Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Lessons

Ah summer, it slips away so fast...and yet I am not sure what I did exactly. Unlike Leanne, I didn't travel to Europe and eat Spanish hams (in my dreams), but you can see from Elle's post that we had some good eating adventures in WA across to MT.
In a week when we start school again, students will exchange family vacation horror stories, video game high scores, summer job complaints, and of course, all the
summer romances. In the spirit of this ritual, I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned in the last three months.

1. Modern rules...Mikes drools.
We had a cannoli eat off in the Boston North End on our northeast adventure. We went for the two acclaimed heavyweights: Modern Bakery and Mike's Pastry. Modern won by many points...but don't take my word for it (shout out to LeVar Burton) create your own categories (we chose: presentation, filling, shell, and general taste) and recruit a man who will keep tally for you. We purchased Daniel a black and white cookie, a la' Seinfeld, to keep him happy.

2. Fluff is hard to transport.
We were DETERMINED to bring back fluff from the Northeast, as the Whoopie Pie is the state dessert of Maine. After much searching, Daniel's mom and I found a grocery store stocked with the stuff. We purchases two huge (plastic) containers. One was packed in a suitcase, and one in a carry on. We should have figured that the FAA would confiscate the one in the carry on, which they did. I figured that they went back to the break room and ate fluffernutters for dinner. The one in the suitcase exploded into a giant sticky marshmallow mess. We were very sad. However, the next week Ellen came to WA and packed a jar of fluff for me, it exploded...BUT Ellen remebered to put it in a plastic bag and around 90% was salvaged. Long story short, order fluff from amazon, it is a lot easier.
3. No Heat=No Tomatoes
My garden is horrible this year. It has been a very cool summer, which I appreciate in terms of my air conditioning bill, but so far...I spy a bowl full of tomatoes and no peppers or cantaloupe to speak of. My cukes are a foot high, but there is no way that they are going produce enough to can pickles. Boo.

4. Don't accidentally swallow a plum pit at the farmers market.
'Nuff said.

5. My favorite summer recipe:
D&M Clausen (Iced)
2 shots espresso (we use D&M Hi-Octane)
1-ish cup of H2O
2-ish shots of fat free Half and Half
2 Tablespoons of Carmel syrup (found next to the Hersey's chocolate syrup)
Stir together. Fill the rest of your glass with ice. Drink and feel happy to be drinking such a Delicious nectar. Needless to say that old Zorro has been busy this summer.

As we are heading off into fall, does anyone have any fun and new ideas for my school lunch? I am very very very bored of eating greek yogurt every day.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ahem. Back in Business.

So this summer has been, well, let's say this summer has been eventful. I finished school. Went to Washington, took a vacation to the great wilderness of Montana, moved out of my apartment in Boston, stayed with my grandmother for two weeks in Milwaukee and about a week ago I moved to New Orleans. Did I tell you guys I was moving to Louisiana? Well I did. Yes, in August. I don't want to talk about the heat.

So I was busy, and without internet, and blah blah blah excuses. I am back and excited to be blogging from my new home, now known as the Southeastern headquarters of LotC.

While I was in Yakima Laura and I went raspberry picking nearby and accidentally picked about 11 pounds. Woops.
Check out the advanced berry carrying apparatus. 
We breakfasted every morning on the porch. I often had english muffins with peanut butter and fresh raspberries smushed on top. Mmmmm. I also got to cash in my gift certificate to the Longoria Coffee Shack. I opted for a the Longoria version of the classen (klassen?) - americano with cream and caramel. Yum. Someone else was interested in breakfast as well. Silly dog, coffees are for humans.

In Montana I acted as our chef for the trip. I made sure to make hearty breakfasts each morning.
Food photography courtesy of my mom.
I am somewhat ashamed to say those were some of the fluffiest, tastiest pancakes I have ever made...and they came from a mix. Sigh, I will have to work on my homemade version.

We needed hearty breakfasts because our days were spent hiking, biking, and watching wildlife.
After I got back to Boston I went on a short trip to see Erik in Connecticut and then we spent the night in NYC. We went to our favorite dim sum place in Chinatown and ate way way too much. I had a to take a rest on a bench afterwards.
Just a small part of the food we ordered.

After we had digested with a walk we got pickles
from The Pickle Guys which were as amazing as 
I remembered. We plowed through two or three 
right on the spot. Later that afternoon we relaxed 
at a beer garden. It was a bit cheesy (waiters in
 fake lederhosen) but it was a beautiful afternoon 
and really relaxing. I later stuffed a giant pretzel 
in my gaping mouth hole.

We finished the night with some amazing Mexican 
food and sangria, but it was really dark in the 
restaurant and I didn't get any pictures. We shared the 
chile rellenos with jalapeno corn bread. I wanted to 
have a pickle for dessert when we got back to the 
hotel, but was able to demonstrate some self control.

Looking back at my pictures from that day it is clear
that 90% of the things we do NYC are eating related.
The next morning we had some fresh New York
bagels and coffee and I jumped on the Bolt Bus back
to Boston. Erik got to keep the remaining pickles.

After NYC I went back to Boston, moved out of my apartment (thank you Alex and Katie for taking all of my leftovers!) and went to Milwaukee to kick it grandma style. I had a great time there and my Grandmother stuffed me full like she was thinking of making foie gras out of me. It was fantastic. If you are ever in Milwaukee I highly recommend you get yourself to Kopp's Frozen Custard. You will never want ice cream again after you have had this magical treat.

Finally I made it to New Orleans, my new home. We have been settling in and I haven't done too much cooking. Also there is no way we are turning on our oven until at least October. (Did you guys know it was so hot in Louisiana??) So I started a little garden in the back. Southeast Louisiana's growing season goes all the way to November, so you can plant for a second crop now. I am just starting with basil, chives, mint, and of course CHARD! I have also been going to our local farmer's market and getting some southern treats such as okra. And some even more southern treats like fresh made tamales!

The tamales were jalapeno cheddar. Of course I added some sriracha for good measure. I know tamales take forever to make, but there must be a quick approximation I could learn to whip up. I will look into this. 

Anyway, this is all to say I am sorry I was gone so long and I am back with a vengeance. Expect tales of me boiling peanuts, wrestling alligators, and mastering red beans and rice.