Sunday, November 14, 2010
9:45AM - Wake up
10:30AM - Yoga class
12:30PM - Make granola, sing along to Solomon Burke's greatest hits, fill the house with freshly-baked granola aroma
1:30PM - Vodka infusion time! Fill house with aroma of burnt espresso simple syrup
3:00PM - Bake banana bread, cover up burnt espresso smell with fresh-out-of-the-oven banana bread aroma.
4:00PM - Clean up the sticky, gooey espresso syrup from all over the stovetop.
5:00PM - Read Food&Wine magazine, type blog post, google "How to build breakfast nook bench".
Some things I have NOT done today: clean and work on my school project (which were, of course, my goals for the weekend). I actually had a To Do list with those two items on it. Instead of completing those tasks and checking them off the list, I simply added 3 new items - Make granola, Infuse vodka, Bake banana bread - to the list and promptly checked them off. So, 3 out of 5 isn't bad.
Granola (adapted from Candle Cafe cookbook)
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. steel cut oats
1 c. nuts (I used a combo of sliced almonds & unsalted cashews)
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/4 c. safflower oil
1/3 c. maple syrup
dash of salt
dash of vanilla extract
1/2 c. dried fruit (I use cranberries usually)
1/4 c. shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together all ingredients except the dried fruit/coconut. Spread evenly onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. But - here's the important part - you need to spread around the granola every 5 minutes. So stay close to the kitchen and keep an eye on the clock or you're gonna have burnt granola instead of perfectly and evenly toasted granola. Let the granola cool a few minutes, then add the dried fruit and coconut. SO GOOD. And it'll keep in an air-tight container for several weeks.
Espresso Vanilla Bean Liqueur
(from great food blog, The Dinner Files)
3 c. sugar
3/4 c. instant espresso
2 vanilla beans
3 c. vodka (we used triple distilled
Bring sugar & 2 c water to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add espresso powder, reduce heat, simmer, stir to dissolve espresso. Note: somewhere in between the addition of the espresso powder and the stirring and simmering, I guess I forgot to reduce the heat and KABLAM the stuff bubbled up and over the edges of my pot...so, uh, don't do what I did. But look how gorgeous it is (evidence of my mess visible to the right):
Once the espresso is dissolved, you want to remove it from heat - transfer it to the glass infusion jar to cool. While its cooling, use a knife to split the vanilla beans open and scrape out the teeny seeds inside (which look like a black paste). Add the seeds and the pods to the syrup, and then pour in the vodka. Seal the jar and set it aside for 4-6 weeks - skim out the seeds/pods before serving.
Cinnamon Infused Vodka
I didn't really follow any recipe for this. I poured a handle of vodka (plus remainder of another bottle of vodka I had) into a glass jar. And I added lots of cinnamon sticks (about two .75-oz jars' worth). I will let this infuse for about a week, and taste it next weekend.
It is my hope that these two infusions turn out beautifully. I want to bottle the cinnamon vodka and gift it for the holidays (along with a recipe for spiked Mexican Hot Cocoa, which I'll be experimenting with in coming weekends), and we'll keep the espresso-vanilla liqueur for our own holiday entertaining.
Banana Bread (my mom's recipe)
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs milk
Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter & eggs, add sugar. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, salt in separate bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones. In another bowl, mash bananas with milk, and then fold that into the mix. Bake for 1 hr.
Now, I will turn my attention to dinner and schoolwork. But - who am I kidding - once I have a glass of wine and Daniel gets the firepit going, its s'more time not school time!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Happy Friday y'all, and don't forget to recycle! Perhaps next week I'll actually do some garden related posts.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Which is what appeared after I purchased this:
which was designed by this lovely lady:
And of course I had to let AT know of their error by omission. In fact, it appears I ignited a fire in the comments. Success! So, I'm glad I had this opportunity to spotlight Alite's sexy urban camping products for AT and on this blog.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
In case you hadn't heard, this Blakroc album is good. Really good. Though not new, its been in constant rotation on my iPod, and I'm heading up to Philly tomorrow to see The Black Keys (hooray!). While I could only find 2 videos - one to introduce the players involved in this collaboration and another featuring the Mos Def/Jim Jones track, I encourage you to give the entire album a listen (Nicole Wray is amazing and the Raekwon track .... "we was like Mork and Mindy"...yes). Without further ado...Blakroc:
Blakroc Project from Soulstaff on Vimeo.
Blakroc: Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo) Ft. Mos Def and Jim Jones from Jonah Schwartz on Vimeo.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Here are two I wouldn't mind putting on my walls...
Monday, July 12, 2010
One confirmed American killed yesterday worked for a great organization, Invisible Children -- the sort of job I would love to have some day, which is an incredibly jarring thought - that one could do this selfless work in a seemingly safe environment and have your life snatched away while you're watching a soccer game. In his honor, and in honor of the work of Invisible Children, check this out:
MEND Explanation Video from MEND on Vimeo.
Friday, July 9, 2010
La Roux - Bullet Proof from serkan söğüt on Vimeo.
Also, the singer of La Roux, Elly Jackson (who I just looked up - girl was born in 1988!?) reminds me of another red headed UK singer with equally interesting fashion choices: Roisin Murphy. I especially like her hats. Check it out:
(I hate posting youtube videos because they are always cut - unlike vimeo which show the entire frame. Whats up with that? Am I doin it wrong?)
Snap the ends off the asparagus, and chop into 2-in pieces (or whatever works for you). In sauté pan, cover asparagus with water and simmer (a minute or two) until asparagus is bright green. Drain.
This is my go-to summer meal, since its so easy and tomatoes are abundant. Toss tomatoes (I halved the cherry tomatoes - yellow ones from the garden, red ones from the store), fresh mozzarella (chopped to equivalent size), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil (from the garden) & season with salt/pepper. So good.
Friday, June 25, 2010
This is - hands down - one of the coolest videos ever. Directed by Spike Jonez, the entire freaking video was filmed (they learned the words backwards) and then reversed during editing. And I think the vibe is perfect for a hot summer day. Watch out for the Beastie Boys appearance. Happy Friday!
The Pharcyde - Drop from john E Njoki on Vimeo.
Monday, June 14, 2010
At Daniel's house, this would be served with matooke (a green banana stew which I'll write up the next time I make it) and perhaps some tofu and mushrooms (a recent addition to the mix - pan fried almost to the point of charring and heavily peppered). I learned how to make these dishes after watching her cook on several occasions (no measurements, just by taste). So it has adapted quite a bit from its original form in Uganda - to the way Daniel's mom makes it in Philly - to the way I make it in DC, which is kind of cool.
Spinach Peanut Sauce (to be served with rice and other dishes above)
2 cartons of frozen chopped spinach (comes in small boxes in frozen veggie aisle)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
generic peanut butter (smooth or crunchy - to your taste)
curry powder*/salt/pepper to taste
In medium saucepan, empty the two cartons of frozen spinach (in their square frozen solid form) and add about an inch or two of water. Heat on medium for 10-15 min until the spinach thaws out. Meanwhile, you can chop the onion, garlic and tomato. Once the spinach is almost entirely thawed out, you can add the onion and garlic. Cook another couple minutes, stirring. Add more water if you need to (though this is a thicker sauce, like a stew). Stir in a couple heaping spoonfuls (using wooden spoon) of peanut butter and the diced tomatoes. Season with curry/salt/pepper to taste - we like to go heavy on all these to add more of a kick to the sauce. Spoon over rice and enjoy.
*I like to use a good hot, or muchi, curry blend.
Yellow Gooseberry Tomatoes:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
But thou shalt acknowledge the reality of one's bank account before visiting this site. It's tempting.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Beyond my newfound love of The Black Keys and what is truly a great song, this video has me giggling like a school girl. So ridiculous. So hilarious. So true. Just another case of Midwesterners keeping it real. Happy Friday!
The Black Keys - Tighten Up - Official Video from Chris Marrs Piliero on Vimeo.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Boil 2 c. water with 4 black tea bags, and once it gets properly steeped, set aside to cool. Bring 7 c. water and 2 c. sugar to a boil, til the sugar dissolves. Set this aside to cool also. Once both those have cooled, combine the tea and sugarwater with:
1 can frozen lemonade
1 can frozen orange juice
whiskey to taste (my mom said one-fifth, but I used half a $19.99 bottle of Jim Beam)
Stir til consistent, and freeze. Once frozen, scoop slush into glasses and top with 7-up or ginger ale.
(Sorry no photos. And yes, its a heckuva lotta sugar, BUT its delicious)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Because, seriously...what would be better than being your own boss, being a gardener extraordinaire, and being surrounded by the loveliest, liveliest flowers all day long?
Happy June to you.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Anyway, check it ooooout:
Monday, May 24, 2010
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbla' (from Moosewood cookbook)
2 lbs fresh rhubarb (1-inch chunks)
3-4 c sliced strawberries
1/3-1/2 c white sugar
1 1/4 c rolled oats
1 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
a dash of allspice and nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the rhubarb and strawberries in a 9-inch square pan (I used a round dish - whatevs). Sprinkle with white sugar. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Distribute over the top of the fruit and pat firmly into place. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is crisp and bubbly. Eat the cobbla'!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
2/3 cup sugar + 2/3 cup water
2 mangoes, peeled + chopped
4 peaches, chopped
2 bottles of viognier or a similar white wine
1-1/4 cup grand marnier (more or less to your taste)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
Bring sugar and water to a simmer, til sugar dissolves, and let cool. Combine the sugar syrup with all remaining ingredients and chill for awhile to let the flavors mingle. Serve over ice! I'd say this is good for 6-8 thirsty people.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I got home from work today, picked some greens, washed them, and threw together a tangy Miso-Mirin Dressing.
Oh, and I'd sprinkle some Gomasio (sea salt + sesame seeds) on top - yum. Pair it with a nice Chenin Blanc and you're good to go.
It's a simple recipe, which is great, because it'll be one I can easily file away in my memory and throw together whenever. Plus it makes 1.5 cups, so I can refrigerate the remaining dressing and use for the next week!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
PS: I wanted to feature a Little Brother video, since they're rolling through DC (Black Cat) on their Farewell tour. But they didn't have a video for my favorite track. So here's a link to the song and non-video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSVUPMccM8c
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
2) “Situational Drinking” – Pairing alcoholic beverages according to the experience. Ex) a smokey red wine for the campfire gathering, tequila at a Cinco de Mayo party, etc. Originator: the wine pourer (uncertain of official title) at St. Supery tasting room.
9:30am Coffee at Calistoga Roastery. Clem and I checked out the Farmer's Market where there was an abundance of gorgeous produce (yes, gorgeous) and local crafts. We bought a container of strawberries for later.
And an antique car show was going on in Calistoga, so Daniel made it his goal to leave No Car Left Behind with his photography- which, much like the legislation I'm referencing, was a silly distraction from the real work that has to be done (for us, that work was wine consumption).
It was at this restaurant where a seriously intense food/wine coma set in. As in, we could not form sentences (ex: the bread. give me it.). The food was, of course, delicious. Service was unpretentious and friendly. We were without words and overstuffed.
We made it back to our respective hotels, and I, for one, slept like a baby. We woke up the next morning sad because we had to leave paradise. We dropped Clem and Sam in SF (lucky!!!!) and caught a flight home (went to the right airport too). I'm still coming to terms with the fact that we are back in DC, the land of the blackberry, and not California, the land of self-indulgence. But who can really live there with all the extraordinary scenery, weather, wine and food? I mean, really??
Apparently, lots of people can. I polled them. They grow up there and they don't leave because its that awesome. I want to hate those people, but I can't. I want to be them. The end.
Upcoming: Lessons Learned post.