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East Coast USA, United States
Lowcountry porch sitter. Appalachian Mountain lover. Finger Lakes dreamer.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Simplicity and Soy Glazed Mushrooms

Soy Glazed Mushrooms
We are reminded in the constant evolution of our lives that simplicity is a far better virtue.  Many of us attempt to keep our lives simple, our relationships plain, our households uncluttered and our food unprocessed and in our very attempt to achieve simplicity we retain a great deal of richness. A richness we're hard pressed to cling to when the very thought of not sustaining it enters into possibility.

Like many I have embraced the simplicity of scanning a select group of foodies on Pinterest to locate and repin a recipe that I might like to recreate later (along with quotes, books, reading tools, letters of the alphabet, storytellers). I still relish a Sunday morning thumbing through my hardbound cookbooks, but sometimes I like to lean on my peers to steer the course of the day. Today that course was a simple no nonsense side dish of Soy Glazed Mushrooms.  I needed only to purchase fresh mushrooms at our local farmers market as the rest of the ingredients were items I keep on hand for any occasion ~ which made for an easy decision to prepare this dish. In under ten minutes with a handful of ingredients I prepared something rich in taste that will be repeated and cataloged as a "go to" dish for entertaining.

Here's the interesting note on simplicity that one can not overlook...just because it is presented as simple does not imply that delivery will be dull or that the overall package will lack complexity~whether through the experience of living or the recommendation of fellow foodies simplicity is far more rich than anyone can imagine.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hot Chocolate in July
Ginger Hot Chocolate 
There are times when out-of-season experiences make their way to present day existence. The crisp cool air, camp fires and comfy sweaters that typically accompany the fourth quarter months of the calendar make it ever more attractive to wrap one's hands around a steaming hot mug of something.  However, there are moments when cooler climates aren't necessary to conjure up an experience. 

That liquid “something” paired with the act of “wrapping” directly correlates with a desire to find comfort in a moment.  The act of consumption is the moment. The vessel is the target of an enveloping embrace and the content of the vessel is intended to warm the human spirit.

Chocolate with its sensual and medicinal qualities changes lives no matter the rendition of its character, but in this instance one should visualize the same spicy Mayan delicacy the character Vianne poured for her customers in the movie Chocolat where the mere consumption of the beverage set each individual on a path of relaxation bound for joy.

That about sets the comfort zone for most of us seeking to wrap ourselves in the moment, but rarely is hot chocolate a solo experience. Marshmallows rank high on the pleasure list of pairing possibilities followed immediately by crème fraiche and whipped cream. The cool light flotation of sweetness served atop the warm smooth dark essence of chocolate is visually appealing, but also renders a lovely notation beyond the eyes.  In fact, each of these delicately whipped plumes of white are the yang to the yin of chocolate.  Add to that perfect pairing a dusting of nutmeg, cinnamon or cayenne and one truly can create comfort in a moment.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sundays, Summer Fun and Left Over Brisket

Summertime is always a precarious time of year, but in a good way...between the opportunity to hit the outdoors, friends visiting during their summer vacations, and way too many unique seasonal offerings in the local restaurants my kitchen blog posts have gotten shuffled into a pile of "need to post at some point" material.  I'm diving down into three weeks of material to extract a really great recipe for Brisket.  I realize its not the usual summer fare you think of, unless you are cooking it on the grill of course, but I happen to love "oven made" brisket.  The Pioneer Woman says it best when it comes to brisket "have a talk with yourself about patience."  Indeed, this is another one of those low and slow routines that will be worth the wait.  I've made a recipe similar to the one posted here by the Pioneer Woman, but this time around I wanted something a little different and found a Tyler Florence recipe for Beef Brisket  that had an element of green to it.  I changed it up a bit by trading out what is surely a delicious "rosemary rub" for a pre-mix product from Salt Sisters called Tuscan Farmhouse Blend ...I had it on hand, wanted to use it and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I prefer my initial cuts of meat to follow the grain of the beer (quirky, but true) and then any left over brisket gets sliced against the grain.  A green salad, bread sticks and spicy pickles created a perfect counter of food.  And the left over meat...found its way to sandwiches, barley soup and reheats the following week.
Life Enrichment is like a travel and learn program...offering infusions that make every day life thereafter far more interesting! ~ Ann-Marie Adams, Reflections on a Meaningful Life