Sunday, December 5, 2010
from The Silver Palate
1 1/2 c beans (canned or cooked dry beans)
4 Tbs bacon fat (or butter)
1 c finely chopped yellow onions
3 leeks, white part only, thoroughly cleaned and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 tsp dry thyme
1 bay leaf
8 c chicken stock
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 ham hock
1/2 small white cabbage, shredded
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1.2 c chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Melt bacon fat in large heavy soup pot (our cast-iron dutch oven was great for this). Add onion, leeks, celery and carrots and cook, covered over low heat until the vegetables are tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the thyme bay leaf and a grinding of black pepper, and pour in the stock. Add parsnips and ham hock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 40 minutes.Remove ham hock and allow to cool slightly. Cut the meat off the bone into chunks and return meat to the pot.
Add cabbage, garlic and parsley and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Taste, correct seasoning and serve immediately.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything
3-5 slices of uncooked bacon, chopped
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into quarters
1/4 c of water
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the bacon in a large skillet until crisp over med-high heat. Add the sprouts and a 1/4 c of water to the skillet. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes until sprouts soften. Raise heat, and cook off the remaining water - cooking for another 5-10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve.
Whole Grain Crostini
1 whole grain baguette
Few Tbs of good-quality olive oil
Preheat Broiler. Slice baguette into thin slices. Brush with olive oil and dust with sea (or other) salt. Broil for 1-2 minutes (be sure to keep an eye on them as they burn quickly!) until they reach a nice golden brown. You can jazz this up with cheese, herbs or garlic also, if desired.
Friday, August 20, 2010
This is such a simple thing, but it's a fabulous treat on a hot day. All you need is your favorite green tea, hot water and some mint. And a little sweetener if you feel so inclined.
Green Tea with Mint
2 green tea bags
bunch of fresh mint, washed
4 c hot water
optional - sweetener of your choice, to taste
Place tea bags and mint in large heat-resistant bowl. Pour water (just under the boiling temp), over the tea and mint and allow to steep for a few minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. When sufficiently cool, place in your favorite container and chill in the fridge. This is a great basic recipe to play with. Try this with lemongrass, lemon, pineapple, whatever your favorite flavor combination. are.
It's been a particularly miserable summer in DC, and the kitchen has sadly, been very lightly used. There are, however, a few summer favorites I keep coming back to that require little if no time around anything hot. Tzadziki, a middle eastern salad (or spread) of yogurt and cucumber is one of my favorite no-heat summer dishes. Whip some up, spread it on your favorite pita and add your favorite protein (grilled chicken is the favorite here) and lettuce and you're good to go for one great summer meal.This is also a great way to use some summer garden bounty (container or otherwise) - like my wee cucumbers here. There is nothing wee about the amount of mint I have in the garden, so I like to use a heavy hand with it.
adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking
2 cups Greek yogurt (do 0% if you must, but it will taste so much better with 2% or whole)
2 c cucumber chopped (about 1 large or 2 small or 4 teeny tiny)
salt and white pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried dill (if you have fresh, use 2 tsp, chopped)
1 tbs chopped mint leaves
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
Seed and chop the cucumber. Place in a colander gently toss with a few pinches of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes (trust me, wait the 30 minutes. This will dry your cukes out so you don't get the dreaded slimy cucumbers or an overly-watery sauce). After the 30 min. have passed, wring the cukes out with a clean tea cloth or napkin. Place in bowl.
Crush garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and add to bowl. Add dill, mint, vinegar and additional salt or white pepper to taste. Mix together and drizzle olive oil on top right before serving.
Monday, August 2, 2010
This is definitely one of my favorite ways to have salmon. Lightly flavored but satisfyingly filling with the slight sweet of the marinade and creaminess of the rice. Serve with steamed broccoli and cauliflower like we did, or incorporate your own favorite vege. Save a little of the marinade to pour overtop of your plate. If feeling particularly bold, you can even bake the salmon on a cedar plank as they did in the original recipe. Not willing to wait the 4 hours for the plank to soak, I prepared this without the plank to still delicious results.
Baked Salmon with Coconut Rice
adapted from Cookie via epicurious.com
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
1 pound salmon fillet
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup jasmine rice
Salt to taste
1 oil baking dish
2 Preheat oven to 500°F.
3 In a bowl, combine the syrup, mustard, soy sauce, and lime juice. Add the fish; let it marinate for 10 minutes.
4 In a saucepan, bring the broth and coconut milk to a boil.
5 Stir in the rice. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.
6 Lay the fish on the plank, skin side down. Sprinkle it with salt; drizzle it with marinade.
7 Bake until the thickest part is still springy, 12 to 15 minutes.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I love learning new things about food and cooking. One of the ways we Pleasants go about learning about these things is through cookbooks. I have a rather long list of cookbooks in my library queue, and when we really fall in love with something, we'll buy it for ourselves. One of the best of these finds recently has been Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc.I was a great admirer of his French Laundry cookbook, but found the scale and technique rather daunting. More of a 'look but don't touch' feeling as far as I was concerned. However, like the restaurant of the same name Ad Hoc caters to family-style gatherings with approachable but impeccable food. The Mr. and I love how almost every recipe in this book teaches us something new about cooking, technique, particularly the 'light bulb moments' the book shares about simple, obvious, smack-your-forehead 'why didn't I think of that?' tidbits about cooking.
One of these was sharing a way to prepare the Asparagus coins pictured here. Not only did it suggest a method of preparing asparagus we had never tried before (coins?!?) but also, while fresh asparagus can be unwieldy and difficult or time consuming to cut individually, wrapping them up in a bundle with a rubber band and taking them as a group to a mandolin is a wonderfully easy and precise way to prepare these beauties. Duh!
Enjoy these on their own as a side dish or toss them into a salad like we did.
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Dash of sugar
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups packed spring mix salad greens
2 lemon wedges
1. Combine juice, vinegar, shallots, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and sugar; let stand 15 minutes.
2. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.
3. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a shallow dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken in flour; dip in egg white. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken on a wire rack; let stand 5 minutes.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick (I prefer to use cast iron) skillet over medium-high heat (or med-low heat for the cast iron - don't let the pan get too hot - you can see evidence of this wee mistake above on the 'well' browned chicken ;) Add chicken; cook 3 minutes. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes or until browned and done.
5. Add 2 teaspoons oil and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to shallot mixture; stir with a whisk. Add greens; toss gently. Place 1 chicken breast half and 1 cup salad on each of 2 plates. Serve with lemon wedges.
2 3/4 cups very warm water
1/3 cup olive oil [or whatever oil makes you happy]
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon salt [I used sea salt]
2 tablespoons dry active yeast
6-7 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. milled flaxseed
Place the oil, honey, and molasses in the bowl of your mixer. Add the salt, water and the yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes, until puffy and bubbly.
When your dough is holding together, leave it in the mixer, cover the bowl and let it rise for 30-60 minutes depending on the warmth of your kitchen. It doesn’t have to double, but you want it puffy.
Place the loaves in your bread pans and let them rise until almost doubled.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Chocolate Avocado Cake
adapted from the edible perspective
3 cups whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
8 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sucanat or granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used cold-pressed canola oil)
1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed, about 1 medium avocado
1 cup water
1 c almond milk
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch rounds or 1 9 x 13-inch pan. Sift together all of the dry ingredients except the sugar. Set that aside.
Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl, including the super mashed avocado.
Add sugar into the wet mix and stir.
Mix the wet with the dry all at once, and beat with a whisk (by hand) until smooth.
Pour batter into a greased cake tins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes, remove from pan and place on rack to cool completely before frosting.
Coconut Dream Frosting
1/3 c non-hydrogenated shortening or butter alternative like Earth Balance
1/4 c coconut butter*
1/3 c light coconut milk
2-3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Cream shortening and coconut butter in ingredients in bowl of stand-mixer with whisk attachment (or in a bowl to blend by hand or with hand mixer). Slowly add powdered sugar as you mix at low speed. Add vanilla and coconut milk in a tablespoon or so at a time (you may not need the full amount), until frosting reaches the desired consistency. Frost cake once cool. Enjoy!
*to make coconut butter at home, get some unsweetened dry, shredded coconut and put in a food processor until creamy.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
F.A.T. Those three little letters have been the bane of nutritionists and cardiologists throughout the US for the last three decades; And perhaps any chubby child on the playground and the menstruating woman (or her partner). Increasingly, however, research has been disproving fat as the ultimate enemy in America's war on obesity.
Why the turn-about in conventional nutritional knowledge? There is an informative summary here, published by Slate, of the studies published, but basically, researchers have determined that not LDL ("bad" cholesterol) is so bad after all. The researchers identified that consuming saturated fat, while increasing total LDL levels, only increased the levels of the benign LDL particles, not the ones that do indeed raise the risks of heart disease. Another study identified that women who ate the highest amounts of vegetable fat (from foods like olive oil and nuts) had lower risks of heart disease than women on low-fat diets.
Now, fat as an integral part of a healthy diet and is hardly new knowledge, but it has been so demonized in the last three decades that my head is still spinning a bit from this latest about-face in conventional nutritional knowledge. Real food advocates like Nina Planck, have long asserted that traditional saturated fats like lard, butter and coconut oil are not the health enemies they have been depicted to be. Publications like Nourishing Traditions have also advocated a return to real food - a book precipitated by the start of the 'war on fat' decades ago. While the positions these writers advocate may be a bit extreme for the average American, they clearly reflected a polarization of approaches to healthy eating with a rather inflexible national nutritional standard that went against generations of eating habits. Now, it seems, the position of conventional nutrition is moving somewhere more moderate in terms of dealing with fat. But I imagine it will still be quite some time before Americans can imagine welcoming fat to their tables.
So what DOES raise the levels of the really naughty LDL cholesterol? The kind that leads to an increased risk of heart disease? Highly processed carbohydrates - foods that spike blood sugar levels. Research suggests that highly processed carbs, particularly those with high fructose levels (like high fructose corn syrup) not only increase the risk for heart disease, but diabetes, gallbladder disease and breast cancer (for references to all of these findings, please see the Slate article). Keep in mind, this does not mean ALL carbs are bad - whole grains, fruits, vegetables are all still fiber and carbs and vital to a healthy diet. Trans-fats also are still perpetrators on this front as well. No change in policy there.
And what has America been reaching for when it cuts fat out if it's diet? Perhaps diet foods like Snackwells, Baked Lays and other low-fat products ring a bell? You know, the highly processed carbohydrates? Uh, what I spent a good part of my teens and early 20's indulging in thinking it was making a 'healthy' choice? Uggh.
Bottom line? We KNOW how to eat for optimum health. We've known for centuries and it's all about eating real food. Food you grow, food you make from whole ingredients. Simple and delicious foods you don't need a PhD in Biochemical engineering to understand. Now, we (meaning I and many other Americans) just have to get over our fat phobias and relearn that yes, healthy fats - even saturated fats!- have a place in a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I have a great fondness for shortbread. I don't think I'd tasted anything close to real shortbread until I was in the 5th grade. Before that, about all I'd had were those tinned Danish butter cookies at post-church coffee hours and the Girl Scout Trefoil cookies I sold as a Brownie. That all changed once I recieved the topic allotted to me for my 5th grade pioneer day: food. Tasked with recreating some tastes of the history of American pioneer fare, I thought of the descriptions of food in A Little House on the Prairie, one of my favorite elementary school reads. We somehow extrapolated one of their recipes for shortbread - you know, the special treat in Mary and Laura's Christmas stockings? It may have been thanks to some behind-the-scenes parental digging getting our hands on a copy of The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook - but who knows? I was probably too busy licking the batter of my fingers to notice. Once the first taste of homemade shortbread melted on my tongue, I suddenly realized just how much I'd been missing with those tinned and boxed cookies. A nice little lesson in appreciating that even if the pioneers didn't have the marvels of modern technology and society, they had daggone delicious eats! Most of my classmates if I recall correctly, agreed with me. There certainly wasn't anything left to bring home. Though I have yet to get my hands on that recipe again (a task I am working on I assure you), I saw a delicious and slightly similar-sounding shortbread recipe in this month's MSL magazine. I tweaked it a bit to make it a bit more nutritious but it was certainly still absolutely melt-on-your-tongue tasty shortbread.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Wheat berries and the idea of the freedom of adulthood go hand and hand to me. Growing up, I went to church more or less every Sunday and I will confess, sometimes I went rather grudgingly. I would look with longing at the leisurely brunchers at Bread and Chocolate as we sped by on our way to church, wistfully hoping for the day when I was a grown up and could spend Sunday mornings as leisurely as I liked and over brunches if I so chose. Every great once and a while, I could convince my parents to stop for brunch on the way home from church. While the challah french toast at Bread and Chocolate was divine, they served a wheat berry salad - sweet, nutty, acerbic and delicious that somehow tasted like those grown-up dreams of mine. It was the first place I'd ever tasted wheat berries and it's still my favorite way to prepare them. Though Bread and Chocolate isn't there anymore, my memory of that wheat berry salad and all the promise it represented is still quite vivid. And this adaptation of Martha Stewart's version comes quite close to recreating that salad. To have as I choose on Sunday mornings or otherwise, of course ;)
Wheat Berry Salad
adapted from MSL March 2010
1 c wheat berries (soaked overnight or at least 4 hours, drained)
Monday, February 22, 2010
It's hard not to be a little disenchanted with root vegetables as the end of winter. This time of year, when the promise of fresh spring veggies is so close, yet you are still cycling through the same root vegetables that have been available for most of the season. Another root vegetable? Siiiigh. However, this month's MSL had a nice little pick-me-up for one ubiquitous root vegetable - the carrot. Roasted to a delicious intensity of flavor and lighted with feta cheese and parsley, this is a fabulous way to pep up veggies when you're pooped out of the same-old-same-old winter veggie selection.
Roasted Carrots with Feta and Parsley
adapted from MSL March 2010
1 1/2 lb carrots, peeled, sliced on the bias about 1" thick
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 feta cheese
1-2 Tbs chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Place carrots on sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and turn to coat. Roast carrots for 20-25 minutes until browned and tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste while warm. Once cooled, mix together in bowl with feta and parsley.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Today kicks of the season of Lent for most Catholic and Protestant Christians, and whether you subscribe to those faiths or not, this time of year seems to be one of reflection and renewal. For some it may be a time of devotions, others perhaps closet reorganizing, starting at that long list of spring cleaning to-dos, garden planning and other outdoor chores and pursuits. It tends to be a time of introspection for me, a time to get back to the heart of what's really important to me and cut back on all that other extraneous stuff that get's in the way.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
My whole family was smitten, and have since tried to replicate that decadence without great success. Though not quite the same as the original (can anything ever truly be?) this is one of my favorite approximations, and also comes quite close to the tasty way they make it a few blocks over at Commonwealth gastro pub. Also a plus for this version, it makes four individual servings as opposed to an entire bunt cake if you're cooking for a smaller crowd.
Sticky Toffee Cakelets
adapted from apartmenttherapy.com
Makes 4 single-serving cakes
For the cakes:
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pitted finely chopped dates
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the sauce:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Use nonstick spray to coat custard cup or ramekin. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the apricots and dates. Pour enough boiling water over the fruit to cover. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Drain the fruit and gently fold it into the mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed up high and a cake tested inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. The cakes will fall like a soufflé when removed from oven. Allow cakes to cool slightly before turning out of their ramekins. Prepare the sauce:Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter is completely melted and the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce darkens to a deep brown color. To serve, drizzle the warm sauce over the cakes, allowing the some sauced to pool in the center where the cakes have fallen, or under the cake to let it soak up from the bottom.
We've been getting just a wee bit of snow here. Here, Mr. Pleasant and I dug out to check out the nieghborhood on Sat. as the "snowpocolypse" was winding down. Wow! What a storm! Haven't seen this much snow in DC EVER! A bone-a-fied BLIZZARD!
Oh, ho! but WAIT! There's more!! "Snowverkill" was winding up...and this morning the view out a kitchen window looked like this:
and by noon, it looked like this:
Just to clarify, yes kids, the window is more than halfway blocked by snow and it ain't slowing down anytime real soon...
So what's a girl to do when snowed in? Why, bake bread of course! I started with a pumpernickle to go with some delicious lentil soup...
followed by some amazing cinnamon raisin bread...
I'll post more about that pita soon - right after I have some chili and some of Millie's delicious cornbread.
Monday, February 1, 2010
adapted from 101cookbooks.com
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen (or with a sturdy, sharp knife and loads of caution, cube frozen butter)
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons whole milk (I found 2 additional Tbs. of milk were required, but this will depend on how dry the air is where you are - add any additional milk slowly and mix well, observing the consistency until it is sticky as described below)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
To prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.
Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough. (If it is already cold in your kitchen, as it was in mine, I had no qualms about resting the baking sheet full of cut grahm crackers on the cold tile floor to "chill". I confess to not letting them chill the full 30 min -just as long as it took me to cut the second batch of crackers and I was happy with the results).
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more flour and roll out the dough to get about two or three more crackers.
Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line. Alternatively, cut the crackers out into rectangles (I found our ravioli cutter to be quite perfect for this) once rolled, poke with a fork as desired and sprinkle on sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the tough, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Or, for the softer, flakier crackers, 10-15 minutes.
Yield: 10 large crackers or about 2 dozen smaller rectangles.
From Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (Villard, 2000)
Sunday, January 10, 2010
1 envelopes envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups diced frozen mango, thawed (Trader Joes handy here)
7-ounce nonfat sweetened condensed milk (about half a 14 oz can - extra is fabulous for Thai iced tea and coffee)
2 tablespoons lime juice
Lightly coat eight 4- to 10-ounce ramekins with cooking spray. Divide the pudding among the ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
1 eggs, separated
from Jam It, Pickle It, Preserve it by Karen Solomon
1 c Heavy Whipping Cream
salt to taste
Place cream in a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Jar should be large enough for cream to only take up half of it. Shake. I imagine this would be an awesome game for kids - just beware of launching jars. Shake, dancing along with the shaking is even more fun. Shake while reading the paper. Shake for 3 minutes or so (depending on the temperature, warmer = faster), you'll have whipped cream. Another few minutes you'll have the beginnings of butter. Once you get a good amount of solidified mass and separated buttermilk, pour and reserve the buttermilk in a separate bowl (for ideas on how to use the buttermilk, see the next post!).
Once buttermilk is removed, pour just enough water to cover the nascent butter into the jar and shake some more. Once more solid, dump this water out (do not keep this liquid). Repeat once more. Once the butter consistency is to your liking, mix with your favorite salt or fresh herbs, garlic, whatever your little heart desires. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Also makes a great gift.
ALTERNATIVELY, if you just don't have the shake in you, place cream in stand mixer (or use hand-held mixer) and mix until the butter is mostly solidified and you have your buttermilk. Reserve buttermilk by pouring into separate bowl. Add water to butter, again mix until it's at the consistency you want, pour out water (no need to keep this water) and add in any of your favorite mixings as mentioned above.