Kitchen In Action Thread--for Julia's 100th Birthday!

beekeeperswifeAugust 15, 2012

Today is Julia Child's 100th birthday. I thought it would be fun to start the Kitchens in Action thread again (thanks Trailrunner) to celebrate. So maybe everybody can post what they do today in their kitchen.

Bon Appetit'

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I made espresso & took my vitamins!
How's that for a start.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:07AM
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I am not in a nice new kitchen(yet), as our cabinets won't be ready until November. It is however a busy kitchen and today is a very busy kitchen day indeed,so I hope Julia will be pleased.
Yogurt is already incubating, bread is rising, 2 pounds of white beans are soaking. 16 pounds of peaches need to be processed for winter, frozen and/or canned. Granola is prepped for oven but I need to finish prepping the trays of oven dried tomatoes before I put everything in the oven and my son has not come back from the garden with the garlic. Have enough tomatoes for 3 or 4 qts of sauce so I need to get those canned as well. Taking advantage of the overcast, coolish day to process alot of food.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:16AM
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I started the day painting trim! But I think I'll crack open my "Baking with Julia" cookbook today in her honor.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Cupcakes with DD2. :) Happy birthday, Julia, a truly inspiring woman!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:59AM
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I am at DS1's in Lexington VA so not doing any cooking myself. are pics of The Red Hen, where he and DIL are chefs. I have long promised pics of the tiny space that they use to create amazing meals 5 nights a week. They prepare everything from scratch for between 25-45 people per night. DS is most interested in charcuterie so I have included the pics of his newest cured pork belly...ready was the most tender and delicious pork I have ever tasted !!

cooking area with French top:

DS1 can see skillets/pots at top of cooking area...he is facing prep area:

prep area with one sink: ( the dish pit is in an adjacent room..every skillet/pot gets washed after every use)can see reach in refrigeration at rear.

cooktop area another view can see grill and deep fat fryer:

pantry/spices/bar area and coffee machine:

2nd small prep sink next to cook top and adjacent to bar/coffee area:

pork belly rolled and cured and ready to eat!:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Not today, but after harvesting, I'll be making a few gallons of sauce on Saturday.
Will post pics then.

trailrunner, I'm salivating just looking at that pork.
fouramblues, Your helper's a real cutie.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Fouramblues - what brand are your cabinets?? Painted white or melamine? Thanks!

Bonnie (not trying to hijack thread)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:22PM
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I just looked it up on googlemaps, and Lexington is 4 hours away from me. Darn. I was ready for a pork belly road trip, trailrunner!

Thanks, willtv! She's pretty cute most of the time. ;) Looking forward to seeing the bounty of your harvest!

bons, the cabinets are Starmark, maple with ivory cream tinted varnish. Glad you like them!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Roughly, french style omelet with cheese, cooked in salsa, served with cornbread slices and soy chorizo. It was missing the refrieds but whatever. Breakfast doesn't usually look like that - dh's birthday!

Made some biscuits for lunch. Trying to understand why when I put them in the oven, I become unsure as to whether I used the right flour.

Staring at some very expensive almond flour that I might try making into macarons. Never done it before, doesn't look bad - heh, heh, heh. I'm more afraid of making chocolate ganache for the filling.

I learned to cook by watching the French Chef and reading the cookbooks. I will always be grateful to Julia Child and PBS.

That pork belly is looking hot!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Save some of that almond flour for Nigella Lawson's yummy Clementine cake.

Julia used to listen in on our conversations in the local movie theater while waiting for films to start. I'd turn to face my friend and suddenly there's Julia Child's face, bellowing "Well hullooo!"

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Like willtv, my kitchen is a tomato/sauce processing plant this month. :) These are tomatoes I picked this morning (and a few squash for a snack.)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Here's a great picture of Julia .

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:15PM
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My tomatoes are amassing at the border, ready for a ripening attack within the next week. Would love to hear some of everyone's methods for processing - along with your pictures.

I usually slow roast a bunch with our homegrown garlic and basil, and make a simple tomato sauce with the rest, freezing everything as I don't trust my canning skills. And now with induction, I don't have a canning pot replacement yet.

So many of you are so industrious! Very inspiring.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:21PM
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The chocolate mousse is in the fridge chilling for a couple of hours...

And there will be some sort of chicken thing with a word that starts with a P that involves onion, peppers, shallots....I guess I should go start prepping that now.

(And French white wine, of course!)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:41PM
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bemorepanic - I love making macarons! They are way fun once you get the hang of it. Recipe on my blog.


Here is a link that might be useful: Macarons on my blog

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:57PM
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    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Ya'lll just need to make your way to DS's tables ! His meals are 2nd to none. Last night they had a 9 top. There were 2 restaurant owners from New Orleans in the group and their tab came to almost $400 ( only 2 of the 9 had wine) ...they left a tip of .....$500 ! DS had the server go after them ...just to be sure that it wasn't a mistake. The 2 guys came back and extended their praise to DS again and said that they were just so impressed and being in the "biz" wanted to reward everyone for a great job. Nice...I am sure Julia would have been pleased too...she LOVED charcuterie and a good glass of wine.

Thank you for the wonderfully sweet comments. c

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:19PM
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    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:19PM
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@bons - Thanks! Particularly for the knowledge that they need to be kept in the fridge for a day. I was afraid of being footless but now I shall be afraid, very afraid of the hollow.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:24PM
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I am still trying to get my boxes unpacked to get my new kitchen in order. I have really been thinking about making a2gemini's muffins that were posted awhile back. I need to test out my new ovens. Can someone help me find that recipe?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:28PM
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No charcuterie for me I'm afraid C, but loved the pics of DS1's "home away from home!" If we ever make it down there, he'd have to make a special no pork, no beef, no lamb, no peppers, no fennel....meal for me! LOL

Had planned to make salad nicoise in honor of Julia's birthday (I make her potato salad recipe from the Way to Cook), but a wicked thunderstorm, bringing chillier air to our area, combined with a longer than expected drive home from an afternoon out, quashed that plan (will make it tomorrow or Friday). So it's homemade turkey-barley soup from the freezer instead!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Not very Julia-esque, but I made my first green smoothie in our new blender today. (The old one suffered death-by-frozen-banana.) It was delicious.

Not much cooking today since I don't yet have saucepans for my new induction stove (till I figure out if it is going to work right, being a floor model), but for supper I did make omelets in Julia's honor. With butter. They were delicious too.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Great post, beekeeper:

After reading the NY Times article on Julia today
I couldn't resist making the Clafoutis au Mure et aux Myrtilles:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Thanks for the "private" tour of the Red Hen, Trailrunner. I'm always fascinated by professional kitchens. Just wish I were closer.

Well, it's not a Julia recipe, but at least in the spirit of what she tried to bring to America, after all these decades I'm starting to appreciate mushrooms. Today I braised a beef roast with dried shitakes, fresh rosemary and thyme, a little wine and lemon juice, etc., etc. Quite good, but I want great. Maybe I'll stir a little butter into the leftover sauce tomorrow. In her honor. :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:55PM
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Ok, I'm ready to post the dinner!

It is from the Way to Cook, pretty simple but very delicious. It is Sauteed Chicken Piperade! followed by Chocolate Mousse.

The piperade:

browning of the chicken

deglazing with a little vermouth

on the platter

brie with walnuts and cranberries in the speed oven for appetizer

4% of the profits of this wine go to research at UCDavis for Honeybees.

All hands on deck for the making of the mousse earlier today....that's the mixer, the hand mixer, the food processor and the electric whisk.

Happy Birthday Julia!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:01PM
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I hope the person looking for pics of wood countertops sees this thread...francoise and northcarolina those are gorgeous !!!

cat_mom....DS does wonderful no prob...get ye over here..

Yes indeed this is a great thread...just wish there were more pics !! Love the fresh tomatoes. I will get a pic of the peach tree in the courtyard at the Red Hen is FILLED with VA peaches..hope the "kids" didn't pick them all yet !! Here is this week's sample menu, it changes daily and they have specials too. WIne dinner is next Tuesday.


Mock's Green House Butterleaf Lettuce 9
sage roasted pecans, beets, berries, carrots, radishes, buttermilk dressing

Stonehouse Tomato Salad with Cornbread Croutons 11
mache, barrel aged feta, basil
Homemade Gascon Style Ham & Rytec's Smoked Pork Neck 11
quail egg, arugula, fennel, whole grain mustard, baguette
Local Creamed Corn Soup 8
grilled corn, pimenton, chives, pickled pearl onions
Gulf Coast Jumbo Lump Blue Crab 13
cucmber, lemon verbena compressed watermelon, chili/lime vinaigrette, arugula

Carolina Coast Red Grouper & Grits 26
wades mill grits, stonehouse tomatoes, squash, pickled ramps, white wine/herb butter
Grilled Buffalo Creek Beef Steak of the Moment 25
new potatoes, rosemary, beans, carrots, crispy onion rings, balsamic molasses
Hand Rolled Rose Geranium & Ricotta Stuffed "Borsa di Gallino" 21
harvest thyme baby squash, cherry tomatoes, basil, parmigiano/zucchini sauce
Pan Seared Georges Bay Sea Scallops 25
eggplant, chickpeas, peppers, arugula, lemon sauce, fresh herbs
Grilled Shenandoah Sheep Co. Lamb Meatballs 22
homemade fettuccine, marinated heirloom cherry tomatoes, squash, basil/parsley pistou


Dark Chocolate Bete Noire 8
local berries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream
Local Raspberry Cake 8
candied ginger, berries, salted caramel, toasted pecans, whipped cream
Hazelnut & Ginger Snap Frozen Mousse 8
fresh berries, lemon verbena, chocolate sauce
Rose Geranium Panna Cotta 8
fresh berries, chocolate mint, palmier cookie

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Kitchen observer waiting for something, anything to hit the floor : )

second kitchen observer

I have now used up all of the zucchini, squash, grape tomatoes, sweet corn, red and green peppers, an onion and artichoke with some added cream cheese and black olives. Saute chicken in a little olive oil then mix in as many vegetables as you like! So sorry if these come out really big!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:13PM
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For people who haven't seen it, the link is a Julia tribute. I thought it was pretty charming and hadn't seen it before.

Here is a link that might be useful: Autotuned Julia on YouTube

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Bee our dinners look eerily similar, lol except yours is just gorgeous! ...What a cute picture of your daughter fouramblues. Loving all of the pictures and thanks for posting everyone!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:42PM
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Happy birthday Julia! Loved Marcolo's memories of Julia. I have a well used Way to Cook, regularly use my Baking with Julia, and do not cook often enough from her Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Around 1995,DH and I bought our first home in Charlotte NC. The wonderful little old previous owner left behind a huge marble slab and an autographed version of Julia's 'French Cooking. It is one of my treasured possessions.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Breakfast was wonderful: much espresso followed by a baked egg on rosemary olive oil bread with olives, prosciutto and mozzarella. It was downhill from there.

Bee - How does one procure that wine? A friend is a new apiarist and is hosting my sorority this weekend to introduce us to her bees. That wine would make a fine thank you gift...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Happy Birthday Julia!

I must confess - now that I have a nice kitchen and our 2 children are grown, its just me and DH I don't cook much anymore. I did make some delicious Chicken tortilla soup last night. Our standing dinner date on Wednesdays is the Chicken Fried Steak meal at our local KFC $2.99... : )

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Wow, what a housewarming gift!

And trailrunner, DH went to school in Lexington, what a charming town it is. We don't live very close, but do visit every so often; the restaurant looks marvelous.

I should not be anywhere near this thread, as I am making tuna casserole for dinner. Yes, the kind with Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. My kids love it, though; DH is out of town, and I had my main meal at lunchtime, so I will "treat" them to their favorite. No photos will be forthcoming.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:54PM
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java--just found it at the local wine store.

Jean-Luc Colombo
2011 Les Abeilles
De Colombo
Cotes Du Rhone

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Trailrunner, that menu looks amazing! I wish I was closer. Bee, your meal looks incredible too. Happy birthday Julia!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Thanks, Bee!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:19AM
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Bee your pics are wonderful !! We must have been posting at the same time.

gr8day...what a yummy use for all those fresh veggies...the cream cheese made it so good I bet.

oldbat..that is SO cool...what did you do with the marble ?

seg...if you di visit I hope you will stop in and have a meal. Tell DS I "sent " you.

java..that breakfast sure sounds good...would love to have it now:)

Thank you sochi...that was last week actually...he is always changing it up. Farm to table means that he relies heavily on what his local folks have to offer.

francoise..that clafoutis...oh my...that looks so good. c

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:48AM
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I loved the Julia tribute you posted.
Bring on the roasted potatoes!

Beekeeper-- glad to see you are enjoying your wonderful new kitchen in style.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Well, my frantic emails and texts to pick up peppers on the way home from work went unnoticed. So no piperade for me.

However, as I was closing The Way to Cook, my eye fell on the recipe for Chicken Provencale...along with a counter full of tomatoes from the yard.

So thanks for the reminder! Bon appetit everyone!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:59AM
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What a wonderful tribute to the birthday girl!

Bee your piperade, mousse and brie...Parfait...mettre au point! Great thread...thank you...have enjoyed it very much! And your pictures too!

Francoise - your Clafoutis au Mure et aux Myrtilles - tres magnifique! Will now have to find that NY Times article! BTW- Love your wood counters - your picture was well "staged"!!

Trailrunner- The Red Hen menu is awesome! After reading the impressive menu - the $500 was very well deserved!

Loved seeing all of the bounty out there that will be "put up" for the winter months...makes me yearn for a garden again...gave it up to the deer, birds and woodchucks.

Bons- you have perfected the macaroon! Yum!

Marcolo- being from the Boston area - we used to have incredible Julia sightings too...various restaurants, markets, etc. On occasion she used to pop in to cook in the kitchen at the Straight Wharf restaurant - in the days when Marian Morash (Victory Garden Cookbook) was one of the chefs...Julia's famous "flutey" tones would float out and passersby would call out "Bon Appetit!"... She would wave, give them one of your "hullooos" and if the spirit moved her she would visit for a spell before going back to prepping for dinner. This foodie (who has dated herself) loved it!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Guests left late last night, so I'm only able to post now.

We had my parents over and I made pasta with chile pepper cream sauce (Pasta con Peperoni, but if I say the italian name it sounds odd to american ears; slightly different spelling). I used Anaheim peppers from the garden instead of Bell for an extra kick and my wife contributed a salad with green beans and cherry tomatoes from the garden. Later my brother and his wife came over and we had my mom's strawberry shortcake:

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Confiture de mirabelles

I must admit: being European and of a slightly younger generation I had to look up who Julia Child is. Thank you for bringing her to my attention.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Even I had Julia Child sightings, but I was pretty wee at the time. She was so *big*! I believe she once scrambled over to my bro's rented house and showed him and some of his roommates a thing or two -- or is this an urban legend? It sounds so fantastical I'll have to ask again if it's even true. It was part of the received-family-wisdom that there was an internecine argument about something, turkey basting I believe, and someone thought it would be fun to just call her up and ask; she lived around the corner. And in return when her explanations weren't really sinking in she said "oh, just wait right there, I'll be right over...." Something fantastical like that.

I agree that smelling something cooking feels like home. That is a loss with all of our mega-ventilating systems.

I made a real caesar salad the other night from her cookbook, for a huge passel of 12yos. They like that gross stuff that passes in restaurants these days as "caesar salad" so I only agreed to make the dish for them if they'd eat the real thing. No hidden ingredients either. I'm happy to report the whole bakers' dozen of em ate raw egg and anchovies ... enough good fresh (well, OK made from stale bread) croutons will wash down anything.

Sorry, no pictures...

But Halloween's around the corner; I could take a picture of the inside of my fridge! ;) [there are a lot of leftovers in there, the detritus of a Kitchen In Action -- that's the connection]. We finished up the soup made from the leftover juice of a lemon terragon chicken the other night. That was so delicious and interesting! Highly recommended: s/p, lots of tarragon and lemon and maybe some vermouth or something, cooked with pieces of chicken; save those pieces, turn em into soup and take the leftover juice from the chicken and toss it into the soup. It was really interesting, if not terribly photogenic....

NorthCarolina -- I hope you love your vitamix as much as I'm loving mine.

Oh all right... here's some getting made the other day:

What on earth are those bottles of water doing in that picture? I don't even know where they came from... that's the reason my house is so messy; I just don't even see stuff.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Wish I had a Julia sighting. She'd show up in Pasadena occasionally, but in those days I was running way too fast to open a cookbook (I thought), much less make a cookbook signing, or whatever. I'd make time now for sure.

Aliris, you have to be doing something really right. My 12-year-olds and their friends would have run off to someone else's house if I threatened to make them a Caesar salad. I always just plunked everything down and, if necessary, lied my head off about what was in it. (They're both dealing with their own fanatically picky kids these days, and I LOVE listening to tales of their maneuvers.)

Segbrown, even after fantasizing over Trailrunner's menu, you have me craving tuna casserole. Mine is one of 2 canned soup recipe survivors, the other being even worse--a chicken and boxed stuffing casserole--and will remain so. Why mess with 15-minute perfection, even of both grown children do still use it as an example of child abuse? My own TC recipe uses cream of celery soup, though, as a vehicle for cheese and mayo out of a jar. :) (Rest easy, Julia)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Hey Rosie -- that which is 'right' is insisting that they try it! It was really delicious.... and in fact they're now old enough to allow reality to override expectation.

mayo out of a jar ... it's actually ridiculously easy to make that stuff -- you know that, right? It definitely conforms to my First Rule of Home Economics: 'Price of prepared food is inversely related to the difficulty in making it'. OK, maybe jarred mayo isn't all that expensive. But it's shockingly easy (if you own a blender at least) to make as well... Try it in your TC maybe?

I was disappointed the video clip of Julia omitted the famous throw-the-butter-on-the-ceiling-and-watch-it-stick episode. Still just about the best TV I think I've ever seen.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Aliris -- I am indeed loving the Vitamix, thank you, though it's been only a few days so I haven't tried many things yet. I have a picky child of my own and smoothies are one way he will accept fruits and veggies, so when my old blender died I decided just to cut to the chase and get something that would really WORK. We are still in the "ooh, let's see if it can blend this" stage. Today I learned that cucumber does not enhance the flavor of a fruity green smoothie. (p.s. for anyone watching -- this is a factory-reconditioned machine and if there is any difference from a new one, I can't see it.)

Making my own mayo. I might be tempted, but I would have to exactly duplicate the taste of Duke's. :) I don't know about this Hellman's nonsense; Julia must have had a slip of the tongue.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Happy belated 100th, Julia. She is my second favorite Julia. My first is my daughter. We did not name her after J.C., but I did think that it was appropriate that a daughter of a home economics teacher would name her firstborn after such a cooking icon. I have also visited her kitchen many times at the Smithsonian. I also have a plaque in my kitchen that pays respect both to Julia Child, and my Wisconsin upbringing. So while it is a day late, she was certainly in my thoughts yesterday. I did cheat, however, and used another cookbook tonight. To be fair though, I used lots of butter and drank some good wine while I was making this mixed berry crisp with streusel topping.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:01PM
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Senator, Great plaque!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:57PM
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NC - I think blended cukes are curiously strong in flavor. But they make a great, frothy texture -- just use half what you were thinking and things might work better.

I bought one of these a couple months ago and I'm pretty sure I average well over three uses per day, still. I just love that thing. I can't believe how long it took me to bite that bullet. It's really an amazing experience to have a blender that just works. I want all those thousands of hours I spent battling one blender or another over the years back. Plus I absolutely would have come out ahead financially if I had just bought this thing 15 years ago.

Wait, are we on the appliances forum? ;) Who's thread am I hijacking? Oh, Julia's.... she'll be OK with it. :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 12:33AM
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I did end up cooking here at DS's. I had brought roasted vegetables from home . DIL had made a beef taco filling the other day. We combined efforts and made...quesadillas !! They were so YUM. Also thanks to DS's brilliance:) we made them a different and easy way.

Flour tortilla, filled with some of the roasted vegs and then grated pepper jack cheese...fold over and brush both sides with EVOO. Place in broiler and broil till browned nicely on the one side and then flip. The cheese and filling gets very nicely hot and melty. We then put the reheated taco filling on the outside as a topper with diced avocado, marinated Roma tomatoes and cilantro. So fast and easy and no skillet and you can do a whole bunch if you need to on one large cookie sheet...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:15AM
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I tried to keep it real. Basic meal from a couple of days ago.
Kids ate most of it!

Facial expression in response to the question, 'do want to eat this again tomorrow?':

Here's one of me, in case you want to put a face to a name (it captures my essence at 6pm, ie: a little frazzled, tired, and blurry):

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:45AM
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--sigh-- All the food on this thread looks delicious. I might steal your quesadilla idea, trailrunner; I usually do mine one at a time on the stove.

Pawa, those are great pictures and I love your kitchen! Those pulls are perfect with the Applad doors. So what was it that you fed that poor boy?

(Aliris -- flaxseed in the smoothies today. I feel so 2012. lol. DH and I explained to the kids that there was no such thing as smoothies when we were growing up. I don't think they believed us.)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Genius! All of your pictures are so sweet, thanks for sharing everyone of you! All the food looks delicious. I don't cook like that every night there are plenty of a jar of pasta sauce with spaghetti around here. Although I do put a pound of ground beef in and think I am being creative! ha ha. Nice thread I think Julia would be honored that so many remembered her on her special day.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:32PM
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trailrunnerbiker is SO easy and they taste wonderful. I love the texture of the tortilla better this way and the ease of making so many at once. You will too !! your pics and that is one great kitchen !!

The flaxseed would be a serious mistake in my house LOL...

As to smoothies...I invented them in 1979...called them "special"...when I put yogurt and fruit and a frozen banana with honey and cinnamon in the blender they would ask " what are you making mommy ? " and I always said " something special" ...after that they always called it Special !! They are now in their 30's and still do.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:42PM
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lol Trailrunner... when mine ask me what I am making, my response is usually "poison" -- I'm just not as nice or patient as you! I get so tired of, well, expressions like that of the micro-pawa -- no offense intended! That is, he's really cute, but as they age and this expression starts to crop up before ever dinner is sat down to or even at the suggestion that dinner is on the way (and like this is a new happening; geesh) -- well, that's when my reaction comes to bear: "poison" is my usual label for what I make!

And that seems about right for my latter-day smoothies which nowadays usually feature kale or spinach; something green. It's amazing how little chlorophyll turns fruit juice how lurid. I got started in smoothie-making probably 30 years ago (TR may beat me out), with this "recipe": OJ concentrate, yogurt, banana; maybe a little milk to thin it. I drank that for breakfast for a very long time. I marvel now at the lack of imagination that never added, say, some bee pollen? flaxseed? brewer's yeast? berries, fruit... There is more "raw ingredients" available in the freezer section these days (a good thing).

Pawa - as beautiful as your kitchen, backsplash and wood counters are, it is even more delectable for the way it seems to suit you. I can't explain that really, just that *you* look fantastic against that backdrop too... (even fatigued). Thanks for the authentic glimpse!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:27PM
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OK, I know I'm being boring but I've just got to show you the steps:

Toward this:

...which is the most delicious stuff ever. Here's the story: you-all made me feel guilty with so many delectable-looking treats. I thought a real mother would greet her children newly returned from new schools with something special this first week. So I made spice bars, which I never do because they're so addictive it's nearly impossible not to consume them all in one sitting:

Boil then cool: 1 cp water and 1 cp raisins.
When cool, mix into above: 1 egg beaten together with 1/2 cp sugar & 1/2 cp apple sauce.
Sift dry ingredients & combine all together: 1 3/4 (sifted) flour, 1/4 t salt, 3/4 t. cloves, 2 t. cinnamon, 1 t. nutmeg, 1 t. soda
add chopped walnuts, cook in 13 x 9 pan at 375 for 20 min. Ice with butter cream (2 cp confect sugar, 1/4 cp butter, titch vanilla and milk)

You'll notice this is not even appreciably bad for you. Except of course if you eat the entire pan in one sitting.

I urge y'all to try this recipe!!! It's fast, easy, cheap and won't kill you (immediately).

Trouble is, I don't think it's Julia-Child calibre. There is butter in it though. However I subbed apple sauce for oil. I'm pretty sure this would incur disfavor...until she tried it!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:52PM
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You are walking in famous footsteps Aliris.." M.F.K. Fisher wrote the delightful How to Cook a Wolf in 1942 and includes a War Cake recipe." That is what you made...also known as Boiled Raisin Cake, Civil War Cake, WW II cake. and Canadian War has no eggs usually and a tiny bit of lard. Looks very yum !!

Yes I used to thin Special with a bit of milk if the bananas made it too slushy. The main ingred. was always frozen banana and then anything else...have to have that rich thick Frosty quality. Yum...I may have to make me some !! c

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:06PM
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Okay, only two days late! Finally got to making my salade nicoise in honor of the grand dame's birthday!!! Used tarragon, basil, and oregano from my planters on the deck, but had to buy the flat-leaf parsley (mine pooped out earlier this summer--it's been awful here weather-wise) and also purchased the scallions (lettuce, tomatoes, etc...).

It was yummy! Poured some French Pouilly-Fuisse Chardonnay and Bon Appetit!!

Here are a few step-by-step pics (link below takes you to the full--very full!) album:

Here is a link that might be useful: Happy Birthday Julia!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:53PM
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TR -- I just ordered that book. I can tell I need to read it just from the title. Plus, she's been on my list. So interesting there is such a history to the cake; I need to look into that too. As far as I'm concerned it's pretty much the acme of sweet things: why would anyone ever invent any other desert? But if it's so old, there's obviously been a long time during which people have come up with many new options. A puzzle.

Cat_mom: that looks absolutely spectacular. I believe Ms Child would be immensely proud.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:23AM
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trailrunnerbiker those are fabulous pics! Has been way too long since I have been at that lovely table...and had herbs from your pot garden :( Hopefully someday again.

Yes Aliris it is a yummy cake with a history . You will enjoy looking it up on Google Images and read the history. c

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 9:11AM
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Thanks aliris and C! Just noticed that DH's crumb-filled (replete w/olive pit) bread dish is at the forefront of the shot he so artfully "staged" LOL!

BTW, the dressing I make (for my nicoise) is from an old Martha Stewart cookbook (Entertaining), which is the bottom cookbook in the picture. The book on top is the lovely Miss Julia's Way To Cook.

aliris--no apologies allowed for your cake recipe!! Besides the fact that it looks scrumptious, don't you recall Julia's rule #1? Never apologize! :-)

Love all the pics and the tributes/stories--keep 'em coming!!!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:45AM
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As promised a few days ago,
yesterday was tomato processing day.

Fresh from the garden.

After 2 hours on the range top.

After 1 1/2 hours in the oven.

Hibernating in the freezer 'till the winter sets in.

Happy belated 100th, Julia.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:47AM
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willtv--sooooooooo jealous! I so miss having tomatoes from our own garden. A lot of work, but very much worth it when the harvest is bountiful as yours appears to be! Your sauce looks yummy!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:51AM
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willtv that looks wonderful ! so what exactly did you do to get that goodness...ingredients/amounts/what temp in oven...come on...spill the details :) c

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Lobster Thermidor from Mastering>.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 7:50PM
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trailrunner, Here are the gory details.

Full disclosure: this recipe comes from The New York Cookbook by Molly O'Neill

6 or 7 pounds of tomatoes. Any combination of plum & beefsteaks will do.
3 ribs celery
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 sprig fresh oregano
1 sprig Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1 crumbled dried red chile
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar.
Freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Skin the tomatoes.
Squeeze juice into a bowl & reserve.
Remove seeds if you wish (I leave the seeds in) and coarsely chop tomatoes.
Coarsely chop onions, celery and garlic and saute in olive oil over mdium heat until onions are translucent.
Add tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil.
Turn heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
At each stirring add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Preheat oven to 350.
After 2 hours add the oregano and parlsey sprigs, basil leaves, dried chile, vinegar, black pepper and brown sugar.
Place in oven covered for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove herb sprigs and enjoy.

I have to say I've tried more than a few red sauce recipes and this is far and away the best I've come across.

cat_mom, Unlike the last 2 years, when we had no tomatoes, this years crop is quite bountiful so we're happy to take advantage.
Do you no longer have a garden?
Certainly if you have a terrace you can grow tomatoes in pots.
If not, find a local green market.
There's nothing like a fresh tomato.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Wow - what a fun idea for a thread. It is nice to see all these gorgeous spaces put to use! Tonight, I also had sauce that cooked all day yesterday (very similar to willtv's recipe but minus the fresh tomatoes and secret ingredient of brown sugar which I will definitely be trying next time), but no photos. Instead, here is a photo I snapped last night before a few of our neighbors stopped over for some wine and conversation.

trailrunner - I am originally from VA, but a bit northeast of Lexington. You bet your bottom dollar that next time I go visit I'll be making a little trek to The Ren Hen. I'll drop your name "trailrunner" and see if it gets me any perks!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Marcolo..that looks amazing !!

Thank you will. I am headed back to AL from VA tomorrow. I will get to the farmer's market and make a batch of this does sound wonderful indeed...and I have all the fresh herbs in my pot garden. Thank you ! c

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:34PM
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marcolo, Can I have an order to go?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:06PM
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willtv, no more garden, at least for the time being. We used to lose some tomatoes/plants, green beans/plants to the deer, and some to the squirrels and groundhogs. Not too terrible, but enough that we finally put up a deer fence. When we put up the deer fence, the squirrels and groundhogs decimated the garden! The climbed over and under it. 22 tomato plants (all different varieties) and we ended up with a mere pittance! The following year our plants were hit with the tomato blight that hit tomato plants along the northeast. Until we can build some sort of squirrel and groundhog-proof structure/garden, it doesn't pay to dig up a new section of the lawn to start another garden (to avoid contaminated soil from the blighted plants).

Can't grow them on the deck--squirrels!!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:10PM
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cat_mom, We too suffered from early blight last year.
The year before that, we had so much rain the roots just rotted in the ground.
Hence 2 years without tomatoes.
Squirrels can be a big problem.
A neighbor of mine has installed a raised bed and enclosed it with chicken wire.
A PITA, but it seems to work.
You might try the same thing adding chicken wire under the soil to keep the groundhogs at bay.
Happily, the local critters seem to leave me alone.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Eventually we might do just that willtv, but our entire lawn needs a lot of work ("fill" and grading and more grass vs. weeds....). No point in digging up a new section of lawn to "build" a garden until all that is addressed.

I have pics of one of my KIA end of summer, tomato sauce-making marathons somewhere (prob on our old desktop computer). Your pics remind me of those. The first or second year without a garden, I broke down and purchased a big bag of luscious, ripe, farm-grown tomatoes at our local farmers market so I could make garden tomato sauce to freeze. KA-CHING!!! Made one batch of the most expensive tomato sauce ever!

kellienoelle--what a wonderful looking wine and conversation set-up you put together! I'll bet your friends enjoyed themselves in your beautiful new space!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:53AM
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I wish the hawks would come back and snack on my voles.

I made three Julia recipes over the past week, and I've come to the conclusion that she should've weighted 400 pounds. I imagine her eating habits were as French as her cooking, meaning portions half the size of the typical American's. Also, when she lived in Cambridge she walked everywhere, which was easy to do from her house.

But boy, while that Lobster Thermidor was delicious, it's not something you'd take a second helping of.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Happy Belated 100th!!!!! Getting ready to stuff peppers to freeze for the winter and can peaches.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:24AM
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amy, What? No pie?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:59PM
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willtv - no pie today, but I have to say I'm making that sauce this weekend! Looks delicious! Brown sugar...who would have thought...but makes sense! Baking sauce in the oven makes all the difference!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:19PM
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willtv, I'd walk a mile for a fresh tomato. No one has any here due to the weather and if they do they aren't talking. Your's look amazing! Loving all the beautiful pictures of the amazing dishes prepared by the great chefs here at GW.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:56PM
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I made peach pie, but it's a Susan Branch recipe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peach Pie

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 2:45PM
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