kelliem: bistro table (bistro)
( Sep. 15th, 2008 08:50 am)
I think I had a much better weekend than a lot of folks did. If my friends weren't getting flooded they seem to have been getting blown away. Gah. :::copingvibes::: to all those affected by the bad weather.

I took half a day off on Friday to help Kham finish his Howl costume for a con last weekend. (Howl from Howl's Moving Castle. No pix yet but hopefully soon. He did the triangle coat.) It went well, other than the shoe-repair guy losing Kham's shoes (we were having new insoles put in) so we had to go buy new ones. I got the place to promise to reimburse us for the new pair, though.

Then on Saturday, it was an absolutely gorgeous day so [ profile] ardent_muses came up and we went to the Boulder Farmer's Market. I haven't been in ages and I quickly spent all the money I'd brought! It was apparently my day for purple produce-- I got some gorgeous purple carrots, three Japanese eggplant, and a huge bunch of the most incredibly fragrant purple basil from Abbondanza Organic. (Since I didn't have time to use it Saturday, I put the basil in water like flowers and by Sunday morning the entire house smelled of basil. It was amazing!) I also got gorgeous yellow tomatoes from Red Wagon Farms, a smoked goat gouda from Haystack Mountain Dairy, and a lovely piece of Spring Colona (very similar to a young parmesan) from Windsor Dairy, a quart of freshly roasted poblano peppers (can't remember the vendor's name but they were roasting on-site and the scent was mouthwatering), and some almond pine-nut macaroons from Rustica Bakery. Before we left we picked up some fresh tamales with green chili and took them home for lunch.

[ profile] ardent_muses had brought the first season of Californication with her so we sat and watched the entire thing. It was a lot better than I expected it to be. Though most of the characters repeatedly made me want to smack them silly, I still enjoyed it. After we watched that, I made her watch the first episode of Eureka with me because I was just sure that Zoe on Eureka was played by the same actress who played Dani in Californication. As it turns out, I was wrong but I still think they were Separated At Birth (and by a few years). Sadly, Ardent had to go home to Mookie after that so I hit the kitchen to peel and seed my poblanos before putting them in the fridge.

Sunday I got up and made my first-ever batch of pesto, with the purple basil and the Spring Colona. I made a citrus pesto (I'd tasted one at the Market and loved it) using orange and lemon juice as well as the basil, pinons, garlic, and olive oil. I think I should have gone easier on the lemon and harder on the orange to have it perfect but it's still pretty tasty, and a gorgeous rich color. I'm going to use it tonight over chicken and tortellini. The tomatoes and eggplant will go into a Turkish eggplant & tomato salad (I'm trying to reproduce the stuff Falafel King sells), then I also have some eggroll wrappers and cheddar to go with my poblanos for making chili rellenos later this week (yeah, I make cheater's rellenos... put a piece of poblano and a piece of cheddar in the eggroll wrapper, seal it up into a square packet with a little egg wash for glue, and fry 'em up crispy.) I think I might try some of the goat gouda in a few of the rellenos, that might be tasty.
kelliem: bistro table (bistro)
( Feb. 21st, 2008 11:31 am)
What Would Rodney Drink? Why, this, of course:

(sorry about the blurriness... cell phone cameras do not take good closeups!)

I bought a bottle of this inexpensive Spanish rioja to serve with beef stroganoff last weekend since I knew my guest likes strong reds. The wine itself was excellent (dry, but fruity with an almost blackberry flavor and a spicy finish) but the label instantly made both [ profile] ardent_muses and me think of Rodney McKay. ;D
kelliem: plates of food (plates)
( Jun. 6th, 2007 09:56 pm)
I am so lucky to live in an area that has really excellent food resources. This afternoon on my way home from work I stopped by the Boulder Farmer's Market. It's been a bit blustery (aka overcast and under a high wind warning) today and I was figuring that there wouldn't be many people there but there were quite a few folks braving the breeze. Lots of variety in people, sixty-or-so grandmotherly types, handsome young guys in south-American sweaters with shorts and sandals, moms with kids, typical BUPs (Boulder Urban Professionals) with their bandanaed dogs, Gothy teenagers, you name it. Just after I got there a whole herd of young chefs-in-training arrived from the Culinary School of the Rockies, eagerly scouting out fresh local ingredients for tomorrow's menus. They were all wearing their chef's jackets with their names embroidered on them. So cute. :)

There were only about half as many vendors as they have on Saturdays, but I still found some great stuff. I was craving fresh spinach, which I found. Along with green garlic, baby leeks, fresh sugar-snap peas, and a gorgeous heirloom tomato. I also picked up a fresh-baked baguette from the Udi's bakery stall, a bag of fresh hand-made roasted red pepper gnocchi, and a wedge of Haystack Mountain Buttercup, a mixed-milk (cow and goat) butter-colored and fantastic-flavored semi-hard cheese from our local goat dairy. I was seriously tempted by all the different varieties of mushrooms at the Hazel Dell stall but since the kidunit won't eat 'shrooms I figured I'd skip them for sometime when I'm eating alone.

I took all my treasure home and sauteed a couple of chicken tenders with finely chopped green garlic and baby leeks with rosemary in olive oil. Then I cooked about half of the gnocchi, drained it, and tossed it with about half a cup of the Buttercup cheese, the olive oil and green garlic (leftover from cooking the chicken breasts), and about 3/4ths of a cup of Macon-Villages Chardonnay. While the cheese and wine were saucifying on the gnocchi, I sauteed the spinach with more green garlic in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and served the chicken on the spinach with the gnocchi on the side. It turned out very nicely, if I do say so myself. And the highly-picky kidunit even liked the gnocchi which I have to admit, amazed me.

I ended up not using the peas or the tomato. I'll probably do something with them tomorrow night. :)
We had our departmental 'Holiday Themed Employee Appreciation Event'* tonight. It was quite nice and I do feel appreciated, since I got a nice bonus that will actually allow me to buy Yule gifts for my loved ones. Since I hired the caterer and set the menu**, I knew the food would be good, but our graduate secretary is an excellent amateur sommelier and he chose some great beers and wines to go with our goodies.

I had to have a Left Hand Milk Stout because he got those since he knew they were my favorite. Then I had to try the truly excellent bordeaux he had chosen, and after that I was curious about the white bordeaux, and it was vastly better than the white burgundy I had tried once upon a time. I need to find out the vintage on that one so I can look for it myself. He also had brought in some nice chardonnay and some DuBoef beaujolais villages but I didn't try those, I'd had them before. Then I had to try a sip of the Oskar Blue's "Dale's Pale Ale" which was one of the better pale ales I have had. It has a gorgeous deep, almost orange amber color and an interestingly complex, strongly hopped flavor with hints of fruit and spice underneath. First PA I have had in ages that I wouldn't mind having again, being more a fan of darker brews.

Needless to say after all that I had to be extremely careful driving home. But I made it unscathed. ;D

*We are no longer allowed to have holiday parties, though we may have 'holiday themed' employee appreciation events. ;D

**menu behind the cut )
If you get Food Network and you want a look at my home town without (hopefully!) any annoying references to JonBenet Ramsey, Food Network's "Road Tasted" is airing an ep based here today (4:30 pm ET and 11:30 pm ET) and tomorrow (2:30 am ET). They're doing The Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse (which is an amazing place), The Flagstaff House (a decades-old classic 'destination' restaurant where the Emperor and Empress of Japan ate when they visited a few years back) and a local chocolatier I have not had the privilege of trying yet.

I am kind of surprised they are't featuring Frasca, with award-winning chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, and master sommelier Bobby Stuckey, but I suspect it may be because they could't get their camera crew in there 'cause it's so tiny.
I went to the grocery store today with the kid-unit. We just went in to get a few things and ended up spending THREE HOURS! And we didn't even go down every aisle. This is because the Safeway store closest to my house is having it's grand re-opening as a new "Safeway Lifestyle" concept store this weekend. They've been remodeling for the better part of 4 months at least, and holy cow, it's pretty amazing. It's like they took a Safeway and crossed it with Whole Foods, and stuck a piece of a Williams Sonoma in for good measure.

There's a cookware/chef's needs area. There's a new organic/natural food-and-misc. section that takes up about a third of the store. They've expanded the bakery and added a bunch of in-house baked artisan breads and specialty desserts. There's a Starbucks on one end and a Jamba Juice on the other. They have a nut bar that sells every sort of nut imaginable and even some seeds (I got a container of roasted shelled pumpkin seeds which I have a weakness for and usually only have at Halloween.) There's a buffet-style take-out dinner bar with Chinese on one side and traditional American items like ribs and green bean casserole on the other. A very nice salad and fruit bar, and a soup bar. And a freakin' sushi bar. Not just prepackaged-in-a-plastic-clamshell sushi, but make-it-fresh-right-there-in-front-of-you sushi. Complete with cute Japanese sushi chefs with anime hair. Their expanded cheese selection almost rivals The Cheese Importer's. They even had Morbier, and various sheep and goat cheeses I've never seen in a non-specialty grocer before. The meat department is selling locally raised organic meats. The seafood area had tons of exotic shellfish, and even a whole (small) shark on ice. Granted that was kind of creepy, but still!

Of course, since it was the grand opening they were handing out samples right and left, everything from New York strip steak to bread, cakes, nuts, organic blueberry-apple juice, coffee, yogurt, and organic strawberries dipped in a chocolate fountain. I've heard about those chocolate fountains but this is the first time I've seen one, it was tres cool. We asked and they said that one the size they were using takes 20 lbs of chocolate, and that so far they'd had to refill it 4 times so far. That's EIGHTY POUNDS OF CHOCOLATE in two days. Yikes! Somehow I suspect they're not using Valhrona. ;D All in all it was more like a trip to a foodie theme-park rather than a grocery run. I can tell I am going to have to NOT shop there too often or I'm going to blow the food budget.

In other news, I was Very Effective at work on Friday, solving a potential problem with a job-candidate visit despite the fact that the problem didn't come up until only 45 minutes before the end of the workday, and the fact that the Chair was home sick. I had to coordinate between the candidate, the Chair and our travel agent and try to make new travel arrangements that would get the guy here without getting him stuck in that winter storm that's supposed to clobber the Atantic coast this weekend, without spending a fortune. (one of the options would have cost us a quarter of our entire search budget! Ack!) And I did it. I need to remember this when I have one of my occasional bouts of Imposter Syndrome. :)

I've also written a little bit in the last few days. Not much so far, and it may well suck, but after a months-long drought it feels really good to finally write something. ANYTHING.

Also, how's this for irony? )

Oh, one last thing... I saw this on [ profile] lamardeuse's LJ and thought it bore linkage. I've read a few con reports of late that really made me cringe.

ETA I watched the Opening Ceremonies for the 2006 Olympic Games and... wow. Lamest. Opening. Ceremonies. Ever. Yikes. Lousy wanna-be-marching-band choreography? Plastic Cows on wheels? Roller disco? Skirt-mountain dioramas with trees and tiny skiiers? Luciano Pavarotti with dyed-black hair and painted-on black eyebrows? The only thing that was cool was the actual lighting of the torch. And the fact that the olympic rings look kinda like stargates. ;D
kelliem: icy lakefront sunrise (choccys)
( Nov. 21st, 2005 11:00 pm)
[ profile] a_mews, this one's for you. ;)

Friday I went out with some friends to one of the best restaurants in Boulder, a place I've been wanting to visit since it opened about a year ago. Frasca Food & Wine. You have to make reservations well in advance at Frasca, as their chef, Laughlin Mackinnon-Patterson, was voted one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America by Food and Wine Magazine in July 2005. Their master sommelier, Bobby Stuckey, is a recipient of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service. The restaurant itself is intimate and classy without being intimidating. Patron dress ranged from jeans and tees to silk and suits. For the winter they have hung heavy thermal curtains in the entryway to keep the cold breezes from pestering the diners. They specialize in foods from the Friuli region of Italy, and their wine list is extensive and interesting, but I couldn't abscond with a copy of that so I don't know exactly what we drank. I know I had an Italian red from the Rizzardi vineyards, and Pat and Donna each had some sort of Merlot but I can't tell you which one. continued behind the cut... )
kelliem: fall leaves & lamp (fall)
( Nov. 4th, 2005 08:08 pm)
Brace yourself for foodie ramblings. Probably [ profile] a_mews is the only person who will read this. :)

Last night my mom made a nice roast with potatoes and carrots for my birthday, and my brother contributed a marionberry pie (with requisite comments to the effect that there was no crack cocaine therein-- whereupon we had to explain the 'Marion Barry' joke to my mother). Mom also had an interesting wine, Fess Parker's Lot 41 Frontier Red. It's unbelievably oaky, but with a rich, smoky-fruity finish. Shockingly drinkable, considering how tannic it was.

Tonight the housemate took me to The Med, one of my favorite places (one of [ profile] aukestrel's, too.). They serve, appropriately enough, mediterranean fare, including tapas, wood-oven baked pizza and calzones, paellas, and many other good things. The housemate had the paella-- man, that was enough for 3 people at least. There's literally half a chicken in it, as well as a whole sausage and lots of shrimp and mussels and other stuff. She brought two thirds of it home as leftovers.

I had a glass of the house red wine with an assortment of tapas: calamari fritti with spanish sauce, mussels in white wine and rosemary, pinchon maruno (lamb skewers), greek salad with white anchovies, roast garlic with balsamic onion jam and gorgonzola, and marinated shrimp with garlic aioli. For dessert we shared a thing that was like a fabulous chocolate mousse piped between two wafer-thin praline cookies and topped with cinnamon-vanilla gelato.
kelliem: icy lakefront sunrise (mmmm)
( Jul. 7th, 2004 03:53 pm)
A week or so ago one of our faculty returned from a vacation in France and brought me back a bag of Calvados-filled chocolates. Today, another faculty member returned from a year in England and brought back a box of Maison Duceau cognac-filled chocolates from Angouleme (she had gone with the other faculty member and family on their vaction).




Heavenly. No, really. Not only the pleasure of dark French chocolate (nearly as good as Belgian, with real cocoa butter, not paraffin!), but filled with actual liqueurs, not some fake syrupy crap. Pure heaven. I need a local supplier for this crack. :)

Or not. I'm probably better off without one.
kelliem: icy lakefront sunrise (food!)
( May. 21st, 2004 07:10 pm)
The Chair took us out to lunch today to celebrate my promotion and his end-of-term. (after four years, he's more than ready to give up that job!) We went to a place I hadn't tried yet, Brasserie 1010, right across the street from The Med (apparently they are part-owned by the same people, and The Med makes their desserts mmmm!). It was really, really good! Now, if listening to someone ramble on about food is your thing, keep reading. If not, th-th-thaaat's all folks. :)

Read more... )
You know, it's really hard to concentrate on work when everyone else is off having fun. Spring Break sucks if you're not a student or faculty. Gah. On the plus side, I'm getting caught up on a lot of stuff, and I have Friday off, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Except that the weather has been wonderful and I feel like the kid with her nose pressed up against the bakery-shop window. *sigh*

I know some folks don't like it when a body posts too many memes, but this one's about FOOD. How could I resist?? :-) It's a long one so I cut it.

Read more... )


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