Wednesday, July 20, 2005

When desparation sets in, a good meal can sometimes result 

The past few weeks I've been working too much, out of town on weekends, and generally just far too busy to even think about cooking, let alone do it. This, combined with the fact that I'm saving up for a trip to Guatemala, has resulted in an almost daily panicked moment of low-blood sugar, followed desparate search of the kitchen, and concluding with a peanut butter sandwich and a general feeling of dissatisfaction.

Today would be different, I decided. Today, I would cook. Not wanting to spend money on groceries when I had a full fridge and fuller cupboard, I decided to just throw something together. This is what I came up with:

- Snap a sad and wrinkled looking piece of ginger from the back of the fridge in half, and discover it to be surprisingly fresh and pungent on the inside.

- Start a pot of the last of your brown rice boiling.

- Throw a bunch of frozen corn and string beans into a larger pot, along with a can of rinsed kidney beans. Turn the heat on medium under it.

- Mix chili powder and cumin in a dish with some water, and toss it over the corn etc.

- Pick a bunch of mini purple basil leaves from the plant in your window, chop them up, and toss them in.

- Turn the heat down under the rice.

- Grate the ginger over the growing meal in the large pot. Don't bother with a plate or anything, just hold the grater directly over the pot. It's okay if you get some corn kernels caught in the corner of the grater; they'll come off.

- Stir.

While that's heating up, take a break to feed some frozen corn to your snails, who don't seem to mind if you don't thaw their food. Watch the snails' eyestalks bend towards your hand as you reach into their tanks. Find them cute.

Rinse off the grater, cutting board and knife, and congratulate yourself on your economy of dish use, while looking around the kitchen for a clean bowl to eat out of.

By the time you find one, the corn-and-bean mixture should be ready. The rice, however, isn't. Go write a blog post about your meal while waiting for the rice to finish cooking. This will not only kill time, but also keep Frog from killing *you*. By now the rice should be done, so you should go to the kitchen, toss the rice and corn-and-bean stuff into the clean bowl you found, and eat it while you get back to work.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Friday, July 15, 2005

Sugar High 

Last night, I had a trial shift at the Bakehouse. Oh my goodness does that place smell good.

I was working the packing shift. Which means I took the beautiful cookies, brownies, etc. and wrapped and stickered them. And got to eat the broken ones and the extra pieces, and the crispy bits of caramel from the.best.brownies.ever. Oh yeah, and the imperfect candy bars, and the mis-cut brownies.

Oh how I want this job.

Because you know what they do with the broken ones? THROW THEM AWAY. Actually, regardless of whether I get this job I am going to try to work something out so they take the imperfect ones to mail order, because let me tell you, they would be appreciated.

This job, it would not be good for me, my cardiovascular health and my waistline specifically. But! the sugar!

And the creamery is next door and they brought us gelato.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Like a saturday morning scone except your target audience might just consider it inedible. 

Savory cheese-herb muffins

1-1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. coarse yellow polenta meal

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 cup melted butter

1 large egg

1 cup milk

1-1/4 cup (approx.) shredded jack cheese

2 to 2-1/2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven 425 degrees F. Grease twelve muffin cups.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, the cornmeal, baking powder, salt and the herbs. Mix togther and add the cheese.

In another bowl, mix the melted butter, the lightly beaten egg and the milk. Add this to the flour mixture until all is moistened. Do not overmix! Batter will be lumpy!

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden and an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes on a rack. Quite tasty warm. It has that nice chewy texture of a baked good made with a lot of butter and cheese.

This recipe is an attempt to replicate the Zingerman's cheddar-herb scone and is ripped off from an on-line recipe I found somewhere via google, with a few modifications. Whenever I mention that I've made a few modifications to a recipe I feel little as though I am sailing under false colors and passing myself off as someone comfortable with improvisation. Really, I'm just comfortable with being a slacker in the homemaker department.

My usual m.o. with wholesale substitution owes more to my impulsive nature (and my inability to keep a shopping list) than to any real adventuresome streak. But as is the case with being an impulsive type (like me or my resident three-year-old), you can't always count on having ingredients like cheddar to hand when the mood strikes. Perhaps the zenith of my baked good substitution jones came a number of years back when one Sunday evening I was siezed with the impulse to try my sister-in-law's recipe for biscotti, a recipe calling for anise and merlot and perhaps almonds.

And which ended up being made with caraway seed, vermouth and pistachios.

It wasn't half bad. But it wasn't exactly like what Nona used to make.

The other risks you run with substitution (see the use of goat cheese in these muffins, above) is that while you may consider the substitution a success, your resident suspicious preschool taster may very well take a look at her biscuit and ask, "What's that white stuff?"

Trust me: there is no answer to that question which will satisfy her.

Friday, July 01, 2005

frog's perfect summer supper 

Goya's Black Beans and Rice
Little bit of butter
Flour tortilla
Sour cream
Orange Mango Peach juice
Handful of succulent local strawberries
Little bit of sugar
Fresh mint, if available

Prepare the rice and beans according to the package directions, using a little bit of butter for the oil.

Wash and de-stem the strawberries, then quarter them. Toss them with a little bit of sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Stick a glass mug in the freezer.

When the rice and beans are nearly done, zap a flour tortilla in the microwave for 12 seconds. Spread some of the rice and beans on the tortilla, then add salsa and sour cream to taste.

Pour your juice over ice in the pre-chilled glass mug. Garnish with mint. Eat the strawberries for dessert or as a side dish--you can garnish those with some mint, too, if you want.

Sigh with delight and rejoice because you have leftovers.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?