Roasted Tomato-Potato Salad

Mmmmmm! So good. I boiled a handful of new potatoes for about 5 minutes, until I could just poke a fork through them. I strained them and put them in a pan with halved cherry tomatoes, drizzled the lot with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, pepper and rosemary, then roasted in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. I nested them in a bit of baby spring mix, and put an olive oil/mustard/agave dressing over top. DELICOUS.


Late Bloomer Breakfast

YUM. Spicy fried green Cherokee Purple tomatoes, spring greens, sharp cheddar, and a poached egg. Just a few dashes of Frank's Xtra Hot pepper sauce, and this was a perfect late breakfast.


Swiss Chard and Scotch Bonnets

Finally, a day off! I slept in a little later than usual, and then lolled around the kitchen making a slow breakfast. Slow and delicious, that is. First, I preheated the oven to 400, and washed a handful of new potatoes. They went into a metal pan with two sliced garlic cloves, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Just toss them well and pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes (give them a shake every 5 minutes or so).
Next I started the eggs going. I decided to do oeufs en cocotte again, since the oven was already heated. I put two ramekins on a baking sheet, put a pat of butter in each, and put them in the oven for a few minutes. In the mean time, I chopped some chard, and sauteed it down in just a bit of water.
While the chard was simmering, I whipped up something that I call peppercream. It's a bit of chevre, with some scotch bonnet pepper jelly (straight from the Cayman Islands, thanks Dad!), and some almond milk. It makes this amazing sweet, spicy, tangy cream sauce. I just whip it all together with a fork.
I took the baking sheet back out of the oven, and poured about 1/3 of the peppercream into each ramekin. I then added 1/2 the chard to each ramekin, and topped each with an egg, being very careful not to break the yolks. Then I poured the remaining peppercream onto the top of each, and threw them in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Once the eggs and potatoes were done, I simply tossed the potatoes in a little bit of dried dill, and ate everything right up.
The best part of this breakfast is that I bought all of these ingredients at the Douglass Loop Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. My brother and I met up and spent a few hours wandering the booths. We had a pretty extensive haul:
So last night I did some beer-soaked cookery after coming home from Dungeons and Dragons at Erica's house. A red crisp lettuce salad with blanched beet greens, roasted beets, goat cheese, and a poached egg.
Not bad for a midnight meal! In other news, the pressure is on for the move to Philadelphia. I'm down to just over two weeks before I have to have everything packed up and ready to put on a truck. I'm so excited! I did cut out about half of my wardrobe, as I won't have a closet in my new apartment. My sweet coworker is kindly giving me an old garment rack she has, so I measured out it's 40inch width in my closet, and reduced my hang-up clothes to that amount. You should see the giant pile of unused hangers I have now!


Summer Camp Curry

Getting started on this post isn't easy today...I'm a huge stress mess. Apartment shopping can be so taxing! Which is exactly why I need a day like today, and a dish like this one. I opened up the kitchen doors to let the sunshine in, as well as the soothing sounds of our neighbour's landscaping appliances. I just cranked up Summer Camp's Young, which segued nicely into Small Black's New Chain after. Today was a warm, soothing food kind of day. Hence, curry. This one is super easy:
  • 3 or 4 leeks, thinly sliced (only use the lightly coloured "bulb" end)
  • one bunch thin asparagus, snapped and cut into thirds
  • one can chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • one can coconut milk
  • vegetable oil
  • red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • Sriracha chili sauce, to taste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
To begin, put a few tablespoons of oil (or butter) into a large pan, and add the sugar after it begins to melt. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the red onion, garlic, and leeks. Saute them over low heat while you add the rest of the spices.
Put on very low heat and cover, stirring every so often, until they are softening:
At this point, go ahead and throw in the chickpeas and asparagus. Keep it on a low heat and stir frequently.
After your asparagus begins to look nice and bright green and happy, pour in about 3/4 of the can of coconut milk. I used the remaining amount to make myself a drink while I let everything simmer down. Coconut milk + orange juice + Caribbean rum = funny-looking but good-tasting. Keep it on low and simmer it until you can't wait to eat any longer. Enjoy!


Simple Slow Cooker Stew

It's another gloomy grey day here, so I wanted a good southern stew to warm up my mood. I don't use my Crockpot very often, but on a day like today, where I'm planning on getting a lot done around the house, it's a good way to "multitask", aka letting it do all the work. I'm making a sweet potato, white bean, and kale stew.
Here's what's up: Put on Cat Power's You Are Free, and start cooking.

  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • one medium onion
  • 1.5 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 30 oz cannellini beans
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 14.5 oz undrained diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch chopped greens (I used kale, but you could use collard, mustard, etc)

I added a tablespoon of olive oil to the crockpot, on high heat, and tossed in 2 minced garlic cloves, and one chopped medium-sized yellow onion. Next, I scrubbed up my sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. You can peel them if you like, but I'm partial to the skins.  Put them in the crockpot and also add about 30 oz of cannellini beans (I cheated and used canned beans, I wasn't feeling quick-cooking dried beans). If you also use canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse them well! Then I added 3 cups of water and 2 vegetable bouillon cubes. You could use 3 cups of vegetable broth/stock instead. Add the diced tomatoes with their juice. For seasoning, I threw in the remainder of the above spices. Don't add the greens yet!
Let this cook for about 4-6 hours on low, and get other stuff done. With about 30 minutes left, add your greens. Be patient for a little while longer, then serve it up with some fresh garlic bread! Yum!

Meanwhile, you should probably go ahead and make a really unhealthy and mouthwatering dessert. I'm making some chocolate peanut butter pretzel bars, for which I would appreciate a better and shorter name. Give me your suggestions! These are really easy, especially so since I decided to forgo making my own crust, and went with a no bake option. I switched to Kim Doo Soo's International Sad Hits, Vol. 1: Altaic Language Group for this recipe. Here's what you need:
  • an 8"x8" pan
  • graham crackers
  • 11.5 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c unsweetened almond milk (you can use regular milk, or soy milk, or whatever)
  • 2.5 c chopped peanut butter pretzel sandwiches
THAT'S IT. Seriously. Line your pan with the one layer of graham cracker squares. Taste test a few for good measure. You can see that I got a little creative with the shapes.
Create a bain marie by putting a slighty smaller sauce pan into a larger one that has a few inches of simmering water. Add the chocolate chips to the smaller pan and slowly melt them down. It's probably a good idea to try a few of them first, just to make sure they are delicious enough ;) Whisk in the milk.
Fold in the pretzel sandwich bits, and spread the whole mixture evenly over the graham crackers.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Eat and die of scrumptious overload. It's seriously that easy. (Also, I can't lie, I totally added a tiny dash of ground cayenne pepper to the chocolate as it was melting. I couldn't help myself!) Look at this goodness:

Breakfast with my brother :)

Headed over to Colin's a while ago to make brunch and do some swimming. The cooking bit was particularly delicious:
Here's what we made. First, a potato and fresh veggie hash. Simply saute diced potatoes with onion and garlic, and then add fresh veggies of your choice near the end. We had red pepper and zucchini in ours. Second, poached egg caprese salad. Slice up a tomato, top with a slice of mozzarella, then a poached egg, and cap it off with a fresh basil leaf. Lastly, Dad brought some rum cakes up to us last time he was in the country (he lives in Grand Cayman). They're like little bundt cakes, so I sliced this one (pineapple flavoured) horizontally, and fried it up in some lightly salted butter. Can you say delicious? Put on the CocoRosie station on Pandora for this breakfast.


Southern Breakfast: Eggs n Greens

This is one of my all-time favourite breakfasts. It provides a well-balanced start to the day, and feels healthier than a lot of breakfast choices. Also, it's super easy! :)
Start off by sauteeing some white onion (is good with red, also) and garlic in a little olive oil. (I realize I never give good measurements on ingredients, but that's because I almost never follow a recipe, and I pretty much make one-serving meals, as I'm usually just cooking for myself.) So maybe a quarter of an onion, and one clove of garlic.
Prep your greens (I used a bunch of chard, but I've done this with kale and other greens and it works just as well). The easiest way to cut the greens is by stacking and rolling the leaves, and then cutting them into thin strips:
If you're going to use the stems, which you can with chard, throw them in to saute first, as they'll take a bit longer. Then toss in your greens. I usually add just a splash of white wine or cooking sherry to add a lil something extra. When your greens are almost wilted, push them around to create holes, into which you can crack your eggs. Go ahead and crack the eggs in, and top them off with some cheese (I used goat cheese here, but it's also great with extra sharp cheddar). Let the eggs cook until the whites are cooked through. Don't push anything around, just let the whites cook right into the surrounding greens.
Once the whites set, slide that bad boy onto a plate and get ready to dig in. My preferred way to serve these is with a side of oven-roasted sweet potatoes, done up home fry style. However, this time I just had a side of unsweetened natural apple sauce. Plus a hot cup of coffee and the NYT magazine crossword. A great start to the day.


Spring Pasta Mashup

This is a flavor conflicted dish, born of few ingredients and a desperate hunger.

I started out by finely mincing 3 garlic scapes, which I added to a bowl with one minced clove of garlic, just to punch up the flavor. Added to that was a half a cup of plain greek yogurt, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a handful of crumbled goat cheese, and some crushed black pepper.

After I mixed that all up, I added in a quarter of a red onion, diced. Meanwhile, the water was getting boiling on the stove for pasta. I used rotini. I had some leftover cooked butternut squash, which was cubed, so once the pasta was done and drained, I mixed that and the yogurt dressing in. I sprinkled some dried sage over the whole thing, and voila! Dinner!
It's an interesting dish, not ingredients I would usually pull together. It turned out well though, with the squash lending its subtle sweetness against the tang of garlic and red onion. The yogurt and goat cheese gave it a light creaminess. All in all, yum, especially with a glass of chardonnay.

In Between Days

What a busy weekend. Sorry I'm already failing at updating regularly. Life seems to get the best of me. I flew out to Kansas City for Memorial Day weekend, as my cousin was getting married. A lovely ceremony and the reception was a blast. I love spending time with my family! Here's the view of downtown from the 40th floor:
 And here's me, all gussied up:
The dress is handmade vintage (from the Nitty Gritty, in Louisville). It's the most amazing tone-on-tone rose-embossed silk brocade, with a lovely low-cut back. The peep-toe heels are Frye, and super comfortable. Earrings borrowed from my mama, thrifted bracelets from Unique. Went with a simple side-swept updo and cat-eye liner.

I feel fortunate to have such a large and loving family. It was wonderful to witness my cousin's union with her fiance, as they are such a sweet match, but very realistic about the true nature of partnership in their marriage, which I admire. I wish them the best :)

Another food post shortly, I promise!


Fools Gold

This morning has turned out unexpectedly beautiful in terms of weather and haul, especially for the so-called rapture. I made an effort to get up early, and got my lazy ass to the Bardstown Rd. farmers' market. I managed to make it there only an hour after it had opened (better than an hour before it closed, which is what I managed last week), so there were no sad empty strawberry crates to greet me this time. I even managed to braid my hair and put on a dress!
I picked up a dozen eggs, a pint of strawberries, some purple and green asparagus, fresh dill, some beautiful chard, a couple of tomatoes, and to my extreme delight, some garlic scapes. I've been looking forward to garlic scapes for weeks now, and can't wait to make a tangy lemon pasta dish with them. Here's my lovely asparagus and chard, soaking up some H20:
I couldn't wait to cook up some breakfast, so I went with oeufs-en-cocotte (baked eggs) with chard and tomatoes. Easy peasy:

I preheated the oven to 350, and added a pat of butter to each of my 4oz ramekins. I slid them in to the oven for about 2 minutes, just enough to bubble the butter.
 Meanwhile, I sauteed (over medium heat in olive oil) a quarter of a Vidalia onion with a clove of garlic. I added some fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of thyme. When they were soft, I added six finely chopped leaves of Swiss chard, washed, dried, with stems removed.
 After the chard was cooked down, I divided it amongst the three ramekins. I cracked an egg into each ramekin, making sure to reserve the yolk until the last minute, so it could sit prettily in the middle. I topped each each with a few slivers of extra sharp white cheddar and a few bits of chopped tomato.
They went into the oven for 10-15 minutes. After they were out, I topped them with a sprig of dill and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Toast up some bread and serve!
They are SUPER hot after they come out of the oven, so watch your little mouth. Sorry these are all crappy pictures from my antique first gen iPhone, but my camera is temporarily dead. Enjoy, lovelies.