Thursday, December 11, 2014

Maple, Apples, and Pesto

This recipe for maple-nutmeg-butter cookies is simple and delicious!!! We made about 2 dozen Christmas-shape cookies. The only tweak I made to the existing recipe is that I reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup.  
I made that tasty Farm House Apple Cake featured in Gardenista recently. Easy to make and the reward is an amazing and beautiful dessert. 
The other night, I made a quick pesto-pasta dinner that is perfect for any night of the week. 
 
I bought freshly made pesto at the local Italian deli, but it is easy enough to make at home. I sauteed mushrooms and veggie sausages separately; In a large bowl, I combined 1 box of tri-color fusilli pasta, 1 cup fresh arugula, 1 cup fresh spinach, the sauteed mushrooms and veggie sausages, 2 cups of pesto, and sprinkled it with fresh parmesan cheese. 
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

7x7 picture project

This is my new and humble adventure... 7x7 means that I will post 7 photos every 7 days. They are meant to capture the spirit of the week-each week. I am doing it for many reasons, main among them, is that memory is such a fragile thing. And honestly, days pass in a blur with little reminder of what went on. 7x7 is my way of re-membering, documenting, and a self-reminder to continue practicing photo-taking and framing. And yes, it is a sort of ethnography of every-day life... or more accurately, of the things (objects) and scenes that make up everyday life. 

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Recent Favorites, Early Fall 14'

* Recently, I read [and now recommend] THIS book and THIS one too! (THIS one is on
 my Christmas wish list)

 *City of Samba

 * Bothy Project (really want to spend time there!)

  * Cluck (around my hood) and this Farm/House in Little Compton (one of Rhody's coolest secret beach towns...shhhh)

* What's your fitness age? (In NYTimes)

* Khalil and I want to join THIS woman's team!

* I've been watching ART21 on PBS and loved THIS episode and THIS one, and enjoyed learning about THIS artist (all of the ART21 videos are great!)

* LOVED watching The Motorcycle Diaries again. 

* Rise and Shine 

* Garden envy!

* I will be making Farmhouse Apple Cake for thanksgiving (stay tuned!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

El Guiso (aka the Stew)


Guiso (pronounced gi-so) is one of those culturally loaded and often-humorous words, its several meanings depend on regional variation and context. As far as I know, it connotes positivity, such as “estas guisando” (you are stewing, but which might refer to having a gig, making money, or simply having fun) or “un buen guiso” (a good stew, which can similarly refer to a good job or to good food), and so on. Its original meaning, as far as I can tell, refers to a kind of one-pot food: the stew. To guisar or to stew is an essential cooking method widely used throughout the world; it entails bringing ingredients together and letting them cook slowly over medium-low heat. And, stew-lovers the world over know that a guiso tastes even better the day after it’s made because the ingredients have had time to sit together.   

One of my vegan specialties is the grain stew. I often make either pink beans, white beans, and chickpea, or pigeon pea stew to serve with rice. I am sharing my basic recipe here because over the years several friends have asked for it. My recipe is based on one of Puerto Rico’s national foods the habichuelas guisadas con arroz (rice and beans). The best part about this dish is that it is relatively simple to make and it is also quite forgiving. Each time you make it, it will be better than the last time – because making a good stew only comes with practice and patience.

What you need? (this is a recipe for 2 cans of the beans of your choice):
-choose your grains (you can use canned grains—such as pink beans, garbanzos, or gandules)
-olive oil (1/4 cup)
-sofrito* (or you can make a fresh and quick version of it, see below)
- tomato sauce  (1/2 can) + 1 small tomato
-sazón (2 packets)
-dried, crushed oregano (1 teaspoon)
-1/2 to 2/3 cups of water (depending on desired thickness)
-squash or potatoes or sweet potatoes (1/3 of a small squash or 4 small potatoes or 1 medium sweet potato cubed into small pieces).
-Salt and pepper to taste

[(simple homemade sofrito: crush 2 fresh garlic cloves, cut a third of a small green pepper into small pieces, add about 1/3 cup of fresh cilantro, and a third of a small Spanish onion cut into small pieces)]

What to do?
Add the olive oil to the pot let heat over low heat before adding the sofrito. Let the sofrito cook slightly over the oil for a couple of minutes (but do not let it burn or turn dark brown).  Add the water, your choice of squash or potatoes, tomato sauce and the fresh tomato (should be cut in small pieces), add the sazón, and oregano, salt and pepper to taste and cover the pot. Let it cook over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, then add the beans and some extra fresh cilantro and let it cook for 10 to 15 more minutes. Turn off and let it sit covered for 10 minutes before serving.