Monthly Archives: June 2012

Raspberry-Peach Jam from The Feed: America’s Test Kitchen

Thank you Lori Galvin for posting this wonderful recipe for raspberry-peach jam. I’m fairly new to jam making (especially when actually following a recipe). This one is great! It was super easy to make, and I never once felt like it might not get to the thickening stage, as so often happens.

The sights and smells that fill your kitchen while making this great jam will bring home Summer. Beautiful colors and flavors mix to make a slightly tart spreadable fruit. I love how little sugar this recipe called for, it’s as close to eating just fruit as I’ve gotten when making jam.

My 10 year old nephew, Giovanni, helped me out. He loved when one of the peaches fell out the window while I was shooting a picture. He was a great help in measuring out the sugar and checking the recipe to make sure I was actually following it. Gio was in charge of testing out the thickened jam on the back of the frozen spoon. He’s a maker of robotic things, magician, stop-motion animator and a great guitar player. He also has an interest in all kinds of crafts and is game for helping me with a variety of projects.

I added three vanilla beans split open to the jam during cooking. Every time I make jam, I love to add a little something extra like vanilla beans or jalapeños. It makes the jam turn out just a little bit different and everyone knows that it was made by me.

You can find the recipe here, at America’s Test Kitchen’s The Feed. Thanks again to Lori Galvin for sharing!

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Posted in fruit, jam without pectin, jelly, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Support Your Local Butcher: Drewes Brothers Meats

Local butchers are becoming fewer and farther between these days. I am lucky enough to live in a city that has several outstanding butcher shops. I have no issue with large supermarket butcher departments, nor with pre-packaged good quality meat.

What I love about going to my local butcher shop is the personal connection. They may not know me by name (though I do hear them calling many of the customers by name) but they do know what I ordered last time I came in. Asking how the chuck roast they sold me last week turned out and suggesting a nice pork shoulder for my BBQ pulled pork.

My local shop is called Drewes Brothers, walking distance from my house (though a bit further away than the Whole Foods, well worth the extra few blocks). They butcher all of their own meat and make many of the sausages they have on offer (like these bratwurst).

Here’s a little back story from their website:

Josh and Isaac , are the fourth owners since Drewes Brothers originally opened in 1889. Thought to be the oldest operating butcher shop in California, Drewes offers old style service with new school attitude.

Josh and Joey are more than happy to spend a few extra minutes explaining the paticulars of a type of meat to a customer or offering cooking tips for roasting a tri-tip. All the while the radio blaring out Metallica or the days Giants game.

I remember going to the Westi Meat Market with my parents in Queens. The butchers were a bunch of German men (one or two of whom were quite handsome, which pleased Gran Fran no end) who worked very hard and had some of the best hot dogs and liverwurst I’ve ever tasted. They always offered the little kids a mini hot dog (fully cooked, ok to eat while you wait) and had German treats like Haribo Gummi Bears well before these became widely available in the States.

Drewes Brothers offers a small selection of sauerkraut and mustard. They also have on hand potatoes, lemons, onions, and a few other must-haves when cooking a nice roast.

So stop on into your local butcher shop and see what they have for you. They’ll take good care of you.

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Juice…Grapefruit, Avocado, Beet, Watermelon…The List Goes On

Hello and welcome to another juice recipe. I’m no longer on my juice cleanse, but I loved the juices I made so much, that I decided to continue making them.

This week’s juice has a few ingredients I haven’t included in previous juices: watermelon and grapefruit. Wow! The watermelon is just the right sweetness to offset the earthiness of the beets. The grapefruit’s sour tartness tastes just right against the smooth, bright flavor of the avocado. Topped off with fresh coconut water, this juice is my favorite so far.

It’s a lot thinner than the other juices I’ve made, not in a bad way, but in a really refreshing way. I thought I liked the juice to be more of a pureed salad, but now really want more of a liquid texture. Now that I’m making juice on a more regular basis I’m learning that I need to trust my instincts when it comes to flavor mixing. Juice after juice, I’ve been really pleased with all of my combinations.

Raw Beet, Avocado, Nectarine, Strawberry, Watermelon, Grapefruit Juice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado, skin removed, cut into chunks
  • 1 small nectarine, pit removed, sliced
  • 1 grapefruit, skin removed, cuts into chunks
  • 4 small strawberries, sliced
  • 1 beet, skin removed, sliced
  • 3 small pieces watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • Ice cubes

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender or drink mixer with a good blade.
  2. Pulse on high until everything is chopped up.
  3. If you want the juice to be thinner, add more coconut or regular water to the mix.
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A Little Romance: Repost From Paris, 2010

Originally posted on my blog from our Paris trip, 2010.  You should really watch “A Little Romance”. It’s available on Amazon Instant Video or you can purchase it here

Anybody who knows me at all, knows one of my all time favorite movies is “A Little Romance”. It takes place here in Paris and in Venice and is the story of a 13 year old rich American ex-pat girl who meets a 13 year old working-class French boy.

When my mom and I went to Venice in 1989, we spotted many of the locations the movie was shot in. As of today, I have found two or three of the key spots in Paris. The main one, is their second meeting at the Arc du Triomphe du Carrousel, near the Louvre, pictured at right.

Isabella has commented many times over the past two weeks how much romance she is witnessing and how nice it is. I have to agree, being a die-hard romantic, it is nice to see how Parisians show their passion. There is sometimes just a gesture or a hand on a back, but you can see the connection in a way I’m not sure I’ve seen in the US.

Keep in mind, I’m a sucker for flowers, little notes of admiration or your day-to-day romance. But, this is different and I hope to see the kind of romance we’re seeing here back home. It would be nice to live in a place where romance triumphs.

By the way, in the Luxembourg Gardens, we saw a man and his friends unfurl a banner in front of a huge crowd of people and then cheering. As it turned out, he was asking his lady to marry him. She said yes, as I’m sure most of us would!

Below is one of the sweetest dialogues from the movie (which I own, and is also available on Netflix via mail or instantly, in case you have a need to see it):

Lauren King: I used to think, maybe a long time ago, like… like in the time of the pharaohs or Louis the 13th that, there was somebody, made just perfect for me. I mean, when you think about it and consider that your feelings of love, begin when you’re about ten and if you live to say 70, well that’s pretty limiting because, what chances there that he’ll be alive at the same time you are? You know?

Daniel Michon: I feel the same things. I mean, even if she lived in my lifetime. What if my perfect woman lived in India or California or Brazil? What chance is there that I’d meet her when I live in La Garenne?

Lauren King: It’s incredible isn’t it?

Daniel Michon: Absolutely… incredible. [holds her hand]


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