Sunday, October 30, 2011

halloween pumpkin-carving

I've been involved in pumpkin-carving activities exactly three times in my life. The first time was in pre-school, and my job was to take out the pumpkin guts with my bare hands (it was cold and gooey and seriously traumatizing). The second was over a decade later, during my freshman year at Cornell, when GCF held a pumpkin-carving contest. I don't remember it clearly - I know there was a lot of pumpkin-hacking going on. Mostly I watched the action from a safe distance.

This year I participated in APO's Halloween pumpkin-carving event. Pumpkins upon pumpkins upon pumpkins were provided, along with some really legitimate pumpkin-carving tools. I worked with three other girls and this is what happened (ghosties and Harry Potter pumpkin! - we were so proud):


Thursday, October 27, 2011

couscous fritters with kale & crispy bacon


Terrible photos (Instagram, you've failed me!) of a really delicious dinner from the other night: couscous fritters with kale and crispy bacon. The couscous fritters were so easy to make. You just mix about a cup of cooked couscous with your choice of flavors - I used fresh cilantro, cumin, ground coriander, salt, and pepper. Add a glug of olive oil, a tiny splash of water, and an egg to bind it all together. A minute on each side until golden brown and you're good to go. This is probably an easy way to play around with different tastes... maybe for an extra fancy kick, leave out the cilantro and press a sage leaf into the couscous before frying it (something I saw on an episode of "Jamie at Home" over the summer).

Pair with a nice glass of wine (Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Zinfandel all seem to be appropriate options according to WinedIn) and a good movie (I recommend "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" - who cares that it came out way back in 2004? It's so dreamy and sad...) and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pizza monster


Ridiculous (but easy) pizza concoction that I made for dinner on an equally ridiculous (but not so easy) day. I still have no tomato sauce, so I just made my own with one of my lovely heirloom tomatoes and a freakishly large clove of garlic. Topped with some torn up mozzarella, arugula, and a bit of bacon. And extra virgin olive oil. Of course. You'll notice that all of these ingredients are laying on a bed of green. That's because in addition to tomato sauce, I also have no pizza dough. I ended up using a spinach wrap instead. (I wasn't kidding when I said it was a pizza concoction.) Popped the whole thing into a 350º oven for 15 minutes and voilà, done.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

today's produce

Produce from today's trip to the Ithaca Farmers Market: dandelion greens, heirloom tomatoes, kale (looks different from last week's Russian kale which had purple stems and flatter leaves), arugula, baby bok choy with purple leaves (!), and a little bunch of cilantro.

The good thing about having so many veggies in the fridge is that I am forced to eat healthy instead of subsisting off of PB&J sandwiches. The bad thing is I have to figure out how to eat it all.

I'm thinking baked kale chips. Heirloom tomato salad drizzled with a reduced balsamic vinegar glaze. Wilted dandelion greens in lentil soup (using Uncle Etienne's recipe). Or wilted dandelion greens and bacon. YUM.

chickpea, kale, and marinated tofu fry-up

Last night's weird fry-up of chickpeas, kale, and marinated tofu. Paired with bread drizzled in extra virgin olive oil. Two things I've realized: (1) I really do not know how to cook or prepare kale... woops, and (2) my mommy still makes it the best, with little bits of bacon and garlic.

Marinade: Soy sauce, ketchup, maple syrup, garlic powder (blech), black pepper, and onions - sounds terrible, but I assure you it was quite tasty, if a bit sweet.

Friday, October 21, 2011

breakfast burrito

Originally this was going to be a ranting post in which I discuss the lack of cumulative kitchen knowledge within my apartment and lay out three fundamental tenets of kitchen courtesy, the first being "Thou shalt wash thine dirty dishes"; the second, "Thou shalt not cut meat on a wooden cutting board, ESPECIALLY when you have a track record of not washing your dirty dishes"; and the final, "When washing nonstick pans, for God's sake, DON'T USE THE SCRUBBY SIDE OF THE SPONGE."

But I decided against that. While I may have lost my favorite egg-frying pan (RIP), I have at least found another use for the avocado-bell pepper-tomato-feta cheese combination on which I survive.

Breakfast burrito (for dinner) with slightly caramelized onions, heirloom tomatoes, scrambled eggs (thanks to the one remaining clean pan in our kitchen), avocado, red bell pepper slices, a sprinkling of feta cheese, and a smear of hummus in a spinach / sun-dried tomato wrap.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

beautiful kale

Old news by now, but this is the beautiful kale I got from Early Morning Farm at the Ithaca Farmers Market this past weekend. It came with a little green cabbage worm which caught me by surprise (that is, I nearly had a heart attack when I found him stuck to my hand). I liberated him in the grass behind our apartment building and left him with a bit of kale stem for company.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

espinacas con garbanzos

Espinacas con garbanzos for dinner one night. A less fussy version than the one from Smitten Kitchen that inspired the meal. Contains spinach and chickpeas (duh), onion, tomatoes, cumin, garlic, extra virgin olive oil (not ideal for cooking but it was either that or the canola oil which is not nearly as tasty), salt, and pepper.

I didn't have tomato sauce (weird, I know, given that it's supposed to be every college kid's staple), so I just chopped up some grape tomatoes and cooked them until they were all smashed, which is actually probably a healthier option than using canned tomato sauce. I once read somewhere that although most vegetables give you more nutrients if they're eaten raw, tomatoes are an exception. It has something to do with the lycopenes being more effective once they're cooked. So hurrah, double points for me.

Quick and easy and really delicious on couscous, or pasta with Parmesan or Asiago, or some thick crusty bread.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

veggie couscous salad

Sunday lunch. Chopped raw veggies (bell pepper, grape tomatoes, avocado) on a bed of couscous, topped with feta and extra virgin olive oil. This - or at least some variation of it - is basically all I ate between February and April. Really good with chickpeas and black olives.

Friday, October 14, 2011

muesli and yogurt

Nothing special, just a cozy breakfast from a couple weeks ago. Plain Greek yogurt, rolled oats, raw almonds, raisins, mini dark chocolate chips (a little treat for myself - pulling a Nigella!), honey, and cinnamon. Would eat this every single day if I could.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

blogroll call

Yesterday I spent far too long scoping out blogs to follow on Google Reader, but in a way it was worth it because all I can think about is living a semi-sustainable, self-sufficient life, and it makes me happy. I look forward to silly things like going grocery shopping and making trips to the farmers market and going home for Thanksgiving Break so I can knit and hang out with my dog all day. In five years I will probably be living off dumpstered artisan bread and homemade hummus, eating wild strawberries and cheese from the neighbor's uncle's farm. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, onward to my list of favorite blogs (which will undoubtedly be updated with great frequency). For the most part they are organized categorically, and some I discovered way back when I was fourteen (eep) and still enjoy today. So I hope you like them too:

3191 Miles Apart
A Beautiful Mess
A Cup of Jo
Glitter and Ink
Owl in the Dark
Skunkboy Creatures
Sweet Fine Day

Matt Cipov
Nicole Mueller
Sabrina Ward Harrison
Samantha Bolton
Sara Hemingway

Green Kitchen Stories
It Ain't Meat, Babe
Lustrous Musings
Sprouted Kitchen
Vegan Feast
Veggie Wedgie

A Cozy Kitchen
Bread & Honey
Cinnamon Mornings
The Cinnamon Quill
David Lebovitz
Improv Kitchen
Joy the Baker
Real Girl's Kitchen
Roost: A Simple Life
Smitten Kitchen
Use Real Butter