Tuesday, August 30, 2005

green rice

Testing Recipe #2 green rice.
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.

Green Rice
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

tired and broke

I am failing miserably at being a recipe tester. I kinda forgot about it until last Friday. I spent like $50 on my veal marsala! I ran out of time, energy and money over the weekend to complete the other two recipes. My in-laws gave us a bunch of peaches, so I'm closer to making the peach pie. And green rice shouldn't cost much. Last night I ate a can of butter beans for dinner. Yes, that's how tired I was. Pathetic!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

veal marsala-test recipe

I made my first Good Home Cookbook test recipe last night. Veal Marsala. I also made a batch of Chicken Marsala because I had prepped enough ingredients for 2 batches. The recipe called for 1/2 c. of chicken broth in the list of ingredients but didn't mention it in the directions....no wonder they have people testing these recipes! Don't they have editors?

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

lunches & dinners

I love #1 Pho. I love P1.
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


My husband (h.) and I went to New Jersey to visit his mother and step-father. The weekend went really well, h. only had 2 mother meltdowns.

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

the good and the bad

Over the past few days I've been working on using up my csa produce. I made a cherry tomato and pasta dish from The Amateur Gourmet that was quite good.

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

yesterday's csa delivery

  • 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.

test recipes

I signed up (like a million other people) to be a recipe tester for The Good Home Cookbook. If you would like to be a recipe tester too, sign up here. Yesterday I was assigned 3 recipes --- Veal Marsala, Green Rice & Glazed Peach Pie.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

tv fix

We don't have cable, we have 2 sets of rabbit ears. There are a few shows we have been known to watch during the week----Desperate Housewives, Miami CSI (when do the new epsisodes start anyways?) & Hell's Kitchen---but we don't watch that much. If we had cable I think I'd watch much more. So, we don't. We have cable internet only.

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

wedding weekend

Whew! My friend's wedding was last Saturday...the third of 3 weddings we attended this summer. I have a huge sense of relief that they are over. Now this means summer is almost over too, but that isn't even phasing me yet. The end of summer does not mean the same thing when you're grown up and work every summer not to mention every fall, winter & spring!

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

very busy...

Havn't cooked much lately due to working late and dealing with life in general. I just finished catching up with dirty dishes last night and didn't have the heart to make any new ones. Ended up going to the bar for a few beers and chicken tenders, and then feeling guilty for eating those chicken tenders. I have GOT to stop eating fried food. Sometimes I feel like I'm really getting out of control. The more I know I shouldn't eat junk food, the more i crave it.

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

grillin' at the pool

I went over my friend Jen's parents' house this past weekend---they were out of town and it felt a little high school-ish, but FUN. They have a huge pool and hot tub that we enjoyed all afternoon into the evening. Her husband cooked this gigantic pork tenderlion that he had to cut in half so he could fit it on the grill! It was delicous! Then her brother made us all b-a-n-a-n-a splits. He made a slit in all the bananas and grilled them in their skins, drizzled with honey, sugar & cinnamon. Added a scoop of ice cream. Delicious!