Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a crazy new corkscrew

One of my all time favorite vegetables is the brussels sprout. Why? Two very scientific reasons.
1. Even if you only eat one, they're still plural.
2. I feel like a big happy giant eating a field of cabbages.

Anyway, I never blog about brussels sprouts because 99.9% of the time, I just boil the frozen sprouts, drop a dollop of butter on them, and eat it. Would you believe that before today, I've actually never had a fresh sprout? They were on sale today (don't think they're local at this time of year, though...) and I bought a stalk.

Look at the Christmas colors! Red house, green sprouts. It's not terribly warm out, but 50 and sunny is nothing to scoff at.
While at Trader Joe's (actually the reason I went there in the first place) I bought some bottles of wine. Tavo got this great new "CorkPop" for Christmas and I was curious.

I took a very excellent video that will define my career as a cinematographer...or not :P

Here is what it looks like in a nice, still photo.

and you just unscrew and the cork is out. Awesome!

Back to the brussels--I made a quick marinade of "spicy mustard" (pretty much any kind will do here) and rice vinegar. I chose rice because it tends to have a bit of sweetness--I'm sure you could sub a different type with equally good results. Salt and pepper, too.

Rinse, halve, and toss in marinade.
Roast in 400F oven for 18-20 minutes, flip, and roast for another 7 minutes or so.

I drizzled some extra marinade on top. Great little side dish, but needs to be served right away when they're hot.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

tribute, Lini style

This has been a very tough year for us. I am thankful that we have our health and that our families are doing well. I have to admit, I'm glad this year is over, too!

Major fires, living in a skeleton of a house in the winter, losing jobs, and all sorts of things that probably shouldn't have been (and some things that weren't) published in a blog.

This has been a very hard year, 2009. I am glad you are almost over!

Here is a song--Tavo will endure my Joni Mitchell. Honestly, though--this is poor quality video, but as a former smoker, I love listening to her alto.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yellow River Park--some mountain biking and a jog

We got up early on Saturday so I could run the Virginia Highlands Christmas 5K. Although it was chilly, mid-forties, it wasn't raining and that is a bonus around here :)

We decided to follow it up with some mountain biking for Tavo and a hike for me. Here is Tavo on his new bike.

The sun is trying to peak though...
Off he goes! You can see that we were about the only people at the park.
It was too chilly to just hike, so I jogged the trails. Yellow River really flooded--I turned around when the trail looked like this--but Tavo just went right through it!
More river shots--its a really beautiful park. I loved having it to ourselves.
This sign was pretty funny--there were about 4 of them along the trail...

Here's a very muddy Tavo--back from his ride!
and we followed it up with a hot bowl of soup and grilled cheese...which I forgot to take pictures of. All of you have seen soup and grilled cheese before, though.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

candy candy candy!

Sorry we haven't posted much--here is the jist of what we've been eating lately...

Happy Holidays, everyone! We're headed to the beach again this year--let's hope its sunny.

**ad lib** Christmas came early to the Tavolini household--check out our new Washer and Dryer!!

Our old stackable washer/dryer finally bit the dust. I'd bought it used ten years ago from my restaurant manager in Myrtle Beach, and proceeded to drag it with me from SC to Detroit, and back down to Georgia.

Thanks to Mom and Dad for the early present!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a good night for pasta

I was perusing my usual food blog haunts today, and came across a great recipe on Coconut & Lime. It had everything I was looking for in a recipe--fairly simple, something that both of us would like, and I had most of the ingredients. Oh yeah, and it was cooked in the oven so we could heat up the kitchen a smidge ;)

Rachel Rappaport's Eggplant Pasta

These are the ingredients--I didn't have a Cubanelle pepper, so I subbed half a green pepper and two seeded jalapeños. Also, the freeze finally killed our basil. The oregano and parsley are still lively, though, so I grabbed a handful of that instead. I used an onion, too. He was camera shy.

(the half bottle of Chianti was for me to drink)

Two sizes of macaroni! This is a good place to use up your half empty boxes.
Someone forgot to get mozzarella at the store. BUT the gas station happened to have string cheese....why not?

We are still in spot heating mode. Bedroom is balmy, but the kitchen? It's mid 40's in here.

This was quite excellent! Good, simple food. My only caveat--I probably should have peeled the eggplant. The skin was kind of bothering me. I bet it softens overnight, though. That's just a personal preference.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY!! Have a good weekend, everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sesame bagels

Sesame bagels with slices of gouda.

It is CHILLY here this morning. So chilly that we didn't want to leave our house. Actually, we didn't even want to leave the warm bedroom ;)

So, I decided to bake something to warm up the kitchen. I had never made bagels before, but had been told by countless friends that they are EASY. I had leftover pizza dough from Saturday night--let's try it out.

Now, my reliable source of bagel cooking information, the internet, has some differing views on how exactly to cook them. Boil anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes; cook anywhere from 400 degrees to 475, from 15 minutes to 35 minutes. It was confusing--I think I'll just have to do trial and error. Honestly, for the first attempt, they really were pretty good.

Dough--I just used basic pizza dough recipe. Decent--but not quite salty enough for my liking. I want to try pumpernickel next time.

Boil--I boiled for about a minute. Next time, I'm going to boil these a little longer--my bagels weren't quite as chewy as I'd like them. I'll try five minutes next time and let you know how that goes.

This was a happy accident. I'd picked up a bag of citrus from the bin marked "Navel Oranges" at the farmer's market. I was surprised (and pleased) to find that these were actually grapefruit. The sweetest grapefruit I've had in a long time!

Here's the final product--albeit a bit mishappen, they were nice and crusty. I baked at 400 for around 25 minutes. Next time, I'll try higher heat and a shorter cooking time. Of course, we didn't have cream cheese. Pictured below is goat gouda that paired up quite well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

odd weather forecasts

Hey guys--we're back from Detroit, but still waiting on pictures. Will get back to blogging soon. In the meantime, I caught weather.com in a bit of oddness today...

Honestly, it made me appreciate our cold, gray real weather quite a bit!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nemocón, Colombia and Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello guys,

I realized that we still hadn't posted pictures from Nemocón, Colombia. So, aptly, here are a few of us eating with Tavo's family. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!