31 July 2009

A Daily Discipline

Like making my bed or doing my morning ab crunches, I'm trying to make this a daily routine. I usually have time in the am to reflect, project, think, rant - whatever. Will try to keep it up. It clears my mind - directs me a little.... Once I've analyzed a topic - however insipid it might be - I am prepared for other such tasks (which room to clean - how to face another day of "what goes to good will - what do we keep?" - do I have time to meet with hubby on our new pending project? - as you can see, reflecting inward and / or outward for even a couple minutes does help me move it all forward). I am, by the way, a huge fan of daily disciplines - exercise, healthy meals, clean at least one "space" in your home, yes - make the bed, put shoes away, find a spot for your pjs.....

This morning.... coffee with honey, three year old bacon addict has decided popcorn makes a good breakfast, and I'm allowing the Wii (Indiana Jones for the four year old) earlier than usual today (looks like a long rainy one). Today's photo is my oldest girl and one of her very good friends during a ski trip last year. Add to that daily discipline list - AT LEAST one really positive, fun thought a day ;-).

30 July 2009

The Taboo of "Trendy"

Similar to my love / hate relationship with bacon is use of / but dislike for the word "trendy". I never liked being called "trendy" - certainly never considered myself entirely trendy (sure, photos of me as a kid in the '80's make me cringe - neon? mauve lip gloss? blond stripe in bangs? - as well as alternate bouts with preppiness and grunge / granola in the '90's), but... I do appreciate anyone who admits to being an occasional trend-follower - albeit with a firm base in "I know who I am".

I am increasingly wary of the people who constantly "remind me" who they are. Oh - you know me - I love to hike (make that - wear hiking boots and talk incessantly about the earth) - I'm the nutrition police in the house (with McDonald's bags hidden under the seats in the minivan) - I only do organic (really? I didn't know that the beer and hot dog I saw you eat a week ago were organic. Hmmm....). It is sometimes refreshing to sit down with someone who admits to liking Starbucks coffee over the corner mom and pop cappucino kiosk - who proudly wears her "everyone has it", nondescript Coach bag on her shoulder - and who freely admits to not initially supporting Obama. I mean, dig deeper - maybe she also has a fun, biting sense of humor - or knows a lot about art - or reads more than you do..... No one is any ONE THING.

I think that admitting to being a "trendy mom" sort of absolves me of any insincerity in my blogs. Like... I hope no one takes me too seriously :-). I like being a "cafe" because the idea of sitting, hanging, enjoying, talking, exchanging... ANYTHING.... really appeals to me. Live and learn. Watch kids at play sometimes.... that's what they do - even if they don't apply or process their new info. until later. Maybe a lesson to learn??

29 July 2009

Musings on Bacon

So .. this is so strange....Yesterday, it appeared that bacon, of all things, was a prominent component to my day. I made it in the morning for breakfast (my three year old has decided that, aside from peanut butter, it is the only other "protein" in his diet, so we now make it a lot) and .... actually found myself thinking about it - bacon, that is - on so many levels.

How the bacon at Trader Joe's is less expensive, but... the bacon at Giant Eagle is sliced thinner and goes further (twice as many pieces in pkg.) in feeding a bunch of hungry, bacon-lovin' kids.

How I, once a vegetarian who found bacon revolting, now kinda likes the flavor and can even distinguish the different type - the applewood smoked as opposed to the saltier just plain cured bacon (I guess - I mean - I'm still a "bacon beginner", so....).

How, as a kid, I do have a memory of my mom, who has roots in the south, giving me a bacon and mustard on white bread sandwich for breakfast (I was always a "breakfast on the fun" kind of person - usually had dance or gymnastics on weekends - did not like to get up for school during the week).

How doing the Emeril Lagasse method of baking it in the oven is ruining by once lovely Williams Sonoma pan.

Anyway....I get my Pop City Pittsburgh email this morning (www.popcitymedia.com), and... there is an article on a blogger who calls himself Mr. Bacon Pants and has founded some group called Bacon Nation. Hmmmm..... conspiracy - coincidence - message from above???? Who knows, right? I've also just noticed a post on the food blog I follow about "death by chiles - is it even possible?" - and that exact subject came up this weekend too. Weird.

OK - today's photo of the day was also from a little over a year ago - and features another family favorite food (along with a very messy house :-(- cupcakes! My four year old's "snack du jour" when it is his like his birthday or his turn to bring in a party treat at preschool. Funny that he is figuring prominently into the photos this week - I guess he's in the forefront of my mind right now as we are trying to make his name more legible before we attempt kindergarten in Sept.....

28 July 2009

New York Times vegan salad recipes...

This is a great list (excerpt from an article)! Going to forgo "photo of the day" in lieu of salad....

101 Simple
Salads for the Season

SUMMER may not be the best time to cook, but it’s
certainly among the best times to eat. Toss watermelon and
peaches with some ingredients you have lying around already,
and you can produce a salad that’s delicious, unusual,
fast and perfectly seasonal.
That’s the idea behind the 101 ideas found in this
section. In theory, each salad takes 20 minutes or less.
Honestly, some may take you a little longer. But most
minimize work at the stove and capitalize on the season,
when tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, fruit,
greens and more are plentiful and excellent.
This last point is important. Not everything needs to
be farmers’ market quality, but it’s not too much to
expect ripe fruit, fragrant herbs and juicy greens.
Salt, to taste, is a given in all of these recipes.
Pepper, too (if I want you to use a lot of pepper, I say
Herein, then, are enough salad ideas to tide you over
until the weather cools down.
1. Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks,
basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for
the watermelon or the tomato (but not both, O.K.?). You can
also add bacon or feta, but there goes the vegan-ness.
2. Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers
of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress
with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.
3. A nice cucumber salad: Slice cucumbers thin (if
they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), toss with
red onions and salt, then let sit for 20 to 60 minutes.
Rinse, dry, dress with cider vinegar mixed with Dijon
mustard; no oil necessary.
4. Shave raw asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler.
Discard the tough first pass of the peeler — i.e., the
peel — but do use the tips, whole. Dress with lemon
vinaigrette and coarse salt. (Chopped hard-boiled eggs
optional but good.)
5. Grate or very thinly slice Jerusalem artichokes;
mix with pitted and chopped oil-cured olives, olive oil,
lemon juice and a sprinkling of coarsely ground cumin.
Unusual and wonderful.
6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots
and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil and a
bit of sugar. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil,
mint and/or cilantro. (The full trio is best.)
7. Grate carrots, toast some sunflower seeds, and toss
with blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of black
pepper. Sweet, sour, crunchy, soft.
8. Chop or slice radishes (or jicama, or the
ever-surprising kohlrabi) and combine with chopped or sliced
unripe (i.e., still crunchy) mango, lime juice and mint or
9. Chop or slice jicama (or radishes or kohlrabi) and
mango and mix with coconut milk, lime juice, curry powder
and cilantro or mint.
10. Cook whole grape tomatoes in olive oil over high
heat until they brown lightly, sprinkling with curry powder.
Cool a bit, then toss with chopped arugula, loads of chopped
mint and lime juice.
11. Chop and steam baby or grown-up bok choy until
crisp-tender, then shock it in ice water. Drain, then toss
with halved cherry tomatoes, capers, olive oil and lemon
12. Combine sliced fennel and prune plums; serve with
vinaigrette spiked with minced ginger. Nice pairing.
13. A red salad: Combine tomato wedges with halved
strawberries, basil leaves, shaved Parmesan and balsamic
14. A classic Moroccan thing: Thinly slice carrots, or
grate or shred them (the food processor makes quick work of
this). Toss with toasted cumin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice
and cilantro. Raisins are good in here, too. There is no
better use of raw carrots.
15. Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half; toss with
soy sauce, a bit of dark sesame oil and basil or cilantro. I
love this — the tomato juice-soy thing is
16. Slice fennel and crisp apple about the same
thickness (your choice). Combine, then dress with mustardy
vinaigrette and chopped parsley. Come fall, this will be
even better.
17. With thanks to Szechuan Gourmet restaurant: Finely
chop celery and mix with a roughly equal amount of pressed
or smoked tofu, chopped. Dress with peanut
oil warmed with chili flakes and Sichuan peppercorns, then
mixed with soy sauce.
18. Roughly chop cooked or canned chickpeas (you can
pulse them, carefully, in a food
processor) and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, lots of
chopped fresh parsley and mint, and a few chopped tomatoes.
Call this chickpea tabbouleh.
19. Mix cooked cannellini or other white beans,
chopped cherry or grape tomatoes and arugula or baby
spinach. Lightly toast sliced garlic in olive oil with
rosemary and red pepper flakes; cool slightly, add lemon
zest or juice or both, then pour over beans.
20. Shred Napa cabbage and radishes. The dressing is
roasted peanuts, lime juice, peanut or other oil, cilantro
and fresh or dried chili, all whizzed in a blender.
Deliciousness belies ease.
21. Dice cucumbers (if they’re fat and old, peel and
seed them first) and toss with cubes of avocado, a little
mirin (or honey, but then it’s not vegan), rice vinegar
and soy sauce. (You could mix in a little lump crab meat,
really not vegan, even rice, and call it a California roll
22. Thinly slice button mushrooms; toss with finely
chopped carrots and celery and mix with mung bean sprouts.
Finish with peanut or olive oil, sherry vinegar, a little
soy sauce and minced ginger. (This is a super vinaigrette,
by the way.)
23. Thinly slice some cucumbers (if they’re fat and
old, peel and seed them first), red onions, radishes and
fresh chili pepper. Soak for a few minutes in equal amounts
vinegar and water, with some salt and sugar.. When they
taste lightly pickled, drain and serve, alone or over
24. Blanch spinach, then drain and shock in ice water.
Squeeze it dry, chop it and toss it with toasted pine nuts,
raisins, olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar.
Capers are good, too. Quite elegant, actually.
25. Combine chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion,
chilies and cilantro, then toss with corn tortilla strips,
toasted in a 350-degree oven until crisp (or yes, use
packaged chips; why not?). Dust with chili powder and lots
of lime juice.
26. Combine mushroom caps and thinly sliced red onions
with olive oil; broil gently until tender and browned. Toss
with a lot of chopped fresh parsley or basil (or both) and a
simple vinaigrette. Some chopped escarole, arugula or
watercress is good, too.
27. Cook whole, unpeeled eggplant in a dry, hot
skillet or on a grill, turning occasionally, until
completely collapsed and soft. Chop and toss with toasted
pita, toasted pine nuts, cooked white beans and halved
cherry tomatoes. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and lots
of black pepper. Or a (non-vegan) yogurt dressing is good,
especially one laced with tahini.
28. Toss mâche or another soft green with toasted
slivered almonds and roughly chopped fresh figs. Thin some
almond butter with water and sherry vinegar to taste and use
as a dressing. Some will like this with fresh goat cheese.
29. Pit and halve cherries (or halve and pit
cherries), then cook gently with olive oil and a little
balsamic vinegar until they break down. Toss with chopped
radicchio, endive, escarole or a combination, some toasted
hazelnuts and more oil and vinegar, if necessary.
30. Fast, grown-up potato salad: Boil bite-size red
potatoes. While still warm, dress them with olive oil, lemon
juice, whole grain mustard, capers and parsley. Chopped
shallots, bell peppers, etc., all welcome, too.
31. Roast beets whole (or buy them precooked), then
slice or cube and toss with a little chopped garlic (or a
lot of roasted garlic), toasted walnuts, orange juice and
olive oil.
32. Same deal with the beets, but toss with cooked
corn, arugula, olive oil, sherry vinegar and chopped
33. The real five-bean: Chickpeas, cannellini or other
white beans, kidney or other red beans, steamed string beans
and steamed yellow wax beans. Toss with vinaigrette, chopped
scallions or red onion, and parsley.
34. Grill quartered romaine hearts, radicchio and/or
endive. Drizzle with olive oil and sherry vinegar, and add
dill and chopped shallots. Teeny-tiny croutons are great on
35. Combine cooked or canned black beans with shredded
cabbage and this vinaigrette: olive oil, fresh orange juice,
not much sherry vinegar, ground cumin.
36. Mix cooked or canned chickpeas with toasted
coconut, shredded carrots, chopped celery, curry powder,
olive oil, lime juice and cilantro.
37. Cube smoked tofu, then brush it with a mixture of
honey and orange juice; broil until browned. Toss with
chopped cucumbers, radishes and peas or pea shoots; drizzle
with soy sauce and lime juice.
38. Cube watermelon; combine with roughly chopped
mint, crumbled feta, sliced red onion and chopped Kalamata
olives. Dress lightly with olive oil and lemon juice.
Despite saltiness of feta and olives, this may need
39. Yucatecan street food as salad: Roast fresh corn
kernels in a pan with a little oil; toss with cayenne or
minced chilis, lime juice and a little queso fresco. Cherry
tomatoes are optional.
40. Slice cucumber and top with capers, olive oil,
lots of pepper and little dollops of fresh ricotta. Note:
cucumbers, ricotta and oil must all be really good.
41. Halve avocados and scoop out some but not all of
their flesh. Roughly chop and toss with black beans, queso
fresco, cilantro, chopped tomatillos and lime juice. Serve
in the meaty avocado shells.
42. Trim crusts if necessary from day-or-two-old bread
(or even three-day-old bread), cube and marinate in black
olive tapenade thinned with more olive oil. Add chopped
capers and toss with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella..
(Anchovies optional.)
43. Grate raw beets (use the food processor to avoid
ruining everything within spattering distance) and toss with
watercress or arugula. Top with sherry vinaigrette and a
little goat cheese. Especially obvious, perhaps, but also
especially popular.
44. Make a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, with good
bread and not too much good cheese. Let it cool, then cut
into croutons. Put them on anything, but especially tomato
and basil salad. This you will do forever.
45. Halve or quarter cooked artichoke hearts (the best
are fresh and grilled, but you can use canned or frozen) and
combine with cherry tomatoes, bits of feta or Parmesan or
both, olive oil and lemon juice.
46. Sauté mushrooms and shallots in olive oil. Add a
lot of spinach, chopped unless the leaves are small. When it
wilts, stir in parsley and crumbled blue cheese. Feels like
a steakhouse side-dish salad.
47. Thinly slice raw button mushrooms; combine with
sliced or shaved Parmesan, parsley and a vinaigrette of
olive oil, sherry vinegar and shallots.
48. Toss roughly chopped dandelion greens (or arugula
or watercress) with chopped preserved lemon, chickpeas,
crumbled feta and olive oil. (Before you start cursing me
out, here’s a quick way to make preserved lemons: chop
whole lemons and put in a bowl with the juice of another
lemon or two, sprinkle with a fair amount of salt and let
sit for an hour or so.)
49. Toss greens with walnuts, blue cheese and
raspberries; drizzle with a simple vinaigrette. Sell for $14
a serving.
50. It’s puttanesca-ish: Egg salad with pitted black
olives, chopped tomatoes, capers, anchovies (optional), a
tiny bit of garlic and some red onion; mayonnaise as
51. Arrange sliced ripe tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs
on a platter; scatter a handful of chopped pitted green
olives on top. Drizzle with a dressing made with olive oil,
sherry vinegar and a teaspoon of pimentón.
52. Chop hard-boiled eggs and mix with just enough
mayonnaise to bind; spoon into endive leaves. Top each with
a small canned sardine and drizzle with a vinaigrette of
olive oil, lemon juice and mustard.
53. Peel beets and grate them in a food processor. Mix
equal parts plain yogurt and tahini, and toss with the beets
along with lemon juice and za’atar (a mixture of toasted
sesame seeds, dried green herbs and ground sumac; you can
make it yourself using dried thyme).
54. Slice roasted red peppers (if you must use canned,
try to find piquillos) and fresh mozzarella. Toss with
cooked white beans, olive oil, red wine vinegar, a chopped
shallot and fresh rosemary or parsley.
55. Mix watercress with chopped smoked salmon,
avocado, red onion and capers. Make a vinaigrette with olive
oil, sherry vinegar and mustard powder.
56. Salade niçoise, sort of: On or around a bed of
greens, make mounds of olives, cooked new potatoes and green
beans (warm or at room temperature), good tomatoes, capers,
fennel slivers, hard-cooked eggs and good quality Italian
canned tuna. None of these is crucial; you get the idea.
Serve with vinaigrette or aioli.
57. Toss cubes of day-or-more-old good bread with soy
sauce, chopped sautéed shrimp, chopped radishes and
cilantro. Like a weird shrimp toast panzanella.
58. Sear tuna until rare (for that matter, you could
leave it raw) and cut it into small cubes. Toss with
shredded jicama or radish and shredded Napa cabbage; season
with mirin, soy sauce and cilantro. Avocado and/or wasabi
paste are great with this, too.
59. Sear tuna, or use good canned tuna. Chop it up and
mix with chopped olives, capers, tomatoes, parsley and olive
60. Ditto on the tuna. Mix with chopped apples, halved
seedless grapes, chopped red onion, olive oil, a bit of
cumin and black pepper.
61. Mix canned salmon (sockeye, or use cooked fresh)
with capers, chopped celery, yogurt or mayonnaise, and lemon
juice. Serve on greens or in endive leaves.
62. Dust shrimp with chili powder. Sauté in butter or
oil (or a combination) with fresh corn kernels and flavorful
cooking greens (bok choy is good, as is watercress). Add
halved cherry tomatoes and lime juice at the last
63. Sunday brunch salad: Mix diced cucumbers, chopped
tomato, minced red onion and capers with bits of smoked
salmon. Dress with lemon juice (you won’t need much oil,
if any). Take a step further by adding croutons of cubed
toasted bagels.
64. Alternative Sunday brunch: Shred or chop cucumbers
(if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), then
toss with flaked smoked trout or whitefish, capers, dill,
lemon juice and olive oil.
65. In a hot pan, flash-cook cut-up squid in a little
olive oil for no more than two minutes. Toss with cooked or
canned chickpeas, chopped bell peppers, lemon juice, a
little more oil and parsley.
66. In a hot pan, sear sea scallops for a minute or
two on each side, depending on size. Slice or chop, then
toss with thinly sliced fennel and lemon or orange
vinaigrette and some chopped fennel fronds.
67. Bread salad for anchovy lovers: Chop together many
anchovies, a few capers, lemon juice and olive oil (or
anchovy oil). Toss with cubes of toasted bread and chopped
tomatoes or halved cherry or grape tomatoes.
68. Mix crab meat with pan-roasted corn, chopped
avocado, halved cherry or grape tomatoes, olive oil, lemon
juice and perhaps a bit of cilantro and crumbled ancho
69. Stir-fry small or chopped shrimp in olive or
peanut oil with lots of ginger; while still warm, combine
with tomato wedges, chopped romaine, cilantro, scallions and
lots of lime juice. Good in pita.
70. Shred brussels sprouts in the food processor,
preferably with the slicing disk. Toss with vinaigrette and
crumbled bacon.
71. Combine sliced green tomatoes and sliced fresh
mozzarella; top with roughly chopped basil, olive oil, black
pepper and crumbled bacon.
72. Sort-of carpaccio salad: Broil or grill skirt or
sirloin steak very rare and slice very thin. Arrange on a
plate with tomato wedges, lettuce and lemon juice.
73. Hawaiitalian: Combine pineapple chunks with bits
of any cured pork product — cooked guanciale is ideal, or
any ham — and a not-too-subtle chili vinaigrette.
74. Julienne red, yellow and orange bell peppers; mix
with thinly sliced red onion, olive oil and cooked crumbled
sausage or chopped salami.
75. The Little Italy salad: Chop or julienne salami
and prosciutto, then toss with cubed mozzarella, chopped
tomato, pepperoncini, oil and wine vinegar.
76. Slice fresh figs — many, if you live where they
grow — and top with crumbled bacon, balsamic vinegar (the
best you have) and crumbled blue cheese.
77. Combine shredded cabbage or lettuce with bits of
good turkey, Swiss cheese and rye croutons. Top with good
old Russian dressing, call it a turkey sandwich salad and
don’t knock it until you try it.
78. What happens when your Chicago hot dog falls
apart: Toss together tomato wedges, chopped pickles, hot
peppers, shredded lettuce and a few slices of broiled or
grilled hot dog. Dress with a vinaigrette made with mustard
(should be yellow for authenticity, but ...) and celery
salt. (You could throw in freshly made croutons;
inauthentic, but better than a hot dog bun..)
79. Sear a steak and move it to a cutting board
(don’t wash the pan); wait a minute or two, then slice.
Cut kale (preferably black, also known as Tuscan, or dino
kale) into thin ribbons and toss in the pan over high heat
for a minute. Turn off the heat, add chopped black olives,
olive oil and sherry vinegar. Serve kale with steak on
80. Sort-of-Cobb salad: Choose any combination of
hard-cooked eggs, chopped prosciutto, cooked chicken,
crumbled Gorgonzola, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas or white
beans, sliced red onion, olives. Make vinaigrette with
capers and anchovies.
81. Soak sliced prune plums or figs in balsamic
vinegar for a few minutes, then add olive oil, chopped
celery and red onion, shreds of roasted or grilled chicken,
chopped fresh marjoram or oregano and chopped almonds. Serve
on top of or toss with greens. So good.
82. Cut pancetta into matchsticks and crisp in a
skillet with some oil, then caramelize onions in the fat.
Toss both with chopped bitter greens — radicchio, escarole
or endive, for example — toasted pine nuts and halved
cherry or grape tomatoes.
83. Toss thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onions
with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sear a skirt steak and
let sit a minute; slice it thin. Toss salad greens with the
onions, roasted red peppers, and steak; add a little more
oil and vinegar if necessary.
84. Spring rolls, unrolled: One at a time, soften a
few sheets of rice paper in warm water. Drain, pat dry, cut
into strips and toss with chopped cucumber, grated carrots,
chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, chili flakes and chopped
roasted peanuts. Dress with toasted sesame oil, fish sauce
or soy sauce, and rice vinegar or lime juice. A few shrimp
are a nice addition.
85. Mix lots of arugula with somewhat less cold whole
wheat penne, lemon zest, olive oil and Parmesan. The idea is
an arugula salad with pasta, not a pasta salad with
86. Toss chilled cooked soba noodles with diced
cucumber (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them
first), a small amount of hijiki reconstituted with water,
toasted sesame seeds and a vinaigrette laced with soy sauce
and miso.
87. Cold not-sesame noodles: Combine about a half-cup
peanut butter with a tablespoon soy sauce and enough coconut
milk to make the mixture creamy (about a half cup), along
with garlic and chili flakes in a blender or food processor.
Toss sauce with cooked and cooled noodles, a load of mint,
Thai basil, and/or cilantro, and lime juice. Shredded
cucumber and carrots optional.
88. Toss cooked pasta with roasted red peppers,
toasted walnuts, fresh goat cheese, basil and olive oil.
Corny, but still good.
89. Soak or cook rice noodles, drain and rinse; toss
with cubed unripe mango, chopped peanuts, shredded carrot
and minced scallion. Make a dressing of rice vinegar, fish
sauce, lime juice, chili and a bit of sugar.
90. Sort of classic pasta salad: Pasta, artichoke
hearts, sliced prosciutto or salami, chopped plum tomato.
Dress with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar, perhaps
with some mustard.
91. Cereal for grown-ups: Start with puffed brown
rice; toss with chopped tomatoes, scallions, a minced chili,
cooked or canned chickpeas and toasted unsweetened coconut.
Dress with coconut milk and lime juice.
92. Simmer a cup of bulgur and some roughly chopped
cauliflower florets until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Toss
with chopped tarragon, roughly chopped hazelnuts, minced
garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice.
93. Mix leftover rice with lemon or lime juice, soy
sauce and a combination of sesame and peanut oils. Microwave
if necessary to soften the rice, then serve at room
temperature, tossed with sprouts, shredded radishes, chopped
scallions, bits of cooked meat or fish if you like and more
soy sauce..
94. Cook and cool quinoa. Toss with olive oil, loads
of lemon juice, tons of parsley, some chopped tomatoes and,
if you like, toasted pine nuts. Call it quinoa
95. Mix cooked couscous or quinoa with orange zest and
juice, olive oil, maybe honey, sliced oranges, raisins or
dried cranberries, chopped red onion and chopped almonds.
Serve over greens, or not.
96. Cook short-grain white rice in watered-down
coconut milk (be careful that it doesn’t burn) and a few
cardamom pods. While warm, toss with peas (they can be raw
if they’re fresh and tender), chopped cashews or
pistachios, a pinch of chili flakes and chopped raw
97. Toss cooked, cooled farro, wheat berries, barley
or other chewy grain with chopped-up grapes. Add olive oil,
lemon juice and thinly sliced romaine lettuce; toss again,
with ricotta salata or feta if you want.
98. Toss cooked bulgur with cooked chickpeas,
quartered cherry or grape tomatoes, a little cumin, lots of
chopped parsley, and lemon juice.
99. Toss cooked quinoa with fresh sliced apricots,
cherries, pecans, and enough lemon and black pepper to make
the whole thing savory.
100. Mash a canned chipotle with some of its adobo and
stir with olive oil and lime juice. Toss with drained canned
hominy, fresh corn cut from the cob (or drained pinto
beans), cilantro and green onions.
101. Cook a pot of short-grain rice. While it’s
still hot, toss with raw grated zucchini, fermented black
beans, sriracha, sesame oil, sake and a touch of rice
vinegar. Add bits of leftover roast chicken or pork if you
have it, and pass soy sauce at the table.

This morning ...

Bacon and eggs and lots of marker drawing. Perusing some vegan salad ideas (to offset the bacon) - organizing bills (though not paying this am - don't want to ruin the zen thing I have going).

I thought I'd be more prolific in terms of writing and publishing the blog
apres beach", but.... I have been enjoying summer and let a few weeks pass. Checking in feels good - as does beginning perhaps a new segment (new masthead and "story ideas" for the year to follow :-) - PHOTO OF THE DAY (speaking of summer creations - an octopus cake! for a 3 yr old b-day - though this was about a year and a half ago - just before my youngest was born - do I look cranky? :-)...

15 July 2009

My lovelies....earlier in the year.....

Ooooo... time is flying. I'm glad my fog is lifting :-). I'm really into the summer swing - swim team - gardening - cooking out - home improvement - playing outside ALL afternoon, etc. - but... feeling a little scrap-booky and sentimental lately, am thinking of our fabulous autumn experience - always just great - every year. I LOVE my kids' school & the first day, week really, is so cool - we're usually waiting on a baby or watching one learn to walk, talk, eat (something new anyway :-) - spending afternoons in misty rain riding big wheels and bikes - taking trips to the bookstore for hot chocolate and coffee - just fun. Anyway - found these photos during an organization session and, well... just can't believe how my kids change so much right in front of me, and... it's so hard to notice sometimes. I mean - little things.... they look the same but taller - or chubby cheeks are no longer as chubby..... All good.