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.
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.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lamb Week Part #2.

Yup, more lamb.
Right up front, apologies, it was my very much needed day off, & there was more very late sleeping & shopping & hanging out & mochas from Woodstar previous to lamb preparation than intended, so this is a simpler version of Liz's Rack of Lamb than the one imagined in my head,
i.e. NO BACON.
Later for bacon + lamb, though, promise, more apologies.
The beginning, equalling an Icelandic rack of lamb, in my treasured Le Creuset baking pan, & red wine, olive oil, garlic, shallots, marjoram, & purple carrots (I know, I'm overdoing the purple carrots lately, my apologies), damn this is the Jewish guilt espisode here or some shit like that, whatever, apologies stop NOW. This was damn good food, in thge end, that's all that ever matters.
Rack of lamb, fresh out of the oven, oh so pretty.
A pretty good reason, all in itself, to have a food/art blog.
of course due to all the lovely Savers & Marshall's shopping that happened beforehand, this meal was served way later than planned.
hence SNACKS!
Some goat cheese spread from Whole Foods
(why do I still go there? I still really like good food. & this was one of my first trips to that location where I felt just like a customer & not like a walking curiosity, so that was cool).
What was in this cheese? The label said "ask a speciality team member." I didn't, so I'm gonna guess since I'm not an idiot that it was walnuts & cranberries, good anyway, although not mindblowing. The crackers were "orangic saltines" free from my work, & they pretty much sucked. No structure.
(yes funny on many levels)
Although who cares anymore about the snacks!
Dinner Served: Lamb in Red Wine & Shallots & Garlic with Purple Carrots, , Israeli Couscous, & Summer Squash Sauted in Butter.
oh god what's next? oh, right lamb + bacon.
oh & that moussaka recipe from Saveur.
(ps lamb week is really lamb week or two or three. come on, I have Halloween activities to attend, I can't cook large serious cuts of meat EVERY night),
but whatever I do, y'all be assured that I will be drawing it.
Two things that will happen soon on Eating & Drawing:
Duck Week! & The White Trash Food Series! Yes!
& extra special thanks to the lovely Melissa for for being such a patient tasting companion.
Without eaters, this blog could not exist. Neither could cooking actually.
So, thank you, all y'all, for tasting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tofu, Hoisin Sauce, A Story.

My Vegan Comfort Dinner, With A Complicated History Behind It.
I first ate this meal in 2000, cooked for me on my first visit to my eventual apartment on Cabrillo Street in San Francisco, before I lived there.
(for this I used the awesome Bridge tofu, all I use these days, really),
sliced & baked with Hoisin sauce, scallions & garlic.
Really really simple, really delicious, really soul southing.
I usually serve this with rice (brown basmati here 'cause that's how I've been rolling (with rice) lately), a mixed green salad (or rather, there should have been one but I didn't have any salad greens, so I skipped that part) & slices of avocado (more important than the salad)
because that's how I first ate this meal,
& the first time I ate this was an important dinner.
(this food led to me getting married, & living in New Orleans)
(& those are just a few of the consequences of this meal)
See, I'm not lying when I say food shapes our lives.
& this meal makes great leftovers, & brought me this delightful sandwich, which was crucial to my surviving last Saturday at the grocery store. I was obviously in a weird mood when I created this Saturday morning, but it worked (for me).
My Saturday Sandwich=
East Baking Co. Oatmeal Bread, Hellman's Mayonnaise (the only mayonnaise as far as I'm concerned & the condiment I would need on a desert island), Sriracha Hot Sauce (The other condiment I need on that island, now I'm all set), Neighbourly Farms of Vermont Chipotle Cheddar Cheese
(this cheese made a classic appearance during DnDnD2k09,
at Foamhenge, driving through Virginia),
& of course the leftover tofu slices.
I haven't eaten this meal in years.
I think in fact, not since I was still married.
& that goes way back.
It's nice to have these tastes back in my life.

Brussel Sprouts & Pumpkin Beer.

That is the theme for today.
It's mid-October in Massachusetts, so time for lovely things like gorgeous stalks of brussels sprouts
& sampling various pumpkin beers in my kitchen on a Monday night.

I sold a lot of these today, & they are just so pretty.
Actually my pretty shitty day was somewhat redeemed by some of my last customers buying one of these & inspiring this post.
& Pumpkin beer!
In my favorite pint glass from the Rendevous of course.
Brussel sprouts are one of those foods that people think are gross until they realize they are delicious. Really. I turn people on to brussel sprouts everyday. Well almost.
The whole meal: roasted brussel sprouts, brown basmati rice, sardines (I know I'm weird, I LOVE sardines)(at least the kittens appreciate this habit) & another Dogfish Head Punkin Ale.
In the conclusion (at least for tonight) of the pumpkin beer challenge, Dogfish Head won, hands down. I was really excited about the Shipyard, & it was boring. & I open the first Dogfish, which I've had before but not this year, & it was perfect. Just want you want. But I love Dogfish beers in general, I feel like they craft beers like I cook, all crazy & jumbled & random & take risks & somehow it works.
There are so many pumpkin beers though, this being New England, so I guess I will just have to sample more to be fair.
Aw, poor me.
But right now I want a pumpkin themed dessert & I have none.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lamb Week Part #1.

The current issue of Saveur Magazine (aka my favourite magazine that is not a supermarket tabloid) which I finally broke down & purchased is the "Why Lamb Rules" Issue. (I agree)
(when I read food magazines, which I do incessantly, I rarely READ them, I just gaze longingly at the pictures, & then I invent my own recipes in my head.) Back to today.
A rainy way too freezing Sunday in October in New England, & a crappy day at the grocery store. Hence time to make myself a nice Sunday dinner, & begin LAMB WEEK 2009.
A reasonably inexpensive lamb chop, simmered in cippolini onions, garlic, olive oil, butter, red wine, a purple carrot, a new yellow potato & frozen peas.
plus, a few teaspoons of garam masala.

& on the side, oyster mushrooms roasted in olive oil.
(doesn't really make sense but I needed to use these mushrooms,
& it actually tasted ok as a combination).
All in all, a weirdly 21st century British dinner. I think I've been reading too much current British fiction lately.

A lamb chop with peas, carrots, potatoes, onions, but in a curry sauce,
& Bread Euphoria challah bread (for the Jewish element)
& butter (for the BUTTER element) & yes, those oyster mushrooms.

Apparently I am making a Melissa a rack of lamb later in the week. 
HINT: It's gonna involve bacon. OMG piglets & lambs together at last. 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Root Vegetables & Mushrooms.

DnDnE Dinner with Beth, 10.7.09.
I was very broke on this on particular Wednesday, & was making this DnDnE dinner for the lovely Beth out of entirely free produce from work & what I happened to have in the pantry.
(this is a common situation for me). On this day, I had parsnips, garnet sweet potatoes, carrots, & an excess of crimini mushrooms. I consulted my colleague, Rin, & between the two of us, we came up with this,
(Oh wait! & Beth brought red russian kale & magic minty garlic from the Garlic Fest):
Mashed Roasted Root Vegetables, Pappardelle with a Mushroom Cream Sauce, Kale sauted with Olive Oil & Magic Garlic.

& here is Beth & Maggie, enjoying our dinner. Well, actually Magazine, being a cat, is sound asleep on a bag, & Beth is drawing, but whatever.

(you will, if you look very closely, notice a certain shimmeryness to this drawing.
thanks to the fabulous miss Beth, who gave me an iridescent watercolour set for my recent birthday. thanks honey. I thought it only fitting that I try them out on a portrait of you. ps I LIKE. thanks much xo. )

In further news, I really liked the mushroom sauce, & I invented it off the top of my head too. Onions & garlic sauted in white wine & butter, added to crimini mushrooms in the Cuisinart, with heavy cream.
Wait until my mushroom soup.Totally recreated from the one at Croissant D'Or in NOLA aka one of the best places on earth, when I first moved here.
& was really homesick. Really really good.
If only I actually could make my own croissants. Anyone wanna help me out with that?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vietnamese/Jewish Gramma Inspired Chicken Soup.

When I lived in San Francisco, in the Richmond, I became addicted to Pho.
When I was first seriously learning to cook on my own, well for the second time, (I learned to cook as a teenager as a vegetarian/anorexic, then I relearned in college after I started eating meat again, then I become a better educated vegetarian, & cooked the hell out of that, then I came an even better educated truly dedicated meat eater. Long story. Oh & I was a vegan for a while along the way, too.)
ANYWAY, at some point at RISD in the mid-90's I taught myself to make chicken soup. Roast chicken is one of my mum's classic recipes, & I do it too, & just today over lunch I was coaching my lovely sister in the Diamond family fine art of roasting a chicken. I was raised to of course always turn a roasted chicken into many more meals by making chicken soup from the leftovers (after the AWESOME sandwich phases of course).
Originally this was of a more traditional variety (my paternal gramma was a matzo ball soup queen) but I like spicy food, & I like asian food, especially southeast asian food & while I can also make pretty authentic Pho & sometimes I do, one of my favorite comfort foods is kind of a cross between my gramma's classic Jewish Matzo Ball Soup & this incredible spicy soup I used to get at the Citrus Club in the upper Haight in SF.
It's always different, my chicken soup, since I never ever cook with a recipe, but this particular one:
boil the hell out of the leftover chicken bones, strain, add leeks, carrots, chili peppers, yukon gold baby potatoes, lemongrass, & garlic (a shit ton of all the spicy elements), boil more, add brown basmati rice, simmer, splash of sriracha, eat.

oh & of course, as toast is really just a vehicle for butter, soup is sometimes just a vehicle for toast, & therefore butter.
God I heart butter, good butter, so much. Seriously, nothing like a hot, spicy, complicated broth with good veggies & chicken on a chilly October night. I like to freeze some for when I'm actually sick & don't have the energy for this, although I love roasting chickens in the winter so I usually end up with plenty of soup.

In conclusion, if you're sick & in need of soup, you know who to call.

Still Life.

I'm kind of in love with the astonishing beauty of vegetables.
I've always loved them more than flowers even.
I go to farmer's markets & sometimes just wander around in awe.
I will however purchase things for gorgeousness alone sometimes though,
& end up with some very strange meals as the result.

Here's what my kitchen table looks like post-grocery shopping.
I'm thinking about what to do with those oyster mushrooms.
Whatever that is, I think it may happen tonight, stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Classic: Spicy Arugula Pesto.

A Sunday night dinner in my kitchen after a very nice weekend.
Homemade Arugula Spicy Pesto, Capellini, Tomatoes, Salad.

I've always loved pesto.
Even when I was little, I preferred the green noodles.
When I first tasted arugula pesto though. oh wow. Life changing taste sensation.
This arugula is from the Noho farmer's market the previous Saturday morning, as are the chili peppers that I always include.
Pesto is not usually supposed to be spicy, but I LIKE things to be spicy, so there, & I find this actually works great with arugula.
For some reason, I find any arugula other than that which comes fresh from farmer's markets to be seriously lacking in taste. When you twist of the ends of the bundle, there needs to be this really fresh spicy nutty smell, or there's just no point, at least not for pesto.
My classic Spicy Arugula Pesto consists of:
fresh arugula, usually swiss cheese (again, uncommon for pesto but I like it), almonds, a clove of garlic, a chili pepper or two, a splash of sriracha hot sauce, extra virgin olive oil, & salt & pepper (very important, always noticeable when forgotten), then into the Cuisinart.
I usually make a ton, & eat it later in the week on sandwiches, or mixed with mayonnaise as a dipping sauce (excellent for fried green tomatoes, for example).
I like to serve my pesto & pesto with chopped fresh tomatoes.
I have no noodle preference, but on this night I went with capellini,
which are fun to draw.
Which is ALSO very important.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Stew.

I invented this last night driving home from work on a quintessential rainy October New England night,
& then made it from scratch, & cooked it for company.

Not bad, I say.

Liz's 2009 Fall Stew:
skirt steak (chopped), purple carrots (local), cipollini onions (local), minty garlic (an awesome present from Beth from the Garlic Fest), butternut squash (tragically, frozen, I know I know), fresh thyme, & tomatoes, simmered in red wine, butter (of course), extra virgin olive oil, & chicken broth (should have been beef but chicken was all I had in the pantry).

served over a wild rice blend with spinach sauted in olive oil on the side, in a large bowl.
& Bread Euphoria Challah Bread & still more butter.

Yup, the serious cooking posts are located here now too.
Look for even more since now I don't have to worry about interrupting the alcoholism with actual eating.

Sometimes I Cannot Believe That This Is A Real Job.

'Cause mostly it seems like a cross between a mental hospital, summer camp, & a bad reality show.
(Most likely I Love Money. )

Yup, The Grocery Project is existing over here now.
The old posts will still be at the DnD blog, but they'll be here too, & everything new from this series will be posted here.

I think it makes more sense.
Sadly, as much as we'd like to, we're not actually drinking at the grocery store. But selling food for a living is more about the complications of eating & consuming food than anything I can think of.
& since I can't help but experience life through drawing, there you go.

Eating & Drawing. At my register.
So here you go. First post, new home.

I wear crazy outfits, I overhear a lot of crazy shit,
well much of it said directly to me unfortunately,
& I generally amuse people (especially Amy) with tales of my ridiculous life.

Yeah, I can actually amuse myself fine WITHOUT ringing up your groceries, you sad sad sad people.
Three portraits of FRUSTRATION: Hillary, Cait, Liz.
Columbus Day, 2009: It seemed somehow right that people were even more shitty than usual.
Thanks, America, you're really fucking awesome & you always have been.

& Sometimes this is all I've got at the end of the day.
As always, to be continued. Until I convince Amy to finally fire me already.
I mean, I'm clearly not getting much actual work done, right?

(Seriously, I would LOVE for anyone else trying to make a crap job like this into something interesting to also be posting here, so please contact me if you work in the service industry & enjoy making any sort of marks on paper).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The OKCupid Dating Chronicles, Jan. to Sept. 2009.

Grocery Comics Part Five.
What Happens When You Mix One Girl, One Seriously Broken Heart, A Laptop, A Lack of Money, Shit Ton Of Free Time & A Desire For Company & Adventure & Good Food & Drink.
(by request)(for another lovely elizabeth)(happy very almost birthday)
a truly beautiful awe-inspiring moment out of nowhere & one that wasn't so much of anything (vermont vs. greenfield)...
...a really stupid thing to do that turned out ok although not great, & a really sweet meeting of souls...
...incredibly delicious food but at what cost & the beginning of a series of carefully chosen adventures that were & weren't right...
...promises of tv & drinks & snacks get me to leave town for somerville on a whim & I am similarly enticed by offers of cornish game hens & bacony brussel sprouts the day after valentines day...
...a shared home town turns out to not mean that much but it was a nice evening & one of my worse decisions, but at least I got osaka sushi out of it & oh also survived...
...the best one & the most unmemorable...
...sometimes even poetry is boring & coincidence is just that...
& now, I think I'm done with this game.
But who won?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some Recent Tuesdays.

Since for some bizarre Northampton reason no one ever shows up at the Basement Tuesday nights for dancing before midnight at least, here's some of what we get up to in the evening hours before that.

raspberry crumb cake & wine at melissa's 9.15.09.
the eve of my birthday, chris' apartment, 9.22.09.
& the moment just before it became my birthday, 9.22.09.
my return to hugo's after a one month absence, 10.06.09.
it was good to be back drawing people at the bar again.
'cause drawing people at the bar is still part of what I do.
don't worry, I've got a lot more of these.
& I realized last night I really should really draw george & dan djing,
so look for that soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Perfect Rainy Fall Saturday, Part Two. (What We ATE).

The continuation, & obviously the most important part,
...What We Ate...
(dinner at paul&elizabeth's)(10.3.2009)(before Ben Folds)

my salad
(I somehow forgot to eat anything else all day, so this drawing is CRAZY)
(eating vs. drawing, when you're starving but the food is beautiful)
what I ordered & I don't know if it's just cause I haven't had food cooked for me in a really long time (I'm always the cook), but this tasted pretty fucking good.
it was one of the specials. it worked.

& todd's dinner & I have to say that the tofu & broccoli at paul & elizabeth's is always delicious.
& that I kept stealing bites the whole meal.
& the aftermath, random objects left on the table while we were talking after dinner = a knife, a glass of red wine, a candle, & an almost forgotten bowl of brown rice.
Sorry it's been either a restaurant review or an illustrated cookbook 'round here lately.
oh wait I'm not sorry.
Cooking is awesome & beautiful. & drawing makes it even better.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ask A Southerner What They Think Of "Organic" Collard Greens, Why Don't You?

Sunday, yup, you know where, yes, grocery hell.

You know how sometimes tiny awesome things make your whole day bearable & even ok?
well cait's drawing below did that for me today.
& I overheard a completely & utterly absurd conversation about collard greens & I drew that.
I guess, more of this shit tomorrow. sigh.