Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Simple Peach Tartine

I would have called this "cheese toast with peaches" but the internets have informed me that this is called a "tartine."  I like that fancy word!

A slice of homemade sourdough bread, a slice of sweet sharp Dubliner, toasted together.  Then I put some sweet luscious peach slices over top.  Just wonderful.  Peaches are typically paired with a very mild cheese like ricotta, but I think they are assertive enough to partner the nutty cheddar.  This was a quick bite before I left for a bridal shower one evening, and it's been repeated as breakfast several times.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sewing Stuff on Tees

It just happened, like dominoes, that I slapped some graphics on tees for the children.  First, Genevieve found a funny tee-shirt at the thrift store in size 4.  I told her I could cut out the peeps graphic and sew it on a larger shirt - and she thought Grandpa would love it because he loves peeps (gross), but on second thought, Grandpa would never wear a pink shirt.

So I found a sale at AC Moore to buy Genevieve a plain tee, but I it was for two tee shirts, so I bought a tiny little one for Phoebe too because I suddenly remembered some vintage iron-ons I had in a drawer.  Then I ironed some interfacing around the back rim of the peeps disc and sewed it on to the new shirt.  "Imagine world peeps" in case you can't read it.

So here is Phoebe's little shirt and look here for Genevieve's shirts from the rest of the vintage scratch-and-sniff iron-ons (and visualize Genevieve trying to help Phoebe understand that she can scratch this thing and smell it - oh, that's funny!).

And then I offered to make Ben an "eight" shirt with one of the plain tees that surfaced in a bag of hand-me-downs (oh thank you Lord for generous friends who pass on clothes!).  

He had a "seven" shirt last summer, which disappeared at some point (probably camp).  I asked him for opinions about the size (BIG) and fabric (shrug) for the eight and he was very pleased with the results. The plaid is some that was left from Grandpa's shirt, also in Ben's quilt.  I wanted the eight to look handmade and a little wonky.  I can't explain why; we want what we want! 

All of this happened in early July and now these tees are faded and probably a bit stained (I don't look too closely).  We are deep into summer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

Here, as promised, is my version of Vietnamese rice noodle salad.  I first found the recipe in Molly Wizenberg's book Delancey, which I really enjoyed.  She's an excellent writer and some of her recipes are amazing - this is one of them.

Tonight when I reached in the pantry, I came out with Chinese egg noodles and I thought as long as there was some noodle element, it was fine.  Actually, some people would probably prefer this set-up with rice or with no carb at all.  My two cents is that if you're going to buy noodles at an Asian store as I do, make sure the translation of the cooking directions on the package is clear enough.  Some rice noodles like to be soaked, some like to be boiled, some need to be rinsed - I just follow the package directions.

cabbage (purple would have been prettier), cilantro, the first cucumber from our garden (!), cold BBQ chicken from the 4th of July, broccoli and cauliflower, Thai basil from the porch pot

We love this as a summer meal, using whatever veggies and herbs are available.  I fry the onions outside on the grill burner to keep the smell and heat outside.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad (serves 4-6)

Mix for dressing and set aside:
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
juice and zest of one large lime
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. water
1 garlic clove, minced
few squirts siriacha, to taste

An hour before you want to eat:
Thinly slice a large onion in rings.  Place in a bowl with ice water.  Set aside.

Prepare rice noodles (1/2-1 lb.) depending if you want them hot or cold or room temperature.  I go for room temperature because it's the least fussy.  Also, some rice noodles seem to develop a strange tough texture when chilled.

Prepare whatever raw Asian-ish veggies and herbs you have: cucumber, carrot, sprouts, cabbage, Thai basil, cilantro, mint.  Arrange on a platter.  Optionally, prepare cold sliced meat and chopped peanuts, too (I usually do one or the other).

Ten or fifteen minutes before dinner, drain onions from ice water.  Heat 1/2" oil in large frying pan.  Pat onions dry.  Dredge gently in 1/2 cup flour mixed with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Fry onions, turning to get both sides and not worrying if they stick together (but don't crowd the pan or they will steam instead of browning crisp - do two batches if you need to).  Drain on cooling rack or paper towels.  Serve hot.

Assemble salad with noodles, veggies/herbs, fried onions, and dressing over all.