Baked Rhubarb with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest

Baked Rhubarb with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest

Tea with ‘barb
About two weeks ago, I was walking through our produce department and noticed that the first bright red stalks of rhubarb were piled on the shelf. Naturally, I had to buy some—though I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I got it home. This type of thing happens a lot, usually when I am driving through the valley and see a farm stand. I am a visual shopper.

Like most people, when I think rhubarb I think pie. But, I don’t always have the time, or energy, to make a pie crust. Then I go the easy route and make it into a crisp ‘cause I always have oatmeal. And, let’s face it, you could put that topping on anything and make it taste good. It should come as no surprise that I ended up doing just that…and it was fantastic.

At least the few bites I got were fantastic. My family of vultures ate it all before I had a chance to get my fill.

Because of this, I have been on the lookout for something different to do with the rhubarb we have downstairs in the shop. When I came across this recipe for Baked Rhubarb, I was fascinated. Earl Grey is my tea of choice. I drink it all day, every day. So, I am very familiar with its citrusy flavor. And, I get why this recipe would work, rhubarb and citrus complement each other nicely.

So this experiment will be happening this week and I will be hiding my own stash in the fridge. I am looking forward to finding out what it will taste like when it is mixed in with some yogurt…when no one is looking!

Baked Rhubarb with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest
Adapted from Food 52 Read more…

Korean Style Fried Chicken

Korean Style Fried Chicken

Olympic Fusion Food
The Olympics start this week. Opening ceremonies are Friday night but there are some events that have already started a competition. If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you will know how much I love the Olympics. Especially the Winter Olympics.

Why do I love the Winter Olympics? Because you get to watch sports that at any other time you would never watch. I’m not saying that I am setting my alarm so that I can sit down and watch a curling match but I AM interested in the biathlon and speed skating. Sure figure skating is cool and downhill skiing is always exciting, but ever since Eddie The Eagle, I am a fool for the ski jumping competition.

The best part of watching the Olympics is that I know for a couple of hours each night, my entire family will be in the same room watching the same thing. That may not sound like a big deal but getting everyone in the same place doing something together (and not on their phones) is a rare thing. So, since I will have their undivided attention, I plan to make the appropriate fare for watching the competition.

For watching the Opening Ceremonies It makes sense to make something with a Korean flavor. Since it is Friday night, there won’t be any time for an elaborate dinner but a little pre-made Kim Chi from our Produce department is a good start. Of course, you could always go the bulgogi route because its quick, easy and tasty but I want to do something a little different.

While searching for recipes I found this one which is perfect. It’s a nod to the host country but still allows for a little national pride ‘cause what’s more American than fried chicken? I like the boneless skinless thighs because they cook quickly but you could easily do this with whole chicken legs or even wings. Traditional recipes call for the chicken to be fried twice but I’m not that patient….

Korean Style Fried Chicken
Adapted from NY Times Cooking recipe by Julia Moskin

Fried Chicken, or chicin, became popular in Korea because of American cultural influence around the Korean War. In South Korea, fried chicken is consumed as a meal, an appetizer, or as an after-meal snack.
Read more…

Amy’s Juicy Lucy Burgers for the Superbowl

Amy's Juicy Lucy BurgersFor Better or Worse…or Football
My husband is a Patriots fan. Sigh. A real one, not part of the bandwagon folks who jumped on at the beginning of what has been there dynastic dominance. Born in Rhode Island, he has been a fan since birth. And, he prefers the old minuteman logo to the current slick modern version. To be fair, he’s pretty low-key in his fandom. Living in an area heavily populated with Raiders fans will do that. But still…the Patriots? Anyone but those guys.

My husband is not low key at home. The Patriots could be down 21 points but I get the constant update as to when Tom Brady will kick it in gear and start the comeback.

As you may have guessed, I am not a fan of the Patriots. In the beginning of our relationship, I was, frankly, indifferent. I even wore the Patriots shirt my beloved gave me as a show of support. (We were newly married then.) As the Patriots’ continued, I got tired of seeing the same faces and jerseys every year. Give someone else a chance, right? This year is no different. I was Jacksonville’s biggest fan in the conference championship. (They had it! The game was in the palm of their hands!) Alas, it was not to be. So now I am the world’s biggest Eagles fan. Fly Eagles Fly!

Usually, I try to do appropriate regional foods for the Super Bowl depending on who is playing, ‘cause I’m just weird that way. Not gonna lie though, as much as I love New England Clam Chowder, this year I just can’t seem to muster the energy and make myself do it. While I am not entirely opposed to making cheesesteaks (because who doesn’t like cheesesteaks?) there is a good chance that we will be at a volleyball tournament and have to DVR the Super Bowl. This means whatever we have will need to be quick or made ahead. And, we won’t be able to look at our phones ‘cause we don’t want to ruin it.

So what’s a girl to do? The answer is a family favorite that happens to be hugely popular in Minnesota, which satisfies my weird regional Super Bowl food requirement. (Also, it’s meat and cheese so it’s kinda like a cheesesteak, maybe?).

I give you Amy’s Juicy Lucy Burgers. I love these as do my boys. There are really easy to slap together ahead of time. Use whatever cheese you prefer but I will say that good old American “cheese” really is the best choice for authentic flavor. You could also do them as sliders if you are looking for more of a bite-sized snack.

Happy Super Bowl watching and eating! May you enjoy the wacky commercials and not have the urge to strangle your favorite Patriots fan even though he is the love of your life….

Amy’s Juicy Lucy Burger
Serves 4 Read more…

The 2018 Fancy Food Show and Spicy Baked Chicken Wings

The 2018 Fancy Food Show and Spicy Baked Chicken WingsTrending
Monday was the Fancy Food show at the Moscone center. My body is still recovering from the walking, standing, and eating. While it is definitely a long day of walking booth to booth, talking to people in the industry, and sampling everything you could possibly speak of, it is also one of my most favorite annual traditions. I love getting a look at what’s hot when it comes to food.

As a rule, what’s trending at the show is usually a year or two behind what is happening in the restaurant world. For example, Korean food, in general, has been super-trendy and Kimchi specifically has been popular for its fantastic spicy flavor and also its health benefits as a fermented food. Without question, there were plenty of Korean-influenced products from hot sauces to Kimchi kits. But, plenty of other Asian flavors were represented as well. Matcha was very popular both on its own and as a flavoring for lattes, ice cream, chocolate, and other tasty dessert items. And, don’t be surprised to see a lot of Phillippino foods popping up at a store near you.

The Sriracha phenomenon is still going strong and the sauce had plenty of representation. One of my favorite products was a cross between a teriyaki sauce and Sriracha called, appropriately, Teriacha. Spicy sweet goodness! All I could think about was putting it on chicken wings. Good lord that would be tasty. Look for it on our shelves soon ‘cause I gotta have more of that stuff.

The popularity of jerky has not waned and in fact has grown to also include meat sticks. These are not your father’s Slim Jims. There are no nitrates or scary orange grease seeping out of them. The organic meats and well thought out ingredients make these new era meat sticks the perfect high protein snack to curb your hunger. And they’re kinda fun…also perfect for school lunches. Just sayin’…

As usual, there was plenty of sweet stuff. The chocolate was abundant and it was my humble duty to taste it all. Sometimes you gotta just take one for the team. Macaroons were everywhere as were grab-and-go filled crepes. There was even a cotton candy company called Sugar and Spun that was whipping up some out-of-this-world organic cotton candy. I was lucky to taste the strawberry shortcake flavor which is sprinkled with vanilla cookies and organic strawberries for an incredibly authentic fresh flavor. Other flavors included cookies and cream, Matcha Green Tea Latte (See? Told ya.), Habanero Pineapple and a whole bunch of other interesting flavors.

Not gonna lie, I expected there to be more bone broth. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of bone broth just not as much as I thought there would be. My personal favorite was from Bonafide Provisions who had a great line of bone broths as well as what they call Drinkable Veggies which is a blend of whole vegetables and bone broth. So good! And a great grab and go way to get your veggies.

So those are the highlights for now. We are all still trying to process everything that we saw. It usually takes a few days to talk amongst ourselves and figure out what we need to bring in and put on the shelf. Keep an eye out for new and interesting items and since we don’t have that Teriacha sauce yet, I’m going to make a batch of these to tide me over.the flavor isn’t exactly the same but a girl’s gotta make do…

Spicy Baked Chicken Wings
Adapted from Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook by Tanya Holland
Yields about 20 wings

Her recipe is about perfect. The only thing I would do to improve it is to marinate the wings in buttermilk before baking. Read more…

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan CookiesAnd A Bag Of Chips
I keep chocolate chips in my pantry because you never know when you are going to have to make something for some event. Or for that matter, you never know when inspiration will strike and it will be a good idea to put them in pancakes. Side note: It is always a good idea.

It was not in my plans to make chocolate chip cookies over the weekend until I opened my pantry and noticed that someone or something with opposable thumbs had opened the bag of chips and apparently had been using them to satisfy a craving. The result was chips spilled on the shelf. Sadly enough, I don’t think this is one I can blame on the children—unless you think 49 still qualifies as a child.

So that is how I found myself making chocolate chip cookies Sunday afternoon. Since it is January and I have been trying to avoid such things, I justified my actions by telling myself I had no choice because the chips were just going to keep spilling everywhere. That and the kids were going back to school…so it would be a nice way to take the sting out of having homework again. Never mind that it was January 7th and I was already about to blow up my New Year’s resolution. Sigh.

I did make an attempt at healthy. I added pecans and some oatmeal. (What? That counts, right?) While it may not actually have made the cookies healthier, it did make them taste pretty good. And I really only had one…handful. Right out of the oven.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies
Yields approximately 3 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on size

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease with non-stick vegetable oil spray.

Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl. Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix briefly. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2″ to 2″ between cookies.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 17 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, with slightly darker edges.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and as soon as they’re set enough to handle, transfer them to a rack to cool.