7. The Comfort Food of the Moment Is Sandwiches.

thank you, nymagazine, for reminding us that sandwiches are amazing and "of the moment."i'm a huge fan of sandwiches. like my lady liz lemon said, "I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich."

indeed, LL.


the loneliest apple.

it was so long ago already that casey deposited some of his CSA's apples at my house. he hasn't even been here in at least a month. the last batch were a bit mealy, which i hate, and so they lived in the kitchen much longer than they should have.

there's been just one kicking around for a while and i've felt compelled to eat it, mostly because i hate to waste. but what to do with its mealy self? finally, i had a plan.

chopped into slices and covered in turbinado sugar and cinnamon, i let it bake it in the toaster oven for 25 minutes or so--and out came a delicious, dessert-like wonderment. oh yes. and then it was gone.

i was never going to throw out that stale bread.

casey would call it "poor man's french onion soup" for sure.

i'd been eying that piece of stale sourdough for at least 2 days. there was an open container of vegetable broth in the fridge. i chopped up about 1/3 of an onion and 3-4 of the teeniest cloves of garlic and tossed them into a pot with the broth and let it cook until my kitchen smelled wonderfully garlicky-oniony. that stale bread was chopped (it hurt to do it with my hands; it was so damn stale) and put into a a single-serving pyrex. the onion soup was poured over it.

of course i didn't have the right cheese. i sliced some sharp cheddar into thin pieces to make a layer and put them over the top, but then microplaned a pile of parmesan over it. baked it in the toaster until the top was brown.

totally, totally french onion soup.

consumed with some broccoli because, well, green things are good for you. and mighty tasty.


all of a sudden.

how to quickly make soup when it's suddenly cold:
1. saute in a pan: chopped carrots, swiss chard, onion, garlic, and one habenero pepper (which was probably too much, but it seemed dumb to leave just a little and so there's that).
2. cook vermicelli noodles in a bit of water with a vegan bouillon cube (which are better than the vegetarian ones).
3. mix together with a big tablespoon of peanut butter (for protein, and flavor).


the book was not as sad as i'd imagined

"Even all these years later, in a life that is loaded with fancy supermarkets and disposable income, a Saltine is still delicious." --Ann Patchett, from "Dinner for One, Please James" in Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

because that sentence sums up so much of how i feel about eating and groceries.

thursday's caraway

thursday, october 24: homemade wheat with tomatoes and melted caraway cheddar. white bean salad with greek seasoning and sea salt and garlic and loads of pepper. butter lettuce (SERIOUSLY TO DIE FOR).

mastering the art

of course, shira and i read the exact same article about making soviet pirozhi (pierogi), so when she showed up in the state of north carolina last weekend, we set aside some to hang out in the kitchen and make them. we also both failed to notice that soviet pierogis are baked, not boiled, so we were surprised with the end result.
the recipe comes from a new cookbook/memoir entitled "mastering the art of soviet cooking," which was appropriate due to our respective russian backgrounds. not that it made us any better at making the pirozhi.
 to mix it up a bit, and because i had an acorn squash kicking around, we made half with a cabbage-mushroom filling and half with a squash-farmer's cheese filling. we roasted the squash first and then just scooped it into a bowl, where it got mixed up with shredded cheese. otherwise, we followed the recipe pretty closely.
consumed with sour cream and applesauce, they were a delight--though not really the polish version we'd imagined. such is life.


let's go back

to october 7th.

migas (or at least a version of them) made with leftover tortilla chip crumbs, with some sort of cheddar sliced over the top. sliced tomatoes (from the roommate's boyfriend's CSA). steamed broccoli (gimme a break. i like it steamed--just not too steamed). a session black (cheap and delicious and in adorable bottles). tortilla chips (i love those $2 bags).

not bad for a monday night.


stop it, food world.

stop with the smoothies. there's no reason to take a perfectly good, [insert awesome texture adjective here] fruit or vegetable and smush it into a liquid. and don't tell me you are doing a cleanse. you know that doesn't make any sense.

crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch
chew chew chew chew chew


i wish i had been keeping count

of all the times i've had eggs with casey. the first time i can find his presence in this blog is here and it's totally egg-centric. but there must have been hundreds of times.

and so, this weekend, at casey's house: breakfast tacos with FLOUR tortillas (yes!), eggs (obviously), spinach, onions, and garlic. topped with cheddar and purple radishes. with roasted sweet potatoes. and coffee (because of course).


before the iphone

it used to be more fun to blog about food.

when i started this blog in 2007(!!), the internet was a different place. the iphone did not yet exist, nor did the androids. if you were doing anything sort of "smart" in your phone, it was on a blackberry (practically defunct) or a t-mobile something-or-other where the keyboard flipped around. twitter was brand-new and the founders of instagram had barely graduated from college.

more importantly, what i was doing was much more novel.

now, i am no idiot. i did not create the food blog platform, nor did i care to do so. but now every person and his dog photographs and filters and blogs and tumbls food. but, in 2007, it was not the phenomenon it is today. my friends didn't even really "get" the blog when i started it and now there are millions that are similar. i was never really one to post my restaurant meals beyond something amazeballs (mostly because it can be so obnoxious, but mostly because if i am in a restaurant, i want to enjoy myself and not "work") but today, restaurant food suffers from the paparazzi--not because it is so wonderful, but just because it exists.

so, i keep on keeping on. i like to contribute to the conservations built around food--around home and family, around cooking and baking, around policy and its implications, and, of course, around the awesomeness that is food.

it's just at my own (currently very slow) pace. i've got things to say. and i want this space to be fun.


they might be

they might be giants has a new video, and it stars singing beef with dancing carrots and broccoli.

oh, yes.


kinda. sorta. maybe.

the return. with 100s of photos of my dog and few of anything food-related (though i've got a camping food post on the horizon). i am going to attempt to write about more policy-related things, like i did in the beginning of this blog (5 years ago!), as well as what i am eating. i am teaching a class this semester called the political economy of food, so i am sure there will be fuel for this fire.


trying to worry less.

i've been on an accidental hiatus, trying not to over-think my dissertation (which i should be thinking about more than i do), attempting to enjoy the swamp we call DC (and find the spots to hang where everyone does not seem to be exactly the same), riding the bike, walking the pup, and reading the fiction.

it's summer, right? there's been loads of visitors to entertain and a beach weekend on the horizon, followed by a jaunt to new york and north carolina (by car, and over the span of a couple days). a new sleeping bag and a headlamp are sure to mean this mid-august camping trip is for real (i've already got the mosquito bites).

but, yes, the hiatus. i haven't even really photographed much since i've been here (i don't know what is on those sandwiches in the photograph). i often use casey's phone because it's always on him and mine never makes it to the kitchen, so i've only got a few things to show off. but mostly we eat CSA fruits and vegetables and too many cheez-its. and drink tons of beer.

i am not making any promises to write more for the time-being. full-time work followed by dissertating and entertaining has left me tired. but this blog is not done. it's just resting its eyes. and i am enjoying not opening my computer for days at a time.


the hour of hours.

 have i mentioned i love happy hour? the happiest hour: drinking delicious things for cheaper than usual AND it's still light outside. YES.

the above photograph is from the passenger. i don't remember what they called that rose-colored grapefruit gin cocktail with the cherries, but it was tasty. that bar is supposed to be amazeballs and this was our second visit. it was better than the first, which was late on a saturday night, and it's next to the bike shop, but amazing? not yet.
but! the best happy hour we've done so far is the one at the red derby. it's in petworth and an all-uphill bike ride, but all the beers are always in cans and the happy hour is $1 off all of them. that makes schlitz tall boys $3 and the following strohs and whisky shot special $5.
[the bag of spicy mangoes is from the fruit guy parked outside. i felt like i was on vacation with fruity spicy street treats. casey was less than impressed.]

one per day.

roadtripping in texas means you are in the car forever. once, i believe we drove to san antonio, which is only 3 hours from houston. but really, everything is much, much further (except austin, but for some reason, we never went there as kids). also, we pretty much only drove around texas and to florida. road trips to the rest of the country came with adulthood.

but we were allowed one dairy queen blizzard per day. my mama says this was the rule on just one trip, and that we went every day for almost a week, but i remember eating blizzards on every trip.

the drive back from new york meant a stop. i started mapping them out at like 8am, but i held off until a more appropriate hour. i cannot remember where we are but i am definitely eating the choco cherry blizzard. amazing, as always.

the middle of nowhere. somewhere.

actually, it was harrisburg, pennsylvania. casey and i (plus these guys) drove to western new york to visit his mama. we left early early on the saturday of memorial day weekend, trying to avoid other travelers on the road. by 9am, we were in pennsylvania and hungry. and we found the american dream.
 it's exactly how you'd expect a diner called the american dream to look. and it's probably looked that way since 1952 or whenever it opened. we sat at the counter (my favorite) and were given endless coffees. most of our food required loads of salt and pepper, but it was lovely all the same.
breakfast for two? probably about $10. yes.

the first one.

may 19: the first meal (obviously it was breakfast) that i cooked and ate at my house in DC. (well, casey fried that egg.) it's been 3 weeks already.

toast with wilted spinach, melted cheddar, fried egg. strawberries.


soon, soon.

it's as hot as hell in DC and i am dreaming of popsicles. and ice cream. and iced coffee. and lemonade. and i've got some photos to load into the computer and add to this blog.

sorry for the delay, but i moved and started the new job and then we went to western new york last weekend and, well, posting here fell by the wayside. but it'll happen, i swear. it always does, right?


maybe like at oneg shabbat.

when i think of oneg shabbat (the little reception after friday night shabbat services), i think that there might have been a pull-apart cake. or maybe it was the luncheon after saturday morning services. i know it was there. typically made from those pre-made pillsbury biscuits that pop(!!) when you open the can. but i digress.

recently, i saw a recipe in the internets for monkey bread, which is apparently how many folks call it. and this one was a little more detailed, with yeast and a couple of rises and definitely a bigger time commitment. but as soon as i saw it, i wanted it. so i made it for the book discussion (i will not get into the book, because i could not stand it.). it was a total hit. like bite-sized cinnamon buns.
a note: i didn't have a bundt so i used an angel food pan. a few pieces got stuck to the bottom but i just refitted them to the top of the cake. and there's icing, so i bet no one noticed anyhow.

there was a discussion.

 for a book. at my house. and i made some treats.
 including these rosemary crackers (with rosemary from my little garden!).
 i am not going to write out the recipe, because i followed the at the link.
but they were DELICIOUS and so. damn. easy. you should make some.

looking forward, looking back.

closing out the final days in my chapel hill apartment was a smattering of awesomely awkward meals lunches. i had a dozen eggs, loads of potatoes, and for a while, beans and bread. but eventually i had to resort to eating out, as i packed it all up and then refused to go to the grocery store (except for yogurt, which i ate with my spork).

may 7: steamed broccoli, navy beans with sea salt and crushed red pepper, sourdough with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.
 may 12: the butt of the sourdough with a fried egg and goat gouda. smashed potatoes.
may 13: sourdough with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and cheddar. green beans with the end of the pecorino and purple spring onion and garlic.
may 15: eggs scrambled with habanero pepper, onion, and corn (frozen). potatoes with salt and garlic. tortilla chips made from sliced corn tortillas toasted in the toaster oven. store-bought salsa.

i probably made about 2 more meals after this one, one of them being boxed mac-and-cheese (the once per year treat). because moving.


markets in the district.

heading to DC for the summer means figuring out where i can get vegetables from the farmers regularly. and now there's a map with days and times to let me know.

i am ready for you, DC.

**blurry photo from last week's best sandwich ever: rosemary focaccia, cheddar, fried egg, tomato, and mayo. you don't need fancy things to be the best.


the baby, for now.

my goddaughter olivia is turning two today.

if she lived near me, i'd make her this cake. or this one. or maybe these. or maybe alex would make her a baked alaska.

i hope it is the greatest.

the broccoli rabe.

i was lucky to get a nice-sized bunch of broccoli rabe in the farmers' market a couple of weeks back. for $3. it was super bitter and beautiful, but wilted quickly, which meant i had to consume it pretty damn fast.
may 3: the end of the focaccia and the rabe (sautéed with garlic). sandwiched with bucheron and radishes. with carrots, cucumbers, green peppers, strawberries (it's strawberry season here, kids!)


i did not wear the gold bikini to class.

though there was a star wars themed final exam. and i made star wars cookies: yoda, darth vader, and stormtroopers. in appropriate colors (and flavors) and iced.

williams-sonoma sells these miraculous cookie cutters, and i followed the recipe on the packaging. for the cocoa darth vaders, i used a bon appetit christmas recipe. they were definitely the superior cookie.

a short photo essay (the pictures really tell the story here):
1. the recipe. on the wall. i made two batches, one dyed light green for yoda. 
2. the butter. more than a pound in total.
3. fresh bags of sugar and flour. because well, i made about 100 cookies.
4. the stormtroopers, before they went into the oven.
5. the yodas, freshly cut. i added green balls for eyes.

totally amazing. those fancy cookie cutters are worth every penny. the detail was amazing. and the students were totally impressed. 


ready for those may flowers.

you guys. my breakfast was crazy good. i didn't know where it was all going when i started it but it turned out wonderfully. i purchased a few too many things in the farmers' market yesterday (it had been a while since i visited and i just got so excited and everything was beautiful and reasonably priced. or maybe i've forgotten what reasonable looks like--but i spent about $15 and got a big bunch of spring onions, a bunch of broccoli rabe, a bunch of purple radishes, a CRAZY huge bunch of bok choi, a pint of strawberries, and 2 cucumbers.)
in a big pan, i cooked broccoli rabe, the greens of the onions, green beans, and garlic in a bit of olive oil and liquid aminos. when it had cooked down a bit (they are greens, so they shrink), i scooped it all into a bowl and tossed with chunks of pecorino. in the same pan, i fried an egg and toasted some of the rosemary focaccia i made yesterday (see below). 

it was just wonderment. 
a note: the focaccia is alice waters's recipe from the art of simple food. i am not transcribing it here but it was super easy and the recipe is also converted to pizza dough in the book. i topped mine with chopped rosemary (i keep some growing on the porch) but you could put anything on it really. or nothing.


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