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Hurricane Irene Cooking: Tomato, Onion, Olive & Anchovy Tart

I’m so freaking glad I made this. I used a packaged puff pastry base instead of making my own crust and it’s heavenly. I used this recipe from Epicurious as a base. Instead of Jack or Gruyere cheese, I used a strong Irish cheddar on the crust then microplaned parmesan on top. Next time, I may just leave out the anchovies altogether (only put them on half this time).

Finished tomato, onion & half anchovy tart on puff pastry. Time for wine #Irene

I made this to use some of my extra CSA tomatoes from last week, but this didn’t use up nearly as many as I thought it would. Earlier in the afternoon, I also baked some chicken thighs seasoned with sage, garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme and lime for snacking later on. Tomorrow I may sauté some peaches in butter and whiskey to put over some coconut milk ice cream. What are y’all making this weekend to weather out the storm?

Recap 07.19.2011

I’m going to try my hand at doing a daily recap of all things good and not so good that happened throughout my day. While even writing this, I had an epiphany that I wasn’t a huge slacker.

  • Found $10 on the ground last night outside my housesitting place. Sweet.
  • Wrote a travel blog post about finally, FINALLY buying our Brussels –> Paris train ticket for only 25 euros
  • Dropped off a roll of film from my Portland, OR trip at the Lomography store for development, prints and digital cd. Only $16, sweet deal. And…I schooled another customer on how to use the light meter on his Canon AE-1, which my second camera during undergrad photo school. That was a huge boost of artistic confidence.
  • Coworked at New Work City and helped a wee bit with the after-hours WordPress NYC Meetup. I’m a PT member at NWC, come find me sometime.
  • Got social media schooled by Nichelle Stephens on some of her tools. Confirmed my conversion to Hootsuite from Tweetdeck especially for the Hootlet Chrome extension.
  • Registered for the Brussels Startup Weekend, October 21. Designers, coders and UI folks prototype and build projects in a weekend. Excited! And I got the last designer early bird spot.
  • Tried out Wooly’s Ice  with Nichelle. This stuff is amazing. I had the sweet milk ice with brownies, strawberries and drizzled with sea salt condensed milk.
Wooly's Ice

I had the sweet milk ice with brownies and strawberries. What new stuff are you trying this week?

Continue Reading →

TECHMunch NYC 2011 Roundup


Last week Saturday I had the pleasure of moderating a panel during TECHMunch, a one-day conference about food blogging and all the subjects that fall underneath that. My panelmates were a wonderful and diverse group of content creators and publishers, ranging from individuals posting to a YouTube channel all the way to a Food Network exec. It was my first panel moderating experience and because of these great folks and the audience questions, I would love to do it again. Surprisingly, I wasn’t that nervous going into it. Win.

And of course, huge thank you to Babette Pepaj of BakeSpace who created TECHMunch, and to Nichelle Stephens of Cupcakes Take the Cake (@niche) who is the  TECHMunch NYC organizer. So, below is a listing of the panelists, some of my guiding questions and some key answers/bits of info. Read on for more after the jump. Continue Reading →

Sausage Sunday

Welcome The Kitchn/Apartment Therapy visitors and lovers of Kate Payne aka The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking!

Below is flyer that I created when hosting a sausage making workshop last year at the Farm City festival in Brooklyn. It includes the main recipe we use, equipment needed and food needed. The recipe below is for lamb sausage but one could easily adapt it for pork sausage. More info to come as I update this page.

Sausage Sunday by Brooklyn Tactical Meat Labs


Hot Grease = Love


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
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream (I used Ronnybrook Farm Dairy’s)
kosher salt

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).


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?

Homemade Garlic & Thyme Croutons

Summer usually means reducing how much heat’s in your kitchen when making dinner or lunches. Alas, in our house, half our dinners become salads especially with all our CSA salad greens each week. Besides the various toppings, we started making our own croutons about 3 years ago. Depending on what’s around we normally use olive oil and if we’re feeling decadent – bacon grease. There, I said it, it’s out there.

It’s also okay to use whatever stale bread is lying around. For the recipe, I happened to use part of a Whole Foods 49-jillion grain bread we had left over. Below is a quick and simple recipe for making your own croutons where you can control the seasonings & fat intake. Warning: I have a hard time not eating these straight.

Homemade Garlic & Thyme Croutons

Homemade Garlic & Thyme Croutons

1–1/2 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
7 oz of (stale) bread cubed into 1/2” pieces

Heat a medium size skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, thyme, garlic powder and black pepper. This will help infuse the oil with herbs before adding the bread. After heating and stirring the oil for 45 seconds (avoid smoking it), add the cubes of bread and salt.

Stir the bread around in the pan and mix well to coat all sides. Let the bread toast for 2–3 minutes on side, then flip the cubes over toast them 2–3 minutes again. Reduce the heat if necessary to avoid smoking the oil and burning the seasonings. If necessary, add half a tablespoon more of olive oil to the pan and stir around.

Remove croutons from the pan after they’ve toasted to medium brown. They’ll firm up as they cool, but it’s okay to start eating them right away!

If you’ve done this before, what are your favourite crouton seasonings?

Recipe: Raw Red & Gold Beet Salad

Raw Red & Gold Beet Salad w/CilantroLast month we happened to get both red and golden beets from our CSA share (Community Supported Agriculture). We chopped and tossed them with some olive oil and herbs and were on our way to a lovely vibrant salad. It’s so easy, you’ll wonder what took you so long to try beets.

Prep Time: 20 min / Serves: 3 – 4

6 red beets, peeled
3 – 4 golden beets, peeled
1/3 bunch of cilantro, washed
1 medium red onion, sliced and half chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice from 1/2 a lime
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
cracked black pepper to taste


Chop and slice the beets into strips, similar to a double-wide julienne and add to a medium-sized bowl. If you don’t feel like chopping, it’s totally okay to use the shred attachment on a food processor. Chop cilantro and add it to the bowl along with the chopped red onion.

Mix all three together, then add the lime juice, oils, vinegar, salt & pepper. Mix all to the desired wetness and taste, trying it as you go. Some folks may prefer more oils and vinegar.

Enjoy! I told you that was easy…

Recipe: Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry CrispFruit crisps are seriously some easiest desserts to make with a ton of pay off. You can substitute any good baking fruit in the recipe below such as apples, pears, peaches, etc. Add some vanilla ice and whoa, heaven. The recipe below fits a 12” circular dish.

Cook Time: 40 min / Active Time: 10 min / Serves: 10 – 12

2 pints of fresh blueberries, rinsed
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon softened butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Filling: In a medium size bowl, mix the blueberries, brown sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon together. Pour in a shallow 12” pie dish.

Topping: Stir oats, flour, cinnamon and brown sugar to blend in the medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until moist clumps form. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over blueberries. Bake crisp until berries are bubbling and topping is golden, about 45 minutes. Serve warm by itself or with ice cream.