Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apple, Feijoa and Ginger Crumble

Martha asked me for the recipe of this dessert which accomodates both of our food needs and preferences.

Two apples, peeled and chopped
flesh of 10 feijoas scooped
two tablespoons of finely chopped crystalised ginger
two tablepooons brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Toss these ingredients in a small casserole. Then prepare the topping and sprinkle over the fruit.

3/4 cup of finely ground grain eg millet/corn/oat/rice
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup chopped seeds eg sunflower/pumpkin
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts eg almonds/brazils/hazels
1 tsp each ground cinnmon and ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

Melt butter in a small pan over a low heat and stir in other ingredients. Stir over heat for a few minutes until thoroughtly mixed, then sprinke on top of fruit. Bake crumble uncovered for 30-40 minutes in 180 oven until brown and fragrant. Serve with icecream, custard or cream if desired.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Foodie Moovies and Books

Hello fellow foodies!

I was very inspired yesterday after a culinary tour of Boulder by Culinary Connectors (Thanks Diane for the invite!!). We went to Bacaro, The Kitchen and Salt and got a behind-the-scenes tour as well as chef's choice menu of food and wine to sample. It was wonderful!

One great tidbit was finding out that the chef, Fabio at Bacaro was the inpiration for the Primo character in the amazing movie "Big Night." Finding this out made me a bit star-struck...but he was very gracious and warm to all of us food addicts.

So, after a great conversation with my friend Diane about food related media - I started mentally compiling a list of my "must see foodie tv" and "must read foodie books". So - here is what I think and I would LOVE if y'all would add to my humble list! (Please note - this is for fun - so enjoy!)

Food Books I've curled up with:

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Omnivore's Delimna by Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Liquid Jade by Beatrice Hohenegger
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermiester
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America by Michael Ruhlman
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Eat, Pray, Love (only the Eat part qualifies...) by Elisabeth Gilbert

Movies that made me salivate:
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Mostly Martha
Big Night
Chocolat Like Water for Chocolate
Food, Inc
The Botany of Desire
American Psycho (he talks about food a lot)
The Freshman
Goodfellas (the garlic slicing scene)
MoonstruckSideways ( has good wine)
Soylent Green (Ha...ha...)
SuperSize Me
Julie & Julia (I still need to see this...)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stollen Time

Anyone who has spent time with Martha and Norman at Christmas in the past 10 years will know that their huge plum tree is abundantly laden with beautiful and delicious red plums at exactly this time. The plums are great but they have to compete with so many other delicious and special foods that they are more decorative than eaten.

My favourite thing about Christmas has always been Martha's cooking, especially her stollen and caramel coffee cake, made only once a year. This year, since I am living in Hamilton and not just passing through on a flying visit, I asked if I could help her make the stollen. Christmas Eve was thus spent baking.

Martha uses her trusty old Joy of Cooking recipe with variations based partly on memories of Grandma Ada's version, partly on refinements developed over decades of making this annual treat.

The secret is in the butter: starting with one and a half cups creamed til light and fluffy with caster sugar. Meanwhile the yeasty base has been rising, made with blood temperature milk instead of warm water. Testing the milk's temperature with a drop on her wrist reminds Martha of Ada, not only baking but also testing baby bottles: there were a lot of babies feeding from bottles when Martha was a girl!

After the yeast base has risen, it gets punched down which is always fun. Then the butter and sugar are mixed in along with fresh high grade white flour. The dough is very soft and loose. We divided it into four balls and shaped and filled them one at a time.

There were two wreath shaped stollens, made by first brushing the rolled dough with melted butter (I told you there was a lot of butter), then sprinkling it with cinnamon sugar, then chopped nuts. One stollen had almonds and lemon zest and the other hazelnuts and orange zest along with raisins and glace cherries.

The dough is then carefully rolled into a sausage and shaped into a ring on a baking tray. We cut the ring part way through and all the way round, then turned each cut section on its side and finally decorated the top with cherries and almonds. The caramel coffee cake and rolls were made the same way except with brown sugar instead of cinnamon, and the roll was sliced apart and the rolls set into tins awash in butter and brown sugar with a decorative nut under each roll.

The shaped dough was put to rise in a hot car (there is nowhere in mum and dad's shady house that is warm enough to rise dough). When doubled, it was brushed with milk and then baked for half an hour until golden brown.

I didn't get any photos of the caramel coffee cake, but that's actually my favourite. When turned out of the pan it's presented upside down so the caramel and nuts are on top. It's irresistible!
We always have a slice (or three) of stollen on Christmas morning while opening the presents from under the tree. Thanks David, Penny and Louise for your lovely gifts. We missed you this morning.

Merry Christmas to all the Kellerman clan around the world. I hope you think of us downunder as you are sharing stollen or other traditions from Ada and Jess.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

Since the economy has taken it's very ugly route, we, as a family have joined efforts to save energy, money and in turn, the environment. I found this recipe for laundry detergent from another blog and tried it out myself. The results were awesome!!!

All you will need are a few easy to find ingredients.

Borax - 4lb box $2.89
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT Baking soda)- 3lb 7oz box $3.89
Fels-Naptha Soap - (3) 5 1/2 oz bars $1.29/each. Totaling $3.89
Total investment $10.67

Additional things you will need:

5-gallon bucket w/lid
Long wooden spoon
Cheese grater

Each batch makes aprox. 4-1/2 gallons @ $3.56 each and there is enough to make 3 batches (15 gallons)

Mix together the following:

2-Cups Borax

2-Cups Washing soda

1-Bar of Fels Naptha soap grated

Pour the Borax and the Washing Soda into the 5-gallon bucket. Using a cheese grater, grate the Fels Naptha soap completely on a plate. It will look exactly like cheese. Fill a minimum 2 quart saucepan about 2/3 with water and add the cheese (soap). Heat on medium until the soap has dissolved completely. DO NOT walk away from this process. I can't even imagine what burning soap smells like and for how long. Add the hot soapy solution to the powder in the 5-gallon bucket. While stirring with the wooden spoon, add about 4 1/2 gallons of hot tap water leaving 4-5" of space from the top. Stir until powder is dissolved then leave overnight. Soap will turn to gel as it cools. Leave the wooden spoon with the soap for an occasional stir.

The scent is very light. From reading about this detergent, it is like "Dreft" a very mild, hypo-alergenic soap. It does not leave any residue and my clothes have come out very clean. My whites are whiter than with store bought soap. You only need to use the same cap full as you did from previous containers. There are no suds like store bought, but you should know that suds are artificially added to commercial soaps, it doesn't do anything more but leave residue. If you like scented laundry, you can add essential oil to the detergent or fabric softener. Mix 1 tbsp of vinegar and water into a Downy Ball for the fabric softener. It actually breaks down previous soap and softener residues and leaves your towels soft and absorbent.

Colorado Bounty - Roasted Vegetable Salsa

Here in Colorado, with the coming of fall, pepper roasters start showing up on roadsides and farmer's markets - and the smell in my kitchen while roasting the peppers was very similar. The smell reminds me of last fall - my first fall back in Colorado. It isn't a smell I remember from my childhood, instead it is a smell I now associate with being at the Farmer's Market and being VERY pregnant. I didn't try any peppers last year due to unfortunate heartburn.

But - this year, I decided to be brave. So I bought a couple poblanos, a handful of bell peppers and a jalapeño. I also picked up tomatoes, onion and corn. I roasting all of the veggies in the salsa - and to do this I put them on a cookie sheet in the oven. It fills the house with the delightful smell of the roadside pepper roasters - enjoy!

Roasted Vegetable Salsa

  • 3-4 Bell Peppers (whole - use different colors - I recommend Red, Green and Purple)
  • 1-2 Jalapeño (whole)
  • 1-2 Poblano (whole)
  • 4-6 large Tomatoes (heirlooms are fun, remove the stem)
  • 1-2 Corn on the cob (shucked and whole)
  • 1 Onion - sliced in large coins (I use a large sweet onion - like Walla Walla or Vidalia)
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Lime
  • Ground red pepper (to taste for spice)
  • Cilantro (optional)

  • Turn on the broiler on high and place a rack at the top of the oven. On a dry cookie sheet, place the peppers. Roast the peppers until the skins are black and papery on all sides. Turn the peppers often and remove them individually once roasted. (Note - you want to get the skin nice and black as it will be easier to remove)
  • Once peppers are all removed, put the corn, tomatoes and onion onto the cookie sheet. You can dry roast or roast with a little bit of olive oil on the skin of the onion. As it roasts, turn the corn and onions so they can roast evenly. Remove the corn when it has some black - but before it has completely blackened. Remove tomatoes oven when tomatoes are bubbly, the skin has split and it is a little black. Remove onions when they are slightly blackened at the edges.
  • Peppers: Once cool, remove the skins, seeds and hull of the peppers (once cool enough to handle). Roughly dice the peppers and save in a large glass bowl
  • Tomatoes: Once cool, remove the skins and roughly dice. Add diced tomatoes and juice into glass bowl
  • Onions: dice and add to the bowl
  • Corn: Slice the kernels off of the cob and add to the glass bowl.
  • Once all of the vegetables are chopped and in the bowl, stir and add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  • Squeeze 1/2 to 1 lime over salsa. Taste!
  • For a saucier salsa - puree half of the salsa and blend back into the bowl.
  • Add diced cilantro at the end.
  • Let it mellow for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend
  • Salsa lasts for up to 2 weeks


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pumpkin and mushroom soup

Here in New Zealand, a cold wind has slammed the door shut on the mild false spring of recent weeks. As the storm built up, I made comfort food: my favourite pumpkin soup. This time I used half a grey skinned Crown pumpkin, bought already cut from the greengrocer. I often use butternut or buttercup pumpkins. In NZ the big orange pumpkins that Americans make into jack'o'lanterns are not so common, and I seem to remember them as not being so tasty as our little NZ varieties, but its been a long time since I was over there in pumpkin season!
Don't freak out at the whole head of garlic, once roasted it is mild, sweet and subtle; nothing like the intensity of sauteed garlic. For stock I usually use Rapunzel organic herbal stock cubes. They are delicious and don't have any of that chemical aftertaste of most stock cubes.

I'm pretty sure this is as original as one of my recipes can be. It has evolved over many years in response to my dislike for the taste of pumpkin, but respect for its affordable nutritional value.

Pumpkin and mushroom soup

half a medium size crown pumpkin, or whole butternut or buttercup
whole head of garlic
2 yellow onions, chopped pretty fine
bag of mushrooms, sliced pretty fine
1.5 litres of stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
(other spices optional: coriander, garam masala, cinnamon or cloves,even some curry powder, can each add something lovely to this soup, )

Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and slice off the pointy end of the head of garlic so the ends of the cloves are exposed. Place pumpkin skin side down, and garlic root side down in a roasting dish and cook in a hot oven until they are soft and fragrant (about 45 minutes). Cool and then peel out of their skins (its so much easier than when they are raw). Puree in a foodprocessor til smooth.
Meanwhile, saute the onions in a soup pot with a little oil until they are soft but not brown. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are limp then add the hot stock and pureed pumpkin/garlic. Simmer until thick and silky.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Skillet Raspberry Jam

Hello everyone! Look who is standing!
So - I know it's been a long time...and who knows if anyone is still checking this - but I do have plans for a comeback of Nourish Us and much more. Stay tuned.

Tonight, I'm bringing to you my favorite homemade jam - a skillet raspberry jam. It is posted in celebration of summer and my friend Erin's beautiful raspberry bushes. The recipe originated in a beautiful issue of Gourmet from August 2004. Every time I think about this recipe - my mouth instantaneously waters. I am hoping this helps to bring forth this season's raspberries in Colorado...I've been waiting for them very patiently.

A couple notes: I have found that this jam does really nicely with raspberries or blackberries. It isn't a serious canning jam. I just put the jam in a nice air-tight jar in my fridge...I have found it can stay good for up to a month- if it lasts that long. It is very tasty as a spread on toast, topping on dessert...or on a spoon.

Skillet Raspberry Jam (try also Blackberry, Strawberry or Schnazzberry)

makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 lb raspberries (4 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin (not the liquid or low-sugar pectin)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

->Mash raspberries with a fork in a large bowl
->Stir together the berries, sugar, pectin and lemon juice in a 12-in nonstick skillet. Boil the mixture and stir occassionally, until slightly thickened - about 7 minutes
->Transfer jam to a large shallow bowl and chill. Cover the surface with wax paper. Let it rest until it is softly set - about 30 minutes. (Note: Jam will set further if it is chilled longer).
->Transfer jam to a jar...and try not to eat it with a spoon out of the jar. :)