31 July 2002

my level of cooking enthusiasm comes and goes in waves and right now i feel myself plummetting into a veggie-soup-from-the-can phase in which the only dishes i care to cook are soup with egg noodles and popcorn. i hope it passes quickly. a girl can only cram so much sodium into her system...

so, given my disinterest in cooking, imagine my delight when, on my way home from the train, i ran into erica and lynne who invited me to dinner at moody's, a bar down the street--their treat! unfortunately, moody's is not very veggie friendly but i settled with the "moody's sizeable salad," hold the bacon. the bacon was not 'held,' but instead brought out in a little cup in order to allow, i guess, for regulated bacon consumption. if you're going to eat salad with bacon on it, just do it. limiting your bacon intake is wussy and you know you'll eat the remaining bacon straight out of the cup after your finished with the salad anyways.

apparently there's a restaurant here in chicago that serves black bear. what ever does it taste like? canadian wilderness.com claims that it is a forgotten delicacy and provides a recipe for black bear stew, but be careful, according to the alaska outdoor supersite, 'tis best eaten fresh.

funny, though, how we get so stuck on the meats that we've grown up eating. i have no qualms about eating liver and yet the thought of eating brains totally disgusts me. not that any of this should matter to me. i'm a vegetarian, right?

30 July 2002

a new food movie. hmmm...i wonder if martha will fall in love iwth the "flamboyant, fun-loving Italian"...what a unique twist that would be.

this morning i ate breakfast for the first time in months. i generally tend to avoid the practice, blaming my horrible horrible habit of sleeping until the very last possible minute but, really, i just don't like that first and "most important" meal of the day. when i was a wee thing, my mom, being the good and concerned mother that she is, was always trying to coerce me into eating breakfast. if she wasn't making pancakes that spelled my name (a surefire technique if you're dealing with a second grader), she was insisting that i at least take an apple or breakfast bar to eat on my walk to school. i'm not proud of this, but, sigh, i would either slip said breakfast back into the fridge or, gasp!, throw it out! sorry mom! maybe if i'd eaten my breakfast i'd be 5'7" instead of 5'6".

this morning i had a bowl of organic (i.e. flavorless) rice krispies with lowfat (i.e. watered down) soymilk..i think i've already grown a 1/2 inch or so.

29 July 2002

my weekend in food was so deeply uninspiring. i actually forgot, really, to eat on saturday with the exception of a bowl of cereal in the morning. sometimes its just too hot to think about food or beverage. luckily, becky came over mid-afternoon and forced me to drink water, water and more water, giving me the energy i needed to fall down my stairs, go out to see the drag kings anyways, drink two corona's, feel sorry for myself and my sore foot (stair's related injury), drag myself home and have a cup of veggie broth with egg noodles while watching bbc dorothy sayers tapes.

on sunday i overcompensated for saturday's lack of water-intake and, while sitting in an all-day meeting, consumed approximately six bottles of water. i can, therefore, say with confidence that the international conference center on lawrence and sheridan has a lovely bathroom. after the meeting, i dragged myself home and made okra for the first time. the sliminess was a bit disconcerting but everyone at the potluck seemed to enjoy the dish.

but tonight i made a massive vat of cauliflower, potato and chickpea curry which will be lunch for the next week. curry is so easy to make and it tastes oh so good!

26 July 2002

oh wow! this man means business! I wonder if the Fancy Food Show is coming to a convention center near me anytime in the near future.

while I quite enjoyed my stay in the wonderful obie-filled city of new york, i missed my favorite week of the year here at spertus: the distance learners week when, for five days, every meal plus snacks in between is provided by Kosher Gourmet. tragically, i only caught the tail end of the week and, therefore, only had one bagel breakfast and one kosher mexican lunch. i should say, though, that in the past year kosher gourmet has made leaps and bounds in the preperation of edible kosher vegetarian food. last year, while gnawing my way through pieces of rubbery deep fried tofu chunks, i oftened pondered how kosher cooks could go so wrong with veggie cooking. it occurred to me that a cooking class for kosher caterers led by vegetarian chefs could really improve the dining experience of jews worldwide. well, i suspect that this may have happened, as this years veggie kosher food is quite tasty. no rubbery tofu. no gelatinous sauces. three cheers for kosher gourmet! they even made their own seitan!

today for lunch: seitan sloppy joe's. oh yeah!

25 July 2002

lest I think that I am charting unmarked territory, I just discovered a neat foodblog with a list of other foodblogs, many of which, oddly enough, come from chicago. perhaps sometime we can all get together and talk about food. i'd like that.

24 July 2002

having spent the past five days eating only the tastiest and most sophisticated new york city treats, i find something so comforting in a big bowl of kopi cafe guacamole and a chai tea smoothy. ahhh...their guacamole is rarely listed on the menu but is usually available and made to order. i don't think there is anything particularly special about the recipe; the big chunks of guacamole and tomato just make the whole thing divine.

just back from the culinary capital that is new york city. woo hoo! i ate plenty and will now try to recount each and every morsel of food consumed in a five-day period, backwards. but first, the highlights:
dean and delucas: while persuing the aisles of dean and delucas, new yorks fancy pants store, it starting pouring outside. a pipe burst, flooding one of the best cheese selections found in new york with raw, nasty, stinky sewage. dean and delucas patrons, myself included, all crowded up in the front of the store, trying to avoid the stink of sewage without plunging out into the torrential downpour. tee hee!

i think that was the best and only highlight, although it did occur to me that sometimes vodka cranberry drinks smell like vomit. actual puke. huh.

in an attempt to fill my grossly expanded stomach, i am currently eating a post-lunch bowl of veggie broth with egg noodles. oh yum. of course i just ate a rather large lunch at trattoria 10 in chicago with my dad, brother and not-really-related almost uncle-type person. an insalata caprese and stuffed morel mushrooms in brandy cream sauce. yum! and delicious bread. dessert was a waffle cone with vanilla gelato and seasonal fruits (i.e. grapes, cherries, blackberries, rasberries). several cups of coffee.

tuesday, july 23
the night ended at village karaoke with beer, beer and jays bbq potato chips while watching lacey and her friends sing their hearts out. also got a scoop of double chocolate fudge ice cream in the village and the veggie maki combo with age tofu from a japanese restaurant on st. marks. earlier had a slice of mushroom pizza in the lower east side and pizza is so to new york what hot dogs are to chicago. before pizza was lunch at american wraps with lacey, jen and vanessa near hunter college for the working/student girl's convenience. food was non-descript which was okay since i had a very heavy tomato spinach quiche for breakfast at the cafe near lacey's home. coffee and cold beverages consumed throughout.

monday, july 22
picnic in the park! sesame noodles, olives, mozzerella, tomatoes, bazil, salad, bread, brooklyn lager, etc. lunch was probably good although i can't remember what it involved. erm. um. yes! lunch at kate's joint with vanessa and lacey...i had a boca burger type item.

sunday, july 21
tapas and cannoli with zach, kim, brian, sarah and adam. the tapas served with sangria at xunta was divine but nothing compared to the chocolate cannoli Veniero's, an italian bakery that's been around since 1894. on the opposite end of the dessert spectrum, i had a hot pink snowball at ps1 for my late afternoon snack followed by a coconut bubble tea at saint alps tea house. brunch was a fantastic omelette with frites at tournesol, a small french bistro tucked away in long island city. i love french fries.

saturday, july 20
i had a perfectly respectable dinner of red curry and tofu at a thai place in cobble (kobble?) hill after an afternoon of carnival food at coney island: nathan's cheese fries, a bite of a nathan's hotdog, a strawberry smoothy. brunch with zach, kim and lacey at a cute little place in park slope. and obies EVERYWHERE! frankly, it was a little creepy. but my "eggs sophia," with avocado and tomato instead of ham, was tasty.

friday, july 19
arrived in new york at 11am. grabbed lunch with courtney and laura at a cafe near courtney's place. we split a vegan "egg salad" sandwich, which was tasty, despite the fact that it tasted nothing like egg salad. the free samples of rice crispy treat were also a good thing. coconut ice cream at the chinatown ice cream factory and the previously mentioned dean and deluca highlight. courtney and i had dinner at quintessence, a raw food restaurant in the east village and i was pleasantly surprised. we split sesame seaweed salad, "pasta" marinara with "meatballs" [1/2 the menu was in quotations] and a hemp burger. i was not hungry an hour later. i thought the food tasted good. and i was impressed with their creativity. the couple sitting next to us had embraced the raw food lifestyle and the woman was apologizing to the guy because she forgot to put enzymes in his salad. he gave her a book titled "Peace is Everlasting" or something like that. they were pasty. we followed our pure, fresh, raw dinner with drinks at gingers and henrietta hudsons.

18 July 2002

leftovers leftovers. my future housemate came over to meet the other housemate and cooked gado gado for me! good sign! so, he's moving in.

for reasons unknown, the watered down office coffee has given me a serious case of the jitters this morning. i drink the stuff every day and it's so weak that i can no longer drink any other coffee without getting heart palpitations but today, man, one cup of the stuff and my heart is racing. ick.

17 July 2002

dinner, courtesy of gena
tonight wonderful and amazing gena cooked dinner for a few lucky friends. it was a perfect meal for a hot summer night...simple and delicious. cut up veggies with caesar salad dressing, a lightly dressed green salad, a huge plate of raw fruit, cheese and crostini, tomato basil and fresh mozzarella, and beer. fresh, light and i ate a ton! one tends to assume that the most wonderful meals are often those that involve the most preperation and planning, when in fact, sometimes the best is also the easiest!

sigh. so tired, but must persevere! today i had leftovers. all glamour. all the time. it's too hot to eat enough so i eat a few bites, feel nauseously full and then get hungry again an hour later and repeat the cycle. its most inconvenient.

16 July 2002

non-consensual midnight snack
while slumbering peacefully, i was suddenly jarred into consciousness by six sweet words: "eliz, i got you french fries." magda, ev and ann, after a few rounds at the batting cages, swung by Superdawg on Milwaukee and Devon, a 1950s-style hotdog stand complete with car-hops and giant flashing neon girl and boy hotdog signs. much more asleep than awake, i stumbled into my kitchen, collapsed into a chair, grabbed the fries and chowed down--at least i think that's what happened...my memories are a little fuzzy. the fries were okay, a little soggy after the drive home and a bit sour in my opinion, although i suspect that may have something to do with my lack of consciousness...maybe my tastebuds were asleep? french fries gone i stumbled back into bed and fell asleep immediately. maybe it was a dream?

uhrm, uh, oh after biking down to the south loop to find every store closed (shopping in the south loop? better be there before evening...even the restaurants shut down by 4:30!) i biked with ann and magda to their house, through greektown which reminds me that i MUST stop there after work one day to get olives. ate food the kyle made yesterday and today: dill cucumber rice and tomato sauce with squash and beet greens. while fairly delicious when eaten seperately, i do not recommend combining them. and of course chips with salsa. hell will freeze over before i am able to spend more than thirty seconds in that house without cramming about three bags worth of chips down my mouth. and peanut butter cookies made by magda--yum!

lunch in one hour or less
while cindy was eating her fiber-licious lemon poppyseed 'muffin,' full of healthy vitamins and minerals, i was dining at the local thai place. i avoided the place closest to my office, whose pad thai tastes like a pile of soggy shredded paper. instead, i dined on spring rolls drizzled with uncomfortably gelatinous sauce (the price i pay for eating in the loop), an ice tea watered down to perfection and pad thai that bore no resemblance to soggy paper. my father ate panang noodles, a dish that gave me violent indigestion when i last ate at this particular restaurant...i didn't mention that to him until just after he took his last bite--oops! on my way back to the office, i stopped at starbucks (supporting seattle economy from 2000 miles away!) to get my coworker a venti iced mocha and walked all the way back without taking a sip! now THAT'S self-discipline!

In continuing with my lemon theme, I was delighted to discover that the cafeteria has once again started making my favorite lemon-poppyseed muffins. I can only think that this is thanks solely to my own efforts. You see, they had these great, moist muffins with the exact same consistency as cheap yellow cake. It was great to be able to order a muffin ostensibly for a healthy breakfast but instead secretly know that I was in fact eating cake first thing in the morning every single day. Then one day they changed the recipe so that the muffins became more traditionally muffin-like (drier, less fluffy). I lodged a complaint with the head chef, who responded to my pleas for the cake muffins with a bemused and indulgent smile. Then, magically, two weeks later, my cake muffins have returned! And the greatest thing is that NO OTHER FLAVOR of muffin has been restored to cake consistency except the lemon poppyseed - the one I complained about. So you see, individuals CAN make a difference.

dinner, Monday night
I tried to make lemon pasta. Not lemon flavored pasta itself, but merely pasta with lemon sauce. It sounded light and refreshing in theory. In reality it was sour and puckery. Abject failure. Too much citric acid. The strange thing was that my tomato salad that accompanied it turned sickly sweet and strange when consumed in conjuction with the puckery sauce. I had to counteract the effects of both by eating much Ben and Jerrys.

i slammed a small blueberry yogurt before rushing, a half hour late, out of my apartment this morning. after a grueling bike ride in to work (ozone action day! one doesn't actually need to breathe while exercising...i find oxygen to be entirely overrated) i was rewarded with a toasted butter bagel. i dropped the last little bit butterside down on the floor, picked it up, plucked off some carpet fuzz and ate the bagel. it was a terribly sophisticated move. i had free coffee, too, but it was not a latte and had no amaretto. instead, i was lucky to have one packet of sugar and one packet of non-dairy creamer to spice up my coffee. again, all about the sophistication.

15 July 2002

Wow! Ok, so now I know what Eliz has eaten for the past week. Sorry I have been a wayward blogger. New office, new computer, houseguest, etc. Here is what happened in my food life today:

Breakfast involved a desperate call from my car to a coworker at 9:05 am to beg him to go to the cafeteria at work and buy me a greasy, sloppy breakfast sandwich involving fried egg, limp ham, american cheese and an english muffin. How international. I craved it desperately and I knew I would not make it to work before the cafeteria closed. He refused to comply with my sweetly-worded request. I grew angry. I drove faster. I made it to work in the nick of time, got my grease bomb and a side of sickeningly buttery hash browns to go with it. Ketchup.

Coffee Interlude #1
One single shot tall 2% latte. Free all day today.

Lunch was a variation on the same theme. For some reason my ham craving had not been fully quenched so I had a ham sandwich with swiss cheese and some pickles. And doritos.

Coffee Interlude #2
One single shot tall 2% latte with a little shot of amaretto. Gave it away to a coworker after I discovered that I had added an additional pack of sugar to an already cloyingly sweet drink.

I have no idea what dinner has in store for me tonight. Possibly pho. Stay tuned...

is this thing on???

sigh. how quickly we fall behind.

7/15/02 (today!)
the distance learners are here! free food all week!!!
toasted bagel with chive cream cheese. coffee. a bite of banana chocolate bread.

um, 'antipasti' from the fast italian food place: cucumber feta and olives salad, cannellini w/arugula and couscous w/chick peas. a piece of focacia. a thick green drink that is apparently good for me...have seen no improvements yet.

12am late night bike ride snack
very small greasy slice of cheese pizza in unnecessarily large packaging, eaten with thousands (!) of bike riders in town for the late night bike ride on the north side. thousands! really!

5:30am early morning post-ride breakfast
strawberry kefir, entirely over-sweetened rasberry lemonade. blech. followed by a slow bike ride to magda's, a few hours of sleep, a slower (no sweat allowed!) bike ride to my place and a nap until 5pm!

boca burger on stale but toasted bread. grapefruit juice.

ravinia snack
diet 7up. snickersbar ice cream cone. chips and baba ganoush. cherries.

uhhh....so long ago. uhhhh. no breakfast. sigh.

the "healthy" lunch special at andies in andersonville (hey! how about that!): spinach pie, dolme, hummus, tomato stuffed with salad, feta, olives, fried ("healthy") pita bread, the rice from lida's kabob plate.

rugby game snack
coconut popsicle. lots of water. oh, and, gosh the u.s. team ain't so hot.

bell's oberon. coffee. more coffee. pizza w/pesto, blue cheese, broccoli. no mashed potatoes.

12 July 2002

whew. sigh. finally got my french fries. yes they were soggy. yes they were not browned to crispy perfection, but they were mine! all mine! and good with mustard, much to my surprise. also with chili. and honey. and nutella. not at the same time, of course.

pasta with red sauce. salad. cranrasberry

why can't i be that foodnetwork guy that travels around the world eating exciting things for a living? if you work for food network, please hire me...i promise i'll be good.

11 July 2002

peanut butter and jelly sandwich on "hungry filler" bread from natural ovens, the company that stalks me. carrot sticks. mint tea with mint from tina's dad's garden. mmmm....but i was thinking about french fries the whole time. if i ever had a torrid affair with a type of food, it would definitly be potato and it would have to be fried.

last night i had beers with and chatted with a girl who currently has three different kinds of stock in her fridge. THREE KINDS! while stock is comprised almost entirely of meat juices and therefore may not fall within the range of a 'vegetarian' diet, i wish i had the energy and commitment to have a constant supply in my fridge. but, then again, i can barely keep sourdough starter alive...and when i do, the bread still turns out rotten. maybe i'm just not a long term cooking projects kind of gal. i should stick to the 'quick' (i.e. 24 hours or less preperation) recipes instead.

shell pasta with fresh basil from karen's garden, tomatoes, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar and love. not too mention the company of the only person who looks at this blog. never got my fries....maybe tomorrow.

10 July 2002

office coffee

leftover salad! juicier after sitting around, but still mighty tasty!

eesh. rice with braggs, nutritional yeast and red sauce followed by a peanut butter cookie. all glamour. all the time.

dinner (7/9/02)
salad: mango cucumber red pepper scallions mint lemon juice lime juice.
fajitas: seitan broccoli red pepper scallions cumin cayenne black pepper salt red wine vinegar garlic.
a side: chard garlic pine nuts.
dessert: blueberry cake.
beverages: cheap wine.