elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The weather the past week has been wonderfully cool. I put the fluffy goose-down comforters out and got the urge to turn on the oven and bake stuff. And since the historical food fortnightly has fizzled out, I have missed doing cooking posts! So here you are. These are three things I make all the time (though usually not all in one day!).

First I made cookies. I decided to be smart and mix up a double batch so I could freeze half my dough for later.

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These are my favorite cookies ever. They give me serious Frog and Toad moments.

Image result for Frog and Toad cookies

Cookie recipe )
Then while those were in the oven I mixed up a batch of granola. This is a breakfast staple at my house, to eat either with milk or with plain yogurt and fruit. If you eat sweetened yogurt, this might be a little too sweet to go with.

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Granola recipe )

That was enough sweets so finally I made vegetable pasties.

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Pasty recipe, sort of )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I've done my first 2016 Historical Food Fortnightly challenge. I'll be posting these on my That's Sew Minnesota blog. You can see this one here.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Yeah, yeah, I'll get to my coco photos eventually (not many anyway). But first, a recipe! Particularly for [livejournal.com profile] girliegirl32786, but any other non-eaters of the flesh may enjoy also. I adapted this recipe years ago from one I found online, and I've been tweaking it ever since.

Nut Loaf

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves garlic (or more to taste)
2 cups raw cashews
1 cup raw whole unblanched almonds
1 ¼ cups whole wheat bread or matzo crumbs
½ cup vegetable broth or water
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 eggs, well beaten

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Mince the onion and garlic finely in a food processor. Cook in the oil and butter until translucent, then remove from the heat.

Grind the almonds and cashews in the food processor until fine. (Yes, you really need a processor for this. It's impossible to get them fine enough with a knife.) Put the ground nuts and crumbs into a large mixing bowl, then add the cooked onion, salt, pepper, beaten eggs, and ½ cup of vegetable broth. Mix well, adding broth as necessary for the right consistency: mixture should feel more solid than a batter, but wetter than bread dough. Put mixture into a small parchment-lined loaf pan.

Bake at 400° F for 40-45 minutes or until loaf feels set and top is browned. Let the loaf cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.

More notes: Usually I serve with mustard, and a side of plain steamed vegetables.

The leftovers from this are amazing. The loaf really gets more solid overnight; you can slice it more easily and reheat the slices in a pan with butter.

A "large" onion to me is softball-sized. if yours are smaller you can use more.

I am not a very fussy cook and when needs must I throw in all kinds of other things. If I don't have enough crumbs I have thrown in chickpea flour and gluten flour, and other kinds of nuts get mixed in when I run out of cashews. A friend has also reported successfully making this with an egg replacement product.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
For my sister's b-day last Friday I made her a dress. This is another Colette Moneta, the ultra-streamlined version with no pockets, no sleeves, no collar, and no neckband. The neck and armhole edges are simply hemmed. I shortened the skirt (my sister's preference) and scooped the neck into a U. It's cotton jersey in a taupe-y color she loves (for reasons I cannot understand).

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I made TWO birthday cakes, because we each needed our own. For her I made the same cake as for F's last b-day: sour cream chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting and strawberries. Yum! I also made her a fancy birthday dinner; she requested Karelian rice pasties with egg butter (everyone in my family now loves these) and I made mustard and feta salmon and almond green beans with cauliflower. And champagne of course. We had another couple over to join us and it was a blast.

For my own birthday on Sunday I wanted ice cream cake, even though it is subzero temperatures here. I wanted something different so we didn't all get too caked out. I used the vanilla custard ice cream recipe I made here, oreo-ish cookies, caramel sauce, and homemade maple glazed pecans. OMG. This was amazing. The egg-custard ice cream was perfect because it doesn't freeze super-hard and that made cutting easier.

I also did this easy craft project. I got a new bookshelf/board game cabinet for a sort-of birthday present for myself. It's an Ikea Borgsjo. The crafty part was "papering" the back panel with fabric. I got this bookshelf print cotton about a year ago at work and it turned out to be perfect for this. I used spray adhesive; messy but effective. I didn't get the lines quite straight, but I am trying to let that go. I love the way it looks!

elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Or Nun's Puffs, if you prefer. But I would never miss a chance to say fart. Because I never grew up.

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The Challenge: 15. Sacred or Profane December 14 - December 27
In this challenge, be as divine or as devious as you like! It could be a food with connections to a religion, a dish served for sacred celebrations, or a concoction with a not-so-polite name. Whatever your choice, show us how naughty and/or nice you can be!
Ok so I am late, oh well.

I first heard of Nun's Farts, or pets de nonne, in the Green & Blacks Chocolate cookbook. Their version is baked and includes chocolate. The recipe I chose is fried and filled with whipped cream.

The Recipe: Nun's Puffs from A Text-Book of Cookery.

nun puff recipe

more! )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The day of our solstice party I finished this yarn wreath.

yarn wreath

I used this one for inspiration, and read a few tutorials which I've now lost. I love the way it turned out. Maybe the ribbon could be wider but I liked this velvet one with gold dots. But making this was SO tedious. Just wrapping yarn around the wreath form for hours. And then again. Forever. And a third time. Until I just gave up and lived with the remaining gaps. Then I spent 5 blissful minutes hot gluing the decorations on.

For our party I made these Linzer Sandwich cookies from Martha Stewart's recipe. They turned out pretty and delicious. It's extra work but you get such wonderful flavor from freshly toasting nuts.


I also made this highly addictive caramel matzo again, and everybody loved it. Thankfully I made a double batch and stashed it in the freezer. This is one thing I have to keep a close eye on, though, because I will seriously eat myself sick with it.

One last craft I made is this paper bow. I've been wanting to try some paper bows after seeing gorgeous ones online, so today I cut up a plant catalog and tried. Not exactly thrilling, but it was fun and it dresses up the gift a little.


Now I just need to finish wrapping gifts - crafty time is over! For a while anyway.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Challenge: 14. Fear Factor November 30 - December 13
What foods have you always wanted to attempt, but were afraid to attempt to make - or afraid to eat? Choose a dish that is either tricky to create or nerve-wracking to eat, and get adventurous! It’s historical Fear Factor!

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I honestly couldn't think of any food more terrifying to make or to eat than live lobsters. I am a most-of-the-time vegetarian; fish occasionally and poultry maybe once or twice a year. Usually no shellfish. They creep me out. Shellfish are weird, and icky, and are basically giant bugs that live in the ocean. Plus with lobsters you have to cook them alive, so yeah. But my HB loves lobster so I knew it wouldn't go to waste if I made it.

The Recipe(s): I read Mrs. Beeton's general notes on boiling lobsters, and I also used a recipe from National Cookery, below. This was a 2-day process.

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The Date/Year and Region: English/American, 1860s-70s.

How Did You Make It: I got the lobsters live from the local Coastal Seafoods store just down the street. We brought them home and put them in the sink to chill out while I boiled water in the canning kettle, the biggest pot I own. They were definitely alive! I thought one of them was going to flop out of the sink!

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By this point I was definitely starting to freak out, so I did what any good historic cook would do to calm her nerves.

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And, for your amusement, here's the video of the harrowing ordeal of getting them into the pot.

The rest of it - not for the faint of heart )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Challenge: 13. Ethnic Foodways November 16 - November 29
Foodways and cuisine are at the heart of every ethnic group around the world and throughout time. Choose one ethnic group, research their traditional dishes or food, and prepare one as it is traditionally made.

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Lots of progress photos! )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Challenge: 12. If They’d Had It… November 2 - November 15
Have you ever looked through a cookbook from another era and been surprised at the modern dishes you find? Have you ever been surprised at just how much they differ from their modern counterparts? Recreate a dish which is still around today, even if it may look a little - or a lot - different!

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Before I started dabbling in historic cooking, I would definitely have considered mac and cheese to be a very modern dish, something that originated in the kitchens of mid-century Betty Crocker types. But I found this recipe and this one here and realized how popular it was from the 18th century on.

The Recipe: I eventually chose Mrs. Beeton's recipe; without eggs or sherry, it made more sense to me.

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Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Challenge: 11. Foods Named After People October 19 - November 1
Beef Wellington? Charlotte Russe? Choose a dish named after a person, either fictional or real, to create. Bonus points if you tell us about the link between the person and the dish!

HFF 11 (4)

The Recipe: Queen Esther's Toast from p. 239 of National Cookery.

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The story of Queen Esther is fairly well known, but I have no idea what makes this "her" toast. It looked like a recipe for French toast, so I knew it would be yummy. My husband's family background is Jewish so I enjoy experimenting with traditional Jewish cookery, and that's part of what drew me to this dish. This is technically for Purim, which is in spring, but it fit the challenge!

Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
My HB and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this week, so I coordinated this challenge with our day and made a fancy cake!

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The Challenge: 10. Let Them Eat Cake! October 5 - October 18
The 16th is the anniversary of the beheading of Marie Antoinette (zut alors!). In honor of Madame Deficit, prepare your best cake from a historic recipe. And then eat it, bien sur.

Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
First of all, we tried the green tomato pickles from the last challenge and I updated that entry in case you are curious.

The Challenge: 9. The Frugal Housewife September 21 - October 4
Throughout history, housewives and housekeepers have kept a close eye on their budgets and found creative ways to pinch pennies while providing delicious and nutritious food. Create a dish that interprets one historically-documented method of frugal cooking.

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The Recipe: Beans baked in sour cream from the 1939 book Appetizing Meals at Lower Cost. I think "lower cost" says it all, don't you? But my other argument for frugality is the use of beans - a cheaper protein source than meat.

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More! )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Update below: we tasted them!

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HFF 8)

The Challenge: 8. In a Jam (Or Jelly or Preserve) September 7 - September 20
It’s harvest time in the northern hemisphere, and springtime in the southern hemisphere. Make something either to preserve that produce that you’re harvesting, or replenish your supply after the winter! Fruit and vegetable jams, jellies, and preserves are the focus!

Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Challenge: 7. The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread August 24 - September 6
Create a food item that reflects historical food improvements. Showcase a new discovery in food preparation, a different way of using food, or a different way of serving it. Make sure to include your documentation!

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I decided to base my challenge on the introduction of potatoes to Europe by using the earliest potato recipe I could find. My recipe is from 1664, by which point potatoes were commonly cultivated and eaten, but as you can see in the introduction to the book linked below, people were still trying to increase production of potatoes and encourage their general use as a food.

The Recipe: Potato Pudding, recipe here: http://povertystudies.org/Links/Rhwymbooks/Ode/Ode-PoliticsOfPotatoes.htm

How to Make Puddings of Potatoes, either Baked or Boiled

For to make puddings of potatoes, you must take one half of the roots, boiled and broken, as before for bread, and one half of wheaten or barley flour, and mix them well together, with some kind of liquid, adding also two or three eggs to make it hollow, and what other cost you please, and having so done, you may either bake them in an oven or boil them in a bag, and being well baked or boiled, and then buttered (or they may be made with suet if you please), they will be as pleasant in taste and as wholesome as if they were made only of wheat.

In this case I am interpreting "pudding" as an eggy bread-type thing, like Yorkshire pudding for example. Not a custard or wet boiled suet thing.

Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Challenge: #6 Seasonal Fruits/Vegetables August 10 - August 23
Concoct a dish based on the fruits and/or vegetables that would have been in season and available to the particular time you wish to interpret. It needn’t be the place you are in at this moment, but it should coincide with the season!

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The Recipe: Described in Little Town on The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is really not a recipe as much as a suggestion. I have always loved the passages dealing with Mary's preparations for college. On p. 110 we find this:

"What would you like for supper, Mary?" It would be Mary's last supper at home.
"Anything you put on the table is good, Ma," Mary answered.
"It is so hot," Ma said. "I believe I will have cottage cheese balls with onions in them, and the cold creamed peas. Suppose you bring some lettuce and tomatoes from the garden, Laura."

Elsewhere in the book she refers to eating the tomatoes in dishes with sugar and cream, and sprinkling the lettuce leaves with vinegar and sugar.

More! )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Challenge: #5. July 27 - August 9 Pies! Make a pie! Meat, fruit, sweet, savory - but make sure it’s documented!

I wanted to do a savory pie because I love them so much and make them all the time anyway, but I knew I would have to dig deep for one that wasn’t meat, and then the almost-5-year-old (seriously, 5 already?!) piped up and requested strawberry.

None of my print cookbooks had anything; the closest was Mrs. Beeton’s jam tarts. I searched for “Victorian strawberry tart recipe” and came up with this page, which had a couple strawberry recipes but NO documentation. LAME. I cut and pasted the entire paragraph of text for one of the recipes into google search and came up with the source: The White House Cookbook from 1913.

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The details... )


Jul. 30th, 2014 03:05 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I could be sewing, but instead I am making pickles!


Teeny baby pickling cukes from the garden, the first cucumber harvest of any remarkable size so far this year. The dill is from the garden too. I didn't grow the carrots - carrot harvest isn't until October! I could've used garlic from the garden too, but I forgot and just reached for the cupboard.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
HFF 4 029

The Challenge: “Foreign Foods” July 13 - July 26
Make a dish that reflects the historical idea of “foreign” - either foods with a loose connection to foreign lands, named after faraway places, or attributed to foreigners. Real connections to actual foreign countries not necessary!

Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Phew, came in just in time on this one!

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The Challenge: Today in History June 29 - July 12
Make a dish based on or inspired by a momentous occasion that took place on the day you made it. Get creative - you would be surprised by all the interesting things that happened every single day!

Okay. This one was tough for me, which is why I left it until the end. The theme seemed random and I just couldn't find inspiration. In my perfect fantasy world I would have a 19th c book of letters exchanged by sisters detailing recipes, of course with meticulous instructions (and specific dates). Or possibly a newspaper column, dated, with a recipe. But no. While most of the historic sources I could find were dated by year, there were no specific days at all.

A few participants suggested websites like Today in History but mostly I found they just contained lists of battles and deaths. Not terribly useful for recipes!

My one idea was to base something off the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia 1876. Although there were many mentions of how great this event was and how much awesome food was served, the details were lacking. That is why this challenge was tough for me. The research was just not happening.

To skip to the good bit, here is what I eventually found:


This is Tufts Arctic Soda Fountain at the Exhibition, from Philadelphia's 1876 Centennial Exhibition on google books. It seems that ice-cream sodas were the hot new thing in 1876 and this Tufts guy had exclusive concession rights at the Exhibition, plus the teetotalers came and ruined everybody's good time so soda was the best drink on the block.

Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Challenge 2: Soups and Sauces June 15 - June 28
Soups, stews, sauces, gravies! Make a soup or a sauce from a historical recipe.

I've been reading Mrs. Beeton's and thought I would do one of her vegetable soups. I brought some turnips home, which the husband promptly made fun of, because he hates them. Everything else was stuff I had on hand. But as June rolled on, I felt less and less like eating hot soup, so yesterday I decided I'd better just make something and sat down with my thick paperback copy of Mrs. Beeton's and flipped.

After spending a few minutes reading hilarious excerpts aloud (ridiculously vague directions, servant management, uses of animal bladders, and so on) I settled on a salad dressing, which surely counts as a sauce.

Let's just get straight to the point: this was NOM NOM NOM.

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Okay, the details:

More! )
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