Saturday, March 01, 2008

Money Where Your Mouth Is


Although they are tiny, capers pack quite a punch in the flavor department and in my opinion, are the best green food you're not using enough.

Capers are native to the Middle East and Mediterranean regions of the world and are the immature bud off of a small bush. Fresh caper blossoms are not very flavorful which is why they are typically sun dried and brined in vinegar. Once cured, their sharpness of flavor adds a distinct and welcome addition to many dishes.

Here's a random fact for you (in case you ever find yourself on Jeopardy!) Capers were once used as informal currency among merchants traveling ancient trade routes.

Though my favorite way to eat capers is in light white wine and lemon sauce, Puttanesca is a close second. It's not often made by the home cook and quite frankly, it should be. This is a simple recipe that will wow your guests-just make sure you have an extra loaf of crusty bread to sop up the extra sauce!

PUTTANESCA SAUCE

1/4 C. Olive Oil
1 C. Onion, finely minced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Cans Plum Tomatoes, 28 oz each
1 C. Kalamata Olives, pitted and cut in half
2 T. Tomato Paste
3 T. Capers, drained
2 T. Anchovy Fillets, minced (about 8 fillets)
1/2 t. Dried Basil
1/2 t. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt TT
1 # Penne Pasta

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion & saute until soft & light brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the pasta) and simmer for 40 minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
3. Add the cooked penne to the sauce and toss for 1 minute

Friday, February 29, 2008

F-F-F-FRIDAY!

I miss toast.  And Orange Juice.  (And my everything bagel with cream cheese from the coffee shop)  Last night I really wanted meatballs.  Why?  I dunno.  But I didn't cave because this week I didn't do too well at the scale.  I lost, but not the 2-3 pounds/week I've been losing and in order to hit my goals I've set, I have to keep doing that.  This week with the exception of a Sunday dinner with a cool chic and wine (that's usually a requirement with us) I'm going to stick to my diet strictly. 
 
I had plans to go out to dinner with a group of people tonight and I was really looking forward to it.  There were going to be some new people there and I'm really chomping at the bit to meet more people here.  I had to cancel though because my 2nd job (pastry chef) needs me to bake a boat load of things tonight because everything I made on Monday and Wednesday are gone.  So tonight I am making: 2 batches of orange & almond biscotti, my "to die for" brownies (hey-it's my first review, I'm going to hang onto that for a long time!), cookies, pear & apple crisp, berry cobbler and rice krispy treats.  There's no way I would have made it home in time to shower and get back to Quincy for dinner.  Oh well, next time.
 
Restaurant week is coming up and I'm excited.  Restaurants around the city have prix fix menus for lunch (20.08) and dinner (33.08).  At some places that's not a bargain, but others it's a steal.  I'm hosting a lunch at a seafood restaurant and going to dinner at Olives with a few friends.  Olives is Todd English's restaurant and I'm pretty excited about that.  That week I've already told myself that I am not going to lose, but it only comes once a year and I've been very good so far.  (Shhh...let's not talk about the PB&J cupcake)
 
Writing for multiple blogs is quite time consuming.  Even though here I write more than in the other places, it's different.  You all know me and these are personal stories or whatever comes out of my brain.  There, it's reviews and recipes and I don't know who's reading.  Someone could see it and tell me it's horrible or tell me it's wonderful and they want me to work for them.  I don't actually write a lot-just a paragraph or so, but I post my recipes and I would really hate for someone who is a more seasoned chef than I am to come back and tell me it's crap or that I am wrong about an ingredient.  And it's not because I don't take criticism well-I think I actually do-but it's more that I don't want them to have to do that-I want the people to be impressed and I want their food to come out perfectly.
 
See-I can't ramble like this.  There, I feel like I'm back in creative writing class with Ms. Weismann and she is telling me to take my 3 page story and make it into a half a page story. 
 
I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.  The power company was doing work in my neighborhood last night and from midnight to 6am there was no power.  That meant no fan in my room and that meant it was hotter than hell in there.  I didn't open my window before bed b/c of the fan (I forgot about the power thing) and so I tossed and turned all night.  I would have loved to snuggle in bed all day and then gotten up and had a nice breakfast of morning buns (no, that's not a term for a cute butt) and strong coffee like I used to have before I was trying to lose a small child in body weight.  Instead, I got up like a responsible adult and got ready to come to work.
 
I didn't have anything to say today-can you tell? LOL!  Does anyone have fun plans for the weekend???

 

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hearts

It's weird seeing ball players out of their uniforms-but some of them clean up nice.  (Usually it's basketball players, in my opinion)  I found this picture on Boston.com today and it made me chuckle.  Why?  Because it appears that rookie Jacoby Ellsbury (yum) chose the same suit as Jonathan Papelbon.
 
Jacoby, though I love you honey, you might want to stop pissing off your team.  (I don't care what he says, I think Coco Crisp hates Jacoby.)
 
Do boys care if they are dressed the same?  Maybe not in everyday life, but at the white house?  I think that's a big deal.  At least he chose a different tie.

 

Randomivity

I seem to have forgotten that yesterday was Wednesday and therefore, my Randomivity day...
 
I've heard some weird pick up lines but, "Those are some big snow flakes out there today" is the weirdest.  (No, it wasn't used on me.)
 
My ass is officially 1 size smaller. :)
 
It sucks when you can't make someones life easier/better when they are having a rough time.  It sucks even more when this can apply to more than one person you care about.
 
A recipe that I sort of made up (combined the best of 2 recipes) resulted in fantastic biscotti and it is flying off of the shelves.  All but 3 pieces sold in 1 day-one man bought 5 pieces in a row because it was so good.  That makes me proud of myself.
 
I've always known this, but I'm way too critical of what I cook.  I made cookies last night and hated them-the boys (the sons of the family I work for) loved them so much they called their dad to tell him.  *shrug*  The same thing happened with my cobbler.
 
There are only two times that curry smells good-the first is when you are at a restaurant which prepares it for you and the other is when you are cooking it yourself.  If you noticed, I did not include "when one of your neighbors decides to cook enough curry to feed a small country at 9:00 on a Tuesday night.".
 
Did you ever notice that you can't easily identify where the curry is coming from?  It just permeates through everything and stuns you into an Indian haze.
 
I had plans tomorrow.  I had to cancel.  This makes me sad.
 
There's an extra day this year and it's tomorrow.  Don't you think that considering this doesn't happen very often that we should all have the day off?  I do.  Who can make that happen?
 
I'm having a rough morning-it's only 8:45.  This might be a loooooong day.
 
Hey-those are some big snow flakes out there today....  ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clean Up On Isle 5

I followed a man in the grocery store the other day for 20 minutes. It was innocent at first-a curiosity. But then it became a need-a need to be closer, a need to prolong our time together. As he walked slowly down the isles I quietly followed pretending to look at tomato sauces, salad dressings and olives that I had no intention of buying.

I don't think he noticed me and if he did he probably shrugged it off-after all, people usually shop methodically either from the produce to the the frozen food or vise verse-for all he knew we just happened to have the same habits.

But we didn't. In fact, his haphazard weaving through isles was completely unorganized and quite frankly, uncomfortable. But I had to keep going, I couldn't stop.

He smelled just like my Papa.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Toosdae ?'s



1. If you could travel anywhere in time, where would you go? Or, would you opt not to travel in time?

2. What would the child you once were think of the adult you have become?

3. If you were tiny like Tom Thumb where would you make your home? (A tea kettle, a mole hole...)

1. Before I actually did Civil War reenacting, I would have said anywhere I could wear a hoop skirt and a bonnet. Having experienced that I have changed my mind. I've always thought that the 20's were wildly romantic and if I could, I'd go back to be a flapper.

2. The child that I once was would be both disappointed and proud. Disappointed because I am not married and don't have children and that was always a dream, and proud because of all that I have overcome and have achieved so far. She'd also be happy that I am liked by most people I meet.

3. I think I would make my home under a large flower with lots of leaves. The shower could be a leaf that's holding water and when you want to bathe you'd pull it a little bit and it would leak out. My bed would be made of fluffy dandelions.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Manic Monday: Explosive

I used to have a re-occurring dream. I was alone in the woods hiking and enjoying the day. I don't know why I was alone-especially because when I had this dream I was only about 12-not an appropriate age for me to be in the woods alone. But I was, and I was hiking.

As I reached the top of the mountain I found a large rock to rest on. I was hot and sweaty and I welcomed the cold water from my thermos. I relaxed for a while listening to the birds chirping and watched the sun as it danced through the trees. Just about the time when I was about to get up and start walking again, a boy came up behind me on the rock and started kissing my neck. He held me tight so that I couldn't move away-which was OK, because I liked it. I wasn't scared and I didn't try to run. Instead, I turned around and kissed him back while he ran his hands through my hair.

And that was pretty much it.

I'm sorry there is not more-but back then, I didn't exactly know what happened after that part. Sure, I heard tall tales from my more experienced friends during study hall in the library, but who knew if they were telling the truth? And seeing something in your dreams that you've never seen in real life is quite hard.

But imagining it...that's another story. I'd have this dream and I'd wake up aching and sweaty, not knowing exactly what was going on with my body. It was confusing and fascinating and embarrassing at the same time and I wished that I had someone to talk to about it but the only people I trusted enough to talk to were about as experienced as I was. So instead, I read encyclopedias (we had a new set) and continued to dream...

And, when I finally learned how to make the aching go away-it was-you guessed it-explosive.

I don't have that dream anymore. After I learned about what happens after the kiss in real life, my mind didn't have to wander as much. Sometimes I wish I still could dream like that-not knowing what happens after that first kiss-that first rush of excitement. The age of discovery is hard to get back. Luckily, I've been fortunate enough that my real life experiences have been fulfilling and I don't have to wish I could dream like that because it's the only place I can feel that way.

That would suck.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Was There


See? I'm already famous...can you see me? What?? No? See the blue arrow? Yup, I'm under it. :) I had just come down from the stairs and was walking over to where the action was going to be.
Out of all of the pictures taken, I can't believe that's the only one I'm in. Mainly b/c I was standing right next to them-and because in tons of pictures I saw, I was just on the edge of the end. Oh well...