Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I love deals!

When I was growing up one of the things that we loved to do at the grocery was go to the bent can "aisle". This aisle could be a shopping cart or shelf space - never a whole aisle and always in the back - with reduced sale items. When I moved to NYC I learned in my Food Safety Class that you shouldn't eat bent cans because they promote salmonella (I think). This made me think 2 things: why did my mother try to kill us as children and why are they bent cans for sale for the full price at my neighborhood grocery? The first question was dismissed as we all survived, but the 2nd is still a real question (sometimes the only option for something is bent cans!). Well, this summer I found the reduced aisle at one store - it resulted in me buying a box of cereal that included a rebate for more than the cereal cost me ;-). And last night I hit it again. This time stocking up on goodies like diced tomatoes, black beans, pears and a can of pigeon peas. I've been noticing pigeon peas for a little while and have been intrigued - this gave me a reason to buy them.

This is what I made:

1 cup water
1/2 cup brown rice
1 can pigeon peas
onions (your choice)
equivalent to 1 chopped tomato

Combine water and brown rice in a pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-12 minutes until the water is absorbed. Let stand for a few minutes and fluff with a fork.

Add rice to pigeon peas, onion and tomato. Season with salt and pepper (yep! I added salt & pepper :-D)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today's my baby's birthday. For those of you who are puzzled...that would be Postmark. Lot of blood sweat and tears to get we where we are today. So many memories, so many hours, so many people I've met. A little picture tour of how we've progressed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

sometimes I ramble....

It's cold and rainy here today - well, the rain has currently stopped, but it's still cold. Last night as I walked home, in the rain, I saw a lady making her bed in the doorway of a bank. She was youngish looking and missing that haggard homeless look, so my guess was that she had not been homeless long. As I continued my walk I thought about how I will lose these encounters in a few short months. No where else that I've lived have I been in such constant contact with the stark difference of homelessness. In most cities the million dollar homes are miles and miles away from the daily reminders of homelessness, but not here in New York. Daily I see someone pushing a cart, now that it's cold I'll see people sleeping under the bridge when I walk to work in the morning. And yet here, these two worlds live side-by-side as though it is normal. It's crazy sometimes for me to realize that people who co-exist in NY would never, never in other parts of this country. And still - even while seeing these people on a daily basis - in a city with TONS of apartments (and less jobs than before) there is still the problem of homelessness. Walking by these people on a daily basis starts to loose it's "shock" sometimes for me. That while I am walking home on a cold, windy and rainy night - this woman, my age or younger, is bunking down in the doorway of a bank. Something's off...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Squashfest continues!

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

1 lg spaghetti squash (4-4.5bls)
1pt grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
½ c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus additional leaves for garnish
2 cans (5oz) white or light tuna in water, drained and flaked
¼ c pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1 Tbsp drained capers, coarsely chopped
1 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese for garnish

Place squash in 9” glass pie plate and pierce 6 times with sharp knife. Microwave on high 5-6 minutes per pound, or until squash is tender when pierced with knife. Cool 10 minutes for easier handling.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, sliced basil leaves, tuna, olives, capers, oil, vinegar, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper until combined.

Cut squash lengthwise in half; remove and discard seeds. With fork, scrape flesh to separate into strands and place in large bowl; discard shell. Drain squash if necessary. Add ¼ tsp salt and 1/7 tsp ground black pepper, toss to combine.

Divide squash among 4 dinner bowls. To serve, top with tomato mixture; garnish with basil leaves and Parmesan.

I liked this because the toppings were cold/chilled. I might try this on top of pasta too.