Tuesday, May 28, 2019

You've Got to Live for Today, Then Let it Go

Bubble and Squeak, Colcannon, Rumbledethumps....Whatever you end up calling this concoction, pat yourself on the back because it may be the best use of all your leftover vegetables.  Its proof that mashed potatoes and cabbage really befriend any addition as long as you throw some cheese on top.  This looks like a giant amount but actually it was not that much and I used Almond Milk.  But you must use real butter because, honestly.
Cabbage, mushrooms, ground beef, carrots, tomatoes, cheddar, green peppers, onions.  This is a leftover casserole, so chop up all your cooked vegetables and throw them into smashed up potatoes.  A buttered pan will get a nice crisp on the bottom. Keep pressing it all down. Thus the bubble and squeak noises commence.  Or you can throw the whole thing in the oven. And if like me your vegetables were leftover but not cooked, even better.  You can chop them all up in small pieces and cook to desired consistency.  This makes the dish more vibrant. But trust me, you can't screw this up. If you need a recipe

Long Ago and Oh So Far Away, I Fell in Love with You

Some days are such that you need two side salads.  Watermelon, tomato, feta with mint and Chick pea. jalepeno with lemon.  A long time ago I fell deep in love with chick peas.  I can't tell you how versatile they are, either in soups, salads, roasted and spiced up as a snack or served along chicken.  They can be the star or play second fiddle to a nice green. Or of course blended into a tasty hummus.  Canned are great and convenient.  I'm trying some crock pot recipes to see if you can get big flavor seeped in by slow cooking.  Regardless, they are somehow less filling then a bean and leave you feeling lighter.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Don't Worry That It's Not Good Enough

Dilly Potato Salad
Pickle juice and fresh dill gave this yogurt potato salad lots of flavor and the egg yolks helped give it richness mixed with some Dijon mustard.  I realize there are hundreds of ways to do potato salad but this is quick, easy and lighter.  Don't get me wrong, I love mayo.  I also love a spicy, roasted potato salad.  But the great thing is that there is time to make them all in the coming season!

Potatoes, boiled and chopped
fresh dill (I like a lot)
chopped pickles & juice
yogurt to taste
eggs, separated and chopped
mustard (mix with the egg)
Image result for gilly snl gif

Thursday, May 23, 2019

You Just Might Find, You Get What You Need

There are those meals that are very uneventful yet enough and satisfying.  There is nothing wrong with a baked Chicken Breast especially if you take the time to brine it first like I did here.  Paired with a piece of corn on the cob and roasted zucchini all with a little added butter and garlic and lemon for brightness.  There's worst things in life, I'm sayin'.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Silence is Golden, Golden

I like to take walks through the park early in the mornings on days off.  I take them at a fast pace but don't like to think of it as working out.  I have to trick myself to get out there, so I take a small purse as if I'm just taking a casual stroll.  I end up looking like I'm in a big hurry to get somewhere.  I walk a few rounds across the park and then take a couple quick hikes up the stairs, which is not easy but then again, it's hardly a real work out.  It's relaxed and enjoyable.  I like to get the exercise but also take the time to chill the fuck out because I always feel super stressed.  I like to look at all the different trees and birds, but mostly I try to just be with my thoughts and stay as isolated as I can in a public place.   If I didn't have to work I could easily go full days without talking, which would come very naturally to me.  I love finding quiet places where I can soak up whatever that fuel is that I need so much before I enter the world again.

Flowers doing what was needed to get at that sun.
I could also go a couple of days without meat each week which I am slowly trying.  This oven roasted cauliflower steak was good and beefy with lemon-ed up tomatoes and capers with parsley, a little sprinkle of olive oil.  The cheap thin pork chop did not disappoint either though.  I would need a rice or second side to enjoy this without meat.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Someday We'll Find It, The Rainbow Connection

Stuffed peppers are one of those things that never sound that exciting but when you eat them you are filled with all kinds of huggy feels. Baked things with cheese melted on top induce happiness and then you add crunchy bread crumbs.  Well you got yourself a warm little bundle that you cut into and unwrap even more surprises and flavors with the ground turkey, tomatoes, rice, parsley.  It all comes back to you. 

We are seeing more and more rainbows these days, full spectrum and doubles.  This is one from my sis in Colorado.  Gorgeous!  Look how it's in front of that tree.  She sent this and it wasn't until weeks later that I noticed that more and more people were sharing pics of these brilliant sites.  Many folks reminded us that we never saw them as a child.  You would be so happy to see 1/2 of one and would never see the bottom because that's where the pot of gold should be.  Also folks are seeing regular clouds with rainbow colors and sun rays. 

I had been obsessing on these Paulownia trees.  My friend tried to tell me about them last year.  She gave me a small branch with their unique seed pods as she was explaining all about them but because I'm an ass I'm halfway listening thinking yeah, yeah, whatever old lady, which is weird because I do love trees and I like my friend.  See, these are the reflections that show my bad side. 
Then this year I kept seeing them growing all over and tried to find the name. They have a beautiful scent and that was what stopped me on my bike after smelling in the air so strong.  Turns out they are invasive and grow rapidly along waterfronts.  Case in point, the Gowanus Canal, another favorite place of mine.  I opened my eyes and saw them growing all along the water.  In fact, there is even a sign I never noticed right by the bridge.  Funny how things open up to you when you're ready to see them.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

If I Could, I Would

do it jewish GIF

Have you roasted a Poblano pepper lately?  If not, you must do so immediately.  Right on the stovetop burner is absolutely fine and a great way to really get the smell going in the house.  This sets the tone for loads of rustic dinner ideas.  Instead of the amazing cheese laden stuffed, battered and fried chile relleno, I cooked up some ground turkey with garlic, onions and spices and just opened up the skinned roasted vessel and presented it open faced. a little toasted bread crumbs on top. I made some spicy but creamy corn meal masa and corn on the cob to accompany.  If I were on a competitive cooking show, I think the judges may say that this needs a sauce and they would be right.  A warm mild white cheese sauce could be cool or to cut through, a nice light tomato-y sauce might be even better. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Another One Bites the Dust

As I write this post months later, Pelicana Korean Chicken is all closed down here in Fort Greene.  I walked by it today and thought how amazing these sandwiches were for a take out alternative.  They had the spice just right where each bite rivaled that of a juicy burger.  Sometimes chicken can be void of deep flavors, just salty but they had heat and moisture, the perfect size and thickness.  The fries were good too.
It's a pity that with all these hungry people there are no longer great alternatives in the neighborhood.  We've lost the Academy Diner, Burger 67, Habana to Go, and now Pelicana. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Don't Punish Me With Brutality

Do you ever get a little sick and wake up for days feeling so much less than your regular self?  You start to believe that you will never get back to 100% again.  You go for a stretch thinking this is the new you, your 40% self.  You think, boy this is much tougher to manageHow long can I exist at this level?  It's all so wearing on the nerves. When you go down physically, your mind begins to tell you stories, horror stories.  That's when you begin to understand that you and your mind are two different entities.  I'm learning because I don't want to believe half the things my mind tells me. I know better.  But my head is the only place I can go for information, right?   

Actually, no, maybe not.  You come with infinite knowledge and information and it may be that you need your mind only to interact with the physical world.  Not to say it's not my friend but it turns out the mind doesn't always know best.  It's like your good friend that has flaws but you are aware of them, so sometimes you have to ignore them.   I feel great today and am going to walk to work because my bikes in the shop.  Suddenly I'm remembering that my back has been hurting, I've felt nauseous and my legs are sore.  I have this one idea to do something healthy but like a Black Friday sale at Target, as soon as I open those doors, floods of nervous thoughts come rushing in.  You'll be too tired to work, it's cold outside (writing this in December), and worries I can't even discern but are there in big globs.  Politely, I decline all requests to stay feeling shitty and try to clear my thinking desk of all clutter before breathing and starting over. 
Back in May when the sun is shining and spring is 100%, I made this amazing Eggs Benedito I'll call it with spicy corn meal masa, enchilada sauce and poached egg.  This is restaurant worthy.  A creation of mine that I am proud of because it combines fun, festive colors with the vibrant tastes of a Mexican breakfast. 

For dinner I made a chunky version of bubble and squeak, using the potatoes as the creamy binder.  I added ham to make it a full meal with the cabbage, carrots and sweet onions.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

(S)he Was Working on Something Big

Deconstructed and dragged through Evolution Enchilada Burgers
Sounds like I'm in my lab in a white coat with smoking beakers and it does feel like that sometimes.
Related image
At restaurants, forget the tacos. I love Beef and Cheese Enchilada platters with beans on the side.  If you're cutting the carbs down this is a nice substitute using store bought Polenta sliced and toasted on a hot pan, as the buns.  You can even make the burgers to fit.  I got lazy and put on top.  I made beef and black bean patties with enchilada sauce and jack and cheddar cheese piled on a heaping mound of iceberg lettuce, onions and tomatoes.
You don't even need salad dressing, just salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime.

Old Man Take A Look at My Life, I'm A Lot Like You

I enjoyed a take-out Steak & Corn salad from Habana To Go and was excited that I had my own homemade hot sauce to eat with it, along with some of their guacamole and chips.  I know what it takes to put a meal together even if it's work I love, it's still work.  So when I begin a meal like this where I made little to no effort, endorphins and serotonin shoot out like fireworks.  Foodies will know this feeling.
And I was super happy to receive a pic from my niece of my foodie pops enjoying a nice outdoor lunch in Arizona where he had his peppers that he always eats fresh with his meal.  My dad's strong appetite has always been to me a symbol of his love of life and seeing him take on those raw jalapenos at 96 is such a testament to his strong will.  He is definitely no saint but seeing him tackle a full plate does fill my heart with love for him.
And earlier that day at work the staff cafeteria served these surprisingly cute spinach stuffed ravioli in cream sauce.  I added the vegetables to make it a Primavera.  Even though white pasta, cream and ricotta are all off limits I figured it couldn't hurt to partake in just a few.  Foodies know, when you get a culinary opportunity you should always strike while the oven is hot!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

I Take 2 Steps Forward, and 2 Steps Back

Sometimes things go amazingly well and unexpected, like this Billboard Music Awards performance by Paula Abdul.  Okay, she's 57 and was being tossed around like a raggedy Ann doll. I found this late night on YouTube and I found myself with my mouth open watching multiple times.  She jumps from like a two story building unto outstretched arms.  That's entertainment!  My hats off to this gal.
Per usual my attempts at authentic chilaquiles were less then stellar but very tasty. This time I made them with blue corn chips and chile verde sauce which made the color pallet odd looking.  I can tell you though, the flavor was on point.  Making strides with the texture though and the sauce, cheese to chip ratio.
No lighting seemed to help them look any more right or pleasing. 
Still shaking my head at this jump though.  Hot dang!