Sunday, February 28, 2016

Julie's Granola

The favorite healthy snack from 1974!

My brother's basketball season is wrapping up, and March Madness will be starting soon. Or so I'm told - I don't really follow professional sports.

He's been trying to be more conscious of food choices he's been making this season, and it got me thinking about how the definition of health food has really grown and developed since people started recording what they were cooking for what. One thing that still often gets labeled a health food today is granola, whether as a snack or an accompaniment to breakfast, in bar form or not. It can be sort of a controversial health food depending on how you make it, but since it's something both my brother and another (fictional) blonde basketball player both enjoy, I decided I'd give making my own a shot. Can't be too hard, right?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Kaya's Fort Clatsop Salmon Chowder & Sourdough Biscuits

Recipes inspired by a long winter of sitting around waiting for the snow to melt!

So, does anyone remember how back when I started this blog, I said I was going to work my way through The Food Journal of Lewis and Clark? I really did intend on that being a regular feature, but then life happened and I got a job, and then a better job, and so on and so forth, and the cast and crew of the blog kind of... exploded. Which made doing a monthly or even a bimonthly feature on one character kind of impossible.

But I didn't forget about the cookbook, or my intentions to do more of the recipes in it! Actually, the ones I'm about to share with you today I've been wanting to do for a long, long time. When I first got the cookbook and flipped through it, they stood out to me and I always meant to set some time aside to try them out. And then kept putting it off, and putting it off, and putting it off...

Until now!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Rebecca's Cholent

A clever answer to the question of what to do for dinner on Shabbat.

Beef stew is one of my favorite things to eat on a cold wintry day, but this is unlike any beef stew I've ever had before. Rich, filling, and definitely tasty, I happened to stumble upon a recipe for this dish while discussing what recipes I should feature for Rebecca next with my best pal Ari. Although I'd never heard of it before, despite it having a long, long history, it definitely sounded delicious, and I was excited to try it out for myself.

We wound up needing to improvise the instructions just a tiny bit, which means this wouldn't be exactly how Rebecca's mom would have made it in 1914, but otherwise, I'm telling you now that this was a fun new discovery for me, and will probably be for you as well, if you've never had it before!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cécile's Pralines

Trying out this whole candy making thing again...

You all know I've got quite the sweet tooth. The ratio of desserts to every other kind of food on this blog is frankly a little embarrassing. But candy making definitely isn't my favorite thing to try my hand at. It's tricky, and I don't do it often enough to have a good eye or instinctive feel for it. Plus, it's usually really messy!

But these historic treats were just too tempting to pass up. They sounded easy enough too: caramel, pecans, that's not so bad, right?

Well, not exactly. Now that I know what to expect, I think round two might go better. Round one did get a little messy... 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Maryellen's Red Devil's Food Cake

An experiment in baking science!

Somewhere down the line, I became a little obsessed with red velvet cake. I'm not sure why, but something about a bright red cake that still tastes nice and chocolatey is just a whole lot of fun. It's been something I've been wanting to make for the blog for a long, long time, and since this is something that's kind of become associated with Valentine's Day, February seemed like the perfect time to make it.

Except I didn't wind up making red velvet cake.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Marie-Grace's Shrimp Creole

Spicy, warm, and perfect for the middle of winter!

I think it's pretty safe to say that spicy food can be the perfect thing to eat year round. Sure, I like variety too, but spicy food is (perhaps surprisingly for some people) good to eat in hot weather, and nothing hits the spot like a good bowl of chili on a cold day.

But if you're tired of chili (as one of my frequent taste testers apparently is), I've definitely got a dish for you to try. Although it's not quite a one pot meal, it's close to it, and it doesn't take too much time or finesse to get right. It's also a dish with roots back to the early, early days of New Orleans, and it's definitely something Marie-Grace could have enjoyed with her father after a long day of volunteering at an orphanage, or exploring the city with Cécile.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Nellie's Colcannon

A taste of the old country!

A long time ago on Tumblr, I saw someone making a comment about how scientifically speaking, a human being can get all the nutrients they need to survive from eating just potatoes and milk. A commenter said this was amazing, and wanted to know why no one had ever tried it. A second responded pointed out this has been done before: it's called Ireland.

True, but not exactly funny when you actually know the history behind it.

Colcannon is a simple, hearty dish that's essentially mashed potatoes with a few added vegetables thrown in for added flavor, texture, and padding. The name comes from the Gaelic word for "white headed cabbage", as cabbage or kale is usually used to flesh out the mashed potatoes. It was originally considered to be a bit of a treat, as many Irish people did not grow cabbages on their own plots of land, and thus didn't have easy access to them. How did this and the potato itself become such a staple of Irish food culture and cuisine?

Well, I'll tell you.

(She's going to tell, she's going to tell, she's going to tell...

Sorry, Monty Python joke.