Monday, July 25, 2011

Raspberry Pie

Yesterday was a chilly 79 degrees, and I decided to make a raspberry pie.

Let's face it, fresh raspberries are amazing and awesome.  And raspberry season only lasts, like, a week.  Blink and you miss it.

I bought two pints of raspberries at the farmer's market two Thursdays ago, but two pints of (extremely expensive) raspberries does not a batch of jam make.  So I decided to wash and freeze them, so later on I could either make a pie or possible acquire more berries and make jam.

I decided on pie.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Seriously Old-Fashioned Recipes

I haven't been doing much cooking this week - okay, let's be honest, I've done no cooking this week - due to the heatwave the northeast (and apparently the rest of the United States) has been experiencing.  When it's 95+ degrees out, and your house is not equipped with any sort of air conditioning, firing up the oven is the very last thing you want to do.

But just because it's not physically comfortable enough to cook doesn't mean you can't look at recipes.

I love looking at recipes.

I particularly like looking at old-fashioned recipes.  And I'm not talking about stuff from the 1950s.  I mean historical recipes.  In April, I went to a seminar about the War of 1812 and was thisclose to purchasing a cookbook with recipes dating from the early 1800s.  You know, back when recipes were called "receipts".

As I was attempting to stay cool yesterday, I was poking around the internet and stumbled across a website that I'm dying to dive into:  The Civil War Interactive Cookbook.  Okay, I didn't stumble.  I deliberately did a Google search for Civil War era recipes.

I should probably inform all of you that, aside from my love of cooking and baking, I am a ridiculous history geek.  And the Civil War is kind of my historical area of expertise, if amateur study can lead to any sort of expertise.

I literally went "OOOOOOO" when I clicked on the link.

Now, aside from the various recipes out there for military hardtack, there isn't much in the way of recipes Civil War era soldiers would cook.  All of these recipes are from the home front.  What's really cool is that the editors of the website include some explanations about what some of the historical ingredients are (for example, crushed loaf sugar is nothing more than today's granulated sugar), and they also give sources for the recipes too.

My sweet tooth must be acting up this week because I spent the majority of my time perusing the sections regarding baked goods.  As soon as this heat wave lets up, I might have to try to whip up some authentic Boston creme cakes.

It may take some financial planning, however, before attempting one of the sponge cake recipes calling for 15 eggs.  (And you thought the 12-layer cake called for an obscene amount of eggs!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Grilled Steak with Orange Teriyaki Sauce

Summer means grilling, and in my house, grilling, much of the time, means steak.

I like me some steak.

Recently, I pulled out an "old favorite" recipe and gave it a little bit of a change up.  I came up with my recipe for orange teriyaki steak last fall when I discovered some steak in my freezer that had been there about three months.  The steak I made recently with this recipe didn't require as much help as the deep-freeze steak.  And I happened to have some mushrooms (I'm on a bit of a mushroom kick), so I added those to the mix.  Pair it with some fresh sweet corn - oh wow!

Now, I will share the marinade for the steak, but the process I want to go through with you specifically is for the sauce.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Red Velvet Cake Balls

I don't know if any of you have heard of cake balls before.  If you haven't, you should.  They're amazing.  They taste so rich, and are always impressive.

We had a reception on Sunday to welcome the new pastor at my church, and I wanted to make something a little different from the standard fare.  Of course, I needed to figure out how to give it an Italian flare.  So I decided on red velvet cake balls coated with vanilla almond bark coating with a dab of green on top.

This is another of those recipes that seems like it would be really challenging, but it's surprisingly easy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Tart

Sometimes you just need to do something amazing with fresh strawberries, especially when strawberries are in season (as they are this time of year in my neck of the woods).  And what could be more amazing than a fresh strawberry tart, straight out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking?

Honestly, can you think of anything more amazing for your 4th of July picnic?  I can't.