the healing effects of eating pigeon(!!!). Obviously, she's speaking from a different era.
4 TBS olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 onion, minced
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp minced mixed herbs (basil, thyme, red pepper flakes)*
1 tsp parsley
Slices of French Bread or another type of good bread, toasted
1. Heat oil in a saucepan that has a tight cover. Split garlic lengthwise, run a toothpick through each half, and brown slowly in oil. Add the onion and cook until golden. Then add the tomato sauce and seasonings and herbs. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring often, and then take out the garlic.**
2. Into this sauce break the eggs. Spoon the sauce over them, cover closely, and cook very slowly until eggs are done, or about 15 minutes. (If the skillet is a heavy one, you can turn off the heat and cook in fifteen minutes with what is stored in the metal.)
3. When done, put the eggs carefully on the slices of dry toast, and cover with sauce. (Grated parmesan cheese is good on this, if you can get any.)
Well, I've already failed miserably at posting every day. But, I believe that rules are meant to be broken - even if I created the rule myself! I have a post halfway finished that I'll put up later today.
I'm super distracted today because I'm going on a Christmas Cruise around Seattle tonight!! I've packed lots of warm clothes, and I'm ready to take in the Christmas lights and holiday beverages.
2-3 fresh Cajun or hot Italian sausages
4 chicken thighs with skin and bones (about 4 1/4 pounds), excess fat trimmed
1 very large onions, chopped (about 5 cups)
6 garlic cloves, chopped, plus 1 garlic clove, minced
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup frozen peas
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1/2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
Generous pinch plus 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 teaspoons paprika
Chopped fresh parsley
Toss shrimp with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 minced garlic clove and generous pinch of saffron in medium bowl.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix rice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into vegetable mixture. Cut sausages diagonally into 1-inch slices. Using wooden spoon, push sausage and chicken pieces into rice mixture; pour any juices from bowl over. Bring 3 cups chicken broth, paprika and remaining 1/4 teaspoon saffron to boil in medium saucepan. Pour evenly over rice mixture. Cover with a lid or foil. Bake until rice is almost tender, about 30-40 minutes.
Sprinkle shrimp mixture with salt and pepper. Arrange atop rice mixture. Cover and bake until shrimp are opaque in center, rice is tender and most of liquid in pan is absorbed, about 20 minutes longer.
It's the holiday season! I just made the my first batch of Christmas cookies with Pete this weekend, and have about 20 soup recipes lined up. I'm feeling happy every time I look at my little tinsel tree and Christmas lights. And, I'm plotting out the last of my Christmas gifts. I'm also hoping for (just a little) snow in Seattle this year. It was so fun last year - until it turned into a total nightmare . . .
Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Adapted from Southern Cakes, by Nancie McDermott
For the cake:
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk (low-fat is okay)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
For the buttermilk glaze (optional):
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sugar
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch or flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan. (If your pan is nonstick, you can get away with just some cooking spray; no need to flour.)
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk well. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and light brown sugar until light and fluffy, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sweet potatoes, and mix until the batter is combined. (The batter may look terrible at this point: curdled, weird, terrible. Don’t worry.) With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture. Beat to just incorporate. Then add half of the milk mixture, and continue to beat on low until well blended. Add the remaining flour, followed by the remaining milk, and beat on low until the batter is thick and smooth.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge to loosen the cake, and then carefully invert it onto the rack.
Meanwhile, make the glaze, if using. In a medium saucepan, combine the buttermilk, sugar, butter, cornstarch, and baking soda. Place it over medium heat, and bring it just to a gentle boil. Immediately remove it from the heat, stir well, and set it aside to cool to room temperature. Add the vanilla, and stir well.
Set the wire rack - with the cake atop it - over a rimmed sheet pan. Spoon the glaze through a fine-mesh sieve over the warm cake. (I recommend using a sieve because my batch of glaze had some little gelatinous bits of clumped cornstarch in it.)
Cool completely before serving.
I just booked a hotel in New York for my birthday weekend in April! We're really going!
Katie (as Dolly), Greta and Pete (as a young Kenny Rogers), originally uploaded by Maggie Skinner.
Hanging out with baby Greta Louise. She was one week old on Halloween! Hey kid, just wait until you can eat the candy.
I was afraid to touch her with my crazy, scary fake red fingernails!
Babies make the world seem like a happier place.
If you want to absolutely explode with cuteness, click here.
- Squash (2 kinds!)
By Jennifer Adler M.S., C.N.
Makes 6 servings.
• 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed, cut into bite sized pieces
• 1 teaspoon coarse salt
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup diced red onion
• 1/3 cup currants
• 1 cup diced apple (1/2 apple)
• 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (I used roasted seeds)
• 1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Put kale in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, massage salt into kale for 2-3 minutes.
Gently stir in remaining ingredients except for cheese.Taste salt and vinegar. When at desired flavor gently stir in cheese.
It's been a week of fascinating experiences.
I had the opportunity to visit a local organization called Compass Center, which serves homeless men and women in Seattle. I ate dinner and went to the evening worship service. We were at the location that provides services for men (women's services are at another location), and I enjoyed chatting with a few of the men while we had dinner. They had all been employed until recently and had basically slipped off the bottom of the employment ladder - and now there's no work to be had. It was a good dose of reality in terms of what the new face of homelessness looks like.
I have a suggestion for those Old World cooks who are wrestling with New World advice: take another look at the fat profile of lard. It has half the level of saturated fat of palm kernel oil (about 80 percent saturated fat) or coconut oil (about 85 percent) and its approximately 40 percent saturated fat is lower than butter's nearly 60 percent. Today's miracle, olive oil, is much lower in saturated fat, as everyone knows, but it does have some: about 13 percent. As for monounsaturated fat, the current savior, olive oil contains a saintly 74 percent, yes. But scorned lard contains a very respectable 45 percent monounsaturated fat - double butter's paltry 23 or so percent.
As with all dietary advice, the fat of the day will change. But eternal truths will remain: food is always best with little or no processing and eaten as close as possible to where it is grown. This goes for lard, too. The artisan pig farmers whose fortunes have been revived by a new market for pork with real flavor should look into selling lard because the supermarket kind is processed and dismal.
Lard's fat is also mostly monounsaturated, which is healthier than saturated fat. And even the saturated fat in lard has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol. Not to mention that lard has a higher smoking point than other fats, allowing foods like chicken to absorb less grease when fried in it. And, of course, fat in general has its upsides. The body converts it to fuel, and it helps absorb nutrients, particularly calcium and vitamins.
Final note: I also got a quick lesson on making tamales, so I'll have to attempt that on another day and report back.
Now there's just Lardfest 2010 to plan for!
Something to lift your spirits on a Wednesday. It's the the fifth-grade chorus from Public School 22 on Staten Island, N.Y. singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." And one little guy does an amazing solo! You go guy!
Mojitos - Pete and I had so many during the Record-setting Seattle Heat Wave (!!!) that we completely OD'd and have to take a break for a while. But, here's the easiest way to make them:
By Julia Dinsmore
My name is not "Those People."
I am a loving woman, a mother in pain, giving birth to the future, where my babies have the same chance to thrive as anyone.
My name is not "Inadequate."
I did not make my husband leave - he chose to,
and chooses not to pay child support.
Truth is thought, there isn't a job base for all
fathers to support their families.
While society turns its head, my children pay the price.
My name is not "Problem and Case to Be Managed."
I am a capable human being and citizen, not a client.
The social service system can never replace the compassion
and concern of loving Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Fathers,
Cousins, Community - all the bonded people who need to be
but are not present to bring children forward to their potential.
My name is not "Lazy, Dependent Welfare Mother."
If the unwaged work of parenting, homemaking and community building was factored into the Gross National Product, my work would have untold value. And I wonder why my middle-class sisters whose husbands support them to raise their children are glorified - and they don't get called lazy and dependent.
My name is not "Ignorant, Dumb or Uneducated."
I live with an income of $621 with $169 in food stamps.
Rent is $585. that leaves $36 a month to live on. I am such a genius at surviving that I could balance the state budget in an hour.
Never mind that there is a lack of living-wage jobs.
Never mind that it is impossible to be the sole emotional, social and economic support to a family.
Never mind that parents are losing their children to the gangs, drugs, stealing, prostitution, social workers, kidnapping, the streets, the predator.
Forget about putting money into schools - just build more prisons.
My name is not "Lay Down and Die Quietly."
My love is powerful and my urge to keep my children alive will never stop. All children need homes and people who love them. They need safety and the chance to be the people they were born to be.
The wind will stop before I let my children become a statistic.
Before you give in to the urge to blame me,
the blames that lets us go blind and unknowing into
the isolation that disconnects us, take another look.
Don't go away.
For I am not the problem, but the solution.
And...My name is not "Those People."
Do It Anyway
People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
- To clean my hair: Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner
- To condition my hair: L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss
- To style my hair: Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Mousse and Gel (Bonus: They smell like lavendar!)
- To keep my hair in place: Aveda Hairspray (I still haven't found anything cheaper that I like as well as this)
You can see more pictures at my Flickr account or on my Facebook page.
Off the vine.
I was going to share it
But I ate it
In the afternoon sun
All by myself.
This is Just to Say
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
Not much has changed for me over the last few years. In fact, most of the time people asked me, "What's new?", I wouldn't really have anything to report. Maybe I was training for a triathlon or planning a weekend getaway or starting a blog :), but nothing of major impact.
Isn't it funny how change can sweep in suddenly from so many directions? It's scary and exciting and confusing when you're right in the middle of dealing with it - trying to figure out what to do, which way to go. Kind of like a big thunderstorm.
But you know that smell and that feeling when you wake up after a storm, in the morning? Fresh and new.
- Change is scary, even terrifying, but you can't be afraid of it. Don't let fear hold you back.
- When faced with two options, neither one will be perfect. You just have to make the best decision you can based on your knowledge, experience, goals and values. (I've given up the notion that there is one "right" decision in every circumstance. Trying to be sure you're making the "right" decision can drive you insane.)
- Pursue the life and values that you want to embody, not money and status.
- Take calculated - or even crazy - risks. Don't just play it safe all the time.
- A good friend told me that when you don't know how to start the process of making a change, just take one step in that direction. Do something small that moves you a little closer, and see what unfolds.
- Listen to the advice of people you trust, who have your best interests at heart. But, in the end, you have to make the decision on your own and you have to live with the outcome. Don't let someone make the decision for you.
Oh, Seattle, I love you sometimes. What a great weekend to enjoy all the charms and quirks of this city.
On Saturday, Pete and I walked down to the Fremont Solstice Festival and Parade. The parade kicks off with hundreds of naked bikers covered in body paint, followed by floats and groups ranging from funny to confusing to bizarre. If you are weird, then this is your day to show your true colors. And, guess what? We'll all celebrate you!
Then, we biked down to Safeco field to watch the Mariners win (!) against the Diamondbacks. We also conducted a very important taste test of sausage vendors outside the field. The conclusion: Mojo is our vendor of choice for their menu, their toppings (including banana peppers) and the song the vendor sings to people walking by. HOWEVER, we think the actual sausages at Al's may be a little better.
On Sunday, I became an ad hoc member of my neighborhood P-Patch. P-Patches are pieces of land in urban areas and neighborhoods where people can use small plots of land to grow gardens. They're run by the city and perfect for someone like me that lives in an apartment. I moved all my potted plants to an area of the P-Patch because they were recently kicked out of the common area of my building. (The nerve!). I'll have to post pics of the P-Patch soon - it's very charming and on a very steep hill.
Last, Pete and I celebrated the solstice and the first day of summer with a very summery meal of cherries, asparagus, salmon and bluebarb pie (that's blueberries and rhubarb).
Yea for Seattle! Yea for summer!
P.S. The pie was great but the crust was tough and not flaky at all. What did I do wrong? Too much water? Letting the unbaked pie get warm on my drive to Pete's?
Recently my officemate and I made brunch for our office. We used a couple classic recipes sent to me by good ol' Mom. (Thanks Mom!) Our menu: classic coffee cake, egg bake, fruit, coffee and juice. We received rave reviews and I promised I'd post the recipes online. So, without further ado . . .