When Joe and I were in California in January I mentioned all the citrus everywhere. My in-laws trees were almost bent in half with all the fruit hanging from their limbs. Before we left to come home, I grabbed two grocery bags, filled them, and stuffed them into my already overpacked suitcase. This made Joe mad but I insisted, claiming the virtues of the fruit of the land that he is from. He insisted I was crazy. We’re probably both right. When I got home, we used a few, but most of them I turned into preserved lemons.
I live in extremes. Usually at least once a week we have rice and beans, macaroni and cheese, frozen pizza and hamburgers. It’s the stage of life we’re in. I need to cook fast and within a budget. I do try and include salad and at least one vegetable. (Which lately tends to be asparagus. No joke last week we had roasted asparagus four days in a row.) Life is full and I need to maximize time and money. And usually at least once or twice a week I try and cook something a little more interesting, something a little decadent, something that lets me try something new. Last week that looked like roast lamb with a morel cream sauce.
The cultured butter recipe I am sharing today is rich in flavor. It can be used in cooking, baking, spread on toast, pancakes or if you’re me, eaten with french bread in lieu of cheese. I first discovered cultured butter when we lived in Paris. Bordier butter, crafted from the cream of the cows of Normandy was like a religious experience. I have been ruined for regular butter ever since. Upon returning to American I’ve been on a hunt for something coming remotely close. (Vermont creamery has the closest I’ve found). I continue my quest and am sharing my version today (although it doesn’t hold a candle to Bordier butter of whom I am a cult follower).
When I was a little girl I used to sit at the bottom of the fridge, raise my arms and in a long soulful voice cry, “Butter….butter…butter.” Another time, my mother walked into the breakfast room to see me sitting on the table eating a stick of butter. My love affair with butter has not waned and my children now carry the butter banner. So because I love my son and he loves butter, I came up with this homemade sage compound butter recipe.
There hasn’t been a holiday since that I don’t think about my Grandma. She would have loved my boys. And whenever Thanksgiving and Christmas come around, I miss her a little bit more. She was a home economist married to a food scientist (that Breakstone’s sour cream you eat, my Grandad created) so her recipes were on point. For the sake of my cousins and siblings, I’ve decided to share some of her recipes so that they don’t get lost with time.
I’ve been wanting to try creating homemade ketchup for awhile anyway. Let me tell you, it was delicious. I will never eat store bought ketchup again (it’s so easy and the taste improvement is great).
As a kid I hated sandwiches. Bread was boring, sliced meat was unimaginative, and I hated mayonnaise. And there was no sandwich I hated more than a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich slathered with mayonnaise. The idea of eating mostly vegetables in between slices of wonder bread was really depressing for this 8 year old.
Fortunately my tastebuds have evolved, at least slightly, and now I love mayonnaise and sandwiches. Coming up with new foods that can be stuffed between variant pieces of bread is fun. And the BLT is now one of my go-to sandwiches. Here I share my take on the traditional BLT – an Avocado BLT with Spicy Chiptole Mayonnaise
I wasn’t really a mayonnaise person until I went to France. They have a unhealthy relationship with mayonnaise. Practically every restaurant has a shrine to it (as well as one to moutarde). They dip everything in it — steaks, fries, eggs. You heard me eggs. The way we might order spinach artichoke dip, they order hard boiled ouefs with mayonnaise. Which I guess just means they really like eggs, cause really it’s just egg dipped in more eggs. That level of mayonnaise love is a bit much for me. But mayonnaise is still delicious and useful! Here I share my favorite homemade mayonnaise recipe.
Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day, celebrating our freedom and honoring those who died fighting for it. We grilled out, no surprise there, and had a quiet evening in. I found a mahi-mahi filet on sale at the market two days ago, so I marinated it and topped it with a watermelon peach salsa. I love sweet and spicy salsas, they’re fresh, brighten up the plate and compliment white meats well. And you can eat the leftovers with chips! Recipe here.
Grilling out is one of the best parts of summer (right alongside beer and the beach). Discovering new takes on traditional grill recipes is equally fun. I shared on Monday a recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches on the grill. Today I share a recipe for one of my new favorite discoveries, a topping for any kind of grilled sandwich, pickled onions.