Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

i'll just run down the short list of what i'm thankful for this year. or this morning.

an awesome husband who, among other things, makes me coffee every morning. it's good today, babe.
not having to cook today.
being back in portland, with friends to go out with wednesday night, and family on thursday.
friends and family who might happen to be in other places.
crisp apples.
apple pie.
portland farmer's market.
being temporarily employed.
having the opportunity to buy organic, fresh foods.
dry november days in the willamette valley.
the portland trailblazers' season.
president-elect barack obama.

what are your highlights?

Monday, November 24, 2008

lemon sticks?

when these candied citrus peels are made out of oranges, you call them orange sticks or orangettes. what about lemon? lemon sticks?
i intended to make orangettes last weekend, but the organic oranges at our local store looked terrible. yellow, sickly, go. please, if you're going to go candy some citrus, make it organic. poisons aren't going to get blanched out. or, maybe they would, but would you take that chance? anyways, i got a few lemons instead for my little experiment. i got the basic recipe from the smitten kitchen, but blanched the peels three times. by the second time, the blanching water started turning yellow.
yum! there was still a little bitterness to the lemon, but just enough to keep it sophisticated. bitter enough that you wanted to eat one, but not 5 at one sitting. they also mellowed quite a bit in the next few days.
does anyone have any super-cool dipping tricks? i just used my fingers, not having given it any thought whatsoever, and being in a hurry. i'm definitely going to do this again, probably with meyer lemons and oranges, so any tips would be much appreciated.

Friday, November 21, 2008

thanksgiving is coming!

yep, your turkey has to die before you can eat it. who wants salad? i'm in the process of blanching some peels for candied lemon right now - i'll let you know if it turns out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

davd lebovitz to the rescue!

if you're looking for an interesting idea for a fruit dessert, you might as well go to the source. we have a quince in the kitchen that's a few days away from being ripe, and i wasn't quite sure how to dispose of the thing.

note: do not eat quince raw. i've never tried one, but my googling makes that quite clear.

mine hasn't filled our kitchen with a delightful scent just yet, but i've learned that it's about to do so. right now, it just kind of smells like a pear if you sniff hard enough.

brian: "it has a smell."

yep. it does.

i think that i'm going to do is class up my normal apple crisp by grating in some raw quince with the apple slices.

anyone have experience with quince that they'd like to share?

i kind of just like the name of it. quince. or that they eat it in old novels.

i'm a nerd that way.

Monday, November 10, 2008

getting in the swing of things

even though i've been unemployed, and therefore should technically have all the time in the world to figure these things out, i've had a terrible time getting into a good grocery routine since we've moved back to portland. we have so many more choices, though none quite so convenient as the co-op across the street from my office in bloomington.

for a while, i was making occasional trips to the store without a real plan, and grabbing things for dinner every day or two. bad plan. the more trips to the store i make, the more i spend. and unfortunately, the most convenient store is very overpriced. with groceries as expensive as they are, that habit had to go.

so, last week i made up a monthly grocery list and spent a couple hours and a couple hundred dollars to get our staples for the month. first stop was the grocery outlet, a discount store, which luckily has an organics aisle. i scored cereal, crackers, beans, and was glad to walk away with 2 big bags for under $25. next up, trader joes. their packaging can leave something to be desired, and i don't buy that produced all wrapped up in plastic, but they have some great prices on organics. and damn if i don't love that cornbread mix. it's not really budget-friendly, but at least the bag is paper! stocked up on canned pumpkin. filled up a cart for something like $110. last on the trip was fred meyer, for staple produce and bulk bin items.

after i FINALLY got to the farmer's market this weekend, i have a house full of food stocked away, and it feels great. we don't have a lot of storage, so i took what didn't fit into our cupboards, and placed it in a bin under the kitchen table. man, i feel so organized. i even went to the farmer's market for the first time in weeks this weekend. pretty soon, we'll see what you're supposed to do with quince. it's not quite ripe yet.

so, long story short, i hope this new monthly shopping system will save us some money in the long run. yes, i'll run to the store for coffee and milk about once a week, but that should be in the plan as well.

how do you save money on your grocery budget without sacrificing food quality?

Monday, November 3, 2008

a vote for barack obama is a vote for the environment.

a vote for ralph nader is a vote for john mccain. it's too close for protest votes. i've already voted. it was awesome. . in food-and-election-related news, i'm working at the county elections office, and i verified the signature of a prominent vegan cookbook author (cough, who recently moved to portland, cough) today. go vegan vote!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

hello, world!

new posts forthcoming! sorry, i've been living other parts of life lately, but it's time to put more energy back into the kitchen.
here's what i've been doing:

now that the rainy season seems to have set in for the year, i'm starting to feel a little more domestic. it was just too beautiful there for a while.