Yuck

I did not like that Ecto experiment at all. I’m not sure I can continue with the trial! I am reposting the regular way because it is prettier …

Breakfast this morning was another slice of french toasted kitchen sink muffin. It was also the last slice, sadly, since my first attempt today resulted in the toast falling in that scary space between the oven and the counter. I almost cried.

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(I topped the toast with Artisana cacao bliss (I will be very sad when this jar ends), unsweetened coconut, and cinnamon.)

After that, I popped two more ibuprofen for dessert (gotta keep the swelling down!) along with my vitamins and headed to the gym for some leg strength and cardio. Oh wait, I was moving so slowly to get ready for the gym that I got hungry again. Pineapple and watermelon (from MA) topped with hulled hemp seed:

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Then I went to the gym, came back, and made this random lunch:

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Key players included a heated Eggland’s Best hard-boiled and peeled egg (getting down to the wire on these, so I need to use them fast!) sprayed with Smart Balance and sprinkled with fresh black pepper:

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A Peppadew salad with strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, and feta from home:

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The TJ’s rice and bean chips that Elisabeth sent:

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With fresh Union Market salsa (thanks, Tara!):

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And Peppadew Mango Salsa:

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Speaking of this mango salsa … I love it! Probably because it tastes like dessert. It would be delicious over yogurt.

Now,  I’m off to get more memory (birthday present from my parents!) installed in my little old computer and to pick up my official race packet on the Upper East Side (aka the other end of the earth) for Saturday’s half!

Have you ever used Ecto or another blog-editing software for Macs before? What do you think? I would love a time-saver, but not if it means I have to deal with ugliness!

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Chopped out

I’m not even going to try to be witty tonight because all I can hear running through my head is a repeating loop of chop this, chop this, chop this. I never want to see another knife or another veggie again. (I will probably change my mind tomorrow, though.)

Anyway, we had steak salads for lunch made with leftover steak from Saturday night’s grilling:

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Also in the salads: arugula from the garden (10 million times better than from the store — it’s super super hot and spicy), green onions from the garden, chives from the garden, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, feta, and drizzles of balsamic and herby olive oil.

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Dessert was a teeny bit (like 2 tbsp) of leftover carrot cake oatmeal with extra pineapple, apple, cinnamon, and cardamom:

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Mom and I forged on throughout the afternoon to make enough food for 30 armies to send to my dad’s house: chicken cacciatore, beef-kielbasa-barley stew, and pumpkin grapenut pudding. Mom was in charge. I followed her commands. Chop this, chop this, chop this. At some point, I had a minor breakdown and abandoned the kitchen in favor of a nap on the porch bench. I am not made to be a sous-chef, nor am I made for large-scale food prep.

My dad came over around 7pm to collect the goods, and mom gave him detailed serving and reheating instructions. Dad, I expect a full report as you eat these things!

Sarah Whiting (aka Ting) and her friend Nora came over for dinner. I completely forgot to take people pictures, grrrrr. But I did take food pics. I made chips from the stale whole wheat roll-ups and guacamole from two avocados, black bean and corn salsa, fresh tomato, fat free sour cream, fresh lime juice, and cayenne.

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We ate it all very quickly (a significant portion is sitting in my belly now). We also enjoyed more Golden Star sparkling white jasmine tea spritzers (1/3 tea, 2/3 plain seltzer).

The main course was chicken-pineapple-onion-green pepper-kielbasa skewers. I’m pretty sure I spent hours skewering these things. John started them off in the stone grill outside, but they weren’t cooking fast enough, so we finished the job inside with a quick broil in the oven. Ting and Nora brought an awesome pesto-bean salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The plate:

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The skewers may not have been able to finish outside, but the sweet potatoes did, however, do quite well in the stone grill with perfect char.

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Dessert was fresh watermelon:

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And pizelle cookies:

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Dinner with the girls was so fun — Ting and I needed the chance to catch up, and we had some very interesting conversations, not the least of which was my mom’s recounting of her competitive bodybuilding days. And like I said, I’m exhausted. And stuffed. I’m heading back to NY at some point tomorrow, though I don’t know my exact schedule. And I’m too tired to deal with the bus schedule right now!

I can’t think of a question. What question would you ask now, and how would you answer?

Beachy keen

Ack, today has gotten away from me — it’s just been action-packed with laziness 😛

Before I get onto today’s food, though, look at what I found last night hidden in a cabinet behind some dishes!

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This was perfect since we were all pretty stuffed from the big grilled dinner but still in the mood for something sweet. I split the Hershey’s truffle and the Newman’s bar into three pieces so that mom, John, and I could all take part:

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To be honest, though, that chocolate bar was weirdly sweet. I like my dark chocolate to be somewhat bitter — the extra sweetness kind of gave it a fake chocolate taste.

For breakfast this morning, I made us all carrot cake oatmeal:

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For the three of us, I used 3/4 cup dry steel-cut oats, 2 cups water, 1 egg, 2 shredded carrots, 1 shredded apple, 2/3 cup fork-crushed fresh pineapple, and lots of cinnamon. (I put a giant spoonful of freshly ground almond butter on top of mine, too, in case you missed it.) I also made about 1/2 cup each of healthy cream cheese icing for the side to be added on at the last minute possible — I wasn’t trying to have any more chemical reaction disasters taking place in my food!

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Cascading icing:

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After breakfast, we pushed off toward Wareham, a little town near the Cape where my mom bought a marsh-shack (though she calls it the “little house”) a few years ago. It’s just a few teeny rooms, but mom and John are working on completely gutting it and making it liveable — it will be a nice renovation project to keep them busy for, ohhhh, the next 25 years or so. While John did something with tools and ladders and some cementy compound in the “bathroom” (which now boasts a toilet that flushes — yayyyyyy!!) mom and I went for a walk on the “beach.” Here she is looking for pretty rocks:

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More scenery:

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My dad was nearby on the Cape with my stepmom at my step-grandma’s house, so he came over for a visit post-walk. We had brought some goodies from home for entertaining purposes, so alongside our afternoon tea (unpictured), we each had a slice of random rhubarb pie that my mom made yesterday (with my assistance, of course).

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I’m not going to give a recipe for the pie since it was SO random (part of the fridge clean-out mission), but it included all of the following and more: part-skim ricotta, verrrrrrry iffy fat free ricotta (it was gone enough that I wouldn’t eat it straight, but mom was convinced that it would be fine for cooking), eggs, garden-fresh rhubard, dried Asian dates, a way beyond ripe avocado, 1/2 banana, erythritol (my mom is diabetic-ish, and this is her sweetener of choice because it doesn’t have a wretched aftertaste like splenda), and a crust made of pre-cooked whole grains (a blend of every grain under the sun that mom made last week in hopes of using them for a batch or seven of kitchen sink muffins).

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I wasn’t sure how this pie would be given all of the iffy ingredients (my doubt says a lot because you know how lenient I usually am with food iffiness!), and the taste didn’t knock my socks off when I tried it right out of the oven yesterday. I have to admit, though, that it was pretty tasty today after a night in the fridge! I guess mom knows what she’s doing after all.

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After pie, we also shared a package of Anna’s ginger thins and rye crackers with seed butter I made yesterday:

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The seed butter came about because, during fridge clean-out yesterday, I came across a ramekin full of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and sea salt that my mom had been saving since we made everything bagels together when I was home in March of 2008. Yes, she’d been saving these seeds for 14 months. I just could not handle the thought of them taking up space in the fridge for another 14 (or 28 or 42 or 56, etc.). We soaked the seeds in warm water to dissolve and eliminate the salt and then toasted them, along with some pepitas that mom had around, to dry them out. All grinding took place in the coffee bean grinder, but I think I over-toasted because the finished product was pretty bland. I immersion-blended it with a couple tsp of miso paste and about 3 tbsp of almond butter to add “depth,” and that helped quite a bit. Mom has plans to doctor it further with Ghirardelli cocoa powder — no complaints here!

After tea-time, dad headed back to step grandma’s house, John returned to compounding the bathroom with ladders and tools, mom pretended to do some work paperwork, and I took a nap. When I awoke, it was nearly time for dinner! We droveout to Turk’s Seafood in Mattapoisett. My mom has been raving about this place to me on the phone for months, so I was excited to have the chance to experience it first-hand!

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I love beachy seafood restaurants, and this one fit right into that category. The atmosphere inside was very casual (though, sushi is also available if one feels the need to class it up) and boisterous. The food even came on paper plates! We started with edamame to share:

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I ordered the broiled haddock and crabcake with roasted vegetables:

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It was delicious (even though “thawed in the oven” may have been a better description for the veggies than “roasted”). I chopped the fish and crab cake and mixed it all up with the veggies and that mango salsa (back right) and quite enjoyed every single bite.

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After dinner, dessert was on the agenda, of course. We backtracked slightly to hit up Kool Kone, another fun beachy establishment, for ice cream (and we turned on the heat in the car to get in the mood!).

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I had a small cup with a scoop of black raspberry chocolate chip frozen yogurt on top and a scoop of chocolate peanut butter cup on the bottom.

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Some blurry pb cup chunks:

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Phew, that brings us to the end of this marathon post! It’s been a very exciting food day that somehow involved a lot of doing nothing. Not a bad combination if you ask me 😛

What is your favorite beach food?

Chop ‘n’ char

Wellllll, I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing the fridge with/for my mom. The process resulted in turning up a bunch of wrinkly, old, dried, spotted vegetables that absolutely needed to find their way into our lunch. Some also had to go straight to the compost, unfortunately! What I could save included red pepper, yellow squash, garden asparagus, garden green onions, and the inside of a white onion:

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I really should have taken a pre-chop picture because you can’t tell the sorry state of the veggies in this one. Just imagine lots of wrinkles.

Obviously, this plate needed to turn into a pizza. The onions went into a pan with olive oil and a sprinkle (teeny) of sugar in the raw for caramelization; the veggies roasted at 450 for 25 minutes with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. For the pizza base, I toasted two stale Damascus Bakeries “Roll-Ups” on a cookie sheet at 450 for about 10 minutes until they were crispy. When we were finally ready for lunch, I spread a thin layer of tomato paste on the roll-ups and topped them with the roasted veggies, caramelized onions, and feta cheese. I put the topped pizzas in the oven for 10 minutes at 450 until the cheese got lightly browned and they were heated through. Here’s one of the finished pizzas:

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I still wasn’t that hungry after my huge breakfast, but mom and John were ready to eat! I trimmed a little bit off the end of each pizza for me and sliced the rest up for them:

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Here are my end pieces (topped with extra feta, of course):

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The rest of the afternoon involved more cooking and some napping. Somehow, every time I come home to visit, I never leave the kitchen. I wrapped parsnips, carrots, and a golden beet in foil for John to grill (with steak!) in the outdoor stone grill. Using this grill always makes it feel like summer! Here’s the view from inside:

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I wish NYC apartments came with that sort of green!

While John was cooking, I whipped up a big ol’ bowl of kale chips for the table:

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Here’s my electric plate with charred veggies and super super super well-done steak, the way I like it:

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It was the perfect, perfect, perfect summer meal, even though it was cool and rainy outside. Plus, you know how much satisfaction I get from saving food that is on its way out (and this isn’t half of what we did!). However, I’m also exhausted — I’ve been on my feet peeling and chopping all day long. Takes a lot out of a girl!

To char or not to char?

Raw! (sort of)

Before my mom and I headed out for our walk this afternoon, I had the rest of this morning’s fruit salad as an inter-meal snack:

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Along with this carrot “core” dipped in fresh WF almond butter:

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Mom and I set off on a lovely walk for an hour or so, winding our way through the arboretum that leads to a nieghborhood park, chatting with each other, and chatting with neighbors.

Back home, we finally ate “lunch” around 7pm! I’d been working on preparing the various components of Gena’s raw zucchini alfredo over the course of the afternoon, with just a few adjustments.

To make the “noodles,” I used a vegetable peeler on carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash:

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I made a smaller portion of the sauce — 3/4 cup cashews instead of 1.25 cups — than the recipe because this house does not need any more leftovers! We also added some toasted sesame oil (I know that un-raws it, but it tasted good!) and soy sauce:

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My mom was a little bit hesitant about the highly caloric nature of this nut-based sauce, but I reminded her that the nuts were serving as the protein/fat part of the meal. The calories were definitely warranted and necessary!

For the final (and again un-raw) addition, I lightly steamed some broccoli and mixed in a few crushed dried garlic flakes, and that got mixed with the “pasta”:

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Here it is all mixed together with the sauce (and twilight porch-seating — you can see the grass in the background!):

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I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this raw “pasta” — I was thinking it would just be like a refreshing summer salad, but it was delicious! I LOVED the sauce. It tasted like cold sesame noodles. Mom and John cleaned their plates, too. You must try this!

For dessert, I had a couple slices of sweet potato that I found in the fridge (they got treated to some cinnamon post-photo):

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Oh, right, I had more dessert after that, too 😛 My friend Steph (we’ve known each other since we were probably six months old!) and her husband Dan (who also went to high school with us) picked me up, and we headed over to a law school graduation party for Liz, also from high school, at her parents’ house (Congrats, Liz!). I got to chat with a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years — so fun! I had loads of chips and guac, and then the cake came out:

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I had a small piece of each and then stopped there. I was too busy socializing 🙂

And now it’s time for bed! I’m getting myself psyched for the bird chorus to wake me up at 4:45 am again. I know I complain about morning birds all the time in Brooklyn, but I’ve gotten spoiled. It’s exponentially louder here in MA! I think I will go home next week with a greater appreciation for Brooklyn’s more moderate tweeting. Does leaving town make you appreciate things more at home?