28 June 2014

18 June 2014

maybe you can help?

Hi interweb. I doubt anyone reads this anymore but, maybe.  I'm on new adventures. I've started gardening and am getting on the workout bandwagon. .. Plan is to do 21 days straight and eat healthy, starting today however, I did just have a chocolate caramel.

I think I am going to use this space as a place to post garden deets and talk yoga and food. You know, use it for what I'm involving myself in.

Tech question first - does anyone know how to move a blogger blog to wordpress?  I've made the blog but cannot for the life of me figure out how to import this ol' blog over there....

Garden details.  We have SO much stuff.  Who's we?  We is my friend Sara and I.  We've planted 3 plots in her backyard. We were her landlord let us do it....he had a ton of space and we made it useful? I'll show you the plots later, swears.  WE have eggplants, tomatoes (galore!), peppers, cucumbers, melons, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, cliantro, parsley, basil, grapes(!), beans, oregano, chard, kale, frisee, dill, fennel, carrots...SO MUCH.

If you're a gardener, I have a question for you.  Our beans are turning yellow.  They are bush beans and about 8inches tall.  They are still producing yield but I'm afraid I'm either over watering OR we have spider mites. Ew. What do you suggest I attack first?

Yay gardens.  And off to bootcamp - me want strong body.

21 March 2014

Read the readers suggestions!

Man. I don't think I will ever lose my love for soups, stews, one-pot-meals, bowls full of warm goodness.  It's a comfort to me in words I don't really know how to articulate.  It feels like home.  Like you're cuddling on the couch with your favorite blanket and person by your side.  Seriously.  That's how deep A BOWL OF WARM GOODNESS gets me. 

I've said this before, I like tweaking recipes as I go...not after I've already tried it! I can't help it.  I either work with what I have or let my taste buds dive in, it's more fun for me.  When a girlfriend, who was coming over for dinner, wanted something healthy and I wanted something easy - I started clicking around on Bon Appetite.  I found this Black Bean Soup w. Roasted Pablano Peppers. Mmmmm, I thought.  Read the recipe and then began to read the comments. "It's too thin" is what everyone said.  "Too runny."  "Had to add shredded chicken to feel like it thicken up." "Served it over brown rice"  Okay, cool. Thanks for ideas, yos. Noted community, I'm getting in on this too. Eff, yeah.

What we ended up eating that night was so good.  So, so good. A perfect warm bowl of goodness.  It's even good tonight for leftovers!  I hope you try this.  Or, try some variation of your own that you discover because you decided to play in the kitchen. Let me know if you do find something amazing.

Warm Bowl of Goodness (ie. Black Bean Stew/Soup w. some heat)

Makes 4 hearty bowls

Ingredients

2 poblano chiles

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted or plain diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fine corn meal
Kosher salt
2 14.5-oz. cans black beans, drained
½ cup crumbled feta
1 avocado (for serving)
Lime wedges (for serving)
Quinoa, enough for 4 servings, follow package details
1. Preheat broiler. Broil poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet, turning occasionally, until blackened, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam 15 minutes. OR you can put them in a plastic bag - I did this, they were fine. I only worried the bag would melt for like a few seconds...

2. Peel, seed, and finely chop.


3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add tomatoes and cayenne, and blend until smooth.
4. Return tomato mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thick, 6–8 minutes. Stir in broth; season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened, 10–15 minutes. This is where the "it's too thin" comes in...so, I decided to try to see what 2 tablespoons of corn meal did...It made this soup so much heartier.  If you do go this route, you have to stir constantly until all of the corn meal is mixed in - and be aware of chunks, they aren't bad, it's just polenta basically but if the wring consistency for the soup.

5. Stir in black beans and poblano chiles. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

6. Serve soup over quinoa and topped with feta and avocado, with lime wedges alongside.

14 January 2014

A New Start

I wish I had taken more pictures of our food in Kauai.  We just got back from a mini-honeymoon vacation with a few friends.  You can read all about our adventures on Lindsay and Jay's blog, FunnyLoveBlog.  She was great at capturing parts of our trip.  You can also check out our instagram hashtag #funnylovehawaii to see everyone's pictures.

So much happened over the last half of 2013.  Rory and I got married, I became the Company Manger of my theater company, was in a great show called Bottom of the World, Rory was on an original series on TBS called Ground Floor...it was all so great.  I'm hoping that 2014 lends itself to many more adventures.  I think it will and if I feel like there's a loss of adventure, I'm'a'gon'make it.  I guess you could call it a New Year's Resolution...make my own adventures.  You only live once, right? So. Here's to once.

Back to Hawaii. It was so lovely.  Rory and I went last year for New Year's and I think we may have decided to make an annual tradition out of it!  Last year we only had a few days of sunshine but this year was mostly sunny. AMAZEballs.  We rented an awesome house that had all the amenities and was close to a beach, Kalihiwai Bay, which we called "our" beach.  It's a beach were the mountain stream meets the ocean so we had cold and warm and fresh and salt water - it was pretty awesome.  Because Hawaii is expensive we tried to cook and eat at home as much as possible.  Lucky for me, there were some top notch cooks on our trip.

Lindsay made fish tacos after our first full day.  Delish.  I made the Pioneer Woman's Sausage gravy and biscuits with some eggs one morning; I used a spicy sausage so my gravy was a little pink.  Silly but really good.  Sara made awesome biscuit cinnamon rolls another morning.  Gotta tell you, might be how I do cinnamon rolls from now on...the biscuits made the whole dish less cloying and really really nice.  Lindsay also make spaghetti with mean sauce one night with garlic bread and salad. Then I wanted to roast a chicken but we didn't find a whole chicken at the grocery store...so we braised legs and thighs in stock, lemon juice, white wine and garlic and onions.  I also made mashed potatoes and Jay grilled some veggies.  Lots of good for, awesome company and a great vacation to start a new year.

Rory wrote on a piece of paper earlier this year - art is patience.   Art is patience.  Life is all about it.  Keep working.  Keep creating.  Keep moving.  Happy New Year!

art IS patience.

ps. if you like brussles sprouts make these....I made them for Christmas dinner...the BEST I have ever eaten.  That chicken broth...man, makes for an tasty sauce!

03 August 2013

Mmmm. Curry Noodle Bowl.

I miss cooking when I don't. I love doing it. Rory doesn't really like curry or anything spicy or super exotic...you'd NEVER see him say yes to Ethiopian food, ever.  So, when he's away, these are things I cook.  Spicy ethnic foods.

I've been reading the blog, 101 cookbooks for years.  I even own one of Heidi's cookbooks and have borrowed another from girlfriend.  I love how she embraces the simplicity of food.  Loving it's real taste, texture, earthiness, etc.  She eats real food simply.  I was flipping through Super Natural Cooking the other day and stumbled upon her recipe for Big Curry Noodle Pot...I suddenly had a hankering for curry.

I enjoyed this so much, that I froze some for later.  I'd like the curry a little thicker next time, not sure how to get there with out adding corn starch.  And that lime at the end, I'd cut it in half, so just the juice of half a lime.  Use the other half the next morning in some warm water before you eat anything - it aids in digestion.

Big Curry Noodle Pot
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson.

Ingredients
  • 8 oz. dried udon noodles, should be in the Asian section of your supermarket
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped real fine (oh, hey, garlic...lookin' good)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 med carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste (you could add a little more...if you want)
  • 12 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock (use veggie stock if you want to make this vegetarian)
  • 1 dropper full of tumeric extract (recipe calls for 2 teaspoons ground tumeric, used what I had!)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (recipe calls for shoyu sauce, what I found was the difference on the web was that shoyu is richer.)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime (again, I think you should just for 1/2 and add more if you want)
  • 1 shallot slivered
The recipe calls for 2/3 cup chopped peanuts and 1/3 cup chopped cilantro...I had neither so didn't use them.  Think both would have been lovely.

Directions
1.  Prep!  Chop everything, put it all in bowls, make sure you have everything you need out and ready.
2. Cook noodles in boiling salted water - read the package, follow those instruction.
3. When you start your water, start your curry.  Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat.  Then throw in the garlic, onion and curry paste.  Mash the curry paste around the bottom to make sure it gets distributed.  Cook until fragrant.
4. Add the carrots, cook for a few minutes.  Add the tofu, stir and cook for a few.  Add the zucchini, cook and stir for a bit. Until all of these guys are coated in this yummy curry.
5. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, tumeric, soy sauce, and sugar.  Bring this all to a simmer and simmer gently until your noodles are ready. (Recipe says 5 min...mine took longer than that and I wanted my carrots to get a little more tender).
6. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice.  Toss in your noodles, get everything nice and coated with curry sauce.  Then put a big helping of noodles and veggies in a bowl and spoon as much sauce over everything as you would like.  This is also where you top with shallots, peanute and the cilantro.

Oh man, enjoy this! xo

16 July 2013

way to start a day

i've been getting up every (most) days at 6:45am to hustle off to fitness bootcamp. i'm loving every second of it - i just signed up for 10 more weeks! the wedding will have come and gone by then and i hope to be in, potentially, the best shape of my life. not just FOR the wedding but from here on out. i feel better, i sleep better, i eat better - all around its better and i want to keep it up.

i'm sure i've mentioned it, or you do this even but my favorite thing to eat for breakfast is avocado toast. i've even started to see it on menu's at restaurants. it's the simplest thing ever and it's good for you. so. if you like avocado at all...you MUST try this.

it's real easy. toast two pieces of your favorite bread. meanwhile slice open a fresh, ripe avocado (not a huge one but a med/small one), slice it out of its shell. pop it all in a bowl, squeeze 1/2 a lemon onto it mix it around w. a fork. sprinkle in some red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, a small glug of olive oil and mix and mash it all together. i didn't taste mine because i knew i'd like it but feel free to add more salt, pepper, lemon, red pepper.  you could even throw in some roasted red peppers or sundried tomatoes if you felt so bold however, i like it simple style. when your toast is down pop it out of the toaster/oven/whatever you use and drizzle with olive oil.  i learned this from joy the baker, i don't know if she only does it on fancy bread but i now do it on most if my bread. now split your avocado mixture onto both pieces of toast and mash some more. and volia! mange!

this is like oatmeal for me - i'm satisifed for hours. enjoy! xo

28 May 2013

River Ego or River Entertaining?

Ah. Memorial Day weekend.  Sadly, this lovely 4 day weekend is over.  We went camping on the Russian River with some friends and had an amazing time. It's been a while since I've slept in a sleeping bag in a tent, in fact, I can't remember the last time BUT it was awesome.  We campfire'd, we smore'd and best of all, we canoed all day on Saturday.  On the river in a canoe, coasting and paddling. It was so fun.  Rory and I had a blast. 

Rory went on the trip last year without me, unfortunately, but I heard about all this amazing food everyone had eaten and I was bound and determined to make something that was amazing on a camping trip.  As I was frantically, yes it was frantic...did we not read "bound and determined"...looking for what to make on the river I hopped over to a blog I love, Cuisinerd, she always has great LA insights and is always working on fun projects. Anyway, her most recent post was about Bánh mì's...the sandwich of the summer and I knew that was it.  Contained yet fun and fresh and, lest we forget, impressive.  WHAT if I could bust out Bánh mì's ON THE RIVER when we stopped to eat?  What if?  How amazing would that be.  And let me tell you...it was awesome.  I was even asked, while I was constructing this little guys for everyone, "Was this for the group or your ego?" and, if I answered honestly...it was both.  I had set out to do a 'blow your mind' kind of meal and I thoroughly enjoyed making sandwiches for everyone.  I love this sh!t. So much.  I wish I could show you a picture but on the river, electronics get ruined.  Just know, I had 16 happy canoers on beach happily eating my fresh little sandwiches.

These are pretty tasty sandwiches, and they are pretty customizable.  You can make 'em as hot or mild as you want. I tried Cuisinerd's quick pickle recipe but used black radishes first and left them out overnight and they smelled and tasted funky...so I started over with a different recipe and they were awesome.

River Bánh Mì's
adapted from Cuisinerd's recipe here

Ingredients
French baguette
Sliced roasted Ham
Pâté of choice (we use chicken with black mushrooms and a vegan terrine)
Mayo
Quick-pickled julienne carrots & daikon radish (recipe below)
Sliced jalapeños
Julienne cucumber
Cilantro
Sriracha

Directions
1. Slice baguette leaving a hinge on one side.
2. Coat one side with mayo and the other with pâté.

3. Begin to layer - we went ham, pickles, cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro then sriracha...you can put as little or as much on these guys.

Quick Pickled Carrots & Diakon's 
I used a modification of this recipe, we all know how I like to modify pickles! (I can't help it...I can, but don't want to)
 
Ingredients
1 medium daikon radish, julienned...which is hard, so get as thin as you can
3 carrots julienned, see above
2 whole garlic cloves

For the brine
1 tablespoon
mustard seeds

1 teaspoon
whole black peppercorns

1 1/4 cups
cider vinegar

3/4 cup
water

1/4 cup
granulated sugar

2 tablespoons
kosher salt

1
bay leaf
 
Directions
1. Layer your veggies tightly in a 1-quart glass jar, leaving about 1/2 inch of room at the top. We went carrots, radishes, carrots, radishes and so on.  I could have/should have used more veggies. Set aside.
2. Make the brine - I forgot to toast the mustard and the peppercorns, this would have added more flavor so I'd suggest you remember but if you don't, don't stress...pickles were still good. In a small saucepan add all of the ingredients and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Bring to a boil.
3. Immediately pour into the jar, covering all the vegetables completely. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake or rotate it to really mix it all up. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 day...then move to a cooler you hope will remain cold and hope for the best! (OR preferably leave them for 1 week before using. The pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 month)
 
I can't forget to mention that we did pickle-backs with my leftover pickle juice. NOM. Do you know what a pickle-back is?  It's a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice and it's AWESOME.  We used Bullet Rye.  Sheesh.  Adults on a camping trip!
 
What did you do for Memorial Day?