Sunday, December 09, 2007

Food notes

It's been a while since I've written anything about food, but I've had lots of ideas since. Here are just a few ideas and dishes that I've been eating and thinking about.


I am addicted to sharp cheddar and granny smith grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes I add thin-sliced ham or stone ground mustard (and I think bacon would work even better than the ham), but sliced apple, whole wheat bread and extra-sharp Tillamook cheddar are really enough to make me happy.

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At Thanksgiving, I passed my responsibility of making a sweet potato dish on to my husband and instead concentrated on an appetizer. Above is some blue cheese shortbread that I brushed with a little egg wash before baking so that I could get crushed hazelnuts to stick to half of them (I think I may be mildly allergic to hazelnuts). A lot of people were thrown by their look and thought they would be sweet and not savory. The recipe I used suggested serving them with a chutney and cream cheese roulade, which I thought sounded like a total flavor-trainwreck, but the cookies/crackers turned out with a deep but sort of generically-cheesy flavor. I'd also made some Jezebel sauce to serve with crackers and cream cheese (I used Cooking Light's recipe from a few years back, which is made mostly of rehydrated dried apricots and pineapple jelly, with dijon mustard, jalapeno jelly and horseradish added), and it turned out to be delicious with the shortbread.

If you're curious, Andy ended up whipping the sweet potatoes with sriracha, scallions and butter, and they were excellent.

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If you haven't noticed, my del.icio.us sidebar is mostly filled with links to recipes and Chowhound threads that interest me.

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I've been on quite a muffin-baking streak lately, which started with whole wheat chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. It was my first experience using whole wheat pastry flour, which I now totally adore. It gives muffins a great texture, though I've noticed goods baked with it going stale faster than goods with good ol' AP. It still has a nice light color, which is nice for things like blueberry muffins, and if I have to eat a few more muffins a little more quickly, I can't complain too much. I've also been using my grandma's banana bread recipe, which makes great not-too-heavy and not-too-sweet muffins. I'm not a fan of muffins that were they frosted would be indistinguishable from cupcakes.

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That's it for me - what interesting stuff have you been making?

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