Wednesday, December 21

If I'd known I'd bump into 3 people I know on the B train this morning, I would have definitely put on mascara.

Monday, December 12

Haiku for Monday

computer broken
server down -- oh yes, monday!
means red wine tonight

Tuesday, November 15

Poach Your Eggs

This weekend, should you make poached eggs? If you leave off the hollandaise sauce, they're the healthiest of eggs! Find out how to make them, and then have yourself a mimosa as a reward.

Friday, November 4

Review: The Savage City, by T.J. English

T.J. English's non-fiction book, The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge, tells three interlocking stories about race, corruption, and the police in 1960s and 1970s New York City. Like the best non-fiction works, this book may leave you wanting to read all of its source material. The Savage City is a page turner, and serves as a nice reminder that 1960s New York was not solely about the boozing and vintage dresses of Mad Men. English also seeks to shine a light on the New York of today, through the lens of the past. In the introduction, he writes:
The past is not past: a city's identity is composed not just of events in the present moment but also of all that came before. If New York City today is a place of prosperity, safety, and good times, as its civic leaders and financial developers contend, it is useful to remember that these things have come at a price.

Thursday, November 3

Hey, here's a handy site for people with jerky friends: Is It Old? Just in case you needed a handy companion to LMGTFY.

Wednesday, November 2

Beethoven Awareness Month

Really great ad for WQXR's Beethoven Awareness Month  -- and perfectly placed at the Lincoln Center 1/9 train station.

Tuesday, November 1

Wheat Is Better

I spent a lot of time inside this past weekend, avoiding the thundersnow that hit the northeast, and engaging in my latest hobby. Perhaps the main requirement for baking bread is a skill for finding good 30-minute tasks. How I Met Your Mother reruns, anyone? I made the whole wheat bread listed on the back of the flour bag. It has so few ingredients: honey, whole wheat flour, regular flour, salt, and yeast. And water.

The dough was incredibly sticky -- much more so than last week's plain white sandwich bread dough -- and I added tons of flour while kneading. The recipe had called for adding 1/4 - 1/2 cup of flour while kneading, but I might have added as much as a cup. Here's the bread dough, about to go in a bowl and rise.
whole wheat bread, a little overly-floured up
The recipe for this bread made two loaves; I only have one pan for baking bread. I thought about halving the recipe, but I've read that splitting bread recipes can lead to problems. Also, math! So this dough went on to make one loaf of sandwich bread, and one boule.

whole wheat bread, fresh from the oven
Last week's white sandwich bread was good, but this whole wheat bread was much, much better: chewy and flavorful, the bread tasted complex. It is hard to believe that so few ingredients are involved in making this whole wheat bread.

Sunday, October 23

Homemade White Sandwich Bread

Making homemade bread feels very fall. This is the best recipe I've used for making white bread yet -- honey was my sweetener of choice, and I halved the amount of salt since some reviews mentioned the bread being a bit salty. I don't have a stand mixer, so I mixed by hand and then kneaded for what seemed like forever, but was probably just 10 minutes.

Tomorrow: grilled cheese on homemade bread for dinner.

Bread, cooling. Just ignore the clutter of technology and paper in the background.

Wednesday, October 19

Salmon With Leeks Recipe

Salmon, about to go in the oven
Like so many dinners in CSA-season, this meal is inspired by the vegetables in the fridge that look closest to going bad, and by mad-libs style Google searches. The goal? To eat the leeks before their leaves started to get (even more) wilted and sad. Also, on my last visit to my doctor, she practically composed a sonnet of admiration for salmon, so I had fish on the brain.

Recipes from BBC's Good Food  and Fine Cooking were an inspiration as well as my previous adventures in "salmon coated in mustard tastes good however you cook it."

Time: 40 minutes (20 minutes cook-time; 20 minutes prep)

2 leeks, washed carefully and sliced fairly thin
1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
Salmon filet (I had about 2 lbs; you could use any amount, just scale the sauce accordingly. Make sure to cut salmon filet into portions before cooking.)
Cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce for Salmon:
  • 1 lemon, juiced, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 3 tbsp honey 
  • 3 tbsp mustard (I like dijon -- either honey or wholegrain)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil + plus more for pan
Equipment: Cast iron pan or other oven-safe pan. If you don't have an oven-safe pan, use a regular pan and baking dish -- but then you'll have to wash two things, instead of one. 

How to Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Heat pan with a bit of olive oil. Once it's hot, add leeks and garlic,  along with some salt and pepper. Let them sweat for about 5 minutes, until they look wilted, and then turn off flame. Avoid burning or browning the mixture.
  3. Mix together sauce for salmon -- honey, mustard, olive oil, and lemon. This is a forgiving sauce -- don't be afraid to make substitutions. For instance, you could try a different kind of oil, or add a vinegar in place of the acid from the lemon.
  4. Spread leeks evenly in your oven-safe pan. (If you do not have an oven-safe pan, just transport the leeks into a baking dish.) Pile salmon on top of leeks, in a non-overlapping layer. Sprinkle salt and pepper the fish; then spread the sauce on top of the fish. Let any extra sauce drip down onto leek mixture. If using, sprinkle cherry tomatoes around the pan.
  5. Place fish in oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Check halfway through and rotate pan if your oven has an uneven temperature. Fish is done when it flakes easily and doesn't look raw in center. (Avoid overcooking.) 
The Finished Product: I served with golden beets (roasted in the oven at the same time as the salmon was prepped & cooked) and couscous.

Salmon, ready to eat.

Tuesday, October 18

Using Up CSA Bounty

My green-bean heavy cutting board looked pretty to me.
After a few months of the CSA, I start to feel my energy flagging a bit. It's especially true now that it's getting darker earlier -- I find myself thinking, Couldn't I just order take-out?

This past Sunday,  determined not to fall into that laziness trap, I spent a zen-like half hour chopping vegetables for a stir fry.

As it turns out, stir fry is almost always the answer when you have a small amount of several vegetables (egg-based dishes like frittatas or omelets are also great).

Tuesday, October 11

Fall in New Hampshire

I've been to New Hampshire every summertime for the past three years, but wasn't able to make the trek up north this year. But now that I've leaf-peeped in fall, this doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice. From a boat in New Hampshire, just before the sun sets, it can seem as though you're watching leaves brighten and get tinged with orange and red before your eyes.