Monday, August 30, 2010

Don't be scared of eggs...

just watch which kind you buy! With all of the egg recalls, I wasn't really worried. I always buy Eggland's Best or organic. You might as well buy good eggs if you eat them frequently. I ate the leftover steak from last night for lunch, so I wanted something lighter for dinner. I quickly decided on huevos rancheros, one of my favorite egg dishes. If you've never heard of it before, it's a Mexican egg dish. I make it with very simple ingredients, but I'm sure you could essentially put anything in it you want.

First, I combine one jar salsa (I used my homemade salsa), one can of black beans, drained and washed, and one can of corn in a large saucepan. After it comes up to a simmer, make a well for each of the eggs, and carefully crack them in. I have 2 eggs per person:

Next, cover and let the eggs cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the whites are cooked through. I like the yolks a little runny, so I tend to cook about 8 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese over the eggs, cover, and let melt for 2 minutes.

Serve in tortillas, with toppings such as sour cream, cilantro, and my favorite seasoning: konriko brand jalepeno seasoning! I use it in place of salt on pretty much everything.

They're so good, you'll want to make them every week!

Finally, my favorite song of the moment is Plain White T's "Rhythm of Love." It's a fantastic song for the end of summer, and I can't help but sing along every time I hear it!


Reminded Again

One more week to the unofficial end of summer and New York City is going out with a bang! The temperatures have returned to the balmy sweltering 90's, thankfully, those 70* days were making me sad (give me the heat any day!!), and I took advantage by spending a great deal of my Saturday/Sunday outside.

I met up with my high school friend Erica on Saturday for brunch at Alice's Teacup. The wait wasn't too terrible for a Saturday afternoon, so we left our name and walked around for a bit. As we walked I also went through their menu in my head, I had previously looked at the menu online knowing that I would have a hard time deciding what to order.

I love breakfast foods, but wasn't necessarily in the mood for something too carby, at the same time the daily selection of scones looked amazing, as always. Once seated the waitress told us of the daily specials which included a vegan chickpea and curry pureed soup. That sounded delicious so I went with the "lighter fare" selection on the menu and paired the soup with half a sandwich.

The meal also came with a rosemary roll. I had planned to only try the roll since I had the sandwich, but boy was this bread amazing!! I couldn't let it go to waste :-)

I also ordered an energiteric (I think it was) ice tea since I was feeling pretty sluggish. The tea did the trick and any looming sleepiness disappeared! I need to go back and get the leaves of that tea so I can make it at home.

After filling ourselves we walked up to the Guggenheim. On the way we passed La Maison Du Chocolat and stopped in to take a closer look.

Erica ended up buying two macaroons and as she paid we were offered free samples. I tried the chocolate ganache, and can we say heaven, so good!

I walked around the Guggenheim for about 1.5 hours and then ended up walking the 2 mi back to my lab to take care of a few lingering/daily task

After heading home, a dinner of leftovers, and a few minutes of downtime, I met backup with Erica and we walked (another 1.3 mi) to Central Park for their last outdoor movie screening as part of the Central Park Conservancy Festival. The evenings film was viewer's choice, Manhattan.

I've never watched a Woody Allen movie in its entirety, and admit that it was humorous but also very strange. I ended up quickly doing a google search to see the reaction of a 42 year old dating a 17 year old in 1979, but couldn't find much, was it not a big deal?

This picture hardly demonstrates the number of people spread across the lawn.

After the screening we then walked the 1.3 mi back home, boy did I cover some ground on Saturday!

I love that New York offers so many free cultural events during the summer, such things continue to remind me why I love this city. Sunday Ryan invited me to an outdoor opera screening. From August 28-September 6 The Metropolitan Opera House shows a different opera every night on a huge HD screen on the Lincoln Center Plaza. Last night they screened The Magic Flute. It was presented in English for a family friendly night, and also a pretty goofy opera. I'm hoping to get back at least once more for a non English performance.

No real pictures because I forgot my camera and was coming from the gym so I didn't have time to run back home and retrieve it, next time.

Happy Monday,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I love Rachael Ray!

Whenever I want to try a new recipe, I usually turn to my Rachael Ray cookbooks. I probably have almost every one of hers. They have fun recipes, although not usually "30 minute meals." Today, I wanted to have some type of beef, and I found a recipe for steak stuffed with spinach and crimini mushrooms. The hardest part was definitely putting the hole in the roast and stuffing it. but it came out very well! The crimini mushrooms were put on top.

While at the grocery store getting ingredients for dinner and the rest of the week, I found that the produce section had some interesting melon choices. I picked out a Santa Claus melon. I remember eating this melon before, but I don't remember what it tastes like. I haven't eaten it yet, so I'll have to tell you about the taste later! Here's what it looks like:

I've been looking all over different grocery stores, but I can't seem to find blood oranges anywhere! I haven't had them in months, and I miss them. Also, O can't seem to find canned pumpkin. An employee at a grocery store said that last year's pumpkin harvest wasn't so great, so at least I've solved the canned pumpkin mystery.

And also, what better to go with a sandwich, but chips? I'm so glad I had some very tasty chips on hand today. Have you ever heard of PopChips? They are made by putting pressure to the potato mixture, I believe. They're not fried or baked. Today, I had barbecue, but in the bast I've also had the salt and vinegar. At 120 calories for 20 chips, these are a great snack!

Have a nice week!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Hibernating for the night

Me time was so great last night, to do list is about half complete, and unless I come up with a miracle in the next 24 hours I think that's about all that is going to be checked off, but I am much more relaxed, and that's key.

Apart from cleaning and pilates I also roasted tomatoes last night. Simply:
-Cut tomatoes into 3/4 inch slices and place on baking sheet
-Sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper
-Drizzle with olive oil
-Sprinkle with fresh basil
-Cook 2.5 hours at 250*

Not quite sure what I'm going to do with these yet, blend them and add some kind of base for a soup? They're also delish as is, added to a salad, or simple side dish.

While staying in for the night I also did some sewing. Had a few articles of clothing that had been needed patching for a while now, all done!!!

Ok, gotta run, not staying in tonight.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The best part of waking up cereal in my bowl.

Cereal is by far my favorite breakfast food. Yes I have a love affair with oatmeal/oat bran from time to time and the occasional morning egg, pancake, waffle, bagel, scone, or muffin is nice; but my heart will always be with cereal.

The downside to cereal, I can rarely eat one bowl. This morning I went with 2 servings of Life and a 1/4 cup of nuts on the side, I was a content girl!

Packed lunch:

Between my breakfast and lunch I feel like I'm 12 again, but I think I'm okay with that!

Sometimes I want to go back to those days of my youth when I was naive and with little care; and the most exciting part of summer was finding out what teachers you were going to have for the coming year. In my middle school they divided students into 4 different teams and you would rotate around the different teachers in the team for math, science, english, social studies, etc. My sister is going into 8th grade and just found out she is on the Panther team. It's so sad but I couldn't remember what team I was on in 8th grade at first. In 7th grade I was on the road runner team and can remember each one of my teachers clearly. As for 8th grade, I finally remembered I was on the Leopard team, but for teachers, I still can't quite remember my social studies and science teachers. That could be because 8th grade was my least favorite year in school. I almost got a B in science, the horror, (I ended up with an A) and the kids in 8th grade are just incredibly judgmental!! That said, maybe I don't want to be 12 again?

As for this weekend, I have so much on my to do list and with my to do list at work I'm back to sleepless nights due to increasing anxiety. In fact I cancelled my plans tonight so I can clean and run errands, which I totally feel bad about, but sometimes you just need some me time, right?

To do this weekend:
1. Buy new running sneakers
2. Buy new blush
3. Clean-straighten room, clean bathroom, sweep/mop floors
4. Laundry
5. Grocery shopping for fruit, yogurt, grains
6. Bake bread
7. Cook and freeze CSA veggies
8. Host friend from Philly
9. Lab work
10. Enjoy the sun!!



Monday, August 23, 2010

A weekend in Philly

Hey all-
Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I'm currently sitting in my living room looking at my wonderful view and raindrops hitting the window pane, not quite ready to get up and ready my self for another work week.

Friday afternoon I headed into Philly for a family BBQ on Sunday. Recently my friend Amanda moved back to Philadelphia so I decided to head down early in order to spend time with my BFF from middle school (we go way back). Didn't take too many photos this weekend put did and saw plenty.

Like the yarn bombed tree in Ritten House, I think the girl who did this went to my high school:

Philadelphia is actually becoming a more appealing city and I could potentially see myself moving there one day. After living in New York for so long I didn't think I would ever move back, but the hustle and bustle of New York can be a bit much at times and a slower pace is nice sometimes. Plus I love how bike-able Philadelphia is becoming.

Also got to play with Amanda's kittens:

I brought tomatillos with me so we made salsa verde, using this recipe but used 1 cup of water instead of 2 and let it simmer for 30 minutes compared to the 10-15 called for in the recipe. I suppose it depends on the texture you are looking for, I like my salsa more chunky than watery.

We paired the salsa with tomatoes, peppers, and fish for a fish tacos.

We also had a few beers:

And met up with some of her friends for Philadelphia nightlife:

Saturday we had a great brunch featuring eggs and more of the salsa verde, the stuff was so good, couldn't get enough!

I met up with my grandma that afternoon and headed to my uncles for a family BBQ, I ended up playing several games and chatting with my cousins and ended up taking no photos!!

I headed back Saturday night with my mom so I could spend a bit of time with her and my sister. We woke early Sunday for a walk/run before church. We went to our local park/path which is set in the woods, but I generally only see a few birds or squirrels as I run around. Yesterday I ended up seeing a hawk take off from the ground, and a deer right next to the path, my 4th time around another deer started walking across my path and I decided to call it quits before a buck ran in from of me (it's happened before and is kinda scary-so much for them being more scared of us!).

Sunday I headed back to NYC with Amanda and was greeted by an Elvis impersonator (the first time I've seen one in New York) and rain. So we decided to call it an easy night and ordered in from my favorite Thai restaurant.

Ok, cardio done for the day, breakfast and coffee consumed, and blogged! I think that's a pretty productive morning, though I had hoped to fit in pilates, will have to do in the evening. Time for a quick shower and work...blah.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh, the joys of canning!

We have had a great summer for tomatoes! We planted about 6 tomato plants at the end of spring, and within the last 2 weeks, it seems as if all of the tomatoes have ripened at once! Pounds and pounds of them, all ripe for the picking. What to do with them was the question, and the answer was salsa! We already had a salsa spice packet with canning instructions, and we had all the canning gadgets. First, the tomatoes went into a pot of boiling water, then into an ice bath to remove the skins. I've found in the past that using a food processor or blender to chop the tomatoes yields a watery mixture, so I seeded and chopped all the tomatoes by hand. A lengthy process, but worth it in the end! After chopping the tomatoes, adding the spice packet, vinegar and an extra jalapeno, we had to simmer the salsa for 10 minutes before putting it into the jars. The jars and lids were in boiling water prior to canning the salsa because everything has to be very clean. After sealing the jars, they go into a boiling water bath for 40 minutes. The end result was very tasty!

Our next project (since we still have tons of tomatoes) will probably be making pasta sauce.

While at a trip to Wegmans, I looked for blood oranges, but they didn't have any! I've been looking all over for them and can't find them anywhere! But I did find some golden raspberries! Have you seen these before? They are very pretty, and they taste just like the red kind. I would love to get a whole bunch to make jam, it would make a pretty jam!

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Last night I was feeling particularly inspired so after 50 minutes of pilates I walked to the wine shop and bought a bottle of dry white wine, a Chardonnay from Chile. The wine was mostly for cooking but some sipping did occur as well. But the true inspiration for my purchase were my ripe heirloom tomatoes. What to do with 3 pounds of tomatoes? Make tomato sauce!

I put pandora on in the background, poured a glass of wine and got to work.

1st up peeling-boil 2 quarts of water, place tomatoes in and allow water to return to a boil. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and immediately place in ice water. Tomatoes are ready to peel with your fingers.

I cut the tomatoes in eighths, next I think I would cut into smaller chunks, and set aside.

Next I chopped one large green pepper, one large onion, and 2 garlic gloves. I threw them into a sauce pan with a tablespoon of heated olive oil and cooked until the onion was beginning to brown.

Then in went the tomatoes, 1 cup of wine, about 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano.

I brought the mixture to a boil on high heat, then turned the heat to low, covered the pot and allowed to simmer for 1 hour.

To the final product I added salt and pepper, and will probably go back and add some cayenne tonight when I reheat because I like my food with a kick.

A friend is coming over for dinner tonight to test out the sauce, I'm pretty proud and hope she enjoys.

On a side and random note, as I was writing cayenne I was thinking it would be an interesting name for kid, what do you think? My mom actually wanted to name me Cinnamon, but thankfully my father talked her out of that one! I often bring that fact up to friends, I mean my name would have been Cinnamon Bowles, that well, would have been interesting. Just last week my mom texted "I wonder if you would be going for your PhD if your name had been Cinnamon." One never knows, but I could easily think of some other professions where one might find a few Cinnamon's.