This month I was assigned to Fried Ice and Donut Holes, a blog that I discovered last month when I was first invited to join the Secret Recipe Club. Secretly I was hoping it was a blog I’d be assigned in the near future. Why? Well, first off, the fabulous author of Fried Ice and Donut Holes is Melissa as well. So instantly I knew I’d like her. With all Melissa’s I find good food and creativity always follow and this was no exception. So many great recipes to choose from! Right away, I zeroed in on her Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, a dish that I’ve struggled with a lot in the past. At this point I’ve probably made at least half a dozen variations from super easy to super challenging, from stove top to crockpot, but nothing has tasted just right. My husband had been ignoring my craving for Indian take out for the last few weeks, so I figured if I made it, he would be forced to enjoy.
I don’t generally eat at Italian restaurants. It’s not that I don’t like Italian food–it’s one of my favorites actually–but I find most Italian restaurants to be disappointing. Hardly any place makes their own pasta. The best pasta I know of is from Petit Oven, a tiny French restaurant with a Polish chef. If I wanted undercooked (or overcooked) boxed pasta, I could do it myself, thank you very much. However, on the rare occasions that I find myself at an Italian restaurant, I opt for either spaghetti carbonara or pasta with vodka sauce. Carbonara I’ve made plenty, but vodka sauce always seemed to exotic and difficult. It only recently occurred to me the vodka sauce is literally vodka, cream and tomato sauce. Who knew?
What I love most about Spring is the range of weather. You can leave in the morning with a thin sweater, strip down to a sleeveless shirt at lunch and still need a light jacket as evening draws near. Along with the variety of clothing options, it creates food options as well. I’m not very likely to sit down to a rich winter strew filled with root vegetables. More so because I’m sick of carrots and parsnips. But I love that I can still enjoy a bowl of soup when the evenings still have a bit of a chill, accompanied by a light salad.
I needed green garlic for a recent recipe. A whole tablespoon of it. If you’ve spent any time at the markets lately, you’re probably well aware that green garlic isn’t sold by the stalk, let alone the tablespoon. So to fulfill my needs I purchased a bunch, used a quarter a stalk and was left with the rest. Green garlic isn’t something I cook with too often. I generally wait for garlic scapes, or for the most part use the bulbs alone. When I read somewhere that sauteing it over low heat resulted a cross between a light garlic flavor and caramelized onions, I couldn’t think of anything better than to stick in a soup. Considering potato leek soup is such a great success, how could subbing green garlic not be equally as awesome?
If I had the choice of choosing my final meal before going to that big kitchen in the sky (god I hope it’s bigger than a Brooklyn kitchen or God has one twisted sense of humor) I think it would end with Creme Brulee. Easily my favorite dessert, yet one that I don’t have too often. I’ve had my overwhelming share of bad creme brulees–burned, too dense, strange texture. One time the chef didn’t even bother to brulee it! To me it looked (and tasted) like a dense custard with way too much granulated sugar, but to them it was creme brulee. I won’t point any fingers at the guilty party, but let’s just say it wasn’t exactly a diner.
I’m just as guilty as the rest. I often find recipes, tweak them a bit, or use them as a reference for a totally different recipe. When cooking at home, I might sometimes try to pawn it off as my own invention, but as a blogger, I always site my sources. I once worked at a company who’s legal department was extremely conservative. So as a marketer, I’ve learned to site sources, copyright and be extremely cautious about what sources I use to prove things (not so much an issue in recipes). So if I’m referencing a recipe from Bon Appetit or one of my favorite blogs like Smitten Kitchen or Food in Jars, you’re going to know. But in all fairness, I often edit my own recipes as well. This summer I made some delicious cream scones to go along with my homemade jams. Sometimes the recipes turn out better (or worse), but often times just a different spin.