Archive for May, 2006


Listing food

   Posted by: Livia N    in Food, lists

Food I have
Unfrozen Meat
beef leftovers from Harry’s
raw london broil

Vegetables that need to be used
some mustard greens
half a purple onion
1 red bell pepper

half a coconut in pieces
half a coconut soaking to make coconut milk
– freeze the milk into ice cubes and use the shredded meat

almost a pint of rice
a scrap of mozzarella wrapped around hot pepper stuff

Possible meals
Wednesday 5/31 (no plans, hot weather)
buy pineapple and make ambrosia
Fried rice: bell pepper, purple onion, mushrooms, greens, small coconut pieces?, some pineapple?, frozen peas, rice, an egg

To do: but binders board to size for class on Saturday

Thursday 6/1 (movie at 7:30)
Hash: bacon, harry’s leftovers, potatoes, and onions

To do: cut fabric in to reasonably sized pieces

Friday 6/2 (running around doing class prep: buy restaurant waxed paper and/or dollar store plastic tablecloths, cut everything to size)
london broil (marinate in ginger, unagi sauce, lime, and a bit of soy sauce)
mashed potatoes
grill tomatoes?

Saturday 6/3 SCA event
(bother, I’ll have to leave too early in the day to make my farmers’ market)

Sunday 6/4 bridge

Following week – probably only making dinner Monday and Tuesday – thaw 1 packet of chicken. I can make the chicken with a box mix of risotto. And then the other day I can have either cold cereal or sleazy cheesy dip just for fun. Goulash or stroganoff from the london broil leftovers

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Okay – so the plan for the July 4th moot, is to have [Host] write fic. Lots of fic.

Therefore, we have planned a coup.

I will be organizing. Anyone interested in producing food, let me know.

(Also, it will be [Hosts]’ anniversary)

Meanwhile, here are some of my ideas:

Friday: Thai Food
theme beverage: thai iced tea

Yeah, I totally have to look up the recipes before I have any idea what we’ll make. Let me know what are your favorite dishes (and be guaranteed that it’ll be an amateur version) – and let me know if there is anything you can not tolerate.

Saturday: Southern Food
theme beverage: Mint Julep

– Biscuits and gravy (made by [redacted])
– Bacon (made by [redacted])
– Eggs to order (made by Livia)

– caramellized bell peppers (made by [redacted]) on cornbread (made ahead by [host])
– crab dip (made by [redacted])
– pimento cheese (made by Livia) on something (made by [host])
– shrimp remoulade (made by Livia or bought from Trader Joes)
– hush puppies (made by Molly) very last appetizer, so we can eat them with the dinner, too

First Course
Pecan-crusted pan-fried fish (made by [redacted])
Rosemary potatoes (made by [redacted])
Chicken Creole over rice (made by Livia)
Collard greens w/ bacon (made by [redacted])
Green beans (made by [redacted])

Salad Course
either balsamic or blue cheese dressing

Long-term noshing
Mac’n’cheese (made by [redacted])
Green bean salad (made by [redacted])
Red beans & rice (made by Livia)
Jambalya shrimp (made by Livia)

Rum pears & rum apples (made by [redacted])
Chess Pie (made by Livia or someone with more baking affinity) with crust (made by Molly)

Sunday: Pig & Dairy day
theme beverage: beer

Bacon (made by [redacted])
Eggs to order (made by Livia)
Eggs benedict (made by [redacted] plus others?)
English muffins (made by any ole person)

angels on horseback

Pork medallions & cream sauce (made by [redacted])

Custard? Zabaglione?

Monday: Mexican
theme beverage: tequila / Coors

yeah, whatever – feel free to volunteer to wrangle this


Saucy meats, condiments, and tortillas

gluten-free churros?
fried ice cream (made by [redacted])

So who else wants to add to this?

A shopping list and further planning will come later.

Recipes for possible reference – (note: these recipes were here to use this weekend, but I don’t think I have every gotten around to trying any of them. Sources were not recorded)

Coconut Shortbread Cookies
1 c butter, softened
1.4 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 c all-purpose (gluten-free) flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 c flaked coconut
about 1 c powdered sugar

In a large bowl or electric mixer, beat butter until creamy; add granulated sugar and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly. Add coconut and mix well until combined. Shape dough into a roll about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm (2 hours MIN! to 3 days).

Unwrap dough. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place slices slightly apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cookies are firm to the touch and lightly browned on bottoms. Transfer to racks and let cool for 5 minutes. Sift hald the powdered sugar onto wax paper and transfer cookies to it in a single layer; sift additional powdered sugar on to to cover cookies lightly. Let cookies cool completely. Store airtight.

Cheese Straws (makes 5 1/2 dozen)
1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese, grated at room temp
8 T (1 stick) butter, softened
1 3/4 c sifted flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t tabasco sauce

In a bowl, beat together the cheese and butter until well blended.

Sift the flour along with the salt, cayenne pepper directly into the cheese-butter mixture, add the Tabasco sauce, then mix until thoroughly blended. Form the dough into two large patties, cover, and refrigerate one hour.

Preheat the oven to 425F

One at a time, roll out the two portions of dough until they are about 1/4″ thick. Cut the dough into 5″x1/2″ strips and carefully place the strips on [lined] cookie sheets.

Bake cheese straws for 8 minutes. Then remove them from the oven and let them cool. (Also good served fresh and hot)

Andean Tamales
5 c water
1 c regular (not instant) hominy grits
1 t salt
1/4 pound mild pork sausage
1/2 pound lean pork
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 t whole aniseed
1 onion, about 2″ in diameter, finely chopped
one 4″ long fresh chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips
1-2 hard cooked eggs, cut into lengthwise strips
about 30 peanuts, roasted, shelled, and skinned

In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan, bring the water to a boil and slowly stir in the grits. Lower the heat, add the salt, cover and cook slowly for 25-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Meanwhile, put the sausage, either whole or cut in half, into a colf frying pan, set it over medium heat, and cook until it begins to render a little fat.

Add the pork, either whole or cut into several pieces of equal thickness, and cook, turning occasionally, until the juices no longer run pink

Add the garlic, aniseed, onion, and pepper strips, stirring to brown and flavor the meat.

Turn off the heat; remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and cut both the sausage and the lean pork into 1/4″x3″ strips. Set them aside on a plate together wih the egg strips and peanuts.

With a wooden spoon, mix the pan drippings and fat into the cooked grits

Cut lightweight aluminum foil into ten 10″x12″ strips

Divide the grits into equal portions. Pat half of each portion into the shape of a long, narrow rectangle down the middle of each foil strip. Run a strip of pork and one of sausage down the center of the grits, leaving room at both ends. Top with 3 peanuts and 1 or 2 strips of egg

Pat a half portion of grits over each strip of filling to completely cover it. Then seal the foil package by wrapping it like a present.

When you are ready to cook the tamales, place them in a skillet large enough to hold them in a single layer, cover them with boiling water and cook gently for 2 to 2-1/2 hours

Remove the tamales from the water with a slotted spoon, cool to room temperature, and serve right in foil packets

Delicate Eggplant Balls
1 medium eggplant, whole
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c grates Swiss cheese
4 T bread crumbs
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Cook eggplant in boiling water until tender (20-25 minutes). Peel, and mash pulp with fork. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. If mixture is too thin, add more breadcrumbs. Shape into small balls and refrigerate 1 hour. Roll balls in flour and deep fry until crisp. Serve hot.

Huevos Rancheros (makes 4)
4 tortillas
3 eggs
*2 c canned tomatoes
*1/4 c ketchup
*1/4 c barbecue sauce
*1/4 onion diced
*hot chile peppers to taste
*salt to taste

simmer all the starred ingredients for 10 minutes, breaking tomatoes into fine pieces. Heat sauce to boiling. In a generous amount of hot oil in a frying pan, fry tortillas lightly on each side. Set aside to drain. Fry eggs in the same pan, sunny-side up or over easy. Add salt to taste. Place one egg on each tortilla and pour a quarter of the sauce over all.


Last night was wonderful! Right before the end of work, I had a friend give me a ring to tell me he was in the area and would I like company.

So he came over and cooked for me.

So let me try to tell you what he cooked, oh man!

He took my lil ole thawed rabbit and cut it into sections. Then he dredged it in flour that had been generously seasoned with basil, smoked paprika, savory, thyme, and black pepper. Fried the rabbit. and then we set that aside.

Then we took leeks, which had been sliced in half lengthwise, cut into half-circles less than a quarter inch thick all the way up – white and green parts – and then thoroughly cleaned, and fried them in the oil, too. and then set aside.

Next, he put in a whole container of portobella mushrooms, which had been cleaned and the tips of the stems trimmed but whole, and then once that started releasing juice, he added some five or six cloves of garlic, chopped roughly, and the flesh only of one habanero pepper – and cooked until the garlic was just browning and luscious. He added the leeks, cooked for a little bit together, and then put them back in the bowl on the side.

Then he made gravy with more of the seasoned flour, oil, a bottle of Wood Chuck dark brown cider, and some chicken stock. He added the veggies back tot he gravy and then added the rabbit. We set that to simmer, on pretty high heat for simmering, while I made turmeric rice.

So good.


Other recent successful experiments in food have included:

Spinach of yum
Clean and remove stems from spinach.

Saute some garlic and a purple onion, sliced thinly but long enough to have texture, and once that is going decently, add all the spinach. When wilted, add unagi sauce. Crack two eggs into the pan – scramble all about.

Best Duck Soup Ever
I had gotten the duck carcass after the last time my family went out for peking duck, and it had been sitting in my freezer. Then I found a little shop where I got half a roast duck for $7 – including the head. Woot!

So I ate up the meat and skins and put the residue in my stock pot with the frozen carcass.

Then I added the base of a bunch of celery, the base of a head of napa cabbage, some carrots, a lot of garlic, some black peppercorns, a bay leaf, some five spice powder, and some red onion. And water. Cook cook cook. Then I removed some of the goodie so I could fit in even more water and make more broth because my pot was pretty packed with goodie. Cook cook cook. Let sit over night. Cook cook cook (boiling at least 20 minutes). Let cook enough to work with. Strain through cheesecloth.

Then I heated the stock back up to boiling and added baby bok choi, some long strands of oniony stuff from the asian grocery, and a bundle of buckwheat soba noodles.

It was so good – it didn’t even need the seasoning adjusted at all.

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more food planning

   Posted by: Livia N    in Uncategorized

Hee! It seems that I’ll be having a Chef come over to make me rabbit and asparagus.

[name redacted], that means lamb for you.



Food Planning

   Posted by: Livia N    in non-vegetarian, Recipe, salad

food I have
lamb roast leftovers
beef leftovers (just a small amount)
beef roast leftovers (sliced thin)
rabbit puppy

salad greens (new ones)

3 bananas
2 apples

possible meals
– with steak (with the small beef leftovers) and grilled onions (and peppers?) and cheese (buy blue cheese?)

Pasta and Asparagus as suggested in comments on a previous entry
– buy blue cheese!
– spinach? maybe
– with fried pieces of puppy rabbit?

Lamb curry
– maybe a couple potatoes

– sliced beef leftovers
– black pepper stir fry sauce I picked up
– potatoes cut like for au gratin
– onions, peppers, fresh herbs

Lamb and Zucchini over pasta

Other possible recipes for puppy

Now to schedule those.

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Spring Gardening

   Posted by: Livia N    in Gardening, Oops

Note: this was a poll

Poll #722460 Oops

Have you ever needed to do some gardening where you knew there was poison ivy?

6 (50.0%)

6 (50.0%)

Have you ever just gone ahead and done the gardening anyway?

5 (45.5%)

6 (54.5%)

Have you ever subsequently gotten poison ivy (despite reasonable precautions)?

2 (18.2%)

9 (81.8%)

Was it on your hands (even though you couldn’t so much see any bumps or feel it itching)?

2 (18.2%)

9 (81.8%)

Did you then end up with poison ivy anywhere… a bit delicate?

1 (9.1%)

10 (90.9%)

Why this line of questioning?

BWWAAhahaahhaaaa! Heeeee! Oooh… *wipes tears from eyes*
8 (66.7%)

These are perfectly reasonable questions about spring gardening
2 (16.7%)

What? I’m lost. Poison Ivy was in the DC Universe, right?
0 (0.0%)

I can’t believe you did that.
7 (58.3%)

I feel your pain,
3 (25.0%)

Questioning? I’m just here for the ticky box.
2 (16.7%)

Ticky box!
5 (41.7%)

ETA: And how come all you people are perfectly willing to say you feel my pain, when you are also saying, “Oh, no, that never happened to me.” TTttthhhhbbbbttttt!!


vegetarian food help?

   Posted by: Livia N    in dubious, experiments, Food, vegetarian

Last March, the apartment of one of my coworkers burned down, and she is still looking for a place. Since a couple apartments near me are opening up, and she looked really tired last night, I invited her over tonight – and even offered to feed her… because that’s what you do with guests, especially tired ones.

Only I forgot about it.

And now I am looking in my fridge and realising that I have been in the eating down stage of food buying and have gotten down to one bag of spinach of dubious virtue.

Did I mention that this woman is vegetarian and dieting? Did I also mention that she is a very good cook in her own right? And she is from india, so I probably don’t want to try making my amateur versions of indian food… which takes out most of my best vegetarian dishes.

I do have a grocery on the way home and the produce truck, but I need a plan.

Asian food? I can cook the spinach up and have rice – and season them with a sauce or spice that’d be appropriate. Or I could try to buy eggplant and tofu on the way home – I make a great eggplant and tofu stir fry… but that would mean stopping three different places: produce truck for the eggplant, grocery for peanut butter, and asian grocery for tofu.

Italian food? I could whip together pasta and spinach and olive oil with parmesan. … which would be great with sausage or bacon, but those are out. But I think it’s a low carb diet… maybe. I could stop by the produce truck for eggplant and squash and grill them to make sandwiches… but that takes time, and I’m likely to get distracted and burn them because my oven is tetchy.

American food? Well, I could see if the spinach is up to turning into a salad, but she usually has salads for lunch. I’d want to buy a blue cheese on the way home to crumble in.

So do any of you have any better ideas?

ETA: Suggestions in comments included – Pasta Primavera, an egg white frittata with spinach, lentil soup, chilled cucumber soup, hummus, peanut soup, and this recipe:

Here’s an adapted recipe, quick and tasty, good for two people (or more), great for vegetarians – the walnuts have protein, so it’s fairly complete, and the pasta gives it good heft. You can obviously leave the apple out, but it’s a fun, springy addition.

1/2 tablespoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 pound cavatappi, fusili, rotini, penne, or other small-sized pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound asparagus , bottom 1 inch trimmed and discarded, spears halved lengthwise if larger than 1/2 inch in diameter and cut into 1-inch lengths
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts , chopped
2 cups spinach (lightly packed), washed and dried thoroughly
3 ounces blue cheese , preferably Roquefort, crumbled
1 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 Granny Smith apple , peeled, for grating over pasta

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add asparagus, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, without stirring, until asparagus begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add walnuts and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus is tender-crisp and nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes; toss in spinach until wilted. Add asparagus mixture, cheese, vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Serve immediately, grating apple over individual servings.