Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hey Everyone!
Sorry I have not posted in a while, there have been some major CHANGES in my life that made me have to change up this blog a wee bit! Not to fear though I am still here!

Here are some red velvet cupycakes I made for my friend Kelsey's birthday back in June. Yum!

I promise to post something new soon!


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Best Wine EVER

For some reason, my dad really values my opinion on wine, even though I am a total newbie when it comes to taste. There are not many wines that I love being a newbie, but Apothic Red had me from the start. First off, you can't go wrong with the price ($9.99) and second, its taste is a blend of heaven. It came as not surprise to me then, when Valen stumbled across an article featuring it in the Projo FOOD section.  

We shared the wine with one of my friends who is studying to be a sommelier (a trained wine professional) and he was blown away by the stuff.

We needed a great meal to pair it with, so we chose two recipes from that weeks Projo Food section to honor it. 

We did a simple swiss chard salad with fresh radishes topped with pistachios and Pecorino Romano. I whipped up a little vinaigrette for that as well. Valen was responsible for the blanched almond chicken (we did not know what blanched was before the recipe) and the carrot cilantro salad. Overall a great meal to go with that great wine. Seriously, go out and buy it if you can. Rumor has it the liquor stores can't keep it on their shelves. 

A JOlly night

I wasn't planning on posting this meal. However, Valen and I had been cooking all night for a couple friends at my house and after telling us how good our meal tasted they all demanded it be posted on the blog. 

Friends enjoying food. 

This is a cool technique. We simply steamed veggies and chicken on the grill by sealing them in tin foil packets with a little bit of white wine and chicken stock. You could substitute any of the veggies and could substitute the chicken for beef or even fish.

Our little recipe consisted of chicken with a spanish olive spread, artichokes, asparagus, sweet potato, red onion, zucchini and yellow bell pepper. This recipe is also really REALLY good for you. "Cause, ya know, gotta keep that figure. 

Gluten Free Grilled Pizza

My friend Thom is an amazing cook and we have been meaning to get together and do so for a long time. It finally happened a couple weeks ago. We invited my best friend Hadley, who happens to be one a dem Gluten-Free peeps. Thom and I took that on as a challenge and grilled up some stuff on my back deck to satisfy all of Hadley's wheat-hating needs. 

Margherita pizza. The gluten-free dough stuck to the grill, so on our second attempt we really oiled that baby up and we got this nice lookin' pie. 

Simple salad of swiss chard and radishes from the Slow Food URI garden. 

 Tomatoes and fresh chives from the Slow Food URI Garden

Eggplant grilling with what looks like the national pizza of Australia. 

And 'course, its not a mid day cook out without sangria and fresh mint. 

Happy summer. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Erin Brennan and a corn muff.


So sorry. I know we have not posted in....well its been almost two months. I apologize to all of you millions of viewers out there. I know you have all been waiting anxiously and in the previous months  have found yourself at a loss due to our absence. I know, its ok. We're back. 

Anyways, this is the second restaurant post we have done on here, because a great part about great food is eating great food at great restaurants!

AS220 is definitely one of my favorite spots in RI. I lo0o0o0ove this place. First off, they are always holding concerts (Deer Tick anyone?) and cool art is always on display. There is something always going on there. Even just going to the bathroom there is fun because you get to read all the little blurbs and haikus people write on the walls. They have a fun little restaurant and bar, where the food is local and delicious but best of all SUPER CHEAP. 

So I have been working as a SNAP outreach worker this summer, which means I go around to different sites in RI and help people apply for food stamps if they qualify. I often find myself around the Providence area with about an hour to spare. So where do I go for lunch?

On this particular May day it was GORGEOUS outside so I sat out on Empire street people watching. 
My SEVEN DOLLAR sandwich and herbal iced tea (and THE CAVE by Jose Saramago, a great book if you are looking to read one).
Marinated chicken, sauteed kale, red onion, marmalade and smoked goat cheese on durum wheat. 

Valen and I went back for dinner last week before a documentary screening at Local 121 down the street. He ordered said sandwich and I ordered a tofu coconut curry dish that was delish. Then we were off to The Greenhorns an awesome and inspiring documentary about young farmers in America. 

"We are committed to bringing you food that is affordable (really), seasonal, simple and creative. I know, it's wacky. But hear me out: buying and eating locally means reducing your carbon footprint. It means you can high-five the people who grow and cook your food. It means that your afternoon snack hasn't been on a truck for eight days, and that when you eat it, it will have actual flavor not fabricated in a factory. Your food spends less time traveling and you spend less time wondering what went into that burger. You know what that means: me time to make art, more time to enjoy music and more time to relax and soak up all your little state has to offer."
-Guy Michaud, manager, AS220
HeLL to thA yeA

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Maybe we are Neanderthals

On Easter Sunday my dad and I were hanging out in our yard shootin' the breeze when suddenly we remembered that Sheep's Sorrel (Scientific name: Rumex acetosella) grows in our yard. My father has a degree in botany and a master's in soil chemistry, and he has taught me all I know about edible plants.  Sheep's sorrel was always my favorite. When I was younger, I would hunt for it with my friends on the playground. 

Sheep sorrel has a delicious sour, lemony taste that you wouldn't expect from a common weed. I expect it would be quite good as a garnish or in a salad. It also has a high level of antioxidants. Where I live (in Rhode Island) it usually grows wherever grass does, primarily on the edge. Look for oblong leaves with short projections on the end, right above the stem. They always grow in bunches. Try some next time you spot them growing. 

My father and I never did find any that Easter Sunday (I think it was too early in the spring) but what we did find were wild chives and dandelions, both of which are edible. Valen had just bought some Narragnasett Bay quahogs and mussels  from our friend Mason at the Costal Grower's farmer's market, so we were ready to concoct a meal. 
First we took the heads of dandelion flowers and fried them by dipping them in a simple milk,egg and flour batter, frying them in vegetable oil and salting them. I first tried dandelions prepared this way by an awesome lady named Wendy Rappaport, a wild foods enthusiast who teaches foraging classes, at a local food festival last year. They are delicious and again, something you would NOT expect from a common weed. 

Next we made a dandelion leaf salad with crumbled goat cheese, toasted pecans, wild chives and apples, tossed with balsamic vinaigrette. The dandelion leaves can be rather bitter (think a strong arugula) so you usually want something fruity or creamy to balance them out. Bread is the Rustic Italian Loaf from Village Hearth (obviously).
Valen made an awesome butter-garlic sauce for the mussels and quahogs and they were the best part of the meal. I think next time we get a craving for them we are going to try to find some ourselves. We also want to try crabbing (possibly lobstering??) Who knows. 

We desire a culture in our food, a connectedness to it. A connectedness and culture that we usually lose a sense of in this so very modern world. I never thought getting down on my hands and knees and collecting leaves could be rewarding. I guess now I can be classified as a hunter/gatherer, resorting back to the ways of my ancient ancestors. 
I guess that's what real food is folks. Food that grows in your very own backyard.