Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cucumber Salad

I shop at Trader Joe's perhaps too much -- ingredients that I got there are indicated by (TJ).

3 small "Persian style" cucumbers (TJ), sliced thinly
1.5-2 T Fage Greek yogurt, nonfat (TJ)
Juice and zest of one key lime
Tiniest drizzle (maybe .5 tsp?) olive oil (TJ)
Fresh mint, chopped as finely as you can (TJ)
Fresh dill, ditto
Sea salt and black pepper (freshly ground, of course!) to taste (TJ)
Optional: dash of red sumac, which can be found at Middle Eastern grocers

Mix all dressing ingredients. Add cucumbers. Refrigerate. Eat.

Substitutions and additions: lemon juice/zest instead of lime would work, keeping in mind that you only need a little bit (probably half a small lemon); parsley would be a nice addition; obviously you could use fatty yogurt, but 1. the Fage 0% is very thick and delicious and you won't notice the difference except for the fact that 2. light is good for a salad like this, it tastes better.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Delicious latke-ish things

(Not being Jewish, I don't feel entitled to call any food I produce "latkes" so these are latke-ish things.)

4 very small (baby) potatoes
1 oz cheddar cheese
1 egg
Just the green part of less than one green onion, snipped with scissors
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Lots of oil

Shred the potatoes and cheese together, add the egg and beat well. Add the green onion and pepper, beat. In a decent pan, heat about 3/4" of oil. Drop in SMALL amounts of the "batter" and fry, flipping once, until golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towels.

Top with: home made mustard (no I will not give you the recipe! this one is my secret, but it's easy to develop your own recipe, basically you just need mustard seed and vinegar, then everything else -- other spices, salt, honey, etc. -- is up to you), or sour cream, or plain yogurt, or just salt.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Root Beer

I loves me some root beer. I might go so far as to say I have an unhealthy obsession with root beer. I am pretty sure I have allowed my love of root beer to limit my life ("I'm not going there, they only have shitty root beer") and it has probably interfered with my relationships ("we are not friends if you drink that kind of root beer"). With some small measure of shame, I will admit that I even like one of the commercially available brands of root beer, and I actually became distressed in the aftermath of last summer's hurricane season that said brand might become less available due to the damage done to the city which it claims to be made in (I later realized that they must have manufacturing plants all over the country, right?), to the point that I had to be talked down from buying some cases of it at the store. I rank most root beers based on days of the week. Yes, I am a little bit crazy. I am not for root beer like some people are for beer, I am for root beer like some people are for sherry cask aged single malt scotch.

To that end, I present my list of...

GOOD ROOT BEERS (and not so good root beers)

Friday root beer (the best easily available brand): Journey Root Beer. Actually I love all Journey bottled beverages.

Saturday root beer (really quite good, if mellow): Virgil's. I had a keg of this for my last birthday. At one point I just opened the spout of the keg over my mouth. AUGAHGAUGAHGAUGAHGAUGAHGAUG

Thursday root beer (acceptable if somewhat uninteresting): Thomas Kemper. A little too mild for my tastes, I like my root beer to be a little bit aggressive and mysterious.

Sunday root beer (it will do in a pinch, but it's much too boring for me): Henry Weinhard's.

Tuesday root beer (I hate Tuesdays. If you serve me this, I will no longer be your friend.): IBC. I'm serious. This stuff is CRAP.

The single acceptable corporate brand: Barq's. I drink it when there is no other root beer, or if I am getting lunch at a fast food restaurant.

And finally, THE ROOT BEER THAT IS SO GOOD IT TRANSCENDS MY RANKING SYSTEM: the root beer I had at the McMenamin's Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, which as I understand it they brew themselves. Now, normally I hate McMenamin's, with their crappy service and their overpriced food and their soggy french fries, but THIS IS THE ROOT BEER THAT THE GODS DRINK WHEN THEY ARE NOT TOO BUSY DRINKING AMBROSIA. If they serve root beer in heaven, this is what it is like.

If they do not serve root beer in heaven, then I'm not going.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Macaroni and cheese, all grown up

Today for lunch, I made macaroni and cheese, using fusilli and cabot white cheddar. I added frozen petite peas, sliced smoked (precooked) bratwurst, and, on a whim, a large dollop of dijon mustard.

Quite good!

Monday, February 13, 2006


-Shredded beef. Basically I made a pot roast in the crock pot yesterday with chili powder, salt, garlic, onion, and lime juice, and reheated it.
-Black beans cooked with onions, cilantro, and chili powder
-Canned sweet corn (from Trader Joe's) cooked with caramelized onions and, drum roll please, chili powder
-Guacamole (avacado, lime juice, garlic, onion, cilantro, salt)
-Cilantro, green onions, cheese, sour cream

I set everything out buffet style, and I even steamed the tortillas first for that added touch of awesome.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tasty Pasta Salad

1 kilo (uncooked) pasta -- any shape will do, I like fusilli

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 can black olives, drained (actually I usually use Kalamata)
~4oz sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
~8oz feta, crumbled
1/4 cup fesh basil, chopped (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 cup RAW pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Generous amount of capers ("to taste")
Salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Freshly grated parmesian, romano, or other hard, salty cheese, to taste

Cook the pasta in salted water. Drain and rinse if desired. While the pasta is cooking, prep all the other ingredients. In a large bowl, combine everything, tossing well. Add the salt last -- you will need much less than you might expect (in fact, you might not even want to add salt at all).

I hate to sound like Rachel Ray here, but "the secret ingredient is nutmeg." I've been eating variants of this for years, and it wasn't until today that I added nutmeg. It made a huge difference! I like this salad because I can make it in the winter (most of the ingredients are canned) without sacrificing quality, and because I can make a big vat of it and eat it over the course of a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial.
Cara Cara oranges
Blood oranges
Pomegranate seeds

How festive!