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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

This is the kind of day it was:

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Lily wanted to walk, but I preferred to stay warm and snug inside.  It was so dark all day that after a cup or two of tea and a more than a few pages of my book, even I was restless.    What to do?  Normally, rain equals baking in my book, but I was feeling more soup-y.  See if you can guess what I made from this bucket:

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You can tell how rainy it was from where I photographed my bucket: on the chaise underneath the umbrella.  Anyway, what you can see (clockwise from the top):

  • the tough end & outer leaves of two leeks
  • half of a lemon
  • scrapings from four carrots
  • a moldy raspberry
  • eggshells
  • garlic paper
  • peels from four potatoes
  • espresso grounds

What you can’t see:

  • skins from two onions
  • apple core
  • pear core
  • more eggshells
  • two banana peels
  • peel from two cucumbers
  • stems from fresh marjoram
  • two Tazo “Focus” teabags (my current fave)

What I made with all of that:

  • Potato Leek Soup
  • Lemony Italian Meatball Soup
  • Nutella Pumpkin Pound Cake
  • Hammy Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
  • Smoothie with Banana, Pear, Strawberries & Spinach
  • Pot of espresso turned into my version of Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Happy rainy days to all!

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in The Daily Bucket

 

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Sunday Supper

FInally, time to breath … time to relax … ah, Sunday.  After Mass we had visited the local nursery where we got free ladybugs, along with eggplant and pumpkin seedlings, and a new birdbath bowl.  We also popped into Whole Foods for fresh veggies after weeks in the ballet rehearsal/performance food desert.  That meant time to clean out the fridge!

Things you can see (clockwise from top):

  • A few badly bruised, inedible Ranier cherries (love these so much more than regular dark, sweet cherries)
  • Pre-cut organic carrot slices (normally don’t buy these because they taste stale and dry out quickly, as pictured here, but they are an easy snack with hummus)
  • Chopped cucumbers (cut WAY too many and they just got old.  Sad.)
  • Rose leaves from performance bouquets
  • Herbs – bay leaves, cloves, allspice & peppercorns
  • Damaged yellow & red cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach leaves
  • Avocado rind

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What you can’t see:

  • Saturday’s Bland Bucket
  • Lots and lots and lots of leaves from the many flower bouquets my ballerina received for her weekend concert
  • Eggshells

What I made with all of that:

  • Croque Monsieur, my breakfast version of grilled cheese.  There are lots of recipes out there (and I’m including Ina’s because she does butter better than just about anybody) but I keep it simple because I don’t have time in the morning to whip up a bechamel.  Besides, don’t you think that’s just too heavy for the morning?  So, here’s what I do.  Assemble my daughter’s favorite grilled cheese componenets: artisan bread, ham, good muenster cheese, and mayo (because she hates dijon).  Dip that sandwich in two eggs beaten with whole milk & let it soak a bit until it’s eggy, but not a soggy  mness.  In a hot pan with lots of salted butter, quickly fry until golden, and here’s the important part!  Turn the heat to low and cook until you can see the cheese melting.  Only then can you flip it over, turn up the heat again to fry until golden, and then flip it on the cutting board.  Let it rest a minute before cutting so the cheese doesn’t ooze, and hooray!  Grilled-cheese-french-toast-so-my-girl-doesn’t-pass-out-in-Mass breakfast.
  • Avocado, Pesto Parmesan Ham and Spinach sandwich for lunch
  • Brined roast chicken (truly yummy, brining is not just for your Thanksgiving turkey)
  • Roasted tomatoes because I had ’em and I love ’em

tomatoes

I don’t really use a recipe for these any more.  They are that simple.  Cut the tomatoes in half, drizzle with good olive oil on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt (I used pepper this time too – take my advice and don’t.  It intensifies and it fights with the sweet tomato yumminess.) Bake these at 225 degrees for about two hours or until they are dried to your taste.  They will look like this:

tomatoes roasted

I can pretty much guarantee you’ll eat this entire pan once you taste one.  It’s kind of like “cleaning up” the edge of a cake or pie.  You’ll just nibble away until you have a tiny handful left to sprinkle in your salad, or toss on your soup, or… into your mouth.  In the event you have more self control than I do, cool these tomatoes, put in a glass jar & cover with a bit more olive oil and store in the fridge.  I hear they last for weeks.  Ha!

 

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Toss It Tuesday

True confession: There is ALWAYS something hiding in my refrigerator that is gross.  Not “moldy-leftovers-ready-for-bio-class” gross, but “I-bought-this-with-high-hopes-but-never-had-time-to-prep-it” gross.  Or even, “there’s-too-much-of-this-to-ever-use-up-so-now-it’s-rotting” gross.  Are you with me?  Do you have this stuff too?  Good, because I’m officially dubbing the second day of each week “Toss It Tuesday”.  If we clean out the fridge weekly we can avoid nasty “can-I-catch-a-disease-from-this” surprises.  That, and my trash comes on Tuesday, but whatever.  Here is this week’s toss:

SLIMY GREEN BEANS

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Why did they go bad?  Good question; they are actually one of my go-to green sides.  We love them roasted with parmesan or steamed, then pan roasted with garlic.  My best guess is we were too busy.  It takes a LONG time to trim each end, wash, and cook.  Obviously more time than I wanted to spend this week.  Every time I looked at that bag of beans,  I looked away.

 As an aside, I’m actually nominating May as the busiest month of the year; even busier than December.  December might technically be more frantic, but you’re celebrating stuff.  In May, you’re just stressed.

But, back to the bucket.  There is more … (clockwise from top):

  • sad, slimy, unappreciated green beans
  • kale stems
  • rose petals
  • baked sweet potato skins

What you can’t see:

  • honeydew rind
  • banana peel
  • eggshells

What I made with all of this … not much:

  • Banana, Mango, Blueberry Smoothie
  • Soft boiled eggs with toast
  • Honeydew chunks for lunchbox & snacking
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes with sauteed kale

So, what is gross in your fridge?

 
 

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Pretty Dirty Work

Welcome!  Doesn’t it makes sense that if you are obsessed with food you love it all, down to the banana peels & onion skins & lettuce scraps?  Well, I am obsessed and I do love it all.  So much so, that I find the bits & pieces in my kitchen compost bucket to be not just an interesting visual diary of what my family ate, but also a pretty play on colors and textures.  In fact, sometimes the countertop pail is nearly as colorful as … my dinner plate … or the bunch of roses I just picked from the garden.  So, after months of admiring the changing bucket art, I started taking pictures …ImageAnd see?  Interesting, isn’t it?  Kind of a fun and different way to look at food.

My Daily Compost will be the spot where I can share my day-to-day photo diary, the occasional recipe based on what’s in the bucket, food & garden musings, and some basic dirt on how to do the whole compost thing yourself.

Here’s to thinking outside the (compost) box!

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Welcome!

 

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