Sunday, March 31, 2024

Then I Shall Bow, In Humble Adoration

Easter Sunday
Chipotle Honey Glazed Ham 

Roasted Turkey Breast, Mexican slaw, Potato Salad, Skillet Cornbread, Greenbean bake

Roast Turkey Breast
I was so scared this would be dry but somehow it was the moistest ever!

P's Holiday Bloody Mary

Alex Guarnaschelli Skillet Cornbread

Mexican Slaw
There are recipes out there but I like to think I invented this one.

purple cabbage - sliced
red onion - sliced
Green apple - julienned
jalapeno - chopped
Cilantro - stems and all
lime juice, zest

Any excuse to use my giant mixing bowl from IKEA.  I like to get it all in there with salt, pepper and a couple splashes of Apple Cider vinegar before adding the dressing.  For the dressing:  I mixed an overly ripe avocado (smashed), lime juice, garlic (minced), Apple Cider vinegar, honey and extra-virgin olive oil, more salt and pepper.  Whisked up and emulsified until creamy and delicious!  Pour over.  

Easter Sammies!
Later that night, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and more potato salad

Breakfast Chili Crisp Avocado Toast
If you weren't impressed, consider that I did this mainly with one arm and everything that needed lifted, I had to ask for help.  When you're cooking, timing is everything, so that was not as easy as it sounds.  But Easter means something to me and if nothing else, I feel a celebratory meal is in order. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

Are You Man Enough When the Goings Rough

Freddy's Mexican Food Truck
Freddy's food truck breakfast tacos
An early morning walk that ended in incredible breakfast tacos from Freddy's truck was the inspiration for my first attempt at making corn tortillas.  This is a good example of ignorance and fear keeping one in darkness for years.  I always thought the process was laborious and drawn out, hours of dough resting, flour all over my apron. I figured sweat would be involved.  It takes 20 minutes and it's so easy!  But, and it's a substantial but, there are nuances and skills that will develop to get them to be incredible. 

 I am a huge advocate of non-fussy cooking.  I feel I'm winning when I can make a meal from random ingredients that I need to use up.  I had bought this Masa Harina and every time I opened my cabinet it was like, here I am girl!  Whatchu gon' do with me?  I think success is getting something that tastes great locked down on all the regular days of your life. 

They say your comal or griddle should be medium high, but of course that really depends on your burner BTUs, so getting that heat correct was a bit of a challenge.  But the moment your first tortilla balloons up for you is a proud one!

Thursday, March 28, 2024

You're the One Who Can Put Out the Fire

 Irish Cabbage Soup from the Hillbilly Kitchen

I've spent time admiring Appalachian cooks on-line and websites, like the one above and the way in which budget, leftovers and simple ingredients, as well as thoughtfulness come into play in their recipes.  Ideas made out of necessity and supply.  This matches my way of thinking about food and meals.  Because I am in Brooklyn, I have access to many fun ingredients and influences that allow me to be creative when I want.  I'm not considered a house wife by any means and certainly am not southern.  I'm not feeding 6, I'm only cooking for two, but somehow her food philosophy makes sense to me nonetheless.  Becky has a Trump sign on her fridge and quotes bible scripture, and, or but, depending on how you view it, she's a joy to watch.  

Recipes that have history or stories behind them hold more than the sum of their ingredients.  You feel you've been given more than just a dish.  That making it allows you to be with that family or in a time or place.  Connecting with your food is real.  I prove that by noticing you can only do it with organic ingredients. Try to relate to a frozen chicken nugget and you will feel very little.

I made this soup relying on its nutritional properties to help heal and be filled up with its vitamin rich broth. I do believe there is magic to certain soups made a certain way, and this is one of them.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Baby, It's No Surprize

Collard and Green Bean Bake
Small discoveries are just as important in cooking as the big eye openers.  Fresh collards are abundant, and cheap, but can this resilient green be made to taste more delicate?  The answer is yes, yes, yes!  I chopped them in small squares, then blanched them in boiling stock for a few minutes with garlic and lemon.  I included them in my green bean bake and they were such a lively pop of bright green, yet, so very tender.  It should be no surprise after discovering the elegance of a quick sauteed cabbage.  
It is so incredible how collectively, we are learning how to use all of these beautiful vegetables unorthodoxly. When I grew up, you had to boil and cook down things like cabbage and collards for hours. Thems were the rules and no one dared question them, yet.  I definitely came from that time when recipes were definitive.  Now, anything is possible it seems. Creativity may be something that expands, like the universe.

Monday, March 25, 2024

I Miss You, I'm Not Gonna Crack

Inspiration on a lamp post
You would think some time off of work to recover from an injury would be a dream.  Turns out, like all joy, fun is elusive.  The rest of the time, you are in pain and fighting self-defeating thoughts.  Like, will you ever get better?  Why does this part of my body hurt now?  Am I falling apart?  Did I hit my head?  Can I form a thought or am I permanently broken?  
A trip to the local diner was the first social endeavour. Even in a catatonic state, I would probably know how to order fries.  

A trip to the park at the beginning of spring is humbling and automatically puts you in a meditative state. A perfect reminder to calm your arse down and remember what is important, which isn't much. 
Also, in a blink of an eye, these trees will be filled with brilliant green leaves and I will be back to work and life will go on, or it won't. 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Slow and Low, That is the Tempo

Easy Oven Baked Ribs courtesy of Inspired
I never make ribs and I'm not sure why.  They really are super easy and a fun alternative to chicken.  Spice them up, wrap them in foil with herbs and garlic and sauce them at the end.  These are made low and slow, so you get to have the anticipation factor.   I love things that take hours in the oven.  You feel like you're accomplishing something when all you have to do is wait.

Where this fresh summer corn comes from early, I'm not sure but it was indeed super sweet.  And this time I only steam boiled the brussels spouts in a garlic, lemon stock then finished with butter and Parmesan, to keep their freshness locked in and they really did taste and look like spring.  This removes all of the bitter taste as well.  These give a pure relief from the spicy rub and sauce on the ribs.  I made my own quick barbecue sauce with honey, ketchup, soy, hoisin, garlic, onion, mustard and hot sauce.  

Breakfast featured my leftover shake of banana, strawberry and yogurt  over grain cereal with fruit and nuts.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

I Need You To Turn To When I Lose Control

Switch Up Dinner
These days particular items can be hard to find randomly, like corn meal of all things.  Turns out some corn meal doesn't work to make polenta, like the kind P bought from the store, twice.  My plan was shrimp and grits, then cornbread. Finally, I settled on a confetti corn with shrimp and sausage.  This begs the question: Do you need a proper starch for dinner?  It's a fair question.  My answer is, not always, but it's usually a welcome addition.  If you can skip it a few times a week, you most certainly will feel lighter.  
I love carbs and fat and meat and even sweets, so I'm not the best judge of what is best.  When I don't eat sweets, I feel a hundred times better.  The same with carbs.  Then again, I might at some point be willing to roll an invalid for a plate of spaghetti.  I'm not sure if that is a sign of a bad addiction or your body just saying it could use a little starch. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Separate the Weak from the Obsolete

Another one gone, Fulton Bikes, my bike store, for the last 4 years. Businesses die right and left these days. Thank goodness another one is always right there to take the business.    I was taking Dave in for an overhaul while I was recouping myself, hoping to one day soon be able to hop back on his sweet ass.  
Walking hurts, everything hurts, afterwards.  I'm healing from this work injury but it's a slow climb back up. Never will I ever, put my body in danger for some dumb arse task.  It became apparent that a giant burger and onion rings were in order for the day's meal.  I supplemented those with a homemade salad.

My feelings can best be expressed by these lyrics from Notorious B.I.G.'s, song, Juicy from the Ready to Die album:
Time to get paid, blow up like the World Trade
Born sinner, the opposite of a winner
Remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner