Monday, March 31, 2008

If you like pina coladas...


Pina Colada in the dark...

Then you really should just make yourself a few. It's super easy. P called this picture "the next addition to L's online alcohol journal." May I counter with: It wouldn't be very interesting to write about the nights I act all healthy, non? All, today I woke up, ate oatmeal, went for a run... Do you know what I do on Friday nights? I put on my PJs and watch freakin' Ghost Whisperer. Yeah, blah. Would much rather write about the times when I have delicious cocktails and cook something new.


This weekend, we were feeling tropical, so whipped up some pina coladas (dark rum version, of course) to accompany some Spicy Roasted Asian Fish. It was from Cooking Light, and met my criteria of super-easy, tastes really good. I couldn't find a link for the recipe, but here's an approximation -- we used cod, which worked out fine, but think you could use any other fish that holds up well in baking.


Preheat oven to 425 (or a little hotter).
Combine in blender or food processor:
  • Some chopped garlic (3 cloves or so)
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 T fish sauce
  • A bunch of chili sauce, to taste (2T or so)
    [Note: I
    must write about fantastic Indian mart around the corner that has mulitple versions of chili sauce and rose water(!), which I'll have to use in something interesting soon...]
  • Chopped up ginger (a few Ts)
  • Chopped lemon grass (2 Ts or so)
  • Lime juice (I totally left out this ingredient by accident, don't do that!)
If there are 2 of you, get a lb or less of your fish and cut into two fillets. Put in a baking pan or dish and pour in the sauce from the food processor. Coat both sides, pop in preheated oven. Should take about 8min per inch of thickness of the fish if you use cod.


Cook your cod (or halibut, etc...)

I sauteed up some summer squash and zucchini as a side, sprinkled with S&P.

SS&Z, with S&P...



et voila!

For those interested in the beverage, pina coladas are way easier than I thought, and much tastier not all fake and frozen (and with dark rum). P found the recipe on my fancy cocktail drink coasters. Here it is, but add an extra shot of rum:


Like above, but use 2 shots dark rum
and put it on the rocks (crushing ice is too much work).
Actually, just put in as much of each ingredient as you feel like.
I was feeling extra coconutty....

Yeeees.... it's not March. No.... it's late April and I'm in the Carribbean. Yeah, that's it....

xo,
L

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ode to Thursday

I must say, there is something really delicious about going out on a Thursday night. There are fewer people out, so it feels a bit exclusive. You always have somewhere to sit, you can always hear the conversation, and you get more attention from bartenders and waiters. It's also thrilling in a way because you feel like you might almost be doing something bad since you have to work the next day. But,on the other hand, it's safe because afterwards you only have to get through one. more. day.


Champagne on a Thursday

That one more day is today. I enjoy Thursday night outings, but I really love the weekend.

xo,
L

Thursday, March 27, 2008

almost there....

I admit it. I'm struggling through March, as I knew I would be.

Positives: It broke 50 degrees, crocus (croci? crocuses?), saw a robin, wore a coat that was not made of wool, still light at 6pm.

Challenges: Temp is dropping, clouds rolled in, heard it might snow... again, need sun desperately as skin has become translucent.

Ok, ok, positive thinking, lovely thoughts, here goes...

I am going on vacation soon.

Soon after, I will be in Talloires. Even when it's gray there, it's still beautiful.


Rain in France is not so bad because, well, you're in France.

I will be having delicious Cambridge 1 pizza in 2 hours. I already know what I will order: Half of a #1, glass of Edmond St. John Rocks & Gravel (described as "warm and spicy" to combat the weather), perhaps a bresaola/arugula/shaved parmesean salad to share...)

I have no plans this weekend. I can do this.

xo,
L

Monday, March 24, 2008

happy blur

Happy news this weekend. Can't wait to properly celebrate with a glass/bottle(s) of champagne, J. Perhaps with a cocktail from the book you gave me?

Congratulations to you....
xo,
L

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

saucy

Not a lovely day here. No, not at all. It is nasty, wet/snowy, gray, and P and I have been nutty with work. We are at the end of a New England winter and it. Is. Dragging. P had an especially stressful day, so upon arriving home, we set to work to fix it.

P trudged back out quickly to pick up a few things to make some family recipe spaghetti sauce, while I prepped the kitchen.



Bad day, but got some sausage!

The first move to shaking off a bad day is to put on comfy clothes; cottony pants and fleecy top for me, something slightly more masculine for P (his fleecy top is black). Next, in order to think clearly it is imperative to have just a little something in your stomach.



Starters....
Olive oil, maple-smoked salt, fresh bread

We started the carb load while examining my family recipe:



Family Recipe...
[Click image, and you can try my mom's sauce, too]

I'm not sure what my favorite thing about this actual physical recipe is. It might be that my mother didn't list out all of the ingredients, or include amounts of said unlisted/partially listed ingredients. It might be that it has clearly been consulted many times as the splatters and bits of food stuck to it illustrate. Or, perhaps it is the fact that just seeing this piece of paper calms me as I anticipate the result and remember many cozy spaghetti dinners past. There are few better things on a cold winter day than a pot of fragrant sauce simmering away.



Simmer...

I could see the sauce start to work its magic on P, and he began to relax.



P & meat: special skill -- the perfect meatball
[I use ground pork for the meatballs]

I knew this was clearly going to be a dinner-on-the-couch night instead of a civilized dinner-at-the-table night, which calls for something very important:


Stemless wine glasses -- good for dinner-on-the-couch

So, warmed, wined, and sauced, we are feeling much better, thank you.


xo,
L

Monday, March 17, 2008

aubergine

I have mixed feelings about eggplants. Actually, I'm not exactly sure what I think of them. Sometimes they're all chewy, sometimes mushy, sometimes too hard, but sometimes....



My lovelies


I'm captivated by how smooth and shiny, and deep dark they are.



texture


I must say, after giving them proper admiration, and roasting them up, they were delicious.



Moroccan-inspired: Roasted Eggplant Dip
from this book.


Especially with this:



Alsacian riesling



That is all.
xo,
L
PS - will post recipe at some point.

addiction


Dun da dun dun da-da-da! Dun da dun-dun-dun!


Solid GOLD!

I haven't enjoyed watching TV this much since I used to want to be a Solid Gold dancer.

Watch it. Love it.
L

Saturday, March 15, 2008

ritual


Press


Froth



Foam

Caffeine.

Good morning,
L

Friday, March 14, 2008

lick your plate

I am obsessed with this recipe for roasted cod with white beans, tomato, and truffle oil.

I wasn't too pleased with my own presentation, so I will feature the photo from Chow instead.


Delish fish...

We served this with a Yamhill Valley Oregon pinot gris.


pinot gris

Enjoy.
L

Thursday, March 13, 2008

je m'amuse


Mosaic: my kitchen

I found a new feature on my cell phone camera.

xo,
L

Monday, March 10, 2008

Salacious!


Well, we got the silver...

I'm mildly embarrassed to toot my own horn here, but, as T told me during her visit, "if its your blog, you can write whatever you want." With this post I don't so much wish to point out that P & I are winners (rather, our photographer Daria is the winner), but that our lovely wedding celebration was described by the Judge to be "salacious." Kind of fantastic really....



The judges find us mildly salacious....
[Note: Click the image for a more readable view]

xo,
L

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy speculation


P musing on life....

P has a tenancy to speculate on things. We'll be discussing some totally mundane subject and the next thing I know, he's waxing poetic on all the reasons why he thinks WBUR's NPR station conducts its roses-for-sale fundraising campaign the way it does as compared to the way he imagines other NPR stations must do their fundraising, or could do their fundraising, or should do their fundraising. It's a charming personality trait.

Last night, P's speculation on the months ahead turned into a lovely, rambling musing monologue of what lies in store for us this summer. It was filled with visions of island hikes, memories of the scent of crushed passion fruit under our hiking boots in Hawaii, remembered and imagined vistas from mountain tops, road trips through the summer countryside, the reasons why you should always bet on gray horses at the racetrack, visiting farmers markets more often this year then we did last year, cooking with the windows open, reuniting with too seldom seen friends, and all the various things we have to celebrate.

All this while making me a martini.

xo,
L

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Got a date


Waterford can make any martini pink...

I've had so many little fun things to look forward to over the past few weeks that upon T's departure I found myself lacking in the instant gratification of knowing the next fun thing is just around the corner. Not too into St. Patrick's Day (and associated cuisine is not my fave), not too into Easter (although I would like to make some of these beauties), not yet warm enough for a spring dinner with the windows open. The earliest celebration I could think of was the Kentucky Derby, but that is all the way in MAY! What to do, what to do...?

Then, I realized, I have a date. On Saturday night. I do. P and I will go see Pink Martini at the Opera House. I think we should have a nice dinner before, too. Hmmm.... And, maybe I need a new something to wear. Hmmm....

[Note: Never in my life did I think I would be as girly as I am today.]



Date night: Sympathique, non?

After, we're meeting up with another couple and heading to the Liberty Hotel for an apres-theatre cocktail. They have a Veuve Cliquot Champagne Lounge. How can we go wrong...?

xo,
L

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Southern hospitality

I just had such a wonderful, comfortable, fun weekend with Southern T. I think she's perhaps even more charming now after living for the past several years in Atlanta.

While the term "northern hospitality" doesn't really seem to exist, "southern hospitality" is easy to google up. A Wikipedia excerpt from that entry: A large component of the idea of Southern hospitality is the provision of Southern cuisine to visitors... Food figures highly in Southern hospitality. A cake or other delicacy is often brought to the door of a new neighbor as a mechanism of introduction.

True to form, food factored highly in this weekend's activities, beginning with T's arrival. Knowing my proclivity for cultural gifts and cute packaging, she brought me and P the best host/ess gift from the south -- adorably presented Jiffy with a handwritten Southern Corn Casserole recipe, in a Georgia-made dish. (And, an awesome Georgia-themed CD; so thoughtful!)


Adorable host/ess gift


Adorable detail

I really enjoyed T's reaction to February/March in New England. I loved that she was actually enjoying a damp, gray day because it reminded me of some of the fun parts of winter around here. For instance....


Delicious hot chocolate to-go from LA Burdick...
Photo courtesy of T

Other highlights included mixing some cocktails, enjoying Indian food, shopping for exotic spices, having a late leisurely lunch, sampling some new liqueur, and sharing Raclette at J&K's place.


Exotic spices at Christina's...


Lunch stop to warm up
Photo courtesy of T

I must go down to Atlanta to experience T's hometown. Road trip in April, don't forget. Thanks, T, for making the trip and for one of the best weekends!! Can't wait to see you again soon.

xo,
L