Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

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.

IMG 2728

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.

IMG 2727

Obviously I ate half before taking the picture – sorry!

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

Photo 1

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.

IMG 2733

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.

Photo 3

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.

Photo 5

Punk.

Photo 4

… 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?

happy hallowgiving!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I seriously don’t know why I said happy Thanksgiving earlier. I’m a little concerned about my grey matter.

Anyway. Halloween.

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For breakfast I busted out my new Bob’s 5 Grain cereal.

IMG 2706

I cooked it in my favorite little two cup cereal pot that my dad got me two years ago for Christmas. I seriously use this thing so often it never makes it to the dishwasher.

To my cereal I added flaked sweetened coconut and chopped frozen peaches.

I froze the peaches myself and I think I used a knife that I’d used to cut garlic when I sliced them before freezing. It adds an interesting and not particularly welcome taste to things – let that be a lesson to all of us. I have to use the garlic peaches, but hopefully no one else will face the same fate.

IMG 2708

My schedule this semester has been such that I don’t eat lunch on campus very often.  Today, though, I had a meeting that was necessary to verify that I’m going to graduate in May (whoooooohooooo), so I ate while grading Minitab assignments. (Minitab is a statistical version of Excel, basically, that the students in my class use to do projects).

IMG 2707

Leftover tofu, leftover creepy cauliflower, and toes desperately in need of nail polish remover.

I stopped on the way home to get pumpkins for the stoop, so trick-or-treaters would know they were welcome, but pumpkins are apparently passe in the grocery store. Christmas stockings are the new pumpkins. I got a big orange leaf sack with a pumpkin face on it instead, and we stuffed it with leaves from the yard.

Trick-or-treaters have been drizzling, not pouring. The Evil Flash Drive, who was here to steal our gigabytes, has been my fav so far.

Between homework and stopping Maida from trying to eat the little kids, I made falafel tacos.

IMG 2709

Falafel Tacos
Adapted from How to Cook Everything

Falafel:
1 can chickpeas
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 handful greens (arugula is what I used, but parsley/baby spinach/cilantro/whatev would all add something nice)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Tzatziki:
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped, seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt

hummus
tortillas

Whiz everything in the ‘falafel’ section up in a food processor. It should be chopped finely enough that you look at it and go ‘damn, that would be a pain in the ass if I had to chop that by hand’, with a little bit of paste, but no finer. It’s better that it fall apart a little while cooking than it be tough and icky.

Mix the tzatziki ingredients together and set aside. Start with the smaller amount of salt and adjust to taste. (If it tastes more like yogurt than vegetables, you can probably use more salt).

Heat a nonstick pan up over medium-medium-low heat. If you feel like a little fat in your day, add a few little puddles of vegetable oil once the pan is hot – it will lead to crispier falafels but isn’t necessary. Either way, grab golf ball sized amounts of the falafel mix and flatten them out, then drop them in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on the first side and two on the second (or until brown and tasty looking on both sides). It will take two batches unless you have a griddle sized pan, so if you want to eat them hot, keep the falafels warm in a low oven while you cook the second batch.

Spread each tortilla with hummus and tzatziki, and top with falafel. Eat.

Serves 2 – 3. (We ate it all).

IMG 2714

Happy HALLOWEEN!! I think our candy-wanting-kids are done – it’s dark and cold and 8:30. We have lots of mini Snickers and M&Ms and Baby Ruth. Hopefully you all have leftover candy too!

it’s not very interesting being me this week

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I went into this week with a series of very important tasks. I have a midterm tomorrow, a take home midterm due Friday, and three homework assignments due either tomorrow or Friday.

I have finished two of the assignments and most of the third, and begun to study for tomorrow’s exam.

The most interesting thing that has happened so far is the fact that yesterday my tenant emailed me to let me know he was distinctly lacking in the hot water department. I took a few minutes off of studying yesterday afternoon to pop over and see if I could relight the pilot – but there was a gigantic puddle of water under the heater. Turns out, that’s not a good sign.

I then took more time off of studying to go to Home Depot and pick out a new water heater. It’s being installed today by a man named Michael Myers.

I think that’s awesome.

That his name is Mike Myers, not that I had to buy a new water heater that I can’t really afford.

cherry oatmeal

Before the water heater debacle, I went to class – an endeavor fueled by stone ground oats mixed with cottage cheese and cherries. (The cherries were frozen, so I stuck a bunch in saucepan and cooked them down into an unsweeted jam over the weekend – that’s the big blob in the middle of the oats).

white bean and mushroom soup

Back home again, I finally finished the white bean and mushroom soup I made last week. I take my new not throwing food away rule very seriously – this soup is like a week old. It was still pretty good.

pluot

Afterwards, I wanted chocolate but settled for an enormous pluot.

brie and olives

Crockett got home at about 4 and hadn’t eaten lunch yet, so he made himself a monster sandwich – to keep my appetite in sync, I had a couple of pieces of bread with brie and a few olives.

SO DELICIOUS.

I don’t know why I don’t eat just cheese and bread all the time.

fish cakes

Oh, right, this is why I don’t.

White Fish Cakes
Based on Salmon Croquettes, from How To Cook Everything On-The-Go

2 small white fish fillets (I used flounder)
2 small russet potatoes
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg
1/2 cup finely torn or chopped pieces of bread (crusts ok)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon melted butter

Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and microwave them for 7 minutes, stopping once to flip them over. Set aside to cool a little bit.

Pan fry the fish with a little salt in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. If you have thin fillets, it will take less than two minutes per side. Set aside.

Peel the potatoes and add them to a bowl in chunks. Finely chop or grate the shallots and garlic into the bowl, and then add the mustard, olive oil, and egg. Mash it all up.

Add the bread crumbs and the fish, and stir until the fish has broken up and is pretty evenly distributed. Form the mixture into six or seven palm size patties, and refrigerate until you’re ready for dinner.

When you’re ready to cook, heat your same non-stick pan over medium to medium low. Brush the patties on one side with melted butter (thinly) and add to the pan. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the bottom is nicely brown. Brush the exposed side with butter and flip, cooking until they’re warm through and the bottom browns again.

Serve with lemon wedges.

We ate ours with roasted asparagus and leftover brussels sprouts salad.

Mmmm.

Brain food.

brrrr

Monday, October 10th, 2011

It’s not actually that cold – but I’m cold from the inside out. You know that feeling?

rainy day

All day yesterday it rained (except for the few minutes that it was not raining, when it was just cold and wet – not that much better).

You’d think that the amount of rain we get here in CO would mean that I’d welcome it when it came, for the novelty if for no other reason. Theoretically, that’s true. I mean, I love the idea of rain.

In practice, not so much.

IMG 2564

Yes, that is a cup of coffee in front of a mug of tea.

See? Rain makes me cold on the inside, and it’s much harder to overcome that than being cold on the outside.

warm grape nuts

With my coffee and tea, I had Grape Nuts in warm milk.

I love Grape Nuts in warm milk. They stay a little crunchy but soak up a TON of milk. It’s wonderful.

If I hadn’t already had dinner and dessert, I would get some now.

mushroom soup

I know, I said I’d tell you about the mushroom and white bean soup.

Honestly, it’s not that interesting.

It makes ok leftovers.

For dinner we went to Crockett’s brother’s house, and had all sorts of deliciousness. Cheese plate and brussels sprouts salad (from me), zucchini bisque, roast chicken with carrots, fresh bread, sauteed kale, and stuffed mushrooms. The third couple who came are vegetarians, and the veggie choices trumped the chicken for almost everyone at the table. Most of the veggies came from Crockett’s brother’s wife’s (jeez) garden, which is pretty badass, and everything was delicious.

Except the kale.

But a) in my role as kitchen helper, I cooked it, and b) kale is disgusting when it’s not boiled and rinsed before being doused with various cheeses.

Perhaps you shouldn’t trust me when I say the kale wasn’t good.

homework setup

My hours of homework yesterday (broken only by a freeeEEEEEzing trip to the gym to do intervals on the treadmill before dinner) were done at the kitchen table. Today I felt like a change of scenery, so i shifted everything 12 feet to the coffee table.

As I write this at 8:30 pm, I’m in my 10th hour on the floor (started at 8:30 am, took an hour off to run and another to walk the dogs and make and eat dinner).

Yeah.

I feel awesome.

avocado yum

After I’d been on the floor for awhile, Crockett took pity and made me toast with some pulled pork, avocado, and a fried egg.

I wonder if I stop cooking if he’d just take over.

Obviously I’d eat well.

vegetable pasta

We ate our brunch late (11ish), so neither of us got hungry for lunch. I ate some crackers before going to the gym, and that’s it.

At about six, I realized we’d both be starving in half an hour, and if I didn’t head us off at the pass, I’d desert my homework and we’d go out to eat.

I chopped up some summer squash and zucchini and a big tomato, tossed them with some olive oil and crushed red pepper and dried basil, and stuck them in the oven for half an hour. When they were almost done, I dumped half a bag of spinach penne into a pot of water.

When everything looked delicious, I threw it all into a bowl with some extra olive oil and some goat cheese.

It took maybe ten minutes of actual work, and was delicious.

two bowls pasta salad

Would I have been psyched to receive it somewhere like Noodles? Hell yeah.

Anything I would be pleased with at a fast casual dining establishment is a win when it comes out of my kitchen.

chocolate

Now I’m back to practice exams – and therefore must have chocolate.

How was your weekend?

 

it’s plum o’clock somewhere

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Yesterday, there was salad.

buffalo chik'n salad

There was coffee.

coffee

A lot of coffee.

water fountain

There was a new drinking fountain (on what is possibly the ugliest wall ever) at the gym. See, there’s a water bottle filler thingy above the drink-from-here thingy! (I don’t know why someone hasn’t already hired me as official namer of things.)

 

ramen

There was ramen (Thai Kitchen Bangkok Curry).

There was homework.

There was Costco, and a trip to the mall to return two shirts to Banana Republic that ended with us leaving with two (different) shirts from Banana and two shirts from J Crew (not all mine, Crockett was with me).

Most importantly, though?

There was pizza.

plum and pork pizza

I realize this is not the most attractive pizza you’ve ever seen. Partially, that’s because I made my own dough and then froze it in a pizza shape, and during the baking process it stuck to the foil I baked it on. Every piece had to be flipped and peeled before it could be eaten.

plum and pork pizza 2

What it lacked in prettiness, it made up for in damn-that’s-tasty-ness.

Plum and Pulled Pork Pizza

More of a suggestion than a recipe, ok? As in, I suggest that the next time you have these ingredients on hand, this is what you do with them. The suggested qualities are per serving – I made a pizza big enough for the two of us, so I used twice as much of everything as listed.

Pulled pork – any recipe, about half a cup 
Plums – preferably large ones, so you don’t end up with a lot of peel, about 1/2 
Goat cheese – 1/3 cup
Mozzarella – 1/3 cup
Thyme – teaspoon, dry
Olive oil
Pizza dough (fresh, homemade, frozen – I suspect even Boboli would work here)

  1. Heat the oven to 450, with the pan you want to cook the pizza on inside.
  2. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the pitted plum(s) into 1/8 inch thick slices.
  3. Separate the pork into bite size strands and chunks.
  4. Mix together the goat cheese and mozzarella in a small bowl.
  5. Roll out whatever pizza dough you’re using. (You want to be able to transfer it, so think small rather than huge (or use whatever your regular pizza baking strategy is)).
  6. Smoosh the cheese mixture over the dough and sprinkle over the thyme. Lay out the plum slices, overlapping in places (they’ll shrink in the oven) and brush them with olive oil. It’s fine if some of the oil gets onto the cheese or dough. Evenly distribute the pork over the top.
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes. If the pork starts to burn, you can cover the top with foil. (Alternatively, bake the whole thing for 10 minutes and then pull it out and add the pork and stick it back in).
  8. Eat it.

It’s sweet, but savory. Cheese, but not too cheesy.

It may be my single favorite pizza I’ve ever made, and I’m terrified that Crockett is going to eat the leftovers before I get home.

IMG 2514

With it, I served this salad. I already had the mandoline out, I had brussels sprouts, I had a new chunk of romano cheese from Costco – I was all set. The only changes I made were to leave out the thyme and to use almonds instead of hazelnuts.

I’ve recently realized that hazelnuts always taste stale to me.

Even in Nutella.

With that blasphemy, I leave you for class.

Bye!

and this sucks

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Sugar. Sigh.

Yesterday I went to bed at 8:30 with a headache.

Is everyone addicted to sugar? Can you even call it an addiction? Doesn’t it fall more into the category of, like, breathing?

Last time I tried to give up sugar, I was staring down the barrel of a cholesterol medication bottle, and I was approaching it as a permanent lifestyle change. It’s no wonder it didn’t stick, you know? The only thing that’s keeping me going right now is ‘one week one week one week’.

It’s not that I’m eating badly.

Last night I made chicken lettuce wraps.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from CDK Kitchen

1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 pound chopped chicken breast
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut sauce or peanut butter (if using peanut butter, add some cayenne or chile paste)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Cook everything but the lettuce in a big pan.

Put the chicken in the lettuce and try not to snap the lettuce and spill chicken all down your front.

Eat.

They were delicious.

Crockett said this picture made it look like they came from heaven.

They still had no freaking sugar.

(Sugar. Flour. Basically any carbohydrates that come from places other than vegetables.)

For lunch today I had little veggie fritatta muffins with spinach and jalepenos, and celery with cream cheese (logs without ants style).

For breakfast I had tuna and chickpea salad. With more celery.

(Does it seem like those meals should have been switched? That was the plan, but I thought the fritattas would hold up better to a six hour lack of refrigeration.)

See? Eating well.

Still miss sugar.

(More about why I’m doing this exceptionally stupid thing here.)

 

 

tomato tomato

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Tomato tomAHHto?

Over the weekend I didn’t feel very well. Crockett and I both ate something that didn’t agree with us, but that mofo bounced right back and I didn’t.

However, I had like four pounds of tomatoes, due to some poor planning on my part with regard to overlap between the grocery store and our local produce delivery.

Anyway, I made two things with tomatoes. Both were awesome. If I do say so myself. Which I do.

Tomato Cobber
Adapted from Lottie + Doof

1 tbs olive oil
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced (I used my Crockett-given mandoline which is the best motherfucking thing ever)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
8 – 12 oz cherry tomatoes (I had a quart of heirloom cherry tomatoes that weighed in at about 10 oz. You can probably go up to 20 oz or so if you want a high tomato to biscuit ratio.)
1 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbs unsalted butter, cold and cut into eight pieces
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (1/2 oz – 1 oz)
4 tbs cold water

1. First, caramelize the heck out of the onion. (If you want to do the whole onion here and stick the rest in a baggie in the fridge or freezer, you don’t have to do this step next time! Good ideas from Emma that no one ever has thought of except for oh yeah everyone ever!)  Add the olive oil to a non-stick pan and turn the heat to medium-high. You can use a non-non-stick (sticky?) pan, but you’ll need more oil and I was trying to back off a little. Michigan gave me pounds, y’all. Add the sliced onion and the salt to the pan and when the onion starts to soften, turn the heat to medium low and cook for 20 – 40 minutes, stirring when you think of it. I actually added about a tsp of white sugar in there somewhere to help with the caramel – your patience will determine if you do or don’t have to do that. When you feel like the onions are almost done, mince the garlic and throw it in with the onions while they finish up.

2. When the onions are ready, toss them with the red pepper flakes, flour, and tomatoes. The tomatoes are raw and whole, here, and that is correct. Heat the oven to 375.

3. To make the topping, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt and massage the butter in with your fingers until the texture of everything is sandy. Add the cheese and mix in, then add the water. (Lottie + Doof calls for heavy cream. If you use cream, you will get softer biscuits with a lighter cheese flavor. I like being able to taste the cheese and the crunchiness that comes from the water.)

4. Find a dish that holds the tomatoes in a double layer. Drop the biscuit dough in tablespoons sized clumps evenly on top, and throw the whole thing in the oven. Bake for a long ass time – 40 – 60 minutes. You can cover if if your dough starts to burn, ok?

Eat, happily.

Yes, that is cottage cheese behind the cobbler. It’s delicious, but acidic, and I wanted even more creamy cheeseyness. This is not a recommendation I would share with just anyone, guys, but this is a pretty good way to eat it – specially if the cobbler is hot and the cottage cheese is cold.

My second tomato experiment was Smitten Kitchen’s tomato pie.

I’ve made it before, exactly as written. Crockett said it was the best thing he ever ate, but it didn’t reheat very well and I wasn’t nuts about it. I mixed it up a little this time, using the cobbler as an inspiration. I made a top crust only, so there was nothing on the bottom to get soggy. Now? It’s the best thing I ever ate.

Tomato and Corn Pie
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/3 cup light mayonaisse
2 tbs lemon juice (Everyone always says fresh – screw it. If you have lemons on hand go ahead but use that stuff in the squeeze bottle if you want. I’ll back you.)
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes
1 1/2 cups corn (from three ears or frozen, not canned), very coarsely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2  tsp kosher salt, in addition to what’s above
1 tsp dried basil (if you didn’t kill your basil plant by leaving it alone in a window for 9 days, you can sub a tablespoon of fresh basil here, but dried is totally fine)
3 tbs unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
6 tbs cold water

1. Rub a little olive oil onto the base of an 8 x 8 casserole dish (or a deep dish pie plate, if you’re not ready for square pie). Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel the tomatoes. (Blanch or freeze, either method works here.) Slice into half inch thick rounds and remove the seeds. Layer half the tomatoes in the base of your dish, sprinkle them with half the corn and half the cheese, and then 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Repeat. Stir together the mayo and lemon juice and pour evenly over the top of the vegetables.

3. Make the biscuits by stirring together the flour, salt, baking powder, and basil. Rub in the butter as above, and stir in the water. Roll it out to roughly the size of your dish and plop it on top of the vegetables.

4. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until it’s bubbling all around the edges.

It will be wet – we ate it more like stew out of bowls than pie. That’s one of the reasons I hated the bottom crust.

Maybe it’s not the prettiest tomato dish on the block.

It’s surely the most delicious.

Just, do me a favor, ok? If you’re going to reheat it for more than one person, please do the reheating in the oven. It does take about half an hour at 300, but the microwave seems to bring all the textures closer to each other and remove some of what’s great about the dish. It’s still great from the microwave, so if you’re doing single portions carry on, but if you have the time and you’re serving it with salad or whatever for dinner, pop it in the oven, k?

And?

No one actually says tomAHHto.

Seriously.

count down

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011


Could this be any uglier?

I know.

While Crockett is out of town, I’m working in his office instead of our kitchen table. Even the glorious window doesn’t make this smoothie more attractive, does it?

It was pretty delicious, though. I bought a big flat of peaches over the weekend and peeled, sliced, and froze them. For this smoothie I mixed them with cottage cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, frozen bananas, and a little vanilla.

Peach pie in an ugly ugly soup.

I love his office, though. The window looks out over the backyard, so when I feel like stopping for a break, I can watch the girls chase squirrels. It’s like exercising by association.

Lunch – even cereal is special when you eat it with a spoon that has your initial on it. (Plus fresh peaches. Cereal is special with fresh peaches AND monogrammed spoons.)

After lunch I had to run to the doctor’s office. My doctor’s office is right next to a big high school, so I thought after my appointment I’d do some track work.

You know what helps with running on a track?

If you put your shoes in your car like you meant to.

Instead of leaving them sitting on the couch.

By the time I’d figured out I didn’t have my shoes and had run to the grocery store and had walked the dogs, I no longer had time to run. I had a very exciting happy hour date.

Hellooooo Chilis Happy Hour.

As illustrated by my lovely date, Chili’s gives you two tiny drinks for the price of one. I actually sweettalked our server into putting mine in one big glass, but I think Yvonne likes the little glasses. You know, so she can pretend to be a giant.

Everyone likes to pretend to be a giant.

Crockett’s least favorite cookies

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

It’s so sad that he doesn’t like these, don’t you think? I mean, look at how pretty they are.

Of course, the problem lies in those dark nibby lookin’ things.

They ain’t chocolate.

They’re olives.

I know, it sounds weird. I’m probably not a good judge of if it is or isn’t, because olives are in my top ten favorite foods. Top five, even. Ok, lately, top three.

The olives don’t permeate all of the cookie with olive taste. Instead, they’re just surprising little salty briny pockets in what is otherwise a sweet crunchy cookie. They’re good as cookies, but I think they’d be a nice surprise on a cheese and cracker platter too.

Of course, I think olives would be a nice surprise under my pillow or at the bottom of my purse or in my sock drawer or… Basically Crockett and I are Jack Sprat and his lady, where olives are concerned.

Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Wafers
Adapted from Lottie + Doof

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
  • 1/4 cup butter, very soft
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • generous pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup black olives, coarsely chopped (see note)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut a piece of parchment for a baking sheet.
  2. Stir together the butter and the first half of the sugar until entirely combined. (You’re not creaming, necessarily, just making sure they’re mixed.) Add the egg and stir until combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and olives and stir until it comes together in a cohesive dough. It will be crumbly but you need it to stick together when you press.
  4. Put the other half of the sugar in a small bowl. Pinch of rounded tablespoons of dough and roll them in the extra sugar, then put them on the baking sheet. You can fit about six to a sheet. Once you have all six, cover with another piece of parchment and roll all the cookies until they’re about 1/16th of an inch thick – the edges will be sloppy, but that’s what you want.
  5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the wafers are brown around the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough.

About the olives – the original recipe called for mild olives, rinsed if they were overly salty. I found them to be almost lost in the lemon flavor, so I recommend using something with a little more punch. The big black olives you can get in olive bars that still have the pits in would be a nice choice, or the teeny French nicoise olives you can find in the same place. Since you don’t need many, pitting them shouldn’t be  a big deal.

Mmm.

To apologize to Crockett for teasing him with cookies he wouldn’t eat in a million years, I tried a salady-salsay thing.

Ok, fine, it was also to cheer myself up. Since Wednesday our lovely summer weather has been supplanted by something that looks like it belongs in Portland.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Portland.

It’s just that this isn’t Portland. If I were in Portland, the rain would be ok. But this is sunny Colorado. We only get 30 – 40 entirely overcast days per year here. I don’t like it when 5 of them come in a row.

Bowl full o’ sunshine.

Sunshine Salad (Mango, Strawberry, and Avocado Salsa)
Adapted from Pink Parsley

  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (champagne mango, if you can – they’re sort of creamy like avocado and work really well here)
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoons lime juice
  • pinch cayenne (you will barely taste it in the final product, but it adds a teeny tiny kick that’s worth having)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint (this is nice but not a deal breaker – you can substitute cilantro or basil, too)
  1. Mix together everything but the strawberries, mango, and avocado. Whisk well.
  2. In your serving or storage bowl, mix the strawberries, mango, and dressing. It won’t seem like a lot of dressing, but the fruit will start to release liquid and it will get wetter. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the avocado and stir to mix.
  4. Serve with chips if you’re me, or over fish or chicken if that’s how you roll.

 

 

chicken guuuud

Friday, May 13th, 2011

5th element? Anyone?

Bueller?

Anyway, I have had this nutso craving for Eastern hemisphere food. I think that it’s perhaps because I was writing about fair trade and rice and stuff for so long… or maybe not. Anyway, Japanese, Chinese, Indian – I want it all.

(Is India in the Eastern hemisphere? How does one define east and west on a big ball in space?)

Rawwww chicken, yo.

Aren’t Crockett’s metal skewer thing-a-ma-bobbers cool?

This is Tandoori Chicken, from Budget Bytes. I think that if I had to pick one food blog from which to cook forever and ever, it would be Budget Bytes. Plus, I think me and Beth would be friends if, you know, we lived in the same place and knew each other. Of course, I think that about everyone in the food blog world. And it’s probably mostly true.

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs
Slightly adapted from Budget Bytes

Serves 2 – 3

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion (not red)
  • thumb size piece of fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • generous 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (in my opinion, turmeric is mostly for color – if you don’t have this, no need to rush out and buy some)
  1. Trim any major fat off the chicken and cut it into evenly sized chunks or long strips. Strips will have more tandoori flavor but chunks will stay more moist – I did two skewers of strips and one of chunks. If you have precut tenders they’re probably perfect already. Put the chicken in a big bowl or ziploc bag.
  2. Cut the onion into big chunks. Finely chop garlic and peel and grate the ginger. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and the rest of the ingredients to the bag with the chicken. Close the top and mix all of the ingredients well. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for four to twenty-four hours. Don’t skimp.
  3. When you’re ready, start your grill going. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least half an hour before starting the grill, and then go buy some metal skewers so you won’t have to do that anymore. Pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and either line the chunks up or stick the slices on in an s-shape. If you like onion, you can skewer chunks of onion between the chicken.
  4. Put the skewers on the medium heat part of the grill for four minutes, and then flip them and cook for two to three more.
  5. Serve with rice, salad, and/or naan (if you have naan, you can heat that on the grill as well).

You might want to think about making extra.