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Friday, November 26, 2010

Giveaway Winners!

Hey everybody!
How was your turkey day?
I left my camera at home so I could fully enjoy the day, and as a result I'm at the mercy of my mother for photos.  Everything was delicious and the company was great, so hopefully I can share with you soon.

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway!

The winners, as chosen by Tim from a hat, are comments number

2- Willa!
3- JOHN!
4- Lindsey! (She has a great food blog, check her out!)

Thank you all for entering, and for those of you who didn't win, I assure you there'll be a big holiday RB giveaway very soon.

Winners, email your addresses to culinarybliss AT gmail.com

Have a great day!  I'm off to fry up some homemade doughnuts and have coffee before starting our lazy day.  I can't think of a better thing to be doing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Preserving Broccoli, Snapshots, and A Rosie's Best Giveaway! Win some Granola!

Greetings everybody!
I have missed you, believe it or not.  I've been gone so long because I've been getting business stuff going while also managing to have some excellent personal time.  I started the business because I truly believe that it could become a full-time venture in the future, but for now I'm working hard to balance business development with my normal life, which includes downtime!
So I've done lots of cooking and socializing lately, and Tim and I even managed to squeeze in some preservation!  I'm going to show you how we preserved broccoli and some snapshots from the last few days, including the little dinner potluck we had recently. Then, I have a pretty awesome Rosie's Best giveaway to share with you!  If you don't care for broccoli or cute dinner guests, skip on down to the bottom of this post for details.
There are a few cold-hardy vegetables that are still around, and broccoli is one of them.  If you're lucky enough to have access to some, I suggest you scoop up as much as you can and preserve it.  While broccoli might not seem that exciting right now, I assure you that the little burst of bright green of frozen broccoli will be welcome in January.
Cut your broccoli into the pieces you'll use when you cook it.  They should all be around the same size.  (I apologize for the bad lighting in these photos.  We have to resort to a little lamp when cooking happens on dark nights.)
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We also prepared some romanesco.  In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful vegetables.
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We blanched the veggies in hot water for a minute, and then plunged them into ice water.
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Then we spread the cold florets onto a towel and got them as dry as we could.  After this, we set them on a sheet pan and stuck it into the freezer so the florets each froze individually and didn't stick together.
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From here you could throw them into a freezer bag, but we used our Foodsaver.
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I have some potatoes downstairs that I plan to use in a soup with this broccoli later.
Now I'd like to share a bunch of snapshots that I've taken in the last few days.
The nephew visited.  He turned six this fall.  Apparently age six is the big year that nephews become perfect assistants in the kitchen.  This guy made breakfast and lunch, and even did the dishes.  Here he's mixing up the dry ingredients for the chocolate chip pancakes we made.
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There was music on this visit, too.  Razi supervised.
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We've still got a few green tomatoes around in the kitchen.
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And these guys are everywhere, of course.  I took a picture of this one because her wings are half spotted and half solid.
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Iowa weather has been very strange this fall, and we had a sleepy day of fog.  The dark early morning light lit up the mist in the backyard.  (We've raked since then, I promise.)
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Finally, Tim and I were lucky enough to have a collection of generous friends over to welcome back an old friend who was in town for the weekend.  Everyone contributed something to the potluck dinner party, and we hosted.  I was far too busy to pull off everything by myself, but thankfully these girls came prepared.  They brought appetizers and side dishes, and we all constructed the main dish together.  It was so much fun to kick around the kitchen, wine in hand, and end up with a very impressive spread.  I contributed some Rosie's Best cookies for dessert, but you'll have to wait for those.
We set the table to celebrate the lovely Sarah.  I documented her taking a picture of the festivities for her daily photo blog, which you can read here.
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I love this photo, even though it's blurry.  I think it shows the anticipation of a big meal, and I enjoy all the small worlds combined into one shot.
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Eats.  We ate stuffed peppers and dates (you rule, Nikki!) before we even got to the table.  At dinner we passed around Indian-style lasagna, Korean sesame noodles, two quiches, and my contribution of baked brie with cherry jalapeno jam and Rosie's Best crackers (again, soon!).
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Eventually the party moved into the living room and Razi became the center of attention.
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I feel lucky to live my normal life and work on bakery stuff at the same time.
Speaking of which, how would you like to win a little piece of Rosie's Best?
Today I'm offering a giveaway of some Rosie's Best Granola for three lucky people.
I'm giving away one 10 oz. package of my best basic granola to three people who comment on this post.  First, the granola.
This granola is made with organic oatmeal, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, slivered almonds, chia seeds, golden raisins, honey* cinnamon, chia seeds, and a pinch of salt.  The honey comes from Noble Bee.
I love my granola because it's the right combination of crunchy and chewy.  This version is lightly sweetened with honey (or sorghum if you're vegan) and baked low and slow.
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If you'd like to win some of this granola for yourself
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here are the rules:
enter by leaving a comment and a way to contact you on this post.
I'll close comments at 9 a.m. and randomly select three winners this Friday after Thanksgiving, since you'll be bored and off work.  Each winner will receive 10 ounces of my basic granola in reusable glass jars.
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if you want extra entries, you can
tweet about this giveaway (here's a bit.ly of this post)
become a fan of my facebook page (here's a link)
blog about this giveaway
and be sure to leave a comment below indicating that you did so.
In the mean time, you can buy some Rosie's Best granola in kraft paper bags here-
or in jars here.
Thanks for your patience and understanding, and I can't wait to let you taste some granola.  So, enter!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Web Roundup, Food and Otherwise

Greetings everybody!

I'm back from a pretty darn exciting lunch meeting that I will tell you all about very
soon.

*I want to give you a big heads up that my etsy shop will see some changes this weekend and if you stick around to see them you just might get a chance to participate in a little Rosie's Best giveaway...*

Until then, I thought I'd share some of the interesting bits I've come across on the internet in the last few days in the hopes that you'll read them and share some links in the comments section.

blogs you should be reading:

Sustainable Food Jobs
This blog lists jobs and volunteer opportunities all over the country in the food industry.  If you're looking for either, this is your place.  It's also pretty fun to see what organizations are out there.


Pacing the Panic Room
This photographer from Florida shines because he's skilled, and he happens to have some pretty gorgeous subjects: his family.  His maternity series is amazing and his Do What You Love campaign with Gap has me actually sort of looking forward to Monday mornings.

Mother's of Invention
Jennifer lives in my neighborhood and I have been completely sucked in to her blog since I discovered it a few months ago.  She is a skilled writer and tackles life and love with grace and insight. 

Fair Food Fight
A great food politics blog.


Canille and Vanille
Gorgeous food, gorgeous photography.

Sweet Fine Day
The wife designer half of a Brooklyn confectionery runs this beautiful blog.  I fantasize about having gorgeous children and living in NYC, so I get my fix here.  (And from Maggie of course!)


Interesting articles you should read:

local dollars WORK

this article is being passed around and you should read it if you're in higher education.  The Shadow Scholar is an open letter from a professional paper writer.




others:

Local Harvest Supply
LHS supplies bulk local goods like fruits and vegetables in the Iowa area.  You can see the inventory they have on had and order from their website.

Maple Valley off the Grid Farm
Go take a vacation here, or at least get some inspiration for your home.

Community Cooking Club
I am taking some serious notes from this site. Gorgeous food and great company, what else is there?


So, dig in to these sites.  Before you know it I'll be back with some great stuff. 

Simple Lives Thursday #19

Here we are again at another installment of Simple Lives Thursday! 
These inspiring women host the blog hop with me-
Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS
and Annette at Sustainable Eats



We want to know, what are you doing to keep it simple these days?  Please take the badge above and use it on your posts that you link up below, and take the time to check out the amazing contributors.  I am inspired by them weekly!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Simple Lives Thursday #18

Hey y'all!
It's Simple Lives Thursday again! That means it's time to link up your posts telling us about what you're doing to keep it simple.
These blogs host with me:

Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS
and Annette at Sustainable Eats
So, link up your posts and be sure to note that you shared your post at Simple Lives Thursday so that others can find the hop.  There are some great posts already up, so please share and have a look around!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Sammich for Busy Nights

Hey everybody!

How are you?

I'm feeling a little more relaxed these days, and it's good.  Things with the business are chugging right along, but since completing my Master Gardener training I have reclaimed some personal time, which has significantly improved my attitude.

In the spirit of personal time, I'm going to make this post short and sweet.  I've been busy every night recently but have still managed to throw together whole foods most nights.  Some evenings that has meant a bowl of beans, salsa, and cheese with some kind of bread or chips.  (The carbohydrate I've been eating the most of these days has got to be my awesome Rosie's Best crackers, which I'll be listing in the Etsy store very soon.)

This sandwich is one that I've eaten myself and served to my mother and father while they were here helping fix up the wall in the kitchen.  It was met with universal approval and has reappeared in various forms on weeknights when we don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen but still want something satisfying that we can feel good about eating.

Begin with really good bread.  I got a potato loaf from the New Pioneer Coop.  I would not have picked up this loaf on my own, but I asked a baker for his recommendation and it turned out to be perfect.  (Thanks, Josh!)  Pick something that's soft enough to chew on but has a good crunch.  A loaf with a little sugar, be it in the form of honey or the potatoes in the bread I used, will get a really nice crunch when browned in the pan.

Coat the surface of the bread with some mayo (I use Vegenaise) and stone ground mustard.

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Layer on the meat and cheese of your choice.  We had local sliced ham and pepperoni from Applegate farms.  (Though I'm rethinking these now reading the comments by the reviewers about the presence of corn.  Still on the hunt for good pepperoni!)  We used jack cheese.

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Add some sliced apples.  We went to an orchard a few weeks ago and have had apples sitting in the crisper drawer ever since.  If you keep it humid in there, they'll do well for a while. Pick a firm apple and slice it thinly.

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Butter both sides and fry it up.DSC08899.JPG

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You might have noticed that I put potato chips in my sandwich in these photos.  I can't help it.  I love the taste of salty, crunch chips on a sandwich.  Especially if they're salt and vinegar flavor.  We also cracked into the first jar of pickles to accompany these.  We made another variation by slicing the pickles and putting them on the sandwich, omitting the pepperoni, and adding more mustard to play on the idea of a Cuban.

This sandwich is great sliced and served with a cold beer,

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or with a special bottle of red from your golden birthday.

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I'll be back soon with more updates.  (To give you an indication as to where my mind is, I typed 'bake' instead of 'back' the first time.)

What are you eating for dinner these days?  Things have slowed down on the produce front, but we still have lots in the basement to inspire cooking.

Until next time, I'd love to hear about what you're cooking and eating these days.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

HELLO THERE! An Update with Ups and Downs

Hey readers!
Wowza. It has been some week.  For a moment I thought I was alone in my feeling that last week was quite possibly the longest one ever, but my students and friends seem to have had the same experience.  We're headed into the holidays, but not quite there yet.
Personally, I've experienced a few days filled with moments that were completely thrilling and others that had me in tears.  As you might have heard, opening a business, especially a business out of your home with yourself as the only employee, is a stressful experience.  One might question my timing, with October through December being the busy season in most businesses.  But, when things fall into place for me, I tend to try to listen and run with it, whether or not it corresponds with my plans.
So, last time I saw you I declared Rosie's Best open for business.  In that time, I've made significant progress, but the best is yet to come.
The good stuff:
Unrelated to the bakery, my beautiful niece finally arrived.  She was two and a half hours too late to be my birthday buddy, but I've fallen in love with her just the same.  She's pretty great.
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DSC08997.JPGThis photo makes me so happy!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Simple Lives Thursday #17

Hey everybody!
I hate HATE it when I only post once a week, and I'm sure you do too, but this week has been unbelievably busy.  (Who would have thought starting a business three weeks before finals would be so stressful?)
I'm going to go ahead and put up Simple Lives Thursday, where we share what we're doing to keep things simple.  I'll have a big 'ol update for you later today or tomorrow.  Let's just say whoopie pies are involved, ok?

Remember, these blogs host with me:
Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS
and Annette at Sustainable Eats

link up below, check out all the other awesome bloggers, and stay tuned for an update soon!


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