Behind the Scenes, Things are Happening

strawberry coconut cake
A combination of several recipes, to merge the best of the best.

While you might not be seeing any posts, here at Scratchin’ Central we never stop. Case in point is the Strawberry Coconut Birthday Cake shown above. We used the White Cake recipe for the cake, but assembled as directed in The Perfect Party Cake, using vanilla frosting and a seedless strawberry jam between the layers.

Nothing to See Here, Move Along

large amount of mushrooms
In case you’re wondering, that’s a 4 quart bowl filled with fried Portobello mushrooms. They’ll end up in one of the two kinds of lasagnas.

No post today because we’re in full-on cooking mode as we put together a celebratory dinner for about 25 people, which will include salad with choice of dressings, two kinds of lasagna, Caramel Nut Tarts, Cherry Clafoutis, and dinner rolls with herbed butter. All scratched up, of course.

Corn Puffs

corn puffs
corn puffs
Crispy for a perfect side!

Last Saturday, we were having soup for dinner and wanted a bit of a bread product to go along with it. Who doesn’t like something bread-y to dip into broth, right? But, we didn’t want to get the last chunk of bread out of the freezer, as that’s going to be used to  make croutons for an upcoming dinner. This meant that, if we were going to have a bread, it’d have to be quick and fresh. We immediately thought of corn bread, but, before we committed, we did a quick look through Quick Breads, by Beatrice A. Ojakangas, and found this easy, fast, bread-like product (it’s not really a bread, so…).

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Staff Lasagna

staff lasagna
staff lasagna
Browned, bubbly, and tasty!

We’re in the process of putting together a dinner for about 25 people. Nothing super-fancy, but something nice, and, we hope, good. One thing that we really like to do when making food for others is to try it out in advance. That way, there won’t be any surprises (in this case, there was a small hitch, necessitating a change in schedule; more about that later).

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You Can’t Beet That!

weekly CSA produce share
We happen to love beets and we know that the season is almost over, so we’ll take any we can get!

Look at those beets! They’re huge! Not quite the weapons of mass nutrition that we received several years ago (some of those beets were the size of softballs), but much larger than you’ll find in a supermarket. And do you, dear reader, know why? Because produce for supermarkets is grown for uniformity, storage, and shipping. We guess that any produce that doesn’t match the standards is used for animal feed. Not in consideration are nutrition and flavor. The things that everyone really cares about when eating.

So, this week’s share held:

  • Dandelion greens (1 bunch) traded for more beets
  • Chioggia beets (1 bunch) with a pale bulls-eye pattern when sliced
  • New red potatoes (8)
  • Carrots (1 bunch) tops left for the happy hens
  • Artichokes (4)
  • Gold onions (4)
  • Arugula (1 bunch)
  • Red Russian kale (1 bunch)

Blackened Corn and Shiitake Barley Risotto

risotto dinner
risotto dinner
Risotto can be filling, so we generally dish up just a small amount — of course, we almost always have seconds, too.

This isn’t a real risotto; after all, it doesn’t have any rice. Instead, it’s a barley dish that’s cooked just like risotto. While we really like risotto, with all its creamy goodness, we thought that we’d try to make up something a bit different. Once we decided to use barley as the grain, we looked around to see what we could add to the risotto. Well, it turns out that we had an ear of corn, and, of course, we always have dried shiitake mushrooms on hand. Dinner plan solved.

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Cauliflower Gratin

cauliflower gratin

old-computer-thumbSorry about the hiatus, but we had a slight problem with our computerized filing system here at Scratchin’ It Central. Fortunately, we were quickly able to upgrade to something newer, and, we hope, more reliable.

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