Saturday, April 30, 2011

And my favorite oyster is...

I have been wanting to add oysters into my diet for a while.

I did eat them in college but it was more of a dare and the guys would always pick the biggest and grossest oysters to try.

As an adult, I wanted to try them on my own terms.

So, with a friend I went here tonight:

And I was brave enough to try the oysters.

We picked the mixed plate, 2 Bluepoints, 2 Malaspina and 2 Kumamoto.

The small ones (the one that is empty is the Kumamoto, the next are the Malaspina (I think) and the next are the Bluepoints.

I will tell you right now I am not a fan of the big oysters.

The small oysters? The Kumamoto? They were like eating fried clams with a dollop of butter, sweet and rich and just my taste. 

I also enjoyed the crab cocktail:

And my friend picked the Manhattan chowder:

My friend enjoyed the oysters on the crusty bread -

A day of firsts - finding oysters I actually liked!

Night all.

Saturday afternoon pastimes

One of my favorite things to do on a lazy Saturday is go to this market.

They are always crowded on Saturdays with people doing their weekly shopping, families with young children and people like me who love to browse and pick up lunch.

They have a huge aisle of an amazing array of lunch dishes.

Today I picked this:

And this:

The fish was very fresh - 

And I did notice that the seaweed salad contained MSG - so I ate some of that but not all.

I also picked up one of my favorite dishes to make later this week:

Soba noodles and a bottle of Soba noodle soup base.

And I had a mug of green tea - which, of course, I forgot to take a picture of:-)

So what is your favorite lazy Saturday activity?

Spicy oven baked sweet potato fries

Today I woke up craving fries.

I still have bunches of sweet potatoes to work through so I peeled one large sweet potato - 

Chopped it up -

And tossed the fries with dry seasoning mix of paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

I then sprayed them with olive oil. I chose the spray oil so I could use as little oil as possible.

Then I arranged them in a single layer on a sheet pan.

They went into a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes (until golden brown). I forgot to flip them so one side was extra crispy and the other side was not:-(. Definitely flip them halfway through cooking. 

While I was waiting for the fries to finish cooking I made myself a drink.

I mixed 1/2 a scoop of Amazing Grass with 8 oz. of kefir and 2 oz. of Pellegrino. It tasted like a fizzy - berry mocktail. Yum!

And the last of the Cara Cara oranges.

And since I was out and about early this morning - I picked up some caffeine.

Back to the fries -

Oven baked spicy sweet potato fries with dipping sauce of 1Tbsp. of ketchup mixed with 1 tsp. of Tofutti sour cream.
The spice mix on these fries was a winner. I went heavy on the paprika and black pepper, medium on the garlic powder and light on the chili powder.

They were actually tasty enough on their own that I ate very little of the dip. 

I am eager to try out this recipe with regular russet potatoes.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday!

Friday, April 29, 2011

I blame the wedding

This morning's breakfast had a crispy theme.

Herbed scrambled egg whites, crispy spinach and crispy sweet potatoes.

I chopped up sweet potato and threw that along with a handful of frozen spinach into the steamer for about 6 minutes.

Then the partially cooked potatoes and the steamed spinach went into a saute pan on medium high heat until crispy and brown.

The potatoes turned out very pretty - 

And because y'all deserve a giggle on this Friday morning - 

Yup, I burnt some of them to a crisp.

They were in the pan when Kate Middleton's older sister started walking into the church. OMG~! that dress was gorgeous!

So, that is why the potatoes burned. I blame the royal wedding.

The spinach turned out nice and crispy - 

This morning I managed to cook the eggs perfectly. They turned out light, airy and dare I say it, ethereal.

But check out the color - 

Herbed scrambled egg whites with paprika, basil, parsley tumeric (unfortunately), salt and pepper.

They turned out a Snookie-like orange :-(

How did that happen? 

I was about to add in the spices to the egg whites when the first shots of Kate Middleton's wedding dress came on the TV. When I got back to the stove I reached for the tumeric instead of the paprika.

So, that is why my scrambled eggs are orange. Again, I blame the royal wedding.

Oh, and just so you know - tumeric is not the best spice to add to scrambled egg whites...

I also had a big mug of tea. And I will give you one more laugh before I go.

While I was taking the wide shot of my breakfast - 

This happened -

The next moment I was yelling, "No, no, no!!" Connor immediately backed off - but not before managing to lick two of the potatoes.


But I can't blame the royal wedding for that one. It was my fault that I put the plate too close to the edge of the table.  But, of course, I had no idea that crispy sweet potatoes would be irresistible to Connor.

Yes, the dogs did get one piece of crispy sweet potato (previously licked by Connor) each.

Woot! It is Friday:-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Old timey recipes

So, while I was enjoying my night of socializing, my friend offered to show me her family file of recipes. 

Yes, please!

I was facinated by a recipe for meatloaf. It was a recipe for 2. Unusual.

I have no idea where this recipe originated - my friend didn't either - if you know - drop me a line because I want to give them credit.

Ignore the handwriting on the bottom. I wrote out the hard drive I wanted to buy.

I was intrigued by the ingredient 'American chili sauce'. My friend told me it probably was this:

Who knew this existed? I sure didn't.

I followed the recipe almost to the letter (I substituted ground beef with ground turkey) - though I would recommend chopping the onions fine (which I did not and you will see why this is wrong in the following pictures).

I assume this should be served with mashed potatoes but I am obsessed with sweet potatoes - not the fluorescent orange yams that are called sweet potatoes but true sweet potatoes.

So I set the sweet potatoes (chopped) with some frozen spinach in the steamer.

I combined the meatloaf according to the recipe (see above) and spread 1 Tbsp. of the chili sauce on top.

It went into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Mine turned out really wet at the end so I poured off the excess liquid and let it continue to cook in the oven for another 6 minutes.

The results:

Steamed spinach with nutritional yeast topping, turkey meatloaf and mashed sweet potatoes with Tofutti sour cream and chives.
See the big white chunks? Those are the onions - take my word for it - chop them fine.

And because I love all things potato - the meal was heavy on the potatoes:-)

And I won't lie, this was a great dinner. The meatloaf was moist and flavorful. 

A big show of hands for simple and unpretentious recipes that have surprising mystery ingredients that are really enjoyable.

Oh, and besides the food, I bought this:

Yes, very soon, all of my precious files will be safe as houses.

Into the lion's den

OK, I haven't left yet.

I got distracted with emails, a very long walk with the dogs and knocking out some pages.

As usual, I end up being productive in everything and anything BUT the job I had planned to tackle. Sigh.

Since it was already lunch time I decided to eat before heading out.

Veggie pocket with portabello mushrooms and pickled carrot.
I started with mixing chopped carrot with vinegar, sugar, a pinch of salt and some black pepper.

I sliced the portabello mushroom caps into thick slices.

Then green beans and corn went into the steamer for a few minutes.

All the ingredients waiting for assembly:

The dish in the upper left is a mix of 1 tsp. of hoisin sauce and 1 tsp. of chicken broth.

I lined the bottom of the pocket with some baby lettuce and then added in some of the carrot.

Then some of the green beans and corn and the first drizzle of sauce.

Then the mushrooms - 

Finally, a little more carrot and the rest of the sauce.

This sandwich pocket was incredibly messy to eat but it tasted great!

And the best part? I got to munch on all the extra veggies that didn't fit into the pocket.

Now I am really, truly, I am so serious about this, going to head to the store and get my new hard drive :-)

Bracing myself for the day

I don't dread going to the geek/nerd store. In fact, I really enjoy it and I usually end up wasting tons of time staring longingly at Xbox 360 games and the latest horror movie DVD's.

But, even though I enjoy it, I still always leave the store feeling like I have run the gauntlet or survived some kind of fraternity hazing ritual.

Knowing I would need a hardy breakfast to brace myself for the day, I broke out two items I picked up at the store the other day.

Herbed egg whites:

Scrambled egg whites with paprika, basil, a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.
I was inattentive with the eggs this morning. I was cutting up my orange when I should have been hovering at the stove waiting for the perfect time to take the eggs off the heat.

Instead of being light and fluffy - it ended up more like a cut up crepe. Oh, well, it still tasted great :-)

I poured some of the kefir into a small bowl and topped with muesli and blueberries.

I used a spoon and ate it like soup - very yummy!

And I had a side of orange slices:

I am really enjoying the low acidity of the Cara Cara oranges.

Gah, I always forget to include the drink. I enjoyed all of the above along with a mug of strong tea.

Happy Thursday everyone!