Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

lobstah

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

OH.

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So THIS is why people like lobster.

Crockett and I met up for a quick happy hour yesterday after work, and noticed that lobster rolls were on the specials menu. Having recently dissed lobster, I decided I should probably try a lobster roll. Right?

Oh my god right.

Crockett and I shared this one, and in retrospect that was a freaking terrible idea. Just god awful.

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My half was not enough.

Seriously, lobster lovers. I get it now. Ok? Ok.

Also, I had the drink that Lexi (bartender/owner) was slinging – she called it the Mexican Word. It was Herradura Reposado (I think – definitely Herradura somethin’), Chartreuse, Luxardo (maraschino liqueur), and lime juice.

It was fantastic. I mean, it was no lobster roll, but it was fantastic.

Everything else I ate yesterday was stupid in comparison.

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Don’t my fruits and veggies and tiny container of peanut butter look cute in my new lil lunchbox thing? It’s a ‘Box Appetite’ from a company called Black and Blum. They have it on Amazon, but I got a better deal on Fab.com. (That sale is way over now). There’s another triangular container that fits into this one that’s holding my chickpea salad here, but I didn’t use it yesterday.

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I also got their Bento Box, in orange. Yesterday thats where I put my chickpea salad.

I made a lot of chickpea salad.

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There was also peach crumble. It was fine. Whatever.

I want another lobster roll.

 

the night of the parentheses

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

I would like to issue a formal apology for the typos that made it into the last post. I usually read it at least once, ya know? Apparently not yesterday. (Would it help to say I was drunk? I wasn’t, but you never know, you know?) (Did that last question try to imply that you could be drunk without knowing it? Wow, I am off to a stellar start tonight, aren’t I.)

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I suspect that mini bananas are laced with some delicious drug.

The kind of delicious drug that makes you want more mini bananas and less proofreading, I guess.

They’re very thin skinned (although that could have had something  to do with how ripe this one was, I guess?) and very sweet. I don’t understand the difference – for all I know they’re lab grown (although I couldn’t find anything that indicated that was true in a very short chat with my buddy in the internet).

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Oh, speaking of the internet! (Terrible segueway in three… two… one…) Guess what the internet totally forgot about? The rainforest. Do you remember when everyone cared a super lot about the rainforest? I do. I was in a group called the Rainforest Action Group when I was in sixth grade. We rapped. For real – there was a video of me rapping. I said ‘my name is Emma and I’m here to say, I care for the rainforest in a major way’.

That did really happen. As far as I know the video no longer exists. It’s too bad, because I think I was wearing a Hypercolor tee shirt and I would really like to see that shirt again.

(OH did you see my sparkly cool thumbnail with the messy edges? The gems are from these stickers I got at King Soopers for $4.99.) (Very sparkly.) (Very cool.)

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I’m so glad I ordered harissa. This is chickpea and harissa and chicken and celery and yogurt salad, and I love it. I didn’t stir it very well, though, so some bites are all WOW HELLO HARISSA.

(Do you remember Clarissa Explains it All? I feel like Clarissa would have appreciated my rainforest rap.)

Last night, Crockett had a bad night. You know those nights when you’re just irritated? You stub your toe and your girlfriend’s dog pukes on your carpet and … you know, bad nights.

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I asked him what would make him feel better, and he said beet salad from Lucky Pie. Since he got a salad, I didn’t feel like I could get a pizza, because then I would have eaten it all up, so I got a strawberry salad.

With salted Marcona almonds. And goat cheese.

Could a woman live off almonds and goat cheese?

I suspect a woman could.

(If that woman were me.)

(Parenthetical.)

 

what weekend? and peach bars!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

One particular thing that I forgot about working in a office.

“How was your weekend?”

It’s not that I mind people asking. Even semi-faux interest is a nice gesture when you’re spending serious quality cubicle time with people. It’s more that I immediately lose track of what happened over the weekend the second I walk back into the building. Weekend me disappears and week me, who is a lot like weekend me except without the fun part, gets all up in my frontal lobe.

I did have a good weekend, though!

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The girls and I had some weird moments where they enthusiastically sniffed at a fence (that’s in front of another fence) so hard that Maida started snapping at Cloey because she was hogging the sniffing.

Why weird? Because I stuck my nose near the fence too. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t smell anything, but there’s a pretty good chance that I sucked something gross into my nose all the same.

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Crockett and I looked at our freezer and realized that some of our favorite tamales from Costco that we don’t eat anymore because one day we accidentally looked at the nutritional information (TERRIBLE IDEA, PEOPLE) were still hiding in there, so steamed ‘em up. There’s taking care of your health, and there’s wasting food. I prefer to do the first and avoid the second, but sometimes the two collide, and you have to have tamales for dinner.

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Mine fell apart on it’s way out of the steamer, but it was still so delicious that I swooned. Swooned, I tell you. There’s nothing like a hearty mixture of lard and masa to really bring a Saturday night home.

Also, I made peach-thyme cornmeal crumb bars.

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Because my peaches were being stupid and my thyme plant was being awesome. The recipe is at the bottom but I have a LOT of words today ok? Ok.

Sunday was basically more of the same, except with some cooking for the upcoming week and some laundry doing and oh right also less recovering from multiple texas slushes.

Did I mention that Friday night was a big night?

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Sunday morning I snacked on some fruit and then ran to the store to get half and half, which I’d forgotten on my big Saturday shopping trip. My local Albertson’s, which is a workhorse of a grocery store that can totally fill in for half and half when needed but isn’t really my go-to for … well, anything fresh, had a small basket of hierloom tomatoes. I don’t know where they came from, and I don’t care. They looked wonderful. (I can no longer accept the regular ones now that I know their color is ruining their flavor! They look pretty and then blerg. I’m over it.) I bought two and three avocados and when I got home I pulled Crockett away from his tree trimming for brunch BLATs.

That was a really long story just to have it end with BLAT, when you could clearly see there was a BLAT right there.

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The tomato was so good that I ate it with the leftover aioli (ha – light mayo with additional lemon juice and powdered garlic).

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Then, to continue our produce-centric meals, I made a pizza with tomatoes (Pomi), tomatoes (yellow cherry), mozzarella (left over from book club), goat cheese, and two kinds of basil.

It was super tasty.

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Cloey really really wanted a bite, but I was too focused on Hell On Wheels to give her more than many minute of doting attention.

Look at her face.

Seriously.

She didn’t get any, though, because her tummy is still upset and also pizza isn’t for dogs!

Peach Thyme Crumb Bars
Based on Smitten Kitchen Blueberry Crumb Bars

1 cup white sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone ground)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into slices
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream (light is fine)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons minced thyme
4 cups sliced peaches (I did not bother peeling them)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Heat your oven to 375. Grease a 9 x 13 or 10 x 10 inch pan. (Crockett got me this square nonstick Williams Sonoma cake pan that I worship and I literally bake everything I can in it. I didn’t even grease it.)

Stir together the first four ingredients and the thyme. Scatter the butter over the top and cut it in using either a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers. When the butter is mostly flat and small, add the egg and the sour cream. Smoosh it together until it’s holding together in small clumps, and pat slightly more than half into the bottom of your pan. You don’t need to  press very hard, just make a flat surface.

Toss the sliced peaches with the cornstarch, and lay them out in a roughly even layer. Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the top, as close to even as you can get.

Bake for 45 minutes. You want the top to be lightly brown and the fruit to be bubbling where it’s visible.

Munch munch munch.

many many responsibilities

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

I started my new job on June 4th – this Monday will mark the beginning of my twelfth week.

I’m kind of used to it now – to going to work in the morning and coming home in the afternoon and usually packing a lunch. This week, though, i started messing with my schedule – instead of running in the morning, I’ve been running at lunchtime. It’s nice because I get to sleep in a little, but I’m usually not hungry right after I run, so my lunch ends up just being nibbles of whatever I brought all afternoon.

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On Thursday I just had lots of snacky stuff. Tofu, a pretty good peach, peach pie, nuts, and the scalloped tomatoes with croutons.

I actually ate everything but the tofu – I just didn’t really feel like it. And then I was starving when I got home. Serves me right.

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I had some cheese and some naan and some wine when I got home.

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Then Crockett heated me up some semi-vindaloo and I ate it while we watched the last episode of the first season of The Walking Dead.

My favorite part of that show is when the lead character forgets to use his American accent.

(I’m calling the semi-vindaloo semi because it’s just pork simmered with onions in vindaloo spices and coconut milk. I think real vindaloo has a lot more going on.)

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Yesterday for lunch, my whole team (14 people!) went to Carino’s Italian Grill. It was seriously terrible. First of all, there is no such thing as a good restaurant experience when 14 people order at the same time – at least not somewhere with one server per section and a lunchtime rush. One guy ordered the unlimited soup, salad, and breadstick lunch, and got his second bowl of soup almost twenty minutes after he requested it. Another guy ordered a glass of wine – and it came with the check.

The bread on my meatball sandwich was good, but the meatballs were… odd. There was something GREEN in them. Pepperoncini, maybe? The fries were covered with parmesan cheese, which was the only good thing about them. At all.

Plus the whole thing literally took like two hours.

My night was a much better experience. It was the last Louisville Street Faire, so Crockett and I met up with some friends and my mom and took in some tunes and some drinks and generally painted the town red. We got home at after 1, which is SO LATE.

I got up at 11 today.

It’s like I’m in my twenties or something up in here y’all.

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Is it weird that I took a picture of my mom and myself in the bathroom of a restaurant? No? Thanks, I didn’t think so either.

How was your Friday night?

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.

do zombies like salad?

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I’m having a weird week – I have this thing where I just get these headaches every day for a few days, and then no headaches for ages. Since it’s cyclical, I suspect it’s a girl thing? Cyclical things always are. Stupid cycles.

Anyway, it always makes me feel kind of off. My sleep patterns get wonky, because of naps, and I don’t feel like my brain is working at it’s full potential.

Oh, and one of my aunts thinks that she got bedbugs at the lodge this weekend. That’s not really helping with the sleep.

I’m not telling you this for any useful reason, it’s just true. I should have blogged last night, but I actually forgot. Like, forgot I was a blogger. I watched The Walking Dead and also watched Crockett fold laundry instead.

Brain dead, zombie style.

 

Other examples: those things attaching my hand to the puppies? Yeah, those are belts. I couldn’t remember where I’d left their leashes.

I took this picture (why, oh why, do blackberries mold so fast?) without realizing there was a ghost (alternately, a thumb) in the upper left corner.

Don’t worry, these blackberries weren’t moldy. It’s just that I had to eat like four pints in two days to be able to make that be a true statement.

This morning, post extremely slow one mile run, I carried around my breakfast shake and iced coffee all morning while getting ready…

and then with three minutes left before I had to leave, realized I hadn’t consumed any of either of them. Even though, yes, they accompanied me to the bathroom sink.

Anyway, can I tell you guys about the best and easiest salad dressing ever? I can? Awesome. I made it last night, even with my wonky headspace issues.

Miso Dressing

2 tablespoons sweet white miso paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Smoosh everything together until completely combined and toss with salad, preferably a chunky one. (The dressing doesn’t work better on chunky salads, I just don’t really approve of salads that aren’t full of stuff). Makes about two servings.

There are a lot of options here, of course.

  • You can add a little water if it seems too thick – you don’t want any chunks of paste left, because they turn into a weird, sort of gritty mouthful.
  • You can start with a different kind of miso, although I never do because the white is the mildest and I like that umami hint, not a full on miso flavored  salad. I get my miso paste at WholeFoods in a flat white container that snaps shut, and the paste keeps forever. The container I’m currently using expires 7/2013.
  • Different fat? Absolutely. Bacon fat would be nice on an appropriate salad, or a walnut or hazelnut oil (probably sub only half the olive oil out, unless you’re CRAY about the taste of your nut oil).
  • Different vinegar? Sure! A fruit vinegar would nicely complement a salad that contains fruit, of course. My salads always contain fruit, but I never have fruit vinegar. The only vinegar I’d skip would be a heavy balsamic, at least with white miso. Too powerful. White balsamic should be ok though.
For reals, it’s delicious. There’s no emulsifying, no herbs, no need to salt (although I usually lightly salt my salads after they’re dressed) – no issues at all, just tastiness.

 

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?

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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?