A cooking and baking journal

How to Freeze Broccoli - The Long Awaited Video


Hi there! No news from me since July. Gosh! Sabbath Supper just kept on being pushed down to the end of my to-do lists. Maybe there will be a change soon with my posting schedule. I do hope so!

In October (yeah, way back then), I had the chance to freeze some of our broccoli and thought it may be a good topic to do a how-to video on. Broccoli is not the easiest vegetable to do namely because of three things: how to remove the bugs, if any, how to cut the broccoli so everything cooks at the same rate, and lastly, the blanch timing. I covered all of those questions in the video and I do hope you enjoy it! See the video here.

Have an upcoming post in the works that has something to do with a local bakery. Will share the details soon.

A Cooking Video by Yours Truly


OK, I may not be really "cooking" in the video I just put together last Sunday, but it does include ingredient preparation. It is called "How to Pick and Prepare Garlic Scapes." I start out in the garlic patch out on our farm showing you how to pick the scape from the garlic plant. I then go to the kitchen and show you the way I chop them--may seem like a no-brainer but, really, scapes can be cumbersome to cut!

I started making videos and uploading them to YouTube last February. Until the creation of the garlic scape, I was only constructing craft-related videos, such as How to Find Both Ends to Skein of Yarn and How to Find the Straight of Grain. I love my how-to videos! I've been playing with the idea of a video that was in the world of cooking for, um. . .Since I heard of YouTube. So 2006? Took me a long time to make it a reality, don't you think? I suppose I needed to practice with this video making stuff before I took the plunge. Anyway, I'm glad I did and I have a lot of other ideas for cooking videos. I'll probably save all of this for Fall when I have the time (farm work, you know), so be expecting some updates in September.

In the meantime, give me so more ideas by leaving a comment below. I would love to see what you have to say!

P.S. If your cable or satellite package includes Cooking Channel, you're most likely familiar with their little blurbs they do often. Like: "This is Cooking Channel. . . Stay hungry." Familiar? Well, if you pay close attention to one, the sliding background depicts the ever-so-unlikely garlic scape. :) Could not believe it.

CHOW's Bread and Butter Radishes

If you ever had to cook for a large amount of people, work for a restaurant, or work at a grocery store or farm market, you're probably well acquainted with leftovers. Produce or product that just wasn't consumed or bought.

So last Saturday at the family farm market, we had bags of radishes leftover. And since we're closed Sundays, these radishes would not find another home.

My family doesn't normally eat radishes in quantity and so I wasn't sure what to do with all this surplus product over the weekend. They looked so cheery and fresh and, well, just had to be used someway, somehow!

Then it happened. How about pickling them? Hmm. I love pickled vegetables: beets, relish, corn, etc. Not too sure how I arrived at this idea; must be something to do with my fixation of Chopped or something. They pickle everything on there, even kohlrabi.

Found a tantalizing recipe soon enough on Chow.com. Don't go there often. . . But after great success with a pancake question on their forums, will be stopping by again.

So here's the recipe:


1 bunch red radishes (about 13 radishes)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 medium dried bay leaf


Rinse radishes and trim off their leafy tops. Holding the stem end, thinly slice radishes with a mandoline or a sharp knife. When you get close to the stem, stop slicing and discard the end. Place radishes in a heatproof, nonreactive bowl, and set in the refrigerator while making the brine.
Combine red wine vinegar, sugar, water, salt, mustard seed, coriander seed, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and let pickling brine cool for about 5 minutes. Remove radishes from the refrigerator and pour brine over them. Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes; cover and refrigerate. Use to top burgers, sandwiches, or anything else that needs a little tarting up.


Modifications: Made a few modifications out of necessity. Didn't have coriander or black peppercorns on hand but I did have pickling spice which is comprised of these two spices and more. So I added that to the vinegar solution using a two-layer cheesecloth sack tied with butcher's twine. I don't know why but I feel very French when I break out the cheesecloth.

I also didn't have dry bay leaves only a bay leaf tree. Yeah, not your typical house plant! I decided against plucking the fresh leaves because I knew the fresh ones are less potent, and these pickled radishes were going to be devoured in a matter of three hours. Just not enough time to impart their flavor.

How Did We Like It? The family and I thought they were really, really good. The radishes were crisp and the "juice" was sweet, tart, and perfectly spiced. Will do again. We have another patch of radishes coming along which is good to know!

Here is how they turned out:

P.S. Yes, I know very well that my blogging has been few and far between. My mindset these past months have been more of "get the job done" than "let's stop and take a few pictures!" Having to make a homecooked meal almost everyday of the week (sometimes two meals), zaps the whimsy, fun, and creativity out of a person. It becomes more of a day-to-day chore. That is why I was so happy to flip through some new cooking magazines Annemarie lent me yesterday. They gave me some great inspiration and made me motivated to really give these bread and butter radishes a try. This week I'm going to go recipe exploring and try out two new ones. Maybe even try pickled kohlrabi when it comes along. Haven't had cooking excitement in awhile and I like to see it back! 

Cuppycakes for Tuesday

3/6/12:  Yellow Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Haven't shared much of my cooking with you all lately, but I'm still here! I've been cooking and baking almost every day each week and trying out some new recipes every now and then. Two of the "newbie" recipes I gave a go as of late were Yellow Cupcakes from Cook's Illustrated and Peanut Butter Frosting from the Bake-Off Flunkie blog. Boy, that sounds like a yummy duo, eh?

It may sound strange to some, but I like to bake a dessert and have that as the sole dish for evening supper every once in awhile. My family always has lunch as the main meal of the day, so we can get by with dessert-for-supper with no problem. So for yesterday's supper, I made these cupcakes on the spur of the moment. Yeah, I would have liked to plan supper in advance but the days got away from me!

Here's how they turned out yesterday:

For Christmas I received the Cook's Illustrated Cookbook (which I think weighs more than two bibles put together!), and this cupcake recipe is one of many I've tried so far from the book. 

So what do I think of the "cake" part of this cupcake? 

I don't know if I baked them for too long or what, but they were a bit dry. The batter was a thick one so it was difficult to evenly fill the cupcake liners, which led to some baking faster than others. So right now I am on the fence about them. 

So what do I think of the frosting?

I wanted to have the family's opinion on this one because I wanted to give feedback to the recipe creator. Here's the feedback:

Papa: OK. Isn't a peanut butter fan.
Sibling 1: Very good.
Sibling 2: Very good.
Sibling 3: YUMMY!
Sibling 4: OK.
Me: Good, but a bit too sweet for me. Would add more butter. 

All and all, it looks like it is a keeper, even though I may not be a huge fan. I'm a frosting fuss budget, especially as of late. I've been making more cooked frostings than buttercreams (like this one), and it is hard to go back. 

Thanks, Tiffany, for sharing the recipe on your blog! Frostings are one of my favorite things to make so I'm glad to add another one to my file.

Thinking of Garlic

1/23/12:  Chicago-Style Garlic and Butter Pizza

When it came time to figure out what to have for Monday lunch, garlic kept on coming to mind. Probably caused by the chicken vesuvio I have planned for later this week; that recipe sure has the garlic!

So, yes, garlic. The recipe that jumped out at me was for a Chicago-style pizza that has a garlicky pizza crust to boot. Annemarie gave me this recipe late in 2010 and I made it for the first time about a month ago. Not too sure where she found it, but it really is an extremely flavorful pizza crust and doesn't take that much work to put together. May have a lengthy preparation time like all yeast doughs, but that is fine with me during these long winter days.

So here is the recipe for those who want to try it out:

Chicago-Style Garlic and Butter Pizza Crust
Yield: One 13x9 pan

  • 1 (2-1/4 tsp.) package active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 3-1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting (What I Did: I used 1/2 all-purpose and 1/2 bread flour)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 garlic clove, ground to a paste (What I Did: I used 4 large cloves, minced them, and grounded them to a paste by sprinkling them with salt and smashing them against the cutting board with a chef's knife)
  • pizza toppings, your choice (What I Did: My toppings were homemade pizza sauce--tomato sauce, dried basil, salt and pepper, sugar--mozzarella cheese, sliced bell peppers lightly sauteed, and pepperoni)


1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Add 1/4 cup flour and the sugar, stir together. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

2. Stir the remaining 1 cup lukewarm water, 3 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt into the yeast mixture. Combine the butter and garlic; mix into the dough.

3. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl, add the dough and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Deflate dough then knead for 2-3 minutes. Grease a 13x9" baking dish and press in dough to cover bottom and 2 inches up the sides; let rise for 20 minutes. While waiting for dough to rise, preheat over to 400F.

5. Top pizza dough with your favorite toppings and bake for 30 minutes.

I am not only a sucker for garlic but for peppers as well. Can you tell? :)