Archive for the ‘Craig Claiborne’ Category

My mother-in-law had a copy of this book in hardcover. I was immediately drawn to the illustrations in black and white of each herb and spice you can imagine, all in alphabetical order for ease of reference. This book gives anywhere from one to a dozen recipes for a specific spice or herb.

I wouldn’t call this “American” or “French” per se, it’s just simple recipes to give you ideas on the versatility of those little plants and jars in your kitchen. I also like the descriptions, they give times-past associations of spices with prosperity, luck, love, and hate!

I tried the Cabbage with Capers last night and my husband said it was one of the best things I’ve made in a while!  (Why doesn’t he like the rest of it? Or is he too nice to tell me so? Well I have to admit that I’ve been heavy handed with the salt as of late…)

Adapted from Cabbage with Capers from Cooking With Herbs And Spices by Craig Claiborne

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked ham, small dice
  • 1 Tbsp bacon fat
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp capers with brine
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup water

Start with the bacon fat, ham, and onion.  Add the garlic after the onion is soft and fragrant, cook for a minute.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine then quickly cover and reduce to medium-low for 10 minutes.  It’s ready when the cabbage is soft, stir to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan if needed.

This dish resembled a very mild sauerkraut only the caraway was replaced with capers.  Big Brother is not a fan of caraway seeds, so this is a good swap for him.

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In other news… I’m hosting a bake sale on Mother’s Day!  I’ve opened a cottage bakery in my house, Cardamom Finnish Cottage Bakery, and I thought this would be a good way to let neighbors know about me.  And for all of you Austin readers, this is a chance to actually taste some of the sweet things you’ve been drooling over while reading my blog.  Locals can pre-order via the bakery website to pick up on Sunday, or just come on by between 9 and 11 am and shop at the sale (2800 Adelen Ln, Round Rock).


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Without realizing it, or even planning it, today ended up being on the Frenchy side.  For breakfast, I made crepes filled with fresh blueberries and whip cream.  Lunch was a vichyssoise made with out cream and served warm with home made rolls.  The carnivorous Hubby was slightly miffed there was a severe lack of meat thus far.  Tough bananas baby!

Blueberry Crepes

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • sprinkle salt

Whisk.  Pour into a pan with melted butter, swirl.  Brown on one side.  Flip.  Cook until done but not browned.  Fill with whipped cream and fresh blueberries.

Vichyssoise Lite

Adapted from Cooking with Herbs & Spices by Craig Claiborne

  • 1 bunch leeks
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 russet potatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives (garnish)

Special equipment: blender, immersion blender, or food mill.

Trim the green part of the leeks off, save for making stock.  Thoroughly rinse the whites, cut in half lengthwise to release the layers and the sand between them.

Jullienne the leek and onion.  In a large soup pot, add the oil and butter over medium heat, add the leek and onion and cook until it begins to brown.  Add chicken stock and potatoes.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.  Blend the soup and return to the pot.  Add the milk, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve garnished with chives.

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