Fabulous Food Festival

Yesterday, I went to the Fabulous Food Festival. It was a bunch of booths of free samples and demos and other giveaways, but mostly businesses trying to sell their products to the masses. I think this picture explains it pretty well (if not, check out the picture at the bottom of this post.):

I tried some olive oils, and some fudge, along with some interesting things, such as tea infused chocolate. I even networked (sorta) by talking to the people who were selling chocolate bars and other chocolaty items. I did get this one guy’s business card who said that I should call him when I do start up my own business and that he would give me samples of his chocolate to use. I also found this company that rents out commercial kitchen space to caterers and bakers, and other chefs that are trying to start a business, but don’t have the money for kitchen space yet. I think the most random item being sold at the food festival was sheets. I didn’t get what that company was doing there. There were some other non-food but food related items there, such as “pies” that weren’t really pies, but little ornaments that looked like pies, but had things inside them that made them smell like pie, but then they also had other scents that I wouldn’t want to associate with pie, such as lavender. Is it me, or do flowers just not belong in food? I mean sure, one could argue that fruits are flowers, too, but don’t get me started there. I also tasted fennel pollen for the first time. Sure, it was mixed with other spices that you would generally use with apples, such as nutmeg, and cloves, and I wasn’t really sure what exactly fennel pollen was, and it was pretty much masked by the other flavors, but I guess it was good. I also bought some honey sticks, which are meant to be eaten kinda like pixie sticks, you just bite off the end, and then suck down the flavored honey. I guess you could also squeeze it into some tea, I guess it is probably just the right amount.

I also bought chocolate covered caramel, which had sea salt on top, which, since I like sweet and salty together, was good, though this was a little too salty for my taste. Overall, an interesting experience at the festival.

Today, I was going to do some volunteering down at the Food Bank, but then had other plans, but then those plans got changed, so now I am left with just hanging out in my apartment with nothing to do. Perhaps I’ll end up baking something, and therefore blogging about it later, but we’ll see.

crackers

So, I made some chicken soup the other day because I was feeling a little sick, but I forgot to buy crackers to go with it, so I made my own. I used this recipe I found on this website but I took away the egg wash and the sesame seeds. I am sure they are less bland with these components added back in, and if I make them again, I might sub in olive oil for the veggie oil. The site happens to have a variety of other cracker recipes too. Make sure to roll the dough out thin to get the right texture. I would use a pasta machine, if I had one. It would be easier, and I would know that it was all the same thickness. But of course, doing this by hand is fun, too.


Sesame Water Crackers
      2 c  All-purpose flour
      1 ts Baking powder
    1/2 ts Salt
    2/3 c  Warm water
    1/3 c  Vegetable oil
      1    Egg white blended with 2 Tbs
           -water
      6 tb Sesame seed
These crackers are excellent served with salad, soup, cheese or spreads. Makes about 4 dozen


Preheat oven to 400 F.


Lightly grease two 14×17-inch baking sheets.


Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in water and oil, mixing until smooth dough forms. Halve dough.


Flatten 1 piece into large square directly on 1 prepared sheet.


Cut into 2 3/4 x 3 1/4-inch pieces, leaving in place on baking sheet. Pierce all over with fork. Brush generously with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with half of sesame seeds.


Repeat with remaining half of dough.


Bake until crackers are dry and golden, 10 to 12 minutes.


Cool on racks. Store crackers in airtight container. 

zucchini bread and muffins

I am sitting in my kitchen waiting for the zucchini bread and muffins to come out of the oven. Quite literally, and it smells wonderful. I wish there was some way to pass the smell through the computer, but the only way to get this smell in your kitchen is to bake it yourself! ;o)
The recipe is one of those “mix it all in a food processor” recipes, but I found it just as easy to do by hand.

Zucchini Bread (or cake or muffins)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350ยบ. (Peel-if you desire) zucchini and grate. Squeeze out excess water. Beat eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla together (could be done in a food processor-I used my hand mixer).

 
(yum-green zucchini mixture-eh-it gets better after the next steps)

(Sift-to be sure there are no lumps) flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.

Grease and flour (or line with foil) 2 loaf pans, OR 1 cake pan OR line muffin tin with 12 liners. (OR a combo of these-I did 1 loaf and 6 muffins, and hopefully, I will remember to bring the muffins to trivia tonight!)
Bake for 60-70 minutes. Do the knife test. (If it comes out clean-it’s done.)

Easy. But takes long to bake. But the wait is worth it, I promise.

mmm…muffins!
 mmm…zucchini bread!