Elderflower Martini

So mysterious

So mysterious

This comes from the St. Germain website. St. Germain is one of those liquors that has no cheap counterpart that tastes even close, so pony up the bucks because it is good stuff.

We garnished with a lemon, but a lime twist is traditional.

French Gimlet

  • 2 ounces Hendricks Gin
  • 1 ounce St. Germain
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice place all ingredients and shake well. Pour into a cocktail glass, drink and repeat.

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(Not) In Our Kitchen

We recently visited some friends for a long weekend and as thanks for a free place to stay we cooked one day. Here are some photos of their fantastic kitchen and our meal.

First course served around noon.

First course served around noon

I really liked the chalk board as a cheese plate. Having the names of all the wacky cheeses made everyone sound like they knew what they were talking about without trying to figure out which crumpled plastic label went with which cheese. It also kept the food chilled longer.

A good start

A good start

Our friends liquor supply exceeds ours so we had many cocktails during our stay. Katherine found a forgotten jar of ginger pear preserves in the refrigerator and used it to make a simple syrup to flavor the bubbly. (Cook equal parts preserves and water over medium heat until thick and smooth then strain to remove any chunks. Use about a tablespoon per glass and throw in just a dash of Cointreau.)

All this for a soup

All this for a soup

For dinner we served Carrot and Red Bell Soup, Roast Veal Shoulder with crisp green beans, and Browned Nectarines for dessert. The menu was decided that day by what the farmers market in their neighborhood had to offer and the butcher had that was fresh. If we ever win the lottery that is how I would shop for dinner every day.

 

A fun kitchen element

A fun kitchen element

Another thing we really liked about their kitchen (aside from all the natural light) was the full sized chalk board on the wall. We had thought about doing the same thing during the kitchen remodel, but decided there was not enough space after all the cabinets went in.

 

Yes the ceiling and walls are covered in used soju wrappers

Yes the ceiling and walls are covered in used soju wrappers

Above is a photo of one of the best Korean restaurants ever. Bonus points if you know it.

Meanwhile back in our kitchen was one very unhappy dog. Mingus was waiting for us with an abscessed tooth.

He is better now

He’s better now

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup. Celia, we hope we didn’t break any rules by taking In Our Kitchen on the road.

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Baked Apple Pancake

It's like the surface of mars

It’s like the surface of mars

This is great as a course for brunch or as dessert for a night that breakfast was for dinner. The recipe is adapted from this one.

Baked Apple Pancake

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 large apple cored and sliced somewhat thin

Beat milk, eggs and cinnamon sugar together until light and frothy. Add flour and beat until a smooth batter forms. In a 9×13 pan place butter and place in an oven at 425 degrees. Melt butter and then swirl to coat pan. Place apples in one even layer and place back in the oven. Roast until apples and butter begin to brown. Remove from heat, sprinkle with brown sugar and pour batter evenly over top. Place back in oven and bake until pancake puffs up and begins to turn brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle powdered sugar over top.

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Garbanzo Soup

That cheese is toasty

That cheese is toasty

The slow-cooked beans really bring a fantastic flavor to this simple soup adapted from The Silver Spoon.

Creamed Garbanzo Bean Soup

  • 1 cup dried garbanzos soaked in cold water overnight then drained
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 slices bread lightly toasted
  • Melting cheese
  • Salt/pepper

Place garbanzos and onion in a large stock pot and cover with chicken stock and three cups water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer and cover. Cook beans for two hours, stirring occasionally. Pour cooked beans into a blender and puree. Pour back in the pot and season with salt and pepper. Ladle out servings of soup in oven safe bowls. In a small frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and fry until oil begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and discard herbs. Pour oil into soup bowls, top with toasted bread and cheese and broil in an oven until cheese bubbles. Serve hot.

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Sunday Suppers: Fall Soups

It’s cool enough to survive without air conditioning, but our weather isn’t quite fall-like yet. Still we’re ready for crisp autumn days to arrive, perhaps they’ll be here by December. Here are some of our favorite soups to herald fall.

Cheddar Potato Soup

What a seasonally correct background

What a seasonally correct background

Black Bean Soup

Ok, I had a yellow pepper instead of a green one in the fridge this time. Man people can be so picky.

Ok, I had a yellow pepper instead of a green one in the fridge this time. Man people can be so picky.

White Bean and Farro Soup

Drizzle more olive oil if you want

Drizzle more olive oil if you want

Sweet Potato and Fennel Bisque

Sage advice: Start with soup

Sage advice: Start with soup

Split Pea Soup

This is nothing like the soup that haunts a bad diner's menu

This is nothing like the soup that haunts a bad diner’s menu

Whole Pumpkin Soup

So much milky goodness inside

So much milky goodness inside

Sweet and Spicy Japanese Broth

If I could rename it, I think Katherine would like tofu

If I could rename it, I think Katherine would like tofu

 Squash Soup

Bacon fat is good for you

Bacon fat is good for you

Chorizo and Barley Soup

Spicy sausage

Spicy sausage

French Onion Soup

All that melted cheese is making me hungry

All that melted cheese is making me hungry

Ham Bone Soup

Beans are the magical fruit

Beans are the magical fruit

 Cream of Potato

The kidneys make this

The kidneys make this

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Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Or make a loaf of bread and some hamburger buns

Or make a loaf of bread and some hamburger buns

This is a recipe I adapted from my second favorite baker’s book, Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. I promise this is not an advert.

This bread is fantastic as a loaf but works even better shaped into buns for hamburgers or sausages. It freezes perfectly and can be easily doubled. It also only requires one rising, so it can be made in a rush if a bunch of people suddenly decide to stop by for a barbecue.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl pour water and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes, or until bubbles form. Add white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, buttermilk, salt, butter, molasses and baking powder. Mix on low speed or with a spoon until a smooth batter forms. 1/2 cup at a time work the remaining whole wheat flour into the batter until a rough dough forms. Allow each 1/2 cup of flour to fully be absorbed before adding the next. Turn the flour out on the counter and knead for 8 minutes, adding more whole wheat if necessary until the dough is a smooth ball the fills back in in depressed with a finger. Slice dough in half and let rest 10 minutes. Roll each half into a long rope. Cut each rope into 6 equal pieces and using the palm of your hand roll into a firm ball. Flatten each ball into a disc 1/2″ thick and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise 1 hour. 30 minutes before baking heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake buns until light brown on top and they make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Place on a wire rack and let cool before freezing or slicing.

If you want to just make loaves then form the two halves of dough into torpedos and place in a greased loaf pan to rise instead. If you want buns for sausages or hotdogs devide each rope into 5 equal pieces and roll into little torpedos.

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Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

Perfect as a coffee cake

Perfect as a regular cake as well

This is chock full of fruit. Apples or pears would work. We used pears because one of Katherine’s coworkers has a pear tree. Have we mentioned how much we like Katherine’s coworkers?

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups white all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups chopped pears
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • cinnamon sugar

Grease a springform pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add butter and beat until incorporated. Sift flour and baking powder into mix and stir to incorporate. Fold in pears and cinnamon. The batter will be very thick. Smush into the springform pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

 

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