a quiet fancy

A punderful blog on fashion, food, and politics- the perfect triumvirate of all things tasty and tasteless

Category: Food

Monday Round-up

I’ve been a fickle blogger recently and I think the next 27 days (woot woot!) will be no improvement. I’m on the final countdown for thesis + two term papers before graduation, am hosting a speaker for a symposium at my school for the next few days, and am organizing an event for a club I am a part of for next weekend. On top of that, I have yet to replace my no-good camera-transfer gizmo, which totally blows because I have some amazing food I want to show you.

So, please forgive me that this might be spotty for a while. I’ll keep the round-ups coming and do as much as the days allow me to. And I vow to get a new gizmo before next week.

Current events:

I’m just going to highlight one, because my thesis just happens to be on the U.S. sanctions regime on Burma (I call it Burma rather than Myanmar because that is how the U.S. refers to it during my time period, not as a personal statement), and the latest news has added joy, confusion, and a lot of other mixed emotions to my already meddled thoughts on sanctions:

“U.S. to ease sanctions on Myanmar”.

Boom.

Thank you, Hillary, for confirming that my findings are baller (inside joke with myself?).

Food:

Breakfast tacos with kale-cilantro chimichurri sauce, Naturally Ella.

Chicken and soba noodle soup, Williams Sonoma – made this for dinner tonight. I’ll feature our version sometime: very good.

Heirloom tomatoes, Tartelette.

Meyer lemon doughnuts, Flower Child.

Fashion:

Advanced Style is by far the most fun of the fashion blogs I read. These ladies (and gentlemen, occasionally) are not just style icons. We have a lot to learn from their spunk, humor, and amazing stories.

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Monday Round-up

This weekend was subsumed by my spring break, which was really just one long weekend. Luckily, I did no homework all the way up to the very end, unless you count a third of your thesis as homework (which I do. two-thirds done, baby!). But this spring break was pretty successful: enjoyed great company and food, watched a few too many crappy romantic comedies, and cooked a few recipes I’ve been putting off (more on those later).

Did I mention I wrote a third of my thesis?

Anyway, here’s your round-up:

Fashion:

The Wren summer 2012 lookbook has me so excited for the sun. You have to wait a little before you can buy the collection online, but if you like it, check out their spring collection.

Current events:

Thesis lovin’ time: Aung San Suu Kyi and hope for democracy in Myanmar (ooo, I should tell you guys all about my thesis!)

What to do about Syria….

All eyes on the Muslim Brotherhood

I really appreciated this opinion piece from the NYT on the “politics” of going to college. (Ooops, did I just give myself away with those meaningful “” ‘s? My bad.)

Pasadena, my hometown, made the NYT. And since it’s not January 1 (i.e. the Rose Bowl), you should just assume it’s bad news.

Food:

First of all, I made both the cauliflower soup and the purple cabbage pesto from last week’s MR. Both were five stars (out of five). I have a jar of pesto left (1/2 head of cabbage goes a longgg way) and am trying of a different vehicle than pasta to slurp it up with this week. Any suggestions?

Peach crumble oatmeal from The Yellow House. I can’t wait to make this for breakfast the moment nice peaches appear in my store! Also, I love this blog!

Miso soup with butternut squash, poached egg, and spinach from La Fuji Mama. Fuji Mama lived in Japan for several years and shares many of the authentic Japanese dishes she learned to make there. I can’t wait to try them all.

Pumpkin gnocchi with pumpkin seed pesto from Notions & Notations of a Novice Cook. I can’t believe I just found this beautiful blog. The young woman of Notions & Notations is an imaginative cook with a beautiful eye for food photography (and all in her spare time while being a medical student!). Her blog is proof that food photography really is an art.

Boozy watermelon-rosemary lemonade from Food 52. Oh Food 52, you never let us down.

Rhubarb pie by Jennifer Wang, another inspiring food blogger. I love the colors of rhubarb, and I have a feeling this will be my last chance to find the stuff fresh. Pie anyone?

Have you ever brewed your own beer at home? I’ve been eyeing kits like the one below for a while (seeing as I have no clue how to make beer on my own). I’d love to hear about your experiences…

Trader Joe’s shopping list

I had a plan today, a good one too. We had beer chicken tacos for dinner tonight, and I wanted to share with you the tastiest way to make shredded chicken with booze. But due to some photo uploading problems, we’re just going to have to wait (trust me, it’s worth it).

So instead, I thought I’d maybe share some of my favorites from Trader Joe’s. I’m not a Trader Joe’s expert; it’s not really affordable cooking fare when you are a college student. But if you are careful about the deals and know what items are worth the bucks, it can still be a kind of bargain.

When I last went to TJ’s I looked online for a shopping list of the best TJ’s items and didn’t find quite what I was looking for. I hope this helps for someone planning their next trip, especially if your TJ’s is as far away as mine (it’s only far because there used to be like five within a ten-minute radius of my house…oh Southern California).

Produce:

Don’t go to Trader Joe’s for your produce. The selection is often very limited, not high quality, and they use so much freaking plastic, and that unhipness is seems so unlike TJ’s. (The upside of this, though: you don’t need to try to pry apart the plastic produce bags.) However, there are a few things I really like from this section:

Packaged kale, pre-cut: because who wants to cut kale?

Bagged lettuce heads: these guys stay fresh much longer than lettuce maybe should. Reuse the bag.

Basil: don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure this is a much better deal than I get at my Fred Meyer/Ralphs

Snap peas: much fresher than the ones I usually find

Dairy:

Greek yogurt, 0%: as good as Fage, but less expensive

Vanilla & cream/blueberries & cream yogurt cups: dessert-worthy and won’t leave you craving something worse

Grated Parmesan & Romano: the bag will last you weeks…very good deal

String cheese: all good

Frozen:

Artichoke hearts: yep, they made the list.

Mochi: a little pricey, but a wonderful treat (this brand is not unique to TJ’s)

Mahi mahi: I don’t care if it’s fresh or not fresh or not (get it?)

Chicken gyoza: make your own dipping sauce, 3-minute meal

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina: this is so delicious, but a little small for 2 people like the bag claims

Sweets:

Milk chocolate peanut butter cups (I prefer dark chocolate usually, but peanut butter just goes better with milk chocolate)

Vegan chocolate chip cookies (I’m not sure if they have these still, but they were so good!)

Everything else:

Trek mix: There are several kinds now. I get the one with three variations of chocolate chips, almonds, cashews, cranberries, and golden raisins (the unhealthy one). And I eat this very meticulously. It’s best if you take out one of each goody in here and pop the whole handful in your mouth. If you do this, you run out of almonds fast. Buy unsalted almonds.

Trek mix granola (I think called Trek Mix Simply Almonds, Cashews, and Cranberries): delicious

Powerberries: A new discovery. Skeptical of the healthful power they supposedly possess, but I don’t really care…

Freeze dried mango: pure and unsweetened goodness

Tortellinis and mini raviolis: a childhood-turned-to-adult(ish) favorite

Reduced fat cilantro salad dressing: so good on top of lettuce, sunflowers seeds, diced tomatoes, and cotija cheese

Asian style spicy peanut vinaigrette: guaranteed to boost your salad cravings

Tomato basil marinara: cheap and tasty

Cookie butter: next to the peanut butter. Tastes like cookies. You can put it on anything, but don’t put it on everything or you might shorten your lifespan drastically. It’s real bad for you.

Tomato and red pepper soup: my favorite thing about TJ’s, hands down. If they had a warehouse store, I’d buy it in cases.

Unsalted peanut butter pretzels= straight shots of peanut butter (I mean this in a very, very good way)

 

I could actually add about 30 more things to this list, but I think that would defeat the purpose of it.

 

Monday Round-up

I’ve been moving so much the last few days, eating delicious food and enjoying wonderful company. If only I didn’t still have 2/3 a thesis to write…

This week’s round-up (I’ve been away from the internet a lot this week, so this will be short):

Current events:

The effectiveness of web activism– NY Times

Not a current event, but I loved this article on the brain and love– NYT

Fashion:

Have you read Decade Diary? It’s a blog of fashion and illustration that incorporates passion, talent, and pure beauty. I drool over it daily.

Food:

Carrot cake pancakes from Smitten Kitchen (Deb from Smitten Kitchen sells her gorgeous food photos, and prefers they not be used on other sites, so go check out that pretty picture on your own)

 

Cookie butter from Trader Joe’s. If you haven’t tried this yet, you really should. Its addictive, cookie taste may replace the real thing. But as the woman at the check out line in Trader Joe’s pointed out, it doesn’t have to. Cookie butter is great spread on cookies. What kind, you ask? Any. Put this on everything.

Paul Bertolli’s cauliflower soup from Food 52:

Honey Kennedy’s cake post inspired me to try to like cake (I’m very picky about cake for some reason). I especially want to try this lemon cake from Honey & Jam (another excellent, beautiful, and scrumptious blog):

Sorry for Monday. My thoughts are with all who are not enjoying spring break.

highlight post- the fancy pancake

This is a cop-out post after a day of still being sick and having too much work to do. I’ll try to make up for it this weekend. My mom and stepdad will be in town and we are going to try a couple of the restaurants we have been holding off on. I hope to find at least one dish that I can try to recreate. (I’m still working on making my own recipes. Tonight I utterly failed at mac and cheese, which is kind of a double failure. How do you even do that?)

Have you had the David Eyre’s pancake yet? I found this recipe on Food 52 last summer, and ever since it has been a Sunday morning regular. I’ve never actually made it, but I’ve watched Adam do it–why switch up the routine when he’s clearly the best?

From Food 52 (ha, obviously.)

Adam usually cuts the butter significantly (by like over 1/2), which makes the pancake a little more eggy. But that way it leaves your belly feeling much happier.

Do try this if you can. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare, and a short wait in the oven. The recipe says it serves 2-4, but we eat a full one each (I know!), which is why cutting the butter is completely necessary.

Recipe adapted, or weirdly tweaked, from Food 52, and originally The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (we use low fat milk, and it’s still delicious)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (if you eat like a pig (figuratively speaking) like we do, cut this to 2 tbsp or less)
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • Juice of a half a lemon (which we have never done…oops!)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg, beating lightly until batter is slightly lumpy.

2. Melt the butter in an oven-safe skillet. Once hot, pour in the batter. Bake the mixture in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is golden brown.

3. Sprinkle with sugar and return to the oven for a minute or so. Sprinkle with lemon if you like following directions. At this point, you can add toppings like fruit, or jelly as Food 52 suggests.

My goal for next time is to replace the sugar with canned peaches and make it a morning pie.  Mmm, mmm.

Monday Roundup

We have both been sick all weekend. On the bright side, it meant little thesis for me, but that’s a problem also.  So here’ a quick Monday round-up all my quiet little fancies from the weekend.

Let’s start with food this time:

Guinness pudding from Closet Cooking.  Okay, I know it’s past St. Patrick’s Day, but shouldn’t Guinness be celebrated year round? It’s delicious.

Purple Cabbage Pesto pasta from The Yellow House:

“Snowballs”, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, or whatever you want to call them from Lottie + Doof.  My favorite!

Rosemary Turkey Meatloaf from Food 52. (This would be a good food for a “Delicious foods that fool you by looking pretty gross” post…I’ll bookmark that one for later.)

Lemonade drumsticks that I may not wait for summer to make, from The Noble Pig (whose blog writer owns a vineyard and tasting room nearby that I can’t wait to visit. I’m a fan!) :

Okay, I hate pink, but just look at these pretty rose martinis from This Is Glamorous.  So romantic.

In the news:

The ongoing crisis in Syria, which I fear is losing attention fast.  Don’t let it.

The tragic ending for a young girl in Morocco because of a very dangerous law gives absolution to a man who commits rape if he marries his victim.

*More reactions to the value-add teacher assessments. What do you think?

*Health care op-ed by Paul Krugman. Very powerful, as always.

Fashioning:

Mikkat Market: Have you online window shopped for hours on Mikkat Market yet? I check back here weekly for their unique, affordable pieces (I don’t actually shop very often. Just browse like a maniac. If I were to actually shop though, it would be here.)

Happy Monday!

pasta with pangritata

You know those days you don’t eat anything because you are too lazy? Then 5 o’clock rolls around and you are on the verge of collapse and literally have no kcals left in your system from your midnight snack last night to make dinner?

Well, I never have those days.

But I think everyone can understand the need for a quick, easy, starchy dinner dish that you can overeat and not be able to rationalize later on (health-conscious eating is for suckers).

My go-to is pasta, and this one is easy.  Have you seen any of the twitter recipes? Normally it’s hard to write a recipe in 140 characters or less, but I’ll give it a try, because this recipe is so simple:

saute 2 chx sausg 2 cup kale 2clv grlic cook pasta saute 1/2 cup breadcrmbs + pnch rosmry, top pasta w/ saute + b.crmb mxtr, + chz

Boo-yah! And with ten (10!) left over.

But in case you don’t like weird, made-up puzzles, here’s the overly descriptive recipe:

Easy pasta dinner with chicken sausage, greens, and pangritata  :

Adam made this.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
2 links chicken sausage
2 cups of kale
2 cloves garlic
pasta for 2 (I realize this is unprofessional, but I really think this dish works with any pasta, from macaroni to spaghetti. Shoot, maybe even lasagna, but that would be hard to work)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
pinch rosemary
Parmesan
wine (optional)

The short, but magical journey:

1.  Saute 2 links of chicken sausage (I use the Al Fresco chipotle chorizo flavor, which is amazing and just a tad spicy), 2 cups of either kale, spinach, or arugula (Or twist things up. Just add a veggie, for the pretty colors if not for your health), and 2 cloves of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add more olive oil if your sauteed goods begin to burn (things happen). (*You can set these aside if your pasta is taking a while to cook, but try to keep them warm.)

2.  Cook your pasta according to your instincts.  Package instructions are for newbs.

3.  To make the pangritata, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in your skillet (either after the veggies and sausage, or in a separate one while they cook).  Add a 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (okay, that’s a lot, but I end up adding more pangritata to my pasta constantly.  So yummy.) and saute in the oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Set aside and sprinkle in crumbled rosemary.

4. To assemble your dish, top pasta with sauteed goods, and pangritata on top.  Mix together and top with some parm.  Enjoy this with wine. (I added this to the ingredients with careful consideration, because it’s delicious.)

-Okay, to tell you the truth I really don’t measure.  So proceed with caution.

(But this should be about right.)

One hour lost is…

another hour gained. No? You’re right, that doesn’t make sense. But if you are under the influence of daylight savings, don’t forget to set your clock forward an hour. I’m only saying this because no one on the internet is talking about it. Normally people warn us more. Sunday at 2, it will be 3. Plan accordingly.

Okay, I know you are like “Big D.” But here in Portland it is almost always dark, and the extra hour of daytime makes us almost even with normal places.

I had a really good idea for a fashion blog tonight, but I think I’ve been a little heavy on fashion lately. If you are reading this for fashion, Monday I have the blog entry for you.

I want to start with something simple: the egg in a hole.

The egg in a hole is the greatest breakfast food in the world. It’s simple, but understated. You may assume that it is too simple for you if you are a real foodie, but trust me, it takes some finesse to make an egg in a hole.

The fancy egg in a hole from Food 52, which I will try tomorrow morning:

 

Grilled cheese egg in a hole from A Cozy Kitchen: we tried this minus the prosciutto (which is regrettable. I love prosciutto a lot, but I just can’t.  Piggies are the coolest). But this was delicious. We ate it for dinner:

(Also, you need to check out A Cozy Kitchen. It’s my favorite individual food blog, both for the delicious recipes and perfectly witty writing)

 

The original, straight-from-you-pantry, egg in a hole from The Pioneer Woman:

 

My take (excluding the picture, because it can’t be as pretty as any one of these):

Ingredients:

1 slice (1/4-1/2 in.) fresh French Bread, sliced (or any other kind of bread, that is not a baguette)

Butter, enough to coat each side of bread

1 egg

A teaspoon of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Cut a whole, about 3 inches in diameter, in bread (you can use a glass or cookie-cutter, but I cut it out like the pseudo-artist I am).

2. Butter the bread, including the hole you cut out (it’s the best part).

3. Oil your pan or skillet (I use a non-stick skillet, but you’re taking your health in your hands whenever you use non-sticks, so your choice), heat it for one minute.

4. Put both parts of bread on a skillet for 30 seconds, leaving the centered out part open.

5. Crack the egg into the emptied hole, heat until the white is set but the yolk is still runny.

6. Once the egg in the hole is set, flip the thing! Also flip the circled hole.

7. After about a minute, transfer the bread and hole to a plate. Season with a little salt and pepper.

I recommend pairing this with some turkey bacon and a mimosa (I’ve never had a mimosa). Tada!

For tomorrow: teachers and how much I love them.

Turkey burgers with kale and cotija cheese

I haven’t eaten beef since Thanksgiving eve when I was fourteen. On the way to Berkeley, my mom and I drove past a crowded cow farm that supplies a huge percentage of California’s beef, and I was done for.

I freaking love cows. And pigs (I gave up pork much earlier, but kind of despised it anyway- too chewy and icky). So in terms of meat dishes, you might find a lot of poultry (that is, until I meet a nice chicken (that is, if nice chickens exist)).

(Sorry for the parentheses, but no, I’m not. It’s a Virginia Woolf kind of day.)

Ever since giving up hamburgers, I find I crave heavy meat literally all the time (for you Office fans, this is a great “That’s what she said!” moment). Eggs get me half way there, but the better solution is to eat something other meat-eaters would usually eat with beef (ex. chicken breakfast sausage, turkey burgers, turkey bolognese, turkey bacon, turkey everything except plain turkey).

Enter the turkey burger:

Turkey burger from All Recipes

(Notice this is not my own picture. Turkey burgers do not usually look this appetizing.)

The key ingredients to a good turkey burger are breadcrumbs and eggs. Without these ingredients (or a worthy substitute), the burger will fall apart immediately. For you foodies out there, I really do not recommend substituting panko for breadcrumbs. Trust me.

A turkey burger made with only breadcrumbs and eggs can be very tasty, especially if you add a little seasoning. But Adam and I have had so many of these bad boys with a slab of lettuce and Tillamook medium cheddar, I decided it was time to amp it up a bit. We needed to make the turkey burger fancy.

Kale is by far the fanciest green, so I substituted it for lettuce. First, we sauteed the kale with a clove of minced garlic, just to kick things up a little. We replaced our beloved Tillamook with cotija, both inside the patty and inside the buns. It holds up well inside the patty, and its salty, creamy flavor was the perfect addition to our mundane meal. To top it off, we replaced our whole wheat Oroweat buns with sliced potato rosemary bread (I actually think fresh plain old sourdough would have been even better). The result:

ImageHa, that’s really just a picture of bread. Here’s what Adam’s looked like. I gave him two sliders, which fit perfectly. But warning: use toothpicks, or once you pick this sandwich up you will be handcuffed to it until you’re done. It’s a mess.

Image

Sorry for the amateur food photography, I’m working on it!

The first night I made this, I actually put mushrooms cooked in wine over the burger, but it wasn’t quite as good. There is enough flavor and filling in the burgers and kale alone.

Recipe:

I lb. lean ground turkey
Scant 1/4 cup fresh cotija cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup breadcrumbs, preferably seasoned
1 egg
Salt and pepper
2 cups kale, washed and cut (avoid stems)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh bread, cut in 1/4-1/2 in. slices
(optional) Tablespoon olive oil (if you don’t care about your heart, use butter. It tastes better)
More crumbled cotija for topping

  1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, and a dash of salt and pepper. With your hands knead ingredients together until well mixed.
  2. Shape however many patties you plan to make. (I advise two small sliders per sandwich). If you have extra, go ahead and freeze them in a baggie, separated by parchment paper.  You’ll probably eat them tomorrow.  For breakfast.  In which case, you don’t need to freeze them.
  3. I brushed a little olive oil onto my nonstick skillet, but I don’t think that was really necessary (this kind of arbitrary guessing is exactly why I hope you cooking experts comment and help me please!), but you should definitely do it for a non-non-stick (I think).  Next, cook the patties at a low-medium temperature until the bottom is nicely browned.  Once the patty has begun to cook (about five-ish minutes), flip and continue cooking until cooked through.
  4. While the patties are cooking, saute the kale and garlic in the first tablespoon of oil in a fry pan at medium heat.  Continue this until the kale is slightly wilted and before the garlic turns brown.
  5. Optional: I also toasted my bread in a little olive oil to make the bread tastier and to give it a satisfying crunch. I did this on the same skillet while the meat was cooking, but you probably won’t want your own bread in such close proximity to raw meat, and I don’t blame you.
  6. To assemble this fancy burger, I recommend putting the sauteed kale on the bottom piece of bread, then the cojita, and the burger on top.  This helps hold in the slippage.  But how you assemble your turkey burger is ultimately up to you.  Enjoy with whatever you like to drink.

Quick post: Monday highlights

Today I realized just how hard it may be for me to fit full posts into my schedule every day.  And not because I’m super busy I don’t have time for it, I do most days.  However, my tendency to procrastinate all day has been a little out of control this final semester, and I spend most of my day putting off my school priorities (okay, most might be a stretch, but a lot). So for the next two months this will be the game plan.  On days when I am a responsible human being, I will write the posts I have planned.  On days like today and thesis due dates, I will organize posts in the following way:

Fashion find:

Need Supply’s new sunny March lookbook- I look forward to these every month!  Men’s too.Need Supply Co.

Drooling over:

This fig and olive tapenade on Food 52Food 52

What I’m following in the news:

*Indicates this is an article from the New York Times in case you do not subscribe and don’t want to use your monthly quota on one of these articles.  I will try to limit these to opinion pieces and editorials.

Also, we saw Wanderlust tonight.  Right now I’ll give it a C rating very arbitrarily.  Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd get double A’s for just being themselves.