Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May frost

It was unusually cold today, the temperatures went back to the 40s, bye-bye t-shirt weather. The afternoon was blue sky, nice and sunny so I cranked up the charcoal mini BBQ for dinner. It cooks everything in a zinch, and keeps you warm while eating dinner with a glass of wine. For tonight, a frost warning is issued. So, the potted plants were moved inside the house again. Oh well.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Holding on to summer

Well, the prognosis was much worse than then the actual weather this Memorial weekend. It was sunny and warm most of the time, just difficult to plan anything.

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I had some eggs that needed to go. I could have baked a cake but no one is around to eat cake so I made the next best thing: mini quiche, great for lunch or on the go.

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Swiss Chard Mini Quiches (makes 6 mini quiche, 80kcal each)

  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1/4 onion, finely diced
  • ts olive oil
  • 3 large leaves of Swiss chard or chard, sliced in thin stripes (remove stem if you like so)
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup pinot grigio
  • 1 ts bouillon

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin pan for 6 muffins (regular size)

In a bowl, whisk the eggs until slightly frothy. Add the milk, salt and pepper, and whisk again until well-combined. Set aside.

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil, and add the onion and corn, and saute until onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and heat through until the liquid is cooked off.

Set aside and let slightly cook. Pour into a cold mixing bowl.

Add the egg mixture, mix through, and distributed into 6 muffin holes in the pan. Bake for 30min. Serve hot or cold.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gearing up for Memorial weekend

The weather outlook was bleak until Sunday but today unexpectedly the sun is coming out. Early summer warmth and brightness, something I really need. It has been raining since Saturday. It is humid from all the rain and the thermometer immediately spikes. The outlook for the day is promising.

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Life in a college town in the summer is quiet, everyone seems either gone or traveling, the occasional grad student around. I debate sometimes how it would be to be like the protagonist of Under the Tuscan sun and be off to my Italian or French fixer upper villa for the summer months. Or sit in a Parisian flat, in the minimalist kitchen and read a book looking out the window. But then, Maine is a destination in itself for the summer.

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May is almost over, had to believe, the first of the 4 summer months. It had mixed weather and still much work, and slowly things are easing into the summer mode. It is high time for hay fever and black flies. Finding all those white jeans again. Gearing up for Memorial Day weekend, BBQ and pool supplies, and maybe a shopping weekend in Freeport/Portland with memorial day deals. Long weekend ahead!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pink Pasta

There is no end to the rain, the plants like it, the rhubarb decided to be the blooming variety in all its splendor, something I never experienced until now. Unfortunately, blooming rhubarb stalks are hollow. There goes the rhubarb cake. Today, I explored smartphones, smartphone plans, smartphone plans on the go, mobile hotspots, mobile broadband, and again feel like I don’t need a smartphone, but it would be nice. It is just too expensive if you rarely use the phone and rarely are on the road to use cellular based internet.

Oh well.

At least this pink pasta is a winner. I’ve been making in several days in a row. So simple, beautiful and tasty.

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Pink pasta (1 serving)

  • 1 small beet (size of a lemon), peeled, diced in 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup of hot water (more if needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon bouillon
  • handful of small pasta (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup beans (like cannellini or kidney beans)

In a bottom heavy small pot, pour the water, dice the beet and add the bouillon. Stir, add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer on low-medium with closed lid for about 15 min. The beet will still have a bit of a bite and the pasta is cooked. Serve with some crème fraiche or sour cream.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rainy week ahead

There is always a week in May when it just rains. All is green, the lawns and the trees, but it just rains as if to soak the ground for the coming growing season. This is one of those weeks. Initially, there were a few sunny days on the weather forecast, but not it is rain until the weekend. To keep the mood up, sunshine is on the schedule for Memorial day before things go back to rain. Somehow I feel that last hope might also still disappear.

Rain. Now what?

Here is to back to the office lunch salad.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

La Tour de France

On a rainy summer night, the idea can occur to look into old photo archives, and start to travel,… travel in France, like I did a few years ago. Such good memories.

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It started in Paris and led to the the Dordogne, here, Sarlat-la-Caneda.

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Next stop: Cahors.

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Lauzerte

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And back to Paris.

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Fresh beet, carrot and apple salad

The other day I wrote the ‘ode to a gray day’, but today I am not so much in gray day ode-ing mood. To freshen up the day with some color, I made a grated beet and carrot salad.

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I grated a small beet and 2 carrots, mixed them with  the juice of a Meyer Lemon and its zest, a teaspoon of sugar, added a half chopped apple and served the grated beets with with fresh greens from the market and blue cheese.

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Rhubarb Strawberry Smoothie (vegan)

The other day I thinned out the sprawling rhubarb plants. This called for the first rhubarb crumble! But then I was too busy and I ended up with making smoothies instead. --- They are delicious!

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Rhubarb Strawberry Smoothie (vegan)

  • 2 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • a few drops of liquid stevia (or 2 TB sugar)

Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth, ca 30 sec. Serve!

First summer outing

The rain started this morning. It pours sideways. Thunderstorms on the way. Today, it is back to work. Yesterday, on the other hand, was the first summer outing. Fueled by coffee from Rooster Bros., I bought plants at Surry Gardens and stopped by Sweet Pea Gardens. Via the beautiful Maine back roads I continued to Belfast. On the way, I stopped by the Treasure Barn, where I found a piece of aged barnwood, good as a food photography background. In Belfast, I was between lunch and dinner times at Chase’s Daily but then, dinner was waiting back home with friends and it was home-cooked and just as good.

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