Monday, October 19, 2009


Today is my 4 year jobiversary.

This is the longest I have ever stuck with a job. Perhaps this is a sign that I am, indeed, grown up.


Friday, October 16, 2009

An Oldie

Keeping with the recent foodie theme, I am referring you back to an old post (is it pretentious to refer to it as a "classic" post?) since I am cooking nothing of interest this evening.

Four years ago, I loved food just as much as I do now. But being able to shop leisurely without rushing to finish before Jonas decides he is hungry/sleepy/cranky afforded me stories like this one. Enjoy.

Also, for your enjoyment, a random photo of 'da baby. And his new friend, monkey blanket.

I promise, there will be new stories soon enough. Rumor has it my grandfather is coming to visit - a man who believes that white tigers don't exist and once had an argument with a 14 year old me over what constitutes a parallelogram.

Good times.

Listening to: Clark Gable by The Postal Service
Current Mood: Upbeat. It is Friday after all

Friday, October 9, 2009

Coho Salmon and Swiss Chard

Since when did this become a food blog?

It's not.

No. Really. I promise.

You see, the thing is, when you are working and taking care of a new baby, there isn't much time for adult interaction. Or leaving the house. Or much of anything really.

Which leaves little to write about. The one thing that I do still find the time to do (partly, because I can't have my family starve, and partly because its something I enjoy and falls during a time of day that Jonas usually naps) is make dinner.

It also gives me something to take pictures can be pretty.

And, I didn't want this to suddenly become an "all baby, all the time" place, so I had to either take a hiatus from the blog or find something to write about.

So here we are.

I am not a huge salmon fan, or at least not an Atlantic Salmon fan. But Coho was on sale this week, so I figured a little fish in our diet was a good thing.

And I love chard. It's so pretty.

So here it is, a very simple dinner.

Toss a couple of garnet yams in the oven in foil at 400 degrees. (So you have a filling carb on the plate) If you haven't had garnet yams before, they are delicious. They need NOTHING. No butter, no sugar, you can even skip the salt. Not to say you shouldn't add butter or salt (or sugar if you want them to be super sweet). Just do so in moderation.

Once you can tell these are starting to soften, throw a diced onion and a couple sliced cloves of garlic in a pan with a little olive oil (and a little butter if you don't care about calories). Once they are translucent, you can add your chopped up chard. If you like your veggies mushy (I like them to have a bite) you can add a little water and turn the heat down to a simmer. I just cook them a little past the point of the leaves wilting.

Season your salmon with salt and pepper (you can add other spices to your taste - tonight I used a little of Emeril's stuff). While your chard is cooking, in a separate pan, toss your salmon skin side down on it, medium to medium high heat. Two minutes on each side to give it color and then finish it off in the oven (which should only take a few more minutes - the Canadian rule is 10 minutes per inch of thickness total cooking time).

A simple dish, with simple ingredients. Simply delicious.

Listening to: Harry Connick Jr's Red Light Blue Light CD

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pumpkin Madness

It's fall! You wouldn't know it based on the mid-90 degree weather and still green leaved trees, but it is autumn. I know this because Starbucks is now serving a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Since I have been spending a lot of time indoors, between work, taking care of baby, and trying to keep my house from turning into a disaster area, I figure I may as well make it feel like fall indoors. Crank up the air and bring on the comfort food!

Inspired by J's pumpkin pie baking last week (still enjoying the fruits of his labor...) I decided to make a pumpkin soup. And not from a Libby's can. From the actual pumpkin.

There it is, in all its pumpkin-y glory

Since I decided to do this on somewhat of a whim, it is a very simple soup - but that's what comfort food should be, shouldn't it?

I have NEVER made anything from a pumpkin before. So I had to start off with the fun process of cleaning out the seeds and stringy bits, which was surprisingly therapeutic. Like being a kid playing in the mud. It is interesting to see how many different ways people go about this process to make it easier - I simply used a big knife to cut it open, and a large spoon to gut it. ("I gut you like a sheep!")

My fancy pumpkin prepping tools

Once the pumpkin pieces had been prepped for cooking, I tossed them in a steamer pot for about a half hour, took them out, scooped the flesh into the blender, and made my puree. This collective process was the most difficult, as I have no patience and insisted on scooping the flesh before it had cooled. Ouch.

The rest was easy - diced half an onion and an apple and sauteed them in butter. Once the onions were translucent, I tossed some* vodka in the pot, let that simmer down, then added a bit of chicken broth, water, and half and half. (Basically, I tossed what I had sitting in the fridge that sounded good.)

For seasoning, a couple pinches of curry powder, chili powder, ground about a quarter nutmeg, dash of cinnamon, and some* salt.

Looks like baby food...yum?

Now the plan was to toss all of this back into a blender and make it smooth and creamy. Things did not go as planned, however, as our 9 week old had finally fallen asleep after a very difficult afternoon full of screaming, so the desire for a happy child outweighed the desire for a creamy soup.

But we still ate it. And it was still good - probably not so much for someone who isn't a fan of texture, but the flavors were all there.

And it looked like fall. A messy, tasty fall.

Kind of like jumping in the pile of leaves your dad just raked.

I may not be pretty, but I get the job done...

* If you are reading this and thinking about following a "recipe", you'll notice that I say "some" a lot. Not a cup, or a tablespoon. Just some. I don't measure things when I cook. Which is why I seldom bake. Baking is all math and science to me - cooking is art. Just slap that paint on the canvas. :)

Listening to: the sweet sounds of no screaming...and a song from Sondheim's "Company"
Current Mood: autumnal. yes, I am making it a mood

Monday, October 5, 2009

Goodbye, Gourmet

Back in the day, when I was newly married, I was determined to broaden my cooking horizons.

It wasn't that I was lacking in culinary skills, but my repertoire was limited. And while I could (and did) eat the same dishes day in and out, I felt that is was my wifely duty to make dinner something to look forward to at the end of the day.

To that end, I purchased some cookbooks and borrowed some Cooking Light magazines from a friend. As my cooking confidence increased, as well as our budget, I began subscribing to Gourmet magazine.

And I fell in love.

This wasn't just a magazine of recipes. It was about appreciating all things food. Wine, travel, experiences...the articles romanticized the every day task of sustaining myself, friends, and family. I found myself dreaming up lavish dinner parties, looking for excuses to cook for other people. I was doing more than cooking. I was creating.

And now, over 7 years later, Gourmet is getting the boot. Apparently, Conde Nast needed to choose between Bon Appetit and Gourmet, as print continues to die a slow death. Gourmet wasn't bringing in the same ad revenue, so its been sent to the chopping block.

Goodbye, Gourmet. You'll be sorely missed.