Fancy That

•February 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My good friend Michelle says that I make things too fancy. . .

and she is probably right.  This idea is probably what makes her much better at eating at home then I am.  She makes a dinner and then eats it.  I plan a menu, run all over town, make a huge meal incorporating every bowl and pan I have and then want nothing to do with the leftovers and have nothing else in the refrigerator for the next night.

So this week I am going fancy with the aim of making things simpler.  Last night I roasted some beets then sliced them and stored them in the fridge.  I then made a delicious slice of ham and mashed parsnips from “The Pleasures of Cooking for One”.  I also made a plan of brussle sprouts the way my sister does by cooking halved sprouts in a pan with chicken broth and adding butter and a little brown sugar at the end to aid in carmelization, to give it my own spin I threw in some hedgehog mushrooms.It was exhausting and it used up a lot of dishes.

but today I rewarmed the brussle sprouts and served them with some small slices of ham and a poached egg for breakfast.  For lunch I had a wasa style cracker with smoked salmon and an arugula and beet salad with bleu cheese.  Both meals took less then five minutes and were delicious.

Keeping it simple by getting fancy.

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker

•February 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Public domain photograph of various meats. (Be...

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So today I am making ham.

I have never made ham for a non holiday occasion but there is a recipe for ham for one in Judith Jones‘s “The Pleasures of Cooking for One” so I thought I might give it a whirl.  The book warns of the sizing of a slice of wrapped ham available at most markets so I though I would branch out and head over to my local butcher: Gartner’s Meat.  Though I have bought sausage there befor this was my first time buying anthing else.  They were so helpful,  I told the girl I wanted a 2 inch slice of ham and she cut open a ham, took a 2 inch slice and wrapped it right up, when I said I wanted something so I didn’t have to handle the smoked dog bones she handed me a paper.

This is service.  This is what is lacking in most of my shopping.

It seems anymore that everyone does everything at stores run by huge conglomerates.  Target, Walmart and Safeway provide us with everything we need.  Even health foods, once the province of small local coops, have been usurped by gourmet food behemoth Whole Foods.

so it took me a little longer to go to the butcher shop but truthfully it didn’t cost me anymore money and it made me feel a connection with my food that you just cant get from a shrink wrapped package in a grocery cooler.

so for now I am going to make a point to make that extra stop and go to the butcher, the bakery and, when it opens, the farmers market.  An hour or two of my life is worth it for better food, better service and, forgive me my grassroots moment, supporting people who actually live in my community.

A Week Off

•February 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment
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Every once in a while I like to take a break from something

one particular thing at a time

so I take a week off from sugar, beef, eating out. .  .

tomorrow I start a week off of booze.  This is kind of a restart button for me, a week off means no bar so no bar food, no more poor alcohol induced food choices and no more alcohol calories.  To aid me I made a list of all the things I could and should be doing this week when I am not at the bar.  I wont bore you with the details of most of the list but pertinently I did include trying four new recipes this week.

and writing more on my blog.

The Weight of the World

•January 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment
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Sigh . . .

Yesterday I finally sucked it up and went back to Weight Watchers, so now it is back to trying to figure out how to suck the most flavor out of every day without going over my points.

My goal is to see the process as a challenge.  Anyone, given the proclivity can cook well but I want to cook well and healthily.  Maybe if I can make this not to painful for myself then I can help relieve the suffering of others.

Also, this is so the plan for someone with a little OCD like me.  Charts and graphs, lists and a special calculator: this is my kind of organization.

I had a rough start yesterday, you don’t want to know how many points there are in a burger with bacon, cheese, onion rings, barbeque sauce and more, but today is a new start.

wish me luck

All Grown Up

•January 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

ok I admit it, I am obsessed.

I find that I must make new things from “How to Drink” all the time now.  I want to be better, I should drink less but then. .  .

Tonight I decided to go with her hot chocolate for a little non boozy late night treat and it was smashing and then. . . a little boozy

the key here is instead of all those methods or products you have used in the past you simply take some good dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% chips) melt them and then stir in some milk.  For safety’s sake I only keep 1% at the house and the result was still delicious and thick and dark, with a tot of cream I might have just expired on the spot.

Mostley though it tasted grown up.  The not too sweet concoction maybe too rich for a young palate, not the comfortable thin sweet stuff  most kids know as hot chocolate.  It was so adult that I decided to take it to the next level and tossed in a bit of bourbon.  It was everything I had dreamed of.  Ideally a single cup could be a stand alone dessert, maybe topped with a homemade marshmallow, perfect for a late night by a fire treat on a cold wintry night.

Dinner Dilemma

•January 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment
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Despite a love of food there are times I’m just not that into it.

Tonight is one of those nights.  I could have soup or lasagna, a burrito or really anything,  but I want nothing.  This is the time when fast food calls out to me and pizza just seems so easy.

this is the dinner dilemma

popcorn?pizza? maybe just a glass of bourbon and a pile of the delicious meringue cookies I made earlier.

this is the time when those instant dinners I buy from Trader Joes come in handy but I haven’t done a real big shop since I returned from my visit to my mom’s house.  Every night doesn’t have to be gourmet night but what about tonight?

hmmmm. . .I just don’t know.

Resolution 2- Whiskey Sour

•January 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Bourbon whiskeys offered at a liquor store in ...

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So as I mentioned in my other blog, Things She Wants, for Christmas I received a new Kindle and the first book I downloaded was called How to Drink by Victoria Moore.  I love this book and read the whole thing before I had even made it home from New Mexico.  In keeping with my stolen New Years resolution the first recipe I had to try was her whiskey sour.  It was marvelous and, frankly, a revelation.  Here was a drink the had everything I was looking for: a creamy tart taste that was somehow low acid and behind the most delicious lemony flavor was a subtle kick of bourbon. Yay!

Because I am a little unsure about sharing a recipe from a book I found one online by Robert Hess that seemed basically the same:

Whiskey Sour

2 oz Bourbon Whiskey

1 oz simple syrup

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 tsp egg white

Add all your ingredients to a cocktail shaker, close tightly and shake thoroughly without ice to emulsify.  add ice and shake to chill and then strain into a glass well packed with ice

before anyone panics, yes this recipe calls for raw egg white.  Yes you should add it: suck it up dont think about what you are doing just do it, you wont be sorry, I promise.

really its important.

if you watch the video on Robert’s website it will tell you why its probably safe but I say suck it up.