Fun Finds in Unexpected Places

Fun Finds of Great Food in Unexpected Places!

Gourmet Coffee and Organic home-made Ice Cream found in a small farming community

During a visit home to the ol’ stomping grounds, imagine my surprise and delight to discover Broadway Java – a cute little boutique coffee shop right on the main drag in the still-small farming community of Buhl, Idaho, offering a wonderful selection of gourmet coffees, teas and specialty drinks such as smoothies and protein shakes all supported with a mouthwatering menu of sandwiches, salads, pitas, and baked goods.

The coffee is comparable to what we expect from a ‘gourmet’ coffee shop in the city and so much better than ‘truck stop’ coffee we had been subjected to for hundreds of miles. The food was a delightful bonus.

 

Just a short walk from our motel,  we took advantage of this busy little shop with friendly and efficient servers and delicious food and drinks. We stopped in for a late lunch and enjoyed an amazing large fresh salad with a refreshing iced tea, returning the next two mornings for delicious breakfast of hot croissant sandwiches with our coffees

 

Another fun surprise and delight was finding the local dairy – new owners same location – and now serving delicious organic ice cream along with sales of milk, cheese, and butter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cloverleaf Creamery is a local family-owned business located just a block south of town center in the same building that once was Smith’s Dairy in Buhl, Idaho.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EGGstatic over Tea Eggs!

Did you know it was National EGG Day?

That is, it WAS National Egg Day — on June 3– and I missed it!

Or at least I missed writing this post and publishing it on National Egg Day. Actually, I was busy making these Tea Eggs and thinking how easy they are and how delicious they are and that I needed to share about this great food!

Say all you want about the unique and …. potentially delicious… eggs cooked over an open fire in a long handled, hand-hammered ‘spoon’  (read more) I admit they are intriguing and I might have to attempt them sometime but for now, these Asian Tea Eggs have my attention. They are quick and easy, have a greater “satisfaction time” (get more servings in one cooking and they ‘hold’ for a longer period of time) and… they are delicious. Not having tasted the eggs cooked over a fire in a big spoon, I can’t say if one is more delicious than the other, but I can say these Tea Eggs are addictive!

The concept and flavors intrigued me but I was hesitant. Just in case I didn’t like them, I prepared only 3 eggs. Most of the recipes are for 6 or 12. The ingredients are easy to adjust. My first batch was devoured – practically inhaled! — and a second batch was started immediately.

Now I am keeping Tea Eggs in the refrigerator for easy snacking and adding to salads etc.

In comparing recipes (there are numerous recipes available —just google them) they all have the same basic ingredients and preparation: Soy Sauce, Tea and Spices (usually Anise and Mandarin Orange peel) flavoring a broth in which hard boiled eggs are further cooked and then ‘steeped’ in this flavorful aromatic liquid. The shells of the cooked eggs are gently smashed all over but not removed before the eggs go into the broth. Later, when the shells are removed prior to eating – they slip off quite easily – the egg whites have an intriguing ‘crackled’ marble appearance.

Mine look just like the pictures on the internet. I use brown eggs to start, so the shell color is darker after steeping.  I have not yet attempted to cook the eggs in a way to keep the yolk bright yellow, but I don’t mind the dark edge. There are some recipes suggesting a ‘clean’ yellow yolk.

A good description of this egg preparation from one recipe says “it’s like giving (plain and dry) hard boiled eggs a makeover”.

Give these great Tea Eggs a try –and let me know what you think of them!

 

Thanksgiving with Julia & Friends

Thanksgiving with Julia Child…& Friends

– what could be more fun?

Thanksgiving with Julia

This cute illustration by Adriana Gallo along with the list of ‘greats’  caught my attention.  This suggestion hooked me right in:

 “IF – Julia Child, James Beard, and Mollie Katzen threw a potluck Thanksgiving, you’d want to go, right?”  

Of course I’d want to go!

Attempting to “honor the forefathers and mothers of American cooking” here is a menu full of favorite recipes from the Food52 community and staff, and blogosphere at large.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Julia

Among other ‘greats’ here are a few recipes to tempt you:

Julia Child’s Brussels Sprouts with Braised Chestnuts

James Beard’s  Rich Pumpkin Pie

Mollie Katzen’s Mushroom Yogurt Pie with Spinach Crust

Who are your favorite forefathers and mothers of American Cooking?

What are your favorite recipes?

 

 

More Than A Recipe

More than a recipe from Orange Peel Bakery

As usual – the photo caught my attention – a delicious, mouthwatering baked something or other – This one looks berry, juicy and baked brown nutty … some sort of tart – oh yum!

Berry - Nutty Tart

Curious (and hungry!) –  I checked out the article hoping for a recipe. Lucky me – it was there! Then, I read the accompanying article and got more than a recipe.  The article is a great read and offers a fascinating profile and insight of an interesting baker with an intriguing bakery to investigate – wood fired oven – Martha’s Vineyard…and an honorable mission, as well as.

Orange Peel Bakery is definitely on my list of places to visit– Not just to sample the baked goods which sound (and look)  amazing – but to experience the setting and support the admirable mission of the baker, Juli Vanderhoop.

Read the article  for yourself and learn more of what I am referring to:

Trained by a Medicine Man on Martha’s Vineyard, One Baker Gives Rise to an Honest Community

More than a recipe More than a recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than a recipe

Let me know if you have a chance to visit Orange Peel Bakery – located at 22 State Rd, Aquinnah Martha’s Vineyard, and share your experience with us!

Here is the recipe.  BEWARE:  it is enough for a Bakery production– it makes EIGHT tarts!  Looks easy to reduce. I’ll let you know if I manage it.

Raspberry Bars with Almond Crust

Yield: Recipe is for EIGHT 8" TARTS

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups slivered almonds, divided
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 tablespoon and one teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups (four sticks) cold butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. 1. Sauté ½ cup of the almonds in a pan until golden brown and set aside.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, remaining almonds, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. 3. In another bowl combine the butter and brown sugar. Add the almond extract and eggs and blend.
  4. 4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and mix until well blended. Press the mixture into eight 8? tart pans, onto the bottom and up the sides, leaving enough room for filling.
  5. 5. Bake the tarts at 360 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove them from oven and when cool, fill the shells with raspberry jam and top with the reserved toasted almonds. Bake the tarts for an additional 25 to 35 minutes, until the crusts are a rich, golden color.
  6. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut each tart into pieces and serve.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2015/09/06/more-than-a-recipe/

 

 

Summer ‘Fruit Platter’ Bouquet

This colorful fruit platter is truly a Summer Bouquet!

Fruit Platter Bouquet

 Fresh fruits artistically arranged and presented

in a lovely garden bouquet of floral shapes and colors

also provides an opportunity to

‘Eat” through the colors of the rainbow’

This fun fruit platter offers a mouthwatering arrangement especially on a hot summer day.

Make it with any variety of fruits in season.

What are some of your favorite fruits and how do you present them? 

Image from LOVELIEGREENIE

It’s A WINNER!! Let’s Eat CAKE!

Yes! A Winner! Finally!!

Let’s Eat CAKE!!

Banana Chocolate-Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

DSCN1132

The cake batter went together super easy – and once the sour cream and mashed bananas were mixed in it was one of the Best tasting cake batters I’ve ever snitched at!

The peanut butter frosting was also very easy, and actually ended up like it was supposed to –  very light and whipped.  With a super good flavor!

To be honest I’m not a great peanut butter fan when it comes to peanut butter cookies, cakes, frosting, etc.  (I LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, however!!)

And I certainly wasn’t sure about the flavor of banana and peanut butter.

So, I hedged a little, and instead of frosting between the layers with the peanut butter frosting (although there was certainly enough of it) I made a light, whipped chocolate frosting.  We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

The cake batter has mini chocolate chips in it, but other than using chocolate chips/candy for decorating the top, that’s the only chocolate called for in the recipe.  So I wanted a little more chocolate and a little less peanut butter.

I also made the recipe in three 9″ cake pans rather than two 8″ pans as the recipe calls for  – well, actually they say to use two 8″ square pans, which I don’t have, anyway.  The recipe makes a Lot of batter, and heeding Julie’s experience with her disaster cake I thought it best to use three pans instead of two.  Good thing I did – all three pans were close but not quite over the edges of the pans when the cake was done baking.

The cake itself was nicely moist and very flavorful.

The recipe suggests using chocolate chips and chocolate candy such as Hershey’s Kisses to decorate the top (see their photo).  I didn’t want to buy a whole bag of kisses – and a whole bag of chocolate chips, for that matter – just to use a few on the cake, so I scoured through the store to see what else was available.

I found the perfect things!  One was a a Nestle Toll House chip called “DelightFuls” – I’d never heard of them but maybe you guys have?  They are basically regular-sized chips that are filled with peanut butter – they also have ones that are filled with mint, or raspberry, etc. – and they come in a small bag.

We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

The other thing I found was Reese’s Pieces “Mini” peanut butter cups – they are unwrapped and only about a half-inch tall, and also come in a small bag.

So those are what I decorated the cake with!  Turned out really good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most of these kinds of cakes that we’re making, this one is Very rich.  

We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

Finally –  a cake good enough to share with neighbors! And I’ll also take some into work on Monday!  YAY!!

 

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/banana-chocolate-chip-cake-with-peanut-butter-frosting-51117350

 

Hippity Hoppin’ Easter Fun

Have Hippity Hoppin’ Happy Easter FUN!

Natural Dye-d Eggs and Tie-Dyed Eggs, Bunny Buns, Deviled Chicks, and Bunny Cake

 

 And All I Need to Know…

. . . I Learned from the Easter Bunny!

HAPPY  EASTER!

Easter Bunny Cake

Let’s Eat CAKE!

Easter Bunny Cake

 Perfect for Easter:

Bunny Cake

 

Make this adorable Bunny Cake for Easter dessert.

 

What you will need:

1 layer of an 8 or 9 inch cake
White frosting
Shredded coconut
Green Food Coloring
Assorted Jelly Beans
1 sheet of plain white paper
Pink Colored Marker
2 toothpicks

 

Here are step-by-step directions for this Easy-to-make Easter Bunny Cake:

Bake a two layer cake using your favorite recipe. We like Chocolate but it could be a white or yellow cake if preferred.  You will use only one layer, so wrap the other layer a freeze for a quick dessert another time.

  Using a single layer of a baked cake slice in half diagonally.Easter Bunny Cake

Stand the two halves upright on a platter, cut sides down.Easter Bunny Cake

 About 2 inches up from one end, make a 2 inch wedge cut.

Easter Bunny Cake

Place this ‘wedge’ piece at the opposite side for the tail.Easter Bunny Cake

Slather frosting between the layers, including the tail and head pieces; then frost generously all over, giving a nice thick coating. We like a gooey boiled frosting such as Betty Crocker’s Fluffy Frosting but any butter cream, marshmallow, or egg white frosting will work. Easter Bunny Cake

Place shredded or finely flaked coconut in a medium sized mixing bowl. Using a fork, mix the coconut with a few drops of green food coloring.Easter Bunny Cake

Sprinkle, shake and pat plain white shredded coconut all over cake. Add the green ‘grass’ around the edges of the cake. Easter Bunny Cake

 Add dark jelly beans for eyes and a pink jelly bean for a nose.

Scatter additional jelly beans around in the grassEaster Bunny Cake

 Cut ‘ears’ from plain white paper and color in the centers with a marker. Poke a toothpick gently through the bottom edges of each of the ears

Easter Bunny Cake

 Insert toothpick into the ‘wedge’ cut behind the head

Easter Bunny Cake

HAPPY HOPPY EASTER!

Easter Bunny Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Football Food

Ready for the Big Game?

… here is some Fun FOOTBALL Food for any game time!

How fun is this?? A simple ‘football’ shaped meatloaf cleverly decorated with cheese is perfect for any  game day but especially Super Bowl!

Not a meat eater?  This great idea and simple presentation can even be adapted to yummy veggie-based loafs and burgers.

Fun Football Food

 

 

Get the Meatloaf recipe here

Get a non-meat loft recipe here