Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Terra Cafe

Terra Cafe is a strange place. It was started by one girl (or so I've heard) at RPI a few years ago -- it's a little restaurant that only serves food Wednesdays from 11:30 to 1:30, and they use all natural and local ingredients (or so I've heard). Bean and I went there this morning, and although it was delicious, it way too filling for breakfast. But! Everything was scrumptious. We started with coffee.

Look at the cream cup!

There are only two menu choices each week; one meat and one vegetarian. Simon got chicken parmesan, and I got eggplant. For dessert there was a frosted sugar cookie shaped like a bunny (or, in our waiter's words, a molar).

This place is just such a wonderfully un-ordinary thing to have at RPI.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thai Try

Simon has been suggesting we attempt to make something Thai like for weeks now, so today we went to the store and bought tons of fresh vegetables and some basil leaves and chicken and went to town.

We started by sautéing some:
olive oil
basil leaves
red pepper

and then added
diced chicken breast
soy sauce
red pepper flakes

and side by side we steamed

And then, finally, we added rice to the mix and proceeded to place it inside of us.

Mush and Mice

It has recently been discovered that our beautiful Troy apartment is overcome with mice. Our assumption that there was only one of them was quickly discarded when we kindly caught it and let it out in the streets, only to see our food supply continue to diminish. I believe the catch-count is now five -- dearest Saads and Deager have been unfairly inconvenienced with the assembly and maintenance of various humane (and not so) traps. Hazel the Cat simply looks on with an expression of disdain.

The upside of this infestation is that the apartment is now spotless. We spent hours last night disinfecting surfaces, hiding food, throwing away trash, and generally gallivanting about. These potatoes, for instance, are an example of what would otherwise have remained unearthed for months (although clearly it had already been at least that long). They were in an unused drawer, and had mutated into a self-sustaining, mold-ridden forest; an ecosystem in a burlap bag.

...they are gone now, of course.


The day after brush-burning there was a Farmer's Market at the Williamsville Chapel (Hubbardston), so I went to say goodbye to Mother and Father. They were there selling beef and volunteering all over the place, since it was put on by the Hubbardston Historical Society and they are involved in everything, somehow. While I was there I bought some goat cheese from Westfield Farm, and Mother gave me a pound of ground beef from our precious cows. On the way out, Fath bought me a birthday quart of pistachio almond ice cream, much of which I had to eat on the drive back to New York because it was melting all over.

So! This was my birthday dinner! We mixed in some soy sauce and oregano with the ground beef, and fried it up; spread goat cheese and spinach on fresh sourdough bread, and.......

Sunday, March 28, 2010


The Brush-Burning is a "party" my family has every year in which we invite over a bunch of people, lay out a spread of sardines-cheese-crackers-coffee, and spend all day pretending to pull brush into piles and burn it. Then we go inside for a giant potluck, and play music for hours into the night. It is a joyous time, at least for me; I drove all the way home from Troy to attend the festivities, in fact. For potluck I brought this salad, which just had:

olive oil
feta cheese
steamed asparagus

And then I experimented with these strange-tasting cookies, in an attempt to clear some shit out of my refrigerator:

1 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1 c. rolled oats
1 c. apple
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. chocolate-covered espresso beans
a few tsp. of Godiva cocoa powder

Prepare as usual, and bake at 350 for 15 or so minutes. They came out slightly spongy and strange, and with a lot of flavors vying for attention. I kind of liked them, though!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Never Too Many Cookies.

Simon and I spend a pathetically high percentage of our time at Jeremy / Sean / Jesse's house. Yesterday Jesse complained that all of our cookies and cake were gone (mostly because of him), and that he was out of snacks. So when I got back from class at 10 freaking PM, we made two batches of cookies:

1. Cinnamon-Sugar

1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1. Blend sugar and butter; blend in eggs and vanilla.
2. Mix in the rest, form into balls, and roll in:

some sugar
some cinnamon

The recipe required baking at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, but I followed the same procedure as the next batch, which was:

2. Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 egg (ha!)
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
~1 c. flour
sprinkle of baking powder
sprinkle of salt

Cookie recipes always require such tedious mixing order, but specific instructions aren't really my thang, so I just mixed up the sugars and butter, then added egg + milk + vanilla, and finally all the dry ingredients. I'm convinced you'd get the same end result if you poured it all in a bowl simultaneously and shook it up (a hypothesis that has yet to be tested).

So! Bean mixed up the cinnamon cookies; I did the peanut butter, and they all came together for a sugar-filled serenade. The crowd seemed to approve.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spinach Pizza Repeats-a

We used this simple crust:

1 pkg yeast dissolved in 1 c. warm water
2 c. flour
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
lots of basil

After the crust rose, we rolled it out and spread it with olive oil and pesto, and then used sliced-up tomatoes instead of sauce. After covering that with spinach and diced onions, and then had to face our differences. Simon didn't want to eat some "strange-tasting" block feta cheese, so I put that on my side, and he covered his with crumbled feta (bought today) and green peppers. When I say covered, you can see that I truly mean covered.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


For St. Paddy's day, me Mum always used to make corned beef and cabbage and we'd all sit around the table as a jolly quarter-Irish family; eating, back-talking, dancing vigorously to homespun jigs, and somehow making it through the day with our feelings for each other intact.

Now, however, I'm at school, so I had to do what I could. And that involved making these liquor-filled cookies and drinking enough sprite & vodkas to feel a bit floaty.

I mixed up the dough the night before, because it was supposed to chill for hours and hours.

1. Cream:

1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar

2. Then add:

1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk + 1 egg
1/2 c. Irish liquor

3. When mixed, add:

4 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder

I used an approximately half-and-half mixture of brown and white sugar, because I realized too late that Bean and I have done so much baking at Dear Jeremy's house that we've completely depleted their supplies. I like cooking over here because there are always people (Jesse) around to eat what we make; the thing I like about baking is the baking, and not always the consuming. Hannah, though, is seemingly on some sort of (unnecessary?) diet, which makes me slightly sorry.


I baked the first batch (~8 minutes at 350 degrees, on a wax-paper-lined sheet) and decided that they weren't sweet enough to please the general populous. For the next batch, I melted some of the leftover frosting from the confetti cake we made a few days ago, and mixed it into the dough.

These cookies taste like a variation of shortbread, and I like them a lot because they're far from sickeningly sweet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Salad.

For this salad, we fried a diced chicken breast in:

olive oil
lemon juice

and then added:

baby spinach
feta cheese

and then drizzled the leftover frying mixture over the top for dressing. The plan was to put this mixture in a wrap, but I was more in the mood for a simple salad, and it was fresh and delish.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meedle's Pizza

Meedle and I returned to the little apartment, victorious after a long day of stubborn errands, coffee and classical music, and made this delicious pizza.

We made the crust from scratch:

Package of yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar

We mixed those together and let them react while we walked to Walgreen's for sodas, so that we could get crunk later with mixed drinks (this, however, didn't end up happening, but it's the thought that counts).

When we got back, we mixed in:

2 1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Black pepper

Rolled it out, brushed with olive oil, and added toppings:

Tomato sauce (a can of tomato paste + oregano)
Monterey Jack cheese
Spanish olives

We each took ownership of half of the crust; hers had more tomato sauce and cheese, and mine had more spinach and olives. The pizza was scrumptious, but it was cold before we could ingest it; Meedle's truly-crazy roommate had us engrossed in a rule-intensive but intriguing board game for most of the night.

Cookies for Father

The next stop for spring vacation was Meedle's apartment in New Bedford, MA. She had dictated an extremely long list of items for me to bring, and I packed and packed and packed. When I'd finished, I realized I had exactly one half hour before Mother came home to say goodbye, so I decided to make these cookies for Fath. Oatmeal raisin are one of his favorites, but we didn't have any raisins, so I made this variation.

1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter (softened)
1/4 c. shortening
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

In the original recipe, only 1/2 cup of raisins were required, so these cookies came out of the oven with a high percentage of add-ins, but I doubt anyone's going to complain.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pasty Pasty Pasty

Dinner at home was slightly depressing -- only Mother Dearest and Fath and I around the shortened table. I attempted a strange spinach-salmon-cheese pie, which didn't turn out very good, and I didn't take any pictures of it. With the extra crust, I made two miniature pasty thangs. The entire crust was:

1 c. white flour
1 c. wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 c. shortening
~8 tbsp water
onion powder
black pepper

And was prepared like a pie crust. For the filling I just stuffed in:

Prepared chicken salad (deli)
shredded mozzarella cheese
diced tomatoes

Then brushed some olive oil around the edges, folded over and closed with a fork. I don't remember how long they baked for! But they were scrumptious, especially re-toasted for leftovers after a day of burning brush with Fath.

Cafe Lunch and a Surprise Disgust.

I got home to Greenland Farm on Monday night, and spent all day Tuesday at Jumpin' Juice & Java in Gardner. This meal here was a sweet deal; their wraps are around $7.00, and this one (spinach and feta and egg from the breakfast menu) was only $3.99, but it was the same size as the others. HELLZ YES!

On the way there I bought Mother Dearest a wintergreen patty as a lil' treat, since she spent our entire childhood downing wintergreen tic-tacs. When she got home from work hours later, she took it out of her bag and forced me to try it. It tasted like a more-poisonous version of the beloved Canada mint, and made me burst out laughing in response.

Irish Soda Bread

This vacation is a lot of driving, and driving is a lot of tiring, and tiring means I feel like baking for people. And March means St. Patrick's Day. And I
think you know what that means! I got this recipe from

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

I used golden raisins because Mother Dearest was out of the regular kind. This was very simple to make; I just threw in all the ingredients and mixed them together idly, and then kneaded it a few times and plopped it on a pan and into the oven.

Then Mother and I spent the rest of the night drinking wine, snacking on this, and playing Rummykub. A perfect relaxation scenario, dum dum dum.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Couscous

A simple dish! Made of microwaved leftovers, & c.

steamed broccoli
shredded Parmesan cheese
olive oil

Thursday, March 4, 2010

cake cake keeps me awake

At midnight I got it into my head that we simply must have a chocolate cake at the earliest possible convenience. Having applied to some jobs, it seemed that then was that moment; and I had volunteers to help eat it, so I spent the next hour or so by myself in the kitchen. It was a happy humming time, strangely.

The cake recipe was standard:

1 1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 entire Lindt 70% chocolate bar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. milk
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. butter

1. Mix all dry ingredients.
2. Add milk and vanilla; soften butter and add. Beat well.
3. Beat eggs and melt chocolate; beat both of them into the mix.

I baked this in a greased and floured pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. A weakeningly delicious aroma promised temporary happiness to a hungry girl. Here, however, disaster struck. The cake, though done, did not want to quietly leave its pan. Pounding from the bottom and coaxing from the top did little except separate the chocolate mass into innumerable pieces. The solution, then, was to scrape the whole thing out into a pie pan, chop it up, and reseat it. Then, the frosting was made:

2 c. confectioner's sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp vanilla
Small amount of milk

All of this was whisked together and spread around the top of the pie pan, and then sprinkles (found neglected in not-my pantry) were added. Cake casserole. It would have been a failure except that crumbled cake tastes the same as cohesive cake, and none of my budsies seemed to care.

The casserole was gone by 3:00 in the morning, and no sleep was had by me for hours...

Couscous is Wonderful (A Rediscovery)

Sick of taking tuna wraps to school with me for lunch, I rummaged through the forgotten nethers of my food supply drawer and found a container of couscous my mother had given me. I always thought couscous was a rice relative, but realized today that it was in fact simply tiny bits of pasta. Because of this, it takes five freaking minutes to prepare; you boil water, dump in the bits and immediately remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes, and you have a meal!

This wrap had:

feta cheese
chopped green olives

It was hard to eat because there was no cohesiveness (mayonnaise or mustard would have probably worked), but it was tasty just the same.