Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mango Lassi

Sometimes it's the simple things.  You know what I'm talking about...
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.
Brown paper packages tied up with strings.

 or perhaps...
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels.
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings.

might I add...
Sun on my shoulders and wind in the willows.
The echo of laughter and sweet faces on pillows.
The sweet mellow sound when Dave Matthews sings.

or maybe...
Mangoes and yogurt puréed into lassies.
Going incognito behind my dark sunglassies.
Adding new lyrics to already popular things.

Mango Lassi
slightly adapted from Happy Days with the Naked Chef
serves 4 (<---- that's debatable)

1 c. plain greek yogurt
~1/2 c. milk + more as needed
7 oz. fresh mango, pitted & sliced (~1 mango)
4 tsp. sugar, to taste

Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into glasses and serve.  You can refrigerate this lassi for up to 24 hours.

*forgive me Rodgers and Hammerstein...and Sound of Music lovers everywhere....

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mexican Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I love the grainy texture of Mexican Chocolate- but I've got to admit, I've become totally spoiled.  Since mi amiga has been bringing me freshly made disks of soft, pliable (and often still warm...or so it seems) cinnamon-flecked chocolate from Mexico an average of two times a year, I'm ruined for the store bought stuff.  I ran out of the good stuff a few weeks ago and tried substituting a round of the type I used to love from my Mexican market.  I found that I no longer loved it.  It's harder.  It doesn't melt as beautifully.  Spoiled.  Fortunately, I received another baggie-full this week.  I don't know what I'd do if she went to Mexico less often than she does (or wasn't able to bring me any).  Now, I know how to make it, but I am absolutely unable to source cacao beans.  But enough woe is me...I will survive.  If I use it frugally.

When I saw my friend Leslie of La Cocina de Leslie post her Mexican Chocolate Chunk Cookies last week, I knew that was exactly how I wanted to use the last of my stash (and since Mari would be back to the States in a few days).  So, with a mixture of anticipation and nervousness, I made a batch of cookies that everybody loved.  They were flecked with vanilla beans and studded with soft chunks of homemade Mexican chocolate and little pecan bits.  Turns out there was no need for apprehension, the chocolate was put to good use.  And I already know what I'm making with my new batch.  But I'm not telling.  Not yet.
Mexican Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from La Cocina de Leslie
yield: ~2½-3 dozen

    2¼ c. all-purpose unbleached flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. fine sea salt
    ⅔ c. butter , at room temperature
    ¾ c. grated piloncillo, packed
    ½ c. granulated sugar
    2 eggs, at room temperature
    seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
    2 disks Mexican chocolate, cut in small chunks
    ~1 c. chopped pecans, optional
Preheat oven to 375° F.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and piloncillo.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and beat gently until just combined.  Fold in the Mexican chocolate and pecans, if using (or use half the amount in half the batter, like I do to please the kiddos...who don't dig nuts in their cookies).
optional step:  Cover dough and refrigerate overnight.  I find that this helps keeping the cookies from spreading around the edges (especially in a hot kitchen).

Scoop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased, baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment or a silpat).  Bake for ~8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let the cookies sit on baking sheet for about a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Enjoy warm or at room temperature...awesome with a tall, cold glass of milk!
...and p.s.- remember: cacao beans.  Let me know if find any!

...and p.p.s.- if you can't find/make homemade Mexican chocolate, don't let me scare you away from making these fabulous, soft cookies.  Just because I'm ruined for it doesn't mean you have to be.

I am sharing this post with:
Sweet Treats Party SweetToothFriday sweets for a saturday

Friday, July 29, 2011

50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #8 Judith Jones - Zucchini Pancakes

In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
the "Gourmet" prompt...
8. Judith Jones- Without her there may have been no Julia (not to mention Hazan, Jaffrey, and so many more), because Jones was Child’s early, only champion, and lifelong editor. She also rescued Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl from the slush pile, but that’s another story.

While I'd toyed with picking up a copy of Jones' book The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food many times, I had yet to do it.  That is, until her name popped up as number eight on the list.  So, of course I'm skimming... because time absolutely flies by from one Friday to the next.  By the time we're finished with our crash-course of these 50 ladies, I'm going to have another 100 books (easy) added to my to-read list.  Sheeesh.  So, while I wish I had more background on Judith Jones to share with you, I found myself unprepared this week.  I will share with you some info from her website The Pleasures of Cooking for One-  "Judith Jones is Senior Editor and Vice President at Alfred A. Knopf. She joined the company in 1957 as an editor working primarily on translations of French writers such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. She had worked before that for Doubleday, first in New York and then in Paris, where she was responsible for reading and recommending The Diary of Anne Frank. In addition to her literary authors, she has been particularly interested in developing a list of first-rate cookbook writers; her authors have included Julia Child (Judith published Julia’s first book and was her editor ever after), Lidia Bastianich, James Beard, Marion Cunningham, Rosie Daley, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, Edna Lewis, Scott Peacock, Joan Nathan, Jacques Pépin, Claudia Roden, and Nina Simonds. She is the coauthor with Evan Jones (her late husband) of two books: The Book of Bread: Knead It, Punch It, Bake It! (for children); and The Book of New New England Cookery. She also collaborated with Angus Cameron on The L.L. Bean Game and Fish Cookbook. Recently, she has contributed to Vogue, Saveur, and Gourmet magazines. In 2006, she was awarded the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award."  Pretty darn game-changing if you ask me.  I have, however, had some enough time to page through her entire cookbook by the same name...and although I don't often cook for one, once the kiddos are back in school, I'll have at least five afternoons a week when I do.  So many fantastic ideas and recipes...another "want".

worth further exploration:  (website) The Pleasures of Cooking for One, (books) The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones, The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones
Zucchini Pancakes

zucchini, grated to make 1 cup
1 egg
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 scallion, finely chopped
a few chopped fresh parsley and/or basil leaves
1 slice prosciutto, torn into small pieces
2 slim strips red bell pepper, cut into small dice
light olive oil
squash blossoms to garnish, optional

Spread out the grated zucchini on a towel, and sprinkle salt generously over it.  After 5 minutes or so, pat dry to extract some of the juice.  Beat egg lightly in a bowl, and add the grated zucchini, flour, scallion, herbs, prosciutto, and pepper pieces.  Heat enough oil in a medium skillet to film generously, and when hot, plop half of the batter into the pan, flattening it slightly.  Repeat with remaining batter (you should get 2 pancakes).  When pancakes are brown on the bottom, turn and brown other side.  Remove to a warmed plate and fry the squash blossoms in a little butter, if you wish- this takes just a few seconds (and very, very little butter).  Toss them on top of the pancakes.
Judith Jones (1924-present)
"I couldn't lie.  Yes, I admitted, I adored garlic." ~in answer to her mother's questioning about her "wayward" path in The Tenth Muse
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?
I am sharing this post with:
friday potluck guest host girlichef FCFButton fresh food friday at la bella vita Foodie Friday Logo 2 friday food at mom trends Friday Food Fight

guest hosting: Friday Potluck

While my friend Erin from EKat's Kitchen is off exploring the magnificent country of China during the month of July, I will happily be hosting Friday Potluck right here for her.  I look forward to seeing all of the delicious food that you bring to the POTLUCK and will try to drop by to visit and swoon as soon as I can.  Thanks so much for coming over and linking up here during the month of July.

Thanks to everybody who came by to link up this month while Erin was gone.  It was a pleasure reading your posts and salivating over your recipes.  Friday Potluck will be back at Erin's place next week...hope your trip was amazing, Erin!

A few Friday Potluck rules:
  • Link directly to your post (not your home page).
  • Only one recipe per blog each week.
  • Be sure, in the linked blog post, to link back to Friday Potluck @ girlichef (guest host) using the button or, it'd be great to still link back to Friday Potluck @ EKat's Kitchen, as well.
  • Have fun, do some visiting and enjoy!

friday potluck guest host girlichef

1-Cheese & Broccoli Casserole

2-choc pudding choc chip cookies

3-Black Forest Cake

4-Roasted Pork in Sour Broth-peachkins

5-Chicken Salad!!

6-Run DMT


8-Organic Greens w/Berries and Poppy Seed Dressing

9-2 Layer Blueberry Pie

10-Pasta w/Goat Cheese & Asparagus

11-Zucchini Pancakes

12-Doughnut Muffins, Denial & Letting Go!!

13-Che Davids Burger

14-Almost Like Payday Bars

15-Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

16-Almond Joy Cupcakes

17-Sweet Broccoli Pasta Salad

18-Creamy Dill Sauce (aka Magic)

19-Fresh Lady Cream Peas

20-Old Fashioned Hot Water Cornbread

21-Allergy Free Frosty Paw Dog Treats

22-Spiced Blueberry Jam

23-Basmati Rice and Chicken Salad

24-Losing Creek Farm - Childhood Memories Spaghetti

25-Crab Quiche

26-Hands free Tomato Risotto

27-Fresh Cherry Scones w/ a Sweet Almond Glaze

28-Zucchini & Spinach Lasagna

29-Eggplant Ricotta Bake with Roasted Red Pepper Sauc

30-grilled shrimps

31-Make Salsa from Fresh Tomatoes

32-Nutty Monkey Smoothie

33-Alphabet Pancakes

34-DIY Hot Pockets

35-No Bake Blueberry Banana Pie

36-Picky Eater Solution

37-Perfect Rhubarb Crisp

38-Crockpot Spaghetti and MEatballs

39-Cold Tomato Soup

40-Cupcakes for breakfast

41-Rosemary Potato Rolls

42-Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

43-Overnight Belgian Waffles

44-Vegan Moist Chocolate Cake

45-Key Lime Cheesecake

46-Arugula and Cashew Mixed Salad

47-Cornbread Salad

48-Scallop Pesto Pasta

49-Mushroom Heaven

This linky list is now closed.

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