Friday, February 25, 2011

Random Thoughts of Sunshine

It's so nice to see the sunshine again, both outside and within.  I have been fighting to keep my head above water on many fronts lately. Today feels like a better day.  Cooking has taken a backseat to my emotions. However, I'm still loving grated dried orange peel.  I put some in my steelcut oats this morning, I kept it simple. Oats, butter and orange peel.  Very soothing.  I also have been cooking very simply, mostly because I have no mental energy and doing it at all because I need to eat. Yesterday morning I roasted cauliflower with olive oil and curry powder and made a flageolet salad.  I learned flageolets do not take as long to cook as other dried beans, making early morning cooking possible. I have been cooking on autopilot.  I will be preparing vegetarian Argentinian food for a send-off gathering for a friend moving to Argentina. Argentinian cuisine is very meat based,  so I have had to search far and wide for inspiration. I will attempt chimichurri, polenta and burned carrots with goat cheese, from epicurious.  I am hoping for more sunshine.     

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Frustrations of Having a Cold

Andy Warhol-like art project
    Being forced to rest for more than a day presents me with a dilemma.  Plenty of time to blog, no time to cook, no energy to photograph. For the first day of my chest cold I read all day. I enjoyed being able to sit still long enough to read 280 pages of London  The second day I needed to watch reruns of Bones on netflix and Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theater. The third day I decided a trip to the Conservatory of Flowers' steamy aquatic plants room would clear my lungs.The beauty and humidity I found there made me feel much cured, peaceful and a little too enthused. With temps in the 70's I was tempted to walk too far taking in Golden Gate Park's beauty around me. 

    So, today, day four, I am trying to show a bit of modesty and repentance by resting on the couch.The beautiful weather outside is calling to me, but I want to get over this bug once and for all. I will be firm with myself, no cooking projects (which come with their own follow-up cleaning jobs), no fitness activities, like climbing the Lyon street steps. My only activity will be dreaming and planning what I will cook in the upcoming week. 

   One of the pleasures of living in San Francisco is the availability, through the public library, of all the newly released cookbooks.  I currently have My Calabria and Tartine Bread checked out. I was able to note some great recipes from In The Kitchen. Before succumbing to this cold I prepared Carmelized Onion and Radicchio Quiche.  I substituted endive for the racdicchio, because that's what my CSA delivered. The result was luscious. The recipe did not seem labor intensive and I am considering whether cooking it today would be too much work or would interfere with my resting. I also made Braised Cabbage with Pancetta and Black Pepper from My Calabria.(I love this cookbook and have half the recipes flagged) I served this as a side dish for Lamb Tagine from Around my French Table. My husband was well-pleased. The cabbage was a succulent delight. 

   My cooking and eating dreams for this coming week include Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Manchego and Toasted Walnuts from In the Kitchen, Stuffed Pizza with Chard from My Calabria and Orange Almond Tart for the FFwD cooking group, among others.  

   BTW regarding the ginger tea I made yesterday, WOW strong tasting stuff.  I hope it does its work with this bug so I can get back out in the sunshine.
   Also,  I could not post without a photograph, which is why I have included an assignment from an old art class above.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Healing Foods

After being stuck in bed for two days with a chest cold I am in need of tasty healing foods.  For the last two days I've been drinking gallons of  green tea and eating whatever could be thrown together easily. Today I felt well enough to prepare foods that will please my eye and my palate. My last persimmon of the season called out to me.  I spread a portion of it over buttered toast and mixed the remaining persimmon with greek yogurt, pomegranate perils, and ground flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I am eating this meal along with a cup of Earl Grey White tea from The Tao of Tea.
In order to send this cold packing for good I also concocted a ginger tea for colds. Here is the recipe, I hope this tea will heal my lingering cough.

Ginger Tea for Colds
Simmer  peeled and grated ginger from a 1 inch piece in 2 cups water for five minutes.
add 1/2 t cayenne and simmer 1 minute
add 2T lemon juice, 1-2 cloves garlic, mashed
Cool and strain and add honey to taste.