Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

you say it’s your birthday

Friday, October 19th, 2012

We woke up on Crockett’s bday fully aware that we had only a few hours left in NY and we hadn’t done nearly everything we wanted to do. I, for example, wanted to eat at Dominique Ansel and Balthazar Bakery. Crockett wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History.

Thanks to the magic of subway power (!!) we did all three.

Before we left, I’d bought this little City2Go app and marked off all the places I would like to eat with little red dots on a map of the island. When we got off the subway, the Dominique Ansel dot turned out to be many many blocks from the actual Dominique Ansel bakery. Whoops. Fortunately, the Balthazar Bakery was on the walk to the real DA, so we swung in there. It’s this teeny tiny place, too small for pictures, but I ordered a chocolate sable (chocolate shortbread, basically) and a canelette (tiny rum custard cake with a darkly caramelized outside). I was trying not to overdo it on the pastries, but I wish I’d ordered more of the sables.

When we made it to Dominique Ansel, I stared at the tiny cakes (top picture) for hours (ok minutes) but ended up going with more traditional breakfast pastry.

I ordered a ham and cheese croissant and a kouign amann, something DA specializes in. A kouign amann is like a croissant, sort of, except that it has sugar folded into each layer as well as butter. It’s sweet and crispy and flaky and it was delicious, but I’m glad I balanced it out with the croissant.

In addition to sharing my breakfast(s) with me, Crockett had a perfect little egg sandwich. (That’s seriously what it’s called). It was all squishy and cheesy and yummy.

We ate our many delicious treats on DA’s back patio. It was a little chilly but so cute. Crockett really liked SoHo – he said that if we move to Manhattan (ha) he feels like SoHo would be his neighborhood.

I hadn’t realized we were so close to the south end of the island until we saw this. I actually had to ask Crockett what it was. He was like ‘um, Em? There used to be two things there?’ and then I felt dumb.

Once again full of tasty delicious food, we headed north to the museum. It was our worst subway experience of the trip – we had to change trains several times because there was some issue and local and express trains were all mixed up, and everything was running late. Since I knew Crockett really wanted to go to the museum and my bakeries had come first and it was his birthday!, it was really the only part of the trip where I felt rushed.

The elephants made me feel better as soon as we got there, though.

We spent most of our time in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, walking around the scales of the universe exhibit. This is Crockett, larger than supergiant star Rigel.

Crockett was telling me about this prof he had in college (Crockett’s an ex-rocket scientist) who talked about the naming conventions in different areas of science and how astronomy is so much more logical than the other areas. For example, the science name (wow I sound totally brill right now) for dogs is Canis lupus familiaris. That’s all fine and dandy, but, come on, what? The scientific name for a big cluster of stars? “Big cluster of stars”. Awesome.

It looks like I’m trying to tell the future, but I’d actually be seeing the past if I were doing this. I’m ENORMOUS. Those are galaxies in there!

Perhaps I shouldn’t have had four pastries for breakfast.

We also made it to the Hall of Ocean Life, where I insisted on running around acting like I was in an underwater horror movie…

And Crockett demonstrated his blue whale lifting skills.

We had a late checkout, but we made it back to the hotel just in time to throw our things in our bags and clear out of the room (so sad). Since it was only two and our flight wasn’t supposed to be until 6:40, we stopped downstairs for one last drink in the outdoor covered bar.

My wine and I would have preferred to stay another few days.

Alas, it was not to be. Our flight home was out of Newark, so we took the subway to Penn Station and a train to the Newark tram. What up, New Jersey!

Unfortunately, our flight was delayed AGAIN (only an hour, though, not four, so … that better, I guess) and we snuck in one more meal. We went to the Oyster Bar, the same one that’s in Grand Central, on the theory that any place that got famous in a train station can’t be bad in an airport, right? I ate a whole plate of calamari. It was indeed tasty.

Crockett had one last lobster roll.

Bye New York! I miss you already!

 

you can’t call it cheatin’

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Monday morning we were in much better shape (due to a distinct lack of residual corned beef, as well as lower alcohol consumption, I suspect) and we made it out of the hotel in time for the tail end of rush hour.

And waffles.

This truck is called Wafels and Dinges. They’re all over the city, but we stopped at the one in Columbus Circle.

I got the Brussels wafel with speculoos spread, which I’ve been reading about for years (or so it feels, I actually have no idea – I mean, doesn’t it feel like you were hearing about burrata when you were just a fetus at this point?)  and it was so fucking delicious that I really was just forced to use a curse word in that sentence.

It was so delicious that I don’t even care that I look like a squinty rabbit in this picture.

I dropped the last quarter of it on the ground.

It was the saddest thing that happened to me in the whole trip.

Crockett went for the special of the day, which was an apple pie waffle. Same waffle, apple pie spread, whipped cream, cinnamon, and lots of love (probably).  I’m sure it was good, but it was no speculoos. Seriously, cookie spread? Sounds so weird! SO NOT WEIRD. SO GOOD.

After Crockett finished his waffle and I had a moment of silence for the city-sidewalk-death of mine, we headed to Chelsea to see Highline Park and (more importantly) the Chelsea Market. Highline Park is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen (<- complete and total lie). It’s like a museum walkway built twenty feet above the ground – the whole thing is only fifteenish feet wide and bedroom and office windows immediately surround it. Neat thing to do with an old train track, but still very strange. Crockett took a bunch of pictures but apparently I wasn’t feeling it, because I have zero. What I do have is a picture of the seafood sliders we shared from The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market. Crab one – good. Shrimp one – eh. Really, who genuinely likes tarragon? I’m asking. Lobster one – quite tasty but still no match for the one at The Empire. (Of COURSE I’m not sucking up to my hometown local, what’choo talkin’ bout.)

From there we hopped over to the Essex St. Market. We were exhausted, but I wanted to see Shopsin’s and get some cookies from Beurre & Sel.

Two shops at the market were closed, everything else was open. Those two shops were Shopsin’s and Beurre & Sel. Sigh. The whole thing was just like a confusing supermarket – it might have been cool if we hadn’t been to Chelsea Market first, but we had. We got Crockett some coconut water and moved on with our lives.

It turned out we were only a few blocks from the famous bagel-er (made up word? Judge says… probably!) Russ & Daughters, so we swung by to round out our brunch of tiny sandwiches.

Lox (don’t ask me what kind – the man behind the counter tried and then just said ‘mild?’ and I said ‘ok!’ and then he asked me what kind of cream cheese and I said ‘what kind do you like’ and he said ‘I like them all’ so I just picked and he said ‘spectacular’ and I couldn’t tell if he was mocking me or what but anyway) and scallion cream cheese on a plain mini bagel. Question: is the defining characteristic of New York bagels an exceptionally chewy crust?

Properly fortified, we headed back to midtown.

We stopped by the LEGO store and I pretended, just for a moment, that I was Liz Lemon. It was very exciting. I tried to talk Crockett into ice skating, because it turns out the rink in Rockefeller Center is there even when the tree isn’t, but then when he said he would it turned out I was just kidding because my feet hurt. Whoops.

Instead, we went by MOMA. Although they were lacking a giant Egyptian statue, their gift shop was way better than the Met’s. I call it a draw on the museums-we-didn’t-actually-go-into showdown.

We had a whole plan. We’d walked off our mini sandwiches, and we were going to have a late lunch at Don Antonio, another pizza place on my list-of-NY-pizza places (a list that didn’t actually include any traditional NY style pie places but wev), then nap, then head back out.

We showed up at Don Antonio at 3:31, and they were closed from 3:30 to 4:30. Their website said nothing about that, so I whined for awhile, and Crockett decided to move the nap up the list of things to do – I only made it a few blocks before freaking out and insisting I needed a drink and a chair asap.

I’m sometimes quite charming to travel with.

Victor’s Cafe saved me!

A daiquiri …

an avocado filled with bacon and tomato and monterey jack served with plaintain chips…

and some pretty hilarious avocado-as-creepy-crawly artwork by Crockett …

put the smile back on my face. (I think I took like seven pictures. Crockett was smiling in most of them  but I looked like an idiot. I have no idea what’s happening with him in this one but it’s my blog so HA. This may have been immediately after the bartender was talking about how he’d accidentally auditioned for a porn, so maybe Crockett’s mulling that over.)

The avocado didn’t turn out to be enough food, and it was a little after four thirty by the time we finished at Victor’s, so we decided to head back to Don Antonio. They’re doing traditional Neapolitan pizza, just like Motorino, but with some twists.

Crockett started with a beer that had a gorgeous label, and I had some … wine. People, I don’t even know anymore. A lot of things happened in these days, and many of those things were wine, ok?

We ordered two pizzas, even though we weren’t starving, because we absolutely had to try the house specialty. (This is not it.) This is a sausage pizza with fresh mozzarella and pistachio pesto that reminded me very much of the pizzas they sell on the street in Turkey. It got better with every bite, and was it’s absolute best at room temperature. Strange but true.

This is the house specialty. The dough is lightly fried prior to being topped with sauce and smoked mozzarella and baked. It was bizarre, and as far as ‘pizza’ goes it wasn’t anything special, but as a food all on it’s own? Fried bread with tasty sauce and cheese? I could eat that every single day. Also, it was $12, which struck me as crazy reasonable, especially considering we were in midtown Manhattan.

We had lots of leftovers and took them home, but I had to stop one more time before we hit the hotel.

Pinkberry peanut butter froyo! We don’t have Pinkberry in CO, so how could I resist?

I’m not going to lie -we almost didn’t make it back out of the hotel after all that. We’d walked for hours, eaten a bunch, drank… we were wiped. We napped until seven and then rallied, though, because we were in New York freaking City.

We went to the Apple Store.

Nope, not at all kidding.

Then we walked cross town to Hell’s Kitchen, to yet another place I’d stumbled across in my internet explorations of the city. It’s called Caseulla, and they specialize in wine and cheese. Naturally, we had some wine and cheese. Crockett also had a mead called Viking’s Blood, and everyone around us at the bar was fascinated and had to taste it too. Then our bartender tried to pick up our bar neighbor, even though he was pretty clearly already on a date.

Then we ate bacon popcorn and I realized it was Crockett’s birthday, because it was past midnight.

The bartender brought us goat cheese and Nutella truffles to celebrate, we ate them, and then we walked home.  It was our last night, but we were seriously wiped, so we decided to have one more drink at the hotel bar and then call it a night.  We did not see Chase Crawford or Blake Lively, but we did have cozy seats by the fireplace, so I think we made the right call. Then we slept hard. NY is exhausting, have I mentioned that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

when the moon hits your eye

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

New York City part TWO.

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Sunday morning we were both feeling a smidge under the weather. See, here’s the thing about altitude and liquor. When you’re at a lower level than where you normally live, you can hold your drinks better – that’s pretty common knowledge, right? The thing, though, is that the hangover does not change. So on a normal Saturday night, I might have three drinks over a few hours and interspersed with water. On a low altitude Saturday, I might… ok, did… have three drinks in two hours with no water. I felt FINE! And then on Sunday I felt like hell.

So. I did what any reasonable person would do, and I dragged my butt a block to Thomas Keller’s bakery. I returned with two enormous cups of quite tasty coffee, a bacon cheddar chive scone, a pistachio twist, a sticky bun, and a chocolate croissant.

We felt much better with coffee, butter, and flour in our bellies.

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Central Park better!

Dude, Central Park is enormous. It’s confusing to me how the most expensive city in the US can have such a wide swath of empty real estate. Gorgeous empty real estate, but empty real estate. Crockett pointed out that the property values would probably go down if the park wasn’t there, but still. Mind boggling.

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We made it all the way up to the reservoir, with a quick stop to watch the remote control boats. Because they’re BOATS that you control with a REMOTE.

I was a lot more excited about it than I look in this picture.

After the reservoir, we hit up the Met and reveled in the glory that was the super old Egyptian statute of a fellow who probably had a nose at one point but doesn’t anymore that’s in the lobby, and then we visited the gift shop. Museum gift shops were literally the only places we even pretended to shop on this trip. I know, it’s like I missed the whole POINT of NEW YORK.

We walked miles – literally. We estimated about four. Then we decided to head south to get some food. I had two places in the East Village – Motorino (pizza) and Ippudo (ramen) – that I really wanted us to try, so we went in that direction. When we found Ippudo, they put us on the one and a half hour wait list, but we were too weak with hunger to get out to Motorino, so we sidled up to the bar and decided to make the best of it. While I was washing the subway off my hands, Crockett was doing some genius ordering.

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This was… something with blossom in the name that is not findable online. Really, I tried. It has Campari and sake in it, and it was light and refreshing and wonderful. However, it was no…

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Steamed pork bun. Literally, if I could eat any of the foods we ate in New York every day, it would be these pork buns. The pork was sweet and soft, with a slight crunch around the edges, and there was nothing else in the bun but iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise, and it was positively wonderful.

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There were some chicken ones, too, and they were super tasty, but the pork ones were AMAZING.

We were actually seated in just a half an hour, and we settled in for some truly enormous bowls of soup.

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Crockett had the classic bowl.

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I had the special, that came with an unidentified scoop of something reddish that I needed to stir in. Mine was sweetish, and Crockett’s was warm and savory, and they were both fantastic. When we were in NY, every time we told someone we were going to or went to Ippudo, they got all excited and happy for us, and I totally see why.

Properly fortified, we went back to the hotel and passed out for several hours.

Naps are an integral part of good vacationing technique.

So, some friends of ours from Louisville were ALSO in New York, ALSO for the opening of a family members bar (ok, it opened like a month ago but close enough), and when Crockett and I woke up we hauled our butts out to the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn to visit said bar. (It’s called Miles.) Our friends weren’t there, but we watched the hipsters and had some beverages.

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It was tiny and cute and the bartender had fantastic curly hair.

We only stayed for one drink, though, because our friends called us from Williamsburg and we went out to meet them. They were at a cute bar with a back porch and they’d been buying fake purses and watches all day, so we hung out and heard about that until we got hungry. At 10:30. Thank goodness things in New York close late, yeah? What with the time change, we were never eating at an appropriate time.

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We ended up at Motorino, since we’d missed it at lunch. Motorino was called the best Neopolitan style pizza by … well, by everyone, so I was pretty pumped to try it.

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I started with the ‘perfect pizza wine’, which was a semi-sparkling red blend that immediately gave me a headache but was super tasty. I love wine served in juice glasses. It feels so very Italian (says the girl who has never been to Italy but does have a last name ending in an i).

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We decided to get only one pizza, so we started with meatballs. They were good! The sauce was bright and very fresh tomatoey.

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For pizza, we absolutely had to try the brussels sprouts pizza. The Bruges at our local pizza place has brussels sprouts and pistachios, but the Motorino version had brussels sprouts and smoked pancetta (which as far as I know is bacon. Seriously.)

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Uh… then we might have gone back to Pouring Ribbons. What? We liked it there! This time I had a drink called Dueling Banjos, which has two bourbons and corn milk. I know, it sounds weird. I hate bourbon but I would drink the crap out of this drink. (Ew).

Then we went to bed. Because dude, it was a long day.

same as it ever was

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

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Also?

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I went to the dermatologist. Not for anything in particular, just because my mom has been really prone to skin cancer and my skin is starting to look more and more like hers. I have freckles and age spots and all kinds of stuff, so I had someone look.

His basic answer was ‘everything looks fine, but watch this thing and this thing and also wear more sunscreen’.

I think they’re legally obliged to say that.

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The artwork on the wall was nice.

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Also, we went to the opening of a new brewery in Louisville! I love breweries. And Louisville.

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Sadly, I did not particularly love any of these beers.

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The mini mugs sort of made up for it though.

I love me a good mini mug.

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The space is pretty cool too. And there were a lot of people who were very excited.

Maybe they liked the beer more than I did.

 

TOMATOES

Friday, August 17th, 2012

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So I’m sure you don’t know that tomatoes are awesome right now. Because of how you don’t go to any stores or look at the internet at all.

These are some heirloom babies that Crockett and I picked up at Whole Foods. Yes, they were $4 a pound. Yes, I find that entirely reasonable. I wanted to use them for BLATs, but then I forgot, and then they’d been on the counter for several days….

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And then they (and a buttload of my purple basil) were this.

Isn’t buttload a charming word to use when referring to food?

Other things that happened yesterday:

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More Fresca (consumed while everyone else was eating lunch and I just got back from the gym).

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A tiny chunk of super tasty Murray’s fromager d’affinois (it’s sort of like brie and sort of like butter and sort of completely awesome).

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Some of the Whole Foods sweet chili tofu that I definitely should have already eaten…

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and a peach – not pictured, peach pie.

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These bowls of rice and cottage cheese are not for me. As shocking as that may sound. My Cloey has been having some digestive issues lately, and on the vets instructions she’s on bland foods for a couple of days. The bowl on the right is for Maida – she gets a little rice and cottage cheese with her dog food so she doesn’t feel left out.

I’m not actually sure if she’s capable of feeling left out, but I would feel like she’s left out, and that’s close enough.

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Also? I intentionally drank red wine for the first time since May. That was a weird choice.

spazmodic eating

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

On Monday night I made something I was SUPER excited to eat.

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Pretty, right?

It’s spicy shrimp and apple salad from Serious Eats. We’ve had it before, twice, and both times I loved it so much I could barely contain myself.

On Monday I forgot the nuts AND the basil (which I was going to sub in for the mint). And I used a shallot that was a little past it’s prime, which maintained a level of spiciness that was a little overwhelming even after I soaked it in water.

Basically it blew. My fault, not the recipe’s fault. So sad.

Then yesterday I just put oddly timed and chosen foods in my mouth all day until I didn’t feel like eating them anymore.

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I started the morning with a smashed chickpea salad – basically I smooshed chickpeas and then stirred in a little mayo, some salt, some celery, and a big squeeze of harissa.

It was good. And spicy.

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I followed with about half of this package of Popchips.

I love Popchips. They’re so crunchy that if people who want to talk to me have to go away when I’m eating them and come back later.

They’re not usually breakfast food, but wev.

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I figured out how to get Fresca out of the soda machine! (Turns out there is no row F. Spoiler: the Fresca was in row E the whole time.)

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Then, later, for… lunch? Who can say with meals like this. It was about 2 pm, I think… I had a piece of an almond peach galette I made on Monday night after dinner to rebound from the shrimp salad fiasco. It’s a basic half whole wheat all butter pie dough, layered with about a cup of frangipane from my freezer, topped with three sliced fresh peaches, and baked for about forty five minutes.

It’s way better than the messed up shrimp salad.

I got hungry towards the end of the day, but I held out because three of my darling friends were coming over at 6:45 for book club, and they were all bringing food. I chilled a bottle of dry riesling (what? are you implying I knew they didn’t like riesling and I’d have leftover wine? of course not!) and made a spinach artichoke dip (ingredients from Alton Brown, quantities unmeasured, lightened, and based on what I had in my fridge and then topped with more parm and broiled for five minutes), and we chatted about Wither and life and basically got our girl on.

There may have been a dance party when Cruel To Be Kind came on the stereo.

Other good spontaneous dance party songs? They must exist!

We had three kinds of hummus, sliced veggies, bread, crackers, almonds, cheese, chocolate covered pretzels, and my dip. I have a picture somewhere… but I’m tired and my camera is alllll the way over there. Anyway, hopefully your Tuesday was fab!

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.

I wish

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

I wish that people were honest about how distracting dangly earrings are when you’re wearing them.

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Especially when they jingle.

I wish that everyone was lucky enough to have coworkers who brought them home presents from business trips.

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Even if those present are shoes with claws.

I wish you didn’t think that was a hypodermic needle. Come on, guys. It’s powdered sunscreen. We walk outside after lunch most days.

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I wish that I liked green tea as much as I love Kashi. Green tea is good for you, and it has such cool names!

I still hate it.

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I wish that biting all the delicious mango off the mango seed didn’t leave grody strings in my teeth.

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I wish I’d remembered to bring vegetables with lunch today. Instead, I remembered the chicken and chickpea curry (Maya Kaimal, y’all), but had to buy the veggies from the cafeteria. They cost $2.38. I was cranky, but full.

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I wish every house were required to have window boxes full of flowers.

This is not my house. My house does not have window boxes full of flowers.

Finally?

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I wish I could eat Humboldt Fog with honey and crackers and fresh blueberries for dinner every day for the rest of my natural life.

… Ok, I could actually probably make that last one happen, at least for awhile. I’d probably get tired of it if it didn’t feel like a treat, you know?

Or not. Man, I love me some goat cheese.

P.S. I feel like I dropped a lot of brand names today. I guess I was feeling lazy? Who knows. None of these brands know or care that I’m talking about them.

P.P.S. Everyone loves them some goat cheese, right?

*shrug*

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Have you seen this whole ‘shrub’ thing, lately?

Maybe I read too many food and drink blogs, but I swear to god shrubs have been stalking me. Since one was bound to catch me eventually, I caved.

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Basically, a shrub is a liquid made of fruit juice, sugar, and an acid. That liquid is then mixed into cocktails or sparkling water, as above. My stalker shrubs have all been vinegar based, so that’s what I used.

There are a lot of ways to make your shrub. You can cook fruit and sugar together to make a syrup in various ways, OR you can do what I did and make it cold. (Have I mentioned that it’s SUPER HOT HERE JUST LIKE EVERYWHERE ELSE?)

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Basically, I took one cup of my precious frozen sweet cherries (I could have used fresh cherries but that would have involved a second trip to the store after the first, regular one, I took yesterday), and mixed them with one cup of sugar. I could also have chopped them up first, but I didn’t. I used one of my Twist N Sparkle bottles since I’m trying to ween myself off them. You know, because of the exploding.

After a few hours, the cherries had defrosted and were starting to mix with the sugar to make a thick syrup. After twelve hours, the bottle was full of grainy red slush and cherries.

I drained the liquid off and mixed it with one cup of vinegar. (I used half white and half apple cider). It’s as easy as that.

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That’s the shrub (shrub syrup?) on the left, and a mixture of about a tablespoon of syrup and a cup or so of sparkling water on the left.

I get why people have been drinking these for a super long time, y’all. It’s weird, because you can absolutely tell that you’re drinking vinegar, but you don’t really care. The fruit taste really comes through, too.

Next step, cocktails!

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Cocktails are far more romantic than drinking it with breakfast, like I did this morning. And I like romance in my drinks. And alcohol. Romance and alcohol.

If you want to try yourself, here are a couple of good resources. Let me know how it goes!

Serious Eats
The Kitchn

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?