Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I know! I suck!

     It has literally been an entire summer since I last posted.  I am ashamed.  It's just....have you ever had one of those summers (or falls, or springs) that fly by way too fast?  The ones where you feel like you've been extremely busy and have missed out on a ton of things, with nothing to really show for it in the end?  Yeah, it's been one of those summers.
     Weddings, Otakon, what else?  I scored a job at Bertucci's, just quit said job, and am currently on the job-prowl.  I had an interview, and I should probably find out the outcome this week.  I think I'm pretty good, though.  I've completely neglected much out-of-the-ordinary cooking (much less blogging about cooking) for the past couple of months, and I hate that.  I guess working has cut into the time I otherwise woulda been spending exploring food, and lack of funds for exploratory ingredients hasn't helped.  To be honest, neither has Reddit.
     Now, I'm back in school.  Everything in life seems to be settling back into place, and I'll definitely have more free time.  Forgive me, and let the fall of cooking/blogging begin!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A few words on Ryan Dunn

     I know he got into his car while under the influence.  I know he drove too fast, and I know another person was killed due to his mistakes.  Those are all very sad things.  However, it didn't take me long at all to get completely fed up by all of the hostility I'm seeing thrown at Dunn. 
     The man died. DIED. He left a whole lot of people behind who miss him terribly, including not only those very close to him, but a ton of fans.  I, for one, feel almost like I've lost a friend.  Dunn was always my favorite of the CKY/Jackass crew, and the fact that I've watched him for so many years made the news of his death truly, deeply sadden me.
     He made a few very grave mistakes, and I won't condone them.  Still, how many of you have never gotten into a car after drinking?  Personally, I'm not that stupid.  Sadly, however, too many people have at least once, if not regularly behaved in such a way.  The irresponsibility is terrible, but if it was a relative or friend of yours who was involved in such a tragic accident, you probably wouldn't be throwing "he deserves no sympathy" comments their way.  The the very, very least, think of Dunn's friends, and particularly the family that has been faced with this loss.
     I really just wish that for the sake of empathy and class, some people would hold in their angry, closed-minded comments and think of the people affected.  Sure, some of them might be individuals who've gained celebrity by shoving items up their asses or putting their dicks in compromising positions for the sake of LOLs, but in the end they're all still people, with families and friends who love them. 

                                                 Party on, Dunn. I will truly miss your Jackassery.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sorry, sorry, sorry!

     I know, it's been AWHILE since I've posted.  Life has been a little crazy this past few weeks- quitting my job, looking for a new one, weddings, end-of-semester craziness, spring cleaning, etc. I haven't really had the time to cook consistently (especially things that I care to admit to (TJ's mac and cheese with BRIE, anyone?)), and have had even LESS time to lurk muh blogs.  I'll be back on track really soon, promise! Also, wish me luck finding a new job soon! Otakon's coming up!! :o

Friday, April 29, 2011

Welp, the day has finally come.

     I quit my job today.  Nothing dramatic happened, like a few people have assumed.  It was just time to move on.  I'll miss you, Hot Topic family! RIP job, 2008-2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Post-Easter detox day three and one looong update

     As I mentioned in my last post, this week I'm being a total kiss-ass to my own body after totally gorging it all this past Easter weekend.  I guess I almost always eat extremely healthy, but I'm trying to keep it to eating ONLY extremely healthy for now.  That means a whole lotta theeese
                                                                       and some-uh theeeese
                                                                        and even some of this!
     To be perfectly honest, I'm not huge on soymilk in general.  Aside from chocolate.  But for some reason, one day last week I had a strange urge to pick some up.  I was at the only store between wherever I was leaving and home, and they didn't carry the brand of rice/almond/soy/etc milks I usually buy for supercheapz at Trader Joe's, hence this one of the overpriced variety.  And the fact that I brought home the Omega-enhanced type was purely accidental.  However, I was actually really pleasantly surprised at the taste.  This kind seemed to have a creamier, more pleasant taste than regular.  Or, probably, I was just imagining it.
     I didn't really have a full meal yesterday, I was really busy and shamefully relied mainly on bits and pieces.  My dinner was basically this-
 A rice cake with some salted/lemon juiced avocado, with a pear sprinkled with salt and cinnamon (DON'T JUDGE ME!).

Going backwards to Monday, which was a very pretty day.  I guess Monday's dinner was similar, although my lethargic ass put just a bit more effort into it.  I had a sandwich.  Smoked Tofu and some half-assed yet delicious guacamole. 
                                   (just a nice photo of the trees behind our back yard, near sunset)
Later on my mommy made me some yummy vegetables in plain tomato sauce.  I don't usually like pizza or pasta sauces because I hate the combination of seasonings like oregano with the concentrated tomato flavor, so plain was lovely.  Was gooood.
 Dessert (prior to my surprise veggies) was a mashed up, very ripe banana mashed with some cocao powder and lots and lots of cinnamon.  Might look kinda bleh, but this stuff was good.

     Today I worked my butt off all day cleaning, and during the afternoon mostly just snacked on fruit.  For dinner, though, I put together another nice plate of veggies-
Mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, garlic and spinach sauteed with toasted almonds, sesame seeds, lemon juice and cayenne.  With this I had a bowl of tomato (fresh and sun-dried), avocado, garlic, and feta (all from TJ's, all awesome)
                                                                      God, I'm adventurous.
     Dessert was strawberries and cantaloupe over some Greek yogurt mixed with cocao and cinnamon.  Trend here?  Gosh, I loves me some cinnamon..
     And going back about a week or so, I tested a recipe from my cookbook baby.  It was a polenta-pear cake, and the recipe itself was almost entirely vegan, which I quite liked.  The cake was delicious, but the texture was all...awful.  I'm not gonna tell you the stupid mistake I made, though. 
     Ok, I will.  I didn't use instant polenta.  I used..regular polenta.  Go on, mock me. Here it is, anyway, before baking, while baking and the finished product.
     Speaking of baking, yesterday I hung out with a good friend of mine and we made snickerdoodles and chamomile cookies.  Not EXACTLY detox, buuuuut hey.  The chamomile ones were awesome, I love the idea of cooking/baking with tea. 

     And one more thing- my thoughts go out to those affected by the tornadoes all over the side of the country over the past few days.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A slighlty belated very Happy Easter!

     Only slightly, only slightly.  I, for one, had a great past two days.  Yesterday began with a nice breakfast with my mom and my boyfriend (and early Easter Baskets), and ended with my family's early Easter dinner.  Today we visited my boyfriend's Grandparents and then headed over to his family's for their Easter dinner in Easton.  Totally worth the hour and a half drive, even over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in a storm.  I love those people.
     Needless to say, I haven't really had the time or need to cook all weekend.  Hand-in-hand with that is the fact that I definitely haven't been eating in a way that makes my body happy, although this holiday has been DELICIOUS.  So tomorrow begins some serious detox.
     Happy Easter, everybody!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mr. William Donald Schaefer

     I know it's a couple of days late, but I really would like to send a shout-out to a man who was an amazing leader, who made an immeasurable impact on the city and state where I've grown up, Mayor/Governor/Comptroller/Awesome dude William Donald Schaefer.  I'm not old enough to really remember him being in office, and I wasn't even born when he began changing, really helping to DEFINE the city of Baltimore forever.  But when I look around the city, I'll always know who the man was who brought so many things in it to reality.  The Harbor Place, The National Aquarium, and so many other landmarks wouldn't have been possible without Mr. Schaefer,  and I know that just by being him, he impacted countless lives (and communities) for the better.
Rest in awesome peace, Willie-Don.  And thank you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Antipasto, or something like it.

     It rained for the better part of today.  I couldn't enjoy any luscious sunshine, so  after running a couple of errands (including taking care of something that may or may not bring some big changes to my life for the better) and cleaning my ass off, I had nothing to do but, of course, cook.  This was alright, I needed some time to myself in the kitchen.  Actually, I stretched out the cooking time for everything I made just to pass the time.  So anyhow, I decided to put together a nice plate of assorted roasted veggies, a la that awesome antipasto plate I sometimes go to Bertucci's to waste money on (extra asparagus instead of the prosciutto, please!)  Here's mine.
Roasted yellow pepper, mushrooms with minced garlic, garlic cloves, carrots, eggplant, mozzarella and, in the middle, homemade dill hummus.  It looks good, but for some reason nothing on this plate wound up really resonating with my moody taste buds, aside from the garlic.  The garlic was perfect.  The eggplant was pretty good too, I guess.  The closest I've come to getting that texture I've been striving for. Not even the usual tomato/avocado/garlic salad I've been so fond of lately had me feelin' the love.  Sad.
     Just for funsies, here's some photos of the befores:
Hummus, pre-blending.  It needed, dare I say, more lemon.
     Dessert was an apple, a lemon zest Luna bar and a Cadbury Egg, which felt like a splurge, but hey.  It wasn't until about a half hour before sunset that the sun actually APPEARED.  Lame. 
     In the next couple of days I'll be testing a pear-polenta cake that I've had my eye on for forever, and that I hope is good enough to bring to Easter with my family, and maybe even my boyfriend's.  The recipe is from my favorite British-ass vegetarian cookbook, my BABY, which at the moment is being borrowed by my best friend.  YOU BETTER KNOW I TRUST YOU, EMMA! That is all.

Okay dinner, "Fried" okra, and SEVERE OVEN-BURNS D:

     Dinner tonight was sub-par-  roasted veggies, grilled plain smoked tofu, and a (actually really good) mixture of tomato, avocado, TJ's marinated artichokes, home-made croutons, fresh garlic, feta and dill.  Ok, actually it was awesome, and I really should have just made that dinner alone.  I should really just eat this every day. Hmm. 
 For dessert, I topped a piece of bread with Nutella, sliced apple, crushed cardamom and cinnamon, and then stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes.  Eet was gooood.  The Nutella soaked deep down into the bread while the bottom still stayed crunchy, and something about the warm apples went really nicely with the sesame seeds coating the crust.
The photo is yellow, I know.  But now for the AWFULNESS!  Upon hurriedly attempting to give my vegetables a stir before they stuck desperately to their foil, I moved my right arm just a BIT too ambitiously and burned the SHIT out of my inner-elbow on the partially-open oven door.  It hurt. like. a. bitch.  The pain has dulled a bit after several hours (and a nice rest on a bag of frozen edamame), but still, I feel like such a victim D: Just look!
The burn is actually worse than the photo makes it look, I assure you.  Send some pity to my daft, culinary burn-prone ass, won't you?  Don't make me take photos of my caramel scar!

     Moving on. Or rather, moving backward.  Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to an awesome coaster-nerd meet-up at Hershey Park,  and we ate lots of junk-food, and he had to drive home because I was coming dangerously close to falling asleep early on in the 1.5 hour drive home.  So, needless to say, no cooking.  Saturday, during the crazy rain, we went out for food.  Sooo, no cooking then either.  But I DID manage to try something new on Friday.
     I've had this package of frozen okra sitting around in the freezer from my recent okra phase, and I basically really just wanted to make it go away.  I thought I'd try breading it with panko and cayenne (and nothing else), figuring the slimyness miiight just function like a good eggwash.  Even after crushing the panko up real nice, it only stuck a little well.  Oh well, what can ya do.  Anyway, although sorta naked, they did brown somewhat nicely.  Too bad I keep ruining food for some reason with cayenne pepper, no matter how miniscule the amount.  Why do I do that? 
By the way, I apologize deeply for the crappy quality of the photos on this post.  For starters, my camera did not cost several hundred dollars.  Also, because of the weather recently, the lighting in the kitchen has been worse during the day than it is even at night.
     I had the okra with some nice roasted eggplant, mushrooms and yellow peppers and dolmas from Trader Joe's.  The dolmas were DEFINITELY the highlight of the meal.
     Hopefully I'll be fulfilling my goal of making my own dolmas fairly soon.  Ok, no more typing.  Time to watch me some Harry Potter too late at night.  Peace, people.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Funny pretentious bento lady story

Today I'm hitting up Trader Joe's, one because I need things but also because I need a weekend cheer-up on this glorious, Spring Break Friday  (I have no work until next Friday and this free weekend is a treat).  Anyway, I stumbled across a photo of this new bento box thing they have in TJ's frozen section.  It's pretty.  It looks like this-
(not my photo), and it's probably tasty.  However, it's like seven dollars, and for that I could just make something much more awesome with much, much more volume.  It's cute though! 
     But it reminded me- a few weeks ago I was at the store with my fast food king, non health-loving, ever-begrudging boyfriend, and I picked one of these boxes up.  I looked at it, sort of laughed off the price and jokingly said to him something like "ahh, if only."  Just then, a woman from elsewhere in the isle looks over, BEE-LINES to that particular box, picks it up, and as she walks away, she turns and throws me this unmistakable, SMUG-ass "must be lonely at the bottom" smirk.  I kid you not, it was unreal.  And absolutely hilarious.  I could barely stifle my snorts.

     So yeah, just thought I'd share.  Tonight? TJ'S AND HARRY POTTER! ferthewin.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dorky dilemmas, tofu firsts and the rice that had potential.

     What with the rain, school work and job-related stresses among other things, the past few days have been less than enthralling, to say the least.  Let me just vent a little, just a bit.  Distant Worlds, the elaborate concert world-tour featuring music from the Final Fantasy series is a magical, MAGICAL thing, and it's seriously been a life dream of mine to see it.  Well, it's coming to the Meyerhoff Symphony hall here in Baltimore, which is a VERY big deal.  Only problem is that it just HAS to be July 30th, which is the Saturday of Otakon.  If you know me, you know that this is both the best and worst thing that could possibly happen. 
     It's good because it ties perfectly into 'kon, ESPECIALLY if I bust out the Aerith Gainsborough cosplay again (yes, I am that type of loser).  But Saturday night is one of the best parts of the entire convention.  Yes, I would probably only miss about five hours of the weekend if I attended Distant Worlds (the Meyerhoff is only about a mile away from the convention center), but that could potentially be a very important few hours.  I really don't think I can pass up this opportunity, though.  I'm pretty sure I can make it work.  It would be TORTURE knowing that show was going on so close with me not at it, especially under the nerdy circumstances.  Hmm..

     So, there's my nerdy problem.  Back to food.  Let me first just share with you a few of my favorite things, and some of the things helping to keep me sane these days:
Trader Joe's jasmine green tea in my favorite giant mug (which just so happens to depict the logo of my favorite roller coaster in the world).  On my favorite bed-side table..thing.  Oh, and some Alba Botanica moisturizer in the background. There you have it.

     Anyway, a few nights ago I went ahead and put together some more impromptu dahl.  It was pretty good, and it looked like this:
Aaaand a rather unclear depiction of what went into it (the cilantro was mostly for a little bit of color variation, as it obviously added no flavor whatsoever.
And some toasted almonds, crushed up with some mint, sesame seeds and black peppercorns-
Despite using the coconut milk, the dahl actually came out somewhat drier than when I've skipped it.  Weird. 

     I can't remember what day this was, but this sandwich was friggin' good.  I tried, for the first time, both smoked tofu (SoyBoy) and Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 bread, which comes frozen and is rather pricey, probably the reason I haven't yet tried it.  I got the sesame variety, and it's really tasty.  I might have to start grabbing this stuff more often.  Anyway, in between two toasted pieces of the yummy bread went some of the tofu (grilled), avocado, fresh dill and some goddess dressing, which I skimped on so much that it was more or less undetectable.  I've been craving the sandwich ever since. 
The tofu is hiding somewhat, but yeah. 

     And I guess that brings us to yesterday.  There's a recipe in my "I Heart Trader Joe's" cookbook for Mushroom Hazelnut Rice that I'd wanted to try since I got it for Christmas.  There's no photo in the book, but I had this imagine in my head of this fluffy, not-too-wet, bright bowl of rice with beautiful bits of earthy mushrooms and hazelnuts, all brightened up with lemon zest.  These, you see, are the ingredients.  It sounded and looked irresistible in my hungry imagination. 
     Well, I finally got to Wegmans (where I could buy a small amount of hazelnuts and white rice just for this recipe without breaking the bank, because, ya know, those things are so expensive, right?), and thus got around to trying out this dreamy recipe. 
     My first mistake might have been cooking the white rice (I always cook with brown, but chose white for the bright color) in mushroom broth, which I'd never used before. (
), and while its taste was earthy and nice, it gave the bright, long-grain rice a sort of sad and grayish color.  Boo.  My next mistake may or may night have been using the rice cooker, which I suspect made it a bit too gummy and not at all fluffy.  I was sad.  And then I didn't have an entire lemon to zest (or, rather, I didn't wanna steal the zest from and ruin a whole new lemon when I already had a perfectly good...half), so the flavor wasn't quite bright enough.  In the end, I think the mushrooms and hazelnuts, all nicely sauteed, would have been a little more satisfying without the tasty yet depressing-looking rice.  Next time, I'll use a less dark, cloudy broth and cook the rice differently, probably.
I had the finished product with some grilled white eggplant (also a first for me).  Interestingly, last night might have actually been the first time I've EVER put so much lemon juice on something that I didn't even want to eat it, but to be fair to my lemon-juice-obsession, I don't think the eggplant had much potential with or without it.  The highlight of the meal, though, was definitely the awesome little salad I made with some a summery-tasting tomato, avocado, dill, garlic and some sheeps' milk feta I found for cheapz at Whole Foods.  Almost an oxymoron, I know.  It was delicious, though.
     So, that's that.  Until next time!  I don't mind comments, by the way : )

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My babaghanouj instincts

     Now that I've got a working computer, it means that I don't have to wait a million hours for the family Dell to upload photos.  This means that I can actually INCLUDE them, yay! Sooo let's get started.

     When I've made babaghanouj in the past, I've always just sorta eyeballed.  Of course, I used recipes as a guide, but I never quite followed them exactly.  And, ya know, it's almost always turned out good, in my opinion.  Tonight, though, as an experiment, I decided to actually follow a recipe from one of my books, and to be honest it wound up tasting like a waste of a small, perfectly good eggplant.  Looked good, though:
Pretty good, anyway.  To be fair, I didn't use a blender or food processor on this.  I thought, for whatever reason, that mashing it by hand might be...interesting?  I also roasted the eggplant like this:
(like the recipe told me), as opposed to cubing it up like I usually do.  This made for a mixture that was a bit too wet for my liking.  Also, I used mint, which isn't something I usually add.  Actually, I usually add very little in terms of seasoning, not even garlic.  For this batch, I did some grindin' (not part of the recipe, but hey, I couldn't resist).  Mint, black pepper and sesame seeds-
     But, yeah, overall I think I'm gonna stick to eyeballing and taste-testing.

     Even though I didn't really like it, I wasn't gonna waste the stuff.  So I put it on a piece of toasted quinoa bread from Trader Joe's, and added it to my hodge-podge dinner of vegetable samosas (also TJ's) and some random veggies I was trying to use up.  For dessert? Apples and bananas that I topped with an impromptu mixture of plain Greek yogurt, cinnamon and Nutella :D
Sounds weird, I know, but it was actually really nice and rich and the Nutella cut down on the sharpness of the yogurt just enough. I LOVE Nutella.  I wish I could find a vegan version, but I might just have to find a way to make one : )  And oh, I almost forgot, the whole time I was cooking this stuff, I was snacking diligently on some awesome, lemony kale chips (I recently tried these for the first time, and have made several batches since). Why oh why must I add copious amounts of lemon juice to everything? Yum.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New laptop! :D

     Sony Vaio.  Long story short, Asus gave up trying to fix the first one, Geek Squad worked hard to screw me over, and in the end a store credit for the price paid for the Asus got me this brand new beauty instead of Best Buy's insurance policy getting me something of lesser quality from an EXTREMELY limited list of choices (in other words, two choices).  It was actually very, very complicated and I was about a half inch away from blowing a gasket in my soul right there in the store. 
     Basic point is this: this blog should be much, much improved from here on out, considering the fact that it will be approximately 29873918731 times easier to upload photos and stuff. Yay! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dahl win.

     So, one of my goals for this year was to experiment with dahl.  If by chance you don't know what dahl is, it's a popular Indian dish made of mashed lentils, spices, and other good stuff.  My Grandmom used to make really good split pea soup, and my mom makes really good split pea soup, but those things are unrelated.  Sort of.
     Actually, no.  It's this really good split pea soup that has always made me think that I probably, in fact, like split lentils.  I've never really worked with them, myself. But I've come across so many recipes for dahl in the past, and it's always looked really good to me, if only a couple of the usual ingredients were...you know, not there.  I've got a good recipe for dahl with tomatoes, but I don't really  like cooked tomatoes. I also am not a huge fan of onions, or some of the spices recipes usually suggest.  So I figured I'd make up my own dahl.
     I wasn't aware that red split lentils cook EXTREMELY quickly, right into a nice, thick mush.  And I mean this in the nicest of ways, I assure you.  I actually cooked the peas in my rice cooker with some garlic.  Into the lovely orange mush I threw in cayenne, cumin (which I'm not a giant fan of, but thought it'd be appropriate), powdered ginger (not something I use often at all), sesame seeds, powdered cardamom and lots of lime juice.  I planned to add some coconut milk, but had forgotten to leave just a little in the can when I made my (also a goal) coconut rice pudding, and I didn't feel like opening a whole new can. 
     Long story short, this stuff was awesome.  Like..really good.  Even my boyfriend, who doesn't have the most cultural of palettes to say the least, went into the kitchen to grab his own bowl.  And, no surprise here, a smallish serving it was really nicely filling. Great success!

     The coconut rice pudding, on the other hand, not so much.  It wasn't bad by any means, but I sort of used brown basmati rice instead of jasmine short-grain, which made it a little too...toothsome. I hate that word, by the way.  I DID, however, throw in a jasmine tea bag while it was simmering, to fill the jasmine-y void in my psyche!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One of those days. But worse. Yay, tea.

     I'm having a really bad, crappy day.  One of those super-contemplative, "I really need to make some big changes but for now I just wanna mope and sniffle" days.  Things are less than ideal work-wise, I'm stressing about school in a big way, and on top of everything else, I got the biggest laptop cock-tease today. 
     It's the second time I've had to have the computer shipped away to Asus.  I finally got the call today, after weeks, that it was ready to pick up from the GeekSquad people.  Ten minutes after confirming by phone that the computer would ACTUALLY work (they replaced the motherboard this time), the boy calls me back to say that actually, no, I won't be getting it back yet.  They've found more problems, something about drivers and the mousepad.  Sooo...it's getting shipped away. AGAIN. Expedited, he said, but it will still probably be over a week.  If this happens one more time, I had better be receiving a new computer. 

     For now, I'm just trying to calm my nerves.  Tonight is free, and so it tomorrow, but I can't shake this stressyness.  My boyfriend being sweet to me, this YamaMotoYama Jasmine Tea, and some free time to get creative with these vegetables in the fridge are my only saving graces right now.  And perhaps Teen Mom 2. 
     On the subject of these veggies, maybe one of you can help me-
     I've got this eggplant, see, and I like roasting eggplant, a lot.  But I can never seem to get that perfect, browned, mushy consistency that I find at, say, Bertucci's.  Granted, I don't have a brick oven.  I've tried all sorts of ways.  Tried in foil, not in foil, grilled first, salted, not salted, lots of oil, not lots...you get the point.  I'm stumped. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ow- french onion soup and my eyes

     So it turns out, I think, that my eyes are even more sensitive than those of a normal human being when it comes to cutting up onions.  They do not, DO NOT like it.  Tonight I'm trying out a french onion soup recipe from one of my brilliant British vegetarian cookbooks, and this is a big deal, because I don't think I've ever actually made soup before.  I'm excited.  The onions are cookin' up right now, and I hope this shit's delicious!
     I think I might also try out a recipe tonight for this "creamy omelette" in a different BBVCB (my new abbreviation), because it's super-easy and has protein, and all that good stuff.  The thing is, I don't really like eggs.  I mean...at all.  I've more or less avoided them my entire life.  But lately I've been trying to forge a friendship with them for the sake of limited time in the morning, and my body's levels of protein and iron. We'll see.
     So, the coconut?  It was basically wasted on a fail-recipe. Let's just leave it at that.  And also, I think I was wrong, yet AGAIN, about my mystery root vegetable.  Boo.

     UPDATE: 4/1/11- Before I forget, the soup turned out pretty well.  I forgot to mention that I don't really even like onions, but the flavors came together nicely.  I threw in some croutons I made with Trader Joe's Quinoa Bread (try it!).  The omelette...not so much.  I think I'm just gonna stick to my occasional egg-for-iron routine, for now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rainy day coconut conundrum

     Today is pretty blah.  No school, no work. And while this is greatly appreciated, and even though I should be doing homework, I'm feeling that boredom feeling where you know you're bored because you're not doing anything, but you don't actually FEEL like doing anything.  Usually, this would be when I cook up something crazy and ambitious and possibly hyper-healthy.  Problem is, I'm not freakin' hungry! What's that about..
     Also, I've got this coconut.  I bought it because it was 99 cents at H-mart.  It's just been sitting on the dining room table for a week waiting to be turned into something awesome, yet I've done nothing. Tonight should probably be the night for this coconut to try at glory.  I'm thinking about trying to put together some kind of rice pudding with it, but I'm really lazy right now, sooo...anyway..
     By the way, the falafel came out...well, like I told my Dad when he asked, "fal-AWFUL." Then I proceeded to laugh like a maniac.  I took way too much creative license with this pretty simple food, especially since it was my first time both cooking and eating it.  Lesson learned.  Example- I didn't have any fresh herbs on hand other than some dried mint, so I used spinach instead.  And I threw some chestnuts in the mix, among some other unlikely ingredients.  Plus I baked them.  Really, if they hadn't come out so dry, they would have been pretty alright. 

     I should mention that my laptop, finally, was sent back to Asus yesterday and hopefully it'll be back in with me within a couple of weeks, FIXED.  This means that I can post more often, post BETTER posts, and actually include more of my own photos.  This is very important. If anybody was wondering (which nobody was, because nobody reads this but me), that is the explanation for my stark lack of visuals.

     Good luck, coconut..

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Falafel virginity

     I think that today, I am breaking mine. 

     It's true, I've never actually had falafel. As a long-time [mostly] vegetarian and part-time vegan, this seems pretty strange to me.  But there you have it.  However, I've always really WANTED to try it, and it's always seemed simple enough to make.  The only problem is that I'm not too big on frying stuff.  Sooo..I'm gonna bake it.  And omit some ingredients, either because I don't have them or because I don't like them.

     I bought some pita rounds at Trader Joe's yesterday with the intention [and craving] to eat them with babaganouj, buuut seeing as how they had no eggplants in stock, they will now be dedicated to some falafel-y adventures.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Update on mystery root vegetable:

     I was wrong.  Boy, was I wrong.  It was taro.  Repeat: taro.
     That is all.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today is significant, food-wise.

     I will tell you why.  First things first, I'm roasting beets.  Not significant, you say?  Well, it is when you've never worked with fresh beets before.  Not sure why, just never have.  So I'm slightly excited, even with my hands hopelessly dyed red.
     I will tell you another reason that today is special (culinarily speaking.  Otherwise today is blah).  Let me ask you this: have you ever had a certain food or ingredient within a certain food that you can't quite identify, but wind up craving at random intervals that can last days?  Have you ever, then, stumbled across this food right at your fingertips, right at the perfect moment, without warning? You see, there's this root vegetable.  I've had it in Trader Joe's Root Vegetable Chips, in tempura, and I'm sure elsewhere.  I never gave it much thought, always forgetting to look further into identifying it.  It's a funny, speckly, potato-like thing, but with a slightly more complex flavor.  I assumed it was just one of those root vegetables I always hear and read about, but have never bought.  I've been thinking about it for days. 
     The other day at H-mart (see last post), I bought a purple yam out of curiosity.  Today I cut it up to roast with the beets.  Imagine my delight when I find that the inside contains that same (I THINK) speckly flesh that's been on my mind.  I always pictured the inside of purple yams to be a more solid purple, but nope- it looks just like my beloved mystery tuber. Guardian [food] Angel? 
     I'll letcha know how it comes out.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Over-toasted sesame seeds. I don't like 'em.

     Just thought I'd throw that out there.  And somehow, I always manage to overtoast them.  I had to waste a couple of teaspoons of them just now and start over, because I'm adding some crushed sesame seeds to this weird, experimental stuffing I'm throwing together for some mushrooms, and gross over-toasted sesame seeds could ruin the whole thing. 
     I had a very long night last night and slept away today, only to wake up feeling crappy and blah and discontent with nothing to do for distraction.  So, naturally, I'm spending hours and hours in the kitchen.  I'm making said mushrooms, stuffing them with some...breadcrumb-goatcheese-sesameseed-parsley-egg-whatever else I feel like throwing in...mixture.  I'm also gonna make these eggplant roll-ups with mozzarella and tomatoes I found the recipe for in one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks (remind me to rant another time about my suspicion that all of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks are British).  I'm making these because they remind me of this awesome fried green tomato/mozzarella dish I had at Galaxy66 in Ocean City, and I don't exactly have any green tomatoes on hand, seeing that it is February.......anyway..

     Along with that, I'm trying these sweet potato gnocci I found at Trader Joe's.  They come with sage butter.  They sound badass. Meanwhile, I'm watching a Saturday Night Live special until like 11.  Yes.
     Today is fat, blah day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hmm..fake tabbouleh?

     Today it's really warm. Like 75 degrees. And it's February.  I spent a lot of the day outside, which was awwwesoooome..anyway, I'm in the mood for food that reminds me of warm weather.  I've really wanted to make tabbouleh lately, even though I've never tried.  However, probably because I haven't looked hard enough, I haven't come across any bulgur anywhere, sooo I'm substituting quinao. I know. Me and quinao.  It's ridiculous. Oh, well..
     I think I'm also gonna throw together a nice Three Color Salad with some tomatoes and mozzarella I picked up yesterday, and an avocado I HOPE is still good. mouthwatermouthwatermouthwater.
     Oh, by the way, got an 'A' on my paper on Food Network Magazine. Win.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


     It's been too long. I know. I'm sorry. Haven't been cooking too much over the past month what with a couple of bouts of mystery-sickness and school starting back up and everything.  Speaking of school, I'm taking a journalism class and I did my first assignment on Food Network Magazine. It was an oddly easy assignment. I should post it on here.
     I'll be posting more regularly soon, promise! Oh, by the way, I recently found meyer lemons for the first time. They are lovely things.
      (These are not my meyer lemons.  But aren't they cute?)