Sturdy green salad with lemon yogurt dressing

October 12, 2012 § 13 Comments

Well dear friends, the distillery, which after a flurry of ad hoc focus group testing with friends who are roughly in our target market and/or have clever things to say about names is now officially named Vikre Distillery, now has a Facebook page.  As of yesterday!  And you know, if that doesn’t make something real, then what does, really?

In the non-Facebook version of life, also known as reality, the distillery is still very much in the process of becoming extant.  But, we’re making a lot of progress and have found all sorts of amazing help, willing ears, editors, math-checkers, connection-makers.  Though so far, the number of people who have offered their services as first line taste testers outstrips the numbers of any of these categories by far.  Leaves’em in the dust.  No contest.  (Gee, I wonder why.)

By day, I find myself bopping between meetings and then back to focused data coding.  By night I continue to stare pensively at data with a furrowed brow breaking only to fill mason jar upon mason jar with vodka and herbs, trying to come up with our ideal gin blend and aquavit flavor profile, etc. etc.

Joel crunches and recrunches numbers, and perfects powerpoints, and pamphlets, and makes a lot of phone calls.  I’m glad I’m not doing that part.  I have a weird irrational quasi-fear of calling people.

Some days are awful and I throw up my hands, convinced this was the worst idea in the known history of mankind (worst, no exaggeration) and that it will all be a miserable failure.  Other days are bright and happy, full of hope and new connections and small successes and a sense that we can make things happen.   These things go like that.

Anyhow, progress, progress, progress.  Each little step, on any sort of day, is progress. « Read the rest of this entry »

Since we were talking about butter – smoked salmon quiche

May 2, 2012 § 24 Comments

As any self-respecting, French speaking, art and food obsessed college student would do, I spent a semester abroad in Paris my junior year.  According to my transcript, I was studying something along the lines of French language and literature.  According to me, I was doing an intensive independent study in hot chocolate and pastries.  Intensive.

I made a point of going to a different spot and trying a different pastry every day.  I roamed the city, exploring quaint neighborhoods and corner bakeries, charming cafes and hyacinth-lined gardens.  If my study-abroad major was pastries, my study-abroad minor was people-watching.  And dodging men who were intent on getting to know me – solely because I was blonde, and because they were French, and that seems to be the way of things.

Choosing walking as my preferred mode of transportation, I also wandered through plenty of neighborhoods where I quite possibly shouldn’t have, or at least wouldn’t have selected as a destination.  But, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to get from point A to point pastry.

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Warm sweet and plain potato salad with brown butter dressing

June 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

We’re in a state of happy, contented, total exhaustion in these parts.  A string of days packed with hosting showers, brunches, general shenanigans, and then a big, beautiful tear-jerking wedding for your childhood best friend followed by eating, drinking, and dancing into the very wee hours of the morning will do that to you, it turns out.  It’s enough to make you completely forget Memorial day, except in a moment of passing thankfulness that you had the day off.  I know Memorial day is kind of a national mandate to grill things, and make every type of mayonnaise-dressed salad known to man.  But, in this neighborhood we all ignored that mandate.  The day was instead spent alternating between lounging cat-like (or maybe just catatonic) in the sun on the newly’s front porch, and giving bear hugs, choked up goodbyes, and bon voyages to all the friends we won’t be seeing again…until the next wedding.  So, sorry Memorial day, we didn’t mean to ignore you, but there’s only so much a human being can physically celebrate in one weekend.

However, I have been playing around with potato salads on my own time.  I don’t really like potato salad, and I’ve been trying to create one that does it for me.  This one is kind of fun.  Probably I like it in large part because I used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.  (Actually, I’m on the verge of giving up and just using sweet potatoes for everything because they are, quite simply, the bomb in the tuber world).  But, I’m also pleased with my decision to follow my brown butter obsession yet another step, incorporating it into the dressing.  I figured, if what you need in a dressing is a fat and an acid, why the heck not use butter?!  And if I’m going to use butter, why the heck not brown it?!  The result is a dressing that’s rich and nutty, with a pleasant and slightly sweet tang from the apple cider vinegar.  The shallots give it an onion bite.  And the thyme, well that’s just my go to herb, especially in something that’s buttery or creamy.  It spruces up the potatoes right nicely.  So here’s a potato salad, a day late and a dollar short…but maybe somebody can lend me a dollar. « Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet and sour slaw

April 7, 2010 § 6 Comments

What the hey??!!  Is that more cabbage?!

Yes sirree, it is.  More cabbage.  (Come on, I had to use up the rest of the cabbage that I didn’t just use in the Thai cabbage salad!)  Actually, I’m, uh, considering renaming this blog something along the lines of “500bazillion Ways of Eating Cabbage: Some more creative than others, but all quite palatable.”  I think it has a ring to it, don’t you?  And I’m only on number, what, 6, or something?  Which means I could keep going for a looooooong time :).  I’m not advocating eating only cabbage or anything, but what can I say, I do eat a lot of the stuff.  It’s cheap, healthy, and tasty.  It feeds my Norwegian soul/appetite while also leaving room for experimentation with other flavors.  It’s just a beautiful friendship.

I adapted this from another one of the recipes I tested for the Revision House Urban Farm cookbook I’m working on.  It just screams “lovely spring picnic day” to me (which is funny, because it would probably be more appropriate to say a phrase like that demurely, not scream it – note to self, cabbage needs lesson in manners.).  This is quite excellent, because I love picnics.  I’m particularly obsessed at the moment because we had an unbelievably perfect picnic day this weekend!  And, I love foods that seem like picnic foods, whether I actually have them at a picnic or just as part of a regular meal that allows me to pretend I’m picnicking.

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