Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nine Grain Whole Wheat Harvest Bread

I am so excited to have found a whole grain bread recipe that is healthy and delicious. Some of my previous attempts at whole grain loaves were so dense they could have been used to build a stone wall. I get great results with the Bittman/ NY Times no rise bread, but don't want to eat white bread all of the time. This recipe is from The Art and Soul of Baking and it's great with dinner, for breakfast or for sandwiches. It calls for nine grain cereal and whole wheat flour. 
You can get the recipe on this web page.

Ate at The Local in Belmont last weekend and loved it! Great atmosphere, a little loud but charming with the exposed brick walls and great art work. We ate every single bite on our plates. The best dish we had was a spice rubbed pork chop on mashed potatoes and shoestring sweet potatoes with chipotle adobo gravy! Yum. There's a menu section of everything served with frites too. Can't wait to go back and try some other dishes.

I was so excited to see our favorite beach vacation spot, Ocracoke (Outer Banks of NC) featured, in Gourmet magazine. There is a recipe for  Frances O'Neal's Fig Cake so I'm thrilled to have something to do with the jar of perserved figs in syrup I bought there last summer. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Caribbean Meal

We have some wonderful friends from Trinidad and Tobago. They had us over for a fantastic caribbean meal. It started with the "bake", a delicious kind of flat bread made without yeast. This one was made with spelt flour and whole grain rice flour. They said it's the common bread that they would make every day in Trinidad and Tobago. It's great with dinner or for breakfast with jam. Our hostess was kind enough to send some home with us! I later googled around and found some recipes for it.
She made curry chicken and curry vegetables served with basmati rice and sauteed chopped kale. It was all delicious and the curry had some nice heat to it. Mark likes loads of heat so he smoothered it all in the spiciest hot sauce (made in Trinidad) we've ever had. 

I offered to bring dessert so I tried the six layer coconut layer cake with passion fruit filling from Food and Wine magazine. I loved the passion fruit filling and the whipping cream icing but the cake itself was a little dense. I think it went well with the caribbean curry.

Also this week we celebrated Saint Patrick's Day with the ubiquitous corned beef and cabbage. I always make it in the crock pot with potatoes, carrots and onions. Then, before serving I take out some of the juice and steam the cabbage with it. We like spicy mustard, horseradish and vinegar to top it off!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Greenwood Gourmet Market

"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food "~ W.C. Fields

I've loved the Greenwood Gourmet Market since my first visit years ago. They have the best sandwiches, which are perfect to take out to one of the wineries nearby. (King Family, Pollak and Veritas are all close). I stopped by the Market last week with time to kill, and it was so fun to really look at everything they carry. I happened upon Tom (the market's wine guy) in the wine section, so I asked him to recommend some reasonably priced wines to shake up my normal, stuck in a rut, grab at the last minute from the grocery store, routine. He was very knowledgeable about the wines they carried and took the time to walk me through their impressive selection. They have a whole section of Virginia wines too. I bought a red (Dona Ermelinda from Portugal) and a white (Celtus from Spain) from his recommendations and they were both excellent. I will go back for more soon!
Also picked up some yummy cinnamon creamed honey made by the Monks in Berryville and this amazing ginger spread that I've been slathering on everything from scones to brie.

We hosted a small, late night cocktail party to thank friends that volunteered to help us put on the school talent show . The highlight of this show was the pomegranate martinis! I also put out sweet potato biscuits with thin sliced Edwards ham, deviled eggs, a cheese board, veggies with a dill dip, chocolate chocolate chip cookies and the coffee crunch bars written and much blogged about from Bon Appetite. I thought they were great and personally ate way to many over the next few days.