Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Kashka Bademjan, Persian Eggplant Dip

I know this doesn't look like much (it actually looks like my counter) but believe me, if you like eggplant, you will love this.  Years ago I played tennis with a woman from Egypt who taught me how to make this recipe.  It's similar to baba ganoush but it uses no tahini. 

  • 1/4 cup or less, extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggplants, roasted & mashed
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • garnish with chopped walnuts, caramelized onions & fresh chopped mint

  1. Roast Eggplant coated with olive oil in a 400 degree oven until the skin is charred and the eggplant releases liquid. Take the roasted eggplant out of the oven, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.  You can also cook these on the grill for a natural smokey flavor.

  1. Heat a heavy bottom pan and add olive oil to it. Now add the sliced onions and caramelize the onion on a medium heat.
  1. Spoon out the onions onto paper towels leaving the oil behind in the pan.

  1. Now add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
 Cut the eggplant and strip the skin off.

 Mash the eggplant using a potato masher.
To the same pan, add the roasted eggplant mixture{mashed}, caramelized onions, saffron liquid, lemon juice, turmeric powder, mint and salt/pepper. Saute for few more minutes.  Add a bit of liquid smoke if you roasted the eggplant in the oven.

Serve this with pita bread or chips.

I made stuffed grape leaves and served them on top of this sprinkled with feta cheese.

This was so good that I am making a double recipe of it right now.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ridiculous Food

 Here is the rest of the food I made for the Ridiculous Food birthday party.  A shit cake complete with corn.  I wish I had plastic flies but I was completely out of them.  Don't worry, no real shit was used in the making of this cake.  It's a double chocolate cake covered in ganache.  Click any pic for a closer look.

 This is an old fashioned shrimp mold recipe made with gelatin.  My kids didn't want to try it but when they did, they loved it.

 This was quite a hit.  It's a taco flavored cheese ball formed into a face with a mozzarella cheese towels wrap and covered in guacamole.

*To make the bunny racers I posted yesterday, use Twinkies.  Attach small cookies (tires) to them using toothpicks as axles.  Cut a section out of the center, add a bunny Peep and a chocolate covered pretzel  steering wheel.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Peep Racers

 My very flamboyant boyfriend and his partner are throwing a birthday party tonight.  The theme of the party is ridiculous food.  Right up my alley.

 I've been cooking and baking for days and I will post what I made tomorrow.

As a teaser, I thought you might like to see the peep race cars I made.  Click for a closer look.  Be careful, don't get run over.  These guys are speed demons.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blackberry Bars

I had forgotten about this recipe until I stumbled upon it the other day.  I made them for my husband.  That man loves his desserts.
 Crust and Topping

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
Pulse this in the food processor.

 Press all but 1-1/2 C. of it into a sprayed and lined 9X13 pan.  Save the 1-1/2 C. for the topping.  Bake this in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Remove and cool.

Fruit Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups of fresh blackberries.
Beat all of the ingredients together except the blackberries.

 Gently stir the blackberries into the batter.

 Pour the mixture over the cooled crust.

 Sprinkle the reserved 1-1/2 C. over the top.  Bake this in the 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes until it no longer jiggles and is turning golden around the edges.  Mine took about an hour.

Let these cool for at least an hour before cutting into bars. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners sugar.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mirror Chains

Since we are having summer weather in February, I've been doing outside projects. I've been making mirror chains to hang all over the garden.  I started out making these years ago just using mirror tiles.  Then I decided to add beads and medallions.  Why does a witch have a cross?  Catholic roots die hard.  Just teasing!  I'm just sort of fascinated with cross symbols and I thought this heavy glass cross was very cool.  I wrapped it in copper wire which should look great when it weathers.
 I made this one yesterday using a glass mushroom medallion.  These chains hold up really well outside year round as long as all the beads are glass.

 It's hard to photograph these suckers.  This is a simple chain made using crystals from an old chandelier.

 When it is sunny out, these chains come alive.  They reflect the light all over the woods and garden. It looks like fairies flying around.  Quite magical.

I have them hanging on my porches as well.  Different chains come to life at different times of the day depending on the location of the sun.

This one has a sun medallion and skull beads.  It balances out the cross.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Swedish Meatball Massacre

I am so easily influenced.  After days of watching, hearing and reading about the Trump comment concerning the massive problems with immigrants  in Sweden aka The Swedish Meatball Massacre, I decided I needed to make Swedish meatballs.  So, something good can come out of something bad.  Ha!

  • 2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 C. sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

 In a medium sized bowl combine ground beef, panko, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and eggs. Mix until combined.  Cook a small piece to taste it and adjust seasoning if needed.

 Roll into  meatballs. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and a bit of oil in a pot.

Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout.

 Transfer to a plate.

 Add a stick of butter to the pot.

 Add the flour to the pot.

 Whisk until it turns brown.

 Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream.

 Add worchestershire sauce and dijon mustard and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Add some chopped parsley and add the meatballs back to the sauce.

 Cook some egg noodles.  I used two bags for this recipe.

Serve the meatballs over the noodles sprinkled with some parsley.

Perfect comfort food for a stressful time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A New Potting Table

I bought a new potting table.
 Adieu old table, you served me well!  This table has been on my patio for 10 years in all sorts of weather and though it looks a bit rickety, it's actually pretty solid.

 Hello new table....you look like a real work horse.

 The old table is going to the lower garden.  The new one is unusual.  It's from Paris and I am guessing it's an old farm table.  Notice the drawer on the left without a drawer pull?

 The third drawer is actually on the side and has a metal drawer pull.  Interesting?

Has anyone ever seen a table like this?  Any idea what kind of wood this is made of?