to make

To Make: Lemon Gooey Bars, Cheddar Biscuits and a Pinterest Account

It's been another week full of good stuff to read, coming to me via folks on twitter and my blog reader. Here are a few things that have recently caught my eye:

  • Lemon Gooey Bars at Jamhands.
    Don't these look yummy? I would have made these already if any of my local grocers had lemon cake mix. 
  • Spaetzle at Smitten Kitchen.
    Whenever I make it to Suppenkuche in Hayes Valley, my entree choices are limited by what they have that comes with spaetzle, because it's ne of those things I can't pass up. It looks to be pretty simple, so why haven't I made this yet?
  • Pinterest
    I've been wanting to make an account and start my own pinboard here. Unfortunately it looks like they've been having server troubles, so I haven't yet. I wonder if any of you are using it?
  • Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits from Serious Eats
    These look a lot like the amazing cheddar biscuits from Fog City Diner. And I need to work on my biscuit technique-- I've gotten rusty! Also want to make their Jam Muffins with something lovely from June Taylor.
  • Pop Tarts and Other Junk Food, Homemade
    I keep forgetting that I have a half dozen pop tart recipes stashed away here and there. I really should make some one of these days, given our easy access here to amazing jams from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Still needing to do a big old blog list overhaul-- not nearly enough to read currently.

To Make

I'm always collecting bookmarks for a number of yummy treats. Not sure what  I want to bake this weekend, so I've been clicking through to see if anything causes me to lick my lips, and these all sound promising...

While I try to decide if baking snacks today>heating up the kitchen, I'm going to have a Stirrings Lemon Drop. Ah, summer...

Fall at Last

Although the shortening of the days does not make me happy, the cooling evenings do make me happy as they allow for a return to the baking and slow-roasted home cooking to which I am most partial.

I have a Whole Foods delivery incoming this afternoon with the ingredients I need to make my slow roasted veggie and chicken soup (I plan on putting a good bit of it in individual-sized freezer bowls). I'm also making enchiladas with plenty extra to freeze for lunches over the coming weeks. And if the blueberries are still bountiful at the farmers market tomorrow, I'll be making mini blueberry muffins as my contribution to our camping trip's consumables.

What's for Lunch?

This thread over at Serious Eats gave me a solid dozen ideas for going beyond the sandwich for packed lunches. I can not wait to put some of the into action. Were it not for the fact that we are awaiting delivery of a new refrigerator on Monday, I'd be writing up a shopping list now. Cross your fingers our landlords are going for Energy Saver tax credit and not bargain basement mini fridge.

Making Homemade Pasta

When I first brought home Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking , I dove in to the recipes for homemade pasta, determined to try my hand at it. But it never happened. You see, I am cursed with a galley kitchen, its limited counterspace eaten up by my convection oven, Kitchen Aide mixer, and espresso machine.

I am also cursed with the need to see visual demonstrations of new cooking techniques in order to understand and execute on them. Marcella's books were beautifully written, but didn't give me much guidance.

Fast forward. KQED's foodie blog has a step-by-step pictorial on making pasta. It gave me the visual queues I needed to get the process. Now if only someone can help me double my counterspace...

Springtime Cooking

MMM Springtime cooking. I can tell it's Springtime because I've recently made my favorite potato salad. Now that's a dish I just don't crave until the days start getting longer and the sunshine is streaming through the windows on the weekend.

This week's SF Chronicle food section had all sorts of springtime temptations:

  • Ricotta Desserts. I am definitely going to try Ducca's ricotta cheesecake recipe.
  • My standard potato salad is similar to this Berlin potato salad, but no pickles.
  • Aioloi is something on my dinner table with much frequency during the Spring and Summer months. Michael Bauer has a blog entry on aioli, incuding a standard aioli recipe.
  • Fish tacos actually smell more like Summer to me, but this article makes me want to try my hand at it.

My major baking project this Spring is continuing on my bake-through of the new Martha Stewart cookies book. So far, I've done the chocolate gingerbread cookies and the peanut butter & jelly cookie bars. I made the latter for Easter, expecting it to be a hit with the kids, but none of the kids would even try a taste. I think the roasted nitty crumble on top was too scary for them for some reason. Oh well.


Foodie Reads Around the Web

  • I thnk I am going to try the chocolate-amaretti waffles over on Serious Eats, though I'm not going to use a heart-shaped waffle iron. No, that would be too cute for even me. Now if anyone has a spare hello kitty waffle iron lying around...
  • Cold wintery nights drive me to make more potatoe dishes than ever. The twice-baked potatoes from Rachael Ray look yum.
  • I hope to get in gear to make some chili from scratch. The Miami Herald had a southwestern style white chili I should try.
  • If I were going to a Super Bowl party, I would be on the lookout for artichoke dips. This recipe reminds tho that folks with food allergies need to ask hosts before diving in. I'm allergic to crab, and you usually can't see it at a glance in stuff like this. Here's hoping hosts use little notecards to keep guests aware of any potentially problematic ingredients.
  • Not sure I would actually make chocolate cake balls, but I love the photo posted along with it at Serious Eats.

Foodie Reads Around the Web

  • My SO thinks he doesn’t like meatloaf. But given how he loves a good slab of hamburger smothered in onions, I think he may be able to be won over. Like with a good meatloaf fortified with Lipton onion soup mix (this is a not-so-secret vice of mine I love this stuff) and wrapped in bacon maybe? It’s certainly an inspiration to take part in Serious Eats’ Meatloaf Appreciation Day

  • Serious Eats also has a great post on making NC-style Pulled Pork. This is the sort of recipe that makes me sad about not having a backyard to grill in.

  • The MN Star Tribune has a lemon bar recipe I really should try.

  • I love Martha Stewart, and have been impressed with her new line of housewares at Macy’s (yes, everything in the baking section is being added to my Christmas list), but the Wine Spectator blurb on Martha’s new wine venture with Gallo caught me by surprise.

More food reads around the Web

  • NPR
    • Espressa granita with whipped cream has long been one of my favorite desserts at Zuni Café. NPR did a piece on making granita.
    • SPAM isn’t only a favorite of Monty Python fans. In this NPR story, Howard Yoon shares his love of the tinned meat product.

  • NY Times
    • NY Times article on the bad behavior exhibited in some of NY’s most upscale restaurants. Bad behavior of the drinking-too-much-and-stripping-off-clothes-to-swim-in-the-fountain-at-the-Four-Seasons type shenanigans.
    • If I got over my fear of frying, I’d love to make some of these individual fried pies.

    Recent Foodie Reads Around the Web... SF Chronicle/SF Gate edition

    • The SF Gate business section had an article that answered a reader’s query on how to get started selling their BBQ and dipping sauces. The answer included a treasure trove of great SF food lovers’ production resources, including a mention of La Cocina, a nonprofit commercial kitchen that offers free access and technical help to low-income entrepreneurs who are starting food businesses.
    • SF Gate also has a great article and recipe for Bakesale Betty’s picnic fried chicken. Mmmm. Too bad I am such a…chicken about frying in my poorly ventilated kitchen.
    • Does SF’s SOMA district need another wine tasting room? We already have Vino Venue, and the Diablo Grande winery room, and now, according to the Chronicle’s “Scoop”, we’re getting another one, called Press Club -- featuring wines from Chateau Montelena, Miner Family Vineyards, Hanna Winery, Pahlmeyer Wine, Saintsbury Vineyard and Mount Eden Vineyards. I almost never make it out to Hanna and Miner to taste despite loving their wines, so this makes me happy.
    • Two weeks ago, I went to Fog City Diner for dinner. The cab driver took us up past Enrico’s on the way there, causing me to do a double-take. I remember being bummed when Enrico’s closed a while back, yet the patio was overflowing with a chatting crowd. What was going on? Apparently, they’ve reopened, under new owners. Yeah for SF regaining an outdoor dining/cocktailing spot!
    • Last but not least—my neighborhood culinary treasure – Chapeau! – has received another glowing review, this time from the Chronicle’s food editor. I swear we’ll never be able to get in there again. Oh well – couldn’t happen to a better place.

    More Foodie Reads Around the Web

    Recent foodie reads

    I'm a little later with this post than intended but better late than never (or something):

    • I'm really enjoying the Serious Eats group blog. Check out the Manila Pizza post to get a flavor for their newsy posts. Reminds me of how I felt about Saveur when it was a newly minted publication. Just right level of personal details without overwhelming the food content.
    • I had a little bit of a giggle reading this Pasta Pomodoro review. I'm used to my local paper's policy of not reviewing chains, and didn't realize other papers actually do. Also in the Philly Inquirer, I liked the Crispy Chicken Salad recipe, though for the life of me I have no idea what Panko bread crumbs are (specific company? type of bread product?)
    • Bay Area Bites had a great ode to fried chicken that makes me wish I'd get over my fear of frying. For now though, I think I am sticking with my small chunks of chicken fried in the tiniest amount of oil possible.
    • On a hot Summer day the last thing I want to do is cook. That's why this NY Times article with 101 bullet-size recipes for 10 min meals was right up my alley.
    • Diners love to complain about bad dining experiences. This Dallas Morning News article turns the tables -- with restaurant staff sharing their pet peeves about diners.

    Selected Foodie Readings Elsewhere Today

    • The Dallas Morning News had a yummy sounding recipe for a chili lasagne. My nostalgia for hamburger helper lasagne (a staple around my house as a child) and my grown-up love of spicy chili means I am putting this on my "to make" list for the weekend.
    • The NY Times has a piece on the excellence of Engish candy bars. Nice to know I'm not the only one who requests chocolates from friends going abroad.
    • Bay Area Bites had a great post about planning for a green friend's "super crunchy" baby shower.