Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pretty pretty chard

Hey Kids! Quick, get over to Trader Joe's. They have a bag of yummy chard, chopped already, called "Chard of Many Colors." I was drawn to the product because the name reminds me of a Dolly Parton song I first heard many years ago (I'll bet you can't guess the name of the song). On the back of the bag, they have a decent recipe for cooking this chopped chard of many colors which involves simply sauteeing garlic in some olive oil, then throwing in the chard until it's wilty, adding some broth, and seasoning with salt and pepper. I took it a little further because I added sliced onions to the garlic, increased the cooking time for the chard since it does tend to be more tough than spinach, using vegetable broth and adding a good splash of apple cider vinegar at the end so as to avoid seasoning with too much salt. A little splash of chili peppers is a nice touch too. Delicious!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Spinach again?

Sorry, I put my spinach in a crappy bowl. But at least the counter was clean.
I made spinach again the other night, but I was kind of tired of the old spinach with pine nuts and dried cranberries routine. So I had a brainstorm - why not oven roast some cherry tomatoes in olive oil and toss them with the spinach?
The end result was something that even the hubby enjoyed, he of the tomato-hating sort. The real fact is, my 84-year-old mother is living with me again on her two-week stay and she has made it pretty clear that she has to have salt in her food "or else." The "or else" factor means that if I don't salt the food for her she will tell everyone and anyone that my cooking is bland. So instead of salting the food, I have been trying to find more creative and healthy ways of making foods interesting. Since she seems to have some problems with swelling in her feet (which I feel is probably related to too much salt), I really don't want to salt my cooking any more than I do. Instead of salting the spinach, I added a little garlic (which of course was sauteed in olive oil prior to adding the spinach) and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan at the end. Sorry vegans - but I know there is another alternative out there. The end result was delicioso! No salt or apple cider vinegar needed this time.

My First Radish!

It's like my first born! My baby. My very first radish that I planted from seed! Today I saw it's little head crowning and I gave a little tug and out it came! New life!
So what if it's the only decent radish that I get all year? I feel like I have successfully planted and nourished a seed and it grew and became something I can put on my plate and devour! Don't know what I am going to do with it yet, especially since all the other radish plants are not as developed yet. I will keep you updated. It's in the refrigerator now.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Man of Steel

Here I am posting about my good 'ol Dad again, not writing about food. Well, what the hey!
I have been thinking a lot lately and reminiscing about my dad and how his death has affected me. It makes me sad every time I remember the words that my brother spoke as I was racing to the hospital to see him one last time before the inevitable end. My brother said, "Dad passed away, he's gone."
He passed away. My dad was my man of steel. He couldn't just die. That's something that puts him in the league with everyone else and that's just not right. But it happened.
When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I vividly remember being at home with my brother one evening (he was 11 or 12) while our parents were out at a PTA meeting. I was in bed waiting to fall asleep, feeling pretty nervous about being at home in the dark with no parents present in the house. Pretty scary stuff. My mother used to joke about the "kissing bandit" that lurked out there somewhere (maybe there was actually a kissing bandit, I never did find out). We lived in a semi-rural area where there were very dark foresty-type areas and in the spring, with the windows open at night, one could hear distant sounds of dogs (wild?) barking and bobcats squalling or whatever sounds bobcats make (horrible sound, really!). Yes, pretty scary stuff for innocents. Suddenly, I heard the front door to the house open and familiar sounding footsteps inside. My parents were home, most importantly my Dad was in the house. Nothing to worry about - the man of steel was here and no one could mess with him.
Kids, hug your dads. And that reminds me, Fathers Day is just around the corner. Tell your dad how important he is. I'm glad I got to tell my dad how much I loved him before he came to the end of his awesome life.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rice + vegetables = rice salad

It's a rice salad. it's not a very good picture but there's rice in there with cherry tomatoes (or actually grape tomatoes), artichoke hearts, corn and peas. Plus a lemon and olive oil dressing with a little bit of hot sauce added. The rice was sauteed in olive oil with some onions and then vegetable broth was added instead of water for cooking. It was a little gummy unfortunately. But not bad. Possibly I should rinse the rice after cooking (or before?). I think you could add any vegetables you have on hand; it makes a delicious side dish. Serve at room temperature.