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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Avocado Yumminess

I don't remember what day it was, but sometime in the past 2 weeks I was watching Kelly & Michael and they did something about avocado toast during the host chat.  Naturally I thought - I should try that, so to the store I go for a pick up of stuff I need and avocados.  Fast forward the avocados are ripe, but I've now put the toast wherever things go when my attention wanders.  Anyway, forgetting why i purchased them in the first place I used 2 for a tomato & avocado salad, then couldn't decided what to do by the third and I forgot about it.

On Pinterest looking for something to do with a totally different item I purchased  I came across a recipe for an avocado spread.  It's not really like guacamole, but you could used it as a dip if you like or a replacement for mayo on sandwiches or to make avocado toast (see full circle, and more importantly I remembered why I brought the avocados in the first place.

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Avocado, pea & mint spread 

1 medium avocado
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 tsp. (or 1 clove) minced garlic
4 to 5 mint leaves, torn
olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.


And here's a link to the original.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

#enditwithorange

At last Fall is back, I am so not a hot weather girl.  Now is the perfect time to hit the beach (no tourists), start planning for soups and stews, and just generally feeling cozy.

I wish I could say my library is quieter with kids back in school, it's not, I'm now full of adults and older teens that are in college - and a few people running their businesses from the library.  I miss the daily hubbub of teen volunteers, kids getting summer reading assignments and just hanging, but as anyone that works in a public library knows each season has it's own rhythm.  




Anyway,  I just wanted to remind everyone that now's a really, really good time to think about Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign.  While it's nice to donate if you can, you can also contribute to the fight to end childhood hunger (something that's totally preventable) by educating yourself and other.  And if you're going out to eat try checking the No Kid Hungry site to see which restaurants are participating in Do Good. Dine Out.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Save Wasabi Ginger!



Full disclosure, I have yet to try the Lay's Do Us a Flavor Wasabi Ginger flavor chips yet, but only because I haven't been able to find them stocked at one of my local stores.  Their creator is from my hometown and I graduated with her brother, so my vote it totally biased by I'm still going with it.  My friends that have found and tried them say they are quite tasty.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The good library day (or why libraries still matter)

I don’t often talk about the actual work of being a librarian when I blog, there are plenty of blogs that do that.  But today, was a really good library day.  The kind of day where I remember why I got into this field and why, whenever I hear someone say that libraries are no longer relevant I know they are full of poop and haven’t stepped foot in a library in years.  (Okay, that’s harsh, but still – you’re full of poop people that don’t support libraries!)

Today was the first day of summer reading programming; our summer teen volunteers started today – my blue shirts.   Some kids work one session a week and some work every session we have and are in the branch for 7 hours a day; from age 12 to 15, this was me, my first program was a storytime where the children’s librarian sat next to me while I read followed by a craft, where I got glitter all over the carpet.  The library director didn’t freak out, instead, she said that the library needed a little brightening.  My blue shirts are careful, work quickly, and I hope they know that what I want most for them is to have a great summer and think fondly of the library for the rest of their lives.

Today, I also was able to help a father and his two sons sign up for a service they need and we provide.  Now that in and of it’s self is not that unusual, what was different was that the father most spoke Mandarin and I spoke none.  Luckily the library I work for pays for a 3rd party translation service, but I’ve never used it and while a few branches have special telephones for this service and my branch does not.  Without going into the whole long story, let me just say after 20 minutes of phone calls, helping other customers, and minor panic I was actually able to help the customer get what he needed – to sign up his 2 sons for our summer reading enhancement program that pairs kids and teens to build the reading skills of kids.  I’ll admit that I say this with a little bit of ego, but today doing my job may have done a little something to help someone transform the lives of his kids and perhaps himself.

I say all of this to say, libraries matter. 


They will always matter.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Under the influence (of books)

I'm currently listening to Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson.  This is slightly dangerous, because it makes me hungry while I drive.  And not just hungry for my regular foods but for the food chef Samuelsson's grandmother makes.  I want a larder like her's - have I mentioned that I just finished the first disc?

The same thing happened to me when I read My Berlin Kitchen, I longed for white asparagus - still haven had it but the longing is still there.  So I found myself today, under the influence of the memoir of a world class chef, making Lindstrom burgers for dinner.

My burgers are probably not anything like what real Swedes eat, but for me, they'll do.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tbsp caper brine
1/2 small red onion, very finely diced
1/4 cup picked beets, finely diced
1 tbsp beet brine
garlic powder and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients by hand and divide into quarters.  
Pan fry to desired level of doneness, I like medium well to well.



You can also add in eggs to help bind the burgers if you like or cook on the grill.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Baby steps

I managed to not get anyone sick with Easter dinner, which was a really nice confidence booster considering that I haven't been enjoying most of what I cook lately.  However, I had two days of bad smoothies, I tried adding avocado to my green smoothies this week and it didn't work out well by day three I decided enough was enough and went with a "traditional" breakfast of an omelette.

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I'm not going to attempt to tell anyone how to make an omelette, I'm not an expert and the way I make them is not in line with classical teaching, which you can see demonstrated by Wolfgang Puck, Jamie Oliver or Daisley Gordon; I will say that the omelette and Easter dinner successes are helping me to regain my kitchen confidence.

Baby steps.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dabbling

"And this is what comes from dabbling; I mean you can't practice witchcraft while you look down your nose at it."
~Aunt Jet, Practical Magic

I feel like I'm dabbling with my cooking lately. I made polenta with a sausage puttanesca sauce last week. The sauce, easy peasy, frying the pre packaged polenta - not so much. In the end all turned out fine as you can see.

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But this dabbling is wrecking havoc on my cooking intuition. Perhaps a cooking challenge is in order.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Little bit of soup

So I realized that I haven't actually posted anything here since the holiday's, totally unintentional.  Although to be honest the only thing I really made this winter (this long unending snow filled winter) has been soup.  My favorite was asparagus, which can be eaten well into spring.

Asparagus Soup

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into small pieces

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tsp minced garlic

In a large stockpot bring asparagus, garlic and broth to a boil; then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Blend with immersion blender or in traditional blender (remember to vent for heat) until smooth.

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

Melt butter in stockpot, sift flour into butter to form roux.  Add

1 ½ cups milk

Incorporate until well mixed season with salt pepper and nutmeg.

Add blended asparagus mixture to milk mixture.  Stir until well combined.  Add

2 tsp lemon juice

Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Simmer for 15 t0 20 minutes.

Serve with cornbread or crusty roll.

Adapted from Soup Bowl:  An Inspiring Collection of Soups, Broths and Chowders © 2008, Lovefood.

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