New toy
November 24, 2009, 11:34 am
Filed under: Shopping Day

I have a new favorite kitchen toy:

It’s a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker. You put water & coffee in the bottom black part, milk in the glass part. Here is what it looks like before:

On the stove, it heats up and builds up pressure until a valve releases the coffee and shoots it into the milk, creating an awesome cappucino or latte at home. (It was on the latte setting in the photo) We got some fresh Caffe Umbria beans in the mail, so sipping the coffee reminds me of our espresso days in Seattle. It’s sooo good.

I’m obsessed with this thing. It’s got a steep learning curve as you can see by the overflowed milk in the first picture, so I keep wanting to make more coffee in order to practice.

I got it at a trip to the Williams-Sonoma outlet store. They were on clearance for $30 (orig $100). Unfortunately, we got home, opened the package and saw that there were grinds in the filter – someone had used it and returned it. Thanks for telling us! But I decided to try it anyway, treating as if it were a thrift store score. And now I like it so much it doesn’t matter.

Other gadgets I got at the outlet: handle cover for my newish cast iron skillet, mesh strainer, and a Microplane. I say this every time I buy another kitchen item: I’m really starting to run out of room for it all!



Could this be…
November 11, 2009, 9:28 am
Filed under: Shopping Day

Could this be… the first week since the start of the semester that we don’t eat out?? I think it is really the first time I’ve got a week’s menu all planned out. It’s been a crazy semester.

Monday – frozen pizza, sauteed kale (it took me 3 hours to get home from work, so I was not in a good mood!)
Tuesday – goat cheese-stuffed chicken, sweet potatoes & kale
Wednesday – same
Thursday – tofu pot pie
Friday – same
Saturday & Sunday – squash lasagna, roasted brussel sprouts

And surprisingly, all of the stuff for this week came out to about $50 at Whole Foods.

fig & goat cheese tart
November 3, 2009, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Recipe

fig & goat cheese tart

Originally uploaded by oh_hello

I’m still here.

This fig & goat cheese tart was made on a whim and looks totally fancy. The figs were on sale because they were getting soft, the pita bread had been in my cabinet for a little too long, and the goat cheese was leftover from making roasted beet salad. It’s a little burnt because I heard my Tweetdeck chiming with @replies and I stepped away from the broiler for a minute. Oops!

Soggy Bread
September 30, 2009, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Many families and cultures have their own Sunday dinner traditions. For me, it’s either Sunday dim sum or pho, eaten in the early afternoon and leaving you stuffed the rest of the day. Then 8:00 rolls around, I’m sort-of hungry, and I haven’t touched a vegetable all day. On those evenings, I like to whip up something quick, light and green. Dinner salads, fruit & cheese plate, and bruschetta are popular choices.

Last Sunday, we had giant bowls of pho at my mom’s house around 3:00. Later on, I started to get hungry during our long drive home so we stopped at the grocery store because I knew the fridge was empty. I’m usually really lost unless I have a recipe on me, but I managed to pick up some ingredients for a tomato salad. Instead of the usual bruschetta, I got home and decided to try it as panzanella.

I knew what panzanella was, but the thought of soggy bread seemed strange to me. But lo and behold, it was actually really good! I made my own recipe, but it was really similar to this one. Also, I only had fresh bread, not stale, so I “express stale’d” it. Cut the bread into cubes, put it in the microwave for a minute, stir, microwave another minute and let it cool. Instant stale. There are other panzanella recipes where you actually dunk the bread into a bowl of water, squeeze the water out, and crumble the mushy bits over the salad – now that just icks me out.

It was yummy, fresh, and the soggy bread wasn’t as scary as I thought. I even had the leftover for lunch the next day and the bread wasn’t much soggier than it was the night before, which surprised me.

San Francisco – Rogue Pub
August 11, 2009, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

San Francisco – Rogue Pub

Originally uploaded by oh_hello

I never had a bloody mary before. I ordered it just to see what this Shark Week-themed drink was all about.

Life Lessons
July 20, 2009, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Life, Tips

(subtitle: or, How I Might Have Hepatitis)

Hello class. I have three lessons to share with you today:

1)   When is it ever appropriate to ask a complete stranger for some of their food?? Unless you are homeless, or someone is holding a sign that says FREE FOOD FOR STRANGERS, the answer is NEVER.

2)   Walking across town with a pizza box is like wearing a sign that says PLEASE START A CONVERSATION WITH ME.

3)   Based on my lifelong research, I conclude that going out alone only turns out good approximately 20% of the time. The other 80%=having to talk to creepers.

For the first few weeks of living alone, I didn’t go out much but I’m finally started to try and venture out more. But yesterday I was reminded of why I don’t go out alone. Many times this summer, I’ve thought about sitting at a bar to have a drink, but then always chicken out at the last minute.  Yesterday I had some time to kill in between errands, so I went to this restaurant/bar where people also hang out with laptops. I sit at the bar and order a mojito. A man 4 seats away from me tells me that it looks good, and I politely smile and say yes it is. Then a few minutes later, three sips into my drink, he sneakily ambles over to me and starts talking to me, then picks up my drink and says “Can I try it? Can I try your drink” and then drinks it through the stirry straws as I fumble incredulously.

Continue reading

Tactile Dinner
July 15, 2009, 4:02 pm
Filed under: Life

I finally went to the Tactile Dinner performance that I talked about last week. The Tactile Dinner is a play that is part of the Fringe Festival, a theater festival of experimental, postmodern, anything-goes performances. It was less of a “dinner” and more of a play with audience participation.

I won’t say anything the deep intellectual meaning of this experimental art project, but I can say that as an amateur cook the it raised my curiosity about experiencing food without eating it.

I’m a little torn between giving everything away and sharing the experience with people who can’t go. Eh. I don’t have a lot of readers, so option 2 wins. Read on for the details: Continue reading