Equine Dreams and Bitter Greens

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Oh a horse a horse my kingdom for a horse…

We had a little adventure, thanks to Groupon, we got to sit on some horses for a half an hour while they walked through the snow. It was not exactly the greatest time ever, nor were the views much to speak off, oh and the stupid snowmobilers were omnipresent but still I got to be on a horse and that’s what counts.

Of course I haven’t a kingdom of any sorts for which to trade for a horse. But if I did I would trade it all for the magnificent one we met on Sunday. He was a Percheron, a white one, he was like an enourmous unicorn ( but without the horn).

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What he looked like in my mind

 

I swear I got all giggly and short of breath, it was like all my 9 year old dreams came true he was going to be my best friend and my faithful companion forever and we would have adventures and I would wear dresses and flowers in my long long hair and I’d braid my hair and his mane every day and I’d have a bow and arrow and off we’d go to Narnia, where we’ll have tea with Mr. Tumnus and Aslan will make all the snow disappear.

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What he really looked like- still f’ing incredible

 

Of course none of that happened, I did get to pet his nose a bit, and since I had no snacks he was pretty disinterested in me and the sound of my dreams being shattered like so many discarded light bulbs rang through the winter air, except not really, what happened was he got a little bitey so we left him alone, his head was like 4 feet long he was the biggest horse I’ve ever seen in person, I did not want to piss him off.

He was a most absolute and excellent horse.

And as this is the winter of my discontent that is clearly not yet been made to glorious summer by anything.. yet but I hope it will, perhaps not till aft the ides of March.

Ok I’m done now its out of my system. Well, almost I must tell you of my Salad days, when I was green with envy and most definablely cold in blood. Ok, I’m done.

I have been craving bitter bitter greens lately and I made a terrific salad last night, it was pretty powerful flavor wise, all this white white snow is so lacking and I wanted something that was almost shocking, just almost too much and this salad was exactly that.

I think we  need bitter after so much soft food and sweet food and sort of innocuous comfort-y foods like stews and potatoes. This salad sort of slaps you in the face, like a Film Noir broad would. “Stop yer whelping”,  it would say, if it could, a cigarette dangling from the corner of it’s mouth, a martini at it’s elbow.. “Sit up straight, life ain’t always soft and sweet, sometimes its tough to chew, its bitter, and also kind of fishy, but that don’t make it bad”

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A Broad’s Salad : Chicory with Asiago and Anchovy

  • 1 Head chicory (washed & dried)- (sometimes called curly endive)- in a pinch or if you are a wuss you could use escarole or romaine but it won’t be the same.
  • 3 Anchovy fillets
  • 1 Large garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
  • Lots fresh ground black pepper
  • Good Salt
  1. Rub Garlic clove all over the inside of your salad bowl
  2.  Cut or rip chicory in to bite size pieces and put in salad bowl & season liberally with salt & pepper
  3. Blend together the remaining ingredients  (plus the garlic clove)-  until creamy. I used a Magic Bullet blender for this but you could use a stick blender or a regular blender, if you whisk it by hand the cheese will never incorporate.
  4. Toss the salad

Serve with some grilled peasant bread rubbed with garlic, salt & oil.

You could totally put an egg on this, maybe two.

Hunks of crisp pancetta would not be bad either, nor would shaved fennel or marinated roasted tomatoes.

I feel like if you had this salad with a salumi plate and a few glasses of wine you’d be really content, but you’d have to include mortadella, it just feels right.

This is super fabulous as side with some fatty meat like pork belly or after a bowl of  rich pasta. We had ziti in Marcella Hazan’s tomato butter sauce – also known as the best fastest easiest tomato sauce ever.

ziti

 

What this week’s menu looks like:

 

Sunday

Richard Olney’s Chicken Gratin, Rice, Brussels Sprouts & Megan’s chocolate Almond Cake

( This recipe is a serious departure form my usual style, and it was good, and would probably make it for guests again, because its the sort of thing people who are not me really like- I feel the same way about mashed potatoes)

Monday

Marcella Ziti & Chicory Salad

Tuesday

Pork Loin with Mustard/Apricot, Sweet Potatoes, Kale

Wednesday

Turkey Meatloaf, Orzo Mac & Cheese Broccoli

Thursday

Red Cat Pan Roasted Chicken, Polenta, Roasted Tomatoes & Fennel

Friday

Home Made Pizza (meatballs??), Asparagus Salad

Saturday--

OHMYGOD MAYBE WE’LL GO OUT TO DINNER????????

I like making lists and I cannot lie

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Hello and Happy Year of the Goat… I freakin LOVE LOVE goats, I had a goat as a pet once her name was Gabby and she lived in our house, and she loved to eat everything but most of all banana chips. She was super friendly and would cuddle on the couch and chase us around the house.

One night my mother and her boyfriend at the time, Marco Vassi a well known pornographer, who oddly enough spent the last years of his life living next door to me in NYC, were having a drumming party, this being the 70’s they were rather the thing to do. At one point during the drumming a speaker fell and hit Marco in the head, an ambulance was called… when the ambulance arrived they found several people drumming and dancing in circles around a man bleeding from the head and a goat. It is a wonder child protective services were not called.

I hope everyone had the Valentines Day they wanted to have.

I finally got my hair cut, its shorter than I planned but it was very dry, its very dry here

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So V-Day was nice, Xtian bought me red roses even though I wanted orange rose and a heart shaped box of chocolates, the box of chocolates was fun because I like to take a bite out of every one and then put them back, it’s something I used to do with my Grandma Bella. She had a secret stash in the silverware drawer and every so often we’d  bite and discard chocolates and feel like Elizabeth Taylor. When they are very good chocolates I feel bad wasting them.

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I got him a bottle of bourbon and some ear plugs and a Groupon for a whiskey tasting, plus I made him a card and some special chocolates. Ok, so maybe I am just good at giving gifts but no so good at the receiving of gifts, this is a constant theme.

That night during the not blizzard we went out for Scorpion Bowls and Pu-Pu Platters which was totally fun!photo 3 photo 4

On Sunday we lay about like walruses and watched a ridiculous amount of television… including Broad City which is amazing and brilliant and I love those two crazy Jewish Girls so much!!!!

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We also watched the six hundred hour long SNL 40th anniversary show which was just really more sad than funny, the Californians skit just sucked and went on for way longer than it needed to, there was probably much smarter funnier way to get Bradley Cooper & Betty White to make out, and uch Sarah Palin that asshole, at least she looked terrible. Bill Murray was great, of course, he is the funniest person on the planet and even though I do not know he seems like a pretty great guy..a real mensch.(if you need evidence of that read THIS)

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TV watching snack
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This Week’s Menu
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Rice Bowls moved to Wed to Thurs because of Chinese New year..also we had dumplings
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Monday Nights Pizza which I changed to Zucchini & Mushroom

 

But I digress.  Lists, I LOVE to make lists.  I make shopping lists, and activities lists and things to do lists and sometimes just random lists of things like flavors of ice cream I would make if I had an ice cream shop:

  • White Chocolate Curry
  • Carrot Cake
  • Bitter Chocolate Bergamot
  • Pink Peppercorn Peppermint
  • Roasted Banana Walnut
  • Coconut Cream Pie
  • Toasted Almond/Caramelized Almonds
  • Burnt Vanilla/Pink Grapefruit
  • Honey Sherbet
  • Coffee Molasses

Sometime I make lists of words I like

  • Affenpincher
  • Stroopwaffel
  • Pamplemousse
  • Asinine
  • Uxorious
  • Strachiatella
  • Babushka
  • Luxe
  • Indubitably

Or of things that I want to fix the house

  • Repaint cabinets that blue color or something cool because I HATE THEM
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  • BOOKSHELVES
  • Curtains every where
  • Curtains in dressing room
  • Chair in dressing room (BD couch??)
  • Do Stuff to Kitchen island(pegboard, baskets, hooks)102227743.jpg.rendition.largest
  • Throw out everything
  • Hang pictures
  • Glitter eggs

Shopping lists are my favorite, right now I have one going for a trip to Trader Joe’s, always a bit of an event because in theory there are only 5 or 6 things there that I don’t want, and only 10 or so that I actually need at any given time. And my editing skills are such that even though I know editing usually means removing items/word I always seem to end up with more…

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I have dreamed of these and now they are a reality

 

This is the practical (ish) version of the list, things we need in the house that we use or have run out of that are cheaper, better or only at Trader Joe’s

  • Olive Oil
  • Capers
  • Almond butter
  • Wine (case)-NOT 2 Buck Chuck that is total shite- however Revolution Chandonnay and Pontificus Cotes Du Rhone blends are great and LESS THAN $8 a bottle, also they have a totally drinkable German sparkling wine for like $
  • Sherry (dry)- for cooking, $4 natch
  • Vermouth (white)
  • Coconut oil
  • Pizza dough
  • Cheese – Parm, Cheddar, Mozz, Goat, String
  • Brown rice
  • Risotto Rice
  • Gerolsteiner water
  • Kale sprouts
  • Bacon
  • San Marzano tomatoes
  • Whole wheat pitas
  • Quinoa
  • Tulips

Aaaaand then there’s the other list, the stuff I want list. This stuff  that’s better at or only at TJ’s or they don’t have it at our supermarket and I’m not paying Whole Foods Prices for it…. but it’s all stuff we can do without.

  • Truffled Marcona almonds
  • Pretzel bagels
  • Hazelnut Milk
  • Dates
  • Meyer Lemons
  • Amaretti cookies
  • Ghee
  • TJ’s Salsa Verde
  • Everything Crackers
  • Frozen Dumplings
  • Frozen Scallion Pancakes
  • Frozen Shrimp
  • Frozen Artichoke Hearts
  • Frozen Wild Mushroom Mix
  • Frozen Root Veg Strips
  • Lemon Curd
  • Cara Cara Oranges
  • Tahini Sauce
  • Marscapone
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Kouign Amman

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Then there are the things I would pick up if we weren’t going to go to the regular supermarket

  • Little gem lettuces
  • Arugula
  • Juice
  • Mini Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Butter
  • Stuff for Oscar Night Hoagies ( Pickled hot peppers, mortadella, proscuitto, salami, provolone)
  • A Chicken
  • Some Fish
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Dishwashing Soap

And this is why Christian has a fucking heart attack walking through the doors, I’m at probably $250-300 which is a helluva a lot more than we usually spend on groceries, though a lot of it is pantry items that will be used throughout the next few months. I can justify anything.

In other news it’s snowing. AGAIN. And I am CRAVING cake, yellow cake with chocolate icing, and I have absolutely no reason to bake a cake like that, nor should I have one in my house and there are NO decent cupcakes of that sort available here in Brunswick, Maine.

What I Miss About Philadelphia

  • My friends….you know who you are, even if you are not in this picture.
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  • Bumping into people I like at random
  • Fresh Direct
  • The view from my deck
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  • Walking to a bar, a restaurant, walking anywhere really
  • Food delivery- Chinese esp.
  • New Year’s Day
  • mummers
  • Real Pizza
  • Di Brunos & Claudios
  • The rest of the Italian Market
  • Good bread/bakeries I would kill for a eclair from Miel.
  • Green Aisle Grocer
  • SEPTA (OMFG yes, I said that)
  • Chili Bowl/Wing Bowl
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  • Restaurants
  • H&M
  • Real Tacos
  • Chinatown- Steamed pork buns, Szechwan food, noodle soups, Soup Dumplings, Dim Sum most of all
  • Abroadable-Eats-Dim-Sum
  • Pho
  • Asian Markets
  • Mexican Markets & Bodegas
  • Reading Terminal Market
  • Places that are open past 10 pm

What I don’t miss about Philadelphia 

  • Bumping into people I do not like at random, esp one who I know I would see the minute I step foot in Philly, that bitch.
  • Hearing someone vomit, hock a lugey, talk on the phone, take a piss or fight outside my window
  • The douches at Pat’s & Geno’s at all hourssnowdick
  • The Pushy-BabyCarriage-Dog situation at Filter Square Farmer’s Market
  • The number of hideous stories on local news
  • Dirt and grime
  • Street crime
  • Trash all over the sidewalks always esp. on trash dayphilatrash
  • The PLCB
  • Tumbleweaves and other interesting street garbage ( maybe I sort of miss that)
  • stuff on streetphillystreet
  • Masses of shouting pushing teenagers
  • Shitty angry people en masse
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    Philadelphia DMV
  • Foul tasting water that is never cold enough nor hot enough
  • Hard water’s result on my hair
  • $100 to get Farrah groomed (it’s $35 here)
  • That black dust in my house
  • Walking up 4 flights of stairs to get home
  • Crowds
  • Being far from the ocean
  • Pretentious bullshit
  • Car alarms
  • Violence sort of simmering underneath at all timestankonstreet
  • Traffic Noise
  • General Ugliness
  • The Smell
  • Hipsters
  • damn-hipsters

On that note I am going end this with yet another plea to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE  rate my ebook on Amazon, please its the only way other people will buy it.

The reviews that work don’t mention that you know me, because of course everyone’s friends  family say nice things about them.photo 4 (1)

This weekend I’m back at MCHPP making a zillion banana breads iwth a pack of Bowdoin Students SO EXCITED!

 

 

Still snowing.

photo 4 (1)I went to Syracuse, so I am familiar with snow but now that I think about it I was intoxicated 85% of the time at SU, so really the snow was not such a big deal, as I was relatively unconcerned about getting to class, and someone else was always happy to do a beer run.

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This snow however is killing me, it is so claustrophobic, it’s everywhere you look… there is an 8′ pile of snow on the other side of my fence, and over 6′ drifts in my backyard. Also its very cold, it’s just really very cold. I know its Maine, and its supposed to be cold, its north way north first light in The United States kind of north. Maybe I just need better boots and some long underwear. I am so not properly prepared for this shit. Well, really what am I going to do gambol about in -6 degree weather snow? Go for a run?  Uch.

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I am looking for ice skates, we have this lovely little skate pond on the village green. I like ice skating, I feel like a graceful swan even if I look like one of the hippos from Fantasia.

I put a post on my local “Yard Sale” facebook page, to see if I can get a used pair. So far no luck.

I have to admit that I hate read a lot of the posts, people ask ridiculous questions, they often post about their feelings towards how they feel they have been treated on the site. I don’t want to seem judgmental, maybe hate is too strong a word, I wouldn’t want anyone to think less of me  because I judge these people for being unburdened by the ravages of intelligence, that’s all.

But, they get in squabbles over things people are selling things $1. One dollar! Let me tell you, you have to work hard for that dollar, you have to answer questions, wait around your house, go meet people in public places for that dollar, seems to me it would be easier to just not try to get the dollar.

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They post stupid things for sale like a picture of snow labeled “FREE”, which ok fine its about as funny as a sitcom, it reminds me of the many hilarious waitstaff I encountered in LA,  all of whom thought it was charming and hysterical to tell me they were out of whatever I ordered and then do a drama pauses and say just kidding, no less than 5 people did that, the roughly same amount have posted Free Snow posts.

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I don’t know if you can see the scale of this enormous fly but it’s wearing shoes it’s huge,  its so large an animal that it sleeps. I thought it was dead but it woke up and started flying around again, then it ate half my sandwich.

 

The snow is making me mean. I am full of vitriol and tacos. Maybe it was last nights tacos, I swear processed food makes me crabby. I made regular old crunchy old El Paso tacos last night. I was lazy and I used their seasoning mix which is full of crap, and maybe I ate 2 more tacos than I should’ve.  Whatever I still feel gross and bloated, like I can feel my stomach resting on the top of my thighs kind of bloated.

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Speaking of gross…I have been listening to NPR while I type this and at 9 am here in Maine it turns over to classical music and the first song was the theme to Beauty and the Beast on the pan flute…I couldn’t find the window to turn it off for just long enough to make the skin between my eyes pucker. What the fuck man???

What else has happened… um a GIANT FREAKIN’ BIRD attacked the garbage we had on the back porch because our garbage can is buried under the snow… it ripped the bag apart and threw all kinds of garbage all over our back yard, leaving huge crazy bird footprints in the snow, some of that was bathroom garbage… it was not pleasant at all.

We did got the Winter Market on Saturday, that was extremely pleasant, and I bought a tiny beautiful yellow tea cup and saucer at the Flea Market. I did not buy a glass lid for one of my jars for a dollar, it seemed greedy – I mean I spent $4 for the jar, AND the dude had at least 50 of them tossed in the back of a pile in a torn box, I would’ve done .50 if he wasn’t so mean about it, he barked at me. Whatever, I bought some lovely things and chatted with a few peoples and remembered that I live in a town with others not just in my house.

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Saturday’s  post Farket lunch

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Leftover chicken cutlet. escarole and arugula with salt & oil, watermelon radishes with lemon juice, a funky local cheese called La Vie en Rose, levain bread and toasted kasha walnut bread (also local)

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And on Sunday I made too many pancakes with tremendous amounts of Maine maple Syrup, I love maple syrup.

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Oh and , I got a mention in the paper and they used one of my recipes, on a less positive note it resulted in 0 book sales, like 0 not a one. Oh well, baby steps right????

What I need is a spa day, an entire day in a warm place being pampered and exfoliated, I need all my dead skin taken off and I need to be deeply moisturized and my toes need to be painted and shiny, I need a good hair cut and some highlights and then I will feel like a normal person. For the meantime I will DIY this weekend.

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Is this ridiculous? She’s sleeping on Xtian’s knee.

Some of the things I’ve been cooking this week:

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Not a particularly exciting grilled brie & cranberry chutney, but there was a rather relaxing ingredient in the oil, one we received it as a gift…it was very mellow veeeeerrrrrryyy melllllllllllllllllllllllllllllow, man.

 

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A bunch of colorful add-ons for my Turkey Mole- Flame carrots quick pickled in jalapeno pickle juice, chopped blood orange, purple cabbage rubbed with lime and salt, avocado, watermelon radishes, grape tomatoes, cilantro, red onion with lime juice
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Turkey Mole- a leg & thigh slow cooked with a mix of guadillo, cascabel , New Mexico peppers, onion, garlic, almonds, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, Mexican chocolate– It was really flavorful, but not hot at all and that red color that’s chile, I didn’t use a bit of tomato

 

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Ah I love this so much.. Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce- You cook a quartered onion in tomatoes for an hour or so then whisk in a few tablespoons of butter and that’s it. It’s so perfect.
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I really like this pic– its a flat iron steak, with blue cheese/tarragon butter.

 

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My newest discover c/o Food52- Patricia Wells’ Oven Frites – they are amazing.
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Aunt Sandy sent a care package from Santa FE

A recipe for getting rid of Winter Mad Reds (aka my plan for Saturday)

First go out and buy yourself some flowers, beautiful ones not a few scraggly bits from the 2.99 bin at the supermarket, something that makes you coo a bit- this time of year it’s slim pickings unless you want to spend a lot, orange tulips or orange roses always do it for me.

BODY SCRUB

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds or tea leaves
  • Zest from 1 orange or equal amount  of grapefruit zest
  • 1 cup Neutrogena  Body Oil (you can use any moisturizing oil, even olive oil)
  • Optional: a few squeezes of fresh Aloe if you have it
  1. Mix together and put in a jar or bowl
  2. Put on some Missy Elliot ( the most exciting thing that happened in the past week was her at the Superbowl ….I LOVE MISSY)  or whatever and dance around for a half an hour, dance hard doesn’t matter if you dance well.
  3. Make a very very hot cup of tea cover it with a saucer to keep it hot and take it into the bathroom.
  4. Get naked and get in your shower.
  5. Take big globs of the rub and rub it all over, BUT NOT YOUR FACE OR YOUR HAIR—elbows, knees. ankles, belly, between your toes, under your boobs if you have them, on your butt (but not in!), behind your ears.
  6. Get the shower really really hot
  7. Wash it all off, your skin should feel like slippery baby skin, and your tub will be trashed and slippery so be careful.
  8. Pat yourself dry, then moisturize, this the PERFECT time to shave your legs, push back you cuticles or pumice your heels.
  9. Hang out in the steam, put on your robe and drink your cup of tea,  sit on the edge of the tub or wherever and drink it in the steamy room.
  10. You will have to wash out the tub, there will be bits of rub all over and it will be slippery, you should do this right off- IF you use that after shower spray, spray all over the shower when you leave the bathroom, don’t sit there breathing in that stuff.
  11. Go into another warm room, light a candle, wrap yourself in a blanket and do a half hour guided meditation (they are easy to find on youtube or a podcast)
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    Jerry is an excellent meditater.
  13. Put on warm soft clean comfortable clothes
  14. Stretch a lot, touch your toes and few times, arch your back, do a few sun salutations
  15. Pour a  glass of wine
  16. Sit in your favorite spot (next to the flowers)  and read (or reread) a book , a good one, or a magazine, something to keep you out of the real world for a bit longer.
  17. Order something nice for dinner ( or have some one else make it for you if you are not me and are not aggravated by helping not cook) and eat it from nice plates.
  18. Watch a good movie, I would pick Same Time Next Year or The Goodbye Girl (I LOVE that movie so much) or the original In-Laws with Alan Arkin (I love Alan Arkin and I love him the most in this movie he is so brilliant) or one of the better Woody Allen movies like Annie Hall or Sleeper or Broadway Danny Rose…something you’ve seen and know is good.
  19. Eat some dark chocolate.

 

Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, Juno, Blizzard of 2015

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Well, we certainly can’t complain about the hype up here in Maine, it legit snowed y’all.

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It snowed into my house, the winds were so strong they blew snow into any crack in the house it could find, of which there are many.This explains why it is so f’ing cold in our house, especially the bathroom, where I could probably keep dairy products if it wasn’t a disgusting thing to do or if I actually had a plethora of dairy products, which I don’t, in fact I ran out of milk during the snow storm, and my little Farrah was crying for milk as she does every so often and I had no milk for her.

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It was very Dickensian there for a moment, there I was wrapped in a shawl, wearing finger-less gloves in the house whilst my tiniest most fragile charge  wailed from hunger, from a lack of sustenance, I stood wringing my knitwear festooned hands, powerless to end her suffering.

In reality, the cat had dry food, wet food, and fresh clean water so she was really just being a jerk.

Speaking of Farrah she has over 1100 likes on her Facebook page, which is insane. OK yes it is even more insane that she  has a Facebook, given the fact that she is a cat and neither reads nor writes, nor is she capable of uploading a photo.

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However it is keeping my social media/ marketing muscles working, I have a place to experiment and see how things work. I guest blogged for a European cat blog and that got her about 400 likes, then a week or two ago she just started getting all these likes, so I worked it, “we” liked other cat pages, I developed a voice for her and she reposts cat-centric articles and is very interested in cat rescues and adoptions.

Oh also I tried on a selection of Warby Parker frames, though did not go look through the box where we think my prescription is, so I did half of what I need to do to get my glasses so I can see things that are more than 6′ away.photo 1

So what did I cook during my snow day? Really nothing, and  why? Well I really didn’t feel much like baking, or having sweets in the house (still have a freezer full of Xmas Cookies), I ran out of parchment so bread wasn’t going to happen. Also I really didn’t feel like washing any dishes after breakfast.

For breakfast I made open faced English muffin, egg, bacon, avocado sandwiches, and let me tell you the next time you are making a leisurely English Muffin…butter it with soft butter when raw then toast in a hot oven, its a whole different animal really crispy crunchy and buttery, everything they promise to be but often aren’t.

Then I did nothing, pretty much nothing at all didn’t even watch something significant on TV, just sort of sat around watching Special Victims Unit and eating random things like spice gum drops and everything bagel chips. I did take a shower and blew out my hair which saved some time today. Oh and I took a nap, we all took naps.

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 I made dinner according to the planned menu.

 

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I pan seared the pork chops in bacon fat & butter, then brushed them with Dijon mustard, grainy mustard and mustard oil and set on a sheet pan covered in mustard greens to roast off.

 

I made grits without milk (this was hours before discovering the evap). I added some way past due half and half that, lets just pretend I intentionally turned to creme fraiche, couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast, a nice hit of siracha, some brown butter and sharp cheddar… they were awesome, though I wish I had the scallions that I wasted on the terrible fake Chinese food I tried to make on Saturday, I made a cider vinegar/mustard vinaigrette to finish the whole dish, but forgot then all about it.

 

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 All in all it was pretty good, though needed needed acid, that hit of forgotten vinaigrette would’ve made it perfect. And then we had peanut butter sundaes!

We never have dessert like that, but we’d been talking about Reese’s Pieces  for two days and my lovely husband went out after shoveling and got vanilla ice cream and Reeses Pieces, you may wonder why he did not get milk and you know what, so do I.

 

I made a warm peanut butter sauce, and that, not the crying cat, not the grits for dinner, is what sent me on my search for a can of evaporated or condensed milk , which I found in the cat food/treat cabinet on the top shelf behind the red solo cups along with 4 cans of pumpkin. (yes I gave some to Farrah, and she loved it)  I didn’t take a picture because my phone battery died from playing Angry Birds.

 

Snowmageddon Peanut Butter Sundaes

Enough vanilla Ice cream for 2 (I don’t judge this could be two scoops or two pints)

Handful Reeses Pieces- roughly chopped

Chocolate syrup, chocolate ganache or 2 year old Magic Shell (whatever you happen to have)

1 Recipe Peanut Butter Sauce

 

Peanut Butter Sauce for 2

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky whatever you have)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • dash of vanilla
  • flaky sea salt

 

  1. Melt butter and sugar together
  2. Whisk in peanut butter & milk
  3. Whisk all together until smooth
  4. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla
  5. Serve warm with light dusting flaky sea salt

This would be good over pancakes, or pound cake or banana cake and if you wanted to make a Elvis Sundae you could use banana ice cream and finish with bit of chopped candied bacon, also nice over dark chocolate ice cream if that’s your thing.

 

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If peanut butter is not your thing…this is easy and amazing , dark chocolate melted over toasted baguette, drizzled in very good olive oil with a bit of salt and a bit of hot pepper flakes (could also use orange zest)–better than Nutella, especially if the chocolate isn’t too sweet.

 

If you do such things please take a moment and follow @dinnereverynite on twitter, also if you’ve read and like my ebook PLEASE PLEASE leave a review, and mention this blog in the comments. If you haven’t read it, please do, it will give you some great ideas on what to cook for dinner!
 
Ciao for now bitches…XOXO

It’s been a long long time.

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Hi, how were your holidays?

It’s been along time since we chatted, I know, I’ve been remiss. I got a little temp job and it keeps me occupied for 8.5 hours a day, which is no real excuse but it is what it is.

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Dog driving a car.

It’s really been a while, since right before Thanksgiving, that’s almost 2 months, I suck.

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Farrah thinks I suck too…she won’t even look at me.

Here’s what’s been going on…

Thanksgiving was a whirlwind of family and snow and food and thank god we finally got the light fixture up in the dining room and a few more things taken care of so the house looked good and that was pretty much all there is to say, so here are lots of pictures:

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This was delicious… it was cauliflower, salami, olives, cheese, artichokes, caperberries all quick pickled in sherry vinegar and olive oil. The recipe in is the Buvette cookbook, which is a great cookbook by the way.

 

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The best turkey I EVER MADE, in my whole life…dry rub and spatchcock…18# turkey cooked in 2.5 hours and it was perfect.

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So these were some pretty out of this world potatoes, first the potato, Russian fingerling bought from an organic farm and they cost more than the damn turkey, peeled steamed, riced, then tons and tons of butter, heavy cream, truffle butter, truffle salt & topped with brown butter, butter solids and chives.

 

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My little cheese course Bailey Hazen blue & pecorino with little pears and truffle honey

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Burnt cinnamon pumpkin pie in a 5 Spice lard crust it was so fucking good that 2 days later Xtian  and I basically just shoved big chunks of it right out of the pie tin and into our mouths.

I know I write a lot about my father, and how can I not, I miss him every single day. Thanksgiving was our day, our Big Day, every year, and it was right after Thanksgiving that he got sick, so for the past few years Thanksgiving has begun my Days of Horrors, terrible memories, hateful memories, tons of I wish I dids, and I could’ves and we should’ves and  I was in therapy for a year to try to reconcile my feelings and I did for the most part, but maybe not as much as I thought. It culminates January 9 and 10 which were the worst days of my entire life. Last weekend was the anniversary of those days, 3 years …fuck.

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Here’s my recount of those 24 hours. and here’s a link to the transcript of my eulogy .  They are both serious downers so don’t feel you have to read them, like if you are feeling light and happy, just don’t do it.

 

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My Daddy at my 40th birthday party.

 

I made a sandwich “for him” on the anniversary of his death and I think my Dad would’ve loved it. They have these sausages up here that are Chinese roast pork as a sausage. I basted them with hoisin, grilled them with scallions and we had them on garlic bread with pickled radishes and duck sauce. There are some definite tweaks I have to make to the recipe, I think a miso/jalapeno garlic butter  +  vinegary cucumbers, raw scallions and watercress for some freshness (it was really rich). I have no picture of it, alas.

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So that was the cheerful part of my blog post.

Channukah, Christmas,  New Years, our first in Maine would have been fabulous except for the HIDEOUS colds that we had, I am not kidding you at one point my eyes were congested….mucus  was clogging my tear ducts, my head felt like a one of those gym balls sadistic trainers throw at you to build up your arm muscles. It was exhausting, I don’t think I slept a full night for 2 weeks. Xtian was making these hideous buffalo sounds because his chest was so congested, it was pretty bad, and also gross.

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My brother and his Kate came for a weekend at the pinnacle of my illness, we had as lovely a time as we could, though it hurt my chest to laugh. We had a nice winter beach walk, and Kate and Christian found sand dollars for me. I made them a blueberry pie, despite my illness. We had lobster and latkes.

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I love this picture.

On Christmas day, Megan, Xtian and I volunteered at the soup kitchen. I was serving and I looked out at the dining room and saw my husband chatting earnestly with an older woman, who arrived alone. That in itself was heart breaking, but I imagined she was telling him how she missed her long gone loved ones but it turned out she was telling him filthy dirty jokes, like he wouldn’t even tell me they were so dirty. And there you have it.

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Afterwards we went out to Bailey Island, had Cat Christmas (a very big deal in hour house), had a drink with Randi & John and ate lots of pork and cookies. It was a nice day, a really nice day.

We cut down our own tree this year… it was an amazing tree.

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The cats happily enjoyed many many many boxes, bags full of tissues, old socks with catnip and many cat treats.

The following week, we had a few house guests, Theo the Dog and Pudgie the Budgie.There were 3 cats, 1 dog, 1 bird  and 2 people in the house.

Theo went home but Pudgie is still with us, I love him and just this morning he started puffing up for me, which (I read) is a sign of affection from a Budgie. He is a foster from my temp job, I offered to care for him over the holidays and now want to keep him, hopefully I will, like I said I love him. Here’s an awful video of him singing along to his favorite music , he likes Pink Floyd, The Greatful Dead, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and any song with long guitar riffs.

 

 

 

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Winter walk in the woods.

 

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Fat cat, small box…never gets old.

New Year’s Eve was quiet…Xtian made cheeseburgers (they were kinda bad, but he tried), we watched The Twilight Zone and lit a fire in the fire pit, it was like 16 degrees outside, so that part was short. New Year’s Day we watched the Mummers on the computer and missed Philly, a lot.

 

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I did some work on my ebook … with a lot of help from my friends.

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Here’s the link…

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My favorite thing.

 

Here we are 2015 and it’s time to set some goals.

In 2015 I will…

  • Find a job that I love.
  • Finish decorating the house
  • Be kinder and more loving (esp to Xtian)
  • Sell my e-book
  • Find a way to be more active even if its just dancing around the house for an hour
  • Make more friends, meet more people
  • Get a great haircut
  • Write more, write better
  • Spend more time outside once it thaws
  • Try mediation
  • Eat more fish

What are your goals???

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Hey— You Guys… I wrote an E-Cook Book

I wrote a little cook book. It’s called Dinner, Every Night. It’s a lot like this Blog, with menus and recipes and a few stories plus an awesome primer on what to keep in your pantry. I outline my strategy for how to shop so you can cook dinner every night (well almost every night). It’s got pictures too!

 

Here’s the link

 

It’s only $2.99… and if you have the time PLEASE give me a review, the better my reviews the more likely it is that people will buy the book.

 

THANK YOU!!

 

HAPPIEST HOLIDAYS!

 

xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxxoxoxoxxoxo

Recipe: Waks Family Thanksgiving Stuffing

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My grandmother made a very simple, very fattening, very delicious stuffing. It was most likely the only recipe she ever used from the side of a box, but since Bella liked to do things her own way she added a little of this and took away a little of that.. The original recipe featured onions and mushrooms sauteed in butter or margarine, the mixed with Crushed Ritz Crackers, diced celery, more melted butter and a couple of eggs then baked in a casserole dish. We called it Carrot Stuffing.

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Here’s the recipe:

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  • 4 sleeves of  Ritz Crackers
  • 5 Large Carrots Grated
  • 5 Stalks Celery Grated
  • 3 Onions Grated
  • 2 Sticks Butter, melted
  • 3 Eggs, scrambled
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Crush Ritz Crackers into bits by placing them in a plastic bag and rolling a rolling pin over them until they are like bread crumbs
  2. Grate Carrots, Celery & Onions with  a Box Grater, do not use a food processor, you’ll have too much liquid it will be mushy and awful…you have to use a box grater
  3. Even though you used a box grater let the vegetables sit in a colander over the sink or a bowl for awhile to get rid of extra liquid
  4. Mix the drained Vegetables with the Ritz Crackers
  5. Season with Salt & Pepper
  6. Mix in the eggs
  7. Spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, pat it down so it is about 2″ thick
  8. Bake @ 350 for 1 hour
  9. If baking along side a turkey or chicken from time to time ladle or squeeze a few spoonfuls of fat over the top

This makes a simple but strangely addictive stuffing, delicious hot from the oven equally delicious  so when sliced and incorporated into a cold turkey sandwich, with jellied cranberry sauce and mayo as when reheated in the toaster oven until crispy and slide between thick sliced of toasted bread smeared with cranberry sauce and piled with hot turkey & gravy. Best off all is when it is eaten late at night directly from the fridge.

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Over the years, the stuffing has gone through many changes initially there was the addition of dried cranberries (we are not raisin people), one year it was incorporated in a Amer/Cubano/Latino stuffing with sourdough, plantains and chorizo, cornbread has become a staple addition, as has sausage, and nuts and occasionally fresh fruit like apples. My brother likes to add peppers, I disagree with that choice, but this is America and he can do what he wishes, he also likes to add dried blueberries. This year my mother is adding prunes and walnuts I am using dried cherries and pecans, but maybe pine nuts I’m not sure yet. My aunt as done away with the Ritz Crackers all together in favor of a savoury stuffing with mushrooms.

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This the formula for our  Family Stuffing, we bake it along side the Turkey, though at times it has found its way into what I call the neck pouch, and I’m not 100% but I think my grandmother take that extra skin, cut it off  and roll it around a wedge of stuffing, lace it up and roast it along side the turkey like the best Kishka that ever was, but honestly that may be from my imagination.

Waks Family Stuffing: Serves MANY with Leftovers

  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups grated celery
  • 2 cups grated onions
  • 1 cup chopped other fruit or vegetables, raw or cooked depending on which way it works best (see below suggestions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs – Parsely, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (for real)
  • 3 Sleeves Low Sodium Ritz Crackers
  • 5 cups stale bread, cubed (at least half the bread should be Cornbread)
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken stock,cooled
  • 2 sticks melted butter
  • 1/2 cup -booze ( Sherry, Wine, Brandy, Whiskey whatever works with your theme)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 pound sausage- cooked & chopped
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 1 cup toasted nuts, roughly chopped
  • sage(herb)
  1. Sautee onions, carrots, celery & fruit in 3 tablespoons of butter until the onions are translucent but not caramelized
  2. In a LARGE bowl mix together Ritz crackers & bread cubes
  3. Add cooked vegetables & herbs
  4. Whisk together stock & eggs
  5. Season with Salt & Pepper
  6. Pour over bred/crackers/veg
  7. Pour in 3/4 of the remaining butter
  8. Mush it all together
  9. Mix in sausage bits, dried fruit & nuts making sure it is all well combined
  10. Pack into a greased 9″ springform pan
  11. Brush the top with the remaining butter
  12. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, occasionally ladling turkey juices on if possible

Let sit 15 minutes , unmold, slice & serve

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Here are a few tried tested and fantastic combinations

Green apple + Prunes + Walnuts + Pork Sausage  (White Wine)

Pear + Apricots + Marcona Almonds + Andouille Sausage (Sherry)

Honeycrisp Apple + Dried Cherries + Pine Nuts + Italian Sausage (Brandy)

Caramelized Fennel + Dried Cranberries + Pecans + Duck Sausage (Bourbon)

Poached Quince + Currants  + Hazelnuts + Wild Boar Sausage (Tawny Port)

Caramelized Sweet Plantains + Cooked Green Plantains + Smoked Almonds + Chorizo ( Rum )