New Year – Cardamom and Orange

It has been a bit too long.  We decided to try something new to start the year- 2 ingredients.  Cardamom and Orange.  They really do pair together nicely.

We were treated to two different cocktails- Blood Orange juice and Prosecco and a Hairy Fuzzy Navel.  Both Delicious!  I’m loving the continued creativity

Garlic – it’s not just for dinner

40 Cloves

40 Cloves

Garlic Bacon Caramel Brownies

Garlic Bacon Caramel Brownies

Brussel Sprouts with Garlic

Brussel Sprouts with Garlic finishing touches

Baby Greens with Garlic

Baby Greens with Garlic

Garlic Eggplant Hash

Garlic Eggplant Hash

Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Garlic Brussel Sprouts Finished!

Garlic Martini Fixings

Garlic Martini Fixings

Garlic Martini

Garlic Martini

Garlic Eggplant Hash and Salad

Garlic Eggplant Hash and Salad

Garlic Rosemary Almond Brittle

Garlic Rosemary Almond Brittle

Garlic Soup

Garlic Soup

Garlic Sausage Bread

Garlic Sausage Bread

Garlic Soup with Sous vide eggs

Garlic Soup with sous vide eggs

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Spread

GARLIC!

Garlic Truffles

Garlic Truffles

Anxiously waiting Can we eat Cheese Digging in Group Jen Dancing Smoked Garlic Grits Taste Testing Garlic Martini The SpreadThis month was a wonderful dinner with Garlic. I forgot the breath mints. Wonderful to have everything from cocktails to garlic bacon caramel brownies. Yum!

Sweetie? Dear? Honey?

June will bring us Honey.  Putting out a challenge to combine two of our past ingredients with honey:

Bacon, Mint, Egg, Strawberry, Lemon, Tomato, Pepper, Cranberry, Hot Squeeze,  Fromage, Bitters, Chocolate, Maple, Mushrooms, Rosemary, Moo, Peanut Butter, Wine, Okra, Potato, Apple, Pomegranate, Carrot, Watercress, Coke. 

I open my pantry and have several types of honey to choose from: Sourwood, Clover, Pear and the good ole plastic squeeze honey bear.  As a child I adored peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  Heck, I still do. 

The Honey Board has a recipe for a Pomegranate Honey shot.  I found a recipe for a black pepper honey ice cream.  A cocktail with bitters, honey and bourbon. 

This is sweet!

April….we are surrounded by it…. Coca-Cola!

If you look around downtown Atlanta, you are surrounded by it… Coca-Cola.  We are so close to the spot where Dr. John Pemberton concocted a new soft drink.  In April, our challenge is to go beyond a straight forward Jack & Coke and onto more creative uses for Atlanta’s own.

Carrots with a Coca-cola glaze?  Ribs with a coca-cola bbq sauce?  Coca-cola Cake?  What interesting different cocktail will Dr. Mike come up with?  How will it fit into our frequent Asian dishes?   Can someone incorporate multiple prior ingredients into an interesting dish?  For me, I’m headed down the route of a coca-cola float pop-sicle and an interesting coca-cola & fernet branca granita.  I may have to try a sample or two before the end of April!

@cocacola

Watercress

Watercress was an interesting ingredient.  Most of us think of the little tea sandwiches from the 60’s-70’s that your mother may have served during an afternoon bridge game- white bread, butter, salt and watrcress- with the crusts cut off and quartered. Not surprising, we made it thru dinner without any of that!

I like a challenge and found an interesting Watercress Sponge cake http://www.grouprecipes.com/76297/crazy-green-watercress-sponge-cake-and-chocolate-sauce.html

I missed pictures of a few items: A lovely watercress soup and two different watercress pesto pastas….

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Watercress & Cream cheese dip with chips

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Watercress and Egg Stirfry

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Asian Seafood and Watercress pancakes

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Watercress Martinis with Sake and Gin…. yum!

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Watercress & Egg Sandwiches

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Watercress & Ham Quiche

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Hoisin Glazed Duck with Watercress and Onion Compote

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Purple Spuds with a watercress & Yogurt Sauce

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Watercess Sponge Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Carrots of all colors in February

shavings to start the jam

shavings to start the jam

Jamming

Jamming

 

Carrot Jam-tarts

Carrot Jam-tarts

Carrot Juice Martini

Carrot Juice Martini

 

Carrot Soup A

Carrot Soup A

Carrot Soup B

Carrot Soup B

Carrot

Carrot Latkes

Carrot Chips

Carrot Chips

Carrot & Pineapple Cupcakes

Carrot & Pineapple Cupcakes

Carrot

Carrot

We are going to try out carrots in February.  One simple rule- they can’t be simply cut up and served with a dip.  A test for the best peeler? I think that I learned the best way to peel a carrot at the @CooksWarehouse in Atlanta.  First, hold the skinny end, peel the big end away from you, then flip it around, holding the big end (now peeled and slippery) and…. voila!  You can hold onto the big end!

Pomegranate – will it be pomwonderful?

Pom Brownies with Pistachio Pom and White Bean Salad Korean Savory Pancakes.... with Pom

A lovely recipe from John D'Anna from @CristomWinery

A lovely recipe from John D’Anna from @CristomWinery

Pom BBQ wings Wild Rice Pilaf with Carrots and Pom

Fesenjen...doesn't look like much... until you taste it

Fesenjen…doesn’t look like much… until you taste it

Taiwanese Pork Sausage simmered in Pom juice Pom

Pom Cupcakes

Pom Cupcakes

All signs say yes!   Per Wikipedia ”

The pomegranate /ˈpɒmɨɡrænɨt/, botanical name Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between 5–8 meters (16–26 ft) tall.

The pomegranate is widely considered to have originated in Iran and has been cultivated since ancient times.[1][2][3] Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, the Middle East and Caucasus region, northern Africa and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and the drier parts of southeast Asia.[4] Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona.[5]

In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February.[6] In the Southern Hemisphere, the pomegranate is in season from March to May.

The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably in Babylonian texts, the Book of Exodus, the Homeric Hymns and the Quran.[7] In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of North America and the Western Hemisphere.[4][5]

Pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, juices, smoothies and alcoholic beverages, such as martinis and wine.[8]

Personally, I’m looking forward to my Braised Pork with Pomegranate which is a recipe from John D’Anna, the marketing gent at the Cristom Winery in Oregon.  It has a beautiful umami.

 1/2 – 4 lb bone in pork shoulder (Boston Butt)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 tsp veg oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
5 slices fresh ginger 1/8″ thick, quarter sized
2 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp whole black peppercorn
2 c dry, fruity red wine
2 c unsweetened pommegranate juice
1/2 c soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp dark brown sugar
Season pork w/ S&P, Heat 2tsp oil in skillet over med-high heat, sear pork, turning as necessary.
Heat remaining oil in a dutch oven large enough for roast. Add onion, saute til translucent,add farli and cook til aromatic
Add ginger, star anise, cinnamon and peppercorns. Add pork, add remaining liquids. Liquid should be 1/2 way up roast, else add equal amounts of wine and juice.
Stir, cover and bring to simmer.  check level of tartness after 30 minutes, add brown sugar.
Continue at a low simmer for another hour. Turn roast and simmer 1 1/2 hours til fork tender.
Remove meat to platter, remove bone, shred,
Boil sauce and reduce by 1/4 to 1/2.  Strain and discard solids. return meat to sauce.

I know that there are brownies with pom and pistachios, pom cupcakes, white bean and pom salad, pom margaritas…..Looking forward to yummy flavors!

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