Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stop and Eat Here

Last week, I was backing up my photos, because I love each one of them...okay, not true, but I am not discriminating enough..Anyway, I decided to try one thing..hit delete, and even though it warned me, I said, "Oh, yeah, sure. I know what I am doing....CLICK!"

And then they were gone. You know that sinking feeling you get? Yeah, that one. I  had it. I tried to be cool. But then I gave up cool and went and bought recovery software, ran it...and recovered 70,000 jpeg files.

Seventy. Thousand.

And proceeded to spend the next 20 gazillion days looking at each file. Well, until I realized that I only wanted to recover the large files or I'd be left with such low resolution that it wouldn't matter if I recovered it or not...
Long story short, I saw not only photos I'd lost, but photos I'd forgotten about. Like this one from Rosas Farms. (THE place in Central Florida for grass-fed beef--and more. Just check out the website.)

I love this sign because it just sums up the open door policy I would like to live by every day.

So stop and eat here!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Garlic Bread Throwdown or The Best Garlic Bread You've Ever Eaten

Whoa. If you want to get a few comments on your facebook posting, claim to be the one to make the best garlic bread ever.

So I did. Make that claim, I mean. I wrote it just after a very simple dinner of pasta and garlic bread. As I enjoyed the slice of garlic bread, I thought to myself, "I make the best garlic bread ever." Then my daughter piped up: "Your garlic bread is the best I've ever tasted." Mr. BabetteFeasts agreed.

So what else would I do but brag on facebook? That brag resulted in requests for the recipe, one challenge (you are on, Jeanne) and one description of another friend's method.

But I have the secret, and I will share it. Make a paste of the garlic and some coarse Kosher salt, then warm butter with that garlic/salt paste in it--let it sit (steeping, I suppose) while you prep anything else (get the bread out, put the pasta in the water, clean up a mess). I think this step takes some of the sharpness from raw garlic out of the equation and it makes ALL the butter flavored with garlic. Then brush that melted garlic butter onto GOOD bread (I got La Brea baguettes warm from the market ovens yesterday). Sprinkle with chopped flat-leaf parsley and some freshly ground black pepper--again, just a bare grinding or two. Wrap in foil, warm in oven. Eat.

Here are my proportions--very garlicky,'s called garlic bread, helllOOOoooo? Vary proportions as you like. Use good butter, too. I used some fresh from a local dairy during the week, some KerryGold from Ireland for this blog post so I'd have a photo.

Babette's Best Garlic Bread
For 1 12.5 ounce baguette
2 garlic cloves
1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 to 2 ounces butter, depending on how decadent you are feeling
1 (roughly) 12-ounce baguette
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Mince garlic then sprinkle with salt. Use a fork to mash garlic and salt to a paste. Place into microwave-safe bowl and add butter. Heat until just melted, stir, then heat another 20 seconds or so. Stir then let sit at least 3 or 4 minutes.
2. Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Generously brush each cut side  with butter, making sure you "scoop" up chopped garlic each time you dip brush into butter. Sprinkle with parsley and a few grindings of black pepper.
3. Wrap loosely in foil (if it's too tight, the crust doesn't brown as nicely--leave top almost open--the real purpose of the foil here is to keep butter from dripping out in the oven) and heat in oven until hot and crust is nice and crunchy--roughly 8 minutes. Cut into pieces and enjoy.

Then tell me it's the best garlic bread you've ever eaten.

Note: If you are using unsalted butter, you may want to add another pinch of salt to buttered halves before you put the baguette into the oven. Salt according to taste at that point.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

End of Summer Tomatoes: The Lunch Edition

I start making lunch:

I finish making lunch:

Any questions?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peach Passion Play

 It was late in the day when I finally made it to the local farmers' market a few weeks back. The peaches were practically perfect in every way (sorry--just saw the Broadway production of Mary Poppins, which was practically perfect in every way)--I'd already chosen one 3 or 4 lb. bag from one vendor. Then I was almost walking out when I thought: Hey. Let's get another little basket of peaches.

Well, how could I spend a little bit of money on a couple of pounds of peaches when the CASE was only $10. That's right. 23 pounds of peaches for ten bucks. I'm in.

I pulled the DMB (that's death mobile--the van I drive. Don't ask.) around, the farmer loaded the peaches up into the van, and I had to think was I going to work my way through that many peaches?

This is how:

There was the spur of the moment peach pie when a friend (Hi, Michelle Marie!) came for dinner.

There was the peach/vanilla/rum jam that the lovely Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial coached me through (pectin is...odd. Oh, and not so very easy to find. I'll try Celia's homemade pectin next time). Can we all just agree this jam is a little bit of heaven? It was supposed to be peach vanilla BOURBON jam (no problem with that), but rum was all we us? Nope. Lucky us because rum reeeaaaaallly goes well with peaches and vanilla.

There was peach ice cream AND there was ginger peach sorbet (oh, yum)

There was peach cobbler (meh. I shoulda made peach crisp--who doesn't love the crisp part of a

And of course there were as many juicy, ripe, lovely peaches throughout each day until they were all gone.

Believe it or not, I'm heading out again tomorrow, hoping I find another case. Oh, and all the tomatoes I can fit into the car.

And aren't peaches just the prettiest things to capture in photos? I think so.