Saturday, April 27, 2013

The summer-y day, continued

I had to make some adaptations and chose to make some additions, but this, basically, is Peruvian chicken

Seems like I should say something else; I hardly ever do. So I'll say, on this very summer-y day, I read William Carlos Williams' Spring and All. As usual, I'm not sure if I believe in such things (what things? the things people say about poetry), but it was pleasant to read in the sun.

Today feels like summer

74 degrees. I did yard work. Walked the dog, a lot. And baked this super fast and quite tasty honey beer bread. I should do a better job of giving recipes, so here you go.

I used a Belgian beer, of course: Hoegaarden.

Here's the bread just out of the oven:

And now, a slice—sort of shabby-looking because I didn't wait—not at all—to cut into the loaf. Oh, and I did make the honey butter the recipe recommends. A wise decision.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Three things, each more simple

First, last night's dinner: whole wheat gemelli with tuna, asparagus, arugula, dates, feta & almonds. Very quick. A pot for the pasta and one for everything else.

Then, today for Little Lunch (meaning, there'll be another---very much like First and Second Breakfasts), a very simple tomato and feta salad (thank you, Barefoot Contessa) and a half sandwich (toasted oatmeal bread with hummus).

Finally, a snack that needs a better, more cheerful name: Protein Bites. Oats + peanut butter + honey + coconut + wheat germ (or flax seeds) + chocolate chips + vanilla. Mix. Wait. Form the bites and freeze them... which is why the two in the second pic seem a little lonesome: I had already frozen the rest for later snacking emergencies when I remembered to snap a photo. 

Sometimes I wonder if such "dishes" truly constitute "cooking," but, sigh, who can worry about such things? Real ingredients = real cooking, that's what I think. Simple is fine.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The view from my kitchen window

Eye-level with the pussy willow. And behind that, a hemlock. Those rocks are from Lake Michigan. The beach at Empire.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Back to cooking

Barley with roasted butternut squash and sautéed asparagus, zucchini and kale, along with my favorites (pecans, feta, dates).

On a different topic entirely

Or maybe not. I'm not sure I really believe in such a thing as "different topics" or, for that matter, such a thing as "entirely."

In any case, I'm in the midst of admiring these beautiful Burberry eyeshadows, which arrived today.

Even the packaging is luxurious, as you can maybe see here:

Interestingly, just yesterday one of my undergrads wrote an email that ended with the hope that I had had a "luxurious" weekend. Hmmm, I thought.

Now I can say that the weekend, while fine, was no Monday, which was indeed luxurious.

And here are the shadows, somewhat artfully arranged. Trench, Rosewood, and Taupe Brown. They do go on very smoothly. As for staying power, I'll let you know.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Also pretty

I keep seeing versions of this quick salad posted on Pinterest, so I had to give it a try.

Cottage cheese + avocado + cucumber + tomato + pepper. Yep, it's good.

It's nice to be home

Though I had a lovely time in Kentucky with my darling friend Kelly and her students, I was happy to get home last night, and cook a very simple dinner, and tumble into bed.

There's really nothing to this pasta—just cook the pasta and sauté some kale. Then add  dates (if you love dates, as I do) and some cheese (I used pecorino romano) and, voila, late dinner.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Skipping Spring,

apparently. And heading right into summer. The temps warmed a bit, and all the flowering trees came out on the same day, it seemed. Then the temps warmed some more and now it's like full blown summer. 80s. Humid.

Beautiful evenings for walking. Or, if you're a cat, sitting in the bushes and being in charge of everything.

Here, now, is a go-to salad, no matter the weather. Mixed greens—whatever you want—green beans (steamed, 3 or 4 minutes), toasted walnuts, feta, dates. Vinaigrette.

And plated (below) with a chicken cutlet and a super fast warm potato salad (with a very similar vinaigrette: stone ground mustard, honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper—the salad has red wine vinegar, that's the only difference). The potato salad recipe is, basically, from Mark Bittman. 

One of the nicest things about this dinner: the way it came together: just what was on hand (gotta keep good stuff on hand, of course)... one thing at a time... green salad, potato salad, chicken... just about effortless... while the pussy willow—eye level to the kitchen window—stood along side, keeping company.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ok, wow.

So I know these brownies look like the best-ever Kroger ones... but they're not. These I made from scratch and for once the results are not disappointing.

So—ta da!—mocha brownies: amazing. The recipe is from one of my favorite cooking sites, Leite's Culinaria.

Lots of chocolate, mostly dark, and a tablespoon of instant espresso make all the difference.

Of course I recommend brownies and red wine. I drank pinot noir but I prefer a good cab and that's what I suggest. These brownies are up to it.

Spring, finally

Boneless leg of lamb, before and after. With roasted potatoes. And salad you can just barely see in the background of the second photo: mixed baby greens and spinach with sautéed asparagus, toasted pecans, goat cheese, cranberries.

And yes: very Spring-y here, at long last. 70. Thunder maybe later. Sounds good to me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's true.

The NY Times recipe.

The secrets: (1) cake flour + bread flour, and (2) letting the dough rest overnight before baking.

Because I don't want to eat cookies nonstop, I freeze most of them---and then just bake two or three when the need arises.

Oh, and don't forgot to put some sea salt on top just before you bake. I forgot. Still, these are quite good.

In other news, the forsythia is just coming out. And it's been sunny, or sunny-ish, for three days in a row. Perhaps The Long Winter has finally ended.