Showing posts with label I Like Earth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label I Like Earth. Show all posts

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Desserteries, Spectacular Looking Veg And . . . Water!

Lest you think I've been too busy hiking to get anything done in the kitchen lately, you should know that my motto is "One is NEVER too busy to make a fantastically complicated, several course meal". My other motto is "It is fine to serve dinner after 10pm, and if you catch your husband sulking around the kitchen looking for snacks you're perfectly within your rights to smack him away with a wooden spoon. Or, you know, give him a pretzel."

And so it is that on Sunday, after hiking in 110 degree heat all afternoon, I chose to make a dinner that required use of my stand mixer, mandoline AND oven (twice!).

I made Smitten Kitchen's Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte. My farmers' market is just teeming with gorgeous squash lately, and squash is a new found love of mine. I swear, I wanted nothing at all to do with squash last summer. This summer? I want squash in everything.

I paired it with a gorgeous salad of fresh, farmers' market veggies including hearts of romaine, fresh corn cut straight from the cob, roma tomatoes, green onions, parsley, basil, snap peas and rings of sweet orange pepper. I know, right?

And, because I was feeling especially ambitious, I finished things off with a Strawberry Pavlova, meringue recipe lifted from Smitten Kitchen .

Pavlova is one of those things I've been dying to make for ages. I had a spectacular one at a dinner across from Hampton Court Palace a few days before my wedding and I've spent much time daydreaming about it since. I never felt I could accomplish one without a stand mixer though . . remember how I got married and now I have a stand mixer? It was HIGH TIME I tried a pavlova.

Although Smitten Kitchen's raspberry sauce looks DIVINE, I opted out of it this time, in order to focus my energies on the meringue itself. I halved the recipe and made 2 mini cakes rather than one large one. I didn't have fine sugar so I used 1/2 granulated and 1/2 powdered, which seemed logical at the time and wound up working out just fine. I also swapped the vinegar for lemon juice. I topped the cakes with fresh whipped cream (powdered sugar and vanilla added) and simple sliced strawberries which I sprinkled with lemon juice and sugar and left to settle in the fridge for a few hours.

Boy was mighty impressed, is all I'm saying.

And on to water! I'm loathe to admit it but Boy and I are bottled water addicts. We buy water gallon by gallon from the grocery store. And in July in LA we tend to go through up to a gallon A DAY. To make the whole bottled water thing even more obnoxious, gallons cost TWO SIXTY NINE at Trader Joes, which is where I do all my shopping (save for farmers' market shopping obviously). So, in order to avoid breaking us on the basis of WATER I've been making separate stops at Ralphs or Vons or wherever SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUYING WATER. Obviously, something had to give, but tap water just tastes so RANK. Boy and I have been meaning to buy a filter but of course I was skeptical. "Pass your water through a funnel of nasty black charcoal and it will MAGICALLY taste better" isn't a really convincing ad line. We finally broke down and bought a Brita on Saturday and I swear, cross my heart, our tap water tastes fantastic after a trip through the pitcher. I take back all my skepticism. Joy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Living quite happily without paper towels

I ran out of paper towels about a month ago and due to various reasons (but mainly my inability to be bothered much by my own minutiae. See also how I don't change burnt out light bulbs.) I haven't bought any more. I've been existing quite happily using a stash of washcloths which I use, rinse out, then wash with my laundry at the end of the week.

So far, the only sticking point has been the boy's desire to have a napkin with dinner every night. I know lots of people make their own napkins for washing and reuse and I'm sure I'll sit down and do that at some point, but I'm not sure exactly what to make them out of (materials suggestions, if anyone has them, please!).

At least I thought that was the only sticking point . . . last night when I pointed out that I hadn't had paper towels in the house for a month and I'd been getting along fine without them, the boy sort of balked. He actually called me a hippie. Then I said "That's all very well dear, but I'm going to blog about the no paper towels thing tomorrow and I bet you others will agree that paper towels aren't all that". To which he replied "Fine, I'll start my own blog, in which I'll call you a hippie." (whatever.)

The boy's reticence aside, I actually feel pretty good about not using paper towels. Environmentally and in the sense that I'm not spending money on them anymore. Also, they've always been a tough thing to store in a one bedroom apartment and now I don't have to. So there.
Listening:  Idlewild- "Roseability"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Going a little greener

My carbon footprint is relatively small, for someone living in Los Angeles. I only drive 1 1/2 miles each way to work (using gas purchased at an eco friendly gas station), I recycle at the office and at home, I don't heat or cool my home using traditional AC or gas heat, and most importantly I don't eat meat.
Since I AM mindful of environmental issues, I've known for a while that I should switch to reuseable grocery bags. I do ask for paper and reuse those bags, but ultimately the best thing for the environment is to just skip the disposable bags all together and go with something that I can use long term.
I buy 2 bags of groceries every week at Trader Joes. And every week I eye the bright red reuseable bags they have for sale at the checkout counter. I haven't been able to buy them yet though because . . .well . . . they're ugly. I know its very fluffy, vain and materialistic of me. But its true. They are.
So last weekend when I went shoppping and I saw the bags pictured above I was thrilled! They're cute! They have pirate ships on them! And teapots! And chickens! I'm not sure why nobody thought of it sooner . . . but now that Trader Joes has I will GLADLY carry my new, greener, reuseable grocery bags with pride.

Listening:  Division Day- "Tap-Tap, Click-Click"