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Entries in cookbook (3)

Wednesday
Jun232010

It's coming....

Appropriately in conjunction with my last post, the cookbook is available for pre-order over at Amazon.

 

 

HOLY SHIT!  I can't believe this is all coming together.  I get to see my first proof pages tomorrow... and then we all have to wait until October before holding this beauty in our hands. Remember: Christmas is only six months away.

 

 

Saturday
Jun122010

Where the hell have you been?

Does this sound like you?

"So Kate, what the hell?  You just get a couple of photo gigs with the City Pages and Heavy Table and forget about the people who helped you get there?"


No!  No, I haven't forgotten you!  There's an explanation that I've completely neglected to mention to you.  An AWESOME explanation, at that!  Back in January you remember this post, where in exchange for taking pictures I was able to enjoy the new winter menu at a place called Heidi's.

 

 

 

And then this happened in February:

 

 

 

Which was quite sad, really.

 

But Stewart and Heidi really appreciated the work I had done for them back in February, and it just so happened that Stewart had been approached about writing a cookbook and asked me to be the photographer.  Uhhh... What?  I'm still in disbelief about the whole thing, and as of next Tuesday, the entire thing will be wrapped up.  Hence, the absentee blogger.  I can't share any images with you from the book, but I can tell you the food is delicious and that I'm very proud of the work I've done artistically (and of course I'll encourage you to purchase the book come October).  Until then, I'm working on getting back into the cooking and photographing groove I've been missing out on a personal level for the past few months and bringing you the snobby food posts you've grown to love from yours truly. 

Monday
Dec072009

Winner: CurryUp! Dinner for two

I realise I may have bummed a few of you out by not releasing the winner of my giveaway on Friday.  My car was broken into on Thursday night while out to eat so I was in a foul mood all day Friday which is just not the kind of mood you should be in when talking about giving away free dinner.  I'd love to tell you all about the break in, but I'm doing my best just to put it behind me and hope that it never happens to you. So, back to what we were talking about before

 

55 (!) individual comments were entered regarding the give away.  Random number generator picked out number 31.

 

Oh I suppose, you'd like me to tell you who the 31st commenter was?  Congrats Lauren, you're my 1st December winner!

Yes Lauren, you're completely onto me. Less Pateet Imajes was great, but maybe not for Minnesotans.  Perhaps I was on the high of reading Chocolate and Zucchini when choosing my blog name (if you don't know she is a French woman who blogs in English from her home in Paris) Oh wait, I didn't blog in French, and I improperly USED French in the site's title. Maybe just not the best decision I've ever made.

 

Lauren, Shoot me an email at info@forkknife and spoon with your full name, address and social security number... err, maybe I should wait until a later giveaway to start stealing the identiy of my readers.  Congrats!

 

In other awesome news: I had a bunch of great reach out to my first week of Fork, Knife and Spoon.  If you haven't seen it yet, please go check out the incredibly flattering piece written by Jessica Chapman (no, not the girl I went to high school with... this took me a moment to get used to the first time she contacted me) on the Hot Dish, The City Pages Food Blog.  So a big welcome to new readers and a big "thank GOD you're here" to all of you who followed me from Images Petites.  It's definitely a strange mentality shift when you start thinking about losing readers.  I also have to give a big shout out to CurryUp! for saying a lot about it on twitter and I definitely have to thank all of you who commented, blogged, tweeted or facebooked about it.  Clearly if you didn't exist this would be more of a Doogie Howser type journal than a public one, and Kyle would really start to get upset when I ignored him so I could go play with the internet (because that NEVER happens now).

To commemorate my new blog I'm actually going to give you the privilege of seeing a unique picture or two, and you can even read a rant about why you shouldn't buy baby carrots.  Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen:

A Blog Post, by Kate NG Sommers

 

Starting my new blog (I will actually only talk about this for a month, I swear) has given me new purpose in my already very busy life.  I will now name my first blog goal.  Hopefully to be followed by others, but we all have to start somewhere. 

I will blog original content twice a week. 

There, now it's public, and I am screwed. 

I've been really milking my once-a-week blogging enterprise for about four months now.  And it makes me feel GUILTY.  Because I'm SO important that you're all just dying to hear the next thing that crosses my mind?  Because the world will end if another picture of a carrot isn't posted on a website today? 

Who knows. 

I'm actually even thinking of brainstorming ideas and get this, writing them down. 

I might even start a calendar just for the blog (I did it for my giveaways already.  Thank you to both Google and Apple for making a girl who can't remember to put a PEN in her bag to always have her iPhone (hence calendar) with her everywhere she goes. 

And yes, I am co-dependant on my iPhone.  If it broke I... I don't even know what I would do.  It's pathetic, but it does make me happy.

 

Okay ready? 

 

Post 1, Week 1, Goal 1

Turkey Soup and Homemade Crackers, with a hint of baby shower

We had a Thanksgiving Feast the day after Thanksgiving last Friday as you may well remember.  Every year we get the turkey carcass from Kyle's parents and every year it takes up space in our freezer until we get fed up and just throw the freezer burned space-eater away.  This year we were DETERMINED to not let that happen and while the bird sat in our fridge we kept telling each other "we better do something with that goddamned bird". 

Then came Friday.  I was stranded at home waiting for some guy to come take apart my car door to give me a new window (thanks awesome guy that stole my GPS.  Too bad you didn't get the STRAIGHT CASH I also had in my car.  Oh wait, I was going to put this behind me, right?)  and said, what the hell, might as well make turkey stock while I'm at home. 

Here is my recipe.  It's really hard: Turkey, Onion, Water, Carrot, Celery, Peppercorns and heat.  No, I didn't make a bouquet garnis, we had just run out of bay leaves and I didn't even throw a single sprig of rosemary in. Bad foodie! And then I cooked the hell out of it for 4 hours.  One hour covered, three hours uncovered. 

 

And it made the most beautiful stock. 

To use your stock you'll want to strain it with as finely meshed a strainer as you can find.  If you're short on time (four hours is really a decent amount of time to be dealing with one type of food afterall) you can put it in double ziplock bags or tupperware (or some type of freezer and environmentally friendly option)and freeze it until you're good and inspired.  Or you can be a good American and make Turkey Noodle Soup while the stock is still hot.

This made about 3 quarts of soup, which was enough to feed each of us twice, serve it to guests, and have one serving still in the fridge.  I'm not going to lie and tell you my turkey noodle soup was terribly interesting either. My "secret" ingredient is parmesan cheese (the REAL stuff... or something equally honorable).  If I had been more clever I would have put the rind of a parmesan chunk in to give myself a "chef's surprise" but I grated some in at the last moment instead.  I used organic carrots that I like to be diced FINELY. In fact, I almost always like all of my vegetables diced finely.  Rarely am I a fan of a chopped or sliced vegetables.  Especially carrots.  Maybe this comes from a hatred of cooked carrots I have learned somewhat to overcome (the smell of peas and carrots still makes me gag, take heed). 

I also didn't peel my carrots, and I've demanded baby carrots never enter my house again.  You know they aren't actually mini carrots right?  They are just carrots widdled down into nubs. And guess where those yummy nutrients are?  Right underneath the skin.  If you're concerned about it being dirty, I think that thing by the window is called a sink.  Carrots unpeeled are no dirtier than a potato with it's skin on.  Please tell me you eat the skin of your potatoes. 

We did use some awesome "noodle style, whole what pasta" Kyle found at Super Target (yes, not all of our grocery shopping is done at the co-op and Trader Joe's.  For shame).  I think the brand was Hodgson Mill.  It turned out really pretty.  And delicious.  What more could a girl ask for in a turkey soup?  Notice the rosemary sprig.  I threw that on just for you. 

To the left of the soup you might notice some adorable little crackers.  I made these really delicious gorgonzola pecan shortbread crackers for my friend Erin's baby shower. 

 

Shortbread (inspired by Epicurious recipe for Blue Cheese Shortbread Leaves)

  • 4 oz Sweet Gorgonzola
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup pecans

Blend all ingredients together until mixture resembles clumpy sand. Form into a ball and flatten between two pieces of plastic wrap into a disk 1/4 inch thick (mixture should be very crumbly) Refrigerate until firm (about one hour)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut out crackers into your shape of choice.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet (little room is needed between crackers, only about 1/4 inch or so. Bake until just golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. 

They turned out really well but are pretty fragile.  REALLY delcious with a big Alexander Valley Cabernet. 

 

Becca wonders "what the hell is this naked baby doing in my delicious Bellini? CREEPY!" (This is apparently a well known baby shower game where if your baby is released from an ice cube first, you win a prize.  I, of course, never win games like these.  Because I can't rig them)

 

 

The baby shower was a great success in terms of food and otherwise (though I was frantic until about 20 minutes into the shower.  It did all come together though). 

My final menu (as I was chef for the day)

  • Spinach artichoke dip on puff pastry (easy, yummy and kinda fancy looking)
  • Crudite with Green Goddess dip (I cut those carrots by hand damn it)
  • Cheese Straws (store bought)
  • Ceasar Salad (with eggless dressing for the Mom's to be)
  • Chips and Salsa (store bought)
  • Blue Cheese Shortbread with Cranberry Apple Roulade
  • Pork Carnitas with corn tortillas
  • Yellow Cupcakes

I originally had really high hopes of making a beautiful baby block cake for the shower but the idea of working with fondant and making everything else damn near killed me.  Don't think I didn't try.  A good 3 hours of my life were dedicated to those f-ing blocks.  But my cupcakes turned out great regardless.  I just need to remember that I am only one person, and that Kyle doesn't really get psyched making food on his weekend for parties he isn't allowed to attend.

Finally, my friend Rae (you can thank her for making my beautiful new logo) and I have been working together to help her with a project involving cookbook design.  We now have the aspiration to actually create these books, due in large to how AWESOME the first book deseign turned out. Here is a quick shot I took today for one in the series. 

 

So, if you're a publisher, you know, just drop me a line.  If you're a published writer (cough, you know who you are) tell me how one goes about getting a book deal!  Ha.

Before I sign out, please bear with me while I make adjustments to the site.  Since no one is signing a check over to me for this site, I still have to make my own little tweaks to get it exactly how I'd like it. Today you might notice a new font, tomorrow a column width.  Or if you don't notice at all, you get a star just for being you.

 

Come back today at 12pm CST when I announce my next (national!) giveaway. It is some of the most amazing stuff on earth (and would be part of my last night on earth dinner, I kid you not).