A few things I’d like to share about my week.
First, all the cooking I’ve been doing. My kitchen has NEVER been so active. This newfound joy of cooking as a result of depriving my mind and body of food for 10 days brings such a refreshing clarity to my everyday and for the first time in my life I genuinely feel like I’m good at something! I’ve concluded people who cook and have dogs are happier, and I’ve never given happiness that much credit. I used to go around saying happiness is deceit, but I can now appreciate the importance of giddy contentment. So, the day after my detox was over I cooked the following dishes:
Vegetable Lentil Soup
I used the recipe from Heaven’s Banquet: The Maharishi Ayurveda Cookbook, which is the only cookbook I have at the moment besides the simple low fat dessert book I found on the floor a few years ago and am yet to open. It’s a simple multi-variable dish and I added lentils to give it more filling. I wish I would’ve taken pictures of the outcome and my face expression as a result of seeing and tasting such a delicious self-made meal.
And the recipe:
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil
pinch of hing
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf (I didn’t have this but tasted delish anyway)
1 tomato, chopped (optional)
4 to 5 cups thinly sliced mixed vegetables (I used mini red orange yellow peppers, okra, swiss chard, small red onions, carrots, celery, white peas).
6 cups stock or water (I used water and was a bit disappointed but not suprised by the blandness)
Salt & black pepper(made up for the blandness)
1. Melt the ghee or oil in a soup po. Add the hing and herbs and saute over low heat for 1 minute.
2. Add the tomato and mixed vegetables. Saute over low heat for another 5 to 10 minutes
3. Add the stock or water to the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf before serving, Pass lemon pistou (another recipe) at the table.
Again, I was flabbergasted with the ease in which I was able to transition from one recipe to the next and how good I everything tasted.
A few days later I stir fried what vegetables I had left using all sorts of spices on my shelf as well as tofu and stirred in Korma sauce which ended up beautifully creamy and sweet. I served it with couscous and it was delish.
On Thursday Mai and Elaine cames over and we baked Tuesday with Dorrie’s Dimply Plum Cake selected by Bake En and it was so delicious. Mai is a maverick cook chick, she’s just really good with her hands, and she says although it was a bit crumbly and loose some yogurt might help sustain the bread, so next time I make it I will try it out! I really wish I had a better camera to take pictures with, this dingy 5 mega pixel keeps me from taking scrumptious close ups.
Friday was the much anticipated presidential debate #1 and I gathered a few friends and baked Martha Stewart’s creamy mac and cheese recipe that I picked up from smitten kitchen. Now I grew up slices of American cheese atop a bowl of rice with kimchi on the side so macncheese is not something instilled into my childhood memory. I never really ate this dish on any regular basis, maybe once every 6 months or so. I’m not a huge fan of heavy pasta dishes, this being one, but it was the only dish that I came up with considering this is really the first time cooking for guests and I wanted it to be simple yet elegant. And that is exactly what this recipe provided. I deeply regret not taking pictures (Hyla, you’re the photographer you should’ve been responsible for that) but you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say it was the damn best macncheese I had ever in my entire life. It was obviously more cheesy and delicate especially with the addition of Guyere but the best part was the cayenne pepper which provided a spicey zing that made it a complicated ordeal in my mouth. Also I used Bread Alone sour dough I got from the farmer’s market for the crumbs and I bet that added more flavor than if I would’ve used regular white bread which I haven’t had since elementary school.
AND THEN, as if THAT wasn’t good enough, I baked COCONUT BROWNIES to top off the meal. I picked up the recipe from eatmakeread and was super stoked about making my first brownie dish from scratch. Now, I have a serious devil of a sweet tooth. My first set of teeth were ruined with cavities and root canals and today I am a proud carrier of 12 cavities, 6 of which recently were filled and the other half waiting for the drill. This should get the point through, I LOVE SWEEETS, especially brownies. So baking this dish sent my pleasure meter up to space and I was floating singing sweet chocolate serenades.
As for the debate, my reactions to McCain vary between disgust, nausea, and disbelief. A few things:
– The average South Korean is 3 inches taller than those minions in the North. “A huge gulag”….What does this say about McCain? He is a terrible debator using HEIGHT, HEIGHT!, as a means to ridicule North Korea’s inferiority and using that as their justification to create nuclear bombs. They’re short, AND Korean, so they MUST be good for nothing. I was flabbergasted.This must have been a pathetic attempt to create a point of distraction away from his inexplicably short, awkward, stiff arms that fold at a 90 degree angle with the suit that must have been made of tin. When he unconvincingly makes his point with the pounding gesture of one hand atop the other his elbows jut out so oddly I couldn’t help be embarrased for him. It makes him seem shorter than average, and inferior.
– I found his snickering and incessant avoidance of eye contact an obnoxious and vulgar tactic. It was a means of degradation to further emphasize Obama’s naivete and our inability to take him seriously and it just made him look like that stubborn child huffin and puffin about that expensive toy he can’t have.
– As everyone was able to see, there is a stark difference between the two candidates. McCain and his obsession with the Reagan administration, his military and political resume, and involvement with the current administration only emphasize our need for someone who can provide a few perspective and is genuinely concerned for the betterment of everyday souls like you and I. For me a big issue is immigration. Obama supports passing of the Dream Act which grants permanent residency for illegal immigrants who have entered the country legaly as a minor, have been educated in the states for over a decade, and cannot progress or even enter the real world due to their status. These potential world leaders are deprived of salary benefits, health insurance, social security, financial aid, financial loans, driving, traveling, and any other fundamental means of living. There are hundreds of thousands of these young 1.5 generation individuals in NY ALONE and this act MUST be passed in order for them to florish. Obama is a foremost supporter of this act, McCain is not. In terms of economy and foreign policy McCain offers reforms that is old residue. He will not bring about ANY change in government, this I guarantee. There really is not much more needed to say other than Obama can provide a fresh new perspective and enthusiasm for a positive future.
The weekend was gray and rainy and it gave me the opportunity to cook some more and stay at home which is super rare for me but I was anticipating this blog so much that I didn’t even notice the clouds and the rain that would usually inflict panic and anxiety. Cooking has not become my outage and I am proud to say I am good at it.
Last night I stayed up till 3 am cooking butternut squash soup and coconut brownies (again) and both times were a success. I followed the recipe in Tinned Tomatoes except I replaced the chili powder for a pinch of cayenne pepper and didn’t taste it so perhaps next time I either put some more cayenne or buy chili powder. Nobody warned me that squash was such a pain in the ass to peel, not to mention I only had a blunt potato peeler. It took an hour of arduous diligent shredding that turned my palms red. I was determined to keep shredding till I reached the succulent orange but even when that was finished it was impossible to actually cut the pieces into chunks without threatening to chop a finger or two off. Naive as I am about cooking it would be most helpful if you provided a convenient and less grueling of a way to peel and cut squash, that would be much appreciated. The pureeing was fun as I used my new food process/blender in one and I’ve never pureed before so it was like the fifrst day of summer for me, filled with giddy and awe.
I know this first post is a bit info overload but I had to get it all out of my system. I truely hope you haven’t fallen asleep by now and will come back soon.