some things

Sep. 9th, 2011 01:20 pm
school started last week, but i started seeing my new freshmen this week. and i went to chicago for four days, which meant i had to be running-around-like-a-crazy-person just before and just after to be ready for them. and now i'm exhausted.

i made this for dinner last night:
make mirepoix-ish thing
pour three cups of water over it
mix in turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger powder, 2 cloves minced garlic, salt
bring water to boil, pour in 2 cups of israeli couscous, pour in a large helping of raisins and currants, turn off heat, cover, and let sit until the couscous is tender (i went and sat on the couch and watched baseball, and then remembered it was on the stove. i guess that was about 15-20 minutes).
stir in some chopped up cucumbers and carrots, frozen peas, chickpeas... or whatever things you have running around. peppers would probably be good (if you like them), and chopped up snow peas, or edamame... you get the idea. you could even add some chicken.
add zest of one lemon, juice the lemon, mix the lemon juice with some olive oil til it looks vinaigrette-ish, pour that over too.
taste for seasoning, eat.

i also had some pizza.

i'm doing a ropes course with my students this weekend. i hate giving up part of my weekend and i'm all bitter. until i get there, and then i have so much fun and i love my job again.

i did this tuesday: walk 5 minutes, jog 3, walk 2, jog 3.5, walk 2, jog 4, walk 2, jog 4.5, walk 2, jog 2, walk 5. felt pretty good.

i did this yesterday: walk 5 minutes, jog 3, walk 2, jog 5, walk 2, jog 3, walk 2, jog 3.5 ish, walk 5. i almost died in the lungs. too hard at the end of the work week.

i ate a ridiculous amount in chicago. that will get its own, backdated post, hopefully tonight when i have time to think about it. i also broke my record points on foursquare. and got a lot of clothes for my birthday. i will have to keep up the exercise if i want them to keep fitting, especially if i continue to have eating weekends like i did in chicago, and there are at least two of those coming up (minneapolis at the end of this month, and vermont in november).
Our farmers market just opened this weekend (our CSA only ended two weeks ago, so we've been okay for local produce year round). It's warm enough that I'm motivated to get out of bed. The birds are chirping, and the squirrels are stealing the seed out of our feeders. Time to turn to a new section of our recipe repertoire. Here are a few of the things we've been eating lately:

Wilted Spinach Salad (from Deborah Madison, Veg Cooking for Everyone)
Basically, it calls for tossing together 8 cups spinach, a clove of minced garlic, a couple tablespoons of vinegar, herbs (we used mint and basil) and some combo of mix-ins (toasted walnuts, pickled red onions, crumbly cheese like feta or ricotta salata). Then, you warm up about 6 tablespoons of olive oil, and when it's super warm, you pour it over the salad and throw it around with tongs. The garlic cooks a bit, the spinach gets glossy and slightly wilted, and it just turns super tasty. I don't love raw spinach - I like it with this very brief cooking a lot better.

Grilled Asparagus - toss in balsamic and olive oil, throw on grill. nom.

Bulgur w/Roasted Chickpeas and Lemon (Peter Berley, Flexitarian Table)
Cook 1 cup bulgur. Combine 1 can chickpeas, 1 thinly sliced red onion, 2T olive oil, 2T lemon juice, bay leaf, cumn seeds, turmeric, paprika, a bit of cayenne and salt in a pan. When it sizzles, throw it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring once. Remove bay leaf, toss with bulgur.

Tapenade (I am recently addicted to tapenade): 1 c olives, 1 tsp fresh thyme, 1/2 c minced onion sauteed in 2T olive oil. Some people would add capers here, but I haven't been convinced that they are for human consumption.. or at least my consumption. combine in food processor, adding more oil to taste and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread.
after six weeks of being sick, i'm finally mostly mended. i still have a croupy, wheezy cough, but i actually went to the gym for the first time since january, and didn't die. i was even well enough to cook dinner!

black bean sweet potato chili

1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (don't bother draining)
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/4 c chipotle dark chocolate (or mexican chocolate, or bittersweet chocolate)
1/2 c strong coffee
2 T chili powder
cinnamon stick

warm 2-3 T canola oil in a dutch oven. when it's warm, add the onions, cook til soft. throw in garlic, cook another minute or so until it's fragrant. throw in everything else, add water to cover everything. bring to a boil, then reduce heat til it's bubbling happily. cover, cook til the sweet potatoes are done (45 minutes? i dunno - i lost track). if there's a lot of liquid at 30 minutes or so, might want to leave it uncovered for a bit so that the liquid reduces. check spices - add salt to taste if needed. serve over rice, or with tortillas.
slightly revised, from food and wine this month. so good!

one can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1/4 c light brown sugar
8 garlic cloves
one 1.5" piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red chile, thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 lbs peeled and cubed squash (we used butternut)

1. preheat oven to 350.
2. mix coconut milk through nutmeg in 9x13 roasting pan
3. add squash, mix thoroughly.
4. cover with foil and bake about 45 minutes.
5. increase temp to 425, uncover pan, turn squash and season with salt. roast 15 minutes.
6. increase temp to 450, roast another 15 minutes. serve!
The first brussels sprouts of the season appeared at the market this week, so we picked up a stalk. Not sure what we'll do with them, but who ever thought I'd be so excited about brussels? At the same farmstand, Tim picked up some young ginger. I had never seen ginger with its greens still attached, nor had we ever prepped young ginger. It turns out that one of the best uses for it is pickling it and then eating it with sushi, so that's what we did.

Pickled Young Ginger

  • wash ginger and rub off its skin

  • slice superthin via vegetable peeler, salt lightly, and allow to sit for one hour

  • drain on paper towels and then place in tupperware (the interwebs said 'sterile container, but we used tupperware and we're not dead)

  • mix with 3 parts rice vinegar to 2 parts sugar in a measuring cup in an amount that will saturate it and leave some for it to stew in

  • microwave sugar/vinegar mixture, stopping after first 45 seconds and then every 30 or so to stir until sugar dissolves (beware pungent fumes that will emanate from measuring cup)

  • pour mixture over ginger, allow to cool, refrigerate to store

Originally uploaded by kismet09

12 oz beer + 2 c stock
3 ears of corn (reserving cobs)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 small carrots, finely diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 c milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot (garlic might be good here too), and saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the corn, cobs and liquids in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cobs. Pour the boiling stock with the corn (a little at a time) into the skillet with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn’t lump. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture should become very thick. In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk, stir it into the thick corn mixture. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Top with whatever sounds good that's left over in your kitchen, like sausage, bread cubes, roasted potatoes, herbs...

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy


Jun. 17th, 2009 09:27 am
There are these scones that you can get at the Takoma Park farmer's market. They're mini-loaf shaped, and they have currants maybe, or raisins - I don't even remember now, but they were the best scones I've ever had, and I'm always trying to recreate them. I often buy scones when I'm at a new bakery/coffeeshop, and more often than not, I'm disappointed. Scones seem to have more variation than muffins or other baked goods. I'm starting to understand my scone preferences, and have done enough baking that I think I can tinker around and get scones the way I want them, but it's going to take multiple batches to get there, and more patience than I might have to figure it out. so far, I know that I like the free-form shapes rather than rounds or triangles - the crispy edges are key, and you can't get those with the cut-out shapes. I don't think cream is a necessity, but it doesn't hurt. And I don't like the currants you can get at the grocery store for this application, so I'll stick with other fruits.

I finally found a recipe that I liked pretty well on the King Arthur Flour website. It instructs you to freeze the scones for half an hour before baking "because 30 minutes in the freezer relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier." Cool. In my scientific study, I baked up the first pan without this chilling step. While they were baking, I stuck the rest of the dough in the fridge. The scones made from the chilled dough did seem to rise a little more. Both batches still turned out flatter than they did tall, so I may have to play with the leavening a little.

Basic Scone Recipe -
Adapted from
Read more... )
My brother turned 30 yesterday, and also found out that he and Mary are pregnant, again, unexpectedly (this after spending multiple years and much money to have the twins). Yay babies! This means I will have 10 nieces and nephews by next January.

And in other news, a recipe that I vaguely made up based on two other recipes:

Lamb Meatballs (serves two)
1/2 lb ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp mint leaves, chopped
1/4 c golden raisins, chopped
1 scallion (white and green parts), chopped
1 slice whole wheat bread, ground into crumbs
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt & pepper

mix everything together in a bowl, let sit for half an hour, form into meatballs, fry up on stove, serve with cucumbers, greek yogurt and pita, with some more mint to garnish, if desired.


Apr. 2nd, 2008 04:49 pm
Fideos is a new menu item in our house since getting Mark Bittman's Vegetarian version of How to Cook Everything. It has become a staple of our repertoire of go-to wintery foods that we eat, and I will miss it a lot over the summer. Fideo is the Spanish word for noodle, and this preparation is basically a super-garlicky broth with short noodles used in place of rice. It's warming, satisfying, makes the house smell great, and provides an opportunity to whack things with a heavy stick. What's not to love?


1 lb angel hair or vermicelli noodles
1/4 c olive oil
6 c water/veggie broth (or some combo thereof)
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 c fresh cilantro, epazote or parsley (we use a handful of dried parsley)
1 sm head of garlic (8-10 cloves or so), minced
salt and pepper

1. put the noodles in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin or similar device to break them into small pieces, 1-2" in length.
2. warm the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat. once it's warm, add the garlic and cook, stirring here and there, til the garlic is starting to color.
3. bring heat up to medium, add the broken up noodles and stir to coat (if you're like me, there will be small pieces of noodles flying about the kitchen - this will bring great joy to your dog). allow to cook til most of the noodles are brown (there will be varying shades of brown, which is fine - try not to let them blacken)
4. add salt, pepper, paprika and herbs, and stir to coat
5. add liquid, bring to simmer, and let cook til noodles are done

serve with bread, salad, maybe some tasty spanish cheese.



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