11 August 2012

Weekend Cooking: The Kitchen Journal 6

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. More information at the welcome post.


I haven't done a Kitchen Journal post in a long while, so I thought I share a few of things I've been eating, cooking, and drinking.

Wine: Although there are a number of wines we return to again and again, we like trying new ones, especially when they're on sale. One vineyard we have been sampling is Quail Ridge, from Napa Valley. We found both the Pinot Noir and Cab to be very drinkable. An old favorite is Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin, which is a bit heavier but remains a staple, especially with grilled meats. Finally, we tried Middle Sister Rebel Red for the first time last week. This is a red blend that's light, fruity, but not too sweet; a nice table wine for summer.

Fruit: I love peach season! We've been eating puff pastry turnovers, crisps, and clafoutis. The early apples are also showing up at the market now. Summer Rambo is one of my favorites: tart and crisp, kind of like Granny Smith apples (but better). I've been eating them with sharp Cheddar for an afternoon treat.

North Carolina / Safe Haven: As many of you know, I was invited to travel to North Carolina to visit the movie set for Safe Haven, meet and interview Nicholas Sparks, and have a chance to meet the stars (Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel). Although I'll be writing about my experiences in Southport another time, I thought I share some of the food and drink. For lunch I had a crab cake sandwich at a water-front restaurant, and dinner was a wonderful fresh tuna dish with fried green tomatoes. For afternoon wine, we were treated to a sampling of Yellow Tail.

Grilling: It's been hot, hot, hot in central Pennsylvania and that means we've been grilling. Mr. BFR does most of the grilling, although sometimes it's a joint effort. We tried grilled corn this year (didn't Mr. BFR do an awesome job tying the husks?). We liked the grilled corn, but we prefer it quickly boiled.

One the best things about this summer is that I've finally perfected my basic spice rub. We use this on many things grilled: chicken wings, chicken parts, salmon, and pork. Sometimes I add 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, but the following blend has become our go-to mix. I made this up after looking at a number of recipes in books and online and then taste testing and tweaking. If this is similar to, or even exactly like, someone else's recipe, it's purely coincidental.

BFR's Spice Rub

2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder (not salt)
1 tablespoon dehydrated ground garlic
1 tablespoon cayenne
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together and store in a tightly sealed jar.


Julie Goucher 8/11/12, 6:38 AM  

I always love your Kitchen Journal posts. How wonderful to meet Nicholas Sparks and the actress dancer Julienne Hough. I was a keen fan of hers in Dances with the stars which I can see via Sky here in the UK and was sad that she dropped out of the last series screened here. I have though seen her in the film footloose and watched her brother too! Wonderful!

In the meantime, I have missed a few Weekend Cooking posts - the reason is the Olympics and hopefully usual participation will be resumed soon!

Too Fond 8/11/12, 7:09 AM  

That's awesome that you got to visit the movie set--how fun! I love the southeastern coast and crab cakes, too. Sounds like a good trip.

I was surprised by how much the tv and film industry has descended on the South since I'd been there last. It seems to be an inexpensive alternative that is getting quite popular with Hollywood.

jama 8/11/12, 7:53 AM  

First time I'm reading one of your KJ posts -- love the idea! How fun to visit the movie set and interview NS and the actors. Can't wait to read about that. Meanwhile, I love fresh corn and crab cakes -- a nice meal after returning from my July blog hiatus. Thanks!!

bermudaonion 8/11/12, 8:01 AM  

I knew you'd have fabulous food in North Carolina. We like to grill corn, but we sprinkle a little water on it and then pull the husks back up while they're on the grill.

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/11/12, 8:03 AM  

Your afternoon snack of peaches and sharp cheddar sounds delicious. I'm looking forward to your Safe Haven posts, and thanks for the Spice Rub recipe, we will definitely be using this.

MJ 8/11/12, 8:37 AM  

Your Kitchen Journal sounds rather similar to what I've been eating lately. Monday I grilled sourdough bread and peach slices, then made open faced sandwiches by adding goat cheese and prosciutto. Served with a Gnarly Head Chardonnay :-) Super yummy!

Heather 8/11/12, 8:45 AM  

I enjoyed your post today, touching on a bit of everything. We sample wines from around the world, though mostly we select sauvingon blancs from New Zealand. There is something about their climate that grows amazing grapes.

We\ve not managed to have much corn this year, but we are boilers, though in a pinch we use the microwave. I have posted the Butter Chicken soup recipe that i promised in my last food pot,

Esme 8/11/12, 9:26 AM  

Interesting you prefer boiled over grilled corn-I do not like it boiled as I think you taste too much water. The husks are pretty.

Chinoiseries 8/11/12, 9:31 AM  

Hmm, tangy apples and cheddar? Interesting combination! Congratulations on perfecting your spice rub, I wonder whether it'll also work on tofu. Only one way to find out :)

caite 8/11/12, 9:44 AM  

that is a great sounding rub...have to copy that one down...

Meg @ write meg! 8/11/12, 9:47 AM  

Sounds like a delicious rub -- yay for grilling season!

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook 8/11/12, 10:07 AM  

The rub looks delicious, have to try it! I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures on the movie set!

Heather S-G 8/11/12, 10:44 AM  

Fun - I love posts like this...a glimpse into the life, sort of. Cheese and apples are always one of my favorite snacks - and now I want some. And that sounds like a great rub!

rhapsodyinbooks 8/11/12, 10:48 AM  

The food you had in NC looks fantastic! And yes, wonderful job with the husk tying! :--)

I have a rub recipe I got from a friend that is very similar but adds a touch of fennel, which really gives it a fun edge.

Linda 8/11/12, 12:53 PM  

That spice rub sounds great. I'll have to give a try.

Andi 8/11/12, 1:03 PM  

A lovely post! Your mention of North Carolina has me missing my old favorite restaurant in Wilmington. Elijah's was right on the Cape Fear and they had an AWESOME soft shell crab sandwich, crab cakes, and chowder. Love the food.

Carole 8/11/12, 3:24 PM  

Hi, this week's contribution is a pork dish. Hope there aren't too many that don't eat it! Pork is also the subject of Food on Friday this week.

Have a super week.

Carole 8/11/12, 3:24 PM  

Ps next week's Food on Friday is on marinades and rubs and your post would fit very well with that theme!

Cecelia 8/11/12, 5:43 PM  

I like the idea of keeping a kitchen journal - it seems like something I might actually 'keep up' on!

Side note: what fun to go to North Carolina and check out the film! I'll be looking for more about that in the future.

Julie P. 8/11/12, 9:15 PM  

We make a very similar rub.

Uniflame 8/12/12, 4:27 AM  

I never had peaches before. I really need to try them <3

BettyRants41 8/12/12, 1:29 PM  

I just spent twelve days in North Carolina, and absolutely loved cooking and eating my way around town. It was such a delight to read your post today. I am just building the recipe section of my blog. You are truly inspiring me!

Debbie 8/12/12, 1:41 PM  

I too, love your kitchen journal posts.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 8/12/12, 4:09 PM  

Nutmeg! I would have never thought to include that in a BBQ rub. And the tuna looks absolutely delicious. What a fun and exciting experience in North Carolina. I've met Julianne's parents a few times but never Julianne herself (my mom is great friends with her uncle).

Sheila (Bookjourney) 8/12/12, 5:10 PM  

The spice rub sounds fantastic, I would like to try to make that.

Howard Sherman 8/12/12, 7:11 PM  

Last night I pulled a magic spell out of a Bobby Flay cookbook involving salmon, roasted corn, black beans, cilantro, lime juice and other organic goodness creating a broiled salmon with some very deep flavors.

Fine food is a blessing of life.

Kailana 8/13/12, 12:03 PM  

I wish the guy liked spices more. I might have to start making two meals so I can try stuff he doesn't really have any interest in.

Daryl 8/13/12, 12:37 PM  

Love Josh and I love Yellow Tail .. cant wait to hear about your time set-side

Tina 8/13/12, 4:04 PM  

I just added my link (I'm Tina) but forgot to add my site name after. I am at Squirrel Head Manor. That is where the meal and recipe link is here. My novel review is at Novel Meals.

This is a such a cool idea and happy to have found it through The Friday Friends.

Christine 8/13/12, 5:07 PM  

I love the format of your Kitchen Journal post. How have I missed 1-5?!

I enjoy making my own spice mixes and rubs, too. For me it's mostly about having control over the quality of the ingredients but also the fun of mixing up the flavors and finding something that works for my family.

I tried a Yellow Tail white wine some time ago.. maybe it was a Chardonnay? I didn't care for it so much. I'll give the red a go next time I'm in Trader Joe's.

Glad you had such a fun time on your Safe Haven trip. : )

Karen White 8/15/12, 12:34 AM  

So glad I saved this post - it's been a busy time for me so I haven't been able to read blogs lately. But so many connections made here - I love that Gnarly Head Zin! And my family vacations near Southport most summers (though we had to skip this year) on Oak Island. I so love that part of NC. And blue crab. My mom makes amazing crab cakes. And my husband makes a rub very similar to yours. But he is pretty stingy about sharing his recipe!

Karen White 8/15/12, 12:39 AM  

p.s. my link is to another recipe for peaches which y'all have to try! Our summer Family Cooking Academy is coming in a couple weeks, so I'll have to check out some other posts for inspiration.

Karen White 8/15/12, 12:39 AM  

p.s. my link is to another recipe for peaches which y'all have to try! Our summer Family Cooking Academy is coming in a couple weeks, so I'll have to check out some other posts for inspiration.

Bree 8/26/12, 6:25 PM  

Your spice rub sounds delicious.

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