Archive | June, 2010

Classes for July!

28 Jun

I am introducing my first series of cooking classes! So, here’s the deal: classes are $65 for two hours of teaching and you take home a meal for 2. I always strive to use locally sourced and responsibly grown foods. This class series is offered for Wednesdays in July. Space is limited to 8 people per class. Sign up for one class or all 4. If you want to put together a group of your own, I will work with you to come up with a custom series or “cook club”.

7/7 Tomato Class: Spanish gazpacho, tomato tart, and panzanella

7/14 Summer Squash Class: squash fritters, fresh squash salad, and surprise zucchini pasta dish

7/21 Eggplant Class: eggplant caponata, eggplant parmesan, and baba ganoush

7/28 Breakfast anytime: migas, eggs benedict, and best ever waffles!

Classes will be held from 6-8 PM at our house. I will pass along the address to the attendees!

I look forward to seeing you!


Not That Martha

To reserve space in a class, email, call or text.


c: 512.627.5589


Quitting Smoking and Fresh Pasta with Arugula

24 Jun

So, I sit to write this on day 3 of at least my 200th time to quit smoking. I mean this really is the beast of all beasts and I don’t want to do it again. I don’t want to go through the mood swings, the insane carb cravings (more on this later) and twitchy nervousness. I’m done. Done, done. No 201st time to quit, the 200th will take.
Yesterday we started strong. We woke up at 6:30, made a smoothie and made it to the gym by 7 for a workout (the first in 8 months of falling in love with my sweet Jo). From the gym we were among the first to arrive at Boggy Creek Farm. We have been craving the ciabatta, tomato, egg and goat cheese sandwich for two weeks now, and hell, we worked out, so why not? Well, Barrie was indeed there with the ciabatta and she had croissants galore. Defenseless from not smoking and self-righteous from exercise, we bought two and shared one on the way home from Boggy. Our breakfast was a near exact repeat of the recipe shared in the first blog, but Jo has a soft spot for tangy sorrel, so we added that to hers and I decided to augment mine with a basil leaf.

farm breakfast

Well, the snowball of consumption just picked up speed at this point. For our lunch we had bagel sandwiches of soysage, cheese, tomatoes and arugula, followed by the second croissant for dessert. By 7 PM the wheels have fallen entirely off the bus and we found ourselves waiting at Pluckers (PLUCKERS??? I haven’t been here since college!!!) for fried pickles, fried mushrooms, waffle fries with cheese and guapo (seriously) dip. Once back at home we tucked into that gut busting (literally) meal and Season 2 of True Blood. So, the finally tally for the day looks like this:

fruit smoothies: 2
Barrie Baking loaf ciabatta: 1
Barrie Baking croissant: 2
Rock Star bagels: 2
Pluckers extravaganza for 2
cigarettes: ZERO

I understand that day 3 of quitting is the most pivotal, the poison is out, from here on it is a mind game, so… I consider day 2 a win for us, albeit a little rough on our guts. Day 3 is shaping up to be much better!

Today has been about limping around with pleasantly sore muscles (one is reminded of the strength that resides within) and atonement to my stomach from the ills of yesterday.

We started today with a peach, blueberry, banana and hibiscus smoothie and a soul satisfying lunch of fresh pasta tossed with Boggy arugula and basil, pistachios, parmesan cheese and a generous serving of pepper. This is one of my favorite quick lunches or dinners. There are several variations that are great, here is mine from today:

1lb fresh rigatoni or other short pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reserved from pasta water
3-4 cups fresh arugula
1/3 cup pistachios
4-5 fresh basil leaves
red and crushed black pepper and salt to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Put water on to boil. Cook pasta to desired doneness. Before you drain pasta dip a coffee cup in and reserve pasta water for the final product.
In pan large enough to toss all ingredients, heat oil, pepper and pistachios until slightly toasted. Don’t let the pistachios burn. Over low heat, toss cooked pasta with oil and pistachios, add cheese and a splash of the water. Keep working until cheese is pretty evenly coating the pasta. If it is clumping up, add more water until it smooths out. Once cheese is well distributed, add arugula. When arugula begins to wilt, turn off heat. Serve in bowls topped with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.

I love this with browned sausage in place of the pistachios too!


Not That Martha

Summer Squash Salad

15 Jun

My mom said it best as I wrapped up a lesson with my favorite cook club, “To tell you the truth, I was underwhelmed by the idea of a class on squash.” Well, amen to it, but, I have been loving squash and zucchini this season. There is one preparation in particular that I am taken with. It is summer out, the temperature is rising and one of the last things I want to do with the escalating temp is to turn on my oven or heat a pan on the stove. That motivation has forced some creativity on my part, so here are the fruits (well, veggies) of that labor…I am proud to say that the class made a convert of my mom on the squash. I hope it does the same for you!
summer dinner

Raw Squash Salad with Goat Cheese
1 lb small sqash (You can use a mix of them, size does matter here! The small ones are much more tender.)
1 small spring onion
1 handful of ripe cherry or other small tomatoes, sliced
1 lemons
1 T white wine vinegar
10 or so leaves of basil, chiffonade (super thin slice)
2 oz Chevre (French for goat cheese, I love Pure Luck Goat Cheese)
3 T good Texas olive oil (my fav is Texas Olive Ranch)

Using mandoline process the squash and onions. Toss with salt and juice of two lemons. Let sit for 30 minutes. The salt and lemon will tenderize squash and draw out some of the water. Pour off excess water from squash, add sliced tomato, vinegar, goat cheese, olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*a note on use of  the mandoline: it makes salad prep a very satisfying endeavor with its impossibly thin slices of veggies, but use caution! This sucker can make quick work of your knuckles and finger tips too. Don’t try to be a hero and get that very last slice, stop before you endanger your fingers. Please!

Thanks for reading. Keep me posted on your food adventures!

Not That Martha

My very first blog….

9 Jun

Well, I have never done this before and it feels weird to me in the way that writing in a diary does. But, here goes…

This blog is to be about food. Loving food, growing food, eating food, teaching food and feeding people. I love the stuff. I need the stuff. And I embrace that which is grown responsibly and prepared as close to the source as possible.

My journey with food started approximately 33 years ago, when I was born. At one year old I would raise unholy hell until my morning toast (OT, as I called it then) arrived. I wake up with the same sense of panic for my first meal. I hardly count as a functional adult until that morning hunger has been addressed.

This morning I managed to take myself to the lovely Boggy Creek Farm and do my shopping before satisfying that need, but it was worth the wait. At long last the tomatoes are here and they are glorious. Barrie of (the most talented bread person in this fine town, if you ask me), was there and I was able to secure her second to last loaf of ciabatta. All of the Pure Luck cheeses were in stock and I chose the old reliably delicious cheve and last but certainly not least, the eggs. Farm fresh eggs are like gold to me. The basket was overflowing and I had to talk myself down from holding them up to break the 6 egg per person limit.
We were out of coffee, so I hit Progress Coffee on my way home for a pound of Owl Tree Roasted Sumatra blend, then home to make everything right with the world.

The perfect ciabatta required nothing more than slicing, the same was true for the cherokee purple heirloom tomato, I spread a coat of cheve on the bread, stacked with two fine slices of the tomato perfection topped with an over easy farm egg and breakfast was served.
The coffee proved to be more challenging, due to an eff up the City of Austin, our water was shut off this morning. Thanks city! But fear not, I had two barely sipped Nalgene bottles that gave us just enough water to brew the coffee.

Since then, the day has been lovely and I am quite enjoying this rain.