Quinoa Primavera — a house specialty

Quinoa Primavera is a recipe I adapted from the Whole Foods web site about a couple of years ago, when I’d read one of many articles about quinoa-as-wonder-food (“It’s the only grain that is a whole protein!”) and decided to make it.  This actually predated by quite a bit my recent cooking extravaganza, and I’ve made it five or six times since, which is pretty notable because there are so many recipes in my Evernote backlog that I rarely make anything more than once.  But this has so many virtues: it can be made with any veggies you have lying around, the chicken can be cooked directly from frozen, and quinoa can sit in the fridge forever … very little planning required. On top of it, while there is some prep involved, the cooking itself couldn’t be easier, and the meal couldn’t be healthier.  And it is delicious and colorful and reheats perfectly.  What more could you ask for?

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Cauliflower Soup (a tasty but embarrassing tale)

Last night, in the mood for some comfort food, I made some cauliflower soup.  I didn’t invent the recipe, and it is such a straightforward recipe that it seems odd to “credit” anyone with it, but in the interest of being upfront, I was inspired by this David Lieberman recipe which I found by way of Smitten Kitchen (who is awesome, read her).  My adaptations, however, were inspired by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, who has taught me many things, among them, to always roast rather than boil, even for soups — per this example.  (Sadly, I have not yet acquired the fortitude, nor a large enough stockpot, to actually make my own chicken stock, as she is constantly urging.)

Before I get into the recipe, just a note.  It occurred to me upon re-reading the Olive Oil Muffins post that although my narration interwoven with the recipe was hopefully an entertaining story, it doesn’t really make it easy for readers to use the recipe in their own kitchens.  Perhaps it would be better to do a straightforward recipe and annotate it after?  I’ll keep experimenting, but let me know what you think works best.  (Having not received any comments yet, that “you” is rather on the hopeful side, I know.)

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Blueberry and Raspberry Olive Oil Muffins

I’m so excited … my first cooking post.  With pictures, even.  The pictures were taken with my iPhone, as probably most of them will be until such time as I acquire a Canon EOS Rebel T2i (six months and waiting for the price to come down on that thing … luckily, Black Friday is conveniently timed about a month before Baby Boy joins me).

This is my adaptation of a Giada De Laurentiis recipe.  I also added a lovely, light lemon glaze, adapted from Martha Stewart.   As my first cooking post, it will also serve as a bit of an introduction into my cooking style.  Without further ado …

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Super-useful iPhone App

Harvest — this highly rated $2 app tells you how to select produce, when it is ripe, and how to store it when you get it home.  Sounds simple, but I am constantly looking this stuff up, and sometimes having to do so on my iPhone at Whole Foods.  This is much faster than Googling it.  Now, if only someone could figure out a way for me to hold the iPhone while getting the avocados into those darn staticky plastic bags …

Coming soon … olive oil muffins with golden raspberries and a lemon glaze.

Contemplating the Uses of the Apple TV

Wouldn’t you know it: as soon as I finally start this site, I take a day off of my recent cooking binge.  I possess neither ingredients that add up to anything I want to eat, nor the energy to acquire the same.  So, instead, I will pontificate upon the Apple TV, from a different perspective than I’ve seen in any of the many Apple and technology-focused sites in my RSS reader.  Let me wreck the ending for you: I have one of the new Apple TVs.  It is my first one.  I vaguely remember a past Apple TV announcement that led me to excitedly calling the nearby Apple Store and having one put on hold — but upon reflection, I let it pass.  This time, I ordered it online, thinking I might cancel the order during the four week delay between the announcement and the delivery.  But instead, delivered it was, and I’m not sorry to have it. Continue reading

An Introduction

Just a few lines in the way of objectives, while I get my act together.  Three of my favorite hobbies are playing with my tech toys, eating in nice restaurants and cooking at home.  I’ve been an Apple aficionado for nearly 20 years, and while I’m not a programmer or any kind of paid expert, I have converted 3 friends over to the land of OS X, persuaded many more to get iPhones, and as my reward, serve as tech support for all of them.  Actually, I serve as tech support for all of my friends, even the ones who persist with Windows computers and opt for Android phones.  It’s not that I have any formal training; it’s just that I have a good sense for how these things should work, enough interest to keep on top of tech news, and the determination to fix tech issues no matter how long it takes.  (It helps if they’ll buy me a latte, though.)

I’ve also long enjoyed dining at Chicago’s many awesome restaurants, and want to start keeping track of all my fabulous meals (and cocktails and glasses of wine.  I LOVE me some fancy cocktails).  This blog may be a bit ill-timed on that front, however; my first baby is due in December, so cocktails have been non-existent, and I’ve been needing to get the approval of the seafood app on my iPhone every time I order a meal.  I can only assume that the presence of my as-yet-unnamed baby boy will coincide with a sad decline in my restaurant excursions.  That’s OK though — it’ll make me all the more enthusiastic about those I actually get to go to, and, it leads nicely into the final topic of this site …

Cooking!  I’ve always had an on-and-off interest in cooking, mostly aspirational.  I was the kind of person who lusted after fancy kitchen equipment and rarely used it once acquired.  However, I redid my kitchen in a pretty modest way about two years ago, and ever since then, I’ve been cooking more and more.  I also encountered a cliché pregnancy side effect — nesting.  The cooking frequency has increased exponentially, and I’m happy to say I’m pretty good at it.  I’m constantly clipping recipes to Evernote (so they are right there to search on my iPhone from Whole Foods, natch) and have even started baking a bit.  If you knew me, you’d know that means business as far as I am concerned — my initial forays were savory only, and my only electric mixer is a 38-year-old hand mixer that I believe my parents were given as a wedding present.  The power cord is constantly falling out — and yet I still made chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes with them that people have been raving about for weeks.  Weeks, I tell you!  Anyway, with baby on the way, I hope to be making his food at home and posting about it here, along with items that are more palatable for adults.

I think these three topics mesh together really nicely — for instance, I don’t have an iPad yet, but I think if and when I get one (not till the 2nd generation, I’ve been an Apple fan long enough to learn that lesson), its primary utility for me will be as a cooking aid.  So, I plan to be posting pictures of delicious dishes, musing on whether to buy new Apple products, and gushing over gustatory delights.  I hope you’ll check back in soon.