Here’s another great recipe adapted from the art of real food Seasonal Recipes for Every Week of the Year.  I really love meringues as you may have read from my past posts and/or those of you who are following @thecookingapprentice on Instagram!  It’s been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl.  Here’s an easy recipe you will love if you also enjoy pistachios–which is also big in our household!

The ingredients for this recipe were from items I had available in the fridge and pantry to include with the beautiful, grass-fed beef oxtails I recently purchased at our local Whole Foods Market.  I loved the idea that they didn’t trim the tail part of the beef, which made it for an even more adventurous primal way of cooking!  I also love a good crock pot meal, especially knowing that 4 to 6 hours from the time I started I have a comforting meal that awaits my family and me.  I hope you enjoy this particular dish as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Bon Appétit–gcc

I have grown to love the many cookbook collections that surround my home.  One in particular is A Country Cook’s Kitchen by Alison Walker.   From the simple pleasures of making artisanal hearty breads, experiencing the delights of churning butter, making the most of seasonal fruits, enjoying the aroma of freshly baked pastries, biscuits and so much more I have yet to discover…this maybe a great addition to your cookbook collection, as well!

 

Every now and then I miss the sight of seeing my hubby cooking up something French and delicious in our kitchen, so I actually didn’t ask if he wanted to cook lunch, I told him (nicely) to cook lunch.  Originally, wanting to try a new cookbook I found from Home Goods–a favorite pastime hangout of mine that was simple enough to hone into what I call my baby-steps French cooking skills.  I knew the ingredients had chicken, mushrooms, wine, etc. in it but as I referred back to the cookbook, I did not realize that it was Coq au Vin I wanted to make!  And so, as usual, the art of substitution came to play for some of the ingredients that we didn’t readily have available…and once again, created a dish that still retained its originality, but with some personal added touches along the way. 

Making butter is quite easy: heavy cream needs to be shaken or beaten to a point where the buttermilk and butterfat separate. This can be done in an old-fashioned churn, by shaking the cream vigorously in a jam jar for about 30 minutes (See my last post about a butter kit I purchased), or by the easiest method–I am happy to share, a stand mixer. Just don’t leave it unattended as the separation of butterfat and buttermilk happens instantly within 20 minutes time.

I was excited to try my new cookbook ‘macaroons30 recipes for perfect bite-size treats so I flipped through the pages and thought to find the ideal and most delectable treat to bake–well, I was hopeful anyway.  So once again, off to our kitchen pantry I go, as well as, to the refrigerator , taking out everything I need.  Everything was going smoothly BUT somewhere along the way, the texture of the meringue just didn’t look right.  Instead of a thick, ribbon-like consistency, I got more of a cookie dough texture.  Not sure where things went wrong, but rather than tossing everything out and starting over, which I would never do, I simply scooped the cookie dough-like meringue onto the baking sheets and followed the remaining instruction for the meringue recipe from the cookbook.  The results, well…you tell me 😉

So in the back of my mind I’ve had this pending goal that one day I will make pistachio ice cream from scratch.  Two weeks ago I got around to buying the pistachio nuts from the grocer and placing it at the usual spot in the pantry for later use.  But of course, my hubby and the ‘lil guy kept munching on them i.e., for a TV snack.  So much for THAT bag of nuts.

Again, this week, another attempt to buy a bag of pistachio nuts–this time I had the ‘lil guy with me, so I specifically told him that I would make some ice cream with those nuts–hint, hint.  In an effort to end my endless plea of please don’t eat the pistachios, I finally decided to make some yesterday!  Yesiree…Egg-less Pistachio Ice Cream, made especially for my hubby. It is his favorite after all.

Since I watched the last episode of Master Chef (currently on FOX Season 3) when Monti Carlo (one of the home cook contestants and…that’s probably not her real name, really?  Monti Carlo, anyway…) made a Scotch Egg on one of the challenges; and actually got great accolades from Chef Gordon Ramsay, I have had an inkling to make them.  Well, today (Sunday) was the day!

I honed in on my native Filipina roots to make an authentic Philippine dish.  This particular recipe does not require banana leaves, but I thought how rustic and comforting it would be for banana leaves aesthetics.  So I made “Paksiw Na Lechón” which in literal translation means “Pork in Liver Sauce”  BUT to make the recipe my way, I substituted the pork for beef oxtails.  And so it is…a 4-6 hour braising process in a dutch oven and not on the stove-top but oven baked.

So I am going to make this come out as my first product review for a DIY Butter-Making Kit I recently purchased from Williams-Sonoma online. On their website you will find a section called Agrarian, which basically means supporting a lifestyle of healthy living.  You connect a healthy living by the virtues of homegrown and homemade on your table.  It has become my favourite section on their website, almost to a point that I am on that site everyday just ogling at the many items I would like to have.  In my passion for both shopping and eating, I decided that my first ‘agrarian’ purchase would be easy and no doubt, fun and educational to explore.  This is where the DIY Butter-Making Kit came to play…kitchen play, that is.