Thursday, September 27, 2012

All things food

When we moved into our new house a few months ago, the previous owners had cleared a small plot next to the house for a garden. We have big plans for creating a much bigger garden next spring, but since we were getting such a late start this year (we moved in at the end of May), we decided to just plant a few things in the plot and see how they did.
Garden chaos

For most of the summer, it was pretty much a disappointment — mostly a lot of flowering and green growth but no fruit — until this beast appeared after a good rain a month or so ago.
Since then, we've had another guy about that size, plus the occasional jalapeno and bell pepper (though they've been pretty rare, and our eggplant still hasn't done a thing). Our biggest success, though, has turned out to be the cherry tomatoes, which have gone gangbusters the past month.
Aren't they beautiful?
And in this house, beautiful tomatoes lead to beautiful tomato tarts. So good!
Yep, we've been eating well around here lately. On Sunday, we had some friends over for dinner, and Matt decided he wanted to make carnitas (delicious!). To go with the theme, I made this Mexican chocolate cake with cinnamon mascarpone frosting from Baked Bree.
Let me tell you, it was excellent. The cake was really moist, and the cinnamon and cayenne added a lot of depth and flavor. The frosting was light and added just the right amount of sweetness. This will definitely be on my list of things to make again.
And speaking of the cake, let's end this post with a little rant. I needed heavy cream for the frosting and found this precious little bottle at Whole Foods.
Isn't it so cute? Maybe it's hard to tell in the picture, but it was itty bitty (just 8 oz.), perfect for what I needed. So one point for Whole Foods. Have I mentioned how much I hate shopping at WF? Like with a burning passion. I dread going. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate what they're doing, and I'm glad I have access to the products they offer,
but shopping at almost any WF is a miserable experience. With very few exceptions, they are located in buildings that are too small, so the aisles are about a foot wide and so crammed full of products that you can barely breathe, especially when you add in the mass of humanity that of course fills that place at all times. And speaking of that mass, does anyone else find the WF clientele to generally be inconsiderate and rude? I do! It all adds up to a run in and grab what you need as fast as you can, then get back out kind of attitude toward WF for me.

Sigh. I miss Central Market. If you live in a major city in Texas, you know what I mean. Be grateful for it. Whole Foods, you are no Central Market. At least I have Trader Joe's.

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