At the end of June, I was in San Francisco for the ALA Annual conference. Most of the time I look forward to, or at least don’t mind, traveling for work. But this time, I wasn’t into it. It was a busier than usual conference for me – we had official events at the end of every day. I really didn’t get to see much of San Francisco aside from the immediate area around the Moscone Center. Rather than do a full writeup in my usual style, I think I’ll just hit the high points.
Not so recent at this point, but oh well.
Olivelle Pasta Rocks – I admit to some extreme skepticism when I got these, as I am in the “why bother?” camp when it comes to salting pasta water. But I made some pasta primavera and put them to use, and was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was. The first batch was a little too salty, but the second one was pretty much perfect. I don’t know that I would buy these when they run out (they’d be great for a gift basket though), but I will certainly be salting my pasta water more often!
Glossop’s No. 4 Hibiscus Ginger Syrup – We made the recommended recipe, an Outpost Drive. It was tasty, but frankly I really couldn’t pick up on the flavors of the syrup – the lime and tequila were too dominant. We still have some of this left, which might be an excuse to buy some prosecco or cava.
Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Dipping Sauce – Following the lead of the suggested recipe, I used this as the marinade for a skirt steak. The steak came out pretty well, but the sugars in the marinade burned pretty quickly in the pan – in retrospect, I should have either wiped out the skillet more frequently, or maybe done two batches in two pans.
Champagne Vinaigrette – Awesome recipe, highly recommend. I’ve made this at least twice this summer, it’s my preferred salad dressing right now. The only change I make is to leave out the hot sauce – I see no reason to add that. If you follow the instructions, this will stay pretty well emulsified. The olive oil will set up in the fridge, though, so you’ll want to pull it out a few minutes before you want to dress your salad.
Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry – A fast and very tasty recipe that Handsome made for us last week. We recommend removing the shrimp from the pan before you add the broccoli, and then combining it all right before serving. It’s a bit easier to make sure the shrimp doesn’t get overcooked, and also helps reduce crowding in the pan when you’re cooking the broccoli.
And a couple of older ones:
Red Thai Tofu from Appetite for Reduction – Tasty! Browning the tofu took longer than she indicated, but I think that’s more to do with the type of stove I’m working with than anything else. I added a pound of green beans to the stir fry, and made a little bit of rice to go with it,. This gave me four good lunch portions – without those additions, I think you’re looking at more like two servings. This will definitely be going in the regular lunch rotation – it was easy to put together, and also something I can easily cook at the same time I’m making something else, which is always a good thing.
Simple Turkey Bolognese – Handsome wound up making this and it was pretty tasty! We used my canned crushed tomatoes and the only changes we’d make in the future would be to cook the sauce down more, especially when using my crushed tomatoes, which are more watery than commercial versions, and perhaps add more crushed tomatoes to begin with, as I like a lot of sauce. (Yes, I know bolognese is not supposed to be saucey.) If I try to make more sauce, though, I’d definitely increase at least the wine and balsamic (which we forgot, oops), as the flavor was excellent. We used the Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon, which I think was well suited to this recipe. This came together pretty quickly and is a great weeknight meal. I think it would also work well as a this-is-not-really-a-sloppy-joe filling.
I know you do. Here’s two new recipes for you to try, tested and approved by us in the last few days, followed by two old favorites. Continue reading
- Olivelle Pasta Rocks
- Glossop’s No. 4 Hibiscus Ginger Syrup
- Whole Spice Granulated Honey
- Rock the Roll Ginger Sesame Barbecue Sauce
- East Shore Foods Dipping Fudge
- Preservation & Co. Green Sriracha
- The Bagel Shake Co. Original Everything Blend
- Jem Raw Organics Cashew Cardamom Sprouted Almond Spread
- Redcamper Strawberry Limoncello Deliciousness
- Charleston Gourmet Burger Co. Original Burger Marinade – This is a repeat for us, but one I am glad to see. The turkey burgers we made with this were delicious!
- Bitters, Brad Thomas Parsons
- My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha, Jolie Kerr
- Bossypants, Tina Fey
- Belle Cora, Phillip Margulies
- The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, Genevieve Valentine