Thursday, September 06, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Sept. 6, 2012

Oh my gosh, we're back! I have been looking at things and loving them...and then not blogging about it. Eh. You know. Let's let bygones be bygones and get to it.

There's lots of fabulous food news in my neighborhood and that's what I'm starting with. Though I was sad that Pix closed their Williams location, I was super stoked to hear that Kenny and Zuke's will be taking over the spot. Portland is a fabulous food town, but lately it has not been a fabulous bagel town (RIP Kettleman's). K & Z make a fab bagel, but it's all the way downtown and I'm lazy. Williams has a lot of good stuff and this will be just one more.

Even closer to home is the fantastic news that the geniuses behind Bunk Sandwiches are moving into the Under Wonder space. The new place will be called Trigger., will be open on more than just show nights, and are going to be Tex-Mex themed. Yeah, everything I could possibly want plus this quote "authentic gay cowboy cuisine". I'm in.

Pizza Ban Lifted in N. Korea: I didn't even know this was a thing, but I guess it is. Hooray for pizza!

(click image to enlarge)
What's Good at Trader Joe's?: It's not secret that I'm a huge TJ's fan, but sometimes those random tasty looking items you grab end up just being random and not so tasty. Obviously things change a lot, but this seems like an excellent resource to have. After all, I'm a librarian and we are nothing if not a breed of people who loved resources.

And speaking of libraries and resources, Southeast Portland recently got a kitchen tool lending library. It has everything from simple stuff like pots and pans to things you might not ever buy, like a dehydrator. 
Super, super cool.
Bon Appetit! 100 Years of Julia Child: Last month would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday and it's hard to imagine a more influential person in home cooking. I love the angle this article takes on Child's contributions to feminism and the advancement of women. Plus it includes the rad remix video you may have seen floating around. 

Chopped is my favorite cooking show. Serious Eats tells you why Kirsten and I aren't the only ones who go crazy for it. I had a dream I won it the other night. It was super convincing. And yeah, I rocked the dessert round.

Cake Mix Science: Jessie tests why can't you just bake the frosting into the cake? And then frost it again. Interesting and delicious results.
I'm also loving: Interurban's happy hour (esp. that quesadilla); after dinner snacks of olives, pickles, and sharp cheddar; the Green Machine at Bamboo. I mean, seriously, how can one sushi roll be that delicious?; Cock'n'Bull ginger beer; candied bacon in so many things; discount pizza because I came in 45 minutes before closing (I love my neighborhood); Killer Burger's peanut butter pickle bacon burger. Sounds like what? Tastes like WHA?omnomnomnom; cucumber salad; fro-yo; sparkling water; sharing chocolate milkshakes with my sweetie (d'awww); fancy mocktails.  

What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Basil Vinaigrette

Basil. Delicious. Herbaceous. Sometimes going limp in your refrigerator. If you’ve got a lot of basil, this recipe might be just what you need. It’s fast and fantastic with meats and salads. I like it enough to go buy basil. I didn’t have a shallot at the time, so you’ll see my substitution below.

Basil Vinaigrette from Simply Recipes:

Makes about 1 cup

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tb. chopped onion
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
½ c. roughly chopped basil leaves
¼ c. white wine vinegar
¾ c. olive oil

Place the salt, sugar, mustard, garlic, onion, and basil in a food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Scrape the sides of the blender down with a spatula. Add the vinegar and pulse again.

Turn the processor on low and take off the cap in the center of the lid. Slowly pour in the olive oil. It may sputter a little out of the open cap, so hold your hand over it to minimize splashing. When the olive oil is incorporated, turn off the blender and scrape the sides down one more time. Cover and purée everything for 1-2 minutes.
It’s great with a summer green salad and also dynamite with grilled chicken because of its pesto-esque flavor. It will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Zucchini – that little summer squash that overwhelms gardens and CSAs everywhere. What should you do with all of those green guys that are filling up your produce drawer? Zucchini bread is an obvious choice, but when I saw this recipe from Smitten Kitchen about zucchini bread pancakes, I was intrigued. It’s a rad new way to do breakfast, use up some zucchini, and it’s not all that bad for you. Aaron even ate them and he is a long time zucchini hater. Not bad for a morning’s work. Deb has lots of options for many of the ingredients. Below are my choices. Check out the original to make your own or just do what I did because I can tell you that these are awesome.

Zucchini Bread Pancakes from Smitten Kitchen:

Makes 10 to 12 pancakes

2 large eggs
3 Tb. olive oil
2 Tb. dark brown
¼ c. buttermilk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. shredded zucchini (from about 9 ounces whole, or 1 1/2 medium zucchini), heaping cups are fine
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. whole wheat flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Butter or oil, for coating skillet

For the topping (optional) -
1 Tb. maple syrup
3 Tb. plain Greek yogurt
If you’re doing the topping, mix together the maple syrup and yogurt in a small bowl. There. Done.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in zucchini shreds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

Preheat oven to 200°F and place a tray on a middle rack. I skipped this step because even though it does ensure that your pancakes are cooked all the way through, it was already hot in my house and I couldn’t stand the idea of putting the oven on.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, melt a pat of butter in pan and swirl it around until it sizzles. Scoop scant ¼ cup dollops of batter in pan so the puddles do not touch. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with maple syrup yogurt topping or butter and maple syrup or however you like your pancakes.
These do taste a lot like zucchini bread and you can almost pretend you’re being healthy. It’s pretty close.
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