30 March 2009

glove consumption

In a slight deviation from my blog's regularly scheduled theme of things I cook and eat, I wanted to show you one of my dog's favorite treats: ~R's gloves. Last summer when ~R met the Digger for the first time, the dog demonstrated his enthusiasm for his new owner by chewing off the thumb of ~R's Filson gloves. After a few months of debating whether to send them back, ~R decided it was worth a shot and Filson graciously replaced them with a brand new pair, which he received last Wednesday. The next Friday (i.e. two days later), we went out for dinner. When we returned home, we found that Digger had chewed the thumb off the brand new glove. Apparently the thumb is the tastiest part of a wool glove.

Lucky for ~R, before I started law school, I used to knit and I miraculously have retained knowledge of this handy skill. i pulled out the bits of broken yarn, unraveled a few rows and using some leftover sock yarn, picked up stitches and knitted ~R a new thumb. After seven months spent reading textbooks, sitting in class and generally making no real contributions to the world, it felt great to actually produce something, even though it is just 1/2 a thumb. And I am quite proud of my knitting skills after such a long hiatus. So proud that I've included it in my food blog.

24 March 2009

Signs of Spring

I'm in the final week of spring break and it's been just delightful. i wish i had spring break once a month. there's nothing quite like two weeks without a schedule. i'm trying to get my outlines up-to-date for class, but even that is fairly relaxing . . . just hanging out at home, sitting at the computer with the dog by my side, me drinking massive quantities of licorice mint tea.

at any rate, last week we were blessed with beautiful early spring weather. and what better way to celebrate than by sitting in the backyard, sipping a cold beverage and tossing a ball for the dog. campari is one of those liquors that inspires either love or hate -- I've never known someone to feel so-so about it. i'm definitely on the love end of the spectrum.

on this particular sunny day, ~r made me a drink halfway between a campari & soda and a negroni (campari, gin, vermouth) because we didn't have vermouth at the time (problem now corrected) and because i like a little fizz in my drink. quite delightful! i look forward to many more summer days of the same.

19 March 2009

i love spring break

i'm on spring break this week and next and so i've been cooking, which i haven't really done since school started. it's wonderful! right now i'm waiting for butter to soften so i can make dessert to bring to my parents' house tonight. a few nights ago, i made this quinoa-stuffed red pepper dish and a cabbage salad. the quinoa mix had diced leftover pork chops, fresh mozzarella, kale, onions, garlic and spices. it was pretty awesome.

the cabbage salad is an old standby. rick immediately recognized it as his aunt's ramen salad. this is what happens when two midwesterners get together. my mom used to (and probably still does) make this salad all the time -- they probably have the same newspaper recipe. anyways, it's just cabbage, cukes, carrots, scallions, toasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds and crushed ramen noodles. the ramen spice packet is mixed with rice vinegar, sesame oil, a little sugar and a little salt to make the dressing. it's really the easiest thing ever.


Originally uploaded by deepfry
last summer, i drove across the country from Eugene, Oregon to Chicago. Before cutting east, I left Eugene and headed south to California where I spent a few days with my aunt. She sent me on my way with two jars of jam and a box of stoneware (including the bowl that holds the brussel sprouts in my previous post). Lately I've been eating oatmeal for breakfast. The oatmeal is unflavored, so i've been adding a spoonful of feijoa jam. feijoa is a fig-like fruit from south america (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feijoa). it's not too strong and it adds a lovely subtle sweetness to the oatmeal. it's must better than the overpowering flavors they usual put in oatmeals.

11 March 2009

last night's dinner

This is a dish I didn't make represented in a photograph I didn't take.

I'm in the midst of writing this frustratingly large paper. Luckily, ~r cooks for me (all the time -- not just when I'm writing major papers). Last night, he really shined. He roasted a whole chicken, roasted brussel sprouts and tossed in toasted pine nuts (actually, I did the tossing -- it was my contribution) and made a mushroom rice pilaf. It was The Perfect Dinner.

My favorite part was the brussel sprouts. I don't understand how people cannot love brussel sprouts. They're such tasty little bites of goodness. They're easy to ruin, I guess, and certainly a soggy tasteless yet slightly bitter brussel sprout is pretty gross. Luckily, ~r has mastered the brussel sprout. He sautees them on the stovetop and then moves them into the oven to finish. Sometimes, we'll toss them with parmesan in addition to the pine nuts. Last night, cheese wasn't needed -- the brussel sprouts were creamy, but not soggy. They were a bit carmelized from baking in the oven, too.

Anyways, I'm still writing my massive paper, so this is all I'll write for now. But, suffice to say, dinner last night made me very happy.

09 March 2009

i'm makin' soup

Originally uploaded by deepfry
we have leftovers from last night's dinner: a delicious, thick, rich tomato sauce that R made. what could be better than using it to make a delicious (i hope) minestrone-style soup? i've got everything prepped and ready to go -- i'm just waiting for R's arrival with white beans and those little tubes of pasta allegedly called canneroni (what do i know? i'm jewish! the only pasta i know by name is noodle kugel!).

i am a big fan of soup especially in winter. it's super easy and fills the house with warmth and a pleasant aroma. and i did i mention it's easy? because if i am one thing, i am a lazy cook. granted, i'll be inspired to spend all day in the kitchen for a special occassion (this amazingness is in my future -- just looking at it makes me want to swoon.) but when i'm just making a weekday dinner, i can hardly be bothered to cut an onion -- and it's gotten even worse now that i'm in school. if it wasn't for R and his love of cooking, i'd certainly be eating popcorn, tuna salad on crackers (or soup) for every meal. if only he could do my homework for me too. alas.

but i'm excited about tonight. i hope it's good! report to follow.

REPORT: The soup was, in fact, delicious. Sadly, I have no photographic evidence (oops!), but here it is: minestrone with meatballs, white beans and casarecci (http://www.recipetips.com/glossary-term/t--35357/casarecci-pasta.asp). The homemade broth and tomato sauce gave the soup a rich, full flavor. We had a salad with lemon vinaigrette on the side. No parm for the soup, but it was so rich, that I think it was just fine without. A perfect winter meal! And not a bad performance, given that I haven't cooked a full meal in months. I'm glad I still got it in me.

03 March 2009

i miss oregon

Dave's Killer Bread
Originally uploaded by deepfry
Yesterday i received an awesome birthday package full of Pacific Northwest goodies. Most exciting was this loaf of bread. Most people don't get that excited about a loaf of bread, but ask me what i miss most about Oregon and Dave's Killer Bread is right up there (after, naturally, my awesome friends who shipped said bread).

How can you not love Dave's? The bread and the story are awesome! Dave is an ex con former meth addict who was homeless for three years, arrested a bunch of times, and thrown in prison. The prison stint gave him time, i guess, to think things out, sober up and find his calling. Now he makes really awesome bread.

I tend to dislike sandwich bread because it's usually bland and boring. Dave's is, now that I think about it, the only sandwich bread that I've ever really loved (or liked, for the matter -- I guess most people don't feel "love" towards sandwich bread). It's big, grainy, seedy hippie bread. Dave's comes in ten varieties. They're all organic. My favorite is good seed because it's loaded with flax seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.

You can buy the bread online, but works out to $10/loaf which, you know, is a bit steep for a student.

So, Dave, if you're reading this, PLEASE expand distribution to Chicago. It worked for Starbucks (their first non-Pacific Northwest shops were in Chicago), it can work for you. Not to suggest that you aspire to world (and airport kiosk) domination. But I really think my life would be more complete if Dave's were part of my regular diet.

02 March 2009

breakfast E

breakfast E
Originally uploaded by deepfry
R and i spent this last weekend in a cabin up in northeastern wisconsin. the cabin, belonging to a friend's mom, has no electricity and no running water. it's got propane tanks that they've hooked up to a stove and to some lights in main room (i say "main room" like it's one of many but there's really the main room, the bedroom and a loft space). there's a driveway but it gets snowed in during the winter, so we had to snowshoe in about 1/2 mile. the place is tiny -- about 400 square feet -- and sits on a lake in the middle of the woods, with no one else to be seen. after six months in chicago, it was a welcome break from urban jungle. on day one, R and the dog frolicked about while I curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and my con law book. on day two, we went for a hike through the woods.

for breakfast on day two, we had pancakes with sausage. R made the meat, i made the pancakes. in keeping with family tradition, i used the last of the batter to make initials. i loved when my mom did that for us when i was a kid. an 'E' is particularly exciting because it can go from an E to an F to an L to an I. It was cool when I was seven and, somehow, it's still a good time.