floral background

Friday, May 27, 2011

FFwD Cardamon Rice Pilaf and Egg and Asparagus Salad

The caradmon rice pilaf made my whole house smell delicious! Dorie said you could cook this rice with chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water. I chose to use a 14.5 ounce Swanson's chicken broth can, and then added 1.5 ounces of water. I'm sure this rice will show up again on my table. The only part I didn't like was the texture of biting into a cardamon seed. I used caradamon seeds, already out of pod, instead of peeling them out of the pods myself. I'm not sure if that made these harder or not, but I thought the seeds were hard to bite into.

I had the egg, asparagus, and bacon salad ready for last Friday, but was so busy working at college graduation activities, I forgot to post! I made the salad without the eggs. I don't like the taste of egg yolks, so an egg with a runny yolk was not appealing. So I made the salad using just bacon and asparagus. It was delicious, and a beautiful spring salad!

All this week, my heart has gone out to the people of Joplin, Mo as they've faced the aftermath of the devastating tornado. It has been a week of severe weather here in the Midwest. For those of you who like weather photos, I thought I'd post a few shots of our hail in St. Louis on 5/25/11.

A dollar bill gives perspective on the size.

Check out the rest of the bloggers at frenchfridayswithdorie.com. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FFwD Spinach and Bacon Quiche

Note: This post was meant to be posted 5/13/11. Due to the outage of blogger in the morning of 5/13, it is just now being posted.

This dish for this week is one I only made because of French Fridays with Dorie. I don't like egg dishes, so I've never liked quiche. I went into this dish knowing that I might not like it, but I figured Mr. Hobby would enjoy the quiche.

I'd planned to make this for dinner one night this week. I had shopped for the ingredients the day before. As I was ready to start, I realized I'd made a mistake, I hadn't made the tart crust ahead of time. I didn't feel like eating dinner at 11 pm, so I improvised. Hello, Pillsbury ready made pie crust. I also don't own a tart pan so I used my pie pan. I rolled the pie crust into my pie pan, and moved on to the other prep work. I didn't partially bake it, because I use these Pillsbury pie crusts often, and they'll bake quickly if they're at room temperature. I used my rice cooker to steam the spinach, and my presto powercrisp bacon cooker to cook the bacon in the microwave. While they cooked, I was able to shop the onion and garlic. As soon as I had enough bacon grease accumulated at the bottom of the powercrisp, I put a tablespoon in a pan, and sauteed the onions and garlic. While they were cooking, I was able to tend to the spinach, and chop up the bacon. I think if I made this a few times, this could really be a dish that comes together in a snap. I love dishes like that for weeknight meals when I'm tired from working all day. I know Mr. Hobby loved this, he ate about half of it for dinner, and then polished off another 1/4 the next day. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I think because there is more cream than egg, it isn't really eggy like some dishes. I'm planning to make this again, and I'm thinking it might taste good with a few tomatoes mixed in too. We'll see.

I'm betting some of the other bloggers played around with the ingredients for this week's Spinach and Bacon quiche. Check them out here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

FFwD Tourteau de Chevre

I made this Tourteau de Chevre Thursday night, after Zumba. After making the tart dough Wednesday night, but not the complete cake, I was pretty much cramming the recipe in for this week's FFwD.

I was also cramming in a phone call to my Grandma, to wish her a happy 89th birthday. So while Grandma and I chatted, I prepped my ingredients, and did everything I could that didn't involve my handmixer. Normally calls with Grandma last about 10 minutes, but she was feeling talkative tonight. We rambled from one topic to another in conversation. Then she mentioned casually that she'd recently attended the 90th birthday for her milkman, and that he had picked up their milk for them all the years. The conversation caught in my brain. "Grandma, how many years did you have cows?" I asked. "Oh, well, from the time we got married until 1978, so a long time." Wow. "That was normal back then, right? For people to farm lots of different things?" "Oh yeah, everyone had cows then. Not like now. Now most people don't have cows." My grandparents had retired from cows, pigs, and plants by the time I was born, leaving only a few chickens. It is so hard for me to think about that nowadays, because my point of reference is that people have a dairy farm, or a chicken farm, but not everything all together on a small scale the way it used to be. And I said to my grandma "Things sure have changed, huh?" My original intention with the comment was that now milk comes from dairy farms with hundreds of cows, and nothing but cows. But the minute the words left my mouth, I realized they took on a larger meaning, about how farming hasn't just changed, but life has changed across generations. My mother moved from the farm to the suburbs, with its manicured lawns and perfectly spaced plots of land. I moved from the suburbs to the city, with its quirky and independent thinkers. There are a decent number of families in my area who do some urban cultivating: honey, chickens, gardens that take up the whole yard. But no matter how many chickens my neighbors have, my life will never circle back to the life my grandma lived. I doubt my grandma ever imagined the life her daughter would lead in the suburbs, just as my mom sometimes struggles to understand the life I've chosen. But no matter how far we've come, how different our lives are, we have lots of love for each other.

So a few days early, I'll say Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and grandmas out there. I'll be celebrating with mine on Sunday. And to my grandma, happy birthday. On your birthday, a few hours after our phone call, I toasted you in my kitchen, with my Tourteau de Chevre. It tasted like what would happen if cheesecake and angel food cake had a baby. And the main ingredient was honey chevre (from Trader Joes!), a product from bees and goats, two things you never had to care for on your farm.

Please check out the other bloggers on FFwD, and again Happy Mother's Day!