magid: (Default)
I keep on finding myself making this cake for birthdays. It surprises me: I am not a dessert baker. Bread baker, yes, but baked goods, not much.

I was planning on making two tonight, one for the work birthday party tomorrow, and one for either potluck or Shabbat dinner. Unfortunately for me, I ran out of soy milk. At least there was enough for the one cake...

It's mostly a recipe from More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin, in the essay titled "Three Chocolate Cakes". I modified the third cake, originally called Karen Edwards's Version of Buttermilk Cocoa Cake, to be vegan. (Btw, this is a wonderful book, along with her other book of food essays, so surprisingly named Home Cooking. She's a real person cooking, not a chef, and she writes wonderful stuff about food. Though I didn't care for her fiction at all.)

I like this recipe for a bunch of reasons: I'm lazy, so a one-bowl recipe is great (no melting chocolate, etc); it's actually pretty quick to mix together; it's chocolate, so almost everybody is happy with it (I have one friend allergic to chocolate. I pity him.); it's vegan, so pretty much everyone I know will eat it. (Add a name in chocolate chips across the top and it's a lovely personalized birthday cake, apparently...). And if it's underdone and really squidgy, at least no one's worried about salmonella (same thing with licking the spoon after, too).

original recipe with my addenda here )
magid: (Default)
Peanut butter on slices of preserved ginger is not as wonderful as I had hoped: the creaminess of the peanut butter seems to cut the spiciness of the ginger. Though I'd try flavoring something else with both peanut and ginger; I still think there's some potential...
magid: (Default)
This afternoon, just before the downpour, I picked up the first installment of veggies. I was surprised at how much there was (it being early in the season), both a boxful and an extra bag.

What was included:

2 big heads of green leaf lettuce
a largish bag of spinach
a bag of arugula
a large bouquet of multi-colored radishes with their greens (edible too)
3 heads of radicchio (the outer leaves looked rather more like red leaf lettuce)
a big bunch of kale
a bunch of turnip greens
a bunch of mixed greens (according to the weekly news sheet, including mustard greens and Russian kale, whatever that is)
a bottle of honey, a complete surprise: apparently the farm manager has put 4 bee hives on the edges of the farm, to encourage pollination.

Tonight I sauteed the mixed greens with minced onions, added 5 pepper oil, toasted sesame oil, and tofu cubes marinated in soy sauce, had that over a baked potato. I also put some lettuce, spinach, arugula, radicchio, scallions, fresh basil (picked in the rain tonight from the porch), and a tomato together with a couple of hard boiled eggs to make a salad, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

I think I'll end up cooking the rest of the need-to-cook greens tomorrow, maybe come up with some recipe for greens-with-pasta for potluck or something. And lots of salad (those heads of lettuce are rather a lot for one person to get through... have to get guests...).
magid: (Default)
Parking annoyance: I parked in a marked, legal spot at the grocery store, parallel to the building. When I came out, there was a red car parked next to me (not a spot), and another car behind me (definitely not a spot), parking me in. I went in, they paged the owner of Mass plate whatever, and she came out and moved her car... to another place that was striped as not-parking. And she said to me, as I got in my car, how the red car shouldn't have parked there. WTF? You park me in, then try to imply you didn't do anything you oughtn't've? Very odd.

Another night of cooking real food, hooray. Somehow the meal ended up sponsored by alliums (allia?): almost everything had some oniony thing in it. I made spicy eggplant (onions and eggplant cubes sauteed, with San-J Szechuan spicy sauce added. yum), a leek-chive-fresh oregano frittata, roasted potatoes and onions with rosemary, and a tomato basil salad with balsamic vinaigrette (intending, originally, to put scallions in...). I was happy with how the food came out (and thanks to [ profile] cthulhia for providing impetus to cook at all).

I went out for ice cream with a couple of friends. I hadn't had Cristina's ice cream before (Inman Square), and it's very good. I tried "chocolate moose," which was quite chocolatey. There were a bunch of other chocolate flavors on the menu, too: I wouldn't mind a comparison taste test some time... I also had a taste of their ginger ice cream. From what I remember of the JP Licks ginger ice cream, this was a bit less sweet and m ore gingery. But I had the JP Licks a while ago, so this is just impression based on memory. All this ice cream goodness with a background of Madonna music from the 80s...
Oh, and I got to make silly faces at a friend's baby, which is always entertaining. I may have given him his first 'eggs' on his knees... and he seemed to like it.
magid: (Default) I eat a pbj confection: no-sugar-added pb, quince j, on organic spelt bread.
I put on too much of both, so there are drips to deal with (this peanut butter is not as solid as the mainstream brands).
magid: (Default)
Rereading "The Lions of al-Rassan" in almost one gulp.

Eating nice food I'd made for myself (rather than just settling for a meal-in-a-pot as I usually do when it's just me), plus finding it was food I was really in the mood to be eating (thanks to [ profile] queue for the dumplings-in-cooked-fruit suggestion, as well as the dumpling recipe).

Lots of conversations.

The Israeli Independence Day fair on the Common.
more details )

Playing a new game, Xactika, for the first time.
more description )
magid: (Default)
Shabbat starts around 8 tonight. Since 5 pm I have managed to do this:

Replace the (3) lightbulbs in the hallway that had blown out.
Put a load of laundry in the washer and another in the dryer.
Made a small batch of rolls to use as challah over Shabbat.
Roasted potatoes and onions with rosemary.
Boiled two thistles (well, artichokes).
Steamed salmon over onions and spinach with a slightly sweet slightly spicy soy sauce-based sauce.
Made cooked fruit with dumplings (strawberry, rhubarb, and plum, with some orange juice).

I still want to make a tomato basil scallion salad, but as long as I pick the basil before Shabbat, I can do the rest on Shabbat. And I still need to call my dad, and take a shower. (Why am I posting here?)

Oh, and mazal tov to Michelle & Meyer, 2 friends who just got engaged! Woo-hoo!

Mood: productive, perhaps even efficient
magid: (Default)
Shabbat dinner at a friend's place that included a cold almond soup with garlic and halved green grapes (I know it sounds odd, but it was good), some wonderful mushrooms with 2 kinds of potatoes, a chocolate cake with 3 kinds of fresh berries.

The birthday picnic included a wheat-barley salad (including olives, halved grape tomatoes, scallions, pine nuts, and a cider vinegar vinaigrette) that was well-received :-), also yet another of the vegan chocolate cakes, chocolate chips spelling out the birthday boy's name.

And later today I attempt my first batch of dumplings in chicken soup.

From my place to the Hatch Shell, then back again after the concert. On the way there, I found another of those painted signs attached below a parking sign; it is by the intersection of Hampshire and Union streets, I believe, on the south side of the street, and has a bit of a castle keep on a white background. I still find the width of the sidewalk on the pepperpot bridge alarmingly small, but it was cool to see the decorations only visible to pedestrians and boaters. And on the way back, we all appreciated the rising of the full moon; gorgeous.

A walk around a neighborhood in Malden, noticing the architectural details of some of the houses; I hadn't walked around those particular streets before, so it was fun to see new places. (One place had gargoyles guarding it!)

Games played:
Lost Cities, Tigris & Euphrates (no Boggle! amazing!)

The birthday picnic was Saturday afternoon in front of the Hatch Shell, with many friends, much food, presents, and bubbles. The day was pretty nice for it, too, though cooler in the shade than I was comfortable with; I hadn't worn enough layers. The music at the concert was good, though I liked Suzanne Vega the best, and I know some of that is the lack of incredibly loud bass in her music, compared to the other 2 groups, which makes me feel old (I hadn't remembered to bring earplugs....). Ah, well. Much silliness, all around :-).

The clothing swap was Sunday afternoon, and I was glad to have gone, though wasn't feeling well enough to hang out longer and chat with people :-( (I was particularly glad to see Mangosteen, even if it was briefly - it's been far too long.)

And I enjoyed watching some classic cartoons on DVD. There were some fables and fairy tale ones I hadn't realized had been animated by Disney so long ago. And, other than the usual sterotypes I'd expected, I was surprised by how much spitting there was, and use of southern drawl to denote laziness. Still, the use of the music and the visuals together really are fun to watch.
magid: (Default)
Last night after I finally tore myself away from the Diesel (ok, all the other people who were still left at that point were leaving too), I started the food production part of the evening.

First, a stop in Porter Square for the couple of groceries I ne eded, which of course grew into a few more things... I also ran into JB, who I haven't seen in ages - glad we had a few minutes to chat.

Then home by 8.30 for the first major food production of the week, 2 dinnersworth of food. Well, almost: I had some leftovers to fill out last night's menu, and I have a couple of side dishes left to make for tonight's delivery to a neighbor. But anyway.

Last night I made: salmon baked with lime juice plus extra lemon-lime-melon juice with pepper, and mango cubes; qui che A with mozzarella and scallions; quiche B with mozzarella and herbs; quiche C with feta, spinach, and halved cherry tomatoes; a cherry tomato and scallion salad with feta and a simple balsamic vinaigrette.

So dinner last night was fish, salad, leftov er veggie soup (heavy on the leeks and parsnips; from Shavuot), leftover noodle kugel, and some awesome bread with seeds in it - the brand When Pigs Fly now has a hechsher :-).

Tonight I bring quiche, rice with chickpeas, carrots, and probably something else (fruit? dessert? another veg?) to people in the minyan who need some help right now.
(The bitter person in me did wonder why it is that someone in the minyan has coordinated meals, etc, for people who need help (illness, new baby, bereavement, etc), yet no one in the minyan offered to help me when I was one-handed, besides the 2 people I called from the emergency room, and they didn't do very much (Others have helped me tons, and I thank you for it). Perhaps I am not wrong to have shifted my social circles away from the minyan....)

Current Mood: planning the next cooking spree of the week.....
[Alrighty then. This v refuses to be deleted, despite multiple attempts at editing it out. So stay there, then. And now, I suppose, I'll get some other random character at the end as well. So take it as read that I would try to delete it as well, except that apparently I can't, since I've been through "Edit Entries" more times than I'm willing to admit.]

[update 18.25: What I brought over for their dinner: the scallion quiche, a green salad with pine nuts and zaatar vinaigrette, carrots steamed with red wine and mint from the porch, brown rice with chickpeas.]
magid: (Default)
Warm maple cinnamon raisin bread pudding is a good thing.
magid: (Default)
Shavuot starts tonight, and I am (as usual) only partly ready. I haven't thought about the holiday itself so much as the logistics. Hopefully during the (2) days of the festival I'll have a chance to think about the nature of the day.

Shav uot background, and my plans this year )

busy week

May. 15th, 2002 06:40 pm
magid: (Default)
So much going on, it's been hard to keep up.

half a week )
magid: (Default)
(Now I should put two more lines
to make a haiku.)

Yet another physical therapy session this afternoon. I was a bit concerned - I seem to have done more than I should've yesterday - my finger was tired. Even so, everyone was impressed with how much of a fist I can make... the new stretch-the-finger splint I was to have gotten has been nixed :-). Instead, I got a new piece of equipment, plastic and rubberbands, that makes me think I should be shooting staples out of it. This is for building up strength. And when she saw how much I'd done with the green silly putty, she got out the blue stuff, for only some of the exercises, though - this stuff is hard. She said she only expects to give this color "to construction workers" - time to go out and get some muscle shirts... The doctor came by and looked at what I could do, then said I was getting to the end. I was surprised - last I'd heard it was still "early days!" I think there's still a ways to go, but perhaps it's stuff I'll mostly be doing on my own. (If only he tells me I can bike....)
(End of the handy stuff.)

I had an artichoke before therapy. I realized that what I so like about it is not quite its flavor, but that it causes a kind of tingle in my mouth that nothing else does, almost as if it were just the beginning of numbness. My favorite thistle...

[Driving home, there was a truck that had "New England Home Exercises" on it.... I'd like to get my living room some stretches, please, so I can fit some more people in it. And if the floors had more strength training in their routine, perhaps I could put in some more bookshelves.... :-)]
magid: (Default)
Last night potluck was at [ profile] cthulhia's in honor of her roommate's birthday. I was pleased to be asked to make a (vegan chocolate) cake for the event. I missed the beginning of potluck with major food consumption (carousing with actuaries again, as well as running into [ profile] hammercock by the bike path (It always makes me feel good when I see people on the street that I know. The city is not faceless, it is more home than I'd thought, or something like that.)).

Happily, I returned before the s inging of "Happy Birthday," so got to see the enthusiastic cake consumption that ensued. It was also a surprise (pleasant, of course) to see [ profile] prog there.

Many people enjoyed the green silly putty I'm using for therapy, either trying it out, or e nding up in geeky discussions of silly putty properties or buying silly putty in bulk.

I saw disturbing photos digitally made of a cucumber exterior sliced to show orange (the fruit, not just the color) inside. Also an orange with onion inside, and vice versa.

And this birthday monster included herself on the birthday monster clean up crew as well. (Has anyone else read this book?)

Ooh, and how could I forget? I was greatly surprised and pleased by [ profile] pheromone's gift of a stash of white Icehouse pieces. White Ice! (shouldn't that be the name of a mixed drink?)

(I'm sure there were other pieces of the evening I'm forgetting, but a great wave of tiredness descended upon me before I wanted to leave...)

I wish my place were as well laid out for larger group entertaining... definite apartment jealousy...


May. 9th, 2002 02:58 pm
magid: (Default)
A cow orker said something about a "big honking book," and all I could think about was a manual for geese, which really would have to be relatively small for geese to be able to use them... ("Honking for Dummies"?)

Artichokes are not designed to be breakfast food: though they taste lovely, they take too long to eat and are not filling enough (guess how I figured this out?).

Talking earlier with a (different) cow orker about LASIK eye surgery. My mom has intermittently suggested I get this done. I'm still not sure. Part of it is not knowing what the long term prospects are (OK, and the idea of someone messing with my eyes is scary).
Some of my reluctance is bizarre psychological stuff: I keep finding myself unsure I want to give up the blurry world that is mine when I don't have correction. Seems stupid, but I wonder if I could fall asleep if the world were still un-fuzzy. It's a declaration in the morning when I put on my glasses that I'm ready to face the day. I find it interesting to be able to see the world with (literally) 2 different perspectives: I see things differently, and it reminds me how many different ways there are to see the same things.
(I've always thought a great exhibit at a science museum would give people the chance to see the world not only near- and far-sighted (different levels) and astigmatized (I am so sure that's not the right word.), but also with different kinds of color blindness, and how different animals see (think of fly eyes...))

Note to self: at a certain point, the curry powder does not change the food's color any more. This does not mean that adding more will not make it spicier...

Bird sighting: there are cardinals outside my window (not the kind with the red beanies, the kind that are red all over (no, not the newspaper! (can you tell I've gotten silly this afternoon?)(this squadron of embedded parens tries to emerge from the bedding, and fails completely. Perhaps tomorrow ...)))

magid: (Default)
Tonight I:
bought herbs and dirt for transplanting them (2 basil, 2 kinds of mint, lemon balm, some lavender; also a cherry tomato plant).
made an infant smile.
did a load of laundry.
bought groceries.
cooked: made a cake and truffle guts, also cooked artichokes, and now a veggie curry is simmering on the stove.

I didn't get to all the food I'd planned to make tonight, but everything I most wanted to do did get done, so I suppose all is good.


May. 6th, 2002 02:11 pm
magid: (Default)
When did they come out with purple M&Ms?

(I'm still nostalgic for the tans.)∂

Sunday, etc

May. 6th, 2002 11:10 am
magid: (Default)
Sunday turned out to be as overbooked as Saturday, though with less exercise.
What did I do? )


May. 4th, 2002 10:29 pm
magid: (Default)
Shabbat was eventful, as was the afternoon before.... It was down to the wire with getting all the cooking done in time.

What I cooked: challah for Shabbat and for the tea party. vegan chocolate cake for both shabbat and the tea party. funky pizza (salsa instead of tomato sauce, olives, capers, mozzarella & cheddar). pasta salad (with feta, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, chickpeas, white pepper, olive oil, a bit of balsamic vinegar). chocolate-peanut butter stuff that won't be truffles but is very good. sauteed eggplant and onions. and (later) a green salad with halved grape tomatoes, mango, fresh basil, scallions, and a balsamic vinaigrette which had some cayenne. I was pleased with how things turned out.

Late dinner last night (Shabbat starts ar ound 7.30 these days), but relatively early to bed. Which was good, because today was packed.

An early lunch, then out to Somerville Open Studios (I think that will have to be a separate entry, when not so incredibly tired), walking all over the city. A stop at the Diesel, then on to the tea party, which was wonderfully detailed in all aspects, from the "eat me" and "drink me" labeled items, to the Cheshire Cat in the front hallway (only his grin on the stairwell :-), the white rabbit out front, pages from a copy of the book posted in appropriate places... Very impressive. [Later addendum: and how could I forget the bouquet of white and red roses with different playing cards stuck in!] Thanks to [ profile] treacle_well for making such an Alice-y event! And I got to see people I haven't seen in a while as well. (And the first tomato sandwich of the season. Yum.)

And after a number of Boggle rounds, time to head home, tired from more-than-usual walking (which it shouldn't be, but is. Sigh.) in the bright sun (perfect open studios weather, in fact)..


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