Black Fig Food

It’s finally happening…

By October 15, 2017 Food, My World

As many times as I have tried to ignore it…as many times as I have attempted to look the other way, I have finally met eye to eye with the aging process.  It has come at me hard with so many physical and emotional red flags.  In the words of my eighteen year old… “I am shook.”  Let’s count these fucking flags, shall we?

I now have a bottle of “Home Advil” AND a “Purse Advil.”

I am having to wear carpel tunnel wrist bands at night just so I can get to sleep.

A little bit of vanity has gone out the window along with my hands.  They are starting to look like the witch’s in Snow White….true story.

I almost ran over my lawn mower dude the other day because I couldn’t hear the blind spot detector on my car.  So, I’m basically losing my hearing and attention span.

There is now a very a sad truth I wear granny panties.  Here’s a tip…when the top of my “unders” practically touch my bra strap, it is time to go shopping, homegirl.

I caught myself drooling at tapioca pudding in the baking isle but then quickly snapped out of it remembering I needed panko.  Talk about some disturbing shit….

“Root touch ups” are becoming waaaaaaaaaay more frequent than before.  Who the hell is paying for all this dye?!?!?!

Pill popper, achy hands, hearing loss, grey hair….why am I even complaining???  The fact is, we are all getting older and some never even get to experience the aging process at all!  So, take the damn Advil, wear those comfy “unders”, let the grey hair flow, continue making memories and smile at the ones remembered, and in the words of Thug Kitchen,  “Eat like you give a fuck.”  Incorporate more spices with healing properties that promote longevity into your diet and recipes.  Turmeric, cinnamon, cilantro, curries, cardamom, ginger, cayenne, garlic….whatcha got to lose? We aren’t getting any younger.

Indian Spiced Lentils with Cilantro Mint

1 cup dried lentils

3 cups vegetable stock, more if needed

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 of an acorn squash, sliced very thin, seeds and pith removed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1/2 cup fresh mint

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 yellow onion, roughly chopped

crushed red pepper flakes for garnish

dash of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss squash with olive oil and then place slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast for 15-20 minutes.  Set aside.

Add lentils in a small sauce pan with stock and cook over medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are softened but not too soft.  Add coriander, ginger, curry powder, cumin, salt, and turmeric to the lentils and reduce heat to a simmer for another 10 minutes.

Combine cilantro, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and onion in a food processor.  Pulse ingredients until they resemble a paste.

Ladle lentils into the center of a soup bowl with plenty of stock then gently dopple cilantro mint into the bowl.  Top lentils with a few slices of acorn squash, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, cinnamon and serve.

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Half-Ass Recipe of Soup and Croutes

By September 27, 2017 Food

As I stepped outside into the crisp cold autumn air this morning wearing a dress (I’m such a dumb ass), my leg hairs stood straight up in shock.  It won’t be much longer before they will get to WAVE in this air….you know, with No Shave November being just around the corner and all….but more importantly, the time for making fall soups is finally here!!!!!

Once a week, I clear out my fridge of all the red-headed step veggies and throw them into a nice “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” soup.  You all know what I am talking about…that half of a red onion, those few carrots beginning to not be so happy to see me, and an entire head of purple cabbage minus a small missing piece used for shrimp tacos last Tuesday night.  I’d be so damned happy if stores started selling shredded purple cabbage (not slaw) in itty bitty “one serving” packages.  Until then, I will use the leftover head to make a vegetable broth for soup and whip up a batch of croutes from leftover artisan bread.  I’m not even mad that my broth turns purple.  I waste nothing.

This week, I had green onion, that damn purple cabbage, portobellos, a roma tomato, coarse sea salt, pepper, and parsley to use for my soup broth.  I added about 1 gallon of water to a stock pot along with veggies and kept it at a slow simmer for about an hour, then strained everything through a fine mesh sieve and discarded the lifeless veggies.  Back into the pot the broth went…

I then added about a cup of dried beans (any of your favorite variety will work) to the broth along with two bay leaves and simmered for 2 hours, adding more water if needed.  Don’t roll your eyes at me while whispering, “Who the hell has time to wait for two hours?!”  Uhhhh, you do!  It’s just two Real Housewives or four Chopped back-to-back episodes…..mmmhmmmmm.

After the beans cooked to a toothy texture, I removed the bay leaves, added butternut squash, fresh corn cut right off a few cobs, a half cup of wild rice, and one head of broccoli florets.  I let it hang out over a low heat for another 45 minutes and then served with my Croute recipe.  You can find the recipe here along with a bonus soup recipe..my favorite one, actually.  You’re welcome.

If you get into the habit of doing this once a week, you can stock pile your broth in smaller batches by freezing it in zip lock baggies.  Anytime you need a little or a lot, it will always be there for ya!  I use it for other quick soups during the week.  Or, if you ARE in a pinch for time, you could always buy a box of organic from the grocery store.

On the same day of making this particular soup, I was able to use the veggie broth to steam a batch of vegetarian Asian Pot-stickers.  I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen (thanks to my masochistic ways) so all of this cooking really does not phase me.  I REALLY DO stand in front of the stove, barefoot but NOT pregnant, thank baby Jesus.  I digress….

I make these quite often, however, I was recently introduced to The Giant Asian Pot Sticker.  Seeing these prepared with a large egg roll wrap blew my mind on so many levels.  I just had to try it.  I usually make smaller dumplings (vegan or pork-filled) which can be a little more time consuming so, I was happy to see, where I was making 24 at a time before, I could now make four big ones!  Edamame Mushroom filling tucked into each wrap, lightly fried in a splash of sesame oil then steamed with the flavorful broth…yeah, this shit sent me over the edge with delight.  But, I will have to share this recipe on another day.

Happy broth making!

 

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Autumn, Vintage Finds, and Heirloom Bliss

By September 24, 2017 Food, My World

My time home is coming to a small pause as I wrap up the week and prepare to head back to Georgia.  I was super stoked to be here to witness autumn (my favorite season) slowly creeping in along with the Tri-State Fair into our city.  It is a time for that long awaited seasonal wardrobe change to hang from my clothing rack and cherished fall recipes to adorn the table.

The most perfect end to my week started the moment I stepped foot into Back & Forth Thrift Store.  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love things with a history, a past, a story….it is here where I found heirlooms, once belonging to another human being, meant to be mine.  The energy I felt, coming off of the pieces that caught my eye, were stabbing at my heart, inspiration, and wallet.  Let’s just say I was murdered…and what a wonderful way to go.

It was refreshing to discover a new local thrift store with the most splendid set-up.  Although I sometimes welcome the idea of clothing grouped by color, I appreciated the garb mixed together (but still grouped in sizes) in various patterns, styles, and hues.  I like to hunt for my “high” rather than have it handed to me so, it worked out for me.  The owner, Kristie, and her staff (Korree) were so kind and went out of their way to help me find my inspiration.  I scored some really beautiful vintage Everlast Metal serving platters (there’s still some left, you guys!) and a few pieces to add to my wardrobe.  As I began walking around the store, I thought of my friend, GaLena, who introduced me to this wonderful store.  I vindictively thought, “I beat her here today.  I will take what she hasn’t seen yet.”  I’m a bitch like that…but I still love her.  She too has found her own inspiration at Back & Forth by curating and selling vintage clothing and lifestyle items online and in pop-ups through Lena Von Vintage.   Check her out.  I guarantee, you will find something meant to be yours.  And if you’re local, visit the fine ladies at Back & Forth!  They’ll have you strutting away like George Jefferson with purchases galore in tow.  I was totally George the other day…dreaming about serving some heirlooms on my new heirlooms!

Kick ass vintage Everlast Metal platters for food inspiration

I got a pretty sweet fuchsia dress and printed delicate blouse to pair with my favorite orange coat for the fall.

Vintage Amber Glass for the perfect “after dinner” dessert

Faux Snake Skin Pumps

Romantic Silver Tea Set for your Downton Abby moments

Inspiration in Color Contrast

Simple Oven Roasted Mini Heirloom Tomatoes

The flavor in these roasted sweet little gems is completely insane!  If they aren’t going into a salad, they end up straight from the oven into your mouth.  For a little extra flavor, you can add fresh garlic, thyme, and a drizzle of balsamic…whatever you’re into…you do you!

1 container mini heirloom tomatoes

1 glug of olive oil (about a tbsp)

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper in a baking dish.  Roast tomatoes in oven for 30-45 minutes or until they begin to brown and pop.  Remove from oven and add to pasta dish or refrigerate for salads or any other favorite recipe of yours.

For a delicious lunch with leftovers to make love to later, just combine the roasted tomatoes with your favorite whole wheat pasta and veggies along with my Arugula Pesto recipe.  For you carnivores out there, just top with grilled chicken or sliced skirt steak and a little Parmesan.

 

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CH CH CH CH CHANGES….

By September 17, 2017 My World

There comes a time in our lives when we discover, after 46 years, we actually don’t know shit.  Who’s 46, by the way?  I’m not 46….YOU’RE 46.  Anyway…..

Taking a short hiatus to reboot, recharge and re-evaluate one’s self can for sure be a shock to the system in a very good way.  I took a break from work to become more mindful of my surroundings, reacquaint myself with all the pretty things in nature and step back to see just how messed up my program of self-care, or lack thereof, has been for years.  And, I discovered A LOT.

Here are the things I learned:

1)  Not just one, but, ALL four dimensions (Physical/Body, Mental/Mind, Emotional/Heart, and Spiritual/Spirit) of our well-being must be activated for any one of them to benefit ourselves to the fullest.  If one quadrant gets out of whack, they all shift out of place.  Plain and simple, all of it needs to jive, folks.  We need balance.

2)  In most instances, there is no right or wrong.  Mostly, it is I who makes a judgement.  It is I who chooses to believe in what I see as right or wrong.  Rather, I need to be more mindful on finding what is helpful and what is not helpful to me.  And, any one of you may disagree with this and that is entirely okay.

3)  Just 10-20-30 minutes of meditation or a bit of Qigong every morning does wonders to my “I don’t want to” attitude.

4)  Getting a wild hair and telling myself “I’m going to hike eight miles today” (even though I haven’t exercised since the seventh grade) and actually fucking doing it, is one of THE best feelings of accomplishment in my life as of yet.  Although, I was expecting to see a huge Blue Lagoon-type waterfall or perhaps a Jurassic creature as a reward for my hard work at the turn-around point, I was stoked to have achieved it only falling just once and shitting myself twice.

5)  Practicing gratitude can protect me from being envious or jealous, help me sleep better at night, and give me balance to be open and accepting of my life lessons.  In the words of Rumi, a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet – “Where ever I am, whatever my condition is, I need to try to be a lover”….so next time you see me, you better pucker up!

6)  I was shown how and why change can be a scary thing and learned more about understanding the process to make it easier to accept.  I have had unrealistic expectations to change before and would self-sabotage my attempts.  I learned that by taking smaller steps toward change and not be intimidated by the bigger picture, I can commit to that change and maintain my progress.  Consistency + Time = Change, bitches.  Have a healthy self-esteem.  Be optimistic.  Have a vision.

7)  I REALLY needed to rethink my food environment and exercise program, you guys.  Mix a crazy eating (or no eating) pattern with life’s imbalances and little to no time for exercise, I had a stroke with my name on it just waiting to happen.  I discovered I was not taking control of what I ate, when I ate, and when I exercised.  I have plenty of time to take care of myself!  Oh….and a bottle of olive oil is supposed to last me wayyyyyy longer than a week.  With the help of some smart individuals (you know who you are), I learned what I have been doing wrong this whole time and have begun taking steps to snuff that shit out!

8)  I have been in a dark place before and hurt people I cared about more times than I want to admit.  But, I cannot turn back the clock to fix it all or beat myself up about it anymore.  I have to just look at those events as lessons learned (for both parties) and walk forward taller with the best intentions and kindness.

Thank you to everyone who enlightened me, held my hand, and told me to just live.  Most life-changing hiatus ever…

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Sunday Hot Mix and Asian Broccoli Apple Salad

By August 20, 2017 Food

Asian Broccoli Apple Salad

 I have so many different versions of this fucking salad, it’s hilarious.  Sometimes, I add cauliflower or shredded purple cabbage but I keep broccoli center-stage so that I don’t have to change the name of the recipe.  For this particular recipe, I had a “Waldorf feel” idea in my mind (hence the Vegannaise) but, I just couldn’t help turning it towards an Asian direction.  You can certainly play around with this recipe as well by adding a little miso paste to kick up the salt factor, switch out the cranberries with dried blueberries or chopped dates, or add walnuts….just turn on this week’s playlist, get in the kitchen and go in hard!

1 bunch fresh broccoli, broken into small florets, and stem, roughly chopped (yes, you can eat the stem)

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 honey crisp apple, cored and chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup frozen edamame

3 carrots, shaved or cut and sliced into thin sticks (or pre-shredded variety from grocery store)

2 tbsp Vegannaise

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional)

grated nutmeg (optional)

kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

*Meat Eaters:  accompany with grilled shrimp or salmon. Use real mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip…just no) instead of Vegannaise.

Combine broccoli and the next five ingredients in a medium salad bowl.  In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the Vegannaise, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar.  Add half of the dressing to vegetables, stir until combined, then check for taste.  Add more dressing if necessary.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and nutmeg, if desired, and serve.

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Sunday Post-Punk Hot Mix With Breakfast

By August 13, 2017 Food

Hot mix is not a bad ass batter for waffles.  Hot mix is a bad ass playlist to accompany you in the kitchen.  Brandon jokes with me all the time about “hot-mixing” when I cannot listen to an entire song without changing it to the next.  Guilty.  So, here is my playlist of hot mixes I have been digging this week.  Wake up and feed your body and soul, and GROOVE!

Although they fall apart after a few days, these Rise & Shine Bars are an easy and delicious “grab-and-go” breakfast for those busy mornings.  I say, let them fall.  When crumbled, they make a nice muesli over yogurt and berries.  Or you can take a little more time and rustle up something more substantial and satisfying!

Tofu Scramble with Sweet Potato Hash

1-14 oz package firm tofu, crumbled into small pieces

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp garam masala

2 sweet potatoes (skin on), cubed

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 green bell pepper (pith removed), roughly chopped

1 bunch green onion, julienned

2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme

kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

garlic chili paste for topping

alfalfa sprouts for garnish

In a small bowl, combine tofu, turmeric, and garam masala.  Set aside

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Cube potatoes.  Add coconut oil to skillet, then potatoes, bell pepper, green onion (save a bit for garnish), thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir potatoes, then cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook for 5 minutes then stir potatoes, cover once more and let cook for another 10 minutes, check midway to avoid burning the potatoes.

Uncover lid and add tofu to skillet.  Cook for just a few minutes or until tofu is hot.  Serve with chili paste, remaining green onion, and sprouts.

This week is a killer post-punk playlist (one of my favorite musical subcultures) for you to get rad while you make brekky.  The Spotify list is only up for a week so, be sure to check it out before it’s gone.  I’ve included a list for you slackers.  Enjoy!

Talk About The Weather-Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

Cool-Pylon

You’re Driving Me Mad-The Cravats

Green Fingers-Siouxsie and the Banshees

Change-Killing Joke

Ghosts-Abecedarians

India-The Psychedelic Furs

Road, River, And Rail-Cocteau Twins

Dark Spirits-Red Temple Spirits

Somewhere-The Danse Society

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Sometimes, On Mondays, I Slap People

By July 24, 2017 Food, My World

…okay, so maybe I slap them in my thoughts.  But, it makes sense I have the urge.

In my opinion, Monday, or MOANday, is the first day of a long-ass week of work AND the day everyone has chosen to be pissed off about everything because the weekend is over….except for the girl who sacks my groceries at Whole Foods.  She clearly suffers from “cheer damage” and is ALWAYS happy.  We all know that one cheerleader from high school who constantly spoke at volume 11 and never snapped out of that role.  You know the type…and if you ARE the type, then I’m talking about you.  That “happy happy” in my face is just too much on Mondays.  Consider yourself slapped.  Monday is also the day most heart attacks occur.  People are coming out of a relaxing weekend only to be hit again with the stresses of the work week.  Combine that with the “road-ragers” who are late to work and you have got a formula for assholary all around us.  It is no wonder Mondays have gotten such a bad rap!

Last Monday, I wanted to slap the fishmonger for not packing my shrimp in ice.  Then I wanted to slap the shrimp for having so much roe inside of them.  I could have listened to War and Peace on audible during the time it took me to devein those bitches.  Then it dawned on me.  No one is in control of how I feel but me.  Was I really going to choose to be irritated by these small annoyances?  Suddenly, my mindset seemed ridiculous.  Maybe we need more cheer-damaged individuals out there to set the tone for our day so we don’t want to slap everyone…..

…screw that..who will I slap today?!?!  Shrimp, anyone?

Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Salad with Pears and Poppy Lime Vinaigrette

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 lb fresh or frozen raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

 

1 heaping tsp local honey

juice of 1 1/2 limes

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp poppy seeds

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

salad greens such as arugula, spinach, spring mix, or romaine

1 pear, cored and sliced

1/2 cup Craisins

Prepare chicken and shrimp in your favorite seasoning or marinade.  I just use salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Skewer shrimp for easier grilling.

While grill is heating to 450-500 degrees, prepare vinaigrette.  Combine honey, lime juice, olive oil, poppy seeds, salt, and vinegar into a small bowl.  Whisk until fully incorporated.  Place in refrigerator to chill.

Grill chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until internal temperature is 165 degrees.  Remove and place on a baking sheet then cover in foil to keep warm.  Grill shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until pink.  Remove and place with chicken.

To assemble salad,  Place greens, pear slices, and Craisins onto plate.  Add chicken and shrimp to top of the salad and drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

 

 

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If You Carrot All….

By July 16, 2017 Food

Let’s be honest.  Carrots are not really anyone’s favorite vegetable.  No one ever yells, “Damn, I wish I had me a big bowl of steamed carrots!”  I am one of the guilty who keeps them in my crisper until they shrivel up and become easy to bend.  I would buy them in bulk because that is what I do when I tell myself that I am going to eat healthier.  Then, I end up just staring at them every time I open my fridge looking for leftover enchiladas or pizza or cake or…

The vicious cycle of carrot neglect has got to stop.  I am tired of having the red-headed step child of the plant realm glare at me whimpering, “…if you carrot all…, you’ll cook me and eat me and love me.”  Okay, damnit.  Okay…..fuckin’ carrots.

Carrot Idea #1

Carrot Hummus

Hummus is something I make just about every week for us to nibble on when we get hungry.  I do not use tahini in this particular hummus recipe because it tends to overpower the sweetness of the carrots.  It is a great appetizer to serve with baked pita triangles sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

4 carrots, chopped

1- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained

3/4 tsp chipotle powder

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp lime juice

4 sprigs fresh dill

1/4 cup olive oil

Boil carrots in a small saucepan with 2 cups water over medium high heat until soft.  Drain carrots into a colander in the sink then transfer them to food processor along with beans and the next six ingredients.  Fasten lid and process while pouring olive oil through the feeder tube hole.  Process until carrot mixture forms a spreadable hummus.  Serve with toasted pita chips sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Carrot Idea #2

Carrot Soup with Thyme, Raisins, and Pecans

I cannot believe I’m sharing this one.  This soup is a fantastic dish for fall but, I make it year round (often with butternut squash instead of carrots) because it’s one I actually DO often crave.  I’m not fucking kidding around….you will crave it too.  It’s that good.

6 carrots (tops removed), sliced

1/2 red onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 russet potato, peeled and sliced

13.66 oz. can coconut milk

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp fresh thyme, stems removed

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper

1 cup chicken stock

Golden raisins for garnish

Pecans, crushed, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss carrots and red onion with olive oil on a baking sheet.  Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until carrots are soft.  While carrots are roasting, place potato slices into a small saucepan with water and boil until soft.

Process carrots and potato along with coconut milk.  Transfer carrot mixture (it will seem a bit gummy but that’s okay) to medium saucepan, add nutmeg, thyme, salt, pepper, and chicken stock.  Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.  If the soup is too thick, add a little bit more chicken stock.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with raisins and pecans.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

*Wanna make it vegan?….use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Carrot Idea #3

Roasted Carrots

Lastly, there is the simpler way out when you don’t have a lot of time to fuss with making dinner.  Don’t ever let me catch you admitting to that, btw.  Keep that shit yourself.  There is ALWAYS time to make dinner.

A few nights ago, I made a Date-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and served it with a Chickpea, Spinach, and Red Pepper dish with, you guessed it, Roasted Carrots.  They added a lot of personality to my dish.  Roasted carrots are an easy side that literally takes 30 minutes or less to prepare.  Depending on your chosen regional cuisine, you can switch up the herbs and seasonings for your carrots.

Mexican:  cumin, fresh garlic, and chili powder

Italian:   fresh oregano, parsley, thyme, and garlic

Moroccan:  coriander, cumin, turmeric, fresh dill, brown sugar, cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Rinse one bunch of carrots and trim tops.  Pat dry with paper towels.  I like roasting carrots with their skin so, I don’t normally peel them.  Place on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, your choice of seasonings and herbs, salt, and fresh cracked  pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove from oven and drizzle with melted unsalted butter or Earth Balance.

 

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……That One Time I Tried To Follow A Recipe And My ADHD Took Over

By July 12, 2017 Food

….wait, that’s EVERY TIME I try to follow a recipe.  The process of recreating is done with full intention but then, it just goes completely into left field with my own directions.  I quickly lose interest in the ingredient list and steps to prepare the dish.  My college professor could have a 30 minute conversation with you about how I never followed his instruction.  “You have to learn the rules before you can break them”, he’d say.  I would reply, “How ’bout I just make my own rules right now (hence the damn B I got that semester)?”  It’s not that I think the recipe sucks the way it was written or developed…it’s obviously intriguing enough for me to want to try it, duh!  I just see so many other possibilities dancing all around the image….so, I end up all over the place except where the recipe wants me to be.  I will look at the picture next to the recipe (they are quite important for reference, btw) and I’ll start seeing other colors and ingredients swishing around…almost like I’m on a bad acid trip.  For the record, I have never done acid but, I can only imagine….

Pea, Pesto, Farro, and Lemon Salad

This is such a beautiful photo and delicious description from the website of Sacla Italia…there isn’t a damn thing wrong with this recipe.  There is something wrong with me.  And so it reads…..but then I go….

Image from Sacla Italia site

  1. Put the farro in a bowl, cover with cold water to soak for 15 minutes (“Got it! I’m doing great so far!”)
  2. Carefully peel off and discard any stringy bits from sides of sugar snaps (“Fuck that…ain’t nobody got time for that.”)
  3. Drain farro and tip into a saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to boil over medium heat (“Mmmmmmkay, but I wanna eat farfalle today! Let’s just double up on complex carbs.  Get that to boilin’ too!   HELL YEAH!”)
  4. Cook for 20-30 minutes until soft – go by texture rather than timing (“al dente, bitches!”)
  5. Drain well and leave to cool (“Lunch is in 30…I better put it in a stainless steel bowl and throw it in the freezer!  How cool would it be to mix in a little of my homemade pesto sauce into the farro and pasta first!”)
  6. Wipe out the saucepan (“Donnnnnnnn’t need it anymore.”)
  7. Boil sugar snap and podded peas in salted, boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until just cooked (“Nah man, I’m just gonna put the pods in a ziplock bag and nuke them for 1 minute then shock them in ice water.  Sweet!  I found a bag of frozen peas to throw into the salad before serving!”)
  8. Drain and quickly run under cold water for 30 seconds to stop cooking and cool down (Nottttttttttt doing.”)
  9. Drain again, shaking off any water (“Donnnnnnnn’t care.”)
  10. Put Sacla’ Pesto, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of oil in a mixing bowl (“Pesto is already chilling with the carbs but, I’ll make a vinaigrette with the lemon juice, a bit of white wine vinegar, finely chopped fresh garlic, chopped fresh cilantro, and olive oil.”)
  11. Add farro, sugar snap and podded peas and stir until everything is combined (“Dumping the pods and frozen peas into the already chilled bowl of farro and pasta.  What the hell…I’ll add the lemon vinaigrette too.”)
  12. Loosely toss in the rocket (“Rocket is arugula but I think I also want fresh basil, dill, and grilled peaches in this salad.  I need a contrasting color for fuck’s sake.”)
  13. Season to taste and divide between salad bowls (I’m gonna serve it in a big bowl with grilled chicken on top.”)
  14. Drizzle with rest of the oil and tear a few basil leaves over the top (I beat you to it with the whole basil thing, Duder.  But, I’ll also add pine nuts because they are Italian AF.”)
  15. Scatter with lemon zest and Parmesan or Pecorino, finish with a grind of pepper (“I’m not gonna use the zester because every time I do, I think of that time I couldn’t afford a pedi and used my microplane on my feet and then had to throw it away because the thought of using it again on food grossed me hella-out…desperate times call for desperate measures, yo…uggghhhh..so no lemon zest OR cheese.”)
  16. So, my salad looks sorrrrrt of like theirs….doesn’t it?….shut up.

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I’m Breaking Up With My Microwave

By July 9, 2017 My World

I remember the day my parents bought their first shiny new microwave.  Of course, it was a few years after everyone else had purchased their own.  We were always behind the times; with our fashion, gadgets, and home appliances.  Getting that microwave was a symbol of being one step closer to the Jones’.  Looking majestic as fuck, it was placed on our kitchen bar counter that served as a pass-through into our dining room and I was just tall enough to reach its door handle.  The “Beast”, as I called it, rested inches underneath the wall of shame which adorned my shitty report cards.  The good ones never made it on the wall for two reasons:  1) there were none and 2) putting my smarts, or lack thereof, on public blast was meant to motivate me to do better next time.  Whatever…

This huge chunk of metal could do so many things with our food yet, we never utilized it in all of the ways it was meant to be used.  My mom never cooked a twenty two pound turkey as its side sticker “chart of cooking times” suggested.  It was only used to reheat my parents’ coffee and zap “macaroni-n-cheese in a cup” every day after school.  Then, why in the hell was there always a colony of mystery food splashes stuck to the sides and top of the inside?  It was and, to this day, IS never fun cleaning a microwave.

FAST-FORWARDING TO TODAY:  After starting my kitchen face-lift project, I began to covet the space where our microwave sat.  I thought, “How lovely would a coffee and tea bar look right there…”  I immediately googled ways on how to live without a microwave and came across  10 Reasons To Get Rid Of Your Microwave.  I freaked.  I thought to myself, “If it’s on the internet, it must be true, right?  How will we enjoy our Orville Redenbacher’s Simply Salted popcorn?  How will I reheat my coffee when it gets cold in my mug?  How will the kids warm up leftover pizza?”  These were all legitimate questions that needed answering!  I mentioned getting rid of it to my oldest daughter, Bennie, and she lost her shit…just like she did when I began buying, what she called, “mom bread”.

MOM BREAD /mom bred/

noun

the healthy whole wheat or multi-grain bread parents switch to when they are going through a “let’s feed our family healthier and organic food” phase.

Was I being unreasonable to take away something we all thought we could not live without?  After opening it’s door this morning and getting hit in the schnoz by a smell combination of popcorn, spaghetti sauce, and glazed doughnuts….I decided it was time to break up with my microwave.  We don’t even BUY GLAZED DOUGHNUTS!  As for solutions to adapting without it?  Here they are…..

Warming Our Coffee

I am crushing on this stove top Turkish Coffee Pot simply because it will solve my cold coffee problem!  Copper just so happens to also be an accent color for my kitchen.  GO ME!

Making Popcorn

I am going back to that ol’ school way of making popcorn on the stove!  It will teach us all about patience and give us endless possibilities of flavor combinations.

Thawing Meat

Like…we should all know how to do this safely…mmmmmmkay?

Steaming Vegetables

Snatch up a veggie steamer basket!  You can set your vegetable on the steamer and then place it inside a large pot or Dutch oven with about a 1/2 inch of water and bring to a simmer.  Easy, done, and time to Bro-Fist-Bump someone!

LASTLY, REHEATING LEFTOVERS:  Remember what I said about patience?  It’s a beautiful thing, I hear.  I HAVE to learn about patience because hello…laundry!  I can slow down and enjoy the actual process, or ritual if you will, of reheating leftovers.  You will enjoy your food that much more because the taste and nutrients will still be present.  ANNNNND, I get to use my mom’s vintage bakeware on the reg!

So, when it is time to break up with someone…ahem…I mean, something,  brainstorm ways you can live without it!  I promise, it won’t be the end of the world.

 

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