Sunday, March 31, 2013

Who eats breakfast?

I had about 30 minutes extra before I needed to leave for work today.  I will be there for quite some time but it felt to early for lunch so I did something I rarely do; breakfast.  In fact, I think I have only made oatmeal about 10 times in my life, I have never been much of a fan.  Today I went for it.

I added some coconut, currants, brown sugar, and vanilla.  It was quite good.  I hope it holds me over a few hours at work!  Now off to get that time and a half with a full belly.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Great Thursday!

Thursday turned out to be a great day.  It was filled with all sorts of great activities.  I had an appointment at 11am but after I was able to to the farmers market where I got the ingredients to make dinner for myself, Ashley, and Kaleigh.

I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon playing some games and preparing for dinner, I decided to try to make Pad See Ew.  I have never made it before and thought it would be a fun meal to make.  It was actually better then I expected, the rice noodles came out perfect as did the tofu and veggies.  Kaleigh did not eat much of it, aside from the mushrooms but both Ashley and I cleaned out plate.

Digging through my fridge, Kaleigh found some of my homemade hummus and wanted to eat a pita with it.  We actually had to cut her off as she did not want to stop!  She tried it with roasted red pepper and cucumber.  I made Ashley a pita to take to work tomorrow.

Kaleigh and I were doing a science project of making a giant brain (did not really work) and Ashley suggested we make cookies.  I do not take much convincing to get the treats going so in short order, we were eating fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookies.  Kaleigh wanted to watch a little tv and eat some popcorn so I obliged then too.  It was an evening of snacking!

Later that night, I got a last minute invite to a hardcore show.  I saw some new up and coming Atlanta hardcore as well as the Neo Cons.  I also finally got to see Manic, a local but I have not actually seen them yet.  The venue was a little rough but it was still a fun show.  Some great performances.

Neo Cons


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hurry up spring!

Atlanta seems to be having a battle these last few weeks.  One day the spring weather of 70 degrees and a nice breeze will make everyone think it is time to put the winter sweaters in the closet and break out the shorts.  The very next day the temperature drops back into the 50's and we need to sweaters again.  I feel a little spoiled complaining about it since my friends and family in Maine are still dealing with snow.

Due to the weather, my tastes have been bouncing around from craving the light summer foods to the roasted winter dishes.  As a compromise, I have been making more roasted hummus.  It has been really quite a flavor punch to roast the chicpeas in spices prior to the puree process.

Mainly I have been using the hummus in pitas to take to work.  It is quick, easy, healthy, and flavorful.  I have also shared them with some folks at work and they have been a big hit.  This time I even roasted a red pepper to add to the pitas.  It was a fantastic lunch!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Two Shows and a Dough

While I realize that most of the foodies that read this blog are bored to tears with my posts about recently shows I have attended, they are actually really important to me and my life.  I have been going much more frequently and it has felt good.  I have even been trying to break my own mold and go to some shows that I am not typically a fan of the bands just to have the experience.  Thursday was just such a show.

It was the local, Antpile, followed by Homewrecker and Pits of Hell.  Antpile was pretty good.  Homewrecker and Pits of Hell we too metal and tough guy for me.  I was not a big fan.  Up next was a real treat, The Goodtime Boys.  They played a very unique style of hardcore with a lot of tempo changes and were a great live band.  The highlight of the night for me.  Last was Loma Prieta, very talented and abrasive.  It was a decent show despite some of the tough guy macho crap.

Goodtime Boys

Loma Prieta

Loam Prieta

The following night Ashley and I headed to Dough Bakery before an acoustic house show with one of our favorite folk/punk singers.  We each had the cuban special while at dough and shared a cupcake as well.  The bread at Dough is always outstanding.  The cupcake was super moist and fluffy.

At the show we first saw a local favorite D-Flo.  Always good and just a fun guy to see live.  Then we saw Adam and the Ancient Gods whom I had not seen before but was looking forward too.  Adam did not disappoint, hilariously amazing.  Next up was Georgia Slim who was the only one that used and amp in the livingroom of a small house playing for about 12 people.  He was good with some old timer labor songs.  Last was Ryan Harvey.  Ive seen him a couple of time and this was the best performance yet (partly because he played my requests and covered Crass).  Ashley does not usually attend shows but this environment was in her comfort zone and she had a great time, as did I.

Ryan Harvey

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cooking with Kaleigh 5; Horned Melon!

I had a great day with Kaleigh yesterday.  I had the special privilege of picking her up right at school so that she and I could go to the book fair.  We got a couple of book and even a monster science kit.  Playing with a glow in the dark, growing brain will be a fun project for her and I.

Kaleigh has been making fruit salad on her own recently so she wanted to make one at my house as well.  Sadly, she did not want to film a video for it.  However, I did find a horned melon at the store.  I have never had (nor even opened) a horned melon and neither had she.  We were curious about it and after some discussion she thought it felt like jelly was inside since it was squishy.  We did a short video of her cutting into the melon and being the brave girl that tried it first!

 She gobbled up the melon on and off through the evening.  It was decent but not very flavorful.  The seeds seemed a little distracting to the unique texture of the melon but all in all it was a fun experiment.  Maybe in the next couple of weeks I can get her to film another actual cooking video.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday!

Mac and Creamy Sauce

Fried Rice

BBQ Seitan Pizza

Monday, March 18, 2013

Recipe: Spinach and Basil Ravioli

When Kaleigh was asked what she wanted to have for dinner on the night we were going to do shrinky dinks, she said she wanted ravioli.  A couple years back, Ashley made me ravioli for dinner.  It was really good.  I realized then that as a kid we rarely had ravioli, which seems to be a fairly common food for most American families.

When Kaleigh put in her request, I knew I would need to try my hand at making some myself.  It was actually quite easy and a lot of fun.  Ashley joined Kaleigh and I for dinner and all seemed to enjoy the ravioli.

Spinach and Basil Ravioli

Ravioli Dough

3 cups of flour
3/4 cup of vegetable broth
1 tablespoon of oil
2 teaspoons of salt

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add the oil and broth to the flour mixture and use your hands to combine.  The dough should be moist but not wet, nor should it be dried out.  If it is too dry, add more broth, if it is too wet, add more flour.  Form the dough into a ball, place back in the bowl, cover, and let sit for 1 hour.  After an hour, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Use a pint glass to "cut" into the dough to form circular ravioli.

Ravioli Filling

5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 large portobello mushroom cap (finely chopped)
5 oz of spinach leaves (finely chopped)
2/3 cup of basil leaves (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

While the dough is resting, heat all the ingredients on low heat until the mushrooms release their liquid.  Feel free to taste test and alter the recipe.

Bring a pot of water to a boil.

Once the filling is complete and the ravioli dough has been cut out take a spoonful of the filling and place it on one of the ravioli circles.  Try to center the filling and make sure there is not much liquid.  Take another ravioli circle, place it on the top and with a fork, press the edges together.  Boil the raviolis for about 8-10 minutes or until tender.  Do not put to many in the pot at once, they should not be touching or they will stick together.

Pre-heat the oven at 375 degrees.

Once all the ravioli has been boiled, place in a baking dish with whatever sauce you might want and bake for 45 minutes.  I baked mine with a marinara sauce with a few leftover basil leaves on top.

Friday, March 15, 2013

An evening with the Shrinky Dinks!

For whatever reason, Kaleigh did not want to film a new Cooking with Kaleigh video.  It saddens me but I certainly do not want to force the issue and take all the fun out of it and cooking for this magnificent little 6 year old girl.  We did still spend the evening together though. 

For her birthday a few months back, I got her some shrinky dinks.  She did not know what they were nor did she care much since it looked like blank sheets of paper.  Last week however, she suggested that we try them out.  I had Ashley pack them in Kaleigh's school bag so that when I picked her up we could have the evening for crafting.

Jamie joined us in the beginning since she is an amazing artist and has dabbled in the world of shrinky dinks.  Jamie made a great necklace for Kaleigh while Kaleigh colored in a ghoul girl.  Ashley showed up a short while into the proceeding and we all had a great time cook and coloring the shrinky dinks.  Kaleigh had so much fun, she even made a few things for her friends at school and a special one for her mom.

Kaleigh's Ghoul Girl before baking

Kaleigh's Ghoul Girl after baking

Kaleigh's necklace

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rough Saturday

Saturday was a strange day for me.  I opted to work a doubled shift (rather then my usual 12 hours) because another person needed the day off.  I ended up working about 17 hours that day, then lost and hour that night for daylight savings times.  Needless to say, Sunday I was fairly tired and low energy.

I was well prepared though.  Friday I spend much of the day cooking.  I made some random items but the highlights we certainly some black beans with lime that I had been soaking since Thursday.  They had a really nice delicate flavor to them.  I shared with someone at work and she said they needed more flavor.  I thought they were perfect.  It was a reminder of how heavy handed I generally am with flavors and how feeding healthy natural foods to people who mainly dine in their cars with a take out bag is occasionally met with a palate shock.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cooking with Kaleigh Volume 4: Salad with Raspberry Dressing

Another episode of Cooking with Kaleigh!  A couple of weeks ago, we made bread sticks.  They were so good that I have been thinking about them and craving them ever since.  She was reluctant at first but after a bit she agreed to make mini-bread sticks.  I am not sure what the difference is, but I am also not 6 years old.  Apparently, the difference is significant and either way, I got my sticks!

I also made us some pasta while she made a salad and dressing.  Kaleigh cuts slowly so I edited the video for length concerns.  I should also point out that the knife she is using is incredibly dull, which is partly what she is struggling.  I am not sure she is ready for a sharp knife while I am still several feet away from her.  At one point she did prick herself with the tip of the knife.  She looked at it for a second, wiped it on her shirt and after said "I am fine.  There was no blood.  That is how you know if you are hurt of not."  She is a bad ass!

Kaleigh did an incredible job with the salad.  If you listen closely, you can hear that Tato the cat was a little jealous of Kaleigh's rise to stardom and wanted to have his voice heard as well.  He is a character.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

33rd Birthday

It was my birthday on Sunday, I turned 33.  My brother flew in for a visit over the weekend and we stayed busy.  He flew in Friday evening and we headed out to get some sushi.  When he lived in Atlanta with me, we used to go to the sushi bar often and since I rarely go anymore, it was a fun trip down memory lane for us.

After dinner we went to see a comedy show.  The comics were really good but sadly, the audience consisted of a bunch of drunk girls in the front row that made the experience disappointing.  The club should have thrown them out.

Saturday we got up and headed out for some morning donuts!  He shared 4 donuts and then headed back to my house to make a plan for the day.  We decided to go to a couple bookstores, a movie, dinner at Green Sprout, and hit up another comedy club.  Needless to say, we had a full night!  It was a lot of fun but we were both beat when we got home.

Sunday (my actual birthday) we went to Dough Bakery for an early lunch / brunch.  My brother got pancakes and home fries while I got a "roast beef" sandwich.  The breads at Dough are always amazing!  That afternoon we just hung out at the house talking and watching a dvd.  That afternoon I took him to the airport.  I was sad to see him go but it was great to have him visit.  Rarely does my family come to see me.

That evening, Ashley and Kaleigh treated me to dinner.  In fact, Kaleigh even made me a birthday pot holder!  She is great.  We had a nice dinner and then cake when we got back to my house.  I also got to see Kaleigh ride her bike without the training wheels which was awesome!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cooking with Kaleigh; Potato Chips!

My thursday was a busy one.  I had an appointment early in the day, then stopped for a quick lunch and good chat with my friend Adrienne (of crack the plates fame), and then submitted a contract on a house for another friend.

That evening, I picked Kaleigh up for a movie and dinner night.  After some discussion, we decided to make some homemade potato chips.  She is a big fan of them and has helped me make them before.  She did much more of the hand on work this time.  It was a great experience for her.  She leaned how to be safe around hot oil and even learned about moderation with salt.  Kaleigh is a great kid and anyone who gets to know her is lucky.

Cooking with Kaleigh; Volume III