Saturday, February 28, 2015

More Bounce To the Ounce

Normally cauliflower doesn't exactly give people a stiffy but I'm here to tell you it is the shit!  I've sliced it, diced it, riced it and roasted it this month and it's a giver I promise you.  
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Crumbled Turkey Sausage
Uncomplicated and straightforward.  Roasted, blended, add stock and almond milk to give it a bit of creaminess.  Mother nature provides the soul and the sausage provides the thrust.

Friday, February 27, 2015

If You Want It, Here It Is Come and Get It

I was fondly recalling the Yuca With Mojo boiled yuca with roasted garlic, olive oil, lime and parsley from Cubana Cafe. Just a side dish but so memorable.  I was so surprised at how much flavor they had as opposed to potatoes. This was from a Cuban soup recipe that I pulled off the web but was supposed to be made with turkey thighs and plantains....but I made with chicken...
...along with this glorious yuca.  Use in place of potatoes right now, don't pass go or you'll miss this silky, dumpling like texture in your mouth!  Fat and cholesterol free.
Lots of lime and avocado as a garnish.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

And All I Have to do is Act Naturally

Crunchy Skinned Asian Chicken Breast, roasted, over sauteed cabbage and carrots. I was going for a pseudo Pad Thai made healthier with cabbage as the noodles. Just a slurry of soy, fish sauce and a dash of honey and lime to replace the tamarind paste.  Lots of roasted peanuts and green onions.
I used a bone in breast with the skin and made it extra crunchy by adding a bit of baking soda to the dry spices rubbed on top.  Great tip!  I would so make this again.  Baked at 425.
I splurged and got the good free-range chicken.  It came with a profile and picture. It seems Hershele, was raised by an upscale family and allowed to roam the perfectly manicured lawns of his home in Greenwich, Connecticut while dining on microgreens and hemp seeds.  After which he travelled extensively and later attended 4 years at the University of Montevallo.  After two failed marriages and a brief attempt at stand up comedy in New York City, he spent some time living on couches of friends before taking shelter in the shed of his brother's southern Indiana farm where he discovered his deep love of country music.  He took a brave crack at honoring his heroes with a series of cover albums.  Unfortunately, the debut release, 'Hershele does Buck' was met with ill reviews and his label quickly scrapped the project.  Never bitter, he finally decided to dedicate his life to 'being dinner'.
Oh wait, are all chickens girls??? If so, this joke doesn't work and should be disregarded.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baby Buys Her Things You Know, She's Happy As Can Be You Know

Valentine's Day is for suckahs!  Lines of amateurs buying limp roses from the corner bodegas as a last ditch attempt to come bearing gifts as an honor to their love.  Suck it! Their creativity genes flopping lifeless alongside their manhood as they grab the ready made bundles of affirmation.  First of all it's a set up that no one can win.  Men equipped with these kinds of skills are clearly too effeminate.  It should be that both parties express their appreciation and affection in unique ways but somewhere along the line much of the responsibility fell with the men and we all know how that's going to end.  Do women even want this silly shite anymore anyway?
I got up out dat game, as the kids at work would say (10 years ago) and it's the best thing you can do for yourself.  I don't know, people are gonna be cool or not but that is an ongoing thing that has ebbs and flows and putting all your eggs in one day basket, seems queer to me. If you're going to be cool, try to be considerate to everyone AND your mate I guess, I don't know.  I just hate this holiday and get all grouchy about what it's become.  It's Neo Christmas for couples.   Be giving because you want to be and regularly, not once a damn year.  And how about celebrating love & affection for everyone, like in school when you'd pass out Valentine's cards and treats to all your friends.  That was sweet. Kiss a stranger or hug an old bird, let's shake it up a bit!
I made Sweetheart Omelettes with spinach, Feta, mushrooms and tomatoes over crumbled turkey breakfast sausage with onions and peppers.  But see cooking for someone is sensual and fun, not annoying or corny. Ain't no shame in that.

Friday, February 13, 2015

For Those About To Rock!

If I was really cool I'd have super tight relationships with all of my immediate family including their offspring now including my in-laws. I'm reaching for a partial on that one, in this lifetime anyway.  I'm the kind of person that is not capable of being true friends with a large quantity of people, but more a select hand picked small group.
So I was thrilled to correspond again with the spawn of my brother and one of my favorite nephews of all time. And best of all, he is a foodie!  I knew he had the passion for music and soul and heart of and actually IS an artist but to learn he shares the deep love and appreciation for food makes this monkey so happy and proud!
I recently shared a recipe for my green apple tomatillo salsa and within a few days he came back with photos!  And he used it one day for carnitas and then the next in a new way, cooked to make a chili verde sauce!  That's the way to do it with these gorgeous sauces, forget those little salt filled seasoning packets! Screw that and get with this!

By the pictures I suspect he may have what I call the Goldilocks principle.  My sister R has it and my mom has it.  They have the unique ability to season, temper and cook things 'just right' to where it hits some other level of awesome, of comfort, hits that sweet spot on your tongue, soul and everywhere in between.  

He can also make menudo which is like tamales, a right of passage of sorts in Mexican cooking.  I must salute his tenacity and bravery.  And he got the recipe from his dad.  How cool is all of this?!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Time Ain't Changin' Nothin', Take A Look Around

I don't remember celebrating my birthday as a child.  I don't have memories of cake or any particular year, anyone singing.  I have a picture on a tricycle that I'm told was my 5th birthday but I don't recall it.  The only one I remember was my 21st.  My friend and I were to move to California in a couple of months and we were gonna make a party out of every night we could. We were in a perpetual state of bliss.  I broke up with my boyfriend ahead of time trying to be efficient but still had the girl-balls to ask him to hold our going away party at his house.  He was fun but I felt like I rode his last wave before he was about to give out.  I didn't harbor ill feelings though.  Even then I always saw life as a continuous.  Nothing started or ended.  If you were friends with anyone, you'd always be friends.  If there was once love there would always be love.   If you lived somewhere, you never really left.   

I bought a red dress to wear for my 21st b'day outing that reminded me of the Jetson's.  It was 1983. It was super cold and snowy out but I still wore red strappy sandals because, well I was 21.  We didn't have dates so we begged my old beau and his surly friend, who they called Angry Tom because he was always super grouchy, to take us out.  All the bars we waited years to get into were so lame, playing disco music, filled with stiffs and stagnant air.  We found ourselves better off coming back to their apartment, hitting the bong and me and B danced and laughed around the living room to Tom Petty's Long After Dark album while the boys kept drinking until they passed out.  We stayed up and dreamed of our new big lives in Fresno, California, just three hours away from the ocean.  In my mind, they would always be there as would everyone I ever cared for.  And I still believe that's true if we want it.  Everything is everything.
I'm not celebrating a special birthday today, but I am celebrating. 53.   I picked Beef Green Curry from National Thai my favorite and some noteworthy chocolate cakes from L.A. Burdick.  A nice shrimp fresh spring roll and fried tofu with a peanut butter dipping sauce.  Every year is a reason to believe time does not exist as we know it.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stoned Me Like a Jelly Roll

It was interesting to read the reviews of the 2015 Grammys and that anyone takes the time to so seriously review this show in the first place.  I've made a beautiful peace with musical award shows and it's freed me to enjoy the most mundane events. Simply dial down your expectations to 0.
I loved AC/DC. And why wouldn't you just choose to love on them?  Of course their new single sucks. They've sucked for several years.  It says more about you if they failed to blow you away with their new material.  Look again, they were amazing! Dwight.  Sigh, silence.....and end scene.  He's so damn boss, I can't even look at this picture without holding my hand in allegiance.  That Brandy Clark has a great way of dropping down way low during her chorus, which is very effective.  I would like her with just a few nips and tucks of her production. 
Tom Jones is like my handsome uncle, although for me that's a contradiction in terms.  I keep respect for him.  Way back in the 70s it was not unusual for my sister to dive in front of the TV to see him perform. I was just a pup so it would be a couple of years before I understood that level of reaction to the opposite sex.  I texted her immediately.
 Ed Sheeran reminded me of Van Morrison.  Do people say that about him?  I never heard him before.

When Prince walked out, I felt the world tilt a little on it's axis.  Got a lump in my throat and got a little weak.  These are the little gems that you shouldn't deprive yourself of by being a music snob.  Music is like food.  You can get the best food in the oddest places, you just need to say humble.
Annie Lennox mixed her meds that night and the results were just the right blend of crazy.
Paul McCartney was cute dancing to ELO, who by the way did sound kinda wondrous to me too.  I didn't feel any of that erratic Kimye Rihanna debacle.  Everytime I listen to Kanye, I try to erase all my preconceptions and find that genius people speak of but that's a quest that continues.  Not unlike my search for UFOs.
But the best part of the whole night was I was able to finally get my pantry in order.  I even have an international shelf!  Beans with beans, tomatoes of course have their own level, duh.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Your Guitar, It Sounds So Sweet & Clear But You're Not Really Here

You always hear about tamale pies but I never really knew what the heck they meant.  That was stuff for midwestern housewives that have never had a pork tamale fresh out of the steamer.   My sister has been making some cash by selling her homemade pork tamales to friends and neighbors and I've been hearing about them for weeks.  Tamales are serious eats and you don't mess with some foods, it's like changing lyrics to a classic song.
However, after a while, you either eat them like once a year or you try some new things.   If you know me, you know my love for corn meal masa made with a good roasted chipotle hot sauce.  Using that as a base, then a great chili bean type layer, nice and thick before putting a final layer of corn meal on top.  If you do cheddar cheese, now'd be a real good time to break it out and shred that sonnabitch on top and in between.  Bake until bubbly.
Real tamales it's not. It's apples and oranges in reality but there is an element of the true taste in here.  Well, there is heat from the chilis, the masa albeit in a different form, and if you let it set before slicing, it does get covered like a real pie.  Hey it's resourceful and let's leave it at that.  At least it gets the real thing out of my head for a few days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Takes A Lot to Rock You Baby

Cauliflower Mock Lasagna.  Thin slices of cauliflower baked with a rich ragu sauce, cottage and parmesan cheese.  Good.  Light.  Kind of made me all quiet. Like when someone says something that hits you important when you're barely listening and you have to stop and pay attention.
This food is not vegetarian but it is trying to be healthy while also striving to be decadent.
We have a friend that when you play him a really good song or he hears great lyrics he gets this look on his face and starts reacting physically.  He strokes his beard and twirls his hair with urgency and perks up his eyes.  Sort of like he's staring into the sun or something bright that's not there. It's so awesome, when you can move someone or at least witness it.  After noticing he did that, I am now aware many of us have that feature but it comes in different styles.  When you're aroused out of your present state, its interesting to observe how you respond.  You can hardly get an emotional rise out of some people for the life of you.
While I was making this dish it was after work and I was pulling at strings, not at all confident it would be anything to talk about.  It wasn't a recipe, just something I thought might work.  And then when I tasted it, I surprised myself.
We have a sign in sheet at work because that's how freakin' busy it gets, just taking one person after another.  We get a lot of contractors that come each week.  Lots are super cool, lots are assholes.  This one guys signs the list as Dirty Sanchez.  It'd be funny every time if he wasn't one of the latter.  So the guy I'm working with is from Indonesia and doesn't know that term from shinola so he yells it out real loud and by the way his voice sounds distinctly like Latka from Taxi.  I was so stressed because we're mad busy and I'm working with Latka basically, not because he's foreign but because he's slow ass!  But I broke out of that mindset so quick when that happened and for a moment dove into happyland.  It's all you get sometimes.  These twinklings of cool.
I accept present reality but I really love all these other types of perspectives that you can go in and out of throughout the day.  Seems to occur when unexpected things happen.  Like this dish.