Monday, July 23, 2012

This post does not have food pictures

It is almost 1 in the morning and I have a train to catch tomorrow at 7:30 and I tend to oversleep.

And yet, I'm here.

It's simple. I'm not tired! I sound like a little child, insisting that 9 PM is waaaay too early to be a bedtime. Hmph.

Due to this case of insomnia, here are a few of favorite books. They're pleasure books, for sure, but each book has made an irrevocable dent in my life. Either the book made me question a theory I once strongly grasped or just touched me on an emotional level. Oh, Mindy Kaling's book is straight up awesome. Funny, but real, ya know? Each book has made me giggle or tear up. (Green's is a tearjerker. Seriously. I bawled.)

The Elegance of a Hedgehog / Muriel Barbery 
White Teeth / Zadie Smith 
The Fault in Our Stars / John Green 
One Day / David Nicholls 
The Art of Fielding / Chad Harbach 
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) / Mindy Kaling 

I read many books at a time. It's weird. Here are some I'm currently switching off from. As you can notice, they are more "classic" books. Oops.

The Picture of Dorian Gray / Oscar Wilde 
The Moveable Feast / Ernest Hemingway 
Gourmet Rhapsody / Muriel Barbery 
To Have or Have Not / Ernest Hemingway 
The Sound and The Fury** / William Faulkner


Hopefully, I finish The Moveable Feast soon. I'm carrying it around with me. For some odd reason, it is  easier to digest on the subway, rather than at home. Hm.

Good night and D.E.A.R.

Drop everything and read. You know, grade school style. While you do that, I'm going to watch an episode of The Office until I fall asleep.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On fresh blueberries and frozen peas


What I like about summer is the plentitude of f-r-u-i-t. Fruit, especially blueberries, make up for the sticky Popsicle fingers, tender sunburns, and the-sand-in-every-crevice-of-my-jean-shorts. Add blueberries to an already amazing French yogurt cake and you get something truly special. Oozing bits of tang explode in your mouth as you bite into a chunk of this yogurt cake. In love with the texture and the addition of blueberries, I decided to make a cinnamon walnut blueberry yogurt coffee cake.

And it was delicious.

But why am I talking about fresh blueberries when a plate of vibrant plate of spaghetti and pea pesto is in front of you?

I'm getting there.

I dislike frozen blueberries in my cakes. My dislike is probably due to an incident when I dumped thawed, mushy blueberries into a muffin batter. It was not tasty. Nu-uh.
When it is summertime, I like to take advantage of the plentitude of the fresh fruit and produce. Doooooo it.

But not for peas.

I use frozen peas.

Is that weird? I like them more than fresh peas.

I'm usually a fresh fruit/produce fanatic so I feel like a hypocrite every time I lower some peas into a pot of boiling water, drain them, and add them into the food processor. This is a beloved recipe for me. It's simple and a definite crowd pleaser.

You can use frozen peas. I won't tell.


Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The time I almost ate vegan

homemade falafel 2

Just a few days ago, I ate my first falafel ball from Maoz. It was glorious and I enjoyed every bite of my falafel salad.

I made baked falafel a week ago.

homemade falafel

10:00 AM. Nicole looks through the fridge for something to eat. Spots bowl of poorly boiled chickpeas from yesterday.

10:06 AM. Cooks the bland, very hard chickpeas again in salted water for two minutes and lets in rest for fifteen minutes.

10:17 AM. While waiting for the chickpeas, she decides to make a hummus. Looks for a hummus recipe with peanut butter, no tahini.

10:19 AM. Finds a hummus recipe on Serious Eats.

10:21 AM. Rinses the chickpeas in cold water.

10:22 AM. Quick change of heart. Wants something hearty. Decides to taste/make fafael.

10:24 AM. Finds a recipe through The Kitchn. It is from Chow Vegan. She smiles. Vegan = easier clean up.

10:26 AM. Uses food processor to mash chickpeas. Turns out really dry. Adds 3 splashes of the chickpea cooking water. 4. 5. Still dry. Gives it a spin in the food processor again.

10:28 AM. Throws up hands in despair. Takes the chickpeas out of food processor and into a bowl. Dices onions and garlic. Adds it to the mixture.

10:29 AM. Finds all the spices! Uses dried parsley! No cilantro.

10:31 AM. Toasts and burns first batch of coriander seeds.

10:34 AM. Keeps a close eye on the coriander seeds. Fragant and lovely.

10:38 AM. Crushes coriander seeds and add it to the chickpea mixtures.

10:39 AM. Adds lemon juice, olive oil, crushed red pepper, cumin, flour, baking powder.

10:41 AM. Throws out lemon and then quickly regrets not using some zest.

10:42 AM. Adds salt and pepper. Tastes the mixture. Smiles. Uses the food processor again.

10:43 AM. Whirrrrrrlllllll.

10:45 AM. Asks younger brother if he is hungry. "NOOOOO!" Okay. Puts mixture in fridge.

10:47 AM. Waits.

11:10 AM. Writes blog post, eats whole chickpeas, drinks coconut water.

11:56 AM. Brother says he is hungry. She pulls out the bowl from the fridge. Preheats the oven to 375. Places parchment paper on a a cookie sheet. Adds a bit of canola oil and spreads it around.

11:59 AM. Looks for a cookie scoop. No sign of the cookie scoop.

12:03 PM. Finishes forming falafel balls with a plastic gloved hand. Places the balls on the pan and flattens them into thick patties. 9 on a sheet. 4 are in the fridge. Slides pan into the oven.

12:05 PM. Waits.

12:09 PM. Watches Very Mary Kate. Laughs.

12:18 PM. Flips falafels.

12:20 PM. Decides to make a knock off tzatizki with sour cream because she used all the Greek yogurt for her yogurt cake. Uses 2 scoops of sour cream, garlic, salt, dried dill weed. (Make a garlic paste with the salt. Add to the sour cream. Add dill weed. Add more salt to taste.)

12:33 PM. Take falafels out.

12:35 PM. Make sandwiches out of multigrain bread, tzatizki, and a few falafels.

12:40 PM. Gone. Yum.

homemade falafel 3

Recipe from Chow Vegan.