Friday, July 25, 2008

Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Naturally, I couldn't spend ten days in Spain without developing an interest in Spanish cuisine. I'm not about to undertake paella anytime soon; however, so many of the little tapas that we had left such delicious memories that I've been anxious to try to replicate them at home. As part of his birthday present I therefore bought a copy of 1080 Recipes for my boyfriend last month. It's referred to as the Spanish Joy of Cooking, and it's a beautiful book, but that many recipes can be a bit overwhelming. More importantly, it doesn't include a recipe for our favorite of the various little goodies we had in Barcelona: small peppers stuffed with goat cheese.

Happily I recently came across two different tapas cookbooks for $3 apiece (thank you, Marshalls). Since each had a variation on the stuffed peppers, I decided to buy both. Last night I made my first attempt - the general consensus was that they were very yummy, although I still don't think they're quite the same as what we had in Barcelona.

The recipe calls for pimentos (in other words, red peppers cooked, seeded, and skinned) packed in oil. I immediately diverged from the recipe and bought peppadews instead, as these are closer sizewise to what we remembered from Barcelona. Unfortunately they were packed in brine rather than oil, which I think gave them a stronger pickled flavor that fights a bit with the subtler goat cheese flavor.

The recipe gives three different filling options: one tuna-based, one cottage cheese-based, and one goat cheese-based. Obviously I went for the goat cheese. To 7 ounces of soft goat cheese, you're supposed to add one clove of minced garlic, a third cup of finely chopped black olives, and one tablespoon of the oil in which the peppers are packed, plus salt and pepper to taste. Those quantities are supposed to fill about 36 peppers. Since I decided to make only 12 peppers, I cut back on each ingredient more or less accordingly. I started with approximately 2.5 ounces of goat cheese and with my garlic press added the smallest clove I had - instantly I realized this was too much garlic, so I added probably another ounce of the cheese to compensate. Because my peppers came in brine rather than oil, I just added about a teaspoon of olive oil, then about 5 or 6 pitted kalamata olives, chopped as finely as I was able. (I'm not too handy with a chef's knife.) I had left my cheese out for about a half hour to soften, which made mixing the ingredients pretty easy.

Now for filling the peppers. That little Ziploc bag trick is too good to reserve only for deviled eggs, I thought, so at this point I scooped my cheese mixture into a Ziploc, snipped off a corner, and began filling. Words cannot express my level of satisfaction with how well this worked. Holding the pepper in one hand and the bag in another, I could actually feel the pepper swelling up as the cheese made its way into each crevice of the cavity; it felt, and looked, a bit like filling a wall cavity with spray foam insulation - in a good way, of course. Not that I actually tried the filling-with-a-teaspoon method, but I cannot imagine the results would be as satisfactory.The peppers are supposed to chill in the refrigerator for two hours before serving; since I wanted them ready sooner, I stuck mine in the freezer for an initial twenty minutes or so.
So, that's round one for the stuffed peppers. These were pretty tasty, but I still think I got too much garlic in the filling and that the briney flavor of the peppers was too strong against the goat cheese. Watch this space for subsequent attempts.
Sorry for not having a real presentation-style photo - I guess I became too interested in eating them to worry about photographing them.
While I just made these as a pre-dinner plate, I think they would be wonderful for a party food. If you use the Ziploc trick they are very quick and easy to make (and next time I might even go ahead and mix my filling in the bag, as with the deviled eggs, therefore eliminating even the cleaning of the mixing bowl), and since they need to chill anyway, they could be made several hours ahead. (I'm always on the lookout for good, easy, make-ahead party foods.)

Lesson Learned: Next time try peppers in oil, rather than in brine.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Baby Blanket 101

Well, not quite.

So I had this cute fabric by Erin Michael for Moda Fabrics (I heart Moda!! - they have great fabrics!). The fabric was supposed to be an apron for a friend who turned out to be a toxic friend almost 4 years ago. Then I found out that Little Sister was pregnant and I thought to myself "What is cuter than a sock monkey baby blanket besides kittens? Nothing!"

I bought some of that fuzzy, soft red fabric that you can find in the kid's section at most fabric stores. I don't even know what it's called but it feels like a chinchilla. So soft.

My thought was to simply take the two fabrics: sock monkey and soft fabric, and sew them together (right sides together). Then I would turn the blanket right side out and add a simple satin blanket border. Easier said than done!

The sock monkey fabric is 100% cotton, which means it only stretches, if at all, in one direction. That red, fuzzy, soft stuff stretches in every direction! So, by the time I finished my edges, I had huge bubbles in the blanket between the layers! So annoying.

My blanket was fairly large at this point (I researched different sizes on Etsy and finally ended up with a 54" x 60" blanket) so I decided to go ahead and turn it so that the right sides were facing out. I flattened it out with my hand as much as I could and pinned it. Then I sewed it again. Well, it did better this time, but still not great. So I did it again. This time it was still bubbly but not nearly as noticeable. Third time's a charm, right?

Now that I had the blanket the correct (but smaller) size, I needed to add the border. I thought that a yellow border would be so cute with the red in the blanket. Oh it was...minus the fact that if you buy the pre-packaged blanket binding in satin, you can see right through the satin. Well, my seams weren't too pretty from all my resewing of blanket edges, so I had to come up with some other method.

I finally decided to use the stripe fabric I had bought with the sock monkeys. The colors are all coordinating so that was good. I took the fabric and cut it how I wanted it. I think I ended up with a 8" piece. I folded that in half and ironed it (and starched it!). I then ironed each of the sides in half so that it was 1/4 of it's original size. This way the fabric could basically act as a "bread" with the blanket being the "meat" in the "sandwich." Yeah, I know. Dumb analogy.

I had to do the striped border in 4 pieces because I didn't have the length to do one big piece that I could fold at each corner. Therefore, being my first baby blanket with blanket binding, my edges look horrendous, but passable. I also had a problem with the bubbles coming back along the edges while I was sewing but I did the best I could do given the circumstances.

Regardless, the baby will just be pooping and puking and drooling on the blanket anyway, so I'm not TOO worried about it being perfect. It's cute and that's all that matters in the end!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kids and Babies: The shopping and ideas

Here's the dealio:

Never tackle a project without having a good idea about what you want to do.

As I have said before, I believe in getting ideas and making them my own. That's the way I am. So, as I was looking for ideas for both Wyatt and Leah's bedrooms, I found a lot of fun websites for all kinds of decorating ideas for little ones.


Modern Nursery - the cool design place to go when you have too much money, apparently. Who gives their babies real designer furniture? Anyway, an impressive collection of all things baby and all things ultra modern with a hint of funky.

Modern Tots - same kind of idea as Modern Nursery

2 Modern
- Yup. It's too modern for my budget, but I love it!!

A super cute bath idea!

Storage ideas for kids!


Dollar Store Closets - transform your kid's closets with dollar store finds!

Pops of Color Kids' Rooms - you heard it: color!

Vroom to Grow - A transportation room of from every boys' dreams!

Animal-Themed Bedroom

Rock star nursery - my words, not theirs

Idea-packed nursery

Calm and Collected Nursery

Baby Room Details
- ideas for any nursery

Leah's Room Redux

Now for little Leah's room. Real little since she's still in her mama's belly!

Basically, Little Sister wanted to keep the old nursery, which was Wyatt's, and convert it into a little girl's nursery. Who can blame her? Nursery bedding is freakin' outrageously priced! The nursery bedding was pretty gender neutral as it had blues, yellows, reds, pinks, greens and leopard print in it. However, it was heavy on the blue, so we needed to make it more girlie.Mom took on the nursery as her personal project. Yay Mom!

Mom and I fell in love with the jungle theme in the bedding. So cute!

Alicia, with the help of Stacie, had painted the bedroom pale yellow on the bottom and white (I swear to you that it's a pale blue, but Alicia claims it's white) on the top and put the border up in the middle that matches the bedding.

She found the same type of wooden pieces at Walmart in jungle animals as I had for the sports balls (technically, she found them first). Originally, we were going to take some canvases she had bought at Walmart ($3.88 each - 10"x10"), wrap them in gingham and then do this little project that was featured on Martha Stewart. However, time always catches up with us and by the time we were working on the canvases, the last thing we wanted to do was paint something else! Instead, we put Alicia to work on hot glue the cute little wooden animals to the pre-wrapped gingham canvases (thanks to Mom and her staple gun). We hung them over the area where the crib will go (I'll get crib pictures as soon as they are sent to me).
Another project was painting an existing dresser that Alicia had from her childhood. One lesson learned (as Christie would say): never paint in extreme heat/humidity. First, we painted a couple of coats of Kilz2 primer (latex, baby!) on the dresser and then added 3 layers of the red paint leftover from Wyatt's block wall (multi-tasking paint). It could have taken a third coat, but like I said before, we were DONE painting! It kind of looks like a distressed dresser now. Woo. Anyway, the reason to NOT paint in a garage in extreme heat/humidity is because our paint gooed up a bit on top of the dresser. Luckily, the top of the dresser will be covered mostly with baby diaper paraphenalia (see the picture below...minus NB diapers that are going into the vertical gingham/red basket). I got the red gingham baskets in a set of 3 (one big, two square) at IKEA. I heart IKEA! Of course, no project can go perfectly for us and after getting the drawers back in the dresser, we realized that the trim between the dresser drawers was curved (while the drawers aren't) and we (I) missed painting that part! Darn! Alicia said she'll go back and fix it. I hope so! Also, I didn't get all the cute little knobs on the dresser before I left (time ran out!!), so we hotglued them on for the picture. We also hot glued the leftover butterflies on the dresser because they were TOO CUTE!! Mom got the knobs at a discount store for $7.99. Yup! They are the jungle themed animals! How perfect! And cute!
For the square mirrors above the dresser(see picture above), we simply took the mirrors, taped them off to make sure no paint got on the mirror, and spray painted the crapola out of them with some red paint Mom had. That Mom...she has lots of stuff hanging around! After they dried, we took the tape off and hot glued the cute butterfly and spirals. We spray painted the spirals with a pale yellow Mom had hanging around. The spirals are similar to the blue spirals in the wallpaper border.

All I did in the closet was move the white storage shelves in...they had been sitting in the dresser area and I thought it would be easier to put them in the closet to HIDE stuff instead of keeping them out in the open. We added some cheap storage boxes and that was that! Whew. I love closets.
I hung the IKEA net in the corner, over where the glider will be placed, to get the stuffed animals off the floor. So many stuffed animals! Now I can see why stuffed animals drove my Mom crazy! They're everywhere!!Mom bought the little leopard print lamp shade at Walmart in the clearance section for $3. We just added the red ruffle (that matches the window shade) with what? Hot glue!!
The roman shade in the window was made by Mom. She got the idea from either an Urban Outfitters catalog or an Anthropologie catalog. Either way, they are cute! She used the bright yellow gingham on one side and a swirlie butterfly print in yellow on a white background on the back side. That way, when it's rolled up, you can see both patterns. She added a line of red rickrack along the top and a line of the red ruffle for extra color (our favorite colors for the room: red and yellow!). She used red satin ribbon for the tie ups. Cute! It's a simple project...all you need is a sewing machine, fabric, thread and the exact dimensions of the window.The decals, that match the jungle animals, on the walls I picked up one day at Target while I was just wandering around. I love wandering in Target! You never know what you'll find!!Mom took the glider cushions (etc) home with her to recover them. I think she picked a cute animal print in a suede like fabric, but I guess we'll never know until she gets it done! She also took the ottoman home with her...

Stay tuned for crib and chair pictures!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wyatt's Room Redux

So my little sister (technically, my step sister, but some technicalities fall by the wayside whenever you act like real sisters) found out she was pregnant. This will be her second baby (and her last, according to both her and her husband). The first, a boy, will be 3 in December. He's getting so big!! Anyway, she's due late September and lo and behold, it's a girl, even though she swore up and down that she was always going to have boys (due to the track record of her husband's side of the family).

In order to make way for Baby #2, it was decided that Baby #2 would move into the current nursery and Baby #1 would be placed in the current guest room.

My first dilemna was the fact that Little Sister isn't exactly the most organized person in the world and the room (both) was a total wreck. She did a fairly good job dividing and conquering much of the mess before we got there, but it still needed places to go. I'll get back to that in a bit.

I knew that I wanted to do a blue, brown and red palette. I kept seeing cute boyish comforters in blue and brown/khaki stripes and knew it was a popular color. I am a firm believer in visual research and found the exact idea (plagiarism? Who wants to reinvent the wheel?) in a nursery scheme. It wasn't exactly the right colors, but it gave me a good foundation. I then came up with this idea (only confirmed after a trip to get paint) of taking the block scheme and using two shades of brown, two shades of blue (both on the same paint chip) and bright red.
First, I painted the focal wall (the intended block wall) white. It was such a relief to paint over the dirtiness of the existing white wall. White paint may seem like an easy color when you are going neutral, but just remember it's like wearing white pants to a barbeque...everything is going to be highlighted in all it's dirty glory when it gets on the white. After the paint dried, I measured off 20" blocks. I started with 24" blocks but those looked too big and 18" blocks looked too small. Since I like to do things 6 - 12 times instead of just once, I ended up remeasuring the blocks about 12 times. I finally came up with a composition that I liked...and that was perfectly centered on the wall. I used my laser level to make sure that the tape (I used a 1.5" painters tape as it would come off nice and smoothly...although where we had to use masking tape when we ran out of painter's tape, some spots are so nice and smooth) was as straight as Carrie possible. (humanly possible for other people).

According to my good buddy, Martha Stewart, after the tape is placed in the appropriate spot on the wall, you should seal the edges of the tape (where you are painting) with an acrylic gloss sealant. I could only find this sealant in spray form and since Little Sister is pregnant, I chose a different product that ended up working just as well. It was some kind of clear glass acrylic. Basically, it just sealed the edge without adding color.

After a full day of watching the boys play grown up volleyball, sitting out in the shade, enjoying our independence (in Independence!) painting the closet and remaining three walls the beige color, I made a color drawing of the block wall in order to come up with a pattern (or NOT pattern in this case). I wish I had taken a picture of my drawing: it was on the back of my flight info and was colored with an array of crayons that were not even close to the colors they were representing. After following the pattern, we painted. We had to paint two layers on the beige and light blue, three on the dark blue and brown and 4 on the red because after putting two coats up, we decided the red was too pink and bought a new red. It looked much better after the change.
Once the paint was dry, we carefully peeled off the paint. Of course, there were still some areas that bled under the tape, but overall it was a lot less bleeding than if we hadn't sealed the edges. I was incredibly happy with the overall look...Little Sister and the kid loves it too.
After finishing up the walls in the bedroom, we tackled various other little projects.

We added (hot glue is my bestest friend EVER) some painted wooden pieces that we picked up both at Walmart and Joann's Fabric (already painted) to the dresser and nightstand. Cute!!We also painted a 5 hook shelf we found at Joann's Fabric for the rock bottom price of $10.99. It came unfinished so we just used the leftover paint from the walls to do it in two shades and then added the balls with hot glue. Cute!! Johnny had to hang it after I left because it wasn't done when I left (even though Little Sister and I were working up to the very last second before she took me to the airport).We wanted to put his big toybox in the closet so that when he is going to sleep at night, he isn't distracted by toys. Because of that, we had Johnny cut some boards down for us and painted them the light blue and hung them in the closet. Perfect for the $3 and $4 crates we bought at Dollar General.
We found the football toy box at a yard sale for $10! Score! It was fate...right? I mean, how often do you see a football toybox at a yard sale on the weekend you are turning your nephew's room into a sports themed bedroom??Little Sister purchased the comforter at Walmart for a mere $25.Mom made the curtains one evening with fabric from Joann's. I had my handy dandy 40% off coupon that I receive every few weeks from them so that was a nice deal. The cute football curtain rod was found at Walmart for $10. It went too perfectly with the sports theme to pass up!The lamp we bought at the Goodwill for $5. It was a Pooh lamp so we removed the shade and painted the yellow lamp with a nice coat of red spray paint my mother had hanging around. She added leftover fabric from the curtains with hot glue and I added the double bias tape to the edges in the contrasting blue (also with hot glue).The letters over the bed I decoupaged a few weeks ago...I will post a "how to" post as soon as I can (I'm working on it, but needed visuals).The green square mirrors beside the window were these mirrors from IKEA. We simply spray painted them (make sure to tape off the mirror or you'll be scraping off spray paint for days!) and attached the sports balls with hot glue. Once again.
The square canvas frames I had painted before the Redux. You can view that entry here.

So that's that. I hope you enjoy!

Don't forget to check out
Leah's Room Redux too!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fourth of July Pie

Alright, so technically this is not my very first pie. That would be the so-so apple pie that Carrie and I made for Thanksgiving last year – so-so not because of the filling (my Mom’s recipe that has been a Thanksgiving staple for me since time immemorial) but because of the pre-made Pillsbury crust that was okay the first day but almost inedible on day two. And everyone knows the whole point of apple pie for Thanksgiving is breakfast for Black Friday.

Thus, when I was inspired to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie for the Fourth of July, I knew that the crust would have to be from scratch. I found
this recipe for the pie from Southern Living’s very useful My Recipes site, and this simple food processor crust recipe from MSL.

The hardest part of making a strawberry-rhubarb pie, it turns out, is acquiring rhubarb. Whole Foods? Star Market? Broadway Marketplace? Formaggio Kitchen? No, no, no, and no. I had almost resigned myself to making a plain-old strawberry pie, but at the second Star Market – or is it called Shaw’s now? – it occurred to Mike to actually ask someone in the produce department, who returned from the back minutes later with several stalks of rhubarb.

The crust recipe couldn’t be simpler – I mixed the dough, divided it into two flattened disks (for ease in rolling out later; thanks for the tip, Martha!) and put them in the fridge to chill while I made the filling.

Because of the holiday, I selected a grand old American legend for my baking music. So while Sinatra crooned away about unrequited love, I began slicing up my fruit and veg. The recipe calls for 2 ½ cups each of sliced strawberries and sliced rhubarb. But who ever knows what that translates to in pints/pounds? I had bought two pounds of strawberries, which turned out to be about twice what I needed, and two bunches of rhubarb – again, about double what I needed. In the bowl with the sugar/cornstarch/lemon mixture, it looked like way too much filling for one pie crust, but the recipe writers know their stuff. It was the perfect amount.
The MSL recipe says to use a floured surface and rolling pin to roll out the crust, but after a couple minutes of this I switched to the old reliable method of sandwiching the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap – this is much easier and keeps the dough (and kitchen) from getting too flour-y. (Oddly, that’s also a Martha method; she recommends it for roll-out cookies, but it seemed to work nearly as well for pie crust.)

Here’s my bottom crust, with imperfectly-crimped edges. The recipe suggests using a fork for crimping, but I prefer the irregularity of thumb-crimping.

My lattice came out about like you’d expect a first-ever pie crust lattice to turn out, partly I think because the dough was getting too warm from its proximity to the preheating oven. In any case, I had to piece together several shorter strips in some places. Oh, and I also nearly forgot to put in my little dots of butter under the top crust – they had to be sort of wedged in under the lattice after the fact. Still, I was relatively pleased with the nearly-final product as I slid it into the oven – a moment that amusingly coincided with the climatic finale of My Way. (Although this did raise concerns as to whether any eating-up-and-spitting-out would be associated with my beautiful pie.)

Here it is, before and after baking. You can see all the little butter dots that wouldn't fit under the lattice. While the Pops and fireworks blared from the TV, we sat down to a lovely, summery July 4th dinner of lobster, corn on the cob, deviled eggs, and potato salad, then dished up two healthy pieces of pie with ice cream for Mike and frozen yogurt for me. (Don’t worry – the lobsters were pretty small; we’re not total pigs.) The result? A lovely sweet-and-sour flavor in a not-too-bad, flavorful, flaky crust. The tanginess of the rhubarb really does pair nicely with the sweet strawberry flavor. Wish I could say I’d come up with the idea of putting the two together (could it possibly have been a "Hey, you got your rhubarb in my strawberries!" "Yeah? Well you got your strawberries in my rhubarb!" kind of moment?), but if I can't claim credit for its invention, at least I may now confidently stand with those who can make a strawberry-rhubarb pie, which is something.
And on day #2? I preferred it hot from the oven, but it was still pretty good cold. The crust was a bit soggier, but everything was still quite tasty. The only problem now is that I have sufficient strawberry and rhubarb left over to make a second pie. I guess this will give me a chance to improve my lattice-work.

Lessons Learned:

#1 Always confirm you can acquire rhubarb before committing to a pie.

#2 Always ask if you don’t see anything in the produce department – you never know what they have tucked away in the back.

#3 Homemade pie crust is definitely worth the extra time and effort.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

That Was Easy: Deviled Eggs

This tip came from my Mom, who got it from a friend who got it from her granddaughter. In other words, nothing original here, but if you don’t yet know about it and do make deviled eggs occasionally, you’ll thank me. I used to love deviled eggs when I was young, partly I think because they were something I could help with, but partly because there’s something simple and squishy and very appealing about these unlikely delicacies to a kid. My five-year-old nephew was once heard to say: “I was born … to eat … stuffed eggs!” My sentiments exactly. I can’t say I make deviled, or stuffed, eggs all that frequently these days, but I happened to get this tip on the Fourth of July, which seemed like an appropriately festive, homey occasion to try it out.

Hard-boil your eggs, as usual. (Incredible how many variations there are on hard-boiling eggs. I like the method where you put them in water, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let them sit, covered, for about 12 – 15 minutes. This results in beautifully bright-yellow yolks – especially nice for something like stuffed eggs where the yolks play such an important visual role in the final product.)

Immediately after the eggs have cooked, immerse them in ice water. This causes the whites to pull away from the shell and greatly speeds up the peeling process. After several minutes in their ice-water bath, the eggs are ready to be dried and peeled. Slice each egg in half lengthwise, and pop out the beautiful sunny yolks.

Now comes the trick: rather than mixing the filling in a bowl, drop the yolks into a small Ziploc bag. Add to the yolks whatever you choose – variations on deviled egg fillings abound, but I grew up doing them with just egg yolk, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Then zip up the bag and smush away, mixing everything thoroughly, and opening occasionally to taste and adjust.

When the filling is properly mixed and seasoned, keep the bag closed but snip off one of the bottom corners. Holding the Ziploc like an icing bag, carefully squeeze equal amounts of filling into each of your egg whites. Obviously, the clean-up is now a snap, but what’s really great about this method is how much easier it is to neatly fill each egg cavity without residual filling on the plate, smeared on the rest of the egg, etc..
Sprinkle with paprika, or whatever garnish you prefer, and they’re ready to serve. I used Spanish Hot Paprika, which gave them a nice kick. They were delicious, as always. You wouldn't want to eat them all the time, but a deviled egg now and then is reassuringly tasty and familiar.

Lesson Learned: Well, the Ziploc trick, obviously.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Double-skewered Potatoes

One of my favorite things about summertime is grilling out. Back in our Somerville days, Julie and I used to grill practically all our evening meals on a little propane camp-stove in our meager but fabulous backyard (about which one of us should post someday). We tried, and loved, just about everything on the grill: pizza, cake, fruit, stuffed onions, halloumi, leeks, broccolini, etc..

When I moved to a downtown Boston studio, I sadly said goodbye to summer grilling. Happily, though, I can now grill vicariously through my boyfriend, whose condo has a little deck just big enough for a table, two chairs, and a Weber charcoal grill. I’ll admit that I still haven’t mastered the art of charcoal grilling (so much more work than lighting that camp stove), but I do enjoy the slightly less experimental, more traditional meals he prepares out there, with my occasional help.

One of Julie’s and my great grill discoveries was the tastiness of grilled fingerling potatoes. So the other night when Mike was grilling babyback ribs, I suggested potatoes for a side dish instead of corn on the cob. When I’ve done this in the past, I’ve strung the little potatoes on bamboo skewers (soaked for several minutes in water to minimize charring). The problem with this method – and the same applies more or less with metal skewers – is the difficulty of turning the potatoes. The little guys just want to spin around on the skewers, so that one side ends up over-grilled and the other underdone.

So here’s the trick: skewer your potatoes onto not one but two bamboo skewers. This keeps them in line so they flip uniformly when you turn them rather than the maddening rotation associated with the single skewer. I found, though, that stabbing the bamboo skewers through the potatoes was tricky. After some frustration (and some fear of stabbing myself with the bamboo), I took out a metal skewer which was much more effective for the initial potato punctures, which I spaced about ¾ of an inch apart (working on a large wooden chopping board). Then it was a snap to string each potato easily onto a pair of bamboo skewers.

I brushed each set of potatoes generously with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and they were ready for the grill.

Even small potatoes take awhile to cook thoroughly. We had these on the grill for about forty-five minutes, turning periodically (and easily!) for even cooking. The result was delicious. The potatoes slid off the skewers onto our plates, and were soft and moist on the inside, and deliciously salty and crusty on the outside. A delectable, simple summer side dish.

Lesson learned: Never send a bamboo skewer in to do a metal skewer’s job.