Buffalo Roast for Friends and Dinner

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This was such a delightful meal to make for friends Krista and Jess – Krista helps weed the flower beds. And she even gave us a beautiful White Daisy plant for the front bed. – A couple of weeks ago, we made breakfast for Donna who also helps us in the garden. The breakfast was Eggs Benedict! – The buffalo was local from Brown’s Buffalo Ranch in Nyssa, Oregon. Phone: 1-(541)-372-5588 or 208-741-5449, 720 Stephens Blvd., Nyssa, OR 97913. Hump roasts can be tough. But this one cooked for 6 hours on low in the crockpot 1/2 cup bone stock and 1 cup sherry and it was awesome! Spring vegetables – baby carrots, baby turnips, spring onions and rutabaga – were placed in the broth at different times. Here are some photos. Enjoy!

Eggs Benedict

Fresh Beet Salad

Buffalo Hump Roast and Fresh Garden Vegetables. Served with Acme Bakeshop Garlic Scapes and Rosemary Bread.

Skillet Apple Pie with Cinnamon Fresh Whipped Cream (Recipe – Skillet Apple Pie)

The dinner

Ed Wilsey – A Superb Friend


In Remembrance of Ed Wilsey

Ed Wilsey passed away this morning, leaving an empty spot in our hearts and a big hat to fill.

Ed was a founding board member and was instrumental in the formation of the Boise Farmers Market. Due, in part, to his efforts and his big personality, the Market is a Saturday fixture in downtown Boise and a routine stop for thousands of Boise shoppers each week.

Through his outspoken and genial nature, Ed was an eloquent spokesman for the land and the people who work it. He was able to “talk up a storm” about cattle and ranching, and through his enthusiasm, created a community conversation about the importance of our food, where it comes from and the people who produce it.

Ed was a true spokesman for bridging the divide between our rural and urban communities, and he was our good friend. We will miss him and we wish him Godspeed and beautiful green pastures on his next journey.

With deepest condolences to Debby and the rest of the Wilsey family.

This Friend and The Board and Staff of the Boise Farmers Market

It’s That Time of Year ……….

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No. It’s not Christmas! It’s Spring. Time to eat what is in your garden. Edible flowers and the most popular are pansys and nasturtium. Here are two photos that I took – one of a potato salad and the other of crab cakes. You eat with your eyes first, so make an impression. But remember – Never Serve Anything on a Plate That You Cannot Eat! If you don’t know if it is edible, Do Not Serve It!

Edible Pansy in a Potato Salad

CS Crab Cakes, Asian Salad with edible Pansy

Edible flowers are flowers that can be consumed safely. Flowers may be eaten as vegetables as a main part of a meal, or may be used as herbs. Flowers are part of many regional cuisines, including Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines … With their powerful and unique flavors, textures and colors, edible flowers have gained popularity as a creative and innovative ingredient for the culinary world; they are added to foods to provide flavor, aroma, and decoration. They can be eaten as part of a main dish and can be incorporated into salads. Flowers can be added to beverages as flavorings, or be used to make beverages such as tisanes and wines. They are added to spreads such as butter or fruit preserves, and to vinegar, marinades, and dressings.

Flowers are also consumed for subsistence. Many flowers that are technically edible can be far from palatable.

For best flavor, flowers should be fresh and harvested early in the day. Wilted and faded flowers, and the unopened buds of most species, can be distasteful, often bitter. The taste and color of nectar widely varies between different species of flower; consequently, honey may vary in color and taste depending of the species of flower. Many flowers can be eaten whole, but some have bitter parts, such as the stamens and stems. [Wikipedia, et al]

Here are some edible flowers. Enjoy.
Arugula (Eruca sativa)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea)
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)
Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
Rose (Rosa spp.)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
Squash (Cucurbita pepo)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Violet (Viola odorata)

You can find more information at Edible Flower or at What’s Cooking America – Edible Flowers. There is vast information on the web for edible flowers. Please check it out and be careful what you eat.

Congratulations Anna!


Congratulations Anna! Great party!

Our Retirement In Idaho

It’s been a “long haul”, but you finally made it! You are now a Dental Hygenist, working on your Board Exams. Congratulations!
And such a great party! A big thank-you goes out to your sister who hosted the event and made that awesome pulled pork, sauerkraut and bake beans! All of the “Little Ones” were good and extremely well-behaved. Fun to watch. Here are some photos from the day. And yes, there was some wine! Left Click any of them to see them enlarged.

Pulling the pork. Yum!

Potato Salad

Tres Leche

Dinner Plated

Anna (R) and Friend

Chris trying for Olympic Gold!

Chris is so good with the “Little ones”.

Chris and Anna

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Yea! The BFM is open!

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Just a little cloudy and cool, but still fun to see all of the “new”, fresh produce. Great to see some new vendors, too. And with new vendors, comes new “kitchen” ideas and menus. And here are just a few. And with that, comes some new products. The first is Lions Mane Mushrooms. CAUTION: Know your wild mushrooms and the distributors before eating. Some are toxic!

Hericium erinaceus (also called lion’s mane mushroom, monkey head, bearded tooth mushroom, satyr’s beard, bearded hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or bearded tooth fungus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. Native to North America, Europe and Asia it can be identified by its long spines (greater than 1 cm length), its appearance on hardwoods and its tendency to grow a single clump of dangling spines. Hericium erinaceus can be mistaken for other species of Hericium, all popular edibles, which grow across the same range. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on hardwoods, particularly American beech. [Wikipedia]

Common name: Lion’s Mane, Bearded Tooth, Hedgehog Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Old Man’s Beard, Unbranched Hericium.
Description: The bearded tooth fungus is white when fresh and yellowish with age. It has long spines. The fungus is 4-10” (10-25 cm) across. It is an oval to rounded solid mass of spines which hang in a beardlike fashion. The spines cover the sides and are formed in lines. This fungus is attached to the tree by a tough, thick, root like structure. The spines are .4 – 1.5 “ (1-4cm) long.
Ecology/associated hosts: The bearded tooth can be parasitic, found on living trees; especially oak, maple, and beech, and saprotrophic, found on decaying hardwoods. The season is from August – November.
Harvest: Harvest of bearded tooth mushrooms can be difficult as often the fungus is growing high in a tree. The best method is to cut the fruit body at the base, close to the tree and thus remove it in one piece.
Many wild picked Hericium mushrooms may house various tiny beetles and/or sawdust, appearing like bits of decayed wood. Thorough cleaning by shaking and hand removal of such nuisances is often needed. If the mushroom has begun to discolor to a yellowish tone, it is too old and likely will have a sour or unpleasant flavor after cooking. [Midwest Mycology Org]

With all of this information in mind, here is one use – A Lion’s Mane Mushroom Omelet!

Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Garlic

Sautéed Lion’s Mane Mushrooms with Garlic

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Omelet
Raspberries and Blueberries
Bacon
Garlic Toast

And then there is seafood. I grew up on seafood – which I did not particularly like at the time. But it was either seafood or liver. I really don’t care how you cook liver or what you do to it – It’s still liver! If you like crab cakes, and Robin and I do, here is a recipe we came up with. Give it a try. CS Crab Cakes. These are mostly East Coast Style, less the saltine crackers. But still made with Blue Crab (Phillips). It’s an Atlantic thing.

Crab cakes in egg rings and getting ready to cool down. The cooling is important!

CS Crab Cakes
Asian Salad

But you can not have dinner without breakfast. Here are two to try. Differently good!

Lemon Pancakes
Over Easy Eggs

Avocado Eggs
Toasted Acme Bakeshop Sourdough Logs
Fruit
Polenta Cakes

(Remove the seed from 1/2 an avocado and place a poached or soft cooked egg in the hole. Top with micro greens.)

Whisky Cured Salmon (Lox)

Shepherd’s Pie

And the good thing about all of these meals? 95% of the ingredients came from the Boise Farmers Market or their vendors. (Eggs, lamb, polenta, micro greens, bread, bread crumbs (from Acme Bakeshop sourdough bread), mushroom, etc. We eat well and know where our products come from. Thank-You BFM and vendors!

Awesome Visit to Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro

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It’s been a while since we were here last. But just to let you know, this is still a superb, 5-Star bistro. Superb food. Superb wines. Superb staff. Our many thanks to Chef Storm and Sous Chef Megan and their staff for a great dinner. Stephanie and her servers were awesome and service and friendliness was super. Chef Storm made a post on FaceBook that shows you how dedicated Storm and Stephanie are. “It’s always exciting when you get a surprise visit from the health inspector. It’s even more exciting when you get 100% and they say they’re going to come back and have dinner with their spouse!!!”
And if you are planning to go to the Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro tomorrow for Easter, and you do not have reservations, I was told yesterday that they are sold out! But if you are going to visit them – and I sincerely hope you will – here is some information that you will need: “We are open Friday,12-9 p.m., Saturday 12-5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. with wine tasting and our regular menu all weekend long. You can now text us at 208-946-5187 to make a reservation.” And if you still need information, here is their blog post (it changes weekly) on the Snake River AVA Happenings Blog: AVA Happenings at Parma Ridge.
OK. Here is what we had. Enjoy! We did! (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)

Robin’s brother Brian came to visit.

Pork Sliders with Rosemary Fries

Storm’s Salmon

Rib-Eye Steak (To die for!)

An awesome Mushroom Soup

Superb “Northwest Clam Chowder”

A beautiful location. “Storm Clouds”.

Good Visit to Deja Brew in Meridian, ID

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We did have a good visit to Deja Brew – Laugh A Latte in Meridian on March 23, 2018 at 112 East Idaho Avenue, Meridian, ID 83642. Phone – (208) 957-6442. Hours – Mon: 6:30AM-8:00PM, Tue: 6:30AM-8:00PM, Wed: 6:30AM-8:00PM, Thu: 6:30AM-9:00PM, Fri: 6:30AM-9:00PM, Sat: 6:30AM-9:00PM, Sun: 6:30AM-3:00PM. Good ambiance with plenty of open seating. It can be a little noisy, though; They need to turn the music back somewhat. You must order your food at the counter, but they will generally bring it to your table. They do have a good Breakfast/Lunch Menu with many varieties of coffee and tea. Their Dinner/Wine/Beer Menu, with a good selection of beer and wine. We will return to this bistro in Meridian. It is definitely a 4-Star restaurant/bistro. Here are some photos. Enjoy!

Their logo on the street side windows.

Robin checking the menu. The interior is very open, but can be noisy.

Virginia Dare Pinot Noir. A really good wine that goes well with my breakfast of Eggs Benedict and Robin’s Cobb Salad. Surprising. And yes, it is made in Virginia with Russian River (CA) grapes.

Robin had a Cobb Salad.

I had Eggs Benedict. The potatoes were good. Different. Just a little salty.

Updating the Recipe File


The Captain says,

I am currently updating the Recipe File (Boise Foodie Guild Blog Recipes) and adding some photos with the recipe links. Not all links will have a photo due to a total disc failure a while back. But those recipes that have readable graphic files (photos), and ones I can find, will be affected. Thank-You.

Fake Tomatoes? Really!

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“Much like how Champagne can only be called champagne when grown in the Champagne region in France, San Marzano tomatoes must be grown in the Agro Sarnese-Nocerino region of Italy to be called such. When the tomatoes are canned, they are required to have a DOP emblem on the label to symbolize their authenticity.” [wideopeneats] Here is a link to the full article and it is an eye opener. An excellent read. San Marzano Tomatoes Fake.
From the Cento website, (Cento Tomato Products)

Cento is the only United States brand that owns its production facility in the Sarnese Nocerino area of Italy, literally in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. The rich volcanic soil, high water table and ideal Mediterranean microclimate all combine to make San Marzano tomatoes the premier choice for any recipe.

And why are the Cento San Marzano tomatoes so popular in many of the larger professional kitchens?

SAN MARZANO TOMATOES
San Marzano tomatoes are widely recognized by top chefs, foodies, Italian cooks and food aficionados as the gold standard for taste, but what makes them so special? San Marzano tomatoes get their name from the town where they were born, San Marzano sul Sarno, which is located in the Campania region of southern Italy. Characteristics of San Marzano tomatoes include a thicker tomato wall, less seeds and less acidity than other tomatoes, making them ideal for authentic Italian cuisine. San Marzano tomatoes thrive in the designated area of Italy because of the Mediterranean microclimate, high water table, and fertile volcanic soil. Truly authentic San Marzano tomatoes from Italy adhere to strict conditions and guidelines in terms of their growing, selection, and processing. Certified San Marzano tomatoes must be obtained from plants of the same ecotype, grown within a specific territory allowed in Italy, and contain characteristics that comply with standards set in Italy. [Cento]

Watch some of the Food Network Italian and Tuscan chefs, and you will see that they use Cento products. There is a reason and it is stated above. We always have some on our shelves.

Valentines Dinner at Parma Ridge Winery Bistro

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We have been to several 5-Star restaurants in Boise – Richard’s, Chandler’s, Cottonwood Grill, Andrae’s (when it was open) and Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL – and the dinner that Chef and Winemaker Storm Hodge and Sous Chef Megan Hartman prepared for us, and 50+ others, last night at the winery, gives any of these restaurants a very serious challenge. This dinner was every bit a 5-Star dinner. It was amazingly delicious. Kudo’s to the Chefs, their kitchen staff and the wait staff! I sincerely urge any of you who are in the area, to visit the Bistro on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday Brunch and have superb meal. (Here is more info at Parma Ridge Winery – Snake River AVA Happenings) Look at what they prepared and we enjoyed! (Left-Click any of the photos to see them enlarged.)

Let’s start with the way the butter, for bread, was presented. Beautiful.

Saffron Risotto
with
Butter Poached Lobster and Chive Oil
Parma Ridge Quattra

(super wine paring)

Fried Gnocchi with Char-Grilled Smoked Pork-Belly
and
Kalamata Gouda Cream
2016 Parma Ridge Issac Storm

(The gnocchi was made in-house and the pork belly was smoked 8 hours in-house! Good wine paring.))

Fillet Au Poivre with Crispy Caramelized Onion Polenta
Cognac Tarragon Mushroom Sauce
and
Lemon Grilled Asparagus
2016 Parma Ridge Big Red

(Chef Storm came up with the sauce. Delicious! Robin had some steak this morning for breakfast with an over easy egg! And yes, the asparagus went with the wine! Superb paring with the wine.)

Tiramisu Trifle with Espresso Rum Caramel
2017 Parma Ridge LaRea Dolce

(Super wine paring – almost a TBA! The tiramisu Chef Storm made from scratch without egg yolks. Amazing!)