30 June 2010

sweet treats

whats with the time away?! i have been so busy. and when i'm not sleeping, i'm rehearsing and when i'm not doing that i'm either working or going back to my script to work some more on the text. needless to say, i've opted-out of late night meals (i ain't no Julie Powel cooking my way through Mastering The Art of French Cooking with a death wish and a desire to gain 20 lbs), so i'm really only snacking on raw veggies and a piece of bread w. peanut butter here and there...there's been no time to cook. sadly. i wish i could...give me a week or so and i'll be back on point. i'm excited to play around with summer dishes. i read this article in the NYTimes a few weeks ago about making meals that keep you out of a hot kitchen (ie. doing a lot of prep - a lot is an exaggeration - before you start cooking) which is totally calling my name. so much so, that i actually bought a tin of sardines the other day whilst at the grocery store! i cannot wait.

i've not talked about it before - but i love honey. i like to use it as a sweetener in my coffee and i wish i made myself bake with it more. i could eat raw honey, the kind that is thick and pasty, by the spoonful.  one of my friends from college owns a farm with her husband and sister-in-law in williamsport, ohio called Honeyrun Farm

its pretty amazing. its awesome, rather. its so inspiring to know that jayne, becky and issac are doing something they love. they are working the land and providing wholesome food for themselves and those in their area. so very inspiring. i mean...it really is awesome. i go to the farmers market maybe every-other-weekend and whenever i go, i just want to be behind one of those farm stands and talking to everyone about the produce, herbs, flowers, bread, whatever was made by this farm.

well, jayne was nice enough to send me some of their black locust honey...its awesome. its really light and smooth and it so clear. i think its clearer than most honey i've had in the past. its this light golden color, it reminds me of a toe-headed little child on a warm august day. the flavor is really clean and simple and floral. they grow their own flowers and i can only imagine they bees adore them all! their bees probably say things like, "the barnes' flowers are to die for, Herb, you really should try them the next time you go on a pollen run."

what i'm really trying to say is a) go to Honeyrun, and if you're in the area, literally...go there. b) support your local farmers. they're the ones who know how to do things right. we're a civilization that is living off the land in all the wrong ways. we're wasting and consuming far too much and not understanding how to properly use the little land that we have left. the farmers - they know what and how to do. we should learn from them. we should all figure out how to be more self-sustaining. for those of you in the NYC area, here is a map and schedule of all the green markets throughout the city. do this. i promise you'll love it.

i almost forgot! i made crockpot veggie chili...i haven't tasted it yet, but i have it for lunch today, so i will give a full review. here's what i did though - so freakin' easy.

1 large (i think ours was too large) white onion

1/2 green bell pepper
6 garlic scapes

chop these puppies up, toss them in the crock pot (i used - i think - a 4Q crockpot, i wanted more room, so perhaps don't think as large as i did). next, take a can of pinto beans, a can of kidney beans, a can of black beans (we used this black bean/bacon/soup stuff), a can of fava beans, a can of corn, a whole can of tomato paste, a 28oz can of chopped tomatoes (we used whole peeled roma and chopped them ourselves, you can also use crushed...it all depends on what you like, i like a lot of texture in my chili hence the whole peeled), 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, a little salt, a little pepper and a cup of water. mix it all together, put the lid on and let it sit (med/high) for 8ish hours.  ours stewed for probably 12 hours. it was so easy. it made A LOT of chili. i will let you know what i thought after lunch.


19 June 2010

home-made pasta, garlic scapes and the green market

today was a good day. (i have so much to do, but first i have to blog)

woke up later than i expected - no big deal. got ready and headed to manhattan for brunch with my roommate at friend of a farmer. brunch was fabulous. i had a spanish omelet and lexi had the boomer special. this special, ya'll, (scrambled eggs, your choice of french toast, buttermilk or pumpkin pancakes & your choice of bacon, ham or sausage) we thought that this was going to include pancakes AND french toast. needless to say we were sad, i think we both really wanted french toast pretty bad. next time.....

then, we went to the green market. it was wonderful. there were so many people at the market, so many stands and so much fresh food. if i could i would show you the most beautiful peonies we got. they were $10 for a bunch, and $18 for two. the florist/farmer who helped lexi and i gave us three for the price of two because he felt bad that they weren't as nice as they should be. they're white and light pink and a deep magenta and there's a few that are speckled pink, white and darker pink. most of them are still tight and in their balls that peonies create before they fully bloom. there's a handful of mini-bulbs that will hopefully bloom over the next few days. they are so fragrant. i think peonies would be great in a brides bouquet but they have to be perfect for that and it has to be at the peak of their season. they are spring. the smell. the color. the texture even. tip for you if ever you buy peonies.....they love really cold water and a fresh cut stems. 

we bought: peonies, garlic scapes (we bought 5 pounds, so that lexi could take some to her chef at work. FIVE POUNDS of garlic scapes. CRAZY), spinach, purslane, thyme, huge radishes, beautifully orange carrots, some sheeps milk cheese, romaine, raspberries, blueberries and fresh strawberries. i LOVE the green market. i said, more than once this afternoon, i would love to work at a stand there. it was so great. we also began talking to strangers. or rather, shouting out whether we liked a dress or a shirt or a barrette in a girls hair. i dont think anyone actually paid attention to us nor did they want to. it was merely for our giggling pleasure.

lexi went to work with her four pounds of garlic scapes, half of the purslane and the thyme for chef and her restaurant. and i did laundry. and i got hungry. and i started thinking about what i could make from our freshly purchased fresh produce. i have been thinking about home-made pasta for over a week. so...i made pasta. i made pasta tonight. my other roommate, chris, was home so i embarked on a pasta making adventure. here's how it went...3 cups of flour, and a few twists of salt (approx. 1/4 of a teaspoon) put it on the counter or in a bowl. i opted in the beginning for a bowl. in another bowl i mixed 3 eggs with a tablespoon of cream and a teaspoon of olive oil. i made a hole in the middle of the flour, a well really, and dumped the egg mixture into this well. i began mixing, with my hands. (i'm starting to use my hands in my mixing A LOT these days...i like it. its a very intimate experience with my food. with the process of cooking. and i feel like it puts me into my making...) it was clumpy. i was concerned. i poured some water in, it started forming a ball. i put some flour on the counter top and began kneading. i kneaded probably less than what i should have, all the recipes called for 3-4 minutes, i probably kneaded for 2.5/3 minutes. then i put it in a bag (supposed to wrap it tight in plastic wrap) and put it in the fridge for a little under 30 minutes. someone on allrecipes.com said that the key was to making good home-made pasta was to let it rest. LET IT REST. so i let it rest. while it rested...i cut some scapes and sun-dried tomatoes and sauteed them. i also cut up a radish, 2 carrots and ripped some romaine. also, while the pasta rested, mixed 3 eggs, Parmesan cheese, pepper and red pepper flakes. i let that rest. 

this is where the fun part came in. i kneaded the pasta once or twice. i put the pasta ball on the counter. and began rolling. i rolled and rolled. i couldn't make a dent in the rolling out of the pasta. i couldnt make it get thinner. so, chris took over. he rolled. and rolled. and rolled. the pasta ball got thinner and thinner. finally, we had a big, thin, flat chunk of pasta. and i began cutting. i had no idea what i was doing. i cut this way and that way. i cut thicker pieces and thinner pieces. some pieces i cut in half and others i left long. it took ages. but it was great. then i threw all of it into a pot of salted boiling water. i let it sit. i let the pasta sit in the water for, maybe, 6/7 minutes...this may have been too long, but it was still good. 

i drained the pasta, put it back in the pot, mixed in the scapes and the sun dried tomatoes, then i poured the egg mixture over this hot, home-made pasta mix and stirred. i stirred and stirred and stirred.

it was great. salad and home-made pasta with a carbonara-type sauce with fresh garlic scapes and sun dried tomatoes. both chris and i were very pleased with dinner. i was very pleased with dinner. i'm glad i tried to make pasta. i think i will do it more and more. i think, and i could be wrong but i think, you're supposed to have 1 cup of flour to 1 egg per person when eating/making. i will knead more. i will do some research and i will figure out how to make pasta amazing. 

i will. guys. i will make awesome home-made pasta some day. and, if you come over for dinner...maybe i will have just gotten home from the green market with unbelievably fresh produce (seasonal) and make you home-made pasta. and a salad, mixed with my hands and maybe some berries for dessert. 



16 June 2010

new kitchen, lots of eggs

alright. for now...its just writing. my bowl-full of white rice did not suck all the moisture out of the camera, if it did...to no avail. i'm still hanging on tot he fact that i may be able to charge the battery.

some long overdue posts (which were waiting for images...here's to using my adjectives!)

so i've been in my new kitchen for a week to the day. i love it. there's so much natural light and the room is so spacious. i've tried to make dinner every night and a lot of those dinners have included, yup, poached eggs and greens. (i've eaten 6 eggs, at least) i even made myself brunch on saturday (before spending the day laying in a park in long island city reading my script). it was so good...

i had asparagus and my boss had mentioned that she had shaved white asparagus because thats what you do. (they are much tougher than normal.) and consuming raw asparagus has been mentioned a lot in the last week, so i thought, maybe i can make a salad of shaved regular asparagus. and that was all i did, shaved it with a carrot peeler and placed it on the plate. i think they may have been better if they were colder and fresher or maybe even blanched and really cold (but then its not raw).  i just drizzled olive oil and balsamic and some salt + pepper and that was that.  i poached 2 eggs.. and then. i. made. magic. guys...i've never really be very good at making hash browns or breakfast potatoes or they take too long, whatever, its just not been good. but i cut 1/2 a russet potato into small squares, chopped a few cloves of garlic and threw some olive oil into a pan (that had a glass top). this i think was the key. i sauteed the potatoes and garlic for a bit and then, i turned the heat down and put the top on the pan. that did it. that steamed them a little to aide their cooking. i know its not revolutionary and i know it makes sense - i just had never thought of it before. i threw in the bit of asparagus near the end and put it all on the plate and added a few cherries. it was brilliant. 

my roommate and i also made dinner last night...yum. we had pan seared chilean sea bass, trader joe's harvest blend of cous cous/lentils/quinoa and a salad of watercress, pears, and orange pieces w. a citrus vinaigrette. i made the vinaigrette and i was disappointed.  no pictures, sadly. lexi and i were wondering what was missing...and i think we needed salt. plain and simple. we just needed to give it a little more flavor. 

that was my first week.

14 June 2010


i had all these posts drafted to put up as soon as i uploaded my pictures from my camera, after i went to storage and got the charger, etc. sadly....really it is so sad and i'm totally kicking myself for somehow letting a thing like this happen...but...i did laundry this weekend and as i was taking the dark cycle out of the wash, i found my camera.  

i'm in the process of trying to dry it out. must admit though, i am doubtful that it will resurface alive.
so. blogging. you'll have to wait until i figure out how to get a new camera, fix this camera or somehow invent a solution that magically makes my life better at this moment. 


03 June 2010

camera battery!

moving can be grueling. and you misplace (lose) things in the process. i can't find my camera to computer cord OR my camera battery. how'my'gon'a'hav'a'food blog if i dont have a camera cord OR battery?!

i will amend this situation. stat.