It’s almost the weekend, and after some night showers the outlook is sunny. In hope of finally bikini-ready summer weather I moved a chaise on the deck, and got some sun today. In the grocery store I decided to do away with my questionable meal choices lately and put some kale back into the eats. A bunch of kale was only 1.99 and supersized. I felt like I got a half of a raised bed of kale, like an armful, a huge bouquet. I chopped a few large leaves, heated pre-cooked brown basmati rice with chicken stock, and added the kale to it to barely wilt it down and heat it up. A few cherry tomatoes on top, salt, pepper and some goat cheese to round it out. Oh, kale, how come I got bored with you?
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
It rains again. It is dark, dreary, rains with no end, and the rivers are dangerously swollen, flooding the running paths next to the river. After work I went to the mall yesterday to cash in on my 40% off coupon at GAP, and almost cried a river, too: all the stores had started “end of season” sales. “End of season?!” I cried “Summer has not even STARTED yet.” This is what you get when your life revolves around enduring the long months of winter in bravery to live for summer. And then summer never comes.
The rest of the world seems in a not much better state, flights to France are in jeopardy because of strike, Colorado is on fire (they probably wish to have some of our rain), and all of our data is automatically backed up to the CIA. Yesterday, when I tried on summer dresses at GAP I decided I need to start some form of summer shape up. Something like “bride’s arms in 20 days” or “bikini booty”, I guess these would be the appropriate google search terms. Oh well. Maybe, I should just skip it because…. there is no summer this year.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Today I was rather grumpy. As if someone had stolen my favorite toy and I was 7 years old. I walked through Target and got even more grumpy passing through the garden and BBQ section. “The summer is withheld from me!”. “Everyone else is probably having a great summer time right now with fabulous weather.” Comparing your circumstances to others with a sweeping assumption of ‘It’s only me who has is it bad” is a particular effective way to oppress the mood even further.
Eventually I headed to Home Depot to buy a few plants since due to the messed up spring and early summer weather this year my raised bed was still empty. Swiss chard was the plan. Then it was Swiss chard, and several eggplants and a husky cherry tomato plant. Some wood stain. My outlook improved. There will be food. Lots and lots of Swiss chard, just around the corner. After planting, watering and the sum coming out, life was ok again. Especially with the bright pink rhododendron in full bloom.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The temperatures have chilled down to pleasant upper 70s, the sky is bright blue, the birds are chirping, the early morning lawn mowers in the background, the cats sit in the open window and listen to the concert of the outside world probably daydreaming of exciting bird chases. The much slower start to summer.
My morning readings at the Sprouted Kitchen made my mouth water: salmon kebabs with lemon slices and zucchini? A perfect summer dish!
Find the recipe(and photographed instructions) here:
otherwise, sit back, relax and enjoy the summer pace. With a beautiful hand-woven chair
Friday, May 31, 2013
My neighbors got a new kitten last November, a beautiful Maine Coon, fluffy, loving, gentle, outgoing and I enticed him to friendship already. His mom and dad were a white cat and a gray tabby, I have to smile when I look at him. The cutest are his two white cheeks in the gray tabby head. He comes over to me to be petted and cooed at and has dedicated his first summer to exploring his new neighborhood. At the moment he goes by “The Kitten”.
He still thinks he can be invisible by laying low in the lawn.
Summer has finally arrived, out of the blue, with humidity and temperatures in the upper eighties as if to say, “what? Me” Late?”. Today, it is muggy and sunny, and the AC went back into the bedroom window for the summer. It was a busy week again, and I am relaxing with PBS Masterpiece Classic “Jane Austen Regrets”. I am not sure where my recent love for Jane Austen comes from, but it must be the romance and the beautiful British movies.
Finally, there is no more waiting for summer, there is only summer living from now on. In addition, the house is clean, it is Friday night and the weekend will be sunny and warm, to. What to DO? It feels like Memorial weekend is just a week late. The salad today was a mix of English cucumber, diced celery and seedless grapes with dill, lettuce and balsamic vinaigrette. Refreshing!
Friday, May 24, 2013
Interview with Matthey Kenney.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
It is rainy and unseasonably cold for May. But who am I to complain when big sections of Oklahoma are laying in shambles. Nevertheless, the day called for something cozy and warming, a fluffy, fresh baked Bundt cake, marbled, with the chocolate. This recipes was voted ‘world best Bundt cake” a few years back in Switzerland, and it makes for an absolute soft and fluffy texture. The trick? No cacao powder but melted chocolate, and… light cream.
Grandma’s Bundt Cake
recipe for a small loaf form or a small bundt cake
- 150 gr sugar with a packet of Dr Oetker Vanille Sugar
- 150 gr soft unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 90 g light cream
- pinch of salt
- 180 g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 ts backing powder
- 100 g dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)
- 20 g mini chocolate chips (separate)
- Spray Bundt cake form or loaf form with baking spray. Preheat oven to 350F.
- With a hand or stand mixer mix the butter and sugar and the vanille sugar until sugar is dissolved.
- Add one egg at a time, and mix well.
- Add light cream and salt, and mix well.
- Mix flour and backing powder, and carefully add to the dough. Now, separate the dough into 2 bowls.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish. To avoid burning the chocolate, microwave in 30 second intervals and mix the chocolate in-between. Should be melted in 2-3min. Mix the melted chocolate and the chocolate chips to one half of the dough.
- Place some of the white dough first in the cake form. Add the chocolate dough, and finish with a layer of white dough. Draw a fork through the dough layer to get the marbeling.
- Bake cake for 50 minutes at 350F.
- Remove cake from oven, rest for 10min and then remove and cool.
- Add powdered sugar before serving.
Layering the chocolate and white dough.
Fluffy, light perfection!
Friday, May 17, 2013
Today was my day to play, after a week of work and painting the house. The day started out gray and cold, and it was not the weather I had envisioned for a first summer trip to the coast. I puttered around and the day was almost gone but by 4pm I got on the road because I knew I would regret tomorrow if I had given in to laziness and excuses. Magically, the clouds disappeared and the sum came out. By mid-May, the days are quite long and so a late trip would still be worthwhile.
Sometimes, it is all in the drive anyway. A drive, sunshine, the landscape flying by, the clouds and the thoughts and mind recharge.
My favorite barnyard was open, including a new wooden horse.
My favorite coop, the Belfast coop.
Besides the chives seedlings, a tiny chihuahua was waiting for his owner. He was so tiny and vulnerable, easily to be scooped up and taken away. But this is Maine, and we all trust each other.
Or bring the big black dog to protect the little white one.
Backstreets of Belfast.
All walks typically bring me to Chase’s Daily for a meal. This time, for dinner, since Friday is the only day Chase’s serves dinner (besides breakfast and lunch). As usual, their fare is vegetarian and from their own farm.
Dinner only one day a week translates into ‘booked solid’ every time but there are seats at the bar.
A business woman’s handbag: Kate Spade handbag with Macbook Air, Tuscan Kale and a piece of parmesan cheese.
While waiting for dinner, I did something old fashioned: reading the New Times in paper form and being in Cannes for the film festival.
I had ordered the daily special: Fiddlehead Tart with goat cheese, herbs and an egg custard with early greens. It was perfect.
An entire mini tart with a rustic crust for me.
Here is a glimpse of the chef (white apron).
After it was all said and done (eaten) I headed out for short walk.
Yes, this is Maine. A lot of old cars.
Everywhere. Because, it is almost all in the drive. And the rest in the fiddlehead tart.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The sun is back but it is cold. The citrus kiddos got rolled back into the house. The winter wool sweater is unearthed from the was-winter pile. Brrr. Today, browsing throughan absolutely Target I found something new in the Giada for Target section that I don’t have yet: a fine mesh sieve, perfect for rinsing quinoa. Swiftly taken home I tried it out for Trader Joes tricolore quinoa and my favorite quinoa recipe. Not just a bland water+quinoa mix but the whole shebang with butter, onions, garlic, wine and quinoa. Unfortunately I was out of white wine so red wine had to do but the acidity of the white wine might be better. Nevertheless, wine adds flavor.
First. rinse the 1 cup quinoa. (in the Giada di Laurentiis fine mesh sieve from Target. Or something else that does not flush the fine grained quinoa through the holes.)
Next, fry a chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until slightly brown. Add 2 small garlic cloves, microplaned, to the pot. And the rinsed quinoa, and toast it for 1-2 minutes.
Now, add a 1/2 cup of white or red wine, mix in, and cook off the liquid. (You are left with the flavor but without the alcohol).
Add 1 cup of water, some salt and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 min or fluffy. --- Serve or use it as a start for a quinoa salad.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
It was the longest drawn out winter I’ve seen in a long time, and then, suddenly, it was summer. Not just spring but summer. It is quite warm, and nature catches up with bursting leaves on the tree, colorful flecks of flowers, and bright green lawns. As usual I moved half of my house outside on the deck, all the plants, a few umbrellas, and I am ready for summer. Parties are still to be had, good food eaten, gardens planted and soon I am off for the summer.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
For the dinner party, I studied a stack of my middle eastern cookbooks and found this wonderful recipe: potatoes, first cooked, then chilled, and stovetop browned with capers, caperberries, olives, fresh parseley, and green onions. – A recipe from the fabulous “How to roast a lamb” (Psilakis).
Potatoes, Olives and Capers With White Anchovy Vinaigrette
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, with skin on
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cup small sprigs parsley
1 TB dried dill
18 whole caperberries
1/2 cup capers, drained
18 mixed green and black olives, and pitted
12 whole scallions, sliced on a diagonal
White Anchovy Vinaigrette
White Anchovy Vinaigrette:
4 anchovies, soaked in hot water to rinse off some of the salt
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 tablespoon small sprigs parsley
8 leaves fresh mint
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
Put the potatoes in a large pot of generously salted cold water and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until just crisp-tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Drain the potatoes and spread out on a plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. Cut into rustic, bite-size chunks and season with kosher salt and pepper.
In a very large skillet (I used the turkey roasting pan), heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the potatoes (no crowding!). Roast the potatoes, shaking the pan, for several minutes, until most pieces turn a golden color. Add the herbs, caperberries, capers, olives and scallions, and shake the pan for 1 minute more; just to wilt the herbs and scallions. Place potatoes on a serving dish, and drizzle with the White Anchovy Vinaigrette before serving. These are good hot or at room temperature.
For the White Anchovy Vinaigrette: In a small food processor, combine all ingredients, and serve.