Friday, June 28, 2013

{FFWD} Socca from Vieux Nice


Another week of summer vacation has come and gone. It has been nice not to pack the dreaded school lunch but my kiddos ask for snacks on a regular basis. If they want fruits or vegetables they do not have to ask..unless it is the cherries I bought for a recipe. If it is granola bars and cheese puffs they have to ask for those.

I have had a crazy teaching schedule this week so this got put on the back burner until today..at snack time! :)

I have to say I have never been a fan of Whole Foods because things are expensive at that store. Not to mention it is quite a drive from my house. However, I think I am in love with their bulk section! I was able to get 1 cup of semolina flour...I know, I know it was supposed chickpea flour but after a search of good ol' Google it looked like they could be used interchangeably...and I was able to get the wheatberries for an upcoming recipes for very inexpensive! I think I spent $1.99 on wheatberries instead of $10 for an entire bag.

Anyway, I whipped up the batter for this Socca this morning and left it for a couple of hours like the recipe stated. I was on top if it this morning! ;) There are very few ingredients in this recipe: chickpea flour (or semolina in my case), water, olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary.

I had to heat the oven to 500 degrees and let the pans get hot, add oil to the pans and heat more, then add the batter to the pans to cook. I have actually set my oven on fire more than once so when my kids started asking if smoke was supposed to be coming out of the oven I had to open it and make sure I didn't need my baking soda handy to put out another fire (once was olive oil, once was a rouge piece of monkey bread that had escaped the bundt pan). All was well though and it was just the olive oil smoking.

I am guessing it was because I did not use the right kind of flour but this was thicker than crepe batter. That was ok though because once it was out of the oven both kids were at my elbow saying they were hungry. My daughter is a big fan of making her own white sauce and likes to put rosemary in it. If you have been to Macaroni Grill and had the bread that bring to your table at the beginning, that is what this bread tasted like. I can tell you it was a win in our house because my kiddos didn't even leave any for their daddy to try!

Next week is Wheat Berry and Tuna (:-p) salad. I think that is going to get made with chicken instead. Make sure to check out how other bakers and cooks from around the world like this recipe this week by clicking here.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

{FFWD} Sable Breton Galette with Berries

Summer for us means plenty of free time, trying to find fun free things to do, and lovely summer fruit. There are many pick your own places for strawberries around the area and that is something I would love to do in the future. 

This berry galette was simple to throw together with basic ingredients. I decided to make mini tarts instead of one large 9 inch tart. This partially has to do with the fact that I do not have a 9 inch tart pan. I never think about this fact until it is time to make a tart and I pull out my 11 inch pan. I made the 6 minis instead this time.
These sweet little tarts called for lemon curd (or you could use whipped cream) topped with mixed berries. I took the naked tarts over to my friend, Lindsay's, house. We took my kiddos swimming at the neighborhood pool (her boys were at camp and at a sleepover) and came back to the house a couple of hours later feeling quite hungry. I am not sure about you but being in the sun that long and swimming makes my crew feel famished. I spread lemon curd over the sable base and topped it with the strawberries that Lindsay had sliced. 
Each of the four of us ate one of these tarts. Little Man liked the strawberries the best. It was pretty much agreed though that the raspberries and blueberries went better with the lemon curd than the strawberries. The best part of this was getting to share it with a friend! :) I did leave one tart shell at home for my hubs. He spread Nutella on it and ate it without berries. It was a win! :)

Last week I was running a bit behind so I also made Back of the Card Cheese and Olive Bread this week. I mentioned in an earlier post that I don't eat black olives so this was one that my tasters were going to have to give me reviews on. The bread came together very, very easily. I used Gruyere cheese (which I love, so smoky) along with a store bought black olive tapenade.  The bread smelled so good while it was baking. I did end up having to leave it in quite a bit longer than I anticipated for it to bake all the way through, but that was ok. I did taste a little bit and the taste was good. Olives are just not something I like. My hubs tried a slice and liked it ok but did not devour the loaf like I expected. My kiddos, however, loved this bread! They pretty much ate the entire loaf over the course of 2 days. They wanted to know when I would make it again! So I guess for them it was a win.

A side note here. My son has Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. He just turned 9 and still struggles a bit with some sensory issues. He used to tell me he didn't like something before even trying it. By being part of Tuesdays with Dorie and French Fridays with Dorie he has been exposed to many different kinds of foods. We have a two bite rule in our house. That means you have to take at least 2 good bites of something new and then if you really don't like it I will give you something else. There have been very few times I have made a peanut butter sandwich instead of what we are eating. Some of his issues are still sensory so certain things cause a gag response or a thumbs up for the initial taste and then thumbs down for texture. All of that is to say I am glad that my husband and I have continued to have both of our kids trying new foods. They are usually pretty excited to try new things even if they do not end up liking them. And they find new things that they like that their dad and I don't. 

Make sure to check out the LYL to see how other French Fridays with Dorie bakers enjoyed this recipe. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

All About Food and Music

So excited!
Yesterday was all about food and music...OK, we will include a few books as well. Little man has been asking for crawfish (how do you say that word? I say craw-fish) for the last week. Ever since my hubster took him to Louisiana and he had his first crawfish boil experience he has wanted more. He actually asked for crawfish for his birthday party. We Googled (isn't that how you research these days?) For a place in Tennessee and found Bros Cajun Cuisine. Turns out Guy Fieri has been there and ate pork chops. So, we decided to try it out for lunch.

 I did call ahead to make sure they actually had crawfish. Before we could go to lunch though we had to do the inevitable grocery shopping trip. I am behind on my French Fridays with Dorie recipe but I did get black olive tapenade while we were out yesterday. It was the first day my girl got to hang out with us on summer break as she had been at band day camp since school got out ( my little 5th moving to 6th grader earned 3rd chair in the advanced band!). After putting ALL of the groceries away (yes, it was one of "those" trips) we were finally able to head to downtown Nashville.

After driving around in the wrong direction we figured out where we were going and made it to Bros. Here I have to say I am quite the spice wimp and going to a Cajun place is not high on my priority list. It is not that I don't like spice, it doesn't like me. After asking what was not spicy, at a Cajun restaurant, I ended up ordering jambalaya. It came with a salad and cornbread. (If I had seen the above video before we went I would have ordered the pork chop.) Munchkin and I shared but she wasn't thrilled with how spicy the jambalaya was so she stuck mostly with salad. Bobby got fried shrimp with potatoes. It was supposed to come with green beans but those never made it to the table. Little man ordered a pound of crawfish and was thrilled when he got it! Bobby had to help him peel most of it but the joy little man had in that meal was priceless! Overall our experience at Bros was good. The servers were extra friendly and were happy to get anything you asked for....except green beans. If you are looking for crawfish in the Nashville area I highly recommend you head to Bros!

Something is looking at me!
Since we needed to leave for Murfreesboro from downtown at 4:30 there was absolutely no sense in us driving all the way home just to turn back around. We are pretty good at entertaining ourselves and finding fun things to do downtown. While at lunch we had joked about getting cupcakes to quench the Cajun burn so the kids and I decided we would go to the Cupcake Collection in Germantown, but first we went to the public library. Did you know you can park at the library for free for an hour and a half if you get your ticket validated? This is quite handy when you go to an event at the library. We hung out and looked for books that were on the grade level lists the library provided. Little man was so excited to look around the giant library for authors on his list. We also checked out several CDs. Fun stuff.

Once we checked out we made a beeline for the Cupcake Collection. On our way we passed what used to be The Cocoa Tree chocolate shop. It now has a red door instead of blue and is called The Red Bicycle Coffee and Crêpes. We made some comments about how that would be fun to try out sometime and turned the corner. To our dismay the Cupcake Collection was sporting a giant SOLD OUT sign. It was late in Friday afternoon but still a little disappointing. However, that meant we got to try The Red Bicycle!
Boo! Sold Out!

The Red Bicycle has a fun vibey feel to it! Lots of canvas prints on the walls, lots of fun paint details, and plenty of crêpes to choose from. An aside: way back when Bobby and I had been married just a year, for Valentines day we stayed at The Artist Inn in Pasadena and ate at Wild Thyme restaurant. We had a strawberry and nutella crêpe for dessert that was so delicious that here I am talking about it 14 years later. Yesterday, my kiddos and I chose to share a caramel apple crêpe, you know...to get rid of the spiciness from lunch. ;) My children devoured every last bite of that crêpe! My frozen raspberry mocha was quite tasty too! 

The Red Bicycle
On our way out the door we interrupted a conference call about movie production...because it was taking place one foot from the door. If you insist on having a conference call in a public place at least move away from where foot traffic will bother you and then refrain from giving dirty looks to people on summer vacation who are trying their best not to bug you.

Next stop, on our rather eventful day, Jozoara Coffeehouse in Murfreesboro. Bobby as been in a band called Salient for quite a few years but this event was much less rock and roll and much more acoustically driven. A band called Threshing Floor opened Jozoarapalooza. It was fun to see them for the first time in an acoustic environment but I think I would like to see them play a rock show at some point.

We are silly

Next up was billed as Mark Duckworth. This is where things get a little family reunionish. Melissa (Mark's wife and my Spam and Anchovies cooking club buddy) sang with Mark and their harmonies were beautiful. Bobby played acoustic guitar. And Josh, who played for salient years ago, played percussion. So fun to see all of them play together! I love getting to see my husband play guitar. He truly loves it and you can see it when he plays! My son, of course, waited until they started playing to tell me he had to go to the bathroom. Yes, I asked him 10 minutes before and no, he didn't have yo go then.
Mark Duckworth with Melissa, Bobby, Josh, and Chris
The last band of the evening was Penny Rae. If you haven't had a chance to check them out you absolutely should! They are very close to recouping their album costs so check then out and buy an album! I think one of my favorite songs was more country than their other songs. Andrew, guitar player and singer, also played in Salient years ago.. I was pregnant with my now 9 year old when we met. His wife Vanessa is another one of my cooking club buddies. Josh, who played in Salient and with Mark, Melissa, and Bobby, also played for Penny Rae along with his fiancé, Liz, who played keyboards. Liz is Nate Dodd's sister and plays piano and bass with Nate and Bobby on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Did you get all of that?
Penny Rae

Along with listening to music my kiddos played chutes and ladders and banana grams. They entertained themselves by making sentences and song lyrics out of the tiles. 

Karen Reinsch
By my sweet daughter.

Once all the music was over we decided to grab something to eat. Smashburger was still open and we hadn't been there before so that is where we went. My small burger with cheddar, lettuce, and avocado and my sweet potato smash fries (tossed in rosemary, olive oil, and garlic) were delicious. Munchkin had chili cheese fries, little man had chicken strips, and my hubster had a BBQ bacon cheeseburger. We were all quite pleased with our choices. What's that you say? Burgers can actually be tasty?
As you can see our day centered around music and food. Not a bad way to spend a day! Now, we are off to Bell Buckle for the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival.... so another day of music and food. ;)
Me, Melissa, Vanessa, Leanne, and Becca
Just as an added note, I was attempting to write this on the blogger app on my phone. It worked pretty well but I think I will keep that in my pocket for shorter posts. In the time it took to write and edit this post my kiddos came upstairs in aprons and gave us homemade menus. They made orange rolls and brought us sourdough bread to snack on while the rolls were baking. We could even choose sides like watermelon, apples, and oranges. Can we do this every Saturday? It as a full service breakfast in bed!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nashville Confession

In Nashville there is kind of an unwritten code: Don't bug the celebrities. I have seen Sheryl Crow at the Cheesecake Factory (I kicked my husband under the table but just smiled), got to go to Micheal W. Smith's house way back when my husbands band was on the same record label, and have been on a cruise with Big Daddy Weave. My mom and I even saw Dixie Carter at Opryland once. My mom was much more excited than me but I know how excited she was. I don't typically feel that I get all that starstruck.

Well...I broke the rule. There was a celeb at the same place I was and I couldn't help myself. When your daughter, at age 2, is saying "I'm Miss Independent" and loves to sing along to songs you want your now ten year old to meet her.


I will admit, I feel kind of bad about breaking the rule because I know she was in town for CMAfest and was just hanging out running errands. However, she was so gracious when we asked if we could snap a quick pic. Someone with her even offered to take the picture. So, this was the first picture on my brand new Razr M! That is one way to break in a new phone. My sweet girl was so nervous to meet someone she had been listening to for her entire life but was so excited too.

If you visit Nashville, don't bug the celebs. It is not Hollywood and they are just living their lives. I will have to remind myself of that the next time so I don't feel bad about breaking the unspoken rules.

Friday, June 07, 2013

{FFWD} Goat Cheese & Strawberry Tartine

 It is still Friday in my neck of the woods and it has been one heck of a week. This Goat Cheese and Strawberry Tartine was a perfect after band camp/pre dinner snack. It was easy and super fast which were both imperative this week. I taught 4 classes, went on a band field trip to a wave pool, cleaned my house in anticipation of a birthday party, and I actually have 6 boys and 2 girls at my house right now for a sleepover. I may very well fall asleep while typing.
This was a tiny bit bland and didn't pop nearly as much as I thought it would. Of course I used the last of my balsamic vinegar a month ago and that probably would have made all the difference. Both of my kiddos ate this and liked it. I did like it too but will add the balsamic the next time. Thank goodness for easy recipes!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

{FFWD} Anne Le Blanc´s Pistachio Avocado


So, my last post was about our insane May craziness. I bought bread to make the Coupetade (French Toast Bread Pudding), Little Man and I made peanut butter fudge for Food Revolution Day, and the asparagus is still sitting in my fridge for the  Asparagus Soup. I planned on taking my avocado on a trip to share with a friend but discovered (before we left) that she doesn't like avocado, so I left it at home. I bought walnut oil because I couldn't find pistachio oil but finally decided to make my own pistachio oil.

You would think a recipe with 4 ingredients would be the easiest thing in the world, and once I had all of the ingredients it was. All that was required for this recipe was an avocado, lemon juice to keep the avocado from turning brown, pistachio oil, and sea salt. I think I procrastinated on this a little bit because I wasn't sure how you were supposed to actually eat it. I also knew that my hubs would not eat it. He did try the oil with the pita chips though. :)

I made the pistachio oil by shelling the pistachios, spinning them in the food processor, warming up olive oil, adding that to the pistachios and then spinning it in the food processor again. I then strained it into a small mason jar.

After adding a splash of lemon juice to the avocado I filled the hollow with pistachio oil and served it with pita chips. I had half and my adventurous daughter ate half. She just got braces though so she ate her half sans pita chips. I really, really liked this a lot and I am glad that I took the time to make the pistachio oil. I am guessing walnut would have been ok as well but I do actually like pistachios more that walnuts (walnuts in brownies = yuck).

If you are recipe-challenged this is a good one to try. Don't forget to check out the LYL to see how other French Friday's with Dorie cooks liked this tasty treat!