The temperature has been hovering around 90 degrees (and then some) for the past few days and I absolutely love it. Yes, it is hot. Yes, it makes my bike commute borderline painful. Yes, I can step out into the sun and basically wilt into a puddle of sweat within minutes and yes, I still love it.
But even though I adore the heat, I can definitely appreciate a few things that offer some cool relief — a cold shower, an even colder beer and, of course, an icy refreshing dessert. And while I have been absolutely digging Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt this summer, there is nothing quite like homemade when it comes to frozen treats. And, coincidentally, my husband recently brought home a brand-new ice cream machine that needed to be broken in.
Our first creation was a little different than the usual ones he makes at work (think foie gras ice cream and nutterbutter gelato). I wanted something lighter and slightly healthier, so I convinced him to make a frozen yogurt instead.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned how much I love beer. I love beer so so very much.
Sometimes I think I missed my calling. Maybe I should have been a brew master instead of working in the food industry. Luckily, I have plenty of open evenings in my life to freelance as an unprofessional, unpaid beer taster — which is probably way more fun anyhow.
And happily, I live in a town known for its numerous micro-breweries and year-round beer festivals, both of which help me indulge my fondness on a regular basis. There are also quite a few upscale beer markets to frequent when I’m looking for something a little more unusual, like a fancy Belgium style beer or maybe a sour ale. I tend to shop mainly at the Belmont Station, because it’s the most accessible to my house, but there are plenty of other fun beer shops in Portland to explore as well.
I never really thought I’d throw a whole party centered around bees and honey, but now that my birthday party is over, I think it was one of my favorite party themes to date. And that’s saying a lot given … Continue reading →
There’s something you should know about me. I take my birthdays very seriously. I start planning in the fall, and then comes January, my crack-down period, so that when the big day finally arrives in February, I’m ready for it. I like themes, I like games, I like prizes and I go all out. I figure that it’s one time when I get to make all of my different friends come together in one place — it only happens once a year and damn it, I want it to be memorable. And, after the fog of the excessive drinking has lifted, everyone usually agrees that it is.
This year’s theme is honey. It started, thanks to Pinterest, when I saw an invitation involving a “queen bee” and it seemed perfect. I actually used to refer to myself as a queen way back in middle school, so much so that my favorite crossing guard Francis (who was just an awesome lady) even gave me a Queen of Everything shirt once. So I mentally crowned myself Queen B (bee, birthday girl, bitch, it’s really all encompassing) and got to thinking about how I would incorporate the idea into my party.
I have always been a huge fan of the onion family — raw, sautéed, grilled, whatever, however — you name it and I love it.
As a kid, my family used to be alternately amused and disgusted when I would stuff my face with fresh chives from my grandma’s garden. I would eat so many, my eyes would practically water but yet I couldn’t stop. Then I would run around and breath on people. Yeah, I was a charmer.
So when I saw this recipe for an onion honey tart made with puff pastry, I was sold. I have been meaning to make this forever, well since February 2011, but I never have créme fraiche around. The fact that I just wrote that sentence is one of the many things I miss about being a professional cook. In a restaurant, everything is accessible, especially in a fine-dining kitchen where Marcona almonds, Epoisse cheese and foie gras are always around. Not that I encourage stealing from work, but I doubt if anyone would have missed a scant half cup of créme fraiche. Of course, it wasn’t hard to find it in a more honest fashion — I bought a little container at an upscale grocery store and it certainly wasn’t expensive, about $6 for 7 oz. And now that I have some left in my fridge, I’m sure I can find a few more recipes I need to make soon.