Posts Tagged 'culinary'


For Father’s Day, Katie made Tim B. his two favorite foods: ribs and coleslaw. The BBQ sauce (from scratch) was phenomenal, so I’m including the recipe.

Continue reading ‘BBQue’


First Harvest

Grammie bought me a Delphinium.

My first mini harvest: baby lettuce greens, thyme/dill, cherry belle radishes. Used these in a delicious tuna salad for lunch!

Stout Cake

My good friend Dave turned 21 on Wednesday, which happens to be our weekly LOST get-together night.  He doesn’t really like straight up booze, so I made him the next best thing: a Guinness cake.  It’s my most successful layer cake to date!  Probably because I used a couple of useful tricks:

– Line bottom of cake pans with parchment paper.
– Bake cake layers at a lower temperature for longer.  They will be flatter and easier to stack.
– Freeze cake layers for up to an hour before stacking/frosting. 

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Other updates:

– It’s been one year since my beloved cat, Boo, passed away. I still think about him when I cross the Calvin Coolidge bridge and spot graffiti on the parallel Norwottuck Rail Trail. It read “EB U R THE 1 4 ME 4EVER + ALWAYS ❤ BOO” until recently, when it was altered to say, “EB U R FREE ❤ BOO”

– I’ve been regularly dipping into my precious perfume samples…ever since I learned to open the vials without spilling (more difficult than you’d think). I tried Serge Luten Fleur d’Oranger today, and I realized I’m not as fond of white florals as I once thought. I wore Piguet Fracas to David Sedaris and Caron Tabac Blond to Esselon Cafe.

– I’ve also been enjoying wearing my new $30 prescription glasses from The prescription is a little off, but I probably deserve that for being such a cheapskate.

– I am building a wattle fence and trellis for my garden. Stay tuned.

Glutton’s Guilt

What recession? I was spoiled with two delicious brunches out this weekend. If I had the patience to set up yet another e-account @ Yelp, this would be my review of Sunday brunch @ Green St. Cafe:
The cafe is found on the periphery of the Smith campus. It’s owned by partners, one of whom is unfailingly rude to customers – Luckily, if you go into your dining experience expecting ‘tude, it can actually be quite funny. The staff was building a splendid crackling fire when my party sat was seated. We were stationed in front of a dreadful mural. However, Green St. made up for this aesthetic faux-pas with completely handwritten menus and bills. As usual, the meal began with a basket of carby goods, a generous four samples each of the following: cheddar and chive biscuits, citrus muffins, and slices of sourdough. This is accompanied by a pot of cinnamon butter, crunchy with sugar crystals! I had the onion and Gruyere tart, which came with a Boston lettuce salad and a simple dressing; K had Eggs Benedict with thick slices of ham and unreal (realer than real) Hollandaise sauce; M1 had lemon ricotta pancakes, and M2 had the Gruyere and broccoli omelet with potatoes. Superb.

I didn’t bring my camera to document. Instead, here are some pictures of the owners’ garden, where much of the restaurant’s produce comes from. I took these on the 2008 Friends of the Forbes Library Northampton Garden tour.

Towards the end of the meal, a mime arrived! He performed by the wine bar (where my friend Ella sometimes plays on Saturday nights). Also towards the end of our meal, our conversation turned to the economy, and Keith and I brought up some of the lessons we learned from Chris Martenson’s The End of Money: The Crash Course, a radical special we caught on PBS a couple weeks ago.

I strongly urge you, whoever you are, to watch this despite the seemingly dry subject matter and the obsolete presentation medium. In sum, Martenson argues that the next twenty years are going to be nothing like the last twenty years of exponential growth. The trend of exponential growth means living beyond our means, and with it an ever-increasing debt we Americans can never pay back. We can ultimately default (i.e., the end of money) or make profound changes in our lifestyles to live sustainably. I think it’s really compelling based on what happened in Martenson’s personal life: he terminated his position as VP at a Fortune 300 company and moved into a more modest home. In his own words:

I grow a garden every year; preserve food, know how to brew beer & wine, and raise chickens. I’ve carefully examined each support system (food, energy, security, etc), and for each of them I’ve figured out either a means of being more self-sufficient or a way to do without. But, most importantly, I now know that the most important descriptor of wealth is not my dollar holdings, but the depth and richness of my community.

Which reminds me! My goal this summer is to eat produce exclusively from my garden plot.

Last Suppers

Happy Inauguration!  I spent the first hour of the ceremony with my despised eye doctor answering the dreaded question, “Better one, or two?”. Barack Obama was sworn into office as I sprinted up the steps to Congressman John Olver’s office. However, I made it in time for Obama’s speech and enjoyed refreshments with the gang.

Lately, when I’m not busy nursing my Raynaud’s Disease

I have been doing a lot of cooking including:

Chipotle White Bean Casserole with Cilantro Pesto and Garlic Spinachy

Chipotle White Bean Casserole with Cilantro Pesto and Garlic Spinachy

RECIPE @ 101Cookbooks – This was OK with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top, but none of the leftovers got eaten. Probably because it gave Keith and me heartburn. I had the most fun making the cilantro pesto with my new Cusinart:


Vegan Tofu Scramble

Vegan Tofu Scramble

RECIPE @ PostPunkKitchen – Success! This was almost identical to the version they serve at Cafe Evolution. I added spinach and grated carrots on top and served it with vegetarian baked beans.

Holiday List Edition

My Favorite Albums of 2008

10. Women – S/T
9. Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (I only discovered this today)
8. Benoit Pioulard – Temper
7. Beach House – Devotion
6. Crystal Castles – S/T
5. Fleet Foxes – S/T
4. Crystal Stilts – Alight of Night
3. M83 – Saturdays=Youth
2. Deerhunter – Microcastle
1. The Raveonettes – Lust, Lust, Lust

Continue reading ‘Holiday List Edition’


Heathers Quinoa from 101 Cookbooks

Heather's Quinoa from 101 Cookbooks

I don’t know what it is, but quinoa has been popping up everywhere lately. The New York Times did a little piece on it, my coworker Connie made it for her Election Night Dinner Party, and I could swear its a featured grain in the Healthy Living column in the new Martha Stewart Living. Quinoa is a tiny, ancient Peruvian seed, but I just like to describe it as “rice sperm” because it’s high in protein and when its cooked you can see a little curlicue thread in each grain. It also rich in the amino acid lysine – lucky for someone like me who gets canker sores all the time.

I used this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs. The roasted tomatoes were really key. I didn’t have paneer cheese, but it was good with parmesan sprinkled on top. Or you could try nutritional yeast.

Other foods/bevs I have been enjoying lately:
D’anjou pears
Butter + honey on toast
Roasted salted pumpkin seeds
Butternut squash
Green Earl Grey tea from Esselon Cafe
Mayflower Porter*

*Okay, I didn’t really love this, but as an olfactory enthusiast, I appreciated its complexity. Kind of like the time I tried Cantillon Gueze, which tastes like horse blanket. At least the porter tasted like coffee.

This is a cool website for looking up what produce is currently in season.