Thursday, June 30, 2011

Breakfast of Champions!

Toast with peanut butter and a hard-boiled egg on top. Yessssssssssss!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pictures From Last Week

Leftovers from this dinner

All of the remaining pictures will be from this meal.

The pile of basil and oregano -- I already chopped the rosemary, it was a 4" stalk.

All of the herbs chopped and ready to go into pasta dough.

A little comparison between the hand sliced and the machine sliced pasta. Guess which is which.

A nice pile of pasta!

Frying the garlic scapes in some olive oil.

The chard all chopped and ready to be briefly sautéed.

My ghetto pasta drying station.

There are no pictures of the final meal, but after sautéing the chard until it wilted, I tossed the drained pasta with the veggies, olive oil and a little of my homemade ricotta.

I also have about 1/3 lb. of my pasta remaining -- soon to be cooked!

WTF Construction

I was woken up at exactly 7:48 this morning by the road crew outside my house. They must have been jackhammering, or something equally loud and obnoxious. They have not made that much noise since. What I want to know is, if you can spend most of your time NOT making noise (like right now), why couldn't you postpone the super loud bits?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Links and More Links

As always, lemme clean out my browser windows:

my favorite gutters comic

Fruit and Custard Pie

Galit Barak's blog -- a jeweler who crochets wire and attached semi-precious gems (and a lot of pearls!)

Skillet Cornbread

An interesting granny square

Obelisk Fiber Arts' Etsy specializing in weaving

An adorable embroidered pillow

A recipe for spoon bread


So I had had some buttermilk chillin' in the fridge, creeping past it's sell-by date for a while. When I saw this post by Tigress in a pickle, I had to jump at it!

I lowered the size to one quart of buttermilk and one half pint of cream, and it turned out delicious!

In order to celebrate the ricotta, and my birthday present from my mom, I made home-made herb pasta (herbs being basil, oregano and rosemary finely chopped), cut it on the wide pasta setting, and served with fried garlic scapes, kale and ricotta on top. Absolutely delicious! My only problem with the meal was that since I had to roll it out by hand, I wound up using a lot of flour on the outside, and it made it a bit goopy when cooking. So I need to get around to buying the pasta roller, as homemade pasta was otherwise a breeze.

There will be pictures, I'm just too lazy to pull them off of the camera atm. :-P

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Wanna Be Bengal Dinner

Or, How To Cook While Missing R

So for dinner today, I opted towards a more Indian-style approach at my simple ingredients.

Cook white beans (3/4 c. uncooked) until fork tender. Take off heat and drain.

Slice potatoes (three) and fry them in a little bit of oil in a wok. If you were being smart, you'd have also remembered to rub them in turmeric as well as thrown in the garlic.

When potatoes have lovely brown color all around, dump water from the kettle in the wok and watch it hiss and spit. Add tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and whatever else I can't remember.

Remember the garlic scapes halfway through cooking the potatoes. Chop them (about six) into 1" pieces and toss in the mix.

Put rice (1 c. uncooked) on to cook.

When the potatoes are nearly done, toss in the beans and the little tiny bit of pulled pork leftover from lunch at Redbones.

When the rice has 5 mins to go, roughly chop rainbow chard (five pieces) and toss in the curry to cook until thoroughly wilted.

Serve curry over rice.

This was a tasty meal, has been packaged up into three lunches worth, and Mister really liked it, but I feel like it was lacking. Whenever I make a spice-heavy sauce, I always just taste "spice". A bit of graininess, a bit of bleh, I dunno how to describe it. R, how do I get rid of this?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Things to Keep Track Of

I would love to make some pillows like this for the living room!

Crocheted necklaces -- I can totally do this! (Perhaps I should open an etsy...)

Three Hundred Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Lilla Elizabeth Kelley, published 1903

Big flower accessories a possible favor/family gift for the ladies at the wedding?

High heeled saddle shoes!

Darling red high heels!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pepper Plants

So last Farmer's Market I bought a four-pack of mixed bell pepper plants. Since most of my peas are dead and/or dying, I pulled a bunch out of one planter, and threw the peppers in. Apparently, peppers are prima donnas, and like not only well drained soil, but continuously DAMP soil. I watered them last night, and they perked right up, but when I woke up this morning, they were already dry. Sonuva...

With that in mind, I borrowed a tip from a website and put grass cuttings in the box (a.k.a. I weeded and threw the weeds around my pepper plants). I removed any seed heads, but that was the only precaution I took. I figure that they can deal with sharing the box since their new bedfellows are happily shading their soil for them.

Also, I think something was eating one of my cantaloupe plants! This is very Un Cool, and I have placed a big rock where I have my suspicions that a burrow is located. It seems like my plants are having some troubles decided to get big!

(No pictures at the moment -- too lazy to change the batteries in the camera.)

Friday, June 17, 2011


So I opened up a box bread mix so that I could not only get rid of the box, but also of a shitty beer in my fridge -- and there was a dead moth INSIDE the plastic bag of the mix. Uh... yeah no.

Recipe Planning

Several of the items that I need to use up in my kitchen are: a bunch of parsley, a quart of buttermilk, and a summer squash and a zucchini. Possible ideas to use these up are:

some form of fried chicken

Buttermilk Pie Crust looks fascinating

Soda Bread of some variety

Buttermilk Curry

Strangely similar Buttermilk Squash soups

Squash Gratin which I've made before and LOVED

Herb Jam which looks intriguing

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Love Visitors and Life Update

Mister's sister S visited us for about four days, and we had a blast. Why don't Mister and I ever bother to do things without the requirement of company? We went to the Boston Circus Guild's show (actually twice) on Saturday, the Boston Gay Men's Chorus pride concert of all Beatles songs on Sunday, and the Propeller Theatre Co (from UK)'s production of Comedy of Errors on Tuesday.

Lots of good times, and I re-learned that I LOVE jugglers -- they were my favorite part of the circus (although the bellydancer/housewife skit was fabulous... :-P).

So food-wise here's whats going on: my spiced fig vinegar is finished and fabulous, my chive blossom vinegar will probably be strained tomorrow and is BRIGHT PURPLE!, I have some basil blossom oil infusing, lemon balm in 63% vodka, and I just started two batches of kimchi (one with napa cabbage and this recipe and one with some napa cabbage and spring onions with this recipe). We'll see how it all turns out!

Also, my peas are pretty much all succumbing to something called Fusarium Wilt.

The first signs of fusarium wilt and root-rot disease are the yellowing and wilting of the lower leaves and stunting of the plants. Infection of older plants usually results in the plants producing only a few poorly filled pods. These diseases are not as prevalent on well-drained soils. Double-dug raised beds amended with abundant organic matter can greatly improve soil aeration and drainage. Fusarium wilt can be avoided by growing wilt-resistant varieties.

Uh, yeah. I've nearly given up on the Lincoln Shell peas as only three plants are even green, and I'm trying to see what I wind up getting out of them. After the Lincoln Shells die, I'll replant that pot with the four pepper plants I bought today (bell pepper mix). The beans however, are doing lovely. I cannot wait to have beans!

I also finally popped in the ground the 8 black cherry tomato and 2 cantaloupe (one pixie, one athena) plants that I bought last week at the Farmer's Market. I hadn't gotten around to it as a) it was raining for most of that time and b) I was sick as a dog Wednesday and Thursday (remember the fainting?) and was still not 100% until today. I coughed continuously and took way too much Robitussin during the Beatles concert :-P.

I guess that's about it for now!

... Or Not?

Apparently I spoke too soon. After several confusing and (I thought) contradictory letters, etc., I have NOT been approved for unemployment. When I described the situation to Mister, he informed that I'm bad at this game, since I feel it's the way that I described the situation that lost my chance. Whoops!

Friday, June 10, 2011


I was approved for unemployment! I will soon be getting weekly payments. I only wish it was coming out of my former employer's pockets... (bitter? Nooooo...)

Mister and I need to go through and budget, but I feel that we'd be fine even without the unemployment. The only problem I have is I get super bored while at home all day. As I type this I have mucho cleaning to do (Mister's sister S is visiting for the weekend), yet I have zero inclination to do so. Mayhap I'll bribe myself with a mug of tea...

Thursday, June 9, 2011


So many of the doomer prep blogs I read advocate for being prepared, much like the boyscout motto. Be prepared for anything and everything. One thing that is important to consider is yourself. Who knows you better than yourself? Who knows what you'll be likely to come across more than yourself?

I, yet again, forgot this wisdom.

I have had problems with both low blood sugar and low blood pressure. I don't eat well, and I'm often not fully hydrated. As a result of all of the above plus 90 degree weather, I nearly passed out on the subway yesterday. And by "nearly passed out" I mean I nearly blacked out standing, was given a seat, and continued to nearly pass out while sitting. When I had to get off, I barely made it four feet out of the train before having to collapse against a sign. A very nice young lady stayed with me, I called Mister, and the train officials went and got me juice and a donut and made sure I left the building properly.

Now! What of this was avoidable? All of it I'm sure. Yes, I'm not feeling well, and haven't for a couple of days. But I should have taken that into account, as well as the weather, and taken care of myself by bringing food and drink with me (I actually did have a bottle of water, but forgot to refill it before I left my appointment).

This particular episode was not the worst one that I've had (that involved passing out twice within 20 mins of my first day at work :-P), but it was the second worst probably. I haven't had the heat effect me this poorly in years, but it is still an issue. And I always have problems eating and drinking enough calories to keep me alive. (A couple years ago, I had these terrible stomach cramps all the time -- turns out I was eating an average of 1000 calories a day!)

Now, Mister proceeded to give me hell about trying to push myself too far (he thinks that I should have gotten off an earlier stop and had help reach me sooner, rather than go the one or two stops further to meet him), and recommends that I discuss with my doctor whether or not this is an issue or ways to prevent this. I feel it's entirely preventable, and that it's not an issue.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Life, dedicated to Rimi

Just got back from NY for family stuff. My sister's graduation party was on Saturday, and my mother's boyfriend's son's wife's baby shower was on Sunday. The blanket I was making was finished Saturday night at 1am and was well received. (The lady in question went: 'holy cow this is thick!' and I was like 'uh, yeah, blankets are supposed to keep you warm?') For those who understand such things, it was a 5mm hook, sport weight yarn and all single crochet in a zig-zag pattern. It was practically waterproof! :-P

One thing that was absolutely darling about the shower was that instead of a card, guests were asked to bring and sign a baby book instead. So they received many many baby books, and not a single duplicate! There were some of the classic Little Golden Books (not quite the Pokey Little Puppy but along those lines), a few Dr. Seuss and many that I recognized from my childhood. My sister got a baby book version of Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton who did another book that I love called Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel about a guy who takes a bet to dig a cellar in a day and succeeds. :-P I got a "Baby's First Farm" book with big colored tabs with a picture of the ducks on the page, or the cows, or the pigs... etc. So if baby likes the pigs, all they have to do is find the colored tab with a pig on it.

Mister's little sister S is turning 15 on Tuesday, and we're heading up to his mother's house for the party. Part of her present will be helping her recover her ancient piano stool (at the suggestion of his mother) so I created a little coupon for it:

I had initially intended to use my calligraphy pens and ink, but when I did the practice version, I had a lot of problems getting the sizes that I needed, and the proper angles (all of my 'o's were crooked with the pens...). So I bought a super-fine point Sharpie and created it this morning.

Is this enough of an update for you R? I was super busy last week trying to finish that blanket, and procrastinating equally hard on said blanket!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Egg Wisdom

Your eggs need to be as fresh as possible if you want fried or poached eggs. For boiled eggs that you wish to peel, it is best to use eggs that are about a week old as the shell and skin are really difficult to peel off on fresh eggs. ….
If you are scrambling your eggs or making an omelette, eggs can be up to a week old. For baked dishes, eggs can be older than a week. If you want to separate the yolks and the whites to make meringues, eggs are best a few days old as the whites whisk up better if not too fresh.


So I bought four bunches of rhubarb today, and I'm trying to decide what recipes I want to make. I've narrowed it down a bit, but still!

Rhubarb Cornmeal Tart -- I'm DEFINITELY making this!

Fresh Rhubarb Breast of Chicken (wtf is up with that name?!)

Rhubarb Vodka

Rhubarb Wine

Final Decision

Based upon how much rhubarb I have, and what I want to eat most, I've decided to make the following:

rhubarb cornmeal tart
lentil rhubarb soup
cavalier ginger and rhubarb ketchup (halve the recipe for two pints)
victorian BBQ sauce (halve the recipe for two pints)
rhubarb-ginger syrup
big crumb coffeecake
rhubarb streusel muffins

I'd need to buy another 10 lbs. of rhubarb to make the rest of the recipes as listed.

My grocery list for these items:

-- powdered sugar (I believe I finally worked through all of my powdered sugar!)
-- butter
-- milk
-- white cornmeal or semolina
-- carrots?
-- celery
-- onions
-- sour cream (2 c.)
-- white wine vinegar
-- ginger (2 "knobs" + 1 c.)
-- dried chilis
-- raisins
-- pint jars
-- eggs
-- baking soda

Additional Grocery List:

-- ravioli
-- potatoes
-- tomato sauce (opened the last jar!)
-- buttermilk
-- fruits/veggies
-- cheddar
-- mozzarella

Apartment Thoughts

Spur of the moment, this past Sunday Mister and I drove up to Portland, ME to visit his mother. We walked on the beach, grilled burgers and sausages, and I practiced my instrument while Mister had a heart-to-heart with his mom (they always wind up talking tech stuff and I get bored :-P). On the way back, we stopped at his older sister's apartment because she had a birthday gift for him (presents? I'm there!).

Her apartment is a lot like ours in layout and temperament, but it feels settled and looked beautiful. That is my goal with our apartment. It needs to be beautiful and settled. I cleaned like a whirlwind yesterday and so most of the house is actually CLEAN, but it needs those little touches. I need to frame much of my art, I need to find homes for the random crap still in boxes, I need to figure out what remaining bits of furniture we need.

I'm looking forward to it, but wishing it were complete, still the same!

Farmers Market and Vinegars

My second Farmer's Market spoils: four bunches of rhubarb (shit is tasty yo), goat cheese, half dozen eggs, and two bottles of crack BBQ sauce from Burnin' Love Sauces

My chive vinegar after about 6 days.

My Spiced Fig Vinegar after about 6 days.

Recipes to Save

Why do I do this to myself? I always open up way too many tabs of delicious food!

Herbed Cheddar Parmesan Crisps
Frozen Mojito Pie
Homemade Spaetzle (I need to make this tonight!)
Toasted Coconut Cheesecake Cups
NY Cheesecake
Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
Butternut Squash Gnocchi (I should make this tonight and freeze most of the gnocchi)
Ginger Panna Cotta, Rhubarb Mouse and Rhubarb Gelee Verinnes
Queso Fundido con Chorizo
Creme Fraiche and Chive Potato Cakes