Sunday, February 28, 2010

day of rest, aka leftovers can rock

We had brunch with friends at this buffet-type place, so I had loaded up on salmon and mussels earlier. The fruit selection was unbelievably pathetic - bad cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. When did these perfectly fine and luscious fruits become waterlogged filler, the fruity equivalent of iceberg lettuce? Shame.

All this greed in the a.m. meant a sluggish p.m. The adults in the household were not hungry come dinner, but of course the minis were ravenous. I poked around the fridge and found the leftover cheese pizza from Saturday lunch. Then I grabbed some real fruit - a gala apple, two pineapple spears, green grapes (not organic and definitely non-local, but I was bullied into getting them by the tiny dictators), strawberries (organic but non-seasonal), and blueberries (um, yeah, not seasonal either) - and made a gigantic fruit salad. They ate 95% of it, and we nibbled on the rest. After putting them to bed, I went to the supermarket for a few things, including an Amy's bean and cheese burrito for my own dinner, which was complemented by leftover tomato and mozzarella salad, a banana muffin from the batch O and I made this morning, and a packet of haw flakes.

And to all a good night.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

yesterday and today

Friday dinner consisted of potato and leek soup, goat's milk gouda, La Brea Bakery baguette, sliced pear and grapes and a bottle of 2008 sauvignon blanc from the wine club. Lunch (at home because it was a work at home day due to logistics) was leftover Chinese takeaway from Thursday dinner. Sweet and sour fish (my ancestors are spinning in their graves) and the prawns with the walnuts.

So today I have ambitions to make a tomato mozzarella basil salad - not quite a caprese, more chunky I think is more in keeping with the last of winter - for lunch. Avocados drizzled with toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar and soba noodles for dinner. Edamame for the O. And maybe some sushi from the Japanese hole in the wall to round it out.

In the meantime, I'm making steel cut oats for the first time. FAIL. The proportions of water to oats on the canister say four cups to 1/4 cup. Really? It ain't working.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

a house in the suburbs of SF

I picked up a lease today. We found a three bedroom, two bathroom mid-century house in the southwest side of the city, known vaguely as West of Twin Peaks. There's a playground/park and a library half a block away. The light rail stop is a couple of blocks, as is the mall, which I know sounds mildly horrifying but that means Trader Joe's is walking distance. Z's school (and eventually O's school) is a long-ish walk but doable for sure. And seriously, it has a white picket fence. Woot!

I love our current place, but we're getting a little cramped in the two bedroom and one bathroom set-up. I love our landlords, who are sweet and wonderful people. But the walkability factor for this new house - not to mention the space - is irresistible. What parent wouldn't want to live near his/her kids' school?

Moving is another story. I'll look on the bright side and use this as an opportunity to further purge and declutter.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

broccoli di cicco and other excursions

Tonight was random greens night. I felt like having sauteed savory greens over brown rice with a couple of fried eggs. So, I chose to make the bunch of broccoli di cicco and chopped up the rest of the green garlic to cook with. The depth of flavor that green garlic can impart is nothing short of amazing. I will buy whole crops if I run across it now.

To save myself some lunch angst tomorrow, I'm stirfrying sweet potato chunks, halved white mushrooms, and lacinto kale with some regular ol' garlic. That'll go over the rest of the brown rice. Listening to One eskimO. Minis are sleeping away, D is in Vegas for a conference or somesuch. It's a peaceful, productive night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a lazy post-work day

which meant grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. At least I managed to slice one roma tomato from the last organic veg/fruit delivery for my sandwich. It was good and sweet.

A few of my co-workers and I went to Chinatown for our annual Lunar NY dim sum feast. I managed to stick to the shrimp and seafood related things, except for one small lapse when a piece of beef cheung fun appeared on my plate - I was on the phone and wasn't paying attention - and I ate it thinking it was shrimp. No regrets, though. Nope.

Monday, February 22, 2010

spinach + green garlic = heavenly

The only issue was that spinach released too much water. I would've preferred a more dry saute to make this dish really shine. Peanut oil heated to smoke point, toss in the green garlic (sliced on the diagonal), 30 seconds later, toss in the spinach in batches until everything just wilts. Eat with brown rice and be happy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

an old favorite for dinner tonight

Sauteed brussels sprouts in garlic infused olive oil with toasted pinenuts - all tossed into fresh fettuccine with parm reg sprinkled liberally on top.

There were two mangos in the fridge that became mango pudding with coconut milk. I thought it was okay - undecided on whether the two strong flavors were battling.

And the potatoes? Simmered in the rest of the coconut milk with peas with curry. It smells better than it tastes. Something's missing and a little research is in order.

All in all, a satisfying cooking experiment day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

any form of broccoli rocks with oyster sauce

Tonight was rapini sauteed in peanut oil with oyster sauce and mirin to accompany the soy-glazed salmon and leftover brown rice. We were rather sophisticated and had a cheese course for dessert because D had bought this Spanish fig almond cake from the Ferry Building and it was screaming for cheese.

I haven't been on this vegetarian diet for a week yet, but so far I'm feeling like I can do this. I feel more hungry in between meals; time to graze and snack. Trail mix is saving me right now. There's a good hunk of goat gouda left. And who can forget Laughing Cow's triangle cheese?

Yes, I can.

(oh yeah. potatoes. urgent action needed. check.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

so the sunflower sprouts were the first to go

I tossed them in extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some chopped sundried tomatoes. Freshly ground pepper to taste. As you can imagine, they had a nutty, buttery flavor to them. They were good! A nice offset to the crab manicotti we had for dinner.

My red potatoes have suddenly begun to bud (well, okay, they have been hanging out on the counter for a couple of weeks...) so they will be dealt with tomorrow. Some may go into a kale soup, some may turn into a gratin. It'll all depend on how inspired I feel tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

diary of a CSA box

I have some fun cooking experiments coming in the next week or so. The big ol' bag of veggies that I got from a local CSA included:

  • adorable tiny potatoes
  • a small bunch of young Nantes carrots
  • six fennel stalks and bulbs - big ones
  • spinach
  • green garlic (smells fabulous)
  • brussels sprouts
  • broccoli rabe (I think)
  • sunflower sprouts
  • escarole
  • dandelion greens
  • rapini greens
  • savoy cabbage

First up is are the fennel - not my favorite vegetable but I found a recipe using copious amounts of butter and parmesan. Brussels sprouts - easy. Pan fry with olive oil, garlic and pinenuts, toss over pasta or brown rice. However...sunflower sprouts and escarole? That'll take some research.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

and we're off to a good start

Spinach and mushroom quesadillas tonight with a healthy dollop of Trader Joe's chipotle salsa. Baked pears for dessert.

But...I'm finishing some chicken drumsticks that mom had made with love and brought over for Chinese New Year lunch. I think that's ok, don't you? It's a shame to waste food.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent. and all that goes with it.

I'm not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but lately I've been attending to my spiritual self as a means of refocusing and realigning. Which is why we had Fat Tuesday pancakes tonight and I'm heading to Ash Wednesday service tomorrow.

I will be giving up meat for 40 days. Not fish or eggs, though. I'm not sure what to expect. I love hot dogs and have regular cheeseburger cravings. I don't think I can drive by In-N-Out Burger until after Easter. Otherwise, I can do this.

I thought about giving up other things, like caffeine, shopping, endlessly surfing the web or whiling away hours on Facebook, and sweets, to name a few. I thought about going the extra mile and volunteering in a soup kitchen or Z's school. Then I thought I'd better scale back on these ambitions.

So, I'm starting with the meatless/pescatarian diet. I've got quinoa on deck. All is good.