Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Gifts

One of our side dishes at my house for Christmas was these lovely tomatoes, all from my garden, ripening on the window sills and the perfect gift in the middle of a blustery snowy cold Christmas day...A promise kept by Summer...she never lets me down.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Me and Thomas!

Funny story... though it looks like I am being grabbed by Thomas Keller...well, OK!
If you have the chance , grab the book too!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Marmalade

One of my cooks ( Melody, thanks so much!) recently made me this jam from her mother's Meyer Lemon tree. She said it was sunshine in a jar and well, she wasn't kidding. I really needed this on a gloomy cold Saturday morning. It was in a word...Perfection. Bright and lemony with a hint of Tropical climes and the heady aftertaste of luscious vanilla, in a way that vanilla could never be on its own. It was a very thoughtful gift of homemade love....and its ALL MINE.

I am not sure what recipe Melody used for this but here is one from Epicurious that you might enjoy..


  • 1 1/4 pounds Meyer lemons
  • 5 cups water

  • 5 1/2 cups (about) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Pinch of salt

    Working on large plate to catch juice, cut lemons in half lengthwise, then very thinly crosswise. Discard seeds. Pack enough lemons and any juice to measure 2 1/2 cups. Transfer to large nonreactive pot. Add 5 cups water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand uncovered overnight.

    Measure lemon mixture (there should be about 5 1/2 cups). Return to same pot. Add equal amount of sugar (about 5 1/2 cups). Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Add pinch of salt. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Attach clip-on candy thermometer. Maintaining active boil and adjusting heat to prevent boiling over, cook until temperature reaches 230°F, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to jars. Cover and chill. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

and here are some more rantings about this lovely confectionery bliss of wonderful breakfast anytime goodness sunshine in a jar! Click here for Food Gal's version of perfection!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Dinner Menu Winter 09

Come in soon for some hearty and warm new dinner entrees, or if you are a regular come in to see our Winter twist on your menu favorites... Sea bass with orange marmalade gastrique, local garlic greens...

Roasted Chicken Saltimboca with Butternut Squash and sage brown butter...

Linguine with pancetta and clams in a cracked peppercorn broth...

Strip steak with fingerling potatoes, melted leeks and bleu cheese pan sauce...

Quail with barbocoa confit stuffed poblano...

or Dry rubbed rack of lamb with pear balsamic mint compote.

See you soon and Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tomato Leaf Soap

As promised and in just enough time (there was snow on the ground this morning!) here is the recipe for tomato leaf soap. I forgot to take photo during the process but here are a few of the finished project!

tomato leaf soap

* Note: do not heat glycerin soap above 160 degrees! or it will sweat once hardened.

Tomato Leaf Soap
Use as a gardeners soap or hand soap in late Winter or early Spring when the urge to grow something in the ground is almost unbearable. The smell of this soap will immediately transport you to a warm hillside in Tuscany.

Makes two bars:

8 ounces unscented clear glycerin soap
8 ounces of fresh tomato leaves and their stems. (this is more than you think)
2 extra ounces tomato leaves, no large stems
2 drops grapefruit essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil.

1 large heavy saucepan, 1 wooden spoon, 1 slotted spoon, 1 large bowl with a pour spout side, 1 large strainer, 2 soap molds or other containers. (I used two plastic Glad tupperware containers)

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the glycerin soap until liquefied. Add the 8 ounces of tomato leaves and stems pushing down to submerse all of the leaves. Keep the soap on low and using a wooden spoon press the leaves to extract the chlorophyll and scent. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in both of the essential oils. The soap will be a natural colored green and smell lovely. Place the smaller amount of leaves into a large bowl (I used a bowl with a funnel side for pouring, this will help later). Pour the heated soap mixture into a strainer set over the large pour spout bowl. Press down to remove soap from leaves. Discard original leaves and remove the second set of leaves from strained soap mixture with a slotted spoon. Quickly pour the soap into clean molds. Let harden for three hours and remove by turning the mold upside down and popping out with your fingers. Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving at my house

We like to start the day off early every year. People begin arriving around 10:00 am and this year my good Italian friend Natalie brought this amazing Egg, Spinach and Sausage Calzone...a few pitchers of Thanksgiving morning Salty Dogs and everyone had breakfast together while some of us flitted in and out of the kitchen finishing up last minute items. Warming the stuffing, adding another round of cornish hens to the smoker and putting the cranberries on the stove.

We had smoked Cornish hens for the second year in the row. I find they are trouble free and cook in about one hour. We do brine them overnight for added flavor and they turn out perfect every year. Allot one bird each per person to ensure leftovers to send home with anyone. Instead of Turkey sandwiches or tetrazzine the week after think more along the lines of a smoky infused chicken and rice soup with paprika.

Rounding out the meal, we had Southern style cornbread dressing, an apple walnut stuffing, fresh Orange Cranberry sauce, Locally grown India Mustard greens, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, Baked Scallops with sage and breadcrumbs, Port wine gravy, Cayenne honey glazed Sweet potatoes, Grilled asparagus with pickled shallots, Apple Crisp, Flourless Chocolate cake and Pumpkin Pie with maple whipped cream...

Oh yes, and my husbands Southern Oyster Casserole...all I can say about this is that is does not contain any cheese or cream of mushroom soup, just oysters, butter, Worcestershire and cracker crumbs....and butter. We used enough plugra butter that day to stop a small team of Oxen in its tracks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It is almost December

Seriously folks, I picked a cucumber today. It would not win a prize at the county fair or anything but there it was, still in the garden, along with about 40 good looking green tomatoes.

I do believe that cold weather is probably coming but until then, my garden is actually looking better these last few weeks than it did all Summer. Swiss Chard, Ornamental peppers, Flat leaf Italian Parsley, Italian Chicory, Butter crunch Lettuce and Tomato plants that are outrageous for this time of year.

I am not quite sure what I will do with all of those green tomatoes, maybe pickled or tomato chutney, but I do have plans for the leaves.

Did you know that tomato leaves are NOT poisonous. Well, not necessarily. A lot of things in large amounts are poisonous, but even basil leaves in large doses can be symptomatic for some people, and no one thinks anything about Sassafras leaves (Gumbo File) in their Cajun creations which has always been listed as being a carcinogen. I say this because Harold McGee says this, and he is a Food/Scientist authority. I have even found recipes from Mario Batali's father that uses tomato leaves to add a true garden flavor to his tomato sauces and salumi...I do LOVE the smell of tomato leaves.

I will try a few recipes on myself first at home, but actually I plan to make soap. Yes soap, not soup... Soap. I am perfecting a recipe and I better get on it. The Weather channel is telling me that the next few days make start to feel like it is supposed to in late November.

Here are a few pics of my home garden with all of those tomato leaves and one tiny cucumber.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Everything but the Turkey!

Hannah's is looking forward to being a part of your Thanksgiving Holiday! We are offering "Everything But The Turkey" this year to accompany your special dinner. All items will be available to pick up through November 25th. Call 940-566-1110 to place your order today!

First course:
• Bistro cheese board- assorted cheeses with seasonal accompaniment of bread, cranberry and red onion jam, and tangerine and rosemary olives $5 per person
• Soup-Cauliflower & celery root puree with pancetta $4 per person
• Salad-Beet goat cheese salad with hazelnuts and citrus $4.50 per person

• Old fashioned yukon mashed potatoes $3.50 per person
add white truffle oil $1 supplement per person
• Chipotle mashed potatoes $3.75 per person
• Roasted root vegetables with thyme $4.50 per person
• Roasted brussels sprouts with maple bacon $4.50 per person
• Cajun Mirlington cornbread dressing lightly spiced Louisiana
style $4 per person
• Apple sage and walnut stuffing $4.25 per person
• Cranberry kumquat compote $1.75 per person
• Grilled asparagus with shallot sherry vinaigrette
$3.25 per person
• Butternut squash with brown butter and sage $3.50 per person
• Roast chicken port gravy $2 per person
• Roasted garlic bread $5
• Pecorino rolls $.50 per roll
• Sun-dried tomato rosemary rolls $.50 per roll

• Brandied fruit sauce (to go over your own dessert of ice cream)
with sundried apricots, cherries, cranberries and cinger preserved in Brandy $7 per pint
• Hepburns walnut brownies $4 per person

Whole Desserts:
• Hannah's carrot cake $30
• Flourless chocolate cake with strawberries $30
• Coconut custard pie $20
• Mile high apple pie $35
• Pumpkin and white chocolate cheesecake with
gingersnap crust $35

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Lunch Menu Fall 2009

Stop in for lunch this week and check out our new menu! Chicken Saltimboca with homemade manicotti, Prosciutto and Brie on Baguette with Horseradish Marmalade, Our seasonal Reuben is back and Vegetarian Black Bean Chili....never forget..we are listening...Fresh handmade tortillas for all tacos!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Its that time

My favorite season to cook!

Fall is the best for so many of my favorite things like soup, stews and braised meats. I know today was super hot after the morning rain but the weather man assures me that a cool front will be coming in later tonight and I cant wait!

Here at Hannah's we are getting a jump-start on the weekend with a few of the following over the next three days:

Mushroom bisque with Smoked paprika creme

Linguine with little-neck clams, pancetta, tomatoes and black pepper broth

Crispy Roman Style Artichokes with Lemon and Garlic Aioli

Gorgonzola and Pear Pasta Purses

Pumpkin, leeks, and Wild mushrooms are sure to make the list.

Buttered Rum Cream Brulee and Bread Pudding are here as well!

Come in to see us and cuddle up with some heart warming food!
Made with love.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The best 24 hours

Exactly 12 hours after having finished the 100 mile dinner I headed up to Dallas for some groceries and a little shopping. Another stop I made was a special treat for me at Williams and Sonoma and a wonderful opportunity to meet and chat with Ruth Reichl from Gourmet Magazine. What a pleasure! My new friend Susie Machemehl sent me this great photo and at the end of her e-mail she wrote...

One shoe can change your life.

Love it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

3rd Annual 100 mile dinner

What a wonderful night! We were booked and everything was just beautiful! It is easy to prepare this kind of meal when the freshest of local foods does all the work for you!

The menu included Red wine vinegar pickles with local salt, A tasting of Goat cheeses from Latte da Dairy and Dallas Mozzarella Company, Bibb lettuce salad with sprouts and hard boiled egg, Fresh Tomato Blt Salad with hot bacon dressing, Pineapple sage and Pear roasted Ham, Pork Loin, Sweet Potato fries, Butternut squash with brown butter and sage, Purple Hull peas, Stewed okra and tomatoes, Rosemary Roast Beef and potatoes Lyonnaise, Poblano Roasted Chicken and Blueberry pecan Crisp with Cantaloupe Lavender Sorbet and much, much more!

My goal for next year is to incorporate more wild foods.There are still those elusive morels in Sherman Gainsville area and maybe some more sunchokes and yucca shoots and burdock or poke salad....Maybe the Spring will bring us some luck for these wild foods of North Texas.

If you missed it, be sure to sign up early for the next one, we were booked for this one!