Blythe spirit's Profile

Title Last Reply

April 2015 COTM Announcement: POLPO

You can get manufacturing cream (40%) fat content at Smart and Final in CA - but not sure if that chain is in DC.

Mar 25, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

April 2015 COTM Announcement: POLPO

Mar 25, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

April 2015 COTM: Nomination Thread

I've heard good things about the book (Polpo) but the last time I checked - over a year ago - I remember it being rather expensive - even used copies. Not that that would stop me from buying it...:-)

Mar 17, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking
1

April 2015 COTM: Nomination Thread

I own a number of those books Breadcrumbs, and would be happy to see any of them ( or any number mentioned up thread ) nominated. So many great suggestions this month!
Unfortunately my apartment is being renovated in April so I won't be participating. Just finished moving 400+ cookbooks to storage (not quite done), and was again reminded that there are plenty older books it would be fun to explore.

Just a few tangential asides ....
I've owned the Frog Commissary cookbook for a while now and have been meaning to try the carrot cake recipe, which is supposed to be fabulous.
Bill Granger's books can be difficult to obtain - at least the Asian one has eluded me for over a year. Charleston receipts is very old ( I own it too) but I like the idea of occasionally choosing a much older book for COTM.
Looking forward to participating vicariously next month, and sad that my kitchen will be out of commission.

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

Hi Caitlin,
Thanks! I did not know :-)

Feb 07, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

Do not have this book either. keeping a spot :-)

Feb 06, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Wow - thanks Lulu's Mom,
I did not know about that thread! I don't get much of a break during the work day ( I teach a room full of young children by myself) - so sometimes am very drained of energy at the end of the day.
This will be a fantastic resource for me :-)

Jan 30, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Sounds delicious - I Iove the combination of lemon and tarragon and will definitely give that a try. I really need to enlarge the variety in my 'low-effort' repertoire.

Jan 29, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Lulu's mom,
I was wondering the same thing. Perhaps adding a touch of Chinkiang vinegar and some green onions and Szechuan pepper at the end?
While I'm here I may as well post a link to the Lebovitz recipe which is almost as easy and also very tasty. It includes olive oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce and minced shallots. When I'm lazy (most week nights )I just whirl the ingredients in mini processor and you anoint the chicken and bake at 425.

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/03/...

Jan 29, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking
1

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Blue Room and Westminstress -
Great minds think alike! I had buttery rice too - and it WAS great with the sauce.
Buttered rice with Asian ingredients is probably not authentic, but is sure is tasty. Glad I'm not the only one breaking that 'rule' :-)

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

Soy-Glazed black pepper chicken,Pg.179
Thanks to Gio for posting a link to the recipe, as I do not (as yet) own this book. This was indeed fast and tasty. It reminds me a great deal of David Lebovitz'(from his blog) Roast chicken with caramelized shallots - only this is even easier. Easy prep and great return for very little effort.
A great weeknight option.

Jan 27, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking
1

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

Quick question Blue Room,
How is posting different as a coordinator? Do you need a special login ?

Jan 19, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

I'd really like to try at some point, as I use and very much enjoy COTM. That being said, computers, printers and copy machines do seem to freeze and/or malfunction as soon as I'm in the same room with them. I have a general idea of the task from participation over the last few years- but probably should, as jpr54 suggested, begin on a less ambitious project.

Jan 18, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

A tutorial would be very helpful - even just a rough time line and a few simple instructions for the technical aspects.

Jan 18, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

Thanks Lulu's Mom - I'm not confident at all when it comes to anything 'computer', but do feel I could undertake this with some coaching. Will keep this in mind when I take the plunge :)

Jan 18, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month February 2015

I could possibly do this in one of the next go-rounds - but would definitely need a mentoring 'helpline' of sorts to get started - as my computer skills fall into the shaky/pitiful range.

Jan 18, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #4 - Will you join me?

I'm not sure it would turn out to be a cookbook you'd use a great deal, but I could be wrong. I know (from reading your posts ) that you are not really a 'meat' person and although the veg recipes are good, many recipes in the book require the use of mixtures (sub recipes) that must be made first - so not compatible with quick family meals in many instances.
The book really helped me make authentic Latin food, which was impressive considering I'd never tasted it before. But it's a lot of prep and shopping work unless you're going to be cooking it all the time and can have all the pantry items ready ahead of time.

Jan 11, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #4 - Will you join me?

I know what you mean about finding cookbooks you're pretty sure you have *somewhere*. I remember back when my collection was manageable enough to find stuff right away!

Jan 06, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #4 - Will you join me?

Glad the review was helpful :-)
It was fun to have some time off during the holidays. I don't often have the time to plan and cook.

Jan 06, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

I know I'd have been tempted to change the whole dish by adding chopped garlic and a splash of dry wine.

Jan 05, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #4 - Will you join me?

'The toppling stack of good intentions' - I love that description! I'm sure many on this thread have such stacks :-)

Jan 04, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #4 - Will you join me?

DAISY COOKS by Daisy Martinez
This is one of many books that has languished on my shelves -unused- for a long time. It won a Gourmand award in 2005 for best Latin cookbook in the world and is one of the few books I own which covers Puerto Rican cooking (though that is not its sole focus).
I recently tried a number of recipes from the book - as I was entertaining some Latin friends from New York. The book is a keeper - but not without a couple quibbles.

Here are the recipes I've tried so far:
Sofrito - a necessary sub-component and flavor base
wet and dry rubs - good in concept, I did need to adjust somewhat
tomato salad - simple and good
garlic anchovy dressing - lovely
Mami's potato salad - excellent, best I've ever made
Puerto Rican Roast Pork Shoulder - very good
Grandma's pork chops - excellent - moist and delicious
Yellow rice - very good, but I did reduce the salt A LOT
Red beans and rice - Made without chix broth and rice, reduced salt - excellent
Grilled skirt steak with garlic parsley sauce - very good, but I reduced the seasoning
Basic white rice - excellent
Chicken roast with garlic rub - too seasoned for me

This is one of those books that requires you to make sub-recipes; in this case, sofrito and a wet rub and dry rub are required for many of the recipes in the book. These recipes are very authentic and also produce fairly large quantities. If you are not planning to do that much Latin cooking I would definitely reduce quantities. The sofrito is very flavorful and freezes easily. it is an important component of the yellow rice and the red beans and rice recipes and I would definitely make it again - as both of those recipes turned out well.
I have made the wet adobo from Carmen Valldejuli's classic "Puerto Rican Cookery" and somewhat prefer her proportions which are more restrained. Daisy sports a shockingly heavy hand with salt and pepper - especially salt. I love salt, but the quantities are so high they look like typos in some of the recipes.
I later learned that Puerto Rican food is very highly seasoned. After reducing the salt in the red beans and rice recipe, one of my Latin guests commented that the dish was under-seasoned by about '50%' ( she is a close friend, and I had asked for honest feedback).
As mentioned, I had thought there was a typo in the book as the recipe, which also uses a ham hock, called for 2 Tablespoons - yes Tablespoons- of salt for 16 oz of beans.
I had cut the salt to 2 teaspoons and had thought the dish on the salty side. The red beans were made without the rice or chicken broth called for in the recipe, and it was one of the best pots of beans I've ever made. When I made "Mami's potato salad" I used almost the full amount of salt when boiling the potatoes and realized afterwards that lack of salt was a big factor in my bland potato salad failures of the past. Still, I would drastically reduce the salt in many of her recipes.
The roast chicken recipe was the only recipe I tried that I had significant timing issues with - it scorched slightly but this may have been my fault and not the recipes'. The chicken was too seasoned (It is rubbed with the wet adobo) for my taste - with the pepper being particularly overwhelming. I would make it again though, toning down the salt and pepper or using the Carmen Valldejuli recipe.
Grandma's pork chops was the biggest success from the book. The chops are marinated with a mixture of citrus juice, cider vinegar and her dry rub. I made just a facsimile of the dry rub because it contains garlic and onion powder which I don't use very often. I was surprised at how moist and delicious the chops turned out though - and the taste of vinegar was undetectable. I also made Pernil - which is Puerto Rican Roast Pork Shoulder. It was a big hit too - although a bit under-seasoned according to my guest (again, not the recipe's fault, but my fiddling with the salt). The basic white rice recipe turned out perfectly, according to my guest.
Overall, this was a great introduction to Puerto Rican cooking. There are a few ingredients which are difficult to find here on the west coast - culantro (a cousin of cilantro) and ajices dulces - a kind of pepper I have never seen here. But the book always mentions easy-to-find alternatives. The culantro lends a very deep cilantro-like flavor when cooked - and is worth seeking out in Asian markets.
Many of the recipes DO contain culantro and/or cilantro - so if you are a cilantro-hater, you would need to sub parsley and/or avoid this book.
I have never eaten Puerto Rican food before - and this book enabled me to reproduce surprisingly authentic flavor to out-of-town guests - so the book really delivered for me, and I will keep it.
Sorry this review was a bit long-winded!

January 2015 COTM "THE HAKKA COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5 & 6

I do not yet have Hakka - but saving a spot here just in case :-)

Jan 02, 2015
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #3 - Will you join me? [Old]

As a teacher who has hatched poultry in the classroom, I can attest to the level of work involved. I incubate and hatch duck and chicken eggs every spring and remember vividly the year all 12 hatched! My makeshift coop (a rabbit hutch on wheels) was not quite big enough and the mess from that many birds necessitated 4x daily cleanup. Needless to say the resulting barnyard aroma proved too much and that crop of birds 'graduated' to the farm sooner than usual - I usually keep them about 3 weeks.
Now I'm more circumspect in my ordering of eggs :-)
It's a fun and very rewarding project and I've learned a lot over the years .
Hatching a goose egg was a huge mistake. And the year I used the wrong food, one of the chickens developed a tendon problem. The children already loved him so he ended up with two casts, daily bandage changes for two weeks, and a $102.00 vet bill.
All this - for a bird who likely wound up in a roasting pan at some point after he went to the farm! It really is fun, though.
If I had an outdoor area, I would definitely try this at home.

December 2014 & February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 15-18

It really is - thanks Pistachio :)
I forgot to mention that I used only one egg and a little less than 2 T melted butter. This pancake has a 'custardy' taste I love.

Dec 25, 2014
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

December 2014 & February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 15-18

David Eyre's pancake, p.813
I have enjoyed this over the years - but don't really eat pancakes that often. This was an especially good Christmas breakfast. It was topped with some olallieberries I had picked last summer which were languishing in my freezer.

December 2014 & February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 5-8

Macaroni with Ham and Cheese Pg. 319

Thanks to Delys for bringing this gem to my attention. Some of my first cooking adventures were from Franey's 60 minute gourmet books, which I still use. They are very reliable. I followed the recipe with only a few substitutions; mezze penne, and Allepo pepper for macaroni and cayenne.
The result was delicious and is a definite repeat for me as well.

Dec 14, 2014
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

This thread has so many interesting ideas. If I had more time to devote, it would be fun to have an adjunct thread "recipes I made this December from past COTM" - just to have a collection of recipes from so many good cooks.

Nov 12, 2014
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking
1

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

I had read some time ago that in the beginning of her career, Martha had pretty much 'lifted' many recipes directly from Julia Child.
I believe I read somewhere that Julia later forgave her. Occasionally, there airs a rerun episode of one of Julia's shows in which Martha is demonstrating a wedding cake. On the episode, there is a part where Martha asks Julia to beat some eggs or something and the interaction between the two seems to become strained and decidedly awkward.
Sorry, can't remember the series not the exact scenario, but I always wonder what the 'back story' was!
People say her recipes turn out well, even if they are more of an 'anthology' that she has collected over the years, rather than any creativity on her part.
She seems to have mellowed over the years - and I had to admire her spunk in recent years.

Nov 11, 2014
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking
1

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

Just throwing my two cents in - though I'm not making an official nomination
yet as I'm not sure of my schedule for December.
That being said, a revisit plus a desert book (or the David Lebovitz blog or books) would be incentive for me to try more than a recipe or two in the coming month.
There are many books I own which were past COTM - back before I knew about it.
Roast Fig Sugar Snow and the Dorrie Greenspan books also hold some allure!
I'm excited to see what the consensus is , and waiting to dip my toes in ...

Nov 10, 2014
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking