And we’re back!

From Mexico that is.  Sometimes you need a recharge and sometimes you just plain need to get out of the country and experience another culture’s food.  We needed and found both.

In the coming weeks we will be posting our version of several different tasty treats (all gluten free) that we enjoyed to the fullest in Mexico.  Empanandas made only with masa, pork in chile verde sauce, tamales and homemade tortillas to sop up the sauce, shrimp tostadas and sopes, little masa saucers filled with pork or beef in a red chile sauce.  But for now, we are catching up on our spinach, broccoli and tomato sauce cravings after two weeks of street food in Mexico, so these photos will have to suffice:

Mexican garnishesCheese emapanada made wtih masa
tortilla making on an open firepork in chile verde, Chacala
finished sopeSalsa

Hungry yet?
i’m out

January 3, 2010 Dinner and a Movie

I haven’t posted in quite a while and have been wondering how to get back in the swing of things.  I glanced down at my menu plan and decided that I would ease back into blogging by posting our menu for the week.    This week’s host is Manda at Asparagus Thin and the theme is dinner and a movie.  I have attempted to add any fitting movies as I go along.  Mostly they are related to the cuisine we are cooking that eve, at least regionally close or a comedy about a key ingredient.  They are linked from our Netflix account, so hopefully it works so that you can click on the link and see more about the movie.

I switched jobs the first week of November and now have less time to cook in the evenings, so am working on making our weeknight meals less complex and/or prepping items a night ahead.  It is super cold here in Michigan, resulting in a lot of cold weather, hearty foods this week, that and we keep our house at 63F, so it’s cold anyway.

Saturday: Jaeger Schnitzel with parsley buttered noodles, mushroom sauce and broccoli with lemon and red pepper flakes (East/West)

Sunday: Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc fried chicken (brined with lemon, garlic and thyme) and greens from the freezer cooked with one of our smoked hocks.  Using one of my brothers organic free range chickens.  Breaking down chickens is really not my favorite thing to do, but I am relying on this dish to make the effort worthwhile! Greens, pork and chicken all local. (Food, Inc.)

Monday: Chalupas/gorditas (masa boats) topped with chorizo and cheese, sides of chile de arbol tomato salsa and tomatillo salsa from Antojitos (a book on Mexican cooking)  and Rick Bayless’s Every day Mexican; maybe empanada de platanos if I didn’t over roast my plantains, they seem pretty dry.  Pintos too, into the crock pot they go on Sunday night. Pintos are from MI and the chorizo. (The Milagro Beanfield War)

Tuesday: Swiss style fondue and a big green salad with a lemon olive oil dressing.  We will be dipping toasted GF bread and potatoes (so more of a raclette really) and maybe I can sneak some carrots or zucchini in as dippers.  It is fricken cold here in Michigan, time to break out the fondue pot. Potatoes are from the farm, but that’s it for this meal.  Fondue from Trader Joes. (no movie but the winter Olympics will do here, it’s always cold there and this is a great apres ski meal)

Wednesday:  Inside out stuffed poblano peppers. I love stuffed peppers, but Eby doesn’t like peppers unless they are chopped up small, so inside out is the compromise.  Rice, local grass fed ground beef,  our canned tomatoes, garlic from the farm, poblano peppers, Michigan onions, cilantro and cheese.  Comfort food baby! (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes )

Thursday: Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking by Paula Wolfert:  slow cooked pork with sage, mustard and tomatoes.  Will be using our pork, our sage and our tomatoes, mustard, not local.  This will be converted to a crock pot dish, prepped on Wed eve, into the crock on Thursday morning. (Julie & Julia)

Friday: Cabernet braised short ribs with gorgonzola polenta and herb gremolata.  I find I have zero motivation to cook on Friday nights after working all week (I have to use my brain a lot more these days) so this will be ready when I get home thanks again to the crockpot. (Volver , I couldn’t find an Italian movie with the humor I wanted, so you get a Spanish one).

Pretty much the majority of our proteins (chicken, pork, beef, eggs and dry beans) are all local, even our tofu is local on occasion.  I see that fish is missing from the menu this week, we will fix that next week.  Some of the fish we buy is from MI, perch, blue gill, whitefish, salmon in season but other than that we don’t have a choice if we want some variety.  We are lucky enough to have a freshwater shrimp farm about 1/2 hour away and they are reasonably priced.  What this all means is, I am working on redefining and refocusing my blog to capture more of the locavore-ness of our lives.  I am gluten free and everything we cook is gluten free and I even gave up eating spelt a year ago.  I am really bad at posting recipes (but am happy to tell you how I made something, I just never measure), so I won’t say I will post more recipes, but I will give you great food ideas, great photos of food (new camera), garden and nature and the occasional recipe.  Our getaways are typically food oriented, so you will get a bit of that here and there as we try to focus on what is local where ever we are.

it feels good to be back

i’m out

The Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition!

Just outside your window

Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition

The Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition!

Come join us for a taste of Michigan and support locally raised foods and Michigan wine, cider and beers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009
1 pm to 5 pm
Red Salamander
902 E Saginaw Hwy
Grand Ledge, MI 48837

Are you ready to come and sample?

Your ticket includes as many stews and soups as you would like to taste, a souvenir tasting glass and 4 beverage tasting tickets. Additional beverage tasting tickets will be available for purchase at the event.

Tickets may be purchased online here:

Tickets are $25 online and will be $30 at the door. For more information about the event visit us online

This is the latest opportunity in Michigan to highlight locally grown and sustainably raised food! Michigan Envirothon will be hosting the Inaugural Michigan Sustainable Stoup Competition on Sunday, October 25th, 2009 in Grand Ledge Michigan.

This is a statewide cooking contest open to individuals and restaurants in Michigan with a focus on local, sustainably raised foods and it’s for a good cause: a fundraiser for the Michigan Envirothon Program.

Envirothon is a non profit statewide environmental competition that gives high school students outdoor, hands on experience with nature, agriculture and the ecology that surrounds it. These are the young adults who will be the next scientists, foresters, wildlife biologists and farmers. For more information on Envirothon and to learn how you can get involved locally visit:

Stoup can be a soup or a stew, or even chili, as long as it is cooked in a pot with locally raised food, it can be entered!

What could be better than Sustainable Stoup? A Sustainable Stoup Competition along with a Michigan wine, hard cider and beer tasting! We will have samples from Michigan wineries and breweries and even a few hard cider makers along for the event to give everyone attending the full circle Michigan experience. The goal of this event is to promote sustainable agriculture, farmers markets, backyard or community gardening and Michigan beverages. It will be a tantalizing, tasty competition for the best stoup in Michigan.

Winners will be selected by a panel of guest judges. Attendees will vote for the People’s Choice award. Winners will be featured on the Select Michigan and the Michigan Envirothon website and be announced via a press release.
A $500 cash prize will go to the Best Stoup in Michigan winner and we have prizes for each category, including the People’s Choice Award.
Artwork from Michigan artist Linda Sprout Broughton will be available for purchase at the event. Her pieces are featured in the picture above.

i’m out ….. see you there!

Menu of the Week July 6th: Garlic!

Where does the time go?  How did I have more time in winter than now to blog when the only thing that has changed is the amount of daylight (and a growing garden).  The garden is care free now, at least until  the weeds are about a foot tall, then I might pull them.  We did some heavy paper and mulching in the garden bed, so the weeds have been holding back pretty nicely.  Just have to water and wait, wait and wait for harvest.  It was a cool spring and has been a cool summer with the exception of one week.  I love it cooler, but the growing stuff in my yard doesn’t.

Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s gluten free menu swap and the ingredient is garlic.  She is already harvesting a multitude of produce from her garden, including garlic.  All we have are herbs, greens (which I haven’t harvested as the CSA is keeping me well stocked in greens) and broc rabe, which went to seed in a day, maybe two, so we didn’t get to eat it, but I am saving the seeds.  Every dish I have listed below has garlic in it, and some like the marsala dosa have garlic scapes too.  We did get some fresh baby garlic from our CSA last week which has been really nice to use.  Strawberries are finally in season here in mid Michigan and I eat them as is, rarely altering them from their normal state.  I love strawberries.  I have some from my cousin’s farm in the fridge right now.

Monday: Southern Indian night with marsala dosa’s (spicy potatoes in a rice/lentil sourdough crepe) and a Kori Ajadina that Eby is whipping up as I type.

Tuesday:  Grilled stuffed flank steak pinwheels from Cook’s Illustrated.  Sides will be derived from the CSA, maybe salad, maybe greens, depends on what I end up with as we can choose from a variety pack.

Wednesday: lunch – packing a sandwich with an Against the Grain Gourmet bagel (so delish!).
my GF bagelwich with MI strawberries

Dinner: Spanish style tortilla with our eggs, potatoes, chorizo, herbs and scallions, green salad on the side, all based on another Cook’s Illustrated recipe this week.

Thursday: Chinese Stir fried Chicken and shrimp (shrimp for me, chicken for Eby) with snow peas and grilled bok choy (snow peas and boy choy are on the CSA list this week)

Friday: Avgolemono Soup with dill (using our eggs), grilled Greek seasoned halibut or cod (whatever the store has that is wild and fresh), chopped Greek salad and rice pilaf with mint.

Sat or Sunday: Pork chops grilled with grilled chile rellenos and ancho sauce from this month’s Bon Appetit.  The pork and potatoes are local.  Chiles, we have 2 months to go before they are ripe.

i’m out