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MND – It’s Not Me; It’s You

March 17, 2014

ham

Did you know that potatoes contain a healthy dose of Vitamin C? No, nor did I. When I think of great sources for Vitamin C my list generally begins and ends with citrus – oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit. However, it turns out there are lots of fruits and vegetables that rank higher on the Vitamin C scale than your average orange. These include, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, dark greens (kale, spinach, etc), kiwi fruit, strawberries, and pineapple. Apparently oranges just have a really good PR campaign. Given how much of all of these foods I eat during the winter it’s a miracle a cold ever manages to penetrate my Vitamin C shield, but somehow I managed to succumb to the common cold twice in under two months. Yet another reason that I want to break up with winter (Dear Winter – It’s not me; It’s you). Read the rest of this entry »

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TND Extra – Oscars 2014

March 11, 2014

prep work

We had our annual Oscars extravaganza this past Sunday (err, two Sundays ago).  We’ve realized we don’t watch the Oscars because we care about the winners or losers.  For one thing if any of us have seen more than two of the nominated movies we’re doing well.  That said, the Oscars are tradition at this point.  We’ve been hosting an Oscars party since college, and any excuse to eat far too much, perhaps drink a little too much, and mock the stylistic choices of people we don’t know is worth taking, particularly in the doldrums of winter when we all need a little cheering.

In the beginning I did all the Oscar party food (well, okay in the very beginning I think Oscar party food involved calling Dominos, bags of Hershey’s kisses, and a bottle of wine – we were in college).  But, that got exhausting, so I started outsourcing some of the Oscars menu to the whims of potluck.  Gradually we settled into a tradition of theming the Oscars food on the nominated movies, and then last year I had the genius idea (well, I think it’s genius) of playing Russian Roulette with the nominated movies and the type of food you bring to the Oscars party.   Read the rest of this entry »

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TND Extra – Oscars 2014 (recipes)

March 11, 2014

prep2

Cold Spiced Cider
1 gallon apple cider
1 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cinnamon sticks Read the rest of this entry »

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TND – Admitting Defeat

February 26, 2014

carrot curls

I have never been as defeated and dispirited by winter as I have been this year.  We had a brief respite this past weekend when it was sunny, in the high 40s, and I daringly left the house in less than four layers of clothing.  By Monday it had dropped back to the low 30s (feels like 18!), and by Tuesday we were back to 16 (feels like 3!).  Granted this is still an improvement over 8 (feels like -5!) – at least we’re in double digits and nothing is in the negative numbers – but it’s still incredibly cold.

I’m trying to decide if the weekend’s brief lull has made me more or less depressed about another 3-4 weeks of snow and ice (at least according to Punxsutawney Phil).  I’m leaning towards more depressed.  Basically at this point I’m bribing myself through every week until the weather warms up because crying seems pointless, and seasonal alcoholism seems like a bad idea (although tempting).

Also, for the second time in six weeks our server at work has crashed hard.  Practically speaking this translates to not being able to access any files or use the printers for two days.  They keep taking the system down to test emergency preparedness.  At this point the response from my office is, ‘we know it doesn’t work in emergencies, stop testing it’.  Fun times.

In order to distract myself here’s a round of what’s making me happy this week. Read the rest of this entry »

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MND – Winter 2: Dinner 1

February 19, 2014

boots

Warning, attempting to make this recipe will cause it to snow. Now, I’m not sure if it’s this specific recipe that causes snow – in which case you are all safe because it’s an America’s Test Kitchen test recipe and I can’t put it up online – or if it’s all chicken pot pies, in which case you might be in danger if the pictures of Dinner this week inspire in you a craving for chicken enrobed in creamy sauce topped with flaky pastry. I’ll take responsibility for three rounds of snow in Boston, but I think I won’t take on the responsibility for snow elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

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MND – 1st World Problems

February 17, 2014

IMG_0527

Generally speaking I am not a beach type person.  When I go on vacation I want to do things and see things (and eat things) I’ve never done, seen, or eaten before.  I want to actively pursue the accumulation of new experiences, and new understandings of the history and culture of the place I’m visiting.  Generally speaking in my personal pantheon of hell, going to an all inclusive resort for a vacation is somewhere around the 4th or 5th circle.  It’s further out than being falsely jailed on drug charges in Thailand (thank you, Lifetime Movie Network) or being trapped on a giant cruise ship, but closer in than running out of reading material on a transatlantic flight*. Read the rest of this entry »

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MND – New Year’s Food Resolutions 2014

February 17, 2014

pumpkin

Apparently I never made New Year’s (Food) Resolutions last year.  This is probably for the best, because it means I don’t now have to contemplate the scale upon which I failed to live up to my best intentions.  Nonetheless, with a sense of doom and foreboding, I shall make food resolutions for 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

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TND – Curses! Foiled Again

January 22, 2014

Winter 2 : Dinner 0

This is the second time I’ve tried to bake off the chicken pot pies that are taking up so much space in my freezer.  And, like the last time I scheduled this meal, we again had to cancel Dinner due to a winter storm (called Janus, apparently).  I’m starting to feel a little jinxed about these pot pies, and a friend suggested that they should come with a warning that they ‘might cause snow’.  Will try again one more time in a few weeks.

Image

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MND – Welcome to 2014

January 16, 2014

sauteing leeks

First Dinner of 2014 – Dinner January 7th
Curried Cauliflower Soup
Sweet Potato Biscuits
With leftover baked ham & peach jam
Salad

I baked a big spiral cut ham for New Years Eve – as a side note, I love baking hams for parties like that because it looks crazily impressive, but in reality requires nothing more of you than removing the ham from the packing and putting in a pan and then sitting back and letting the oven do its thing for several hours.  Also, you get lots of lovely leftovers.  I bought a 10lb spiral cut ham – I fed 10 at New Years, 6 at Dinner the next week with leftovers, froze the ham hock and enough ham to make a hearty split pea soup later this winter, plus have enough ham leftover to tuck into barley stuffed apples, and soups for my roommate and I for the rest of the season.

I knew as soon as I decided to bake a ham for New Years that Dinner the next week would involve ham biscuits, and I had my heart set on sweet potato biscuits.  The challenge then became to find a soup that would pair well with the biscuits and ham.  A tomato soup seemed like the wrong kind of flavor, and a squash soup seemed like starch overkill.  I pondered for a while whether I thought curry and coconut milk would complement the sweet potato biscuits or whether the flavors would fight with each other.  I came down on the side of complimentary, and I think was proved right. Read the rest of this entry »

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MND – Barcelona, or what I did over Christmas Vacation

January 16, 2014

intro to barcelona

Last summer my cousin married a nice girl from Barcelona*.  The first email I got from my parents upon their return from the wedding was not about how the wedding went (smoothly), or how lovely the bride looked (although she did), or how proud the father of the groom was (although I assume he was), it was about how Barcelona had just moved into first place as a Christmas 2013 destination contender. Read the rest of this entry »