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I took the plunge…

…into self-hosting! Ahhh! The blog has migrated over to Daria Can Cook (www.dariacancook.com/blog).

I was tired of my long long long URL, and Summer has officially ended, so I figured it was time to switch things up. Only after I paid for the new account did I realize that I totally bit Homegirl’s style. Ack! Sorry Homegirl! Your way with words is clearly infectious.

So, to recap: think before you commit to a domain name, and follow me to Daria Can Cook!

Experimental Kitchen Love

There’s something you should know about me. I like to live dangerously. That’s right; I’m the kind of girl who toys recklessly with recipes’ hearts, tossing aside ingredients and cooking times like so much confetti. This drives Trent wild, and not in the good way. He likes to follow recipes precisely, and I have a hard time convincing him that my substitutions and fiddlings are good ideas.

He’s often right. If consistency is your goal, then messing around with tried and true formulas is not a good idea. But if you live for the highs of surprising flavor combinations and don’t mind sinking down into the scorched, bland, over-seasoned lows of culinary failures, then experimentation can be your friend.

Tonight, my approach won out. We’d planned to do something with our acorn squash, some of our greens, a can of garbanzos, and maybe some potatoes. When I came home and opened my google reader, however, I found a recipe for vegetarian molé from Michelle at Find Your Balance. It could be adapted to fit nearly everything we were thinking of cooking tonight. Sign from the google gods? Clearly!

Of course, we didn’t have pinto beans. Or delicata squash. Or kale or canned tomatoes or regular almonds. We did have garbanzos, not quite enough acorn squash to make the required 3 cups, swiss chard and celery greens, non-canned tomatoes and tomatillos with some added water, and chocolate-covered almonds from Trader Joe’s. So we made do and came up with this:

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And you know what? It was great. Sure, there are things I’ll do differently next time (more squash, no celery [what was I thinking there??], less chocolate, even though we used about 1/3 of what the recipe called for), but I think there will be a next time. And that’s what experimentation is all about: falling in love with things whose existence you hadn’t even dreamed of.

What’s your cooking style? Are you reckless and experimental? Or do you stick to the well-lighted paths of recipes?

I wish I had a real cornucopia in which to display this week’s haul. One of these days I’ll have a kitchen/studio with space to store unnecessary things like cornucopias.

For some reason I keep expecting our CSA share to dwindle, even though autumn IS harvest season. And boy was it ever a big harvest this week!

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Exhibit C:

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That would add up to lettuce, Swiss chard, mustard greens, unidentified green, cilantro, long beans, tomatillos, a lone carrot, hot peppers, bell peppers, miraculous (but grade B) tomatoes, jilo eggplant (insanely bitter – I love bitter things but I have not acquired a taste for these!), ACORN SQUASH, which is my e’erything, PLUS unpictured ginormous leeks, a billion ears of sweet corn, onions, and potatoes.

I will do my best to do creative things with these beauties this week. I’ve fallen into a salad/cooked greens/raw veggie snack rut that I need to get out of. A large part of why I started blogging was to force myself to be more creative and varied in the kitchen, after all. So stay tuned for my attempts at de-rut-ifying myself!

Comfort Food

Do you know what I like? Coming home from a day of reading-until-my-eyes-might-fall-out and teaching-until-my-head-might-explode to find this waiting for me:

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That Trent is something special. He even photographed it for the blog!

The meatballs consist of CSA lean, hormone- and antibiotic-free, grass-fed, free-range beef and whatever else the Joy of Cooking told Trent to add. They taste divine.

Come back tomorrow to see this week’s veggie haul. Things are getting interesting now that the seasons are changing!

As you can probably tell from my lack of posting, school has been keeping me from food-related pursuits. Eats have been simple and quick and have included more than a few dinners eaten in meetings. Blech.

This morning I made an effort to get back into the kitchen. I eased into it with my trusty food processor, which gets an almost daily workout (smoothies, hummus, blended spinach for oats, etc., etc.). In went half a bag of Trader Joe’s roasted, unsalted cashews and a bit of salt. Out came this:

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Isn’t it beautiful?

Trent was thrilled; he quickly made some toast for his cashew-butter vehicle. I chopped up an apple, which baked in the toaster oven for 10 minutes or so, then added the apple, a generous dollop of cashew butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg to my morning oats. No picture because seriously, how many pictures of oatmeal can one look at in a lifetime? But rest assured it was fabulous. I highly recommend adding baked apples, cinnamon, and cashew butter to everything you eat for the next few weeks.

P.S. How awesome is Trent for taking pictures for me with his beautiful new toy camera?

Squashed

Today’s post has a soundtrack. I recommend playing Drake’s** “Best I Ever Had” as you read.

You know a lot of [vegetables] be thinkin’ my songs are about them
This is not to get confused, this one’s for you

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Baby, you my everything, you all I ever wanted
We can do it real big, bigger than you ever done it
[Butter] up on everything, other [spreads] ain’t never on it
I want this forever, I swear I can spend whatever on it

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She make me [sautee] it till she give [her sugars] up
And I say the same thing every single time

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I say you the you the best, you the you the best
You the you the best, you the you the best
You the best I ever had, best I ever had

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see this the type of [breakfast]
You got to dedicate to somebody
Just make sure they that special somebody

 

So this one’s for you, squash. You the you the best.

 

Songwriters: Butternut Squash (lunch, consumed with pb and cinnamon); Summer Squash (breakfast, consumed with spinach oats, fried egg, lactose-free muenster, and Sriracha)

**Who else recognizes Drake from his days playing Jimmy on Degrassi: The Next Generation? I know I’m not the only one who loves that show.

Giveaways!

Just checking in to alert you to some excellent giveaways. I’ll be back later in the week with more CSA goodness and some real cooking.

First, Lynn and Christy at The Actors Diet are giving away some Amazing Grass goodies here. Next up, Chocolate-Covered Katie is giving away some Green Super Food bars from the Amazing Grass company. Check them out!

Here’s to the dawn of an excellent new week!

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