Archive for the ‘dinner’ Category

do scallops get ulcers?

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I’m a worrier. I don’t mean to be a worrier, but I am a worrier. It sucks.

Like, on Saturday? When I was at my family reunion?

My mom and I went to run some errands, and we put all four of our dogs in the car to accompany us. Don’t worry, it was only 65 degrees – the car was a happy place for them. We pulled up to the shopping center closest to our ranch, which happens to be at the intersection of two mountain highways, and parked the car. Maida, my lil puppy girl, hopped out of the car to come shopping with us, but I caught her and put her back where she belonged.

When we returned to the car, literally less than five minutes later, we saw my Cloey in the front seat, mom’s Buck in the back seat, and mom’s Charley hanging his head out the rear window.

The mostly open rear window.

And no sign of Maida.

So, my mom’s dogs are big. She doesn’t have to worry about half open windows, because her boys aren’t going anywhere. I should have checked to make sure the car was a safe place for my girls, but it didn’t occur to me. I stuck my head in the windows and opened the door of the seat where I’d left Maida, and I called her, and there was no sign of her.

My mom and I spent twenty minutes running around the parking lot, asking strangers for help, and screaming Maida’s name. I was absolutely sure that Maida was smushed somewhere. I called Crockett, who was only a few minutes away at the ranch, and asked him to come down. He asked me a series of reasonable questions but I was absolutely NOT hearing it – I was instead stopping every few minutes and going into a ‘where’s my DOG’ panic attack?

Are you scared?

Don’t be.

Maida was sleeping under the driver’s seat of the car. Crockett found her within ten minutes of meeting us. While I was accosting strangers and begging them to help me find my puppy, he was using his brain.

Yes, I’m a worrier.

Today something else happened that turned out ok, but I’m still all blerg about it, so I’m not ready to share. However, I will share:

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The delicious bag o’ heirloom cherry tomatoes that I bought on my way home from work yesterday at Ollin Farms.

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I remembered to take a picture of the farm as I was driving away. Pretty, eh? I drive by it on my way home every day and this is the only time I’ve stopped.

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I ate some of them for lunch today, along with the last of the leftover turkey burgers from the reunion and a Diet Coke. I’d really really wanted a Fresca, because hell yeah Fresca, but the F button was broken on the soda machine and the Frescas were in the F row. I’m really worried that they’re going to stop stocking them because no one can buy them. Stupid row F.

Ok, here’s today’s question, a little early.

Do you like scallops?

Because I want to like scallops, and I just don’t, really. I don’t dislike them, but for me they’re like lobster. Special in theory, but really nothing more than a vehicle for buttery sauce in practice.

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Crockett freaking loves scallops, though, so last night we had scallops. They were good, for scallops. Crockett loved them. What do I know.

Thai-ish Scallops and Rice

8 oz sea scallops, fresh or defrosted (I got ours frozen from Whole Foods – they were sustainably sea caught(? do scallops run away?), cause I’m all smug like that)
olive oil
3/4 cup jasmine rice
1 cup coconut milk, light or not light
3 tablespoons Thai basil, not chopped (regular basil or mint would be good too)
2 tablespoons lemongrass (I buy the chopped stuff in the tube from the grocery store because it keeps for awhile and I have no idea where to get fresh lemongrass)
salt

Combine the rice and 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 1/2 cups water (or however much you usually use, I’m at 5300 feet and need a lot of water for boiling things) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and set a timer for 20 minutes.

Combine the coconut milk, basil, and lemongrass in another pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a fast simmer. Add half a teaspoon of salt. You want this to reduce while the rice is cooking. (If you want to cook the rice in the coconut milk you can, just wait until ten minutes of cooking have passed before adding herbs. I personally like it as a sauce because you can pour it over the scallops.)

When the rice is pretty much done, heat a pan over medium high and add some olive oil. Pat the outside of the scallops dry and salt – somewhere between generously and lightly. Not four grains, but not 500 either. If you’re using kosher salt, I would aim for about a teaspoon and a half for all the scallops, about  teaspoon if you’re using regular salt.  When the oil is hot, place the scallops in the pan with one flat side down and set your timer for one minute. When one minute has passed, flip them to the other side and cook for one more minute. Touch the top and if they still seem squishy, give them thirty more seconds. If they feel firm, pull them off the heat super quick and transfer them to a plate.

Serve rice, top with scallops, and pour reduced sauce over the top.

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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.

heat wave

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

When I run in the morning, there are bunnies EVERYWHERE. You can see the two there, who could not have cared less about my presence or picture taking, but there is actually one in that yard further on and two out of the frame to the left as well.

I think they’re going out early to escape the heat, just like me.

When I got home from my run, I did what I usually do. I destroyed the kitchen while packing breakfast and lunch. I don’t know why I needed four containers of vegetables and two containers of yogurt all out at the same time. I do know why I needed an enormous container of blueberries, though.

Because blueberries are delicious! Duh. Also, Stash pomegranate raspberry green tea is slightly more tolerable than Tazo Zen green tea. I’m going to keep drinking it though – I think it’s probably like coffee. Nobody likes coffee at first, they just drink it because this is America and that’s what we drink, galdarnit.

There’s a slight possibility I’m wrong about that last part.

See, this is why I had to make such a big mess in the kitchen. It takes a lot of stuff to put together a salad of mixed greens with  chickpea chicken curry, a bag of mixed veggies, and a white bean basil dip.

(I’m totally lying. All of this, with the exception of the veggies, was already prepared.)

Something that is justifiably messy? A SUPER DUPER ripe peach. I took this picture to show how it the flesh was red like half an inch down from the skin. It was a glorious drippy experience.

When I got home, I found Crockett facing off against the heat – he was in the backyard assembling our new air conditioner! The swamp cooler has done it’s best, I’m not degrading it, but the air conditioner will mean that we can close up the house during the day without worrying about coming home to a … well, a swamp.

I dutifully assisted by sitting next to the window with a book and a glass of wine, so I could hand tools over when necessary.

This is how air conditioners work, right?

When we decided it was too dark to finish, I put together some pork tacos that were FAB. I’ll tell you about the pork and the slaw tomorrow, k? K.

Basil White Bean Spread

I’m calling this a spread because puree sounds sort of blah, and it’s not really hummus because it has a different kind of bean AND no nuts or seeds. SO. Spread.

1 cup dry cannellini beans or two 15 oz cans cannellini
As much basil as you need to remove from your basil plant (this would also work with other soft herbs – 1 to 2 handfuls is probably ideal)
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
kosher salt (start with 1/4 of  a teaspoon if you used canned beans, 1/2 teaspoon if you cooked them yourself)
2 – 3 cloves raw garlic

If you’re starting with dry beans, you can use my new and exciting bean cooking method. Put them in a slow cooker on low with water to cover and cook for three hours. Test, add salt, and cook for another half hour to one and half hours, depending on how done they were. Don’t soak. DO look for rocks, though. It’s my understanding that rocks will never soften in a slow cooker. (You’re welcome.)

Either let the beans cool or rinse the starch off the canned beans, and put everything but the olive oil into a food processor. Whiz for awhile, scrape the sides, and then turn it back on and slowly pour in the smaller amount of olive oil.

This is where you get to exercise your personal preference. (Again, you’re super welcome). Taste it and add more salt, more olive oil, some bean water or some milk if you’d like it thinner but not more olive oily, and anything else you want. Suggestions include oil packed sundried tomatoes (definitely chop them first), pine nuts, or parmesan. Or olive. Man, now I wish I’d added olives. That’ll move you closer to a tapenade, but that’s ok! That’s why we called it a spread.

Eat on crackers, veggies, or as a sandwich spread. Or off a spoon. Or your finger. No judgement here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

vegetables

Friday, January 6th, 2012

I know, I’m not trying to eat more healthily. Don’t you just want vegetables sometimes, though?

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Sweet potato and spaghetti squash curry.

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Green beans…

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Roasted with garlic. Have you ever roasted green beans? I don’t know why this is new to me – I’ve roasted every other vegetable under the sun. They got all hot and wrinkly and delicious.

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Green goddess smoothies.

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And sort-of miso soup.

This was loosely based on Deb’s Carrot Soup with Miso and Sesame, but I ended up changing a bunch of the proportions and adding apples because I didn’t want leftovers and then when I went to get the carrots, I had half as many as I thought I had and half of those were kind of slimy. Basically, it could have come out better.

Still, though – vegetables! In January! It’s almost like I’m making an effort!

Speaking of making an effort, I signed up for a half marathon that’s on April 1st. (Yes, I double checked. It’s a real race.)

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I even have a plan.

Again – almost like I’m making a new year’s effort, here.

habits

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Do you guys find that when the weather changes, you start to eat nothing but your favorite things from that season? Like – spring shows up, and you eat nothing but asparagus. Then summer rolls around, and you eat watermelon until you explode. Like that?

 

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Or? When it gets cold? You eat nothing but oatmeal?

Please say it isn’t just me.

Thursday: Bob’s 5 grain rolled cereal with frozen strawberries and cottage cheese.

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Friday: Bob’s 5 grain rolled cereal with frozen cherries, cocoa powder, and cottage cheese.

I’m halfway through that bag of Bob’s I bought, what, last week?

Also on the list of my favorite things:

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Trains.

Especially the ones that are only one car.

I don’t know why, but this cracked me up. I understand that the guards have to come down and the lights have to flash and everything, because it is a train, but it’s just an engine and it was going maybe four miles an hour and we all just sat there and watched. I just sat in my car, eating my oatmeal, and laughing my ass off.

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I can’t even tell you what I’ve been eating. Until today – today has held some tasty food. This last week, though? I have no idea. Frozen vegetarian corn dogs, definitely.

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Halloween candy, for damn sure.

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Tuna salad (with dried fruit, because that’s how we used to make it at the bakery I worked at it and was the most delicious thing ever) and crackers and grapefruit – that was in there somewhere.

Also?

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I made sure I was aware of alcohol.

Because my school told me so.

Heck, I even made sure to have a glass of wine here and there. (Yes, this sign is technically expired. However, it was left up all last week, so I assumed they still wanted awareness).

What are your food habits?

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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).

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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!

suburgatory

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I’m not actually watching Suburgatory, because our TV either doesn’t get CBS or it’s moved somewhere that I can’t find it.

However, I’m feeling very suburban lately. Friday night, Crockett went out to Denver while I hung out with a girlfriend in Louisville. Then Saturday night Crockett and I went out… again in Louisville. Last night I did school work and we watched tv and went to bed at a reasonable hour. Today is HALLOWEEN and my plans involve handing out candy while wearing… my normal clothes.

Sigh.

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After I writing yesterday, I realized how much meat and cheese and how few vegetables I’d eaten over the weekend, so I made myself an insane salad when I got home from my run. First, I microwaved half a spaghetti squash. While that was happening, I sliced segments out of a grapefruit, and put them in a bowl with arugula and goat cheese. I mixed the super hot ow-my-fingers squash with a little olive oil and pepper, put it on top of the greens, and topped the whole thing with some fluffy grated romano.

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When I mixed it all up, it was warm from the squash, spicy from the pepper and arugula, creamy from the cheese, and tangy from the grapefruit. It was a taste experience, y’all.

(Yes, I know I just said I was eating too much cheese and then I ate more – but it was offset by the two pounds of vegetables. That’s a totally valid nutritional choice. I think.)

Awhile ago, I read that freezing tofu and then thawing it and draining it gives it a more appealing chewy texture. I stuck some in the freezer like three weeks ago, and then freaked out on Wednesday thinking maybe it could freeze for too long. I moved it to the fridge to defrost and promptly forgot about it.

Sigh. Food planning.

Anyway, last night I made a marinade of lemongrass and curry powder for it, and then pan fried big pieces to put in a sandwich.

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It was… ok. I’m eating the leftovers for lunch today. I don’t really feel like I have the hang of tofu.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

ETA: Yeah, I wrote Thanksgiving right there. What? I have no idea. Brain? Mine? Where?

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?