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Entries in food (4)


Backyard Farming

© 2010 David MandelAlex and I went to law school together. Since we graduated, we don't practice the same kind of law, so we haven't seen much of each other, but he's on twitter, and, well, you know I'm on twitter, and so we've been keeping up with each other that way for a while.

A couple of months ago Alex posted a link to a YouTube video of what looked like the work of a slightly crazy vegetable genius. Buckets linked together with pipes in long rows, water trickling out of drip hoses, and a bumper crop of vegetables growing in white, rocky sand. No details about where he filmed it or who had built it. And then I realized...Alex had built it! And? And? He has chickens!

I promptly invited myself over to check it out (with husband and son in tow, because CHICKENS), and Alex graciously accepted my invitation. And what it may lack in traditional pastoral beauty, it more than makes up for in functional, rocket-science-y cool. 

See more of Alex's back yard farm, now featuring 100% MORE CHICKENS. . .

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Chicken Pot Pi

Chicken Pot Pi © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist
Happy Pi Day, friends! What? You don't celebrate 3.14? The day devoted to all things circular, mysterious, and immutable? Hmm. You may not be nerdy enough for this website.

I love pie. But I really love pi. Like, as in, I wrote a poem about it. But I really love that March 14, also known as 3.14, is a chance to indulge in pastry goodness in the name of the great ratio.

In that spirit, I set about to make a pie worthy of Sunday supper: a chicken pot pie. Now I know at least one person who is so traumatized by the childhood spectre of frozen pot pies with pearl onions and english peas that I can do nothing to remedy her image of the dreaded pot pie. But I didn't grow up with pot pie—my mom never made it fresh or frozen—so I have no ties to the old ways of doing it. As an adult, I have tried many a pot pie--some good, some, well, if you can't say anything nice... I had one a few months ago that featured a light broth studded with edamame and lima beans, and it was fabulous. And another not too long ago sported a thicker bechamel-y sauce chockablock with duck confit and carrots. Also fabulous.

For my version, I wanted to make personal-sized pies. Because who doesn't like tiny food? But I didn't want to go the route of most personal-sized pies I've had: a pie served within a piece of hot crockery. My little boy is pretty clever, but I didn't think it was fair to serve him a molten piece of ceramic filled with boiling bits of chicken and vegetables. So I used my tiny springform pans (available in my OpenSky shop) to make personal pot pies that could stand on their own.

Continue reading Chicken Pot Pi . . .

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Tortellini! Recipe and Video Tutorial

Photo © 2010 David Mandel // Ampersand Industries

A few weeks ago, my dad gave me a hand-crank pasta machine that he hadn't used very much, hoping, perhaps, that a new machine would cure me of my curious wafflemania. It worked like a charm. I am now totally pastamanic.

This weekend, while fiddling around with the machine, I decided to make filled pasta. But there was one problem. I had no ricotta, no ground meats, no beautiful vegetable purées with which to fill my pasta. But there was a fresh carton of plain, whole-milk greek yogurt. Why couldn't that be a filling for tortellini or ravioli? Friends. Friends! It can be a filling for tortellini. A gorgeous, silky, tart filling. When both my husband and my son (he of long months of entrenched mistrust of all things pasta) devoured it and asked for more, I knew I had a winner on my hands.

And so my husband and I put together this wee (ok, "wee" is a bit misleading, since this thing clocks in at 20 minutes) video tutorial illustrating from start to finish how to make the semolina pasta dough I used (no eggs!), the filling (eggs here!), and the classic tortellini shape. This was our first crack at making a video. I hope you guys like it. But be forewarned. There is a fair amount of 1) me talking and 2) my ghostly pale skin throughout this video; only the brave should venture forward:

Click here for the recipe and video:

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Resolved: A calendar, the seasons, our food, and a plan (of sorts)

Updated on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 7:03AM by Registered CommenterCameron Blazer

Happy New Year!

I love New Year's Day. New Year's Eve, not so much. But New Year's Day I love. Especially when it falls on a Friday. Other than the long weekend aspect, I love, love, love the food. In South Carolina we traditionally eat pork, collard greens, and peas and rice (or Hoppin' John) on New Year's Day. Like many food cultures, each of these foods symbolizes a hope for the new year—for plentiful food, money, and luck.

Continue reading...

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