Saturday, August 30, 2014

Food'N'Flix: Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs Double Feature {Round-Up}



Food‘nFlixThis month I invited bloggers to join me for August's Food'N'Flix event to watch - and cook from - a double-feature of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs flicks. Bloggers could choose to watch the original or the sequel or both!

Caroline Makes wrote: "This film is full of food - at one point it rains cheeseburgers - but as the title is so memorable I wanted to make something with meatballs. I've featured meatball recipes on my blog before, like these cheese-stuffed meatballs." Caroline submitted a plate with broccoli trees and mashed potato clouds. I loved that she played with her food!

from Caroline Makes

It's raining meatballs! Gwen of Simply Family Healthy submitted a photo of her Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Eggplant.

from Simply Family Healthy

Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures couldn't decide what to submit and ended up with two foodimals. Perfect. She made a Buffaloaf, classic meatloaf that was so stinkin' cute! And it tasted good, too. Here's what she wrote: "It was flavorful, moist, and delicious!  Hubs took a bite and said, “Woah.  This is not your standard unglorified meatball.”" Nice.


And she made a Sub-Whale. Not only did she make another adorable foodimal, she made her own hoagie bread. Way to go, Amy!!



More meatballs from Elizabeth at The Lawyer's Cookbook...she made Spaghetti and Bacon Meatballs.


And I also have to share this. She included, "My boyfriend and I even adopted the way they kiss." I laughed so hard because that's how my 10-year-old kisses me goodnight, too. I love silliness.


Cheap Ethnic Eatz's Evelyne made a Layered Jello Yogurt Cake. Evelyne enjoyed that the movie gave a thumbs up for the science geeks and nerdy types. Agreed! She posted: Flint makes a world of Jello for the girl he likes. A whole world of things made of Jello. And this is one of my favorite lines from the movie, her response:

Sam Sparks: [Holding spoonful of jello] It’s a solid, it’s a liquid, it’s a viscoelastic polymer made out of polypeptide chains but you eat it! I mean, it tastes good!


Heather, of girlichef, always ups the ante. For this event - remember the airplane-attacking gummy bears?!? - she made her own Giant Evil Gummy Bears. "These gummy bears are incredibly simple and fast to make. All you need is unflavored gelatin and flavored gelatin mix (like Jell-o). In 20-30 minutes, you (and by you, I mean your totally mean your kids, duh) will be biting the heads off of giant evil gummy bears like nobody's business."

I'll admit, I did order the mold right away. ;)


Another post that wins on the cute factor is the 'StrawBarry' Marshmallow Mousse by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. "In honor of Barry and the marshmallows, we have a sweet, fluffy (and pretty cannibalistic I guess) 'StrawBarry' Marshmallow Mousse ;-)" Too funny.


Debra at Eliot's Eats sent me her post just under the wire. Phew, you made it! She made a Spicy Rooster Pizza - like the pizza flurries. "I wanted to create my pizza in honor of a favorite menu item at Marley’s in Tulsa. Our favorite creation there is the Italian Rooster (Grilled Chicken, Pepperoni, Jalapeno Peppers & Mozzarella Cheese with Garlic and Oil Glaze).  Here’s my rendition... the “rooster” in the title of this recipe is also an allusion to all the crazy food-animals in the sequel."


And lastly, I had a hard time deciding between meatballs, foodimals, and sardines. I ended up going with sardines because, like Swallow Falls, sardines are important to where I call home: Monterey and California's central coast. While Flint says "sardines...are super gross." I'm grateful that the silver tide is enjoying a resurgence because my family loves sardines. I opted to make an Italian sardine dish - Sarde in Saòr, sweet and sour sardines.


And that's a wrap on this month's Food'N'Flix. Thanks so much, all, for watching and participating! Caroline Makes is hosting next month. She selected Funny Girl. That's a new one for me. Can't wait! Keep an eye out for her official invitation.

This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. I will only recommend products - usually books, cookbooks, but sometimes equipment or a DVD - that I have used and loved...not for any compensation unless otherwise noted in the blog post. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the book or item of your choice.

      

And...just in case you want to make your own gummy bears...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New to Us: Pichuberries




When D and I were at Whole Foods this evening getting spices for his school project (click to read about that: here), I came across a container of Pichuberries. Since I had never seen those before, I put it on our shopping cart immediately.


Meet the pichuberry!


What is a pichuberry? It's a Peruvian fruit known as aguaymanto or Inca berry. It looks like a small, golden tomatillo; it's about the size of a large marble. R's assessment: it tastes like a mix between a star fruit and a tomato. He's right.

From my reading...the pichuberry has almost 20 times the vitamin C as an orange and could be known as an anti-diabetic fruit. They reduce sugar levels in the blood and stimulating hormones that secrete insulin in diabetic patients.

We will definitely be buying these again. They were tasty!

Spice of D's Life




One of the first projects they do in 5th grade is to identify, research, and express their cultural history. Since R did this two years ago (when he made an R-ball), D already knew the percentages: 50% Filipino, 12.5% Swedish, 12.5% Portuguese, 12.5% German, and 12.5% Irish. Somehow, D decided that the 50% Filipino was itself 50% Filipino and 50% Spanish - since the Philippines was a Spanish colony and Nonno looks like he's from Spain.

Okay, it's your project, Wom.



Here's his progress post for his teacher: D's Spice Box, Part I.

We tossed around a couple of ideas, but since he's such an avid cook, he decided that he would make a box of spices with spices from all of the countries from which his ancestors hailed. Cool idea.

He made a list, checked it twice, and off we went to buy some spices. We already had several of the spices on his list, but he needed juniper berries...



...he also needed dried dill, rosemary, and thyme since we usually only use fresh. He also picked up white peppercorns, annatto seeds, and a few other things.



I'm not sure if the spice box is all he has planned. But I can't wait to cook with these when he's finished!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Haute Hop Sauce




I'll admit that I didn't intend to make a hot sauce with hops. I was just making a sauce with my pepper bounty from our High Ground Organics CSA. Then I got the bag of Cascade hops from the Lamberts. And, instead of using other herbs, I decided to turn the hot sauce into a hoppy affair. This really packs a punch, a bitter and delicious punch.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh peppers (I had Padròns and banana peppers)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 T grey fleur de sel
  • 1 1/2 C white vinegar

Procedure

Wash and dry your pepper. Lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roast for 40 minutes - until the peppers are shriveled and golden.


Once roasted, pull the stems from the peppers.


Combine the peppers, garlic cloves, and salt in a blender. Blend for a few pulses. Once the ingredients are roughly combined, drizzle in the vinegar. Blend till smooth.


Transfer sauce to a mason jar and allow to sit in the pantry; the longer it sits, the deeper the flavor that develops. I left mine for about 10 days. Blend the sauce smooth again. Test the sauce and adjust the salt to taste. Transfer to bottles or jars and place in the refrigerator.


This sauce will keep for 3-4 months. I plunked a few hops petals in the jar as a garnish.

Spiced Chocolate-Ginger Ice Cream




Ingredients
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 C organic raw turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 T ginger syrup
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground cinnamon

Procedure
Place all of the ingredients in your ice cream maker and process according to your machine. Ours took about 30 minutes to come to a soft, gelato-like texture. Spoon ice cream into a container and freeze for at least an hour before serving. 

Pa amb Tomaquet with Hops




I discovered this dish - Pa amb Tomaquet - during our Cooking Around the World Adventure - when we traveled by tabletop to Andorra. Tonight I modified the recipe to make Pa amb Tomaquet with Hops. My cooking obsession with the Cascade Hops from the Lamberts continues. But this is not simply gratuitous hops addition; you can really taste the hops. And it is fabulous...and fun.


Ingredients

  • slices of bread
  • garlic cloves - to match the number of pieces of bread +  2 cloves
  • 2 C cherry tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • olive oil
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Cascade hops blossoms, pulled apart

Procedure
Toast the bread slices in an oven. In the meantime mince 2 cloves of garlic and place them in a small mixing bowl. Stir in the cherry tomato wedges and hops blossom petals. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To assemble...rub each piece of bread with a clove of garlic. Top with the tomato mixture and serve immediately.

Salted Hop Caramel Sauce




I know that some people are very fastidious about their caramel. If I were making candy, I would have pulled my candy thermometer out of the drawer, but for sauce...I'm more fast and loose. I decided to try to make a hop-infused salted caramel. I think next time I'll use more hops. Because the hoppy profile wasn't too strong, I left the petals in. If it were stronger, I might have strained them out.

Ingredients
  • 1 C organic raw turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 hop blossoms, pulled apart (I used some Cascade hops from the Lamberts)
  • 3/4 C organic heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 T butter
  • 1 t gray fleur de sel (whatever you use, make sure it has a fine flake)

Procedure
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and hop blossoms over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Once all of the crystals are dissolved, turn up the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If needed, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals along the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, approximately 5-6 minutes.


Turn off the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream.



The mixture will bubble. Stir in the butter and salt. Remove the caramel from the heat and let cool completely. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.


Note: the caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving!

Tea Swap: Relax with Tea and a Snack



I was intrigued by Brooklyn Farm Girl's August Tea Swap. Sounded like fun...and it was!


I joined the festivites and sent the chocolate and tea above to Danielle in Brooklyn, NY. The theme was tea and a snack. I chose chocolate and coconut chai teas and paired it with a chocolate and coconut bar. Hope she likes it.

I don't buy a lot of pre-bagged teas; loose leaf teas are usually a higher quality. But when I do pick a bagged tea, I like Zhena's. Zhena's teas are hand-crafted, unique infusions and they are 100% organic and 100% Fair Trade certified. On top of that, hers is a tear-jerking story. At the bottom, I've included a link to her book. It's inspiring, delicious, and engaging.

Danielle sent me a fantastic package and a lovely note. My boys tore into the package immediately!


Her card really made me smile! Look at those smiling flowers.


And  here's just one of the treats Danielle sent: 'Baked in Brooklyn' flatbread crisps. They were so delicious. I actually took them out to the pool within minutes of opening the box and snacked while my boys splashed and played.


Danielle included some of her favorite teas - Celestial Seasonings because she went to college in Boulder; Bigelow because it's from the northeast. And she picked snacks from local New York companies. What a great package of treats!! Thanks so much, Danielle!

This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. I will only recommend products - usually books, cookbooks, but sometimes equipment or a DVD - that I have used and loved...not for any compensation unless otherwise noted in the blog post. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the book or item of your choice.