Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Concern with Cocktails

My lapse in blogging is directly proportional to my lapse in cooking. My desire to cook is indirectly proportional to the temperature. You pickin' up what I'm throwin' down?

Due to a lack of funds Nacho Quest 2009 is temporarily on hold. Instead, I've returned to making my own nachos. I've got to say, my favorite combination, based on flavor and price, is thus:

Trader Joe's Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips
Trader Joe's Colby Jack Cheese
Trader Joe's Spicy, Smoky, Peach Salsa
(Sour Cream, depending on my mood)

Still, I experiment from time to time. And on the topic of experimenting, I am surprised to report that Mark Bittman and I have something in common. Money? Fame? Ingenuity in the kitchen and with the written word? Nope. We are both moving. And hence, we are both trying to empty our stores (a.k.a. pantries) in order to lessen the burden of moving.

My first pantry pilfering attempt was an unmitigated FAIL. I wanted rice, something akin to the fluffy, limey, cilantro-enhanced vats produced at Mexican chain restaurants. But with a few extra ingredients.

In my pantry = long grain brown rice, can of diced tomatoes in olive oil and garlic.
Purchased = 1 onion, 2 limes, bunch of cilantro

Result = too soupy! I couldn't figure how to get all that extra liquid out of my pot. In addition, it's not the greatest pot. It's an old metal thing, not tempered or layered or whatever it is they do to pots these days to ensure even heating and lack of things burning and sticking to the bottom unless you watch it constantly. They were a hand-me-down from my mum, to whom they were given when she got her first apartment in the early 70s, most likely purchased sometime in the 30s/40s. Oy.

Anyhow, the rice was tasty and edible (and GF and vegan) so I will consume it this week. The remaining staples in my pantry to be experimented with: black lentils, quinoa, lots of GF flour/baking mixes. Too bad it's been in the 90s and unbearably humid or else I'd be baking up a storm, seeing as how I have 10 eggs in my fridge.

To catch up: Maine was lovely. Swimming, napping, eating, and oh yes, excessive drinking. I finished my 31 days of sobriety 2 weeks ago but didn't really dive back into that lifestyle until Maine. Reminder to self - drinking eats up a lot of time, money, and calories, in both meanings of the word. This past weekend was slightly calmer, with my only adventure being a refreshing jaunt out to Walden Pond (side note: I didn't realize until high school that Walden Pond was famous) followed by a brief stop at my parents' house. Just to say hi. And pet the dog. And look through some clothes my sister is giving away. And eat.

This week's craving: farfalle with a light garlicky oil and minced bell peppers.

News Flash: I ate some guacamole on Saturday. And ... actually enjoyed it. This is huge news for all of my avocado-obsessed friends. The reason I was able to enjoy it? Made fresh, in front of my eyes, with excessive overuse of cilantro and lime, at Ole in Inman Square. The best damn (nice) Mexican restaurant in The Greater Boston Area. Perhaps it is time to start giving guac more of a chance ... since apparently it's everywhere in San Diego, one of my upcoming adventure destinations.

Later days.

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