Tuesday, December 20, 2005
It's quite depressing. No baking cookies or Christmas tree or decorations. Lucky me, I get to look at every single thing we own and put it in a box, again, and have my hands get covered in newspaper ink. But the weekend should be nice spending time with my family and pretending that the move wasn't that big of a deal. No, really we don't need any help. We can take care of it ourselves.
I did make a batch of Swedish toffee in the microwave last night. Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a few more batches tonight or tomorrow to give out over the weekend.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
My husband, a friend and I went last night. If you're thinking about going on a Wednesday, you MUST make a reservation. We didn't the first time we went, but luckily were able to squeeze ourselves in at the sushi bar. It's very busy, hip, loud and crowded. The ambiance isn't my favorite, but I managed to get through it.
Our waiter explained a few things to us:
1. You have a 2 hour time limit on your table
2. You can only order once
3. You can not order sushi to-go
4. It takes a while for the sushi to come out so be patient
Feel the pressure?
I insisted we order the calamari appetizer because I was starving and knew it would be a while before our sushi came out. It was breaded and fried, then tossed with a sweet & spicy sauce. The sauce was good but made the breading soggy. Next time I would pass on the appetizer and just be more patient. We ordered big bottles of Sapporo and they tasted great while we waited!
Our reservation was at 6pm and the slab-of-sushi came out at about 7pm. I have to say that people were not shy with their ordering. I didn't think the wait was too bad. We ordered a ton and totally stuffed ourselves. It was real good, lets see if I can remember everything we got...
nigiri - salmon, yellow tail, eel, mackerel, tamago & scallop
rolls - spicy tuna, spicy california, alaska, shrimp california
After gorging ourselves (quickly - we only had 1 hour left to eat) the waiter came with our checks. Yes, you actually get 2. My husband asked why and the waiter explained that the 1st check was the regular amount and the 2nd was the real check that included the 1/2 price specials. He said "that's so people from Parma can figure out how much to tip. Ha, ha."
This guy was pretty attentive and mildly funny throughout the night but the more I think about this situation today, the more I am annoyed. My husband said to him: "Really? I'm from Parma." Even though he's not. Waiter: "Oh really? I'm from there too!" and added something about hanging out at Parmatown when he was a kid. Way to cover yourself dude. And are 2 checks the best way to handle the specials? Couldn't you have one check that deducts the discount at the bottom?
Well, the evening was great fun and the sushi was delicious. Does it taste even better because it's 1/2 price? Probably...I'm sure I will be back again.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Roast sausage, covered with foil, in a 350 degree oven for about 30 - 40 minutes, removing foil during last 10 minutes.
20 lbs pork butt
4 lbs cubed veal
5 Tbs. salt
3 Tbs. pepper
6 cloves garlic
2 coffee mugs of water
10 lbs pork
1 lb. veal
2 1/5 Tbs salt
3 Tbs pepper
5 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. marjoram
2 Tbs. savory
1 tsp. allspice
4 Tbs. paprika
1 coffee mug of water
10 lbs pork
1 lb. veal
2 1/5 Tbs salt
3 Tbs pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 Tbs marjoram
1 Tbs dill
1 1/2 tsp caraway seed (crushed)
1 coffee mug of water
Monday, December 12, 2005
Last night my husband and I went to his parents' house where he ground 4o lbs of pork and 6 lbs of veal - with a hand crank meat grinder. Then we kneaded each batch of meat for 25 minutes on the kitchen counter.
The packet of kielbasa recipes has grown a lot. We write down what we use each year, but never seem to be able to repeat a recipe. Always tweaking or changing things. Every year we go through these same questions, like a million times:
How much salt did we use last year?
Did mom's recipe really only call for 3 tsp. of pepper?
Do you think it needs more garlic?
Did you think it was too salty last year?
Do we have any more garlic?
Do you think it needs more salt?
Do you think it needs more pepper?
How much salt did I add?
We're stuffing the sausage tonight. I'll post the 2005 recipes tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Anyways, here's the thing....the book is a load of fad diet crap (like eating bowls and bowls and cups of leek broth for days!) and I kinda feel like I'm supporting this sort of fad diet crap by going to the author reading. I don't want to fall for fad diet crap, but I obviously did because I paid money for the book. I'm sure it won't be the last time either. My friend, who borrowed my book, actually made the broth and ate it. She is WAY worse than me!
What I am saying is that I enjoy author readings and I really want to have the French Lady sign my book. And I really do love the idea of being thin and drinking champagne every day. Ok? So, I am going to Strongsville with my friend who just might bring thermoses full of leek broth for us to "snack" on! I am so from the Midwest sometimes.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
For a Saturday night, the place was empty. We got there around 8:30pm and there were only 2 other tables of guests in the non-smoking side. When we left at 10pm we were the only ones left! They seated at a nice table against the front window - plants lined the window sill. There were little fake birds nestled between the leaves. A wine bottle with a drip candle was placed on each table. The whole restaurant had a nice, warm ambiance to it.
After ordering the beer special and picking up the menus we quickly realized that we were at one of those places where we have no clue what anything on the menu is. I love it when this happens! They do have nice descriptions of each dish and list all the ingredients, but still it was NEW to us!
On to the food...
We ordered the "you pick 3" appetizer plate. We picked:
1. Arepa de Reina Peplada (Venezuelan tortillas with an avocado & potato filling) I liked this filling a lot, it was really creamy and rich.
2. Chuchito de Pollo (corn flour dumplings, filled with chicken & special spices; steamed in cornhusks) OK
3. Ceviche de Tilapia (fresh tomato, onions, cilantro & tilapia in a lime juice marinade; with chips) *favorite*
Cochinita Costal (chunks of tender pork from the coastal Comals of Central America, bordered by a blue mound of singular cocoa milk rice with black bean accents, accompanied
by slabs of plantain) Pork was very tender and moist. They came in a fresh, chunky fresh tomato sauce. Rice sounded very exotic and was presented in an interesting cone shape on the plate, but was not very blue or cocoa-ish?. Pretty bland. The plantains were good.
Bife Borracho (pan seared beef in a drunken sauce of South American beer, tomatoes and onions. Served with saffron rice and broccoli.) He said that the sauce was really rich and liked it but thought I wouldn't because of all the onions. After eating the beef, my husband mixed the rest of the plate all together, coating the rice with the sauce and devoured every last grain.
A tiny chocolate cake with whipped cream on top. The waitress was a doll (and most likely bored at this point of the evening) and tried to make a smiley face on the little thing. This cake was about the size in circumference of a cupcake, but only a weee inch or so high. It was real dense and dark and moist. Not sweet, here's where my cocoa was hiding! But next time we each need to get our own cake.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I received my package from the purplepinkandorange November Craft Swap! My partner Kpoene' has her own clothing shop called Mignonette. She sent me the coolest t-shirt that is a very pretty pink color with flower petals sewn in (I stole the picture from her website). It reminds Kpoene' and me of cotton candy. Yummy :) Her site and clothes are cool - check them out and buy a Christmas gift for someone you love!
The sign-ups for BBM4 have already begun! This time it's hosted by the FoodNinja (that's really a kick ass name!) of our northern neighbor Canada. He's chosen to give it a musical theme. I am excited because really enjoy making people listen to what I want to hear. The jukebox has eaten many of my hard earned dollars, just so I could have a little power trip at the bar. BTW, what's up with the 2 songs for $1? Sometimes ONE depending on how popular/unpopular it is. What happened to 3/$1?
And for dinner tonight....Mashed potatos, brussel sprouts and the kielbasa we made last December. How long can you freeze sausage? Well, it is the last ring from 2004 and it will be history shortly. We make it every December- from SCRATCH! It's gross and smelly but lots of fun and a holiday tradition. I will make sure to post pictures this year.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
So, I am obviously excited to tell you what all was in my box of goodies. Of course I am not including a picture because I am the ONLY person on this earth with a blog and no digital camera...so lets just move on to the treats and borrowed images.
Twink included a really nice note telling me that she was just about to celebrate Hari Raya. She wrote that since she lives in a very mulit-cultural society most people are able to enjoy all different kinds of holidays.
A bunch of newspaper clippings with recipes and tons of cool info and pictures.
Boh Tea - lychee & rose flavored - from a local tea plantation.
A bag of murukku, which she described as a snack in India, kinda like we eat pretzels. It is made out of spicy dough that's deep fried. Maybe more like a cheeto? I'm saving these to share with my friend who visited South India on a college trip.
Kinder Bueno Chocolate
The first thing I ate...
Brahim's Kuah Masak Merah - Spicy Tomato Sauce
Quick curry dinner
Mildura Layer Cake with Cashewnut
I'm taking this to Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 21, 2005
2 6oz cans of skinless & boneless salmon (I used Trader Joe's)
2 eggs, beaten
12 saltines (give or take a few)
some onion powder
squirt of Gulden's mustard (I didn't have any mustard powder)
some chopped fresh parsely
1. Drain salmon and flake the meat into a bowl.
2. Add eggs, saltines, onion powder, mustard and parsely. Mix well to combine. Add additional crackers if too wet.
3. Form salmon mixture into 6 patties.
4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook patties until brown and then carefully flip over and brown on other side.
Serve hot with tatar sauce for dipping
This past Saturday we saw Walk the Line. He likes Cash and said he'd be my date. I thought it was a very good movie. Although, I agree with the Free Times review that Ray was better.
I also went with a group of friends on Sunday to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. My friend Jen wore the HP scarf I knitted her. No picture because I had to run it to her house the minute it was finished, but everyone knows what it looks like anyways!
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Anyways, Halite was awesome! The decision to go there was made last minute so we didn't have a reservation. The bar was our only seating option, there were lots of lingering diners that were not moving anytime soon. I had a glass of wine, my friend a cosmo and husband chivas on the rocks (he was trying to act grown-up). The barmaid brought us bread and olive tapenade to munch on while we waited. Everything on the menu looked good, of course we had a hard time making a decision. My friend ordered the porkchop special and my husband had the walley special. They both enjoyed the dinners and totally CLEANED their plates off. I decided on the fettucini con frutti di mare - it included little neck clams, salmon, muscles, calamari and shrimp. I have never had calamari that was sooo tender. It was almost the same texture as the fettucini! We were very pleased with Halite and we will be back, with a reservation.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Son: Dad, what is that?
Dad: Well (some hesitation) that's supposed to be President Lincoln's doody.
Me: HA, HA, HA, HA! LAUGHING OUT LOUD!
Kids & Dad: LAUGHING OUT LOUD TOO!
After all that museum fun, we were starving. We walked back to Penn Station and saw that the train we needed to get on was leaving. We hopped on without getting our tickets and took the train to the harbor to get some lunch. Well of course we got busted for NOT having a ticket. The conductor was really mean and we couldn't wait to get off that train. We ate at a REALLY touristy place called Tir Na Nog Irish Bar and Grill . Being a little tired of doing stuff "off the beaten track" we liked the idea of sitting out on their patio and enjoying the sun, while have a beer of course! I actually got a club and colcannon (instead of fries) which was quite tasty! They were REAL mashed potatoes, creamy and just a bit lumpy. I could go for some right now!
Our last adventure was to walk to the only part of Baltimore we had not seen yet - Federal Hill. It was Sunday afternoon and there was nothing going on. We had a beer at some empty bar. Tricia wanted to have another but I said no because it was getting late. Back on the train (with tickets) to our dumpy hotel, pick up our luggage, back on the train towards the airport. Wow. We didn't leave enough time for the trip to the airport. I was very nervous. The boarding time was 5:40pm. We got to the gate at 5:45pm. But, no worries! Our plane was late!
To wrap up the trip: I had a good time hanging out with my friend. Totally wished we would have had a car and some other destinations planned. The weather was absolutely beautiful the entire weekend and we really enjoyed it! Would I go back? No. Would I suggest other people to visit? I doubt it.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Saturday - Due to problems with train transfers we took a cab to the area known as Hampden Village. One of the, well, maybe the only reason I suggested vacationing in Baltimore was to go to Atomic Books. Let's just say I have a "thing" for John Waters and he has his fan mail sent there. Lots of zines and comic books. I could have spent all day browsing. My other favorite store was Ma Petite Shop - all they sold were chocolates and shoes!!! Very yummy! Oh, I also bought myself a pair of sparrow earrings from the CUTEST store called Oh! Said Rose.
I researched for our trip extensively. I tried to find cool places to visit and good places to eat. Well, numerous resources said if you wanted to eat a crab cake, it should come from Faidley's found at the Lexington Market. This is where the "misadventures" begin. As I mentioned before, we needed a car. To be honest, the area around the market was pretty scary. I just want to say that the crab cake was absolutely the best I have ever eaten and was worth the trip but at the same time I didn't feel safe walking around. I am usually not worried about things like that but I was in an unfamiliar setting. Also in their market area they sold oysters on the half shell. These were the biggest oysters I have ever seen or eaten! I made Tricia try one and she gagged on it. Damn it, she wasted a really good oyster!
After lunch we pretty much ran back to our hotel and took a little rest, changed clothes and got ready for the evening. Our first stop was a 100th Anniversary Greek Festival. Not so much fun. We left and stopped for a drink at a local dive bar to rethink our plans. We had play tickets and needed to kill 3 hours. Things started to get boring. Conversation slowed down. We were starting to get tired and cranky. The tv was all consuming. Should we leave this area and try to find someplace better to hang out? Should we hop on a train and go to D.C.? Eating Indian food killed our 3 hours. After dinner we attended a play at the Theatre Project, checked out Brewer's Art and ended up finishing the evening off with potato skins at a gay bar.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Friday - Safely arrived, took the train from the airport to our hotel and missed our stop. Walked to the Mount Vernon Hotel. Now, this hotel got mixed reviews online. We thought that since it was a hospitality management school's hotel, we would be supporting the school and that it could be interesting. Well, the place was a dump. There was no air conditioning. We had to have someone come and prop open the window (that had no screen) so that we could breath. There was no fan in the bathroom so the ceiling was moldy! The continental breakfast options were white toast, english muffins, brown bananas and cereal. The train stop was only a few blocks away but it was blocks of abandoned buidings. The Art Museum was only a few blocks away too, but in the opposite direction.
After putting our bags in the room we went to the harbor area and walked over to the American Visionary Art Museum. We were very hungry by then and first ate lunch at the Joy America Cafe. I had a beef fig quesadilla with a side of soggy fries and a Red Stripe - the Red Stripe was the best part. The museum had a very interesting exhibit about race, class and gender and beautiful mirror mosaics everywhere. Lots of inspiration! We bought some souveniers from the museum shop. One noticable thing was their lack of artists' merch. Although I was hoping to get a Ku Shu Lan (Chinese paper crafter) poster, I was like....duh, this woman cut up paper to decorate the mud walls in her Western China cave home. Um, maybe that's not something that should be reproduced for a tourist to hang up in her downstairs apartment in Northeast Ohio. Anyways, their sculpture buiding was kick ass and included a braball.
After the museum we took a Water Taxi to Fells Point for dinner and drinks. First we stopped at an Irish place called Kooper's Tavern. We then ate a dozen steamed crabs with mallets at Obrycki's and spent the rest of the evening at the Full Moon Saloon listening to bands, including one called Cowboy Amnesia.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I only got one bite of the salad so I can't really give a good review. I made it yesterday afternoon so that my husband would have something to eat when he got home from work. I had to work until 10pm and there was nothing left for me when I got home...geeze, thanks a lot! He seemed perplexed by the quinoa, although it didn't stop him from eating it all. I told him it was a grain and good for him and to just be quiet. Further investigation today, led me to the fact that it IS NOT REALLY a grain but "the seed of a leafy plant that's distantly related to spinach." Huh. I'm glad I found out the truth!
I used a little less salt and olive oil and cooked the onions with the peppers.
1 1/4 C. quinoa, washed and drained at least 4 times, until the water runs clear
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 red peppers, cored, seeded, and julienned
1 jalepeno chile, seeded and julienned
juice from 1 lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 small red onion, finely diced
Toast the quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Add 2 cups boiling water and the salt, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the red peppers and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Ina large bowl, whisk together the reaming Tbs. oil, the lime juice, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir int eh peppers, cilantro, onion, and quinoa. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I am not sure which is the correct spelling but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about here - lovely, little Christmas cookies with tasty fillings. I used to make these with my grandma when I was little. She was a good Polish grandma...big and fun and generous and loud and kind. I do miss her a lot.
I made these last night for my BBM3 partner! I filled some with the Raspberry Jam I made in September and some with apricot or nut filling from the store! I cheated not having the time or energy to make all the fillings from scratch. Grandma never did either!
I had a few problems with my cookies "opening up" in the oven. They unfolded themselves. I believe the problem was that they were too small. One recipe I found used egg whites to glue the flaps together. I don't think this is necessary, but an option if you need it. Also, don't forget that the cookies are IN THE OVEN! While innocently checking my email, I did just that. One batch in the trash.
My grandma's original recipe used margerine!!! I followed these instructions:
Kolachki (about 2-3 dozen)
1/2 C. butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 C. flour
jam or preserves for filling
1. Preheat oven to 350. Allow cream cheese and butter to soften to room temperature Mix till well until fluffy.
2. Add Flour a little at a time and mix in till well blended.
3. Make dough into a ball, you can chill it in the fridge for easier rolling.
4. Roll dough out into a square shape 1/8 inch thick on board sprinkled with flour or confectioners sugar or a combination.
5. Cut the dough into 2 inch squares and place about ½ tsp of filling in the middle; draw up sides of dough around filling & pinch FIRMLY to seal.
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
7. Cool for a couple of minutes then place on wire rack to cool.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Luisa kindly posted about Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Mustard Bread Crumbs on The Wednesday Chef. This is the recipe I used for for Halloween dinner! Turned out real well too!
Monday, October 31, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
So, I treated myself to some yummy sushi from Kimo's Sushi Shop in Ohio City - this was my first visit. The presentation in my to go box was beautiful, even after being tossed around in my car. I had a piece of tuna nigiri, salmon nigiri, a california roll and a dynamite roll -to go. The nigiri pieces were huge, it was absolutely necessary to eat them with 2 bites. The outside of the california roll was covered with a substantial amount of orange roe, which is one of my favorite things about sushi. Those little eggs are like a party in my mouth! The dynamite roll was rolled in black sesame seeds and also really good. They were cooking some Udon noodle soup that smelled delish. Must try some next time!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Things I drive to Pittsburgh for: Mattress Factory, Carnegie Museums, Andy Warhol, Raphael Vinoly, bridges, & of course IKEA.
Well, back to my BOOKS! Not only did Linda send me 2 books, she also included a great postcard telling me a little about how she grew up on old fashioned English children's books. She loved the magic and the realistically imperfect children of E. Nesbit's Five Children and It.
She told me that she found The Princess & the Goblin truly scary! The copy she sent me is from a vintage edition from the Looking Glass Library (not the one pictured below) - it's in perfect condition!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
We had waaaaay too much food and beer, but it's always better to have too much rather than not enough. The cider (I tripled this recipe, threw in a hand full of cinnamon sticks and served it out of a big coffee server to keep it hot) and raspberry bars (Sept & Oct 2005 issue of Cook's Illustrated) were a crowd pleaser. I will be sure to make them again.
Hot Spiked Cider
1 quart water
3 orange tea bags
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 c. apple cider
1 1/2 c. Captain Morgan's
Pour water into saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and toss in the orange spice tea bags. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in sugar, apple cider and rum. Heat just to steaming - do not boil.
And Magpie posted that she received her package from me. Happy Halloween!
Monday, October 24, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I finally started to knit a Harry Potter scarf last night for my friend. I promised her I'd have it finished by the time Goblet of Fire movie comes out -Nov. 18th! Since it took me an entire night to figure out how to use circular needles, I really better get crackin'. I'm following the pattern from atypically.knit. Directions are to knit rows of 70 stitches. I've finished one stripe and have already added 2 stitches. I am not starting over again.
FYI - I am not a wierd Harry Potter fan. I read the first 3 books and liked them quite a lot, but decided I will not be devoting my time to read all 7. I should read Goblet of Fire again though. You know, during all my free time when I'm not working on the scarf.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
How is it that I try a seemingly simple recipe and fail?
I followed Adam's post on the Barefoot Contessa's version. Pretty simple...put a lemon, head of garlic and some thyme inside the bird. Brush it with butter and roast. How can you screw it up?
Well, the entire house filled with smoke. I'm pretty sure it was the butter and drippings burning in the bottom of the roasting pan. Wow, I'm a freakin' genius. Can someone tell me how to roast a bird and not make my husband think I'm burning the house down? What am I doing wrong? I added water to the pan and that seemed to help a little. Not much. Then, to add insult to injury, I took it out before it was done. I just wanted to stop the smoke! We nibbled on the wings while the bird went back in. I just wrapped it in foil and threw it back in the oven. Ugh.
I should have bought a rotisserie.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
- got some cool heirloom pumpkins from Rosby's to put out on the front porch
- had breakfast at Nate's, stopped at the Market for some cinnamon almonds
- took a drive out to Blue Jay Orchard in Hiram and bought some apples
- ate lunch in Garrettsville (not so yummy)
- went to Tremont for the Art Walk. Thanks to Tremonter for posting about the Mutt Hutt's Doggie Disco - in was fun!
- watched Pulp Fiction - it's been so long since I saw that movie, it was like I had never seen it before!
I am just about to get off work now. This afternoon is not going to be near as much fun as yesterday. We have plans to do lawn work and clean the garage, in preparation for our Pumpkin Carving Party next Saturday. That I am looking forward to.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Here's what you have to do:
Do a Google image search of the following and post the first (or favorite) result for each:
* The name of the town where you were born
* The name of the town where you live now
* Your name
* Your grandmother's name (just pick one)
* Your favorite food
* Your favorite drink
* Your favorite song
* Your favorite smell
I was born in Cleveland...
I live in Clevand! It will soon look like this...
Grandma (Victoria Falls)...
Ok, this is disgusting!
Drink it, don't smoke it...well, snort it.
I can't stop listening to the White Stripes, Blue Orchid
Can you smell them?
Oven 400 degrees
6 small potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. old bay
I used my gradma's old french fry cutter to slice the potatoes into traditionally shaped french fries, but you could also do wedges. It will just take longer to cook. Add oil and seasonings to potatoes and toss to coat. Lightly spray cookie sheets (2) with cooking spray and arrange fries in a single layer. Flip fries after 10 minutes. Cook an additional 10 - 20 minutes depending on size of potatoes.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I live 1 block away and it's very dangerous. I somehow feel it's ok to eat ice cream if I walk there. I got a single, in a cup, in a sugar cone, chocolate pecan and strawberry. That's right! A single with 2 flavors! I didn't even know that was possible until I heard another customer do it this past summer. The truth is that you really get 2 scoops in a single, so why not get 2 flavors? Genius. Although, I kinda feel a little guilty ordering it. The workers have to scoop from 2 different freezer containers for one cone. And I usually end up wishing I had gotten all chocolate pecan, because it is the best flavor anyways.
I heard tonight that they're last day open is going to be November 22 (pumpkin pecan!). You better go soon, or you'll have to wait for St. Patrick's Day (pistachio!).
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
So, today I found this recipe at Epicurious to use up my tomatoes: Bulgur Pilaf with Roasted Tomatoes, Onions, and Garbanzo Beans. I just roasted the onions first and then added the tomatoes from yesterday, garlic and chickpeas and roasted them all together for about 10 minutes in the oven. I didn't bother adding the dill or lemon juice (didn't have either) and it still had lots of flavor. Probably from the herbs added to the initial batch of slow roasted tomatoes.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Go sign up now...
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
2 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
1 spaghetti squash
3 red apples
3 yellow apples
1 head of cabbage
4 bell peppers
1 bear of HONEY!
1 jar of homemade pepper jelly!
Also, today I'm sending out my postcards for the Swap Bot postcard swap. Lots of flamingos will be going through the mail! Do flamingos fly?
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I am way off base here?
I hope that these publications are trying to promote local business. Maybe I'm supposed to say to myself "Best Frisbee Golf"---that sounds like fun!" and that's great. But when they list Border's as the Reader's Poll Winner for "Best Bookstore", like I said before---it kinda annoys me. I know that a lot of people buy books at Borders.
Friday, September 30, 2005
My gal Rebecca from New York sent me a really great box of goodies...delicious chocolate chip banana mini-muffins (which I ate most of in my car), her "secret" sugar cookies (covered with blue sprinkles), a bottle of onion chutney from London, spicy mixed nuts, a little shaker of extra spicy spice plus a bunch of weird candy! Including a cute little box of Dutch chocolate sprinkles--DeRuyter. I'm waiting for a really special morning to eat those on my toast!
Thanks so much Rebecca for sending me all the great treats and to Samantha for hosting BBM2!!! And I had a wonderful time putting my package together and sending it off to Heather ---hope she likes it and looking forward to BBM3!
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Makes 5 half pint jars
3/4 lb peppers
2 cups cider vinegar (divided)
6 cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin
orange food coloring (optional)
Prepare and process canning jars and lids according to pectin directions.
Wash peppers and drain. Remove stems and seeds - remember to wear gloves! Puree peppers and 1 cup of vinegar in a food processor or blender. Combine puree, remaining vinegar and sugar in a large sauce pot. Bring to boil, boil for 10 minutes stirring constantly. Stir in liquid pectin. Return to rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Stir in a few drops of food coloring if desired. Ladle hot jelly into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims of jars and fit with 2 piece lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Unfortunately, the figs I purchased to make preserves were starting to get moldy! I had to throw them all away. I only had them in the fridge for 3 days. I guess it was too long. Now I have 3 vanilla beans with no plans for use. Maybe I'll buy more figs. How long do they last?
I made hot pepper jam this afternoon instead. The recipe only made 5 half pint jars, but how much of this stuff can you use? It's supposed to be good with cream cheese on crackers or with chicken. At least I used the peppers for something and didn't let them go to waste.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I still have one bag left in there...for a winter strawberry shortcake.
Signed up for a Amy's Halloween Swap!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I went to the local berry farm and picked 4 quarts of raspberries! Yay! I brought along my ipod for company and listened to George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl. It was a nice to plug up my ears and ignore everyone else, besides a few bugs and crying kids in the field.
Anyways, at the end of the night I was left with 18 jars of seedy, ruby red, raspberry jam. I have some strawberries I picked last June in the freezer which may be turned into jam as well this week.
Last week I went to Aladdin's Baking Company for lunch and they had cases of fresh figs in! Oh, were they gorgeous, but what the heck would I do with a CASE of figs? Then, (I think it was a sign) I came across Fig Preserves with Vanilla from the hungry tiger. It sounds like a match made in heaven to me.
Signed up for Swap-bot's postcard swap!
Saturday, September 17, 2005
I bet that Gunther von Hagens is a really interesting fellow. I better find a biography and read up on him.
Friday, September 16, 2005
We had really crappy seats in the 3rd last row! I waited too long to get tickets and paid for it in the end. Other than that, we had a great time. I love that Jack White!
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Last night I did an enormous amount of slicing and chopping. The CSA delivery brought me a head of cabbage last week that I need to use. Cabbage and Nooodles sounded lovely, but aren't necessarily the healthiest thing to make for h. so I decided to do a Vietnamese chicken cabbage salad.
Yesterday afternoon I ran over to Trader Joe's to pick up a few items (salmon and not corn dogs). They just happened to be passing out samples of chicken salad. I was sold right then and there! I thought it must be a sign and put a bottle in my cart. It was tasty and much easier than making the dressing myself. Long list of ingredients to purchase.
I sliced my head of cabbage and a red pepper real thin like, poached and shredded some chicken, added some shredded carrots and topped it off with a sprinkling of peanuts. I made a little assembly line with the dressing at the end. I didn't mix it all together because I thought it would get soggy. We used up all the cabbage and have a bit of chicken left over. Perfect for making some "regular" chicken salad today.
Friday, September 09, 2005
When you start to hide food boxes and fast food wrappers from your h. I think it's getting pretty bad. There is definetly something wrong with me.
So, why is this post titled "take out"? Because I need to be taken out of my house! And my friend and her new husband are coming over for dinner tomorrow. We were planning on grilling out in the backyard, but as I write this I had the fantastic idea of just getting Siam Cafe take out. You see, I work all day every Saturday this semester. That's right! It's my ONLY full day right now. And I don't feel like spending my Friday night grocery shopping and then rushing home on Saturday to work. This is so unlike me. I pine to be be the hostess with the mostess.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Our friend has a little garden in her backyard and gave us 4 huge tomatoes. They were enourmous! Well, I decided to make a recipe adapted from Toast's Farm Box series. A very valuable series of posts when you have so much produce on hand! Not only did I procrastinate for an entire week, letting those plump tomatoes get redder and redder and start to bruise from sitting on the counter for so long, then after finally processing the tomatoes I left the bowl in the fridge for two days! Today, I finally made the tomato sauce. Have I used it yet? No. I bought chicken and angel hair pasta but alas, I had to come to work. And I doubt I will start making dinner at 10:30 tonight.
Blast! That reminds me....I left my container of yogurt in my PURSE! I forgot to put it in the fridge :(
p.s. That's right....the majority of the time I'm "working" I read and write blogs! That's what I'm doing to pass the time right now. Oh, you do it too! Well, I doubt mine but someone's!
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Sunday, September 04, 2005
A few friends and I went to the Ingenuity Festival last Friday night. I'm so happy that there are people in Cleveland who have the courage and determination to try and do something here. I'm planning on going back sometime today. Here's to many, many more festivals in the years to come!!! Cheers!
edit: I did submit my 3rd recipe! The website worked the next day! Hooray!
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
This recipe came out surprisingly well. I haven't had much luck cooking rice dishes before, and the rice still was a little underdone, but I would make it again. I might try using vegetable broth instead of chicken. One comment, the author of this recipe refers to this as Mexican when my h. immediately tasted the cumin and said it tasted Indian. We ate it with bean burritios.
Serves 4 to 6
Arroz verde, or green rice, is not as well known as Spanish rice, but it is an equally good choice to accompany Mexican food. Cilantro and parsley lendthe rice the green color and fresh herbal flavor.
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup long-grain white rice
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-highheat. Add the onions and jalapeño and sauté, until softened, about 3minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro and parsley, and cook,stirring, for 30 seconds.
2. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender with 1/2 cup of thebroth. Blend until smooth.
3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan over medium heat. Addthe rice and cook, stirring, until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the herbpuree and cook, stirring, to evaporate most of the liquid, about 2 minutes.Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups broth, stir, cover, and lower the heat tomedium-low. Simmer without stirring, until the rice is tender and the liquidis absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, without stirring for 10 to 15minutes.
5. Fluff with a fork and serve, garnished with additional cilantro.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Anyhoo, the marsala came out pretty good. The sauce was rich, but you needed more to coat your noodles or rice. I wish they included some side dish suggestions.
Is there a better marsala wine than what they sell in the vinegar isle at g. eagle. When I have NO options, I feel like the ingredient can not be superior.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
That's what I had for lunch yesterday. It was a great day for soup...rainy and a little chilly. I love that weather. The last days before fall.
I made stuffed CSA peppers last night. Cous cous with 3 ears of left over corn on the cobb (i cut it off the cobb) plus a can of chopped tomatoes with the green chilies in them. Wah-la!
Today's lunch was a sandwich from Aladdin's Baking Company. I wanted a chicken gyro and they looked at me like I asked them for pierogi. How hard is it to substitute the chicken for the lamb? The giant rotating slabs of meat are right next to each other. The guy talked me into a #1 chicken sandwich, minus the garlic, plus the cucumber sauce. wtf? In addition, I wanted NO ONIONS. I don't like onions. When I was little I didn't like tomatoes either but I decided that was childish thing to dislike and have gotten over it. Not onions. I hate cooked, raw, red, yellow, white, green & chives. Maybe I will get over it too. Guess what was on my sandwich. It depressed me, but didn't stop me from eating it.
And last of all I just came back from Ginza where I stuffed myself with a girl from work. We have not had the greatest week and needed a beer and some raw fish to make us feel better. I'm not sure I know what good sushi is. I had one bad, very bad, sushi experience in Bloomfield Hills, MI. What's funny is that h. and I liked this particular place a lot and my illness did not stop us from returning many more times. The staff was real sweet.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day at work. I am already dreading it. But the weekend will soon be here. hooray!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Drove in on Friday. Took the NJ Transit into the city and met them for dinner at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School. That was fun. Food was all vegan and delicious. Note: They only serve dinner on Fridays at 6:30 so you need to make a reservation and it's BYOB.
We visited MOMA on Saturday afternoon. I wouldn't recommend this. It was REALLY busy. The new building was impressive and of course the art was fabulous. Just pick another day and/or time to go. We had coffee and pastries at the Cafe on the 2nd floor (there are 2 cafes and a restaurant). Portions were small and very pricey. I noticed that everyone eating cleaned their plates off.
Saturday night we ate at a Italian place in Brooklyn. I don't remember the name of the restaurant but the pasta, vodka sauce and caprice salad was great.
Sunday we went for a drive to the Delaware Water Gap and walked around some little touristy downtown areas. Mostly antique shops and crafty galleries. We had $4 smoothies all around, and big pretzel braids. I could have skipped the smoothie.
Sunday night we had Indian buffet in NJ, near the parents' house. I don't know that I've ever had Indian food that wasn't buffet. Besides a samosa from the place in the Arcade food court downtown. What would I order off a menu???
On the ride home h. and I discussed visiting India with his parents. Btw, his step-father is from India. They visit just about every other year. H. doesn't think he could mentally handle that trip. I say he has to suck it up and deal. We have to go.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Yesterday afternoon I tried making hot pepper jelly. I had jalapeno, santa fe grande and hungarian black peppers. I googled and found a recipe from Kraftfoods.com---it called for the biggest amount of hot peppers (3/4 cup). Well, the recipe is called Certo Hot Pepper Jelly. I figured Certo was the brand of pectin and that 1 box of Certo would equal one box of ball or sure jell pectin. Well, I didn't figure right. Maybe because it's Canadian? I don't know what happened but none of my jelly set up and now I have 8 jars of hot pepper liquid. ugh! I even bought new cute ball jars for this project :( Now I have to empty them all and am not going to have platinum lids to replace the used ones. Why???
Last night I thought I was going to have some company for dinner but ended up eating alone. I made some Trade Joe wild salmon and patty pans on the grill. Then my friend and I went downtown to Mall B to see E.T. under the stars---the movies are put on by Parkworks. Nice family fun! I ate too many tortilla chips and candy bars, yes bars!
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
- lots of heirloom cherry tomatoes
- zucchini (I grated and froze 8 cups for future zucchini bread)
- lots of hot peppers
- banana peppers
- green peppers
- some indistinguishable squash? eggplants? I don't know what they are but they're very pretty--purple and yellow striped. I'm going to email the farmer and see what the heck they are.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
My in-law's are visiting my aunt-in-law (is that a real relation?) in Florida and we were asked to dog sit. Thank goodness they know a lot of people and we only have to do the night shift. Feed, water and entertain 3 border collies each night. What fun. I like the dogs but they are a pain in the butt. The neighbors complained and called the POLICE because they were barking at night and kept them up!!! The parents are coming home tomorrow so it's almost over.
The good thing about dog sitting is that they have CABLE. Last night my husband worked till about midnight (this is not unusual) and I had complete control of the remote. Ha! I sat on the couch and "entertained" the dogs for a good 2 hours. I watched some TLC, Food TV and was so happy to catch Anthony Bourdain's new show No Reservations on the Travel Channel. I was a HUGE fan of his show on the Food Channel and this was very similar. Not sure why this is on the Travel Channel but whatever, I enjoyed it. The episode last night was all about New Jersey. They showcased some cheese, made from only grass fed cow's milk, that I must try!
Monday, August 08, 2005
I haven't really cooked anything lately (is this becoming a habit?) due to a) being busy b) being lazy and c) there being no food in the house. So, my husband and I went grocery shopping last night after we ate dinner at Tommy's. The idea of shopping and then coming home and cooking and doing dishes exhausts me. We haven't been to Tommy's in a while and it was a real treat.
This morning I did make us oatmeal for breakfast and veggie wraps for lunch. I hope he is not putting too much faith in oatmeal. Just eating a bowl a day will not lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. He doesn't even like oatmeal. It's a chore for him to eat it.
Today I'm going to check out the American Heart Association's No Fad Diet, I got from the library. I know that there are tons of recipes I should be trying out. Hopefully, I'll be inspired today to make something fabulous!
This getting "healthy" is tough. Exercise is going to be a must soon. I loathe exercising. Should I start Jazzercising again? It's lame, but it worked for me before.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Still working on the lifestyle changes.
On a happier note, I sign up the other day for "Blogging by Mail 2" over at The Samantha Files. I think it will be great fun and am starting to think of what I'll put in my package that says : CLEVELAND!
Monday, August 01, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Sunday, I had to cram in 2 social events and needed make 2 *quick* desserts in the morning. I decided on a recipe I had been wanting to try in Everyday Food for a Rustic Apple Tart. Never having worked with frozen puff pastry before I didn't realize that you have to THAW the dough before you can work with it. duh. So, I thawed it in the microwave and surprisingly it worked! I made 2 tarts---one peach and one apple. Both were well received by the crowds. Definitely a keeper.
I started thinking that I could try making the puff pastry myself and forget the frozen stuff...but doesn't that defeat the purpose of a *quick* recipe? Would it really taste any better if I made it from scratch?
Oh, here's an idea for the grill from my in-laws. They stuffed banana peppers with italian sausage and threw them on the grill, served with a little marinara on the side. Nice way to use those peppers.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Must cook squash before it goes bad...I will feel terribly sad if I waste my CSA produce.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
So far i've paid $90 and gotten 2 soft coolers to store/hold the food that gets dropped off at my house and one shipment of food delivered. I just wished we would have gotten a few more tomatoes---they were incredibly sweet. The CSA people did promise not to overload us with squash too often---two people can only eat so much squash! The shipment contained:
- 2 heads of lettuce
- 2 pickles (my husband was very happy about these!)
- 1 green pepper
- 1 hot pepper
- 2 big zucchini
- 2 zephyr squash
- 2 papaya pear squash
- a bunch of patty pan squash
- 6 eggs
- a baggie of cherry tomatoes
Everything we've eaten has been delicous and really fresh tasting. We've grilled lots of sqash and made many salads. I used the eggs to make Oeuf Cocotte and am going to try stuffing the patty pans tonight with another recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini called Courgettes Rondes Farcies.
The questions I have about the CSA are----how many more deliveries will there be? and, would it be cheaper and/or easier for me to pick out the produce I want at one of the farmer's markets? But, I'm in love with the delivery aspect...it's fun to come home to a cooler full of scrumption surprises!!!
what i can't find much about is food or restaraunts or cooking in cleveland. there's the cleveland.com food forum...which is interesting, but not very busy. i havn't come across anyone cooking and posting either. maybe i just haven't found them yet. i will keep looking and i guess i'll start spending some of my time posting rather than just reading. why not?