Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pictures Make Posting Easy!

So, I really stink at blogging lately. Perhaps you've noticed? (echo. . .echo. . .echo) I guess I am probably all alone here now so I will entertain myself by posting some pictures of our loft. It's completely unrelated to food but I seem to have run out of steam on that front.

I like how the cheap IKEA rugs that we duct taped together resemble grass. Oh outside world, how I've missed you!

I probably don't have to tell you what room this is, though the giant metal beams maaaay be confusing.

I really need some storage solutions here. That shelf over there to the right (that I found in an alley) doesn't provide nearly enough room. I hope to find a totally awesome set of lockers on Craigslist someday that I can paint a super bright color. In the meantime suggestions are welcome. As you can see we still need a hood for our stove, and I am using the space that should hold a built in microwave to store dishes. (classy!)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Do something awesome

Do something good, and get something great in return. Please check this link out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Chilly Night

Fall has finally come to Long Beach. I have been extra busy with work lately so I haven't actually experienced the outside world this week but it certainly looks chilly out there. Really any excuse will do to make the hearty, cold weather, stick to your hips, foods that I adore. Chili is one of my favorites and since I usually have all the ingredients on hand I indulge in this hefty dish more often that I wish to admit. Here is the version that I made yesterday. The recipe yields 10 generous servings but it freezes beautifully, and really doesn't chili always taste better as leftovers?

Chili with Beans
2 lbs lean hamburger
2 onions, diced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (12 oz) bottle of beer
2 (15oz) cans pinto beans, drained
2 (15oz) cans kidney beans, drained
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
1 or 2 dried ancho chiles*
1 tsp brown sugar

Brown the ground beef with the onion in a large dutch oven. If you have not used a lean ground beef drain off most of the fat. Add the chopped garlic and cook until softened. Then add your spices all at once and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. Immediately add the beer, beans and tomatoes. Soak the dried ancho chile in hot water for 5 minutes. Allow all of the water to drain out of the chile then deseed, mince and add it to the pot. Cook chili for an hour. Sometimes I add another beer to the chili when it is 3/4 of the way done, it makes for a thinner chili but it tastes delightfully of beer. I like to serve this chili on its own, on top of cooked pasta, or with chips and cheese. It would be a challenge to serve it in a way that is not delightful, it's just that good!

*I am also quite fond of chipotle chiles in adobo but I only ever use 1-2 of them and it seems wasteful to open the can unless I have something in mind for the rest of the chiles. (Other than putting the them in tupperware, letting them sit in the fridge for a week and then throwing them out.) Dried chiles are an inexpensive way to keep delicious chiles on hand.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Green Beans FTW

I had intended to bring you the recipe for the mandarin and olive sauced salmon that is peeking out from the back of the plate here. The green beans were just an afterthought, something I threw together with what happened to be in the fridge. Thanksgiving is approaching and I had in mind updating that infamous "Green Bean Casserole" but had not much hope for it's success. Fortunately, I hadn't eaten all my veggies yet when hubby and I declared that the green beans had stolen the show. I was able to snap this very unflattering picture before I scarfed them down. I know that these beans are not going to win any beauty contests, but delicious as they are I know I will being seeing them again. If you give this recipe a try (you totally should) I highly recommend making garlic mashed potatoes too.

Mushroomy Beans
2 Tblsp butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cups of green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup beef broth
1 TBLSP sour cream

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper to the pan and cook until the onions are softened and brown, low and slow. Add the green beans and broth to the pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until beans are cooked through. Remove cover, stir in sour cream and cook long enough to warm through. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's On!

I know that I've blathered on and on about soups here before. Really how can I get so excited about veggies and stock? I just love that you can take a pathetic looking remains of your vegetable bin and make something so utterly desirable with them.
I make at least two giant pots of soup a week around here and we eat every bit of it. Many soup recipes begin with a similar base, (onion, garlic, celery, and carrots) so why not do all of the chopping at once? While this is a fantastic way to cut down on cooking times, eating your way through an entire pot of soup can be a chore rather than the pleasure that a meal should be. My solution? I divvy it up in single serving containers and place in the freezer as soon as it cools. On workout nights when I am too tired to cook, we each get to pick our own "frozen dinner". A fully stocked soup supply also means that it only takes a few minutes to pack up lunch for my husband. Frozen soup, a salad, a piece of fruit and he is out the door.
Here are some of my freezable favorites. All recipes are easily doubled or tripled.
Curried Carrot Soup (also good with a can of coconut milk thrown in at the end)

Friday, October 02, 2009

You know what is a major time suck? Moving! Especially when that move also involves buying a home. Why do I bring this up? I am hoping that this information will help excuse me from not blogging for four months. Are you buying it? No? Well let me just move on to telling you about my new place.

Choosing to live in southern california had doomed me to rent forever. Then the economy tanked and prices here in long beach took a hearty dive. That is when my husband and I found the bank owned 2,000 square foot loft that we are now living in. Imagine a parking garage. Polished concrete floors, rough concrete ceilings, exposed pipe and conduit. Got that visual? Add a couch and coffee table and you are imaging our loft. It's definitely a unique space to call home but I know that with a couple of years and unholy amounts of cash it will be amazing. Thus far it has proven itself to be bike friendly, an awesome roller rink, and a downright delightful party pad.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dental Hell

The following is an unpaid advertisement and in no way reflects the principals of this blogger.

This is a real advert that has been living on my fridge ever since it arrived in the mail a month ago. I just can't get over the fact that someone thought this would lure you in to their office. Since I have been blissfully overloaded with work, this is the most interesting item in the kitchen right now. Enjoy.