Tag Archives: Not That Martha

Honey Butter, just because!

8 Aug

I am a woman who loves toast in the morning. I have been on a real toast kick lately, so quick so easy and not too damned hot. I have taken to keeping this perfect treat of honey butter in the fridge for emergency snack fixes.

The trick to this is to get the butter and the honey both at room temperature so you don’t have to fight to get them to mix. I like to do this by hand because it is nice to get a big streaks of honey in the jar. If that idea makes you feel tired or too hot you can put it in a stand mixer with the paddle or whisk attached and mix it on medium for a minute. If you use salted butter no need to add it to the mix. If you want to get fancy, throw a little cinnamon in there with the honey and the butter and the salt and make pancakes right away because you will need them! I am eating mine on a nice, thick slice of Levain Batard from Easy Tiger. I am going to have to fight to not go back for another slice!

IMG_1283IMG_1285

This makes enough to share with a friend!

8 oz butter (Lucky Layla), softened (the Texas heat makes quick work of this)

1/2 c. good local honey (I used Desert Creek Guajillo honey)

1 t. sea salt

1 t. cinnamon optional

Put all this in a bowl and mix it around with a spoon. Then, toast some bread or make the aforementioned pancakes and get down! Keep this in the fridge for two weeks, but it won’t last that long. I promise.

Thank you all for reading! I hope that this post finds you well and enjoying summer. It feels good to be tapping these keys again.

Best,

MP

IMG_1290IMG_1291

Advertisements

Fancy Ranch Water

17 Mar

Hi Everyone,

Once in a while I come across a recipe that sends me directly to the kitchen to give it a whirl. I came across one such recipe recently from 101 Cookbooks here. I had to sub honey for cane sugar and we have grapefruit and oranges a plenty, so I made due with what was in the kitchen. The results were crowd-pleasing to say the very least and when I added Republic Tequila and a little Topo Chico, it became my very favorite after 5PM drink for the spring. It takes very little time and is so worth it. We are on our third batch of the juice and I suspect it won’t be our last…

Fancy Ranch Water

3 T honey

2 T ginger, grated

1 c water

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and let it go for 5 minutes. Strain it, then stick in the fridge or freezer to let cool off.

1 orange, juiced

3 grapefruits, juiced

Once the syrup is cooled down, mix in the juice. At this point you can serve it to your kids OR do this… Put ice in some glasses, add a shot of Republic Tequila to each glass, pour a two shots worth of the juice in and top it off with Topo Chico. It is scary good.

The Republic Tequila folks are a Texas-based company and have a green and organic product that is completely delicious. Owners, Tom and Ken, took time out of their insane schedules to teach a really inspiring session at the RISE program that I was smart enough to attend. They are energetic, charismatic and wise in the business way and it was an honor to get to soak up a little of that wisdom. Not to mention I ran right to the store for a bottle of the tequila, so they are pretty good salesmen too! So, big ups to them!

If you aren’t familiar with Topo Chico, it is the Mexican fizzy water that dreams are made of and I think you should run out and get some right now.

And one more thing. I met Tiffany of Trailer Food Diaries fame and found out that she has a cookbook coming out. You can get it at a discount right now.  We have that sucker pre-ordered. Soon we will be able to satisfy our trailer food cravings in the comfort of our own home, and you can bet that there are some trailer food cravings up in this house!

All of that said, have a great weekend and enjoy whatever it is you are up to!

Not That Martha

Kale Risotto with Blue Cheese and Raised Beds!

9 Mar

Hi Everyone!

Now that I am a homeowner I am discovering that I have a whole new relationship with Spring. Every morning Jo and I tour our yard and celebrate the little buds that indicate another favorite plant survived the cold winter. I find myself more in tune with the needs of the plants too. What first seemed like a completely foreign and overwhelming garden that came with the house is starting to make sense to me. I see where the plants need cutting back, with guidance from Jo and my mom! I can tell which plants are weeds and have cuts all over hands and Home Depot refuse bags lined up to prove it. As a renter, I always thought spring was nice enough, but the yard was someone else’s problem. It was flip-flop weather that excited me. This gardening thing is a whole new bug!

To top if off, we have just built 100 square feet of raised beds that are just waiting for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and a whole lot of herbs that we got this weekend at the Sunshine Community Garden plant sale. Furthermore, raised beds are springing up all over our sweet little corner of the world and we are conspiring with our neighbors what to plant when and leaning heavy on Jalene and Aaron down the street for guidance. They have done this before and they are good!  I woke up this morning and grabbed the seed catalogue to learn more about what these plants need and have played with the layout a million times on our kitchen table, where our starts sit, while we wait for the nights to get warm enough to plant them. I can hardly wait to eat the first tomato grown in our very own garden and I am sure I will tell you and anyone who will listen about it!

Now, for the food… I have chicken stock on right now and anytime I make stock, I make risotto. There is something very satisfying about putting some of that good stock to immediate use! So, in celebration of the last of the winter greens, I am adding kale to the dish today. There are few foods that I love more than a well made risotto. It can be an intimidating dish, but all it takes is time and a little patience, and it its well worth it. It is important to use the arborio rice. It is a short grain from Italy and the key to making creamy risotto. Enjoy!

Kale Risotto

1 T butter

onion, chopped fine

arborio rice

wine (white is typically used, but we had red on hand, so that is what I went with and it was a good move!)

chicken stock, warm

salt

pepper

kale, chopped fine

2 oz parmesan cheese, grated

thinly sliced Velhuizen Bosque Blue Cheese

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until they are translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the rice and stir constantly until the grains take on a pearly look (about 7 minutes). Add white wine and cook stirring constantly until it is mostly absorbed. I keep my chicken stock in a pot on warm and add to the rice with a ladle. Once the rice has absorbed the wine, start adding chicken stock a ladle full at a time. And stir, stir, stir. The stirring causes the rice to release some of its starch, which is what makes risotto so creamy and delicious. Keep adding the heated stock and stir every few minutes. Once the risotto has reached the desired doneness, add chopped kale and it will wilt right into the dish. Stir in parmesan cheese. Serve in bowls and garnish with shaved blue cheese.

Update on the Challenge

We are still truckin’ along 6 months into the challenge. One happy thing that we have noticed is that the jeans we have been wearing since the beginning of the the challenge, are now baggy on us and that is pretty fun. I can’t believe that it has been half of a year since we stepped foot into an Austin restaurant. I am starting to feel pretty out of it as far as the new restaurants go. I can’t wait to try Haddingtons, Barley Swine, Foreign and Domestic and a handful of others. Readers, tell me what I am missing and what needs to be added to my list! This next 6 months will fly by and we will be back on the scene in before we know it. Jo’s first stop will be Tamale House.

The last couple of weeks,  cooking wise, have been devoted to perfecting my pork recipe for The Pork Experiment, put on by The Food Experiments and Brooklyn Brewry. The cook-off is this Sunday, March 13 and starts at 12. The stakes are high as there are a whole boat load of prizes and a trip to Brooklyn on the line. I am in it to win it and would love to see you all out there. There will be 20+ participants and the cost is $20 to attend. If you think about it, that is just a dollar for every taste of porky goodness. Sounds like a deal to me!

The raised beds are a new dimension of sustainability for us. The beds were really simple to build. Just untreated lumber with braces screwed in on the corners. The Natural Gardner delivered the dirt and we got a ton of plants last weekend at the Sunshine Community Garden plant sale. I will keep you posted on the progress of growing our own food.

As always thanks for reading!

Not that Martha

Hamburger Craving!

23 Feb

Hi Everyone,

I have been craving a good hamburger lately. Bad. It could be that I just got my hands on these pictures that Sarah Wilson took last spring and they are so good that I can’t resist or every time I turn on the TV there seems to be a show on burgers or my girl typically craves burgers at 10:30 each night or the weather is finally right for grilling. Let’s call it a combination of all of the above. A cheeseburger is the ultimate comfort food for me and we will be grilling these tonight. I can’t wait! The quality of beef is pivotal here, grass-fed and finished is the only way to go. You can go grab some this afternoon from Richardson Farms at the Triangle Farmers Market. I like a thin patty with cheese melted right up on it. I was able to get my hands on some arugula this morning at Boggy Creek. Tomatoes aren’t in season yet, but I am going to quick pickle some radishes to get that tartness. Veldhuizen, from Dublin, TX, has some of the best cheeses I have put in my mouth. I am partial to the Bosque Blue, but really you can’t go wrong with any of their products. If you are in Austin, you can pick them up at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop or Wheatsville.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Grass-fed Burger Time

1 lb grass-fed beef

1 T Dai Due Fireman’s 4 mustard

1 T rock salt

1 t fresh black pepper

1 jalepeno

3 dashes Worshteshire

4 buns

cheese

lettuce or arugula

pickled radishes

Start your grill.

Make sure the meat is cold! Combine all ingredients and mix with your hands since they are the best tool for the job. Divide into 4 portions, roll into balls, place parchment or saran wrap around and squish the ball between two plates like you are stacking them. This makes for a uniform, thin patty.

Once the coals on your grill are nice and hot, place the patties on and cook for 5 or so minutes on each side. It will take longer the thicker your burger. I like to toast my buns on the grill, as well. That just takes a couple of minutes and picks up some really great flavor!

The Challenge

Last week we were in San Francisco which means EATING OUT, my friends!!! (And, yes. I was yelling.) My goodness, what a town to eat in. It really is heavenly there. I have a strong urge to write a love letter to places like Bi-Rite and the Ferry Building and then I would transport them here. I was astonished by how pervasive the farm to table movement is there. We would have had to try to find an establishment that doesn’t operate from that philosophy. Due to that, I can happily report that there was not a Tums consumed in San Francisco. I also couldn’t help but notice that the restaurants there are much smaller. They are geared to serve the neighborhood they are in and the service is familiar in that way. I loved it! It also occurs to me that the size of the restaurant has a corallary to the serving sizes. My take away from that is to seek the smaller restaurants, eat a little less of better food. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Thank you all for reading and have a great week!

Not That Martha

Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili and “Frito” Pie!

9 Feb

Hi Everyone,

I am going to join the blog world chili bandwagon. I have seen many a blog post about chili in the past few days and since I can think about cooking nothing but chili in this weather, I am going to throw in my two cents. This recipe would work for just straight up ground beef too. Bison and grass-fed beef are both very lean red meats. Fun fact: grass-fed beef and bison are far higher in Omega 3s than their corn fed cousins. Omega 3 is the good kind of fat that makes your cholestoral go down and your heart beat strong. Yay grass-fed red meat!!!! The bison I am using came from Thunderheart and the beef is from a Boggy Creek supplier.

In this version of the pie,  I am using blue corn tortilla chips, but you better believe I am missing those Fritos. I know that they don’t make me feel so hot, so on the blue corn high road I go. The cheese I am using is not the typical frito pie cheese either, but so melty and delicious is the mozarella from Full Quiver, that I can’t resist giving it a try. All of their cheeses are delicious, but I really have a soft spot for their moz. I have noticed is that I like to cook with beer and chili is no exception. I put some Negra Modelo in my chili and it really helps the flavors come along to drink the rest of the frosty beer while the chili cooks. This is totally a scientific fact.

In other news, I have gotten my website up at long last. I would love for you to visit and let me know what you think. There is a place in there for cooking questions under the classes section, so submit away!

Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili

1 lb. ground bison

1 lb. grass-fed (and finished) beef

1 big yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 jalepenos, sliced

1/4 c. chili powder

2 T cumin

2 T olive oil

2 T salt

1 t. black pepper

1 c. crushed or chopped tomatoes

1/3 c. dark beer

3 T fine corn meal, optional (if your chili is thinner than you like, add this at the end and it will thicken it right up)

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and jalepenos and cook for 5 minutes. I like to get my onions just a little caramelized because I think it adds a great deep flavor. I leave the seeds in the jalepenos because I like my chili pretty spicy. If spicy is not your jam, remove the seeds. Once the onions take on a little brown color, add the garlic and let cook for a minute or so, then add the bison, beef, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and let brown. Once the meat is brownish, add the tomatoes and stir, then the beer and stir. Cover and turn the heat down to low and let cook for 1.5 hours. Every once in a while take the the lid of and stir and smell it. It smells good!

for the pie

Corn chips, if you are going anti-Frito, the chips need to be pretty dang hardy to stand up to the moisture of the chili.

Grated cheese, Full-Quiver or other local cheese

More jalepeno, mine are fire roasted and pickled by Larry from Boggy

Green Onion

Sour Cream, if you like it

Get a bowl, put the chips in it, top with chili and whichever of the condiments that suit your fancy. Then, dig in!!!

Challenge Update

The universe or global warming or whatever caused that cold snap last week tested our mettle with the challenge, but we stayed true. Here is what happened: our water heater busted on Wednesday and due to a part being shipped in, it wasn’t back up and running until yesterday. For a pair of women that aren’t eating out for a year, that meant boiling water to wash our dishes Laura Ingles Wilder style and mooching showers off of our dear friend Mandy. When our hero plumber Michael Hickey showed up yesterday I actually did a dance of joy. I was seconds away from a trip to Taco-Mex to avoid boiling my 110th giant pot of water to do the dishes. We made it, though and I feel way grittier for it!

If you want to get involved in the fight to protect our small farmers and artisan food makers, I encourage you to meet at the Capitol at 10 AM on February 21st for a lobbying day. It is put on by the fine folks at FARFA and a great way to show support and speak up! For information, click here.

I hope that you all keep warm and eat some chili or something really good!

Thank you for reading,

Not That Martha

Its Cold Out and I Want Pork Butt!

3 Feb

Hi Everyone,

You heard me, I want butt today-all weekend, in fact. I am going to dedicate the rest of this day to slow roasting a 4.5 lb piece of ass, the cut is actually from the shoulder. It will see us through the rest of this cold snap in several different applications. Tonight it will be the star of tacos with lettuce from Boggy Creek and avocados from Farmhouse. Tomorrow night it will compliment the posole I am making with a south of the border inspired slaw, perfection for a snow day. My fingers are crossed for the snow. Its final appearance will be in a pumped up mac and cheese with cauliflower and broccoli or a quick ragout with paparadelle. I will let you know which way we go with it. This is one of my favorite time saving ways to cook.

I feel compelled to share with you all the amazingness of all of our hardworking farmers in weather like this. This kind of cold is incredibly hard on the crops and our brave farmers pray and care for the food that feeds us. Yesterday Boggy’s market was reduced to the greenhouse in back of the usual market area. There was about a 10th of the normal traffic, but Carol Ann and Larry were there with the staff bundled up and smiling through the worry. There is something really special about showing up when the weather is nasty. I suppose I can liken it to sticking with a sports team through the good and bad seasons. I promise that I will not be a fair weather fan of farmers, football probably. I encourage you all to get out the beautiful farmers markets this weekend! It is an experience well worth braving the weather. If you are lucky, you may even get to hug a farmer!

Now, on with the cooking. This would be the perfect thing to make for the Superbowl. Roast the pork slow and low on Saturday, pull it while it is still hot and then you have the perfect filling for tacos, quesadillas, or sliders. It is melt-in-your-mouth-good and it totally makes sense to eat pig while the guys in tight clothes throw the pig skin around, right?

Slow Roasted Pork Butt

4.5 lbs, pork butt

1 Fireman’s 4 or amber beer

1 head garlic

1 onion

1/4 c. olive oil

2 T Sriacha

2 T honey

salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 250. Rub pork with a generous amount of salt and pepper, sriacha and honey. Heat oil in an oven safe pot on the stove and brown all sides of the meat. Pour beer over the meat. Make sure that the fattier side of the meat is facing up, this will keep the meat tender, because the fat will melt all down in it and make it extra delicious. Put a lid on it and place it in the oven for 4.5 hours, or until it pulls apart easily with a fork.

(check out that little halo on the pork!!!)

Challenge Update

All is well with the challenge. I do want to share our funny story of the week though. Last weekend was just one of those weekends that we didn’t want to leave the house. We had a lot to do and were just not feeling like getting out even just to go to the store. Come Sunday we had a near empty fridge and bare pantry, so we wound up having tomato sauce on lasagna noodles. To make up for the lack of cheese we ground pine nuts for the top and I have to say the meal was pretty ok! Much better than the alternative of getting out of the house or not eating at all at least.

You all have a great weekend and cross your fingers for a snowball fight!!!

Thank you for reading!

Not That Martha

Strawberries are Here!!!! A Salad and a Drink!

26 Jan

Hi Everyone,

I realize this is my third salad post in a row and will likely give it a break after this, but it seems that the January gardens conspire to make us atone for the sins of the holidays. The produce is irresistable for salad.

There was a time when I shunned the idea of fruit in my salad. Nothing about it seemed right to me. Fortunately, with age has come flexibility and a willingness to experiment on the fruit in savory salad front. A memorable dessert bridged this gap: a strawberry sorbet with black peppercorns and balsalmic reduction years ago at Uchi, to be specific. The flavors are burned in my mind. This is my far-more-traditional take on those flavors.

To prove that I am not all salads and butterflies, though, I will leave you with a drink that is absolute perfection for 5PM on the dot. Before the sun goes all the way down, this helps the worries of work and the day receed a little more quickly.

All of the produce came from Boggy Creek this morning. Meet me there next Wednesday at 9!

Strawberry and Feta Salad with Orange Soaked Fennel over Mixed Lettuce

(serves 6)

2 heads, butter type lettuce

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup goat feta (I used Wateroak)

1 small head fennel, thinly sliced

juice from 1 orange

1 bunch radishes, sliced

balsalmic vinegar

good olive oil

fresh black pepper, be generous here

flakey sea salt

Thinly slice the fennel and pour the orange juice over it. Let sit while you assemble the rest. Wash the lettuce and make sure it is nice and dry. Tear it up into bite sized pieces. Toss in a bowl.  Top the lettuce with fennel and a little extra orange juice. Add strawberries, feta and radishes. Sprinkle with a generous amount of fresh black pepper and sea salt. To make dressing, use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. For this amount 1/4 c vinegar and 3/4 olive oil will be just more than you need, so you can put the dressing aside for another salad. Whisk together oil and vinegar, pour over salad and toss gently. Serve and enjoy!

 

Now for the fun part. 5PM!

Strawberry and Rosemary Vodka Soda

3 T Dripping Springs or other good vodka

1 sprig rosemary

3 strawberries, sliced

Topo Chico or other soda water

Place strawberries in the bottom of a glass, top with ice, pour in vodka, top off with Topo Chico, then stir. Garnish with rosemary and drink it down.

Thanks for reading!

Not That Martha