The Blog

Hot Grease = Love

HotGreaseRadio

My lovely colleague, Nicole Taylor aka Foodculturist, invited 5 guests (including me) to onto her special Valentine’s Day edition of her Hot Grease Radio show to talk about the connections between love and food. I had the pleasure of being in the company of Jeremy Fisher of Dinevore, Donny Tsang a food photography, food writer Sara Markel-Gonzales,  and Caylin Sanders of Escapemaker.com. Can anyone guess what my favorite food = love aphrodisiac is? Turned out it’s cured specialty meats and duck fat. More on that later but if anyone wants to have a duck fat date, hit me up.

Listen to the episode online or on the iTunes podcast

How to Make Homemade Butter!

Tis’ the season to go that little extra mile for the holidays or at least let them think you went the added mile.  There isn’t anything in the world like fresh homemade butter and this is easy even for the smallest of kitchens. This time around, I made a large batch with two pints of cream, which filled 3  1/2 pint Ball jars. I originally tried to pour both bottles into the food processor but that ended up being a huge fail. Just do one bottle at a time and avoid the mess I made.

At the end, I only added flake salt to flavour it, but in the past, I’ve used garlic or cinnamon and brown sugar to make butter gifts. Just make sure you add them while it’s still soft. Oh, btw, all that liquid left over is tasty buttermilk. We normally use this to make pancakes or rosemary garlic biscuits that are softer than Johnny Depp’s hair.

This is an adaptation from this recipe on LiveJournal: http://community.livejournal.com/food_porn/4909841.html

The final buttery product!

Easy Homemade Creamery Butter

Active Time: 20 min / Makes: .75 lb
Ingredients:
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream (I used Ronnybrook Farm Dairy’s)
kosher salt
Directions:

Pour 2 cups of heavy cream in your food processor. The fresher the cream, the better the butter will turn out.  Pop the lid on, blitz, sit back and watch.

The cream will go through different stages. First you see it turning into a soft, silky whipped cream. A little later it’s turning into a really firm cream.

Then you hear a ‘slosh‘ and the grainy, yellow butter has separated itself from, what is now, nothing but buttermilk. SCORE!

All that’s left to do is drain the buttermilk and there you have it. Butter. If you are going to use it all up, you’re good to go now. If you want to keep the butter longer, you’ll have to rinse the butter curds with cold water.  Press it down with a spoon and stir it to get the excess liquid out.

Add salt, pepper, garlic or whatever spices you want to use to make your butter special.

We used our Swedish flake salt called Falk Salt: www.falksalt.com/. We actually bought ours in Sweden at a large grocery store but you can now buy it in the US. For those of you who can read Swedish: www.falksalt.se/

Get yourself some crunchy bread or your favorite carb (muffin, bagel, etc)  slice it, spread some of this delicious butter on top and revel in the good fat. Photos below but check out the set on Flickr. So, have y’all ever made butter? What flavourings have you added to the goodness?

2 Pints of Heavy Cream & a Food Processor

Add the unpasteurized cream to the food processor

Let it spin for 5 - 8 minutes

First it becomes whipped cream

Middle stage between whipped cream & butter

Then it separates out into yellow butter solids & buttermilk

Spoon it out into a bowl

Using a wooden spoon or spatula squeeze extra buttermilk out of the butter

Mix in salt, grated garlic or any other seasonings

The final buttery product!

All Day Apple & Pear Butter

We’ve had an abundance of apples and pears from our CSA share (Community Supported Agriculture) lately. Usually when this happens it’s time for apple and pear butter. All you need are 6 – 7 lbs of fruit, spices and a crockpot. For this, I used my 5.5 qt. crock pot. Warm apple and pear butter goes extremely well over vanilla ice cream or on hot toast and waffles.

You can honestly leave this to cook overnight for 7 – 10 hours and you’ll wake up to your apartment smelling like friggin’ Christmas. It’s amazing.

Adapted from All Day Apple Butter at AllRecipes.com (I *greatly* reduced the sugar from 4 cups down to 3/4 cup).

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All Day Apple & Pear Butter

Cook Time: Active Time: 30 min / Passive Time: 7 – 10 hours / Makes: 3 quarts

5 pounds apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped (you can use a food processor for this)
2 pounds pears – peeled, cored and finely chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Place apples & pears in a slow cooker. Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt to the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on low 7- 10 hours or until thickened and dark brown. Stir occasionally to mix spices and snort the goodness. After finished, if desired, blend with an immersion (stick) blender until smooth. Spoon into 1/2 pint Ball jars like I did or into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

The apple butter will keep in the Ball jars for an extremely long time in the fridge without officially “canning” it. One of my friends was all stingy with hers and made three jars stretch to 8 months. If you have way too much, you always give some away or make the insanely good Apple Butter Pie. YES.

What are some of your favorite fall recipes or ways to use up extra fruit?

Kids Today – WTF?

Handmade Porcelain Dishes by Gleena

I spotted Asya Palatova’s lovely porcelain line, Gleena, at the Brooklyn Flea a couple of months ago. I’m glad I rediscovered her business card while cleaning off my desk. Just looking at her wares has me considering getting a couple of these pieces for a friend’s wedding this coming month.

Site: http://gleena.com/
Blog: http://mymamastable.blogspot.com/
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/gleenashop

Specifically, I’m thinking of getting either 2 of a kind of one of the cups below or that sexy Typography serving platter

blue wee t cup by Gleena

Videos Highlights from BlogHer 2010…Finally!

My videos from the Blogalicious Party at BlogHer ’10 are finally up and ready to view. Let me just say that Blogalicious knows how to throw a party like no other. They hired break dancers and a dj who came equipped more than even the other parties. Enjoy!

MVI 2913 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2915 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2916 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2917 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2921 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2922 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2923 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2929 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

MVI 2932 from Tricia Okin on Vimeo.

Photo Highlights from BlogHer 2010 – New York City

Even though I didn’t mention it recently, I attended the BlogHer 2010 Conference in NYC and my was it lovely. I met the best women in the world from all different walks of life who are all trying to share their stories via blogging. Below are some photo highlights and the videos of the awesome Blogalicious after party are soon to come!

Check out the BlogHer Tweets with the hashtags #BlogHer10, #BlogHer

A VC: Foursquare Google Maps Mashup

Fred Wilson over at A VC figured out after a little Googling, how to track & meld his FourSquare check-ins into a personalized Google Map.

He explains how exactly he pulled it off  in his post here.

In Fred’s case, he needed this for a presentation at a geolocation conference, but I can see this being applied in many uses. One of the foremost being a way to align your personal finance spending patterns & what your goals actually are. Imagine you “think” you’re being pretty good at reducing your nights out drinking or eating but the actual FourSquare check-ins show otherwise. If you’re honest with yourself, you’d be able to take stock and change more of your habits to less expensive outings like free art galleries and park picnics.

How else could we use this new mashup to benefit or improve our personal lives?

iPhone 3G Covers from The Poster List

Can these get any more beautiful? I don’t even have an iPhone and now I want some of the covers below. Each case is made from a sturdy polycarbonate and runs $39.00 pre-shipping & tax. Order them now from The Poster List.

Vintage U.S. Parks Posters — National Geographic