Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some odds and ends

This is the best dish I've made from Gourmet Today, and it is the one for which I had the lowest expectations. Sun-dried tomato dip. Bleah, right?

I hosted this "group" -- it's not a book group, more like a chat group -- last night and wanted to make appetizers that wouldn't be fussy or difficult or involve oysters, phyllo dough, or caviar. I came up with two: chickpea crostini, which were fine, and sun-dried tomato dip, which was fantastic. It's smooth and rich, incredibly delicious and stupidly easy -- you just throw everything into a blender or Cuisineart. I served it with crackers, but the leftovers will go on sandwiches. I was going to copy the recipe into this space, but it is actually available right here. Try it!

I've been cooking steadily through Gourmet Today but for some reason have been disinclined to post. Everything is good but boring: celery tofu salad, tuna burgers, pasta with lentils and kale, etc. The pomegranate gelato, which was the recipe I most wanted make, failed. When churned, the cream turned grainy, a situation I've encountered before with fruit juice-based ice cream. 

But the devil's food cake with marshmallow icing was a hit.
Isabel made it herself, start to finish. There was some disaster with the decorative cocoa powder falling too quickly out of the sifter at the very end, followed by a futile attempt to fix the situation followed by frustration and tears. I can relate; failed cakes are very frustrating, though I would not count this one as a failure. 
 
This is our chicken run-in-progress.
Call Sunset! I think they might want to run a Western design feature.

And this is my sister's son, whose name is Ben and who is, as far as I can tell, the perfect baby.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Ben!! (Waving back to him.)

    Regarding the dip, is it any good without the walnuts? I don't like walnuts. (Too much tannin. And yes, this means I don't like wine either. So ban me from the Sunset Magazine fan club.)

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  2. Well, you could try pecans; I think it needs nuts of some kind.

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  3. I want to dip Ben in the sundried tomato dip and eat him up.

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  4. Quick observation: I think the reason you were building a run was to protect the chickens from dogs? From the photo, that construction looks sturdy enough to trap your birds, but not necessarily do more than slow down a large, determined dog. It might be sturdier in person than it looks, but I just wanted to throw that ought there in case you were working from plans intended to confine birds rather than sheild them.

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  5. Will you be brining Ben for Thanksgiving?

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  6. Meaghan -- it looks pretty bad in that picture, doesn't it. but after yesterday's work, the run is (and looks) much sturdier. The loose, sagging quality is gone and there's a wire ceiling and a door. It would be almost impossible for a dog to get in, especially since they first have to breach the perimeter fence. Burrowing nocturnal animals are another story. I'm not going to think about that right now.

    Thom -- He's a heritage baby for sure, but of such exceptionally fine breeding stock that he will be spared.

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  7. Beautiful Baby Ben!!!!

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