Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lunch


Lunch
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
At Soup's On in Hampden.
Coconut Lentil soup with lemongrass.
Mixed greens with dates, dried apricots and fresh parmesan. The salad was tastier than the soup.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Visitor!


Visitor!
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
My good friend Nikki is in town and our first stop was the Ambassador lunch buffet. Delish.

Giant Marionettes


I came across this news story in photos over at elephantine...  friggin awesome to consider the logisticas involved, with quite an interesting story to accompany.

The photo above is from Tobias Schwarz of REUTERS - check out the whole 35-picture series here!

Monday, October 26, 2009

P.s.


P.s.
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
So now I know that with mobile blogging - I cannot attach two photos without creating two posts. Duly noted.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Garden party


Garden party
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
This morning I woke up early to volunteer in the garden at a local synagogue.  The organizers had presented at a meeting of mine at work and added me to the email list announcing when they need help. A lot of harvesting and preparation for the winter (planting cover crops and such). It was a crisp morning, but beautiful. Lots of fun! In exchange for my work I brought home carrots, celery, green beans and corn. I husked and cooked the corn as soon as I got home - meaning it was less than an hour from harvest to my mouth. So delicious!!!

Garden party


Garden party
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
This morning I woke up early to volunteer in the garden at a local synagogue.  The organizers had presented at a meeting of mine at work and added me to the email list announcing when they need help. A lot of harvesting and preparation for the winter (planting cover crops and such). It was a crisp morning, but beautiful. Lots of fun! In exchange for my work I brought home carrots, celery, green beans and corn. I husked and cooked the corn as soon as I got home - meaning it was less than an hour from harvest to my mouth. So delicious!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stock


Stock
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
I made stock Sunday, which  was then turned into matza ball soup tonight.  More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All the Single Ladies...



I saw this over on Old Sweet Song last week... and now it is stuck in my head. My favorite part is around 2:03 when she says "Don't make me sing this part of the song..."
I really can't get enough. And I love her expressions - and her hair. I think that's what I might do when I chop all mine off.

They do other songs too: go to youtube.com/PomplamooseMusic
But seriously - it's stuck in my head and I can't get it out! You were warned. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

OMG


OMG
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
So many veggies: daikon radish, eggplant, brocolli, kale, rainbow chard, arugala, spinach and cabbage!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hula-hoop!


Hula-hoop!
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
Last tuesday I went to a hooping/yoga class... borrowed this awesome hoop but have been unable to practice until today since it's been raining all week.  Today the sun came out and I had the need to demonstrate.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fresh Friday


Fresh Friday
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten

CSA today was lots of greens, so we decided to just get 4 acorn squash. That way on Monday we can handle all the kale and chard & such when we don't get to pick.
So tonight I made this awesome soup... I want to site the recipe correctly so I will post an update with that info tomorrow. Goodnight!
Update:

so I found this fantastic Thai-Spiced Tomato Soup recipe on The Wednesday Chef -meaning that this is a post citing a recipe cited on another post. The original Gourmet magazine recipe can be found here (at least for now?). And so it goes...

Changes I made: I yet again had this carton of Thai broth needing to be used, so I substituted that for the suggested chicken stock, even though it was 32 oz vs. 24. I kept The Wednesday Chef's suggestion of omitting the cup of water, but excluded the salt since my broth wasn't specifically low-sodium. I also added the juice of a whole lime since I didn't have anything else to do with the other half and I figured it'd be tasty. I piled mine high with cilantro since I love it.

Thai-Spiced Tomato Soup
Serves 4-6

1
onion, chopped
3
tablespoons vegetable oil
2
tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste
1/4
teaspoon ground cumin
1
(32-oz) carton Thai spiced broth (mine was Wegmans brand)
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1
tablespoon packed brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
A handful of cilantro leaves (optional)

1. Cook onion in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add curry paste and cumin and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, brown sugar and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Purée soup with an immersion blender (use caution when blending hot liquids). Stir in the lime juice and serve, garnishing with cilantro, if using.

Another twist: before I re-heated a bowl full of this yesterday I added a bunch of chopped kale and broccoli leaves (because we're swimming in greens) and it turned out to be quite tasty. Dave added chopped mushrooms to his.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Going out


Going out
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
Nothing much happened today... Aside from my all-time record high turn-out at Bingo night (pizza & volunteering with old people - how is that not a blast!?!). I don't really go out any more, which is really sad.  When I was in Omaha over Labor Day I went out to this rather cool bar/music venue with my friend Josh, and while the music was not particularly awesome... At least I was out - with a fun person... Doing fun things.  Josh was always the fun person who dragged me out of the house to do cool stuff. I need a Josh here in Baltimore.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rolling in veggies


Rolling in veggies
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
A good friend of mine is away on her honeymoon and left me with both the pleasure and duty of picking up her full CSA share this week & next. This time of year... That's a whole lot of greens!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The kindness of a stranger

Today one of my co-workers was sent flowers from her boyfriend. I was on my way out as the flower guy is delivering the bouquet. I made a comment about how i'd love for my husband to send ME flowers at work... The guy follows me out to the parking lot and goes to the back of his van - and takes these flowers out and gives them to me. Such a lovely surprise! I tried to refuse them but he persisted. :) hooray for free flowers!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fractured Prune


Fractured Prune
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
Dave & I ran around town doing errands this morning... Which started with checking out the Fractured Prune.  We've been meaning to stop by to sample some doughnut goodness. The cake doughnuts are made fresh to order.. Which means they're always hot.  And way too yummy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fresh Friday


Fresh Friday
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
Fridays we pick up our CSA from the market... This week was week three in a row of peppers galore: jalapenos, habeneros, anaheim and sweet peppers.  Still have many from last week, and three jalapeno plants of our own which are overflowing. So butternut squash, sweet potatoes and greens were an easy choice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fine dining


Fine dining
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
What do you consider expensive? I mean, when you go out to eat, how much is too much? I ask this because today I went out for lunch at The Ambassador, which is a lovely Indian restaurant with a lunch buffet for $15/person.  Based on this cost, Dave & I have passed over their lunch buffet on more than one occasion.  And we were idiots in doing so.
First of all... As you can see, the setting is stunning. The service was no less quality. All the food was quite spectacular. Beyond that - the naan was complementary.  I walked out of there feeling as though I had gotten quite the bargain!
I have yet to see Food, Inc., but i've read enough to understand that we - as a country - have serious issues with the worth (or lack of worth) we place on our food.  I truly get this, and have been working towards a higher level of awareness when it comes to the food I buy and put into my body.  But more on that another day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blur


Blur
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
Walked to dinner tonight at Rocket to Venus.  I got an awesome black bean burger with veggie chili and cheese. SO yummy. Dave got gnocci and a sausage papusa something. Great stuff.  The nights this week have been crisp... So nice to take a long walk!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jambalaya

So the one *major* thing about taking pictures with my phone camera, is that it doesn't take pretty pictures of food.... especially at night, when there is no natural lighting. Blech. But anywho - I made Jambalaya last week - and it was good!

It was definitely one of those "use up what you have" type of things; we had specific CSA veggies that needed to be used, and also a couple of freezer items that I'd been meaning to get out of the freezer and onto our plates.

Dave had bought frozen crawfish forever ago and then promptly forgot about them. I would say for sure now that I will not be buying these little critters again. I'd simply rather buy shrimp. Same basic creature, except crawfish just taste a little dirty. They're both bottom-feeders that are supposedly unclean anywho, but shrimp are delicious, and crawfish are just too fishy.

In addition, I used Kielbasa, since that's what we had in the freezer, but obviously Andouille sausage would be better suited for this dish.

Here's how it went:Chopped half an onion (all we had - would add more in future), 2 stalks of celery, 2 light green peppers, 1 Anaheim pepper and 1 banana pepper and sautéed in a bit of olive oil. Salt, pepper, Essence of Emeril. Added 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and 4 diced garlic cloves, as well as 2 handfuls of chopped kale. Let that simmer a couple of minutes and then added a 1 pint carton of Thai broth (Wegman's brand). Used this since it was near expiration and I hoped to add a little heat; chicken stock would do. Added 1 cup of rice, stirred it around and put the lid on. Took it off to stir a couple times, otherwise let it simmer for approx 20 minutes or until rice is almost tender. Added the crawfish & sausage (both pre-cooked) and put the lid back on for 10 more minutes for everything to heat up.

We've been eating this all week... probably made 6 servings. I have been stuffing a bunch of fresh spinach in before heating it up to up the veggie content.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getaways


Getaways
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
Newly strengthened goal: weekend getaways. My mind has always been saving up for a big vacation... But really, jaunting off for just 24 hrs this weekend was amazingly freeing. DLB & I were thinking that Philly would make the perfect next destination...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

2nd Avenue Deli


2nd Avenue Deli
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
So the overarching reason for traveling to NYC was to meet up with my parents, who are on a trip in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary. My father planned the whole thing as a surprise for my mom, so how could I not sweeten the deal by surprising her again by showing up at their hotel as they were leaving for lunch. Since we were a short walk from 2nd Ave Deli, it took little time before we were surrounded by corned beef, pickles, knishes and matzo ball soup.  Oh what a meal! Of course, we ordered way too much, so we packed a to-go bag for my dinner, which I am about to break into on the busride home. 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rice


Rice
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten

Dinner this evening was at Rice, described as eclectic international... In the Murray Hill neighborhood of NYC. Did I mention I was in NYC? Staying with an old friend from grad school for a quick 24-hr visit. Very fun.. Details to follow (on food & fun)!

UPDATE: So at Rice I ordered the asian slaw as a salad and Thai Coconut Curry with Chicken and thai black rice.

The asian salad was incredible! The menu described it as "mayonnaise free, shredded cabbage and carrots, with sautéed arame seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, lotus roots and asian carrot ginger dressing." I ate through the entire thing before I stopped and wondered whether the seaweed was really in there. I like most seaweed, but usually it has a really distinct taste that I did not encounter in this dish. I have always loved the carrot-ginger dressing served in most japanese restaurants, but this one made me want to come right home and recreate it immediately.

For the entree - the black rice was described as "sticky, black skinned grain with white flesh, rich distinctive flavor, steamed in coconut milk." I paused while ordering, wondering if a black rice could really be sticky, but since I have never had black rice outside of wild rice mixes, I was going to have to trust the folks at the place called Rice. I was disappointed to find that it indeed was not sticky, nor did it taste like it had been steamed in coconut milk. Bummer all around. I also felt like the curry was not so coconut curry tasting; it tasted like it could have come from a Lean Cuisine called "thai inspired chicken." Don't get me wrong - it didn't taste bad, it just was disappointing... and made me realize that I shouldn't have such high expectations for a restaurant which serves dishes from so many different ethnicities.

On top of that, it was very cheap. Just $18 (including tax and tip) for my meal. In looking up the menu descriptions I found that this is just one of four locations in the NY area. So - I guess not too bad for a chain! And they run their delivery vehicle on filtered Waste Vegetable Oil from their kitchens, so bonus points for sustainability.

My friend Rachel and I spent the rest of the night catching up and walking around the city, stopping every once in awhile for people watching. We also got the famed Pinkberry; I tried the new coconut flavor with no toppings - which made up for the lack of coconut in my dinner. Just delicious! Also can't wait to re-create this at home.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hooray for fall


Hooray for fall
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten
Went for a run this morning with a friend who lives up towards Pennsylvania, where you could really sense the coming of a new season.  There's this smell... It's just amazing... Like campfire and harvest and earth.  I LOVE the autumn!

p.s. That pumpkin's got a big stem, hasn't it? The local farm I bought it from said they had gotten requests for larger stems and so they sought out this particular variety which is known for it's stem size.

A little strange if you ask me!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Transported


Transported
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten

Do you ever feel like you've transported from one location to the next without any remembrance of what came in between? Even when you are the driver?

I do.

Scary, huh?