Thursday, August 27, 2009

Makeup Mega Post

Bet you thought you'd gotten rid of us for good, but alas

we creep right back in again.

This summer's brought a lot of changes in our lives. I have no job! What did I do all day? Go crazy, discover Facebook, become a Facebook addict, read a lot of great fiction, sun my legs a little in a cheap lawn chair, oh, and buy a new house!

My new workshop:

My favorite room in the house. Life with a dishwasher is just spectacular, y'all. As adventurous cooks, I estimate we did about 2 hours of dishes a week (at least!) at the old place. A dinner party took nearly a week to recover from, but not anymore. We've been having potlucks every two weeks for the last 2 months and it literally takes two loads in the dishwasher and that's all! We don't have to prerinse really either. We got a good machine on our side now. We let people eat off of real plates, drink out of real glasses! But they're forced to use plastic cutlery. Somehow we run out of silverware before dinner actually gets served, got to work on that. I plan to buy some sets with the birthday/housewarming money my generous mother-in-law has been sending me. I told Mark we should pop out some kids and we'd really be in the money! Oh Deej, you're the best.

So anyway, I'm going to highlight some of the tastiest of our exploits with brief discussion and links to recipes:

This is the pulled pork we made in April frozen and reheated in May with fresh corn and southern style green beans boiled to death with new potatoes. The pork froze really well. It tasted as good as it did the day we made it.

Neely's Grilled Corn Salad

This was really good. We grilled the corn on our grill pan indoors as we didn't want to light up the grill for just corn. The salad actually kept pretty well for a couple of days, but that's coming from me. I tend to like wilty salads because I'm gross like that.

We had the salad with some lovely burgers. Mark had his covered in our favorite cheddar.

You know, to this day, I've never had a cheeseburger and I don't really want to either.

We got the beef from our coop. It's a little pricey, but it really tastes a lot better...perhaps because I don't feel as guilty eating it knowing it was raised by honest local farmers in humane conditions. The coop now sells all kinds of meat, from filet mignon to chicken bologna, they got it. As soon as I'm gainfully employed again we're going to get some really nice steaks. Oh, that list (Things to Purchase When Gainfully Employed Again) is getting longer by the day. I mourn for our Saturdays at Whole Foods. I can't even let myself go in there anymore. However, there's something to be said for living frugally. We should have been living like this all along.

We joined a CSA this year, which has been nice if not a little bit overwhelming at times. Every Monday I take my basket to pick up our veggies. I soon realized this little basket wasn't going to cut it all by its lonesome, but it works hard for us and has many uses as you can see:

I've been trying to think of creative ways to use up all this beautiful produce and clean out my freezer. This little dish attempted to do both.
Giada's Roasted Cod with Lima Beans

I used frozen Limas and cod (not such a good idea as it turns out). The fish was a very unnerving texture and the extras I added to the Lima beans overpowered everything, namely the mint. I have no idea why I put that leaf of lettuce in there. I mean, I like it wilty sometimes, but this didn't work.

We ate it with a glorious salad alongside.

The recipe came from my friend Amanda's mom Patsy. It was just an assortment of veggies cut really small: zucchini, peppers, cukes, tomatoes, etc. The dressing was a simple vinaigrette. I topped mine with a copious amount of avocado (love of my life these days).

Whew this post is long! Almost finished though.

Being in the CSA has introduced me to some new and interesting ingredients, namely garlic scapes. I'd heard of garlic scape pesto and considered using my share to make that, but then I found this little number.
White Bean and Garlic Scape Spread

It was a little intense, so I topped it with some of the chopped veggies leftover from Patsy's salad. It was very yummy. In fact, I wish I had more of those garlic scapes. They have a lovely grassiness about them.

It was on this very night that my camera broke. I've been in mourning ever since and as a result, I've abandoned this blog. That night I served a beautiful roasted chicken which was so good I've made it a couple of times since. I've mastered the big bird, guys. Well, now that I have one of those probe thermometers that you stick in and it beeps whenever the chicken is done.

My camera didn't break entirely. The display screen is messed up which means we can still take pictures, but we just don't know what of. Hence

what was a perfectly acceptable kitten love fest looks more like photos of an illicit affair: caught red handed.

I'm hoping to get a new camera soon (when we get our gov't check--thanks Mr. Obama).
Until then, I'm determined to post crappy pictures because the food we've been making lately has just been too good not to document.