Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday morning

Good thing my husband and I are both foodies. Good thing we also like to exercise. Our passions for both keep a good balance on our health, happiness, and of course our waistlines.

Why is this important? Because, my friends, Saturday was a food extravaganza. As many of them are...

 After a 50 minute training bike ride, I woke up Jared with the smell of cornmeal pancakes cooking on the skillet.

Let me announce that my favorite fruit stand is open again. Allred Orchards on Univeristy Avenue sells in season fruit that is always perfectly ripe and juicy. We bought 1/2 peck of peaches the size of softballs for $5. They were so ready to eat that naturally we did so right away. I love when the sticky warm juices run down your cheeks and dribble off the end of your chin.

In the same parking lot, an elderly man from Harward Farms had set up camp: a few bushel baskets of vegetables and a wagon full of melons. We bought onions, corn, cantaloupe, zucchini, and yellow squash. I should have bought the cucumbers too, but I thought that the one we had from Costco was still good. No luck there unfortunately. Those plastic wrappers don't do a good job of keep the cukes fresh, just keeping the runny juices from getting all over your fridge.

Our big purchase of the day was a 6 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. I cannot wait to use it! It is a beautiful cranberry color and huge. I think we will have to make more bread tonight just to try it out :)

We also discovered Winco. A grocery store rather far from our home, but cheaper enough than the ones nearby that I will definitely be going there again. The store is set up somewhat similar to a warehouse, but since you do not have to buy everything in bulk, like at Costoc or Sam's club, it is a much better option for family of two. They do have large and diverse selection of "buy the weigh" items, including rice, noodles, beans, baking goods, candy, nuts and trail mix and spices. This section is probably my favorite thing about this store, since I love experimenting with ingredients, but naturally, I don't always want to buy a large amount of certain things, like split peas for example, if I am just using it once for a particular recipe. 

Cornmeal Pancakes with Berry Syrup

adapted from "The Pioneer Woman"


  • 1-1/2 cup (scant) All-purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2 cup Heaping Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2-1/4 cups Skim Milk (more If Needed)
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla

Berry Syrup
  • 1 pint frozen berries
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

Preparation Instructions

Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients, stirring gently.
Set batter aside. If batter is overly thick, splash in a small amount of milk.
In a saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 5 minutes on low. Stir in cornstarch, then continue cooking, using a whisk to stir frequently. Remove from heat when it's nice and thick.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. When heated, drop 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and serve hot with butter, berry syrup and maple syrup, if your preferences head that way.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

T=1 year minus some change

Halloooo there.

Utah is hot, and unusually rainy recently.
Jared is mending from his bike accident. All but one wound have healed completely. Shoulder is still sore, but he's able to go to work part time.
Alex's work is still busy--missionaries are still going everywhere. Tri-training is time consuming, but she gets by with the help of her friends.

Jared bakes bread. I make salade. Et puis, nous mangeons!

Salade Ni├žoise 
This is a traditional French salad from the city of Nice in the Provence region of France. Based on fresh market produce, the true salad should be composed of only raw vegetables. However, regional variations have included the addition of  artichokes,  tuna, potatoes, boiled eggs and crispy lettuce. The salad below has been adapted to be more of a dinner salad, rather than a side, but it is delicious on a hot summer day nonetheless. 

Serves 4
For the salad:
1 head of lettuce, chopped, rinsed and dried (Boston or Red)
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges
5-7 small potatoes (red or Yukon gold)diced
6 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half length-wise
1/2 pound haricots vert (French green beans)
10 anchovy fillets
2 cans of good tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1/3 cup Nicoise olives, chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon finely minced shallot or leek
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as tarragon, basil, chives, parsley (optional)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Steam the potatoes for approximately 10 minutes, or until tender when poked with a fork. Stir a little of the dressing into the potatoes (they will absorb the flavor better when warm), then refrigerate. Steam the haricots for about 7-9 minutes or until tender, then plunge under ice water to stop them cooking. This technique is called blanching and keeps the color nice and bright. Place them in the refrigerator with the potatoes while you prepare the remainder of the ingredients.

To plate the salade do as the French: be delicate, be precise, be gourmet. Artfully arrange the quartered tomatoes, halved eggs, diced potatoes, sliced olives, flecks of tuna, cuts of haricot, and anchovies on the bed of lettuce. Drizzle over with dressing and salt and pepper to taste. The beauty of this salad is that you can really pick and choose what toppings to put on each plate--if someone doesn't like a particular ingredient for example.

This is a filling and nutrient packed dinner to add to any culinary repetoire. Enjoy soaking up the juices with some delicious artisan French bread.

**note to reader. We did not include the anchovies.**