Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Strega Nona - noooOOOOooooOOOOOOoooooo

Rumble, rumble, rumble.
Hmm, o'lunch thirty.
Not much of either.
*Harp sounds indicating dream sequence*
I will make them both.
Set the timer.

Do, do, do, bubble, bubble, bubble.
Bubble a little higher.

I wonder how my pasta is doing.


Monday, October 18, 2010

What a way!

I'm hungry, I missed lunch.  I will have some toast.

What else?

Hmmmm I need to cut up that pineapple...

In other news, a bay area women was found dead after consuming large amounts of pineapple in a relatively short amount of time. Investigators do not yet have word on why the woman ate so much pineapple, but they say it was the worst case of Toomuchpineapplexia in 20 years.

 Coming up next Big Name Actress is in trouble with the law again...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One May Win a Battle Only to Loose the Pie.

I have been cooking since I was six. Four if you count that one time my dad let me stand over the stove and watch ramen boil. Which I overcooked because hellllooooo I was four and he didn't tell me why the timer was set. Anyway I had to wait until I was a mature six before I could make scrambled eggs, then I was off. It was scrambled eggs for an afternoon snack, breakfast, let's celebrate 2 pm and no school with scrambled eggs. Plain eggs boring? Put hacked off pieces of cheddar cheese in them. Mushrooms! GASP, DROOL!! MUSHROOMS AND CHEESE!!! Oh ya. I rocked the fancy pants scrambled egg world as a first grader. In my mom's defense, she was actually teaching my brother who is 2 years older than I am, but I would NOT be left out of any learning and she just had to teach me!!! So she did. This meant my brother and I were old and wise together, and because we were wise and mature with a lot of knowledge to share with the younger and less fortunate, we taught our 4 year old sister how to make scrambled eggs when mom wasn't around. Her education would not be neglected as long as ours was. To our credit, little sister neither burned the house down, nor burnt herself - we instilled the fear of getting hurt then getting caught. It was enough. Now she is a far better cook than I. It's the 2 year leg up she had.

So with all this experience under my belt, I just need so say: I love cooking, I love the learning, experiencing new recipes, new flavors, experimenting, cooking for others (not so much just for myself), the process, the successes, and some times even the failures...sometimes.

Enter my arch nemesis: Pie.

Every time I make a pie crust I end up having to piece the crust together. Rolled out it's oblong and ugly and no matter how it is turned will NOT fit the pie plate. If it is a berry pie, the lattice is uneven in the places it hasn't crumbled and fallen, and custard base pies...bah! The only pies to turn out for me have gram cracker crusts and are filled with pudding like filling and topped with whipped cream. (Yes, the same pies your 7 year old cousin brings to family functions. Shut up.) But baked crust; no. At least not until Monday. I rolled out a crust, oblong and ugly, but IT FIT THE DISH FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!! And I had to share with the world. In picture form. Taken with my phone. And now my most recent pie odyssey will be told in the camera phone picture quality!

And I just knew everything was going to be absolutely perfect when the pie crust fit in the pie dish. Dad's birthday pie would be amazing!

Look, isn't it pretty?! Yay!! Leftover for a cicinnamon and sugar snack! Can't you just taste the optimism?!

Now for the filling. And the meringue. Hmm maybe the filling will thicken up as it cools.

Put it all together, bake it, and doesn't that look lovely?

Here it is baked on it's way to the birthday dad! It sloshes and jiggles like a shirtless man at a football game.

All over my car.

Oh my goodness!! It's a sixtieth birthday miracle!!!

Ummmmmm the pie fairy named Marie Calendar came, that was the miracle.

So where was my pie?


The drawer of shame.

Actually that was the only place in the fridge it fit. It was! But it came out to play for the singing.

See, that curly green thing is a candle. And those forks right there, ya the pie was on the table!

...Um no, none of those forks ever actually touched the pie.

Next time Pie! Next time!!! You haven't seen the last of me!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What? Again?!

So I made dinner...and did not take pictures because I wasn't going to blog about my dinner again. So ummmm how about that local sports team, I hear there were scores involved and rules and sports equipment. Super exciting action during the sports part, huh?

Ya, so I made falafel wraps today. And yesterday. Today's wraps turned out better than the one I made yesterday though. And because I am amazing I will now field your questions: But why did I make falafel wraps? Don't you put falafel in a pita? Wait, a wrap? How did they fit? What is falafel? You made falafel? Waffles? Are you a vegetarian? WOW, you have many questions my 3 loyal blog readers, and coworkers, and roommates who wonder what the heck I am eating. Or they just guess. Today I opened my lunch container, containing stuffed grape leaves, and my coworker asks "Seaweed tamales?" Um moving on...

To answer the questions you didn't really have:
  • Wraps are tasty!
  • Whole wheat tortillas are cheaper than pita bread, comes with more in the package and is more convenient when I eat egg and avocado burritos. (One day I will share the recipe, it's amazing and there are only three ingredients!)
  • I sliced up my falafel.
  • A falafel is a middle eastern food, made with chick peas (also called garbanzo beans), salt, stuff, and herbs, is then shaped into balls and fried. And in my case, put in containers, sealed with plastic, and sent to my local membership warehouse store, where it jumped into my cart! True story.
  • By the afore mentioned store with acrobatic products, you can safely assume I grew the chick peas, I harvested the chick peas, I grew the plastic, I harvested the plastic, I built the store brick by handmade brick...
  • I like my waffles with honey.
  • Only on the days I don't eat meat. ;)
What made today's wraps better was I sliced my cucumbers with a knife instead of a veggie peeler because I found a cutting board. The thicker cucumber added a nice crunch to the wrap. Also I put all my veg on half of the tortilla and used less, thus enabling me to actually "wrap" my food instead of some weird tacurrito hybrid with veg and falafel falling all over the place.

Building your falafel wrap:
Put whole wheat tortilla on plate
Spread tahini all over the top
Place a few cucumber slices on half the tortilla, a quarter inch from the edges
Top cucumber with a leaf of romaine lettuce
Sprinkle chopped up kamala olives on top
Add thinly sliced red bell pepper
Now thinly sliced tomato
Slice falafel and place on top
Now with the food covered half toward you, fold up the sides slightly, now roll the food half all the way to the empty half, keeping the sides tucked in.
Push down slightly letting the tahini act as a food glue, a tasty, tasty food glue.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Do Fish Like Carrots?

Hello, yeah, it's been a while. Not much, how about you? I really do miss your smile so posting it is!

I really have been thinking about my beloved blog for a while. I have 2 in-progress posts floating around binary land, plus a third (I hope) locked in the bowels my portable hard drive from when my lap top C-R-A-S-H-E-D. But we will not speak of that dark time. The trouble is I have some great ideas and start to put thought to computer screen but inevitably my mind goes to my trip to upstate New York, or the kitchen, or camping (bad when preforming a show!), or to facebook (and when my mind goes to facebook, it takes my eyes and fingers with it) and I abandon (itchy facebook fingers! Itchy facebook fingers!!!) my post believing I will finish it later. This does not always work out well as some ideas are time sensitive.

And then there is this post. I had the idea for this post when I was googling my dinner (not literally). I needed to use what I had and a quick pantry recon produced the desired herbs and an impulse purchase of a lemon yesterday completed the extras I felt I needed to google a good recipe. (google: Dill and Lemon Tilapia) I would document the preparation and final product of my delightful and healthy-ish dinner (something about moderation is NOT eating a cup and quarter of peas. What?! Don't judge me!).

After I gave a bite of my dinner to my roomie and had a couple of bites myself, I belatedly remembered I wanted to document this momentous dinner for the culinary enjoyment of all the internet. I toyed with the idea of just eating and waiting until some other day, but it just didn't seem right, so I got out the camera for all of posterity. Plus it was way good and I want to make it again, thus permanent recipe storage!

So here is my dinner, and the added bonus of reverse engineered pictures that do not contain a carrot, because I ate it. It was way good too. The recipe is adapted from this site. Doesn't that look FANTASTIC?! (Quiet fish haters!) And now for my

Lemon Dill Tilapia

Why yes that is a slightly artsy picture taken with a point and shoot. I am a master photographer. Really. It wasn't dumb luck I discovered the camera could do that. It was the inner photographer, the natural master that I am, the gre...I'm bored, let's talk about how to make this beauty!

First you will need this stuff, half a carrot, and a fillet of tilapia. Or some other fish from the freezer, or fridge, or local fish monger, or your deep sea fishing expedition this morning. Also you will need some aluminum foil or parchment paper, a knife, a food grater, and a working oven.

Just a note, my recipe is for 1 person, but can easily be expanded.

For those not into the Ikea picture direction for cooking, here is "this stuff" in a more traditional format:

1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp minced garlic*
dry dill
a pinch of cayenne pepper (called ground red pepper on the jar) (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 a carrot*
1 fillet tilapia

*Measurements are not exact, you can add more or less if you like.

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) (just in case I suddenly become popular with international readers).

Next lay out foil or parchment large enough to wrap the fish. Slice lemon and place in the center of the foil. I used 4 slices, but one missing from this picture because it loved the fish so much it stayed with it till the end.

Using a fork, place little bits of garlic around the 4 corners of the lemon slice cluster and sprinkle with a little bit of dill. Placing the garlic by the lemons rather than on the lemons imparts a mild garlic flavor, while still letting the lemon shine through.

Lay the fish on top of the lemons. Season with salt and pepper, cayenne pepper (teeny tiny, next time I don't think I will use it.), and dry dill. You can judge from the first picture, or put on as much or as little as your heart desires. Heck you can shower your fish, your self and your kitchen in dill if you want.

Shred the half a carrot onto your fish. Save or eat the other half of carrot. Mmmm carrot ghgghhghhghgggghhghghgh. Or less if your tastes do not lean toward the carrot encrusted.

Now fold over the smaller sides of foil and bring up the other two sides and crimp down sealing your fish and all it's fishy goodness in your little fishy pouch. If you are using parchment you should follow the directions here. And probably use a rimmed baking sheet, which I did not use because I used foil and just put it in the oven on the rack and waited impatiently for my fish! Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until fish is flaky and opaque.

Oh what to do when waiting for my fish...make PEAS! With a little garlic sea salt and some pepper when boiling...yum yum!

Add a side of brown rice (made in the rice cooker you have just now used exactly twice in ten years) and at the end of your meal the only thing left will be this:


Friday, March 19, 2010

Bloggy love!

I just finished "Born to Run" by Chris McDougall and I started wondering more about barefoot running and "barefoot" shoes, which I googled. This almost completely presented me with articles, most of the ones I scanned were of the MSN or Yahoo homepage "this guy said this one thing and i kinda agree, what do you think" variety. We all know the type, a page long, half is an anecdote, a quarter is regurgitated info, and the rest is opinion. But then I came across a neuro-anthropology blog (I know the source of info - whatever). This one, this entry, is beautiful. It is intelligent without being esoteric, layman's language without being overly simplistic or patronizing. The information provided comes with references, most from science journals or papers, some from other scientific blogs...and I just really really love the way this blog entry is formed! And, and I want more stuff to find this ideal place of intelligent and informative, without relying on PhD speak, or gotchas. Sigh. Such a great blog entry!
Umm the linked one, not this one sounding vaguely like a high pitch "SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE" accompanied by amorous looks which can be slightly creepy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Random Lessons From Clip-On Hair

Ah yes, the first post of the New Year, highly anticipated by those of you following this well crafted, highly intellectual blog. Those who were there for the first post, four posts ago, about junk mail and procrastination, I could not let you down. Nor could I begin my blogging relationship with those new to this blog with an inferior offering. No, you need the best. This post is for you.

With the New Year comes a new beginning; born of discoveries about one’s self, and I am no different. Some lessons are moments that pass with a smile, others have lasting implications, and not to share would be a crime, for in my journey you may find new things about your own.

I sing the bologna song way too much, especially when tired and around a particular roommate (I have no idea why, she just makes sleepy-me want to sing about processed meat with a first and second name). She pointed this out to me one night when she said “You always tell me about your bologna when you’re tired.” But it wasn’t until going to work after a short night and feeling the death rays of an accusing glare from a coworker when he stopped whistling about his bologna abruptly. Then my boss yelling desperately for me to stop when I sung “My bologna has a seventh name, it’s B-O-L-O-G-N-A” when she hadn’t been there for the other six verses, then I realized I have a problem and it’s name is B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

Yet, even with this incident, I have come to the conclusion (because it affects mostly me) that it is ok to have the same cd playing in my car for a couple of weeks strait (has it been more than a month since you last got in my car and this same Bollywood cd was playing? Really? Ummm I have listened to other things in the interim, I swear!). Mostly ok.

Ah but what new year would be complete with out a candy discovery, be it a new candy, the rediscovery of a childhood favorite, or why there is usually candy in the pantry. Recently (this afternoon when buying dark chocolate raisinets) I have come to believe the reason chocolate bars can sit on my pantry shelf for months (which baffles some frequenters of the pantry), and a bag of peppermint patties doesn’t last 2 weeks, and dark raisinets mere hours, is because individual sized candies are easier to devour without noticing, but a chocolate bar takes commitment.

Then there is the odd. Not noticing the odd thing here or there, but noticing something odd – about my hair. Your raising one eyebrow right now, aren’t you? Ya, me too. Actually raising my right eyebrow independent of my left is something learned just this past year, before I had to lower my left brow to make my right higher…anyway my awesome hair. It is curly and there is a ton (from my dad), it’s some where between light and medium brown and has random gray strays though out (from my mom, the color and pattern of graying, not the actual gray hairs), and it is pretty long (from not getting it cut since May…Melissa, my dear friend…). But even with this clear picture of my hair, I discovered something new and strange on Saturday.

I went to a church activity which included a dance, so I painted my face with Covergirl and Almay and did my hair. Since my hair was wet from being freshly washed and hair dryers = frizz, up it went with combs and bobby pins allowing some curls to fall loose down my neck. I don’t know about you, but I can’t see the back of my head. From the front my up do looked pretty good, or I thought so anyway. When I asked a friend how my hair looked she hesitated and then said “good”. Clearly I needed find out what the back of my head looked like. And so when I got home I took out my camera phone and found out it’s hard to take pictures of the back of my head, as evident by the picture of the bathroom shelf you see here.
I also (more importantly) discovered the color difference between the darker hair closest to the scalp and the blondish hair at the tips, coupled with lots of curl, actually looked like clip on hair. GUHH?!?!?!?!
Ok, now there must be evidence that the hair in the curly mass was actually my own and not some ten dollar mall kiosk offering. So 80 bobby pins and two combs later, my still damp hair cascades in curls down my back and I get a picture.

Ya, it could be mine.