Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's amazing what some people eat!

This morning there was a guy on the elevator in my building at work. He was carrying a plate of bacon (at least 6 pieces) and a bottle of chocolate milk. I can't even imagine that as my breakfast!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

food for my life

That's the name of my new cooking blog. I'll still keep up with this one and will definitely still talk about food here. As the name implies, it will be food that I eat everyday which can include simple but tasty dishes but could also include fancy, hard to make ones. Hopefully you'll enjoy both types and might even get an idea or two for your own meals. Feel free to leave comments!

food for my life .


Seen in SoBe

Guess who was there at the same time as us?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Easter 2005

I know that was a while ago but I was just cleaning off my cookbook bookshelf (which I know that I cleaned since Easter 2005) and I found the recipe of one of the items that I cooked that day. I had decided to do an Eastern Orthodox menu instead of the normal American one. The certainty is that we would have lamb of some type. I decided to do a little research online and found this wonderful recipe for fresh cheese and honey tarts from Santorini.

2 - 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup beer
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a cheesecloth lined colander
1/3 cup honey, preferably thyme honey
About 1/2 teaspoon (2 pieces) ground mastic (I didn't have this in my pantry)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Make the Pastry
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with the baking powder. Add the oils and the beer and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until soft, oily dough forms. If it is too soft, mix in a little more flour. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flatten the dough with your hands. Place it in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press it evenly over the bottom and up the sides. Line with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil, prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until set but not colored. Let cool.
Make the Filling
In a food processor (or using an electric mixer), combine the ricotta, honey, mastic (if using) and cinnamon. Process (or mix) for 30 seconds to combine. With the motor running, add the eggs one at a time, processing (or mixing) until smooth.
Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown and set. Sprinkle with cinnamon and let cool before serving.

Instead of one large tart, you can make 30 individual tartlets. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape each into 10 1/2 inch long log about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each log into 10 pieces. Work with 1 piece of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap.

On a lightly floured surface, pat each piece into a 4 1/2 inch round. Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each round and pinch the rim to make a star-shaped crown around the filling. Bake on baking sheets in batches for about 25 minutes, or until light golden.

As I said before, I was planning to cook lamb to go along with the pastries. Therefore, I bought some fresh rosemary since that's the perfect spice for lamb. I even went to a gourmet grocery store to get fresh meat. When I got home, I read the label of the package that I had been given after pointing to the meat counter. It was veal! Well, unfortunately, that's not the first time I've chosen the wrong meat but I'll tell that story another time. The issue at hand was what to do with this veal. The rosemary would overpower it. I didn't know anything about wiener schnitzel. I don't remember exactly what spices we used but I do know that we put the meat on the grill and it turned out quite nicely. And, those pastries were wonderful for the rest of the week (30 pastries is a lot for 2 people!).

Once in a lifetime...

MTH and I just returned from a week long vacation to Florida. We were in South Beach the first few days for MTH's brother's wedding. We then headed to Key West for the last 3 days to enjoy some fun in the sun. Well, instead, we experienced two nights of record lows! There was a cold front that hit the East Coast and there were a few flakes of snow even down into northern Florida.

Of, we still had a good time together although probably not in the top 5 of our vacation trips. MTH had gotten a cold after the wedding so that made it even less fun (especially since I got it from him soon after). But, as I said, we did enjoy a few things while we were in Key West. Here's a sampling of a few:

- The Hemingway Home: MTH has decided that when we build our house one day, we will use it as the inspiration for our design. I have to say that I really liked the house so it wouldn't bother me to have the outside look similar to the Hemingway House but the inside would need to change quite a bit.

- The Shipwreck Historeum: An interesting small museum that told the story of how Key West used to make money. The main job in the mid-1800's was to be a "wrecker". A wrecker was someone who salvaged goods from a ship that wrecked on the reefs near Key West. There were huge warehouses built in the harbor area to hold the goods until they were auctioned.

- The Truman Little White House: Who knew that Harry S Truman spent almost 180 days in Key West during his presidency? This tour was actually quite interesting and has inspired us to want to read the David McCullough biography of him. I've read McCullough's bio of John Adams and thoroughly enjoyed it.

- The Lighthouse Museum and Keeper's Quarters Museum: MTH made it to the top of the lighthouse! I was very happy that we both got to see the view together. It's very interesting to be in such a flat place where you can see so far out to sea.

- The Original Ghost Tour of Key West: There were some interesting stories told on the tour but it wasn't worth 2 hours of our time!! Because it got out after 10pm, we ended up eating at the Hard Rock Cafe since no other places we knew were serving normal dinner food!!!

I don't really have any interesting stories about restaurants visited. None were terrible by any means but none were that memorable either. We were disappointed by that since one of the things that we enjoy most about our trips is discovering new foods and new places.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our First Anniversary in Toronto

We had a great time in Toronto for our first anniversary. Here's what happened. We arrived around 1pm and headed to the hotel to check in and get lunch. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Toronto which is in the Yorkville neighborhood. We ate lunch at the Rooftop Lounge. Definitely a great view. We then talked to the concierge to get his recommendations for dinner that night. We told him we wanted seafood so he recommended a place called Joso's. The decor is very interesting (if you check out their website, you'll understand what I mean) but the food was awesome. Their specialty is fresh fish grilled whole. We started with a buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad. For our entree, we shared a rainbow trout, tiger prawns, a sardine (the most gigantic sardine I've ever seen) and some fried calamari. The wine was called Cockfighter's Ghost. It's from Australia. It was very good even if MTH did choose it because of its name. Since we had made our reservations at Joso that afternoon, they weren't until 9pm. So, we headed to the Gardiner Museum, a museum entirely devoted to ceramics. It is open until 9pm on Friday nights and is free. If we had been there during the day and needed a snack, they had a cute little cafe on the top floor who's chef is Jamie Kennedy.

On Saturday morning, we had massages at the spa in the hotel. It was a very nice spa and the massage was great. Then, we headed out to downtown Toronto to check out the city. We came back to take a nap so that we could stay awake that night for the theater. We had to eat at 6pm which is very early for us. The concierge again recommended a good place called Opus Restaurant. I had caribou for the first time. It was very lean and interesting but I wouldn't want very much of it. We then headed to the theater to see Wicked. MTH was funny. He bought the tickets before he knew that it was a musical. But, he still liked it although I agreed with him that music was not that memorable. The dancing and the story are lots of fun. I would still recommend this one to people who like musicals.

On Sunday, we had planned to go the Bata Shoe Museum but they didn't open until noon. So, we just walked around Yorkville is 30 degree weather with 30 mph winds trying to pass the time. Finally, it was noon so we headed to the museum but we only had an hour because we had to get to the airport to catch our flight.

It's been a while...

since I posted here. For some reason, I just wasn't in the mood for posting to my blog. Here's what happened since the last time I posted.

1. MTH and I went to Toronto for our anniversary - it was wonderful
2. I worked
3. MTH worked
4. MTH worked out a lot
5. I worked out a little
6. My birthday happened (I took a vacation day!)
7. My mom and sister were here for my birthday weekend

Right now, Phoebe (the cat) and I are sitting on the couch downstairs by ourselves. It's raining outside so it seems earlier than it really is because it's so dark outside. Mom, SM and MTH are still in bed.

I'll try to post more details about some of the things that have happened since my last post.