Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Kick Off!

Memorial Day was last Monday and what should have been the (unofficial) kickoff to summer was cold and dreary.  I was in Minneapolis visiting a college friend, so at least I had good company.

 I've visited Minneapolis twice now and each time I go, I fall in love a little more.  It was fun to walk down the streets and fantasize about which house we would buy.

I got a taste of a lot of what it had to offer, which is, in itself, quite a lot.

 Didn't actually get see any music, but cheap beer!

 Minneapolis Mule (that mug has a $25 deposit!).


Today, I'm back in NYC and it's 90 degrees!  This weekend feels a lot more like the kick off to summer.  I'll be headed to NJ wish my brothers happy birthday (they were born 1 week and 6 years apart) and hopefully log in some hours by my parents' pool.

Summer weather means another summer list!  I'll be back soon with the 2013 edition. 
Here's 2012, 2011 and 2010.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Doing" vs. Doing

Not too long ago, I was lamenting the fact that I didn't get to "do" anything on my one free weekend in a while.  No movie, no happy hour, no museum visit, no cool flea markets, or parks.

But then I went back through my Instagram feed and realized that I "did" quite a bit.  Maybe I need to re-evaluate my idea of "doing".  Living in a big city like NYC makes me feel like I'm constantly missing out on EVERYTHING.  If I haven't hit every major cultural high point one weekend, I feel like a complete and utter failure.  

There are a lot of other things to DO, though.  Sometimes it take a little reflection to realize how full your days really are.

 Finally installed this mirror.

 Finished some handmade gifts.

 Tested out my grandmother's much-prized pierogi recipe.

Finally got around to putting together (and painting and staining) my new dressers from Ikea.  Inspired by this Ikea Hack.

What about you?  Do you ever feel pressure to "have fun"?  
There's a long weekend ahead of us - what will you be "doing"?

Monday, May 06, 2013

Secret Weapon

Have I told you about my secret weapon?  

It's this very unassuming recipe from Jamie Oliver, from this book.  I've used it once to twice to make regular pancakes.  My favorite thing about it, is that it's easy to remember, so I never have to look it up. It's just 1+1+1.  Do you recall how I love these little formulas?  I've talked about them before.

Here's the recipe:

1c. self-rising four
1c. milk
1 egg

That's it!  Can you believe it?!  It makes 12 pancakes, 1/4 cup portions.  I don't even add sugar or anything when making them, but you totally could.  Or vanilla.  Mmm.

I was pretty content with my little pancake recipe, but then I saw this recipe on TheKitchn and it was the answer to all my CSA prayers.  For (almost) every vegetable that I stumped me, I now had a secret weapon.

The recipe says, and I quote,  "Make one recipe of your favorite homemade or store-bought pancake mix."  I have one of those!  It was meant to be!

So, you take that magic, secret weapon, easy-to-remember recipe and add about 10oz of most any vegetable, shredded.  I find the tender, spring/summer variety work best.  Nothing that needs to cook too long.  Think, carrots, zucchini, corn, asparagus (chopped), bok choy, spinach, etc.

(10oz is the sweet spot for me.  1lb. was just way too much.)  

Then, go crazy.  Add herbs, onions, garlic, whatever kind of seasoning you like.  Use the recipe I linked to as a guide and let your imagination run wild.

The first round was carrot, parsley, scallion, garlic.

The second round was corn, cilantro, cheddar, scallion, garlic.

I was dreaming of a version that was pan-Asian, with soy sauce, cilantro, ginger, carrots and bok choy.  With a green salad on the side and a large dollop of plain yogurt (or sour cream) it's a light, but satisfying dinner.

It's almost too easy.  And I almost can't wait for zucchini season.