Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer is here...

And don't I know it!  How, you ask?  I spent the first three days of my vacation sans air-conditioning and they just happened to be the hottest days of the year so far...triple digit heat index on all three days.  The upside is the AC is now fixed and I can go back to using my oven, making jam so I can spread a little summer on my winter toast, and scouring the farmers markets for juicy summer berries

I scored these at the local farmers market...the biggest, sweetest, juiciest blackberries I've seen this season.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rosemary Cookies with Tomato Jam

Rosemary is one of the best-loved herbs and one of my all-time favorites. I look for ways to use it in cooking and will snap up bath and hair products at the store that contain it (some of it's medicinal uses throughout the ages have been to prevent baldness and heal wounds). I never tire of the fragrance and often use it in cooking, so there is always some rosemary in my garden. Often you can find me sitting next to the rosemary plant on my deck, sipping a glass of wine and reading.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day, Tropical Storm Beryl, and Portokalopita (Greek Orange Cake)

I've been looking forward to this weekend for a long time.  I had it all extra day off after the holiday, four whole days to do whatever...catch up on some reading, watch a few movies, work in my garden, start some seeds, take a long walk....but then along came Beryl.  Not a hurricane, but close.  Here in north Florida we spent Saturday and Sunday in anticipation of Beryl's arrival on Sunday evening.  While she spoiled the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and the Memorial Day activities, she brought us much-needed rain and broke a weeks-long drought.  So with every cloud there's a silver lining.

Beryl did cause some power outages, some fallen trees, and flooding, and a tropical storm is not really welcome on a holiday weekend, but when life gives you make Greek orange cake...Portokalopita.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sweet Pickle Relish and Therapy

Last week ended on a sour note...I'll spare you the gory details, some of which were a result of my own impulsivity.  I landed on my doorstep Friday afternoon wrung out and in a low mood.  So I rolled into bed early, secure in the knowledge that things would be better after a good night's sleep and a spell in the garden, and I was right.  Five hours of hard work, weeding, watering, and spreading compost on Saturday morning proved to be the cure.  With fresh air and sunshine and these looking down on me, I was cured.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Hungarian Shortbread

Yowza! A whopping pound of butter!  That was my first thought when I scanned the recipe for this delectable treat.  It's so buttery an adaptation of the recipe was featured in Issue #109 of Saveur ... the Butter issue!.

The Hungarians call this Omlos Teasutemeny (oom-loosh TAY-ahsh-soo-teh-men-ee) which I still can't pronounce even with the phonetic spelling!  The Czechs have a version called Cukrovi that includes nuts in the jam filling.  True Scottish shortbread is made with only butter, flour, and sugar ... no eggs.  But none of that matters 'cause this jam-filled treat is addictively declicious!

I figured with dough this rich I needed to keep the filling on the tart side.  So, for the rhubarb jam, I cut the sugar down by 2 tablespoons, added 1/2 c. chopped strawberries for color and pectin, and a handful of chopped candied ginger for some zing.  Because I couldn't find fresh rhubarb and had to use frozen, I reduced the 1/2 c. water to 1/4 c.  The jam was a little loose after cooking, but it thickened up after a day in the refrigerator.
Rhubarb jam with the addition of strawberries and candied ginger.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Lemon Loaf Cake

I love lemon anything, and the tarter the better, so my first impulse was to jump right in and bake this cake.  I had planned to bake it for Easter and serve it with fresh berries, but something kept telling me to wait...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Pizza Rustica and Homemade Ricotta

I wasn't sure I was going to like this "pizza", which is really a ricotta-filled pie.  I knew I'd never had anything like it before and I've never been a big fan of the ricotta available in most grocery stores, so I went all Martha Stewart and made my own ricotta using David Lebovitz's recipe.  A gallon of fresh goat milk (thanks to my sister and her goats), some yogurt, cream, vinegar and salt, a few minutes over the heat, a quick drain through some cheese cloth et voila! ricotta.  This recipe yielded a creamy ricotta, not at all grainy like the commercially produced stuff.  In retrospect I think I drained it a little too well.  However, the consistency was fine and produced a nice creamy filling with a nutty flavor.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Irish Soda Bread

St. Paddy's Day finally arrived!  I had been anticipating this holiday for weeks so I could make Irish soda bread to go with the traditional corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots.  Since I'd never made soda bread before and simple recipes with just a few ingredients are often deceiving, I did a little research here and here.  Thanks to Galletista for providing the Epicurious link at the Tuesday's with Dorie Blog Roll where you can find links to the other TWD-BWJ blogs.

This bread is so simple and delicious I can't believe I haven't made it before.  You can see Marion Cunningham making soda bread with Julia Child here.  It takes just a few minutes to assemble and mix the ingredients and minimum handling to shape it.  No special pans can be baked in a pie plate.  The Irish peasants, who didn't have ovens, cooked theirs in cast iron pots called bastibles over an open turf fire.  The ingredients are things they would have had and could afford; wheat they had grown themselves for the flour, buttermilk left over from making butter, bread soda, and salt.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Rugelach: Taste 10, Looks 7

You say roo-ga-lach and I say roo-ga-la...whatever way you pronounce it these little (or not so little) "cookies" are more like a small pastry and absolutely delicious.  And they provided the perfect opportunity to use all those bits and bobs left over from Christmas baking.  The dough is made in a stand mixer and the fillings went together in the food processor in only a few minutes.  Get the recipe from this Tuesday's hosts, Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We all have our "go to" cookbooks...the ones we've most recently acquired with the slick, beautiful photos (and no grease stains!).  Somehow our old friends like The Joy of Cooking or the Time Life Foods of the World series get relegated to the bottom shelves or packed away in a box and forgotten, their dated pictures and over-the-top calorie dense recipes replaced with the latest food trend.

The other night I was reading David Lebovitz's blog and he has stirred up quite a pot of nostalgia with his latest post about Masterpieces of French Cuisine, how he acquired it, then lost it, then got another copy, and the memories it evokes for him of an old friend who used to visit the kitchen when he worked at Chez Panisse.  Reading the post and the many comments sent me searching through my own collection of books and magazines, like this one I bought many years ago in a used book store and from which I made my very first batch of crepes...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Chocolate Truffle Tart

First the dough...I made it a few days ahead in the food processor and it came together beautifully. I followed the dough instructions to the letter after watching the YouTube vidoes here and here.  The only deviation I made from the instructions was to use pie weights for the first 11 minutes of baking and then I took them out.

Frissage...(it's really hard to take a picture of yourself doing this! See the shadow of the camera strap?)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Julia's White Loaves Redux and my favorite soup ...

BRRRR...the temperature this morning in north Florida was in the low thirties, which for us is pretty darn cold.  This Florida girl doesn't like cold weather, so when the temperature drops I go into hibernation.  That means comfort foods...warm soups, homemade bread, braised meats, stews, and rich desserts.  The TV weather guys and gals are saying this little cold snap will last a few days, so I decided to make my favorite Curried Zucchini Soup.  I first had this soup in a local cafe on a cold afternoon and was instantly hooked.  It's warm, creamy and satisfying while at the same time light.  Thanks to Google, I had a recipe 5 minutes after I got home.  Martha Stewart gets the credit for this one and no surpise that it costs only about $.65 per serving, takes all of 10 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cooking time, and a few minutes to blend voila! it's ready to eat.  The best's really low calorie.  Add some homemade bread and a salad and you have a perfect lunch.  Also a great way to use up all that extra zucchini from your summer garden.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Julia's White Loaves....

I had forgotten how much fun it was to bake bread.  When my children were small (I'm gonna age myself here) and before there were so many places where you could get good  bread, I spent a couple of years baking bread every weekend.  I mean I was a serious bread baker....I bought flour in 25 lb. sacks from the local health food store and wore out my copies of Beard on Bread and Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book and was making whole wheat, rye and pumpernickel.  I checked out every book the local public library had about bread baking.  Somewhere life got in the way and I stopped. Imagine my delight when I read that the first recipe chosen for TWD BWJ was Julia's White I rolled up my sleeves and got started...

I guess by now you've figured out how this blog got it's name.  Except for one other small bit of counter space, this is the sum total of my work space.  This recipe, which can be found here, worked great with my KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Welcome to 1smallkitchen!  I'll be participating in the next Tuesdays with Dorie challenge of baking through "Baking with Julia".   Look for the first post on February 7....Julia's White Loaves.