Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Fresh Fraisiers

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.
Fraise is the French word for strawberry.  A Frasiers is a cake made with fresh strawberries and filled with pastry cream.  Making the required sponge cake was not the challenge for me.  I used my normal egg free cake recipe except that I substituted cake flour for all purpose flour to give it a lighter texture and I add a teaspoon of lemon zest.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Peach Crispy Crumble

It seems that most people, including myself, get confused when talking about fruit crisps and crumbles. Half the internet thinks a crisp had rolled oats and a crumble doesn’t.  Don’t get me started on cobblers, grunts and pan dowdies.  However, after extensive Google searches, I’ve come to realize that it’s a country of origin thing.  Americans and Canadians call them crisps and the British call them crumbles whether or not they contain oats.  I’m going with “crispy crumble” because my technique creates a wonderful crispy crumbled topping for any fruit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dragonflies in the Garden

This beautiful dragonfly showed up in our garden yesterday and Mr. RK got some pictures of her.  She’s a Flame Skimmer (Libellula Saturata), common in Northern California and usually found near ponds or lakes from April to October.  You can tell that she is a female because she’s more of a burnt orange color rather than bright orange and has a white stripe between her wings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Simple Garlic Almond Green Beans

It’s green bean season.  Green beans are a summer staple in our diet.  My favorite way to eat them is to steam them for 3 minutes and then toss them into a pan with garlic and almonds for another minute.  They still have a nice crunch and a wonderful garlicky flavor.  This dish take all of five minutes to make and makes ordinary green beans into something wonderful.

Friday, July 15, 2011

July Garden Update

This is what we picked today from our garden.  Raspberries, peaches, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and our first tomato.  The raspberries are amazing.  We get a container like this about every other day.  You’d think I would be able to freeze some for the winter but Mr. RK eats a pile of them on his oats for breakfast everyday so I’m just lucky there are some left for me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Potato Salad

Those who know me well will think this is an odd dish for me to make, because they know that I’m allergic to potatoes.  Yes, potatoes.  I have a number of food allergies, and potatoes is one of them.  However, a neighbor invited us over for a 4th of July dinner and asked me to make some potato salad.   I was happy to contribute to the meal and I knew that Mr. RK, who loves all things potatoes, would love some.  Because of my allergy, I tend not to cook them. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

4th of July Party Suggestions

The 4th of July is only a few days away and so are the parties that go with it.  I was going through my archives and realized that I have a number of salads, platters and desserts that would be perfect for such an occasion.  These are all recipes that you can make ahead of time, or at least some part of the recipe, and the rest will come together very quickly.  So, here are my suggestions for your holiday party.