Monday, August 30, 2010

Dreading the Detox...

But in a very weird way looking forward to it too.

Looking forward to hopefully not feeling bloated all the this morning I was very hungry with a rumbly stomach but in a different way felt full and bloated...what to do?

So starting next Tuesday when we get back from our trip to Whistler, I'm going on the MediClear detox. No dairy, gluten, soy, chocolate, alcohol, sugar, peanut butter, tomatoes, corn, beef, pork...I'm going to stop there so I don't start crying.

All that to say I'll be doing a lot of different cooking in those 3 (yes THREE) weeks, and will hopefully find or come up with some diary-free gluten-free recipes that actually taste decent.

Lord help me.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I love making aprons.

There's a zillion ways to make them individual, they're practical, they're irresistably cute, and I can make them in a few hours!

Its been my tradition to give aprons and a wooden spoon as a bridal shower gift, or aprons in the wedding colors as part of a wedding gift. I love doing something that personal and hope the brides like it too!

As I'm working on my 9th apron I'm beginning to think about maybe starting a little side business of selling these. I've come a long way since those first few, and the ones I'm finishing now are sturdier and cuter!

I'll post pics later, but if you're interested in an apron either for yourself or for a friend, give me a holler. They take about 3-4 hours to make, and I haven't quite added up what materials would cost generally (it largely depends on the price of the fabric), but I'm guesstimating to make it worth my time I would sell them for about $35-40. That means I'd probably be making $5 an hour profit, but I enjoy making these anyways and its something that can be unique and personalized.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

What To Do With Those Braising Greens!

Since we've joined our CSA, Jubilee Farms, we've gotten a very large bag of mixed braising greens every week. Sometimes two bags!  What to do with all this! One can only eat so many stir frys!

Last week I went straight to work.

Preheating the oven to 200 degrees, I washed the greens then spread them out on a cookie sheet. 

Then I let them dry to a crisp in the oven for about 2 hours.

Once they were crispy and cool, I put them in a zip lock bag and pounded the heck out of them until they were pretty fine.

The result was I had a huge bag of greens that would have taken 3 stir frys reduced to a small bag! Much more manageable!

A few evenings later we were looking for an easy dinner to make. Pasta and a jar of marinara is always an easy fix, but I wanted to use some of our greens.

I warmed up the marinara (Trader Joe's Organic Marinara) in a small saucepan, then tossed in the entire baggy of braising greens! 

I gave it a few stirs and let it simmer for awhile. 

After the pasta was done cooking we tossed it altogether and topped it with grated Parmesan.

And we each got a half a bag worth of all the good stuff in the braising greens in one dish! Oh, and you couldn't even taste a difference!

This dish can be vegetarian, or you can cook up some chicken in olive oil and garlic to add some protein.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rogue John John Beer

rogue-john-john-juniperOne of the current trends with microbreweries is to age brewed beer in oak barrels. It is something that will at a distinct pungency to the beer. In this case, Rouge Brew Master John Maier has paired up with Master Distiller, John Couchot. The John John  Juniper Berry Beer is one of 3 beers Rouge has released this year that use this unique method of aging in different barrels that are used to distill different types of liquor. 

In this case, gin is aged in the oak barrels to absorb the flavor, emptied and then impacts the flavor of the beer that is aged in it. They age a rogue pale ale with juniper berries. 

So I bought myself a bottle of this beer the other day, in fond memories of the original John John ale I had, which was taking their Dead Guy ale and aging it is whiskey barrels. Much to my surprise, instead of a amber aged  brew with whiskey impacts resulting in a malt aroma, and a finish of caramel, vanilla, and oak, I found a beer that resulted in a very spicy berry flavor. That is the best way I can describe it, a medium body with a large amount of spice and sour berry in the after taste. While I appreciate the hopes and aspirations of this series, this wasn't one of my favorites, especially at 11 dollars for a big bottle. To further support my point, on some popular sites like beer advocate or rate beer, this averaged 87 out of a hundred. 

My bottom line: Interesting beer and flavor, but more of a beer to try for something different, not something worth 11 dollars for a bottle. 

My rating: 6 out of 10. 

Columbia Crest Merlot-Cabernet 2007

DISCLAIMER: Wine tastes different to everyone and this is just our opinion.  You may love something we despise and loathe something we could drink every day. This is just our opinion because that's the only one that matters...right?

This wine is pretty clear in color...and I just found a small gnat in mine but I don't know if that was here or the winery.  It seems Columbia Crest wouldn't allow that.

The smell...oh I'm pretty bad at this and its all just a guess...but it smells like...alcohol.  Is that bad of me to think that? Others smell like blackberries or coffee undertones but this is a distinct smell not akin to anything that comes to mind no matter how many times I swirl it and stick my nose deep in the glass.  Okay maybe I get a bit of the vanilla when I added a bit more...

The taste is dry with a bite. I'm eating it with some garlic bread (cloves baked in it...not the buttery/garlic salted kind) dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and its a nice balance. With some carbs on your tongue the taste isn't quite so sharp but more of a currant-y taste.

Overall I don't think I would get this wine again...not quite as drinkable as others to me and that's what I like...but not a bad wine.