Archive for the ‘out and about’ Category

I love rock n roll

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

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A fabulous coworker of mine had a bunch of people from my office over to her house for a party last night.

She’s from Thailand, and the food was incredible. I took the picture above before everything had been set out, and then when everything was out I was too excited to eat to take another one.

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I had a little of everything. The lettuce wrap looking thing in front is called larb. It was spicy.
The shrimp hiding behind the lettuce is on top of a pile of pad thai. There were two kinds, shrimp and chicken. My coworker banged both kinds out in like ten minutes flat, and they were absolutely restaurant quality. They were also spicy.
In the upper left corner, that’s green curry with tofu over two kinds of rice – regular white and sticky. The rice was not spicy! The curry was spicy.
Finally, the chicken leg is fried chicken (with lemongrass, maybe?) that another Thai coworker brought. It was kind of spicy, and it came with a dipping sauce. The dipping sauce was spicy. Like, SPICY spicy.

Basically I’m not really sure how Thai people have any tastebuds left. Everything was insanely good though. I went back for more pad thai. Twice.

Err.. then the karaoke machine came out and I started singing.

Like, a lot.

It was a good night!

My coworker had told us that we should eat lightly in preparation for the party, so I did. I had some fruit and coffee in the morning, and then used some of the leftover pork to make a quick taco at lunch time.

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Since I didn’t have any pickled slaw left, I used some pickled radishes I made last week instead. I made them based on this recipe from David Lebowitz, and damn if they didn’t come out SO GARLICY that I thought I’d wasted the radishes. Turns out they’re perfect for an application like this, where they’re mixed with other strong and fatty flavors, so I’m glad I didn’t give up on them.

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I ran by the store, too, and picked up some tastiness for the upcoming week. On the menu? Rick Bayless vegetarian tacos (taco time!), farro salad, bruschetta chicken, and fruit. The corn, peaches, and tomatoes pictured all came from Colorado. I love summer time. (Did you hear that red is why tomatoes suck now? That makes me nervous for those red beauties right there, but I literally could not find anything that looked more natural. Well, except $7/lb heirloom tomatoes, and since I’m not making BLATs I wasn’t really up for that kind of investment. The three dollars I saved is half a glass of wine in a restaurant, people. I have my priorities straight.)

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Lots and lots of fruit.

What are you eating this week?

under the bus

Friday, July 27th, 2012

I hate the phrase ‘throw someone under the bus’. That being said, I totally did it twice yesterday.

The first time, my bosses boss came over and asked about an anti-fatigue mat I was supposed to have since I have my standing desk. I told him I asked my boss for it, BECAUSE I HAD. Afterwards my coworker said she thought I got my boss in trouble. Whoops.

The second time was at dinner. Crockett and I had some errands to run, and we stopped on the way home to grab a pizza. A friend of ours that works there was bartending, which is a new position for her, and she was slammed. She got our drinks and put in our pizza order, but then when our pizza came we didn’t have napkins or plates or silverware. We tried to get her attention but then the bar manager saw us trying, and I made a silverware motion and he brought us some.

Then she called me out on it, and I felt absolutely terrible.

So, yeah. Whoops.

The pizza was damn good though. Marinated zucchini, buttermilk ricotta, and mozzarella.

I would eat more right now if I could.

Other dubious decisions I made yesterday: piling my breakfast into a jar like this. Pretty, right?

Eating it was not easy. My hand was covered with yogurt by the time I was done.

To make me feel better, my company gave me a popsicle.

(They did really give me a popsicle, although I don’t think it’s because of my yogurt hand issue. It was just general employee appreciation.)

Anyway. I don’t have another picture of the pork tacos, but I do have the recipe!

Pork Tacos with Asian Pickled Broccoli Slaw
Adapted from Food52 and Mark Bittman

Pork:
3 pound pork shoulder
2 medium onions, quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smushed
1 tsp salt (more if not using a slow cooker)
1 tablespoon cumin

Slaw:
4 cups packaged dressing free broccoli slaw
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the ‘crema’:
Sour cream (light or otherwise)
Lime juice

Tortillas

For the pork, using a slow cooker:
Cut the pork into fist size chunks. Add with all other ingredients to slow cooker, add water to cover, and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

For the pork, using the stove:
Cut the pork into fist size chunks then cut in half again.  Add with all other ingredients to a dutch oven, cover with water, and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Either way, when the pork is done, reserve a cup of the water (with as little fat in it as possible) and set the pork on a plate to cool until you can touch it. Discard the onions and garlic.  Shred the pork with your fingers or two forks, and set aside.

Start the slaw an hour before you’re planning on eating. Mix the wet ingredients together with the sugar. Find a dish that you can put something on top of, because you’re going to need to press down on the broccoli so that it all pickles at the same rate. Add the liquid and slaw to the container, cover with plastic, and then rest something on top so that all slaw is submerged.

When you’re ready to eat, mix together the sour cream and lime juice to taste. Fill a tortilla with pork (if it’s cold, reheat it on the stove with a little of the reserved cooking water), add slaw, and top with crema.

just play it cool babe

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

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This is the recipe I was going to share with you yesterday. However, while sweating my ass off last night:

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Yeah, that’s not a glow. That’s sweat.

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(The fact that a panting dog decided that even in 100 degree weather it was appropriate to sit ON ME didn’t help.)

Where was I? Other than sweating? Oh, right, I was going to tell you about the pasta. The thing is, the magic of the pasta was the jalepeno noodles themselves along with the watochi I got from the farmers market. The watochi is a weird watermelon based salsa thing, which is fab, but honestly? Without those two things? You’d have a very hard time replicating the pasta. So, I basically made a sauce with the watochi, some chicken stock, and some water, then added some ground ginger and salt, and poached/sauteed the shrimp in it, then stirred in the cooked noodles and some thai basil. It was SUPER good, so if you find a watermelon based salsa, I recommend throwing together something similar!

I had it with some Basa Ruedo Blanco, which is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a Spanish white and it’s very bright – tangy, almost. If anything was going to make me forget the 100 degree weather, it’s Basa.

Nothing will make me forget the 100 degree weather.

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While we ate it, Crockett tried to prevent the hops from taking over the world.

Thursday morning (wow, this post is seriously belated), Crockett got up to run with me before leaving. He’s pretty fit, and I ran faster than I probably would have otherwise.

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Plus, his charming attitude really made my day.

Ok, fine, I probably wouldn’t have wanted my picture taken at that point either.

While he was packing his suitcase, I packed this little bowl o’ tasty for my lunch:

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It’s fresh basil, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, and water packed mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a smidge of olive oil. And TONS of salt added at eating time. I’m learning to love raw tomatoes, but only when they’re salted to within an inch of their lives.

Also, if the hops plant doesn’t take over the world, the three basil plants we have will.

I packed up and left him to get himself to the airport, which meant leaving his car at a nearby park and ride.

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So my mom took me to pick it up ON HER SCOOTER.

This is the first time I’d been on a scooter. Does my face look like an ‘oh shit’ face? It’s not, I swear. Or if it is it’s because I was pretty sure I was going to drop my phone into the intersection. The scooter was super fun and my mom is a stable driver.

Anyway, now Crockett’s gone again and I’m back to being boring.

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Except this bowl of boring was accentuated with a metric ton of raspberries and wasn’t really boring at all.

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My sushi lunch (Sushi Hana, in Longmont), actually was kind of boring. The salmon was SUPER fatty, which I think is supposed to be a good thing (gosh I know so much about sushi), but sort of muted the flavor. Oh well, for $9.50 I think this was a pretty screamin’ deal.

To summarize: watochi, skinny salmon, and earth destroying plants. Make of it what you will.

I know everyone else is hot too – what do you do, other than lay in your basement and sweat, to deal with it?

on demand

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

People, I’m not going to lie right now.

I’m kind of tipsy.

I didn’t MEAN to get tipsy! It’s my half birthday (no, seriously), and Crockett was like ‘well then let’s have half happy hour!’ and so we did, at The Empire.

Except it was like extra happy hour.

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There were buffalo wings.

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There was wine.

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There was a tiny cheese plate.

For Crockett, there were:

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old fashioned…

me: how do you pluralize old fashioned?

Crockett: olds fashioned.

Ok then. Crockett had olds fashioned. Also a mini calamari salad. And?

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Mini mac and cheese. This was not as good as my cheese plate, which featured a cheese that used the milk of THREE DIFFERENT ANIMALS, but pretty good.

OH guess what. I got my standing desk today.

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It’s super tall. Like, I’m standing on the ground (floor, whatever) and that’s where my elbow is. SUPER tall.

 

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This is not breakfast. I know it looks like breakfast. It’s lunch.

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Look at my cute kitchen at work. It’s in a weird pod thing – there’s a convex wood wall behind me that has soda machines and stuff. Cute, right? This is one of … ten or twelve identical cute kitchens in my building.

Cute cute cute.

Crockett and I just had a conversation about concave and convex.

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Since Crockett doesn’t have a cute kitchen at his office, he had to drink the coffee I made in the am. It was early, but he enjoyed it. Plus, FORESHADOWING with the mug. You know, since we went to Empire tonight. No? Ok, no. Not foreshadowing.

Last night we had bbq again, and it was fabulous. I love Lulu’s so much that when they place an entree in front of me, I forget to take pictures.

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These are Crockett’s leftover sweet potato tater tots and fried okra, though, and I did eat some of these.

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He loves it when I eat his food.

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Listed among things he did not share: his Utica Club beer.

I did do things other than eat and drink yesterday and today, I swear.

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See? This was my run this morning.

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And this was my after lunch walk.

… I have no good questions. I’m sorry. True Blood (season 2) is on – no spoilers, please!

thanks, farmers!

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

I don’t go to the Louisville farmers market as often as I intend to – which is every week. And then every Saturday it’s like noon, and I convince myself that the good stuff is probably all gone, and I skip it. It’s ridiculous. However, today I was up at 7 to do my chores and walk the dogs.

And almost seriously mess up my breakfast.

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I was boiling water for coffee with one hand and mixing up my strawberries and Kashi with the other. When the water came to a boil it was also time to add the yogurt to the cereal, and I came thisclose to pouring the water on the cereal. (The photo above is a dramatic reenactment. I’ve always wanted to do one of those.)

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Then I turned some jeans I never wear into shorter-than-I-meant-for-them-to-be jean shorts, and took the girls for a walk.

Sadly, even though it was only 8 or so, it was already really hot for the girls.

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We stopped in every available piece of shade and lounged.

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I can’t decide if I’m more entertained by her wiggling around on her back or her being so white that it’s almost impossible to take a picture of her outdoors.

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When we got home, Maida got herself into this position and Cloey found a similar one on the tile floor of the bathroom. I swear that I didn’t put the sheet over her, she managed that all on her own. With the girls taken care of, I took off for the farmers market.

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I’m always surprised by how big our market is, for a town of 20,000 people. There’s a huge produce stand behind where I’m standing here, and the booths go all the way down the block and around the corner. One of the reasons that I don’t always make it is because I’m not a big fan of dirty vegetables. I know, I know, I would like to support local farmers. Is it too much to ask that they clean off all the earwigs first?

(Yes, I know that’s too much to ask. That’s why I don’t ask them!)

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Pappardelle’s pasta stand is ENORMOUS and conveniently earwig free. I spent ten minutes staring at pasta types – it’s kind of a mental switch to think of pasta as something other than a blank slate.

After picking up my pasta, I swung by the stand with the largest line – Palisade Peaches!!

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Look, I’ve never had a peach from Georgia. All I know is that a fresh Western slope Colorado peach is a beauty to behold. I intend on eating this whole bag this weekend.

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Then I saw a place called Soljuice, which is new (to me, at least). I asked the woman taking orders if they had a storefront anywhere, and she said they basically only exist at this particular farmers market. They were using a juice extractor rather than a juicer – my understanding of the difference, as she explained it, is that a juicer that uses centrifugal force can damage the goodness in the plant cells. The other difference is that the juice extractor the booth was using took approximately four minutes to make 12 ounces of juice. I ordered The Green and popped over to Paul’s Coffee, the next booth, to grab a pound of the beans Crockett and I like.

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Turns out buying beans got me a free iced coffee – and who am I to say no? Even balancing two drinks, I managed to visit a couple more booths. One, where I took the above picture, was selling very pretty macarons! I bought two, because, come on. Macarons.

The other was selling (and giving tastes of) wine.

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I tried a sip of two different whites and a red. It was good but all very uncomplicated – there was no unfolding of flavors of any kind. That’s ok from a four dollar bottle, but these are 13 – 15 dollars each, so I passed. It’s possible that the heat and the time of day were effecting my taste buds, but either way I didn’t feel like splurging.

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My haul: coffee, a lavender and dark chocolate macaron, a salted caramel macaron, my peaches, some green jalapeno pasta that I intend to use with some shrimp when Crockett comes back, and this sauce called Watochi from a company called Two Mile Creek. I tried it at the booth – the guy was awesome and the sauce is super wacky. It’s a watermelon base, with chipotle and tomatoes and all kinds of good stuff. They also had pepper jellies, which I love, but they all included bell peppers and I opted not to have an allergic reaction in the middle of the market.

I should go more often! Except that this, along with the juice, cost forty-two dollars. Ouch. (1/2 lb pasta – $4. Peaches – $6. Macaroons – $2.50. Watochi – $8. Coffee – $15. Juice – $5.50.) Maybe I should stick to regular markets.

 

 

the return to real life

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I graduate in two months and two and a half weeks.

It’s all very exciting.

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Doesn’t he look excited about my upcoming graduation party? (Yes, I’m planning the party months in advance. It’s nice to have things to look forward to – dontcha think?)

The thing about graduating is that when you graduate, you sort of have to find a job. Tomorrow I have my first interview. Today, I did a lot of prep.

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I spent some time with my computer, reviewing the company’s website and my resume.

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I painted my nails. (I realize they’re not as beautiful as they could be, but this was before I cleaned up the edges. And also I don’t intend to let anyone get this close to my hands tomorrow – instead I shall keep them at a distance where they are like ‘ooo pale pink how nice’).

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I picked out my outfit.

(That’s it, folded neatly (ha) onto my dresser under my mini bedroom art gallery.)

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I had to do all of this while Crockett packed for his Tahoe snowboard vacation. He’ll be gone for five days, which is fine, except he won’t be here to debrief me from my interview.

He tried to make up for that by pre-debriefing at The Empire. He tried something new:

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pan roasted chicken with potatoes.

I went with the usual:

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calamari salad.

I know, I’m predictable. I plan to list that as one of my strengths during my interview.

and it’s 2012

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

It’s 2012, and  I did not resolve to eat healthier.

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Which is good, because Crockett took some time off from catching up with work to head out for a bbq lunch with me.

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I got up early today, and cleaned up the kitchen and organized our messiest cabinet. Included in the list of things I threw out: Bisquick that expired in 2005, whole wheat bread crumbs that expired in 2004, and salad dressing that was weirdly chunky and expired in 2008. It was quite the cabinet.

Then I went to the gym, and the library, and walked the dogs.

I am so ready for everyone else to get lazy again. I couldn’t get on a treadmill in the hour I was there, so I worked on an elliptical instead. Since Crockett got me a heart rate monitor for Christmas (thanks, babe!) I was able to maintain an appropriate heartrate, so I count it as a good workout – even though it wasn’t a run.

Then – bbq!

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Well – then margaritas and then bbq.

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There is a piece of bread under there, along with smoked chicken, Lulu’s PPO, hot Carolina style bbq sauce, and coleslaw.

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I ordered a side of sweet potato tots and Crockett ordered fried okra – then we shared. Fried okra is so good, but sometimes some weird white stuff comes out of the middle – has anyone else noticed that?

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Now we’re back home, and I have literally no plans for the rest of the day.

I love Christmas break like whoa.

How’s 2012 been so far for y’all?

(Also – I’ve been to a several parties over the past few days and made some tasty ass food – but took no pictures. Sad. At least the cheesy rice from the New Years potluck yesterday – everyone needs that recipe.)

 

the heart wants what it wants

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Yesterday morning, my heart wanted a Dutch baby.

Not an actual Dutch baby. I don’t know where I’d get an actual Dutch baby. Hell, I don’t know where I’d get a baby on a Saturday morning. We have friends with new babies, I guess… but they’re not Dutch.

Digression.

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Dutch Baby (German Pancake)
Based on that badass Alton Brown’s recipe

2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat the oven to 375 F.

Find a pan of some kind. I used an 8 inch cake pan – a cast iron pan is more traditional, but it has to be 8 or 10 inches and ours is 12. The bigger one means less puff, and the whole point of a Dutch baby is the puff.

Put the butter in the pan and put the pan in the oven to let the better melt. Don’t forget. Seriously. Brown butter is delicious but is not the point. Do I need to mention again that the puff is the point?

Stir together the dry ingredients, and mix with the wet ingredients in a blender, food processor, or mixing bowl if you have a stick blender. (Stick blenders are awesome). Blend until totally uniform.

Pull the pan out of the oven, and pour about half the butter into the batter. Combine super quick, and pour the batter into the pan, then stick the pan back in the oven.

Bake for 22 – 25 minutes. It will still be soft in the middle, but it will be puffy all across.

Sadly, it will sink.

Still, it will taste puffy.

You can eat with more sugar sprinkled on top, or with syrup, or with lemon wedges as Alton suggests. I, personally, like them plain. Crockett ate his plain because I forgot to tell him he had other options.

Serves 2. Or just me.

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Obviously I ate half before taking the picture – sorry!

After breakfast I went to the gym, and then did something very important.

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Took my best friend to the vet.

She has a terrible ear infection.

Don’t worry – we have pills and ointments now, and she’s already on the mend.

Then, I came home and started studying for my Mathematical Stats midterm which is tomorrow at 9 which I should be studying for right now. If anyone has any insights regarding characteristic functions, now would be the time to share :).

Lunch happened like this:

 

me: Cloey is sleeping
I’m glad I went
I love her so much
she’s my baby
2:04 PM Crockett: I’m sure she’s glad you took her, too.
2:06 PM me: whoops
I just accidentally blocked you
and then unblocked you
could you tell?
was it lke EMMA HATES YOU for a second?
2:07 PM Crockett: ha
no, I didn’t notice
2:09 PM you want a sandwich?
2:10 PM me: from a place or from our fridge?
Crockett: fridge
(that is a place)
me: excellent point
you want proscuitto and manchego paninis?
Crockett: Does anyone deliver sandwiches around here?
me: I have no idea
probably
Dominos
2:11 PM Crockett: blech
me: blech to proscuitto and manchego paninis or dominos?
Crockett: dominos
OMGYES to that other thing
me: :)
ok

 

We were across the hall from each other while we had this chat.

That’s just how we roll in our house.

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Whole grain bread brushed with olive oil on the outside, then a thin layer of mustard, then cheese, then slices of pear, then proscuitto. After I grilled them, I pulled them apart and shoved in some arugula.

The bread was a little much, honestly. Very seedy and kind of overpowering – I bought it at Costco awhile ago and stuck in the freezer. I’s good but this sandwich needed something subtler.

Anyway.

I studied for hours and got basically nowhere, which was super fun for me, and then Crockett and I met up with his mom and brother and went out to dinner.

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I realize this is not good looking. I swear the chicken wasn’t actually pink in my warm squash and beet salad with chicken, bacon, and maple dressing at The Empire.

It was SO GOOD.

Since Crockett’s mom is only in town for the weekend, we played it big and went out for another drink afterwards.

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Punk.

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… in Ale.

I love pumpkin beer, and the Dogfish Head is sort of a cult version. it’s super hard to get, so when I saw they had it dove right in. It was exactly as delicious as I remembered, and I would kill to have some in my fridge right now. Someone remind me next year, ok?

you don’t just break bad, Mr. White

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

For no good reason, I haven’t been eating very well this weekend.

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I got up super early and hit the road to catch office hours with my Mathematical Statistics professor. Three other people from my class had the same idea, so we had a powwow first thing in the morning – that did absolutely nothing to increase my understanding of Mathematical Statistics. Sigh.

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I had a date with a girlfriend in Louisville at 5, and I didn’t get home from school until 2. Crockett and I headed downtown early to get some food, and a beer and jelly jar full of white wine.

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Crockett ordered sliders, which don’t come with sides, and I got a sandwich will sweet potato tots and coleslaw. I gave him half the tots immediately because otherwise they would have found their way into my belly – sooooo good.

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Lulu’s BBQ (the link plays music, just a warning) smokes chicken, pork, and brisket, and lets you sauce it at your table to your taste. The chicken is soft and moist, which isn’t something I’ve found a lot with chicken in BBQ places. I like the pork more, but I’m having an issue with pigs lately, so chicken it is. I like it with the slaw on the sandwich. That stuff on top is Lulu’s PPO – peppers, pickles, onions. Mmm.

This sandwich carried me through to Saturday morning, y’all. It’s a lot of food.

Saturday – Statistical Methods (not the same as Mathematical Statistics – true story) homework accompanied by a bagel and half an apple.

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It was a happy breakfast.

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When I finished the assignment, I hit the gym (upper body and three miles on the treadmill). His sign says ‘another favorite ditty: “don’t go staking my heart”. Ha.

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When I got home, I microwaved milk and frozen blueberries until they were hot, and then added two handfuls of Grape Nuts. I love some me some Grape Nuts.

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While I ate, Crockett checked the specific gravity of our beer, and added wood chips (soaked in bourbon, because he’s a genius) and more hops.

Then, for the second time in two days, we went out to eat.

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Chianti for me (Stella) and beer for him (Blind Pig IPA). I have a hard time with IPAs, but Crockett said it was delicious. I also usually don’t like Chianti, but I know I don’t like a lot of the red wines Lucky Pie offers by the glass, so I gave this a shot.

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For Crockett: a lamb meatball sandwich with the most garlicky polenta I have ever had in my whole life. The sandwich was good, but then I’ve never met a meatball I didn’t like. Crockett thought it was good, but had a stomach ache afterwards, so who knows.

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I ordered a pizza for us to share – I wasn’t very hungry, but I knew we’d appreciate leftovers. Along with half Crockett’s polenta, I had two pieces of this, the Popeye pizza. Spinach, huge pieces of garlic, fontina, mozzarella, grana podano, and pecorino. I’ve realized that I don’t really enjoy the meats at LP – there’s something about the chicken, especially, that doesn’t do it for me. However, the vegetarian pizzas are great.

Anyway – pizza and bbq in two days. Acceptable but I felt a little overstuffed. You know that feeling?

 

little boxes

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I’ve started watching Weeds again from the beginning.

I have very strict requirements for the television that I play while I do homework. It needs to be something I’ve seen before or something I don’t particularly care about, and there needs to be a lot of it. Several seasons, minimum. When you have 10 hour homework streaks, you can go through a lot of tv.

Don’t judge me. I tried listening to music, but I like tv. I like it when people are talking.

Anyway.

After my post Sunday, I went to the gym for a medium long run. When I got home, I was STARVING.

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Crockett was starving too, so I made an early dinner of soba noodles, frozen chinese vegetables, frozen white fish (of some kind that I don’t remember – pescole? is that a thing?), coconut milk, and lemon grass. We were slurping 15 minutes after I started cooking, which was pretty much the only requirement, but it was surprisingly tasty.

And then I had another terrible day at school.

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I made myself feel better with the comforting remains of the cauliflower and cheese.

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She’s just watching it for me, to make sure nothing happens to it – she swears.

We went to Lucky Pie for dinner (for the $15 pizza and pitcher deal), but I forgot my camera.

What I didn’t forget was froyo.

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The don’t have a pumpkin pie flavor, which I’ve heard some places do. They did have caramel apple. I made this dish for me and Crockett.

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It was one quarter plain yogurt, one quarter caramel apple yogurt, one quarter coconut yogurt, and one quarter chocolate yogurt. It was topped with, respectively, chocolate chip cookie dough, nothing, flaked coconut and almonds, and chocolate sprinkles. And then there was some Captain Crunch on top of everything, at Crockett’s request.

I love build your own froyo.