It all started with Meatballs

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It started as a possible trip to IKEA for meatballs.  Then we realized we had some in the freezer, cure all we needed was the gravy.  A quick search on the internet and presto we had the recipe.  I then started to look at what else we had to go with these delicious round balls of meat.  We had left over mashed potato’s, rice, veggies, kimchi and beets.  It was beginning to look like things were shaping up. I had a flashback to when I lived in LA and my roommates and I had watch the movie Mermaids one too many times and started to have appetizer nights.  We called this a mermaid dinner.  If you’ve seen the movie you’ll understand.  If not, then watch at your own risk.  I started to imagine our dinner was all round and how fun that would be and what a challenge it would be with the ingredients we had.  So we started with the potatoes and took the left over onions and peppers and made Coroke,  a side dish a different roommate I had back in San Bernardino used to make.  Usually you would make them into small patties with meat and onion and fry them, but tonight it was veggie rounds.   I also had made Teriyaki chicken a couple night’s before(also a recipe from the same roommate) and used the chicken, added some ginger, red onions, garlic, egg and presto fried rice.  We used our  microwave egg poacher(more on that in another post) to make them.  Next the ice cream scooper and a spoon were perfect for the kimchi.  We now had everything, put it all together and  had a great time being silly, making our evening well rounded.

Goodbye City Life! At Least For The Weekend Anyway

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We began our adventure in a car we rented for the weekend, buy information pills driving 14 hours each way. I’m talking about our recent adventure to Tennessee, symptoms where we hoped to soak up nature and live as one with the land.  As much as one can get staying in a cabin.     Of course we were roughing it, so to speak. The shower was outdoors, the stove was of the a camping variety, our water came from large jugs, the bathroom was an out house, the light was kerosene lamps and it was heated by a wood burning stove.  What else do you want from a cabin in the woods?  As it turned out, nothing.  It was perfect, peaceful and quiet.  Mother Nature graced us with wonderful warm weather.  It may have been November but it could easily had been late September.  We walked the land, marveled at streams that when it rains become dangerous rivers, chopped wood, went to bed early and rose with the sunrise, saw old friends and made some new ones, all while preparing and eating some amazing food.  We even drove into town to the local Piggly Wiggly to get supplies.

There’s something amazing about the mountains in Tennessee.  I grew up in a few different environments, one of them was the mountains in California and to this day, I don’t get the same feeling of peace as I do when I’m here.   It’s a place that you want to sit back take it slow do some chores and cook till you have filled your pantry with goodies and your belly with food.  Lucky for us we arrived just in time for a late lunch and a stroll around the property.  Our guide led us around and showed us some old homestead from early settlers and gave us a history lesson on who would have lived there before and what they would have farmed.  To me seeing history is always more fascinating then reading it.  When we were done getting the tour we took in the incredible sunset on top of the tool shed, and then it was back to the cabin to burn some wood and get cracking on dinner.   Grilled corn with sausages and a warm salad with a honey vinegar dressing.

The next day we were left to our own devices.  With our guide driving back to his home in Colorado we started the morning with breakfast  and a leisurely stroll.  We visited friends who lived nearby, catching up on their latest projects, chopped wood and  traveled into town for more supplies.  That night we slow cooked some beans on the wood stove, drank whiskey, listened to the radio and played cards.  Not bad for a Saturday night!!

Our last day we started it off with left over beans and eggs steamed over grilled onions and of course bacon.  After our hearty breakfast we took one last stroll said our goodbyes to the neighbors and headed back to NYC and our city lives.

Japanese Market

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Another Turkey day has come and gone and we are sad to see it go. Unfortunately we  arrived at our destination late so we didn’t get any pictures of what was made.  There was the usual suspects, more about Turkey, cost green beans stuffing cranberries but  with a few new items.  I made Jason’s famous smoked sweet potato/potato mash, there was a refreshing fennel salad, more sweet potatoes with paprika, and Anna’s butternut squash with parmesan cheese, thyme and fresh parsley.  Luckily for us Jason did take pictures and made a fabulous pumpkin pie that disappeared faster than giblet gravy!  Or was it a pumpkin pie?  I told everyone I would let them know what was it it but not til after.  So without further ado the secret ingredients in the the pies were Butternut Squash and Brandy.  No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this pie.  We got the recipe from The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/video/2012/11/14/dining/100000001903215/pumpkin-pie.html  We thought, hmmmm interesting lets do it! The results speak for themselves.  Two pies gone in no time.  We also had an actual pumpkin pie and it was also delicious.  But I think from now on it’s Butternut Squash Pie that will be made in The Lab.

So for my birthday we did a couple things, view one of them was go to our favorite Japanese market the Mitsuwa Marketplace in New Jersey.  The prices are amazing and the selection is always interesting and different.   We usually end up with half the store and very full bellies.  This time we actually ate before we shopped, viagra
but not before taking a quick spin around.   We had a great meal of Spicy Melty Pork Ramen and Pork Don.  Then went in for the kill.  We started in the produce department grabbed some Kyo Ninjin carrots from the local Suzuki farm, along with some daikon radish, and Chinese cucumbers we pickled using a Miso Pickling Mix.   We also grabbed a jar of Teriyaki mushrooms,  a package of dried mushrooms for soup,  some saki, wasabi peas,  instant miso soup and instant curry for those long busy days at work  when you have little time for lunch.  We always pick up something we have no idea of what it is,  this time it was a package of unusual veggies in water.   To me they are screaming soup!!!  We actually showed great restraint this time.  With only two bags of goodies we walked away happy and not over burdened with what we purchased.  All in all it was a good Birthday outing.