Tag Archives: food

Food Network and “bright” lemons

Yesterday marked my 101st post.  I’ll get around to details eventually, but in the 3 months since I last posted, I’ve spent the past two living in my grandmother’s house.  Due to Grandma and Deda (what I call my grandfather)–and now Grandma since Deda passed away– needing some extra help, Mom and I have decided to stay here.

I mention this because the biggest creative longing in my heart lately– something I’ve blogged about here before– is: cooking!

Grandma loves the food network, so although we’d normally gravitate to HGTV, we watch a lot of food now.  I’ve come to love it, actually.  Food allergies and all, I’ve come to be excited about the different ingredients.  To wonder about all the tastes I’ve never experienced.

We watch “Chopped” and I’m excited to figure out what all the mystery basket ingredients are. “Is that a fruit? A meat?”  I’ve learned about geoduck and buddha’s hand.  And, slowly, I’d like to think I’m learning about things I don’t usually cook– like fish or new and different meats.

The most exciting thing so far, was last night I realized I’m gaining vocabulary.  There are words and phrases we associate with art.  We talk about light, brightness, contrast, texture.  I can use all these visual words easily to talk about music.  I can easily tell you (or sing to show you) what’s a bright sound.  It’s not really a pitch thing, but a timbre thing– and vocal brightness can often be controlled by the shape of your mouth when you pronounce your vowels.  One of the judges on “Chopped” talked about citrus fruits like lemon adding a “brightness” to the food– and suddenly, it clicked.  I understood something about it I hadn’t before.  I’m moving from fingerpainting to learning technique!

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Growing, Cooking, Eating.

I’m not the type of person who would normally call herself a “foodie.”  Lately, I think that’s changed.  I seem– for lack of a better word– obsessed with food.  I’ve been finding some amazing recipes that I can’t wait to try out.  My latest desire (besides the Fried Green Tomatoes)?  Homemade Italian Bread.  I’m digging on the idea of warm, crusty Italian bread, sliced the long way with some slices of mozzerella and fresh Compari tomatoes.  Also– homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate ice cream banana split style!  And by the time you read this, I will have just completed my second “Food Challenge Test.”  My love affair with food is tempered by severe food allergies– but all good things are worth fighting for, so I’m trying to get back what I can.  Today’s challenge?  Creative Caterpillar Vs. Cantaloupe.

I enjoy my food.  I enjoy the flavors, the textures.  I enjoy both preparing and eating.  And, as anyone who’s been reading a bit knows, I’ve found out this summer that I enjoy growing my food.

So here is my most recent set of pictures, from this week.  These are probably close to my last set of update pictures this season.  That’s because the tomatoes are starting to turn color! (This by the way, I find especially rewarding as they are such a beautiful shade of orange-red.  I feel inspired).

And the peppers are getting nice and big.

And the corn is super tall!

And most of it is just about ready!

And one ear of corn was all ready when I went out the other day!  So I picked it and husked it (outside– in case there were bugs).  There were some earwigs guarding it on the stalk, but I (wo)manned up and picked the corn!  It looks so perfect and beautiful.  Another ear or two looks ready– I’ll be picking it later tonight or tomorrow.  And then I’m going to cook it up and enjoy! (And share a bit depending on how much I have!)

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New(ish) Garden pics!


  Really tall corn plants!  My estimate is that they’re 6.5-7 feet tall– based on how tall they are in comparison to me/my family members!

Husks Forming!

Here you can see the beginning husks– this is taken a few weeks ago.  If you’re having trouble seeing it look to the direct left of the stalk.

 Here you can see a couple– mostly, see the husk forming right above the lower-most stalk of the front corn plant.

 Corn plants all together! Like a very miniature corn field.

 Here are the peppers.  They are still medium-small here.  They’re pretty big now!

 I’ve lost two to rot like this– They get too much sun when they grow on top like this… Although I do think these plants should have grown a bit taller and leafier, which may have shaded them better.  Molecular Sheep thinks the tomatoes next to them might have stunted their growth a bit, but I really can’t complain much.

 I picked the ones that rotted, so they don’t steal nutrients from the other peppers (there’s two more on each plant).  He was still little when I picked him– and rather cute.

 … at least until you turn him over!

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Fried Green Tomatoes

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When I was growing up, one of Mom’s favorite movies (somewhat a family favorite) was Fried Green Tomatoes.  I was a tomato fanatic even then, and the possibility of eating the things in the green state fascinated me.  I hardly thought it was really possible.

Now that I’m growing my own, the thought crossed my mind a few times.  What do they taste like?  How do you make fried green tomatoes?  Is it worth picking some early?

And then a potentially fortuitous thing happened.  While pruning some of the tomato plants the other day, I pruned a bit too close to two large tomatoes.  So close that the stem began to shred right there and the tomatoes’ weight began to strip the stalk.  They were still in my hand, but I could see they were headed for the ground.  So instead of letting nature take its course, I picked them.  And there they sit on my counter to get just a little tiny bit riper before I see what I can do with them.

In the meantime, I found an interesting page at Allrecipes.com.  The page gives not only a recipe for how to fry the tomatoes, but also a whole slew of interesting things one can do with tomatoes at this stage!  I’m very excited… and can’t wait to try this!

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Grilled Cheese Take 2

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White American cheese with Compari tomatoes on whole wheat potato bread. Yum! This time it lasted long enough for a picture, but not much longer!

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Grilled Cheese and Rainy Days

Yesterday was supposed to be a productive day.  I’ve been trying to get organized and get things done, despite the minor setback of my stomach being in an uproar for a week or two now.  It’s mostly better and I actually spent a good part of Sunday and the large majority of yesterday feeling like my old self again.

So I got up in the morning ready to run errands, maybe do a little gardening (mostly digging up 2-3 weeds I’d let get out of hand), and a few things around the house.  Truthfully, I was up a bit too early, having gone to bed late and waking up early.

Breakfast and some bill-paying got done, and slowly but surely the day started to slip away.  Soon I was hungry for lunch, which was accompanied by TV.  Then it got cloudy out and as Mom and I discussed both of our ambitious plans for the day, I started to get a headache– the kind you get when you don’t sleep enough.  I decided to lay down for a short nap.  It was afternoon already, and cloudy… not the best time for gardening anyway, as even though the major heatwave here has broken, I wasn’t too keen on going out at the hottest part of the day.

I woke up feeling better.  Rain on the windows and my stomach again growling.  I walked out to the kitchen.  Mom and I found something good on TV and she began to make grilled cheese (I also had some leftover tomato soup from the day before).  Now, I’ve had grilled cheese on the brain as I’ve recently been able to eat it again– and also due to two of my closest friends’ recent discussion.  First, on Molecular Sheep’s blog, and then, The Friendly Foodie Girl’s follow-up post.   [By the way, I highly recommend checking these two out– especially regarding the pressing issue they brought up: Grilled Cheese vs. Panini!]

It was warm and comforting and perfect for the rainy day.  We watched some “How I Met Your Mother,” a new obsession of ours.  This was followed by “The Golden Girls,” a very old obsession of ours.  The rain had watered my plants so I felt no need to rush outside and as it was now evening, we eased into an unusual gift: a day in, in pjs, with yummy food, as the rain continued beyond our windows.

I was still a bit hungry and we toyed with the idea of splitting another grilled cheese.  I’ve never made one, but I had watched as Mom had made them… and with the butter still out and getting softer by the moment, I decided it was time!  So I made my first ever grilled cheese.  Which, although the bottom looked a bit more burnt than golden-brown, tasted just as perfect and melty and cheesy as it should have.  It is dangerous how easy that was to do.

I was planning on posting a picture, but honestly, the sandwich really wasn’t around long enough to photograph!

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Hands and Mouths

So one of the things I’m thinking about today is how we can be creative with so many parts of ourselves– it is, in fact, part of our very essence.

We dance with our feet, our legs.  We cook, paint, draw, or sculpt with our hands.  We sing and speak with our mouths.  And that’s if we don’t count every other system that’s involved in these actions.  Muscles, bones, skin.  All of our senses and sense organs– eyes, ears, noses, tongues.  And, perhaps, most of all, our powerful and awesome brains.  And, of course, I’m leaving out a slew of other creative activities and bodily parts.

I’m thinking of this because I want to focus on my singing for a bit, but I also need another outlet to replace my dance class.  And I’m thinking the combination of cooking and singing is a good one.  When I first thought of this today, I thought– oh, I’ll be doing two creative things with my mouth.  And then I realized that I wasn’t thinking about cooking– I was thinking about eating.  🙂  But how cool that I can use this summer to try to be more creative– all over!  (I’m even looking to see if I can find a bellydancing class nearby. I’ve been dying to at least give it a try).

I think I’ve got “Cheek to Cheek” mostly down, completing Song 1 of my 52 Songs in 52 Weeks challenge.  My song for this week, although it was not on my song list, is Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” Now, technically, this is the song for this past week, but I plan on making up the time I lost due to icky stomach feelings.  I already know this song fairly well, so it’ll just be an issue of remembering which verse is which and where it sits in my voice.  Hopefully by next week I’ll get a video or audio clip up.

As for cooking, I bought some packages of yeast last week.  And I’ve been wanting to make something bready– mostly because I feel like I want to work with some kind of dough and bread products seem like, first, a really good way to get your hands dirty, and two, such a simple pleasure– such a basic staple of human existence.  I’ve got in mind something hearty and crusty, maybe something to make a nice sandwich on.

So the question really is:  bagels, pasta, or bread?  I’m leaning towards a simple bread first, then bagels, then pasta— but I’m open to opinions on which you think I should try first.  Or if you have any good recipes– hook me up!  copy and paste, link, or even comment right here!

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