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Category: food (Page 2 of 7)

ten on tuesday: soup-tastic!

Once again, Carole has posted another lovely 10 on Tuesday topic for consideration: favorite soups. And I see that Sarah has already taken the bait, and now I do – and on the proper day, no less!

1. New England clam chowder. And not just any recipe for this dish, but the version served at Market Street Grill and Market Street Broiler in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s the best chowder I’ve ever had, and they have been generous enough, over the years, to let the recipe into the wild. Here it is, from the source.

2. Chili. I’ll argue the chili is a form of soup or stew, so it fits in here. Chili is a year-round staple at The Burrow, and the recipe is almost always improvised: sometimes with beans, sometimes vegetarian, sometimes with corn, etc. The inspiration for my recipe is the 1977 Texas Chili Cookoff Champion, “Buzzard’s Breath” (as found in the Chili Madness cookbook).

3. Borscht. And I’m not talking about the sweet, chilled beet-and-cabbage soup you find in a New York City deli. I’m talking about Russian peasant food: beet based, with either a beef, oxtail or mushroom stock, with onion, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and cabbage, slow cooked to a lovely perfection. It’s simple peasant food, and topped with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream, it’s perfect winter soul food for me.

4. Chicken and dumplings. Simplicity again: basic chicken soup with egg-and-flour dumplings added shortly before plating.

5. Cream of broccoli. Reminds me of ski season, as it was the most reliable soup at the old Inspiration Station at Solitude Ski Area. In a bread bowl, it was perfect lunch fare.

6. Tom kha gai. This Thai soup is a marriage of chicken, coconut, lemongrass, scallions, hot peppers and oyster mushrooms. I dig it.

7. Icelandic lobster soup. I recently discovered this, and it’s awesome: basically a tomato chowder with chunks of lobster in it- yum!

8. Kjotsuppe. This is a basic lamb and vegetable stew, standard European fare. It’s filling and very tasty, and my mom used to make it often.

9. Gazpacho. Cold tomato soup? Bring it on – especially if it’s spicy!

10. Lentil stew. I’m partial to the Moroccan recipes and their spices.

(Honorable mentions: Campbells Bean & Bacon; tomato bisque; beef pho; miso with dried tofu and shredded nori.)

How about you: any soups you must have that I must try?

ten on tuesday: things to do in 2012

OK, so it’s Wednesday Thursday, but this seems like a good topic to start of 2012, right? As usual, Carole posted a lovely topic, and both sprite and Sarah posted their lists.

So, here goes:

1. Read more books. I read a couple books in 2011, but I really would like to be a bit more diligent about diving into the stack of volumes that are whispering to me, urging me to open their covers and get lost in the pages.

2. Plan another big trip. Iceland was a surreal, magical, wonderful experience – and one that sprite and I planned mostly by happenstance. I’m not sure that this next big trip will happen in 2012, but getting the wheels in motion now wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. Cook and prepare more things that I would otherwise buy. Often I’m in a rush to leave in the morning and don’t pack lunch. That means having to uy lunch, and the cost adds up. So I’d like to have the foresight to pack more lunches. Also, I’m a sucker for gourmet coffee drinks that I can totally make myself (e.g. espresso, Starbucks’ gingerbread lattés). For Christmas, I received an Aerobee Aeropress, and sprite pointed me to this DIY gingerbread latté recipe, so…. there ‘ya go!

4. Clean a little bit every day. The Burrow is a tiny apartment, and it’s often far from the sanctuary it should be. I’d like to rediscover the space inside by cleaning it a little each day and, like sprite, concentrate on sectors. It may mean that we’ll have guests over more often, and that would be great.

5. Let go of things. This goes hand-in-hand with cleaning, in a sense: I tend to hold onto things, sometimes to the point of obsession. This leads to messes, both literal and figurative, which leads to unnecessary stress. I’ve been working on this for a few years, and it’s a continuing process.

6. Really crush the Death Ride. It’s my big event ride for 2012, and I want to be super-strong in it! So it will involve training smartly, eating well, resting, keeping the bikes in shape and always looking forward.

7. Go hiking in both Rock Creek Park and Shenandoah National Park. One is just blocks from my front door. The other is only 60 miles from my front door. And I really haven’t hiked in either park. I love hiking, so…. let’s do it!

8. Draw more. I have a lovely set of Prismacolor pencils and sketchbooks – I should use ’em more!

9. Post more on this blog. It’s fallen somewhat by the wayside. This will change in 2012.

10. Say “thank you” far more often. I’m often not grateful enough for the friends and family I have, and the things they do to help me through life.

Do any of you have things you want to do in 2012?

beers at 1500: the list

Welcome to post number 1,500. In this post I will discuss an article I found today at Gadling I’ve deemed “The List”.

Y’see, the editors at Gadling have cobbled together a list of the top 24 cities for drinking beer. They obviously put a lot of time and thought into the cities mentioned, and have good defenses for the selected villes.

Referring just to The list, I’ve been to and had a beer in:

  • Portland, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • München, Germany
  • Boston, MA
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • San Diego, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Burlington, VT
  • Northampton, MA
  • Baltimore, MD

11 of 24. It’s better than I thought I’d do, for sure.

And I can vouch for the beer culture in places like München (duh, home of Oktoberfest), Boston, Seattle (home of the sublime Mac & Jack’s, whose ale is one of the best beers I’ve ever had) and Northampton (a small city for which I have a great fondness: great music, great people, great beer).

But there are questions. As Geoff mentioned to me today, London isn’t on the list, and it’s definitely a great city for drinking beer. Same goes for Oxford (pints and punts on the Thames = priceless). Any country that places a high value on a proper ale, hand pumped and poured at a proper temperature should have some representation on this list.

But my initial reaction to this article was “I really want to travel to the cities I’ve missed – and revisit the places I’ve been before.” Once there’s a little flexible income saved, perhaps a road trip or two is in order – we’ll see.

And it needn’t be limited to locations on The List. I’d love to try a brew in Moscow, or sip suds in Sydney. Even trips to Tröegs Brewing or Bell’s would be fun. As my cycling friend Dereck says, “the real trick is not knowing the towns to drink in, it’s to know the town after you’ve been drinking in it!”

Makes sense to me!

However, right now, a nice, hot cuppa tea awaits.

So, how about you, dear readers: how do you see the list? Where have you had a beer, and where do you want to go to try one? And if beer isn’t your drink of choice (and for me, coffee is still the toppermost of the poppermost), what is? Comment away!

100 more foods to eat (again, not chosen by me)

Hat tip to “Fixed Gear” Pete for this continuation of the “100 Things to Eat” memes. From Pete:

“If you want to play along, here’s how you do it: copy the list,including these instructions, and bold any items you have eaten and strikeout any you would never eat, and then post it to your blog. I’m going to add the following rule: italicize items you have made (or grown) yourself. (Presumably, you’ve eaten those as well.)”

1. Real macaroni and cheese, made from scratch and baked
2. Tabouleh
3. Freshly baked bread, straight from the oven (preferably with homemade strawberry jam)
4. Fresh figs
5. Fresh pomegranate
6. Indian dal of any sort
7. Imam bayildi
8. Pressed spiced Chinese tofu
9. Freshly made hummus
10. Tahini
11. Kimchi
12. Miso
13. Falafel
14. Potato and pea filled samosas
15. Homemade yogurt
16. Muhammara
17. Brie en croute
18. Spanikopita
19. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes
20. Insalata caprese
21. Stir-fried greens (gai lan, bok choi, pea shoots, kale, chard or collards)
22. Freshly made salsa
23. Freshly made guacamole
24. Créme brulee
25. Fava beans
26. Chinese cold sesame peanut noodles
27. Fattoush
28. New potatoes
29. Coleslaw
30. Ratatouille
31. Baba ganoush
32. Winter squash
33. Roasted beets
34. Baked sweet potatoes
35. Plantains
36. Chocolate truffles
37. Garlic mashed potatoes
38. Fresh water chestnuts
39. Steel cut oats
40. Quinoa
41. Grilled portabello mushrooms
42. Chipotle en adobo
43. Stone ground whole grain cornmeal
44. Freshly made corn or wheat tortillas
45. Frittata
46. Basil pesto
47. Roasted garlic
48. Raita of any type
49. Mango lassi
50. Jasmine rice (white or brown)
51. Thai vegetarian coconut milk curry
52. Pumpkin in any form other than pie
53. Fresh apple pear or plum gallette
54. Quince in any form
55. Escarole, endive or arugula
56. Sprouts other than mung bean
57. Naturally brewed soy sauce
58. Dried shiitake mushrooms (fresh, too!)
59. Unusually colored vegetables (purple cauliflower, blue potatoes, chocolate bell peppers…)
60. Fresh peach ice cream
61. Chevre
62. Medjool dates
63. Kheer
64. Flourless chocolate cake
65. Grilled corn on the cob
66. Black bean (or any other bean) vegetarian chili
67. Tempeh
68. Seitan or wheat gluten
69. Gorgonzola or any other blue veined cheese
70. Sweet potato fries
71. Homemade au gratin potatoes (Mormon funeral potatoes FTW!)
72. Cream of asparagus soup
73. Artichoke-Parmesan dip
74. Mushroom risotto
75. Fermented black beans
76. Garlic scapes (a springtime favorite)
77. Fresh new baby peas
78. Kalamata olives
79. Preserved lemons
80. Fried green tomatoes
81. Chinese scallion pancakes
82. Cheese soufflé
83. Fried apples
84. Homemade frijoles refritos
85. Pasta fagiole
86. Macadamia nuts in any form
87. Paw paw in any form
88. Grilled cheese sandwich of any kind
89. Paneer cheese
90. Ma Po Tofu (vegetarian style–no pork!)
91. Fresh pasta in any form
92. Grilled leeks, scallions or ramps
93. Green papaya salad
94. Baked grain and vegetable stuffed tomatoes
95. Pickled ginger
96. Methi greens
97. Aloo paratha
98. Kedgeree (the original Indian version without the smoked fish, not the British version with fish)
99. Okra
100. Roasted brussels sprouts

Notes from me: Where are the porcini or chanterelles? I mean, if you’re going to include shiitake, then you need to include the big kahunas of the European mycological world!

As usual: try it yourself, post your comments, have fun!

100 must-eats (according to somebody who is not me)

So the folks over at Very Good Taste have posted a list of their “Omnivore’s Hundred”: a list of 100 foods that every omnivore should eat before kicking the bucket. Kudos to sprite for tipping me on this.

And given that I eat practically anything, it seems like something that’s right up my alley.

Here’s the obligatory part of the meme:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Yup – I might even try roadkill, depending on myriad circumstances.

Anybody else (preferably omnivore) care to give this a whack?

giving thanks

It’s been a great Thanksgiving.

Granted, the drive up here was hellish. Traffic in Maryland was very, very slow, and the flow didn’t really clear until after the Delaware toll plaza. From there, it was smooth sailing, though we’d lost a lot of time by then. We arrived in Connecticut after 3 am, and I’d hit a second (or third) wind, so I didn’t fall asleep until after 5 am.

So I slept in ’til 10:30, which meant missing a lot of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But I saw a bit (cheesy as ever – Wynona Judd forgot to lip-sync her part when the NBC cameras trained on her), and enjoyed the late-morning coffee and donuts.

In the afternoon, I did a bit of surgery on my PowerBook, upgrading its internal hard drive from a 40GB unit to a new, quiet 160GB model. I used SuperDuper to clone the 40GB drive to my new drive, which was temporarily housed in an external enclosure. After the cloning, I swapped out the drives, and since then it’s been very nice. I’m especially pleased with the improved power use of the new drive – I was able to squeeze at least 45 minutes more use out of the old ‘Book’s battery, which is saying a lot.

Dinner was really great, too. This year, the prep wasn’t nearly as frenetic as in past years, as a lot of the dishes were cooked ahead of time. So most of the work was in reheating and plating the dishes, all of which turned out great. And we have plenty of leftovers for the next few days – yum!

(And yes, Roly, there was plenty of pie!)

We spent the evening watching the entertaining mockumentary, Pittsburgh, starring Jeff Goldblum, Ed Begley, Jr., Illeana Douglas, and many other notables as…. themselves. It was bizarre, but very entertaining. I’m not sure if sprite or her family felt the same way, though.

Now it’s time to get some sleep. Tomorrow will be laid back. I may shop, may not – the whole “Black Friday” thing isn’t really my thing, as I can find similar deals almost every day through a bit of research, and I don’t like the mindset of rabid shoppers. I was going to go skiing tomorrow, but decided that it would be a good idea to let the resorts make snow tomorrow, as today was a bit warm and hurt the snowpack.

(And one brief bit of political praise – really – for Se. Harry Reid, who refused to put the senate in recess over the holiday break. He did this to prevent Bush from making any recess appointments to open cabinet and other positions. All I can say is kudos, Harry – it’s about time you actually stood up to BushCo!)

my long weekend, thus far

It’s been a lovely Labor Day weekend. The combination of no obligations and perfect weather has added up to good times.

Friday evening, sprite and I met up with a bunch of friends for the final installation of Jazz at the Sculpture Garden, down on the Mall. We had a lot of friends show up, which made conversation a bit tougher than normal, but it was a good time and a perfect evening to wrap up the series.

Yesterday, I rode the Bay Country Century (to make up for last week’s aborted attempt at the Reston Century), and it was a perfect day for riding. sprite rested the day away, which is good as she needed the rest. Once I returned from Maryland, I took a long nap (2 hours), after which I enjoyed catching up with my friend, Penny, who just moved to Chicago. In the evening, sprite and I watched Brigadoon, a somewhat cheesy but entertaining 1954 musical starring Gene Kelly, Van Johnson and Cyd Charisse, as we ate pizza from Sette.

Today has been a relatively kick-back day. After a restless night’s sleep (one of our cats has a hairball and gets quite affectionate in such a state, so she woke us up around 5:00 am), we went to the Dupont Freshfarm market and bought produce, baked goods, cheese and yogurt. Since then, we’ve relaxed the whole day. We may go to the pool, may not – but we’ll definitely go tomorrow, as that’s the last day for DC P&R pools (and yes, it’s a stupidly short season for said facilities).

Tomorrow morning, I go riding with the PPTC gang on their Labor Day metric century (100 km/62 miles). Other than that, who knows?

workout log: 4 august 2007

False summit of AlleghenyActivity: road cycling
Location: Monterey, VA > Frankklin, WV > Cherry Grove, WV > Hightown, VA > Monterey
Distance: 100.6 miles (very hilly)
Duration: 6:03
Weather: partly cloudy and very humid, 70-83 degrees
Avg HR: 140 (max 174)
Type: aerobic

The 2007 edition of the Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge is in the books, and it was better than last year. I was with the lead group for the first 30 miles, then dropped the pace a bit and enjoyed the rest. The scenery was, as last year, beautiful, though the humidity level was higher by a significant amount (especially in the valleys). I had the advantage of riding the course last year, so I was ready for the false summit on Allegheny Mountain (pictured). My only hang-ups were a stubborn rear cog that made using certain gears nigh-on-impossible, and hot spots on my feet that caused intense pain for the last 20-or-so miles.

But as I said earlier: I wasn’t trying to go for a personal record on this course, so the pains were just a nuisance (though, in all fairness, coming in around 6 hours on a course with over 13,700 feet of climbing is nothing to sneeze at). I had time to take pictures, to enjoy the scenery, and to talk and joke with other riders. I saw wildlife and waved at the motorcyclists who also enjoyed the hills (and, more often than not, they waved back and smiled).

A tired and happy groupThe level of organization on this ride is superb, and the course is one of the best I’ve ever ridden. I also got to ride with a lot of my friends, which is even more fun. After the ride was over an we had all cleaned up, we celebrated with a pot-luck picnic on the balcony of a local inn. Much wine, beer, pasta, veggies and dessert was enjoyed as the sun disappeared over the Appalachian horizon, another Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge conquered.

ETA: You can read Darren’s account of the ride here. He also snapped some fun pictures.

workout log: 22 july 2007

Activity: road cycling
Location: Dupont Circle > Rockville, MD > Dupont Circle
Distance: 33.6 miles (lightly hilly)
Duration: 2:22
Weather: partly cloudy to overcast, 80-82 degrees
Avg HR: 126 (max 153)
Type: aerobic

A wonderful ride in Rock Creek Park with two friends. The pace was slower than my usual, but it was a great tune-down ride from Saturday’s up-and-down hill fest. Again, the weather was ideal for cycling. sprite and I had dinner with these friends later that day, a lovely meal of grilled salmon and fresh veggies (and a little bit of Italian vino, as well).

kitchen almost done!

I’m very close to having an accessible kitchen ready for mom – yes!

And one quick contrast between DC and SLC: SLC has much better independent coffee houses than the District. They are plentiful, hold their own against Starbucks (i.e. they aren’t run out of town by them), the prices are better, the quality of coffee is better, and the free wireless is a norm. Also, the baristas don’t flinch at oddball orders, and can usually pull ’em off with flair.

DC’s coffee folk should come out here on a fact-finding mission – they’d learn a ton.

Tomorrow morning I head out for a sunrise ride before taking mom to PT. Should me nice and brisk – I knew I brought the arm and leg warmers for a reason!

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