Hello world!

October 2, 2009

Word Press: “Welcome to WordPress.com. ”

Me: “Why thank ya’ll.”

I started a blog several years ago when I had my son, largely about staying creative in the kitchen and focusing on bargains and things that just taste good. I took a break in April and have decided to get back at it but in a new venue. I decided to include a few past posts from the old blog that … well, should help introduce me, I guess but also shows a little of what I did with the time I spent writing the old blog. 

First, my family joined a CSA in June, 2008 which has since greatly enriched our lives both in the kitchen and out.  As of this October 2008, I contribute blog posts and in general help with updates to the blog for the CSA. Investing in a small farm, belonging to a community organization and giving back through volunteering has been a high point for me in my life in NYC. The enjoyment we’ve had of CSA produce led to our family focusing more on where our food comes from and paying attention to things like “buying local”, “environmentally friendly packaging”, “supporting small farmers”, etc. and so forth. Like everyone else, I guess, I started reading Bittman and Pollan and then taking to heart what I was reading. But more than that I re-discovered my roots as a Southern farmer’s daughter and realized that knowing where my food comes from is important to me.

That being said, Pollan didn’t make me forget my love of Mrs. Julia Child and I can’t live without a little Ruth Reichl-like food in my life from time to time. But being a foodie and considering the source can go hand in hand and should.

The second really important thing I did with those months of  “old blog” was start a ladies dining group which is still going strong almost 2 years later. With a core group of four women, including myself, we’ve challenged each other’s creativity and formed a close bond of friendship over beautiful monthly meals. Each month a different core member hosts, comes up with and delivers the menu and other members/guests are given a choice by the hostess of what to bring. There is always a great time had by all.

So…why “Stinky Cheese”? I dunno. It is a food and one of my favorites but I also plan to have regular “Cheese Corner” and “This Week in Crazy Cheese” postings.  I also hope to pepper this site with plenty of posts about local food, farmers markets, access to small farm products, healthy eating, kid-centric food ideas, my own recipes, recipes I come across and simply must share and how I use food efficiently and creatively in my own kitchen.

Thanks for Reading and ya’ll come back,



Happy New Year

January 9, 2009

Well, the holidays are over and I have got to get with it! I certainly cooked a lot but the only report was Christmas night. boo!

Got several food books for Christmas that am completely distracted by. Am also really excited to see all the ongoing op eds in the NYT about sustainable agriculture and discussing the issues concerning big agriculture. Very exciting. Here is one I really enjoyed:


The CSA share for the month is coming up on Tuesday and LWD is slated for the 22nd. The LWD will be "going out" edition.

Going to try to blog the share, the LWD night, an entry on our liquor cabinet, thoughts on the Pollen book I’m reading and maybe something on attempting to perfect Thai curry. Goals for posting this month seem like a good plan or there won’t be a post…

Duck Fat

November 14, 2008

The challenge to use everything from the CSA goes on and on and it is especially difficult when we get something unusual. Last week we got Kohlrabi with the greens attached and very fresh. I saw a recipe for Kohlrabi root and watercress sauteed in duck fat and came up with the below recipe. It involves some cheating, in that you need frozen dumpling (think Chinese). Our chef friends turned us on to these easy cheap eat. Look in your frozen section…often the cheaper are better! I used "Chef One" brand from NY’s Fresh Direct. There are veggie, shrimp and chicken ones easily available, I know, but the pork ones were really outstanding. They have some cabbage in them. TASTY.

Kohlrabi and Pork Dumpling Stir-Fry

2 medium Kohlrabi roots diced into like size pieces
– 1/2 a bunch of Kohlrabi greens chopped
– 2 tbsp. duck fat
– 1 tbsp. mirin
– 1 tbsp. tamari
– 12 pork dumplings
-1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth
– 1/2 cup chopped fresh green beans
– 1 clove garlic crushed

Place duck fat in a wok/ large skillet w/ cover on medium heat. Add crushed garlic, and kohlrabi roots. After about a minute add the dumplings. Sear dumplings over medium heat, then add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, green beans and Kohlrabi greens and simmer, covered for 3 to 5 minutes.

Uncover and let broth cook down (should not take long), then add tamari and mirin, simmer for a minute or two and then turn off heat.

Optional additions: Fresh ginger (add with the tamari and mirin), chopped scallions (add after turning off heat), fresh chopped radish (add with tamari and mirin) and/or broccoli rabe (add with green beans and greens).

Rustic cooking

October 3, 2008

Yummy yummy Mustard greens…how  I love thee.

I turned one can of beans, one chicken breast and some purple mustard greens into a tribute to Tuscan cuisine. Tonight I made dinner with Roma (a type of green) beans, grits and fillet of Talapia. Both meals were based on what I had and cheap but hearty and healthy (to a degree;). Economic cooking is pretty key, especially in a time when the Dow drops almost 3000 points in less than 6 months and our country decides to en masse loose our minds, fiscally speaking.

My first plan of action last night was consider our panty. I’d thawed out only one chicken breast on purpose…to cut our portions and force myself to make a hearty starch/carb side (not a roll and not pasta!). I realized we have a good supply of lentils but we’d had them a few days ago and I try to have them only 2 or 3 times a month (I try to limit MOST things to this but…yeah. pasta.). We had one can of Northern beans and two cans of Cannelini and realizing I could make a great soup with the cannellini, I decided to use the Northern beans which are VERY similar. I prepared them with in a traditional Tuscan still with olive oil, chopped garlic and onion, stock (chicken), herbs (I chose sage but rosemary is also totally awesome…), some salt and pepper. I then pan seared the chicken breast with olive oil and garlic and onion. I added a tbsp. of white  wine to deglaze/ for flavor and when the chicken was just done, I pulled it out of the pan and put in the mustard greens to saute in the chicken garlicy goodness. Layering the items (beans on bottom, then slices of half of chicken breast and then topped with greens) in a large bowl made it possible to enjoy in front of the debate with a nice Brooklyn Penant Ale.

Tonight I baked/roasted the fish in a foil pouch (Alton Brown has an entire episode of _Good Eats_ devoted to pouch cooking. It should be required viewing for every busy woman, I think…guys will love it too. Pouch cooking is full-proof and easy.) with dabs of unsalted butter, sea salt and ground pepper. Simple genius. Adding lemon is fine…also fresh herbs…not dried!
I then cooked grits in chicken broth, added a tbsp of butter, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of grated parm. whisking it all together. I sauteed a shallot in olive oil in a separate pan and cooked the romas with that and salt and pepper. I layered the items again with grits on bottom, talapia and then the roma beans…brilliant and Bill Moyers could then be enjoyed freely.

Look at what you have, try to keep it simple and don’t be afraid of olive oil, salt and cheese….and really big bowls:).

I had a lot of zucchini from the CSA last week. OMG! And after making zucchini pasta, I basically wanted to hurl at the site of the stuff….just TOO much! SO, I decided to make some baked goods to stock the freezer with and feed the toddler for breakfast. Here is a very happy, healthy zucchini bread recipe I adapted from about 3 different sources and added my own completely made up ingredients (specifically ricotta and instant oatmeal) :).

Boogie’s Zucchini Breakfast Loaf

3 large eggs
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup ricotta, part-skim
1/4 cup either half & half or heavy cream
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
6 tbsp of dark brown sugar
2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1 cup instant plain oatmeal
2  teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
*1 cup dried cherries or currants (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl. Fold together and then gently incorporate zucchini (don’t whisk or otherwise be harsh with batter). Pour into one normal sized well-greased loaf pan or 5 to 6 well-greased mini-loaf pans. With normal size loaf pan in 400 degree oven this takes about 30 to 40 minutes but keep your eye on them. As for mini-loafs, those take approximately 20 minutes or less. A toothpick coming out of the center of the bread clean will indicated they are done. Let cool a few minutes before removing from pan. You can freeze this.

Speedy comfort food

September 19, 2008

and so good for you, too! Last night, I came home and made this comforting soup. Don’t make a lot (make enough to serve that evening) as it isn’t really that great the next day…

Simple soba noodles in broth

1 cube of garlic bullion (these things are tiny)
1 packet of no sodium beef bullion
1 cube of mushroom bullion (I use Star porcini)
1 chopped carrot
1 diced leek or 3 diced scallions
2 cups of uncooked baby spinach (one bunch of spinach…)
1/2 package of Soba noodles (look in the asian section of your super market. Annie’s and Roland make them as well as several organic companies and they are cheap!)

Dissolve bullion in 3 cups of water and bring to a light boil. Add pasta, carrots and if using leeks, add leeks. When pasta is almost cooked, add spinach. If using scallions, add then as well. I chopped a big hunk of fresh ginger and added that as well. Serve in big bowls. You could add sprouts, fresh garlic, chopped mushrooms and chicken. You could replace the spinach with bok choy.

Baby Beans

September 16, 2008

Am trying to get Boogie into more table foods and in the meantime and plying him with some pureed veggies just to keep him, you know, alive!

This weekend I made a puree that could easily be turned into a fairly AWESOME soup:

– simmer for 1/2 hour one 10 oz. package of frozen lima beans (aka "butter beans")
Drain and then put cooked beans in food processor or blender with 1 to 1.5 cups of chicken broth and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Puree and then salt to taste. Serve with a crusty piece of bread. You can add some sauteed, finely chopped pancetta or slab bacon to this OR grated parm or romano cheese.