October 27, 2011

Meat Loaf


The term meat loaf has some interesting connotations. First of all, there's that singer from the 70s who resurfaced in the 90s with "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)." Before we get distracted by pondering what exactly it is that he won't do, let's talk about meat loaf the food. It seems that it's a dish that people have strong feelings toward - they either love it or hate it. We suspect that in both cases it has to do with meat loaf they ate as a child (delicious homemade comfort food or frozen TV dinner horror). We didn't really swing either way until we made this recipe from The New Basics, but now it has become one of our favorites. This recipe makes about five servings, so we like to have it the first night with mashed potatoes and some veggie, and the second night with pasta and some other veggie. The big question then is - who gets to have the last serving in a sandwich for lunch the next day?

October 16, 2011

Blackberry Barley Muffins


Summer is most definitely over now. We got our first rains, and it's starting to get dark noticeably earlier. However, this is kind of an exciting time of year food-wise, when the end of the summer produce overlaps with the beginning of the fall produce, and you can have blackberry apple crisp, or choose between butternut squash and glorious heirloom tomatoes. In fact, we had our first butternut squash of the season last night, but we're still enjoying our tomatoes and fresh shellbeans. 

We thought we'd take advantage of this inter-season by doing some baking with the last of the season's blackberries, in a tribute to one of our favorite desserts of this summer - Smitten Kitchen's strawberry summer cake (originally Martha Stewart's). What made this cake great, and the reason why we made it over and over again this summer, was of course the pint of strawberries - but also the unexpected addition of barley flour. We had never baked with barley flour before, but it's a great thing. It has a very slight nutty flavor, and also lends a little bit of crunchy texture to the final product. We decided that if it's good in strawberry cake, it must be good in blackberry muffins too - and guess what? We weren't wrong.