On hot days like today, Kevin and I prefer to snack instead of having a full-on meal. So today, we snacked on radishes (French breakfast variety) and little crudité sandwiches. They were light, crunchy and delicious. I scrubbed the radishes, made an herb butter by mixing a pinch of sea salt and finely chopped parsley with maybe 2 tbsp of butter at room temperature. Tore the baguette with my hands (I also cut slices like in the photo below), buttered it up, put on the radishes, sprinkled some sea salt and added 3 or 4 onion flowers on top. No cooking required and almost no clean up. I felt like I was pruning a bonsai tree, cutting the flowers off the tops of the onions. 🙂 You can serve these as an appetizer or with a pot of tea in the afternoon. Enjoy!
A dish that I make quite often in our house is Spaghetti alla Carbonara (aka breakfast spaghetti). It doesn’t require much cooking and uses very simple ingredients. This is all I need to make lunch for two. By the way, when you get to the rind of your parmiggiano cheese, don’t chuck it! I’ll show you how to use it in soups like Pasta Fagioli or Pasta Ceci.
On market days, we try to leave the house early so we can be back in time to prepare lunch with our purchases. Today, however, we planned to have lunch at the market and left closer to noon. The extra sleep was nice, but we missed out on the one item I was looking forward to buying all week – a cranberry walnut sourdough!
This was our second visit to the Farmers Market in Old Town Ellicott City. By the way, was Historic Ellicott City always called ‘Old Town’? I always thought it was just OLD Ellicott City. When I hear ‘Old Town’ I think of Alexandria. It doesn’t really matter either way, but I grew up about 2 miles from there, you’d think I’d know this stuff. The market is set up in two separate car parks – Lot D and the Wine Bin. Don’t forget to check out both. On our first visit a few weeks back, we only stopped by the one in Lot D. We had planned to make a roast the following day, so I only needed some carrots and spring onions which I found at Down to Earth Farm’s stall and we spent the rest of the time sampling breads at River House Pizza Co. Their breads are amazing and the chef/baker/proprietor only makes them for the Saturday markets! We did bring home a baguette and an Italian herb focaccia and I really wanted to get the cranberry walnut sourdough and a pizza too, but I was being greedy. So we said we’d come back another day for those. And we did – TODAY!
Here is what we got today:
Spring onions with flowers, carrots, radishes (Down to Earth Farms), broccoli, potatoes, farm fresh eggs (Breezy Willow Farm) and cherries (Baugher’s Orchard).
Trying to use up the last of the produce I have in my fridge before we go out to the markets again this weekend. Unless I’m throwing a dinner party, I don’t have meals planned out in advance. I usually open my pantry and my fridge and make something on the fly. Before you start thinking I’m some kind of Iron Chef, let me be clear – I’m not whipping up culinary masterpieces! When I say ‘on the fly,’ I’m talking spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino, rice and egg, pasta with tuna, lemon and parsley, poor man’s bibimbop (rice, stir fried carrots and scallions in sesame oil, can tuna, fried egg, with bibimbop sauce) …very simple and easy dishes. In order to do that, I pretty much keep these items in stock – onions (scallions, shallots, anything in the onion family), garlic, parsley, carrots, lemon, can tuna, eggs, pasta and rice.
Have you ever been asked the question ‘If you could eat one food item for rest of your life what would it be?’? I remember growing up we’d always play those kind of question games with friends. ‘What would your last meal be?’ ‘If you could eat this or that which would you choose?’ ‘Would you rather run a mile in the snow with no shoes on or jump in a pool of rats covered in peanut butter?’ WHAT?! haha. Back to the original question, my answer would always be rice. You can do anything with rice – onigiri, kimbop, maki rolls, sushi, fried rice, rice with soup, rice porridge, rice cakes, rice tea, soju (that’s made with rice yea?), rice salad, rice everything! Can you tell I’m Korean? You’re probably asking yourself ‘What does baked eggs au provençal have to do with rice?’ Well, of all the rice dishes in the world, my go-to rice dish is rice and eggs. So simple – so perfect! If you were to ask me now what food item I’d eat for the rest of my life, I’d say the humble egg (I could still do rice too – rice and eggs haha). Every which way you prepare an egg, it’s always so delicious.
Egg and rice is something you make when you’re home alone and couldn’t be bothered to cook. It wouldn’t make much of a blog post, so today I’d like to share with you one of my more fancier egg dishes that I absolutely love – Baked eggs au provençal. I came across this recipe a few years ago. It’s from Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. I don’t necessarily follow her exact measurements, as with most savory dishes I make. It must be the Korean in me – a pinch of this, a pinch of that. It’s so hard trying to learn recipes from my mother, but I’ll save that story for another day. Here are the ingredients we will be working with today, plus parmiggiano reggiano, salt, pepper and a nice crusty baguette.
Nothing says summer like a few dozen steamed Maryland blue crabs and an ice cold pitcher of beer. Oh and don’t forget the hush puppies and French fries. French fries go with everything! I wanted to show you the proper way to open a crab (at least how I was taught to open them), but I didn’t think it through. As I got the crab ready for the shot, I realized my hands were now covered in seasoning. I should’ve just taken photos of my friends eating their crabs. I’m sure there will be many more crab feasts this summer, so look out for a photo tutorial – I’ll plan ahead next time.
I love to cook for my friends and family. It’s kind of like my love language. And if you’ve ever had our clafoutis, well that my friend is a big fat I LOVE YOU! <3
I remember the first time I had clafoutis was in Milan. I was hosting a potluck in my apartment and my friend Laura brought over a clafoutis she made with seeded grapes. It was a gorgeous buttery baked custard with warm juicy grapes. I didn’t care for the seeds so much and spit them out. But there were so many, after a while I gave up and just ate them. Mmm, grape clafoutis. I really should’ve asked her for the recipe.
The first clafoutis I made was awful. I don’t know what I did wrong but it was bland and thin and wasn’t buttery at all. Well I suppose I know what I did wrong – I didn’t put enough sugar and butter! And really, I think the recipe I found was useless.
Then one day last summer, we found a video recipe on youtube from Alain and Michel Roux Jr. We were in Ireland visiting Kevin’s family and we decided to give it another try. Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Alain et Monsieur Michel! It was quite possibly the best clafoutis I’ve ever had. Here is their recipe.
I’ve always had a difficult time waking up in the mornings. But tell me to meet you at a farmers’ market and you’ll find me getting ready before the sun’s up. Okay, I’m exaggerating, I won’t be up that early. Let’s just say it’s one of the rare occasions I don’t hit snooze. This morning we went to the Baltimore’s Farmers’ Market and Bazaar on Saratoga St. just under the Jones Falls Expressway. The market, as always, was bustling. Whenever my husband, Kevin, and I go out to a market, we make a beeline for the coffee vendor and grab a pastry or two before we begin. However, instead of our usual cuppa from Zeke’s Coffee, I decided to try something new and got my morning fix from a Thai street food stall. It was a half and half of sorts, not the traditional Baltimore half-n-half of sweet tea and lemonade, but a Thai Iced Coffee and Thai Iced Tea mix. So refreshing! We walked the market a few times before finally deciding on which produce to buy.