We are moving to Southern California this weekend. Tom will be working on a blueberry field near Santa Barbara this fall and I am starting my new business. I will be back soon to let you know what is going on and to show all of the knitting I have been doing to keep my head on straight. I have learned a bunch of new stitches and I am experimenting with socks and little knitted animals. They have been great small projects to keep my mind working. Anyway, wish us luck!
I adore San Fransisco. My sister and I went for one last tour before our move to So California. Neither of us had ever been to Chinatown so we decided to go there.
My sister and my daughter sitting in front of this beautiful church.
Chinese lanterns were strung across the streets.
We ate lunch at a fantastic Chinese restaurant called Hang Ah Tea Room. It was a small place in an alley off of a main street. A woman on the corner handed us a menu as we were looking for a restaurant. My gut told me to try it. They had great food and the prices were fabulous. It was less then $40 for 3 adults and a child. I dont know the address but the phone number is 415-982-5686.
After lunch we went to Golden Gate park looking for the bridge, which we never found. I had seen it several times anyway so I wasn't too disappointed. We went to the rose garden instead.
As we left I saw this adorable picture and captured it perfectly.
I know you have all tried the No-Knead Bread right? I decided to try it as a loaf and it is awesome! Use the same recipe, but change these things:
-the second rise needs to take place in a loaf pan sprayed lightly with oil. -the proofing time for the second rise is a little shorter. Maybe 60-90 minutes. Wait until the dough rises slightly above the top of the loaf pan. -bake at the regular temperature for a shorter amount of time. There is no need to cover the loaf. I believe mine bakes about 30 minutes or so. -most importantly LEAVE THE LOAF TO COOL BEFORE CUTTING IT! Then the moisture can absorb into the bread instead of escaping as steam. Trust me on this one. -Store on the counter in a bag
After making Lemon Curd I needed to use some of it up. As delicious as lemon curd is with an english muffin I needed something else to finish it off.
After a quick search through several cookbooks I came back to Alice Waters's The Art of Simple Food. Her Sweet Tart Dough makes great thumbprint cookies. The recipe is very easy. I could make hundreds of these cookies without breaking a sweat.
Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies By Alice Waters
Beat together until creamy: 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick) 1/3 cup of sugar
Add and mix until completely combined: 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 egg yolk
Add: 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour
Mix well, stirring and folding, until there are no more dry patches. Form 1 inch dough balls. Roll in sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Press your thumb in the top of each cookie to make a depression. Bake cookies in a preheated 350F oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and fill the depressions with lemon curd. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cook before serving.
I want to try these cookies again using jam to fill them instead of curd. I think they will be even more delicious!
The rest of the lemons went into lemonade. Lemonade 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup water 1/2 cup - 1 cup sugar (Start with 1/2 cup and add more to taste. 1 cup= sweet lemonade)
One of the things I love best about California is the amount of food that is planted along sidewalks and in backyards. Citrus trees are found in back and front yards all across California. A friend of mine gave me pounds of extra Meyer lemons from his tree. I dont make many things with lemons other then lemonade so I was wondering what I was supposed to do with pounds of lemons?
I went straight to my cookbook collection and started pulling out recipes. The first one I chose was a delicious lemon curd recipe from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. I LOVE this cookbook. The recipes are simple, fresh and their are no strange ingredients that will take up space in my pantry.
Lemon Curd by Alice Waters Makes 2 cups
Wash and dry: 4 lemons
Grate the zest of one lemon on the small holes of a grater. Juice the lemons. There should be about 1/2 cup of juice.
In a separate bowl, beat until just mixed: 2 eggs 3 egg yolks 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 tsp salt
Stir in lemon juice and zest. Add 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter cut into pieces.
Cook mixture in a non reactive heavy pot, stirring constantly over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil or the eggs with curdle. When thick pour into a bowl or glass jars to cool. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
Tomorrow I will post the recipe for Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies.
If you ever make it out to the Monterey Bay be sure to stop by the year round farmers market on Saturday mornings at Cabrillo College in Aptos, Ca. I have lots of pictures so I will keep my words short today.
Tom came home this week and we have spent the last several days catching up. We found ourselves spending our time in the garden, baking in the kitchen and visiting friends. I made more no knead bread. My favorite kind to make so far. It is such a basic recipe that I can alter it however I want. I add a little olive oil here and rosemary there for something Italian or some flaxseed and oat flour for more bulk. I am testing out this recipe in bread pans instead on the cast iron pot. So far I have lowered the proofing and cooking time with decent results. This loaf proofed for too long and spilled over the sides. I piled it back in and stuck it in the oven. It came out great anyway.
I harvested some beautiful Bright Lights Swiss Chard from the garden that is going into a quiche later this weekend.
A little applause please... My husband has quit smoking!!! After 15 years of being a smoker and 6 years of trying to quit he did it! I am so proud of him! He has been trying so hard for many years. I have quit twice and will never go back. I know how hard it is. If you are trying to quit smoking keep at it. One day you will drop them and never look back.
When I woke up yesterday I fully expected to be spending the evening with Brae, at home, wishing Tom was here to spend the holiday with me. Luckily a friend pulled me out of my "missing Tom funk" and we went to a local fireworks show. I was amazed by the amount of people there. A live band was playing all American classics, vendors were selling hot dogs, hamburgers and lemonade. At least a thousand people were sitting on blankets, lawn chairs, sleeping bags, in tents and on cots. Children were running around high on adrenaline and sugar. It swept all my blues away.
The fireworks were great. Brae wasn't as impressed as I thought she would be. She was all smiles for about 3 minutes then she turns to me and asks if we could go home now. We finished the show, fought through waves of migrating people and cars, and within minutes of climbing into her car seat she was asleep. Hope you had a lovely Independence Day.