Saturday, December 19, 2009

Latkes & Christmas Trees (A Very Festive Sunday).

12.13.2009, Sunday. A very fitting day to acquire a Christmas tree (my first adult purchase of a Christmas tree). The Christmas tree itself was quite an adventure, what with the seven chain stores (multiple Walmarts!) we had to visit in order to locate BLUE Christmas lights & the fact that the first snowflakes fell just as we were selecting the tree in Hadley & we then had the pleasure of driving home in a gorgeous early snow with the tree on the roof of the car. So all of that is a story in itself, & NOW we come to the food...
The epic search for Christmas lights in the essential colour of blue led us to not eat all day yet again so the first step when we returned home laden with BLUE lights & tinsel garlands was this...
A roast chicken, with garlic & rosemary, & stuffed with a dried cherry & shallot stuffing. We used one of the metal ties from the Walmart Christmas lights to sew the chicken together after we stuffed it (so resourceful!). Oh & lots of butter was everywhere.
& yes I am half Jewish & Hanukkah had just begun , so LATKES! (basic recipe: grated potatoes, yukon gold in this case, an onion, an egg). Which were fried in the chicken fat we collected as the chicken roasted (not kosher) (but still the reason we were roasted the chicken). This is non religious but very traditional holiday cooking here, traditional only in the sense of what feels like how you remember it. This feels right, for a half Jewish half Catholic girl raised with zero religion but a hell of a lot of respect for ritual. The other reason we roasted the chicken was that it could smell like Sunday dinner while we decorated the tree. Shit like that's important to me.
By the time we roasted an entire chicken in order to produce the chicken fat in which to fry the latkes, & still hadn't eaten anything, we were starving, & for people who had done a shit ton of cooking, we ate a very informal meal of a shared pile of latkes on the same plate (the chicken wasn't eaten at all that night, but stay tuned for what I did with the ample leftovers).
& then while decorating the tree we realized we had an excess of key limes in the pantry (long story) & well, KEY LIME PIE had to happen. This led to a mad excursion to Stop & Shop ten minutes before they closed in the midst of slush & ice & snow (dreaded "wintery mix" as The Weather Channel likes to say). But then we didn't make the pie. But we did the next night. & stay tuned for pie leftovers leading to dancing, also. Note on the Key Lime Pie: I am well aware Key Lime Pie is not traditionally topped with meringue but I like it to be. So we stayed up late hand beating egg white to make it happen. My key lime pie is really a lemon meringue/key lime hybrid & it's perfect, in my humble opinion.
So tonight, before it begins to snow in Massachusetts, Happy celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, Abigail's birthday, oncoming snowstorm, whatever you like, hopefully with glitter, the only way to truly celebrate at least according to Eating & Drawing.

Friday, December 18, 2009

An Old Classic Revisited, Part Two.

A long overdue conclusion. Oh, let's see, where did we leave off? Oh yes, Dustyrose on the table with a baguette. While all that hilarity was ensuing, some cooking was actually also being accomplished.

Steak simmering in red wine, garlic, & shallots...new yellow potatoes boiling...this all smelled very good...
...which sets the scene for food as sex appeal....i.e. Eating & Drawing's
Classic New Boyfriend Dinner...
oh & the leftovers work great the next night alone in your room at approximately 2:30am after dancing at the basement. (perfect snack for updating your facebook status before going to bed)
I promised in Part One that Part Two was going to explain all, but instead I'm just gonna leave you with: it's good to cook for the people you love, whoever they are. I think the lights on the Christmas tree are making me sentimental or something.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sometimes It's Nice To Be Cooked For.

I love to cook, but sometimes it really is. I always insist that cooking is the most fun for me, & that I rather be the one doing it, & this is all absolutely true...but when last Sunday night Owen insisted that I sit at the kitchen table & get some shit done & drink a glass of wine & eat chips (Tostitos With A Hint Of Lime left behind by temporary housemate Dennis) & salsa (Green Mountain Gringo), & that he was cooking with no help from me so just shut up Liz, it was an amazing feeling. I think this is exaggerated by the fact that the absolute last time anyone cooked for me was Rin's fabulous margarita cupcakes on my birthday, & before that the last time I visited Mum in Brewster & ate delicious leftovers. & the fact that we didn't eat all day of course & I was all typically stressed out & starving.
I drew this on the phone. Owen cooking at 133.
what Owen made: shells, kidney beans, garlic, cheese, I didn't make it so I don't really know but it tasted good.
What I love most about cooking is feeding the people I love. It's nice to experience the other angle of that feeling too.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Above All, We Celebrate Cooking. Thanksgiving Part Four.

That's what Thanksgiving means to me, the holiday of no other obligation than sharing a meal with people you love. It's the signature holiday of EnD. The day after Thanksgiving, DR was mad that I wasn't cooking. It was a pretty insane day for me, that day after Thanksgiving. I woke up surrounded by pans of turkey & stuffing & brussel sprouts. My beloved car died, & I spent six hours in the emergency room.
(mom cook something)
Returning home around 9pm, I ate french fries with mayonnaise & sriracha (these Alexia frozen ones because despite many facebook requests no one would bring me a bacon cheeseburger & onion rings) (& set the oven on fire) & shared a magnum of the Anchor Steam Christmas Ale, & then went dancing at the WWII with my favorite person. Pretty appropriate for the day after, I think, but don't worry, I cooked my ass off the following week.
Thus ends the 2009 Thanksgiving Live-Blogging (sort-of) Experiment.
What's gonna happen on Christmas?!

Here's Where We Get Back To The Gravy. Thanksgiving Part Three.

Um, Yeah, the 2009 Eating & Drawing Thanksgiving Live-Blogging Experiment kinda fell apart around the time that it started to seem like a really good idea to actually EAT Thanksgiving Dinner, rather than draw it & starve. Don't worry though, y'all, eat thanksgiving dinner I most certainly did & I drew it too.
Sides (other than stuffing): my favorite sides for most meat courses
(extremely delicious with steak)
buttery mashed potatoes & brussel sprouts roasted with garlic.

& finally, FINALLY, food plated:
rosemary & sage turkey breast, gravy, yukon gold mashed potatoes, apple-pinenut stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts with garlic.

Yup, I like gravy. I do think the Shawmut Diner's was was more satisfying. But this was my first complete Thanksgiving dinner, & I don't think it turned out half-bad.
The leftovers were better, Sunday night, over a glitter n' glow puzzle.
Thanksgiving dessert also didn't happen the night of Thanksgiving, but it happened, via David Lebovitz and Chez Panisse. Yeah yeah yeah I drew it. What was it? SUSPENSE.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Obviously, There Is Stuffing. Thanksgiving Part Two.

Still Semi-Live Blogging this meal. So....Stuffing, in my opinion the MOST IMPORTANT element of THANKSGIVING. When else do you really eat stuffing? Come on.
(Disclaimer: I really want all my stuffing to include sausage & this year I wanted it to be Oyster & Sausage, but the other theme of this year is "zero money = use what you have").
Which leads to shallots, some local heirloom apples, garlic, & pine-nuts simmered in a pan of butter & olive oil...

...which leads to my newly invented (aka tonight): Apple-Pinenut Stuffing.
Placed in the oven next to the turkey with more butter on top.
Currently I'm working on the mashed potatoes & brussel sprouts. Seriously. I may never actually eat. & when am I going to find time for PIE? I ask you.

So It Begins. Thanksgiving Part One.

In which the turkey breast goes into the oven. & during its first hour in the oven, I've done this. Live Blogging Thanksgiving, only here on EnD.
Stuffed with rosemary & sage (brought home fresh from Mum's garden, Brewster, Cape Cod, & dried by me in my kitchen) & drenched in butter, olive oil & salt & pepper.

DR was offered a can of turkey wellness formula, & promptly turned that shit down. (good kitty).
You cannot believe how good my kitchen smells right now. Off to make the stuffing. See you soon, right here, with stuffing drawings.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Archives Apparently Contain Bacon & Cheese.

One more from the archives before the EnD Turkey Fest begins later today.
This Grilled Cheese was born & consumed on this historic night. Oh Kathy's, so many late night of summer 2009 were spent eating really greasy things in you.
8.14.09, 1:20am, Kathy's Diner, Northampton.
A Bacon Grilled Cheese, With Tomato (the best way.)

From The Archives: Still More Onion Rings.

Onion Rings, an ongoing theme 'round here. This long lost, almost tragically forgotten meal came from this day. We were indeed a couple of sad hipsters, but at least we ate reasonably well (meaning the fries, bacon, & grease food groups were included). & like the last time we ate together at the Northampton Brewery, we were exhausted & hungry. Which I think is why this meal was so good. Plus we were sad. What cures sadness? Onion rings. At least on this blog, they do (Commandments of EnD).
I guess being a food thief has been a tradition here long before I swiped that mocha the other day.
Bacon Cheese Onion Rings: That Which Never Fails Us.
I used to hate ham, but cuban sandwiches won me over. Plus I am a sucker for the words 'spicy cajun' even though I've been back in New England long enough that I shouldn't be fooled anymore.
(& spelling? still fuck you).
I still really only love the Brewery for the mussels & beer sampler combination, most of the other food, while good bar food, isn't worth the money if you're poor, might as well go to Packard's for the jalapeno cheese stuffed deep fried burger. (hell I need to go eat that so I can draw it, very very soon, note to self & anyone who wants to come with me. Or hell, I once made it myself, that could also happen).
See, isn't revisiting the past fun? Yup, that could have been sarcasm (don't tell my work).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tea & Mocha Related Crimes.

In which my partner-in-crime Rin & I consume hot beverages on a rainy November afternoon at the lovely Esselon Cafe in Hadley. I really shouldn't be drawing right now due to the hand injury, but I did these very slowly & over lots of whipped creme (which everyone knows is a healing substance). As anyone who ever draws with me can attest, one & a half drawings over a couple of hours is a VERY slow pace for me.
& Rin helped me out with this one, by drawing his version of my mocha on the opposite page. & by accusing me of being a
MOCHA THIEF !
(fuck spelling on this blog too apparently)
But that's ok, because then Rin HID from our server, making his pot of tea extremely difficult to deliver. What a jerk! Hiding from your server wtf?!
We were on the porch under the heat lamps, so the lighting was really that red. The whole experience was rather like drinking coffee in a bordello. Which is not at all a bad thing, obviously. The delighfully fake plants & insanely ornate mirror we were seated next to contributed to the overall experience. I like Esselon, all the food near us looked & smelled delicious but we are poor & didn't order any.
Hint: TAKE RIN & I OUT TO LUNCH. WE ARE ADORABLE. WE PROMISE WE'LL KEEP THE BEVERAGE RELATED HI-JINKS TO A MINIMUM.
Oh wait, no we don't. YAY HI-JINKS!
XOXO.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shawmut Diner, New Bedford, Part Two.

& here we have the main courses. Remember, we left off with kale soup & onion rings? Well, this is where we get to the GRAVY.
Meatloaf.
Chopped Hamburger Steak.
(what is the difference between this & meatloaf, can anyone tell me? The onions? Just the shape?)
You need bread & butter when there's that much gravy.
I can eat fresh, local, gorgeous ingredients all day & night but sometimes there's just something satifisying about meat, potatoes, & gravy in a diner in New Bedford.
You can take a girl out of NB & move her to Noho but you can't keep her out of the Shawmut Diner forever.

Welcome To Crazyland.

I recently hurt my drawing hand at stupid work, which is limiting how much actual current drawing I can do, but fortunately for all y'all, I have all my massive DnD & EnD archives to fall back on (i.e. the looming piles of hand.book sketchbooks on both my desk & my drawing table). Thank christ I was so fing productive all summer & early fall, I guess.
For a while this summer, I did these drawings where I documented every single thing I ate in a given day. OCD anyone? This relates to a food/art project that Rin & I were working on last March which we never finished, & which I do hope makes an appearance here someday. & some other posts very early on in the creation of this site.
So I love food, but I have a lot of weird issues with food (surprise, surprise) & these drawings are strangely comforting to create. Yes, Welcome To Crazyland. I never ever said sanity was gonna be the ruling force 'round here, y'all.
8.4.09: this one seems reasonable.
8.5.09: drinking with gramma, drinking with jed & melissa, lots of good food, dancing, also reasonable.
8.6.2009: this was a DnD Thursday. 'Nough said.
8.7.09: work & then a Friday night at the Deuce = soup & coffee, a shit ton of $3 rum & cokes, sam's pizza, & leftovers alone very late at night, i.e. terrible eating habits.
8.8.09: fucking soup.
8.9.09: more soup (thanks work), dinner with roommate.
8.10.09: pre-DnDnD2k09 preparation adventures, ending up at the Northampton Brewery, with excellent sandwiches & beer samplers.
8.14.09: crazy night with matt, including but not limited to free wine & snacks at Arts Night Out, grilled sausages (me) & veggies (matt) at a bbq birthday party for someone we didn't know, a bottle of wine drunk on the steet that almost got us arrested, too many long island iced teas at the WW2, kathy's very late.
good eating habits?
10.11.09: this is all about guilt, really,.
I haven't done this recently, but probably will fall back into it in the future, it's a fun thing to do in bars when you're bored. Or if you happen to be a 'lil bit crazy.
Plus who DOESN'T love Obsessive Documentation of Something No-one Cares About?
Welcome to EnD.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Hidden Meaning Of Breakfasts.

The thing I find most missing about not waking up next to someone mindblowingly awesome on a regular basis(well ok, obviously not the thing I miss the MOST, but still an important one)is BREAKFASTS!!!! (this is a food blog not a dating blog, yo)
There's just something about excessive quantities of butter & bacon & maple syrup that seems awkward when you do it alone, but when you wake up in the mood to show true affection through food, is just perfect. Cooking in pajamas & t-shirts in the morning sunlight, sleepily locating eggs & toast, that's a huge part of physical chemistry, for me anyway. (we all know of course that I'm weird) I've been waiting to keep bacon & eggs in the house on a regular basis for a while. So here's a few breakfasts from the past month or so.
First Breakfast = All the obvious things, i.e. bacon, eggs, toast.
Cause I'm me, the toast was from the Hello Kitty Toaster & the butter was served in a kitten rice bowl,
SO KITTY BREAKFAST.
The type of breakfast only eaten by two people who get a shit ton of odd food items for free from work, & are also running late for work.
& This is also work related: the Overly Local Breakfast,
consisting of Kickass French Toast made with Diemand Farms Eggs, Vermont Applewood Smoked Bacon, East Baking Company Maple Cinnamon Bread (i.e. the world's best bread for any kind of toast), Maple Syrup from the Northampton Farmers Market & Cabot Butter & Pierce Brothers Coffee.
Yeah we are kind of new breed of hipster yuppie I think.
I have a feeling that the Chocolate Chip Pancake chapter is next in this saga.
Also the wonderful world of SAUSAGE.

Friday, November 20, 2009

An Old Classic Revisited, Part One.

Yup, I apparently now do Sequels & Conclusions on this blog. (& the Shawmut Diner Part Two will happen, DO NOT FREAK OUT, all you readers dying for that conclusion). FOOD WITH SUSPENSE!!!!!! Come on, you love it! I'm not sure if it's busyness, laziness, or the fact that the blog posts I conceive of in my head lately get ever more intricate & involved & difficult to actually complete in one sitting, & I like to put something up occasionally, so yeah. Here's another Part One. This one references a post I did long ago on this blog: i.e. the Classic New Boyfriend Dinner. I was pretty depressed when I wrote the original post.HOWEVER (seriously ladies, if you cook at all pay attention to this shit) Part One will actually tell you nothing. Part Two. Pay attention to that. This is just about stuff. THE FOOD STUFF.
Ingredients spilled across my kitchen table.
New yellow potatoes & brussel sprouts.
Italic
A reasonable but not expensive piece of steak & shallots (very important) & garlic & cheap red wine & butter (also important but not as much)
& then you let your cat sit on the table because she is oh so adorable.
& now there's a baguette!
& then you actually cook this shit. Details coming soon.
"Dinners for Boys You Like," also a new category on Eating & Drawing, also coming soon.
(that's what she said)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shawmut Diner, New Bedford, Part One.

What does happen when you & your companion don't eat for like 24 hours straight & then end up driving to New Bedford, MA on a chilly November afternoon? I guess this. The Shawmut Diner. A multi-course meal, consumed by starving hipsters. in stylish outfits. IN NEW BEDFORD. YUP. NOT KIDDING. Beginning with, guess guess guess oh come on, its New Bedford,
The Soup Course: !KALE SOUP!
(I hated this a lot in the Carney Academy cafeteria when I was eight, but I've grown up (a bit) since then)(& crackers) (cause soup is just a vehicle for crackers) (we miss you Caitlin) but this was seriously a classic South Coast diner kale soup, slightly spicy, LinguiƧa, beans, all that good shit combined with diner coffee i.e. the best thing ever.
& then, ONION RINGS!!!! best I've had in a while, or I was just still really starving. OR NB DOES RULE (in the onion rings department anyway. )
& the "multi-course" reference was not a joke (or, thank god, sarcasm) so the rest of the meal will be posted soon. Like the main courses & all the money shots. Yup. New Bedford Rules. Etc. (p.s. chopped hamburger steak & onions + meatloaf both appear in the upcoming sequel.
OOOOHHHH the gravy.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halloween = Weird Food = NOODLE PIE.

Yup, here on this blog, Halloween is "weird food time."
(ARE WE EVEN SURPRISED?!)
This saga of insane meals started with the eve of October 30th,
when Rin & Melissa & I got dressed here at 133 for "The Halloween Party With the Cool Name" next door at the Media Mansion,
(demonic milkmaid + cowboy + 80's prom glam btw)
& Rin & I decided at the very last minute that we needed to do one of our classic Iron Chef no ingredients purchased meals (also vegan) which Rin is & I am not, which means since we cook at my house that many of the available ingredients are not...
This was a tragic pantry situation for me, in general, in terms of total lack or reasonable food in the house,
so here's what we came up with:
three local cippollini onions, a shallot, white wine, olive oil, tomato paste, red wine, a can of aduzki beans, a tiny summer squash, frozen butternut squash, baked in a lasagna pan with big thick noodles & covered in panko.
You figure it out. But it worked (sort of)
(fun to draw anyway)
Rin christened this dish:
"Noodle Pie"
& then the next night!
HALLOWEEN!!!!!!
my favourite night!
except for all the other festive nights of course...
Leftovers served in a tostada bowl with salsa!
(yeah we get some odd random free shit from work, WORD.)
WITH SALSA!!!!
& it was motherfucking HALLOWEEN Y'ALL
Obviously,
the accompanying drink was Gin & Moxie.
& dancing followed.
& this goes down on the Eating & Drawing books as the best Halloween so far.
But that's how we is.
(with noodle pies)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lamb Part 3. (or Lamb Month, or Year, or Something).

Yes, I know, I know, FINALLY. Lamb Week Continues.
Definitely not really a WEEK at this point.
But still, the cooking of lamb WILL CONTINUE here at Eating & Drawing,
however long it may take.
Yet again, I did not complete a Saveur recipe.
Or perhaps the theme of this blog.
Someday.
But it had been a particularly complicated day leading up to my lamb dinner plans, so instead of reading a recipe, I created this, from my heart.
This meal essentially combines some of my favourite classic life comfort foods into one, then adds lamb. & I invented it on my sixth day of the week at work, & shopped for it & prepared it immediately following work,
& if I believe Melissa, it totally ruled.

SO, I did I achieve this culinary brilliance?
I rushed home from work, & first started a basic red sauce, by sauting one very expensive shallot (seriously yo, $9.99/lb at my work, wtf) & olive oil & a shit ton of garlic, then added ground lamb, which is the point, then cheap red wine & two cans of Muir Glen diced tomatoes with garlic & basil (on sale PLUS a coupon), all of which simmered while I sliced eggplant & breaded it in panko & an egg & 1/2 & 12/2 combination, & deep fried them in more olive oil.
In a lasagna pan I layered the sauce & the eggplant slices with grated cheese in between (this was just some crappy mozzarella cheese from work) & covered the whole thing in cheese & crushed pinenuts, & baked covered at around 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Yum delicious.
Served with a baby arugula salad & of course Goddess Dressing.
Extra special thanks to Melissa for her lovely company & her incredibly positive attitude towards my cooking experiments.
I'm liking lamb, so probably there will be more to this.
Probably still recipe-free. That's just how we roll here.

Cauliflower Curry, November Nights.

New England Fall Dinner: Cauliflower Curry.
Coming home from work on rainy November nights,
this is what I like to start cooking
(to save my soul).
Then the whole house smells warm & spicy, & the fact that it's chilly & dismal outside begins to seem almost like a good thing,
because it makes the inside just so perfect.
Want to truly appreciate these late fall Massachusetts nights?
Here's how.
FIRST, come home, turn on your best lamps
(good lighting is very important in winter)
pour a glass of red wine, & find some good music
then,
Saute an onion, garlic, serrano chili peppers in butter & olive oil (heavier on the butter), add some curry paste (here I'm used Patak's Garam Masala, Hot) & salt & pepper & the various spices that make up basic curry (ie tumeric, cumin, coriander, chili, etc) to personal taste, add cauliflower & potatoes & a can of chickpeas, stir, add enough 1/2 & 1/2 to cover everything, bring to a boil, add spinach, turn down to low, simmer for a while while the house starts to smell warmer & warmer
(hells yes WARM is a smell)
Make whatever rice you prefer (I prefer jasmine or white basmati with this),
& serve with & naan & hopefully chutney
(I actually didn't have any, shame on me).
Best eaten cuddled up under a blanket on the couch in the company of a kitten, maybe watching Twin Peaks.
(if you're into that)
Conclusion: this meals also creates a whole lot of leftovers if you do it right,
so I've been eating it all week.
Good times = week of curry.
But I just ran out, so gonna have to cook something tonight.
Stay tuned for that, oh & everything else I've eaten & drawn in the way too long span of time since I've last posted.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Meals That Aren't Dinner.

Because there are other meals besides my regular solitary elaborate 3am dinners.
& there are the good friends you share them with. & all the places to eat late lunches & early breakfasts & post-dancing snacks in the Pioneer Valley. Such as:
Crepes with strawberries & honey & whipped creme & the MOST perfect mochas with Melissa at Mosaic.
Wednesday morning after a Tuesday night of dancing at the Basement.
There are always the meals eaten in the parking lot at the grocery store.
Some shit I ate on recent breaks.
My classic hot sauce & cheese sandwiches & instant miso soup.
yup, that's what I eat at work.
(plus a note from Cait)
Lunch with Ali at The Black Sheep.
A good sandwich really takes you far in this life.
& then, there's the TALKING over sandwiches.
With your AWESOME SISTER.
In which Local Burger saves all our lives, by way of snacks after dancing.
All fried. & dipped in something else delicious.
Where do all these drawing come from?
My typical room at right around 3am.
post-dancing, post-facebook, post texting, just me, alone, eating & drawing.
& Rin's tofu sandwich, while we were drawing/painting.
At Woodstar last week.
I can't say it enough. Food shapes all our lives.