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Thursday, July 7, 2011


Sangria means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Blood? Red wine, sprite, and OJ? Could be......

Here's what I just made for a crowd of 10. There were leftovers, and it was quite a shindig.

1.5 higher quality box wine (I used Bota Box Malbec)
1 bottle Meyers dark rum
1.5 Gallons orange juice
0.5 Gallons pineapple juice
Several stems lemongrass, cleaned and trimmed
3 tsp cinnamon
1 root ginger, peeled and grated
juice from 3 plump limes
Chopped fruit-I used apples, pineapples, and oranges

Mix it up at least 6 hours before you plan to start your festivities.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Who wants a boiga?

I had a 4th of July party and experimented with some different kinds of burgers. Here's a rundown:

Mediterranean chick pea burgers

cooked chick peas
squeeze a lemon
minced kalamata olives
chopped scallions
pine nuts
bread crumbs
minced garlic
2 eggs

put in as much of these things as you want, seasoning to taste, along with any fresh herbs you have and enough bread crumbs to dry it out. Mush it together with your hands so some of the beans get smushed. You can also add any veggie you have on hand--just dice and sear before you add to the mix. Form patties and grill on oiled foil or a skillet or baking pan on the grill. Nom nom.

Crabby tuna patties

1 can drained crab
1 can high-quality tuna, drained
squeeze a lemon
2 eggs
bread crumbs
diced red onion
diced dill pickles
old bay seasoning

assemble, cook, and nom same as above.

Greek veggie burgers

Frozen spinach
tomatoes fresh or canned
crumbled feta
so much garlic
minced red onion
2 eggs
bread crumbs
marjoram, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt pepper, whatever you got!
diced olives if you want

Push the water out of the spinach and diced tomatoes in a strainer. Mix, mash, and grill!

Buffalo chicken burgers

Ground chicken from Cardonas
crumbled bleu or gorganzola
diced celery
diced red onion
sosososo much Frank's red hot
bread crumbs

Since these are meat, you can grill on the grate rather than using the foil.

Of course you can mix anything but the kitchen sink with eggs and breadcrumbs and make a "burger". Another thing I threw in to some of the heartier ones I've made is quick oats--it absorbs liquid and is slightly healthier than pankos. These are just a few ideas in my quest to never turn the stove or range on in the summer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunshine Vinaigrette

Peel and quarter (lengthwise) a large shallot

Drop in in a saucepan with a mix of half olive oil and half canola, heat until just before the shallot burns, then strain it

After the oil cools whisk it with a dash of balsamic vinegar, a larger dash of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, a small glump of smooth dijon mustard, and the juice from an orange and a lemon. This will keep for a few days in a jar in the fridge, shake if it separates.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I had a lot of fun with Gabe turning this stuff into the pictures below.

The bread is Sally Lunn bread- and old family favorite. It's made with eggs and butter; oh yeah. I used half white whole wheat flour to inject a little nutrition. The tarts were a test run for a dinner I am putting on to benefit Haiti.

Curried Sweet Potato Tarts

large sweet potato
ginger root
curry powder
1 egg

4 cups flour
1 stick butter
dash of salt
ice water

Make the dough by cutting in the butter with a pastry knife. Add the ice water, between a quarter and half cup, little by little till it holds together. Wrap the dough in saran wrap and stick in the fridge.

Peel and chop the sweet potato, steam it.

While it is steaming dice peel and mince the ginger, garlic, and shallots.

Heat a small amount of canola oil and sautee the shallots and ginger, adding the garlic when they're almost done. Add the curry. When it is all melded together, add the sweet potatoes and a squirt of sirracha. Transfer to a bowl and throw the egg in. Blend with the immersion blender or a mixer. Take the crust out and roll it. They always say never touch the dough but I find this to be a crock. You can mush it up a little with your hands and it will still be tender. Cut the dough with a sharp knife into squares and lay them in the muffin tin. Spoon in the filling and bake at 350 for 20-25 mins. Yum!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I made a scarf

I just am learning how to knit and completed my first project,a small scarf in garter stitch for Gabriel. I tried to get him to stand still for a pic which led to a rather silly fashion show:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Belated Christmas

This year I had zero budget for Christmas decorations but I still really wanted to celebrate the season with Gabriel. Here are a few of the ways we made our home merry:

The tree was a hand-me-down that one of my brother's roommates left behind when she moved out. I did have some ornaments from previous years which I augmented with Chinese lanterns and small doo-dads I had around the house. It was a triumph of kitch.

I wrapped presents in Gabriel's art. I expect this to do this for years to come.

I hung a star on a skeleton's foot.

Gabe and I made some snowflakes out of some of his artwork, then strung them in the window on twine with some clothespins.

I filled up a bowl with ornaments for a centerpiece.

I filled up a basket with some pine needles and wrapped a fancy ribbon around it.

My creche was a hand-me-down from my parents.

The garland is a chain made with red and green fabrics. We had a lot of fun decorating and Gabe was sad to take it down. Next year I plan to be more prepared and do a few wreaths or kissing balls.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Perfected Roasted Chicken Dinner

I got the marinade for this from the Gordon Hammersly's chapter of In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs. This is not creative---oldest meal in the book, but I could eat it every day for the rest of my life. It takes close to 3 hours but a lot of that time is waiting.

The most importent ingredient is the chicken. Free-range is not a crock when it comes to chickens. In Albany you can get great chickens at Cardona's for around $3.29 a pound. It is worth every penny.

2 free-range fryers, between 3 and 4 pounds
1 bunch parsley
4 lemons
2-3 shallots
2 heads of garlic
dried herbs de provance
dried rosemary
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
olive oil
3 onions
4 potatoes
3 carrots
broccoli optional

For the marinade, run the parsley, 4 cloves of the garlic, the shallots, a spoonful of the dried herbs, salt and pepper, and the mustard through the food processor. When it is pureed, start drizzling olive oil little by little. When it gets runny, stop. Marinate the chickens for an hour with a tight saran wrap cover. Don't let it go for more than an hour or the flavor will take over.

Preheat the oven to 350

While you are waiting for the chicken prep the veggies. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into large chunks. If you are using the broccoli chop it into large florets. Peel the carrots and cut them into big chunks. For the onions take off the very ends of both sides. Quarter them and take off the paper. They should stay together from the root end. Toss all these in salt pepper and olive oil and put them on a cookie sheet. Arrange them so that they are all face down on the sheet.

Put the chickens in, uncovered, on the upper rack, on a roasting pan with a rack. After they go for 20 minutes, put the veggies in the lower rack. After they go for a half hour, flip them. They should be really browned. When the inner temp of the chickens is 165 take them out.

After the chicken goes in, Take the remaining garlic off the clove without peeling them. Put them in a small saucepan and just cover them with water. Boil them for 5 mins, drain, and put in a small baking dish with olive oil. Cover and bake till the chickens and veggies come out. Peel them when they cool off a little.

Crank the oven up to 450. Let the chickens rest for 20-30 minutes. After that take the chickens apart, leaving the wings with the breast and the drum with the thigh. Transfer the pieces to a baking pan. Slice the remaining lemons and put them around the pan with the roasted garlic. Put it in the oven for 15 more mins with the veggies back on the bottom.

Arrange on a serving tray or plate individually.