Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fig and Plum Crostata




This tale has a sad beginning, yet a very happy ending.  Here’s how it goes:

Approximately 3 years ago, upon our arrival in San Diego, my son Jake bought a young fig tree with visions of tender, purple fruit brimming with a sweet and seedy flesh that evoked visions of Godliness.  Not until this summer did the tree produce a bumper crop of this succulent produce.  We could hardly keep up.  Figs are very perishable and need to be picked at just the right time to enjoy them fully.  As summer moved on and cooler fall nights prevailed, we knew we had about the last eight figs on our tree.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Simple Kale Pesto



Kale pesto you ask?  Yes!  It’s delicious.  Kale is a “super food” and this leafy green is popular whether it's baked, steamed or sauteed.  Yes, even in pesto.  This king of dark green vegetables is a powerhouse of nutrition and flavor.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Potato Onion Bread



There’s a reason I don’t make homemade bread – it drives me crazy!  It requires patience, organization and the ability to not be annoyed by flour down the front of your shirt, all over the counters and floor (deep breath). I cursed myself for embracing this endeavor minutes into preparation.  It also contradicts the title of my blog, Virtually Homemade!  This bread is completely homemade, every single grueling step.

However, there was a pay off for this frustrating and tedious work.  First was the aroma.  The sweet smell of baked onions intermingled with the yeasty browning of the bread was enticing and comforting.  As well, the feeling of accomplishment when slicing through the crunchy crust as a waft of steam rises is wonderful.  Finally, watching my family devour it while butter settles into the nooks and crannies is pretty cool too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Apple Pie Muffins



“Good food has natural flavor, freshness, and honesty, and it’s only additives are the loving care and respect with which it has been prepared.”
                                                                                                David Wood

I sit here writing with the roof of my mouth slightly scorched from bubbling hot brown sugar.  It was worth it!  The Apple Pie Muffin’s warm fluffy cake and contrasting rich caramelized crumble with moist apples is divine, heavenly and addicting! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Orange Roasted Chicken with Beets and Green Beans



I believe it’s officially OK to start roasting chicken again.  It’s post labor day, the evenings are cooler and I feel comfortable cranking my oven up to 450 degrees and letting my chicken slowly brown and caramelize in this sweet yet tangy sauce.