June 4, 2008

Great Cooks Blogroll and other stuff

I found another great community and food blogroll recently, the Great Cooks Community.

Founded by Jill from Simple Daily Recipes this is a friendly and creative group. Jill's site is really worth visiting as well. Her honey buttered biscuits remind me that it's past time for me to attempt dairy-free puff pastry. Alex would love anything with honey and cinnamon drizzled on top and I'd really like to have him try croissants and pain au chocolat.

This past Saturday I went to the Royal Oak Farmer's Market. The fruit and vegetable selection is still limited though the meat and tomato plant selection was amazing. I have a new variety of yellow tomato called Azoychka Russian that came in a real terracotta pot. Yellow/orange tomatoes are my favorites. I love their lower acidity.

I haven't tried several of meat vendors yet so I purchased some tasty steaks and a whole brisket from the Maitland Family Farm. Located in Melvin, Michigan their beef is all pasture fed. I have the brisket in the fridge turning into corned beef and I'll post the recipe when it's done curing and I cook it. I love cooking corned beef and this is my first attempt at curing it myself.

I also purchased some beautiful rhubarb. I was feeling too lazy to make pie and found this recipe for rhubarb bars. How can you not love a recipe with only five ingredients! I made them this morning and they were delicious, though I couldn't resist adding a scraped vanilla pod into the filling. Rhubarb and vanilla is my favorite combination of late.

While eating my piece of rhubarb bar for breakfast this morning I also got around to watching the season premiere of the Next Food Network Star. Food Network has really lost me in past years. I DVR tape and watch new Good Eats episodes and the new Jamie at Home series but other than those two and the occasional Iron Chef while on the exercise bike I have no interest in their current line up of shows. Ina Garten and Giada have good recipes but are dull to watch. Rachel Ray is painful to watch but she occasionally has good ideas for shortcuts. None of those shows feel like they're worth the time it takes to watch them. The latest batch of FN Star contenders look like MTV Real World alumni. They're all random and seem to care more about their personal presentation then about food. I must say that the clothes and shoes on the contestant Lisa are fierce. I loved the red dress she wore for the judging. She should kick her crazy, long winded speeches to the curb and just focus on fashion and great food. The dishes they cooked were generally uninteresting but maybe things will improve as the season continues. I'm looking forward to part one of the Puerto Rico finale of Top Chef tonight.