25 June 2009

rib sample

rib sample
Originally uploaded by deepfry
last weekend i hit two chicago food festivals: andersonville's midsommarfest and "North Center's" (new neighborhood name to me) Ribfest. although it was probably in the low 80s, once we got into the crowds of Ribfest, the temperature shot up to what felt like 90 degrees. it was a bit overwhelming and we made our selections based mostly on which booth had the shortest line. while some might suggest that a long line indicates the better ribs, i'm pretty sure people were drawn into lines based mostly on herd mentality, not on any deeper knowledge of which place had the best ribs.

the highlight of Ribfest was probably my rootbeer float. i get them about once a year and they're totally my favorite. yum!

midsommarfest was not quite as food-oriented, but i did make off with a fabulous funnelcake. the festival is allegedly a scandinavian thing, but i didn't see a single scandinavian food both there. wait, is funnelcake scandinavian? hmm. maybe.

anyways, that's all.

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.

27 February 2009

pizza party!

hot out of the oven
Originally uploaded by deepfry
last weekend, a friend (pictured) hosted a pizza party: he supplied dough, cheese and sauce; guests supplied toppings. it was a clever idea and you should all host similar parties. we had a countertop spread with various toppings and the host pushed out pizzas all night long. it didn't hurt that the crust was awesome and that the host had a lovely pizza paddle that gave the whole thing a certain air of authenticity. it also didn't hurt that the wine was flowing.

this guy -- he knows how to host a dinner party, that's for sure. in fact, his are some of the best i've attended. the food, the wine, the company and the Tom Waits on the radio. The previous party I attended featured wild boar ragout. hello! and more wine.

24 February 2009

birthday cake!

birthday cake!
Originally uploaded by deepfry
today's my birthday and when i arrived at school, my friends were waiting for me with a box of delicious swedish pastries (and a cup of coffee). i have great friends! the pastry pictured is some sort of coconut cinnamon roll thingy. it was deee-licious and much more exciting than my usual breakfast of yogurt. and i have two more pastries waiting for me in a little pastry box in my locker. score!

it was, unless i'm forgetting, my first pastry from the Swedish Bakery, which is up in Andersonville. i've gone by that place a hundred times but i've either resisted or (more likely) been on my way to somewhere else to get food. i went in there once but was frankly totally overwhelmed by my options (i'm a pisces -- i'm very indecisive). it was much nicer having someone make my selection(s) for me.

23 February 2009

Blog Revival

Originally uploaded by deepfry
Okay kids, it's been 15 months since my last post and now I'm in law school which means either (this is a two prong test):

1. oh my god, i have no time! I have to write this stinkin' brief, start my outline and read a thousand pages by tomorrow; or

2. i'm a student and, as such, have plenty of time to do stuff like spend five minutes writing a blog post.

I'm going, perhaps foolishly, with the latter. And so i pledge ON THIS DAY FEBRUARY 23, 2009, THE LAST DAY OF MY 31st YEAR to revive Deepfry. Yes, most of its readers have undoubtedly fled, leaving behind only those who are too lazy to update their blogreaders. But that's ok, because I think I need the creative outlet. If I don't do this, I'll end up only with the ability to write in legalese.

So, Deepfry, welcome back to Deepfry! Thanks Deepfry!

Pictured, btw, is a recent snapshot of a portion of Valentine's Day dinner with R at awesome San Soo Gab San. Each time I get Korean BBQ, I find another side dish that I really like. It's literally a bite by bite expansion of my palate.

12 November 2007

office food

office food
Originally uploaded by deepfry
how can something this gross be oh-so-good? one of my coworkers actually observe, reaching into the bucket for more, "this smells like my dog's vomit."

i didn't know they still made these things. i remember my parents getting one at some point in the mid-80s and thinking that it was just about the coolest thing since sliced bread. ...actually, since i was about ten at the time, i probably thought it was the coolest thing since poprocks or jelly shoes.

08 November 2007

$100 sushi

$100 sushi
Originally uploaded by deepfry
last sunday, i wanted a quick dinner and had a hankering for sushi. ~r and i drove out to sushi domo . . . and it was closed. we headed back into town to sushi station . . . and it was closed. "Do you want to just get pizza at Mezza Luna?" he asked and I said no, suggesting we try Misako. . . which was open.

Now, normally, when ordering sushi, one order = two pieces. But that's not always the case. And, at any rate, the menu tends to say either way. The menu at this place looks like this:

ebi (shrimp) 1 2 3 4
tako (octopus) 1 2 3 4
ika (squid) 1 2 3 4

no price listed. I assume that, given the options, '1' meant one piece. I pick out a few and circle the 2, thinking that would get us two pieces of each. And we get a few rolls.

Our order comes out AN HOUR LATER (slooooow service) and there's a curiously large amount of sushi. I realize what's happened. The '1' on the menu is an order of two pieces; '2' on the menu means four pieces. So instead of eight pieces, we get sixteen. I try to catch the waiter before he brings out the rest of it. "Oh yeah," he says, "I usually warn people of that, but somefolks, they really like sushi!" which i guess means that I look like some sort of sushi-inhaling monster. As he's explaining this, the rest of our sushi comes up and since it's already prepared, we have to take it.

So we pound through our sushi dinner for ten and actually finish almost all of it. We're both stuffed to the gills (pardon the expression) with sushi. I mean, who stuffs themselves on sushi?!

the waiter brings out our bill and instead of the $15 pizza dinner that rick suggested, we end up with a $93 bill! for two people! for a quick sunday night meal. goddamn!#*&!*$#@&(!*$^(&!$#@%

I was very sad. The menu was misleading! He should've said something! We got screwed! And to top it all off, the service took foreeeeeever!

And now i will never go there again. In fact, I may never eat sushi again...except for in a few weeks when I'll be splitting a party platter at Akai Hana with cindy and our moms. And maybe grocery store sushi. But aside from that, never! ever! again!


$100. lame.

23 October 2007

dining for one

Originally uploaded by deepfry
a certain beet-hating dining partner of mine was flattened by some sort of toxic, stomach-crunching illness over the weekend. i took advantage of the opportunity and made a big vat of beet borscht ("New York Deli Style," according to the Joy of Cooking, with some slight changes: broth instead of water, onion instead of garlic). i was naturally heartsick over the absence of my usual dining companion, but, I tell ya, that soup was good. how can so many people hate the beet? it's delicious, filling (amazing that one bowl with a scoop of plain yogurt can serve as an entire meal), pleasing to the eye and did i mention that it's delicious? even my cat likes borscht and he's allegedly a carnivore.

not to mention how very simple this soup is: grate in your fancy, new food processor: a bunch of beets, an onion, a few carrots. put in a pot and cover with broth. bring to a boil and simmer until the veggies are tender. salt and pepper to taste, garnish with plain yogurt or sour cream and enjoy. if you have beet greens, you can mix those in, too. i'm sure they're a wholesome healthy addition. if you have it, a thick slice of pumpernickel is a lovely addition.

07 September 2007

eating local

local dinner
Originally uploaded by deepfry
for just this one little week, r and i are eating only locally grown/raised food. our "local" means the state of oregon. pictured is one of our dinners. we've also had peppers stuffed with pork and feta, roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, some really awesome salads, lots of cheese sandwiches (Hideaway Bakery use "as many local ingredients" as they can find, so we're counting them so we can eat bread), lots of oregon beer, a peach rasberry cake and a crawfish boil with crawdads we caught in the siuslaw. we even got a pre-view 1/2 pound of prosciutto from my favorite gourmet grocery so r could have cured meats on his birthday. we each chose one cheat and get to share them; i picked coffee and r picked fizzy water...its funny what foods/beverages people can't live without. and we decided salt was allowed.

i'm surprised at how hard it is to find local foods in the grocery stores around town. we live in the willamette valley, after all. we're surrounded by organic farms! but we've found only two grocery stores that offer any substantial amounts of local produce: Kiva and Capella's. other grocery stores offer bits and pieces of local foods (or at least foods that are labeled as local) so if we don't make it to Kiva or Capella's, we have to go 'round to several grocery stores. We can also get local foods at the specialty stores: Long's, Newman's, etc. Luckily, i stocked up on produce at the Saturday Farmers' Market and we were able to stop by the Thursday Farmers' Market to replenish.

on the other hand, putting so much planning into meals leads to excellent results. we've been eating wonderful, well-balanced, multi-course meals. this is partly because we probably chose the best month of the year to engage in this little eat-local exercise but also largely because we're just thinking so much about what we eat. not bad at all.