Thursday, June 25, 2009

I know, I know, I know...'re still my blog (sorry, Tegan and Sara, I couldn't resist the impulse).

I know its been a while. Its been an eventful--and sad--month since I last posted. I did some traveling--to Florida and Michigan--, been very busy at work, rediscovered a passion for broccoli and cheese soup, and broke up with the Dear GF. The last reason is really why I haven't been posting. Major upheavals in my life usually don't lead to interesting food or much of an appetite.

I'll be back in July and better than ever! i promise.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

2nd Annual Memorial Day Picnic

I love picnics--I believe I've mentioned them a time or two on this blog. I find them to be a singularly pleasant way to spend one's time. I don't have them as much as I'd like (though I'd like to change that this summer--picnics in Clark Park, Philly readers?). I did, however, hold my 2nd annual Memorial Day picnic in King of Prussia with my dear GF and 2 friends.

I restrained myself this year and tried to not make obscene quantities of food (I know, uncharacteristic, right. But there's a recession on, people). The dear GF contributed deviled eggs, which are really only devilish in taste--or heavenly, depending on your perspective. I love them. They are also the only things I didn't get a picture of.

I made the parmesan crisps, from Ted Allen's book, that I made last year, because they were such a hit. They really are the simplest, most flavorful cocktail cracker ever, even if they are a little dubious-looking.

I also continued my love affair with asparagus--into its 5th week, I think, and counting!--and roasted it. Some of it I roasted plain, because simplicity really is the best recipe, especially for something so divine as asparagus. But for the other half, I wanted something truly decadent. I slathered paper thin slices of prosciutto with chevre and then wrapped them around 2 or 3 asparagus stalks. Then I slid them into the oven to roast beside their brethren. The result was a salty creamy pleasure of the most hedonistic kind. They positively oozed luxury.

And, as my final dish, I made a dessert. That's something I don't often do!! I finally used the rhubarb that I purchased so long ago in a strawberry rhubarb crumble. Let me tell you, this crumble, with its flour and walnut topping, was 1,000 times simpler and more pleasing than a pie. Not only did I not worry about ruining a pie crust, but the fruit was really showcased in the dish. The brightness of the fresh strawberries and the tanginess of the rhubarb were both complemented by the addition of lemon zest. It was also delightfully oozy. It was possibly that most successful baked good I've ever made.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Well, there's not much to write about--I've recently been making uninspired meals. But the 2nd Annual Memorial Day Picnic is coming up, so there will be much to mention next week. To tide you over, I am going to write about something near and dear to my heart:

Breakfast. Namely, the breakfast above, which I eat almost every day of my life. I love it. The cheese is an addition of that day only. Otherwise, there is 1 fried egg, with the edges lacey and the yolk a little runny. 1 peice of toast, lightly toasted, with butter. 1 vegetarian breakfast sausage. And I usually eat it in this order: the whites of the egg on the toast, then the yolk on the sausage. All accompanied with a mug of strong, sweet black tea with milk. It brings me continuous joy.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I like simple things. Like....asparagus! It is asparagus season in Philadelphia, and thank goodness. I've missed it while it was gone.

I've been eating a lot of asparagus--at least a pound a week, which is a lot if you remember that i am only 1 person! I've steamed it and sauteed it. I toyed with roasting it, but I was lazy that night, so I steamed it again. There is something irresistable about asparagus, lemon, and a pat of butter. No amount of fancy preparations can compare.

Marinades are simple too. I'm amazed that I haven't put them to use before!! They are a blessing for a cook who is pretty scared of giving herself food poisoning--one of the reasons that I cook meat, at best, maybe once a week. Usually less. I marinaded two turkey breast cutlets in a prepared lemon marinade that I bought on a whim from the grocery story. The marinade was too sweet, but after resting overnight in it, the turkey was tender and delicious, especially when splashed with hot sauce.

Leftovers=also simple. I had 1 cutlet left over the next day. I put pasta on the stove to cook, and then turned my attention to other components. Queso para freir was cubed and fried in a hot fan. Asparagus, chopped into 1-2 inch section, followed sauteed with olive oil and a shake of garlic salt. Cubed turkey meat was added, warmed, and then the whole combined with the cheese and pasta. Simple, quick, delicious, and incorporating asparagus. What more did I need?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rhubarb Request

Hello, dear readers.

The other day at the farmer's market, I impulsively bought 4 beautiful, long, ruby stalks of rhubarb.

I have no idea what to do with it.

i know I could make pie, but I have neither enough rhubarb nor strawberries nor patience for pie crust right now. Anyway, pie is awfully obvious, isn't it?

Do you have any suggestions? I think it'd be interesting to make something savory, but I don't really know what. Please, please, please comment with ideas? Don't let the rhubarb go in vain!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weird Things

I eat weird things. At least, I think I do. This has recently come blatantly to my attention. I mean, I’ve always known I’m a little strange in my eating habits. But, recently, it has just been really obvious.

First of all, I have a new dairy love. My local grocery store carries some pretty exciting ethnic foods—if you’re interested in Central and South American cuisine, island cuisine (such as Jamaica), or even African cuisine, the Supreme Shop’n’Bag on 43rd and Walnut is the place for you. Gourmet, it is not. Awesome, however, is a good word for it (also affordable). I was looking at cheeses when the phrase “fry, without breading” caught my eye. The cheese is called, most descriptively, ‘queso para freir.’ This cheese is soft, fresh, and on the salty side. Like halloumi, its Middle-Eastern counterpart, you just throw it into a hot pan and fry it to a golden brown. The outside crisps and the inside runs soft and gooey. It is so delicious. I ate it 3 times last week.

And that is where the weirdness comes in. On Saturday, I bought my first fresh asparagus of the spring. On Sunday night, I wasn’t too terribly hungry and I had just had a revelation inducing acupuncture appointment. I casually tossed some asparagus into the steamer and then, because I thought that maybe asparagus by itself wasn’t enough, I cooked up some frozen pork and veggie gyoza that I had. Both delicious, but an odd combination. Monday night was the night of my fried cheese acquisition. So I naturally had to try it and I paired it with roasted asparagus in another pairing that made little sense.

To top all that off, my favorite snack food of late has been those roasted peas that I picked up in China Town. They are delicious. I enjoy coming home late from a night out and munching on them while I watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy before bed. Though, I’m sure, the crunching us a little bothersome to the cat.

What things do you eat together that you think are weird?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Passover 2009

I’ve been eating a lot of good food recently. I can’t lie—there’s been a lot of really good food. And, yet, I’m actually a little indecisive about what to write about. Unlike last year, I decided that I definitely wanted to be with my family for Passover this year. So my sister and I did a whirlwind, 20-hours-total-in-the-car road trip to see several different members of the family. And there was so much good food! I didn’t take very good mental notes however—I was mostly distracted by my crazy and loveable family.

Our first stop was at my mother’s house in Virginia, where we played scrabble and ate pine-nut hummus (the Sabra brand) on pepper slices. Then we ate roasted asparagus, potatoes with fresh parsley and butter, and a take on chicken picatta that my mother came up with. She marinated the chicken in olive oil, lemon, and ginger, and then sautéed it with garlic. She also coated it in matzo meal, since it is Passover, to keep in the moisture like flour would. For dessert, she made an angel food cake, topped with fresh strawberries. I ate the strawberries and about a million chocolate macaroons.

Then we headed further south to North Carolina, where we participated in a 21-person seder, complete with aunts, uncles, new family, cousins, second cousins, and close beloved friends. There were three…THREE…legs of lamb and a turkey! You all know how I feel about turkey. And I love lamb. And my uncle made his own chicken broth for the matzo ball soup (with matzo balls that were definitely sinkers, the way I prefer them). We had lovely mashed potatoes and tsimmus, a sweet potato and prune dish that provides wonderful sweetness to the festive meal. There was asparagus, which I sighed over. For dessert, there was flan and triple chocolate macaroons.

But, as I said above, I didn’t take good food notes. I was deliriously happy to be surrounded by my loud, strange family. I spent inordinate amounts of time in the car with my sister, which is probably the longest time we’ve spent together in…years, maybe. I saw a lot of people that I haven’t seen since 2007’s Thanksgiving or my graduation from college. My uncle, the one who makes soups and freezes them for later lunches and guests and who roasts legs of lamb and makes puns, is especially dear to me.

I jokingly said, in my last post, that my next Passover will be in Kalamazoo. But that’s most likely true. Which is why, for this one weekend, I took my focus off of the taste and texture of the delicious food stuffs and meals (except when I downed that spoonful of homemade horseradish—THAT was hard to ignore). I sat back, smiled, and soaked in the loving closeness of family.