food

The past two days have been a total blur.

Whenever a co-worker goes on vacation and the other managers and I have to pick up the slack, everything becomes complicated, kind of annoying and stressful. With my work week so wacky, I feel quite slighted by how quickly my two days off flew by.

On Thursday I ate my bagel, and then proceeded to do nothing. I was feeling like a zombie. I kept trying to do household things, but since the plumbing was being worked on for the FOURTH day in a row, I had no water for dishes, etc. Finally I was able to take a shower at around 4pm and I felt like a new person again!

Shortly thereafter Greenhearts showed up with my CSA delivery. Although my shower had left me refreshed, I must’ve still been a little space cadet-like, as when Aurora came into the building with the produce we had the following conversation:

Me: How’re you?

Aurora: Good, you?

Me: Okay. So how’s it going? Wait…I already asked that. You’re good. Sorry. I’m tired!

 

Yeah. I’m awesome.

 

Minneola Tangerines, Kiwis, Baby Bok Choy, Beets, Red Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Green Kale, Potatoes, Fennel, Butter Lettuce, Yellow Onions and Green Garlic

Yum!

(well, except for the beets….I’m going to try and make borscht. I keep trying to like them, I swear…)

After the veggie photo shoot, I made plans to meet up with a friend for some fun which included:

AND

Last spring I went on my first wine tasting adventure with a couple of my friends from high school. Out of the vineyards we visited, I enjoyed Michel-Schlumberger the most. We took the tour there prior to the tasting. I don’t remember all of the really interesting facts that we learned. What I do remember is their wine! I don’t know if they had essences of raspberries and hints of beetle sweat, or whatever, but I liked them. They were very smooth..none of that bite that some wines have. I absolutely wanted to pick something up. The wine I enjoyed the most was $75/bottle. It seemed way too steep for a first timer, so I bought the above for around $40. I’ve been saving it for almost a year now. My friend and I decided that Thursday was the night!

It was delicious!

And I was drunk in about 5 minutes. Oops.

We spent the evening enjoying the wine as we watched “You Bet Your Life: The Lost Episodes”. I love love love Groucho Marx! He is hilarious. The guests are a trip as well. On disc one, two of the contestants’ names: Harry Potter and Alice Cooper.

Yes, I’m serious.

Alice Cooper was actually the mother of actor Gary Cooper. She told Groucho to shut up. Feisty!

Man. I wish the Marx Brothers were still around. The world would be a funnier place.

What is your favorite game show?

I have to tell you all:

I am the jealous type.

It’s a rather unattractive trait, I know, but when other people are having fun and doing things that I deem more interesting than what I’m doing, I have a habit of becoming green with envy.

This is how I felt during the Food Buzz festival last fall. Now, normally, I wouldn’t care all that much about a foodie convention. Sure, I love food…but I’m not really a food blogger, per se. My palette isn’t all that refined. I mean, you’re talking to a girl who ate KFC after going to the race track last Thanksgiving. How elegant an eater can I be?

The thing that got me was that the festival was here in my hometown of San Francisco. The people whose blogs I read everyday were right there, and I couldn’t partake in the festivities.

You might ask, “What kind of things were they doing, that were so enviable?”

Eating farro, of course.

Farro wasn’t even on my radar prior to reading about it on Ashley and Emily’s blogs. Nor was Il Cane Rosso. Though I do love The Ferry Building, I really don’t spend as much time there as visitors to San Francisco seem to. I really only go there on market days. Nevertheless, I wanted some of this farro porridge that they told of. Maya and I were going to try it in November when she was in the states, but they weren’t serving it that day.

After missing out on farro that day, I became even more determined to try it out. I ended up buying some from Rainbow Grocery in the bulk section….and leaving it in my cabinet for over a month. Oops.

Today was the day, however. I was ready to try out this farro thing in my own kitchen.

Tip: When you buy things from the bulk bins, don’t only put the bin number on the tag, but write down the name as well. Or else you’ll be like me, standing in the kitchen wondering what is what. Fail.

Ashley has done several posts on making ground farro, so I pretty much just followed the general instructions for preparation. First up, the farro needed to be ground. I wasn’t quite sure my magic bullet was going to do the job justice, but having no other option (besides a not so great blender), I went with it. Using the flat blade, I went to work.

I did it in 1/3 cup batches, as I wanted to make sure the magic bullet did an even job. And yes, I’m the blogger who forgets to take a pre-grinding shot of the flat blade.

The magic bullet actually did a pretty good job. I was very surprised. The only objection I had was how loud the grinding process is. Scares the bejeebus out of my cats!

Due to the noise factor, I decided to grind the whole bag while I was at it. I cooked about 4 BIG servings worth (about 1/2 cup ground farro or 1/3 cup whole farro would be 1 serving) of ground farro and put the rest in some tupperware for later use.

I used a 2:1 ratio for cooking up the farro. I used about 2 cups ground farro, 2 cups of 1% milk and 2 cups of water, then cooked just like oatmeal. Towards the end of the cooking process I also stirred in a dash of salt, 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, 1 tablespoon of Land O Lakes Lite Canola Butter and 2T of brown sugar.

Although I like my hot cereals thick, I think I would either cook for a shorter amount of time or use more liquid next time.

I decided to top my farro with the last 1/3 of a container of mixed berries from Whole Foods (an expensive impulse buy after the Strawberry Hill 5K), some chocolate peanut butter and a tiny bit of Galaxy Granola for crunch.

The chocolate peanut butter, by the way, is AWESOME.

Overall, I really enjoyed breakfast. It kept me full for hours and was quite the tasty meal.

And now that I have had it, the only thing feeling green with envy in my household is my set of Shamrock Fiestaware.

What is your favorite breakfast grain?

A long day deserves a good meal.

I considered buying my good meal, as I was very tired.

But as it turns out, I have no money until payday.

Oops. My bad.

I had to find a good meal in my kitchen, and luckily there was one there.

Delicata Squash Tacos

I spritzed the squash with the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer I received from my Mom in my Christmas stocking. I roasted the squash at 400 F for about 30 minutes or so. Then I grabbed a couple of white corn tortillas and topped them with squash, black beans, Trader Joe’s Avocado Salsa, some greek yogurt, a pinch of reduced fat shredded mexican cheese and a little bit of fresh cilantro.

My good dinner was inhaled in about 42 seconds.

Now I’m chomping on the same lemon cookies Caitlin was talking about in her post. I shouldn’t buy cookies…I’m never satisfied until I’ve eaten them all. Oops again.

I’m also having an Anchor Steam….because this day warranted it. Trust me.

Hope your Saturday included a good meal, a serving tons of cookies and a nice cold beverage of your choice!

Are you good with sticking to single serving sizes of treats?

(I am a cookie monster. For serious.)

If you’re sitting there at home right now, trying to figure out what you should have for dinner tonight, let me make a suggestion.

Last night for dinner I made a variation of Angela’s recipe for “Back on Track Wheat Berry and Bean Salad“.

Now if you’ve never had a wheatberry, don’t be scared. They’re chewy and delicious. Especially in salads! I didn’t soak mine, but just did like Kath and simmered them until I was satisfied. I think it was around 30-40 minutes. I omitted the bell pepper from the salad (didn’t have one) and used black beans. This salad was great and really easy to prepare. I highly recommend it.

I had the salad with baked onion rings. Simply slice an onion, pull apart the rings, coat in egg whites (or whole eggs, whatever your pleasure), coat in the bread crumbs of your choice and bake for about 30 minutes. I think I baked at 350 F. They are most excellent when dipped in BBQ sauce.

Ever had wheatberries? What are your thoughts?

Hey all!

Super busy today…cleaning cleaning cleaning! I am exhausted!

Just checking in to show you my CSA box and then I am going to go collapse someplace!

Sorry these are not very artistic…like I said…tired!

Hope you had a good Thursday!

I had meant to post last night when I got home from work, but unfortunately, something happened that really freaked me out. Lately, there have been a lot of crimes (both minor and high-profile) in my neighborhood. None of them have directly affected me in any way, other than by raising my alarm, slightly.

To be honest, having been a city dweller for my entire life…raised in The Mission, pre-gentrification, I am a little jaded. I hear about seedy things so often that sometimes they just wash over me. The stuff going down recently, however, has definitely caught my attention. I’ve reminded myself that it’s stupid to wear headphones blasting loud music when I’m walking home at night. It’s also stupid to walk down the street reading a book, or fidgeting with my phone.

I know those are “duh” kinds of things, but I won’t lie, I’m guilty of them quite often.

So I’ve been on high alert lately and have attempted vigilance.

Last night, a serious crime took place near my job. Once again, although I was at work during the incident, I was in no way in danger. I didn’t know the people who lost their lives, nor the suspect. Just the same, having two people shot and killed just a block away from where I was….in a shop that I walk past all of the time….it just really freaks me out.

Last night I didn’t even know where the shooting was, other than in that block. There were emergency vehicles EVERYWHERE. Crime scene tape. I had no idea what was going on. I went home and spent the evening scouring the news and internet, trying to find out what exactly had happened, but I didn’t find out until today. While I’m glad that this was an isolated incident, it’s still just so awful. Needless to say, after all of that, I didn’t feel much like writing.

Though I don’t know them, my thoughts are with the victim’s families. Things like that shouldn’t happen.

—————–

Today itself hasn’t been too bad of a day. Almost everything I’ve eaten has been green. No. Really.

I had an egg white omelet with kale pesto for breakfast. Didn’t snap a picture, unfortunately.

For lunch, I decided to tackle the kohlrabi from my recent CSA box. I had never had kohlrabi before, so I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I found a recipe on SparkRecipes for Creamy Mashed Kohlrabi. Being the huge mashed potatoes fan that I am, I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with a recipe like that. It came out really great. I used nonfat milk and Chobani 0% Plain Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream. The only thing I regret is that when I cut back the recipe (I didn’t have as much kohlrabi as the recipe called for), I didn’t cut back on the garlic and green onion. I love those flavors so much that I didn’t think it was possible for me to have them be too strong in a dish.

I was wrong!

Still delicious though…I would recommend it!

For dinner I decided I wanted to use up the last serving of kale pesto. I didn’t really feel like having pasta again though, so I went through my pantry and waited for creativity to hit me. I waited for quite some time. Finally, I spied a can of tuna. Tuna mixed with kale pesto instead of mayo? Why not!

It is in no way attractive, but it actually tasted pretty good.

I had the tuna pesto with some sesame corn tortilla crackers from Trader Joe’s. Pretty darned tasty. The only problem with me and canned tuna is that I often get heart burn after eating it. I seem to be having a little of that right now, but hopefully it will go away. Don’t know what it is about canned tuna that does it to me. Maybe it’s because the ONLY seafood I eat at all is canned tuna, and I only eat that about 3 or 4 times a year? Don’t know…

Been playing with custom white balance on both the DSLR and with my PowerShot. These are with the point and shoot. Same table. Different settings. I’m still learning all of what I’m supposed to be doing, but I feel progress in the fact that I’ve taken both cameras into manual mode and am making honest attempts to actually comprehend all of the terms I’ve been trying to stuff into my brain.

Ok. Time to finish up here at work. Hope you all are having a wonderful, safe night.

 

It may not be easy to be green, but by gosh, green sure is tasty.

(Sorry, Kermit.)

I’ve been trying to check out new recipes lately. My eating routine had gotten fairly boring and because of that, I found I was having little interest in making food at home.

This week my experiment was Kale Pesto with Spelt Spaghetti.

I first read about Kale Pesto on Ashley’s blog. Really, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I’ve made broccoli pesto based on a recipe of Amber’s, so why not Kale? Honestly, I think I like it even more than the broccoli.

It came out really well, though if possible, I would advise you to NOT use a Magic Bullet to make it. It was certainly more difficult than if it had been done with a regular food processor. I, of course, do not have a food processor, so I just accept that I have to spend a little extra time getting cooking jobs like this done.

The most interesting (or at least topical as of late?) ingredient for me in the kale pesto was the nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. I had no prior experience with nutritional yeast, and as I am not a vegan, the use of parmesan cheese doesn’t bother me in the least. I had some in the fridge, as a matter of fact. I was curious, however, so gave nutritional yeast a try. I didn’t really taste it in the pesto. I tried a tiny bit on its own, and I wasn’t sure I how I felt about its taste or texture. It seems like the kind of product that I wouldn’t mind in a sauce or something, but I wouldn’t want it sprinkled on my salads.

I had my kale pesto on spelt spaghetti that I picked up at Rainbow Grocery in the bulk section. I had never had spelt pasta before, but to me, it sort of tasted similar to whole wheat. Just a little bit heartier than white pasta. Definitely tasty though…and with a decent amount of fiber per serving. I would call it a win.

What’s on your dinner table this week?