Monday, December 27, 2010

Naughty or Nice?

It is true- I am the kind of girl who gives people vegetables for Christmas. Last year, it was homemade pickles and chutneys. This year, I went raw. The thing is, my brother is one of the best and bravest cooks I know- and since he and his lady moved to Austin, TX last year, they have been so busy getting settled in that I thought I'd give them a leg up on some of the local farms 'round there. I found, which is a bit like our Dominion Harvest, but with the addition of gift baskets. I could have gotten bunches of wine, cookies and locally made snack foods, but I am the big sister, so I opted for a big old box of veggies to be delivered to their door. Greenling consistently sources from several local farms in the Austin area- and gives farm info with each order and on the webiste.

Plus, I wanted to find out what grows in Austin in the winter. A lot, as it turns out! Everything from radishes to tangerines, apples to peppers to lettuces and herbs was in that box. Plus, Al got to know to know several local farms all at once, and a great service to boot! So, if you are ever at a loss for what to give someone- go with veggies. Everybody needs 'em!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Real Richmond Food Tours

This sounds really fun! From the Grace Manor Inn website:

The two-and-a-half-hour walking tours take you through a certain part of the city, and along the way you stop at restaurants, meet owners and taste culinary goodness. In between munching, you’ll get a taste of Richmond’s architecture, history and current happenings. Sounds like a pretty good deal!

There are two upcoming tour dates. Thursday, December 30, is Shockoe Slip: Capital of Cuisine, and Saturday, January 15 is Shockoe Bottom: Shock and Awe. Tickets cost about $40 and can be purchased online.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

'Tis the season, for comfort foods, for warmth. And for cleaning out the fridge. What could make better use of all of those things than Shepherd's Pie? I made this version vegetarian and wheat free, (preceded by a tour of my fridge to determine what needed to be eaten) but it is very versatile. And, I must say, satisfying on a cold winter eve.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Serves 6

8 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice
for 12- 15 minutes, until you can easily put a knife through.

Add 1 (to 1.5) cups of milk to drained potatoes and mash or whip in stand mixer. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.

Saute for ten minutes on medium heat:
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 leeks, chopped and rinsed (whites only)
1 parsnip, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 head Cauliflower, broken into florets
5 oz golden shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Generous pinch of dried italian herbs

Cook together for another ten minutes until well melded.

1 cup red wine
1 cup broth
2 TBS tamari
1 cup rinsed green lentils

Salt and pepper to taste

Toss for a couple of minutes to coat. Add veggies to casserole (9x11) and top with mashed potatoes.

Shred 1/ 3 cup cheddar cheese on top.

Cook at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes- until broth is bubbling and potatoes are tipped with brown.

Enjoy- stay warm!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

20 Great Ted Talks For Total Foodies

Thanks to Jasmine for sending us this! Just click here, and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Apple and Rosemary- a new favorite combination

It all started on Friday night. Several friends met to christen an artist friend's new studio, and one lovely woman brought individual apple gallettes- brightened with a hint of rosemary. I will tell you, it was inspired. So much so that last night (only a couple of days later) I got a text from a friend and neighbor who also attended Friday's festivities:
Rosemary Apple Crisp coming out of the oven in a few. Want to come over?

Um, yes please.
So, here is Susan's take on our new favorite combination. This is a delicious wheat free version.

Rosemary Apples with Oatmeal-Almond Crisp
  • 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 5 Pink Lady apples (or some other tart variety), peeled, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Toss apples with lemon juice and rosemary and distribute evenly in the bottom of a 2-qt baking dish.

    Combine almond meal, brown sugar, oats, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is relatively evenly mixed. Distribute the crust evenly over the apples.

    Bake 40 minutes.
    Serve with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.
    Makes 6 -8 servings.
    [If you like it with lots of crust, double the first five ingredients.]

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Map of Industrial Farms by Concentration in US and Virginia

    The organization Food and Water Watch has put out a map of the United States showing varying concentrations of factory farms. You can adjust the map to look at all factory farms, or individual types of factory farms. You can select by state for a closer look. Select Virginia and then click on the various counties to get specific information. A few clicks through there is also a page of some state by state information they have put together. I can't speak to the accuracy of all that information, but the map, and the updates are interesting at least.

    Holiday Open House and Cooking Classes at Nadolski's

    It's been a long time since I've looked at Nadolski's Butcher shop. They used to sell they homemade sausages at the St. Stephen's market. Once they gave us a number of them to share with guest at a spring RFC potluck. Everyone loved them,and new Nadolski's customers were created. The sausages are made each day. They make prepared meals as well. Meats are sourced from a number of Goochland and Crozet farms, as well as Polyface Farm. You can read about the farms, and their individual practices on the Nadolski's website. You can also check out cooking demos with titles like 'Duck a l'Orange & The Art of Braising.'