Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sleepy Hollow Cornmeal Shortcakes

A sleepy afternoon at Philipsburg Manor and Farm in Sleepy Hollow was just what the doctor ordered for us this weekend - we had a lovely time learning about 17th century Hudson valley history and lifestyles. The kids learned how to make Flax and collected cornmeal at a working grist-mill. We decided to spend some of Sunday afternoon making the cornmeal shortcakes as they were originally made in the 17th century, thanks to the recipes posted on the Historic Hudson Valley website. A nice commemoration of the quadricentennial....

The kids loved all the measuring involved. And just so you know, we substituted butter for the vegetable shortening. Another trick - make buttermilk by combining 2/3 cups of low fat yogurt and 1/3 cup skimmed milk for one cup of buttermilk.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Eating while vegetarian

Last night, hubby and a few of his friends were out at the widely recommended Malaysian restaurant Nyonya in the Lower East Side. While most of the group had a great meal, the vegetarian in the group sent me the following mobile picture which lays out his vegetarian options...


In case the photo isn't clear, here's the unfriendly "Vegetable" section:

VEGETABLES

  1. SALTED FISH WITH BEAN SPROUTS 6.95
  2. SALTED FISH WITH CHINESE BROCCOLI 7.95
  3. SPINACH WITH PRESERVED BEAN CURD Sauce 6.95
  4. CHINESE WATERCRESS W. PRESERVED BEAN CURD sauce 6.95
  5. KANG KUNG BELACAN 9.95
    Sauteed convolus w. spicy Malaysian shrimp paste sauce.
  6. SHRIMPS W. LADIES FINGERS MALAYSIAN STYLE 9.95
    Sauteed okra with spicy Malaysian shrimp paste sauce.
  7. Shrimps w. eggplant malaysian style 9.95
  8. SHRIMPS W. STRING BEANS MALAYSIAN STYLE 9.95
    Sauteed string beans with spicy Malaysian shrimp paste sauce.
  9. MALAYSIAN BUDDHIST 9.95Mixed vegetable w. bean curd skin & Chinese mushroom in Chef's special sauce.
  10. BEAN CURD IN THAI STYLE 9.95Bean curd topped w. minced pork, shrimp & Chinese mushroom in Chef's special spicy sauce.
Only three out of 10 items in the "vegetable" section did not contain seafood or pork.

As a newish vegetarian, I guess I won't be rushing down there anytime soon.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ramekins rule!

The following recipe is extremely easy to assemble and can be pretty accurately timed for perfection. An added benefit is that it's can be set up as a highly participative and messy process...a sport, almost. D&K had a whale of a time, and since the baking was done at around 4 pm, they realized they were really hungry for dinner at around 4.01 pm. Once again, dinner wanished pretty much as soon as it was on the table.




Ingredients:
(for one medium Ramekin)

2 mini meatballs, quartered
One slice of whole wheat bread, trimmed to fit at the bottom of the ramekin
One egg
5 olives
Half a teaspoon of capers
One small tomato, cubed
Two tablespoons blue cheese
Two tablespoons shaved parmigiano cheese


For the vegetarian version, I used Arugula (from friend Hari's backyard!) and diced carrots instead of the meatballs.
  • Preheat the overn to 350 degrees
  • Place the trimmed slice of bread at the bottom of the ramekin
  • Layer one tablespoon blue cheese, the meatballs, tomatoes, olives and capers, eggs (make sure the yolk is pierced, blue cheese and the parmigiano
  • In the case of the vegetarian version, the carrots replace the meatballs, and the arugula goes just below the top layer of cheese
  • Bake for 30 minutes and serve piping hot

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hari's herbs

Our friend Hari stopped by this evening with a cornucopia of fresh herbs and vegetables that he's been growing in his backyard. The amazingly fragrant mint, the lemon grass, chives, cilantro are currently flavoring the air - and I'm still trying to figure out what two bunches are. One has a distinct lemony smell, the other is extremely curry-like, but certainly aren't curry leaves. Thanks to eHow, I'm trying out some creative ways to keep these flavors alive. Any insights on what you've done with your fresh herbs are welcome!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's back to the basics...eat veggies, no matter what the farming approach

Interesting that this site, dedicated to "Gardening, harvesting, cooking and preserving with kids in tow" surfaced this story that organic foods are only as nutritious as conventionally grown veggies!