Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Deal of the Week - About a Million of 'Em!

There are so many amazing deals this week due to the holiday push.  Amazon has got deals like you wouldn't believe...click the 'Amazon's Amazing Kitchen Deals' link below and you will see all the great Kitchen deals they have in store - Up to 40% off popular small appliances, knives and kitchen tools.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

Amazon's Amazing Kitchen Deals brought to you by Pantry2Plate

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Deal of the Week - Cool Mom Picks for Foodies and Bakers

Shopping shopping shopping!  Check out the banner to the right 'Cool Mom Picks'.  I included their holiday guide link here because I was perusing their selections and they chose some really great stuff for the foodies and bakers in your life.  Be sure to click through and let me know what you see!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Farmer's Market Find! Osage Oranges

Quick post to share what I found at the market this weekend...osage oranges or green brains.  They made such a cool centerpiece with clementines in a shimmer bowl from Crate & Barrel.  It's hard to find a lot of information about these online but what I've found is that they are inedible fruit that grow on thorned trees.  Apparently they fell out of favor with the invention of barbed wire. Prior to that, farmers used them for hedges to keep cattle out or in but it wasn't a fail-safe plan since cattle were lost due to choking on the fruit.  Some sites claim the fruit is a natural insect repellent, especially for spiders.  We'll see about that...for now, I just think they're purdy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tri Tips with Red Wine Reduction and Garlic Fries

Steak and potatoes. Yum. Tri tips are a versatile cut of beef that are affordable and can be prepared in many different ways.  It's often used in chile con carne but is equally tasty grilled, baked, however you like. Served with fries, well, it's just a good ole classic but kicked up with a 'gourmet' olive oil and you've got something special. 
Olive oil infused with garlic and rosemary does wonderful aroma things in the kitchen...add it to a julienned baking potato and you are in some kind of foodie heaven.  It's such an easy trick but a powerful one, you'll want to start infusing everything into oil.  Start with a few tablespoons of olive oil into a sauce pan over low heat, crush a few cloves of garlic and throw them in.  I added some rough chopped rosemary sprigs because I wanted to carry that flavor through the meal.  Let it hang out for a bit on the stove and your nose will tell you when it's ready to be used.  You don't want hi heat for this one because the garlic will burn easily.  Just keep it low and let it do it's thing for a few minutes.
From there I took one baking potato (I was cooking for 2) and sliced into shoestring sized french fries.  Start by cutting it in half lengthwise and then cut each half into strips (a little smaller than a 1/4 inch thick), usually you can get about 8 strips per half.  Stack the strips together an slice them lengthwise into even smaller strips and you have shoestring fries.  Once you've removed the oil from the stove and discarded the garlic cloves, drizzle the oil over the fries to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 425° for about 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Once baked, remove from the baking sheet and transfer to paper towel to help remove some excess oil.  Be sure to add more salt while they are still hot.
While those are baking away, use a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil to sear the seasoned tri tips on each side (just salt and pepper liberally).  Once the tri tips have seared, they'll go onto a baking sheet to finish cooking in the oven for about 5 more minutes or longer if you like them closer to medium or well done.

Using the same cast iron skillet, add about 3 turns of a dry red wine to deglaze the pan and get the bits of flavor up from the bottom.  Heat should be low to medium and it should reduce for about 2 minutes.  Next add 2 tbsp of butter, 1 tbsp water, chopped mushrooms and thin sliced shallots.  Reduce for another 3 minutes and finish with chopped rosemary and salt and pepper.

Use the remaining infused olive oil to sauté broccolini and you've got a steakhouse meal in under 20 minutes.

Shopping List:

Tri tips
1 baking potato
cremini mushrooms
1 shallot
olive oil
garlic cloves

That's it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Deal of the Week - Etsy.com Cupcake Jars by Nummy Crummies

Cupcake in a jar?!  Sign me up.  What a perfect gift or pick-me-up for a friend having a bad day.  Nummy Crummies brings you a wide selection of Cupcakes in a Jar through Etsy.com (either click below or search on Etsy) and they even have a 'buy-rent-return' option to encourage people to reuse the jars.  For just $25 you, or one lucky friend, gets 5 Cupcake Jars with flavors to choose from like s'mores, pancake with maple frosting, red velvet with cream cheese frosting, double chocolate, and plenty more.  These are awesome little treats for you or someone you ♥.

Nummy Crummies Cupcake Jars

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Local Market Pan Roasted Kohlrabi and Brussels Sprouts

It was a crisp Saturday morning at the market and there were still plenty of foodies to be found plus a few new selections in the produce department-one of which being a cousin to cabbage, kohlrabi.  For those of you not familiar with kohlrabi, it is a crazy looking, softball-sized, bulbous vegetable that resembles a turnip in shades of either purple or light green color.   The leaves can be eaten but the flesh of the vegetable is usually what people are after. It has a taste similar to that of the stem of broccoli, soft enough to eat raw once peeled but also delicious when cooked. 
Cooking for two, I grabbed kohlrabi from Thistledowne Farm and a small bunch of brussels sprouts from Pleitez Produce to make a delicious and seasonal side dish.  Here’s how it came together:
Pan Roasted Veggies:
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp cubed pancetta
1 tbsp butter
1 kohlrabi head
8 brussels sprouts, halved
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
hot sauce
salt & pepper
Start by removing the stems and leaves from kohlrabi and peeling outer layer. I used a paring knife and trimmed the outside much like I would a mango (trim the bottom to create a flat surface to stand veggie upright, use knife to trim about 1/4 inch off flesh, working from the top of the veggie down and rotating until all exterior is removed).  Cut into bite sized pieces that are roughly the same size as the halved brussels sprouts.
Add tsp olive oil and pancetta to a skillet over medium heat to brown.  Once a good color has formed on the pancetta, transfer to a plate to reserve and drain excess grease.  Add butter to the same skillet and transfer brussels sprouts and kohlrabi, season with salt and pepper.  Using a spatula, move the vegetables around to coat all in the butter and pancetta drippings.  Continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to develop caramel color.  To finish, lower heat, add apple cider vinegar and a few dashes of hot sauce and add the pancetta back into the skillet.  Toss to coat and serve warm.
Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy and Pan Roasted Kohlrabi & Brussels Sprouts
We also picked up a quart of Apple Cider from the Thistledowne booth (cider from Morris Orchard in Monroe, VA) for Hot Spiced Cider (cider + Captain Morgan’s + cinnamon + cloves + warmed on the stove = delicious) and a half loaf of 1/2 Whole Wheat bread from Norwood Cottage Bakery, whose last SOTJ market appearance was last Saturday.  Not to worry though, they now have two online ordering options for Fall and Winter, be sure to check out their website for more details.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Deal of the Week-Sur La Table Revol Sale

This one is going on until December 1st, which makes it the perfect Holiday planning sale reminder.  The baking and serving dishes are beautifully crafted and can be used in a variety of situations.  Be sure to check out the bakers, the lids can be turned into trivets to take straight to the table...ingenious!

Sur La Table Revol Sale Up to 20% Off!