Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A bucket of beets

This is the time of the year when some of my favorite foods are available in abundance at the farmers market: tomatoes, zucchini, beets, and hot peppers. Buckets of it, at dumping prices. I brought home a 5 pound bag of beets for $5, and today I roasted about a third of it. Simply, cutting the ends off, halving them and lining them up, cut side down on a baking sheets, baking at 375F for 40 min. They are sweet, dense and all they need is a bit of salt or parmesan cheese.  In the past, I used to roast them with some balsamic vinegar and/or beef stock and a foil cover, or even wrap them in foil to steam them, but they become too soggy for my taste. Baking them unwrapped in the oven makes them supersweet and dense.

In the freezer, a bag of chanterelles captured my attention. I had just recently frozen them, but I was ready for luxurious chanterelles in butter, onion and sour cream saute. Vegetables at their best.

Kath also has good tips to prepare tasty vegetables today.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday night dinner

Today I went to the folk festival with some friends, there were beers, good music, a few early Christmas presents at the craft section, and then it was home for Sunday night dinner, a half ‘guilt-free’ pizza from TJ and sauted greens from the garden with a dash of new pesto.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

A bundle of unknown greens

Last week I picked up a bundle of “greens” from the farmers market section within Chase’s Daily. I am not even sure if these greens are for sauteing or a salad, but their coarse texture made me cook them lightly. For the most part I am not even sure which plant they are, but then Chase’s has likely the most exotic vegetable around these regions. Today, I picked up a gimme lean ground beef sausage, and cooked some with shallots, a dash of zathar and sumac and well as cinnamon – a delight! Lunch was rounded out with some tomatoes. 

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

The smell of fresh hay

The nice, warm (even hot) weather is back (yeah!) and the summer until school starts is winding down. Work has picked up significantly again, and I still have not been hiking this summer. This week I spend much time at a meeting on the coast, which included a boat ride to Holbrook Island, a beautiful little island, which makes me think of being in a Jane Austen novel, rolling hills, the smell of mowed hay, foot paths, not a single street.

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The only thing better could be renting a cottage on the coast, or having the wind blow into sails, smell the salty sea and ship around the many islands in Penobscot Bay. The trips to the coast as usually include lunch in Belfast,  and picking up some huge, beautiful heirloom tomatoes and fresh, organic corn at Chase’s Daily.

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Over the last year, I have started to worry about eating corn because so much is GMO, but Chase’s is my last resort of responsible farming, and so it is fresh sweet corn again, for a short while.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hearting Maine Summer

Today, the backward cycle started, the first movement. I checked the weather forecast; it is unlikely that the days will reach the 90s again for a prolonged stretch of time and I dismounted the AC, and officially kicked off the rolling up summer wave, which includes moving the plants back inside,also  the garden furniture, stacking firewood, picking apples, and applying water protection on the deck.  But this is still months away. Days are busy with work, but I try to occasionally sprinkle in a vacation day.  The other day I drove by Holbrook Sanctuary, which is close to this heart shaped island. It really is heart-shaped, even Google maps agrees. There is only a single house on the island which recently burnt down. It might be a good destination for a romantic kayak trip and beach fire.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Indian Quinoa Salad

This salad is another recreation from a lunch bought on  my trips through Maine, specifically it was from the Belfast Co0p. It is mild, not overpowering but has nice texture and flavors (and very healthy, of course). It works well with all kinds of vegetables but the combination of green, orange and red with the dark quinoa and dried currants and the nutty almonds with a touch of garam masala makes it perfect.
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Indian Quinoa salad (makes 2-3 servings)
  • 2/3 cup black quinoa cooked for ca. 20 min in  1 1/3 cup of water, cooled
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly (mostly green parts)
  • 3 TB sliced almond (I actually used sliced filberts)
  • 1/4 cup dried currants (for sweetness)
  • optionally: 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • salt to taste (0.5 ts)
  • 1/2 TB ground  garam masala
Mix all ingredients, and serve. It stores really well for up to 3 days in the fridge.
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Itty bitty

I recently got a a hold of my last year Lululemon addication, and kept myself from buying more of the ever beautiful, expensive gear. I even sold off my unused ta ta tamer that I chased after for month because it was always sold out in my size. Let’s be honest, I don’t have ta tas. Tina maybe has ta tas, but not me and so pseudo tatas don’t need to be tamed.

Today, when I opened my email I saw that lululemon has read my secret thoughts and built a sportsbra, just for me. The itty bitty booby models, ranging from cup size A to E. Now, the question is,  itty or bitty?!

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

By the sea, by the sea

It’s is back to work for me, deadlines looming but I discovered I work a lot better when work is wrapped in a towel and eaten at the sea. Or something like that. Shortcuts don’t work. The other day I said, ah, too long of a drive, I just hangout at the lake. But dogs barking, people talking, gas propelled lawn mower jawling robbed me of any peace of mind, and I trudged home again. So, Belfast and the sea it is. Checking out Treasure barn once in a while, grabbing farmers market goods at Chase’s Daily and lunch, occasionally at the newly open beautiful Gothic next door if it is prime time at Chase’s and the wait too long, and then, it is off to the beach with the beach chair, an umbrella and letting my mind flow in the wind, smelling the sea and my thoughts sailing wide, like sailboats.

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Kale salad with avocado and candied almonds at The Gothic.

by the sea, by the sea.

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Rarrrr salad

The other day, on my vast travels through Maine, I ended up hungry at the Blue Hill Coop. They had a kale salad at their salad bar, and it is really more a rarrrr salad since it has crunch and spice with some jalapenos and pumpkin seeds! It was so good I had to recreate it.

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Rarrrr salad  (makes 2 portions)

  • fresh curly kale, 2-3 cups, chopped
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 TB olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, small diced
  • 2-3 TB pumpkin seeds

Massage the kale with the lemon juice and the olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients and massage some more. Chill for 30min and serve.

Motivation, where are you?

The weekend is approaching, unfortunately there is rain on the menu, hopefully just the occasional shower starting this afternoon. There is also work on the plan so no reason to be too bumped out about the weather.

I’ve been a fairly regular exerciser, running, biking, pilates, hiking, and walking etc. but about a year ago work picked up significantly and I gave myself an out to not have another item on the daily schedule to force myself on the treadmill but instead just chill the few leftover hours, recharge, to have energy for the next day. You need some reward, no?  This resulted in me becoming a total couch potato over the course of a year. Now, I can’t find the motivation to get back up on the horse, or, bike or treadmill. Like they warned me the treadmill starts to become a clothes hanger, which it never did in the 8 years I have it. How to get back on track? I have not even gone on a hike yet this summer. Motivation, where are you?

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

It was a good day to buy a kayak

After my recent adventures in solo kayaking…

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I became very interesting in buying one myself. LL Bean has a great selection..

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All that matters is size, color and weight…

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Unfortunately, it turned out that I could not lift any of them, and forget lift them on the top of my car. And so, the adventure it is a good day to buy a kayak ended without a kayak.

I bought some flowers instead, at Surry Gardens and Sweet Pea Gardens, in Surry.

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Well, if all fails, there is always vintage Chanel.

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