A Veggie St. Patrick’s Day Feast

I’m going to avoid the obligatory apology for not posting in quite some time, and instead just dive into the lovely St. Patrick’s Day feast that we enjoyed this year.

Every Friday afternoon, I get a text message from the Humane Society, promoting their weekly Meatless Monday recipe. As mouth-watering as they always sound and look, I’ve never actually sat down and made one. But with this week’s recipe for Corned Beefless Brisket and Cabbage, celebrating everyone’s favorite drunken holiday, I knew I was in.

Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Feast

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Oops, I forgot about you.

Woa, where has the time gone? I’m going to have to stop trying to make excuses as to what life obstacle got in my way and took me away from blogging for so long. A new job. Vacation. Summer sunning. Summer drinking. Sumer cooling. The list could go on.

Instead of pretending that I will be able to finish every saved draft I’ve created and forgotten about. Let’s try killing a few birds with one stone. I present to you my compilation: My Month in the Kitchen (or so). Here are some of the fun things that I’ve been up to over the last couple of months…

Bourbon Brownies

Bourbon Brownies

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Eating San Francisco

A few years ago, I was in San Francisco and had a pretty decent time. I was locked up in Alcatraz, I broke some laws on Castro Street, I ate some Chinese food, I saw some big otter-like critters, you know, the important things. But beyond a quick long weekend, I’ve never spent much more time there, or really ever considered it to be a high-priority city to explore.

I was pretty darn fortunate though, as a work conference crated me up and shipped me out to the other coast for a week, and Gabe tagged along for a few days of it!

Doughnut Eating

Doughnut Devouring at Dynamo Donuts.

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Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Chocolate Buttermilk Cream Cheese Cake

Why do I do this to myself? I get going crazy with my posts… and then I fall off the face of the earth for a while… bake some things, eat lots of thing, drown myself in hoppy beer, and then finish full circle right here.

I guess I’ll stop yelling at myself and get to the point. But holy shit, this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made.

The other day, a good friend was celebrating his birthday. And instead of the presumed bottle of champagne or handle of shit vodka, I decided to step up my game. And what better way to celebrate good friendship than with a cake? I can think of few.

And I had my work cut out for me. When I asked him what type of cake was his favorite, I expected to hear “chocolate” or “vanilla” or heck, maybe even something fancy and gentrification-adoring like “red velvet.” But no, oh no, I was answered with “chocolate mousse or cheesecake.”

What?! Those are hardly cakes in my book! But I. must. make. it. work.

I had lots of cream cheese in the refrigerator (thank you stock up sale) so I knew whatever direction I went, good ol’ Philly would be a part of the finished product. So I searched and searched for some sort of inspiration. It took a while, but then I came upon this and I knew what I was baking.

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Mushy… and a Surprise

I would be remiss not to wish you all a very wonderful Valentine’s Day first of all. I don’t get all hallmarky over it like some, but I also don’t subscribe to the “singles appreciation day” that some do. I’m just some sort of a middle ground guy. Hey, I’m like Mitt Romney when he ran for governor. Oh wait, he wasn’t even that moderate, shit. Well… I’m not going to do a complete 180 like that.

Valentines day is fine. It’s a bit overrated. And heck, I feel this way now that I’m in a relationship, and I did before when I was single. It’s all the same. But I’ll take an excuse for some bubbly and chocolate. Bring it.

Before I get to what’s going on in Shaw tonight, let’s talk about my mush. No, not my being overly mushy (I can’t make any promises after champagne), but rather the mush that my hands were shoved in the other night…
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Consider Me: Salsified

Salsify Root

I think I’ve found the new kale.

Or at least something to hoard for the next few months alongside the crunchy-green masterpiece. And let’s face it, I eat a lot of kale, so some diversity in my diet –even if for a few weeks/ months/ whatever — will be a good idea (and Gabe can only handle so much of my crunchy-greens-obsessing I’m certain.)

If I judged on first impressions alone, I never would have dove into this long, dirty root. It’s one of the items that I’ve probably walked past in produce markets before, and never thought twice. But after reading encouraging reviews from the wonderful folks at South Mountain Veggies, I was convinced to at least give it a try. Heck, the worst that would happen is I would waste a few dollars and throw it away. I can think of many worse things.

And let me just say, this root will change your eating life.

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Christmas Breakfast in February

This year's loaf of pannetone (and only $5 at Trader Joe's)

Pannetone is a marvelous Christmas bread. Each year when December rolls around, I have to find one. This Italian holiday tradition pops up at most grocery stores and gourmet shops the last few months of the years and is pretty hard to find the rest of the year. If you’re as big as a fan as I am, it may warrant stocking up when you can.

The buttery, flaky bread is filled with all sorts of dried fruits. But this past year, for whatever reason, my beautiful Christmas loaf sat lonely until well after the holiday.

But lucky for me, it holds up for a few months. But what to do with this caloric-beast? I mean, it’s buttery and sweet enough as it is, and can be perfect just lightly toasted, but that just won’t do.

But dipping it in an egg and milk mixture, dusted with cinnamon then drowned in Michigan maple syrup, now thats a winner.

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Martha Got Me Again

So I’m trying to come up with my list of excuses of why I’ve not been blogging as much as I told myself I would in 2012. Maybe it’s that I’ve been going to the gym a lot, but I really haven’t gone since the first week of the month. Or maybe that my boyfriend’s been keeping me too busy with social activities, but then there’s the fact that he’s been in the (not so glorious) state of Indiana for the last three weeks. Or maybe that… I lost power and had no access to internet? Ok, now I’m just reaching.

I guess I’ve just been slacking off more than I would like to admit (but heh, I’m doing it publicly.) So in my attempt to right this ship, today I went back to Martha. And hey, I know I’ve had my ups and downs with Martha’s recipes, I figured I’d give her a shot tonight.

And of course, because it’s a Martha recipe, I inevitably missed a step, but for all the better, it just cut calories and I was still very satisfied. The recipe was for Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Parsley and Breadcrumbs (I forgot the breadcrumbs).

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Klassy Mimosas All Around

What better way to spend a Sunday than sipping mimosas? I can think of only a few. And what way to make afternoon mimosas even more special, than to fresh squeeze the oranges.

I bought a huge bag of oranges a couple of weeks ago, and some of them are starting to get close to the point of no return. So instead of going on citrus binge, I figured I’d squeeze them and make for some spectacular mimosas.

Sound’s sophisticated enough. And then I realized that the only bubbly that I had left was some A-class Cook’s.

Now, I’m not one to turn my nose to a cheap drink, but there was just something about the irony of the matter that I couldn’t stop laughing at myself. I mean, spending 10 minutes squeezing oranges, for a delectable beverage… and then mixing it together with some 3.99 sparkling wine.

Obla di, obla da, it’s gone now and I have no complaints.

Mi Kapusta, y Su Kapusta?

Apparently posting regularly was not a New Year’s resolution. Alas, I have returned and am hunkering down to the world of writing once again.

The last week or so, I’ve been in a bit of a lul in the kitchen. With Gabe out of town, and me finally working on some of that whole relaxing thing, I just haven’t had much motivation to get crazy. But today, it all changed. Maybe it was my welcome home cocktail today, or maybe it was my third cup of coffee in the office. Either way, I worked it out today.

Knowing that my CSA order is coming tonight, I figured it made sense to use up as much of the produce in the fridge as possible. I bought a head of organic red cabbage a few days ago waiting for the special moment since who doesn’t love some good cabbage? Ok, maybe I’m weird, but it’s comfort food for me. My good ol’ Polish Catholic roots raised me on this stinky, sour delicacy, so devouring a heaping plate always brings me back.

So I started by shredding it up.

Then after getting a good shred, I moved onto **tears** shredding a  red onion. And just my luck, this guy was right on the edge of getting bad so was extra pungent.

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