March 27, 2012

New Favs

Three two new-to-me food & life blogs to love:

Cup of Jo

Which led me to this one, because of a saliva-inducing tomato sauce with ricotta...

The Wednesday Chef

I will be adding them to the Blog List soon.

March 26, 2012

Weekly Menu 3/26 - 3/30

Unrelated to blog post picture, featuring friend Heather, demonstrating how wide the aisles are at a Brooklyn Trader Joe's - HUGE.  

Dang, I am on a roll with blog posts today.  It's probably because I am home sick, which is sad because it is not actually fun to be sick.  But if I've learned anything it's that if I am going to blog consistently, I should probably quit my job.

It's ironic really.  Sometimes I will myself to get sick so I can stay home to get all the stuff done that I need to.  Then I actually get sick, and I feel guilty because I am missing so much stuff at work that I have to do.  Furthermore, when you are sick, you don't actually feel like doing anything productive.  Vicious cycle.  The only answer is to live in France where they work like 20 hours a week or something awesome like that.

Anyways, down to business.  Because I am sick, I am relegated to the couch and the computer, and still have my mental capacities to do some menu planning.  For those of you who don't know the joys of menu planning, there have been two great blog posts elsewhere recently about it from two masters of the universe - Dinner: A Love Story, and Dinners In The FourOneFive.

Monday - tempeh stir-fry, salad and rice (Hoorah! A Meatless Monday!)

Tuesday - chicken and artichokes*, and roasted potatoes

Wednesday - beef tacos.  Finally, back to our weekly routine with friends to eat tacos.  This time the men of the bunch will combine it with racking some homebrew to secondary.  Us females will probably do something equally as exciting, like knit or talk about sewing machines.  (Actually we'll probably talk about how Syracuse is out of the tournament.  Sad face.)

Thursday - ravioli (NOT HOMEMADE - NEVER AGAIN) & homemade tomato sauce, using the last of the jars from last summer.

Friday - shrimp cocktail, and salmon and brussels sprouts.

*Sometimes it takes Ry a few days to read my blog posts.  I'm hoping this is one of them, because this chicken and artichoke dish is actually in a mustard sauce.  I blogged back and forth with DALS about the mustard in this sauce, and I have been assured that it doesn't taste mustardy, or I can simply leave it out.  But if I write the actual name of the dish, Ry might read it and get a preconceived notion about it's mustardiness.  Don't tell.


It's amazing what just a little fanciness can do.  Ry and I have actual silver silverware.  Now, it's not polished, and it doesn't match.  Ry either got it from a thrift store, or from leftover from his grandmother.  

We also eat off of actual china.  When we first started wedding planning, I bought all the cheap pretty plates from thrift stores I could find, with the thought that we would have funky, unmatching, fancy plates for our wedding.  When we realized what madness that would have been for two wedding parties, and 150 guests x 2, and for doing our own dishes, and for carting them around from Virginia to Massachusetts to Vermont, we decided against it.  However, not before we collected a few gems, like the one above.  

So most nights, even if we're just having chicken sausage, edamame and rice, it looks like we are dining like royalty - with china and silver.  And it just makes us so happy.  We fight over the above plate, because it's the fanciest.  The same goes for using a tablecloth - it changes the whole mentality about dinner.

Poison Noodles

Man, do I love ramen.  The good kind, the real kind, the bad kind...well, mostly the bad kind.  It is just so tasty.  It might be that it is actually tasty (it actually is), or that it reminds me of the special treat that it was in my childhood.  It reminds me of afternoons after sports practice, before dinner, where we needed a little snack.  It was the first food I learned to prepare on my own by memory, and I took pride in the fact that I memorized exactly how long the noodles needed to cook - no timer needed.  I learned the exact time the noodles were done by the way they floated to the top.  Too long and they were soggy; too soon and they were crunchy.  But I could tell by how they floated and the amount of boiling bubbles if they had reached that magical point.  

My mom dubbed them "poison noodles" because she thought they were terrible for us.  That's fine, but she did keep on buying them, so my brother and I kept on loving them.  In my ravenous adolescent days, I would make two packages for myself at once.  My brother and I would alternate who got to use the wooden toaster-tongs as "chopsticks."

My favorite flavor is Shrimp, much to other people's disgust.  Hey, I can't help it.  That fishy flavor just sings to me.

Ry and I also purchase ramen, and I believe I've even blogged about how we have started to make fancy ramen.  Because, let's face it, it's bad for you.  But if you fill it with vegetables and a healthy protein (like actual shrimp), I feel better about it.  I even made real ramen from a recipe in Bon Appetit, and it was delish.  Not the same, but delish.  

March 19, 2012

February Rut & Sunshine

This is my first blog post in a really long time.  A really really long time.  Sorry.  I have a million excuses - I'm too busy; I don't have time; after being at work all day, the last thing I want to do is get on the computer; I have nothing to talk about right now.  I could go on.  But that's not important.  What is important is that I am writing again.  Now.

Yesterday was amazing.  80 degrees in the sunshine, in March!  It was glorious, beautiful, uplifting, inspiring.  It's incredible how just a little warmth and sun can change everything.  It was like having two full weekend days in one.  We got SO much done, and it was great because we did it all together, at a relaxed pace.

We walked around the garden, harvested a few parsnips, and plotted this years layout.  We drank coffee in the front yard with my brother and girlfriend for a few hours.  We wore sandals, shortpants and I, a tank top.  We planted tomato seeds - an entire tray.  We cleaned out the shed, and brought stuff to the dump.  We got wings and burritos at our local eatery.  We watched an NCAA basketball game (my bracket is doing well, I might add).  We cleaned up the yard a bit.  We did two loads of laundry and hung them on the LINE to DRY.  Heaven.  We took a walk / run.  We went grocery shopping.  I read a magazine.  We made potato salad and chicken salad. We bought an old farmhouse sink for our house on Craigslist.  Taco discovered the outdoors.  AND we watched a movie and went to bed.  What a day!

My brother said that he just told his girlfriend, if things are ever bad between us, we have to promise to wait until Spring to make any big decisions.  Because just one sunny day can change everything.

High Mowing Seeds - Cortland Onions.  Planted March 2.