Wednesday, September 24, 2008

just for marjo...


Dearest friends,

I was determined to write a post sans apologies...

So I have two options I could 1) apologize once again for being an awful blogger and sound like a broken record or 2) just continue writing and act rude.

Well, I was raised in the south, and my Mother would be disappointed in me if I were rude. So, I'm sorry.

I've been doing some serious recipe cooking lately! Well, more recipe baking to be exact. I made a French yogurt cake from the Orangette blog recently and it was lovely. This past weekend I made my very first carrot cake, per the recipe from The Lady and Sons cookbook. Brandon gave it to me for Christmas a year before we started dating. (You'd think I would have snatched him immediately upon receiving that present.) I also tackled popovers two Saturdays ago. Along with the popovers I made a smoked salmon and chive fritata with sour cream on top. (That one didn't require a recipe, I love a fritata, so simple!) I made tomato sauce for the first time, and it was lovely, despite the fact that I usually don't really like red sauce. Then I made a baked pasta dish also from the Orangette blog, Kh. Susan recommended the recipe to me and it did not disappoint.

I made (without a recipe) a really delicious vegetable curry and it was wonderful! I learned the secret for the curry from a cooking seminar we attended at India Fest. I cooked two cinnamon sticks and a jalapeno in the cooking oil. It gave the curry a really deep complex flavor, much more than adding them at the last minute. I served it with brown rice and it made a very tasty fasting friendly supper.

Then as a wonderful treat this Sunday I made a spicy sweet salmon with an avocado cream sauce. It was heaven. I got the recipe from mom's friend Linda. I plan on making it for our very first dinner club meeting this coming Saturday, I wanted to test it out on my poison monkey (Brandon.) I'll share the recipe later, it's so simple!

I almost forgot, on Saturday after having a yummy breakfast at Cafe Eclectic with Brandon, I went to St. George's Greek Fest. There I loaded up on my fix of spanikopita, tirikopita, and baklava. MMMMMMMM! Oh yeah and Cooper-Young the Saturday before that. I got a lovely vintage apron, needless to say I've found numerous occasions to wear it!

Oh, and my sweet boyfriend scoured through the books at the library's used book sale and got me 5, yes 5 cookbooks! One of his finds is the Culinary Arts Institute's Encyclopedic Cookbook. It was published in 1970 and it's huge. Along with many recipes for congealed salads (EW) there are some awesome tidbits! I can hardly contain my excitement about this find!

I think that's about it... pardon any misspellings etc. I'm writing this in a hurry.

You happy now Marjo!?!?! (Just kidding, now I'm all caught up!)

Monday, September 01, 2008

it's a lovely day for a brunch-nic, or is it a pic-runch?

Either way you slice it it's a lovely idea. This morning, in celebration of Labor day we had a brunch-picnic with some dear friends. Our menu included cheese grits, beignets (made by Brandon, he's a keeper isn't he?), eggs, cantaloupe, croissants, clementines, bagels, brie, and even chocolate cake and cookies! Gigi even made coffee at home and brought it! It was quite the meal.

I don't know if anyone in the history of picnics or brunch has combined the two things. I would personally like to take credit for the invention if you don't mind, you should try it sometime. I'd love to join you... I make a mean some pretty nice cheese grits!

Here's your weekly B & C fix. I think we're our happiest on a picnic blanket. Logistically, we don't quite love the eating on a blanket, that's what picnic tables are for. Blankets are for cloud watching and book reading.

This is my buddy Anna Marie, how much do we love this hat?... And that precious face!

We had girl time on the blanket, while they guys played a rousing game of horseshoes. (L to R- Gigi, Kh. Jeanette, and ccm.)

I think Father Nicholas won the game.

I wish I could be entertained by playing hide and go seek with my Mom!
The weather was perfect, although a couple of us ended up with cheese grits in our lap, due to the fierce wind. It was a wonderful way to spend the holiday.
For our brunch I also made these "Nutmeg Doughnut Muffins." Personally I've never been a huge fan of nutmeg, but the author of the blog where I found the recipe made them sound irresistible. Kh. Susan sent me a link to this blog, Orangette, and I think I'm best friends with the author, even though we haven't met one another yet, and she lives in Seattle. She calls these special occasion muffins, and I think she's right. The batter is like a sticky biscuit dough and then the muffins are brushed with butter and rolled in powdered sugar. They are perfect. I think I have a new favorite brunch standby. They paired very well with a cup of black coffee, they make me feel like I'm in a cafe in Europe somewhere, even if I'm at a park in Memphis. Do try this recipe, I promise it will not disappoint.

Happy eating, and happy Labor Day dear readers.

P.S. At some point tomorrow I promise to post about the meal we had at our friend Murphy's restaurant. It's in the works.