Saturday, September 29, 2007



The Golden Compass (Book 1 of the His Dark Materials trilogy) by Philip Pullman
In preparation for the movie in Dec (oh man it looks good!) Thanks to Dan and Elaine for recommending this series.
Next up: Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter and Madame Bovary (recent yard sale finds).


Iron and Wine - "The Shepherd's Dog" (LOVING this)
Interpol - "Our love to admire" (Not sure yet)


Eastern Promises Despite being a Viggo Mortensen fan I was lukewarm about this one. R. really liked it though.
3:10 to Yuma Surprisingly good (I'm not usually into westerns)
Pride and Prejudice (final decision - the BBC version is better)


Clif nectar bar in Dark chocolate walnut.
ffffound! via
The Petch House
Gluten-Free girl
waiter rant
skinny laminx
day-lab diy
little paper planes

Looking Forward to

Dragon Boat 2007
Birchrunville Store Cafe - for our anniversary
The Dillweed Inn - we'll be there over Halloween weekend and hope to check out the
Ghost Town Trail
Trop Med
Potential trip to Marco Island in early Feb.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lake George

A few photos from our trip to Lake George, NY this past weekend:

Apple cider donut from the farmer's market in Glens Falls

North of Lake George along Rt. 9

Near Fort William Henry

Things to keep in mind for next time:
The Wine Bar in Saratoga Springs

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chicken Tikka Masala

This was soooo good, much better than I expected. It's from the Sept/Oct 2007 Issue of Cook's Illustrated (Which I highly highly recommend - everything I have made has been great).

The sauce had a nice warm spicy taste from the garam masala, and the chicken was incredibly tender and flavorful because of the yogurt marinade.

For the chicken tikka:

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tsp salt

2 lbs chicken breasts (I used 1 lb and it was fine)

1C plain whole milk yogurt

2 Tbs vegetable oil

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger

Mix together the spices and salt and sprinkle chicken on both sides. Refrigerate for 30-60 min.

In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger and set aside.

For the sauce:

3 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 onion, diced fine

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, minced (I didn't add this)

1 Tbs. tomato paste

1 Tbs. garam masala (or - 2 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp black pepper)

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes ( I used whole and chopped them up while they were in the pan).

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 C heavy cream (I only used 1/3 C, and I think you could get away with less)

1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro leaves (I didn't add this).

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden.

Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste and garam masala. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cream, return to simmer, and remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, position oven rack about 6 inches from heating element and turn on broiler. Dip chicken in yogurt mixture, shake off excess, and place on foil-lined broiler rack. Broil 10-18 minutes, turning once during cooking. And don't eat any pink chicken, because you might end up with Campylobacter jejuni.

Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes, cut into small chunks, and add to sauce. Stir in cilantro.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

More couch than 5K...

... so far anyway, but I'm definitely improving.

A few weeks ago I started working on this couch to 5K program. The goal is to run 5K (3 miles) in thirty minutes and at this point that goal seems unattainable, but I'm working up to it.

In the past few years I think R. and I have really improved our eating habits: we cook a lot more, eat tons of fruits/veggies, drink lots of H20 and we've pretty much cut out all hydrogenated oils and corn syrup products. We buy a lot of organic food, neither of us drinks soda, we avoid fast food and neither of us is overweight. One thing I do need to watch is refined sugar - I like it in my coffee and I do like my sweets. R. is the same way but is better about eating something fruity (rather than chocolate-y) to satisfy sweet cravings.

It's the exercise department that needs some work. I started making an effort to exercise a long time ago (in high school, maybe 14 years ago?) and sometimes I'm really good about it, sometimes... not so much. In the past 2-3 years I've noticed that my body is starting to age and that I need to re-think my routine - pilates and a walk here and there isn't enough any more.

So back to running. I started couch to 5k once before but didn't stick with it. But for some reason this time I have - I've gone three times per week for four weeks. Something odd happened when I started to get more serious about it - I found that it's addictive! I don't have trouble convincing myself to take a run before school; it's much easier for me than convincing myself to get to the gym for some reason. I prefer to run around my neighborhood and in Fairmount park, but I do run on the treadmill sometimes to check timing and speed.

So for those of you who are more advanced than me, a few questions:

1. How do you avoid knee pain? Mine hurt when I first start out but it seems to go away eventually.
2. How do you carry your music and keys? Do you somehow carry water too?
3. Do you have a playlist that you really like? I'm getting bored with the one I'm currently using.


Friday, September 07, 2007

OK obviously I need to get busy because we don't even have the CSA yet and here are the veggies currently in our kitchen:

Most of this is from my SIL's Mom. I like the fact that we're straddling two seasons: lots of summer tomatoes but also the first appearance of some squash.

One thing the CSA has done for me: the thought of wasting a ripe roma tomato makes me die a little inside. So I wanted to use up some of those and also the two white epplants that you see up above. The solution: polenta stacks with eggplant, tomato and mozzarella. With a few modifications because a) I was hungry and feeling rather lazy and 2) I was the only one eating (R. is here for the weekend).

First I chopped up the eggplant, tossed with salt+pepper+olive oil and put it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 deg.

I made polenta: boiled 1C H20 + a pinch of salt and added 1/4 C cornmeal. I whisked this until it was thick, about 3 minutes. I patted this into the bottom of a large bread pan (the recipe is for little polenta squares - this is where my laziness started to take over).

I sauteed a garlic clove in olive oil and added 4 seeded, chopped roma tomatoes.
Next: a little salt+ pepper and some balsamic vinegar.
I just heated this for a few minutes until it was warm.

Then I layered the eggplant, some cheese and the tomatoes into my polenta-filled baking dish and threw it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

It turned out pretty well!
Does anyone have any okra recipes that they could share?? I've never made it before.
OK, time to go read and fall asleep early - school this week has been craaaazy. I'm on week four of couch- to- 5K and I want to get up early tomorrow for a jog. (Maybe)More on this endeavor later.