Life and Such

The Humble Gourmet on Cucumbertown

Hello friends!  I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas Eve.  I wanted to drop in and tell you about a fantastic recipe sharing site, Cucumbertown.

Cucumbertown

Cucumbertown is a tribe of chefs, food bloggers and foodies sharing inspiration, recipes and delicious meals.  The lovely Sanaa A’esha, one of the organizers of Cucumbertown, asked to interview me as a “friend of the tribe.”  Of course, I jumped at the chance to talk all things food and share my recipes.  You can check out the profile here.

While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to the Cucumbertown online magazine and check out some of the other cooks.  There are some fantastic recipes and ideas being bounced around that great site.  Thanks again Sanaa!

Monday Morning Coffee Break: Thanksgiving Edition

Coffee Break

 

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  I had the great fortune of accompanying my good friend Emily to a special interactive lunch with Chef Todd English at the Culinary Institute in St. Helena hosted by Bing’s new Food & Wine App.  He demonstrated two dishes, sea scallops with chestnuts and orange and rabbit pappardelle.  Afterwards, we went into the school’s kitchens to prepare the scallops for ourselves, then were served the rabbit dish and a spiced pumpkin crème brûlée.  Since Emily and I ended up cooking our sea scallops last (due to a rather pushy patron who did not want to share), we ended up having Todd English give us a one-on-one lesson on proper preparation.  It was a really fantastic afternoon, and we are so grateful that we were able to participate!  A big thank you go out to Katie Musselman from Bing and of course, Emily, for inviting me along on such a great event.

Now, onto our coffee break!  I thought in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I would do an entirely Thanksgiving themed link up.  Enjoy!

 

Looking for a lovely starter for your Thanksgiving meal?  The Kitchn has rounded up 8 delicious and festive soups to get you started.

Take a look at these Vargas-girl style Thanksgiving pin-ups.  Because nothing says community and family and thankfulness quite a like a saucy pilgrim girl riding a giant turkey.

Buzzfeed has given you everything you never knew about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of releasing the balloons after the parade to float around New York City.

And finally, my favorite Thanksgiving link.  Everyone has that one particular anal-retentive family member, right?  Well, be lucky you’re not in Marney’s family.  Click on this link: hilarity will ensue.

 

I’ll be back on Wednesday with a little recipe to get the weekend of eating started.  Have a great week!

A Lil’ Oven Baking

Well, I promised an announcement on Monday, and I’m here to deliver.  Care to see what I’ve got baking in the oven?

Cinnamon Bun 4

 

Yes, the Humble home is gaining another mouth to feed.  Shawn and I are expecting our first child in May 2014!  We are over the moon, couldn’t be more excited.  We had started trying to get pregnant at the start of the year, and then with all of my health complications, we had to put the whole baby train on hold.  But, in June, my doctor gave us the go-ahead to start trying again, and now here we are!  

I know the picture above is a literal cinnamon bun baking in the oven, but I thought what better way to announce a pregnancy on a cooking blog?  Besides, this cinnamon bun is scrumptious (adapted from The Farm Girl recipe) and you will want to bake it for yourself, with or without baby.

Cinnamon Bun 3

 

For those of you who are curious (because a lot of people are), I’ve been feeling pretty good.  Some nausea, some morning sickness, but very little.  I’ve had some pretty crazy reactions to food though.  Early on, I grabbed a handful of kettle corn for a snack (normally a favorite), and nearly spit it right back out.  It tasted like pennies.  SO disappointing.  Since then, my normally over-active sweet tooth has been seriously depleted, and all I want is cheese, pickles, and all things salty.  I had about 3 weeks where all I wanted to eat was Shawn’s spaghetti (he makes the BEST spaghetti sauce; I will post a recipe sometime for you!) cold, with cornichons.  Weird combo, I know, but it tasted amazing.  I always thought the pregnancy cravings thing wasn’t totally real, but you really do get turned off of foods and combinations you normally love and develop obsessions with other foods.  Very bizarre.

So, that’s my news.  We’re chugging along just fine with our little HB (baby’s in utero nickname: stands for “healthy baby”), and now that we’ve passed the first real milestones, we’re giddy to start sharing the news with all of our family and friends (and you of course!).  I’ll post updates as they happen, and definitely once our little bundle is here, but this will remain a food blog.  I may delve into kid and baby friendly recipes as time goes on (especially if there seems to be a lot of interest), but I’m still here, posting recipes with tons of chocolate, butter and cheese for us all to drool over.  I’m also happy to answer any questions you may have about our lil’ announcement (leave them in the comments).

Thank you for sharing in this exciting news with us.  Now, let’s eat some cinnamon buns!  THG

Cinnamon Bun 1

 

Giant Cinnamon Bun
Yields 1
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Dough
  1. 3/4 cup warm buttermilk
  2. 6 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 4 1/4 cups (21 ¼ ounces) flour
  5. 1/4 cup sugar
  6. 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  7. 1 1/4 tsp. salt
Filling
  1. 8 Tbsp. melted butter
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  4. Zest of 1 large orange
Glaze
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 tsp. orange zest
  3. 1 Tbsp. orange juice
  4. 1 Tbsp. milk
For the dough
  1. Whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs. Mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add a tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips.
  2. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest in a small bowl until well mixed and set aside. Grease 1 9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  4. When the dough has risen, gently punch down and roll into a roughly 24X6-inch rectangle. Brush the melted butter evenly over the entire surface. Top with the cinnamon sugar mixture, evenly pressing the sugar mixture gently into the butter. Starting with a shorter side, roll the dough tightly into classic cinnamon roll form, pinching the edge to seal. Gently take the rolled dough and coil it around in one of the prepared baking pans. The layers will want to fall apart a bit, but they will come back together during the baking process. Lightly cover the cinnamon roll with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  6. Bake the roll for 45-50 minutes, until lightly golden on top and cooked through. While the roll is baking, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Remove the cinnamon roll from the oven and using a spatula, nudge it out of the pan onto a cooling rack set over waxed or parchment paper. Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon roll. Slice the cinnamon roll into pie-shaped wedges and serve warm.
Adapted from The Farm Girl
Adapted from The Farm Girl
The Humble Gourmet http://www.thehumblegourmet.com/

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning my loves!  How is everyone today?  Anyone get Veteran’s Day off?  Shawn did, and I am positively green with envy that he gets to enjoy an extra day.  Oh well, onwards and upwards!

 

In random history news, some recent findings have been revealed in regards to King Tut’s mummy.  Did you know it spontaneously combusted at one point?  Crazy.

Looking to improve your vocabulary?  Try some of these Victorian slang terms, and delight in the confusion on your friends’ faces.

These realistically colorized versions of historic photographs are simply breathtaking.

Buzzfeed this past week delighted us with 21 of the best things to ever happen in a restaurant.  

It’s persimmon season!  Try out some of these delicious seasonal recipes.

As you get ready to start planning your Thanksgiving meals, check out these simple party hacks.  You will wow everyone with your hosting skills.

And finally, Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker has created a recipe for homemade vanilla extract.  Must try.

 

Also, stay tuned later in the week for a special Humble Gourmet announcement!  Have a great week!

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning loveys!  I hope everyone had a good weekend.  We had a great Sunday afternoon; the lovely Camille from Planning Pretty threw a “Party for Autumn” at their home, and we had a fantastic time chatting and eating the delicious food that Camille and her husband prepared for everyone.  Emily (Sparkle Meets Pop), Melissa (Serving Seconds), Ana (Fluxi on Tour), and Meredith (Not Merely Living) were all in attendance as well, and it was great meeting up with all of these delightful and creative women.  Now, onto our Monday coffee break!

 

I have a Buzzfeed addiction.  So naturally, this post about things only 90s teenage girls would understand was calling my name.

Do you love Disneyland?  Then check out these little known facts about the happiest place on Earth.

Joy the Baker has been doing a fantastic series on the science of baking.  Here, she talks about large eggs and their purpose in baked goods.  Check out the rest of the series if you get a chance.

Sarah at The Sugar Hit has been doing a series of Japanese foods, starting with homemade gyoza.  I made these the next night; delish.

And finally, this year for the first time I am participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  A huge cookie exhange amongst like-minded bloggers, where all donations go to helping Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an organization that commits to fund new treatments designed for fighting pediatric cancers.

cookieswaplogo2013

 

Today is the last day to sign up, so if you are interested, follow this link and get entered to participate in the fun.  Hope to see you there!

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  We spent our time relaxing, doing a little work on the house.  Blog Brunch on Sunday with Nichole and Emily, chicken pot pie and “Rosemary’s Baby” that night with my love.  Just an easy weekend to lead into a busy week.  Find a little time today to check out these links:

 

Professional chefs give their advice for the best cookbooks to cook your way through, cover to cover.

Speaking of cooking, this Halloween recipe for a jar of brains will simultaneously gross you out and have you wanting to give it a try.

On a different note, did you know these movies are based on books?

Speaking of movies, here’s a little sneak peek article about Pixar’s next movie, Inside Out.

One last movie link: Twitter was playing a game of “Add A Word, Ruin a Movie,” which I just had to participate in.  My best?  “Clockwork Orange Julius.”

And on a final note, check out these incredible photographs of soldiers before, during, and after their tours.

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Hello friends!  Happy Monday!  I don’t know about you, but I had an awfully hard time dragging myself out of bed this morning.  I could definitely use a couple days off pretty soon.  But, in the meantime, we can let our brains take a little vacation.

 

Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil has given us another amazing Kitchen Challenge: curing and making your own bacon.  I’ll wait while you wipe the drool off the keyboard.

Back East there is an abandoned Wizard of Oz amusement park that gets re-opened once a year around Halloween.  Tickets please?

These haunting photos of petrified animals on a lake in Tanzania are both beautiful and incredibly eerie.

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning loves!  I hope everyone’s weekend was spectacular.  We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary (wow, time flies!) and went to the wedding of a very good friend.  It was great, seeing all of our old college friends again; just a really wonderful celebration.

 

The New York Times did an excellent piece on hidden disabilities and the issues these people face in the workplace.

Have you noticed everyone going bonkers for the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Well, let yourself get excited about some of these not-so-common coffee drinks to break you out of your morning rut.

Speaking of fall, this potato-topped short rib pot pie is just the thing to welcome in the cooler months.

While we’re at it, this charred brussel sprouts carbonara will do the trick as well.

Finally, this story about an 103 year old man who dines out every night will warm your heart.

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning!  Hope everyone’s weekend was pleasant.  Mine was fairly lazy; some baking, some movie watching.  We drove across the new span of the Bay Bridge on Sunday, which was very cool.  It was so bizarre seeing the old span running along side, an angle I had never seen before.  But now it’s back to the office.  Take it easy this Monday and check out these links:

 

Buzzfeed featured these incredible vintage photographs of Paris at night.  As if I wasn’t already completely in love with that city.

The Kitchn has a great tutorial for making your own butter and clarified butter.  No frontiersman gear necessary.

Buzzfeed (again) has a great post of DIY recipes for the overachieving foodie.  Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch, anyone?

And speaking of homemade breakfast foods, Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest made some homemade chocolate fudge Pop-tarts.  I think pop-tarts are going to become the new cake pops/cupcakes/cronut.

 

Have a great week!

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break
Hello my lovely readers!  I hope your 3-day weekend continues on as wonderfully as mine has.  We went down to Cambria for a good friend’s wedding, and spent the evening meeting new friends, laughing, and predicting what pears would be falling off of the tree in the garden (long story, but funny one).  In the meantime, enjoy a few of these quick links.

Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil has tried her hand at making tofu.  I must try this for myself.

Laura at Blogging Over Thyme made an incredibly simple and incredibly beautiful tomato & zucchini tart.  This is one to impress with.

The Kitchn has a great post about 5 ways in which to be a great dinner guest.  Excellent advice from the other end of party hosting.

Out of the kitchen and into the closet: Buzzfeed has 20 ways to improve vintage clothing.  I don’t know about you, but I will definitely be breaking out the sewing machine for a few of these tutorials.

And finally, come back on Wednesday for a special announcement

:-)
  Have a wonderful week!