Monthly Archives: September 2011

The last day of September

I tend to title my blog posts with the meal that I’m writing about, so I decided to try something different today.

I actually have a lot of catch up, but I’m going to just stick with tonight’s dinner and do catch up tomorrow (don’t hold me to that, since we know I’m not good at keeping my blogging promises).

Tonight was another version of en papillote, which I talked about here.

Tonight, I made my wild sockeye salmon with a good drizzle of some extra virgin olive oil from California, sage and rosemary from my cousin’s garden, a good squeeze of half a lemon, fresh ground black pepper, and a good dash of Himalayan salt.  Check out the close up:

Okay…not much of a close up…let’s just call it shot 2.

After making a nice envelope for my lovely fish, I popped it into a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Ta da!

Not the best photo, but this was very tasty.  I was happy with how it came out.  I think that if you have access to good, fresh herbs, there are endless ways to make this.

Time for sleep…I am wiped.

Tomorrow will be farmer’s market fun and some catch up.

Sweet dreams!

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Pizza!

I think I just made the most expensive pizza in the world.  Okay, not in the world, since you know that someone out there made it their mission to make a ridiculously expensive pizza just to say that they did.  However, this is the most expensive pizza that I’ve ever eaten.  From almond flour that costs something like 14 dollars for 16 oz to the cheese that was a dollar an ounce, I am talking about a very expensive pizza.  However, despite that and the huge mess in my kitchen (we had a free water show that created a waterfall and ensuing flood in the sink are), I think it was worth the effort.  I don’t know when I’ll find the energy to make it again, but it’s tasty.  There is no doubt about that.  I also no longer want pizza…I think.

I followed this recipe at Roost.  I was craving pizza all week and I had been eyeing this recipe for a while.  I did have my reservations about grain free baking (and admittedly, I still prefer to eat things as close to their original form as possible), but I was craving pizza and it was either give into grain free baking or eat regular pizza.  I’m glad that I opted for the former and not the latter.  I feel very decadent and special.  This reminds me, I should drink that wine in my fridge while I write this post and eat little slivers of this flatbread.  Oh right…it’s flatbread and not pizza.  Whoops!  Has the same effect though.

All righty…ready for the cooking to begin?  I’ll point out the changes that I made along the way.

Here we go.

I had fresh sage from my cousin.  Look at the huge leaves!  Almond flour, baking soda, salt, and chopped sage.  I ended up having to use dried oregano…I had Mediterranean oregano and that’s what went into the dough.  The picture that I had was blurry so this is all I have.  The next photo I have is of the dough ball.

Rolled out, the dough looks like this.

I had to use a wine bottle as a rolling pin since I don’t own one.

While this cooked for a bit in the oven, I made my pesto.  I ended up using a mix of basil and arugula and subbed out the pine nuts for some home toasted raw sunflower seeds.  If I had used pine nuts, this flatbread might have been worth it’s weight in gold!

First some arugula and garlic in the blender.

Then some basil (also from my cousin’s garden) and sunflower seeds (I roasted them in a fry pan).

Toasted, the sunflower seeds look like this:

If you look really carefully, you can see a bit of the dried parmesan romano cheese that I used for the pesto.  I thought about splurging on my favorite parmigiano reggiano, but I had to stop my shopping spree somewhere today.

The pesto after much wrestling with my blender, turned out like this:

I spread a good thick layer on the flatbread crust.  I refrigerated the leftover pesto.  I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

Topped it with some prosciutto…

and cheddar curds from First Light Farm:

This is what the pizza looked like before the final cooking time…

And the finished pizza!!

Admittedly, it looks nothing like the beautiful photos over at Roost.  However, it was tasty and I’m so glad that I tried it.

Some notes…  I would cut up the prosciutto because after baking it becomes difficult to cut and eat.  I also will try a different cheese next time.  The curds are super tasty but on this dish, the cheese becomes rubbery upon cooling.  Still tasty, just difficult to eat.  I also probably will roll the crust thinner next time…perhaps, make a bunch of smaller flatbreads rather than one large one.

Eat this with a nice glass of wine.  I drank a white wine.  It was fantastic.


Gluttony

I have been constantly hungry lately.  The girl at the co-op tells me that it’s the time of year.  Um, no offense, Mother Nature, but I’m not really interested in storing fat on my body for the winter.  That’s what my very long puffer jacket with the fur trimmed hood is for.

Anyway, in the spirit of hungry, I went on a massive shopping spree today this morning at the farmer’s market supplemented by a quick stop at the co-op.  I bought enough things that I just dumped them out on my coffee table, took two pictures and called it a day.  So let’s see what I’ve got here.

All right from the top left corner, going clockwise. Farm fresh brown eggs.  (Next week I’m going to try the duck eggs…I’m hoping I feel richer by next week to afford the splurge.)  Russian kale, which you don’t get a good view of.  Nor do you have a good view of the rainbow chard.  Some garlic and herb curds (that’s going on my very expensive flatbread pizza…more on that later).  In the middle is some ground rabbit meat – still a little squeamish, but I’m trying it.  (I’ve had multiple people tell me to try it now…so here goes nothing.)  Then we have four jars of some very tasty yogurt (I talked about this dairy before).  And some carrots.

Next up…

Again from the top left, going clockwise.  You get a slightly better view of the rainbow chard.  Then there is the cauliflower, which I’m adding to my collection of two in the fridge.  (I couldn’t resist, this one looked so good…I did consider the orange colored one, but this one was just calling to me.)  I don’t know if you can see the broccoli in between the chard and cauliflower, but it’s there.  Then we have some arugula in the bottom corner.  That’s going to become pesto.  Some raw sunflower seeds.  Almond flour (this stuff is expensive!).  And Applegate bacon and prosciutto.  The prosciutto is shy and is hiding underneath next to the garlic, which you can’t see at all.  The last few things, from the sunflower seeds to the end of the list are from the co-op.

I think I’m a little crazy.  This is so much food and it’s just me.  I really must be losing it.  Then again, studying makes me hungry.  Plus, I started working out again (yay!), so I think that’s making me more hungry.  My goal this week is to eat more vegetables.

I found out that I don’t like cold vegetables – aka salad.  I always try to get myself to eat salad, but it’s really not my style.  So armed with a bunch of onions and garlic, there will probably be a lot of stir-frying going on.  I should really buy a wok.

Oh and I treated myself to some cut flowers.  The lady said it was bargain day so she put in a bunch more stems in for the same price.  The colors are just so pretty.  Great for punching up the lack of good color in my apartment.

Stay tuned for some flatbread pizza (I’ve been craving pizza and something chewy all week…) and other assorted food fun.

Hope your Saturday is off to a good start because mine is! 🙂

 

PS I broke one of my chopsticks accidentally and then forgot to buy some when I went out yesterday…this lack in my kitchen needs to be remedied ASAP.

 

 


Chopsticks

I cannot live without chopsticks.  I love chopsticks.  They are great for cooking and eating.  Except, I have a problem.  I seem to only have two pairs of chopsticks.  I don’t know how this came to be, but I have a theory.  I think that my chopsticks were so useful that they went to other causes and now, I’m left with two pairs.

That’s my ode to chopsticks.


Breakfast This Morning

Breakfast this morning was a easy to put together egg scramble over fresh lettuce and arugula.  I’m not big on fresh greens.  Not because I don’t like them, but I somehow often forget to eat them.  So when I get fresh greens from the market, it can be a little stressful to remember to eat the greens before they get all goopy and wilty.  My strategy is to either eat my greens using them as a wrap for food or to put the greens under something else that I have no difficult eating.  I think my big problem with fresh greens is that I think of them as cold.

So, I started off breakfast this morning with some oil (pick your favorite) and some leftover broccoli.  Unfortunately, this broccoli was of the previously frozen kind so it was a bit mushier than I like.  I also tossed in a dash of salt (Himalayan, my favorite) and a good dose of black pepper.  I found that I like the extra black pepper because it gives the whole dish a good flavor.

I chopped up a chicken and apple sausage that I had in the fridge and added that to the pan.

And when things were getting good, I added two farm fresh eggs. Stir and place atop a bed of greens of your liking.  Today was an arugula and lettuce day for me.

As you can see, I don’t whisk my eggs before putting them in the pan, nor do I try to make things look even.  I like it sort of swirly and different.  I also usually stop cooking before the yolks are set because I like the yolks better when they aren’t all dry and pasty.

Along with breakfast, I also had a cup of this tea that I picked up the last time I was out food shopping.

It’s a lemon ginger tea that’s made with holy basil.  Don’t ask me what holy basil is, I don’t know.  I do know that the tea is tasty though.

In other news, the cabbage I made from last night ended up on a bed of arugula and lettuce with an egg last night.  I only have pictures of the players separately, just imagine what that egg would look like on top of the salad.

That about rounds it up for this morning on the food front.

I whiled away most of this morning by sleeping in late, doing a little yoga, cooking, and eating.  I think now it’s time to get out into the outdoors for a long jaunt.  I’m thinking coffee shop to do some thinking and thank you letter writing.  Then probably off to the market for a few things that I neglected to buy yesterday at the farmer’s market.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Red Cabbage Delight

One of the great things about farmer’s markets is that I learn about foods that were never on my radar before.  Sometimes it’s a neglected fruit or vegetable that I’ve forgotten about, but most of the times I’m finding new things to eat.  Expanding my repertoire is exciting, fun, and best of all, I’m not missing any of the nightshades that I’ve cut out of my diet.  (It would be far more convenient, though, to be eating nightshades.)

Cabbage is one of those on my radar but I often forget vegetables.  I love red cabbage in particular because of it’s beautiful purple hue.  It also cooks up wonderfully.  Well, last week I bought a head of red cabbage and then didn’t really feel up to figuring out what to do with it.  I did a little research and found this recipe on Nom Nom Paleo.

I chose this recipe since I had all the ingredients…well, sort of…some slight modifications aside, I had all the ingredients.  So, here goes.

First, you need some duck fat.  I had some on hand when I found it in the grocery store.  The container claims that it’s better than butter and it is pretty good.  Although, I don’t know if I’d ever smear duck fat on my toast.

Next, we need a sturdy pan or pot.  I went for the gold standard: Le creuset.

Melt the duck fat in the pot over medium-high heat (I think…don’t ask me to decipher electric ranges…I just go with the flow.) and add the onions.  As you can see below, my onions are all different shapes and sizes because I wasn’t thinking when I started chopping and instead of pretty semi-circular slices, I ended up with some squares and chunks and some semi-circular slices.  Not so pretty, but still tasty in the end.

While that’s going, chop your cabbage.  This is my rather large red cabbage.

I didn’t end up using all of my chopped up cabbage.  Don’t forget your other ingredients.  Now, this is where I made a couple of sneaky changes.  I used red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar.  I wasn’t about to go out and buy another bottle of vinegar to sit in my cupboard.  I also used Himalayan salt instead of sea salt.  The pink stuff is the good stuff.  (I know that I never wrote a post on Himalayan salt even though I promised I would…maybe some day soon.)

 

Add chopped cabbage and ingredients to pot. Don’t forget the half cup of water that I never took a picture of.  (Oh yeah, I used a big bay leaf and a small bay leaf.  The recipe said one bay leaf.  I’m Funny Eater, what did you expect?)

Stir together, cover, and simmer away for 20 minutes.  In the meantime, dig out that apple that’s been in your fridge forever.  Mine was a pretty green granny smith.

Remember to take a picture after you start cutting.  Then, because you don’t have a grater, use your handy vegetable peeler to “grate” your apple.  No shortage of Funny Eater kitchen tricks today.

Once the timer beeps at you, stir in the shredded apple bits and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Don’t forget to check to see if you need more black pepper and salt.  When you’re done, you get something that looks like this:

Try not to eat it straight out of the pot or pan.  You’ll be sorry and your mouth will be burned.  A quick cool down in a bowl will make it ready to eat.

This recipe is easy, tasty, and makes a big pot.  If I had a larger pot, I would have tried to shove more cabbage into the pot, but even without using the whole head of cabbage I got a nice big pot of this.  I’ll be eating this all week.  (Or eating it all up for dinner tonight.)


Farmer’s Market Finds

My trusty guide, who I happened to bump into at the farmer’s market, pointed out all the good things to eat from the farm that he was selling for, so I got a lot of very tasty things today.

First up, kale.  Russian kale to your left and Red kale (or maybe it’s Purple kale…it does look more purple than red) to your right.  These were the beautiful items that initially caught my eye.

Then, after having a good laugh over recognizing the person behind the stand, I was advised to buy some arugula (on your left) and some lettuce (on your right).  I could smell the wonderful peppery scent of the arugula when I went to wash it.  Yum!

Then, from a completely different farm stand, I bought some cauliflower just because I wanted some.  However, I much prefer shopping at farm stands where the people are friendly.  I think that’s part of the joy in shopping at farmer’s markets.  The man who sold me the cauliflower didn’t so much as grunt.  Oh well.

After all my vegetable fun, I stopped by the dairy farmer and bought some tasty yogurt and a yogurt drink.

No fruit or meat from the farmer’s market today.  I wasn’t really in the mood and I forgot to get some cash from the bank, so that’s the extent of the shopping today.