Monthly Archives: November 2012

Post-Thanksgiving


In which “post” has two meanings. Get it?

Nothing particularly exciting happened for Thanksgiving. Nothing really noteworthy about cooking, unless you consider the sheer amount of food for just three people. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, parmesan asparagus, butternut squash, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie, Newton’s Folly cider, apple pie moonshine (which I will never have again), wine. I, of course, drank ate too much and got sick.

After dinner we watched The House of Yes, which happens to take place on Thanksgiving, but otherwise was not exactly a festive choice. Really weird movie. Parker Posey is cool.

On the way home, I just barely missed the train at each stop and had to wait another ten minutes or so. I was only thinking, “Come on, guys, it’s Thanksgiving. Can’t you wait an extra minute?”

Now, a brief story:

Trying to plan a time to refinish the wood of the kitchen floor is, to say the least, frustrating. Unless you’re going out of town, there is no such thing as a convenient time. The time we decided on was Friday after thanksgiving/Saturday, with the plan of having a working stove and fridge again on Monday.

Being kitchenless is also frustrating.

Can’t prepare food, and don’t have the ability to refrigerate leftovers, so you either have to buy non-perishable things that don’t need to be prepared, or go out. I of course did the former because it’s cheaper, but having the perfect excuse to go out, I wasn’t going to pass it up… Read the rest of this entry

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Lonely Dining – Canary Square


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Bacon, avocado, tomato sandwich with mixed greens, home fries, and coffee for brunch.

It’s On


(Which, incidentally, is the name of a great song by Baby Strange.)

 

Better than Old Turkey, I guess…

 

This is the first time I’ve bought a turkey. I did help make the turkey one year. Tomorrow I’m lugging it over to my friends’ apartment and then it will be cooked and consumed along with many delicious sides. I made the cranberry sauce this past weekend. It tasted perfect when I tried it, right between cooling to room temp and sticking in the fridge. I’m sure it’s still going to be tasty tomorrow.

Let’s get one thing straight here: Thanksgiving is not about being thankful. Maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be, maybe that’s how it’s named, but that’s not what it is. It’s a day for overeating, obligations, and feeling lonely and/or pathetic if you don’t have plans.

I’m sure there are people who don’t have plans and don’t feel that way, but I sure would.

For me, I was always more interested in the food than anything else. All the earlier Thanksgivings I can remember involved a gathering of everyone in my extended maternal family. She has four siblings, and with that large collection of people I always had to sit at the kids’ table. I felt left out and a little lost in that big group, and then we’d always watch that stupid B.C. holiday cartoon, which is not the type of thing I would have chosen to watch every year. I was never allowed to go and read because that’s “antisocial.” But it was still nice to have somewhere to go, to know that the food was going to be great and that these people cared about me.

At one point, I stopped going back there every year. It made more sense to stay on campus during a few of my college years, and, my parents being divorced, I discovered that it was nicer in a way to go have Thanksgiving with a smaller group of people (just the two of us, sometimes…) and to see him a little more.

This year, as I only have Thursday off for the week, I’m sticking close and doing the holiday with some friends who also are not leaving Boston. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, alcohol… A small group of people I really like being around and no one’s going to make me watch that damn cartoon again. Can’t complain.

I also have decided to wear a fabulous pair of shoes I have.

 

Bordeaux Ruffled Oxford Heels 

 

Happy Thanksgiving! If anything interesting happens with the cooking, I’ll post about it.

 

Winning at Pumpkining!


 

The ultimate pumpkin “breakfast” (although it might have been dinner. This food object is from late September/early October so I don’t remember anymore): Pumpkin Pancake Sundae!

Pumpkin pancake mix from Trader Joe’s, made with mini peanut butter cups.

Pumpkin ice cream

Whipped cream, mini peanut butter cups to garnish

 

I had intended to also have hot fudge on it, but I left that off to avoid a sugar coma.

 

Served on a monkey plate.

Crescent roll mini “quiche”


It’s been so long that I can’t remember where I got the idea anymore, but I’d decided to experiment with some kind of egg muffin dish, with pie crust. But then, crescent roll crust seemed easier, so that’s what I used instead.

I broke open my roll of rolls, unrolled them, and lined each space in the muffin tin with dough. By then I was on a roll. (forgive me for the horrible punning…)

I mixed three or four eggs and some milk (probably should have had some flour in there or something too), and set that aside, then went to chop up a bunch of ingredients. I won’t bore you with the ingredient prep, as it was nothing special and therefore not worth writing about, but the end result was this: Tomato and mozzarella cups (I only made 4 of them for some reason, and I will never know why. Should have made 6), and ham, broccoli and cheddar cups (8! That was too many! Worked out pretty well for leftovers, though.)

                                                   

It took about 1 and 1/2 packages of crescent rolls, and I think I used 4 eggs, mixed with 1/2 cup of milk. For other ingredients, I you can just eyeball how much you want to use, if you make something like this. Just chop up some stuff and throw it in. Note: use more cheese than you think you need. I could hardly taste the cheese at all. 😦

I had the oven at 350°, and cooked them until some of the pastry edged were starting to get brown. Read the rest of this entry

I Feel Like a Chicken Pot Pie


I should maybe clarify: I don’t mean that I feel as if I am a chicken pot pie. I mean that I want one.

 

I’m thinking about the crusty pastry and the nice warm, hearty filling, one of those perfect cold-weather foods.

 

There’s a diner style restaurant down the street from me where I could get a nice freshly made one for barely more than you’d pay for a (good) frozen one. I don’t know if I’d want the frozen type, with its cubes of almost-chicken and its tendency to burn or get all hard in one spot, inedible.

Of course, I’m not going to have it today. I’ve already determined that tonight’s the night I use my Osushi coupon.

Do you ever feel that food is just too difficult?

 

 

I got cranberries last night! This is the first time ever I will be making cranberry sauce. I will be using a recipe, since this is for Thanksgiving and not for food experiment. However, I do have one interesting thing to try on it, and I bought two packages of cranberries so I guess if I ruin the first try, I can have another go. Problem: I don’t think I have a zester. 😦

Recent Food News


Do you ever have random cravings for foods you don’t usually eat? Mine lately have been butternut squash ravioli and, for some reason, French Toast Crunch cereal. Which I have not eaten in years.

I ordered a Thanksgiving turkey from Whole foods. While I’ve been near many turkeys during the cooking process, I have never actually done it. If I understand my Thanksgiving plans correctly, I will not actually have to cook it myself, although I suppose I should look up cooking times for turkeys just in case it would have to be started at 6 in the morning…

Is it stupid to plan what shoes I want to wear on Thanksgiving? I mean, I’ll be inside for most of it, I don’t really need shoes.

I ruined an omelet last night. I still ate it, but it was browner on the outside than I would have liked. Apparently I didn’t rinse my pan very well just before cooking, because the thing also tasted very mildly of soap. Unfortunately, a mild taste of soap is still enough to be kind of gross. I was not about to waste three eggs and half a tomato though. I will say that the cheese was perfectly melty. Next time I will make sure my pan is rinsed better and not be talking on the phone while cooking.

Now, in the midst of my three cups of coffee with Grey’s Anatomy playing in the background (yes, I watch it, and I will not apologize for it. Principal Feeney!), I am going to talk about Yesterday’s Lunch. Read the rest of this entry

Homemade Pita Chips


A few weeks ago I had this for dinner:

 

 

Yup, those are homemade. (By the way, Roasted Red Pepper is the very best variety of hummus. It’s just freaking delicious. It took me a long time to get on the Roasted Red Pepper train, but now I’m never getting off!)

These items being pretty much the only things in my kitchen at the time that I could make a meal out of, and not being super hungry, I was just going to eat pita and hummus, but I’d had that for lunch at least two days in a row. I wanted to finish off the hummus, because that stuff doesn’t keep forever, you know.

All right, so everyone knows that pita chips are just baked or oil-fried pieces of pita, right? I figure that’s obvious. What is often NOT obvious is, you can just make your own. Yup. I’ve done that with tortillas before – that is, cut them up and cooked them in a bit of oil. I overcooked them last time, not fun. For the pita chips, I figured baking them would make more sense. I didn’t want them to be all oily and burnt.

I didn’t look up any instructions. I can’t even remember what temperature I put the oven on, but I think that I should try a lower setting next time. When the edges were getting all crisp and brown, the middles of the chips were still kind of soft. So I’ll try, maybe, 350 next time.

I drizzled a bit of olive oil on top of each chip, and then sprinkled some herbed sea salt on top. I don’t like a lot of salt so I might have tried a little too hard not to overdo it. Or maybe there’s some trick to flavoring pita chips that I’m missing. Like dipping them in oil and then dipping them in herbs/spices before putting them on the baking sheet. I don’t know. Either way, they could have used a tiny bit more seasoning, but on the other hand, the plain flavor went better with the hummus. The biggest problem was that they didn’t bake evenly, like I said.

If you’re considering trying this, keep quantity in mind. My medium-sized pita would have been enough for two people, assuming they both weren’t really hungry, or had something else to eat. A large pita could probably work for at least three, but if you get those mini-pitas, the existence of which I just don’t get, don’t even expect that to fill up one person. Then again, a whole package of mini-pitas might be enough.

While baking, I’d check them at ten minutes, no later than 15. If you think you smell them burning, check them immediately. If they seem to be getting really brown at the edges, then you have to choose between possibly not having them crisp in the middle, or letting the edges overcook.

Of course, you can always look up an actual recipe if you’re not willing to risk the imperfections of experimental cooking. Then, pair with whatever kind of dip or food item you’d like, and eat to your heart’s content.

 

 

They were tasty, so I’m calling it a success. (Ish)

Render and such


The reason I haven’t posted for so long is, as you might have guessed, that I haven’t eaten anything in all this time.

I’m kidding, of course.

Actually, a combination of procrastination and general bad-moodness is the reason. Luckily for those of you who are interested in reading my posts, that means I now have lots of posts to catch up on. Quite a bit of experimenting. Also other random eating. Last night was Halloween, and I ate a salad of lettuce, tomato, and dressing. That’s all I had for dinner. Exciting Halloween, huh? But I’m not going to talk about Halloween, and the fact that I didn’t do anything.

I did note that, after I asked people to actually click on my posts and come to the page, they did. Thank you! I appreciate you! I may or may not ever mention it again.

Catchup post #1:

Time to talk about one of the high-end, expensive coffee places in Boston: Render Coffee in the South End. I checked them out at a 50% discount by the good graces of Scoutmob. If you have not heard of them, you should check them out. They do deals in a number of cities, and if you live in one of them, I would highly recommend you get the app. It’s free to download and use. I have no idea how they make any money.   Read the rest of this entry

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