Friday, August 06, 2010

Menu for this week

This is just random things I like to eat page now.

I am moving to a new place in my cooking, where I throw caution to the wind and NOT USE recipes.

Yesterday I just threw some butter and garlic into a pan, sauteed some shrimp, guaging their doneness BY EYE, and sprinkling lemon juice on it because that seemed to make sense! For those of you creative types, this is probably no big thing. But for me it was revelatory.

I feel like eating:

Paula Deen's Curry Chicken salad. This is the best chicken salad ever. This is better than cosi's chicken salad, and better than Au Bon Pain's. It is the best chicken salad ever.

Now, Martha Stewart gets me. She and I share a birthday. That's how I know we're kindred spirits.

She read my mind and made this web page for me: 50 No Recipe Meals

I'm going to make #4: Dip tilapia fillets in mayo and lemon juice, then in a combo of breadcrumbs and Parmesan; bake. Serve with a green salad.

and #5: Simmer homemade or jarred spicy tomato sauce; add eggs, cover, and poach. Serve with tortilla chips and diced avocado

and I'm pretty intrigued by #8: Top pizza dough with sliced eggplant, and brush with oil. Top with goat cheese and olives; bake.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New apartment, new kitchen, new challenges

I just moved into my new apartment a few weeks ago. It was built in the 1930's and it's adorable.

Living room



And ominous music..


It's tough. I have a third of the cabinet and counter space I used to have and even though it's not bad for a dc kitchen, it's tricky. Note: no dishwasher.

Look at my circa 1970 refrigerator- if you dare:

The fridge is bad, too, but the embarrassing amount of junk food must be hidden from view.

All in all, a challenge. Plus it's a billion degrees outside and there's no AC in there.

What will I make this week?

Mark Bittman's Grown up Macaroni and Cheese: I'll probably add tuna to it. Because that's how I roll.

I have been craving some Korean Chicken or Rib Stew. I got my hands on some kimchee. It's a lot. It doesn't come in a size less than a lot, unless you buy the weird not real kind at the Safeway, that's always tucked next to the Tofu. I have to figure out what to eat it with. It goes well with eggs, but not as well with toast. Go figure.

An unfortunate side effect to living in this walkable neighborhood with a kitchen that will broil you alive in the daytime if the oven is on, is eating out a lot. I have been to the pizza place not less than three times this month. And I may be going there again tomorrow. Darn you, pizza place!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 09, 2010

What is this?

This is my dinner. Don't worry, I'm not going to make Gideon eat this. It's a silkie. Yes, underneath those silky feathers is a disgustingly black dragon chicken.

This is not my venture. This is going to take, I'm guessing this is going to take so much longer than 30 minutes it's not even funny.

I'll update how this guy tastes. Preparation style: beer can, of course. That's the traditional Chinese method, right?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Dinner Wins!

FTW...FTW... I had been seeing this strange acronym around the interweb for a few weeks and wondering.. what is that? Full time wanker? Fits the window? What is that?

Luckily more knowledgeable folks informed me that people used the statement to declare that they were about to present something so awesome that it would effectively end, and claim ownership of, the conversation: FOR THE WIN: origin: hollywood squares...

I have yet to incorporate this lovable axiom in my everyday vernacular, but I'm going to try!!

Anyway, here's the deal for this week:

Pasta with chicken, feta and tomatoes. I have feta and I have pasta and tomatoes, I even have a dying basil plant in my windowsill, so this pasta needs to happen. Now all I need is a roasted chicken...

Korean Rib stew. I'm going to modify a favorite recipe for a delicious korean soy sauce based stew, exchanging chicken thighs for riblets. The pork ribs are infused with this delicious soy stew. Potatoes are also an integral part of this recipe, they become infused with this soy juice and it is glorious! Serve with rice. (Ironically i first labeled this recipe Koran Rib stew. That would have been wrong..)

And FTW! (I think i may be using that wrong...)

Steak with Peanut Sauce and Broccoli. This recipe involves some marinating, but luckily I get part of Wednesday off as I am being appreciated at my job! Then on Thursday we get to have an awesome dinner with my coworkers. So not as much cooking this week.

Then on Friday dinner with my friend and her twin boys. They will be moving to Nashville soon. so sad! But maybe some barbeque recipes inspired by them will be upcoming :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Party ideas

How about a party featuring this Sweet Tea drink?

I had a version of this at H Street country Club on H street--good times with the girls :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm getting a divorce. It's no longer my husband and I and our son who live outside of Washington, it's just my son and I. Recovery from something like this always takes its own course. I need to make a list of things I will do, or still do, things that I enjoy, things that my son enjoys:

1) go to museums
2) have parties at my house
3) go out to eat
4) go to the arboretum
5) have friends over more often

Classic extrovert. I like to be surrounded by people. I think the classic things people feel in these cases are true to form for me. In some ways I don't think all humans are special. I think, like most animals, we are restricted by a certain amount of sameness. That's why people like doctors can do their jobs because our bodies react to things in formulaic fashion. Our brains are much the same. People respond to being abandoned with certain pre-programmed ideas or responses.

I'll still be cooking, but cooking for 1 and a half.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finally! A dinner that is utterly edible and even yummy: Coconut Fish Chowder

This is another recipe that I can say hallelujah for a sixteen dollar Hamilton Beach immersion blender that has made soup purées so easy.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, April 12, 2010

Canadian bacon gratin


After (eggs baked and smothered with some fonky Fontina)

Omigod this was awful. Epic fail! Okay it wasn't terrible but the eggs, they were just so runny. Flavor wise it was pretty tasty, but there's something about raw egg that just tastes yucky.

And plus the fontina in this just tasted fonky. (That's funky with emphasis. It's going into Websters this year...)

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thai beef stir fry (not curry!)

Or damn you whole foods, you sold me rotten food. If I'm going to pay your damned outrageous prices, you better give me some tasty ass food, and not some damned congealed coconut milk that ruined my damned curry, and forced me to make some weak ass stir fry.
-- Post From My iPhone


I have been having a hard time feeling inspired these days. It seems like everything doesn't look good, or convenient or it seems too similar to the things I've already been eating. It's been blah. So I was happy to pick up my copy of fast, easy, fresh and find a few recipes that seemed to call out to me.

One of them was the Best Banana Bread Ever. Which. If you have a recipe called that. Then it needs to deliver. One f-ing problem. It calls for vanilla extract. Which everyone has. Even people who never bake have that. Everyone has that in their pantry. And I of the millions of spices that accumulate in an entire cabinet like a freaking apothecary . am . out. So I, like anyone in this new-fangled day and age, google: Vanilla+extract+substitute. And the search result basically tells me I am SOL. That if they wanted some other kind of extract, they would have called for it. And substituting it would make the resulting product taste like cat poo. Literally, they described it as cat poo. So I left it out. And it was still pretty damned good. So over-ripe bananas beware, your days are numbered.

Also on the menu for this week (from fast, easy, fresh)

Canadian bacon, Asparagus, Fontina Gratin (canadian bacon, asparagus, shredded fontina, and eggs)
Thai Beef Curry with Asparagus (beef strips, red pepper paste, asparagus, coconut milk, basil and lime) over rice
Coconut Fish Stew (more coconut milk, chicken broth, fish < tilapia, lime)

I have some Halibut that I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do with. Any more ideas for inspiration would be welcome.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Maryland Crab Soup

-- Post From My iPhone

Some notes: When I make this recipe, I only make half (it's a LOT of soup). I froze a half pound of crab in its original packaging with some parchment paper filling the space the half pound of crab had previously occupied. It worked fine in the soup, after being thawed overnight. I substitute the water for beef broth, and instead of STEWED tomatoes, I use CRUSHED tomatoes. I have used stewed tomatoes before, but it turns out too watery and not tomatoey enough. This is a lovely, easy soup. Gideon loved it too.

Last note: I do not eat lima beans in any other context, but it BELONGS in this soup.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Dinner number two

Leftover Easter egg and chopped cherry tomatoes in herb salad dressed with salt and pepper.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dinner one!

-- Post From My iPhone

Menu 4/5

It seems like only yesterday that we were snowed in with feet of snow keeping us housebound. Now it's almost 80 degrees, we're not wearing socks, and spring foods are beckoning. I'm looking forward to doing some Farmer's Market shopping this spring. I haven't been a big purveyor of Farmer's Markets, due to my wariness of potentially inconvenient shopping, but I'm looking to give farm fresh ingredients a try.

Up this week is:
Chili-Rubbed Salmon and Zucchini and Sauteed Corn. I already made the corn for these awesome sausage quesedillas this weekend, so all I have to do is pop the salmon in the broiler.

Maryland Crab Soup-I froze some crab from the last time I made crab soup and either this is going to work out or it's not. This time I remembered to get Lima Beans, because when I got crab soup from the North Campus Dining Hall, also known as "The Diner," it always had Lima Beans..

Yogurt Marinated Chicken kabobs (it's the second recipe, plus there are options for other variations, which is why I love Mark Bittman) on the grill (hopefully) with rice, and salad. This marinade of greek yogurt, minced onion and garlic, lime juice, cayenne, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. You just throw in some chunks of chicken and let it roll around for a day, and then you skewer it and put it on the grill for a few minutes. I usually broil this in the winter, and I love how the edges get a little burnt and crispy. I only use skinless, boneless chicken thighs because I prefer dark meat, but you can definitely use white meat. This is a go to Bittman recipe.

I usually have three good ideas for dinner, and then I fall apart. Suggestions are always welcome! How do I round out this weekly menu?


I have not been posting because I had a secret, cooler blog on tumblr. But then I realized I hate tumblr, and now I'm back! Maybe I'll fancy up this blog when I have time, but for now I realize that change is not always good!