Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We are thankful...

That everyone is okay. Big thank you to Atlanta Fire Department!! ENGINE 6, ENGINE 10, ENGINE 16, ATL Police, Paramedics, Battalion Chiefs and everyone else. You saved our house.

Thank you to Shay and Brooke for the pics and for letting us stay the night.

Monday, February 23, 2009

its Lundi Gras!! Let's have some shrimp creole

I decided to make some Shrimp Creole from another recipe in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I'm not going to lie to you guys--I'm a bit dubious about this recipe. It's very thick and tomatoey--kind of like a pasta sauce. Is this how its supposed to be? With only salt, pepper and bay leaves listed to spice it...well. I just had to add some cayenne, oregano and thyme. Regardless, if you're going to try shrimp creole, I would check out Katherine's recipe over at Smoky Mountain Cafe, first. She's from New Orleans, so I trust her recipe. Wouldn't you know I didn't find it until AFTER I'd already made my batch! sigh.

So, here's the thick, yet still pretty tasty Shrimp Creole. I put turmeric in my rice to make it yellow, and cooked it in shrimp stock.

And to get us in the Mardi Gras spirit, here's some pictures of Tavo and I in New Orleans. Not during Mardi Gras, we went very suddenly over Memorial Day Weekend. Just decided during lunch that we should get out of town, and rolled into New Orleans by midnight. This was a while ago--2007--we need to go again!!

and even though we ended sleeping in the car, we did keep up our dental hygiene.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

pizza and enchildada and drink and pizza and bollywood

I've had a couple of these, so this might be precious....

Why not? Here's a good song to get you going, from Dil Se...

Anyone else out there a fan of 90's Bollywood?? I LOVE that stuff. The precursor to Slumdog Millionaire, if you will. I didn't make Indian food, but that hasn't stopped me from dancing on top of a train quite yet.

Honestly, though, all I want to do is talk about pizza. I made the "Pasta Milanese" sauce from the Atlanta Journal Constitution(our local newspaper), and decided to just throw it on my basic pizza crust.
Turned out quite nice, though I did drizzle honey on the top to cut the anchovies and olives.
and why not dip a few Georgia pecans into chocolate? (using chopsticks is the way to go)
and as the birthday party(s) began, we had some of this....
and this.........
and breakfast came with a wee bit of this............
oh, and some more of this....

I seriously live for the weekends. And, I do admit that Shahrukh Khan's ladies are 90% of the reason I'm kind of into yoga. One more from Dil Se.

If you want to watch more 90's Bollywood; I have to admit my favorite Shahrukh Khan movie is with Kajol, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Yep, my weakness ;)

Friday, February 20, 2009

this about sums up my day

Sound is a bit quiet, but it's been this kind of day :)

'cause you know I play it like this:

You see, its the Librarian humor that keeps Tavo interested, not the food ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sangria, Cranberry Ginger Pork and a wee bit of Hit or Miss

First things first--I don't know if its because we switched to using Chrome as a browser, but all my pictures uploaded in a ridiculous order. (And apparently I am misspelling every other word) ANYHOW I'll just have a nice glass of Sangria and tell you about our night...
Quick Sangria
-half glass red wine (I'm using box cabernet)
-splash orange juice
-cut up limes, oranges
and I change it up depending on what juice / fresh fruit I have

I took a trip to the ever scintillating (and always friendly) Save-A-Lot in the West End. It's usually a bit of gamble, because you can never be quite sure what they'll have in stock. (for example--this week there was no lettuce! Not even iceberg!) I am the type of person who goes to a grocery store with recipes, a two week menu plan, and coupons to match. But I do enjoy a challenge. So this week's "Orange and Ginger Pork" turned into "Cranberry Ginger Pork" after ascertaining there was no marmalade to be found.

Another unique twist--notice how the "top" of this can is not designed for a can opener? (also, see evidence of typed grocery list, complete with menu and recipes)
Bottoms up!
Cranberry Ginger Pork

1 cup cranberry sauce
3 T. orange juice
1 T. brown sugar
zest of 1 lime
1 inch piece ginger, grated (I used powdered)

combine above ingredients in pan over medium low heat and stir. Simmer 5 minutes.

Tavo will wash the pork loin! Now, this recipe simply said, "Pork Loin." So I grabbed one, and grumbled to Tavo about how I spent $7 on his meat habit. (little did I know I'd bought enough pork to feed a small army)
Directions say to brush on cranberry marinade and broil for 15 minutes, rotating once. Hmm....

Yeah, 20 minutes later and we're still raw. So, we sliced up the bohemoth pork loin into manageable half pound slabs and threw it back in.

I will not be serving trichinosis pork today!

Served with saffron rice (vegetable stock instead of water, a couple strands of saffron) and garlic / crushed red pepper sauteed broccoli.

Tavo made insanity pork loin lunches for the week! Stack and drizzle....
Happy Tuesday evening, everyone!!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Eating our favorite nachos at Dakota Blue, a restaurant in Grant Park. Also, you can't beat the $4 pitchers of PBR on Tuesdays.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sand Crest Market and some enchiladas

I was talking to friends about our "favorite jobs ever!" Mine was working at a liquor store in "The Thumb" of Michigan. My friends could come in and play guitar, carry on a board game AND I got to chop wood and load ice.

I want to mention Mrs. Bridget Childs and say that, as a 20-something, she really did excellent in running this store. Bridget was skilled in stocking, managing and marketing her liquor store. Unfortunately, the store was in a lousy location--not close enough to any town to catch the business needed to keep a beach liquor store open.

I did get this job after dressing up nicely and askng for a job at every store in a 20 mile radius. Sometimes, knocking door to door will get you inside.

This is from when I got to do the sign, circa 1998.. And our friend, Mary, who worked at the state park. Before she ran away to Spain :)
...and this is the old truck, that drove me to Cali and back more than a few times...and taught me the gentle art of Christmas Eve hitch-hiking. (...yeah, to home. More than once)

and a wee bit of super simple enchilada. This is quickly modified tomato sauce, along with some refried beans and 5 minutes of our precious time.

Perhaps I am beating a dead horse, mais j'ai dit TAVO prends tout est pour toi.Y deseo que hablo espaƱol.. and regardless of all, here is what I was into in 1998

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kimchi Veggie Burgers. An Unrelated meal of Harira. And probably too many Rai videos

First things first, we got a new coffee pot!! (the other one, when thawed, proceeded to smoke in addition to allowing water to pour from its base...)

I had purchased TVP (textured vegetable protein) from Whole Foods almost a month ago, and thrown it into the freezer figuring I'd try it sometime. Sometime always seems to come right before we decide it is CRUCIAL to visit the grocery store.

So, I googled around, and found this excellent TVP veggie burger recipe through It's not vegan, but could easily be veganized by using an egg replacer or reducing flour and adding some gluten.

2/3 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour
1 onion, diced
1/2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
dash salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the TVP (textured vegetable protein) and the vegetable broth in a large bowl. Allow the TVP to rehydrate for at least 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Drain any excess moisture.

Combine the TVP with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine well.

Form the mixture into patties and fry in oil on each side until lightly browned, or, grill on a lightly greased barbecue.

Honestly, I really like TVP because it adds that chewiness that is so often lacking in homemade veggie burgers. I can't stand a mushy burger. These are pretty decent. And TVP is quite economical.

Here is the insane Kimchi Burger, which falls along the lines of not only Fusion Cuisine, but also Cleaning Out the Fridge. It works, honestly.

Next day, we left Ameri-Korea, and head to North Africa. Let's play some Cheb Khaled and Faudel to get us in the mood.

(I tell you, I saw Khaled in Detroit--he brought down the house!!)

Harira is a soup sold at stands all over Morocco--and is made quite differently from region to region. I don't have a scanner, but here is a picture of my photo of a Harira stand between Marrakesh and Essaouira. You can see the tajine and the cool sheep heads, too. See all the bowls stacked on top? For the equivalent of a few cents, you get a bowl of soup and a spoon, eat, and return the bowl and spoon when you finish.

The recipe I used today is not authentic, but the style is similar to what one might find in Fez.


3 cups cooked chick peas
2 onions, minced
saffron threads
t. ground black pepper
8 cups broth
1 cup lentils (sorted, rinsed)
1/2 cup rice (uncooked)
T. tomato paste
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cans whole tomatoes, crushed

Combine chickpeas, onions, saffron, pepper and broth. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice and lentils are cooked through. I was a little light on the greens, but plan to get some tonight after work to add. Serve with flat bread.

...okay, one more from Khaled (I can't believe I found this--youtube, you are amazing)