Monday, August 15, 2011

Hey! We're going to a picture show!

KP and I do this thing where we go see a movie, like Bridesmaids or Harry Potter 7.2, and bring our own snacks.
It looks a little something like this:
Hummus and Pita Chips, Cheese sticks, Green Beans, Carrot Chips, Mango, Berries, Pineapple

As much as I love popcorn, movie popcorn usually makes me feel blimp-like after 3 or 4 handfuls. But somehow I'm able to gorge myself on fresh produce for hours.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Experiments. Delicious, delicious experiments

I got a little.... carried away.

My relationship with baking is tenuous at best. When I am cooking, I tend to never follow a recipe. I am the proverbial bull in the culinary china shop; I just blow through, smashing everything into the pan without regard.

When I'm baking, I research a recipe, measure out all my ingredients, and begin my well intentioned mixing.
Halfway through, I don't see things coming together in any desirable way and I start to panic.
Then I try to over correct.
Then I just end up with a mess on my hands.
I feel like there's a "That's what she said" joke involved there. 

So, for more than one reason, it's strange that I would pick one of the hottest weekends of the year to suddenly decide that I needed to bake.
But I just needed to create something; to try something I had never tried before. Something slightly challenging.
It started out pretty simple:

Olive Oil Flatbreads with Pecorino, Thyme, Sea Salt and Honey

(I can't take credit for any part of this recipe. My roommate likes to entice me with recipes and this is one she sent me that marinaded in my brain. The flatbread was simple: it didn't require any leavening, it baked in less than 10 minutes, and is versatile enough to be topped with just about anything. I used pecorino (My favorite cheese!) and fresh thyme (my second favorite herb!) and some sea salt, then positively drown them in some local honey I found at the market. Nutty, spicy, sweet and salty. It was like a carnival. I have all ready repeated this dish more than once.)

Then it escalated:

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Instead of a tablespoon of vanilla extract, I used half a cup of bourbon.) 

Then it just got out of control.

Chana Dal Masala. With plain yogurt and cilantro.

(Indian cooking frightens me. I don't really know what spices to use and the process seems really tedious. But I bought a bag of Chana Dal beans in a hers and hers specialty grain order with K a few weeks ago and was eager to spread my wings. So I have a whole container of cardamom pods now that I need to decide what to do with. This is a very very good option.)

Not pictured is an extremely unsuccessful attempt at peanut butter swirl brownies. I followed the recipe to a T and still managed to make the outsides burnt and the insides completely molten. The only saving grace was that K came over while I tried to rectify these atrocious treats and we watched Viva Las Vegas, since we both idolize Ann-Margret. There are worse things to do on a Saturday than ruin a pan of brownies.

The day ended well, I made my way on foot to Highland Park and enjoyed an unbelievable cookout with Kelly, Thrill, Aaron, and many more. We grilled, made bourbon sweet tea from the mint Aaron grew, and basked in the beautiful sunshine.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Land of the (Gluten) Free

And the home of the Braves... Er, Indians.

This year, I proved that I'm not actually a horrible daughter.
Let me explain.
I have no idea when my dad's birthday is. I have a general idea, but I've asked every year, and it never seems to be the same answer twice, so I just sort of wing it. Compound that with the fact that for the past 2 years, I have forgotten every single birthday in my family, despite having written them in every calendar I have, I haven't been doing so great. So this year, I decided, things would be different.
I am also, as it happens, horrible at buying gifts for Chip. For the life of me, I have no idea what that man ever wants. That is until this year, when I decided to buy him tickets to New Yankee Stadium.

Ok, so it turns out I cant afford tickets to New Yankee Stadium. But I what I can afford is a weekend in Pittsburgh and tickets to Progressive Field to see the Yankees play the Cleveland Indians on the Fourth of July. Which, if you ask me, is way better.

We spent a lot of time in the kitchen
Chicken Florentine with Tabouli, Goat Cheese Frittata, Movie in the Park Picnic

And we spent a lot of time exploring
Natural History Museum Owl, LuLu's Noodles Pork Lard Nar, Croissant French Toast at Pamela's
We did not eat the Owl. I just think it's an amazing picture.

Speaking of amazing pictures.
We are goobers.