Food, family, crafts, and other stuff we like


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Padron Peppers!

OMG. This is the only time I'll use text lingo in this blog, I promise. But these little babies truly deserve an OMG. Last time, I swear. Padron peppers, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, perfectly salty, and delicious when prepared correctly. And "correctly" is super simple and takes all of 5 minutes. You will find these little green peppers in season, at least in Northern California, from mid summer to late fall. Just last week I was still able to track some down at the farmer's market, but my man claims that was probably the last of them, so sad. When they are in season I order them every time I see them on a menu and I buy them every time I see them at a market (they are sort of hard to come by, mostly I have found them at farmers markets. Regular grocery stores rarely seem to have them). They make for a great little side dish, but mostly I eat them as an appetizer, perfect when paired with crusty, warm bread, olive oil for dipping, and some cheese! Here's how to prepare...

Get a skillet good and hot, I prefer a cast iron in this case, with some oil. Grapeseed oil is nice because it has great flavor and works well at high temperatures, but any cooking oil will do. Once your oil is hot, throw in your clean peppers and just let 'em go. Turn and toss them a few times until the skins get black and kind of charred in some spots. Right before you take them off the heat, toss them in some good sea salt or kosher salt. Sometimes I will also splash them with a bit of lemon juice, but they don't really need it. Let them cool a minute and enjoy! Beware, about one in every 20 or 30 peppers is really pretty spicy and hot. Other than that, they are generally pretty mild and oh so delicious!!! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Local Urban Honey

We discovered this incredible backyard honey cultivated by an Alameda mother-of-four named Stefani Leto.  Her backyard is basically an urban farm:  huge vegetable gardens, sunflowers, fruit trees, chicken coop, and honey bees.  My girls were able to romp about and see the bees and chickens when we went to pick up the prized amber jar of goodness. The card attached to the jar reads:

"This honey is completely pure.  It's cold filtered, but not heated.  The bees are never treated with chemicals or medicated.  They forage in Alameda, using neighborhood flowers to bring you a completely natural, local honey."

I actually read recently that many bees are fed corn syrup and/or treated with chemicals, therefore their honey is, well, a product of corn syrup and chemicals.

Local-to-you honey made by bees foraging local flowers is actually a homeopathic remedy for allergies, which is one of the reasons I was so excited to find this honey.

 An article was written about Stefani and her backyard here:

I love little jars of sweetness and will soon be posting pictures of the jams we found at a tiny farmer's market in Uppsala, Sweden, as well as more Swedish foodie pictures.  

This honey is the perfect addition to warm pumpkin bread on a cloudy afternoon (like today).  Or on buttered toast for breakfast.  Or...