Archive for the 'things to make and do' Category

So if I go to do the yoga today

I will have gone 9 times in the last 2 weeks.  A few times I have thought twice about going, but I’ve gotten to convincing myself I will be happy I forced myself to go once I am in the studio.  And I am.

You see its too hard to do anything more than try to breathe, do the poses, and not drink water.  So all the annoyances and worries are ignored for an hour and a half.

Hot yoga

I attended a Bikram yoga class after about 2 years of not going and I have forgotten how hot it could be!  Actually I think they got the room hotter than the 110degrees it should have been.   I felt like I would vaporize.

Then after that I walked out into 55degree weather and the sweat on my head cooled and gave me a headache.

So much for healing hee.  But I did enjoy it and I didn’t die so I’ll try to be back soon.

Labas ang tutuong kulay

I know it’s so glamrock but I wanna watch.

This really hits the spot on a (rare) hot day in SF

MEXICAN SHRIMP COCKTAIL

1 large can V-8 juice or Clamato (spicy if desired)
2 avocados, chopped
2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and steamed just barely cooked so it’s still crisp
Ketchup, to taste
limes, quartered
Tabasco sauce

Mix all ingredients except the shrimp and avocado in a large non-reactive container. Let sit for a few hours in refrigerator, or overnight. Before serving, mix in the shrimp and avocado. Serve with limes and Tabasco sauce.

I first had this at E’s place and love it so much I could have an entire pitcher in one sitting.

What do you do with a big bag o’ carrots?

We bought another one of the mystery boxes from Mariquita and got a fridgeload of goodies that included about 2 to 3 lbs of carrots (and 2 baskets of the yummiest strawberries!).  Now carrots, I like them in theory, but they’re not my favorite.  I braised the little chantenay ones together with some tokyo turnips in a little water and butter and they did come out yummy, but it wasn’t something I could do with the huge bag of carrots I got.

So when our friends asked us over for dinner I decided to use them and I found this great recipe for a carrot soup. I like it because it is creamy but not deadly since it’s a potato and not cream that thickens the soup.  Sorry no photos, I can’t make myself take photos of my dirty stovetop it makes me feel guilty, and since I bought my camera for looks and not for performance it takes bad night pictures.  Anyhoo…

Carrot Soup with Almonds 

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil or butter

1 cup shallots, sliced thinly

3/4 tsp. curry powder

1 1/2″ ginger, sliced big enough so you can pick it out later

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp fresh thyme,stems removed and leaves chopped

1 medium potato about 3 to 4 oz., diced into 1/4″ pieces

1 1/2 lbs. very fresh and sweet carrots, sliced 1/4″ thick crosswise

1 c apple cider or 1 1/2 c apple juice

1 1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 c water

1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 c toasted almond slivers

Directions:

In a saucepan, saute the shallots, curry powder, ginger, bay leaf and thyme in butter/oil until the shallots are soft and golden, about 8-10min.

Add the potato and brown a bit. Add the carrots, cider, stock ,water, salt and pepper and boil till carrots are soft, about 25min.

Remove the bay leaf and ginger, puree everything using a blender (or an immersion thingamajig if you have one). Return to pan, heat and thin to the consistency you want. Season.

Fry or toast the slivered almonds, and top the soup with some before you serve it.

Caramelized Leek Soup and Cheesy Bread

We recently *joined* a CSA (community supported agriculture where the buyer is considered a partner of the farmer, so in a nutshell the buyer agrees to buy what the grower grows) because well, we’ve been thinking of getting more veggies in our diet (that is the first step, regular exercise is the second and more difficult step); I’ve been wanting to eat more responsibly (grass fed beef vs. corn fed, better treated food, etc); and hey, the fruit really does taste better.

So we signed up and got a 4 week trial subscription from Eatwell Farm and 2 weeks ago J picked up our box of fruit and veggies and half-dozen eggs. We got leeks, spinach, thyme, green garlic, chard (curious veg, tastes like beets), parsley, lettuce, stirfry mix, apples, kiwis and the sweetest navel oranges I ever tasted. We’ve been going through these and I am proud to say we’re down to the spinach and half a bunch of the stirfry mix and 4 eggs (we’re having spam and fried egg tomorrow hehe).

From this box I made a parsley-walnut-sundried tomato pesto, a green garlic pesto that would prob. be great on bread — I actually used some of this with cream cheese on a pumpernickel bagel and it was yummy, and a delicious caramelized leek soup we just had for dinner. We had the soup with some semi-smelly cheese toast.

For the leek soup:

Take about 1.5 to 2 lbs leeks, white and pale green parts. Slice lengthwise, rinse clean, and then slice thinly crosswise. Melt 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a soup pan and then add the leeks, cover and keep under a very low flame until leeks get soft wilty and light brown (about 40-45 minutes), then add 1 1/4 tsp sugar and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Add 1/4 cup sherry or vermouth and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the leeks are golden brown (another 10-15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, cook for another 10-15 minutes, then add 3 1/2 cups more stock. Ladle into a bowl, top with chopped chives if you want. Serve with cheese bread.

Cheese bread:

Preheat oven to 350. Split a baguette then cut each side into 3-4 pieces, brush bread with dijon mustard, top with grated or thinly sliced raclette / gruyere / other similar cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and pop in the oven for about 10minutes until the cheese is lightly golden and sizzling.

Delicious, I have to say.

Salt’s the secret…and some time

Ever since I found the recipe for the Zuni Roast Chicken and Bread Salad online I’ve made it about 3 or 4 times. It’s a really great dish, and easy to make. The basics for the chicken are: small chicken, enough (3/4 tsp per lb) salt for 1-2 days, dry before cooking, high heat. It’s really that simple.

Now if you decide to do this I really suggest you go make the bread salad too. It is terrific, and if you like croutons how about a crouton salad eh? It looks more tedious than it really is. And I swear it is worth the pile of dishes you need to clean after.

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And since I’ve had such a good experience cooking the chicken I decided to try out the pre-salting thing with a boneless leg of lamb we had in the freezer.

I used a piece that was almost 2lbs, rinsed and dried really well, scored the meat and inserted about 3 cloves worth of garlic (slivered) into the pockets, and rubbed the meat with some salt (3/4 tsp per lb) and pepper and about 1/2 tsp of rosemary. patted dry, and kept it in the fridge for a day. To be honest I think another day would have been good, but we had nothing else for dinner, so.

I took the meat out of the fridge and let it get a bit more room temp (about 60degrees, SF room temp ok) . J helped me roll it up fatty side out.

Preheated the oven to 450 deg. Heated up an ovenproof pan and placed the lamb and let it sizzle for about 2minutes, then popped it in the oven for 10min, took it out turned it over, and placed it back in for 5minutes. Then I lowered the temperature to 350 or 375, and kept the lamb in for another 10minutes. (EEh I confess I set the timer wrong and realized in a panic that it had been in the oven a tad too long…).

Voila.

Here’s how it looked, I wish it had come out a bit rarer…

We had the lamb with a green salad and some linguine and a pesto I made so that the leftover basil leaves we had would not go to waste. Glass of wine. Yum.

Chocolite

It’s pretty chilly here nowadays and although anytime is a good time to have some chocolate, this is an especially great time for some warm creamy hot chocolate! I’ve been trying not to eat too much sweets but nowadays I cant resist. I use splenda though, so hopefully that makes it a bit better (and not as hypocritical as eating chicharon bulaklak with…diet coke heehe)

I usually do 2 tablespoons of unsweetened chocolate powder (now I’m using Ghiradelli but Hershey’s unsweetened isn’t too bad either), 1 cup of milk (or 1/2 cup lowfat milk and 1/2 cup water), some lavender sea salt – salt is very important! it gives you that counterpoint to the sweetness, and some drops of vanilla. I mix all the dry stuff in a pan with a bit of the milk until I get a paste, then add the rest of the liquid, bring everything close to (but not to) a boil. Pop in a mug, add the splenda and drinky drinky.

Tonight I tried doing something sortof Mexican chocolatey using regular salt, and adding some cinnamon powder and a pinch of chili powder. Yummy! You should try it this way too.  I’m sure it would be delicious topped with whipped cream but then thats abit too decadent for me right now.

Bare walls no longer

When we were on our way to our neighborhood Post Office we saw that the framing shop a block away had a 1 cent sale. Get one frame and get another at 1 cent. Wow, finally we can frame the prints I’ve been accumulating like crazy.

So after visiting this wineshop in Burlingame we’ve been wanting to go to we picked up the prints from our apartment and went back to the framer. Shee I never thought that the frame would end up costing more than the print I wanted framed :S (I should have thought about this more when I was purchasing all the prints hee). Anyway, I decided to *splurge* for the framing of the beautiful Mia & Mai print J bought for me.

Mia & Mai

We picked orchid and tarnished bronze mats and a pretty dark wood frame. 320 bukols agggg.

But man, the finished product is going to be so pretty I can barely wait to see it. This one will go in our bedroom.

Since we were in sticker shock from the first frame, we decided to go with the pre-made ones for our other prints, and found some basic nice ones (off-white double mats and black frames) for a lot less money.

So now we’ve got Killing Time for the living room. I bought this print because aside from my fascination with the artist’s big eye paintings, I liked how this woman looked cool and detached but sort of inviting.

Killing Time

And Doe goes in the dining room.

Doe

 

Now, Doe — she’s strange almost not human and her eyes are large and *innocent* but also reptilian. Now her look, I dunno is it serene, sad?

And we’ve got the cat triptych for the touchdown area.

And 2 Marcy Washington prints are still looking for a place.

In the grass

In just such an old house

So, I’ll definitely post photos of the apartment once these are on the walls. The rest of my goodies will be kept until we get a larger place, and maybe a few of my babies going to people I hope will like them as much as I do.

Gambas

Erika cooked gambas al ajillo for her birthday. It was so good we decided to do it ourselves. The saffron was 1.99 from the Bargain Bank (I found quite a lot of goodies in this store — my friend got to buy a bottle of muscat for 6 dollars when I paid 14 for the very same wine a few weeks before).

Recipe here.