Monthly Archives: April 2007

Mmm. End ‘o Root Vegetables



Spring seems to have finally decided to stick around for a while… and while I’m happy about this for many reasons, I’m sad for many more. The loss of root vegetables (the last of which were roasted for the above salad), the loss of the lettuce lady at the farmer’s market close to me (she’ll be back next winter), the loss of the “milk man” from Blue Highland Dairy (never to return– a tragic barrier to the eat local challenge I’m starting as soon as I return from vacation in June, and also a sad story– such a nice man, always a smile– but the farm’s closing down and the cows are being sold), and… my roomie moved out! (ok, that’s half hapy and half sad– she’s living in an apartment one floor down, so no shoes and no jackets are required to see her, she’s over for dinner all the time, and i get my 220ft studio back to myself again.)


Speaking of my 22o’ studio, this is how big my kitchen is. I took it standing in my doorway, and the fridge literally touches the bathroom doorway. Should give you an idea of scale.




Yup, it is true that from my doorway, you’re so close to my stove that you can’t actually get all of it in pic. In addition, that counter space? That’s it. Normally you can’t even see it cause it’s covered by my drainboard. Sad! I thought they didn’t get any smaller than that… but the Roomie’s kitchen is even smaller! Perhaps I’ll have her guest-blog w/ a pic tonight cause it’s her night to cook.

For the salad (to serve 2): roast 1 cup each beet, parsnip, and carrot in matchstick form with a little olive oil and salt at 375 until limp and slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Toss with 4 cups of lettuce (spinach or arugula would be nice, but I had butterhead and it was lovely) and a dressing of your choice (I used buttermilk-horseradish). If you want to make it a bit heartier, feel free to add a nice sharp cheese- I believe I added feta after the picture was taken.

Enjoy your antioxidants, and enjoy the rest of the blogosphere’s inspiring ARF-rich creations over at Sweetnicks.


Also, a few of you may have noticed that I’ve been tagged with a Thinking Blogger award. I’m getting to properly writing about that (oh, and, I don’t know, writing about food again?)– but things are chaotic and tumultuous around here. Mostly in a good way, not to worry, but the times– they are a changin’. More soon.




Filed under arugula, greens, Uncategorized, veggies

Tonight, we pretend to be French

By dining late on “French” food.


Some sort of pasta with butter, cream, and veggies (possibly cheese, I can’t remember), fresh bread with butter, radishes, and salt, and the star of the day… Zucchini with celery.

Ok, I know it sounds odd. Really odd. But my host family in Bretagne made it all the time, and it’s surprisingly good. The fresh, slightly spicy taste of really fresh celery plays so well with the rich, heavy zucchini, and don’t butter and garlicmake everything better? (OK, I know, maybe I should rename this blog “Garlic Love”. I urge you to try it at least once. It doesn’t take very long, once you have the matchsticks, and it tends to convert even the most zucchini-phobic amongst us (speaking from experience.)

The recipe is simple:

Melt 2T butter and 1 T olive oil together over medium-high heat. Add 3 stalks of celery, chopped into 2″, thin strips, and cook 2-3 minutes, then add 3-4 zucchini (about 1 lb), chopped into slightly thicker 2″ strips. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Add minced garlic to taste (I like 2 cloves, most probably like half that) and about 2 T fresh parsley (omit rather than using dried), and cook an additional minute (until vegetables are soft and garlic is aromatic.) Serve immediately. Long for summer.


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Filed under Uncategorized, veggies

Back! With Pictures!

My boyfriend loves me. You know how I know? Because he cooks for me when he comes to visit.

This is what he made me in the morning before my giant important job interview:


It’s probably self-explanatory, as is the romantic dinner he made for the roomie and I his first night here (well, also I don’t know what he used to marinate the steak):


However, I didn’t neglect him, I did my part in the sides, and all in all the meal was amazingly tasty. Also, this picture gives you a good idea of the size of the apartment we shared. Thank goodness the roomie is a good sport.


The spinach: sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper. Feta added after, when it had cooled slightly.

The potatoes: roasted with olive oil (drizzled), salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary at 375 until crispy (30 minutes?)

More complicated recipes to follow 🙂 promise.


Filed under Uncategorized

Pasta with Buttery Tomato Sauce

Dear Blogosphere,

I love you soooooooooo much. It did, in the end, take me four seperate blog posts– 4!– to convince me to attempt this recipe. This recipe that I never would have thought of on my own, and would not have noticed in an cookbook. This amazing, fabulous recipe that is barely a recipe and I will make again and again and again, that is truly much more than the sum of its’ parts. But you were right.


Okay, I know I’m smitten. One problem: I was too smitten to take pictures either time I made it. Luckily, Katerina from Daily Unadventures in Cooking, whose beautifully written post was the straw that broke the camel’s back, allowed me to borrow this picture of hers that is far more attractive than anything I could plate.


Of course, I can’t do anything the normal way without editing it a li’l, even the first time, so this is my version:

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion: (serves 4)
1 large can Italian plum tomatoes (or equivalent amount of *good* farmer’s market or summer-peak tomatoes)
5 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves of garlic
1T salt

Parmagianno-Reggiano cheese, grated

Dump the tomatoes (cut up and optionally peeled if fresh and whole) into a big pot. Add butter, onion, and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, then smash any whole tomatoes and chop the onion and garlic into little pieces. Serve over pasta, w/ parmesan. Allow those you feed to worship you for 5 minutes of work. Mmmm.


Filed under pasta, veggies

What do you mean no one cares what I ate for lunch?

Oh well, at least this was dinner.


Don’t those tomatoes look scrumptious for April? More on those tomorrow or the day after. The rest of what you’re looking are is sweet and sour brussels sprouts, Cooking Light’s pasta alfredo (the rest of the blogosphere seemed impressed, but even w/ my added veggies, I’d rather eat a few salad meals and save up for the real thing- it just didn’t do it for me), and… the winner– Mediterranean broccoli!

I like broccoli, I do, but I never expect it to be the star of any meal, especially one involving broccoli. Luckily, this stuff was amazing– and from Cooking Light! Mmm. What a pleasant surprise.



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Mmm… Tastes Like Arugula

Or perhaps the reverse. Arugula will probably always taste like victory to me.

I handed in the first draft of my Masters thesis late last night– overdue, of course, mainly due to my inability to do anything important the easy way. Of course, the first thing I did after that (well, after a night of drinking and music, and then some sleep…) was go to the farmer’s market and brag to one of the farmer’s I speak to every week about its’ completion. I believe that her name is Missy, but as I don’t usually address her by name, I generally just call her the lettuce lady. Clearly, that’s what she grows. Beautiful hydroponic lettuce, fresh from the farm— often with roots still attached (we called the little butterball we got a few weeks ago Oscar, and he was adorable).


(The Lettuce Lady, picture lifted from their website.)

The lettuce lady, after a brief discussion of my thesis and much gushing (wheee! I am incredible!), gifted me with arugula to take away with my lettuce mix. I was touched. Then, the milk man gifted me with a large bottle of milk because he sold out of my usual single-person size, the bread girl gifted me with her tester remnants, and the mushroom lady sold me a giant bag of mushrooms at a very reduced cost. Not all because of the thesis, just some– I didn’t go around bragging too much… but because they’ve gotten to know me, and it was the end of the day, and I drop my money reliably on impulse vegetable purchases. All in all, I saved at least ten dollars on my weekly grocery run, maybe more.

I’m not bragging- honestly! In fact, what I originally wanted to talk about was how lovely it felt to be a part of that community, and how exciting it was to get to talk with dairy farmers about agriculture policy on Sunday mornings.

But then, about an hour ago, my roommate woke up from her nap craving cookies. I was in an odd mood and craving a walk, so I walked to the 7-11 down the block in my PJs to drop money- about $10, again- on junk food and soda, food with no nutrient and soul value. Right in front of the 7-11 was a beautiful elderly Turkish woman, homeless, with her cart in front of her. I said hi as I passed, and she didn’t ask me for money- a rarity in the DC area, where there’s a homeless person on every block, and many of them heckle you every time you enter a store. Humbled by the irony of the purchases I was about to make, I turned around and gave the woman the $10 bill from my wallet and told her that I hoped she’d find it useful. She followed me into the store and made some purchases- I tried to give her some space.

On my way out, we chatted for a few minutes. Her name is the same as my sister’s, and she told me that every day, she feels God’s blessings. Every day. Goodness, I just finished the bulk of my thesis, and let me tell you, despite the luxury that it is to have that stress, I did not feel blessed most days during the process. I continued up the hill, berating myself for giving away money; I’m a graduate student on a budget, and while I’ve been told to budget for fun stuff like midnight 7-11 runs, I’ve never been taught to give away money, and I’ve always had the slight feeling that by giving away money I’m hindering change in the system that produces such extreme poverty.

Then I remembered the generosity of the farmers this morning, the beauty of their gifts and company, and the savings to my own budget, and was suddenly grateful for having passed on the gift, even though those who gave it did not expect any such thing.

This is how communities grow.


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Filed under arugula, Food Blogs