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More apples!

24 Oct

So, we’re making another batch of applesauce tonight.  To mix with the Winesapp apples we picked up in Rhode Island, I headed to our local orchard (Apple Hill Orchard, to be exact – they are awesome!) to pick up some others.

I had just been there once before in the summer to pick blueberries, so I was not aware of the wonders I was about to see.

Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures.

I’ll let the Google Chat message that I sent to Paul when I got back describe my excitement:
me:  oh man, i got 1/2 bushell of honeycrisps for sauce (it was only $13!!!) and then i filled up a small bag with a mix of all of these fancy apple varieties i’ve never heard of!
i’m eating one and it tastes like an apple pear
:OOOOOOOO
i left the big bag in my car, maybe you can get it when you get in

The “apple pear” apple was a Hudson’s Golden Gem.  Woah.  I am having an apple party.  All alone, right now.

Anyway, that’s all.  I don’t really have much for you right now, other than to let you know that I am moving my blog to a less poop-centric name!  Stay tuned!

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What the cucumber?

14 Aug

As of the beginning-ish of May, Paul and I have lived in an apartment complex here in New Hampshire. It’s a nice place, a little small, but very quiet and full of nice people. One of the perks of this place is the garden plots.

We were able to snatch one up upon moving in, and have been tending to a good sized plot of dirt, trying to grow things. Our pole beans seem to be positioned in just the right spot that they are doing very well, but our cucumber plants (that we were sure would die shortly after planting) have been doing great! We put in a bush variety, not ever hearing of a cucumber bush. Sure enough, we needed to trellis them. But anyway, our first cucumber looked like a lemon!

What the heck, cucumber?!

Upon slicing, we found that it looked more like a cucumber inside. And it tasted good, as have the subsequent cucumbers that look more like cucumbers than lemons.

Last week, I found out how easy it is to make your own nut butter. I’ve been on a long search, trying to find the best natural peanut butter (I think I found it – Once Again Crunchy, no salt, opinions?), but I had a feeling I was missing something. So I headed out to my co-op to buy a pound of almonds. I went with the dry roasted, no salt almonds, instead of raw. I could have roasted them in my oven, but I was feeling lazy and didn’t know how this was going to pan out.

After less than ten minutes in my food processor (with a pinch of sea salt added), voila! Almond butter! The best I’ve ever had? Indubitably.

I’ve been putting it on everything lately, even just on spoons that go directly into my mouth.

And then I try to justify it with the “you’ve been training so hard for this half marathon you need calories” talk. More on that tomorrow.

Breaded Tofu, Refried Beans, and Corn

27 May

Remember when I used to post to a food blog? That was pretty cool. Well, here’s what happened. i turned into a broke person, and so I haven’t really been doing a lot of noteworthy cooking. Mostly I just take some dry pasta in my cupboard, mix it with some tomato sauce, and eat it. Oh and remember how I used to post every week about whatever I ate at Brenna and Lydia’s? I haven’t been over there in awhile. So what I’m saying is I didn’t have a whole lot to post about. That will change soon. Ellen’s visiting again this weekend and we’ll probably go out to eat and cook and maybe I’ll get to fall asleep on her knees again.

Tonight Bob and Kat invited me to the upstairs apartment for food and they breaded some tofu for me and made other vegetarian type things! It was an interesting assortment but totally tasty and appreciated, and it beats the crap out of pasta and tomato sauce for the fifth time this week.

That red squirty stuff is some kind of chili and garlic sauce they had. Also there was sweet corn and refried beans that Bob had seasoned with cajun seasoning. Anyways the dinner was super-appreciated. And expect more of me cooking things in a week or so when I get paid!

Pizza Night at Mom’s

15 May

Hey, my mom reads this now. Hi mom!

For Mom’s Day I went to mom’s house and made pizza with her and her husband, Colin. If I had known, I would have brought some ingredients, but mom and Colin provided some so I went to work making a veggie pizza on the whole wheat crust they made from scratch. Wow was that good.

We also had a random assortment of veggies and some cheesy stuff on hand so I used that. So hey, here’s what I did.

Once the crust got flattened out I coated it in a layer of olive oil. Next came pizza sauce, minced garlic, diced onion, and some red pepper flakes. After that, sliced tomato, broccoli, and mushrooms, with some chunks of mozzarella and a sprinkling of cheese that comes pre-shredded in the stores.

It turned out pretty awesome and mom and Colin liked it which was really my goal here. Honestly, I used more cheese than I would have liked, but cheese is tasty and I didn’t want mom and Colin to think it was bland. So I used slices of mozzarella a la pizza margharita rather than just shredding a whole bunch and coating the top. It was still more cheese than I’d usually use, but I liked it.

I have to get the recipe for that pizza crust from my mom too. It was good.

-Bret

Pasta, Sauce, and Tofu Salad

9 May

Lydia was skeptical when I told her that raw tofu was edible. I managed to talk her into putting it into a cold salad with some tomatoes and snap peas and carrots, though the ultimate tasty of the salad came from Lydia’s dressing/marinade that she made. It had lemon juice, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, and some sugar in it, and it was the best. She gave me the measurements which were like:

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon orange juice

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

I think. Then she marinaded the tofu in it. Good.

Oh and the pasta sauce was some tomatoes and some leftover pasta sauce and some peppers and garlic. And get this – almond butter. When Lydia and Brenna cook I get scared. It turned out tasty though. Their ways of cooking are just totally alien and strange to me. Every time I watch them cook my sanity fractures just a little.

But it’s always tasty.

-Bret

Baked Tofu

2 May

My request for game Tuesday food this week was tofu, and this was what was waiting for me when I showed up. There was also some really great roast garlic that’s not pictured. Baked tofu, broccoli, a sweet potato, and some really good beer. The beer was Ommegang Rare Vos. Very grape-y and tasty.

Lydia made the marinade for the tofu, and I can’t remember everything that went into it but there was some soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and peanut butter! It was really filling and good and I kind of wanted to eat all of it, but then they wouldn’t have had any leftovers to eat later and I would have been a huge fatty.

-Bret

Farmer’s Market Couscous Salad

28 Apr

I do not trust Brenna around seasonings. You know what she does with herbs and spices?

Terrorism.

She also just does things that scare me. The other night we made popcorn and she says, “You know what would go good in this popcorn? Cinnamon and cranberries.” My sanity teetered on the brink of uh insanity for a minute. Then she did it and it was good, but I still felt like there was something wrong with the world.

That’s actually a bad example, now that I read it. Though I was coming from a mindset of SALT AND SOME FORM OF OIL. Her weird combinations usually involve something like ground mustard.

Okay, I’m rambling. Anyhow, the Ithaca Farmers Market is open now so we went. I did not see a single farmer for sale! (Ba dum bum tish!) Pickings were slim. I bought some kale. Brenna wanted to buy some stuff and make food with it and she ended up walking away with chives and lemon thyme. After brainstorming ingredients (I think chickpeas was my only contribution) we got the rest at Wegman’s.

Let me editorialize for a minute. I kind of mislike the Ithaca Farmers Market. Most farmers markets you go to and buy directly from the farmer, putting money directly into their pockets, cutting out the middle man, and saving you money. Ithaca? Not so. Farmers Market prices are more expensive than grocery store prices. Now, I can’t blame the farmers. Ithaca has a substantial yuppie-hippie population that loves to do things like buy organic and local and all that, so the demand is there. Farmers can jack their prices. But still, the result is that I tend not to go there as a result.

So, couscous salad: I’m going to try to recreate the recipe the best that I can, but since Brenna did most of the thinking and I just chopped veggies it might be off.

I need to get better lighting.

Ingredients!

2 cups couscous

1 15 oz. can chickpeas

1 cucumber, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

chives and lemon thyme chopped up and added – I’m not sure of the measurements but maybe half a cup of each?

salt to taste

Directions!

Cook your couscous. Let it chill. Then mix in all the other stuff. Blam!

I might have added some olive oil to this mix, and afterwards Brenna said she wished she’d picked up an orange bell pepper. That might have been good. But still, this was really great. The lemon thyme was badass. I’d never even heard of the stuff.

-Bret

Coconut Eggplant Biryani

22 Apr

I went to visit some friends in New Jersey and they forced me to cook with them. “While you stay with us you earn your keep!” and then they made me chop mint. But seriously it was a lot of fun. I love friends, and I love friends who cook, and I love friends who want to cook food with me! I got to chop things and mince things and when the spicy fumes got to be too much for Jennifer I got to take over stirring.

Russell and Jennifer cook Indian food a lot. It’s inspired me to give it a try again. They had this big huge cookbook full of Indian recipes (I think it was called 1000 Indian Recipes) and this is one they’ve made in the past. It was really great and had a nice heat to it. Jennifer also made some raitha to go on top.

Also check out their badass skelly blanket. We sat and ate and watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We had a good time laughing and Leatherfacing!

-Bret

Grill Day at Work!

19 Apr

So I got transitioned to a new position at work. While that whole thing was kind of a sucky mess, my new team is cool and also I’ve been introduced to a new tradition: Food Friday! Since this is the first week that it’s actually felt like spring, everyone brought in something to grill outside. There was a bunch of meat stuff, but there was also tons of vegetables and some fruit. I think the fact that there’s a licensed dietitian on the team might have had something to do with it.

Though the irony here is that I ate this wonderful picnic-day food inside at my cubicle. The fluorescent lights made it look not the most appealing. Sorry! But it was good. My sad contributions are the fruit salad and macaroni salad that I got at Topps, but hey, that’s what they asked me to bring and as the new guy on the team I know better than to make any waves.

Corn!

The corn on the cob looms large in the photograph, as it should! It was sooo sweet and good. Sweet corn season is going to take my mouth by storm. Mmm. Though have you ever had a baked potato on a wood chip grill? It tasted all smokey.

Veggies and other things.

The veggie pack was assembled by JS. He marinaded it in a dressing of some sort, wrapped it in foil, and then threw it on the grill. Badass! My dad used to do it all the time.

I thought that the warm weather would mean I would lose weight and get all active, but all this food is turning me into a total chub. On the plus side, I’ve started running a mile and a half every day again. Soon, 3 mile runs!

-Bret

Chili Not Dogs and Veggie Skewers

18 Apr

It’s the time of year for MEN TO COOK MEAT WITH FIRE. I’m not all yay barbecue but it can be really good especially corn on the cob mmm. Yesterday my housemates decided we should celebrate the warm weather by cooking outside and eating on the porch. Jeff made me some veggie skewers marinaded in Salamida’s Spiedie Sauce and after all the fuss I made the other day about mock meats I decided to pick up fake hot dogs (I think these were called Smart Dogs – Topps doesn’t carry Tofu Pups) and cook one up and add some chili sauce. Despite it making me a big liar, my only regret is that I didn’t toast the bun.

Barbecuuuuueeee!

Today a bunch of my co-workers have decided to have a barbecue also. There will actually be a lot of good veggie things to eat. JS is bringing veggie packs in some sort of herb marinade. Mike is bringing corn on the cob. I brought mixed melon fruits and macaroni salad. Jeff is making baked potatoes.

Hey remember when it was a big deal that Dan Quayle couldn’t spell potato? I don’t know why I just thought of that.

-Bret