Tag Archives: cooking

Hunger Games food round-up

It’s no secret that our family is a little obsessed with the Hunger Games trilogy. The movie version opens this week, and I would guess that probably a full fifty percent of my waking hours are devoted to thinking about the Hunger Games. Krista wrangled up a collection of Hunger Games-inspired food for your District 12 parties this week.

Photo via Instructables user thatgirlwithacurl

We are in love with this step-by-step instructable for District 12 Coal Cookies! We might just be packing these for the midnight screening!

Check out The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook if you need 150 recipes to get you started.

Photo via San Jose Mercury News

A reader submitted feast for ‘Hunger Games’ enthusiasts from the San Jose Mercury News.

Photo via The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post’s Kitchen Daily collection of ‘Hunger Games’ recipes, including apple-goat cheese tarts a la Mellark’s Bakery.

Photo via Fictional Food

Fictional Food has a ton of Hunger Games recipes. The blogger goes by the name Greasy Sae, after all. What a cool idea – a blog entirely of food inspired by books, television, movies, and such.

Photo via Lizy B Bakes

Lizy B Bakes shares her method for these works of art here.

So what kind of snacks would you pack for a freezing cold midnight showing of the Hunger Games? May the odds be ever in your favor, and may the moviemakers not destroy all of our hopes and expectations with this movie!


Filed under food

food blog favorites

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own little bubble I forget there are a lot of folks out there who aren’t quite so obsessed with food. People often ask me where I get all my wacky food ideas, and while I do come up with some good ones on my own, a lot of credit goes to the wealth of knowledge on the internet for us foodies.

Here’s some of our favorite food related links:

the kitchn
This list is in no particular order, but the kitchn might just be my #1. Clever ideas, recipes, gadgets and gorgeous kitchen tours. And it’s all in that easy to navigate format all the apartment therapy sites share.

Food in Jars
Perhaps you’ve noticed we’ve been fixated on canning lately? This is the go-to site for us. Marisa drops all kinds of knowledge about putting up food, including amazing recipes. Her future book is the most hotly anticipated addition to our cookbook collection, and I don’t think she’s even done writing it yet.

Punk Domestics
I only recently discovered how great this is – a collection of user submitted ideas in categories like pickling, foraging, and home brewing. Oh, and infusions and liqueurs? Yes please.

Serious Eats
This is where I go to find out what is happening in the world of food. There is so much to learn, and they are on top of it. And it is not just eats, I really appreciate the Serious Drinks. Also, not to be missed is Photograzing. Users submit their food porn and you can just browse through the delicious links by picture.

Loads more recipes and ideas, but what makes CHOW extra special is their spectacular videos. While writing this, I just watched a short video in which a guy visited a farm and then went home and made squash blossom pickles and grilled cheese sandwiches out of zucchini bread and goat cheese. I’m inspired.

I love dessert. CakeSpy kinda eats dessert for a living, and I’m pretty sure that is actually the coolest job ever.

101 Cookbooks
There was a period of time where I’d search for certain kind of recipe and the one that sounded best always ended up being from 101 Cookbooks. I’ve made a lot of the recipes and have even gifted her cook books. Bonus points for including a lot of the whole food, whole grain, healthful stuff we try to eat when we’re not making ice cream floats out of Klondike bars and such.

When I want to make a cheesecake, I go to Epicurious and search the word “cheesecake”. I knew I wanted to make a cheesecake, I just didn’t know I wanted to make a malted milk chocolate cheesecake. Try this method. It’s brilliant.

Food Network
What can I say, we don’t have cable TV but we’ve got online access to lots of recipes from celebrity chefs and I love making their food. A little more mainstream than some of the stuff we read, but there are great ideas in there. Search “soda,” for example, and find that Alton Brown has a celery soda recipe. I have got to try this.

Martha Stewart
When in search of a recipe, I often go directly to Martha. Does she even need a last name?

So, fellow food nerds, what am I missing out on? Do you have a favorite that didn’t make my list? Do tell.


Filed under food

Ikea’s Jam Factory Kitchen: When Can I Move In?

Our list of perpetual projects includes a kitchen remodel someday. I collect images of inspiration constantly, but yesterday Ikea posted the best kitchen on the Swedish Ikea blog. They call it Jam Factory. Everything I know about this kitchen is based on the Google Chrome translation from Swedish to English, so be gentle.

This kitchen has a lot of work space and a lot of storage space. There is plenty of room for a few stock pots. There are lots of shelves to store your jammed treasures and several baskets of lemons and limes. There are fresh herbs within an arm’s reach so you can tarragon your cherry preserves or basil up your strawberry marmalade. Over the island, they hung good lighting, which comes in handy if you find yourself hulling strawberries in the wee hours of the morning. There is a scale to measure your ingredients by weight, of course. I spotted a jelly bag draining on a shelf and at least nine different kinds of large metal spoons. I only hope there is a commercial stove just out of the photo’s frame with six big burners on so you can process everything at once and an oven so you can bake enough bread to eat all the jam. See more photos of the jam factory & links to all the Ikea pieces you need to build your own here. We were in no way compensated by Ikea for this post.

Photo: Carl Kleiner for Ikea


Filed under food, home

homemade cola syrup

I came across this recipe for homemade cola syrup in the New York Times, and I was intrigued. It’s adapted from the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain I keep reading about. I adore ice cream sodas and the idea of the old fashioned soda fountain. I wouldn’t mind a new career as a full time soda jerk. Until we find a way to make that happen in Olympia, I will play around with homemade syrups and bump up bottling my own sodas on the agenda.

This list of ingredients is so fascinating, I had to photograph each one. Could they really come together to taste like cola?

star anise

lemon & lime zest



citric acid



orange zest

vanilla bean

brown sugar


I prepared myself mentally for this to be medicinal or weird.

I’m not sure how, but the flavor really screams cola! You can taste subtle bits of individual ingredients but they come together. You have got to try this. No, it doesn’t taste like a Coke. It’s homemade, so it’s so much better.

I can’t wait until the wife gets home for rum & (not) cokes!


Filed under food

Her name is Cherry, we’ve just met

Jess, along with our good friend Jordan, worked some sort of miracle and scored local organic cherries for $2.50 a pound, with a couple bonus pounds thrown in for free. Last night we all convened at the Bearded Lady Food Company’s (literally) sweet commercial kitchen for a cherry processing pizza party.

In case you’re wondering, yes it was amazing to be in a commercial kitchen with a six burner gas range and a wall of deep sinks to wash everything. Jess could not stop talking about those sinks.

We all donned Bearded Lady aprons, even Levi, and went to town on 22 pounds of cherries. Levi looks grumpy here, but I assure you that is just intense focus. Together he & I stemmed and pitted all the cherries in record time. That kid can be a workhorse when we get him on board a project.

Okay, for the sake of complete accuracy we pitted all of the cherries except the two pounds that became Drunken Cherries.

We used the recipe from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s Put ’em Up but threw in a little vanilla bean. Sweet cherries, bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla bean? How can this go wrong? We also made her Classic Cherry Preserves from the same book, one batch with vanilla bean and the other with black pepper. BLACK PEPPER CHERRY PRESERVES? Tell me you don’t want to invite yourself over for scones.

We always joke about cooking all the way through a book, but Jess doesn’t know yet that I hope we can actually achieve that with this book.

I’ve also got cherries and sugar macerating in an attempt to make this cherry shrub recipe happen. You may recall we enjoyed cherry shrub cocktails for our anniversary recently. Learn more about shrubs here from serious eats. We are well on our way to our dreams of a house filled with all sorts of jams and jellies and syrups and shrubs, hooray!

In case you’re wondering what we ended up with from our 11 pounds:

3 half-pint jars cherry preserves
4 pint jars cherries preserved in simple syrup
1 quart jar of drunken cherries
1 gigantic batch of cherry shrub

and one leftover pound in the fridge – I’m leaning toward a fresh salad with cherries and cheese for dinner tonight.


Filed under canning

a little solstice indulgence

Since we recently took our first jar of honey from the bees, I decided we should make something a little extra special with some of that honey. What could be more special than homemade ice cream? And what better day to do this than yesterday, the longest day of the year (not to mention it got up to 79 degrees for us and our tomatoes).

While Jess and Levi were at work I prepared a simple mixture of four ingredients: organic cream, organic whole milk, honey from our backyard, and two vanilla beans.

Yes, we like to do some things old school around here. Ice and rock salt and man power.

Clementine helped oversee Levi’s work. He insisted he do all the cranking, which was fine by me.

And then she took a nap because it kind of takes forever to make ice cream.

We peeked inside 3 or 4 times before finding this.

Yes, it does taste as good as you imagine. Better, even.

I used this recipe.

And Jess is celebrating extra. Now that I’ve tasted the rewards of all the work we’ve put into the bees, I don’t want anything to go wrong so I’ve agreed we could fit another hive or two into the yard. I’m so proud of her for keeping these bees going through their first year, and now we have two busy hives pollinating the neighborhood and making our lives a little sweeter.


Filed under bees

when life gives you spongy seitan, make seitanade

Ugh, the worst thing that can happen when you make homemade seitan is a whole recipe’s worth of spongy seitan. It happens to the best of us. Unfortunately, I made a double batch yesterday. Two whole batches of super spongy seitan. It’s not inedible, but it ain’t good.

taste = good, texture = not desirable

I baked it after it came out of the broth spongy and wet. It certainly looks a little better, and it tastes pretty good, but that texture isn’t the most appealing for a protein. So I decided to make a loaf out of some of it, and here’s what I did:

salvaged seitan loaf

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finally diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2/3 a recipe of seitan (perhaps 2 cups? the recipe was from Vegan Vittles)
1 can navy beans
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 small carrots, grated
1/3 cup oatmeal

I sauteed the onion and celery until nice and golden, an then added garlic and sauteed a minute longer. Put everything but the oatmeal and carrot in the food processor and pulsed until well combined, being sure to leave some texture. My seitan was already on the salty side, so I didn’t need any salt. Then I just added in the grated carrot and oatmeal and combined. Threw it into a greased loaf pan and baked at 375 for about 45 minutes.

ready to go in the oven

It’s a work in progress. Next time I’d do bread crumbs instead of oatmeal, and add more, and use more seitan. It came out a little softer than I’d like, but we all agreed it was freaking delicious, especially with gigantic salads on the side: baby greens, cabbage, grated carrot, green onion, cucumber, and black beans. There was going to be red bell pepper, but I cut it open to find a big ol’ worm inside. Blech! Lucky for you, I was too grossed out to take a picture.

I think I’m gonna try to shred some of the seitan for tacos and turn some more into faux sausage patties. Even if it’s not perfect, it has to beat buying expensive, packaged proteins from the store.


Filed under food

Our first seven-course meal together

In honor of the vice-presidential debates tonight, we constructed a seven course meal in honor of this year’s historic vice-presidential candidates. And when I say “vice-presidential-themed,” I mean Sarah Palin-themed because let’s be serious folks: We Are Obsessed With Sarah Palin. Everything featured here is entirely vegan & made from scratch in our kitchen.

Apéritif: You can see WHITE RUSSIANS from Alaska

Bridge to Nowhere Mix

Pregnant Teenage Daughter Stuffed Mushrooms

Endangered Species Salad

Intermezzo: Swedish Barracudas

The Family Values Meal

Chocolate Moose Mousse with a Fossil-fuel Crust and a Raspberry Target on Top



Apéritif: You can see WHITE RUSSIANS from Alaska

This is my foreign policy experience.


Bridge to Nowhere Mix

Only half-dipped in case you want to say “Thanks, but no thanks” to the chocolate.
Featuring: brazil nuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, dried pineapple, and banana chips.


Pregnant Teenage Daughter Stuffed Mushrooms

Bristol’s secret surprise: The real show-stealing recipe of the night, just like an unexpected pregnancy in the middle of an election. Everyone says “whoa” about these mushrooms! We used this recipe.


Endangered Species Salad

A crisp white salad of jicama, endive, turnip & cucumber in honor of the polar bears and beluga whales from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Intermezzo: Swedish Barracudas

Despite Heart’s polite request, we could not pass up this reference.


The Family Values Meal

Vegan Salmon Burgers and Freedom Fries with a trio of dipping sauces:

– Lipstick Red Catsup
– Pit Bull Chipotle Sauce
– Hockey Mom’s special BBQ Sauce


Chocolate Moose Mousse with a Fossil-fuel Crust and a Raspberry Target on Top

We hope the election has an ending as sweet and satisfying as our meal,
with Barry O. in the White House & Palin back in the tundra.

Recommended Beer Pairing:


Filed under marriage