The Unofficial Start of the Summer

It has been a while since I last posted on The Kitchen Blackboard. It has been a busy Spring filled with traveling and plenty of delicious cooking. And although the official summer solstice is not until June, Memorial Day Weekend starts the summer for Americans. We also honor our veterans on this day. I feel a sense of gratitude for their service and sacrifice which has allowed us our freedom. During the spring I watched Ken Burn’s excellent documentary on Netflix about The Roosevelt’s: An Intimate History based on the lives of Teddy, FDR, and Eleanor.  Eleanor Roosevelt was an amazing woman, way ahead of her time, who made many contributions during her time as first lady and afterwards. I agree with US historian Jon Meachum’s observation of Eleanor Roosevelt. She is one of the most underrated people in our history. Today I share a quote by her that reminds us that with freedom also comes responsibility.

I have drawn two flags on the board: the Greek flag and the American flag. I have drawn the Greek flag because our family just returned from an amazing trip to Greece. Greece holds a special spot in may heart because I am a Colombian born person with a Greek name, Ariadne. It was during this trip to Greece that I finally had the opportunity to visit the island of Crete, where my name originates from. In many ways, it was like a home-coming. This summer I look forward to cooking Greek food to celebrate my roots.

Today we are enjoying soft tacos filled with a  delicious sous-vide flank steak with peppers and onions. My husband will be making the taco shells from scratch using masa flour. I will make my signature guacamole to accompany the meal. I share my link for my guacamole recipe: https://thelabyrinthguide.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/guacamole-a-family-affair/

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Pizzas, Guacamole & Chimichurri, and Snow Days

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My husband and I started making pizzas during business school (1988 -1990). We would make a variety of 4 to 8 pizzas at a time and share with our classmates. Our pizzas were famous. My husband makes the dough and I help with the toppings. He has perfected his technique over time. In the beginning we used  a pizza stone  but now we use a 30 lb slab of steel that we got from the local steel guy. The slab is preheated to 550 degrees farenheit. He mixes a technique of baking and broiling. My husband has experimented with many dough recipes and his favorite is Peter Reinhart’s Napoletana Pizza Dough Recipe dough which requires rising overnight. We also have a “quick pizza dough” by Serious Eats that just needs a couple of hours of rising. Some of the family’s favorite pizzas are: mushroom duxelle, pepperoni, sausage & onion, and red pepper & black olives.

Theres a funny story about my son. When he was about 12 he was invited to the New Jersey shore for the weekend by two families. When it was close to dinner it was announced that they were having pizzas. My son went to one of the dads and asked him if he was making the pizza which caused a roar of laughter by the parents present in the room. Connor explained how in his house his dad made pizza. I think that is when Connor discovered that not all dads make pizza.

The Winter of 2014 was very snowy with tons of snow days – days off from school. This particular week the children had 3 snow days, a definite cause for celebration on their part.

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As a Colombian person I have definitely made a lot of latin american food over the years. Here are two links to my Guacamole and Chimichurri recipes found in my other blog.

Guacamole: https://thelabyrinthguide.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/guacamole-a-family-affair/

Chimichurri: https://thelabyrinthguide.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/mi-chimichurri-es-tu-chimichurri/

Lemon Chicken is another staple in our family. It’s the same as Chicken Piccata. It’s chicken breasts in a delicious sauce of chicken broth, wine, lemon, with shallots or onions, capers, and parsley.

 

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Sausage, Peppers, Onions, and Potatoes – A perfect comfort food after snow blowing and shoveling days of snow.

Clearly, we were not getting too  inspired with the quotes since we kept the same one for days. I promise we’ll start changing those.