Friday, March 30, 2012

Red & Sweet Potato Leek & Kale Soup

photos by scott haydon

Last night was a really good night. When I got home from work, Scott and I dove into - dinner making, wine (or beer) drinking, seed bomb making, How I Met Your Mother watching - domesticity.

Scott and I have been living together for a few months. We live in a small studio apartment where all of our space is shared and where we sleep on a twin bed in a closet. This has been remarkably easy. Something about 'us' just works. We are both dreamers and big planners. I have no doubt that we will reach our goals and, in a year or two, find ourselves looking back at this small place where we started and knowing that anything really is possible.

It can be hard to share your dreams with other people. What if they never happen? Some of the things I dream about go like this: own a home with a fenced back yard, a garden, chickens, a bbq, a naturally lit kitchen, and our own washer and dryer. Those are the easy dreams to share. At a certain point those dreams become plans and then they become your life. The best and worst thing about dreams/plans/life is that you are always moving forward - once your dream becomes a plan and then real life you discover new dreams and the process continues. I've been spending a lot of my recent life feeling especially grateful. I am sharing my life with a man who believes in my dreams and who dreams and plans with me. This is the biggest thing in the world.

We are dreaming. We are big planning. We are step taking.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Food Matters Project: Vegetables au Vin with Coq

photo by scott haydon

Welcome to the 8th recipe in the Food Matters Project. Evi and Sam chose this weeks recipe and you can see that take here.

While I enjoyed working on this recipe I'm just going to come right out here and say, I don't like eggplant. I thought that maybe I didn't like eggplant as it has been a very hit or (a lot more of a) miss for me in the past. But I have faith in Mark Bittman and his cookbook so I went for it anyway. I love the wine and garlic and shallots and mushrooms and bacon and asparagus and chicken. I don't love the eggplant. Next time I make this I will cut out the eggplant and throw in some zucchini or additional asparagus.

Here's my rendition of this recipe:

adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook.

2 slices bacon (I only had thin, if thick, only use 1! oh heck, use as much as you'd like.)
3 shallots, sliced
1/2 pound crimini & oyster mushrooms
2 pounds chicken breast
3 cloves garlic, sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup pinot noir
rosemary and parsley
1/2 an eggplant, cut into cubes
7 stalks asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces

In a pan, on medium high heat, saute bacon til brown. Remove bacon and add a dash of olive oil. Add chicken breast, salt and pepper, and brown, turning periodically. Remove chicken.

Add a dash of olive oil and the eggplant, shallots and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes and then add garlic. Saute for another 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables brown. Add broth, wine, rosemary and parsley. Add asparagus and chicken. Bring to a mellow boil, and place lid on pan. Boil gently for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is done, but tender.

Remove chicken, increase heat, and boil until roughly half of the liquid is gone and remaining concoction has thickened into a sauce.

When I removed the chicken I placed it in a warm oven. So instead of adding the chicken back to the sauce to warm back up, I placed the chicken on a plate and topped with vegetables and sauce.

Serve with wine!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, Sweet Potato Medallions & a Spicy Dip

photo by scott haydon
Through the course of our dating Scott and I have made bacon wrapped sweet potato fries with a chipotle lime sauce more times than I'd like to admit. Okay, like 4. We LOVE bacon and vegetables and sweet and spicy all combined into one big tasty snack/meal. We also love asparagus. The other day I was on Martha Stewart's website - where I always go when looking for new delicious food recipes. And what did I find? A list of TONS of GREAT recipes, all about asparagus.I pinned several of them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Food Matters Project: Curried Tomato Soup with Poached Egg (and popovers)

photos by scott haydon

Hello! Welcome to another Food Matters Project post. This weeks recipe was chosen by Joanne and can be found here.

We actually made this recipe on Saturday. And I've had the post sitting on my computer desktop since then. Mainly because Sunday was my best friend's 32nd birthday and we spent the day having the most amazing time. We baked a cake, set up Beatles Rock Band, broke out a pinata and created an impromptu photo booth. If you ever have the opportunity to create a photo booth at a party I highly recommend it. It brings out the silly nature in your friends and family and takes away a lot of the fear some people have of getting their picture taken. Scott and I spent Friday night making "props" such as: mustaches, lips, beards, glasses, hats, batman mask, etc. It was so amazing and I know that I'll be looking at all of the pictures and cracking up for a very long time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Food Matters Project: Hummus Served Hot with Pita Chips

photo by scott haydon
This week the Food Matters Project was chosen by Erin and you can see her take here.

I have never made hummus before. I know, I know, it makes me sound like less of a human being. But it's true. I grew up hating all beans and although I've (thankfully) outgrown most of my childhood food complaints I still find myself avoiding specific food types for no valid reason. Like beans, and turnips, and soups with meat. That said, homemade hummus is brilliant. And homemade hummus with homemade pitas turned into homemade pita chips? Awesome.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Food Matters Project: Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce

photos by scott haydon

Hi everyone! I love love love that the Food Matters Project gives me a culinary challenge every single week. This week's recipe (Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce) was hosted by Dominica and you can see her take here.

I've never really spent much time thinking about, preparing, or eating bean sprouts and I was a little nervous when I bought them at the store the other day. I could see eating them raw in a salad but I was pretty hesitant about what would happen to them in a stirfry. I should have known that Mark Bittman would steer us in a solid direction. This dish was very tasty.