Sunday, February 27, 2011


I received my last cookbook in the mail! Harvest Eating. I've been looking through it this afternoon and getting re-excited about cooking again. A good thing. So tonight for dinner we will be having Leek and Potato Soup, Bowtie Pasta with Butternut Squash and, potentially, Kale Greens. All three are recipes from the new book. So, in a few, I'm off to the store to buy the handful of items that I need. I'm also going to get what I need to start a batch of Creme Fraiche - which is a cultured cream topping.... yum.
I did go to the Farmer's Market on Wednesday and find a few items that the other Market doesn't offer - Persian cucumbers (mmmm...), Lemongrass (to make Lemonade with Lemongrass) and several other items that I didn't get this time around, due to a full fridge, but plan to try out as soon as I can.
Talk to you again soon... perhaps after dinner. If it turns out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In light of gallimaufry...

Pretzel sticks dipped in honey mustard sauce. Amazing! I can hardly stop eating them to type. Yum. That said. Dinner was of a simple nature today after the nice soup kerfuffle. Yummy TJ's Chicken and some Lemon Pepper pasta with butter, boxed Au Gratin potatoes and my streak of creativity for the night: canned corn with sundried tomatoes. At least it tasted good and filled us up!
Besides the pretzels and honey mustard, I do have another newfound favorite snack: a block of soft havarti cheese and super crisp red grapes. You have to put the cheese in your mouth first, then the grape... So rich and delectable!

Went to the Reagan Library yesterday - it was a clear day with a beautiful view. Learned a lot that I never knew about Reagan. It's somewhere that my sister would've taken my nephew, nieces and I to many years ago...with us then dressing up in character and giving a report in the following days. Good times.

Another one of my cookbooks came in the mail today - haven't had a chance to look through it yet, but I'm excited to! Tomorrow should be a fun day - Headed to Mimi's in the morning, going to take along the little guy I nanny, then across the parking lot to another Farmer's Market that I didn't even realize existed. Should be fun...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Where to start... How about the beginning of  yesterday, seems like a good place. Woke up to a sunny morning, encouraging me to head off to the Farmer's Market to get some butternut squash, more carrots and fennel. I went earlier this week to see if there was more selection since I had heard the farmers talking about running out of some things by 9am - let me put it this way, the produce I found this time was even more beautiful then last week!

Bringing it home the kitties, Liz (shown in this picture) & Daisy, showed great interest in what I bought - sniffing and playing with the leaves and, Liz especially, doing whatever she could to get to the produce - going as lar as to jump onto the counter to see though she knows full well that's not acceptable! Once I was home I began to plan the soup I wanted to create... Let me just say, some plans 'sound' sooooo much better then they taste...

But, before I get there I'll share some of the journey that made this realization realized. Around 2pm or so I started on the soup... I cut and roasted the butternut squash with a little butter - boy, that smelled wonderful! While that was roasting I chopped and prepped the other vegetables that I wanted to roast. My idea was puree all these veggies into a smooth and creamy soup... Well, about halfway through chopping them  I had a little light-bulb-moment and stopped and looked at my friend who was working on her computer at the breakfast bar - "We don't own a blender."  How could I forget we didn't have a blender!? After much laughter we decided to head to Target to find one after the vegetables where done cooking. We went to the mall and after checking several stores I decided on a food processor from Target which we then took home and I proceeded to blend all the veggies together.... And that's where the enjoyable experience ends and the disturbing concoction begins. Let's just say this, I tried to salvage the soup while heating it with butter and herbs and half 'n half... but even the sauteed pearl onions, cinnamon and parmesan cheese that we garnished it with didn't do much for what we dubbed "Gluten-Free Cream of Wheat Soup". Did you know that when you put enough different vegetables together they all basically cancel each other out and don't taste like anything in the end? They do. Also did you know that when the batch that has the cauliflower in it isn't pureed long enough it comes out the texture of a perfectly prepared bowl of Cream of Wheat cereal? It does. So yeah... I have put half of the "soup" in the fridge to see if I can do anything to salvage it. The other half, well, as it was so kindly put during dinner last night - has been disposed of the same way we do the kitty litter - tied up in a bag and thrown in the trash! After all, we didn't want to have to call the plumber! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cucumbers, Amazon & Rain...

The other day I went to Whole Foods for cucumbers and found pumpkin and sage ravioli... They were beautiful! The pasta was marbled with rich hues of yellow and red - all moist and plump, just calling to be sautéed with butter and fresh sage. So I did. Tonight for dinner. Only two perished in the process - but they've not done so in vain. The water they have flavored will go on to be soup tomorrow... 
Along with the ravioli I steamed some fresh carrots with some sautéed fennel then added butter and a tad of brown sugar just before they were done. Delicious, if I do say so myself. It was such fun to cook the meal! 

I love having new things to try! And, thus far, it's been as simple as my everyday ordinary meals I always made. (Though the fresh ravioli proved rather testy to separate from one another! You have any hints for future reference?)
For dessert I heated half 'n half with raw sugar and vanilla which I poured, warm, over fresh peaches... the peaches weren't the best, since it is February after all, but the cream made up for it...

I'm excited to go tomorrow to the farmer's market again - a bit earlier this week - to see what I can find... Hopefully they will be open in spite of the rain. I'd like to get some butternut and/or acorn squash and more carrots... who knows what else I'll find along the way!
Oh, I found the cookbooks on Amazon! All three for the price of one at the bookstore! I can't wait for them to show up... 
It's been a "Seattle-day" here today... it's wonderful! Gray. Cloudy. Misty. Rainy. My favorite. I'm excited to see what comes of the soup tomorrow. It's perfect timing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why 'gallimaufry'?

I began looking for a catchy title for my blog and came across this word and the definition just fit so perfectly to what I want to do here... "a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley". Then I looked at the origin... "a hash of various kinds of meats" - I'm sure I'll ramble on plenty about foods... "to rejoice, to make merry, to eat much, to open one's mouth wide." - I hope this will be a joyful and merry, confused medley of ramblings on food and life and adventures for you and for me. I'd love to hear from you. This is all new for me - a bit of an adventure on it's own! 

Today I went to Barnes & Noble to look at cookbooks... cookbooks with pictures... cookbooks that normally I would put back on the shelf and say 'I don't even know what those ingredients are!' and 'I'd never make that.' You know which ones I mean. This time I sought those out and sat at a table by the window and meandered my way through the recipes, being lured in by the unique tastes they boasted and the fancy plating used to show off the chef's skills. I founds three that I really want! But dutifully I came home without any to check and see if I can find them online cheaper. But before leaving empty-handed, I stopped and got myself a delicious decaf cinnamon dolce Frappachino for .65 cents (I love using up leftover giftcards!!), which I enjoyed all the way home - and even now!

You're probably wondering why I need these new enticing cookbooks... well, here's the thing: I'm tired of food. It's all been boring and the same old same old humdrum 'eat because I have to' meals. And I'm ready for a change! Thankfully my best friend & roommate is up for the adventure with me. So to start things off I went on Saturday to the local Farmer's Market and grabbed nearly everything that I've never had before: leeks, kale, rainbow swiss chard, shitake mushrooms, fennel, pink pomelo... along with a few 'normals': cauliflower, cabbage, carrots... and a favorite: asian pear.

So off we go... I look forward to having you along!