Search around, let simmer...

Thursday, January 17, 2013


It's happening!
A switch, a swap, a transformation, a flip-flop
My blog is moving! Packing up its things, sweeping up shop, and changing.
Like me?
Oh the sentimentality...

I've come to change my diet, my life views, and my needs - This blog no longer really conforms, in spirit, to what I need it to. Still will I showcase by breads, bakes, thoughts and tribulations - just equal parts ethereal and epicurean.

Heres the address:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Soup For the Running Soul...

But no chicken to be had.
No, I had a long joyous run which went bad and decided an earthier fare would sooth my injured ego. Two birds with one stone, as it were, a Mushroom soup I had hoped to make - more than food but an outlet.

Oh, get to the point already!
Right, right; apologies. The show I watch as I write on Amazon Prime, "The Trip" is a rambling, comedic, attention-demanding romp through some of my favorite things: fine food and British comedy. Ironically, the food they eat bears no resemblance to the stereotypical bad-british-food-phenomenon.
But to each their own I suppose... Again, I digress.

Cookies, Books, and tea... they do these things to me...

I had hoped to recreate the tremendous Mushroom soup I adored at the wonderful Chaiwalla, free of cream and pretenses. It was a simply soothing, smoothly hearty, earthy amuse bouche which demanded a return.
It was a marvelous thing, served beside a sweetly chewy, apple-studded muffin; pure umami with a drizzle of rich and smooth olive oil juxtaposed with sweet spicy bread.
These are a few of my favorite things...

But here is my adaptation: The elixer of the gods.
Simple Portabella Soup

  • 2 pints Baby-Bella caps, washed gingerly
  • 3 sprigs of Thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded
Simply chop the mushrooms roughly and combine with Thyme leaves. Sprinkle with Cracked pepper as you like.
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion - Vidalia or Red but never white, you know... diced
  • 1 tbsp good EVOO and 1 tbsp unsalted butter or so
  • several sage leaves, torn small or diced up
Fun with Photoshop...
Sautee the celery, onion, sage, and oils until onions are translucent but not quite carmelized. Set aside
Begin to sautee the mushrooms in the now-empty pot you are left with and add...

  • a splash or about 2 tbsp of Red wine and a drizzle of honey.
Simmer the concoction stirring periodically. As the mushrooms cook down, reaching about a half of their original volume, add in the reserved onions and celery from before. Simmer again for a few moments, stirring as you so like.
  • a stifled teaspoon of vegetable bouillon (I like the jarred variety) and about a cup of water - warm or hot if you would.
incorporating these final ingredients, simmer for ten or so minutes, stirring again as you so wish. (Enjoy the aroma - it's key - and in respect for the Mushroom soup harbinger Chaiwalla, brew a cup o' tea, perhaps.)
Reduce heat and apply your preferred blending machinery: I very much like my Immersion Blender but a good stand blender or food mill will do wonders. Be careful to however not puree the soup into a paste: it should retain a thick porridge-like roughness but not full pieces of vegetable.

I Swear, plated it looks better and tastes still greater...

Perhaps Honey-Buttermilk beauties...
Serve with a crusty bread, sweet baked good like scones or muffins, and that cup of tea.
You might add a few slices of avocado or perhaps a nice tart apple. I do love that salty-savory-sweet triumvirate. 

As always: 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

As Time Goes By...

And not without remorse.
It's the holiday season, after all.

Is this it, getting older? Twenties only shortly underway and still I find myself with too little time to do the things I love - cook, blog, more than anything eat.
Pie, to carry the season with you
 Well, I find myself in quite a new place. Both my milieu newly discovered and sense of self lost but found and life is born anew like a rising sun across the snowy plains of a lazy January.
I, slave to its Honey-Whole wheat
Maybe more like the crusty bread of this tiny oven, spending my time to bake its wares.
Enough of the niceties: ever since Thanksgiving all I've wanted is to cook, serve, prepare, concoct. My battle with food rages on, appreciated but still unhealthy but at the end of this snowy day, I still stand.
College has been rough and I've begun to question just exactly what I'm waiting for - a college diploma in biochemistry or something more? I dream in the sensory and live too cerebrally but perhaps I'm just yet to stitch the two together.
Damn Straight?
But this ain't Christmastime in the city
I sit here on my couch, enjoying the scent of a rather experimental batch of sweet and salty, toasted-nut chocolate chip cookies. Sprinkled with Rye, sweetened with Maple, spiked with Bitters. What will become of them beside a dessert assuming I don't burn the second batch for writing?
Ah, Safe and Sound
And Still...I love it, This Homemade Cioppino
I cannot say but I trust they will be more than their parts. Maybe like my time in college, however uncertain it comes to be spent. Life at Umass is a step in the diaganol. Ahead is a similar path, behind old friends dearly missed but beside me still. The food is good at least! Never before have I read the word salmon unenthusiastically - a man can eat fish however delicious and novel so many days per week!
Holy Mackerel, talk about First World Problems.

I digress. I've come to bake up a storm in this snowy abode I find myself in. It and the woods I've explored isolating and insulating it have been my greatest medication - more euphoric than the runs I take or the little pills I curse still.

Well to get on with things - I really have been neglecting this blog now for some months, but I hope to change that in 2013!
To bluntly display my past few months pictorally - that will just have to do!

Cheesecake - no, not for me - thanks to Southern Living
Chard-Stuffed Haddock - yes Love it

But ok, ok, some of my favorite newly-discovered restaurants, a la carte...
The very best tea and flavors left to brew... Chaiwalla in Salisbury CT
Sandwiches, Soups, hot drinks too... Juice n' Java, Dalton MA
Hometown feel for a steal (alliterations, oh me, alas...) Martin's of Great Barrington
Bistro fare a la American - the pseudo-upscale affair? Firefly, Lenox Ma
Baked, not half, and bread to share? Pleased to meet you: Our Daily Bread, Chatham NY
Pub styling, tavern fare, rustic feel, unexpected dinner fare? At Old Forge, Lanesboro Ma
Last, never least... and Mind you, there is evermore yet to discover I'm sure
Hitchinpost Cafe, an unexpected in the unassuming - greatness in the middle of nowhere: New Lebanon NY

Now I'll be on my way, explore new flavors, and yourself.
May you find glut-enous peace
& Nature... ...
Just Enjoi!