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My thyme going nuts.

Welp: it’s finally starting to feel a bit more seasonal. Saturday was the first in ages that hadn’t gone above 70 degrees as the high, which is weird considering we were dancing close to 90 earlier in the week. (I know this personally for a fact because a post-work jaunt across the harbor to Whole Foods left me a pretty drenched mess, even with a boat ride to cut into the walk itself.) When we lived in Stamford this would have me feeling both wistful and worried over how I could possibly my herbs before the winter temperatures took them out; at least here, with my indoor windowsill garden, I don’t have to fret over that.

I’ve been meaning to offer an update of sorts to my gardening exploits, and now seems as good a time as any to do so. My plants from last year are all still going strong. We were worried that something was wrong with the basil, but it turned out it was likely only suffering from a few nights of having the window open when it was still cool at night. The most exciting development among those plants is that my Meyer tree has not only blossomed, but is gestating a lemon as we speak! Apparently they can take up to 6 months to mature and turn yellow, and based on my calculations that might be happening sometime within the next few weeks. In the meantime a new branch of the tree has sprouted up and seems to grow like a weed, and I’m hopeful that a few more buds might be forming, but to be perfectly honest I am simply glad that the tree seems to be doing well and hasn’t died yet, you know? Read More

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Chocolate mousse via a whipped cream siphon.

It appears that I’ve “broken” my husband. Broken him of what, you may ask? Well, I’ve broken him from his ambivalence on dessert—usually he’ll eat it if it’s offered to him, but he’s not one to usually request it. That has changed, however, thanks to the introduction of the iSi Whip into our kitchen: not only does he request yogurt cream foam for dessert from time to time these days, but a few weekends can’t go by without him asking for chocolate mousse for dessert.

Honestly, it’s kind of weird, but I guess I have no one but myself and Alton Brown to blame. You see I had it in my head one Saturday to look for some more iSi recipes and had the intention to adapt an interesting-enough mousse recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis (yes, I know) into an iSi-friendly version. Instead, I stumbled upon a mousse recipe specifically designed for a cream siphon, and when I clicked on it in sheer bewilderment (since when would the Food Network allow for such high-level chicanery?) I realized that it was from one of the final episodes of Good Eats; one, I should mention, we never watched once when we had the back half of the series streaming on Prime. But the video demonstrating how to make it was still on Food Network’s website, so I sat down and watched it. Then I played it a second time and made Michael watch it, and wouldn’t you know, we made a batch for ourselves that very night.

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Smoked Pork Shoulder

Okay, so I re-visited the local fire codes and electric cooking devices are allowed on patios. I can therefore speak freely now about the latest foray into North-of-the-border balcony barbecue. This venture was not motivated by, but certainly reinforced by one of Alton Brown’s final Good Eats episodes, this an hour-long treatise on pork smokery.

This particular beast was the product of an impromptu spend-off, hastened by the approach of Hurricane Irene. We found ourselves in Fairway the Friday before the storm arrived, ready to fight of hoards of nasty panic-stricken Metro-ites (Metroids?) filling the cart with everything in sight not just for the storm itself, but for the week. Not a terribly logical action, you might say- stocking up on perishables before entering a period where power (and thus refrigeration) loss was highly probably- and you’d be right. I guess fortune favored the foolish and we were lucky enough to retain electricity throught the ordeal and my shoulder, roasted all day Saturday, was safe. Read More

Steak with Tomato and Red Onion Salsa, Orzo with Spinach and Shiitake Mushrooms, and Spicy Zucchini

I abhor New Year’s Resolutions (I know it’s September, please stay with me, friends). I think the idea that one must wait until an arbitrary day to make a change in life is self-defeating. I read somewhere that the enemy of personal growth is Monday, not because Mondays are bad 😦 but because we vow to ‘set things right, starting Monday’ and thus never get anything done.

Don’t worry, the self-help portion of the entry has concluded. There is an opposite extreme though, that of someone seeing an opportunity for positive change and going a bit… buckwild I think is the technical term (from the French buquewild meaning ‘holy shit, chill out dude’). So, currently trying to find a balance saddled with a new job that is as fulfilling as it it draining, when I received a cadre of new cookery books from my bro-in-law, yeah I went a little wild. Read More