27 October 2011


Cooking aside, books are my big passion. So when I can find books that embody cooking it just doesn't get much better than that. Consequently I own a number of cookbooks in a variety of degrees of usefulness. I am a firm believer in pictures being worth a thousand words and think that no where is that more true than in a cookbook. In fact I think a cookbook is worthless if it doesn't have full-color, professionally shot photos. 

Now that I've given that absolute statement, let me back-pedal and clarify (generally I try to steer clear of absolute statements because I nearly always have to recant). What I mean is that since that advent of full-color, professional photography there is no reason why it shouldn't be present in a cookbook. I hate buying a new, modern cookbook and having it be picture-less. What makes me look at a recipe and want to try it is the visual appeal, not the list of ingredients, usually. Of course, one has to make exceptions for books where it is impossible for there to be photos (black and white or otherwise). In fact, that brings me to the whole point of the post. 

I have started my collection of antiquarian cookbooks. It's still small (this recent grad just doesn't have tons of money to spend on antique cookbooks just yet) but pretty awesome. The dream is to one day own a first edition of Mrs. Beeton's Guide to Household Management, but it will be many years before that dream is realized. Last summer I ran into an 1861 edition (I don't think it was a true first edition though.) and was thrilled to find that it was in pretty good condition, but the man wanted 200 GBP for it and I just didn't have that kind of money. So, I've had to start smaller. As you may recall, I am very much interested in Victorian cookery and so I hope to have my collection ultimately be mostly Victorian in nature; though right now it is more 1st half of the twentieth century. In some ways that's almost better because the cooking instructions are quite a bit easier to follow. 

19 October 2011

Monday Roast

Apple Galette
You'll remember that last week I went apple picking in Damascus. So this week I cooked with apples (imagine that.) On Sunday my roommate cooked dinner for us and I contributed an Apple Galette. In essence a galette is an open-faced pie, that's flat. Therefore it is easier to make than pie and tastes the same. And it looks pretty cool too. It turned out quite nicely. The apples I had picked were a sweeter variety so I only lightly sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top (and mostly just because I wanted the cinnamon). I ate leftovers for a couple days. I will say though that this is definitely better warm. Even reheated.

Roast, Yorkshire Pudding, Sweet Potato Fries
Before my roommate offered to share her dinner with me on Sunday I had planned to make a roast. So instead I had that on Monday. Nothing like a good Monday roast. And I had a sweet potato so I sliced it up real nice and baked it into fries (nothing like the fries at Guru's  but then what is?) and really they turned out ok. I managed to eat almost all of them before my roast was even done cooking. Actually timing wise the whole meal struggled. Everything had to cook for about half an hour, mostly on the same temperature but the fires had to be turned half way through and you can't open the door to the oven while cooking Yorkshire Pudding or it will fall. So all three parts ended up being cooked separately and I don't think all the waiting would have flown if I had been cooking for someone else. But I will say that waiting was worth it. The pudding didn't stick to the pan at all! and it was nice and thick. It was fantastic. 

10 October 2011

Cafe Rio

So, hardly a month has gone by since I said I wanted to cook every week. Who would have thought that it would be so hard to prepare one meal in an entire week? Well, it is. This past week I was working a class in Palisades, NY, which is a "suburb" of New York that is in the middle of nowhere and isn't really a town at all, but the trees were lovely. So I ate there all week and then I fully intended to cook something (maybe even something new) when I got back to Maryland late last Friday. As luck would have it, it's been a busy weekend and the whole cooking thing flew out the window at the first opportunity.

On Saturday I went apple picking up in Damascus, Maryland (the cutest town ever!), so look for an apple recipe or two in the coming weeks. After picking my fill of apples one of my roommates and I drove up to the newest delicious "mexican" restaurant in Olney. Cafe Rio has finally come to the DC Metro area! There are now two locations--one in Maryland and one Virginia. And I'm pretty sure that it is the place for displaced Utahns to eat. And the food is just as good as it is in Provo.

I say that as if I actually liked Cafe Rio when I lived in Provo--that's not strictly speaking true. The first time I ate there was shortly after I'd moved to Provo, and being from Arizona just couldn't understand why a "Mexican" restaurant would put rice in their burritos; no self-respecting Mexican would ever do that. Somewhere along the way I realized that Cafe Rio falls into a category with Chipotle and Qdoba and all those other very delicious burrito-restaurants: not Mexican food, but delicious. After I made that realization everything changed. You just can't pass up that pork salad. It is definitely worth the half-hour drive each way to buy an $8 salad. Besides, I ate that salad for dinner on Saturday and finished it up for lunch on Sunday (hence why I didn't cook all weekend). So, if you're ever find yourself in the DC area looking for a good 'ole taste of Utah stop in at Cafe Rio. It's worth the drive.

02 October 2011

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa

So as the owner/pretend writer of a blog comes the responsibility of reading other people's blogs. And of course since I have a food blog that necessitates that I read lots of other food blogs. Now I'll admit that I don't read tons of food blogs, but I have a couple that I enjoy and one of them is written by an old friend from college. And on her blog this week she had a delicious looking recipe for salsa. It looked so good that I actually went out and bought the ingredients to make it. And did. It is just as amazing as Kasee said it was. So the night that I made it I was trying to figure out what I wanted for dinner and I'd gotten as far as this salsa, but realized that it's not really much of a dinner. So I thought, you know it'd be great with salad and crushed up tortilla chips. So I pulled up the blog and low and behold this was the next post. Of course at this point I didn't have the ingredients to make the dressing, but even without the dressing the salsa makes a wonderful addition to salad.

 My pictures aren't nearly as good as Kasee's. But the salsa was amazing.