Thursday, September 24, 2009

ahem.

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Whoa dudes, it's been quiet around here! Mostly because we've been eating a lot of boring food and a lot more takeout than we're accustomed to. No more pussyfooting, WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE. Tonight we got our keys, and we celebrated by chowing down pho from nearby Pho Van in the backyard.

Things will probably stay on hiatus here for a few more weeks as we remodel and move into our new place, but then it's fall, my favorite season for cooking, and I picked up a new cookbook today that I can't wait to go through. It's called The Peasant Cookbook and it has comfort mom-foods from around the world, all through the lens of a snarky 1955 food author. It's pretty hilarious, although some of the commentary borders on xenophobic, despite the content. Some of the recipes sound kind of gross, and some of them sound REALLY tasty. I'm looking forward to trying some out, especially this one with potato slices and anchovies and beaten eggs all baked together and this other one, a Chilean stew with corn and pumpkin.

Anyway. HOORAY! HOMEOWNERSHIP! This is pretty much as terrifying and exhilarating as having a child, except hopefully I won't have a hormone crash after we move in and feel like shooting myself for a full year afterward, HA HA HA. SERIOUSLY THOUGH. HOORAY.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

soft boiled eggs.

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One of my favorite things about my friends Jason and Alia is that they're the type of people who feed you. I'm a big feeder- if I have guests, I start offering snacks and tea pretty much right off the bat. I don't know where this type of hospitality comes from, but it's probably rooted in the fact that I'm always hungry, and food is a good ice breaker. Anyway, I was visiting my friends recently and I spied some tiny egg cups on the counter. I mentioned I'd never had a soft-boiled egg, and hey- they have a backyard full of chickens! How convenient.

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I'm not going to lie, this might be too finicky for me to bother with on a regular basis, but it was cute and fun. Tiny cups! Dipping! It's like, so dainty, y'all. Basically it's just a poached egg still in the shell, when you really think about it.

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Her eggs are dinky (bantam chickens) so we had to improvise with some cute bottles instead of egg cups.

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I'd go ahead and post a recipe for soft-boiled eggs, but come on- you can find out by yourself.

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I also got to try one of their fridge pickles (homegrown cucumbers and everything!) and they were delicious. I plan to snag that recipe as soon as I can. Anyone have any favorite fridge pickle recipes? I like garlic, and I like spicy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

tomatoes.

After being subjected to dozens of "Summer on a plate!" posts on tastespotting, I sort of cringe whenever I see a blog with a post about insalata caprese. I mean, it's just 3 things slopped together On A Plate®, it's not that big of a deal.

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But then I remember that there was a time in my life, not too long ago (okay, it was like 10 years ago) that I not only didn't know this combination existed, but I actually almost REFUSED TO TRY IT because I was stupid and kept telling myself I don't like tomatoes. Look, tomato haters- I'm not going to argue with you. I went my whole life picking tomatoes off of stuff, saying things like, "I only like tomatoes IN stuff, I don't like PLAIN tomatoes." INSANITY, Y'ALL.

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But, I remember the moment the clouds parted and angels started trumpeting and all that crap like it was yesterday- I was 16 years old and working as a cafeteria lady at a summer camp. It was the last week of the summer's camp sessions and the kitchen staff decided to cook a big fancy dinner for all the counselors after all the kids left. We spent like 2 days prepping, coring little button mushrooms for stuffed appetizers, and SLICING ALL THESE GODDAMN TOMATOES. We must have made what seemed like 20 huge trays of perfectly sliced, neatly laid out insalata caprese, and despite all my protesting, "No, I don't like tomatoes. No thanks. No, thank you- I don't like tomatoes." I was eventually goaded into popping a bite into my mouth. WHAT?! SERIOUSLY? THIS IS WHAT I THOUGHT I DIDN'T LIKE? It was a seriously mindblowing moment. (Hey auto spellchecker- stfu, "mindblowing" is TOO a word, because I say it like every 30 seconds.)

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Anyway. I'm not going to pretend like I'm a huge ass tomato connoisseur or whatever, because I am still pretty picky when it comes to eating them. For instance, I don't care much for cherry tomatoes- I don't know, they're just too... wet. Haha! And, I always seed my tomatoes, something about the seeds really grosses me out. That's probably my only beef with heirlooms, the seeds are scattered in all these tiny little pockets so you can't seed them. Once, I was watching Iron Chef, and some douchebag served "tomato caviar" as part of the dish, and it was seriously a tiny bowl of tomato seeds. I almost vomited, seriously. WTF?! And trying to make it all fancy and shit by calling it 'caviar' is just ridiculous. It wasn't even the kind of weird nitroglycerin balled up shit in gelee like some people make on there, it was just fucking tomato seeds. SORRY, SORRY- I will stop ranting about Iron Chef now. GOD, I miss having the food network.

Where was I?

Uh, anyway. Tomatoes are delicious. This is my favorite thing to do with perfectly ripe, garden fresh tomatoes. Using out of season, crappy store bought tomatoes is a travesty for this, I only eat it a few times a year and I always wait for people to start unloading their good tomatoes on me.

If you've been living under a rock or if you can't figure out what's going on in the pictures, allow me to provide you a recipe- a 3 ingredient recipe that takes like 10 seconds to complete.

TOMATO.
BASIL.
FRESH MOZZARELLA. (The kind that comes packed in water.)


Slice tomatoes. Stack good shit on top of them. EAT. OMG, It's like, SUMMER ON A PLATE.

Some people like a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil, personally I stick with a small pinch of sea salt & call it good. I could just gorge myself on this. The only thing keeping me from grabbing the other huge ball of mozzarella out of the fridge and wolfing down another plate of this is feeling guilty about not saving any for my husband. That, and eating 8 full ounces of cheese for lunch probably isn't very good for you.

Okay dudes, get to it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

midnight snack.

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When my husband goes out of town on business, like any lovely husband, he brings back goodies. Usually it's a cupcake or two from Cupcake Royale, one of the accounts he works with, but tonight he came home bearing a big fat salami. Uh, from Salumi, dumdums. Don't get all excited. A few slices on a plate with some grapes, and a sliced and salted heirloom snagged from my buddy's garden- you can't go wrong. I wanted crackers but had toast instead.

Speaking of buddy's gardens, thanks for the goodies, mom:

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She sent me home with a few bags of stuff from her garden and my son is in heaven with all those cherry tomatoes. I love those petite little onions she grew, I can't wait to grow my own onions & garlic.