*Lyrics from Judge Jury and Executioner on the album AMOK from Thom Yorke‘s new band Atoms For Peace. We all know how I feel about Thom Yorke by now (LOVE, in case you missed it), and this new collection of songs is stellar, as always. I’m not a groupie or an über fan, so I don’t know the inner workings of why this band was formed, or what’s happening with Radiohead… all I know is that it’s good, and you should listen to it. And I apologize to Thom for using his lyrics to vaguely indicate that beans, cauliflower and curry cause digestive issues. The song is great, and the mis-use of his words? Ok, well, it’s funny, is what it is. So sue me. (Ok, don’t, but please, I mean no disrespect.) Moving on.
And now, anther installment of Kitchen Monthly… On a day like today, here in the Northeast, we woke up (and went to bed, frankly) with a winter storm mucking up all of our springy energy. We are having to shovel (or, having your delightful neighbors do your walkway for you because they are soooo kind! thank you, lovies!), and deal with one more grey, miserable, drizzle-able day. So I thought, perfect! I’ll share that recipe today! It’s warm, cozy, and easy to make. Well, except for the beans, they take a while to soak/cook/etc., but you can used canned, so, you needn’t do that step today. read on…
*Lyrics from All Our Wonder by Memoryhouse off their album The Slideshow Effect. I stumbled upon these guys during another Spotify adventure and wound up really liking them. Give them a listen. What else have you go going on?
Back by popular demand, here’s another installment of Kitchen Monthly! Ok, maybe not popular demand. But, if my instagram feed is to be believed, you guys love to look at baked things, and probably want to know how you, too, can live my fabulous life. (If you can’t tell where the sarcasm is in that statement, well, perhaps you should just run along.)
It’s no secret that I love to bake. And, it’s no secret that I love my kitchen. At home, that is. The one at the rental pied-à-terre? Well, it’s functional. And by functional I mean that it takes me two hours to make soup. Ok, maybe it always takes me that long, but it feels like things take even longer. The stove/range is an apartment-sized 20″ and the counter space, while improved greatly by the addition of some IKEA cabinets and a length of countertop, is still limited. And there is no dishwasher. And we have a limited number of things like bowls, utensils, muffin trays, etc. At the house we pretty much have enough cookware, etc., to host a meal for a dozen comfortably. Here, we have enough for two, or three (and lately that’s been three as one of my sisters is staying with us in our tiny flat – for now.)
*Lyrics from Bear Hands‘ Crime Pays song off their album Burning Bush Supper Club. Jeff’s been telling me about these guys for a while now, and this song, well, it seemed relevant to the current mood in the world. At least some pockets of the world. (And it’s a great album – every song of theirs that came up on Pandora I ‘liked.’)
I’ve been thinking non-stop about the events in Newtown (who hasn’t?), and considered joining the conversation. And then I heavy-heartedly sighed. So then, I thought, ‘maybe I should just bake something instead?’ Right? Much better idea. For as many legitimate discussions are cropping up due to the madness (and the sadness), and as opinionated as I am about it all, I think I’ll leave it, just as I’ll leave the emptiness alone. Sometimes, talking about something (or sharing countless images, or names, or candlelight vigils, or articles, or opinions) makes it worse, even when intentions are good.
*Lyrics from a new single from my favorite (and yours, right? right?) Local Natives called Breakers. Needless to say, I’m in love. And now await their upcoming album (called Hummingbird) release in January with bated breath. Ok, not fully bated, just, well, I can’t wait. But I will.
And now it’s time for our next installment of Kitchen Monthly… better late than never?
You know, I never much considered the bean. I mean, who thinks about beans? They’re just beans, right? Wrong. Oh, so wrong. I’ve discovered, and have perhaps squandered years of bean enjoyment, that real beans are so very, very different from those in a can. And so, so much better.
It started with a summertime cookout. Jeff and I were tired of the ol’ burgers n’dogs routine, and wanted to make something special. Plus, we were trying to shed some pounds, and keep on our running/training schedule, so including some fiber, and some fresher ingredients seemed appropriate. We arrived at a grilled taco, with slow-cooked pork shoulder (or butt, who knows?), fresh salsa, guacamole, and a black bean side dish. We figured, for those who don’t want the meat, we’ll have a suitable alternative. And for those that do, well, black beans have anti-oxidants, right? They’re good for you!
Simply put: they were outstanding. The pork came out well (we tried it a few times throughout the summer with varying degrees of success), and the salsa was a hit. But the beans – the beans! – were out of sight, man. Seriously, just black beans (about two cups?), soaked (about 4 hours, but could be done overnight) and simmered (about 1 1/2 hours? or until tender), seasoned with a generous amount of salt (to taste) a teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander, a handful of chopped fresh cilantro and one chipotle in adobo, chopped. That’s it. But the bean, that’s the part that’s magical. They bring their own flavor.
*Instead of cupcake monthly, that my waistline wouldn’t let me actually keep up with, please enjoy this first official installment of Kitchen Monthly. Though I doubt it’ll be monthly. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?
One of my favorite things to drink in the summer is a fruity, chilled, and slightly sweet sangria. I first tried my hand as making sangria a few years ago after watching a bit too much Rachael Ray. From her I learned that you should usually have a citrus, a stone fruit (peach, plum, etc.), and a seed fruit (apple, pear, etc.). That combination has stayed with me, and I’ve been tinkering on versions ever since. The last one I made was by far my favorite one I’ve ever made, so I thought I should share my basic recipe.
1 btl dry rosé
1 lime, sliced into thin disks, then halved
15-20 cherries, pitted and halved
half packet raspberries (about 3 to 4 oz.), fresh (not frozen)
2 peaches, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum, whatever brand you prefer
1/4 cup brandy, best quality you can afford
1 can fruit-juice sweetened spritzer (I like Knudsen’s brand) in strawberry
Ice, as much as you like
So, the only time I allow myself a blog title that’s not a song is for Cupcake Monthly. I’ll admit, I’ve missed a few months. I may have to start calling it Cupcake Quarterly though, since my plans for the future include reigning in my sweet tooth. Anyway, several weeks ago, our dear friends Dave (of Team Carpentry) and Abbie’s lovely son, Eli, had his first birthday. And I was enlisted to provide his first ever(!) cupcake.