Archive for the ‘food’ Category


TMI Tuesdays #9

February 5, 2008

Q 1. by what nickname(s) were you known as a child?
A 1. ry

Q 2. do you have a favorite poem and, if so, what is it?
A 2. i’ve posted it before here

Q 3. what is your greatest regret in life, something that you failed to do that you wish you did?
A 3. i don’t believe in regrets but i do think that there were times in my life when i could have tried harder but didn’t for no other reason but sheer laziness.

Q 4. you are tired and hungry, but it’s too late to cook. if any snack food were available to you, what would you choose and why?
A 4. a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with doritos (in the sandwich, NOT on the side) would be a top five pick. other things on the top five list would be chef boyardee spaghetti and meatballs (heating in the microwave isn’t really cooking, right?), cheerios with whole milk and bananas, wavy chips and onion dip, and chex mix (the real homemade kind). but, i’m a good eater and haven’t had any of these things in any great quantity in quite some time. i would likely throw some pasta on the stove or heat up something frozen like quorn nuggets. for me, it’s never too late to cook.

Q 5. what is the oldest item of clothing (not jewelry!) that you wear regularly and what do you love about it?
A 5. my adidas shirt. i bought it at a thrift store when i was in high school. it was quite worn when i bought it but i could go bra-less in it ’cause the adidas logo goes right across the chest. now it’s so thin i have to wear a cami or tanktop underneath! but it’s so damn soft and i get lots of compliments on it and it’s vintage and i love it.

Bonus Q: name a movie or TV show that changed your thinking or behavior.
Bonus A: six feet under which started in 2001 – after my father’s death and before my mother’s. i was depressed and anxious and having a very difficult time dealing with my grief. the first episode, for those who don’t recall, introduces you to a family who runs a funeral home.  the father of the family is killed in a car accident and the family is forced to deal with their own grief. one of the brothers in the family starts to ask a series of questions about grief as a social construct, about how so many other cultures do it so much differently than we do.  why, if death is universal, do humans celebrate/mourn it in such varied ways?  it was all so simple yet so pedantic. i was really drawn into the theme of that first episode – grief as a (distinctly western?) social disease? – and i remember having one of those “ah ha” moments. i never watched much more of the show after that first episode but it really helped heal me.



January 25, 2008

[image from here]

red spinach?  it’s in my produce co-op basket this week and i can’t freekin’ wait!  sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic, red pepper flake, lemon juice…



post dinner party

January 21, 2008

so. (i seem to start an awful lot of posts/paragraphs/sentences with “so”.  i want it to stop.)

the previously mentioned dinner party was awesome.  i totally forgot to bring a camera which is a shame because all of the food was spectacularly beautiful.  the guests, too.

some highlights in no particular order:

orange fennel snapper
wine for days
amaretto fruit dip
oatmeal cake
politics talk, work talk, food talk, period talk
april hugs (girl crush!!)

it was super sweet to connect with women my age (close enough) over food and wine and conversation.  it’s not something i do enough of. 

that is all.


dinner party prep

January 17, 2008

i’ve been invited to an all-women dinner party on friday night.  the host is preparing the main course (vegetarian) and guests have been asked to bring a dish.  i picked “starch” and immediately found a recipe for “savory mashed root vegetables” on the food network site.  i also found what looks like a killer take on mac and cheese.  i really can’t stress how great that site is, btw.

i’ll blog more about the dinner party over the weekend (hopefully with pictures!) because it should be hella interesting but first i thought i’d post the planned recipes for posterity.

Savory Mashed Root Vegetables (Tyler Florence)
3 pounds assorted root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, turnips, and rutabaga, coarsely
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 handful fresh thyme sprigs
1 handful fresh rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil

Place all the vegetables and garlic in a large pot and fill with cool water to cover; season with a teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil over medium heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
While the vegetables are cooking, combine the heavy cream, butter, and herbs in a pot and heat over low flame to melt the butter and infuse the herb flavor into the cream – do not allow to boil. Shut off the heat, cover, and let steep until needed. When ready to use, remove the herb stems and the bay leaves.

Drain vegetables and put them into a large mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Stir in the warm cream mixture and mix until the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are smooth; season with salt and pepper. Put the mashed root vegetables in a serving bowl, garnish with chopped chives and drizzle with a healthy dose of olive oil.

Baked Penne w/ Roasted Vegetables (Giada DeLaurentiis)
2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cremini mushrooms, halved
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence
1 pound penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander.

In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.



December 5, 2007

quinoa salad

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 cup water

1 cup leftover salad (or not leftover salad)

Some acid – half a lemon or 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar

Some olive oil – about 1/8 to 1/4 cup

Salt and pepper

Put quinoa and water into a pot over high heat.  Once at a boil, cover the pot and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 15-18 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the seeds (quinoa is a seed, you know) are chewy.  Dump the quinoa into a bowl and allow it to cool until no longer hot and steamy.

In the meantime, chop up your salad.  You want it to be pretty finely chopped but not so fine that you can’t distinguish the different veggies.  Add the salad to the slightly cooled quinoa.  Add the acid and the olive oil.  Add some salt and pepper and taste.  Adjust acid/oil/s&p balance as needed.  While you’re adding stuff to the quinoa make sure you’re stirring really well.  Quinoa has a tendency to clump.  Once well mixed, refrigerate until cold or if you can’t stand it, eat!


Friday Fruits and Veggies: Thanksgiving!!!

November 17, 2007

I love Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday by far.  No gifts, no baskets, no staying up until midnight. 

Just food. 


This week’s co-op basket has some Thanksgiving gems:

Garnet Sweet Potatoes
Red Onions
Grannie Smith Apples

Aww Yeahh!  It’s Thanksgiving alright.  Cranberry bread is on the to-do list for tonight if I can keep my eyes open.  If I have a few berries left over I’ll throw them into an apple crisp.

Here’s my cranberry bread recipe:


Juice and grated peel of 1 orange
Boiling water
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries (i find throwing them in a zip bag and smashing them with a bottle of wine or other blunt instrument works best to get them started)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (use the same bludgeoning technique as above)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda


Preheat the over to 325` and butter one standard loaf pan or two small loaf pans. I prefer doing a few small loaves.

Put orange juice in a 1 cup measure. Add enough boiling water to the orange juice to make 3/4 cup. Add grated orange peel and butter to juice and water and stir until the butter is melted. Set this aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and egg together with a whisk. Add the orange mixture and stir until blended. Add cranberries and walnuts to the bowl.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. If you are lacking a sifter simply fluff the dry ingredients with a fork or whisk until the mixture gets a bit lighter in volume. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture.

Pour the batter into the greased pans and bake for between 40 and 60 minutes. I know, there are lots of minutes between 40 and 60 but you should check the loaves at 40 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center to check for doneness, and keep checking every 10 minutes until they’re done.

Good luck!


Friday Fruits and Veggies: Quick Hit

November 2, 2007

not much time to post today. my inbox at work is full and i’m leaving early TO GET A TATTOO!!. i have to fit a full days work into three quarters of the time.

so, without further ado, here is what i have in my produce basket this week:

Baby Romaine Lettuce
Alfalfa Sprouts
Baby Carrots
Gala Apples

good thing, too. rolling off the detox still means a lot of salads. i’ve also discovered the deliciousness of a wide range of grains – quinoa, millet, pearl barley, amaranth. if i get a second over the weekend i’ll post some recipes.