Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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Ok, I think it’s finally for sure…

January 23, 2013

… I think I am a grown-up. Finally.

Well, at least I think so.

Things that didn’t make me feel like a grown-up for sure:

  • getting married
  • having a baby
  • getting divorced
  • turning 30
  • joining the PTA (I thought that did it, but now I’m not so sure)
  • getting remarried
  • turning 40

This morning I realized that I am feeling compelled to keep a full fridge. I noticed that I was panicky at work yesterday because I didn’t have any food in the fridge there. I am so over eating out and would always rather eat something I made.

Every time I go in the kitchen I feel like I have to cook something to stock in the fridge for my family to grab.  In the last 36 hours I have cooked:

  • two whole roasted chickens, then broke them down in containers for Scott and John (yes, they were local hippy chickens from Whole Foods. I’m cooking happy meat twice a week for the boys – that’s less genocide meat they’ll be eating)
  • a whole large sheet pan of roasted root vegetables and split them up for Scott and John
  • a large pot of rice
  • a turkey and Gouda omelette for Scott
  • tofu scramble for me and Haley
  • 2 pounds of hash browns
  • crispy chipotle tofu nuggets
  • garlic ranch dressing
  • chick’n salad*
  • … and been to 3 grocery stores

* no one makes a better chick’n (and chicken – but I don’t eat death) salad than me.

chick

3-4 days of meat and veg for the boys
(note the tofu 😀 )

 

We are down to 6 containers of yogurt and 1 box of instant oatmeal and feel like the world might come to an end if I don’t get to the store soon – even though the rest of the cabinets are stuffed.

I kept a partially stocked fridge until single motherhood – then finances prevented me from buying more than a few days of food at a time. I’d shop and then we’d be a horde of locusts and wipe it all out.

Feast and famine.

When money got less tight we’d eat out more. Oddly we had more control over how much we ate because we weren’t eating ALL THE FOOD just because it was there for once.

Three weeks into our mission toward ending wastefulness (eating out, for example), and I think the locusts in our brains have full bellies and are getting used to the idea of “there’s always something to grab in the fridge.”

Happiness is a well stocked larder 😉

fridge

my work drawer

 

I finally “get” why I feel like a kid when I visit my Mom’s or my Aunt and Uncle’s house – they are always well stocked with FOOD.  Now we are, too!

Yes, folks, this really is my exciting life 😀

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You asked

January 18, 2011

… and “you” shall receive!

A couple of people suggested that I should do more cooking posts, so I started a whole new blog! (Overkill much?) 😀

If you’re interested in vegan cooking, or just fast, easy and nutritious cooking – take a look!

Vegan Lazy

I’ll post dishes as I make them. There’s a subscription button at the bottom of the page.

Suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

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One down, 540 to go

January 3, 2011

For every reason under the sun I am re-committing to veganism. I did it for years before and I am doing it again. I am! I am! I am!

The reason first and foremost in my head today is my “health” (because peeps get mad when I talk about my fatass 😉 )

Yesterday I had a very fruitful shopping trip with The Mom, The Maid of Honor/Sister-Cousin and The Child. We found The Dress, and boy is it THE DRESS. *swoon*

It looks pretty freaking fantastic on now, in the current state of affairs. Any healthifying I do between today and 180 days from now will make it look possibly too overwhelmingly amazing that our wedding guests may have to look at me through a pinhole poked in cardboard. Like a solar eclipse, I may very well be too awesome to look at directly.

😀

So when I ordered my lunch today I had that dress in mind.

Rainbow Salad – romaine, carrots, cabbage, corn, beets – hold the blue cheese and candied walnuts – add avocado (miniscule) – with light (again, miniscule) low-fat vinaigrette. Blue cheese and candied walnuts make this a phenomenal and gut-stuffing salad. Ordering it without was the hardest part. I also passed up the free piece of french bread and pat of butter.

It’s still a delicious salad. It will, however, take some time to readjust my pallet to not crave dairy fat. I can do it. My ass and some dairy farm cows’ lives will be more beautiful for it! HA!

So that’s one meal down, and 540 to go before The Big Day. Somehow that makes it easier…

How are your New Years resolutions going so far?

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Giving Thanks

November 26, 2010

We certainly had a great Thanksgiving Day and a half! I sure hope you did, too!

Our merriment started on Wednesday night when we went to see the Blackhawks get beat to holy hell by play the Sharks.

As soon as we got home at 11:30p I headed to the kitchen. I didn’t think I would last long because I was so tired, but the next thing I knew I had finished the cranberry relish, cubed and toasted bread for stuffing, baked a cake, made sweet potato pie and cleaned the kitchen.

Our fridge was packed to the gills!

I hadn’t broke out my trusty Kitchenaid sidekick since last Christmas. Oh, how I have missed her! I shan’t keep her out of commission that long ever again!

I was back up at 6:30a to bake the sweet potato pie, make stuffing, make frosting and set the table.

At 9:30a, done with all my cooking except what had to be done right before we sat down, I slipped out for a nice ride.

Boy am I thankful for the ponies – especially our pony, Fiona. She’s a special little beast. She’s incredibly sweet and gentle and a joy to handle from the ground – but get on her and she’s a firecracker! The big horses can’t keep up with her cracked-out-pony speed walking 😛 The day was so gorgeous that I was back in the barn before I realized I didn’t take my camera. That’s ok… it was amazing to have a couple hours break from Thanksgiving preparation to be with the wee one for a wonderful trail ride. (Next time the mud ball will get a bath!)

While I was gone, The Man was busy cooking his first bird. He did a great job! He even made his mom’s traditional stuffing. (I love him!)

Because we had some guests that usually eat vegetarian and gluten-free I really had to put on my cooking/thinking cap. It was SO FUN to have to think and be creative in my cooking. I actually glanced at recipes!!

I even took it up a level and it’s all vegan and gluten-free! And it was DELICIOUS!! I stumbled upon 2 new concoctions that will surely be seen again – the sweet potato pie topped with candied pecan crunch and tofu cutlets with creamy mushroom sauce. YUM!

I know that our guests enjoyed it!

Let me take a moment to tell you how much I love Scott’s friends. His best friend John and his parents are great. And I’m not sure I could love Steve and Nancy any more than I do! It was really a great bunch!

And to top off a lovely holiday the freeways were deserted this morning. It took 11 minutes from our house to the office.

Thank you!

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Big City* love

November 23, 2010

* Yes, we all know that San Francisco is not a big city in a literal sense but don’t harsh my buzz, kthx? 😛

Last night The Family went out for an unusual treat. We went out for pizza and we ate it in the restaurant. There is something homey and old fashioned about eating pizza in a pizzeria since pizza in the city has become a delivery-only phenomena. We are very lucky to live in a formerly Italian neighborhood that has a number of forgotten restaurant gems (one of which is where we’re holding our wedding reception!)

This morning The Man made his Thursday morning breakfast for The Child, egg-in-a-hole, since we won’t see her again until Saturday when we have Thanksgiving at my brother’s. I find that routine of theirs to be so adorable, it really warms my heart. After The Child and I BARTed downtown I treated her to an eggnog latte (hers was decaf) and waited with her for her bus to school. Mmmmmm… our first taste of the holidays!

Standing there it felt like New York for a minute. It’s been really cold the last week even though we’ve had rain. Everyone was bundled up in their warm winter coats, some with hats and scarves.

It was one of those minutes where you breathe in the cold clean air while you’re surrounded by urban hustle and bustle – and you feel so happy to be in the “big city”. We don’t really get seasons here in San Francisco being that temps really only range from 45 to 75. In fact, our season are quite backwards:  our winters are warmer than everyone else and our summers are colder.

I’ve never lived where there are four distinct seasons. I think I would like it very much. I think I would like to unpack my winter clothes when fall approaches and revel in the season’s first snowfall. I think I would like to pack away those coats and hats and scarves and mittens in the summer and wear nothing but summer dresses and watch things grow like crazy. I think I would very much like to feel the first crisp morning of the year and see the leaves changing color. I think I would like to see the snow melt and see green pushing through.

But today I couldn’t be happier to be living right here. Thanksgiving is in two days and we will have a house full of our friends who we call family. It will be cold outside but our house will be filled with much love and warmth. The Christmas decorations are going up around town and I can’t wait to get decorating in our house.

Life is good in the Big City. Yes, indeed, it is.

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Wet and wild and wooly weekend

November 22, 2010

Just as planned I braved the elements Friday after work and went shopping.

I managed to get myself in to 9 different stores (4 of them in a…. a…. a…. MALL!).

If something didn’t fit, I tore it off immediately and did not allow myself to wallow in self pity. The brief glimpses I caught of myself in my underwear in the dressing room mirrors were not obsessed over. I didn’t allow myself to stop and think at all. Either it fit and was cute, or it didn’t and it was tossed aside immediately. I was a shopping machine.

Three hours later I could no longer navigate crowded stores easily because I was lugging too many bags in a heavy overcoat while also carrying my regular large tote and a huge umbrella.

My haul included 3 dresses (one of them Calvin Klein), a pair of Liz Claiborne slacks, a pencil skirt that claims to smooth the tummy, a bright green cardigan (my new favorite piece of clothing), a pair of cargo pants, a pair of wide leg trouser jeans that can also be worn to the office, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, a pair of heels and 2 pairs of flats. Oh, and the most awesome military-style overcoat – ever.

For $240.00

The Child was home this weekend so we spent a stormy two days snuggled on the couch watching movies.

(dual lightning strike on the Bay Bridge! click pic for link to original)

Saturday night Cousin Rachel came up and we all went to one of The Man’s friend’s house to watch the UFC fights. That was fun but mostly I’m super grateful for the conversation we had over a couple glasses of wine. She made me think about some things – and more of what she said has sunk in long after our conversation.

THANKS RAE! I love you and am so glad we are close!

I was even SUCH a good girl and cooked a super veggie lunch yesterday AND made my lunches for the next two days.

Super veggie bowls with brown rice, black and kidney beans, broccoli, carrots and a bit of cheese – with home-made yellow pepper and tomato salsa. Mmmmmm.

Of course I forgot my beautiful bowls in the fridge this morning and now my tummy is rumbling at the thought of their deliciousness.

Question:  why is it when children make an honest attempt at being helpful it often fails so miserably?

Even though we were out of dishwasher detergent, The Child really wanted to run the dishwasher. Uggghhhhh. But I was very proud of myself: I didn’t get mad. In all honesty, I did the exact same thing once when I was a kid and Sandi didn’t get mad. It was an honest mistake and she had the best of intentions. (It did help that she immediately started crying as soon as she saw the mess! Poor thing!)

Yeah, that took a half an hour to clean up and now we’re afraid to run the dishwasher lest the bubbles come back to life.

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Food for thought

November 17, 2010

When I got home last night The Child was doing homework and The Man was working. I was dying to see what the produce fairy left me so I went straight to the kitchen and donned an apron.

This week’s produce box was impressive! This is what is going to drive my meal plans for the next 2 weeks…

Mustard greens, radicchio, bib lettuce, radishes, carrots,

cabbage, kholrabi (WTF?), spinach, yams,

cranberries, apples and pears.

I had leeks from the last box that needed to be used so I got to work making soup – since that’s the only thing I know to do with leeks. Without intending to, I spent over an hour and a half alone in the kitchen and I liked it. Actually, I think I liked it a lot.

As I sliced, diced, sautéed, simmered, roasted and reduced I felt a great sense of peacefulness and happiness that I was doing something nice for my family. It felt like a really great way to unwind and transition from work/commute to relaxing at home.

I realize that this is no great revelation to many. I am just one of those people who can cook but I never really noticed that I like to cook.

For the first time ever I found washing up to be quite pleasant and even meditative.

(Usually doing dishes ranks right behind shopping on my list of things I will avoid doing at all costs.)

So I made potato leek soup, pan roasted radicchio with a balsamic reduction (I have officially watched too many cooking shows) and a salad with carrots and radishes. We all sat at the table for more than a half an hour, enjoying our dinner and (mostly) each other’s company.

It was all very idyllic and blissful and I was thinking how perfect life is for a little while.

But it’s not. Life is life.

I guess the best one can hope for is to keep looking for these moments and enjoy them to the fullest.

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The most fantabulous thing I’ve ever cooked (so far)

November 12, 2010

Vegan Veggie Shepards Pie!

I wonder, though, if it can be called shepards pie just because it has potatoes on top? Hmmm………………….. Ok, that’s all the thinking I’m putting in to that – shepards pie it is!

Since I had no clue that it would turn out as well as it did, I’m a little light on pictures. Just as always the ingredients were determined by what was in the fridge at that moment – but I confess I did have half a mind to make this when I made up the shopping list 😉 Shhhhh… don’t tell anyone! Actually, it was made up of ingredients that everyone should have on hand all the time. Everyone who is organized and shop regularly and are “normal” – so pretty much no one that reads this blog but my mother!

Ingredients

  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, rough diced
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 large Russet potatoes
  • vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • garlic
  • oregano, paprika, parsley flakes, salt, pepper

Dice potatoes with skin on and boil. If you’re not trying to get dinner on in a hurry after work I suppose you don’t have to dice them, but the smaller they are the faster they cook! Cook until soft and mashable.

Sautee garlic and onions until onions are softened. Add carrots and a few tablespoons of stock, cover and cook until carrots start to soften. Add zucchini and cook briefly. Take off heat before carrots and zucchini are squishy – I loathe overcooked vegetables. These are going in to the oven after this so they should be still a little on the firm side!

Rinse beans and drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine beans and cooked vegetables. Add tomato paste and seasonings (1 tablespoon of oregano and paprika, salt and pepper to taste). Combine well. Mixture should be very thick and not watery at all. Spread in a Pyrex dish and tamp(?) it down well.

Drain potatoes well. Mash with vegetable stock, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon parsley flakes. Again, the potatoes should be thick – so don’t use too much stock, just enough to smoothe out the potatoes – and extra yummy because the skins are in there too! 😀

Spread potatoes over veggie mix, pushing it in to the corners and making them smooth and flat.

Take a fork and rake the top of the potatoes. Trust me – this makes the top super crunchy fantastico!

Put in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes – until the tops of the potatoes are golden brown and delectably crunchy!

We garnished it with some cilantro, but it didn’t need it. If you don’t overcook the carrots and zucchini, and make sure you really cook the potato topping you end up with a super rich shepards pie that has a ton of texture and is SUPER filling. Perfect for a cold night 😀

RECAP:  don’t overcook the vegetables, everything should be thick and not watery at all, pack everything down really well, and make sure you let the potatoes get really crispy – and you’re golden! 😀

And the 3 of us didn’t even eat half of it!!!!

Oh… and the carnivore loved it too!!

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Everything is better with peanut sauce!

November 11, 2010

I am not a fan of recipes and I tend to cook with what’s on hand. The result is usually a Frankenstein dish similar to something found on Chopped. 😀

Last night’s dinner was certainly no exception. I’ll make this post rather long and drawn out, but future ones will probably be less involved.

Going through the produce bin in the refrigerator yielded the following items that needed to be cooked.

Rainbow chard, bok choy, broccoli, cilantro, and (to be honest) some white root vegetable things. I think they were turnips – they were a little spicy, had a crunch and I thought they’d add some texture. Whatever… they needed to be eaten.

Yummm… everyone loves sautéed greens in garlic, right??  While I was sautéing the greens I parboiled the chard stems and broccoli, and added the bok choy at the end to soften them a little.

For some reason whenever I think of bok choy I think noodles and peanut sauce. That sounds kind of Thai-ish, right? And what screams Thai more than turnips? HA!

 After I fished all the veg out of the boiling water I dumped the pasta in to cook in the same water (look at me conserving flavor! 😀 )

Meanwhile, The Child mixed up peanut sauce. I have been using the same “recipe” for years – although I am quite certain I am leaving out half of the ingredients listed on the original “real” recipe I used. These days I mix some peanut butter (chunky, of course), soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and thin it with the veg/pasta water. I think a dash of sesame oil would be great, but I had none.

After adding my parboiled veggies in with my greens, I threw in the turnips and pasta and tossed it with peanut sauce.

Sprinkle some chopped cilantro on the top and you’ve got dinner!

Thankfully, so far, the family loves my Frankenstein dishes. Yay! Now what I need to do is get used to cooking in much larger quantities so we have more leftovers. It’s been a realllllllllllly hard transition from cooking for 2 to cooking for 3+leftovers. My frugal cheap skate ass has a hard time putting that much food into a pot all at once – even if it means leftovers and less cooking later.

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Ok – ‘splain to me

November 9, 2010

… where the hell I’m going wrong here. I just finished up my grocery shopping list and wonder what the hell is the problem. How does this (plus a huge box every other week of organic, locally grown fruit and veg) turn in to thunder thighs?

The upside is that I haven’t cooked a bunch in the last week, and My Man called a bit ago and requested that I do some cooking. Apparently Mr. Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese feels better with my food.

All together now…. “Awwwwwwwwwww” ❤

 

I think what I’ll do now is post what I’m making for dinner… I’m having cocktails for dinner tonight (work thing) so I’ll start tomorrow.

Future food posts are possible now due to a huge kitchen-ware shopping orgy that took place this weekend. I am the proud owner of the most enviable collection of Pyrex and non-stick, double insulated cookie sheets (with a cover!) you’ve ever seen! And a blender! And matching plates! And a SALAD BOWL!!!!!!!

**happy food thoughts** 😀

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City Conveniences

September 22, 2010

One of the really great things about living in The City is that you can get just about anything delivered.

Of course there are restaurants: pizza, Chinese, Thai, even four star haute cuisine. You can get your laundry and dry cleaning delivered. You can have a rental car delivered. And yesterday, for the princely sum of $31, I got the country delivered.

Yummmmm! Fresh, organic, local. I’ve got some serious cooking to do!

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I had a dream

August 27, 2010

I dreamt of having a formal dining room. And guess what?!? I’ve got one, bitchessss gentle readers 🙂

It’s not the soulless, impersonal white box I imagined it would be. It is not begging me to miraculously transform it with my deft use of color, texture and – dare I say it? – magic! (tee hee)

Instead, even while empty, it is warm, rich and rather intense. It is certainly more beautiful than I, and I suspect it is also smarter. My dining room is giving me an inferiority complex.

It would certainly be easy to go to some nondescript Furniture Mart USA kind of store and buy something that is Craftsman-y/Mission-y. Not only would that be too easy and less emotionally draining – you would have to shoot me for owning something that could be referred to as a “set”. A dining set, a bedroom set, a “let me stab myself in the eye with a fork because I’m that unimaginative” set… Blech.

And good grief would that be sooooo dark and oppressive. Watch out! It’s ATTACK OF THE WOOD PANELING!!

My dear and lovely friend Susan has kindly offered a proper table and chairs to fill the space.  I have been cooking for the Family almost every night and it makes me kind of sad to eat it with the three of us crammed in the small confines of the sofa 😦 While the table is not my aesthetic (or hers either!) I do look forward to having a proper place for the three of us (and guests) to gather ’round.

And of course I can’t help but hear the siren song of…..  p a i n t  😀

Oh! and what do you think of this…? It is rather large and definitely qualifies as a shiny thing!

I have to admit that The Child and I both kind of lost our shit when we saw it… The Man is proving to be very tolerant of our outbursts!

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Vegans, reborn

December 15, 2008

Most of you know (but do you care?) that the Girly Fabu-Palace is a vegetarian household, but the matriarch is getting a little tired of being f-a-t.  That, and she works with a very recipe-minded creative vegan who has been feeding her deeeeelish yummy treats 😀

I was reminded that back in my vegan days I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and however much I wanted… and my weight never varied more than 5 pounds for years.  Size six, painlessly.

So yesterday The Child and I decided that was the way to go again.  The weight thing is great but really no one in our families has ever died of old age.  Ever.  The Child has diabetes, heart disease, cancer – to name a few – all within 1 or 2 generations.  We have decided to play it safe.  It’s not hard – it can be YUMMY!

vegan-001

We filled the fridge with fruit, veg and whole grains and are looking forward to guilt-free gluttony 😀 Tomorrow night we start after-work/school exercise too.  I figure 30 minutes can’t be that hard, right? 

Oh!  I got a dishwasher!  Check it out! Read the rest of this entry ?

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Gingerbread House of Ill Repute

December 11, 2008

Possibly the most pathetic attempt at the construction of a gingerbread house kit.  It was actually supposed to be a stable but we failed to figure out the lean-to configuration.  We were successful though at making a tragic mess.

*Sigh* The final product was not much better…

 Gee. doesn’t the “pond” and “woodpile” make it all better?? 😛

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The cold weather is back and so are soups!

November 19, 2008

Piping hot Udon noodles with baked garlic Hoisin tofu… delish.  I’m kind of proud of my scallion-y flourish 😛 I think tomorrow I’ll try The Noisy Plume’s butternut squash soup.

*Note to self:  buy a tripod.

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What’s for dinner?

November 16, 2008

So my white trash dinner got me thinking about – well – dinner.  The hot weather combined with my embarrassment prompted me to go a little more upscale last night…  The ubiquitous Wedge Salad.  Yum…  the only time iceburg lettuce is o.k.

Tonight Haley and I watched the latest Indiana Jones movie, so I thought I’d make some super snacky snacks to eat while on the edge of our seats…  Buffalo (Un)Chicken Wings!  We roll vegetarian in this house so spicy and bitesized is our friend, faux or not 😀

So, in the spirit of good eating I am going to start a photolog of our dinners (if you care).  It’s really more an exercise in culinary creativity on my part.

Bon Appetite!

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Meat Shmeat

August 20, 2008

Who needs it when you can have this? 

Morningstar Farms “beef” strips with green beans, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots in garlic hoisin sauce.  Yum.

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