Category Archives: other goodies

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Sailing on Sunday

Rafting (for my first time) on Saturday. Fun!

I had the day off from work yesterday. It was tough fitting in everything I wanted and needed to do but I managed. I accomplished all of those mundane things that are only great accomplishments to me: laundry, mopping the kitchen floor, grocery shopping, walking the dog. There is nothing more satisfying than a day when the dog gets walked and the floor gets cleaned.

Monday ended on a high note too. I made enchilada sauce completely from scratch and we had some fabulous enchiladas for dinner. The recipe came along with a bag of Anaheim chiles in my CSA box last week. I didn’t have any onions and I’m sure preferred it that way. The sauce was simply roasted chiles, fresh tomatoes (also from the CSA), garlic, and cumin. I’m ashamed to admit how much I licked off the spoon. It wasn’t even too hot for Lee. Victory!

The sauce was so good I didn’t even feel the need to add much else to the enchiladas. They were just corn tortillas, smooshed tofu, and some chopped broccoli for green + crunch. I think of this as the vegan version of cheese enchiladas: simple, creamy, saucy, good.

The sauce kind of looked like this cozy fire we had the other night.

I thought of photographing the sauce and enchiladas for one flitting moment but I decided to just enjoy the cooking process and forego the pictures. How can I teach myself to slow down and document what I’m doing?

I’m giving you the original recipe, straight from the Mariquita newsletter, along with my slight modifications. This was so much easier than I thought it would be. The chiles roasted while I cleaned the house and peeling them was s cinch. After that It was just a matter of throwing everything in a pot to simmer. I didn’t even chop the garlic or peel the tomatoes, since I knew I’d be using the blender.

Red Enchilada Sauce, from Mariquita Farm (makes 3 cups)

12 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, about 2 pounds (I only had 6 chiles to work with)

2 cups thinly sliced onion (left this out)

1 cup chopped tomato (I used maybe 8 small, quartered tomatoes, so about twice this)

1/2 cup water

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

4-6 chopped garlic cloves (I just smashed mine and threw them in the pot)

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place chiles on a baking sheet; bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until blackened, turning once. Place chiles in a non-reactive bowl or pot then top with a plate or lid; let stand 10 minutes. USE GLOVES FOR THIS (I didn’t but I washed my hands really well afterwards): Peel; discard seeds and membranes. Place chiles and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Whirl in food processor or use immersion blender to puree.

I think doubling the tomatoes and halving the amount of chiles made my sauce less spicy than it would have been otherwise. That was perfect for my spicy food-hating husband but I bet the original recipe, complete with onion and plenty of chiles, would be sweeter and have quite a kick to it.

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Ouch

I’ll be honest. These pictures are more than a month old. I haven’t had purple basil in my kitchen since July and it’s been weeks since we sailed my dad’s boat up the California coast. I needed to look at something to remind me what life can be like when I’m able-bodied.

On Thursday morning I hurt my back at the gym. I spent most of the day hobbling around with a grimace on my face and lying on an ice pack. After a visit to the physical therapist (conveniently located in the same gym) and a massage (also at the gym!) I feel much better. I’m still not back to normal and my back will probably never be the same. I’m optimistic about being healed enough to to the triathlon we’re signed up for on the 16th. Rest and ice will get me there!

Rather than complaining about my compromised mobility, I thought I’d break this long post-less streak with some food and sailing pictures I’ve been accumulating.

This was kind of a fun trip, despite the fact that we spent more time motor-sailing than really sailing. We saw tons of wildlife, even sharing an anchorage with three humpback whales for a day. I only had one seasickness episode and one disastrous spill in the galley (wet coffee grounds get in EVERYTHING when they go flying across the boat).

Now Unbroken Wings is docked  next to Fish, my new favorite restaurant, and the Heath Ceramics factory store, which is equally drool-worthy.

Thanks to a Mariquita Farm bulk delivery today I have a flat of beautiful tomatoes and a basket of Fuji + Macintosh apples on my counter. I think I’m going to can some quartered tomatoes, and make something yummy to eat now with the rest. Lee and will eat as many of the apples as we can (he loves Macintosh and I’m a Fuji girl). The rest might become apples sauce or maybe even pie filling. Stay tuned!

With this looming change of seasons I feel a renewed sense of commitment to this blog. There is too much good food not to share.

I leave you with Golden Gate fog horns. Enjoy.

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Oh, potatoes

I wrote a much longer, more eloquent post about these potatoes earlier today. WordPress proceeded to stall out while uploading a picture and send my hard work into a void of digital nothingness. grrrrr

This time around, I’m keeping it simple.

I’ve been getting bags of delicious new potatoes in my CSA box all summer long. While they aren’t up there among my favorite foods, I don’t dislike potatoes. Until last weeks batch, I don’t think I ever really appreciated them.

This simple recipe for roasting an assortment of tiny “Potatoes Détente” came from chef Jonathan Miller, who contributes recipes to Mariquita Farm‘s weekly newsletters. The medley of French Fingerling, Russian Banana, German Butterball, and Red Norland potatoes roasted up beautifully with a few springs of rosemary (also from my box), some olive oil, salt, and pepper. When I pulled them out of the oven their skins were perfectly crinkled, holding flavor I never imagined in a potato. The crunchy bits of rosemary only made things better. Every bite really did melt in my mouth! I could go on and on and on…but I won’t.

These were the smallest potatoes I’ve ever seen. Described as “sort-outs” in the farm newsletter, I don’t know where you would ever get potatoes like this except directly from a farm. Now that I think about it, part of what made me love these so much is the potato skin to pulp(?) ratio: skins are my favorite part of any potato and with tons of tiny spuds you get more crackly, crispy skin!

Roasted potatoes, tempeh (also roasted), and a salad.

Potatoes Détente (or any tiny, roasted potatoes)

Ingredients

  • About 2 lbs tiny potatoes, washed and dried
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 rosemary sprigs, if you have it
  • salt and pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread potatoes and rosemary on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan (you can put slightly larger potatoes on their own pan. I just cut the handful of larger ones in half). Be sure they are not crowded.
  3. Sprinkled olive oil over the potatoes and stir them around until they are evenly coated.
  4. Add salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Place potatoes in the oven and roast until they are just cooked though. This will take about 30 minutes but start checking them at 20 to 25 minutes. Mine were perfect at 25.

Notes

From Jonathan Miller via The Ladybug Postcard Vol. 81

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Yucca Fries

I am one of those people who never intentionally order french fries in a restaurant but almost always grabs a couple off of my dining companion’s plate. That’s only if I’m dining with someone like my husband or mother. I don’t take fries from strangers or mere acquaintances. Are you a fry snatcher?

It’s not that I don’t love a good french fry. Who doesn’t? When they’re crisp but not dry and not too greasy with a little bit of salt and pepper….ah, yum. I hate to turn them down. Hand over the ketchup and nobody gets hurt. The problem with fries is that, in my experience, they are rarely the picture of perfection I just described. They’re soggy, greasey, overly salty, and cold. Presented with a mountain of such fries, will I still eat them? Yes. I’m afraid that if I order fries with my sandwich I’ll eat the whole pile whether or not they’re really good and feel horrible about it afterwards. That’s just what fries do to me.

So, I snatch a few off of Lee’s plates, sampling the goods. If they’re tasty, then I’m content with my nibble. If not, then I’m more than happy that I have salad next to my (veggie)burger rather than fried potatoes.

There does come a time when every girl needs a plate of french fries, or rather, french fry-shaped things that are in fact rather good for you and safe to consume by the plateful. Enter the yucca fry.

A balanced plate: fries+salad+tofu Lima bean sauce

Baked, not fried, these babies entered my dinner repertoire while we were sailing in the Bahamas. I think I ran across the idea of baking yucca (aka cassava) “fries” on Meals and Miles. The funky looking root was everywhere in the Bahamian markets and was undoubtedly the cheapest produce around. It’s naturally high in fiber and other good stuff like vitamin C.

While peeling and slicing yucca can be somewhat tricky (the outer skin has a waxy coating and the inside is alternately crumbly and hard), the result is worth it. Rather than becoming limp during baking, as baked potato “fries” sometimes do, yucca holds it’s shape well and gets crispy/chewy in the oven. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

Yucca Fries

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized yucca/cassava roots (easier to handle than the big guys)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings (whatever you want! This time around I used a little chili powder and garlic powder)
  • Your favorite french fry dips and sauces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Get out a large, rimmed baking sheet
  3. Peel the yucca using a paring knife or vegetable peeler
  4. Cut eat root in half and then slices the halves into sticks of about the same width (1/4-1/2 inch)
  5. Toss yucca into a plastic bag with the olive oil and spices.
  6. Shake and massage the bag until the fries are evenly coated.
  7. Arrange yucca in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until fries are gold-brown. You can stir them around part way through but this isn't necessary.
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