Archive for the ‘Weekends’ Category
Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long. Working is hard!!
Let’s get down to business. When we last talked we I was running an experiment here at Casa de Crazy with HAM, to see if I could kill Sean. Good news: Sean is fine. Bad news: Ham is delicious, and now we have another item of porky badness to add to our mostly pork arsenal.
First I used the leftover roasted pork to make tacos. It looked like this, and it was amazing:
Onions, meat, cheese, and leftover salsa from a few posts back. Yum.
Served with a cold, hoppy Union Jack.
Poor Sean. On top of my “allergy experiments” he lives with this.
I swear that during the day this was a cute outfit of black slouchy boots, black leggings, and a dress, but then I got home, and took off the boots, and put on ugly slippers over my ugly socks. Even Ginger looks embarassed.
The next morning we had ham fried rice with a fried egg on top. We cut some chard from the garden and used green onions and a dash of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce. It was way better than the Spam fried rice I made a while back.
The next dish: warm lentil salad with celery, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and a vinagrette… oh and HAM! Served with roasted cauliflower.
Not a beautiful picture, but my belly was appreciative.
Since Sean was still not dead, I also made split pea soup with the ham bone. We drizzled some Pasolivo California olive oil over the top, and it was warm and satisfying.
Sean didn’t get a single hive, and I still have more ham left in the freezer! I’m pretty stoked to find out that Sean’s allergy was probably due to some overprocessed ham he’d had in the past, because everything we had was awesome.
Ham! Fuck yeah!!
After “Hamfest 2008” I made a potato pizza, served with a nice Firestone Pale Ale. Sean thought it might be too carby, but it was pretty good with olive oil and rosemary.
Serve with arugula salad with shaved onions, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
In other news:
Soon we’re going to have tomatoes from our own garden.
And the hollyhock is doing a good job of looking pretty and keeping bugs off the important plants.
Sean, being the saint that he is, got me a bell to go on my bike. He is SOOOOOOOOO much nicer than I am (and never tries to kill me.)
That’s a pretty swanky bike, huh? She just needs a name now.
I’m sure you’re all bored with me, and I have some beers to drink, and then throw on the lawn (this is one of my favorite things to do when I’m home at my parents: Throw beers on the lawn to watch my dad come outside and yell “Goddamn Kids!” while I giggle from the porch. He gets so mad so easily, and I am so easily entertained.)
Happy Friday everyone! And remember: Don’t be a queer, have a beer!
Sorry we’ve been so busy around here and I’ve been neglecting the blog! Here are my excuses:
I started my new job, and it’s great.
It’s been a million fucking degrees here. (Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but it has been over 100 for a couple of days, so there hasn’t been much cooking going on in our kitchen.)
Luckily, Sean loves to grill, so we’ve made use of the BBQ.
Saturday we went to the Farmer’s Market and picked up some fresh local cod, a bunch of tomatoes and some blueberries and apricots. The fruit isn’t quite up to snuff yet, IMO, because it’s not super sweet quite yet. The tomatoes, on the other hand were amazing, and Sean made a delicious Caprese salad Saturday night, and some salsa for fish tacos for lunch on Sunday.
Last night Sean grilled some pork, corn and onions for dinner. It was delicious, but I was beat from the heat, and forgot to take pictures.
The only thing I made this weekend were pickles. I adore pickles, and have been meaning to try to make my own for some time, but never seemed to find the courage or the gumption to do so. This recipe made it seem easy, so we picked up the supplies, and made our own pickles.
I have been on a mission lately to make things from scratch, and seem to find that most recipes I try are super simple, and take almost no time to mix up, but do require some patience to wait for things to cook, or cure, or rise, or roast. It’s pretty incredible, and really satisfying to make your own bread (which I also did this weekend, and I swear I’ll get to that recipe soon,) pickles, etc. My next project: jam. After that: kimchi. I’m going to clean out our super creepy basement, home to a thousand spider ghosts, and make room for jars of STUFF. (Especially because kimchi stinks, and I don’t want it in the house.)
Anyway, the pickles take just a few days to ferment, and then they should be ready to eat. I’ll let you know how they turned out, but here’s what they look like so far.
It took about an hour to make the pickles, but most of that time was spent waiting for water to boil. The only real work was washing and slicing cucumbers, and smashing a few cloves of garlic. Easy as pie.
I can’t wait to try them!
Needless to say, there was also a lot of beer consumed this weekend, just like every other weekend at our house, but we didn’t make it to the Paso Robles Wine Festival. It was too hot outside, I had to leave for work halfway through it, and to be honest, red wine tastes pretty naff when it’s 104 outside. (We did open a few bottles of white and rose this weekend though, and they were cool, refreshing and just right.)
Hope you all had a good weekend!
Sorry I haven’t been around to write the last couple of days. It’s been sort of crazy around here, but crazy in the best possible way.
First, I got a new job. I wasn’t really stoked about it, and I was supposed to start on my birthday (Saturday,) but then something amazing happened.
I got another job at my favorite place on earth! So, instead of starting at my first new job, I quit on my birthday, and am starting tomorrow at my second new job at my favorite place on earth. Needless to say, I am super excited!
Friday night I wanted something unspicy, since we had been eating chile verde leftovers all week, and our stomachs needed a break (if you know what I mean.) So we made pizza dough, and topped it with caramelized onions, leeks, and mushrooms, and a mix of ricotta and goat cheese.
I think it was missing something, and next time I’ll add a sauce of some sort, maybe pesto.
The crust on that pizza was a little retarded, but it doesn’t really matter. We made a second pizza, and there are still leftovers in the fridge. That one was prettier, but I didn’t take any pictures. I must have been drunk
Saturday, Sean had plans to surprise me with a birthday lunch of hot dogs, but since I had the day off we went to Taco Temple instead. It was amazing (as always) but I forgot my camera, so there are no pictures of the calamari and halibut tacos. If you’ve never been to the Taco Temple you need to drag your scrawny butt there, and bring your appetite. It’s incredible. Huge pieces of grilled halibut, on a bed of greens, not even pretending to be a “taco” until you get to the very bottom of the plate, and notice that there are two smallish corn tortillas at the bottom. It’s really good.
After that we went to the brewery, or as I like to call it “my favorite place earth,” for a birthday beer or three.
Then home for burgers. I know. I’m a low-fi kinda girl. It really doesn’t take much more than burgers and beers to make me happy on my birthday.
First we had another beer.
And then we talked about opening some wine, which we somehow (wisely) decided would be a bad idea, but I think we may have had some in the fridge. (OK, we did have some leftover Fat Boy in the fridge that we drank.)
Sean told me I couldn’t tell you about this wine, because it’s our favorite wine in the world, and we don’t want you to buy it out from under us. It truly is amazing, and not to be wasted by drunken morons who have already had too much beer.
Don’t be like us.
Then we lit the fire, grilled some onions, cooked some bacon, fired some burgers, melted some cheese onto them, fried a few eggs, and sliced some pickles. It looked like this.
When you put it all together it looks like this:
Burger with cheese.
Perfectly cooked soft centered egg.
(That picture just does not want to load, so you’re going to have to use your imagination.)
Put some grilled onions on top of that egg.
Put some bacon on top of those onions.
I also sliced up some half sour pickles, and put a little mustard on there, so the sourness would cut through all the richness of everything else. Then I smushed it all down so the egg would run all over.
It was a perfect birthday dinner with my super amazing boyfriend. I’m one lucky girl.
And, as always don’t forget the beer.
We also had a pretty amazing day on Sunday.
Sean’s getting me a bike for my birthday (did I not tell you he’s the greatest guy EVAR?) So, we went bike shopping. I think I’ve decided on an Electra Amsterdam bike in black with eight speeds. It’s going to be bitching.
We really worked up a thirst shopping so we had to go to the brewery to rehydrate.
After that we decided to pretend we were in Long Beach at Joe Jost’s for the weekend, and we picked up a case of Pabst Blue Ribbons, and the makings for a “special.”
Joe Jost’s sells a “special” which is basicallly a hot dog on a piece of rye, with mustard, jack cheese and a pickle, served with spicy pickled eggs and pretzels. I had made a loaf of rye bread, but the butcher wasn’t open, so we had to resort to brats, but we had pickled eggs from Joe Jost’s in the fridge and pretzels to go on the side.
The bread wasn’t as tasty as I thought it could have been. It needed more rye flour, but it was still pretty good, and almost like being at the bar thanks to the cold PBRs.
We also added some grilled onions and garlic, because we could. The Joe Jost police weren’t there to tell us not to.
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend, even though my best friend flaked on dinner last night, and I was pissed, but that’s sort of just the way she is. Whatever, Sean and the dogs and I had a great time, and 29 doesn’t seem so bad so far.
Weekends are always meant for misbehaving, at least in my book, but some weekends the misbehaving is more excessive than others.
Friday I baked some bread to take to Miguel, the man who runs the bottling line at Firestone Walker. We like him, so we bake him bread. He swears that I am just trying to fatten him up. I keep trying to tell him that my mission in life is to fatten up everyone I like. He think I’m kidding.
He wasn’t there, so we gave the bread to Tyler, who works at Zenaida, a local winery. It’s his birthday today, and he loves bread. He tore through more than half a loaf while we sat around having a few pints of Velvet Merkin and Union Jack. I love watching people truly enjoy the food that I make. It’s really satisfying.
That night I actually got around to making some Mexican food! Shredded chicken and refried beans. The chicken was as average as you can imagine. Chicken breasts tend to be that way, and we don’t eat them frequently, but there were some frozen ones in the freezer that needed to be used.
Saturday morning we got up a little late, and I made chorizo and eggs for breakfast. Our butcher makes the greatest Mexican chorizo. It was truly delicious.
We had to meet up with a girl that Sean works with who was up in Paso wine tasting for the weekend with her boyfriend, and we totally had that discussion before we left the house that we were only going to go to one or two wineries, and then come home and work on the house.
It’s really too bad that wine makes you forget all your best intentions, and instead makes you want more wine. So, five wineries later (Eberle, Robert Hall, Firestone, Zenaida, and Four Vines,) and one trip to Firestone Walker Brewery (one Union Jack,) and one trip to the Mexi mart later for Carne Asada, and super hot salsa that burns your butt, and some Chipotle flavored Doritos (don’t ask,) and we were home. I think at that point I decided it would be a good idea to have another shot of tequila. (I still don’t like it, but Sean seems to get a kick out of the faces I make when I drink it.) And, things went downhill from there.
We did have dinner, but the details are a little fuzzy. I got out our biggest butcher knife to chop up the meat. Things weren’t going well, so Sean asked me if I wanted the cleaver, but I just decided to whack away at the beef with a GIANT, VERY SHARP BUTCHER KNIFE. I still have all my fingers, but the knife got stuck in the cutting board, and there were bits of meat stuck to the kitchen wall that I had to clean up the next morning. Needless to say, knives and copius amounts of alcohol do not mix kids!
Sunday was sort of a lost cause, as we were both a little under the weather the next morning. So, we cut our losses, had some leftovers, and ran to the store to get the makings for chile verde.
First though: I got a call from my Grandma to tell me Happy Birthday. She’s more than a little old, mean, and crazy, and you know my birthday’s not until next week, but whatevs. Thanks for remembering things Granny! (Those were her words: I remember things.)
Then my brother called to ask what he should make for dinner. I suggested pork. He seemed pleased.
Then my mother called to see what I wanted for my birthday dinner.
Me: I don’t know… something porky.
Lucinda (Mom): You spend too much time at the butcher.
Me: True. OMG. I stopped in there this week and picked up the greatest hot dogs.
Lucinda: DO NOT MENTION THAT TO YOUR FATHER. You know how he feels about hot dogs.
Indeed I do. Indeed I do.
(In case you didn’t get my point: Juan loves hot dogs.)
So, finally we got home, and started to make the chile verde. It takes forever, and uses a lot of dishes, knives, bowls and cutting boards, but it’s worth the time and effort.
First I chopped up about five pounds of bone in pork butt. Don’t worry about the fat too much. This dish cooks down for hours, and the fat just sort of melts.
Lightly coat the meat in salt, pepper and flour. Brown it in a pan. I used two pans because I didn’t want to crowd the meat.
Once the meat is all cooked up remove it from the pan, and add a couple of diced onions. I’d show you the picture, but it came out blurry. Next, wash some tomatillos, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, jalapenos, serranos and some other chilles, and chop them up to add to the pan. The different heat levels of the peppers add a lot of dimension to the finished dish.
Add the meat back in once you’ve added all the veggies. Pour in some chicken stock, a bunch of cilantro, add a couple of bay leaves, some cumin, coriander seeds and oregano, and turn the heat down to low and let the whole mess simmer for three or four hours.
Crack open a beer and go sit in the yard for a while watching the garden grow.
We also cooked some refried beans from scratch while the chile verde simmered.
This is what it all looked like in the end.
I know that sort of looks like a hot mess, but it was a tasty pile of spicy, melty pork served over white rice, with some chorizo flavored refried beans, and topped with a little shredded cheese. It was delicious and perfect for Cinco de Mayo.
As always… don’t forget the beer.
So, since I’ve officially overdosed us on Mexican beer and Mexican food we’ll probably be a little more low key tonight. Also, we’re supposed to go to a friend’s 40th birthday party tonight, but we really don’t want to. I was trying to think up a good excuse, but I don’t really have one, so I might just say “We have a lot of leftovers to eat. Sorry.”
I have to say hello to all of Cami’s readers. Thanks for coming to visit! Hope you all had a great weekend!!
Our weekend didn’t exactly go as planned.
Friday night: I have no recollection of what we did after we drank Mojitos. I want to say we went to the brewery, but I don’t believe we did. But, we may have eaten lasagna. It’s shocking. I know.
Saturday: We got up an watched qualifying for F1. F1 is the shit. You should start watching it, and making fun of Fernando Alonso like we do around here. He may be Spanish, but that doesn’t me we have to like him. He’s an asshole, but his Renault car did well in qualifying. Just not as well as my favorite Finn, The Ice Man, Kimi Raikkonen. I love when he wins, and gets up on the podium, and even though he just kicked major ass he says shit like “Yeah. It was alright. We did good. It was a good day.” Super straight faced. Never excited. Almost like a zombie. I love that guy.
After that we went to the Farmer’s Market and bought some spinach and beets. They’re still sitting in the fridge.
Then we went and had good Mexican food at Lo Mejor de Michoacan. They’re only good on the weekends though.
Then we worked on the front yard. I caught my shoelace on a rake, and fell down and scraped my arm. This is also, I’m sure, shocking to all of you who know what a clumsy fool I am. There’s a star tattoo on my inner left wrist though, and now it looks like a shooting star. Only in blood and a little off-kilter. It’s sorta cool.
Then we cleaned up and went to the brewery. Yum. We were chatting with Jesse, one of the girls that works in the tasting room, and Chris, another guy who works there, grabbed us our beers without Jesse knowing it. So, Jesse walked over and we happily accepted another White Opal (a seasonal white beer) We were totally double-fisted. Which is awesome.
Stacy also called to tell me that she had to make her own cupcakes on her birthday. And that she was wasted. I totes understand about the cupcakes though. I hate when someone else fucks up my birthday dessert.
Then we ate brats and a couscous salad. The salad tasted far too healthy with the decadent brats covered in mustard, sauerkraut and jalapenos.
And then we did not sleep because it was hot as Hell here on Saturday, and someone may have had some gas from too much sauerkraut. Sean said it was Frank, but it may have been me.
Sunday: We watched the Spanish GP. Kimi won and was every bit as unscintillating as one would expect. There was about ten scary minutes when Heikki Kovalainen crashed his McLaren into the tire barrier, and Speed didn’t show his status. I thought for sure he had to be dead, and had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. Luckily, he just suffered some bumps and bruises, but he wants to race in Turkey in two weeks.
Then Sean worked on the yard, which made me cranky because we had already spent one day working on the yard, and that was enough for me.
So, we went to the grocery and bought another round of brats. They were that good. And, I made a potato salad. This potato salad. It felt sufficiently unhealthy enough to eat with sausage. I also made some Pizza Bianca, but the dough was a little troubling because the recipe was originally printed out wrong. I eventually got it right, but I seriously charred the first pizza in the oven. Like super black. I think that’s the first time in my life I’ve ever torched something so badly. Luckily, the mojitos Sean made took to edge out of my abject failure.
The neighbors came over for dinner and drinks. They’re two Cal Poly professors, and we like them a lot. Very absent-minded professory, but fun.
I guess my point in all this is to say: I didn’t get any chile verde, and there were no pictures taken. I keep forgetting.
Tonight we’re having burgers, and more potato salad. Maybe I’ll remember to use my camera.
We’ve now switched to drinking mojitos. I have several reasons for this decision. Let me list them off for you:
1. There was some Mojito Mix from Trader Joe’s on top of the fridge that’s been there since last summer.
2. There is a shitload of mint growing in the garden, and though it smells good, I never can find a reason to use it.
3. I was bored.
4. There was cold rum in the freezer.
5. We’re borderline alcoholics.
Just kidding Mom!
Anyway, the mojitos make it feel like Summertime up in this joint. And now I’m thinking about Will Smith. And now Tom Cruise. And now Posh Beckham is making me feel fat.
I blame the mint. And my boyfriend’s ex. (She’s my default villain in every scenario. I hate her on principal, but on many principals that I will get into later, but not now. My brother’s ex was my previous default villain. They’re pretty similar actually. Again, we can talk about that later. And, also, by default villain I mean these are the people who are villains in my nightmares at night. I know worse people, but my subconscious only lets me dream of slightly hateful people.)
I think I had a point in telling you about the mojitos. One that didn’t lead to me being an alcoholic. Don’t judge; it’s the weekend. I don’t remember that point so let me end with this: mojitos are delicious FTW!