Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

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.









So close

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I am done with everything but my 20 page term paper on the implications of Fair Trade on global poverty levels.

I have been avoiding this paper for a month.

It’s due at 11 on Thursday, and I basically just started this afternoon. I mean, I’ve been ‘researching’ it for several weeks, but when I looked at what I had this afternoon when I put pen to paper I realized I was missing ~75% of the actual research I needed.

For the past two days, one of my avoidance methods has been cooking. Oh, and organizing my recipes. I just started using MacGourmet – any experience, anyone? I’m all in now, so I’m using it either way, but I’m not as pleased as I’d hoped. Mostly I bookmarked recipes I wanted to try before, but that had the potential for things to get lost in the morass, so this is definitely an upgrade.

One of the lost recipes was Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Baked Chicken Fingers.

We ate them with homemade baked beans and mustard to dip them in, and they were pretty tasty. They were even better the next day, sliced up for open faced sandwiches with a garlic herb cheese spread and strawberry jam, as shown above.

I totally didn’t used to get panko. What, I said to myself, could be so freaking special about bread crumbs?

Yeah, I’m not very smart sometimes.

Also, there are these artichoke croquette thingies that… ok, I missed it when I made them the first time (I mean, I was there, but we had a bunch of people over and I didn’t manage to take pictures before they got all snapped up), but I’ll make them again and then share them with you guys. SO GOOD.


This weekend I did some homework, and made some chocolate chip cookies so that our cookie jar didn’t look all sad and lonely.

Don’t worry, I made more than this. The rest are in the freezer. I’m rationing.

Also, we went to Lowe’s.

While we were driving home with my plants, it started to snow.

Since I suspected that seedlings wouldn’t do so well in the snow, I relocated them all to the front window. Those two flowers in front are the extent of my ornamental purchases. Behing them is some special ground cover kind of basil, romaine, corn, peppers (NOT bell)…

… thai basil, genovese basil, sage, mint, greek oregano, and probably something else I’m forgetting.

I also bought a whole bunch of seeds to plant around these – it’s the best combination of instant gratification and self control.

As you can see, our front window is sort of a greenhouse thing. It has glass on all three sides and the ceiling. It’s been killing my plants since I moved in.

I solved that problem by turning it into the desert.

An alien cactus dessert.

Some miniature Jade trees.

A grafted cactus.

Are you asking yourself if these plants are in a bowl, a gravy boat, and a mug, respectively?

Yes, yes they are.

These are all things that I used before I moved. We integrated our favorite things, and some crockery just didn’t make the cut – which doesn’t mean I can’t use it.

Also? A GIGANTIC yucca.

Oh wait, I mean a mini Yucca.

Ok, fine – perhaps it’s roughly a head sized yucca.

Way to ruin my fun.

For dinner that night I found my self starving allofasuddenhadtoeatRIGHTTHEN.

I made a super quick quasi-ramen – the broth is water with a little soy sauce, ketchup, siracha, and rice vinegar. I just boiled it up and poured it over some soba noodles and some microwaved stir fry vegetables.

Classy? No.

Stomach void filling? Yes.

Ok. Coffee. Fair trade. Poor people. Etc.

Later dudes.