Monday, September 15, 2014

Raspberry and Lilikoi! Yum!

Wow! Sampling the raspberry lilikoi bars before breakfast. My bowl of oatmeal looking pretty sad now.
So good!
Can't believe how great these are--Raspberry and Lilikoi Bars. Used Dorie Greenspan's Raspberry Lemon Bars recipe, I substituted my lilikoi curd instead of lemon curd. I went a little crazy with the raspberry but wanted to use up what I had left. 

For lilikoi curd, I used Ina Garten's Lemon curd recipe [I posted about it here.] substituted lilikoi pulp [I got it frozen, can't grow it here in NJ--:(], I used 3/4 c of pulp and added 1/8 c more of sugar. It's such beautiful yellow color. Smells and taste great. Definitely worth making for a gift. 

I used about a cup and half of curd which is pretty much a whole recipe of curd. This is why they are so delicious. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

My walk home . . .

from my day off in the city.
The river at the bottom of my hill
I stopped by the river to get a quick picture. The light in the late afternoon was really beautiful. The river looks a little low. Been a little dry for a couple of days. I usually see some interesting birds hanging out on that tree on the left. No birds today.

I was coming back from the city after meeting up with my old roommate from Pratt. We had afternoon tea at Bergdorf Goodman. We hadn't seen each out in close to 30 years. She introduced me to WG. We had a nice time talking and catching up with what we were up to. She's quite the busy lady. 
Ms. M and all of goodies for our afternoon tea
The restaurant was quite beautiful and with a lots of fancy people lunching [I probably was underdress with my gap/target ensemble]. From our seat, we had view was of Central Park South. Our afternoon tea consisted of tea sandwiches (egg, chicken, tuna, turkey, cheese, smoke salmon and prosciutto/cheese), scones with jam and honey and sweets (macarons, petit fours and mini tarts). I had a pot of Earl Grey and she had Yellow Lemon [I think]. Overalll, BG was a nice place to lunch, talk and catch up with things. Not too loud and noisy. Food could have been better, especially the sweets--too sweet for both of us. But we were there to see each other so the food was secondary. 

Weather turned pretty nice--the sun came out as we left the restaurant. Weather reports said hot, humid and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Expected my walk home to be miserable. But it turned out to be pretty nice. 

On my way up my hill, I stopped to take picture of my favorite street sign. They may need to add snakes to the sign as there was squished snake right by the sign.
Check out the blue skies for my walk home

Friday, August 29, 2014

Peaches, More Peaches and Apriums

Guess who brought home fruit today. You got it. WG!! I bought a basket of peaches from the farmers market last week and just prepped the last of it for a second batch of jam. I'm making a small batch of peach butter with a recipe from smitten kitchen. 

FYI: peach butter like apple butter has no dairy in it. This recipe is only fruit, sugar, water,  lemon juice and time to cook down and thicken up. The house smelled great--very peachy. 
Jamming in my new vintage jam pot
Slightly shy of 2 pints of peach butter
Then WG walks in with a giant box of fruit. Now I have a box of white peaches, to tend to. Not sure why WG bought it. He doesn't really like white peaches [I like them but I can't eat this much]. He always complains that they are too tart for him. Well, if he doesn't like batch, I guess, I'll use some of them to make a batch of my white peach cupcakes. I haven't made a batch this year. Maybe I'll pick up some raspberries from the farmers market to combine with it. hmmmm. . . .maybe white peach and raspberry cupcakes with raspberry buttercream. 

Enough complaining about too much fruit, on to the next stone fruit. . . . I've been in search of those sweet italian plums, deep dark purple on the outside, yellow/green on the inside to make a batch of jam. Haven't seen them but I've missed the farmers market a couple of weeks in a row. Did I miss them already. Sad face!
These were from last year, so sweet! I hope I didn't miss you.
But I've might have found a substitute if I missed the italian plums--Apriums. It's a hybrid of apricots and plums--75% apricot. Apricot and Plum jam are my favorites, so these will probably be a great sub. They have a reddish plum skin-not the fuzzy apricot skin with slight orange inside. It's really sweet, kind of a combination of apricot/plum flavor. WG liked these. Making a small batch of jam to see how it taste and eat the rest. 
Prepped and ready to be jammed
Used the Plum Jam recipe from Jellies and Other Sweet Preserves by Linda Ziedrich, adjusted that sugar slightly because these were so sweet. 
Beautiful red color and what a great taste
This is what I got. 2 pints of beautiful red sweetness. Will definitely pick them up again, when I'm finally out of fruit.

By the way, WG came home with a pineapple and melon plus 8 lbs of strawberries, too. He asked me if 6lbs was enough for me. Oye! what is he thinking. He is the man of "more is better". He also does this with other things than food, too. I think is is early signs of being a hoarder. 

Sigh! Guess who, gets to toss these things out. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Jam Pots

Love the handles on these pots
Went to Lambertville flea market with C's Dad and found some new pots for my jam making. Bought 2 vintage Dansk kobenstyle pots, one in blue and one in yellow. I was only going to pick up the big blue one but asked if I could get a deal for 2 [I'm not really good at it but thought I'd try] and he gave me $2 off the total and that made me happy and I got them both.

They are in pretty good shape. I think it just need a good cleaning. Found a this post on DOUGLASCAIN on how to clean up these pots. I'll it out this weekend.

I think I'm going to start looking for more pieces of kobenstyle. I'd love to get the pitcher or the paella pan.

Payment in food

Before I forget, Thank you so much C's Dad for all the work you did at the house. We totally appreciate it. And to C's Mom thanks for loaning out your handy husband on this trip. And one last thank you to C, C's Mom, C's Dad and B for the pillow to calm my hot flashes. It's keeping me at a steady coolish temp throughout the night.

I love to cook for people who love to eat. And I had the perfect house guests for it. 
All of my cooking came about by a visit from CC's Mom, C's Dad and B. They were in town to get C situated with her car and apartment. I asked the very handy C's Dad if he could help me out with a few projects around the house if he had sometime. In payment, I would cook up some meals for them.
C, C's Mom and B were off on an adventure exploring Lambertville, New Hope and Princeton for the day and while C's Dad and I tackled the gym. Pictures of the gym are here. And what we found in the process of the setting the gym up, inspired our dinner for the  night. GRILL! 
This grill was sitting in a box in our garage for I don't know how long.

What do you do with sweet summer tomatoes . . .

and a new grill. I made roasted or should I called grilled tomato salsa. I posted about how great this recipe was. Here's the recipe.

The char on the veggies gives  the salsa great flavor 

Grilled up all the veggies: campari and orange grape tomatoes, red and green peppers, jalapeno, onions and garlic. Then I tossed it in the food processor with a little bit of salt and lime juice and bunch of cilantro and gave it a whirled. Adjusted the spicy-ness with a little more cilantro and raw tomato, the jalapeno had a kick. I didn't serve it to the next day till the next day, I think it really rounded the flavor out out tasted better. 

Got myself 3 containers of salsa. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

It only took a year . . .

We finally got a working gym at the house. This has been a year of in-progress--with a giant lull during the winter. Don't get me started about on the big lull--that would be wasted energy and that person isn't worth. Still has lots to finish up with but at least for now we can work out with the giant yellow weight machine and treadmill [gave the everything an initial scrub after it set up because the lull maker was not so neat]. With the help of my extreme handy friend, C and K's Dad, we were able to put back the giant yellow weight machine with some manual from the internet and us minding the holes [we were so happy that we had all the nuts and bolts].

I'm still cleaning out the space to make room for the motorcycle, storage for gardening and miscellaneous stuff. Will get some wall organizers for the ladders and gardening tools this coming week with the help from C and K's Dad. And then the motorcycle will come in for the winter. WG thinks the recumbent bike can will fit [currently residing in our living room but I have a better space for it] but I think he's out of his mind.

C and K's Dad tightening the bolts
After the test run by C and K's Dad and WG
Took if for a run this morning
If I have any more energy left, I'll give the gym another good scrub and some paint. And hopefully by this time next year, WG and I will be much fitter than we are now.