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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 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 May 25, 2016 | 0 comments

DIY Apéritifs: Homemade Vermouth

DIY Apéritifs: Homemade Vermouth

Today, we welcome Renee Johnson, as our guest blogger, telling us all about her adventures in learning how to make vermouth. My husband, Jeff, and I decided to make vermouth after attending an event at the U.S. Botanical Garden in April. The event, “The Herbal Apéritif: A Tasting Journey of Vermouth,” was hosted by vermouth makers Dwight Grimm and Leigh van Swall, who own Little Alchemist Herb Farm and Distillery in the Catkills, New York. Many notable vermouths are made in France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom where the tradition of flavoring wine with herbs and fruit evolved into the making of vermouths and apéritif wines (also called aromatized or fortified wines). Apparently, in the 1940s, there were 225 vermouth-makers in the United States, and martinis were made with more vermouth (and less spirits) than they are today. I highly recommend following  Renato Vicario, the author of Italian Liqueurs, History and Art of a Creation. Making vermouth at home is easy using cheap wine and a spirit, such...

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 | 1 comment

Rainbow Waffles

Rainbow Waffles

My 12-year-old daughter Ana and a few of her friends took over our kitchen on a recent snow day to make rainbow waffles. They agreed wholeheartedly to document the process. Today, we welcome Ana, Bea, Gigi and Lucy as our guest bloggers. The tools you will need are: 8 small bowls 3 large bowls 6 spoons A whisk A spatula 6 zip-loc bags or 6 piping bags 1 waffle iron The ingredients you will need are: (Recipe source: True Belgian Waffles Recipe) 2 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 2 large eggs, separated 1-1/2 cups milk 1 cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue food coloring Cooking spray Note: In our picture it shows sea salt, but we will not be using that. Directions 1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. 2. In two small bowls, separate the 2 eggs and mix the yolk well. 3. In the other large bowl, add egg yolks, and then...

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Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 | 3 comments

Homemade Roasted Vegetable Stock

Homemade Roasted Vegetable Stock

Once you taste homemade vegetable stock compared to the store-bought version, you’ll understand why making it yourself – while also super easy and inexpensive – is the way to go. 1. Roast the vegetables. Doubling this recipe from the Kitchn, I started with onions cut into quarters and pierced with whole cloves. I left the onion skins on to give the stock a warm color – it’s okay to leave the skin on, since you’ll be straining the liquid in the end. I used two pans so I wouldn’t crowd the vegetables while roasting. After preheating the oven to 400 degrees, I tossed the onions into two pans along with sliced mushrooms… Roma tomatoes from my garden… As well as whole garlic cloves, carrots cut in big chunks, and leeks. I then drizzled canola oil over the vegetables. I normally roast vegetables in olive oil, but the Kitchn recipe recommends using a neutral oil. I roasted the vegetables for 45 minutes, giving them a stir a few times, while checking...

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