K: Farmers’ Market, Week 18

Sorry for putting this up so late this week!  We’ve had a number of other delicious culinary ventures taking up our time, but we did make it to the market on Saturday!  The pumpkins were out in force, but we stuck to smaller goodies:

We got two types of corn (white, and yellow, and for a discount too!), plus tomatoes and tomatillos.  The cantaloupe smelled delicious but… we didn’t eat it fast enough.  =[  Maybe next week.

Hope you’re having a week of delicious food!

K: Farmers Market

Yesterday was a beautiful day at the Farmers’ Market!  It was lovely and cool, and full of some of the early fall produce.

This week features some new produce for us:

Chinese squash (which I’ve never heard of before, but it looked cool, so I bought it!), a heart of gold squash (which is like an acorn squash, only sweeter), and fingerling potatoes.

In addition to those, we got some of the regulars: kale, onions, green peppers, and assorted hot peppers.  Yum!

D: Best Tortilla Soup ever!

A couple of nights ago I decided to make tortilla soup. I’ve made such soup in the past, and it’s come out decently ok, but our friend A was visiting and she insisted that I had to make her the most awesome meal ever or she would be quite put out.

So anyways, I poked around about ten different recipes for tortilla soup, and cobbled together the best elements of each into this:

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K: Flambeed Cheese

This pretty much sums up last weekend:

And yes, this is D flambeing cheese for the appetizer to a delicious garlic pita dinner.  (Thanks J for the photo!)

We also had some other yummy food encounters through the Minnesota state fair, a Chinese place, and homemade Marguerite pizza.  (Not to mention the homemade yogurt, and chocolate chip waffles… what better way to spend a weekend off?)

K: Filled Pate a Choux Swans

Also known as, I’m making swans!

Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

This challenge was so much fun, and so easy!  The reward to time-spent ratio is fantastically high, which is always an awesome thing.  Plus, you can always do a glamor photoshoot at the end of your time baking to further reinforce how awesome the dessert is.

I mean, seriously, how could you make something cooler than this?

And now, to show you how easy they are to make!

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K: Food without the Chemistry!

So, I try to not spend too much time talking about chemistry, or the new “chemical-free” and “organic” movements, since they tend to really offend me as a chemist.  (Which is particularly frustrating, because I like local agriculture and sustainable farming and more benign ways of treating bugs, which is ideally what those movements are supposed to support.)

Unfortunately, claiming chemical-free products isn’t enough.  We have to now poo-poo chemistry as a whole in our food:

Jamba Juice’s Campaign Against Chemistry

There are so many offensive parts of this ad that I don’t even know where to start, but here are a few thoughts:

1.  Inositol and taurine are natural small molecules that are found in fruits and animal tissues (yes, that means in your body right now!), respectively.  Those are just as “natural” as “natural caffeine,” and probably cause a lot fewer side-effects than lots of caffeine drinking.

2.  Seriously?  “All the energy, without the chemistry”?  I’d love to see someone actually function without all of chemical processes that make ATP in their cells (which is, in itself, a chemical).  Aerobic respiration, anyone?  (With it’s friends the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation?)

K: Farmers’ Market Week 14

Last weekend at the farmers’ market was gorgeous – beautiful weather, tasty food, and generally a good time.  This week, we bought a few non-produce items, which were/are delicious to munch on.


We purchased our regular onions, and some green beans, but also branched out into butternut squash (the first for the season!), cinnamon chip bread (delicious), and apricot butter (not pictured here – I forgot that it was in the fridge – but also very yummy!).  D was talking about making a butternut squash pie, so we’ll see what winds up happening to the squash.

D: Cornmeal!

Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hunt down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!

So this month I experimented with two different cornmeal dishes:

Sweetcorn Fritters
Vegetable Tart with Cornmeal Base

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K: Farmers’ Market Week 13

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous at the market.  The weather was perfect, so the aisles were packed with people itching to get fresh produce!

This week, we bought peppers.  Lots and lots of peppers.  We’re hoping to do a stuffed peppers dish later this week, and that’ll get filled out with the  onions and some leftover produce from last week.  To round out the pickings, we got a watermelon (which is delicious!) and a cucumber for salads (yum!).