Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lemon Mint Green Tea

Listen up all you men-folkie. If you wanna score great big brownie points with your lady-fair give this simple drink the once over.

I already talked about my mint mojito kick a bit but I also wanted to try something a little more "AM-ish" with the mojito mix. I tried this out first on my whiny little sister who wouldn't let go of my green tea cookbook but paced back & forth in front of the me in the kitchen waving, pointing & smiling like a doofus till I promised to try it out. I didn't get the lemon/green tea ratio right the first time but the 2nd time around I think I got it pretty good. Here's how:

1 tbsp sugar
15-20 mint leaves (a few good sprigs)
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp dried green tea leaves steeped in 1/3 c of boiling water (cool)

use a muddler/ wooden pestle or the end of a wooden rolling pin (what I used cuz' my mug was pretty deep) to crush the mint into the sugar. At this point you must restrain yourself from just licking up all the minted sugar from the bottom of your mug like a total sugar addict. Add the lemon mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add ice.Strain the cooled green tea into the glass & garnish with lemon/lime wedge & mint sprig & loose your mind completely while you relax sipping on this total refreshing summer treat.

The girly-ness of this drink is too wonderful to describe......if you are of the female variety I promise to make one of these for you when you come & visit. :)

Enjoy your last days of August.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vanilla Poppy Seed Cake

Good Morning Everyone. Sorry it's been ages since I last posted. Nothing like a summer school break with lots of action to keep me exhausted.

These mornings have been cool but still sunny. This morning I even had a hot coffee on the patio taking a moment to stand under the trumpet blossoms & hang out with the latest tenant turtle dove whose built his nest in our trumpet vine about how things are going in his part of town. Somehow his red eye with that little beady black dot in the center makes me think he's got insomnia. And he never seems to leave the nest or I'd climb up there & sneak a peek.

I haven't baked in ages n' ages. I'm not sure why. I just don't feel like firing up the oven if I at all possible but birthday season is upon us next week starting with the #3's 8th Birthday on the 4th of Sept. So I'm trying to scratch my brain for ideas. promised a recipe. I made this one awhile ago & would certainly make it again. Reducing the sugar from 1 1/3 c to 1 made it passable as breakfast fare esp when served with fresh berries or fruit. Course if you start with adding cream then I feel you're venturing into the "coffee break num-nums" territory.

In anycase....hope you enjoy it the way a hoard of hungry children did when they scarfed it down. :)
Vanilla Poppy Seed Cake (from my beloved "Joy of Coffee" book)

1/2 c poppy seeds
3/4 c milk
1/2 c plain yogurt
2 1/3 c all purpose flour
1 tbsp b. powder
1/2 tsp b. soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
3 large eggs seperated
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F (165 c) Grease & flour 10" tube pan

In small bowl stir poppy seeds, milk & yogurt set aside.

Stir together flour/b. powder/b. soda/salt in medium bowl.

In large bowl with electric mixer cream together butter & sugar till well blended, @ 2 min. (stand mixer works fine too)

Add egg yolks & vanilla blend thoroughly about a minute.

Add flour mixture alternating with poppy seed mixture, starting & ending w/ flour.

In separate bowl whisk egg whites till stiff, stir spoonful of whites into batter to lighten it gently stir in the rest

Pour batter into pan. Bake 50 min till cake is golden & toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack completely before removing from pan. Serve sliced at room temp. Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 mo.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lazy I AM!

Heya heya! Howz business on this fine roasty toasty day? As promised foodie pics, and now I shall deliver. Beware if you were expecting details & recipes for each picture below because I just don't think I can pull it off. I'm clean & cool sittin' here in my airconed dining room smelling my bread bake & my tummy rumble because I believe I contracted some kind of a bug-thingie that has been causing my stomach to speak to me in dark menacing tones & cause my 3 year old to give me a equally sad, detailed description of her toilet happenings. (and she can get VERY descriptive)

But I do feel a little bad that recently I have thrown out so much food pics & not much in the way of links/recipes etc... I'm gonna try to just post more tidbits esp in the way of recipes I've stumbled upon & quit trying to only post recipes here.

But for now here are the pics, some from the visit some of food:
Erika feasting on her very own temaki-zushi. I will give this restaurant two thumbs up. BEST IDEA for a kids meal. All of her own tiny utensils had her sitting there making her lunch till well after we adults were done.
I rustled up this basic recipe for Mint Mojitos. I think it speaks of summer perfectly & will be caught drinking one at happy hour (aka: roughly starting 1/2 hr before the kids get home from their afternoon fiesta of energy burning w/ DH) If you don't have this GODLY weed growing somewhere in your garden YOU OUGHT TO!
Proof of a successful visit!
Salad idea that made my day today: Ordinary salad of lettuce, tomatoes & cucumber sauted kuri-kabocha (those tiny, extra sweet & nutty tasting goodies) then mushrooms in butter, cooled & tossed in salad with olive oil & lots of freshly ground pepper & sea salt. If I had pumpkin seeds I belive it would have been too wonderful & I would've just cried. Unfortunately my poor DH nearly cried when he saw it on the lunch table.

Foccacia my faithful friend....I can't believe I don't have a recipe for this on here, gotta do that soon. Simplest bread with great power to impress at a pasta meal.
Apple sauce in it's embryonic stage, spiced with cinnamon/clove & cardamom. My attempt at a non-sugar applesauce cake was mediocre. I would actually have to classify it a bread rather than a cake. I followed this simple recipe but didn't use any sugar substitute so naturally even though the applesauce by itself was like candy -- mixed into the double sifted whole wheat & other ingr. seemed to loose it's sweetness. Also beat the egg whites to keep it's body but I probably should have done an extra 2 egg whites. My kind sister approved but I'm still miffed about how anyone can survive on a "sugar/refined flour/dairy product-less" diet. I salute you!
My (quite frankly) pitiful attempt to record the fact that we ever had a barbecue at all. I was (not surprisingly) the only one who seemed amused by my "placenta" jokes about the raspberry & fruit jello. (Come on', at least Mr & Mrs Marrington would be laughing, right?) Maybe ya'll already knew this but if you soak corn (in the husks) for 2 hrs in salty water you can throwm' right on the coal & wait till the husks are near blackened & the inside will be pristine & perfect.

More hasty foodie business soon. Till then, be genki!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Alive & kicking one leg

Hey stranger! In case you thought that I've taken the long walk off the short blogging pier, sadly you're mistaken. This certain actor came to my house to stay.

Along with most of my siblings & parents. (actually all of my parents --that I know of came) And with a whirlwind of positive energy & lots of silly games we managed to have a ballistic time of fun & foolishness. I've learned some handy new skills such as essential lavender oil sniffing & h0w to make whole wheat & rye bread a weapon of mass destruction.

Once I get some time I shall bombard you with unwanted & irrelevant pics of our time together because that is what I must do.

As always a majority of my time was spent in the kitchen doing deeds of kindness like sorting through the trash because I never bothered labeling them & everyone kept mixing them up or keeping the coffee bar open so various persons could get their fix of disserono laced cappuccinos.

Ooooh, I did a lot of firsts actually. Because who better to experament on than members of your immediate family:
- I finally got to pull off my big lebanese dinner (you'd be so proud Ves) falafels, tabuleh, kebabs, hummus, labne & flat bread. I was genuinely loving it.
- crushed mint/lemon/green tea
- non sugar & whole wheat applesauce cake
- Fattoush with my own pita

Being the sheer genius that I am I of course did not take any actual photographic evidence of any of these events but hopefully something will turn up soon from some of the other cameras. And I will also try to post some links to some of my new found & favorite recipes.

But for now I shall bask in the glow of my newly developed beer belly & try to appease my greedy sleep debt which seems to be taking over my last marble of sanity.

-- Ciao!

Monday, August 03, 2009

At Home with Nature & other nonsence.

Chocolate Mousse Pie: a belated act of love for my DH. Dark bitter chocolate bomb of happiness & indulgence.
The Muncher concurs! (note the glisten of a tear after he begged for just one more bite, I gave in, hence the smile)
This not so little buggie made it's way into our home so we fed him melon & he became Hunter's new pet & he walked around all evening with the container. (though he wouldn't dare touch it).

I was actually not expecting him to burst into tears the way he did when we had to let the poor thing go. Here he's explaining the torture of letting his "buggy" go.

Mr 4#. AKA: The Travster has gotten on a writing kick. He took the liberty of labeling our "Curious George" video cassette. (Yes, some people still use those)

And in case there's any question on who should be the one to record Curious George on Saturday mornings, just a little clarification.

Another puzzling sample of his handywork. Apparently this is a menu of dinner. It (supposedly) reads, "Lettuce/Salad/buscuits/ketchup". Gotta work on that spelling. But anyone who knows Trav will testify that this is a massive step of litterary progress.

We've been spying on a birds nest outside our window. The wary parents seem to fly away no matter how stealthily we try to peek out the window. Of course to get a good shot I get to hang out the window like a lunatic mother doing a flying arabesque to her doom with a camera in one hand & pulling back branches with the other.

I try to warn the kids about peeking in on them too often but the mother in me can't seem to help checking on how things are going. Are birds psychic? Everytime I even get close to the window even if it's closed & the curtains drawn I see the mom's eye looking at me & she flies a second later. Then just this morning....

They hatched! Trav spotted an open mouth. Must be brand spankin' new cuz' they don't even cry aloud yet. I had to hold a broom out the window to pull the branches back & put each kid in positon one at a time to take a look. I'm hating the cornyness but I must admit I'm terribly happy & proud of our little babies.

The other two sibs hatched somewhere between lunch & naptime & don't they just look like a perfect little pile of blind bald & nekid birdies?
Sweet Lil' Baby Jesus! That has to be one of the cutest things EVER!!! And I'm sure my sista Elaina will concur. :) Unfortunately my 3 yr old doesn't think so. She just walked in here, "Eww, that's just so yuck. They're just hugging their naked little bodies till they're stuck together, isn't that just so gross?"

More later. Ciao, my roasty toasty friends!