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Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 | 0 comments

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our first ever in-house cooking class, How to Make Pastry Dough with Kremena Stefanova. Many of you know Kremena from around Del Ray — during the week you may see her at the Caboose Cafe and on the weekend at Four Mile Run Farmers Market (when in season). But for the class, she came to my house and demonstrated how to make dough for sweet and savory dishes for me and eight other attendees. The class was just as we had hoped — informative, fun and very tasty! Everyone got to sample all the dishes Kremena made while sipping wine. First, Kremena walked us through a standard quiche dough: 2 cups flour, 2 sticks cold butter, 5-6 T cold water, 1/2 t salt. Kremena usually mixes this by hand or with a pastry cutter, but today she used my Kitchenaid mixer. You can also use a food processor, but she says mixing by hand works just as well. After forming the dough,...

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Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 | 3 comments

Spicy Red Banana Pepper Relish

Spicy Red Banana Pepper Relish

We ended our summer garden season with a whole bunch of banana peppers. They hung out long enough to turn red, making them spicier than normal, perfect for a batch of pepper relish. I looked around for a recipe, but couldn’t find anything that matched the ingredients I had, so I came up with my own version: 14 red banana peppers 1/4 – 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup water 1/3 cup sugar 1 tsp salt First, I quartered the peppers which gave me a little over 2 cups. I kept some of the seeds for the relish, but most ended up as scraps on my cutting board. Using my mini processor, I coarsely chopped the peppers and the onion, then I transferred them to a sauce pan with the rest of the ingredients. I added enough vinegar mixed with some water to just cover the peppers. I simmered the mix for about 30 minutes until the liquid had reduced and thickened. When...

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Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 | 1 comment

Summer Strawberry Shortcakes

Summer Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry shortcakes are one of my favorite summer desserts. They are easy to make, only require a few ingredients I usually already have on hand and the messier they are the better. I use the Joy of Cooking dropped biscuit recipe for for my cake, a mix of strawberries and blueberries and top it off with mascarpone whipped cream. Dropped biscuits come together in about 5 minutes, with only 12 minutes in the oven. Ingredients are: 1 3/4 cup flour 1/2 tsp salt 3 t baking powder 5 T cold butter, roughly chopped 1 cup milk In a mini food processor, combine all the ingredients except the milk — just a few whirls, you can also used a pastry cutter or your hands. Then, transfer the mix to a bowl and stir in the milk. The batter will be thick and lumpy. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes, or until the tops start to brown. This makes about...

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Posted by on May 27, 2016 | 0 comments

A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi

A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi

Being stuck inside all last weekend because of the rain was the perfect opportunity to make sushi, something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I purchased many of the supplies at Streets Market in Del Ray — they have a great selection of Asian ingredients. And to make the sushi even easier to roll, I put the nori on the outside. For sushi all you need is: Nori (roasted seaweed sheets) Sushi rice Filling of your choice A really, really sharp knife For my sushi, I cooked 1 1/2 cups of dry sushi rice (yield 4 cups cooked). While the rice cooked (about 20 minutes) I peeled and sliced half a cucumber, half an avocado and about two ounces of smoked salmon. When the rice the done and cooled, I added about 1 T of rice wine vinegar for added seasoning. To assemble the sushi, I placed one sheet of nori on a cutting board and spread about 3/4 cup cooked rice, leaving about an inch at...

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Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 | 1 comment

The Perfect Pour Over

The Perfect Pour Over

When it comes to a great cup of coffee, I prefer to make myself a pour over. A few years ago, I took a class at Swing’s where they taught me how to make a pour over along with other types of manual brew methods. It was a great class. You can get all of the supplies I mention in this post at Swing’s. Here are the supplies you need for a precise pour over: Swan neck kettle Coffee grinder V-60 ceramic coffee dripper Gram scale V-60 filters Coffee beans Mug Here are the supplies you need for a not so precise cup (don’t worry it will still be good): V-60 ceramic coffee dripper V-60 filters Coffee beans Mug You can use a regular kettle, but I love and highly recommend the swan neck kettle. I helps you give a slow and precise pour. Place your coffee dripper over your mug. I start off by rinsing the filter with hot water. You don’t want to taste anything but the...

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