Friday, March 30, 2012

The 2012 growing season has begun!

My Ethical Garden has received a much needed update. New links, a new page, and new opportunities to connect with other Ethical Gardeners and Farmers are all there. Come by for a visit. I promise it will inspire you to try your hand at growing your own garden!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Calzone - Ground Sausage

Brown Spar's ground sausage and then add to sauce that has been slowly stewed for several hours until thickened.
Thinly slice Mozzarella and layer on top of the sauce and fold in rolled out dough. Bak at 380 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting so that the ingredients don't come sliding out. Serve with a mixed green salad or a hot bowl of soup. This is perfect for cool evenings.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Black Rock Kitchen & Bar

Since it's opening, The Black Rock Kitchen & Bar has been near the top of our must visit restaurant's list. We had all decided that twice a month we would, the four of us, visit an eatery we have never been to. I picked up a pack of Buffalo Dining Cards from the Lexington co-op two months ago and we've been steadily working our way through it.
On top of all of this, this is Chef Berdine's home and since watching and cheering him on at the Nickel City Chef Battle earlier this month we had to go to eat his tasty vittles!
We weren't disappointed! The place was bright, clean and in the setting sun, very winsome. The stunning and provocative art was created by Jackie Felix.
My oldest had the macaroni and cheese and the lamb and sweet pea pastries with curried yogurt sauce.
 I had the ocean perch tacos with guacamole and pico de gallo.
The fish was light and crisp and had a superb sharp lime taste. The pico de gallo was fresh and well seasoned, the guacamole was delicate and not grainy or overly seasoned.
My husband picked the 12 oz strip steak sandwich with onions, peppers and provolone. The fries were perfect, right mix of crunch and softness.
Juicy huh? Was so good I nearly yanked it out of his hands!
This was the biggest hand formed burger I'd ever seen and she ate every bite! This was a fantastic visit, the girls really liked our time there and we will certainly be returning. 

Black Rock Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

I totally woked it!

Wok's up? Oh no she didn't! Oh yes I did! Cracking wok jokes like Fozzy Bear - Woka, Woka, Woka! Look I got this as a gift in December and I'm just now using it. This is unheard of that a kitchen utensil of any sort would go for more than a week in this house, let alone three months before getting used, but do you know why it took so long? Fear. Total unadulterated fear. Of looking like a moron. But the pressure is on to really make some kickin' stir fry for the Chinese International Dinner coming up in May and why should I let one little thing like a GIGANTIC pan with hot oil and me being all thumbs keep me from pursuing my dreams of trying to cook challenging foods.
So I went for it. Here I baked a pork loin in a Hot Raspberry BBQ sauce until succulent and then sliced it thinly.
I set out the ingredients watched a video for technique and then just went bold as brass.
 Thick veggies go first, in a little bit of sesame oil. Stir constantly.

By the time I added the peas I had a comfortable rhythm.
 By the time I added the sweet peppers,

I was grinning maniacally!

The rice was perfect of course....
can you guess what we're having tonight?

Tonight (March 23rd) I made this with shrimp all on yaki curly soba, nori komi furikake rice seasoning, and peanut micro greens and we split a can of Asahi beer from Japan.

Here is Chicken Teriyaki, fried rice and lightly seasoned mushrooms.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Swedish International Dinner

Our Swedish International Dinner was the biggest yet with over One Hundred and Twenty Five Pounds of Food Donated, much of which was sustainably and organically and some was even locally sourced!
We ended up with thirty-nine people, some who were immigrants, first and second generation Swedes. My friend Martha Malkiewicz led a number of folk dance regulars through their paces with a jaunty Swedish children's dance that moved faster and faster as the song went on. My good friend Joan Goldberg shared stories that centered on the Iron Nail (a type of Stone Soup tale) and shared a bit of history of storytelling, how the stories stay generally the same regardless of the country, just darker in their telling the farther north you head.
It took me two days to make 55 Rose Hip Semla, and only 8 came home afterwards! Folks brought pepparkakor, quiche, cold apple and cucumber salad, salt potatoes, warm red cabbage, red wine glogg, and pickled slivered cucumbers.
I served over 300 kottbullar (traditional meatballs), potatoes with lingonberries, salmiak crusted pork loin, traditional Black Currant Glogg and an ice sorbet glogg, two loaves of cardamon bread, sweet gingered carrots, butter roasted slivered fennel, and lemon and dill stuffed grouper. Do you know how many bones there are in that fish? I don't know either, I lost count. But people were very sweet about it.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ostara - I love the Springtime...

It's officially Spring! The little birds have returned to pull bugs from our tiny postage sized bit of grass and the worms have wiggled out onto the wet concrete. The air has that delightful tang of damp earthiness and the seeds I started over a week ago are starting to bump up the soil in the seed pods I planted them in.
Yesterday, in a fevered pitch of "must clean NOW!",
I raked leaves out from under the back entrance that accumulated over the fall and winter. I had my husband pull out the grill and test it for our first night of grilling since our Wedding day after party. I repotted a dead Spider plant and swept and had the fabric fence cover re-attached where it had come loose in the winter winds.

Our Thyme, Climbing Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Chives, Strawberries and Marshmallow have come back strong. We'll be starting bean runners against the back wall this year and potatoes grown in a large sack will lean against the fence. The "Bodhisattva" tree has returned as beautiful as ever, and is newly adorned with prayer flags.
 My friend Jenn and I snapped up the last plot at the Gardens on Grant and will be photo-blogging our adventures in organic urban farming. You can follow our adventures at SOLE of Buffalo and at My Ethical Garden.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Irish Supper - Colcannon, Glazed Baked Brisket, and Ginger Carrots

"Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?

With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake

Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?"

"Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I. 

And the more I think about it sure the nearer I'm to cry.

Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot."

Colcannon -

4 russet potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut
5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter (with more butter for serving)
3 lightly packed cups of chopped kale, cabbage, chard, or other leafy green (I made it with purple cabbage for it's stunning color, go with white when making a traditional Colcannon.)
3 green onions (including the green onion greens), minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup milk or cream

Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander.

Return the pot to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and once it's hot, add the greens. Cook the greens for 3-4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off some of their water. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.

Pour in the milk or cream, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium. Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens. Add salt to taste and serve hot, with a knob of butter in the center.

Ginger carrots are thinly sliced and seasoned with slivered ginger, molasses, and pale brown sugar then baked in a tightly lidded dish at 350 degrees for one hour.

The glazed baked brisket recipe originally came from the Lexington Co-op, but I tweaked the recipe to lessen the sweetness. I marinated the beef for three hours in the glaze and then baked it in a tightly lidded container for 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

We had this with a loaf of hot cheese bread, a large salad and McSorley's Irish Black Lager.

Sláinte mhaith!