The other day I stumbled across this variation of my favored Caprese Bites and decided to make "Tomatoes and Cheese, Two Ways" for a boat party we were attending. I was a little skeptical because goat cheese is not my favorite, but the crowd really seemed to enjoy them. And so did I!
Special equipment: 20 small skewers or cocktail toothpicks
Fill a pitcher with hot water. Dip a knife into the hot water and slice the goat cheese log in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 10 pieces making sure to dip the knife into the hot water in between slicing to ensure a nice clean cut. Roll each piece of goat cheese into balls approximately 1/2-inch in diameter and put onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
Add the chopped pistachio nuts to a shallow bowl. Roll a goat cheese ball into the pistachio nuts and coat 1/2 of the ball. [Whoops. I coated the whole ball!] Return to the sheet pan and repeat with the remaining goat cheese balls.
Drain the oil from the tomatoes and put onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
Skewer a goat cheese ball onto the skewer. Lay a basil leaf on top a sun-dried tomato. Fold the tomato in half around the basil leaf and add to the skewer with the goat cheese. Repeat with remaining skewers. Arrange on a serving platter, cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Coffee is serious business as far as I'm concerned and unlike many live-aboards, I find instant coffee hard to swallow. When we first moved onto Mother Culture, the previous owner left behind a super-sized canister of instant coffee but I couldn't stomach it, so I immediately began a quest for an energy-efficient way to make a good cup of coffee. What I found was the Aerobie Aeropress. This nifty contraption makes coffee and espresso with hot water and the tiniest bit of elbow grease. No electricity needed. It's definitely a must-have for live-aboards who like a real cup of coffee!
When I was a kid, I remember my mom teaching my sister and I how to make homemade butter. Actually, I was so young (under the age of 8) that I really only remember shaking a jar full of something and knowing that eventually it would turn into butter. My memory of the entire event is sort of dicey. However, while reading the Crunchy Chicken's blog last week, I was reintroduced to the idea of making homemade butter. And since I'm all about self-sufficiency and I love butter, I couldn't wait to finish up the butter we had on hand so I could try my hand at making some homemade butter. Last night was my lucky night. And even luckier that Ben was willing to help me with the shaking! Here are my rudimentary instructions: (For detailed, step-by-step, instructions with pictures, check out the Crunchy Chicken's posting.)
Pour a pint of room temperature heavy whipping cream into a quart-sized mason jar.
Shake, shake, shake (for about 15 minutes) until you see the buttermilk separate from the butter.
Pour buttermilk into a separate container.
Continue shaking butter and pouring off buttermilk until there is no more buttermilk coming off of the butter.
(Buttermilk can be used in other recipes calling for... you guessed it... buttermilk!)
Put butter into a bowl and pour cold water over it.
Stir it around with a spatula in order to rinse out more of the buttermilk.
Drain milky water, add fresh water and repeat process until the water comes out clear.
*I don't measure anything, ever, so the amounts you see are my best guesses.
*If it says "Serves 2", that means it serves 2 people who eat small portions and hate leftovers. You may want to double the recipe for Big Eaters.