Archive for September, 2006

28
Sep

Penzey’s

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in adoration, Food

So it’s official. The Philadelphia Penzey’s is open for business. It’s in a terribly inconvenient place for me, but I think I can manage to get there somehow.

For those of you who don’t know? This is porn for spices and herbs.

It’s the end of the season, and I have an abundance of food.

food I have

Not frozen meat
8 or so assorted pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken
leftover filet mignon (with sauteed peppers and mushrooms on the side)
bacon (this usually is just assumed, but I thought I’d throw it on the list today)

Frozen Meat *means should be used soonish
ground beef
hamburger patties
meatballs
taco seasoned ground beef
london broil marinated for stir fry*
chicken breast
diced roast pork* (only 1 meal’s worth)
chicken backs for stock

sorely tempting meat on sale this week
ground beef $1.69/lb
skinless boneless chicken breast $1.99/lb

bread
tortillas
I have a bread machine!!!
1/2 pound of bread leftover from a loaf

Produce
10 peaches of dubious virtue (these are the least ripe ones from the $5 of peach seconds I got at the farmers’ market and put up and sugared and put in the back of the fridge to ferment. Now my container is full, and I need to think up something different for these last few)
10 pounds of potatoes
5 bell peppers
2 zucchinis
3 long skinny eggplants
carrots
jalepeno peppers
2 apples
garlic (whole and peeled)

Dairy
sour cream
cheddar cheese
2% milk
heavy cream
and end of a blue cheese that should be finished soonish
cream cheese

OMG food!

I looked through all my cookbooks for stuff for peaches and potatoes (separately)

One of my favorite cookbooks, Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen, had a recipe for a frittata that not only included potatoes, but also bell peppers and day old bread! Score. I had that last night, but I put all the stuff on the list, anyway, just so I could brag about finding the perfect recipe. I wonder how well the potato frittata will reheat? I’ll find out eventually, I guess.

Cooking With the Seasons had an exceptionally tasty-looking peach dessert, but I’ll need people over to try that. Hint. Hint.
ETA: I lied. The recipe is in Winterthur’s Cullinary Collection, which also has an interesting recipe for a pie with dates and sesame seeds that I might like to have help trying to create some moot.

Otherwise, it looks like I’ll make a coriander and peach chutney/salsa thing and find a good meat to put it with… my choice would be lamb, but it’s looking like chicken is the available option.

I have separated the chicken into meat, crunchy bits, and refuse. I can’t quite bring myself to toss the crunchy bits. They are so tasty – there must be a way to use them without the hideous gluttony of a meal of chicken skin. Crumb topping for casserole?

I’d been planning to put the filet mignon with peppers and mushrooms either in tortillas or over rice all mexican-y with maybe the zucchini and perhaps a can of beans. I think the starch shall, instead, be diced potatoes. Lots of diced potatoes. And I could probably grill down at least one additional bell pepper. I might be able to put away five or six lunches from that dinner.

Ummmm… eggplant. That could go with potatoes in a curry. With jarred tomatoes (from [redacted]’s mother!). And… ummm… lots of jalepenos. Yeah.

So what else is urgent? I should have a bell pepper left, unless it self destructs before I get to it. More potatoes. Some pork for a small dish. Beef for a stir fry. Wherewithal to make hella tasty mashed potatoes to feed a large army. Bother – peaches still, I can’t imagine the chicken using up more than half what I have. Oh, and cooked chicken. Right.

So I need salad greens. I think a chicken, peach, grilled onion salad with stilton would be kinda tasty. Maybe some toasted almonds in that. But way too early to buy the greens yet.

roasted pork with potatoes and carrots and gravy. *yawn* Boring, but it’ll still be tasty.

And then I thaw the meat for stir fry again and make it right quick. Probably by this time I will need to buy more bell peppers. There can be potatoes in stir fry. Totally.

Ooh, and the Better Homes and Gardens has a recipe for bread machine potato bread that starts from a real potato.

Yeah. That should feed me into next month. And I think I’lll still need brilliant ideas to eat everything.

And I have a hankering to make lots of bread… only no room to eat it.

ARGH! I forgot about the three pounds of dates I bought to stuff for an SCA event and never got around to doing anything with… and the container of feta cheese and the bag of walnuts. Is anyone throwing a party any time soon who wants to join me in making a tasty little finger desserts?

Meanwhile, I am feeling both antisocial and lonely… and not quite sure what to do with that.

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19
Sep

Ahrrr! This and That

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in restaurant, Review

For some reason, people kept feeling urges to take me out to expensive restaurants this weekend.

Thursday was my mother’s birthday, so on Friday we went to the Duling Kurtz House and sat in the private room and were served by our favorite waiter (he tells bad jokes and waxes poetic about the beauty of Ireland so far north that it pretends it’s really part of Scotland). Now as my parents have gotten older, eating with them has become stranger. My mother has half the appetite she used to, and my father could be a supermodel for all he can eat – So I’ll order an appetizer and a salad and completely stuff myself by the end of the meal because I eat their leftovers… actually, I managed to completely stuff myself and still take a bag home.

So the food – I had grilled scallops with horseradish cream and black caviar to start… and it was amazingly well put together. All the flavors and textures worked together to make it a soothing and tasty dish. And then I had a Caesar salad (with extra anchovies on the side) – which they make tableside the proper way. My father had french onion soup and a flambe steak au poivre – much fun. And my mother had the crab cakes, which she swore were nothing but crab.

Sunday, my parents were in town for a conference, so I met them at their hotel for a meal at Shula’s, the hotel restaurant. At this meal, again, I just ordered a meal of two side dishes and I walked away stuffed and with leftovers. The asparagus side order was a little disappointing – the asparagus was a touch overcooked and the sauces (I tried both hollandaise and bearnaise) were thin. The creamed spinach, however, was most excellent. And I still got a plate with mushrooms and bell pepper as I would have if I had ordered meat, and both of those were exceedingly tasty. Both my parents ordered the filet mignon, and it was like butter – only even tastier.

Then last night, a friend from Minnesota and I met up for dinner around 16th & Chestnut and wandered around looking for somewhere to eat. She mentioned that she had passed a cute looking french restaurant on her way to meet me, so I (correctly) guessed she meant Brasserie Perrier, which would mean no chance of getting a seating. So we tried Alma de Cuba right next door, instead. It was pricey, but not unreasonably so and worth every penny! This restaurant has finally convinced me that Stephen Starr is not a complete hack and can actually own a restaurant worthy of its reputation. We started off with tempura avocado halves over watercress. My dinner was crisp roasted pork with traditional sour orange mojo served with congri and sweet plantains. The crispy skin on the pork was so good. And my charming dining companion had Annato-Honey Grilled Swordfish, which was served with sweet pea mash, mushroom escabeche, devonshire chive cream and truffled pea greens. I completely forgot to steal taste some of her food because I was so impressed with my own, but it looked really good. She loved it. We giggled over the dessert selections, and after deciding to skip any dessert including espuma, we went for the ginger peach sorbet – which was about all we could handle and settled the meal quite well.

Oh, and there was alcohol. Between the alcohol and the wonderful conversation, I woke up this morning with my back feeling much more nearly normal.

Oh, right – my back. So it had been feeling slightly achy and complainy the past couple of weeks, so I had been being especially attentive to exercising and stretching it… only not good enough. That was part of why I had been so eager to get to the gym last week… and couldn’t.

So Saturday morning, I am just bending a little to tuck my heel into my sandals and I feel something twinge. In a bad way.

Luckily, while bad, it hasn’t been impossibly bad. I still got to the shoe store to buy shoes that will get me into the gym AND will not tear holes in my feet. And then I went to Freaks and Geeks, which I probably would have begged off if I hadn’t been driving [redacted]. It was great to see [bunch o’ people, redacted] – it had been way too long since I had last seen them.

We started off playing Linkety, which was a fun card game that took no time at all before we were having lots of silly fun, but man don’t ever start a run on animals or rivers. We went on to Zigity, which was not as much fun. the cards, while pretty, were a little hard to work with – the see-though cards were really cute, but (for example) you had to pull them off the stack to complete the puzzle or you’d get confused by the cards underneath.

Our first board game was Bean Trader, and I found it a lot of fun – but then, again, I kicked butt at it. The hard part was figuring out when the end of the game would come for an appropriate end game strategy. And then [redacted] was looking for a new game to buy, so we tried out Pirate’s Cove. The set up time was about on par with monopoly – with a bunch of fiddly bits and stuff. But once everything was laid out and the bleeping spinners assembled, the game was a lot of fun. The rules required a bit of experience with role playing games to figure out that each die rolled was its own cannon instead of adding the amounts on the dice, and it kept feeling as though there were situations not covered in the rules, but I think we ended up finding most of them and it was our fault for starting play after having read only half the rules rather than the game designers’ faults.

14
Sep

not food – PSA

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Uncategorized

Just because the package says it is book tape does not necessarily mean that you should actually use it on a book.

14
Sep

Kenyan Collard Greens

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Recipe, vegetarian

Before my lovely and friendly neighbors moved out, they had me over for dinner and served collard greens. The husband, who cooked, told me that it was a traditional recipe from Kenya, but that the spice/spice mix he used was one available at a couple markets around town – available in either powder or a cube.

The resulting greens were smooth and velvety and tasty.

After he left, I tried making it myself with a cube of bouillon from Nigeria hoping that was the seasoning he meant. It was close, but not quite right and too salty.

Last night I tried again, and got something that tastes spot on perfect – Woo!

Kenyan Collard Greens (a version of Sukuma Wiki)

start some nice white rice to cooking (you know whether you like a lot of rice or a little)

(Optional step – his wife was a vegetarian, but he told me meat was traditional – any kind of meat) Cut up two slices of bacon into 1/2 inch strips and scatter them in a pan. Start to cook them.

Dice small on medium onion and add to pan once the bacon is fully cooked and almost crisp. Add garlic when the onion is mostly cooked and you are almost ready to add the other ingredients.

Wash carefully 5-7 leaves. Shake them off, but don’t try to get them perfectly dry. Fold in half and cut out the spine. Slice lengthwise into two or three strips depending on the size of the leaf. Stack the strips. Now cut widthwise into narrow ribbons. Add the ribbons to the pan.

Season with two healthy dashes of 5 spice powder and half a bouillon cube crumbled.

Peel and dice one tomato and add.

Serve over rice.

ETA (11/12/2010): I just found another blogger who discovered this recipe – The Noshery makes Sukuma Wiki

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13
Sep

Food rambling – you know the drill

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Food, lists

food I have
Produce
Collard Greens
5 large potatoes
1 very very ripe tomato
1 zucchini
carrots
onions
5 bell peppers

Meat
roast pork leftovers
lamb shank leftovers
london broil marinated in garlic black pepper chinese sauce

bread products
none
but I now have a bread machine

dairy
a little bit of 2% milk that’s just not going to last
a little bit of heavy cream that’s totally going in tea

food I can make from that

Wednesday, September 13 *done*
collard greens & tomato cooked down with seasonings and some bouillon, served over rice Maybe the lamb leftovers on the side

Thursday, September 14 *done*
grill zucchini & onions. Add Pork. then what? how should I season this one? Cajun-ish with rice and a can of beans?

put pork roast scraps & bone in a pot with the lamb bone. Add water & maybe some carrots – I’ve never heard of pork stock, so not so much a proper stock with veggies as a concentrated yummy liquid in which to cook beans later.

Friday, September 15
taking my mother out to dinner

Saturday, September 16
Freaks & Geeks (dinner out?)

Sunday, September 17
dinner with my parents because they’ll be in the city for a conference
cut up stuff for tomorrow

Monday, September 18
london broil, bell pepper, onion, carrots, garlic -> stir fry
see if I can work a potato into this dish

Tuesday, September 19
pork leftovers with potatoes and bell peppers to make hash.

Put beans to soak

Wednesday, September 20
cook beans in pork broth

make mashed potatoes for dinner
collard greens

Thursday, September 21
beans & rice
collard greens

Friday, September 22
If going to New York, don’t buy any more perishables!
If staying home, head over to the evening farmers market

13
Sep

Not food, but still nourishing

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Uncategorized

One of my friends is a licensed and certified massage therapist, and he has just hung his shingle out for business.

So if you are in the vague vicinity of northern New Jersey, you should know that I think he is trustworthy, capable, and safe. I’ve been dying for one of his massages since he was still in school, but he’s just too far away to drive for a massage and then have to drive back afterward.

But you, if you are closer, should definitely give him a try.

Webpage is here —> Tact Isle <---

If you ask, I have a whole bunch of other wonderful things to say about the man, but they aren’t directly related to his massage-giving capabilities. (No, not like that. They are related to his card playing and cooking skills.)

8
Sep

farmers’ markets

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in dubious, Food, lists, Uncategorized

Wow! The weekday farmers’ market is way different from the weekend one.

There was nowhere to get eggs, but there were different produce vendors than usual, and they were all willing to haggle to get rid of their produce!

I got a quart of peach seconds – so now I need to layer them with sugar and set them to ferment.

I got 7 rolls for $2 – so now I need to eat massive quantities of bread – I did my part by eating 3 with garlic butter and pot roast – Mmmmm.

Two wee little baby melons for half price!

a bunch of bell peppers for a dollar!

and some yummy cheeses – not discounted. Often farmers’ market cheddars taste a bit bitter to me, but not these – so great find.

*rolls about in the glory of good food*

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7
Sep

Miscellany – Pot Roast

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in non-vegetarian, Recipe

Who recommended Garth Nix to me? Who ever you were – brilliant suggestion. I bought the first book, read it through, was excited and interested the whole way through, and am now going to buy the next book. By the time I finish the fourth book, I shall be cursing your name because the series isn’t finished.

The weather could be like this all the time, and I could be happy.

I have a pot roast on the stove waiting for me to eat it for dinner tonight.

How I made it:
I cut up 3 slices of bacon and cooked them in a soup pot.

In a bowl, I mixed black pepper, paprika, a little bit of cinnamon, and ground thyme with 2-3 tablespoons of flour. I put a small london broil in the flour, flipped it, and then jabbed it repeatedly with a fork. Then I turned it over and jabbed it some more. Repeat – until it dangled limply and was fully floured.

Then I put the floured meat into the soup pot to brown in the bacon fat.

I cut up a bunch of onions, and added them to the pot as well. Oooo, and garlic, too. And I threw in a few baby carrots.

Then it was time for some liquid. I started with three capfulls of Manischewitz wine. You know that whole thing about not cooking with wine you wouldn’t drink? Forget it – this wine is the best cooking wine ever! Food just tastes incredibly rich, if you add Manischewitz. Then I dumped in the chicken stock I had hanging out in my refrigerator.

Then I browned the rest of the flour in the bowl and made a roux – and then pulled some of the liquid from the pot until is was thin enough to pour into the pot without making lumps. I probably should have just put the flour in right after I added the meat, but I forgot.

And it should be tender and ready to eat my tonight. I’ll put it over rice and maybe cooks some greens on the side.

I joined a gym. It’s right on my way home from work. There’s a gym bag under my desk at work with shoes and socks and pants and everything – And now I have no idea how to schedule time to go. For example, tonight I need to leave right after work to get to the farmers’ market in time to get veggies. There is no excuse for it being way early september and me only having winter vegetables in the house.

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