Friday, November 26, 2010

The flavor of the season

Last week I joined my friend Emerald for happy hour at the Lake Chalet. I've read mixed reviews on the place but it's a great place for happy hour. It will be even better when the weather becomes warm again and one can sit on the deck overlooking Lake Merritt. I do worry about playing the "What's that smell?" game however. (I still deeply love the ghostridin' portion of the video. Makes me want to head on down to Ghost Town. OK. Maybe not.)

I started off with the Lake Chalet's happy hour special of a Stoli Ginger Cosmo -- Stoli, lime, cranberry and housemade ginger syrup. I then moved on to the Dark and Stormy, pictured above. This contained rum, ginger beer, ginger syrup and lime juice.

After my outing, Maddie told me about a fabulous Ginger Sidecar -- or two or three that had been consumed recently. (Maddie had forgotten my caution that one should never consume more than two Sidecars in a single evening.) This involved fresh ginger being muddled with the brandy and cointreau.

The nail in the coffin? I was perusing the alcohol aisle at the large chain grocery store and spied a bottle of the new Ginger Infused Skyy Vodka. So yeah, I grabbed a bottle. Definitely a ginger kick.

While out today wandering the grocery store with no written list (a dangerous thing for me), I suddenly remembered ginger syrup. So out came the iPhone and as I had suspected, the recipe was simple. 3/4 cup sliced ginger (no need to peel), one cup of sugar, and two cups of water. Boil for about ten minutes. Then cool and strain.

I promptly mixed up a Dark and Stormy. Verdict? Less sugar next time. Like probably half as much. Went well with the sandwich of turkey, cranberry sauce and horseradish though.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Left to my own devices

For the last two years I have picked up food from Poulet for Thanksgiving. This year I decided it was time to return to cooking. Flufficat will tell you that I spent weeks debating turkey or ham before finally deciding for both.

This year there were some old favorites like the roasted yams and red onions. They are then tossed with some Parmesan cheese and rosemary. There were a few new things as well though.

I made some attempts to copy things I've had from Poulet. The dressing was made with foccacia and has chard and sage in it. The gravy is a madeira giblet cream. I highly recommend it.

And I decided to make an attempt at scalloped potatoes. Nestled between the layers of potatoes are sauteed leeks and mushrooms.

The final new thing was the cranberry sauce. Yes, I have made it before but this is the Cosmopolitan cranberry sauce. After cooking the cranberries with water and sugar, you add some vodka and triple sec. When I told this to Kate on the phone this morning, she said that it sounded like a version of Jell-O shots.

Hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I need to continue working my way through this plate.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Yes, I am still here. When I started blogging nearly six years ago, it was all about being honest. The thing is that sometimes I just don't feel like being honest with the world at large. So first I'd like to share the photos I have taken over the last two months. Because I took them with the intention of writing posts.

The weather turned chilly but I had a taste for ribs. For the first time ever I slow cooked them in the oven. Usually I grill ribs. But after tasting these ribs, they just might be a year-round thing.

And then I found a bunch of recipes I wanted to try -- I believe it was an issue of Sunset -- and so I invited Fluffycat over.

We started with this Romesco soup.

And there was a Caesar salad with homemade dressing and parmesan toast crisps.

Caramelized shallots and walnuts.

Grilled beef roast stuffed with basil, sage and thyme.

Pear pecan upside down cake.

And then this past week Dungeness crab season started. The first crab I had, I simply heated with melted butter on the side. For the second (and third) I decided to try something new to my kitchen.

Oven roasted crab. Roasted in a mixture of butter and olive oil containing garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, parsley and thyme. Once roasted, I removed the crab and added fresh orange juice to the pan juices. The reduced pan juices were poured over the crab.

So yeah. This is basically what I have eaten over the last two months. Because I decided to take yet another trip down the rabbit hole. It used to be that I would end up there by accident but sometime in the last ten years or so, I decided that it was OK to willingly take a trip there. I say to myself, "Let's just take the ride and see where we end up, " even though a part of me knows this could all end up badly.

I am "better" now. Today I had some tea and a bagel with cream cheese at work. And then I came home and had the last of the crab. And about a third of a chicken breast. I don't need to log the food anymore because I eat so little that it's easy to remember it all. I eat small amounts because my brain tells me that my stomach is full quite early these days. Except for that day that I went to Fenton's a month ago. Then I was able to consume both the crab salad sandwich and a jumbo banana shake. OK. So maybe that was my only food for the day but still. Oh and I would have taken photos for y'all but it was a date and I didn't want to seem too strange.

Bottom line is that I held off on posting because I didn't feel like sharing this stuff. Me and my disordered eating. But hey. Depending on the day, I am 12-15 pounds lighter than I was a year ago. And over the last month or so, I stopped losing weight but did lose inches. Because this past weekend I did actually get into my size 27 People's Liberation jeans -- something I've never been able to do since I bought them. Yes, they were snug but they actually zipped. And yeah, maybe this helps to feed the disordered eating. But there was that one evening a few weeks ago that I caught my reflection and actually thought that I was thin. I can't ever remember thinking that in my life. Since I was 12, all I have seen when I look in the mirror are places in which I could lose weight. I like to think that the last couple of weeks have been better. Except for that time period when the hormones fucked with my head. Because they do that.

Honestly I haven't wanted to put this all out there because I've heard all the responses that people make. Not fishing for compliments or anything else. Just saying this is who I am and where my head has been.

And now? I have a bunch of food in the fridge that I plan to cook for Thanksgiving. It's been three years since I've cooked. It will be just me and the cats, just like the other years when I cooked. This will just be the first year that I will cook and won't be able to dump leftovers on my aunt. Because from what I hear, I potentially have another year to go on this whole grieving thing. Each day gets better though.