Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Foodie Fraudster: The diary of a vegetable avoider

This summer I've craved approximately four foods and could  do eat them day in and day out just like a four year old.  My diet consists mostly of peanut butter filled pretzels, hand tossed margherita pizzas, cold watermelon and ripe peaches.  For someone who waxes poetically about eating locally,organically and keeping things healthy, this seems like a pretty lame and not very balanced diet.

Why is it that I can't seem to get into cooking or eating anything that I have growing in my garden. Is it like the cook who can't eat her own cooking after being in the kitchen all day? Is it that the soil prep, tending the crops and then harvesting them turns me off of all the vegetables we have grown?

I don't know.

I feel like a foodie fraud.

Tomorrow is another day and I'm out of peanut-butter filled pretzels, so I'll eat carrots instead.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Road food

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

I'm all for packing snacks to take on the road. You never know when you'll end up stuck in an airport or wake up in the middle of the night starving.  I usually pack a few Larabars which never seem to get eaten, a package or two of m&ms (don't judge), turkey jerky (in the day), a few apples and satsumas if I know my upgrade isn't going to clear and I'm going to be hungry.

The April 14, 2015 New York Times food section was devoted to the sandwich with many different recipes and ideas to spice up your sandwiches.  Martha Rose Shulman suggested making a goat cheese and roasted pepper sandwich which doesn't get soggy because the peppers are placed between the goat cheese encrusted bread.  This sounds like a great idea, but I still wonder if the goat cheese is going to be okay after 12 hours in transit.

My sandwich choice is the solid peanut butter and marmalade sandwich - Paddington style. It is a sandwich that holds up to being smushed in the bottom of my bag and can be eaten any where. If you are concerned about nut allergies, you can sub out sunflower butter, but don't skip the marmalade.

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

I have to admit that I'm in awe of the English and their fascination with the sandwich - I've had many a meal of the cut rate sandwich eaten on the train or in my hotel room late at night.  They seem to cram so many things in the sandwich and because they are British, they seem so exotic.  My favorite sandwich was the cheese and celery sandwich from Marks and Spencer.  There was something about the crisp and mineral taste of the celery mixed with the mature cheese and mayonnaise that was comforting to me.  I haven't been able to locate them recently, but I would break my dairy embargo to have one soon.

I can't wait.

What is your favorite traveling sandwich?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The boring bits

Pain aux raisins at the Park Hyatt Vendome. These could be my most favorite things in the world. 

In October, I went on a modified Elimination diet. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't the bellyaching bitch fest that most folks seem to discuss on the social networks. Like most things in my life these days, it had a start and stop date. For four weeks, I stopped eating oats, wheat and wheat like products, some fruits and vegetables, sugar, eggs, almonds and dairy from my diet. I did not remove coffee and chocolate from my life because that was going too far, but didn't seek them out either. I felt great for those weeks. I had more energy and not as hungry as I had feared. I tried really hard not to bore people with my elimination diet. I travelled twice during the time and managed okay both times. Sashimi was my friend and I was glad rice and potatoes did not make the hit list.

 I learned that I could live without goat cheese and hemp milk wasn't as crappy tasting as I had feared.

 I added bunch of stuff back to "challenge" my system while I was in France. I felt okay, nothing really awful happened. It wasn't like a sat down and ate an Emmenthal and ham sandwich dipped in beet juice followed by an almond milk chaser. I tried a little of this (bread) with a little of that (grand mariner souffle) and some of this (cheese). The world did not end, I did not start raising funds for my elimination diet video channel and meal planning kit kickstarter. I listened to my body, gauged how I felt after each item was introduced and moved on.

 What I did realize was that I love my boring and predictable food choices and I'm happy to abide by them the 280 days a year I'm at home. I'll try some things when I'm out of my comfort zone, but really I would be much happier in my comfort zone. I could have walked 10 minutes from my hotel and gotten a juice bar experience or I could crossed the Avenue de l'Opera to visit Starbucks and get a soy latte. Instead I decided that my choice would be to skip the smoothie and have fruit instead. I drank more cafes than cappucinos and as TH has pointed out, the tisanes are a far superior to their coffee.

 I'm easing back into my home routine for the next two weeks. I look forward to cooking this weekend and my 3 pm hummus and carrots. It may be boring, but sometimes that is all it takes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pickled peaches

oh the choices v2

We're in the middle of a canning frenzy. Honestly, we've been canning since June, but now, we're really getting into it. TH is also starting to dry fruit. Why? Because when neighbor's fig tree breaks branches under the weight of the fruit, you have to do something. Figs led to apricots and now peaches.

Peaches, we had a lot of them this year, we have two trees that produce -- one Babcock - the ubiquitous white peach and one yellow peach that has seen better days, but still produces fantastic peaches. The Babcock is directly outside our dining room window - TH would monitor her peach development and curse each squirrel who would eye her tender peaches.

Everyday was a peach orgy here -- breakfast, lunch and after dinner would see us slicing and eating peaches - TH likes hers with milk and I just like them. Peaches are one of the things that brought TH and I together in the beginning and that in itself is key.

Life around here can be sweet, but these days, I'm being sour. Work and family stress is making life with me a bit trying. Just ask TH and the dog. Instead of making peach conserves with my plethora of peaches - we try something else, a pickled peach. Imagine the concept of peaches with a little bite, but still sweet and with a non mushy texture. Pickled peaches are a great accompaniment for pork or just by themselves. You can can them, however we just make them as we need them. They are delicious and made even more delicious when made with peaches from your own tree.

Pickled Peaches - from Chez Panisse Fruits, Alice Waters

Makes six halves, can double or triple recipe

3 peaches
2 cups water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (my guess is white would be just fine)
2 T honey (1 T is fine)
1/2 t peppercorns
4 whole cloves
2 allspice berries
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf - fresh if you have it

Pickle the peaches one day before you need to serve them to let the flavor mature.

Peel peaches - if they are ripe, the skin should peel right off, if not, plunge in boiling water for a minute and remove and place peaches in cold water to stop the cooking process. Skin should peel off easily. Cut peaches in half and remove the pits.

Measure water into a non reactive heavy bottomed sauce pan, I use Le Creuset for this. Add peppercorns, cloves, honey, vinegar, allspice, cinnamon and bay leaf and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add peach halves and cook for 3-5 minutes under low heat, after 3 minutes they peaches should be tender. Remove pan from heat. Carefully remove the peaches from the pickling mixture (slotted spoon is good for this, or a 1 cup ladle), place peaches into a non-reactive container - I use pyrex or glass working bowls. Let pickling mixture cool, strain out the solids and pour liquid over peaches to cover. Store overnight in fridge and serve the next day. Will keep in the fridge for a week, good luck having them last that long.

Alice suggests serving with duck, me not so much. I like a nice pork loin.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


shades of blue

I have been rejoicing over plums this year. There is a big plum tree that overhangs the ppatch wall. I have no idea on the variety, all I know is that the plums start in early July and they are red on the outside and red on the inside. They taste like a plum - tangy and sweet. I have yet to find a plum tree to plant that has the same characteristics. With the plums we picked day aft
er day - windfalls mostly and some off the tree, not trying to be too greedy, we made plum jam to mix into yoghurt and have slathered on toast come January.

The ubiquitous Italian prune which seems to drop its beautiful blue/grey fruits this time of year is another plum that I can do without when fresh - a bit astringent when under ripe and mushy when ripe. Not a flavor or texture that works for me - but oh, my my oh my when combined with apple for chutney or made into a plum sauce for meats - it transforms itself to a much nobler fruit. Blessedly at least six people you know have a tree in their back yard and will be happy to part with their fruit in exchange for a jar of chutney. I won't even go into the myriad of recipes for plum cakes that will use up the excess . Much like zucchini - many have been the victims of a drive by pruning.

Last weekend at the farmer's market, I saw Damson plums for the first time in a long time. This is a plum that has definitely fallen out of favor in the past generation. I can't blame you for not loving them - they are tiny, the pit versus flesh ratio is high and they are very astringent. However, with a bit of lemon juice, some sugar and time, you can create something that will bring you back to fall sometime in January.

Damson plum jam - makes approximately 4 pts

2 lbs damson plums
3 cups sugar
juice of one lemon

If you are patient, you can pit each plum.

If not, place plums in a heavy non reactive pot - I used Le Creuset with an enamel interior and cook until plums are soft - approximately 10 minutes, be careful to keep the heat even and low and check to make sure the plums aren't sticking.

Once soft and easy to pit, remove from heat.

Place softened plum into food mill or into sieve to remove the seeds. Collect plum puree and place into non reactive pan.

If you are patient and have pitted the plums by hand, pat yourself on the back with your sticky plumy hand and place the pitted plums into a non reactive heavy pot and heat under low heat until plums are soft. Stir often to prevent sticking and burning.

You can now use your food mill to remove the skins, but don't bother.

Add 3 cups of sugar and the juice of one lemon to the plum puree. Stir until mixed and heat under low to medium heat -stirring frequently to prevent sticking until jam starts to thicken - approximately 20 minutes, the mixture will come to a boil. When it has reached the desired thickness, remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes. Skim off any foam.

Place into hot jars - process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Eat within two years.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Dinner, all ready. I'm over it.

My father knows how to make three dishes tops, which considering his age and the era in which he was raised, is pretty good.

When we were little, my father left Seattle to go to London to take a course in biomechanical engineering. He went three months earlier than the rest of us. While I missed my father, I was more worried about what he was going to eat. As far as I was concerned, the only thing he knew how to cook was ab-gusht, the Persian lamb stew with shanks, chickpeas, onions, and tomatoes -- all slow cooked to a meaty goodness. The marrow was the best part. My mom assured me that he was going to be okay.

Later, his repetoire expanded to addas katteh - rice with lentils - easy fast and surprisingly meaty and hearty and his version of piperade - a mix up of eggs, tomatoes and potatoes. I used to love watching him make it, mostly because the idea of my father cooking was so unusual. His time at home was outside, or reading and studying. I also loved this combination of flavors - except back them I did not like runny eggs. The sharpness of the tomato combined with the richness of the egg yolks and the substrate of the potato was a classic combination, little did I know my dad was not this dish's inventor, but his version was a knock out.

Piperade is very much the same classic combination of flavors -- sweet peppers and onions as a base with a touch of smoked paprika or chile powder and tomatoes added and cooked down and the crowning glory -- eggs, glorious eggs. The potatoes are addition. Most people would mop up the eggy goodness with bread -- the potatoes are just a nice addition. Ditto for adding ham to liven things up.

The recipe I used was from Chocolate and Zucchini -- I'm going everywhere these days to excite my palate. The best part is the vegetable prep can be done the day before, leaving you with only adding the egg and cooking.

My hack:

2 peppers - red pepper and yellow pepper -- sliced
1 medium onion - chopped
1 t ground chile pepper - not hot
1 T olive oil
1/2 clove chopped garlic
sea salt
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped - could used canned in the winter
sliced cooked potatoes if you have some sitting around
8 eggs

In a large heavy skillet, heat olive oil, add sliced peppers, onions, garlic and cook using low heat until everything is softened and melting - approximately 35 minutes.

Add seeded chopped tomatoes and potatoes if you have them and cook another 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn off the heat -- crack each egg, without breaking the yolks. Add each egg to the pan one by one and cook over low heat until the yolks are softly set.

Remove from heat, divide into fourths and serve with crusty bread.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the keenest of peaches

variety is the spice of life

On the hottest day of the year, I bought two cases of peaches for canning. It always seems to be that we start preserving for the fall and long winter when the mercury rises about 90 degrees. We don't get started until after the dinner dishes are done and all the jars are scrubbed and ready to go and we don't end until way past our regular bedtimes.

Frankly, I was happy to see the rain and wind and cool temperatures of Monday. I was even happier to get the show of canning on the road before 9 pm.

The peaches we got are wonderful, they are seconds - blemished, but they are juicy, perfectly ripe and locally grown. While we have two peach trees in our garden that typically produce well, this year we have not one peach thanks to a mismatch between bees, flowers and our typically flaky weather.

I miss picking peaches off the tree this year.

I also missed the opportunity to pick peaches off the tree this spring when we went to visit the communities near Fresno that grow amazing varieties of peaches on small scale family farms. The cold weather had us off the first harvest by a crucial week. However, it was still fun to watch our friend Paul jump up on the processing line and show us all the facets of peach packing. Trust me, you had to be there.

Most of all, peaches signify to me the beginning of a long lasting relationship between food, TH and myself. Our first real date involved ten hours together going in search of peppers, peaches and warm weather in the 509. On the way home we stopped to get some peaches. When we got back to TH's house, we needed to make a cobbler for a dinner party to which we were both invited.

The peaches were not ripe and TH and I boiled the life out of them to get them to soften.

It was the act of cooking together and trying to figure out how to make something good out of something bad that made me realize that there was something here that was real.

I think TH felt the same way.

Other than the cobbler, we both don't remember much about the what else was served that night, but we laugh every time we think of that peach cobbler.

Here's to more moments of brilliance in life and the kitchen

Monday, October 08, 2007

I love book reviews in magazines, online journals and on Amazon. The idea that you can search for one book and find several similar books or see what others that bought your selection also bought is sometimes intriguing. Sometimes you can find a gem nestled into some of the duds that others tend to read. In some cases, some of the connections between books seem so tenuous, but sometimes they work.

On my way to Patricia Wells' new book on vegetables, I came across this little beauty by Viana La Place called My Italian Garden. It arrived for me at the library (see, amazon, book reviews, magazine reviews = library holds) and I love it.

Today, I made a green tomato risotto that at first didn't seem like it would work, the timing seemed strange including a brief 16 minute stirring for the arborio rice. As a risotto maker, I realized that this step would take longer and just went with it. After about 30 minutes the rice finally went from crunchy to creamy and the risotto was done.

TH gave it a thumbs up with reservations on when the tomatoes get added and if you could add smoked fish to it. I think she's reliving a dish she had in Leith years ago.

Without further ado, I give you Green Tomato Risotto adapted from La Place's My Italian Garden, 2007.

Serves 4 healthy appetites

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 garlic clove, finely chopped3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leafed parsley1 1/2 lbs green tomatoes , thinly slicedsea salt1 1/2 cups arborio rice5 cups lightly salted water, veggie broth or chicken broth, brought to a simmer1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter1/2 cup almonds (lightly toasted) and finely chopped10 large fresh basil leaves, torn into fragments
freshly grated parmesan (optional)

In a medium, heavy bottomed pan (I used a le creuset), heat the olive oil. Add garlic and saute over medium low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and cook for another 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt to taste and stir well. Cook until tomatoes start to break apart, about 10 minutes.

Add rice and stir for several minutes to coat the grains with the tomato, oil and parsley concoction. Begin adding broth/water by the ladleful, stirring until each ladleful has been absorbed. Add the next ladleful and continue add broth and stir until all the broth is used up. The risotto is done when the arborio rice goes opaque and the mixture become creamy, about 30 minutes.

At this point, remove from heat, add butter and let it rest for a few minutes.

Before serving, stir in almonds and basil. Serve risotto in shallow pasta bowls, add parmesan if you wish.

I had oven dried some sweet cherry tomatoes. We added these to the second servings of the risotto, it was a nice contrast with the tang of the green tomatoes.

Buon Appetito.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

unoscotto - biscotti that doesn't kill you

TH requested one thing for her cruise, a breakfast biscotti that I first made in 1994 from Martha Stewart living. I managed to get rid of all my magazines and thanks to the internets I was able to find the recipe again.

Its a cornmeal biscotti, great for eating on the go. I remember making this recipe a lot in the 90's (dating myself) and varying the dried fruit and nut mix. This time, TH requested hazelnuts and dried cherries, though I am partial to cranberries. I remember gesticulating with my biscotti in my hand on the way to work and Jacques who was visiting us lurching over the seat and taking away my biscotti. It was basset approved.

This recipe is my kind of biscotti, easy to make and without butter so it is lacks the crumb that some really like in a biscotti, but I dislike. TH also loves it baked once, not twice, which gives biscotti its name - twice baked.

Tonight, I took them out of the oven, she came over and pronounced them done. I cut them with a bread knife and by tomorrow they will be air dried enough to pack in her bag and go off to the far west - nearly the east if you are being technical.

Without further ado, the recipe.

Yield: 7 Dozen

1 ½
cup All-purpose flour
1 ½ cup Yellow cornmeal
¾ cup Light-brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoon Finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Salt
2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
¼ pounds Whole shelled hazelnuts (about 3/4 C)
½ cup Golden raisins or any dried fruit
½ cup water

1. Heat oven to 325'. Lightly oil and flour a large baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt until well blended. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 C water, the eggs, and the vanilla and stir into the flour mixture; the dough will be sticky. Stir in hazelnuts and raisins. 4. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. On a heavily floured work surface, shape each portion into a log about 13 inches long by 2 inches wide. Place the logs 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until logs are firm and golden brown on the bottom, about 45 minutes. Remove logs from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. 5. With a clean serrated knife, cut each log into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. Place the slices in a single layer on a clean baking sheet (you'll probably need to use 2 baking sheets). Bake until tops of biscotti are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Turn biscotti over and bake until golden brown and very dry, about 15 minutes more. Cool the biscotti completely on a wire rack before serving. Store in an air- tight container.

Source: Martha Stewart Living/October/94

Adapted from:

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I'm up to 1002 views of my profile on blogger.

Wow, what a big deal.

Other than that, I'm back from Paris. It was lovely, the weather was cooperative. We ate well. We managed to do things that we each wanted to do and we bought lots of chocolate.

We bought so much that I refused to go to Patrick Roger because I was sick and tired of chocolate.

What is with that?

So, while I sit here composing this entry I am nibbling on a few mini madeleines we picked up at the grand epicerie - these are matcha madeleines and they are to die for.

Fauchon has redone their Place de la Madeleine store and it has its own madeleine bar. TH loves my orange swirled chocolate ones and my mom makes a wicked vanilla madeleine, but the flavors at Fauchon were wild. Saffron, sesame, truffle along with coffee, matcha and framboise.

I'm going to have to pull out my molds and start working on my recipes again, because these are winners -- they are fast to make, hold for a while and are adaptable to a variety of flavors.

Here is a great discussion on different recipes and some variations. I have used the Williams and Sonoma recipe for years with great luck, just replace that orange blossom water with your favorite extract.

Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

all sorts of stuff

Bleeding heart, March 2006, Seattle, WA.

Thanks for your well wishes. Ernest is just fine after a spacey and clingy Tuesday night. He is currently getting ready for bed by jumping on his new squeaky dinosaur. He went to Mud Bay today (the place we can't even go into without the boy) and promptly made a basset line for the hard treats. We bought him a bag of soft treats instead. They are peanut butter and shaped like little gingerbread people.

How cute is that?

His breath is sweet, but he still is shy about showing us his gnashers.

Uncle Frank and Aunt Beth are working to put together a dental health kit for our boy. Maybe Uncle Frank wants to use Ernest as a after case for better gum brushing, afterall, tomorrow is the beginning of National Pet Dental Health Month. I wish Ernest had not taken it so seriously.

Stay tuned.

Great news from the state of Maryland. Looks like NKK is back in charge of things for another four years. Yeah! They got it right down both sides of the aisle.

Sad news from the state of Texas - Molly Ivins died today. Read some great things that she said here.

I usually disagree with Nancy Leson, our resident food critic. Today she dissed Rachel Ray. Tonight I made a great tortilla soup that I adapted from one of her cookbooks. I am not crazy about either woman, but I like her take on tortilla soup.

I'm off to San Diego this weekend to see my parentals and my uncle and aunt who are here from Germany. I'm not sure what we all have planned, but I have a feeling that I'll be dragging someone to the La Jolla Farmer's Market in search of some citrus.

I realize that my whole pantry is full of Trader Joe's foods. I can't imagine when that happened. Short of stuff I preserved myself, enchilada sauce, green chiles and some wierd ingredients, our staples all can be found at TJs. Yoikes. Things will change as we start growing our own and going to the market, but right now, it just works.

I even spied ibuprofen back on their shelves and TH has me hooked on their gummy vitamins. I hate taking regular vitamins and these are pretty decent and fruity as well. Now if they can only sell real butter puff pastry, aspirin, new mexico green chile and isernio's chicken italian sausage, we'll be in heaven.

Okay, I've rambled enough. I should tell you all that I have been remiss about taking pictures. I have no idea why. TH bought me the most amazing macro lens for the holidays and I have yet to really play with it. Maybe when Ernest is feeling better I'll get a close up of his teeth.

later taters,


Monday, January 08, 2007

What I had for dinner

Sorry, no pictures.

In my other life I play an harried overweight cranky person (hah, had you fooled) that cares about what she eats. Today I had a great message board exchange about roasted chicken that ended with a recipe and some tips on making the perfect roasted chicken.

We eat roasted chicken once a week. TH likes dark meat, I prefer white. We eat it the first night and then make something with the leftover meat - usually some sort of casserole. The body goes into stock and is seen in a soup or base for chicken pot pie.

Recently my chickens have been a disaster - not very flavorful, too juicy (strange), undercooked or just blah. I started to loathe the idea of that bird for dinner.

My pal, Lili, turned me on to Sunset magazine's roast chicken recipe. This recipe was simple, tasty and everything cooked perfectly. I'm not one for big roasters, since there are only two of us most nights, but honestly, with these results, I'll be reaching for a six pounder next week and trust me, I'll never baste again. We served the chicken with a steamed artichoke and baked delicata squash from the fall harvest. Delicious!

Thanks Lili for the tip. We're on a streak here chez floraandflying, over a week with decent dinners and creative leftovers.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

if I had known I was going to Portland, I would have worn pants

Pearl Bakery, pain aux raisins, January 2007.


Yesterday, we got an email from Ernest's peeps. There was no snow in Goldendale and the Gorge and we could drop the boy off in Vancouver. He always gets nervous when you pack his kibble with his squeaky, but he got in the car and off we went.

I had my purse (no money), my cell phone and a few sudukos. I was wearing polarfleece and yoga pants, as if we were going to TJ's not to drive 160 miles one way.

Anyhoo, we made it in good time. Ernest did not sleep a wink, TH insisted on lane changes. He hates lane changes.

We dropped him and off and since we're beset by basketball on Thursdays and Saturdays and the Seahawks, TH thought we should go to Portland to chill instead of sitting in traffic on the way home.

Smart she is, that girl. However, if I knew I would be salivating over Pearl Bakery brioches and Pix's tarte au citron, I would have worn pants.

Fun times, down to Pearl Bakery, up to Hawthorne for an uninspiring lunch at Bread and Ink, dessert at Pix (swoon), Powell's books for cooks and Pastaworks.

Portland (at least the bakeries) on my flickr.

Home in time to miss traffic and four episodes of To the Manor Born.

Life is good.

Yes, I miss the boy, he's settling in I suppose -Happy to see his sister and family and maybe a bit sad not be climbing on me while I'm settling in for a good read.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

food for the soul

I have been in a funk recently, I'll admit it.

London was great, Brussels remains fabulous, being treated like a high flyer once in a while is really good for the ego, but it isn't real life, you know what I mean?

Life is dealing with crises at work, running around before the holidays because you forgot that someone needs something, experiencing the joys of teenage puppyhood complete with stubborness and mouse breath, realizing that life is not getting easier as you get older and no matter what they say, there isn't peace anywhere on this earth.

So, yesterday, I sat here, trying to rest and get my body back to a healthy place and I realized that part of me just seems to be not my usual perky self. I seemed to be missing my cooking panache, goove, mojo or what you want to call it. Nothing excites me - most of the little arguments at Chez Florandflying revolve around what we're having for dinner - seriously.

Yesterday, I was motivated to get that oomph back in my cuisine life with the ingredients on hand.

Roasted chestnuts found in the freezer section of Trader Joes, chicken stock from Friday's chicken, half and half, milk, parsely, cloves and onions and a bay leaf became a yummy cream of chestnut soup.

Pork loin, parsely, shallots, bread crumbs and olive oil and herbs became a lovely herb crusted rolled pork loin.

Potatoes from the UDistrict market, milk and butter made some pretty tasty mashed potatoes.

Bitter braising greens from the U District market, olive oil, shallots and balsamic vinegar added some vitamins to our mix.

Butter lettuce gently tossed with walnut oil and balsamic vinegar and herbs de provence salt made a nice palate cleanser.

Leftover brioche, milk, dried cherries, vanilla, brown sugar and eggs created a lovely, rich but not too sweet bread pudding.

Chocolates selected at Wittamer last week finished off the meal that was graced with some yummy Rooster Brothers coffee from Ellsworth, Maine.

Good friends sharing laughs and stories made it even more like soul food for me.

I think I may have found my food groove again.

Thank you.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

fabulous things

Quick post before blogger goes bye bye for the night.

I am five freaking hours away from my certificate. Not five course credits, five hours, 300 minutes.

Whoo hooo.

Trader Joe's now takes Amex. I can now ditch that MC that I only use for Hyatt stays and only use my Amex.

I am soo happy.

Other than that, check out ernest's new pics.

Ernest in November.

What a handsome boy he is.

I was going to expound on food - chile stew for what ails, hot chocolate and what not, but it is going to have to wait.