Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Season AND A Holiday!

Thoiry, France

JustAwesome’s colleague has a 4 year old daughter who after cheering about a big snowfall with her family said, “WAIT!! Is it a SEASON or is it a HOLIDAY?” She just wanted to get a handle on the situation... In the spirit of that excitement, we have a tradition of having fondue for dinner the night of a big storm, whether it sticks or not. Just because.

The very best way to do this, of course, is to go to a farmer’s market in France, talk to the cheesemonger and get him to put together a selection of cheeses for you. Through an interpreter (ok, cousin) we learned that we’re to rub garlic on the insides of the pot, stir the cheese in figure 8s, and add a little bit of white wine. Of course, smuggling cheese is a federal offense. I stuck it in JustAwesome’s suitcase. Near her socks.

Thoiry Sunday Market

The second very best way to do this is to go to Saxelby’s and have them select your cheeses. They even have a link to a good recipe.

Fondue Night!

We often take the easy way out. Buy a package from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and plus it with garlic, nutmeg, pepper, kirsch, wine, whatever you have. Roast some potatoes and/or cauliflower, boil some string beans, thinly slice some apples, cut up some nice bread. Serve with wine. VoilĂ !

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I love lunch! (for Candace Walsh)

Really, I do. I sing songs about lunch, and how much I love it.

A good lunch has lots of courses, so that I can eat all day without noticing that I'm “dieting.” My photos are horrendous, but worse, I realize that I use WAY TOO MANY plastic bags. And I apologize. We've just bought some little tupperwares that are perfect for snacks, so hopefully moving forward...

Soup, Lunch Muffins, grapes(?), peanut butter pretzels, tomatoes

Mid-Morning Snacks

Ants On A Log are a good mid-morning snack. Apparently you're supposed to eat a little every couple of hours or so to get your metabolism going. If I don't pack a lunch, I'll notice that its 2:00 and I haven't eaten. JustAwesome sent me to work on Tuesday with these AOAL, made with chocolate chips instead of raisins. I love how creative she is! Or, celery and peanut butter is great too. Just a teaspoon does it. Or carrot and hummus. When I work from home I like banana with peanut butter.

Ants on a Log


There is usually a piece of fruit (apple, pear), some snacky fruit (grapes), maybe a small salad, maybe some cut carrots/celery (throw some salt in!). Then I like a dry snack — some pretzels (pretzels with peanut butter inside!), or maybe a few crackers and a wedge of cheese, or a few nuts. I do 10 minutes of maintenance when I get groceries. Wash the fruit/tomatoes. Put it grab-friendly bowls. Cut up some carrots/celery and store with a little water. It helps all week with quick salads. For lunch and dinner.

random lunches — mini pitas are great! looks like a bag of cheese & basil for pasta

Mains (I like to talk like I work in a diner.)

Sometimes we make a big pasta for dinner, like Jamie Oliver's Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella. These work well for next day lunches. Or some butternut squash soup or something. This goes well with a favorite recipe we got from a free handout at Whole Foods: Lunch Muffins, they are pure genius. They suggest Cheddar-Broccoli muffins, though we throw in kale or collards or whatever we have from our Urban Organic box that week. They freeze well too and probably have about 4 WW points. Again, perfect lunch with soup.

Sardine Sandwich, partially assembled

Other mains: I like a (ezekiel) wrap with hummus and something crunchy - romaine lettuce or red pepper or even grape tomatoes (or all of the above!). So fast and easy to make and I always love it. Something we tried recently, which I'm sure we'll do again soon, starts with a round of apologies to your coworkers. Then I toasted my ezekiel english muffins, put on a piece of lettuce, some sardines that we mashed up with a little onion and topped with avocado. Wrap each thing separately (not in plastic bags!) and assemble later. Oh, and egg salad! I like my egg salad without mayo - with (the GOOD) olive oil, tomatoes, some arugula or basil, plus it however. And I like it wrapped in romaine leaves (assemble later) or maybe in a tiny pita. But the point is, you gotta switch it up.


Whatever fruit is left over.

And finally, bring real silverware & a cloth napkin. I mean, really.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Over and Over

Slow start up. I know. I'm nervous about this blog. I read so many bad ones. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, food-tool, which is mostly what I'm seeing out there on the inter-webs. I don't know anything about food. I just eat it. Obsessively.

I like simple foods and fancy foods. I wake up and plan my food adventures. I don't like to "waste" meals. I won't just eat any old thing. This week I enjoyed my ramen lunch (no Dad, not that kind of ramen) just as much (well, almost) as my dinner at Eleven Madison Park. (That, by the way, is a super-special meal and I highly recommend it.)

I will travel for a special meal — I call them destination dinners. Usually, this means a hand-pulled noodle shop on East Broadway or a lobster roll in the East Village. But I have gone further. Pizza in New Haven? Check. Pizza in Naples? Check. Banh Mi in Vietnam? Check.

Pizza in Naples

I usually bring my lunch when I work on-site, because otherwise I'll never find something that I'll enjoy as much. More on this later. My lunches should win awards. Of course, I've learned everything I know from JustAwesome. She makes every meal special.

So, I'm sure I'll find my way on this blog. Bear with me. It might be all over (and over) the place at first.

As I said before, we get these vegetables delivered every week. It is a great luxury, in a way. It isn't very expensive, it comes right to the door, and it keeps me within the “WW Good Health Guidelines” of Weight Watchers eating. BUT... from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep at night, there is a constant record playing over and over in my head. “We have so many vegetables. What're we going to make with all of these vegetables? We have so many vegetables. What're we going to make with all of these vegetables?” OVER AND OVER. I'm not kidding. Over and over.

And I'm just learning how to cook, so I'm not sure how what I'm learning is going to be helpful or interesting to anyone else. I am remedial, at best.

This week we had Korean-style vegetable rice bowls with a poached egg. Our FIRST poached egg ever. I had roasted some acorn squash and sweet potatoes for the bowl. These went in my lunches as well.

Veggie Bowl with that yummy red Korean sauce

Fish Tacos

Today I made a cole slaw/health salad that my friend Aruna made for us in Costa Rica. We'll use it tonight for our fish tacos, and then later in the week with lunches. I also made a simple carrot/ginger soup. We did pretty well this week using up the veggies, though I had to give away a few odds and ends. Our next batch arrives...momentarily. Sigh.