A little quiz

One thing that I have enjoyed about food blogging so far is that I am learning to spell a lot of new words. I consider myself to be a good speller, so I have been surprised by the number of words that have posed a spelling challenge. Putting aside obvious difficult words that I’ve used on this blog, like Htipiti and Almendrados, do you know how to spell the following words?  I am throwing in a few easier ones because I think that will make the quiz a little bit trickier overall.

Which of the following is correct for each question?  Whatever you do, do not look up the answers before you guess!

1.  A. balsamic  B. balsalmic  C. basalmic

2.  A. rasberry  B.  razberry  C. raspberry

3.  A. mascarpone  B. marscapone  C. marscarpone

4.  A. worcheshire B. worcesteshire C. worcestershire

5.  A. carmelizing  B. caramelizing  C. caremalizing

6.  A. parmesan  B. parmesean C. parmeasan

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Blue Cheese Burgers

I recently made some delicious blue cheese burgers using a recipe from The Vortex Bar & Grill in Atlanta.  I’ve never actually been to The Vortex, but my roommate made this recipe once and it looked really good, so I thought I would give it a try.

Basically, I wanted to make a burger topped with caramelized onions and The Vortex’s blue cheese spread.  I ended up getting a little impatient (read: hungry) and didn’t allow the onions to fully caramelize, but the burgers still turned out really well.

To make the blue cheese spread, you mix together approximately 1 1/4 cups of crumbled blue cheese and 3/4 cup of sour cream.  Then, you refrigerate the blue cheese mixture for two hours before eating it.  Thanks to The Vortex and the Food Network for sharing the recipe!  Next time I am in Atlanta, I will definitely have to go there to get the real burger!

Here are my onions in the process of caramelizing:

Htipiti (roasted red pepper and feta dip)

In an effort to use all of the roasted red peppers that I made, I decided to make a dish from one of my favorite restaurants in DC, Zaytinya.  I first ate this dish over the summer and absolutely loved it.  When I found the recipe online, I knew it was meant to be.  Htipiti (not sure how you pronounce that…) is a delicious roasted red pepper and feta dip that is typically eaten with pita bread.

You can find Zaytinya’s recipe here (thanks A Nesting Experience and Zaytinya for sharing the recipe).  It’s really delicious!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 4-5 roasted red peppers
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 shallots, peeled
  • a dash of pepper (white pepper is recommended; I used black pepper)
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 8 oz block of feta cheese
I made a half-recipe (which was plenty) and did not include shallots, since the grocery store did not sell them individually.  I also did not add olive oil since my roasted red peppers had been stored in olive oil and were dripping in it already.  To make the dip, you dice the red peppers, crumble the feta, and then just mix everything together.  It’s pretty easy and really good!

The Boston farmer’s market

I went to the Boston farmer’s market for the first time on Saturday, and oh man have I been missing out.  I never knew that you could buy such cheap produce.  It’s by the Haymarket T stop, right across the street from the North End.  If you’re in Boston and have never been, you should check it out!

I had no idea what I wanted to buy when I got there, other than some tomatoes to make caprese salad.  The tables and tables of cheap vegetables were a bit overwhelming at first, and I possibly bought more vegetables than I could ever eat, but it was a really fun experience.

My first purchase was tomatoes…3 pounds for $1.50. When the man weighed my small bag of tomatoes and told me it would be $1.50, I was blown away.  I couldn’t believe I would be getting change from the two wimpy dollar bills that I handed him!

My roommate and I meandered around, trying to collect vegetables that could be turned into some sort of meal.  Part of the fun was that I saw lots of vegetables that I have never heard of and couldn’t identify.

Do you know what these large yellow pumpkin-looking things are?  I sure don’t.

After the farmer’s market, we stopped in a couple of small Italian grocery stores and delis across the street to buy fresh mozzarella.  The first store that we went into did not have any, but had tons of fresh homemade pasta of all shapes and sizes.  Will definitely have to go back there!  The second store (pictured below) had just what we needed, and also had some fairly cheap marinated chicken breasts.  Perfect to go with all of these vegetables!

Here are my farmer’s market purchases.  In total, I spent less than $10 on all of this.

As best I can remember, I spent $3 on the 5-pound bag of spinach (not sure how I’m going to eat all of that, but that’s cheaper than a 1-pound bag from Shaw’s), 40 cents on the small bunch of bananas, $1.50 on the tomatoes, $1 on the avocados, $1 on the onions, $2 on the green peppers, and $1 on the red peppers.   I also got a free jalapeno pepper.  They were selling for $1.50 a pound and when I told the man that I just wanted one jalapeno, he tossed one to me and told me to just take it.  What a deal!

Can’t wait to go back after I somehow eat all of this!

Why create this blog?

Whenever I experiment with a new recipe, I am always excited to share it with others…to share in the deliciousness of new flavors, the disappointment of a total flop, or the excitement of a new creation.  By creating this blog, I hope to share some of my adventures in cooking, as well as various other things I find interesting.  An added benefit is that this will help me remember the various (mis?)adventures I have had in cooking through the years.  Hope you enjoy!