Saturday, January 5, 2013

...And we're back!

Here it is, another blog post!  And you know what that means: I must have eaten kale recently.  It was for dinner this evening, as a matter of fact, and here's the recipe:

Heat your fat of choice (olive oil, butter, dripping) in a large frying pan.  Add 3-5 anchovy filets (packed in olive oil) and mash them into the fat as it is heating.  Add 1 clove garlic, minced, and saute until golden brown.  Finally add 1 bunch kale (or any other greens), chopped, and cook until it's done, adding red or black pepper to taste.  I tend to deglaze the pan with a little water, so you get all the nice golden flavor bits mixed up into everything.

I was able to get out hiking in the nearby county park for the first time in, literally, months.  I put it out on Facebook on Thursday that I was doing a long hike, and did anyone want to come with?  There was actually one taker, (surprised there weren't more) so I had a reasonable walking companion for the hike.  Alas, he did slow me down a bit.  Listening to his huffing and puffing behind me, I couldn't help but take a slower pace than I'd anticipated.  However, it did secretly make me feel awesome for not breathing heavily.  We did six miles on the park trails, plus I got in an extra 2 1/2 for the round trip from home, which makes for an awesome 8 1/2 mile total.

Don't be fooled by my laissez-faire typing, gentle reader.  I was definitely feeling it by the time the hike was through.  Especially since I did so many squats in the weight room yesterday morning.

This evening I am doing something I hope to do more of this year: improve my cooking expertise by actually executing recipes from my collection of cookbooks.  See, I am totally happy eating relatively boring food a lot of the time.  Some meat, a potato, a couple of veggies.  It is in order to impress other people with my grasp of varied cuisine that I am expanding my horizons.  I had a friend over for dinner a week or so ago, and utterly failed to deliver an amazing meal.  Since I now have time to get back in the dating game, plus having ladies over for tea parties, etc., it's time to up my game.

Since one of the fellows I'm keen on is half Italian, and I was gifted two Italian cookbooks by a lady in the CSA, and Italian home cooking is appreciated know...everyone, it made sense to begin here.  So I've started two recipes from Salt to Taste by Marco Canora.

That's how I ended up with tomato on the ceiling.

This evening I'm doing the prep work for Swiss chard and parmigiano malfatti, aka ravioli nudi, which are "tender dumplings of cheese and chard 'filling' that can be served topped with tomato sauce".  Takes prep work because you must eliminate all the moisture from both the Swiss chard and the ricotta cheese in order for the malfatti to hold shape.

The second recipe, which is just finishing up simmering, is for Tuscan tomato sauce, an all-purpose tomato sauce with all the fabulous ingredients you'd expect to find.  I stripped my little thyme plant bare to get the tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves required.  I minced onion, celery, carrot, and two more fresh herbs.  I carefully created a "soffritto" and then simmered everything for over an hour to give the sauce the right depth.  Just tasted it, and, dang, I think I'm channeling the Nona I never really had.

The recipe makes a huge batch of sauce--uses four 28-ounce cans of tomato puree.  However, Whole Foods only had tomato puree by the fancy organic brand, instead of the house organic brand, which would have cost an extra dollar per can.  So I went with Whole Foods organic diced tomatoes and decided to puree them myself.  Not realizing the fluid dynamics of diced tomatoes dropped at height into the curved blender, I created an amazing force of vertical splatter, directing a goodly splash of tomato goop right onto the ceiling.  I laughed.


  1. Awesome! I was wondering how you managed to get tomato on the ceiling. :)

  2. *bwahaha* Love the blender incident! I always laugh when my Sweetie throws Kale into the veggie mix at home: it was included in last night's lamb roast fest!