Sunday, July 31, 2011

"I Saw You Running, Did You See Me?" Part 2

Running pictures, week two. I went out around dawn this time(while it was still cool) and did an easy three.
I really enjoy doing these, even if at this point they aren't really much to look at. I bought a cheapie Lomography camera  online this week to use on these in the future, so hopefully that, along with some accumulated skill, will make these more dynamic soon.

"wtf?" click here

if you look really closely, you can see a bunny (running away!)

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"When The Flamethrower Is In Leo"

When you leave the house for five minutes (or less), maybe to take out the trash, check the mail, get the paper,  and you come back inside with tan lines, it's pretty clear that it's almost August. It may still be July technically, but there's something in the air, in the sagging of plant leaves, the crunch of brown dusty grass, the maddening whine of cicada song that lets you know, that... month is almost here.

August in Tennessee is similar to living in the business end of an Oxy-fuel welding torch. Nothing can function (your car will break down), nothing survives (both flora and fauna wither, turn black, and dust away) and your electric bill will be high as the taxes on Tara. 

One way to deal with August, start baking fruity things at midnight (you know you'll still be up, watching seasons of Charmed on netflix), eat huge, delicious, shiver inducing salads (with cukes!), and at noon, when you want to die , make some sun tea. Are we doing this? Have we tried it? Honestly now is the perfect time. If you're really looking for a way to keep from sobbing when you look out the window (or at your electric bill) find some time to make some lemons into lemonade (or lemon tea) by putting some yumtastic stuff in a jar and making that steaming windowsill work for you. It's a good thing, trust me. Green and all that. Plus much more delicious than a hackneyed idiom.

As for the salad situation, you're already doing this. Come on, it's summertime I won't insult you. But I made a nice pretty one today that I think you'll really dig. It's got nectarines, and yes they are leftover from the tart I just made and totally ate a slice of for breakfast. (Yeah. I'm that person.) This salad though, it's got the whole sweet and salty thing going on (chicken+ nectarines) in a tastypants delicious way. All fresh, healthy, chilled. It's even better when you wash it down with a blackberry tart slice. You know, cause it's almost August, and a girl's got to do what she has to... to survive.

August, it's coming, but we're going to be ready. 

Lemon-Rosemary Sun Tea
In a large jar, bruise 1/4 cup rosemary leaves with a wooden spoon. Add 1/4 of a thinly sliced lemon and 1-1/2 quarts cold water. Cover and let stand in a warm windowsill for 4 hours. Strain; serve over ice.

Chicken Nectarine Salad
2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
3 firm but ripe nectarines, thinly sliced
1/2 a medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced red onion 
1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

Romaine or butter lettuce leaves
Salt and Pepper

In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice and cumin, until smooth.
Toss chicken, nectarines, cucumber, and onion in large bowl. Stir in dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon salad into lettuce leaves and sprinkle with walnuts. Divide among 4 plates and serve.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Whoopie Cushions, and Groucho Glasses. We're Breakin All The Rules"

So I basically took this recipe to court and made it pay me child support. I was feeling very froggy today and though I set out to the store with this perfectly fancy Food and Wine recipe in my back pocket, I somehow  found myself wandering the grocery aisles grabbing this and that  and things that were not  in the recipe and by the time I got home my cooking brain just decided to do whatever it wanted. This fruit tart is loosely, basically the Creamy Peach Tart in the most recent issue of Food and Wine. Somehow though it turned out to be a blackberry nectarine tart with a shortbread cookie and toasted walnut crust that was totally delicious but not at all what I had planned. Yeah, I can't really explain it. All this kitchen experimentation is really soaking into my brain and at this point I'm just waiting for my first huge disaster to rear it's ugly head. But until then, just enjoy the pretty pretty fruit tart.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart
Contributed by Grace Parisi for Food and Wine

2 cups shortcake cookies, such as Lorna Doone (5 ounces, about a sleeve and a half)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 tsp Orange zest
2 firm, ripe nectarines, cut into thin wedges
1 pint blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, combine the cookies with the walnuts and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and process until fine. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan or pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is set.
Meanwhile, wipe out the food processor bowl. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, egg, orange zest and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and process until smooth. Pour the custard into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, until set. Let the tart cool slightly and transfer to the freezer to chill, about 15 minutes (or the fridge for about 40, if your freezer is already full of stuff like mine is). In a bowl, toss the nectarines and blackberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Arrange the fruit over the custard in whatever lovely pattern makes you happy. Slice and serve.

"Fair Goodness Cake!" or "What Will Surely Be The Cause Of My Death"

Chocolate Ice Cream with German chocolate cake pieces, and coconut caramel swirl.

I want to write a love sonnet to this ice cream. I honestly do. I had time to take about four bites on this fabulous new flavor before I headed off to work and I loved it so much that I made a point of picking up a second pint on my way home just so I wouldn't run out. It is FANTASTIC, and a wonderful return to form after a few sort of 'meh' flavors Ben and Jerry's has put out lately. I'm not even a supreme fan of German chocolate cake and it still made me consider putting this flavor on my list of top ten favorites. In a way, it's like the Inception of ice cream flavors. It's an ice cream that is German chocolate cake flavored, with chunks of German chocolate cake inside. Dream within a dream. Taking this one too far? Maybe.

There are aspects of this creamy delight that really just make me feel like I'm eating all my favorite flavors at once. Like Karamel Sutra/Phish Food/Oatmeal Cookie Chunk/ Brownie Batter swirled together in a magnificent orgy of flavor.Yes I said orgy of flavor . Go with it.

Try this flavor! It is the poop of angels. The poop of angels.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"I Saw You Running. Did You See Me?"

I started a new photography project where every week when I go out for my Sunday easy run, I take a little disposable camera with me and snap pictures along the way. It's a total rip off of Zooey Deschanel's running group on Yes Man but it's really fun to do and it's a really nice distraction from the summer heat that's really just inescapable right now no matter what time I head out. I use a disposable camera to prevent any upsets if there happens to be a road mishap (and if you're like me this is totally likely), and I never head back inside until I finish up a roll. If you've ever considered trying this, you should totally do it! Plus it's the perfect way to play around with film, in all it's warm unpredictable wonky-ness.

I loved the light on the spiderwebs (and my finger! ha!)