Friday, August 7, 2009

Nina's cooking day

Went to a vegan/veg cooking class last night and it was actually great! And I love meat. These vegan pumpkin cookies were a hit. Nina decided to make them today and everyone loved them. Don't know if the recipe is copyrighted but pumpkin, toasted walnuts, tart dried cherries and oatmeal are delicious and give a lovely fall touch to our first non sweltering day in SoCal for awhile.
Nina draws much inspiration from Giada and tackled an "intermediate" recipe tonight. Penne with roasted vegetables. She worked hard on her own (my how the kitchen looked when it finally went into the oven!) and did a great job.

Starting to come together here. Everything from scratch but the Cento marinara sauce--hey, Giada said to use bottled marinara sauce!

Coming out of the oven! The house smelled glorious.

Isn't this wonderful looking? We only changed one thing: turned down the oven temp to 375 after 10 minutes otherwise that would have been heckofa crispy pasta. Loved by all and just as good as those vegan cookies. AND! I didn't have to cook--just help with some cleanup. I am so proud of her.

So my project involves using my pickling cucumbers, like Baba did--Slovakian style brine/garlic pickles. I read Ruhlman's blog awhile ago about how to do it (why did I always doubt Mom when she told me? He did it just like her). 1:20 brine and I added smashed garlic and dill fresh from my crazy dill patch.

I used Baba's small pickling jar that Mom had given me. Baba would always make these throughout summer. The smell of that brine with the dill was screaming summer in Pennsylvania to me.

The creative part of my project was how to keep the pickles at 65 degrees or so for 7 days when there are no basements in SoCal and it is HOT! So I am putting it in a small Igloo with some ice packs which I will periodically change out to keep it cool. If it's too hot, it will slime and too cool will be soggy and yukky. So I will know in a week or so.......


Anonymous said...

Awww, thanks for writing such nice stuff about me :] it was really fun...i actually love cooking so it was no problem!

Keena said...

you are a talented cook!
and you have a talent for selecting yummy recipes which is even more important!