Some of you may have noticed our sparkling new masthead. I would like to extend an official imafoodblog.com thank you to one, Ms. Kyle Alderman, for her hard work on the project.

For compliments/complaints or if you find yourself in need of digital imaging work, do not hesitate to contact her at:

[email protected]

Consequently, she is Geoff's mother and considering the new banner, batting at .500 in my book.

This week Tuesdays with Dorie pick was chosen by Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake. Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins are on Page 6 of Baking . I do love Rebecca's blog but I was disappointed with these muffins. After looking over the ingredients, I knew before I made them that I was probably not going to like them. I generally do not enjoy spicy foods. This dish is not something that I would chose to make of my own volition. I substituted the cilantro with parsley, because I hate cilantro. Hate is actually not strong enough a word, I despise cilantro like a sworn enemy. In fact, I belong to an I Hate Cilantro blog. I also added in the zest of a lime, which was definitely noticeable in the muffins and added a nice freshness (thanks for the suggestion, Honey!).

These muffins were not as spicy as I thought they were going to be, which was a plus, though I was still not thrilled with them. However, this recipe did make me revisit Dorie's muffin section and I am inspired to try some of her other muffins - so it wasn't a complete fail!.

Meyer lemon season is upon us. A Meyer lemon is a hybrid of a lemon and a Mandarin orange or a sweet orange (Wikipedia entry). They were originally imported from China in the early 1900's and were given the name Meyer lemon after agricultural explorer Fred Meyer, an employee of the USDA who first introduced the plant to the US. Today, most Meyer lemons are grown in California and peak season is November, December, and January.

Nick and I were walking through the grocery store a few weeks ago and came upon these beauties. We threw a couple in the cart with no particular plan for them except that they would become something delicious - and you can see by the title that they fulfilled their prophecy.

The finished product looked something like this. The gelato was super smooth and had a great balance of tartness, sweetness, and creaminess.

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Of all the tips and tricks I've learned throughout my culinary adventures, this technique for infusing oils is one of the most useful. The problem with store bought "infused" oils is that they are expensive and generally only taste mildly like what they are advertised to be. Many people attempt to incorporate additional flavor to OTC oils by chopping herbs/spices and steeping them overnight in the refrigerator. There are 2 problems with this method: 1) the flavor infusion is lackluster at best, and 2) the temperature and low PH levels in the infusion allow for the potential growth of botulism baddies Wikipedia Entry. It is in fact the low PH inherent in green veggies/herbs (combined with bad canning practices) that account for the majority of botulism poisoning cases in the USA. How can one make a better-than-store-bought infused oil and eliminate (or at least severely curtail) the risk of botulism? The answer: heat.

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Attention imafoodblog.com readers:

It has come to my attention that Google was not appropriately indexing the site until Friday. This means posts published before that date will most likely never appear in their search results. As such, I reserve the right to re-post anything from before that date.

... and the title of this post? Find the answer here!

Nick
01/10/09

Lean Times

Bad news from Pennsylvania: In these tough economic times, even the lambs are lean!

I just found out that our annual lamb purchase from Pasture's Pride will be delayed until May. Ms. Stutzman informed me that she wants the animals to get some "good spring grass" in them before they are taken to slaughter. While the delay is disappointing, as I salivate just thinking about their lamb, it's good to see a small producer looking out for the best interest of their customers and animals.

Consequently, I found Pasture's Pride on the internet through Penn State University's agmap search service. You can find it here. I'm originally from Berks County, PA and travel through the state often. If you live in or near anywhere in PA you can use the service to search for just about any kind of agriculture related products or businesses your heart desires - including farms that sell their products direct to consumers.

If you decide to make an inquiry to any of these producers (or any farmers for that matter, at least in my experience) do not expect lightening fast responses to emails or phone calls - these people have real jobs that require actual work that doesn't allow for reading food blogs and checking emails all day!

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