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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fresh Produce

Here are more pictures of Saturday's trip to Boggy Creek Farm with Sheri.

I'm headed over to the strawberry patch, sunscreened and shaded! Pick your own strawberries were limited to 1 pint per customer. They'd been pretty well picked over by the time we got there.

Beautiful, absolutely perfect lettuce!

Carrots in dappled light. Gary was sad that I didn't bring some home to him.

Freshly dug new potatoes. We served them gratineed the following evening. They were fabulous!

Tangled celeriac/celery root. I love it mashed with potatoes, but we didn't buy any.

Someone bought the last nosegay of lovely sweet peas! I asked her if we could take a picture, because they remind me of my mom.

Speaking of moms, here's a reminder for all of us from the owner of Boggy Creek Farm.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chicken Paprikas

I've had Chicken Paprikas marked "to-do" in Fine Cooking #43 for a long time. Apparently Sheri has too, so Sunday night seemed like the perfect time to make it happen. I liked it a lot, and Gary ate it, but it turns out he's not eager to have it again.

The cucumber salad was excellent. Shayla was our special guest at dinner, and as she said, it's very refreshing. Gary especially loved it. We used fresh dill from Boggy Creek Farm and tiny local cucumbers that we got from Sunset Valley Farmer's Market. We also had Gratineed Red Potatoes with Chives from Fine Cooking #70, using freshly dug potatoes! In fact, Sheri took lots of great pictures that morning, and I'll try to post more of them soon.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Chicken with Mustard Cream

Sheri and I made Chicken with Mustard Cream on Watercress from the epicurious website. I highly recommend it because it's quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner (boneless, skinless breasts) but special enough for the weekend or for guests. In fact, dinner was extra special because Sheri treated us to a bottle of 2002 David Bruce Carneros Pinot Noir.

We also had focaccia from my No Need to Knead book. I love that book and I love that focaccia. There's no reason not to have fresh bread for dinner when it's that easy.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Perfectly Seared Scallops

My dear friend Sheri is here for the weekend! We picked up some absolutely gorgeous scallops from Central Market and applied the technique from an article for "Perfectly Seared Scallops" in Fine Cooking #72. We topped them with the Classic Herb Butter Sauce in the recipe sidebar.

On the side, we had mixed greens and grape tomatoes with Central Market's marinated bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls). The dressing was a little drizzle of the olive oil marinate and a sprinkle of sherry vinegar.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

I had Fine Cooking issue #44 out for another reason over the weekend, and Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake caught my eye. I picked up some buttermilk on Tuesday and gave it a whirl.

Unfortunately, I underbaked it (it tested "done", I swear!) and while it was cooling, the middle sank and was quite wet. I decided to try to rescue it by popping it back into the oven. It seemed to finish baking without further incident, but then it stuck to the pan! By the time it cooled (again), I was so frustrated that I threw it into a ziptop bag and hid it in the freezer.

Desperate for an afternoon snack today, I remembered the damn thing and cut off a hunk. It's ok, but not as lemon-y as I'd like.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cooking Fresh

I haven't been doing much cooking lately, and what cooking I have done, I have not taken pictures of or written about.

Once or twice a year, Fine Cooking publishes a special edition that isn't included with your regular subscription. They are usually compilations of recipes from the magazine, with the occasional new recipe thrown in. I like the special editions because I notice recipes that I overlooked, or that I had marked to try but never did. They are also good issues to keep in the car, handy when you're uninspired at the grocery store.

This most recent special issue, Cooking Fresh, includes a couple of recipes already on my favorites list from when they were originally published: Fennel & Red Onion with Arugula (#63), Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle (#67), Smashed Red Potatoes with Basil & Parmesan (#70), and Risotto with Corn, Tomatoes & Basil (#59).

Last week, we had Summer Squash Salad with Lemon, Capers & Parmesan (#72). Despite a recommendation from Sheri, as well as rave reviews from Fine Cooking's Cooks Talk discussion board, we weren't crazy about it. I'm not sure why, but for some reason we like the parts more than the sum of the parts.

We had better luck last night with Tortellini with Artichokes, Roasted Peppers & Olives (#66). The Mediterranean flavors came together perfectly with oregano and feta cheese. It's destined to be a repeat.