Monday, January 30, 2012

Tarnation! Just Say No to Eating Animals :#36 and #37 One New Recipe and One Recipe from the Bench

I had to pull dinner from off the bench. We were supposed to have a meal of roasted vegetables because I'd been eyeing a recipe for months.

Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms were to be featured. But what happens when you don't plan your meals and coordinate that plan with your check of the produce at home and the list for shopping? Yep. You find yourself eyeing the River Valley Mushrooms at the farmers market for a very long time before you leave them on the table under the false belief that you have mushrooms at home.

You get ready to prep and realize your mushrooms aren’t fit to be fed to your worms and your sweet potato, you thought you had more than one, should be planted in the garden since it is sprouting.

Luckily, there is always garlic, olive oil, and pasta in your home. The last quarter of 2011, this was the fall back dish. Pasta Aglio e Olio is the new consistent player that always causes the Mister to be very happy and then ask me if I’m in court the next day. That's his way of saying the garlic is enough to cause all vampires to stay away. I respectfully disagree.

The brussel sprouts are fierce! A bit of wow from the cayenne and an unbelievable sweetness, that can’t possibly be explained by the kiss of maple syrup.

Hat tip to Martha Stewart and Cook’s Illustrated.

brussel sprouts 1-29-12

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy New Year!


Today Marks the Year of the Dragon. A perfect time to gird up the loins of your resolutions made on January 1st. An opportunity to take the Mulligan, reboot, wipe the slate clean.

I've never made New Year Resolutions before. I don't know why, I did this year but there was a sense I had as I sat in my bed that I should. I tapped them out on my Christmas gift from my sister-- I'm afraid we drank that apple flavored Kool-Aid.

I added them to the Reminders feature. They've not been easy, but I like them.

I think it's seeing an accomplishment that I can check off that helps.

One of my resolutions was to make three meals/ week at home. I like to cook and I adore food but I just seem to be tired and hungry all too frequently and I eat out.

I've been successful, but only because I've counted blended salads and sandwiches as meals.

I'm not the biggest lover of sandwiches but sometimes I go on a tear and now, because I have a grocery loaf at home + I can't get the lovely visual of the Swedes eating their cute open-faced sandwiches, smorgas, out of my mind after seeing the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But I'm not a fan of rye and always find it difficult to eat an open-faced sandwich with my hands.

Still, this was perfect. The bread was buttered then placed under the broiler with American cheese-- I can be nostalgic, a bit of deli mustard, homemade mustard, Tofurkey, and yep a just opened jar of my own canned, Not-too-sweet British Bread & Butter pickles.

What are your resolutions for 2012?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This First Blanket of Snow Signals Spring, Not Winter


Today may feel like the first day of winter. The songbirds left earlier today after so many days filled with sun and warmth here in Chicago. It was so warm this morning, I couldn't believe the forecast for a big puffy coat of snow.

It doesn't matter. Spring arrives on March 20th.



The first seed catalog is here and I find myself lovingly touching the pictures. Thinking of what I’m going to choose for the garden at home, and what I want for the shared plots as well. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds' catalog makes me want to become a nightshade farmer. I just want lots of space, or a ton more Earthboxes filled with varieties of tomato, eggplant, and peppers.


Continue reading over at the Local Beet....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Wishing You Prosperity, Good Fortune, and Good Health

Yesterday a friend posted an NPR story on Facebook, and I shared the same story. It was about the food Americans consumed last year. It was enough to put me off of food, despite the fact that a lot of the foods mentioned in the story I don't consume at all.

Today, I honored some promises including: working out at the gym, quaffing water (I stopped drinking it years ago when I knew I would lose time if I needed a bathroom break during the Bar exam), cooking at home, and eating strawberries, a clementine, onions, tomatoes, collards, black-eyed peas, cauliflower, mango, honeydew,and raspberries in order to meet my minimum of five fruits and vegetables per day.


But what are most Americans really eating? A lot of cheese, sweets, and dense potatoes and grains.
The numbers that struck me the most? The 141 pounds of sweeteners (including 42 pounds of corn syrup a year), and 85 pounds of fats (think: butter) and oil we ate.
This years meal, is a repeat from 2010. I just added chai, naan, and fruit salad. It was very good and it helps that it includes all of the charm food from the south, it was delicious, and it's good for you.

What are you eating today?